Enough About You, Let’s Talk About Me and My Hair

FullSizeRender

As a matter of fact, I do indeed own a hair dryer!

San Diego, CA

May 4, 2016

You probably don’t know this about me, but I’m obsessed with my hair. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, ‘cause I’ve mastered the “Don’t Give a Crap About My Hair” hairstyle.

In other words, it usually looks like it’s “growing out.” Growing out from what, I’m not sure. You know the look. And I’d like you to believe that I just don’t care. But in fact, I do care. I’m just not willing to do anything about it….until yesterday.

My usual hair routine is this…maybe wash my hair, and then let it air dry. But yesterday…yesterday was special.

Yesterday I had a lunch meeting. And so I washed my hair, and then I dried it with a hair dryer. And then I put on my motorcycle helmet, and rode my scooter to my lunch meeting.

All in all, I’d say I had my motorcycle helmet on for about 15 minutes. When I arrived at my destination, took my helmet off, and caught a glimpse of myself in a nearby window reflection…OMG….my hair looked awesome!! It was like something out of a magazine, like an ad for Pantene or some other luxurious shampoo!!! I couldn’t stop touching it and swinging it around, like they do in all those shampoo commercials (almost tweaked my neck). It was, well, spectacular!

So you know what I’m thinking, right? This is my new hair routine…wash, dry, ride. I know, it takes some time, what with the 15 minute scooter ride and all, but my hair looked really really good, so I think it might be worth the time investment.

Wash, Dry, Ride, Repeat…………

Alien Abduction…..Really? Again?

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Aliens!!!

Day 120     October 7, 2014

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico  to  Sedona, Arizona

Although the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta would continue through the week, this would be our last morning at the festival. We grabbed a couple of breakfast burritos from one of the vendors, and hung out to watch the balloon skills competition.

Early morning balloons...

Early morning balloons…

Balloons & more balloons

Balloons & more balloons

Mark & balloons

Mark & balloons

IMG_7039

Funny balloons

Fiona (the Space Shuttle) & balloons

Fiona (the Space Shuttle) & balloons

Airstreams & balloons

Airstreams & balloons

Another one bites the dust...

Another one bites the dust…

One of many specialty balloons

One of many specialty balloons

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Crowd control

Crowd control

Lining up to watch the skills competition

Lining up to watch the skills competition

IMG_7059 IMG_7063 IMG_7061

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By 11:00 we were on the road, once again heading west towards home. We made a quick stop for lunch at Hotel el Rancho, in Gallup, New Mexico, and then, back on the road.

Gallup, NM

Gallup, NM

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

The main drag in Gallup

The main drag in Gallup

Cool road side stuff....

Cool road side stuff….

 

More cool road side stuff....

More cool road side stuff….

Just moments before crossing the Arizona state line, we lost our FM radio reception to pure static. This left us in a bit of a panic, as we tried to ascertain whether or not we’d lost seven minutes of time. Not knowing whether or not we’d experienced time loss, left us also not knowing whether or not we’d been abducted by aliens. Too much X-Files?? Maybe!

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Was it an alien abduction, or just a hoax?! We’ll never know.

Arizona!

Arizona!

Arizona...very friendly place...welcoming us twice!

Arizona…very friendly place…welcoming us twice!

Instagram art. Making art out of nothing.

Instagram art. Me, making photo art out of nothing.

If you need knives, I guess this is the place...

If you need knives, I guess this is the place…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We missed the exit for Winslow, Arizona, so you’ll be spared from the usual corny photo and references to the old Eagles song (“….standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…yada yada…blah blah blah…”).

Before dark, we arrived in Sedona, Arizona, which was a good thing, ‘cause we got to see the beautiful red rocky peaks that surround Sedona. Pretty spectacular! We checked into Rancho Sedona RV Park. Exploration would have to wait until morning!

On the road

Almost in Sedona….

First glimpse of red rocks....

First glimpse of red rocks….

Just gettin' in to Sedona

Just gettin’ in to Sedona

Very red......

Very red……

Very cool......

Very cool……

Very beautiful....

Very beautiful….

I Want Beer, And I Want It NOW!!!

Great choice for dinner!

Great choice for dinner!

Day 111            September 28, 2014

Little Rock, Arkansas  to  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

For a minute, I thought we’d time travelled back to the dark ages. We tried to buy a 6-pack of beer to restock our little fridge. But guess what?! The great state of Arkansas doesn’t sell alcohol on Sundays. WTF??? And so, we left Arkansas.

Leaving Arkansas. No beer, no stay.

Leaving Arkansas. No beer, no stay.

There seemed to be an unusually large number of motorcycles also heading west on I-40. I talked to a couple of the bikers at a rest stop, and found out they were all driving home after attending a huge bike rally in Fayetteville, Arkansas. And I’m guessing they were leaving on a Sunday ‘cause they couldn’t buy any freakin’ beer!

All the bikers leaving Arkansas, in search of beer..

All the bikers leaving Arkansas, in search of beer..

Onward to Oklahoma City. There’s a funny story about Oklahoma City. A story that happened many years ago when we were driving across the country to move to California. I’m not gonna tell you the story, as it’s quite long, but it involved Mark getting locked outside our friend’s house in the middle of the night. Just a little story that we laugh about to this day…..well, I laugh about it.

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

I knew it’d be depressing, but, we went to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial. You know, the one that honors the victims of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building. It was depressing to see, but it was also very beautiful, and I’m glad we went to see it.

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

The museum @ Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Personal mementos on the fence @ Oklahoma City National Memorial

Personal mementos on the fence @ Oklahoma City National Memorial

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After the somberness of the memorial, we needed a little pick-me-up, so we headed to the Bricktown district for some margaritas and beers. We had the most delicious dinner at Bricktown Brewery…meatloaf, fried okra and black eyed peas…totally gourmet…totally yummy!! And did I mention the awesome stout that went along with it?

Looking for margaritas in Bricktown

Looking for margaritas in Bricktown

Bricktown district

Bricktown district

Great choice for dinner!

Great choice for dinner!

Photo does not do this justice. It tasted freakin' awesomely gourmet!!

Photo does not do this justice. It tasted freakin’ awesomely gourmet!!

We docked for the night at Council Road RV Park.

Leaving the city...

Leaving the city…

Moshe Safdie, Surfing & Legos…One Degree Of Separation!

