All Four One

All Four One
Still smiling after 1800 miles

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ET phone home

Sometimes it was a while between detailed posts, the reasons for which are varied. It was more of a challenge than I realized to be in WiFi range. Most of the sites we were scheduled to be in had WiFi, but not necessarily at our dining room table. And when we did have it, the signal strength was not consistent. The last place we were in, before Yosemite, was a campground in Lee Vining, pronounced Le Vining, California. It had pay as you go WiFi, but the bandwidth was ridiculously small, consequently I could not tell if pictures were posting to the site. Well, enough with the technical stuff that I don't understand but sounds impressive to put forth.
Well, maybe not. While we are on the subject of technology, I have been very aware of how it could ruin a great vacation. It would seem as though a battery would quit, or a signal would disappear as a result of malicious forethought, leading to nearly missing what was around us or what we were doing because we couldn't capture it digitally.

It Never Rains in Southern California

We turned in the camper , Wednesday the 8th,  then all piled into a Ford van, along with a Swiss family(not that one), and headed for the airport in order to pick up a rental van. The Swiss family was catching a flight home. The rental process went surprisingly smoothly, as I used the self serve kiosk since I had a reservation number. We did what the kiosk asked, grabbed our confirmation receipt, and headed out into the car area where we had our choice of  three vans. In the end we got a white one, and then I entered the queue leaving the garage, intending to pick up the crew at ground level, where they were guarding the bags. The attendant gave me directions, which I followed easily, and soon I found myself headed for San Jose, albeit by myself. I managed a rapid change of direction, without the help of the GPS (turning around when possible and no, it was not a legal U-turn), and headed back in the direction I had just come. I followed the route the RV shuttle driver had followed on the way to drop us off, and sure enough, there were my doughty little travellers, standing guard over the baggage. I pulled in, and after a moment or two of trying to figure out how to stow the back seats, an Alamo Car Rental attendant came over and set things aright. We loaded our bags, many of them, and headed of in the direction I had just come from, only this time with a full van, towards Pacific Grove.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Welcome to the S.S. JEREMIAH O'BRIEN

Welcome to the S.S. JEREMIAH O'BRIEN

Click on the link above to read the history of the O'Brien

The SS Jeremiah O'Brien, docked at San Francisco
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Chris on Fisherman's Wharf

Chris is standing in front of the USS Pompanito, a WWII submarine, retired and open for tours.
http://www.maritime.org/pamphome.htm

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Andy and the Man in the Bushes

The Grand Finale

Okay,
I am going to try to wrap this up in the next day or so. I will probably load some pictures. If I can figure out how to do an album page, putting several photos in all at once, I will do that. Also, I hope to add a few comments, chronologically, just for continuty sake and I like it better that way. That may be , as my dad would say, too much sugar for a nickel, but we'll see. And, I will try to tie it all together with some closing thoughts.

Click on Photos and be rewarded

New as I am to this blog business, it came as a pleasant surprise to discover that by clicking on the photos, they enlarge!

Tarantino's overlooking San Fran Fisherman's Wharf

Our last proper meal on the trip, lunch at Tarantino's on June 10. You can't see him, but outside our window, on the sidewalk below us, is a guy who holds a couple of cut branches from some bush. No telling where he gets them, but the point is, he "hides" behind the greenery and then drops it and "springs" out on unsuspecting passersby. For some unknown reason, some people reward this with "green stuff" in return. Evidently, this guy has done this everyday for 8 years. Yes, 8 years. I kept wondering what would happen if he did that in Shreveport, and where did he get the idea and how long was it before folk realized that they were to pay for this amusement, and at what point do you cease to be a nutcase and become an institution? Oh well, there is hope for my retirement years.

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Pacific Grove June 10

videoLast morning in Pacific Grove, just north of Monterey and 20 miles from Moss Landing, site of the whale cruise.

