It seemed to take forever. The endless snail's pace of dealing with one's parents deaths. Handling the estate, remodeling the house & selling it... Paperwork... lawyers... contractors... realtors... details. Did I forget something? Better check again. Suddenly it is done. Over. Pardon the language, but it is a shitty deal. Not the work, but the result. I lose my parents and sister & end up with a little cash. It sucks. I really don't care how much money. I would rather have my family. I'm sure my brother feels the same way. But that is the way of life. If you are lucky, you have a good relationship with your parents and they die first....Read more
So Where was I? Oh yeah, I was getting on a ferry to Alaska. That was three weeks and a few thousand miles ago. Ah, the romance of the high seas... "Just give me a tall ship and a star to sail her by"... and all that. Things have changed a little. On a modern ferry to Alaska it's more like "Give me a massive engine and a even larger, resonant steel hull to bolt her onto." There is a huge amount of power in one of those engines, the entire ship is vibrating with it's exertions. White this is all very exciting at first, the thrill wears off after a few hours & you begin to wish for some place quieter. Yes, it's loud. And you have signed on for three days....Read more
OK, so you took a ferry to Alaska, spent a few days around Haines and drove up through the Yukon to the big part of the state. What now? Well... sha... drive around, find backroads, what else?
Maps come in handy at this point. Cell phone maps really don't work up here where there can be hundreds of miles between towers... Seriously you can drive five or six hours with no connection. (There are actually people up here with no connection to the internet or cell network, Geepers! How do they survive?) ...This is why God gave us paper maps. Well, OK, I got mine from Delorme... They have the best maps. One, giant, $20, book-sized map per state. Topographical, pretty darn good resolution.... They show all of the roads, even the itty bitty ones. But there must be something wrong with the Alaskan map, it doesn't show all of the tiny sub highwys between the big ones. That's OK I'll just start driving & they will show up....Read more
Coming into Canada the second time I was asked a lot more questions. Was I headed home? Was I going to be staying down there for a while? Whatcha got in the back of the vehicle? I almost felt I was going to be given a limited hall pass: "This guy has five (5) days to get down to the States or else we will find him and ship him south ourselves." But, after all of the questions, I was allowed in with a cheerful, "enjoy your trip."...Read more
I am driving through the stunning landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. They are huge! Not just in stature, but in the volume of the area, If you are looking for an "Endless Summer" experience, try driving all of the roads up here. You will discover that there will be a lot of roads yet to cover by the time the Aspen & Birch trees begin to turn....Read more
"Wyoming?" You ask... "Weren't you just in Canada?"
Well, um, yes... but you see... There was something I needed to get done in Wyoming,so....
"What about Montana?" You coninue, "What happened to Montana?"
Montana? I love Montana, but I needed to get to Wyoming so I drove through it.
"The entire state? Whoof, just like that?"
No, not the entire state. Just from Leonia to Aberdeen... Don't worry, I'll go back........Read more
"The Windmills of Colorado" sounds poetic doesn't it? There are a whole lot more windmills in the Midwest since the last time I wandered through the area, Two of these pictures were taken from the ground... the rest from the air....Read more
From Limon, Colorado I headed west. Back across the plains, through the forests of Ponderosa Pine. There was a bit of business to conduct in Castle Rock and then onward to the West. A dirt road "short cut" surpriosed me with this formation... Upended strata , almiost standing free....Read more
A dirt road is not the interstate. You can't pretend you are on the autobahn with the countryside flashing past at 150kph. You've left the fast lane, speed is an impossability. Relax, take your shoes off, roll down the windows and sniff the perfumes offered by the crisp, country air....Read more
Sometimes it's good to stop. All of those places you've been driving through... Well. People live there... Yes, they spend weeks at a time in one place... Years even, I hear tell. So if you want to feel like a real local, you have to spend at least a day in one place. I decided to settle down in Buena Vista it seemed like a nice place to call home... for a day....Read more
I crossed the Continental Divide just to the northwest of Fitzpatrick Peak on a little dirt track called forest road 267 that runs between St. Elmo & Tincup, Colorado. The pass itself is called Tincup Pass and the western side of the pass has possibly some of the most delightfully horrible sections of road I have been on to date. Some bits had two or three tracks and I had to get out & walk them to decide which of the choices was least likely to damage the vehicle.
But it was beautifull nonetheless. I don't think I will ever tire of driving amid woods of birch and aspen trees, but that was earlier in the drive and the road was in much better shape when I was amongst them. Once I got to Tincup it was rather late in the day the crossing had taken quite a bit longer than anticipated, which is just how it should be... Many miles yet to go....Read more