With the US-Canada border closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to ship our RV and toad to Anchorage and fly ourselves there to embark on a 14-week trip ... including the travel time required to get us to/from Tacoma.
  • We Rolled Many Miles!

    August 11, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

    I took a few minutes this morning to figure out the miles we drove during our 100-day road trip between May 3 and August 10 …

    Phoenix Cruiser: 5,738.9
    Honda CR-V: 2,915.8 … (with tow-mode added: 8,589.7)
    Rental Vehicles: 1,279.3 … (AK and WA rentals)
    Total Road Miles: 9,934.0
    Sea Miles (NM): 3,000.0 … (estimated R/T for the Cruiser & toad)

    So, there you have it … nearly 10,000 road miles and 3,000 nautical miles for the TAC-ANC-TAC crossing with Tote Maritime.
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    mohotravels

    wow! impressive

    8/19/21Reply
    My Souvenir Memories

    Wow! 100 days and 10,000 miles! Thank you for sharing your trip. I don’t often reply, but I’ve read and enjoyed each entry! I look forward to your next journey.

    8/20/21Reply
    Two to Travel

    Thanks for following along. Our next journey will take us overseas to visit family in Turkey ... twice as long at four months to make up for last year's hurried return to the US when COVID-19 started exploding around the world. I hope there will be at least a few interesting things to write about.

    8/20/21Reply
    My Souvenir Memories

    After having our Turkey trip cancelled in 2020 I’m excited to come along!

    8/21/21Reply
     
  • Day100

    Day 100 Ends @ Home

    August 10, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    Not only did day 100 end at home, but our road trip did as well.

    We had just 65 miles to go from Aurora to get home. We could have dallied at the campground, but we wanted to get home before the high temperatures hit so we could open the doors and windows to air the place out.

    I-25S was busy, but with nothing to impede the flow of traffic. So, we were home by 10:30a, the Cruiser tucked into its spot at the storage facility. We’ll be bringing it back for a deep-cleaning in the days ahead.

    The first thing we both wanted to check on when we got home was the construction that is going up across the arroyo from us. At the time we bought our place in 2018, we knew that the wide expansive views would not always stay open. So, before we did anything else, we went out on our deck.

    The good news is that the few houses that have gone up give us a very good indication of the distance between the two neighborhoods … which is considerable thanks to the arroyo. And even better, the area that has been designated as parkland is quite big and is what will be in our natural line of sight. (We believe the construction will be growing to the left in the attached photo.)

    Thus, our long-awaited road trip — which included a bit of cruising for the Cruiser and toad — is now in the can. We had a wonderful time, but it’s nice to be home … even if it is for less than a month. Our next adventure … well, it will have its own “trip,” so that’s it for the time being.
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    mohotravels

    growth seems inevitable. I am glad you still have your beautiful view

    8/19/21Reply
    www.ravenandchickadee.com

    Welcome home! :-)

    8/21/21Reply
     
  • Day99

    Day 99 Ends w/Sunset @ Cherry Creek SP

    August 9, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

    We returned from our tapas dinner just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset … with crepuscular rays radiating from the orange orb as it set behind the trees near our campsite.

  • Day99

    Tapas with the Gelmans

    August 9, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 90 °F

    Our day started very quietly. It was too chilly to eat breakfast on the patio. But after our meal, I donned a jacket, grabbed my laptop and iPad … and my small thermos of tea, and made myself comfortable on the patio. The north/south orientation of the pad meant that I had shade through the morning. Peaceful … reading … writing … and just enjoying being outdoors.

    Around 3:30p, we headed up to Denver to meet up with Sonia and Boris for dinner. But first, we socialized at their place for a bit … catching up on all that’s happened in our lives since we last saw them before we left for Alaska.

    Our tapas dinner tonight was at the Barcelona Wine Bar in Denver’s RiNo (River North) neighborhood. What a great place … and every bite of food was delicious … as was the pitcher of red sangria. We followed the server’s suggestion to pick two tapas each to share … ended up with one extra one … which was indeed one too many. But that didn’t stop us from ordering a sweet treat to share. If there is one complaint we have, it’s that the warehouse-like setting makes for a very loud dining experience. But somehow we managed to talk over the noise, so all was good.

    As is always the case, we enjoyed great camaraderie. We will likely not see the Gelmans until we return from our overseas trip in January 2022. So, I’m especially glad that we had this chance to get together.

    ——————————————-

    For those interested in such things, here’s a list of the tapas we ordered (I forgot to take a photo of the salad, so it’s not featured in the collage.)

    🇪🇸 Asparagus a la Plancha … with a truffle vinaigrette and Manchego cheese 🇪🇸 Roasted Zucchini … with red chimichurri 🇪🇸 Pan con Tomate … with garlic and sea salt 🇪🇸 Gambas al Ajillo … with Arbol chili, olive oil, and garlic 🇪🇸 Bacon Wrapped Dates … with Valdeón mousse 🇪🇸 Jamón & Manchego Croquetas … with garlic aioli 🇪🇸 Truffled Bikini … with Jamón Serrano, San Simón 🇪🇸 Roasted Corn & Arugula … with red onion, salsa verde, boquerones (herring) 🇪🇸 Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake … with coffee Anglaise and almond crumble.
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    mohotravels

    the food and friends sound amazing. the noise not so much. I have yet to figure out why restaurateurs think an atmosphere of loud noise is a good dining experience. there are quite a few places we have taken off our list as,a result.

