Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Next Trip - Nantucket, MA

Nantucket Harbor

Although I did post a "Final Update", that is only for the last trip.  I'm already off on another, however without the trailer. The ferry ride to the island is $435.00 (car & driver) round trip - the trailer would have added over $1000.00 to that, so it is staying home.

Nantucket is an island off the coast of Cape Cod, MA.  My parents moved there when they retired in 1978, and my brother currently owns & lives in the house. He is a carpenter on the island, a job that depends on the economy. Although he still has some work, it is slow, and his company is down to one crew.

Anyhow, it is a great place to visit.  You have your choice of beaches - gentle or surf filled, crowded or completely empty (although empty is getting harder to find).  Good fishing from shore or boat although it is a little late in the season for Striped Bass, a favorite eating fish.

For anyone interested, I'll be posting a journal at Nantucket 2011, but since it really isn't a "Journey", I won't be adding those updates to this page.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Final Update

Final Update- Oswego, NY - 0 miles, 18,721.4 for the trip
Sorry this took so long - I have been busy readjusting to living in a house, mowing lawns, weeding, etc - you know living in a trailer has its good points!

Anyway, some statistics - 111 days on the road, 102 with the Escape trailer. Mileage for the RAV4 - 24mpg on the way to Chilliwack, BC (without the trailer), 17.4mpg for the remainder of the trip. I didn't keep track of towing only mileage, but since 90% of the driving once I had the trailer was towing, I suspect 15mpg is about what I was getting while towing.

Most expensive gas - 4 gallons at Death Valley $5.75 per gallon, although the price at Lake Louise, AB was close to that. Cheapest gas - I'm not sure what it was, but I'd bet it was in Wyoming.

Highest altitude while towing - 11,158' (I 90 at the Eisenhower Tunnel),  lowest 236' below sea level. On Monday, May 8th I went from 8142' to 236' below sea level driving from Conway Summit near Lee Vining, CA to Death Valley, CA.

My favorites? Well, I enjoyed the entire trip so picking out what was the best is difficult. Although Glacier is still my favorite park, I found parts of most of the National and State Parks that I loved. Some of my favorites were taken at Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Reservation outside Page, AZ:

Antelope Canyon, UT
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
One stop I didn't expect to find as interesting to photograph was Bodie Ghost Town:
Bodie Ghost Town
Bodie State Historicsl Park
Bodie Ghost Town
Bodie Ghost Town
I also loved the photo opportunities at Canyonlands National Park:
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UT
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UT
Mesa Arch at Sunrise
Mesa Arch at Sunrise
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UTToo Late For Good Lighting
Buck Canyon Overlook
False Kiva

Here are some of my favorites from some of my other stops along the trip:
Hoh Rain Forest
I decided to go back to the south shore of Mono lake to retake some images - the sun was strong enough to blow out some of the clouds & this morning the direction was better & a little more even.  And yes, the water is actually that green! Mono Lake
Hoh Rain Forest, Olympia NP, WA
Mono Lake, CA
Monument Valley
Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Monument Valley, UT
Valley of Fire SP, NV
Delicate Arch
Goblin Valley State Park, UT
Delicate Arch, Arches NP, UT
Goblin Valley SP, UT
Zion & Moon
There wasn't a lot of color to the sunset last night, but I went with what I had.  Sunrise this morning was even worse.  Perfectly blue sky with no color at all.  I didn't bother making the trip to Horseshoe Bend.  Instead, I did laundry.  The domestic chores need to be done, and since I'm heading to Monument Valley tomorrow, and met a couple in a Casita that just came from there & mentioned that the price of washing & drying was twice what it is here, it's time.  After that I drove to Cottonwood Drive to see the South Narrows, a slot canyon.  Although nothing like the colorful Antelope Canyons, it was interesting in its own way.  Very peaceful, undeveloped, and 25 miles up an unimproved road from US 89.  The road had many interesting rock formations along the way.  One thing I don't understand is how power lines that run along a road always end up on the more interesting side.  If they were planned, they would be on the less impressive side, or if unplanned & following the law of averages they would be half & half, but on almost all the main or back roads I've driven power lines are always in the way!   I didn't go all the way up the canyon - I was by myself, and rock scrambling is not a good idea all alone that far from anywhere!   Rocks Along Cottonwood Drive off US 89   After that it was off to a car wash to remove 1/4" or red clay dust and back to Page-Lake Powell Campground for dinner.  I plan to take it easy this evening & get an early start tomorrow.Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ
Moonrise, Zion NP, UT
Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ
Yosemite National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park    Bryce Canyon National Park    Bryce Canyon National Park    Bryce Canyon National Park
Tunnel View, Yosemite NP, CA
Bryce Canyon NP, UT
Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT
Mormon Row
Kodachrome Basin SP, UT
Mormon Row, Tetons NP, WY
Devils Tower at Night
Wild Goose Island
Devils Tower NM, WY
Wild Goose Island, Glacier NP, MT
Stars at Craters of the Moon
A Mustard Seed Field
Craters of the Moon NM, ID
Mustard Seed Field, Kalispell, MT