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Day 99     September 16, 2014

Montreal

Quebec, Canada

Just as we suspected might happen, we hit morning traffic going into Montreal. It was slow going, but we did get there. Of course, the central downtown district was crawling with traffic, so we couldn’t park there. So screw that. 

Morning traffic into Montreal

Morning traffic into Montreal

Nowhere to park the Space Shuttle...

Old meets new in downtown Montreal

We got out of the downtown mess and made our way over to Habitat 67. I remember seeing it on a family vacation to Canada when I was only about 9 years old.. a long time ago, in a land far far away. It was time to see it again!

This is from Wikipedia…

Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Canada, designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It was originally conceived as his master’s thesis in architecture at McGill University and then built as a pavilion for Expo 67, the World’s Fair held from April to October 1967.

According to an article on dezeen.com, Safdie planned the arrangement of the project by using 2:1 Lego bricks to build models.

“We bought out all the Legos in Montreal at the time, because we built many, many alternatives.”

I wonder if he still owns all those Legos. I hear they can be hard to find and can be quite expensive. He could be sitting on a gold mine of Legos!

Habitat was pretty spectacular! And despite all of the signs surrounding it, telling us that this was private property and to keep out, we didn’t. This is just how it is when you are with an architect. Look around…until you get kicked out. And we did look around…and we did get kicked out…but not before having a good look at the place!

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

We're in!!

We’re in!!

Trespassing @ Habitat 67

Trespassing @ Habitat 67

Cool view from inside one the courtyards

Cool view from inside one the courtyards

Habitat 67

Habitat 67

One last shot before being kicked out of Habitat 67

One last shot before being kicked out

One of the little known cool things about Habitat, is that it’s located right next to a surf break. Uh-huh!! There’s a surf break on the river right behind it! When the fast-moving water hits underwater boulders…voila…it forms a stationary wave that can reach up to six feet in height.

Surfing on the river!!

Surfing on the river!!

The wave wasn’t that big when we were there, but the rapid speed of the water, and the fact that the surfers had to enter the wave by being swept backwards, downriver into it, made the whole scenario look rather frightening! And if a surfer missed the wave, which most of them did that day, they’d get swept downriver, get out, walk up the embankment, walk back to the entry point, and try again. Not for the weak or faint of heart.

When we’d seen enough of the surfers and enough of the architecture, we ate lunch in the Space Shuttle, and then went to visit the nearby Biosphere. Like Habitat 67, Biosphere had also been built for the 1967 World’s Fair.

Lunch in the Space Shuttle

Lunch in the Space Shuttle

Biosphere is now an interactive environmental museum, and, unlike Habitat 67, it is open to the public…just not on Tuesdays!!! Crap!! We could walk around and take photos, but we couldn’t go inside.

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

Biosphere

We thought we’d try one more time to find parking in downtown Montreal. And once more, we were shut out. So we drove over to the old historic part of Montreal, where we totally lucked into finding two adjacent parking spaces on the street.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

New stuff, in Old Montreal

New stuff, in Old Montreal

After further exploration, and dinner, we left the city.

Industrial scenes

Shooting while stuck in traffic on the way out of Old Montreal

Industrial scenes

Industrial scenes

Industrial scenes

Industrial scenes

We’d planned to return to the city in the morning to look around some more and to go back to Biosphere, so we found the nearest RV park and called it a night.

The Dangers Of Speaking French! Who Knew?!

Longest covered bridge in the world!

Longest covered bridge in the world!

Day 96     September 13, 2014

Somewhere in New Brunswick  to  Quebec City, Quebec

Canada

When I woke up this morning, and looked out at the lovely river view that we had from our camp site, all I could see was the massive amount of steam rising off of the water. I don’t imagine the water was warm at all, but that’s just how freakin’ cold the air temperature was!

I don’t know why, but I was still shocked to find out that the air temperature in the campground shower/bathrooms, was equally as frigid cold. Brrrrr!!! Mark and I decided that we’d go see Quebec City and Montreal, and then head the hell south. It was so cold that, for the first time ever, when we hit the road, we both turned on our seat heaters!

We took a detour to Hartland to drive across the world’s longest covered bridge.

Longest covered bridge in the world!

Longest covered bridge in the world!

And another view of her....

And another view of her….

And it spans this pretty river....

And it spans this pretty river….

 

And on the inside....

And on the inside….

And across we go!

And across we went, just to say we did.

And we stopped in Perth-Andover, where we had an amazing lunch at the Waterfront Bistro. Gourmet smoked salmon and asparagus panini. Delicious!

Chillaxin' on the deck, waiting for lunch.

Chillaxin’ on the deck, waiting for lunch.

This would be our last stop in New Brunswick, which was a significant landmark. After this, we’d be crossing into Quebec Province, which is French speaking. I am not French speaking. Mark is barely broken-French speaking.

Our first stop in officially French speaking territory, was just over the borderline in Quebec, at Tim Horton’s. Using his not so stellar French, Mark tried to order one doughnut. We got six huge doughnuts. We proudly walked out of Timmy’s with a bag full of six doughnuts, and planned our strategy for survival.

It was time to bring out the big guns….the iPhone language translator app. Mark would speak French into the phone, and, in theory, the proper English words would be spoken back to us. Then, speaking as precisely as I could, I would try to mimic the French words into the phone, and then listen to the English translation spoken back to me.

Here’s a little chart of what I thought I said in French, and what the iPhone thought I said:

What I thought I said in French…………………..The IPhone’s English translation

I’m sorry, I don’t speak French…………………..I saved Jana Ronson

I’m sorry, can you say that again…..……….……I’m sorry, and you could diet

I’m sorry, repeat please…………………………..I’m sorry, pizza please

And then there was a translation that had something to do with telling someone they need pants. I decided that it’d probably be too dangerous for me to attempt speaking French.

At the end of our fun little day full of adventures, we checked into Motel et Camping Etchemin, just across the river form Quebec City. This was a combination motel and RV park. Lucky for us, the receptionist spoke perfect English. And so, we DID end up with a nice RV site behind the hotel, and NOT with a deluxe hotel suite!

In Dax We Trust! When Dogs Are Smarter Than People!

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, waitin' for the tide to come this way...

