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2019 Outback, 2014 Forester
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I've lived in SF for a decade and unless you're in very specific neighborhoods you don't want to be in anyway, this isn't true. Driving over the GG Bridge is spectacular, as are the Marin Headlands on the north side of the bridge. You can be in the forests of Marin, drive over GG Bridge, stay on the Great Highway next to the beach, and cruise straight to Santa Cruz/Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur and the ONLY traffic you'll hit is in Half Moon Bay, a sleepy coastal town 30 miles south of SF. I've never had my car broken into. I've never experienced crime. We don't even lock our back door half the time on trips.
I wasn't talking about not locking your doors on a trip even though I think that giving someone that advice is a bad, bad idea especially in touristy areas. I mean why even take the chance? I was talking about crime in SF.

As to crime in SF- well, I understand that you live there but the city is not foreign to me as I have family there and go there at least once a year. While they may not live in the toniest of neighborhoods they do live in pretty nice ones- Bernal Heights and Noe Valley. Everyone makes it a point to emphasize that you should never leave valuables unattended in the car. We were just in SF last month and stayed a few blocks from Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in Pacific Heights and we were cautioned just the same.
I'm not bagging on your town because I would give the same advice to anyone visiting any urban area these days. Drugs, crime, homelessness and squalor are evident everywhere now. Sorry to sound so negative but these are facts.
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Limited w/EyeSight (Crimson Red Pearl)
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48 Posts
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Bend area is looking like it may warrant another day at least.

Lava forest and caves look really interesting and if we happen to be there Friday or Saturday, camping at the observatory during public viewing times sounds like it may be fun.

Christmas sand dunes look interesting, but we have dunes in the California deserts out our way.

Johnre already got me looking into John day fossil beds. If it's not obscenely hot that day, we will likely make a stop... otherwise, we can try to see what we can from the car... We did horseshoe bend in Arizona last july when it was around 109F, and it was pretty harsh for that 3/4 mile each way hike.

Owyhee lake kind of reminds me of lake Powell, AZ with a little more greenery. It may be a place that would require more time to see than we have available though, so perhaps on a future trip.

I'll be sure to check the blog for some more ideas!
You are most welcome! Right, definitely lots of dunes in CA! You are probably right about Owyhee needing more time. I almost didn't mention it, but hopefully you'll enjoy it on a future trip.

I spent some time in Death Valley in July one year, which wasn't the best idea. Got up to over 125 F in the shade during the day in Furnace Creek. I camped out in Echo Canyon one night, foolishly thinking the narrow canyon might be a bit cooler. That was a really bad idea too, since the sun was high enough that it cooked the rock walls during the day. That night, the temperature did not drop below 110 F in my well ventilated tent. The rock walls just radiated heat all night long. I did not get much sleep that night and was very glad to jump into my air-conditioned truck in the morning! A temperature of 109 F is certainly bad enough and tough if you need to hike a ways. Horseshoe Bend is an awesome view though, isn't it?

I hope you have a really great trip!
 

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'17 3.6R Touring Brillant Brown Pearl
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Yup. We are planning to drive through mt Rainier between Ellensburgh and Seattle via hwy 82south-hwy12-hwy410-hwy169.

I can attest to point reyes and Marin county being wonderful places. We had a mini-honeymoon there before we had our bigger/ planned honeymoon a few months later. Been back a couple times since.

I don't see any problem with taking the west side route from Yellowstone up hwy 191 to bozeman, but I did want to drive through helena-Lewis and Clark national park and enter glacier from st Mary. Should be very nice I'm thinking.
Traveling north out of YNP? Definitely check out the Beartooth Hwy! You'll be traveling down the north side. Up, is preferable. But..

Beartooth Highway ? On-line Maps | Beartooth Highway | Montana & Wyoming Scenic Drives
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited
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Discussion Starter #44
I just added a link to my roadtrippers map on the opening post. ( https://maps.roadtrippers.com/trips/24556767 for those who don't want to scroll).

Thanks to everyone who's made suggestions so far! Everything is still flexible to some degree, so still very open to suggestions.

We are really excited about all of this. Done some fancy trailer camping (basically glamping) with the extended family the last couple of years, but it's been almost two decades since I did tent camping as a teen, and the wife never has. Neither of us have done a camping/road trip quite like this though. It should be a blast. ?
 
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