Archive | March, 2014

Oregon 2.0

Bend Oregon Wildflowers

Long before we set off for Europe, we needed to drive the RV south before winter set in. After journeying up the atmospheric Oregon coast in the spring and a stop in delightful Portland, what else could the state possibly offer us? From Shakespeare to beer, here are some of the highlights from our second foray through Oregon.

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America the Beautiful Canyonlands

America the Beautiful

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Tonight we board a plane bound for Spain. We’re bidding farewell to the United States for six months or more, depending on where the road takes us next.

We never intended to start our full-time travels in our home country, roaming from coast to coast in an RV, but we’re glad it worked out the way it did. For the past four years we’ve constantly been awed and amazed by the scenic beauty this country has to offer, from Colorado’s giant sand dunes backed by snow-capped mountain peaks to the red-hued spires of Bryce National Canyon, from intriguing, colorful cities like New Orleans to the vibrant palettes of Yellowstone.

This slide show captures only a small fraction of what we saw and experienced during an unforgettable first installment of our travel adventures. 

America the Beautiful Canyonlands

Goodbye, for now, America. We’ll truly miss you.

More than a Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park

There’s a noticeable absence of beach houses ringing its shores. In fact, the only legal access to the lake is by climbing 700 feet down to Cleetwood Cove. In a way, that isolation is precisely why people go out of their way to get here. But if you want to see this cliff-ringed sapphire jewel of a lake, go out of your way you must.

Even by National Park standards, Crater Lake feels remote. There are only 111 rooms available in the entire park. That compares, for example, with the nine hotels located inside Yellowstone, including one 300-room giant so close to Old Faithful that it nearly casts a shadow on the geyser. The nearest large hotels serving Crater Lake, meanwhile, are forty miles away in Klamath Falls.

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Mount Rainier

Mount Rainer National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

5 Things we learned researching our European trip

Louvre at night, Paris

One week from today, we’re setting off on a six-month exploration of Europe. In truth, we don’t know exactly how long we’ll stay there. One thing we do know is that in six month’s time the weather will turn cold again. After enduring this past winter in the U.S. we promised ourselves we wouldn’t spend another one anywhere near a cold climate. So six months sounds like the right amount of time before we’ll want to start a southern migration.

The other thing we know is that we’re limited to 90 days in any and all Schengen area countries. After that we’ll need to exit the visa area, which encompasses most of continental Europe, for another 90 days before we can return again. We intend to spend all of our “Schengen days” this time around in Spain and France.

With our flight to Madrid fast approaching, we’ve spent these past few weeks trying to catch up on trip planning and have made some surprising, and some not so surprising, discoveries.

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