Saturday, December 30, 2006

Found a nice cozy harbour to camp at last night - Pillar Point, just outside Half Moon Bay, California. N37 30.254 W122 28.798 Lots of boats coming back after dark; some sport fishers and some commercial boats. Also saw a seal or sea lion in the harbour.

Had a pretty lazy day, drinking coffee and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. Don't know if they have eucalyptus trees here or not, but it reminds me of Australia, where the bush smells so good.

Passed by the $6/day parking spots on the coast and found my own lookout 2-300' above the beach where I spent quite a few hours watching the soaring birds, the boats, the surfers, but did not see any whales. Very nice, sunny, warm and calm day, and the road was full of motorbikes, cyclists and top-down convertibles.
Found a new-to-me county park right on the water (free), so I decided to stop rather than continue on to one of my previous roadside locations. Got set up with the dish just in time to catch the start or the Leafs game.

Also fired up the generator for the first time of the trip so I could watch TV as long as I liked and also to charge up all batteries. Had to run outside during the first intermission to take some photos of the sunset.

Oh, yes, there also just happens to be a very scenic lighthouse just down the coast. And I guess they have wireless internet :-),

Nice sunset pics, eh?

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New Years Eve tomorrow.

Friday, December 29, 2006

First time going through San Francisco from north, and the first time I have ever paid a toll ($5.)

But it seems easier to get through the city going in this direction?

I had planned to stay inland and maybe get back onto I-5, but decided that the coast and my favourite camping spots on the water were more inviting than the cool, drab, rthher boring central valley.

So here we are back on the coast - searching for that perfect, ocean-view camp spot. It should not be a huge problem as I have the exact coordinates of the spot I used last time through here.

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Happy New Year to all (just in case I get marooned in poor wi-fi area, Ha ha).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Well, by golly, guess what day this is (No, not payday)? It's Thursday, which means I have now been on the road for a week! At least I seem to be past most or all of the snow and cold. Here in northern California, it is shirtsleeve weather for us northerners, and the grass is green.

They are still cleaning up the mess after the windstorms of the last weeks or so, with some places still without power, apparently, and I have seen more convoys of out-of-of-state utility company trucks headed somewhere - likely home?
Had to backtrack today to swap a new wi-fi device I had purchased in Fortuna that did not like my laptop at all. Even their techs could not get one to work. but instead, they sold me a cheaper,and better one!

Although Harley is totally at ease most of the time, he still has a few phobias we are working on. He does not like high bridges - especially ones that have overhead parts. He is getting better with air brakes and riding on ferries (none this trip yet), but the worst of all are the dreaded street sweepers. He does not like those at all, and they tend to take one by surprise.
Went to a movie last nite in Garberville, my first in a long time. Who knew that Happy Feet was all animated, and I didn't actually get to SEE Brittany Murphy?

Looks like a nice day at home today? Can even see Lipalian in the background. Brrr!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We'll likely be in California by the time you read this! We have experienced some pretty wild weather the last few days, with periods of sunshine in between. Yesterday there was some extremely high winds and high precipitation all through the area. Many spots were receiving more than 2" of rain in 48 hours. Highway 101 was closed this morning to remove downed trees or mudslides near Klamath, Ca, but it is now open to one way traffic. But, I'm glad I decided to get off I-5 a few days ago as there is snow in some of the passes near the Oregon/Ca line and they are enforcing the chain-up restritions. Yuck! But here on the coast it is just wet and windy. Last night, one of the local Coast Guard stations was reporting that it was unable to get out to sea because of the conditions at the mouth of the bar and that any rescue would have to come from other stations to the north or south. Sounds like a good time to head for the desert, no? Just heard that the highway is now closed near Trinidad, Ca!

Some stats: Total kms so far 1505 or an average of 301km/day. Longest day 809, shortest 45. Furthest south N42 19.994 Furthest west: W124 25.400

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry, Merry Christmas to all.

As you can see from the web-cam Christmas shots above, it is
fairly cold and snowy at home.

But not here, on Beverly Beach, Oregon. It was however, very windy and raining hard and foggy yesterday afternoon, making driving somewhat unpleasant, so I decided to err on the side of big trees creating shelter, and stay at the Oregon State park of the same name. It was also a good chance to charge up all my batteries without running the generator, and to relax while watching cable TV - a first for me in a campground. I thought they may have taken a dim view of it if I had cut down a few 400 year old trees to get a clear view for the sat dish? My duct tape vent cover job worked well in spite of pouring rain most of the night, but it was dry today, so I took advantage and put the new vent cover on.

Harley also took the opportunity to get outside, graze on some green grass and chase away some of those pesky birds.

He has certainly settled back into his travel routine.