The Crew at Sanctuary Whale Cruises



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Friday, June 10, 2011

On to San Fran

On to one last blast around San Francisco and then we drop Andy and Chris off at the airport.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Avast there, Mateys! Whales to starb'd!

Anthea here.
I've never been struck so speechless as I have on this trip, and this morning's expedition was no exception.  We were supposed to be watching the whales, but at one point, we were the ones being watched.  A small group of humpback whales slicked through the water straight at our boat.  Was it frightening?  Not a bit, and then the lead whale seemed to roll just before the boat and I found myself (braced at the prow) looking into the benign eye of a gentle giant.  My camera's battery was dead but I had my camera phone at the ready.  Reviewing the pictures there is no record of that startlingly expressive face: the camera phone often needs to be manually operated onto the next frame, but I'm not too disappointed.  It was a privilege to see those great creatures, to see them, and to hear their wild calls, and the swoosh as they spouted, and to watch the choreography of flukes arcing down as they began their dive downwards.  Although I mumble and moan about the cold on a cool day in Louisiana, the damp spray and slicing wind didn't register when whales breached right in front of us.  A diverse group, we would all quietly murmur our wonder when that happened.

Before Lunch and after the Whales

About to dive



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The two little dark figures are Chris on the right and Anthea on the left.

Comments

If you have tried to leave a comment,  I am sorry that I had inadvertantly blocked comments. I have unblocked them.
30 min into tour! Seen a humpback!

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Off we go on a three hour tour!

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Modelling the latest in anti sea sick devices.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We are in Pacific Grove California. Whales, hopefully, tomorrow. Too much to see, too much to do in just the 50 mile radius around us.

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Experiencing new food Subway Morgan Hill California.
Rv turned in. On to pick up rental minivan!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I have seen $5 gas and it ain't pretty.

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Merced California about 110 miles from our last campsite in Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco.

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Andy's Haj

El Cap has been tamed, at least the first 100 feet of it. Andy has been to the mountain.
Photos will follow when we get into mobile range, and later today or tonight when we get to a more easily accessible wifi signal. For now, today we are leaving Yosemite, and after a somewhat rocky(hmm, a pun, unintended), we have had a couple of excellent days.Again, more detail later, when we are in a warmer clime and when my fingers will obey out of gratitude for being able to feel  once again.
Today we head for Oakland, our last night in the RV, and then we pick up a minivan on Wednesday to continue the adventure in San Francisco and southern California(can you say whales).
We have a couple of things we hope to do today in the park and then we are off.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

We are entering the last week of our trip. This would be a good time to thank my boss for allowing me the time off and my coworkers for covering for me.
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Andy and El Cap and Gladys the Rv

Bridalveil falls

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Back up the mountain we go! 30 miles or so! Did I mention we were going up a mountain?

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I feel as though I am in an RV version of Gilligan's Island. We left this morning at 10 for a 3 hour trip. It is now 5 pm and we are still an hour and a half from our destination. I am posting from a phone and for some reason, sometimes it goes through and other times, only a portion makes it through the ionosphere.
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New Melones Lake at Angels Camp.



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In San Andreas through no fault of my own!

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Mountain tops

Tried Crossing Ebbetts Pass 8700 feet. but closed by snow. It was closed so drove to Kit Carson pass, 8100 feet.

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I have been to the mountaintop and I am glad to be down.

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There is a snow plow on front of us!



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Right now @ 9000 ft over the only open pass to Yosemite



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A fellow traveller in snow & rain



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We are trying to bypass closed mountain passes in order to get to yosemite. On east side, have to go around park instead of thro

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A Small Mountain

Spring has not fully sprung

Spring has not fully sprung here in the Sierra Nevadas. Rather cool in them there hills.

Purt near but not plumb

We are 66 miles as the crow flies from our campsite at Yosemite, but we are not crows and the passes across the Sierra Nevada are still closed due to heavy snowfall and late spring. We are going to attempt an alternate route, which may prove very exciting if doable. We are going to ask directions at the gate to the first pass we were scheduled to drive. If not doable, we may have to go further north  in order to find an open pass. We may have to drive 200 miles or more to get there.