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, waitin’ for the tide to come this way…

Day 95        September 12, 2014        part 1

Antigonish, Nova Scotia  to Somewhere in New Brunswick

Canada

In a reversal of our previous decision to skip it, we decided after all, to go to the Shubenacadie River, in Truro, to see the “reversing falls.” With extraordinary 40+ foot tides in the Bay of Fundy, when the tides change, the direction of the flow of the water on the Shubenacadie also changes. The term “falls” is completely misleading, but the phenomenon is still cool to witness.

Our timing was perfect (dumb luck), and we arrived at the interpretive center 20 minutes before the tide change. We were instructed to drive ten minutes up the road to Maitlin, and to watch from the pier.

Pastoral beauty on the river's edge in Maitlin

Pastoral beauty on the river’s edge in Maitlin

Mark and I and the doggies, and ten other tourists, gathered on the Maitlin pier, waiting for the tidal change  It was a friendly bunch and we had a good time talking with everyone. Dax and Trixie were extremely popular with this group as well. I guess everyone else was missing their doggies back home.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, waitin' for the tide to come this way...

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, waitin’ for the tide to come this way…

Yes, the riverbed IS really this red!

Yes, the riverbed IS really this red!

Coastline in Maitlin

Coastline in Maitlin

High tide was scheduled for 12:55. I know these things aren’t exact, but there we all were, just waiting for the big moment to happen. We weren’t even really sure what was gonna happen, just that we wanted to see it, whatever it was.

Surely something special was gonna happen, ‘cause otherwise all of these crazy kayakers wouldn’t be trying to drag their kayaks through the filthy red mud to get to the tiny bit of water that was currently in the river. That in itself was a hilarious sight to see!

Crazy kayaker trying to get out into the middle of the river without actually touching any of the red messy mud.

Crazy kayaker trying to get out into the middle of the river without actually touching any of the red messy mud.

Misery loves company.

Misery loves company.

This guy's gonna do it standing up!

This guy’s gonna do it standing up!

Once in a while, we’d have a false alarm. Someone would think they heard something or saw the water rising. But no, nothing was happening.

It’d been twenty minutes since the tide was supposed to change, when suddenly, Dax stands up, faces down river, and starts barking like crazy. Well damn! Wouldn’t ya know it, as we all looked up to see what he was barking at, we could see the water heading towards us, up the river in the reverse direction!

And that is how we discovered Dax’s hidden talent! Apparently, he has an uncanny ability to predict tidal changes! The crowd on the peer hooted, hollered, laughed, and applauded Dax! For just those few moments in time, he was a Superhero!!

The reversing falls was pretty fun to see. Suddenly, the almost completely dry river bed turned into a very wet river flowing in the opposite direction, and the water level was rising so fast you could see it. And the kayakers then had little rapids to run!

We hustled back to the interpretive center, where there was a platform viewing area high above the river’s edge. This was an even more dramatic view where we were able to watch the river rise 40’ in 15 minutes. That’s a lot of agua!!

Finally, some water in the middle of the river

Finally, some water in the middle of the river

Low water

Low water

Same view. Higher water.

Same view. Higher water.

Still some dry spots in the middle

Still some dry spots in the middle

No more dry spots in the middle

No more dry spots in the middle

Tourists in motorized rafts ride the rapids!

Tourists in motorized rafts ride the rapids!

So much water rushing in!

So much water rushing in!

So yes, it was worth the detour to Truro. We got to witness the power of nature that day. But even better, we got to discover the Superhero that is Dax!

Three Californians Walk Into A Bar in Nova Scotia, and…….

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Day 94     September 11, 2014

Glace Bay  to  Antigonish

Nova Scotia, Canada

Maybe it was due to the gloomy overcast day, but Glace Bay completely underwhelmed us. Maybe we’d set our expectations too high. Maybe it was just the grayness. Well, we checked it off the list and moved on.

Next, we drove to Louisbourg. Have I mentioned how much I dislike historic reenactment villages? I think I have. But somehow, I ended up at another one of ‘em…..the Fortress of Louisbourg.

They welcomed us. How nice!

They welcomed us. How nice!

Unlike my experience with Glace Bay, my expectations had been set very low for our visit to Louisbourg. And this was so uncalled for, ‘cause the Fortress was pretty dang cool. We took tons of pictures, bought homemade wheat and rye breads, and ate lunch in the cantina. So glad Mark talked me into stopping here!

More or less, the front door of the fortress

More or less, the front door of the fortress

Let the reenactment crap begin.....

Let the reenactment crap begin…..

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

A fortress must have a moat, right?

A fortress must have a moat, right?

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

A fortress needs some cool weaponry too, right?

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Green door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Green door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Red door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

Red door detail @ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

@ the Fortress of Louisbourg

The view of the fortress from across the water

The view of the fortress from across the water

Finally, a nice little graveyard...

On our walk back to the visitor center….a nice little graveyard.

It was early afternoon when we got back on the road and headed west on Route 104. We drove past the lake region, which looked pretty, but we didn’t have time to stop. We had to put on some more miles today.

We stopped for the night at Whidden Park Campground in Antigonish. This was one of those rare campground/RV parks that was situated right in the town….not two miles outside of town…right in the town.

This was a great opportunity to go out for drinks and dinner. Antigonish is home to St. Francis Xavier University. So, it’s a university town, which meant there actually was some night life!

We walked through the town, checking out a few places, and settled on The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery. It was live jazz night, and the place was packed, but we lucked into a couple seats at the bar.

This was going to be a fun and easy place to talk to some locals, which was why I nearly fell off my bar stool when I discovered that the guy sitting next to me at the bar (not Mark, the other guy, other side of me), was a realtor from San Diego, CA. WTF??!!! What are the chances of that? He was equally as shocked to discover that we live about 1/2 hour from him back home in California!

Our new friend from California was on a fishing trip. He and his buddies would catch and release big fish during the day, and then drink like big fish in the Antigonish bars at night!

Now the guy two bar stools down from me, on the other side of Mr. California, he was a local. And he was hilarious, and had a keen mind for trivia. He challenged all three of us Californians to an informal game of trivia. This meant that he’d ask the questions, and the three of us would try to get the correct answers. He kicked our asses. And he even let us chose the categories. This must have cemented in his mind, the opinion that Californians, although we are a good looking bunch, are dumb.

It was a fun evening. And by the way, The Townhouse Brewpub & Eatery had fabulous food! Anyway, although our new friends invited us to go to another bar with them, we had to say goodnight and get back to the Space Shuttle where the pups would be awaiting our return.

