Friday
Jul022010

Crossing Over! 

Pacific Spirit Park. Lovie looks for mopey Twilight vampires. 

 

The Japanese Garden at UBC

 

Sunset on Jericho Beach

 

The next morning. Starbucks serves half and half as well as full cream! 

 

Making a run at the border. The mark on the ground shows the actual line. The car in front of me is in two countries. 

 

Waiting for my work permit. This is the inside of the Canadian border crossing building at Blaine.

 

SUCCESS! Canadian goodies are a welcome gift from my new colleagues at UBC. American goodies are a welcome gift from my movers. 

 

Dinner with George!

 

Our new home - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada!

 

Friday
Jul022010

Final Push

One of my favorite signs on the trip was in Yakima, WA. It just doesn't make sense. 

 

Looking over Yakima to the mountains beyond. Two volcanoes are visible in the distance.

 

Two big peaks!

 

Adams and Ranier

 

Leaving Mt. Adams behind. Ellensburg is just ahead.

 

Ellensburg and the Kittitas Valley. The Cascades rise in the distance. 

 

Snoqualmie Pass is the route on I-90 through the Cascades from Kittitas County to King County and the Seattle Area. 

 

A stop in Mill Creek, WA to see the Vet. Here dad walks the dogs in a county park built on marsh land. The floating board walks sink at certain points and water bubbles through. It is a really beautiful place and a great surface to walk on. 

 

We reach Bellingham, WA and visit one of Tracy's favorite places in the world. A small beach in the southern end of town. 

 

Bellingham Harbor

 

Lovie contemplates the sea.

 

We stop to see Nancy! A dear friend. 

 

The inevitable cake and ice cream.

 

 

Thursday
Jul012010

Getting Closer

The world's loneliest fire hydrant must have the world's worst job assignment. The little red hydrant contemplates its fate alone. It sits far from civilization and others of its kind in a rest area located just across the Utah border in a very remote part of Idaho.

 

The Snake River canyon carves its way through southern Idaho. The city of Twin Falls sits on the canyon edge, just across this bridge. The picture below is a close up of the lip of the canyon, just to the left of the bridge. 

 

This image shows a typical organization of big box stores with parking in front. The only difference is there is a thousand foot drop just outside the front door. Amazingly, there is little more than a chain link fence separating the edge of the parking lot and the canyon's edge! Also notice the "tree ordinance" for beautification is being strictly observed. Important given that there isn't a view to speak of!

 

Further upstream, the Snake River Valley trades the drama of the canyon for spare curvaceous forms in pastel colors.  

 

Just outside of Boise the check engine light came on. Here we are sitting in Nampa Honda, waiting for the diagnosis. Fortunately for us it was only an oil change - two hours of CNN later we were on our way.

 

North of Boise and into Oregon, the soft forms give way to a rougher landscape.

 

More dramatic rock forms and a dry landscape until...

 

...we hit the Blue Mountains of Oregon. Rain and trees and winding roads. 

 

The range ends as abruptly as it started. Here the highway transitions from altitudes of 2,000 plus feet to 700. This happens very quickly and dramatically. Just beyond the white car closest to the camera is a diagonal scar on the hillside. This is one of several runaway truck ramps. The ramps are full of soft soil and gravel and are designed to stop a truck with failed breaks. This ramp had been used recently!

 

Admittedly this is not the safest use of my phone. Here is a view from the cockpit, looking out onto southwestern Washington. Next stop, Yakima. Then the final push to Bellingham and the border. 

 

Thursday
Jul012010

Stadium Stops!

Top: The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (82,112), home of the "Sooners". Middle: Jonah Field at Memorial Stadium (33,500), Home of the University of Wyoming "Cowboys" or "Pokes". At 7215 feet (2199 m) above sea level, it is the highest division one stadium. Bottom: Bronco Stadium or "The Blue" (33,610) at Boise State University had the first non-green football field in history. 

Monday
Jun282010

Utah - Natural Extremes

A panorama shot of a valley in north-eastern Utah.

 

A different view further down the road.

 

One of the locals gives me the stink eye! Makes me think of this

 

The long road into the state of Utah on Interstate 80. A temperature of 100+ outside makes this stretch of concrete seem all the more desolate.

 

More amazing rock formations.

 

Stopping at a "scenic turn-out" netted a view of the "Devil's Slide". A parallel ridge formation with a flat chute in between. This picture does not do it justice. 

 

Falling! A parachutist drops into the heart of Ogden, Utah. 

 

The last distance marker before Idaho. This area of Utah feels extraordinarily lonely and remote. No gas or food for miles.