My but it is quiet out here

June 3, 2011
It is the end of another remarkable day. It is very tempting to wonder how long can this go on. We got up this morning, some feeling a little the worse for wear digestively for our cowboy dinners the night before, and made preparation to leave. It has been a week that we have been traveling, and the days have flown by in a blur of activity and excitement. And for the second time in two days I have stood in a place where no sound made by man can be heard. On Tuesday, it was on the rim of the Grand Canyon, as I watched the sunrise.  Now it is the opposite end of the day. It is night, actually, in the middle of the state of Nevada, and I am not sure what kind of landscape surrounds, us. I do not know if it is desert or brush land, or what, but we are on the Extraterrestrial Highway, pulled over on the side of the road to utilize the self-containment of the RV. We are literally in the middle of Nevada, under the most star-filled sky I have ever seen. We can see the Milky Way, and this is only hours after standing on top of a snow capped mountain in Utah. .

Friday, June 3, 2011

California Gulls at Mono Lake California hundreds of miles inland.

Andy and Chris at Mono Lake California. Inland salt water lake noted for tufa formations left behind as water level drops. Regulations now in place to maintain the level

Nearly There.

California



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Going thru Nevada



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Blundell-Brock Extraterrestrial Highway RV Park

Just saw a mirage.

Just saw a mirage.
Along the Extraterrestrial Highway

Somewhere Under the Stars

June 3, 2011
It is the end of another remarkable day. It is very tempting to wonder how long this can go on. We got up this morning, some feeling a little the worse for wear digestively for our cowboy dinners the night before, and made preparation to leave. It has been a week that we have been traveling, and the days have flown by in a blur of activity and excitement. And for the second time in two days I have stood in a place where no sound made by man can be heard. On Tuesday, it was on the rim of the Grand Canyon, as I watched the sunrise.  Now it is the opposite end of the day.  It is night, actually, in the middle of the state of Nevada, and I am not sure what kind of landscape surrounds, us. I do not know if it is desert or brush land, or what, but we are on the Extraterrestrial Highway, pulled over on the side of the road to utilize the self-containment of the RV. We are literally in the middle of Nevada, under the most star-filled sky I have ever seen. We can see the Milky Way, and this is only hours after standing on top of a snow capped mountain in Utah. .

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It runs in the family

Somewhere in Nevada
Caliente Nevada on the way to California. Contemplating driving until we find someplace to pull off road in the desert and tryou

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I have never stood atop a snow capped mountain before today!

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Lunch @ 10,000 feet
We also have to come down it!

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Climbing very steep snow capped mountain to explore a hike off the beaten trail!

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Into the Void

We are leaving Bryce today and heading west across the Nevada desert. We may not have wifi for a couple of days, but should be able to upload updates via cellphone. Not to worry if you don't hear from us, we are going across a fairly remote area,(51) and the like. See you soon.
We had a real cowboy dinner. Now I know why cowboys spent so much time on the trail!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It wasn't all easy riding...



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Cattle drive.



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Rounding up the cattle thru the canyon

A real cowboy on a real horse on a real cattle drive.
Photo courtesy of Anthea!

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Wrapped up the day with dinner at Ebenezer's and a show by the Bar G Wranglers. Good food and great show!

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YouTube - St. Annes Reel - Bar G Wranglers Live

YouTube - St. Annes Reel - Bar G Wranglers Live

After a day of quad-biking, hiking, grocery shopping, and laundry, we are having a cowboy dinner and watch this group.

From Back to Front-Anthea, Chris, Andy, David the guide

video

On the trail.

Auntie Chris

Getting ready

On the way to ATV ride!

English tourists.40 degrees F -Bryce Utah
The day of the Great Trail Ride has dawned!

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This trip has been rough my head. I have a scab on my forehead from hitting my head on a coin slot on a washing machine and now I have another on top of my head from standing up under an open cabinet .