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Category Archives: Boler Road Trip

Part Two | The California Coast | Road Trip

instagram.com/whitealbum_adorestudio

PART ONE  | ARIZONA DESERT( click here)

#ourboleradventure #littlegreyboler 

28 days.  8838 km.

day 11  we walked to the foot of Flat Iron Mountain, Arizona at our campground then drove towards Yuma, California.  it is insanely hot.  i hate this kind of heat!!  it’s 34°-36° and not much to see here.  we drove till dark, camped at a seniors facility with a campground we drove by near dark and slept with the A/C on.  El Centro $37 power, clean bathrooms + shower.

day 12  it was already 30° when we left El Centro at 10 am.  heading to San Diego. got lost all through the city and finally found a place to stay at Pio Pico. here for three nights.  pretty nice well maintained campground with secured gates since we’ll be leaving the boler here during the day while we are in the city. $60.

note the campground comments which i’ve included for most nights. we learned that when camping in California the cost is a lot higher than we’ve found across Canada and other states, especially when you are in or nearer to a city.  this early in the year it’s cool at nights and we wanted to plug in for heat so we often chose a campground with power available, but some places are worth sacrificing for and there is always a roaring campfire and snuggling under the covers to make up for the small discomforts of “dry camping”.   (dry camping or boondocking, is RV camping no electricity or water).


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day 13  22°.  brunch and a walk at the Gas Lamp Quarter downtown then the beach at La Jolla in the afternoon.  awesome $1.99 tacos for dinner.

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seems we found the quintessential California beach and we decided to make a stop there.  as it turned out it was a dog beach and we were immediately approached by many friendly dogs. we had planned a lunch of leftover pizza but hadn’t really thought it through.  dog beach – pizza – not a good combination.  we ate our lunch in a hurry, then sat and enjoyed the feeling of sand in between our toes and the warmth of the sea air while watching the dogs and their antics.

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ah, the endless miles of beaches!

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day 14  we took the trolley to San Ysidro and walked into Tijuana.  crossing the border there was easy but it took us three hours in a line to cross back. no photos since we didn’t want to carry a camera – it was a fun day visiting with mark’s brother and family.  we got home late exhausted back to our campground at Pio Pico.

day 15  it’s 18°-20° and cool by the beach.  we have a great campground at Encinita and then went to town to see a movie at a vintage theater “La Paloma”.  the theater is amazing – like going back in time and a must see.  camp 50$ night right by the beach.  downfall is the ugly chainlink fence between us and the water.

this trip is turning into quite the adventure for us. yesterday we spent the day in Tijuana with mark’s brother and family who live there. being in the country where i was born, if only for a day, always tugs at my heartstrings. there will always be a part of my heart in Mexico. driving around we saw a lot of poverty which i think is especially true for Tijuana because of being a border town. today as we travel around pretty California towns we found a great ocean side campground and I’m loving the whole experience, but i can’t help seeing the contrasts and thinking how only by some accident of where someone is born, or where they happen to grow up, or the colour of their skin they either have a lot or they have nothing, and the unfairness of it all. and then tonight we went and saw the movie “Lion” which just hammered the realization home even more. there really is no solution to it but i keep thinking there must be some small thing i can do and I don’t want to fall back into my fortunate life and forget and do nothing.

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day 18  drove to LA coast near Malibu.  slept on a windy beach on the way there.  it was a cold night but then there was the sound of the waves all through the night.  it seems always that the uncomfortable experiences turn out to be the unforgettable ones that we will talk about years later.  $33 Thornhill Broom campground by the beach.  no utilities (just outhouses and shared taps for water) but one of our favourite places on this trip.

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day 19  Malibu and Santa Monica.  blue skies and 20°camped at Malibu RV resort $44. clean, great little campground with the cleanest warm showers and bathrooms right near the city.

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a walk on Venice Beach as the sun set.

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day 20  Santa Barbara.  pizza for lunch at Penny Pinchers, Stearns Wharf.  camped at El Churro $35.  it rained but not for long.  we’re not going to complain since we hear at home it has done nothing but rain incessantly since we left home.

