Category: TRAVELS

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Iceland -what an adventure

I could write for days about my adventures, experiences, encounters, observations, and overall feelings about visiting Iceland. Maybe I will write for days on this topic but for now, I will just summarise some thoughts and experiences from my visit that came to an end far too quickly. I was fortunate enough to manage two mini trips to Iceland within a two-week span. The break between trips was great for making more educated plans for my second go around. Let me start by summarising my overall impressions before the memories start to fade a little. On one hand, the countryside through a bus or a taxi window at times seemed dark and dreary and at other times intriguing and green. The weather was predictably unpredictable. Any Icelander would tell you to wait 5 minutes for the next weather pattern. I experienced, rain, sun, wind (gusting cold wind) and a repeat of all of the above frequently within the span of a couple of hours. My return trip to Iceland had remarkably stable good weather for 3 out of the 5 days which seems pretty rare as patterns go per the locals. Overall, visiting in early October seemed a good move. On average the temperature was in the high 30s to low 40s during the day and the rain when it came was gone within 10-20 minutes. The only time the temperature really felt cold was when the winds picked up and by picked up I mean, almost pick you up – or blew you over!! Those winds!! I like to sleep with my window open at night wherever I am and Iceland was no different. I was conscientious and of course, turned off the radiant heat in my accommodations. I was also fortunate enough to not have direct wind coming...

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Planning a trip when you fly standby!

As an airline employee, I have the privilege of being able to fly for free or at a significant discount.  This sort of travel, as luxurious and free-spirited as it sounds, is not without its share of potential stress if allowed to be a part of the packing list. Flexibility is key as is being able and willing to change plans as needed. I have an annual trip I take to the UK during the first part of October. This year I decided it would be nice to break the journey into smaller segments. Really I was just considering visiting my friends in Toronto and then heading on to the UK. As I looked at the routing I discovered that Reykjavík, Iceland was an interim point between Canada and the UK. The bright idea occurred to me to spend a few days in Iceland on the way to the UK. The planning of a trip like this entails checking loads/availability on flights and working out the timing to coordinate with less busy air travel times. I work at the Oakland airport. The closest airport for an international destination is San Francisco but the flights to Toronto were full so I decided to fly with my airline to LAX and then proceed on to Toronto from there. I arrived in Toronto between 8 and 9 pm and met up with my friend who had also just flown in and we headed on back to his and his wife’s house in Toronto for a pleasant evening of conversation. The addition of Iceland to my itinerary was so last minute that I really hadn’t had the time to properly plan. I’d done some research and had an Airbnb lined up for the nights I would be in the country. I had no idea...

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Tijuana!! Dental Trip

Last year I had the pleasant news from my local California dentist that a tooth of mine needed to be removed. Of course this is a specialised procedure which means you have to first get a $300 scan to prove you need the procedure then the pleasant news that one tooth will cost the equivalent of a used car. The figure quoted me was $7000 for extraction, post implant, and then crown. This figure was startling to say the least and my dental insurance is a joke only covering $1500/yr. I remembered that a friend of mine had travelled to Tijuana to get his dental work handled so I reached out to him for advice and to get a sense of his experience.  He had nothing but good things to say and his experience was far enough in the past to be a reliable source I felt.  This was last August when I decided I would follow through with Tijuana.  I have to say my first trip there I was a little apprehensive.  I reached out to a couple of other dental clinics besides the one my friend recommended.  Their explanations and time frames were not as comforting and didn’t feel as though they would be as thorough.  The clinic I chose based on my friend’s experience was Washington Dental Clinic.  They had no problem answering all my questions on the phone before that first visit. One of the things I liked about them was their time frame.  They refused to rush.  The first part of the process was the extraction and bone graft.  They said they required you to wait a minimum of 6 months before proceeding with the implant.  A number of places even in America like to do the extraction and implant all at once.  This clinic...

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Final day @ Cape Blanco and the unfortunate adventure on the way home. (Mon May 2nd)

When I got back to my campsite after dinner and hanging out with friends I decided that even though it was well after dark I should probably break camp in preparation for leaving today. The other motive in this was the prediction of rain starting in the overnight hours and continueing till mid morning. I figured better to break camp when it is dry and not as muddy. This was an excellent choice because we certainly did get some more rain that night. Monday morning was another great hike and play session for Jazzy and Logan and the rain managed to hold off until after I hit the road around 1pm. I was in no hurry to leave the area. I left the campsite shortly after 1pm and then headed to paradise point which is just a nice beach overlook. We hung out there until the rain just was too much and then went food shopping to stock up on my favourite foods at the Golden Harvest Herban Market. Their Tuna Salad is amazing, dog biscuits for the kids, lasagna, tuna casserole, meatballs. Prepared dinners at a reasonable cost to last me a few weeks. Grateful for the Rv fridge to keep everything fresh for the ride home. One of my priorities before leaving Oregon was to take advantage of the cheaper gas prices on this side of the border. I decided on the gas at Fred Myers. Here’s where it gets interesting and embarrassing. In Oregon you aren’t allowed to fuel your own vehicle except for after hours. Here I was at Fred Myers (a local dept type store with gas station) with my RV being filled up (this is about a 20 minute process with a tank like mine). I decided to buy some window washer fluid and...