A Canadian Walks Into A Bar In Boston, and…..

The perfect green shack.  Isle aux Morts

The perfect green shack. Isle aux Morts

Day 93                     September 10, 2014

J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park, Newfoundland  to  Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

Canada

Today we’d be saying goodbye to Newfoundland, and catching the ferry from Port aux Basques, back to North Sydney, Nova Scotia. But before catching the ferry, we took a drive east on the road out of Port aux Basque.

East of Port aux Basques..

Heading east from Port aux Basques..

A glimpse of southwest Newfoundland

A glimpse of southwestern Newfoundland

This area was so stunning, that we’d wished we had just a couple more days to spend in Newfoundland. We walked around the small town of Isle aux Morts, population 600, before returning to the ferry terminal.

Another nice looking church. Isle aux Morts

Another nice looking church. Isle aux Morts

 Isle aux Morts

Isle aux Morts

The perfect green shack.  Isle aux Morts

The perfect green shack. Isle aux Morts

 Isle aux Morts

Isle aux Morts

 Isle aux Morts

Isle aux Morts

 Isle aux Morts

Isle aux Morts

One last photo op on the drive back to the ferry terminal

One last photo op on the drive back to the ferry

While waiting for the ferry (you have to arrive two hours prior to departure, and then que your vehicle up in the loading lot), we met a guy who’d grown up in Newfoundland, was back for a visit, and was now headed back to Ontario. We hung out with him on the ferry  and the time flew by as he told stories about where he grew up, how much snow they had in the winter, and about how he once visited Boston and partied so hard that he woke up the next day in Connecticut!

Port aux Basques, from the ferry.

Port aux Basques, from the ferry.

Final views of Newfoundland

Final views of Newfoundland

Final views of Newfoundland

Final views of Newfoundland

Crossing the Cabot Strait

Crossing the Cabot Strait

When we finally arrived back in Nova Scotia, we headed towards Glace Bay. We checked into the nearby Ryan River Campground just before dark, and just as a light mist was settling in. It felt weird to be back in Nova Scotia.

Will The Real Adam Sandler Please Stand Up….

@ Coffee Cove

@ Coffee Cove

Day 91     September 8, 2014

South Brook to Barachois Pond Provincial Park, Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

In the middle of the night, we’d been awoken by an alarm going off inside the Space Shuttle. Argh!! It was our tire pressure alarm. I disconnected the alarm so that we could sleep and deal with it in the morning. So now we had to deal with it.

Fiona in the morning @ Kona Beach Campground

Fiona in the morning @ Kona Beach Campground

One of our tires had dropped from 61 psi, to 54 psi. Mark was able to use our bike pump to get the tire up to 59 psi, but, we clearly had an impending situation on our hands. It had become obvious that our problem with those gas station air pumps the day before, had actually been a problem with our tire.

But ya know what? There wasn’t anyplace nearby to get the tire looked at. And since we could pump it up to 59 psi, well, that was good enough to keep us on the road until we reached somewhere where someone could help us.

And so, off we went, up Route 391 to King’s Point and to Rattling Brook to see the waterfalls. This is where we came to the conclusion that a lot of stuff in Newfoundland was falling apart. We walked up the trail as far as we could, only to find that the stairway path leading up to the great view of the falls, had been destroyed by a rock slide. I guess that, being pretty remote, and there not being many people around, Newfoundland just wasn’t in a big hurry to fix some stuff. I don’t have a problem with that.

Mark & Dax. Going to see the waterfalls, or so we thought.

Mark & Dax. Going to see the waterfalls, or so we thought.

End of the hike for us!

End of the hike for us!

At least the hike there and back was pretty!

At least the hike there and back was pretty!

Pretty scenery across the street from the Rattling Brook Falls hike

Pretty scenery across the street from the Rattling Brook Falls hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty scenery across the street from the Rattling Brook Falls hike

Pretty scenery across the street from the Rattling Brook Falls hike

Dax the explorer...

Dax the explorer…

Mark & Dax taking some photos

Mark & Dax taking some photos

Next stop….St. Patrick’s and Coffee Cove. We parked in the parking lot at Church of the Sacred Heart, in St. Patrick’s, and ate lunch in the Space Shuttle . Down below was Coffee Cove. With a name like Coffee Cove, we were sort of hoping we’d find at least a cute little coffee shop . But, there didn’t seem to be anything but some scattered houses, and solitude.

Church of the Sacred Heart in St. Patrick's.

Church of the Sacred Heart in St. Patrick’s.

The view down towards Coffee Cove from Church of the Sacred Heart in St. Patrick's.

The view down towards Coffee Cove

@ Coffee Cove

@ Coffee Cove. No coffee shop here!

 

 

 

Fiona in Coffee Cove

Fiona in Coffee Cove. Mark’s down there having a look around.

Coffee Cove

@ Coffee Cove

Beachside was our next destination. Maybe we’d find a coffee shop there. Umm…nope…except for a small community of small houses, we didn’t see so much as a grocery store or anything out there. I found this, on Wikipedia,

“There is only one business located in Beachside and this is a souvenir shop called Newfoundland Souvenir Manufacturing Limited.”

Hmm, we missed that too. However, what we did find, was some absolutely spectacular scenery!

The beaches were actually a greenish color

The beaches were actually a greenish color

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

The weirdest thing about Beachside, which Wikipedia doesn’t mention anything about, was the color of the beaches. All of the beaches seemed to be green. Why? I don’t know. Too much spinach in the water? Probably not, as the water was a beautiful shade of blue. Well, there was too much of something on those pebbly beaches, I’m just not sure what.

Stopped for a photo op on the way back to the highway

Stopped for a photo op on the way back to the highway

Mark, taking a pic of the grand view...

Mark, taking a pic of the grand view…

Although actually not our main goal for the day, we did eventually find coffee…at the Springdale Tim Horton’s. Not so charming, but it did alleviate our cravings. Got some free internet while we were there as well.

Back from whence we came....heading south....

Back from whence we came….heading south….

We continued our journey southwest on Route 1, all the way to Barachois Pond Provincial Park. We checked in with the on-duty park ranger, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Adam Sandler. And he was funny as hell too.

I bet he could make a fortune if he went on tour as an Adam Sandler impersonator. However, in the 10 minute comedic banter back and forth with him, he told us he’d never been outside of Newfoundland, and had no desire to travel outside of Newfoundland. Really? Not even in the winter? A little escape to Florida maybe?! This was kind of hard to believe.

