Terra Firma San Diego to Tracy CA Dec 23, 2012


Good Morning San Diego Dec 23, 2012

We were up at 6 a.m. to ready ourselves for disembarkation and starting our long drive north.  Everything went very smoothly as we no sooner finished our breakfast and we were called to present ourselves to the onboard customs agents. 

Driving north of Santa Clarita CA

After completing immigration we gathered up our few remaining suitcases ( the big ones were taken last night and taken to the terminal ahead of us) and waited to be called to leave.  The call came at 9 a.m. and we were off quickly.  We were able to find our luggage in the terminal fairly quickly so out we went and there was our shuttle bus( San Diego Airport Parking) waiting for us.  We left our car at San Diego Airport Parking and their service is excellent and a modest price ($105 for the month) and when we got to their

Heading down into the valley

lot…out car was out front waiting for us.  This allowed us to get an unexpected early start on our drive today.  I had set three possible places to stay the night and was able to get to the furthest north…Tracy California by 6 pm.  The roads were great but the traffic very heavy…in both directions.  The weatherman cooperated today, but tomorrow does not look as promising.

We got through LA without too much of a slow down and stopped in Santa Clarita for lunch.  Leaving Santa Clarita we started climbing and hit 4000’ at the Tejon Pass.  The

The long and not so winding road

scenery was unexpected and coming out of the mountain area down and down, until all of a sudden the valley opens up for as far as the eye can see.  After this the driving was pretty tedious with a straight road ahead of us, but again…very heavy traffic.  At one point Brian nodded off while driving, so I took over driving until we got to Tracy about 6 pm this evening.

While most of the landscape was pretty flat, we drove through miles and miles of fruit trees, almond trees, orange trees and land being prepared for vegetables or strawberries.  We’re not sure what tomorrow will bring as mother nature looks like she’s sending rain and snow in our path.   I’m not booking a hotel as I don’t want to tempt fate….we’ll just take our time and play safe.

Ripe oranges – they were being picked as we drove by




Tracy CA to Eugene OR Dec 22,2012

Tiny bit of a rainbow, seen north of Sacramento CA


We knew it would be a long day as overnight the mountains north of Redding, received 1 to 2 feet of snow. In anticipation of a long drive we were up at 6 a.m. and hit the road just before 8.  Unsure of the time it may take, we picked two tentative overnight stops…Ashland Oregon or Roseburg Oregon, but as it turned out we just kept going until we got to Eugene.  This means we will arrive in Vancouver one day early.

When we left Tracy this morning the wind was 40 mph and raining, which got worse as

snowy trip

we neared Sacramento. I had no chance to take photos through the window as they were rain covered and a bit foggy.  The traffic was light until lunch time, so we were able to get through Sacremento without difficulty.  The rain stopped and the sun came out at 1030 and I took over the driving.

As expected we hit snow and lots of it in the mountains north of Redding.  In places it was at least two feet, however the plows had done a good job so the roads were just wet.  The traffic however was crazy and at least half the vehicles on the road were transport trucks. 

Back to winter

Those guys just drive with no mind to passenger cars and will pull in front of you with little notice.  In one case, a car didn’t want to give way to a truck entering the “fast” lane and ended up having to hit the shoulder and took out a small road sign. I don’t mess with those big boys and that’s the reason why.

I don’t have any photos of the deep snow as I drove until we got to Ashland Oregon.  We stopped at a local dive for a quick lunch before hitting the road again.  The gas prices have been all over the map with the cheapest in Tracy of $3.11 a gallon to $3.79. After settling in to our hotel room for the night we wandered over to a local brew pub for dinner.  It was an excellent choice.  They make not only their own beer but also root beer.  The food menu is extensive and they make most from scratch.  If you are ever in Eugene, be sure to check out Hop Valley. They can be found on the web at www.hopvalleybrewing.com

Looking forward to arriving back in Canada tomorrow and looking forward to seeing family.

Think I miss the tropics!


Christmas Visit with Family

“It was great to spend the holidays with family. The girls have grown again and Kirsten is looking forward to her European trip with her class early 2013. Brian and I are going to China in April and asked the girls to teach us how to use chopsticks. I’m afraid I am a slow learner but my attempts gave the girls a fit of giggles. While enjoying Vancouver, Kevin and family took us to another Triple D location, this time to the Red Wagon.

We arrived early but the lineups were already in place. The Red Wagon There is absolutely no waiting space inside, so we huddled in the cold outside. We are all offered complimentary hot coffee while waiting, so that made the wait easier to take.

While in Vancouver, we did get a chance to visit with my sister and her husband. Back in the 60s my brother in law and two other young men, set off from England in an Austin mini and drove to Singapore. The BBC made a video for television last year highlighting their trip. During our visit we watched the 30 minute episode of their travels. It was amazing to see what they accomplished without a great deal of money but lots of bravado. The video is available on You Tube (called Mini Adventure) and the link is http://youtu.be/6BxIE4wRC5w

Rocky Mountain sunrise

Beautiful sunrise

Our visit with family was very enjoyable but we’ve been away from home and anxious to get home. We left on Dec 27 and arrived home Dec 28. We saw some stunning scenery on the drive home which reminded us of the pretty special place we call home