Tuesday, November 10, 2009

leaving Cali and The Pacific Time Zone

I have just been typing for an hour and deleted my whole post. Im a little upset so im not going to write much. Yosemite for 3 days in the back country. Mammoth Lakes for a day. Went to their brewery and tryed some of the best Dopple Bock I have ever had. They had great Barely Wine as well and an Double IPA made with Juniper and Sage. UMMM! Bishop for a day (I bouldered for the day while Rachael hung out). Death Valley for a day. A couple of short day hikes there. Las Vegas(that scum hole) Racheal wanted to go to a casino, so we did. We both played 5 cent slots. we spent $1 each. i won my money back, Rachael didnt fair as well. A very dirty and expensive city. I dont think I will ever be back. I wont spend my money their anyways!! Hoover Dam,ate dinner by the damn dam and then drove through the night to Flagstaff,AZ and slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot. it was very good sleep. Thanks Wal-Mart for your new low intensity lights! Sorry for the brief overview but im just frustrated with losing my long post. Love you all. Nathanael
I will be putting new pictures up on photobucket.com with in the next two days. So check it out this week.

Friday, October 30, 2009

California!!The land of Beautiful Sunsets

So we made it to California. We have been here a little over a week now. The days are starting to run together, this will be like the 65 Saturday in a row now. Its great!! We started our adventure into California on a small road (hwy 199 I believe). There was a customs office we had to go through to get into the state. This was strictly for food purposes on the account that California grows most of the USA's food. Crescent City, CA was our first stop. We were directed to a beautiful spot on the rocky beach by a Ranger in the information center at Crescent City. He was such a nice man, and very helpful. Upon arriving at this secret spot...located at the end of Enders Beach Rd. we stopped to make dinner. We meet two friendly people Gab and Daniel. Daniel was a glass blower in his late 50's and Gab was traveling back to Portland,OR after bumming around for a month. He was such a nice guy we ended up hanging out with him the rest of the night and he didnt like sleeping alone so we let him sleep in front of our car. The SUNSET WAS SPECTACULAR!! From Crescent City we headed to the King Range. BY FAR the most remote beach on the west coast. It was beautiful. The mountain roads that followed the ocean were incredible to drive on. Imagine driving down an old country road in the mountains with no center line and pot holes littering the path in front of you. To one side you see pristine mountain scenery and on the other side you see the ridges of these mountains sinking deep into the ocean right beside you. These mountains stand at a staggering 4000 ft. Which is quite a feat considering the ridges of these mountains go directly into the ocean. After Exploring this forgotten place for a few days we slowly meandered down the cost stopping in sever small towns that were not even on the map. Ferndale was a very wonderful town that is located at the northern part of the King Range. On the southern end of this Wilderness Area we decided to take Hwy 1 one hundred and seventy-five miles into San Fransisco. San Fran is all that you hear and see in pictures. On our way to San Fran, Rachael had to pee really bad and had been holding it for quite some time....so finally she decided to pull over and pee on the side of the road. This is the spot that we believe she got POISON OAK!!! all over her body... The following three days her face began to swell shut. He has it on her stomach, legs, in her ears, neck and all of her face. Poor girl just hasnt seen any good luck. But she IS a trooper. We spent the day in San Fran and walked around...her with a puffed up face, and still had a good time. We headed to one of her sisters friends house who lives in San Jose. Here we doctored Rachael and I took her to the hospital to get checked out....BUT for the record...I told her it was poison and benedryl would help...thats for the record...we ended up going to to doctor and guess what he said...poison oak! none the less Im watching after her and TRYING to make her not scratch it...shes doing pretty good on that part. I just hope she gets over it soon. Its no fun to have P.I. on your FACE!! luckily Im not allergic so Ill just be watching after her for the next week. Shes recovering just fine though. Our time in San Jose was very nice though. Rikki and Chris were so nice to us and allowed us to stay for two days. Rikki hung out with us the most..not that Chris didnt want too, he's just trying to finish his MB at school and hold a full time job. I wish I could have gone climbing with him though. He seems like a very competant climber from the conversations we had. Rikki is a Massage Theripist just like one of my best friends Clayton. She was so much fun to hang out with. Me and Racheal had a lot of fun with her. After we got the Poison Oak thing straitened out we said our good byes and headed for Lake Tahoe. That brings us to today. Tomorrow there is a Halloween festival outside of Yosemite that I would like to go to. So we are leaving Lake Tahoe today and going to head towards Yosemite. Im excited about Yosemite. I'm hoping I can teach Rachael a few things about climbing and then spend a day or two climbing with some locals. We plan on spending about a week there. Our money is on its last leg....and we are still in Cali. Its going to be fun trying to be as frugal as possible with what we have so that we can attempt getting back to North Carolina. HA I have no worries about it! just so its out there..we have $300 left in our joint account and I have about $400 left in my personal.(I have no idea how much Rach has left...she keeps financial information very quiet) ...BUT....I figure it will cost us at least $500 in gas to get back and then $____ more on other expenses. Oh I cant wait to see how this all turns out! Its just another aspect of an adventure that I just love. Its like a big game...because really whats the worst that can happen??? We go home from here?? I think I can deal with that.

