June 30, 2012

New Friends and Fellow Travelers

We recently had the pleasure of being introduced to more fellow travelers. Heading into Portland, I contacted Kim, from So Many Places, on what to see and do there. She and her husband Brian had lived there for the last five years and she had written very positive things about Portland in her blog. I say this all in the past tense because she and Brian recently left Portland, to start their own awesome round-the-world adventure! (Check out their blog to see what they are up to now)

June 29, 2012

Cottage Grove and the Covered Bridges Tour

Before we left the Eugene area, we decided to check out the historic district of Cottage Grove, a little town just south of Eugene, and the area's famous Covered Bridges Tour. Since we were headed that way, we also decided to add on a hike on the Brice Creek Trail, in the Umpqua National Forest.Oregon has turned out to be very dog friendly (as opposed to California, where dogs were not allowed in most parks, state and national), and we brought Chloe and Sammy along for the day.

June 28, 2012

The Olympic Trials in Eugene!

While doing research on what to see and do in Eugene I stumbled on an amazing fact...the 2012 US Olympic Trials were not only going on in Eugene, but they would be going on the same time we'd planned to be in the city! The trials are awesome for so many reasons: a visit to any of the events is all the inspiration I need to get out there and do some exercise myself; the atmosphere among the fans and athletes is super exciting, full of energy; you get to see/possibly meet world class athletes, and share the air with them; and finally, we know one of the competing athletes, Wallace Spearmon, we went to school with him! I even tried to sign up to be a volunteer at the trials, but I think it was too late, and I'm sure five million other folks like me wanted to be there.

June 27, 2012

Fail #4

Here is another Fail we're going to add to our collection. So here is something we found at a Eugene Goodwill store:

Pick your next lottery number and win!
Yes folks...this is The Lucky Number Lottery Machine. Forget randomly picking your next lotto number...buy this and let it give you the next winning number! This is what it says on the packaging:

Did You Know? Oregon Addition

Here are some interesting facts we've discovered about Oregon so far:

- Oregon is one of only two states in the US that offer full service gas stations only. (The other state is New Jersey). What this means is that there are gas station attendants at all the gas stations, and you can't pump your own gas, not even if you wanted to. Tipping the attendant is not required, or even expected. We figured this would translate into higher gas prices, but what we've actually found is that gas is cheaper, much cheaper, than it was in California.

June 21, 2012

Oregon, Our 9th State!

Tuesday morning we packed up, and drove our last portion of highway 101 in California. We turned off on highway 199 at mile marker 794. What a long state California is! An hour later we crossed the border into our ninth state, Oregon!

Welcome to Oregon!

June 20, 2012

Crescent City and the Jedediah Smith Redwoods

We had found street parking in Arcata, right by campus, and it was convenient to walking to downtown for the festival, but unfortunately, it was only good until Monday morning at 6am. Since we're not the best at waking up at such early hours (at least not anymore...), we chose to leave town on Sunday, after we hiked around the awesome city park.

June 17, 2012

A Drive Through the Avenue of the Giants And The Arcata Oyster Fest

We continued up the California coast via highway 1 from Fort Bragg. Chris, our Couch Surfing host, had suggested that we drive down the Avenue of the Giants. The Avenue is a 31 mile long scenic road that used to be the old highway 101. The reason its world famous is that the two lane highway takes you deep in the forest, through redwood groves of giant trees. To get there we took highway 1 until it merged with 101, and then got off on the town of Miranda exit. There are signs for the Avenue closer in, but Chris though that Miranda was where all the true Giants started.

June 16, 2012

Recipes From The Road- Thai Spicy Basil Chicken

This is one of our favorite Thai recipes that we make anytime we get a nice fresh bunch of basil. We'd picked up some basil at the San Rafael farmer's market, a huge bunch of it for 75 cents, so it was time to make the meal! Its not a recipe we came up with, so I will share with you the recipe that is listed on thaifood.about.com 

Ft. Bragg, CA

Tuesday morning we said goodbye to Marin County and headed north on highway 101. We debated on whether to stay inland on 101 or head to the coast, and after doing a bit of research on gocalifornia.about.com we decided to head to the beach via highway 128. Another reason we chose to head to the beach was that the temperature inland was nearing mid-90s, while the coast was at a mellow low 60s. We figured the dogs would appreciate the lower temps.

June 11, 2012

Marin County- A Perfect Blend of California

So we've spent the last week in Marin County, in an RV park in Larkspur. Larkspur is a small town that is on the water, and is known for its Larkspur Landing, where the commuters can catch the ferry to San Francisco.

The Larkspur Landing

June 10, 2012

Crazy San Francisco

You know you're in Northern California when...

when you're asking for directions, and someone tells you to "go past the nude beach, turn right on Front Rd, then make a left on...." WAIT WHAT? "Did you say NEW beach?" "No, I said nude beach, as in N,U,D,E. You know you're in Northern California, are you not from around here?"

Who knew there were nude beaches right in San Fran? Not me. I'm not prude, its just I'm not used to nude beaches being right by civilization. I'm used to nude beaches being off the beaten path, a long hike away, tucked in a pocket or a cove. So that's interesting.

June 09, 2012

A Perfect Day in California

This Friday turned out to be one of those perfect days. Sky woke up early and joined a team of local road bikers for a 40 mile ride from Larkspur (the town we're currently in), to the beach, along highway 1, and then back through the mountains. He woke up at 5 am, excited to ride. He hadn't ridden on his road bike since Fredericksburg, and that was ages ago. While he rode, I slept in.

June 06, 2012

Petaluma and a Small High School Reunion

After dropping off my parents at the airport at 5am on Saturday, we drove into San Fran and spent the morning wondering around Golden Gate Park. The park is over 3 miles long and just under half a mile wide, and is 20% larger than Central Park. According to Wikipedia, this is the third most visited city park in the US, after Chicago's Lincoln Park and New York's Central Park. There are so many things to do in this park, its easy to see why its so popular.

June 04, 2012

Recipes From The Road- Garlic Shrimp w/Spaghetti

One of our favorite dishes to make for a special occasion is shrimp sautéed with olive oil and garlic, served over spaghetti. This is a super easy to make meal that takes all of 15 minutes, but tastes super gourmet, especially when served with a chilled bottle of Chardonnay. I’m sure there are lots of ways to make this meal, but the way we like to make it is like this:

You buy a pound of fresh raw shrimp. We have found some very reasonable prices on shrimp here on the West Coast, usually in the 5 dollar range for a pound. Taking into account the super low cost of spaghetti and the almost no cost of garlic and olive oil, this meal ends up costing well under $10 for the both of us.

June 02, 2012

Marin County and San Fran Exploring

Tuesday morning we packed up the family, put the dogs in their cage in the back of the truck, attached the trailer and drove to San Francisco! We had an RV park booked in Novato, about 20 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. There were not many RV park choices around San Fran, it was kind of surprising.