Then it occurred to me that maybe this guy was the real Adam Sandler!! Maybe he goes to work and hangs out in Newfoundland during the summers. Ya know, to get away from the Hollywood scene and get some peace and quiet.

The ranger/Adam Sandler, did tell us that Barachois Pond Provincial Park has the reputation as a raucous weekend party destination. But we were there mid-week, and at the very end of the season. There was hardly anyone else in the park. Once again, we had our choice of campsites. We chose site #1, right by the lake. It was a good choice!

Barachois Pond Provincial Park

Barachois Pond Provincial Park

Evening walk around the pond

Evening walk around the pond

Evening walk around the pond

Evening walk around the pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset from our campsite...site #1

Sunset from our campsite…site #1

Goats On A Leash…Getting Screeched In… & Other Tales From St. John’s

The view from Signal Hill

The view from Signal Hill

Day 87     September 4, 2014

St. John’s, Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

This morning we spent time organizing, rearranging, and cleaning, and then we headed out on more fun adventures.

As we we were driving through downtown St. John’s, we passed a guy walking two goats on leashes. What up with that? Is that some kind of trend? Where does this guy live, that he’s walking his goats downtown in the city? I’m not sure goats even like cities.  Too bad we couldn’t pull over and stop to talk to this guy. This bugged me for a long time, the not knowing what the story was!

I had to shake off the vision of the guy with his goats as we drove out to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America. Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.

Cape Spear Lighthouse

Cape Spear Lighthouse

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

Fiona, way down there in the parking lot @ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

@ Cape Spear

While exploring, we stopped to talk to a young guy walking his puppy. He told us that he bought a house just down the road. He used to be a furniture mover, and it seemed like every time he’d be moving someone, they’d tell him about how they were moving ‘cause they couldn’t stand their neighbors. So when he was able to buy his first house, he made sure he bought one as far away from anyone as he could get. Cape Spear is pretty far away from most people!

Our next stop was Signal Hill. This is the spot where Guglielmo Marconi received the first ever transatlantic wireless signal. I figure he picked this spot due to the magnificent views. If you’re gonna be sitting in one spot for a long time, waiting for someone to call you, you may as well have great views, eh?

The view of St. John's harbor @ Signal Hill.

The view of St. John’s harbor @ Signal Hill.

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

An interesting charachter @ Signal Hill

An interesting dude in pink high heel boots @ Signal Hill

We had the luck of the dumb with us today, as we unknowingly had ended up at Signal Hill at just the right time to enjoy the sunset and to enjoy the spectacle that is everyone cruising up there in their cool cars to strut their stuff and watch the sunset. Dumb works for us sometimes!

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

@ Signal Hill

How would we top off our day? It’d already been so amazing. Only two things left to do so late in the day…get “screeched in” and eat dinner.

I’d met a St. John’s native back in Nova Scotia, who’d told me to go to Trapper John’s in St. John’s to get screeched in. So we did. 

We drank shots of screech, kissed a big frozen cod fish on the lips, repeated some gibberish, and laughed our asses off during the 15 minute hilarious ceremony (presided over by the bartender). And so, we became honorary Newfoundlanders! We have certificates to prove it all. Proudest day of our lives!

Getting screeched in @ Trapper John's

Getting screeched in @ Trapper John’s

From the Urban Slang dictionary....

From the Urban Slang dictionary….

The day ended with a fabulous meal at Yellowbelly. We ordered a simple cheeseburger pizza, not really expecting too much. But, yet another surprise…this was possibly, the best pizza I have ever had…ever!!!

We were falling in love with St. John’s.

“The Dump Station Blues” And Other #1 Hits

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

Day 71   August 19   Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

Before we went into downtown Lunenburg, I had one little obligation to fulfill. The night before, our dinner hosts had been begging me to bring my guitar over to play for them, and I had refused. They finally left me alone when I promised them that I’d come over in the morning, with my guitar.

Since I never break a promise, my guitar and I (and Mark) went over to Steve and Janet’s motorhome for a goodbye serenade. And this is when it got weird.

Steve and Janet’s site was right next to the dump station. For you non-rv-ers, a dump station is where you dump the holding tanks in your rv. In other words, it’s where you dump shit, literally.

There I was, standing there with my guitar, talking to our friends, when a guy pulls his trailer up to the dump station. I’m standing right outside his driver’s side window. He’s staring at me with my guitar, and I’m staring right back at him. And that’s when I instantaneously made up, created, and performed for the very first and very last time, “The Dump Station Blues.” Yep, I just belted it out right there!

It was just one of those perfect moments in time when all the stars aligned and an unforgettable moment just happened. I’m pretty sure that it’s the first time anyone’s ever been greeted by live entertainment at a dump station. It’s certainly the first (and hopefully the last) time I’ve ever performed at a dump station.

Sorry, but there are no pics of my dump station performance, however, here are some lovely pics of Lunenburg and the surrounding area……

Lunenburg Academy

Lunenburg Academy

Lunenburg Academy

Lunenburg Academy

Yippeee...found another graveyard next to Lunenburg Academy

Yippeee…found another graveyard next to Lunenburg Academy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quaint, colorful houses in downtown Lunenburg

Quaint, colorful  buildings in downtown Lunenburg

Downtown Lunenburg

Downtown Lunenburg

Downtown Lunenburg

Downtown Lunenburg

Lots of old house renovations going on in the downtown area

Lots of old house renovations going on in the downtown area

Downtown

Downtown. An electrical maze.

Building detail in downtown Lunenburg

Building detail in downtown Lunenburg

 

 

Of course there were old, quaint churches in Lunenburg

Of course there were old, quaint churches in Lunenburg

Pretty church

Pretty church

Pretty church

Pretty church

The waterfront

The waterfront

The waterfront

The waterfront

The waterfront

The waterfront

After exploring downtown, we headed south on the coast, just outside of town. The coastline was stunning!

A cute shack on the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

A cute shack on the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

Mark The Explorer

Mark The Explorer

Beautiful coastline

Beautiful coastline

Interesting rock formations on the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

Interesting rock formations 

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

On the coast

Local art, in a tiny shack, with an honor box to take payments

Local art, in a tiny shack, with an honor box to take payments

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

On the coast,

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

On the coast, just south of downtown Lunenburg

Beautiful coastline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we were walking about, I spotted this very elderly couple taking a walk. They walked so slowly, that I was able to quickly catch up with them and talk with them. They lived just across the street from the water, in a house they had built for themselves 50 years ago. Lovely people! Lovely place!