This blog marks the turn in our journey that will head us back East. We have moved away from the Pacific Ocean and are now heading back to the Rockies and then back to the East Coast! Day 59 of our travels and we have so many stories(for those that want to hear them) and many more stories yet to live out. I love you all and cant wait to see all yall again!!

Until I find wifi again,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

From Washington to Oregon

So been a while since I last wrote on the blog. GOOD NEWS!!!! Pictures are here!! http://www.photobucket.com/ my user name is nathan31586 . That should direct you to my pictures. Sorry but Internet has been scarce the places that we have ventured. Upon entering the USA we drove to the North Cascades National Park and spent the night near George Dam. It rained alittle but not very much. After planning a 3 day backpacking trip into the interior of the North Cascades I called my Aunt Lisa and discovered she had the weekend off and that it would work better for her if we visited her that weekend. So we nixed the trip and headed for Seattle.It was a great decision!! before we left I stoped into a Salvation Army store and filed for a food voucher that was worth 20 buck! it was awesome. Racheal was very hesitant about me doing this but hell, I needed the money and it was going for a dang good cause... feeding me! After all I technically fall into the lower class economic bracket. After the grocery shopping we b-lined to Seattle. In Seattle we meet up with Aunt Lisa, Uncle Barry, Norma Jean, and Adrianne at there house. It was so much fun to hand out and get to know them a little better. After all their family (family that i deeply love at that!) We saw Seattle, rode a ferry to Bainbridge Island, Had a BLAST at Red Hook Brewery, watched football by the fire place, and meet a couple of Adrianne's friends/co-workers. It was so much fun!! After leaving Seattle we headed to Olympic National Park. A beautiful rain forest. We spent 3 days backpacking in the rain forest and venturing deep into cougar country (and grizs too!) I took a picture of a massive mountain lion track when we were on the trail. I hope to have it up on photo bucket soon!! After eating sea food all around the coast of Washington state, we headed for Portland, OR. No to mention the stops along the way on hwy 101. My first view of the Pacific Ocean occurred during this stretch of road. On 10/9/09 to be exact. It was cool. check another one off the list. Walking the shore was great. Big rock cliffs 60-80 feet high jetting up from the sea. After following the coast we arrived in Portland. My FAVORITE city so far. Man what a great town. Ive heard that its like a big Asheville...which its NOT! But none the less its a fine town. Great music scene, lots of young people, great cost of living, voted one of the best beer towns the the world, what else could you ask for? Mountains Oceans? ohh yea they have that too... Its less than an hour drive to get to the ocean and the same to get to the mountains. Mt. Hood can be seen in the distant horizion while crossing one of the many bridges that separate the city. We meet several really great people and rode the public transportation all around the city. Thanks to Rachaels friend Amie for letting us spend the night one late night. I have lots of stories to tell from this city!!!

After leaving Portland, we headed for Bend, OR. We took a beautiful road 240 I believe. Went to Sisters, OR. A great little town as well. Bend was amazing. worth a weekend trip for sure. Mt Bachelor is located here. One of the BEST skiing mountains in the North West with more than 3,600 acres of groomed slopes...dont tell many people though,...its a local secret still. Most of the people that ski there are from Oregon or Washington...only a few people from the East Coast venture to ski on the Mountain that has the longest skiing season on this side of the state...or anywhere for that matter! A great find for later in my life. Bend Brewery was great. as well as Silver Moon Brewery and Deshutes Brewery. One of the about 30 different local brews we have tried in this state! I think...rather i know thats were my money went, as well as the unexpected trip to Canada!! I'm sitting pretty thin in the pocket right now but Im sure I can stretch it out until at least December 1st.

