BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for August, 2008

« Home

Mt Rainier

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Left Seattle and drove to Mt Rainier Nat’l Park and found a campground, it was a misty day so no real views of the mountains, so we hiked up along a glacier fed stream to some waterfalls.  The Forests here are so many different shades of green, with all the ferns and mosses growing everywhere.  I’ve never seen so much moss before.  We attempted to get a fire going at the campsite after dinner but the wood was damp and even several rounds of liquid persuasion and burning every paper product we could find wouldn’t get it going.

Mt Rainier

The next morning we drove up to the main visitor center in the park with the intention of hiking up to some glacier overlooks and some views of Mt Rainier, only for there to be dense fog covering the entire area.  Hiked a short trail with a bunch of wildflower meadows and then continued driving through the park.  The weather improved as the day went on and by mid-day the sun was out and we got some views of Mt Rainier peaking through the clouds, slightly more distance than from in the park but at least I actually got to see it before we left.

Mt Rainier

I wish we would’ve had more time in the park, there’s hikes to glaciers and the mountains here are stunning.  I think I took more pictures in the last 24 hours than I had the previous 2 weeks. However we had a Dave Matthews Band concert at The Gorge to go to so we had to move on.

DMB @ The Gorge 8/29/08DMB @ The Gorge 8/29/08

Seattle pt2

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Last day in Seattle, we went to the Museum of Flight with their Concorde, SR71 Blackbird and the Air Force One that was used by JFK up through Reagan.  The museum was right next to one of the Boeing facilities up here and also very close to the airport so the whole time you are walking around there are planes taking off and landing all around you which creates a pretty cool atmosphere for a flight museum!

SR71 Blackbird

Went back downtown for the evening, walked around the pike street market while eating a crab sandwich and I managed to get my rail pass for Japan from the Seattle JALPAK office so that’s one less thing to do before I fly.  I decided to keep up with the fresh seafood trend for dinner with shrimp & pesto pasta, not bad at all.  I like Seattle, nice feel to it, the downtown has some nice buildings in it and there’s fresh seafood all over the place.


Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Monday was a day to forget, getting back in the US.  We drive to the main border crossing South of Vancouver and after sitting in a really long line and not moving forward at all in 15 minutes we decided to leave that one and drive to a smaller border crossing East of there.  Basically the same problem there, line of more than half a mile.  We sat there for nearly 2 hours before we got through the border, and still had no clue why it was so backed up.  Once we finally did get though the crossing we drove to Redmond, WA and it started raining (naturally).  The only bright spot for the day was having some sorely needed pints at a great neighborhood English pub in Redmond where I also could not resist getting out and using my (Apple) notebook for all to see.
using my computer in Redmond, WA

Can you see me Bill?

Tuesday was spent in Seattle, walked around the center of town to the space needle and rode the monorail.  A couple pints at a pub and some fresh fish for dinner, a fine day.  Then it was the Oasis concert, which was fantastic, sold out theater and the crowd was really into it.  They played several songs of their new still-to-be released album and plenty of their greats, even throwing in a Noel solo b-side which was great!  Then comes the dumbest thing I’ve done in a while, it had been a really nice day when we caught the bus downtown so I decided to leave my jacket in the truck, but apparently it likes to rain in Seattle, who knew?  When the concert was done there was a pretty good amount of rain coming down so I ended up walking through town in a t-shirt getting drenched and no way to avoid this.  (it’s a good thing I’m from England…)

monorail and the space needle

Vancouver pt2

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Well I’ve explored Vancouver for 3 days now, there’s some pretty cool parts of town and more Japanese restaurants than I’ve ever seen in one city. (though that will probably change in the next month or so…) Plenty of other different ethnic foods too.

Saturday the weather was just about perfect and that was reflected by the mob of people all over Stanley park, so we drove up to Grouse Mountain above North Vancouver and did some hiking in the forest. Different to any forest I’ve been in, it was so quiet the only thing you could hear was the occasional bird call, no other noise whatsoever.