Cute old couple taking a stroll.

Cute old couple taking a stroll.

Late in the day, we ended up at the campground at The Ovens Natural Park. Got ourselves an amazing campsite on the rocky shore.

The Ovens, campground

The Ovens, campground

We made a dinner reservation at the very tiny on-site restaurant, ‘Ole Miners Diner, which proved to be a very cool thing. Not only did we have a delicious dinner, but we enjoyed live music by Steven Chapin, brother of the late Harry Chapin. We were later told that the Chapin family owns the campground, although I never did verify this info.. Either way, it was a wonderful way to end the day.

Earlier in the evening, Mark poses in front of the  'Ole Miners Diner

Earlier in the evening, Mark poses in front of the ‘Ole Miners Diner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I Prevented The American vs Canadian War

Mark, getting a few last shots off before the rain started

Mark,  rockin’ the Modern Times Beer sweatshirt as we head to Nova Scotia

Day 70    August 18    Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia, Canada

What a mess!! We did it again. Left our chairs and stuff outside all night. And it rained. Once again, everything was soaked. Still, such beginners!!!

Spent the morning doing laundry. Almost got in a fight with a French Canadian dude who was pissed that I was using both of the washing machines. In the name of international relations, I acquiesced and crammed all of my laundry into one machine….the ultimate sacrifice. War was averted. You Canadians can thank me by sending me Canadian swag.

With everything clean, and dry, we set off for the ferry terminal, and caught the ferry to Nova Scotia. Turned out it was a good day to travel, as it ended up raining most of the day.

Low tide at the PEI ferry terminal

Low tide at the PEI ferry terminal

In line to catch the ferry to Nova Scotia

In line to catch the ferry to Nova Scotia

The space shuttle, all tucked in on the ferry to Nova Scotia

The space shuttle, all tucked in on the ferry to Nova Scotia

Last look at PEI

Last look at PEI

 

 

 

The ferry boat...

The ferry boat…

Goodbye, PEI

Goodbye, PEI

Goodbye, PEI

Goodbye, PEI

Ahoy...thar's Nova Scotia

Ahoy…thar’s Nova Scotia

Mark, getting a few last shots off before the rain started

Mark, capturing the first site of Nova Scotia

Once we landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia, we headed south. When the rain finally stopped, we paused for a couple photo ops in Mahone Bay, and then made our way to Lunenburg for the night.

Crossing the bridge to Halifax.

Crossing the bridge to Halifax.

Mahone Bay

Mahone Bay

We stayed at the Lunenburg Board of Trade Campground, which was not so much a campground as it was a gravel parking lot. However, the upside was two-fold. First, the “campground” was virtually right in Lunenburg, so, location, location, location! Second, we met a hilarious couple, Steve and Janet, from Toronto who were in Lunenburg for a wedding. Steve and Janet invited us over to their motorhome for dinner. Not only did they provide the best burgers I’ve ever had, but they also provided non-stop pee-in-your-pants humor all evening long! They were funny as hell, and we had a great time!

I Freakin’ Hate The Letter “A”

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Day 66    August 14

By day #66 of our big trip, I was getting freakin’ tired of the letter A. Not really tired of the whole alphabet yet, just the A.

When we were driving, we’d listen to music from my iphone (plugged into the USB port, and coming in loud and clear on our stellar stereo system). But every freakin’ time I’d re-start the phone, or we’d stop somewhere and then start driving again, the song “A-1 On The Jukebox” by Dave Edmunds, would come blaring out.

Freakin’ drove me nuts!! I never could figure out how to stop that from happening. Seems that the system wants to always start playing with the first song, alphabetically speaking, on my phone.

Damn freakin’ “A.” And the song, “A-1 On The Jukebox,” damn that too. I’d die happy if I never have to hear that again…ever!!

Moving on here…we left the campground in Moncton, and started the short journey to Prince Edward Island, or PEI, as it’s commonly known. We crossed over the eight mile long Confederation Bridge, marveling at the feat of engineering, as well as at the almost gale force winds that greeted us.

Clever (and snarky) sign at the campground in Moncton

Clever (and snarky) sign at the campground in Moncton

Weird Canadian road signage.

Weird Canadian road signage.

On the 8 mile long Confederation Bridge.

On the 8 mile long Confederation Bridge.

A fun sign, welcoming us to PEI.

A fun sign, welcoming us to PEI.

We ignored the uber windyness on PEI, and headed out on the North Cape Coastal Drive on Rt 1A (ironic, no? we were on the 1A, and were also plagued by that increasingly irritating song “A-1 On The Jukebox. coincidence? I think not!).

On the 1A towards Summerside.

On the 1A towards Summerside.

There was a ton of cool stuff to explore as we drove clockwise around the island. A cool old church, glass bottle houses, beautiful scenery.

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Cool graveyard @ Parish Church of Mont-Carmel

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Glass Bottle House

Lucky us, we found a nice campground for the night, right on the waterfront…Crystal Beach Campground. And lucky us, we arrived early enough to be treated to a most beautiful sunset. A great ending to a great day!

Our home for the night

Our home for the night

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Sunset @ Crystal Beach Campground

Blue, Mark, & Trixie pose for one last portrait of the day

Blue, Mark, & Trixie pose for one last portrait of the day

Blue, Mark, Trixie, and Dax in the background...bed time.

Blue, Mark, Trixie, and Dax in the background…bed time.

Were We Abducted By Space Aliens?

Low tide @ Lubec, Maine

Low tide @ Lubec, Maine

Day 63      August 11

August 11th was a day full of crazy shit.

First of all, somehow, after doing a crap load of laundry the day before, we’d ended up with more laundry to do in the morning. Maybe it was the doggie blankets, I don’t really remember now. But really, how much laundry can you create while living in a van?

Next was the funny woman we met at our campground. She had recently purchased an Airstream Interstate, just like ours, but newer. And, just like we were a year ago, this woman was absolutely clueless about how to operate her space shuttle. She was begging us for help when she couldn’t figure out why her vehicle was beeping. Uh, how ‘bout putting on your seatbelt? Yep, that.

