A Travellerspoint blog

Santa Cruz

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What a sunny and calm Saturday! A beautiful drive along HW-1 heading South on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The same road leading down to Mexico and hopefully we will travel on it soon for our winter stop. This is just a day tpur now with friends from San Francisco. We discussed what a great ride this would have been on motorbikes, the way we met each other almost twenty years ago!


After a great local lunch enroute to Santa Cruz at Davenport we arrived to the seaside parking of Santa Cruz. A large amusement park with a caroussel and many other attractions right on the oceanside.


Posted by divatmotoros 18:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Hikes around San Francisco

Tilden Regional Park and Muir Woods

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During our stay with friends we had some nice excursions at Tilden Regional Park (no photos taken) and to a majestic and historic park at Muir Woods National Park. These redwoods are 7-800 years old, some even a thousand! They are large by any means and it is great to walk under the huge branches.


Posted by divatmotoros 07:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

San Francisco - Alcatraz and Cable Car Museum

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Although we prefer nature and woods we could not resist San Francisco for a visit. So I booked a slot to visit Alcatraz, the infamous prison island and the two larger kid was really excited to see a real prison for the first time in their life. We already had some discussion in the car earlier about how justice works, what deas the police do and how a judge can decide how long someone needs to stay in prison after wrongdoing. So they were really curious of the details, how big a cell was, how the inmates got fed and so on so this trip to Alcatraz was just at the right time for them.


After escaping from the prison we walked a bit to pier 39 and watched sea lions resting at the dock.


The we took the cable car for a ride and we visited the Cable Car Museum, which is the actual power house pulling the several mile long steel cables to move the trams uphill in the steep streets of San Francisco. Very educational visit and the icecream was just the best part of the day!


Posted by divatmotoros 17:59 Archived in USA Tagged san_francisco alcatraz Comments (0)

Elk Country RV Resort and Campground, Sue-Meg State Park

Leaving Oregon, arriving to California

View Getting the car and travel trailer & USA West Coast & Vancouver and Vancouver Island & The Alascan Highway (Cassiar) to Vancouver & Alaska & The Alaskan Highway (Alcan) & Canadian Rockies & Canada Niagara to Calgary & Canada East Coast & USA East Coast on divatmotoros's travel map.

After our trailer was fixed we left Eugene and followed the road with least elevation (check https://www.flattestroute.com/) to the Oceanside. We also wanted to see the Pacific Ocean again.

We stopped by the Elk Country RV Resort & Campground for a night. The office was closed when we arrived but there were clear instruction on self registration what we did and backed into our selected site. Just after we set up the trailer a large herd of elks walked into the campground and they were literally wandering between trailers and RVs at night, eating grass.


The next day we drove to Trininad and stopped by the Sue-Meg State Park for a short hike. The coastline is really beautiful here with large rocks and white tides crashing to the cliffs at shore.


In the early evening we arrived to a childhood friend of my wife who lives near San Francisco and kindly invited us to stop by for a few days. It was great to reconnect and although with three kids it is not so easy to find private time they managed to have some time to talk during the evenings.

Posted by divatmotoros 02:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Setting the camber angle of the trailer in Eugene

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Even though I do (and have to do) a lot of maintenance on our trailer it seems that technical issues are popping up once in a while. Now we have one which came quite unexpected after rebuilding the whole wheelbase of the camper (including leaf springs, axles and hubs) by a professional. After about 2000 miles we noticed a very unusual tire wear on one of the wheels. Interestingly it is the same wheel that caused our three day "wilderness weekend" in Alaska and the same tire was flat before once due to a small piece of bone. All three incidents happened in the USA and not in Canada if that means anything.

So after calling at least ten RV repair shops and visiting randomly two in person (none of them had the expertise or the time to do it) we were told to go to Kaisers in Eugene. I called them and explained our situation being on the move and they were very kind to squeeze us into their busy schedule. We were able to sleep at their place in our trailer and the next day they promised to check and fix our trailer.
So it happened and the process is quite interesting. Unlike on a car you can not adjust anything on the trailer's wheels with wrenches. Instead they used a big and powerful machine to bend the axles with powerful, quick, and frequent hits to the right arch to achieve the right camber for the wheels. The work was done by the evening and we spent the day in Eugene.

We visited Skinner Butte Park which is a steep hill near the Willamette River in the middle of the town. The landmark honors city founder Eugene Skinner.


During the early 1920s, the city's Ku Klux Klan members etched the letters "KKK" into the side of the butte and installed a cross near the top. Local Klan members were said to have burned the cross during meetings. The letters were removed and replaced with the letter "O" in the late 1920s. The cross was replaced several times since the Klan first erected it. However, the cross wasn't permanently removed until 1997. Eugene grew to be a recognized national stronghold for the KKK through the 1950s.

Afterwards a concrete cross was installed on Skinner Butte in late November 1964. The cross has been the subject of litigation since the time it was erected. In 1969, the Oregon Supreme Court held that the cross violated both the federal and the Oregon Constitutions because it was erected with a religious purpose and created the inference of official endorsement of Christianity. As a result of the 9th Federal Circuit's ruling in August 1996, the cross was removed in 1997 and reinstalled at Eugene Bible College. A flagpole flying an American flag was erected in its place on the butte. (Source: wikipedia)

The rest of the afternoon we enjoyed the fairly new playground, RiverPlay Discovery Village Playground in the park and the highlight of the day for our kids was when we returned to the repair shop for our trailer. In the waiting room there was a small popcorn machine which was fired up with the agreement of the owner and we watched and enjoyed as popcorn was made.


We left in the evening and unusually drove in the dark to our next stop, about 1,5 hours to Riddle, to Shamrocks Coctail Bar. We badly needed a strong drink after all these tech issues but this is another story.

