oh, Canada

i know, i know. I’ve been slacking. But now I am feeling pumped up to get more blog entries going to share memories from our trips. To start this off, here’s a flashback to last week Sunday when we spent the day in Richmond, British Columbia.

One thing we’re loving about living in Bellingham is how close we are to Canada – it’s such a short drive! But one thing we miss from the Bay Area is theĀ Chinese food. Richmond in B.C. has come through, in the clutch for us, serving up amazing Chinese food options for us. šŸ˜¬

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This was a trip we made a few days before the US election and we heard theĀ funniest thing on the radio from the DJ: “On Sunday, we set our clocks back an hour. This upcoming Tuesday, America has the opportunity to set the clock back 40 years.” We had a good laugh, naively, not realizing what would happen on Tuesday. šŸ˜¢

This is not a political post so let’s just get right into the pics.

It was cool taking the Olympic Experience tour in the Richmond Olympic Oval, and the best part was that we were the only guests. It felt like we had a private tour and could participate in all of theĀ simulations without any wait time.

how much more Canada could you get with a hockey rink?

I have so much respect for olympic athletes, former and inspiring.

The stories within Olympic athletes, and even to inspired fans, family members, and enthusiastic observants pack into it the beautiful side of humanity.

Okay, I know I said at first there wasn’t going to be any political commentary in here, but I can’t help it.

But we need this now more than ever.

Olympics are a time of celebration. A time where we celebrate the human will and determination.

This last week has been the exact opposite of the Olympics for us in the US and even abroad.

Because it’s clear. We’re hurting.

I hope the coming days, post-US election will hold with it brighter days.

ok, i’ll end that there.

we came ill equipped. all we had was US money, but luckily (at a terrible conversion rate) the noodle shop owner accepted US $ and gave us our change in CAD $.

the indoor market served up a ton of food options, leaving us full, and satisfying our Chinese food cravings.

then it was off to Storybrooke, Richmond B.C. where they film the show “Once Upon a Time”. The city name Storybrooke is used in the TV show but the name of the actual city is Steveston in Richmond B.C.

Atalie was geeking out. šŸ¤“

that was about it. we ended the day by taking Kaua’i to a dog park and then went to try some delicious šŸ» at Fuggles & Warlocks – Keeping Beer Weird. They certainly did that.

don’t look down

It took three years from the first time I went to Yosemite and saw Half Dome before I actually had a chance to hike it. I was convinced that Half Dome was a huge hologram and totally not real. Turns out, it’s real.

The morning started out pretty early

But I’m told the early bird catches the worm..or something like that

Since this is at the end of summer Nevada falls and Vernal falls weren’t in their full glory; still cool to see

Why is Nevada falls called Nevada falls anyway? It’s not in Nevada.. (too lazy to Google)

We saw ants climbing up this hill, so we went to go have a look

Oh wait, those were people.

People holding on to these cables with all their will and might.

Including this guy. Hi, it’s me.

Don’t turn around.

The views from Half Dome were above average (sarcasm).

This guy was lazy so he used a rope instead of climbing. You can’t always cut corners in life (again, sarcasm).

So there you have it. IĀ finally climbed Half Dome. It was pretty awesome. I definitely poo’ed my pants climbing up and down the cables. If you’re stupid, I recommend you do it.

Bad@$$ Badlands

It was a scorcher…

but who cares, right? When you got views like this.

off, for a very short walk we went

magnificent views, 360 degrees around

the elements, and fragility of time

but you didn’t come hear for metaphors, you wanted to see sunsets

I got your back

I’m still amazed at the ISO range on cameras and how they can capture quality when you’re in a moving car.

the heat, well that didn’t really leave. But the clouds started coming..not before I could snap this full moon shot. 105mm is all I gots.

twilight…not the book or movie series

First attempt at capturing lightning. Didn’t find a space dark enough, but also sheltered.

All in all, pretty amazing day back in August. Badlands, definitely bad@$$. Will need to make a return trip soon.


Oregon is above California

I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Orgeon is above California”. I find shit like this hilarious — it’s true on the most literal level. But, it’s hilarious in so many ways.

The obligatory welcome to a new state sign picture.

The drives were fantastic. It made me so happy to see so many other campers, RV’s, vans/SUVs outfitted with outdoor gear. It’s definitely summer, and people are getting out there.

There were a lot of bumpy roads. It had been a common thing to see pilot cars directing traffic in roads that were being worked on. “Pilot car, follow me, do not pass”.

And then, we made it to Crater Lake National Park! National Park # 2 on this journey.

Our home for the night.


sand all over our tent…

We left Willits, CA a little after 12pm. Packing the 4 Runner presented some challenges. The Yakima rack poles had shifted; probably from the multiple trips up and down the 7 mile bumpy, dirt road to commute to work from the previous week*. With the Yakima Skybox attached to the poles, and already packed with our goods it was a challenge to move and slide the pole. With the help of Jesse and Jesse’s cousin, James, we were able to adjust the Yakima pole and Skybox.

Driving up the hill made things feel real. We are really doing this. We are really about to embark on a trip for a few months, traveling this beautiful country. It was sad leaving, and saying goodbyes to our friends. Our friends really are our second family.
After a quick car wash to remove the fine dust and dirt of Irmulco Road we were on our way through Avenue of the Giants. Truly remarkable.


A random girl attempting to scale a fallen Redwood


The State Park that contains the famous “Avenue of the Giants”

We then drove past Eel River and had some stunning views. I elected (mostly due to time issues) to keep driving and not get out to snap some pics, however, I must say the scenery was gorgeous.

We stopped in Fortuna and had dinner with my mom (she’s here on a Traveling Nursing Assignment). We ate at Eel River Brewing and I was able to drink their Emerald Triangle Double IPA — DELICIOUS! We continued on and droveĀ through Orick, CA – a small town just 20 minutes outside the campgrounds we were headed to. I immediately saw that my Hotspots were catching signal here so I knew I would head there the following morning to do some work.

We finally made it to the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, but not before seeing this huge pack (?), herd (?) of Elk.

Continuing, we drove down a nicely smoothened out dirt road about an hour before sunset, to finally end up at the campgrounds.

Kaua’i waited patiently while we unloaded, and set up camp.

We walked down to the beach, and after spending a month in Hawaii on warm beaches, this was quite the opposite. While we aren’t able to jump into the water here, it has a certain charm. The cold airs remind me of the fragility of the human species.

We watched the sun set, the ending to day 1, and the start of an incredible journey.

*I’m doing this road trip while working full-time at my company as a remote employee.Ā