Next crazy thing was me talking to AT&T and finding out that our most recent bill was $575. WTF???? Put them on the list of companies I hate.

We left our campground and headed up Route 1, just a little ways, to Schoodic Point, which is separate from the rest, but still, part of Acadia National Park.

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point

Fiona @ Schoodic Point

Fiona @ Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

A little help....please.....

A little help….please…..

Gumby & Pokey do another photo shoot.

Gumby & Pokey do another photo shoot.

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point

Man in nature

Man in nature

Check out the view from up here

Check out the view from up here

Wheeeeeeeee!!!! We made it to Schoodic Point!!

Wheeeeeeeee!!!! We made it to Schoodic Point!!

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point

As we were parking Fiona in what definitely seemed to be a “no parking” kind of spot, we were approached by a ranger. He wasn’t coming to tell us that we couldn’t park there, but he was coming over to talk to us about our RV, and to weasel his way into getting a tour of the inside. Seems he plans to retire in about a year, and wants to get a space shuttle just like ours!

We finally had to get on our way, said goodbye to Acadia National Park, and headed north. Just as we were leaving Schoodic Point, we saw a cow on a leash in somebody’s front yard. Yeehaw!! Must be Maine!!

It was early evening when we arrived in Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the USA.

Welcome to Lubec!

Welcome to Lubec!

IMG_4041

The sign-in board, as you enter Lubec

The sign-in board, as you enter Lubec

We walked around the tiny town, watched the sunset and marveled at the extreme low tide. Met some really nice local peeps watching the sunset, and more nice local peeps inside the local tavern.

Lubec

Lubec

Low tide in Lubec

Low tide in Lubec

Lubec

Lubec

Lubec

Lubec

The main street in Lubec

The main street in Lubec

Fish mural in downtown Lubec

Fish mural in downtown Lubec

Tiny little main street in Lubec

Tiny little main street in Lubec

Cute little town with cute little storefronts.

Cute little town with cute little storefronts.

Lubec

Lubec

It was in Lubec that we thought perhaps we’d been abducted by aliens, ‘cause the time indicated on our cell phones, kept switching back and forth by an hour. And Mark’s phone and my phone weren’t in agreement about what time it was either.

Finally, we figured out (‘cause one of those nice local peeps told us) what was happening. We were literally, at the border to New Brunswick, Canada, and New Brunswick is on Atlantic Time…an hour ahead of Eastern Time. Our electronic devices were confused, as they kept jumping back and forth to the Canadian networks and picking up the Canadian time.

Low tide @ sunset. Lubec, Maine

Low tide @ sunset. Lubec, Maine

Low tide @ sunset. Lubec, Maine

Low tide @ sunset. Lubec, Maine

Low tide @ sunset. Lubec, Maine

Low tide @ sunset. Lubec, Maine

August 11th was a day full of crazy shit, but it stopped short of including alien abductions. Phew.

Eating With Chopsticks While Driving….Is it Legal????

There we are. The blue dot. Ugh. Amazing lack of good internet capabilities. Looks like we're in outer space, at night.

There we are. The blue dot. Ugh. Amazing lack of good internet capabilities. Looks like we’re in outer space, at night.

Day 57 August 5

Trixie and Dax were due for a couple of their routine shots, and we wanted to get those taken care of before we went back into Canada. We’d called the Freeport Veterinary Clinic the day before, explained our travel situation, and got an appointment for this morning.

This turned out to be a really nice clinic, with a great vet and staff. Trixie and Dax seemed to enjoy meeting these new people and getting some special attention. And now, no worries about going back to Canada!

Awesome peeps helping pets!

Awesome peeps helping pets!

Our only worry now, was the crazy driver next to us as we drove out of town. This was a first on my “Can’t believe I saw a person doing such and such while driving” list. OK, this guy was driving while eating, with chopsticks, from a Chinese food take-out container. Scary at first, and then total excitement and wonderment about how the heck he could do that while driving! Talent comes in many forms!

We were headed towards Rockland, where we were hoping to have dinner at a restaurant called Primo. This was another recommendation from Gary and Jane. We were super disappointed to find out that Primo is closed on Tuesdays. Bummer, but then, look at the money we probably saved by not being able to eat out. Silver linings come in many forms!

Once in Rockland, we stopped to visit the Farnsworth Museum of Art to see the Wyeth exhibits, and the other artsy stuff. Nice museum.

Rockland

Rockland

Getting some culture @ the Farnsworth Museum of Art

Getting some culture @ the Farnsworth Museum of Art

Getting some culture @ the Farnsworth Museum of Art

Getting some culture @ the Farnsworth Museum of Art

The RV Park we ended up at for the night was interesting. Nice location and woodsy setting, with a killer coastline view from one of the walking paths. They also had a gigantic movie screen with huge booming speakers, set up in a field near our campsite.

Cute cottages for rent at the RV park.

Cute cottages for rent at the RV park.

Coastline view from the RV park.

Coastline view from the RV park.

At around 5:00 pm, they had a movie playing, with the sound turned up to about 12. Even Spinal Tap’s amps only went up to 11. This was freakin’ loud. Annoying things come in many forms!

At least the movie was over by 7:00 pm, and we had a good night’s sleep after all.

The Reverse Vortex of Hilariousness

Day 43       part 1

There’s an interesting phenomenon that happens as I travel, take notes, and then blog. It’s like a “reverse vortex of hilariousness.”

And as we travel, I keep a daily notes journal so that, by time I write my blog, I can remember everything that happened. I make especially sure to write down stuff that we do, say, or see,  that Mark and I find absolutely hilarious. But, by time I get to translating my notes into a blog post, most of that stuff isn’t even funny anymore.

That, my friends, is what I call the “Reverse Vortex of Hilariousness.” It is when something that was once hilarious, becomes unfunny.

So, when you read this blog, and come across a particular post that seems not so funny, you must remember that funny shit happened, but it’s just not funny anymore.

Here’s an example:

On Day 43, July 22, Mark and I had a discussion about how many axles we’d get charged for for driving our RV across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara. We thought it was hilarious that, if we had only one axle, we’d be a uni-axle.

See what I mean? Not really all that hilarious any more!! No need to write about that!

Jr. Rangers and The Pretzelberry

Selfie. Craters of the Moon

Selfie. Craters of the Moon

Day 18   June 27

Why Do Kids Get All The Good Stuff?

