The drive out

The driving conditions were horrible. The temperature was below zero the whole way. I’ve got to say, it was actually quite a fun trip.

After only making it to Salt Lake City from Price, UT by 8pm we decided to find a cheap hotel and crash for the night. Eli was fine with this decision.

The next morning we got up around 6am and headed out on the road. Going across the Salt Flats wasn’t any type of problem. The weather was good, probably because there’s no mountains to slow the clouds down. After topping off the fuel tank in Wendover, we found that this was the last bit of nice weather we would have for a while.

As soon as we climbed up into the Ruby Mountains things got bad. I wasn’t sure of the temperature, but it was definitely cold, icy and snowing horizontally.

I put on a movie for Eli to watch on his new DVD player (a great investment, BTW!) and went on with the driving. Luckily, the traction was good, and that made up for the poor visibility.

We made our next pit stop in Battle Mountain, mostly because I wanted to walk around a bit, but also because I didn’t want to let the fuel tank get below half full. There we say the sign saying the temperature was -3 degrees Fahrenheit. I also noticed that the tire wouldn’t turn all the way to the left. It was rubbing on something.

Getting out at the gas station I realized that there was ice build up on the wheel wells, frozen from the water coming up off the tires. That was a new one for me.

Driving along, another interesting thing happened. The windshield wiper FROZE to the window, mid swipe! I’ve never heard of that before.

Things were going well after that, until we got to Reno. That’s when we found out that multiple accidents had closed the interstate, and we would have to wait. In typical me fashion I decided to go around. The only road that was open to the west was a 3 hour bypass, up through Loyalton and back down to Truckee. It sure was a pretty ride, but long.

So we made it, ok, obviously. It wasn’t too crazy, but I’m glad I got a little bit of excitement out of an otherwise normally boring trip.

Updated photos

Alright. I updated the pictures in the upper right corner with some from this last Alaska season. Please let me know what you think!

Also I’m working on a trip report from my drive from Utah to California. Stay tuned for that.

In the works as well, I have some video I’m working on putting together for the site.

I picked up some new camera goodies, and will talk about those a bit, too.

In short, there’s a whole lot of updates coming…..

This is going to be a dusy!

I’ve made it out to Price to pick up my son, Eli, and will be heading back out to California tonight. The only problem is that there is one heck of a storm not only here in Utah, but also over the Sierras. They got a pretty good bit of snow up in Salt Lake City over the last couple of days, as well as the summit I have to go over to get back there from Price.

Friends and Family back west in the Sierras are reporting FEET of snow from the last storms, with more on the way. The forecast for most of northern Nevada has sub-zero temperatures and heavy winds. It looks like camping out in the van for the night is going to be a no-go. I’m pretty bummed out about that!

Since I’ll have to get into a hotel tonight, I’ll post up a progress report and let you all know how it’s going.

The Bay Area

We’ve been motoring around the San Francisco Bay for the last couple of days, and will be tomorrow as well. It’ s been a nice change of pace and everything has been going well. The Golden Gate has given us some really nice photo ops, and so has the San Fran sky line.

Tripping around here has shown me a side of the Bay Area that I didn’t really know existed. It is a beautiful place in a lot of ways.

I shot this one of the Golden Gate at sunset. It turned out pretty good, considering I only have the point and shoot.

The way the sun was setting and we were moving exposed a pretty cool scenario. The buildings were masking the sun, but the rays were shining all around them. The sun wrapping itself around this one made for a really nice picture.

I’m having a good time out here. The weather has been nice the people have been cool and the boat has been running good. I am ready to go home, though.

What a great trip!

This has literally been the smoothest positioning trip I’ve ever been on. It’s amazing. The waves have been around 6 feet the whole way, the duration of the waves has been perfect for the size of the ship. Little wind, coming in on the stern. Very nice.

We even got some bow riding dolphins. Then a beautiful sunset.

What more could I ask for?

It’s been a great trip!

This has literally been the smoothest positioning trip I’ve ever been on. It’s amazing. The waves have been around 6 feet the whole way, the duration of the waves has been perfect for the size of the ship. Little wind, coming in on the stern. Very nice.

We even got some bow riding dolphins. Then a beautiful sunset.

What more could I ask for?

Heading down the Pacific Coast

The Columbia River Bar was a non-event. It was amazing. About as smooth as it can be, maybe 4-5 foot seas. The complete opposite of the last time I transited it. We are all grateful for that.

We had a whole lot of work getting secured, but we did it and all is well.

We are in around six to eight foot seas, coming in on our starboard quarter now. It’s not the best ride, but it could be oh so much worse. I’ll try and snap some pictures today, but it’s hard due to the fact that there is no focal point, only the horizon. We will see what we can do…..

Still looking good

The forecast is for 9 foot seas tomorrow and tonight. That makes me feel pretty good. We can totally handle that.

The ship is pretty much secured, and all is going well. We are underway now, heading up the Willamette out of Portland. From there we turn west on the the Columbia, around 6pm.

At 2 am we cross the Bar……