After Bend, we headed to Eugene. A medeocre town at best. About 80,000 live there but I was not impressed with the over all feel and structure to the town. The best part of the town was the Rose Garden that boasted over 400 different types of roses. It was absolutely breath taking. With in the park, the oldest Cherry tree known in existence was held together with wires and supports, its was planed by the town founder, Eugene something in 1847. We also attended the Beer Tastival in Eugene. it was about $5 and you got a "free" pint glass. and every taste of beer cost a dollar. Each taste being 4oz. I spent $10 total. It was worth it. Meet some more really cool people and one was actually the brew master for Lompos brewery. After the Beer we headed down the road (sober mind you) to the coast of Oregon. Florance is where we hit the rocky shore and headed to see over 500 seals playing and sun bathing. At this point I believe we have only seen rain 4 out of the 49 days. Not a bad ratio. Dont worry we will bring the sunshine back to the east coast when we come! :) I find myself sitting in a Starbucks right now in a town called Roseburg, OR off of I-5. I will more than likely never come back to this town. We head out tonight to Crater Lakes National Park to spend a few days. The plan is to set up a base camp somewhere where we dont have to pay for camping and have about three or four down days to just chill. It will be the first real down days yet. Im really looking forward to it. I bought some Myrtle wood today. The rarest in the world, and some say the most beautiful. Im making someone special a necklace! I'm really looking forward to Crater Lakes Nat'l Park and the down time. My next post will not be unil California. That will more than likely be in a week. Well they are kicking me out of Starbucks right now. They close at 7pm...its 7:11pm.

Checck out the pictures i have a few up already! http://www.photobucket.com/ my user name is nathan31586. if you cant find it from that I think this may work...
Until then,
I love you all and keep on truckin'. I know I AM!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Back To the Good 'ol US of A!

Vancouver was a great town. I have my quarlls though. As I could figure, everybody in BC was polite, but not friendly. They would tell you how to get around, but after that, you would be lucky to get another word or have a friendly conversation with anyone except the hobo's and druggies cluttering W. Hastings St in downtown. There were lots of Homeless people in that town. For the most part me and Rachael stuck out like a sore thumb. From our cloths ,to the way we talked and the smile on our faces, it was obvious that this was not the normal attitude of a Vancouver resident. They seemed to all have the dark british style of dress. Dark cloths, petty coats,... the whole nine. Smiles were rare, and the pace of life probally coouldn't get any faster than how fasted they walked around town. Im a fast walker and I had trouble keeping up with most of them. As they walked around town, it was like they were on a mission (to make money more than likey....!). The bars we visited were stale to say the least. Not close to the friendly bars that I have visited in the bigger cities in the US. Atlanta being one of the hippist bar towns I have visited so far..(That lines for you Terry! I know you love your Atlanta)

Well, now we are in the states and heading to Seattle to hopefully visit my Uncle Barry and Aunt Lisa, and then to explore Washingtion St. Northern Cascades, Mt. Rainer, Then Olympic Nat'l Park! all within the next week and a half. I contacted a friend from Montreat that now lives in Seattle and I hope she calls me back! If so I might drop by and say hello to her! Second round of postcards are being sent out this week! Iv'e sent about 6 so far! Rachael has sent about 8.

Til next time,
Love and Blessings,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Canada A?

Why yes we have made it to Canada. The people and the country here are both beautiful. It been a while since my last post, mainly because of the intensity of our schedule and how much we have been doing. I can't believe its only been ten days since the Tetons!

I shall try to go in chronological order for sanities sake. After leaving the Grand Teton National Park we headed west on a couple of back roads inorder to connect with Hwy 93 in Idaho. Aunt Joyce and Uncle Dave if you ever do read this that is the MOST BEAUTIFUL road I have ever driven on. Nothing can compare. We joined 93 just after Idaho Falls, ID. Quick Fact...38% of Idaho is Undeveloped wilderness or National Park/BLM lands. We drove right through the middle of it all! we Followed the Snake River for a while as it meandered us up twords Montana. We passes the 45th parrell some where in Idaho. Kind of a neat stop and take a picture thing. Once in Montana we winessed a massive wildfire that blackened the entire sky. we could see flames from the road and people were pulled off the side of the road to watch. It was naturally caused and no houses were in danger, so they just that that baby burn!