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day 21  scenic hwy. 1 is closed due to a bridge that washed out at Ragged Point as we found out from a sign on the counter when we stopped for a coffee.  so we detoured took hwy. 101 to Monterey. and then doubled back south to Big Sur to the point where the road had washed out.  this winding stretch of the drive was hair-raising with big drop-offs and tight curves, one of us might have been digging her fingernails into the seat the whole time. we got to experience and see it’s spectacular views again on our way back!

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day 22 up early then waited in line for breakfast somewhere along the way.  eggs benedict and mimosas worth the long lineup and wait.  campground at Pacifica just outside the city – San Francisco RV.

some random pics from our phone.  amazing hot sauce i wanted to remember, me under a train trestle, sign at a coffee shop.

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San Francisco was both hot or cold, and with little warning changed from blue skies and heavy rain.  we were prepared and we loved it all.

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Fisherman’s Wharf and crepes at Pier 39.  we only saw Alcatraz from a distance as we couldn’t find a tour at the last minute.  as much as we hate to plan and prefer to just do things as they come, next time we’re here we’ll book a tour to the island in advance.

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strawberry, banana and nutella crepes.

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San Francisco, i fell in love with it’s street cars and old buildings.

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we left the boler at our campground and drove into the city.

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the steep streets are so much more fun to see and experience in person.

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we stopped for a rooftop lunch in chinatown then drove to see one of the steepest road in the city along with dozens of other curious tourists.

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getting our hippie on at Haight Ashbury.

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day 24  leaving San Fran we drove through the Napa Valley, Doran Park and then Sonoma County Regional Park where we spent the windiest night surrounded by sand dunes and beach. 

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our campground here was one of our top spots from this part of the trip. $32 dry camping and beautiful.

knowing we are getting closer to the end of our trip we took every chance to breathe in the air and explore every path we could on the long and winding road as we head further north.

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day 25  lighthouse near Fort Bragg. campground $45.

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day 26  12° – as we get further north it gets progressively colder.   again the road closed due to a washout up ahead so we diverted to hwy. 20 east.

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we are surrounded by the tall trees of the redwood forests. 

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day 27  on our last day in California we drove through a tree.  a good way to say our goodbyes-for-now to beautiful sunfilled California, with it’s pastel blue skies and soft sand beaches.  we will be back again.

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day 28  home after 8838 km!

PART ONE (OUR SNOWY START, ARIZONA AND THE DESERT) – CLICK HERE

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California | Arizona » This is our life. Living simply. - […] part two | the california coast (click HERE) […]

California | Arizona

part one | the desert

instagram.com/whitealbum_adorestudio

#ourboleradventure #littlegreyboler

.

march fifth 2017 start of our roadtrip to Arizona and the California west coast.  28 days.  8838 km.

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day one our first night on the road and in the morning we woke up to snow.

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reason #1 why we are headed south.  it’s been a long winter and spring is nowhere to be found in Chilliwack.

CALIFORNIA-BOLER-TRIP-2017-0019CALIFORNIA-BOLER-TRIP-2017-0006day three drove into California.

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we left the main road and head east towards Nevada, Arizona and the desert.

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day five the desert road winds and curves and stretches like a ribbon before us.

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Badwater Basin is 282 feet below sea level. the little dots on the bottom photo are cars.  Death Valley is the lowest, hottest, and driest national park in the US.  We were here fifteen years ago, hiked out before first light and photographed the sand dunes.  i’ll have to dig out some of those photos later.

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we stopped for sandwiches at Amargosa Opera House as we headed further east.

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driving the boler through Vegas on the way through.

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weird and interesting things to see along the way.

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hot air balloons over the hwy.

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this “chapel” looks different than ours.

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day nine a short visit in Phoenix. it was great having a break from “roughing it” in various campgrounds.

wine, dinner and a great visit under palm trees with tina.

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tina is a seasoned traveler and she gave us some great travel tips.  these amazing places are not necessarily in the order we saw them.

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day nine  passing through Sedona.