Posted by divatmotoros 07:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Technical issues while heading South

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After the Mt Rainier mountain trip we headed South and some mechanical issues made our journey a bit more difficult than usual. Firat the tow car, Fordi had some issues. We already listened to an increasing strange noise coming from the engine and it got worse and worse as we drove. Also it started to loose coolant from the engine so I was worried. We stopped at a Ford dealership and they had a look. They said it is most likely the water pump and it is a fairly easy exchange. The belt should be changed anyway due to mileage. Unfortunately they were fully booked for weeks so we started to look for repair shops on our way. Luckily we found one just opposite a KOA campsite and they were ready to have a look at the car the next day. So first we dropped off the trailer at the campsite, bought some food for the weekend and then droped off the car. They drove me back to the campsite and the next day they called that the car is ready! Great job!

We had a great stop at a brewery in Albany, Oregon. They are called Deluxe Brewing Company and their products were really nice. I liked the IPA and did not like the pils (called "Oktoberfest" but that was not one I liked.) I have a sixpack of their other IPA so hopefully that will be more to my taste. There were nice classic cars and people jamming on guitars and benjos so it was a great night.


Then the other issue was that we have noticed a strange, uneven wear of the tire on one of the wheels of the trailer. The inner 2-3 cm of the tire is completely without thread while the rest of this tire and all other tires wear out normally. It might be an axle misaligent or a camber issue. Finding a place that does trailer axle alignment is not so easy. Even if they do they are booked for weeks. So after calling about 8 places and randomly visiting a few on our way we finally got to a place where we can sleep tonight at the yard and they will have a look tomorrow. Hopefully it will be an easy fix and we can press on South. It is getting too cold here too, 7-8 C during the days and around freezing at nights.

Posted by divatmotoros 00:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Snoqualmie Falls and Mount Rainier National Park

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After Halloween we drove on towards Mount Rainier National Park and enroute we have stopped at Snoqualmie Falls.


Later the day we have arrived to a small Ukrainian-run restaurant and lodge near Mt Rainier which was called Paradise Village. After a good night rest in their parking spot booked via Harvest Hosts we started our drive up into the mountain. At the entrance we were turned back to first get snowchains for our car which is mandatory from the 1st of November till May.

Luckily many places nearby offer chains for rent, a fee of 20 dollars for safety seems fine. We returned to the park entrance and drove about 30 minutes to the visitor center and we time travelled again: this time from autumn to winter. As we ascended it started to snow and it was snowy all around. Although it was foggy and cloudy the trees and the view was still beautiful.


After experiencing deep snow at the visitor center we turned back and stopped at Narada Falls. From the parking spot it is hard to see anything as it is at the top of the falls. But after descending about 200 meters on the icy and snowy short trail the majesty of the fall became imminent.


Posted by divatmotoros 20:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)


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Although we prefer national parks and forests for our stopovers we still like to visit larger towns. We have seen Montreal, Quebec, New York, Philadelpia, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver so we though we walk in Seattle too.

Unfortunately it was a Monday and all great museums we were interested in were closed but our kids enjoyed a lot the playground next to the Children's museum.


Then we had a quick pizza and stopped by one of my favourite American idol, the statue of Jimmy Hendrix. After Kerouac he was also impacting me with his music in my late teen years.


Posted by divatmotoros 20:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Halloween at Tall Chief RV Park, Fall City

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Halloween is a big thing for kids and although it was not celebrated in my childhood in Hungary, our home country, in the last few years it became more and more common to party with kids, especally in school events. So our kids were quite excited that we are in the home of Halloween's celebrations. We made sure we are in a campsite with an opportunity to go around and shout "Treat or Cheat!". We also prepared with some candy for visiting kids and also carved pumpkins for decoration.

Our son chose a witch and our daughter chose an owl from the small booklet and I made the carving, they added some smaller decoration (a star).


One day before Halloween we visited a Hungarian family living in the area, we were connected by a friend we both know. They moved to the USA for a job 8 years ago and although they planned for 3 years they stayed ever since. With four kids they have a very busy life and we were very grateful to meet them. We enjoyed talking over a great dinner and we are happy meeting another great family on our trip. In their neighbourhood some houses were very seriosuly decorated for Halloween. Some people take the extra mile and likely spend a smaller fortune on the celebrations too. Our favourite was a house with a local FM transmitter wich was providing music to our FM radio in the car and a synchronised light show on the house.

There were several huge skeletons, pumpkins and lots of spiders, tombs and other decoration too.


Posted by divatmotoros 20:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Animal farms on our way

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So after crossing the USA-Canadian border our first stop was at a Wagyu kettle farm. We have seen and fed the cows which are famous for their exellent and marbly meat.

We also met Sylvia the pig and Cher the goat. They were friendly and cute while Echo was patiently waiting outside of the barn while we petted other animals.


Then we also ate them (not Sylvia nor Cher, but some wagyu, at least a nice little piece which was indeed excellent. Before-after photos tell the story.


The location was close to the border and the farm seconds as a small campground with 5-6 sites. We met a German couple who we had seen at Bella Pacifica Campground. They arrived to both places just a few hours after us.

The next stop was an alpaca farm. No eating involved with these cuties, they look like a huge poodle dog after being trimmed. We bought some special alpaca food to handfeed them.


And the last animal farm we visit is in the crypto woirld. It is a project which was on hold for several months and now restarts on the 1st of November. I hope it turns out better than the overall crypto market now as it is struggling since last summer, my well timed entry point. Hopefully the Pig (AFP) and Dog (AFD) tokens themed after Orwell's famous book will fly after the 1st of November! Keep an eye on it here. Not financial advise!

Posted by divatmotoros 07:19 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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