Finally, I am ready to write the post about the final stop on our 9+ month van-traveling adventure. It is very, very late in coming, but as I mentioned before, it is hard to recap those final few stops. But today (December 23rd), we are once again in the van, parked in a National Forest, Read More →

Our last few urban stops were short and stressful due to the difficulty of finding overnight parking, but we needed to make sure our visit to Portland was under better circumstances so we could give it a fair evaluation as a place we might call home. By appealing to our network of friends via Facebook, Read More →

Immediately upon entering Oregon, we found a different culture. A family spending a sunny afternoon playing at the beach had a bucket to pick up trash and leave the shore cleaner than they found it. A man walking on the side of Highway 101 also appeared to have a bag of collected trash. A simple Read More →

When dinosaurs roamed the earth during the Jurassic Period 150 million years ago, a group of conifers thrived in forests covering what is today Europe, Asia and North America. As the climate became cooler and drier, these conifers were restricted to just three geographic regions and the three redwood species we know today evolved from Read More →

Our “short” detour off Highway 101 to California’s Lost Coast turned into a full week of exploring the Lost Coast and King’s Range, staying for free in primitive campsites and at trailheads. After this week of privative accommodations we were low on food and water and had been out of contact with the outside world Read More →

After inspecting the seashore from the town nestled in the middle of California’s Lost Coast, it was time to explore the mountains that rise up from the coast. These mountains are the reason that this stretch of prime waterfront land is “lost” (to development). From Shelter Cove we drove up the winding mountain road that I Read More →

San Francisco was on the short list of places to settle at the end of our trip, and I had expected to spend some time there visiting friends and getting to know the city before continuing north. We did visit a couple friends, having dinner at my grad school friend Mary’s apartment in Menlo Park Read More →

After our tasty post-hike dinner, we drove out of the beautiful, forested Sierras into the hot desert lowlands below, and stayed the night in the Modesto Walmart parking lot. The cars, concrete, noise and street lights were harsh after nearly two full weeks in the quiet serenity of Yosemite National Park. The following morning I Read More →

Last year’s Rim Fire, named for the “Rim of the World” vista point in Stanislaus National Forest was the largest recorded wildfire in the Sierra Nevada. An illegal campfire set by a hunter started the blaze that burned for over two months and consumed over 400 square miles of forest in the Stanislaus National Forest Read More →