Missoula, MT. Rachaels fantasy. atlease once a week their is a conversation about this town. Many people compare it to Asheville. Not so sure I agree. It was however, a wonderful town. Population of about 80,000. placed nicely in the mountains its economy is based around the University that is locaed there as well as tourism to local ski resorts. It is a college town thats why im not so sure that its really like Asheville, because Asheville is not a college town. We meet a few of Rachaels friends and hung out with them and toured around the town. Racheal was so happy she could hardly contain herself. It was neat to see such excitement. Weither she knows it right now or not in her life...she WILL move back there. its inevidable. We stayed in Missoula for two nights and three days and then headed north, still on Hwy 93 to Glacier National Park.

Glacier Nat'l Park, MT. This is one of the most beautiful places we have visited so far. Very remote, quite, and appropriately named the "Crown of the Continent". We spent three days in Glacier backpacking up and down Kintla Lake and Upper Kintla Lake. about 25 miles or so. The lakes were oviously Glacier fed and the most beautiful shades of aqua and teal that you could imagine. The only thing I can compare it to is the Tropical waters down near the equator. The color of the water is a result of the glacier silts that settle in the bottoms of the lakes and make the water appear light blue. (See mom and dad...I have been learning things! but sorry, I still dont know how to spell!). I must mention that before our backcountry expedition we ran into some very frendly locals at a town called PoleBridge,MT....PLEASE LOOK THIS TOWN UP on GOOGLE EARTH!! it has no electricity or plumbing. By far the BEST town I have visited so far. We ended up sitting outside of the one and only mercantile store sipping on a cold beer from a local brewery and started chatting with some local boys doing the same thing. We hung out a while in the "town" and then they invited us to join them at thier camp site. These were some of the most friendly people I have meet. They told us all about the area and what its like to be born and raised in the area. I really neat perspective on life I must say. I truely enjoyed it. It was refreshing meeting some more country folks...they just happened to live up north.

Banff,Alberta Canada!

That just about brings it all up to speed. We continue to meet all sorts of people as we travel. We followed Hwy 93 to the border and all the way to Banff National Park. So the road goes from Las Vegas to Jasper National Park in Canada and follows the rockies the entire way. A pretty amazing road. It is really expesive to do anything in Canada. gas is about 1.15 a litre, which is about $4 US a gallon.. 3.7 litres to the gallon I believe. Beer is about $6.50 US per 500ml or 1/2 litre. to get into the park its $20US per day...sorry Canada but we didn't pay that. then its $20 a day extra in the National Parks to camp!! so a 3 day backpacking trip would cost us about $120US. NO Thanks! Beautiful country but we cant afford that on our budget. We still have 30 or so other US National Parks to visit! and Vancouver!! that leads me today. We are in Banff, the town, and heading out tomorrow for Vancouver. We will spend a day or two there and try not to break out daily budget the head down to Washington. Maybe Ill see Aunt Lisa and an old friend from college that currently lives in Seattle. Oh Canada..Oh Canada........why do you have to charge so much!

(Update on the pictures... Rachaels computer is prettly much toast and doesn't really work...no internet... and Flicker will only allow me 50mb of space per month..we have over 4GB of pictures so far...I really don't know what to do..if you are reading this and have some advice I would love to hear it! if not we will just put them on CD's and share them with all that are interested.)

Love and Blessings to All,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Rockies