I explored most of the downtown on foot during one of the 3 days here but when Sunday decided to be wet it turned into a public transport day which is pretty easy to figure out here and we got to some more outreaching parts of the city. Overall I like the the city vibe here. There are so many international people here that certain areas no one is speaking any english but other areas everyone is speaking english and I liked areas represented by both categories. You can just about forget you are in North America for a while and then be reminded that you are just as quickly as you forgot, interesting…

Next it’s back to the US and Seattle with an Oasis concert coming up there on Tuesday, should be a blast!


Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Vancouver skyline


Arrived in Vancouver today after camping in a small campsite in the mountains last night.  The drive through British Columbia is great even without snow on the mountains since it’s August.  Though last night the low got down into the 40s, so much for summer!

Walked around Vancouver quite a bit this evening and randomly came across the 9:00 gun in Stanley park as it’s daily shot was being fired.  Unfortunately the city skyline here is dominated by the water front high-rise apt buildings which I find quite ugly, it’s one of the least attractive skylines of any city I’ve been in.The city is very international,



I’ve heard so many languages so far that I couldn’t count them all and several I couldn’t identify.  Walking down one street felt like a mile long world bistro and despite having already eaten dinner the area was still very engaging and all well kept up & classy.  As a whole the city has a European feel to it, with lots of different Asians here but it still holds on the the North American city feeling somewhat. Hard to explain but the diversity here is the main thing I’ve noticed so far.

A note for anyone trying to view my pictures on flickr:  Apparently flickr decided to stop letting people view most of my photos, I’m trying to get that fixed so hopefully it should be working properly again soon.

Montana and into Canada

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Spent the last few days driving through Montana.  Billings to Missoula on Monday, Missoula up to Troy on Tuesday which was very scenic.  Yesterday we crossed the US/ Canada boarder into British Columbia yesterday and spent the night in Kelowna, BC.  The drive from Creston, BC to Kelowna is right through the mountains with fantastic views the whole way, which even the on and off rain couldn’t spoil.  Yesterday was the first day of rain since the day I left, but some of that was neat with the low clouds hanging onto the mountains.


We still haven’t paid for a campsite yet, due to a combination of staying with relatives and parking in walmart parking lots where they allow free overnight parking.  Classy I know, but it’s free and we haven’t been staying overnight in areas with great parks with camping for the most part, that will change soon though.  


One wonderful (read: woeful) US dollar now buys me $1.06 Canadian, which quite frankly sucks but at least it’s 5% better than when I was in Canada last year..  Wireless internet access has been hit and miss, mainly available in the decent sized towns but nowhere else but I’ve been able to connect at least once a day.  I haven’t put much on here yet because pretty much everything until yesterday was places I’d been before, from here on out it’s all new.


Next up, Vancouver…

On the road

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

My home for the next month:

Well I’m finally on the road, left on Thursday afternoon.

My bag weight ended up being 32 pounds, not including whatever I was wearing. I haven’t discovered anything I’ve forgotten yet… We drove 1000 miles West in 30 hours including an overnight stop in South Dakota and now we’re in Billings, Montana at my Uncles place. The weather is great here, 88 and not a cloud in the sky!

Taking it easy for a couple days after the marathon driving days and then moving West again. Right now I’m off to the local brewpub for the evening…

2 days ’til departure…

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

It’s getting close now, I played at my last open mic before I leave last night and had a blast there.

Last Open Mic Pics I’m going to miss playing my guitars while I’m gone.

As far as the trip goes, I’ve got almost everything ready now, and almost everything that I need booked prior to leaving booked. Just a few loose ends to tie up today and tomorrow, getting my last needed injection today (oh yay), and then I’m out of here.

I’ve done some test packing and I think my bag will end up somewhere around 30-32 pounds (read: 32) and being close to my original goal of 30 I’m pretty pleased about that. I’ll put the final packing details up when it’s all done.