We spent a good part of the day exploring Craters of the Moon National Monument. There’s lots of little hiking trails that take you to all kinds of varying and cool volcanic formations.

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

The Space Shuttle @ Craters of the Moon

The Space Shuttle @ Craters of the Moon

Crazy dead tree @ Craters of the Moon

Crazy dead tree @ Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon

Climbing on the lava formations @ Craters of the Moon

Climbing on the lava formations @ Craters of the Moon

Mark @ Craters of the Moon

Mark @ Craters of the Moon

We met a nice couple from the San Francisco Bay area,  with their young boy who was working on getting his Jr. Ranger badge. He was going to a Jr. Ranger workshop given by the park ranger, and he was doing work in his Jr. Ranger workbook, and was out hiking with mom and dad and learning stuff.

Obviously, this got me thinking… Why do kids get all the good stuff and get to have all the fun? Why is there just Jr. Rangers for kids? Why isn’t there like a Sr. Ranger thing for older people? I’d like to get a badge too, ya know.

And ya know what else? Those kids with all the great Jr. Ranger activities and stuff…they don’t even pay for their own trips to these cool places. Their parents pay for it!!!!! It’s a total free ride for them. Well, I’m payin’ for my own trip, and I want a freakin’ Sr. Ranger badge!!!!! Who can I talk to about that?!

The Pretzelberry

So, ok, one perk of being an adult, is that I can eat whatever the hell I want, when I want. That’s worth something, especially when you’re on a road trip, and you need to eat constantly, because you’re burning so many calories sitting on your ass all day driving from place to place that you’d probably die if you didn’t eat the whole time.

In the afternoon, we drove from Craters of the Moon, to Yellowstone National Park  in Wyoming. That was 254 miles, where I got to eat anything I wanted. And that was when I invented the pretzelberry!!

The Pretzelberry

The Pretzelberry

The pretzelberry is a pretzel & strawberry combo. A near-perfect mix of sweet and healthy, with salty carbs of no nutritional value what-so-ever. I say near-perfect, only because, what would have made it absolutely perfect, would have been some melted dark chocolate on top.

Alas, after consuming many pretzelberries, we arrived at Yellowstone, and settled into our campsite for the night.

Entering Yellowstone

Entering Yellowstone

Arriving at our campground

Arriving at our campground

The Skeeter Assassin

Day 16 was so laid back, I don’t even have photos to prove it existed.

June 25th was a happy day for us beer lovers. It was the day that we got our RV fridge fixed. A huge thanks to Airstream Northwest Adventures for helping us out!

On the other hand, June 25th was a tragic day for mosquitos, because that was the day I bought a fly swatter.

I’ve always been a good athlete, and I happen to have very good hand to eye coordination. It was just a given that I’d be an amazing fly and mosquito swatter. The big surprise was that it was so much FUN to kill mosquitos! Who’d have known?!

I was having such a great time going after them, it was almost a shame there weren’t more. And there weren’t really very many, so to make it a little more challenging, I was going after them left handed. Ya know what? I’m pretty freakin’ fast and accurate with my left hand too!

I quickly earned the nickname, “The Skeeter Assassin.”

Anyway, I digress….with our fridge fixed, we were finally able to buy some food and drinks. Yea! We made a yummy dinner of steak and a big salad with grapes and raspberries and almonds, and a side of beer! We were back in business!

Celebrating Crummy Canned Foods From the 1960’s

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Day #8

Since we’d un-virginized  the RV propane stove yesterday while preparing a wholesome  dinner of Dinty Moore Stew, it was easy to do the same today. So, while sitting in the Bridge RV Park in White Salmon, Washington, while Lew Farber began work on our solar upgrade, we dove right into another culinary bastardaization…lunch…Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs.

My normally healthy eating habits were on a speedy decline. And I was actually enjoying it. I devoured the spaghetti and meatballs. I have heard people say that everything tastes extra good when you’re glamping, and I was beginning to believe it, ‘cause here I was, kind of enjoying my can of spaghetti!!

After lunch, Mark and I headed out on a day trip in a rental car, while Lew worked on the rig.

Lew, working on our solar panel install & upgrade. White Salmon, WA

Lew, working on our solar panel install & upgrade. White Salmon, WA

We drove west from White Salmon, through Carson, and ended up at the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center. Cool museum.

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. Washington

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. Washington

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum

Ya know what I learned at the Interpretive Center? That in Skamania County, it is illegal to hunt Sasquatch (Big Foot.).  The reason being this….If Big Foot was killed, and was deemed a human, than he would fall under the jurisdiction of the Sherriff’s Department. If Big Foot was killed and was deemed an animal, he would fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Fish and Game. Neither department wanted to deal with it, so they just made it illegal to hunt him. Makes sense.

Enough of filling our brains with cultural stuff and information that’s difficult to retain. So we drove back over to the Oregon side of the river, to Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Mark, hiking back down @ Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Mark, hiking back down @ Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Hiked to the top. I think it was about a mile to the top, via some steep switchbacks. We did secret races against the other hikers. Kicked ass on every single one of them. Slow and steady never wins any race. Faster is better, even if it kills you.

Like An Emu On Drugs, The Day Zooms By

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The long long drive to Danville, CA.

Day #2…Hold onto your sox, ’cause I’m gonna zoom through Day #2 faster than a crazy emu on crystal meth and growth hormones. It’s not that the drive wasn’t nice, it’s just that we’ve done it so many times before. It’s just long.

Lots of driving, about 6 hours total. Santa Barbara to Danville, CA. Delicious lunch of Mexican food at La Plaza Bakery & Cafe, in the very flat and family friendly town of Greenfield, where Trixie posed for a nice portrait. And then, finally, arrival at Brian & Jen’s house (my brother-in-law/sister-in-law), where we bbq’d chicken and snacked on chips & homemade salsa, while Dax tried to eat one of Jen’s strawberry plants, earning him a couple of demerits.  End of day. And we retired for the night in the RV in our quiet and free parking spot out front.

Modern technology in Greenfield, CA

Modern technology in Greenfield, CA

Trixie. Waiting for something to happen. Major intersection.Greenfield, CA

Trixie. Waiting for something to happen @ major intersection. Greenfield, CA

 

Quiet, free, and mostly flat parking spot. We're all set for the night.

Quiet, free, and mostly flat parking spot. We’re all set for the night.