That's what I'm driving now

taking pictures for trucking and RV magazines.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

San Francisco Bay Area to Bodega Bay

Next day we wanted to go back to Golden Gate to see if the clouds were gone and yes, patience paid off, it was nice and sunny with a little haze in the air. After a lot of pictures we drove down to the west end of the bridge, there is so much to see the whole day would not be enough. The Bay Area Museum, Horseshoe bay, all the vistas, I wanted to stop every 50 yards and take a picture, good thing there is plenty of parking to pull over as we headed towards Sausalito. Later in the afternoon we drove north on Hwy 1 and I would like to warn everybody: with an RV longer than 22 feet, please avoid the stretch of hwy or you are going to hate it!  It is beautiful but not when you drive an RV, you should stay on the 101 and head to Bodega Bay from Petaluma. Once in Bodega Bay we've been looking for a place for the night. Checked out Doran Park just south of town just to find out it's full, not a single spot so we got back to town. Drove down to the Marina, a really nice place with an RV park and everything you can wish for. (including a very nice host) She said: pick your spot and I'll see you later. Waterfront dry camping, nice and sunny spot with a fire pit and table = 28$/night. Compared with the Golden Gate Trailer Park in San Rafael this is a million dollar jackpot, of course we picked a nice spot.

It was worth the wait, next day was nice and sunny with a bit of haze

Taking pictures of the bridge from the west end.
She always enjoys the sun.

The view from the coastal drive towards Sausalito, the little island on the right is Alcatraz.

At the end of the day we found a gem in Bodega Bay.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crater Lake to the Bay Area

As I said earlier on this trip no plans were carved in stone. My wife wanted to go to Vegas, we checked the weather every day and Vegas had 34 C ( 93F ) . It's bit to hot in the concrete jungle on the crowded strip and all we wanted was to relax . After entering California we turned west towards the bay and San Francisco. As we were getting closer to the bay the temperature was rising all the time. When my wife turns on the AC it means hot outside! Listening to the radio we learned that an unexpected heat wave hit the area with forecast of  ( 38C ) 100F for the next day. Closer to San Rafael and the water the temperature was just perfect, were glad to come this way but it was getting dark and we had to find a place for the night. Have you ever been to the area you know it was a bad decision. Checked the map and found Golden Gate Trailer Park very close to Hwy 101. We pulled in and well, it doesn't look promising but it's dark so we stay for 45 bucks a night. (Shock) Second shock is: with our tiny little rig I spent almost an hour and could not level it. The owner was watching it for a while then gave us another spot just a bit better, leveling was only 35 minutes. Next day we did laundry in the morning before heading for the Golden Gate bridge. We have been here a few times and like to go to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area just before the bridge because of the view. You can see the city, Alcatraz and the whole area in good weather. Well, not today. The park was nice and sunny but the whole bay area was in very low clouds, all we could see was the top of the bridge. In the afternoon we crossed the bridge and drove to the fort at the bottom but the fog just didn't lift. What do you do in the ugly weather like that? I remembered a little but famous Hungarian cafe in Berkeley and went to check it out.( Don't miss it if you are in the area, very nice place, very good cakes and they even have a few tables outside under a huge tree, beautiful. When we told the owner we came from Canada he gave us a little take out box with 2 slices and wished us a nice trip. It was a good way to end the day and since we did not want to spend another night in the trailer park we drove east out of  the city and spent the night in a rest area with a million dollar view overlooking the bay. More about it next time.

Up on the hill at Golden Gate the weather was beautiful.....

....but the view was just covered in fog. (happens often in the Bay Area)

Even under the bridge at the fort was very foggy.

A funny little vehicle you can rent at Fisherman's Wharf for sightseeing.

End of the day in Berkeley visiting the famous little Hungarian cafe Crixa.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Light Truck Parade 2012

A break in the travel posts because of the parade. It's been 8 years now that I have been  taking pictures of the event. This year the rain was falling horizontally but we got all the pictures. The parade is always a huge success, collecting donations for the local food bank. Here is some trucker "eye candy."

Mail from the North Pole.

Slinger Beauty

A Patriot at Christmas

That's how10,000 bulbs looks like.

Enjoying my new camera

Green Christmas.

Our local driving school's truck

On "normal" weekdays this rig is hauling lumber.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Leavenworth WA to Crater Lake OR

As we said before we were trying to avoid Interstate driving, it was easy by staying on Hwy 97 all the way south even after crossing into Oregon. I have been on this road many times and always wanted to see Crater Lake in Oregon but never had enough time. Just before Klamath Falls right on Hwy 138 and after 30 some miles you are in Crater Lake National Park. ( 10 $ entrance fee.) The park is at an elevation of 7-8000 feet and is open usually from June to late September because later there is too much snow. The lake was created by a volcano thousands of years ago and later it was filled with water from the average snowfall of 44 feet/year!!!  Later there was a smaller volcano inside the older one and the eruption created Wizard Island in the deepest lake of the US at 1943 feet. Average diameter of the lake is 4.5 to 6 miles and you can see everything from the 33 mile long Rim Drive. Smaller RV-s can handle it easily but bigger rigs should not even try. The Rim Drive has many pull outs, parking and picnic areas, it takes hours to do the circle, see everything, take pictures. If you are running out of time on the south side of the lake is a campground to spend the night or a few days there. Be prepared for tons of Chipmunks, they will show up at every parking lot and beg for food despite the sign: Don't feed wildlife!"