Well we made it to the Rockies. We took some of the most beautiful roads in WY on the way to Yellowstone. We took the Chief Joseph Scenic Hwy. and the Bear tooth Scenic Hwy that lead us strait to cook city Montana. It was a really neat town. The population was around 100 people and they closed the road to the town in one direction during the winter. The only way the people who lived their could leave the town was to drive through the north entrance of Yellowstone in to Montana. The closest city was an hour and a half to two hours away. While in Cook City, we ate breakfast at a place called Bear Claw Bakery and Brew. It was a coffee and bagel type of place. It was by far the BEST breakfast I have every had for the price. The highest thing on the menu was $5.50!! and it was not lacking in the subsidence department. I could not finish mine! After Breakfast we ventured into Yellowstone where we were greeted by a 10 point Mule Deer buck. He was a beauty....Don't tell on me but I told Rachael he would look beautiful on my wall!! We made our way to the Ranger station and obtained a back country permit in order to see the hidden beauty of Yellowstone that less than 10% of all visitors get to see. We spent four days in the back country and saw all sorts of life. From plants to animals. No Griz though. We summited my first double digit peak, Mount Sheridan (10,395 ft.). Three thousand feet of elevation gain in three miles on top of a two mile approach trail to the summit trail. It was a 15 mile day with 6500ft of elevation gain/loss. It was fun! Rachael has started her pursuit to get trail legs. I've been so impressed with how good of a hiker she is! And we have been having great conversations on the trail. I might giver her the name TenderFoot because of the mass amount of blisters she acquired over the four days. (it was about a 40 mile expedition)....hopefully that picture will make it on Flickr. After hitch hiking back to our car. We threw our packs in the car and headed for Jackson,WY. When we got to Jackson, I remembered that I knew a lovely lady by the name of Britney S. that went to Montreat College with me and has since moved out west to work in Jackson. I gave her a call and we met up and she was nice enough to let us stay at her place. Rachael was feeling a little under the weather so she relaxed on the pull-out couch while Britney and I caught up. We ended up staying up til about 3am laughing and having a great 'ol time. It was amazing and it was so good to see her face once again. Who knows when our paths will cross again? All I can say is that she is a blessed woman and I greatly appreciated the hospitality she showed Rachael and I . Hopefully I can return the hospitality if she ever so chooses to venture back to North Carolina. Now its time to climb the Grand Tetons. We will be in the back country for the next couple of days in the Tetons, before heading north through Idaho to Missoula,MT to visit Rachaels old College buddies. Rachael in the process of downloading all of our pictures so that yall can SEE what we have been up to! love you all!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

off and running

We made it to Remer,MN at Rachael's family's cabin. It was beautiful. we spent three days at their cabin and went out on the boat every day. The weather could NOT have been better. 75 and clear skys every day. So far we havent run into any rain...I refrain from calling it "bad weather" because I believe its GOOD for rain to fall. It may be inconvienient..but none the less its not BAD.On day two I attemped to water ski for the FIrst time every. I got up on my first attempt and Rachaels family said it was one of the only times they have every seen anyone do that. It was awesome and I could not wipe the smile off of my face that day. (Pictures are to come). I met her grandparents on her moms side. They owned the property we were staying at and more property across the lake. The lake was called Thunder lake...Fast fact...Minnesota has over 15000 lakes not 10,000 like it says on all the license plates. After spending a couple of relaxing days with her family we traveled to her parents house in Minninapolis,MN to get the credit card that Rachael had sent their that had our join account money in it. the mail didn't show up til 6pm and that really delayed our trip plans. We thought it would be there by 1pm....we were wrong!! We left MN at 6:30 pm at headed for South Dakoda. I drove almost 10 hours and stoped 15 miles shy of the Badlands.By this time it was 4am to 2am depenting on what time zone you want to go by. We spent the night in a scenic pull-off and slept in the Element. We woke up at 6:30 am to see the sunrise over the Buffalo grasslands. It was breath taking. We then drove through the Badlands. We decided it was not worth spending the night their and just made a 1/2 day of it. After the Badlands we went to Wall,SD home of the world famous Wall Drugs. TOURIST TRAP!!! We got a couple of free stickers and left!Rapid City, SD was next on the list and went to a local brewery called Firehouse Brewery there. Best beer so far in my opinion. Then we set out to see Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments. After that we drove through the Needles hwy. (SD 87), which was a spectacular drive. You can Youtube it if you want to see more! By this time it was around 6:30 pm and we decided we should find a place to camp. We stopped by the N.F.S Headquarters for the Black Hills and asked for advice. The nice lady that worked their sent us to a spot that was cougar infested and had hardly been visited. IT WAS AMAZING!!! it was just us for who knows how many miles. we spent the night their and saw more stars than I have seen since I went to Africa in 2000. We didn't see a cougar...but I wish we would have. We woke up to another beautiful day and decided to visit The Devils Tower in Wyoming. Thanks to Aunt Joyce's advice, We will meander off of the interstate and take WY route 14 to yellowstone. That brings me to right now....Sundance,WY. the place of the Sundance Kid. Population almost 1,000 elevation almost 5,000. If we dont make ot to Yellowstone today we will stop in the Big Horn Mt. Range and spend the night. Oh and another fast fact, its legal in WY for passengers to drink beer.What a disterbing law!! next update...after the Tetons....til then I love you all!