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note to self to come back one day and stay longer and explore this magical place of red rocks and blue skies.

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one of our top three campgrounds (and one of the hottest places yet) was near the Desolation Mountains at Lost Dutchman State Park.

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it is even more beautiful at night.

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we wanted to go see the wild flowers at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Preserve.  we missed the best time for them to bloom but it was still a pretty sight to see.

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on a tip we drove through the backroads in search for “grape-soda” lupins growing in the washes.

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you do want to watch where you step.

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day 16 another favourite campsite at Joshua Tree

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as we usually do at the last minute we had decided that we would camp in the park only to find every single campsite full.   just when we were ready to give up in frustration we met the loveliest family who offered to share their space with us.  a random act of kindness that we feel so grateful to be on the receiving end of.  these are the little things that make traveling more memorable and reinforce our belief that people are generally kind despite what we may hear on the news.

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after dinner we sat under the stars in this magical place.

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there are no services (other than outhouses) at the park.  there is no power and you bring your own water and supplies.  i was pretty proud of breakfast we cooked on our propane stove  (for simplicity we used disposable or burnable dishes and cups which we try not to do often when we’re on the road).

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we spent a couple of days feeling humbled by the depths and heights of the Grand Canyon.CALIFORNIA-BOLER-TRIP-2017-00602017-03-10 128CALIFORNIA-BOLER-TRIP-2017-0063CALIFORNIA-BOLER-TRIP-2017-0072CALIFORNIA-BOLER-TRIP-2017-0075

part two | the california coast (click HERE)

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Wendy McConnell - Looks amazing Elizabeth& Mark and I love your little retro trailer!! So jealous. This is how I want to see Canada.

admin - Thanks Wendy! We love our little grey boler too!

Road Trips | Part 2 | Yellowstone

Last summer, with a couple of weeks between non-stop weddings, we decided to head to Yellowstone since we had missed seeing it last time we drove home on our cross country boler trip – it was too close to winter and the gates to the park were closed due to snow.

The destination was Yellowstone National Park, but what we saw on the way there and back as we crossed through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming ,and Oregon was also worth the long days of driving in with the relatively short time we had to make the trip this time.  I’m sure we’ll be back.

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“Yellowstone, of all the national parks, is the wildest and most universal in its appeal…

Daily new, always strange, ever full of change, it is Nature’s wonder park.

-Yellowstone Park for Your Vacation (circa 1920s)” ― Susan Rugh

0164-yellowstone-boler-road-trip-_webThe entrance to Yellowstone.

As we turned into the only campground where we were able to find last minute camping we came up on our first two bisons of the many we saw during our stay there.

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Grizzly bear with cub tracks above right.

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Old Faithful …  touristy and crowded but a must see.

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Seeing bison everywhere was a highlight of the trip.

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It was summer weather during the day but at nights it got cold.  We woke up our first morning with frost on the inside of the boler windows (no electrical in the campsites) so I warmed up in the car (heated seats!) while Mark got the campfire and coffee going.  One of the reasons we love traveling this way is the people we meet along the way. These are our campsite “next door neighbours” who had flown in from France just a few days earlier.  We shared hot coffee and warm conversation in a fun mix of French and English.

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After leaving Yellowstone we drove towards the Grand Tetons.  There were forest fires not far from our only way through.

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Our view of the Grand Tetons in front of us.

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Then heading west we drove towards home.  Always there is something new to see.

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On the way home we took a short cut and the weather changed from bright and crisp to moody and wet.  Although we had not planned to go this way we are glad we stopped to see this strange and beautiful other-worldly place way in the middle of nowhere.  Some photos we took while exploring Craters of the Moon.

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Across Canada and Back – The Way Back. Our Boler Adventure (Part Four)

continuednew york and driving home through the states.
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part one here (bc to ontario), part two here (quebec, gaspe peninsula), part three here  (pei, new brunswick, nova scotia, newfoundland)
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new york iphone selfies.

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everyday we walked for hours and hours to see as much as possible in the few days we had here.

