Balancing Act

Winter Road Trip to Vancouver, B.C. With Stops

Every year, we try to embark on one road trip. I'm not talking about a regular 400+ mile round trip road trip to the Central Coast (i.e. San Luis Obispo), I'm referring to a road trip that would last over 1,500 miles. For 2013, we drove from Los Angeles to Palm Desert, to Monterey, to Sonoma County, to Reno before returning. I believe that trip carved 1,770 miles on the Prius.

Before capping off 2014, we're planning on taking the Prius Four all the way up to Vancouver, B.C. This will be the longest distance driven with the Prius and also will probably be our last long distance road trip in a while. Our wedding takes place next summer and we plan on having a child shortly after. Of course we'll make the best of our trip with stops in San Francisco, Eureka, Portland and Seattle. The trip will last two weeks and approximately 2,700~2,800 miles round trip. I am projecting total gas expenditure would be from $150~$200, based on current price and past driving experience (I've capped 600~650 miles per full tank, with two people and driving 65~70 mph). We've already booked our lodging for the course of this road trip. The fun part now is finding great places to drink, eat , sight-see and photograph. Being tikiphiles ourselves, we're also going to hit up a few landmark tiki bars that crosses our path, such as:

  • Forbidden Island in Alameda, CA
  • Tonga Room in San Francisco, CA
  • Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco, CA
  • Hale Pele in Portland, OR

If anyone familiar with the aforementioned stop areas and have any recommendations, feel free to send me a message or comment below. I've also just had my 30,000 mile service performed, so the Prius will long be ready for the road trip. In case anyone is interested, I got the 30k service performed at Cabe Toyota of Long Beach, CA for $149 plus tax. Of the 30,000 accumulated miles, I'd say 75% of it or more went into road trips, most of which I don't write about unless the road trip surpasses 1,500 miles round trip.

I also recently got done installing Curt trailer tow hitch and engine bay covers (reservoir, invertor) on the Prius since its last update, so DIY guides are in the works.

4 thoughts on “Winter Road Trip to Vancouver, B.C. With Stops

  1. mmmodem

    It's nice to have a partner who enjoys a long road trip with you. The 55k miles on my 2012 were mostly solo commute. I've made the drive to Vancouver twice before from San Francisco. My favorite part of trip was definitely Mount Shasta. It's just an incredible contrast to the rest of California to see a snow tipped peak. I also made the detour off highway 5 to visit Mount St Helen. But wouldn't you know, the road to the mountain was closed both times due to volcanic activity. Terrible luck for me, maybe third time is the charm.

    1. 5teve-0 Post author

      Before I met my wife, I use to go on solo road trips all the time with the RSX. While traveling solo is doable, having a companion along the way definitely makes the otherwise solitary drive more enjoyable. Shasta is definitely on our to-go list and we're trying to catch a 3~4 night stay in Shasta sometime in spring next year (not enough time this year). A detour to Mount St. Helens may be doable weather permitting.

      1. rsx guy

        ok so i have to ask, how is it going from a RSX type-s to a prius. I absolutely love taking my 2002 RSX-S on long road trips. now I've personally never driven a prius but i cant imagine its as much fun as the RSX, i mean going from manual to automatic is just too horrifying to think about let alone such a mundane car like the prius, or is it really not that bad, just wanted your opinion

        1. 5teve-0 Post author

          Not gonna lie, I do miss the fun factor, responsiveness and manual shifting of the RSX. By comparison, the Prius feels like a whale. But if you're going to do any road trips that are longer than 500 miles, the RSX becomes impractical. The bucket seats are cool and comfy only for so long. The Prius, while not as fun as the RSX, provides creature comfort that makes a long road trip all the more enjoyable (heated comfy seats, roomy, quiet, great on gas, smooth ride [no stiff suspension]), etc. Cost me about $140 in gas to do a round trip road trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver, B.C. with stops in San Francisco, Crescent City (California), Portland and Seattle. And as a daily commuter, the Prius, hands down, is the preferred ride. Switched to the Prius as it fits our lifestyle (love going on road trips) and like to have options as to where we live and commute without having to penny pinch on gas. Eventually, we'll have a dedicated "fun" car to fill the hole that the RSX left.

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