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The Central Coast

Posted on August 31, 2014 by 3 Comments

From Monterey, we headed south down Highway 1 along the Pacific coast. Even in August, the weather is chilly and the fog is present most of the day.

The drive is windy and slow, and perfect for gazing over the rocky cliffs and looking for secluded beaches. Several times, we were able to see whales breaching off the coast and pulled over to watch them while making lunch.

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There is an elephant seal viewing area, where we joined hundreds of other tourists to get a look. They were much closer than I got in Argentina.  And a little more active as well.

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We’re slowly getting back into the swing of being back on the road again. But each day, we find there is something that we need we no longer have. When we shipped the bus back from Colombia, it had to be empty, so we donated most of our things. The airline also lost 1 large bag of Jason’s. At the time, we couldn’t really figure out what exactly was missing besides his hiking boots and some dirty clothes. Now, I realize it was our cooking pot, a few of our decent knives and some other kitchen odds and ends.

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GoWesty had hooked us up with three great sets of bamboo utensils, but somehow after a few weeks on the road, we’re missing a fork. Jason and Bode have decided it was MY fork that went missing, and keep giving me a spoon at every meal. Yes, you can eat a pork chop with a spoon.

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Filed Under: California


Posted on August 22, 2014 by 2 Comments

Jason’s dad was stationed in Monterrey in the 50′s. He’s always loved the area, and especially the weather.

We met him here for a few days of reminiscing and wave watching. What we didn’t know when he booked his flight, was that this was Concours d’Elegance week- the most crowded week in the area. I’ve never heard of this, but from what I could tell, it was a bunch of rich, old white men driving their fancy cars around. Or, in a lot of cases, towing their old cars around.

We were able to luck into a hotel room that slept 3, so I camped in the parking lot surrounded by some rare Czech car and an Italian number.

We did a lot of Pacific Grove walking, and of course went to the excellent Monterrey Aquarium.

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*Bode has been bugging us about wanting a job, so we suggested roof sea gull poop removing.

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Filed Under: California

Santa Cruz

Posted on August 21, 2014 by No Comments

We had a visitor coming to meet us farther south, so we had to leave the S.F. area before we got a chance to see a lot of our friends. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch them on our way back north this winter.

But, a stop at one of our favorite California towns is always on the schedule. Campsites are full on the entire west coast of California, but we lucked out with a private site in Santa Cruz. It’s the little things, like running water and a sink that make a site good, but $0.25 for a 10 minute hot shower make a place great.

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The cold ocean and big waves here make surfing a spectator sport for us. I think it’s more entertaining that way.

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We also lucked out when we hit the boardwalk that evening. It was Dollar Night – all rides were a dollar. We went big.

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Filed Under: California

Bay Area Amigos

Posted on August 18, 2014 by 2 Comments

We swung through the San Francisco Bay Area again and got to spend some quality time with a few folks.

First, our good friend JenMo met us in Tomales Bay for a night of camping. A cold, windy night of camping.  On the way, Jason decided that the blackberries were worth risking the pain of the stinging nettle, and collected some for our breakfast. No nettles this time.

We cooked up some fish and greens and then spent the evening warming up by the campfire. It’s been a while since we’ve had company while camping, and it was great to catch up with a friend.

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We also met up with Bel, Jeremy and Pablo in Santa Rosa. We met these guys way back in Paraguay. Not only did they give us an authentic look at Paraguayan culture the first time, but they even put up with us a second time in the U.S. Thanks, guys!

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And, I got a chance to catch up with one of my best pals for a super-urban gal weekend. We coffee’d, we walked, we people-watched, we ate and we ended each day with champagne. Not bad, not bad at all.

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We got to visit with other friends, but we still didn’t do a good enough job of planning and had to miss some folks. We’ll catch you the next time around!

Return to California

Posted on August 5, 2014 by 2 Comments

Our plan was to blast through the rest of Nevada and then relax for a few days at one of our favorite free camping spots in California – Utica Reservoir. Mid-week, we’d have the place to ourselves. Except, of course our secret wasn’t so well-kept and in the five years we’d been gone, the forest service had turned it into proper paid campsites; every stinking one of them full.

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We took a quick dip anyway and headed a bit farther to another reservoir, which was also now paid camping. We lucked out and took the last spot available.

Even though it was packed with other campers, Union Reservoir has quite a few good hikes around. We packed up for a mile long hike and swim and started through the forest.  Jason had heard we could climb to the top of ‘Elephant Rock’ so we continued on about twice as far as we thought we’d be going. Two and half miles later, at the base of a slate-stacked mountain we met up with an extended family that was about to start the climb. They had done it many times before, and told us that it was pretty tough and that Bode shouldn’t go. Well, you can imagine how that went–Bode led the group. It was steep, and there were a lot of slipping rocks but it wasn’t until we were near the top that things got really interesting. So interesting that Jason told us to hold up while he scoped out an alternate route. He couldn’t find one, so we relied on the help of the other group to get us up and around a very tight turn requiring hand and foot placement instructions and some pretty good arm strength.

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All the effort seemed worth it when we got to the top. Full 360 views of the area, lakes and the pine tree tops. At the top, there is a notebook to sign and a few random offerings.

Then the real fun began. For some reason, we went a different way down. I’m still wondering why we didn’t follow the arrow so carefully made out of rocks pointing the direction we had come. Jason helped Bode and I ended up farther back in the group with the backpack and water. The rocks were looser causing those behind to have to wait until the person in front had cleared the area, and everyone yelling ‘rock’ when one tumbled down the very steep terrain. Still, Bode managed to get hit by a big one that nearly missed his face. It knocked him in the clavicle and again under the chin. I heard him yell, but at that moment I was clinging on to the surface with my fingertips and toes while someone in this family tapped rocks below me that they deemed sturdy enough to climb down. This would have been really fun with some ropes.

In addition to being splayed out flat against the rocks, I am as usual not dressed for the occasion, sporting only a bathing suit and wrap around my waist.

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By the time we are all at the bottom, we were out of water. Luckily our new friends supplied us with a bottle which Bode promptly downs before our 2.5 mile hike back to the camp. We are all bruised, burnt, scraped and smelly but were feeling pretty proud of our accomplishment. We made it back to camp about 5 hours later than we expected.

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More Visitors!

Posted on April 18, 2014 by 2 Comments

Well this was a fun week!

Our friends Jennifer and Becky visited us from Oakland and we had a grand time. We managed to entertain two non-snowsport gals in cold, snowy weather.  Hot springs, chairlift rides, Michael Jackson dance games and a few happy hours.

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Filed Under: Colorado

Beaver Road Trip

Posted on March 24, 2014 by No Comments

Red Beard hasn’t been getting much attention lately. Considering a drive to Alaska is in the works, we figured we’d better get out and exercise the gears and give it a full shakedown after a the recent hibernation. A good friend invited us to Beaver Creek, so we hit the road.

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The boys had a sleepover in the bus, which was nice and cozy in the garage. They made it until 5:30 am, which was longer than I expected.

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It’s been quite a while since we’ve been to Beaver Creek, and we’d forgotten how nice it is. $17 turkey sandwich nice.

We love the mountain, but our objective here was hanging out with our good friends. Since the kids didn’t seem to care at all about skiing, we got to enjoy the other attractions.

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Tubing, bungee jumping, a few beers (but no BBQ), and a hot tub.  And of course, all the cool kids wanted a ride in the VW.

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Thanks Laura and kids for a great time!


Filed Under: Colorado

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