Travel More! Travel Longer!

On Oregon, And A Second Chance for Portland

Oregon's Central Coast
Chuck Sat, 2015-10-03 07:00
Way out west, just before you drive off into the Pacific Ocean, is an idyllic land, not too hot, not too cold, ocean beaches reaching up to mountain peaks, where they dance and brew beer and grow grapes and make wine. There’s a healthy blend of liberal cities and conservative everywhere-else-land. It ties Washington for the highest concentration of volcanoes in North America, but—I suspect—they flow with milk and honey instead of lava. We’re talking, of course, of Oregon. This state gets our vote for the most beautiful state in the union. It’s true we haven’t been to all of them, but we’ve...

From Desert to Rainforest and Volcanoes

Mount Rainier
Chuck Thu, 2015-10-01 07:00
Driving the 1,200 miles of our route up the West Coast, we were struck with the diversity of the landscape of America’s Pacific states (California in particular). We left a desert valley and drove up through a mountain pass into the sprawl of Los Angeles. From there we meandered north through the San Emigdio Mountains, scrubby green and brown compared to the bare, craggy mountains we left in Palm Springs. The Deserts of Southern California Haze Obscured Mount Shasta, California After a long, dramatic descent from the mountains, we were in the flat agricultural lands of central California. The...

Nifty, Nifty, Lori's Fifty

Chuck Wed, 2015-09-30 07:00
Birthdays seem to keep coming faster and faster, but this one is a notable one. Today, Lori turns 50, so I wanted to take a moment to tell my wife, my travel pal, my dance partner, my fellow wine drinker, happy birthday. I love you, babe. Where to next?

Crater Lake National Park, Or What To Do When Wally World Is Closed

Crater Lake, Filled With Smoke
Chuck Tue, 2015-09-29 07:00
Stop number 2 of our August drive up the West Coast was at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Crater Lake was formed nearly 8,000 years ago when the volcano Mount Mazama literally blew its top off, leaving a perfectly formed caldera. The eruption of Mazama, to put it in perspective, was about 150 times more powerful than the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980. For the ensuing 7 or 8 centuries, Mazama’s caldera filled with rainwater and snowmelt. The result was a perfectly isolated lake of some of the purest water on the planet, so pure that its blue color is renowned. It’s easy to wax...

A Day In Wine Country: Sonoma vs. Napa

Zinfandel Grapes
Chuck Sat, 2015-09-26 07:00
As our plans to drive from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest started to firm up, Chuck took to Google Maps and planned a route. That process starts with entering the staring point (La Quinta, California) and the ending point (Seattle, Washington), determining the drive time (about 20 hours), then chopping the route up according to reasonable drive times (somewhere between 8 and 12 hours in a day) and interesting places to stop. Eight hours north of La Quinta, straight up I-5, is the bay area. Now to most, the San Francisco area might evoke images of the Golden Gate Bridge,...