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walking across the brooklynn bridge during a rain storm we learned that the umbrellas you can buy at the entrance to the bridge are not worth the five dollars we paid for ours, by the time we got to the middle of the bridge and it began to rain the umbrella instantly fell apart in the wind and we were soaked in a few seconds.  after the storm it was a cold, wet walk home to take the commuter ferry back to our “campground” in jersey city.

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“no day shall erase you from the memory of time” virgil (quote at the 911 site).  we were not prepared for how emotional it would be and the impact seeing the site in person would leave on us.

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central park new york city, and of course a hot dog, or two!

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we drove through maine, connetticut, michigan, wisconsin, south and north dakota, montana and washington on the way home.

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map or canada - boler trip the way back

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a small detour back up to ontario, stopped in toronto to visit family and friends and cross off going to a paul mccartney concert off the bucket list.  as we headed home the fall colour was gorgeous.

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no reds in the fall colour this year but the yellow tones, subtle or intense, are all beautiful.

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day 63 (october 25)  we arrived home late at night after traveling 20,000 kms there and back.  this has been the trip of a lifetime for us but we are so happy to be home.

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  • see part one here (bc to ontario)
  • part two here (quebec, gaspe peninsula)
  • and part three here  (pei, new brunswick, nova scotia, newfoundland)

Across Canada and back – Our Boler Adventure (Part Three) » This is our life. Living simply. - […] here’s this section of our route.  coming next the way back, back through the states and new york (see part four – the way back – here). […]

Across Canada and back – Our Boler Adventure (Part Three)

continued from part two.  prince edward island, new brunswick, nova scotia, newfoundland. all new territory for us both now.  we’ve driven from b.c. to ontario before and mark lived in montreal years ago but this feels new. – see part one here and part two here. 

day 26  up at 6 am and on the road.  still excited to see where the road will take us next.

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the cabot trail, nova scotia.  the roads are insane and every new view is exhilirating.

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by now we’re getting pretty good at this camping thing.

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we followed a path to a rocky outcrop on the east side of the cabot trail.

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prince edward island  we are now in a time zone 4 hours ahead of home.  9 am here is only 5 am at home, i have never until now been a morning person. we visited another lighthouse and heard stories about growing up here from the daughter of the lighthouse keeper.

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cavendish anne of green gables house

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we picked the perfect time to come here.  the weather is perfect.  a perfect summer, hot but not too hot, and the breeze is cool but just cool enough.

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but in halifax we had three soaking wet days of rain, then a brief sunny walk on the pier, and a visit with a friend before driving on.

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fishing village outside of halifax and right before we arrived peggy’s cove.

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peggy’s cove is touristy but still beautiful to see.  that night we camped just a few miles east of there.

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planning the next leg of our journey into newfoundland.

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 day 31 (sept 22) we took the overnight ferry to newfoundland.  for six hours we half slept on the floor to the rumble of the motors.  we arrived early in the morning to these beautiful sights so the ferry ride was more than worth it.  we spent the first couple of days on “the rock” camping and exploring gros morne national park.

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a boat tour through western brook pond.  all through our trip we met travelers doing incredible things, on the boat we talked to a couple of guys from new jersey who were getting dropped off at the starting point of a hiking trail (although there was no marked trail) with their compass and backpacks and an expected return back to where their car was in a few day.  we met these guys again on the ferry back to nova scotia a week later to hear how they made out on their grueling adventure.

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day 33 green point to st. john’s, newfounland.  we’re getting near the halfway point of our trip.

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crayon coloured houses on the streets of downtown st john’s, and two fishing villages called quidi vidi, and petty harbour.  even the names are cute.

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cape spear, newfoundland  we made it!!!! chilliwack to cape spear. safe and sound and so excited to have done this!

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coming next- the way back through the states and new york (see part four – the way back – here).

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CLICK HERE TO GO BACK AND SEE PART TWO

 

 

 

 

map or canada - boler trip 2015 a_maritime routecrop

Across Canada and back – Our Boler Adventure Part Two » This is our life. Living simply. - […] to be continued – part three – p.e.i., nova scotia, newfoundland (click here)  (or go back and see part one of our trip […]