Well, I know the days are only going to get longer from here on in, and that it will get warmer the farther south I go, so I'd better get with it and get on the road. Perhaps another ocean-view campsite is in order?

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Later - down the road.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Believe it or not, I had a second post almost done yesterday when the computer just ate it.
The second half of the Cocquihalla was a bit more challenging, and had lots of ice and compact snow sections near the summit. There was one car on it's roof and another pickup facing the wrong way in the fast lane after having fought and lost with the concrete barriers. Once down in Hope and the Fraser Valley, however there was no more snow and the expected green grass. Since I had determined that the main camper battery was not pulling it's weight, I stopped in Abbotsford and jacked the camper up - so that I could connect the two extra batteries in the wheel wells. On through US customs with minimal wait and minimal hassle - if you don't mind losing your orange peels!
Gassed up in Bellingham for a run on I-5. Gas prices here were ranging from about $2.63 to $2.91 a gallon with diesel over the 3 dollar mark.
Perhaps I should have stopped in Pitt Meadows at Rooster's country club, but I was on a mission, so headed for the Riverside in Tukwila (Seattle), Wa. Faithful readers (ha ha haha) may recall in the March 4th entry coming north last time, that the Riverside was closed and had construction dumpter's outside? Well, it is back up and running, but is now a casino, not a country bar, so I won't have to aim for Seattle on a weekend any more :-(
Blasted on past Seattle and Tacoma, till hunger got the best of us and a Costco parking lot beckoned to us in Nisqually, Wa. Parking spot came complete with an internet connection, so that is always hard to resist. The newly connected batteries performed admirably, and kept us warm all night running the furnace to ward off the bitterly cold 5C temp! It rained all night long, and Harley informed me that the duct tape job on the roof vent was great - except for the drip over his bed. Guess we will have to find a sunny scenic place today to install the new vent cover.
We'll have to consider the likelyhood of frost from here on down and decide whether or not to de-winterize the camper, and get all the water systems running again.
Also nice to click back into 2WD, and hope you will not need it again till some place in the desert or on the beach!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Well, the time has finally arrived. After all those months, weeks, days, hours and minutes of waiting, we are finally back on the road for another (hopefully) most excellent Harley and Ivan adventure! The last week was spent getting organized, packing stuff up and getting the camper back on the truck. It was pretty cool and the jacks did not want to work that well, so I just got it on and was not able to connect the auxiliary batteries in the wheel wells. That would have to come later - somewhere warmer and dryer than at home. Had hoped to attach the kayak to the roof for additional fun and transportation options, but the attachments would have been haphazard, and I didn't want to be saddled with months of wondering if it was going to be staying up there, so left it at home pending further testing.

Was not sure if I would be able to depart on Thursday or not - after putting in a full day's work and then loading the last of the cat food, but got an unexpected bonus when rumours began circulating at work that we would be let off at noon on our last day before the holidays. Rumour was all it took and I was at home by noon, loading up and locking up.

Harley hopped in, and after a quick stop at the Petro to top up the fuel tank and the coffee mug, we were on our way west. Roads were pretty good through Golden, but started to snow approaching Roger's Pass and we encountered a semi-trailer that had jackknifed, blocking all but one uphill lane. Roads were not that bad through the pass, but the slush and dirt covered everything with the same drab shad of brown, including headlights, road lines, barriers, and signs, and the heavy holiday traffic made the drive less than totally enjoyable. Harley was a bit restless, but is adapting to the old routine quickly, we hope.
Stopped in Revelstoke for the night and camped in a friends driveway, but not before re-arranging the roof a car wash with my roof vent. Duct tape to the rescue. Not much snow in Revelstoke compared to Lake Louise, and temps around the freezing point felt warm by comparison.
Topped up the coffee tank at Tim's in the morning, and off we went again. Quick pit stop in Salmon Arm to get a new vent cover, and back on the road. Already, most of the snow and ice on the rig has been melted off, only to be replaced by a thick layer of dirt and grime. Once the Cochihalla is behind us, the worst of the dirt and perhaps the last of the snow will be behind us?

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Just a few days to go! Counting down the days and sorting lists of stuff to do prior to departure. Work sort of gets in the way of preparations, but soon that will be behind us and the care-free road life will commence.
Lots of good snow in the Lake Louise area, and the weather has moderated after a spell into the -30's . That's in Celcius, for you Americans!
We've been out on a number of searches for missing snowboarders, and have been doing our early season avalanche rescue practices.
Unfortunately, the carnage on the highways continues, with some spectacular and ugly wrecks.
May have to shovel the snow off the roof of the camper only one more time before loading it up, tossing the bike in the back seat, the generator, the satellite dish, the laptop, and the sandals and sunscreen. Batteries are all charged, bills paid, house sitting arranged. Now just a few more days of work and we will be out-of-here! Stay tuned!