Western US Loop. Days 1&2

Travel Dates: September 20-21, 2018

Carla’s sister retired from teaching last June so we wanted to take her out on a road trip with us at the beginning of the school year so she could get a taste of retirement living – traveling when most kids with families are home instead of in the national parks. The three of us had fun planning the trip over the summer. On the morning of September 20 we loaded up our car, swung by her car to get her and her stuff and headed out for a big loop of the western United States.

Living in Portland, you have a bit of a drive to get out of the state when traveling either south or east. We decided to get some distance between us and home on the first day so drove the first 575 miles to Sacramento, California.


We’ve made this trip a few times before; we stay at a Best Western hotel just off I5. One of the nice things about this hotel is that it backs up to a river walk along the Sacramento River. It’s nice to be able to get out and stretch our legs after a very long drive. We took the river walk down to old town Sacramento where we passed by a railroad museum – we always get to town after it closes.

Although the museum was closed but we still saw some trains. As we made our way toward old town, a CalTrans train crossed one of the bridges. We saw it – or another – CalTrans train stopped in Old Town.

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And other old railroad cars were nearby – including this beautifully restored Union Pacific caboose.

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After an okay dinner at a German sausage pub and a quick tour of the Old Town shops we headed back to the hotel as the sun was setting.

We had a relatively short drive the next day so we took some time to walk the other direction on the river walk to a park where the Sacramento and American rivers come together. Carla and I walked out on a short pier where her sister grabbed a picture.

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Here is where the two rivers join.

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Local birds were out in the water and on the grass.

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There is lots of sandy beach for swimming. I love how the city is offering life jackets for the kids.

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It was a beautiful quiet, clear day but we knew it would start warming up before long. So we got back on the road for the next stage in our adventure.


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