Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

On the Road

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

We are moving now  - For ease of reading, I will post most stuff under camping  and by the state or province.  It is easier to follow that way than it is when it is in reverse chronological order.  There is a post on New York and will be more states to follow as we head west.

Mt. Redoubt Volcano

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The wekend eruption of the Mount Redoubt volcano will make the trip to Alaska more interesting.   If it’s history is any indication, it may keep erupting for a few months.   The prevailing wind will spread the ash and in some cases, will make fishing and camping in some areas less pleasant.   We have decided to make very few reservations now and will probably do more last minute ones as the time gets closer and we can see what is going on.  There is one webcam we have found that is pointing at the mountain.

There is a good still photo.                                 

The volcano is west of the Kenai across the Cook Inlet.    It can even affect Anchorage and that is further away.  Air travel was shut down there over the weekend.

Advice from a resident of the area included not making a lot of reservations  - staying loose…

New Telephoto Lens

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

In the electronics section, I mentioned that we got a Canon Rebel XTi that we have been using for about 2 years, got it just before the England trip.   When we do the next trip, of course we want to get some bear and other wildlife photos, but would rather not get real close to one.   Been looking for a longer lens to suppliment the lens that it is sold with and we finally settled on a 55-250 IS lens.  IS is image stabilized, so you can shoot photos without setting up a tripod and still get ones that are pretty clear.  

  We thought about going on the 15 hour ferry trip and shooting then - a tripod would not help much with the boat motion, that sort of convinced us.   Sometimes along the road, you may not have time to set up a tripod. The f stop ranges from 4 to 5.6. so it is not the fastest lens available.  The current price is $252, and of course you can pay anything you want for a lens, and hopefully you will get as much as you pay for.      This one seems light enough to leave on the camera most of the time and carry it around.   It would be nice to have some of the multi-thousand dollar lenses, but that is not our main hobby or our business.

Did a little experimenting today and here is a shot of Mary Anne pruning an apple tree at 55mm - the longest of our old lens and the shortest of the new lens.

Click on photo to enlarge.



From the same place, here is the shot at 250mm



Trip Timeline

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

We plan on heading west around May 1st.  Where we stop and how long depends on how things work out, we are certainly not going to make any kind of rigid schedule.   First major stops will be in the southwest, around some of the National Parks near and including the Grand Canyon.     We will be visiting my 3 grandkids and the family in San Jose on Memorial Day.      Will stop and see friends in Oregon and Washington after that.  Then it is on to Vancouver and then Victoria.   We will spend some time on Vancouver Island and then catch the ferry from Port Hardy on the north end of Vancouver Island on June 15th.  This will be an all day trip to Prince Rupert, BC.   Then we will drive to Anchorage and meet a friend who is renting a camper starting June 27.   We will travel and fish together south of Anchorage around the Kenai for a week.   

We will be in Alaska for a while -visiting Homer and Seward and a friend in Soldotna.  Of course we will get up to Denali and Fairbanks  and  then eventually start down the Alaska Highway.    We look forward to the Yukon and BC and fishing in many places along the road.

We will go thru Jasper and Banff and then Glacier and Yellowstone before heading east  - will get home in August and see how the honeybees and apple trees are doing.

GPS - Laptop

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

After doing a lot of sailing, I want to hitch up a GPS receiver to a laptop map program,  It is nice to have a 16″ screen instead of a 3″ one, like we did on some boats.  There seems to be two popular ones, Microsoft’s Streets and Trips 2009, and a similar one called the DeLorme Earthmate LT-40 GPS.  Either program enables you to plan your trip either on the go or way before you start.  They both include the program and a GPS receiver that you plug into the laptop.  The little GPS receiver sits on the dash  (or picnic table).

Finally got a new DeLorme for $50.   The GPS antenna is sensitive and even works in the house.  We have planned the general route of the trip with the software.

By Air

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Went to San Jose for Christmas with my daughter and family. We flew from Providence to there thru Las Vegas.   Never did get a chance to play the slots at the airport.  The flight out hit a 150 knot headwind and we only had a few minutes to make a connection - so missed that time.  Southwest Airlines still got us to San Jose on time.   

On the way back we had a 2 hour layover - so figured we would have planty of time.  When we got in we looked at the departure monitor and found out that instead of a 2 hour layover,  our flight would be delayed for 4 more hours - arriving at around 4AM.   There was a lot of snow in the north and the northwest.  We went to a desk and signed up for standby for a delayed flight that would get us to Providence via Baltimore. Since we figured we had a small chance to get on, we decided to grab lunch  - by the time we got back to the gate we got called and made it…  Good lesson - always check the monitor immediately.  The people that grabbed a beer and lunch before checking the monitor probably didn’t make the standby list. 

Of course with Southwest’s open seating, we were close to last in line to pick out seats.   I really like the aisle seats - there were none in sight.  I spotted what looked like a young couple with a coat in the middle seat and told them the plane was full and would they mind if I sat in that seat  - she moved over so I had an aisle seat   - SCORE!!  Another lesson  - look for a couple.

We did get to see the Grand Canyon from the air on both flights  - pretty impressive with the snow on the tops.  Las Vegas is interesting from the air.  I have not spent much time in deserts. Arond here - if land is vacant there are trees. Out there - it just seems vacant.     The town seems to be built block by block.  There are full blocks next to empty space.    In New England - people seem to spread out more - of course water is not as much of a problem.

 We got into Providence at around 1:30 AM -  that was 10:30 Pacific time  - not too bad. Home and in bed by 3AM.   Some jet (sleep) lag today. Got up on time to pick up Effie at 9.  She stays in a kennel with some friends that raise Newfoundlands - some of the best show dogs in the country - including my buddy Jimmy.    They like her and treat her well.   She was still very happy to get in the car and come home  - big walk and some treats—.