And, of course, I have to include some waterfall & cascade photos:
Tumalo Falls
Burney Falls
Tumalo Falls, OR
Burney Falls, CA
Stream at Running Eagle Falls
Lower Copeland Falls
Running Eagle Falls Stream, Glacier NP, MT
Lower Copeland Falls, Rocky Mountain NP, CO
Gooseberry Falls
Aux Sables River, Chutes Provincial Park, Massey, Ontario
Gooseberry Falls, Ontario, CA
Aux Sables River, Ontario, CA
Tillie Creek
Yosemite National Park
Tillie Creek, CA
Stream at Mirror Lake, Yosemite NP, CA
Hanging Lake Trail
Hanging Lake Trail
Hanging Lake, CO
Hanging Lake Trail, CO
That's about it. Again, I had a wonderful time, and am ready to do it again. Right now I'm getting ready for a 2 week vacation at my brother's in Nantucket, MA.
I can't end the post with "till next time" since I'm not sure how soon that will be, but you can be sure there will be one!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Oswego, NY

Today's Photo - The Escape 17, parked at Home

Well, another change of plans. I'm home in Oswego, NY. I got an early start from Barrie, and when I reached the Niagara Falls area on the QEW, the overhead signs stated there was a 1-2 hour delay in the area my GPS told me to go to get to the Riverside Campground. Rather than deal with the delay or finding another way to get there I switched to the 420 & crossed into the US on the Rainbow bridge. About a 45 minute wait at the border, but the slow crawl across the bridge provided a great view of the falls. This time I remembered to get in the outside lane! No problems at the border. I have heard many stories of RV's being pulled over & searched for hours - I guess I'm lucky or look safe!

I'll probably do a wrap up post in a day or two. As of now, getting home is a mixed blessing - the Escape 17 does fit in the extra parking space in the driveway, although it is going to take something other than the RAV4 to get it into the final storage position. My 1200 sq. ft. house seems huge after 111 days in the trailer, but there are all kinds of things that need doing after a couple of months of not being here. 

Until the Next Post!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Barrie, Ontario

Today's Photo - One of the Waterfalls on the Aux Sables River at Chutes Provincial Park, Massey, Ontario

More driving east & south. I think I have shifted modes from "traveling to new adventures" to "going home". It was bound to happen - I didn't stop to take photographs of anything today (other than a photo of the most expensive campsite of the trip here in the Barrie KOA). It is the first site I've been in that is actually designed as long term (concrete pad, phone hookup, etc.) I don't need any of that, but it was all that was left and I was tired of driving. I have to admit the Escape 17B looks a bit undersized among all the larger motorhomes & fifth wheels in the area, but it will do for the night!

The plan for tomorrow is to stop at the Riverside Motel & Campground in Niagara Falls. I could probably make it home, and may have to it there are no sites available, or at least to a NY campground, but since I'm staying there in September for the Niagara Wine Escape Rally, I thought I'd check out the site they assigned me.

Until next time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Massey, Ontario

Today's Photo - Site 54, Chutes Provincial Park, Massey, Ontario

Another day of driving along CA 17 with no photographs to show for it. I did stop at Agawa to take a photo of the pictographs on cliffs next to Lake Superior, but they required purchasing a parking pass from a machine that, of course, didn't take US dollars. So, back in the RAV4 & continue east. Again, a pretty drive along Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and many small lakes & streams.