    8/19/21Reply
    Two to Travel

    Me neither … I imagine the noise level increases with the amount of alcohol consumed … and the later it gets. It doesn’t help when there are no soft furnishings to absorb some of the noise either.

    8/19/21Reply
    www.ravenandchickadee.com

    What a fabulous meal! I enjoyed reading about what you chose. Everything sounds delicious, and even better shared with good friends. I love tapas.

    8/21/21Reply
     
  • Day98

    Day 98 Ends in Aurora, CO

    August 8, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

    A 263-mile drive … increasingly better air quality. Excellent. However, hot, hot, hot … 103F in the sun … about 10 degrees cooler in the shade. Luckily, the A/C managed to keep the interior comfortable.

    Traffic was quite heavy today … luckily no accidents and traffic jams to slow us down too much. But we did have to negotiate some road construction that stretched for miles in Wyoming after we left Rawlins.

    It was around 1:30p when we arrived at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, east of Denver. We stayed at the campground here for the first time in 2018 … during our where-shall-we settle tour. As then, our goal this time is to have a quick get together with our friends — Sonia and Boris — before we head home. We’ll be going overseas for four months in early September, so we figured this was our best chance of seeing them before we leave.

    This time we’re in the Buffalo Loop … site #141 … 50A FHU. I think this site is our favorite now … very spacious, totally private with no sites on the patio side … thick trees and bushes behind and to the other side. Just as I remembered from last time, the campground is meticulously maintained. The gravel in the patio area is combed … just like you might find in a Zen garden. I had to, unfortunately, wait for the sun to go down to enjoy it all because it was so hot today.

    After a light lunch, Mui headed into Denver to pick up some foodstuff from his favorite Middle Eastern Market and from Costco. As you can imagine, we’ve been gone so long that there is little to nothing in the larder at home. Now that he’s back, it’s time for a light dinner … followed by a quiet evening.

    Tomorrow will be a quiet day of rest … and then we’ll be meeting up with our friends for dinner.
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    mohotravels

    we have enjoyed that park in the past with family.

    8/19/21Reply
     
  • Day97

    Day 97 Ends in Rawlins, WY

    August 7, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    Day 4 of our trip back home.

    A short driving day with only 235 miles added to the odometer. We considered driving further, but seeing the blue-ish skies and the 68F temp when we arrived in Rawlins at noon, we decided to keep to our plans and take it easy this afternoon.

    The office at Western Hills Campground was closed when we pulled in. No matter, there was a list showing us our assigned site — #58 … in the 30A electric-only section. This is our fourth time staying at this campground it really is quite convenient off US-30 and quiet. Though the entire campground is gravel, it is very well maintained.

    We lost no time in setting up. Then, taking advantage of the patio being in partial shade, we had lunch on the patio. I sat out afterwards to read for a while. By mid-afternoon, the temp had risen considerably, but the A/C kept the interior of the Cruiser comfy. It will cool off once the sun sets … it always does thanks to the constant breeze.

    Tomorrow we arrive in Colorado and will be just 65 miles from home when we stop for the day. We won’t get home until the 10th, however, because we have something fun planned in Denver first.
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  • Day96

    Day 96 Ends in Cokeville, WY

    August 6, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    This day was to have ended in McCammon, Idaho. But the smoke haze from the wildfires was so thick and unpleasant — not to mention unhealthy — that we decided to add another 90+ miles to our driving day and stopped in Cokeville instead.

    Our 368-mile drive was once again uneventful … just the way all road trips should be. With very few stops along the way, we pulled into the Hideout Motel around 3:30p. The skies were still hazy, but at least it didn’t have a greenish yellow tint. Later, I was told that until about noon, when the smoke moved in, the skies were clear here.

    The motel is right off US-30 … very convenient for an overnight. But we’re not in one of the motel rooms. There are three 50A FHU sites at the back of the property. There’s nothing special about the sites … they are dirt and fairly tightly spaced. No matter. Now, around 8:00p, the sites on either side are occupied … and there is a car in front of practically every motel room as well. Nonetheless, all’s quiet … not even any neighing from our equine neighbors behind us.

    After settling in, we walked across Hwy 30 to the Gold Buckle Grill, the only restaurant in the vicinity. We would have sat on the patio, but there was a stiff breeze and the smell of smoke was noticeable. So, we ate indoors. At the time we were there, only one other table was occupied, but I can see through the windshield that the parking lot is filled with cars. Glad we went early.