From Hwy 97 right on 138, it's about 30 miles to Crater Lake
Lot of parking and picnic areas.
 According to the sign the elevation is 7517. 51 feet.
The Rim Drive is OK for smaller RV-s
Crater Lake with Wizard Island on the left.
Another view point on Rim Drive where........ 
.....lot of little visitors come as soon as you stop.
Chipmunks obviously can't read the "Do not feed Wildlife!" sign.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Greenwood BC to Leavenworth WA

Next morning we said Good By to our friend Mike and headed back to Osoyoos for more fishing. There is a long slope going down just before Osoyoos and I heard some grinding noise from the back of the motor home. Goosebumps, sweat and a few bad words but it has to be looked after. I do a good pre trip every time before we leave, I taught everything was in good shape. Well, it was not. Found a shop in Osoyoos, they pulled off the wheel and one brake pad on the inside was gone. The outside one and all the others were at a good 75%  but the rear brakes needed pads. When I did my pre trip I did not pull off the rim of course. It was in the afternoon and the mechanic said: don't worry, if I order the parts before 4:30 pm I'll have it first thing tomorrow morning. And he did!! We spent the day fishing, camping at the same spot where we always do and had a good time, the weather was 25-27 C. Next morning back to the shop, parts just came in and in about an hour we were back on the road headed for the border. A big thank you to RELIABLE  Brake and Muffler on Hwy 97 in Osoyoos, the service is awesome. We crossed the border in about 30 minutes and made it to Leavenworth WA. just before dark. Yes, we have been here before and we will come back again. Maybe it's because we have been living and working in the "real" Bavaria and here in Washington it almost feels like home. We spent the evening walking around, had dinner at München Haus, the sausages are irresistible and the beer is original Münchener Lager. This little village is RV friendly, they let you dry camp 2 minutes from down town for free on a gravel lot, if there is some festival  ( Octoberfest )going on they will ask for a charity donation in exchange for camping. We just love this place and strongly recommend it, you won't be disappointed if you visit.

A little mishap on the way back to Osoyoos.

We are waiting for parts, trying hard but no fish.

Next day late afternoon we are in Leavenworth WA.

Almost like the "real" thing.

Sausages are famous at München Haus.....

.....and the beer selection is huge, lot of oroginal German Lager.

The sign is about 2 minutes west of down town. Free RV parking,
during a festival they will ask for a donation

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Abbotsford to Greenwood

Got to Truxpo right on time and since we pre-registered we just had to pick up our badges and start working. I was surprised how many friends an co workers we ran into but it's the biggest event of it's kind on the Wet Coast. I even met one of the sales people at the Ocean trailer exhibit whom I've known for a long time. The whole Ocean Trailer exhibit was a retro style set up. Theme: Casablanca.
I think it was a good Idea and it was drawing a crowd. Finished shooting and interviews around 3 pm, too early to stay put, we hit the road and made it to Princeton around 6 pm. Had a very nice and quiet night and Sunday around noon we were at one of the best campsites and fishing spots in BC: Heynes Point Provincial Park. ( I know I've told you about it before.) Wife started fishing right away, weather was just perfect but no fish. Left the campground early afternoon to visit a very good friend who lives only 80 km from Osoyoos in Greenwood. He has an RV spot in his backyard, we staid there for the night and had a nice BBQ, talked about the good old times, we got close to change the world but ran out of beer so it has to wait 'till next time.

Retro is in fashion: the Ocean Trailer Exhibit with Casablanca theme

A shiny new Kenworth at the show

I had this one for a test drive

Still a month to Halloween but they are prepared
Did you know there is a Hungarian Winery just a bit east of Keremeos

Wife started fishing when we got to Lake Osoyoos
Later we visited a good friend in Greenwood, had a good evening and got close to change the World.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Truxpo 2012

End of September I had to take pictures of Truxpo in Abbotsford, just east of Vancouver BC.  I have been covering this truck show for years, it's the biggest such event on the West Coast. Unfortunately this year the show went on only till Saturday closing at 4 pm. Lot of people complaining about it, I think they would have had much more visitors if they were opening later. In order to be there on time we had to leave home on Vancouver Island on Friday after I loaded up the motor home. The plan was: spend the night in Vancouver, check out the Night Market then drive out to the show Saturday morning. After the truck show we were planning a short 2 week vacation, nothing carved in stone. The only thing we agreed on was: going south and no Interstate, only country roads no matter how long it takes. When we got to Richmond, home of the Night Market only found a few workers taking down the tents. Night Market was closed a week before schedule, so much about my luck. I did remember seeing a parking lot in New Westminster right down on the Fraser River at the Quay with a few RV-s on it and we drove there. 7.50 $ is not bad for 24 hrs, so we stayed there for the night, went to check out the market and the pub. Had a good time checking out a 100 years old boat and watching those giant barges floating by on the Fraser.

Our parking for the first night. New Westminster Quay

Late afternoon watching those giant barges .

The 100 year old wooden boat still going strong

Sign on the Chief Skugaid

Next morning it was only an hour to the truck show in Abbostford

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sweet & COLD home

We always come home from Las Vegas on country roads headed north. The weather got colder every mile, every hour, every day. In Idaho it was really chilly so we hit the freeway to make it home faster. Did not want to believe the forecast but on the Snoqualmie Pass we still had snow higher than the motor home.

Dinoland in Nevada at a gas station

Hwy 318 in Nevada

Last day of March on Snoqualmie Pass, WA

Wife wanted to take a picture of me and the snow. She was inside the motor home with the heat cranked up.

Final step of the trip: waiting for the ferry to Victoria
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