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Day 6 Cape Blanco Roadtrip (May 1st, 2022)

All good thigs come to an end they say. Today has been the last day as a full day at camp. I leave tomorrow but don’t check out til I have to which will be around 1pm. Life is an adventure so though my Cape Blanco trip is coming to an end that doesn’;t mean tyhe adventure is. Live in the now is my motto. I try to be as well-prepared as I can for tomorrow but i try to focus on today. Today’s adventure was all about enjoying a day of beautiful sunshine all day for a change. Somehow I still love it here even when it is raining but sunshine is a nice change. Port Orford is a place the pups and I both love. The dogs love the beach time and I love it too as well as an opportunity to fly the drone. The evening was the highlight for sure. We spent the evening with friends. Beth, Lech and Logan were our hosts for a great dinner and doggy play time. the perfect weather of the day held out for a great evening around the camp fire and some fun time watching Jazzy and Logan interact. I am so gladf they hit it off so well. Zulu was content to be loved on by Beth and Lech and myself in spite of not being in the age range of Jazzy and Logan for the more intense play. Day 6 video with some drone footage of Port Orford

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Day 5 Cape Blanco Road Trip – Jazzy meets Logan (April 30th)

A little over 2 years ago during one of my Cape Blanco trips Zulu, Sky and I met a dog in the herding family, an English Shepherd. I’d never heard of the breee but when I saw the dog it looked like an Australian Shepherd with a tail and the dameanor of the dog we met was really perfect.

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Day 4 Cape Blanco Roadtrip April 29th

Today was a great day to just take it easy. i think one of the things I am focusing on on this trip is trying to get proper sleep. At work I tend to be on 15 hour shifts for 5 days then off for 9 days. It’s an awesome schedule with great time off but not real conducive to great sleeping patterns. When I do my RV roadtrips i make it a point to not start driving until I am ready to be on the road. genberally this means I don’t get an early start and I am not interested in getting an early start!! I am interested in living by ‘my schedule’ which is defined by when I feel tired enough to go to bed and rested enough to get up. I slept in today! It was nice. Then the pups and I made our way down to the beach at Cape Blanco. This beach never gets much activity and is a great spot for dogs to focus on being dogs. They had some good runs on the beach. I ended the day with a trip to the local bar/restaurant Salty Dawg. It’s a local spot that serves up some excellent food. I enjoyed a huge salad that was quite tasty!

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Day 3 in the Road trip Adventure – Cape Blanco (April 28)

Today was a pretty special day. I was able to meet up with some friends I had made from my first Oregon Trip. Ray & Leslie were the campsite hosts on my first roadtrip to Cape Blanco three years ago. They were amazing campground hosts, excellent at their work as hosts and just great people to get to know. We have stayed in touch ever since meeting 3 years ago and it’s hard to believe that I haven’t known them forever! During this excursion of mine to Cape Blanco I was able to meet them at their current hosting gig at the fitch hatchery in Bandon Oregon. A short drive up the coast and a fun time hanging out with the two of them and their dogs. Leslie gave me the tour of the fish hatchery (the behind the doors after hours tour). Ray and Leslie have made a name for themselves there too as good conscientious workers and it was cool to see their setup. Of course dog play time in order as well as a fun tour of Leslie’s greenhouse in the RV.

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The Roadtrip! (Day 2 – April 27)

I was very happy with my chosen place to spend the night. The Salmon Creek pulloff was just right, felt safe and we had a good stroll through the woods and paths nearby in the morning. I’d say we still took about another 6 hours or so to get to Cape Blanco but the drive was good overall. Sure was a lot of construction along the route. When we finally made it to Cape Blanco all the memories of what I love about this place came flooding back. Just an overall peaceful place and I suppose part of it is when you are at home the tendency at least for me is to stay busy working around the house and getting different projects done. When you leave – really leave you get the opportunity to just enjoy your surroundings and the great company of those who bring joy. I enjoy them always but vacationing with them is even better!

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Time for another Roadtrip! Spring trip 2022

The Coronavirus saga for the last for years has put a dampner on my wanderlust adventures. So many people out in RVs since lockdown meant that areas that used to be empty are now full. Day 1 of the Roadtrip – today!! I have to say leaving home for this road trip was a little hard. The Rhododendrons in my yard have just started to bloom again! We set off late afternoon with a stop in Point Arena to pick up a sandwich for later. Driving Highway 1 northwards means lots of winding roads and beautiful coastal views. You can’t be in a hurry for this sort of a route any more than you can expect phone reception. Winding through the forest as we headed inland it became dark pretty quick. The trees really buried the light from vision! I use an app called Ioverlander to find parking spots and good overnight spots but on this night I wasn’t happy with what I was finding so I wound up finding a great spot with basic intuition.