That's what I'm driving now

taking pictures for trucking and RV magazines.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2006 Round Trip # 4

At the Grand Canyon I asked my wife: which way to go from here? I really would like to go back to Vegas she said. Nothing wrong with that; we headed back but we had to stop at one of the best campsites for the night. Laughlin, right on the Colorado in mid week, almost empty and only 12 bucks for a night.

Halfway between Laughlin and Las Vegas there is an RV Park in the middle of the desert, decorated with cactus larger then human.

Wife is coming back to Vegas to gamble a little more and I'm coming back as a photographer for the "view" only. It's understandable.

The Monte Carlo on the Strip at night.

As much as we like the City of Lights we also like it nice and quiet at night. All you have to do just drive out of town to Red Rock Park; takes about 20 minutes, it also has a nice campground for 10-12 bucks a night. If you stay in town at an RV Park be prepared to pay 40-50 dollars.
( a room at Motel 6 was 45$ back then.)

Two days later I asked my wife again: which way are we going home?
I've never been to Lake Louise yet she said.
So we headed north trough Nevada, we love the country roads in this state, like to stop in those little villages. This picture was taken halfway between Vegas and Ely where the hwy goes trough a rocky canyon for a few miles in the desert.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2006 Round Trip Part 3

From the west coast we headed east towards Bakersfield and Las Vegas. Crossing the I 5 I had to take a picture of the divider.

On that day we did not make it all the way to Vegas, we had to stop for the night at Whiskey Pete's halfway between the border and Vegas.

New York-New York was just completed when we got there. My wife likes to gamble and for her it's either Vegas or nothing. I do not gamble at all but I love Nevada very much. Every bigger casino has an RV and truck parking, plenty of camping just out of Las Vegas, the roads are the best and the limit on a country road is 70 mph. The desert can be beautiful too; you just have to visit the right spot in the right season. We stayed up 'till really late but the next day were headed for the Grand Canyon.

The view of Lake Mead halway from Vegas to Hoover Dam.

Crossing into Arizona on top of the Hoover Dam. From here only a few hours to the Grand Canyon.

This guy was just behind the Info Center at the Grand Canyon, some people were just 20 feet away from him taking pictures and he just didn't care.

If you see the Grand Canyon the first time you will learn what BREATHTAKING means. We thought we were prepared but when we got there we just looked at each other; is it real?? There was another photographer taking pictures of a dancing couple right on the edge of the canyon. I did snap a picture of them too but I'm afraid of height, could not even look at it anymore no matter how nice the girl was.
Will be back next week.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2006 Round Trip Part 2

Once you get to the Bay the view of the Golden Gate is so magnificent you want to have a picture from every angel.

You can drive down and under the bridge on the San Francisco side; a popular fishing spot for locals. We also have seen smaller motor homes at the spot but wouldn't recommend it for bigger rigs.

Mission Dolores. You should NOT leave San Francisco without seeing it.

Spent the night at the Monterey Marina, nice and quiet place and cost less than 10 bucks. Really nice from the city to have a place like that for RV-ers.

A popular spot for Kite surfers ( is it the proper term? ) south of Monterey.

Another beautiful spot just south of Monterey, we loved it so much we spent one full day there.

Jack Ranch Cafe, after you leave the coast hwy towards Bakersfield. James Dean stopped here the last time before he died in his Porsche a few minutes later....

.....there is a nice little stainless steel memorial in the park beside the cafe and behind me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How it all started...

You are young, you want to travel. You can afford it for a while, and then you can’t. You are looking for a job which includes travel and you end up driving a truck. I loved it so much and wanted to keep a record of my trips so I started carrying cameras with me and taking pictures. A bit later I’m working for a trucking magazine, getting my pictures published. Pretty soon I found out that you can’t see a lot of things because of the size of your vehicle. Once at the Golden Gate Bridge I wanted to take a picture of my truck with the bridge in the background. Just opened the door; disco lights behind me and he is yelling: what the heck you think you are doing? I just wanted to snap a picture officer. No parking, no pictures, get moving or get towed. After awhile you miss so many pictures you decide to go back on your own; at your own pace and catch up on photography. That’s exactly the story behind the following pictures. I’ve been asked many times: why are you writing? Some people drink when they are in a good mood, some people drink when they are in a bad mood, I’m writing because I have to. Drink a bit too after I’m done. When I was young I loved to look at pictures of far away places and dreaming about that later I'll get there somehow. Another reason to show a few pictures here; there might be some young kids dreaming out there.
The first part is about our round trip down the West Coast, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Montana, Lake Louise and back home to Vancouver Island in 2006. You have to know: I have been a VW freak all my life, for me it was the only vehicle of choice back then. We’ve found one in very good shape, modified it to our needs (added a Porta Potty, an Inverter and a Propex furnace, 2 RV batteries, a CB radio) and we were ready to go. We always travel on a low budget, trust me, traveling frugally is actually fun. I just mean that we are not using camp sites they charge 40-50 $ for one night and the next camper is 3 feet from you. Hwy 1 down the coast is breathtaking, hard to describe the beauty but pictures follow. The whole trip started a bit off the plan: we missed the Coho Ferry out of Victoria; so we had to take BC Ferries, drove trough Washington and hit the 101 just south of Portland. Oregon has to be done slowly because there is so much to see.

Our first VW in Canada. If you have ever seen it inside then you know how hard it is to put a furnace in it without loosing any space. I've got rid of the cord that is stored under the cabinet; installed a plug only and used an extension cord. This way under the cabinet I just have enough room for the Propex. Connecting it to the propane tank was not an easy task either.

Playing with the big dogs; in the first Rest Area just after we hit the Oregon Coast on 101.

Captain Cook was here just a bit ahead of me in 1778.

No matter how ugly the weather is the coast is beautiful.

Lighthouse in a rugged setting.

Resting seals on the rocks just after the California border.

Entering Redwood Forest Park. The Museum....

... the Wildlife Sanctuary....

...and the side road going trough the oldgrown forest.
To be continued of course in a week or so...
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