    Mui and I both ordered burgers … mine with fries; Mui’s with onion rings. Dos Equis lagers washed down our food. The food definitely deserves it’s 4-star TripAdvisor rating. We were both so full that we got our dessert — cheesecake — to-go. We’ll enjoy our sweet treat when we sit down to watch a movie on TV … compliments of our satellite dish.

    We continue east tomorrow … through familiar territory in Wyoming. We were going to skip I-80 on the way back home, but when we couldn’t get a place to camp at Yellowstone National Park, we decided to take the fast route back instead. I’m so glad we jiggled our plans. I hear the AQI is even worse up there.
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    mohotravels

    gee. that burger and beer looks rather yummy

    8/19/21Reply
    Two to Travel

    It was ... even well done as I prefer my burgers, it was moist and tasty. The restaurant is on the market, however, so I hope the new owners retain the quality of the food.

    8/19/21Reply
    www.ravenandchickadee.com

    Ugh, that smoke is so terrible!! :-(

    8/21/21Reply
     
  • Day95

    Day 95 Ends in Rocker, MT

    August 5, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    I did say that today would be a slightly shorter driving day. And it was … just 298 miles.

    It was another uneventful day on the road with just a few stops. Unfortunately there was heavy smoke haze from the wildfires and it veiled the scenery. On the upside … it was a much cooler day. In fact, as I write this, the temp is only 68F and we are being buffeted by strong winds … which will hopefully clear the smoke a bit here in Rocker … west of Butte.

    We lost an hour when we entered Montana and are now on Mountain DST … that means no more time zone changes for us. It was around 3:00p when we pulled into the 2 Bar Lazy H Campground. There is nothing exceptional about this place, but it is conveniently just off I-15 where it junctions with I-90. The sites are all gravel … the grass is dry in every direction. We’re in the middle section, which has the 50A FHU pull through site. Every once in a while there is a strong whiff of “Eau de 🐄” … we can live with that.

    Tomorrow we will be entering Idaho.
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  • Day94

    Day 94 Ends in Liberty Lake

    August 4, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 88 °F

    We are still in Washington State. But what a difference our 308-mile drive on I-90E made. From 60F at Dash Point when we left this morning, to 99F in the shade … 112F in the sun in Liberty Lake. Even with the A/C blasting, it is 92F inside the Cruiser. In other words, we’re cooking here in the Spokane metropolitan area. On the upside, the air quality is much better here, with a light breeze and blue skies overhead.

    Our drive was uneventful … we made a few stretch-your-legs breaks, and took a slightly longer break for lunch. That was it. The smoke haze from the wildfires to our west was evident and accompanied us most of the way to Liberty Lake. Unfortunately, it looks like conditions will be worse as we continue through Idaho and Montana.

    We pulled into the campground around 2:00p and were escorted to our site — B-15. It is a 50A pull through, with a level concrete pad and green grass separating us from our neighbors. The campground is well-maintained, with decently spaced sites. In many ways, it reminds me of Advanced RV Resort, which we used as our base in Houston, TX when we were full timing.

    Day 1 of the trip back home is now behind us. Time to rest up for another day on the road tomorrow … a slightly shorter day of driving.
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    mohotravels

    oh dear! yo do look quite warm!

    8/19/21Reply
     
  • Day93

    Day 93 Ends w/Friends in Kirkland

    August 3, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

    I’m sure I’ve told the story before, but I’ll do so again.

    When we first arrived in the US in 1981, the Haggarty Family — Jack and Patty, and their kids, Erin, Molly, Emmett, and Michael — opened their homes and their lives to us. They didn’t know us. We didn’t know them. They were friends of friends, who became dear friends of ours.

    We stayed with them for three weeks before moving to Tacoma after I found a job. Then, in 1983, we moved to Utah and eventually further away. Though the distance between us grew, we remained in touch … Christmas cards, catch-up letters, emails, and now, social media. Then, in 2018, when we returned to Washington on our “where shall we settle down in retirement” tour, we had a chance to meet up in person again.

    With Washington on this year’s road trip, we just couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet up again. Schedules didn’t work out in May, so here we were in August … with a date to meet them for dinner in Kirkland.

    Patty had made reservations for us at the Le Grand Bistro Américain … overlooking Lake Washington … a French restaurant with excellent food; great service; and lovely views. The camaraderie, as always, was great. We got caught up on each others’ lives; told stories — both new and old — and laughed and laughed.

    It was so wonderful to see Patty & Jack … and we will plan to do so again whenever our travels take us back to Washington.

    ———————————————————

    For those interested in such things, Mui and I both ordered the special … Neah Bay Coho Salmon, grilled and served over a bed of quinoa tossed with herbs, roasted chanterelles, green beans, caramelized shallots, grilled broccolini … and cauliflower purée. We wrapped up with a delicious creme brûlée.
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    mohotravels

    oh my. luscious food! it is amazing to think of how friends can shift the trajectory of our lives

    8/18/21Reply
    Two to Travel

    So true.

    8/18/21Reply
    www.ravenandchickadee.com

    That is a lovely story.

    8/21/21Reply