Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Roadtrip - LA to Vancouver

When in America you have to do BIG things, go over the top and only then you may fit in.

Adrian is a high school buddy from GVGS days now working in LA, his latest vehicle needed to fit in so he went for the biggest thing on the road...a F350 truck. This vehicle is not only the biggest thing I have driven legally on the road but no doubt also the most powerful...why not learn to drive it on the wrong side and in freeway traffic! (Thankfully Adrian loves driving and did most of it)
So we had a BIG vehicle and the road trip was a drive of 1200miles via the main freeways from Los Angeles to Vancouver we had some distance to cover in a week. We didn't stay on the freeways long...the Pacific Coastal Highway or Highway no.# 1 take a much more scenic drive right along the cliffs and beaches of the coast.

What did we see?

Landside(s) blocking the road

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco...this is a stunning sight but the size of the Golden Gate Park was astounding - as was the look on the faces of people as Adrian shattered the silence with his 8 cylinders and turbo hissing with each red light in the city.

The Redwood Forrest's - such amazingly HUGE trees

Oregon's Coast line

Mount St. Helen's in fresh snow, what a fantastic camping spot!

Forrest of Mt Rainier NP and Seattle were great spots to see but a pity to not be able to stay longer.

The lakes, trees & moss of Mt Olympic NP

Vancouver Island will no doubt draw me back to do some more walking but we were suitably impressed by the size of the Kinsol trestle bridge

San Jaun islands between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada offered some amazing real estate the only downfall would be having the ferry service passing to and fro on your fantastic vista.

Vancouver...read more in my next post.

Food along the way has been interesting:- San Fran offered sour dough buns filled with clam chowder was the first meal in the USA without cheese!- Bagel's for breakfast...mmmm
- Out of the way "dinner's" (i.e. the name of the place you eat at) offering simple staple meals...the all day breakfast being a huge hit.
- French Dip...dunk your roast beef roll in the juices from the roast beef!
- Wondering why the metho was burning with so much smoke and soot...well done to the clowns who picked up the turpentine bottle instead of methylated spirits!

Til next time!

Friday, March 5, 2010

LA & Catalina Island

Best thing about Los Angeles has go to be the weather, it is winter and still I am in shorts/t-shirt and the sun is shining.

Hence why I spent x2 days riding around LA on a push-bike (pedal power). It is a great way for me to learn the road rules...I have been comparing riding a bike in traffic in LA to playing Russian Roulette, and when you still get confused by the road rules it is like pulling the trigger twice each go!

Santa Monica and the beaches are busy even in winter, cant imagine the crowds in summer. The bike path offered some respite from large metal cars. No swimming however...water would be fine its just the sand in between me and the water I dislike. Best thing was the skate park...I spent at least an hour watching them do insane tricks on skateboards.

Palos Verde Drive offered great views and a hill to ride over...why does that appeal?

Adrian has been quite the host showing me around LA...cant believe how big the place is but nothing really took my attention enough to want to get the camera out.

To escape the city and do what I came to the US to do (hike) I headed to Catalina Island.
This island is 15miles off the coast and particularly the interior is free of hustle and bustle other than a few bison and squirrels. 2 days hiking was great except for the minor miscalculation on distances when I forgot that everything is in miles...hence my casual walking distance of 21km was actually closer to 33km...a big days walk!

The Catalina airport was interesting as to get a flat area big enough they just scraped the top off a large hill...this it is known as the airport in the sky!

Heading north today on the road trip to Vancouver.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

America Canada

I'm off again...7 months to see USA west coast, Canada and Alaska

Not trying to be another Alex Supertramp (Into the Wild), but wanting to spend as much time in a tent as possible.

Trialling the blog idea...have a day in LA and seeing Hollywood/Beverley Hills and the film star houses or Disney World is not my cuppa tea so, will spend the day 'productively' producing this blog...

See you on the road.


PS: pic is the freeways in LA...never seen so much traffic in my life