I stopped for the day at Massey & the Chutes Provincial Park. I'm in site 54, at the suggestion of the gate attendant. A site that is plenty large enough for the trailer, even leaving it hooked up, however the electric connection is so far from the site that I had to position the trailer against a tree to get it close enough for my 30' cord to connect. This is the first time I wish I had been carrying an extension cord! It is a nice day, around 82°F. Since I had to unhook to position the trailer within reach of the receptacle, I'm going to drive into Massey & either pick up something for dinner or eat out. There is no WiFi here in the park - I'll only be able to post this if I find a WiFi location in town. Otherwise it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Well, thanks to the Mohawk Motel, I did manage to post.  Thanks again to the motel!

I know I said (well, typed) earlier that I didn't have any photos to show for the drive along CA 17, but I have to modify that - here in Chutes Provincial there are a bunch of waterfalls and cascades on the Aux Sables River that runs through the park - it pays to actually read the newspaper the park hands out as you enter! I took the Falls & Two Bridges trails to photograph a bunch of them.  Photos at Today's Lakeshore Images Journal.

Until Tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wawa, Ontario

Today's Photo - Aguasabon Falls & Gorge, Ontario, CA

I stopped at Aguasabon Falls along CA 17 to take a photo. Difficult - the closest I could get to view the falls was a platform that showed off the gorge, but little of the falls. Most of the day was spend driving along CA 17. A pretty road with views of Lake Superior as well as many smaller lakes & streams. I stopped for the day at the Wawa RV Resort & Campground. A back in with electricity & water for $33.00 Canadian - I won't know what that is in US dollars until I get my credit card bill, but I suspect it will be more. The last time I checked it cost $1.06 US dollars to buy one Canadian dollar.

I'll probably finish off the cheese brats for dinner; I don't want to keep meat too long in the fridge - the refer is still giving me problems -as soon as I start moving, the temperature starts to rise. I suspect the flame is blowing out, although the door leaks cold air all around it, so there is more than one problem...

Until the next internet connection...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nipigon, Ontario

Today's Photo - They Terry Fox Memorial, Ontario, Canada

After about 32 miles on MN 61 and one stop for a photograph of lake Superior, I made a very fast and easy crossing of the border at Grand Portage, MN, switched the GPS to kilometers, and eventually reached the Stillwater Park & Gift Shop at Nipigon, Ontario. The gift shop sells many items made of Amethysts - there are Amethyst mines all along the north shore of Lake Superior. The last time we drove along 11/17 we stopped at one & dug some of our own. I still have a bucket full of them in Oswego. Pretty stones, although to bring out the beauty of the ones I dug I'd need a polishing machine - another hobby!

Along Highway 11/17 I stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial. The photograph of the text on the statue tells the story - the highway is named after him. More photos & the story at today's Lakeshore Images Journal Post.

Until the next internet connection!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Grand Marais, MN

Today's Photo - Gooseberry Falls, MN

I did haul the trailer to AAA rather than leave it at the campground & go back for it. I set the GPS on "no highways" which, I guess according to Garmin, excludes interstates. Not sure what else it excludes - it did route me on MN 61 which, at least in my mind is a highway. Oh well, it worked. I did still run into one detour - there is a tremendous amount of road construction in the Duluth area. Very much needed - so far Minnesota has the worst roads of the trip. They are all (well, mostly) paved, but the cracks, potholes, etc make for the worst thumping the trailer has had all trip long. Even I 35 was so bad I was glad to get off it & back on a better (MN 23) road.

Anyway, I made a couple of stops along MN 61 on the way to the Grand Marais Recreation Area campground. As usual, more photos at the Lakeshore Images Journal Page. I'm in site 111W, a water & electric site for $35.80.

One of the stops was a Gooseberry Falls State Park. I walked to the falls & the lake. Agate Beach is at the end of the Gooseberry River. There is a sign stating don't pick up the agates however it looks like it is a popular pastime. In any case I do now have one, but mine came from along side MN 23. Yesterday, as I was driving along I kept seeing people walking along side the road looking at the ground. I stopped at a rest site & a couple walked up to their car. I asked what they were doing & they said "looking for agates - it's easier than at the beach!" They gave me one - very pretty!

Tomorrow I'm heading into Canada. Since I won't be able to use my cell modem, my web site & blog updates will depend on finding WiFi connections. It worked well last time I was in the Canadian Rockies; let's hope Ontario is the same.