Wow, it’s been a horribly long time since I have last written here. :/ It’s been so busy and I’ve been exhausted with all the stuff that’s been going on. Heh. I’ll start off with the beginning of August. We had that memorial service for Steve’s mom in the end of July and it was good, just meeting all the people and exchanging condolences. Steve is still having a bit of a hard time with his mom passing away so it’s a bit tough, but he seems to be getting better these days with some bad days here and there.
We had that vacation in the beginning of August to go across Canada and the US. Oh my God, that was extremely, extremely long, and my eyes got overloaded with seeing so much stuff, so many changes in the lands as we were driving. I was overwhelmed, that’s for sure. But it was a lot of fun though, so it was good. The first day we went to Kingston, met up with Steve’s dad for breakfast before heading off on our trip. The first day I actually had to see the remains of a dead dog, maybe, at a road stop we stopped at for a drive break in Ontario. It was creepy…Steve at one point stopped at a town called Mattawa and he thought it was hilarious as it had the name of Matt in the name that usually comes after Ottawa, so he had to stop to check it out. The next day we continued on our drive through Ontario – and we stopped at an abandoned house that Steve had visited before by Blind River. Of course, that’s nothing new with Steve, he loves his abandoned places. We stopped at Chippewa River Falls – that was a pretty place. We went walking all around the rocks around the falls so it was pretty cool. After that we stopped at Lake Superior shores, and the hills to it were very steep so I didn’t go down. Just watched Steve do so and he filmed around there. That day we stopped at a cheap motel and the people who owned it was really nice, and the food they served was amazing. Steve kept talking to the people there, and the son of the family who owned the motel was telling Steve he should try surfing when he went down to California, he loves doing that, and thought he should try it. *laughs* I couldn’t imagine him ever doing that though, and he didn’t of course.
The third day we drove for 15 hours straight so that was a hard, hard day for us. We made it to Manitoba that day, and we didn’t make many stops that day. When we did, it was just to film and take pictures of the many fields that we were driving through. One in particular I really liked was the sunflower field, that was amazing for me to see actually. *laughs*
In the fourth day we drove straight through Saskatchewan from Manitoba and then we arrived to Medicine Hat, Alberta. It was a very rainy day that day, so we didn’t make very many stops along the way. We made one stop to a look-out point, which was pretty, but otherwise we didn’t make many stops because of the rain.
We woke up in Medicine Hat, Alberta on the 5th day, and then headed out to Dinosaur Park. Steve had gone there before a few times, and wanted to take me there. He used to live in Alberta so he knew that province pretty well. It’s funny though, because when Steve used his GPS that day it took us on a dirt road and Steve thought we were lost, but it was just a back road to it. It was rough going, that’s for sure! We got to Dinosaur Park, and that was pretty huge and pretty amazing. I think we stayed there and explored for around 2-3 hours, which was crazy. But it was cool, and had a lot to look at. We then went to the Visitors Centre at Dinosaur Park and checked out the dinosaur bones that they had dug up in the land – and why it’s called Dinosaur Park. It was cool. We then drove up to Banff, Alberta and decided to get a room to sleep there, but we found that the rooms that Banff had were crazy expensive, so we decided to find a campground and camp instead. In that campground there was a bear advisory so I was a bit nervous about that part. And unfortunately, it turned out to be a very cold night…brrrr!!!! Neither of us slept very much, as it was so cold. The temperature dropped to 8 Celisus that night so it was cold. It was horrible.
The 6th day we had a hard time getting up and going – it was a really cold night so neither of us slept, so it was slow going for both of us that morning. We drove up to Athabasca Glacier. Steve had been there before of course, so he wanted to show it to me. It was a very pretty day so it made for great pictures. The hike up to Athabasca Glacier was hard going as the air was so thin, being so high up, so it took me a while to climb up to there. I had no idea how it all worked and all that so Steve went up on the glacier, and was like, it’s not bad…so I gave it a try…he stayed down while I went up. When I came back, he told me he thought I was crazy for going so far up. I had no idea, I was just walking and exploring and making sure I avoided the cracks in the glacier so I wouldn’t go through, that’s all…he said that there cracks were sort of where I was supposed to stop at. I went over them. Oh well…Steve then went up further on one side of the glacier to film, of course. He was saying that the glacier has shrunk considerably from the last time he went up – every time he goes up there, he finds it gets smaller and smaller, so it’s pretty crazy. Guess it’s just all global warming! Oh well. We spent around 1-2 hours there, and then drove back to Banff to get gas, and then drove to the border of B.C., and stopped at Radium Hot Springs (yes, that’s a town’s name!) and got a motel. On the drive to Radium, I asked Steve to stop at wherever there were lakes that were turquoise, so those were just so pretty…just to take pictures of. Heh. We decided to go to a German restaurant to try, at Radium Hot Springs, and it was very good. It was a lot of fun there, our waitress was quite funny.
The 7th day we started out at Radium Hot Springs; we wanted to go to Othello Tunnels that day – Steve had gone there before and wanted to show it to me. It used to be a railway tunnel that doesn’t run anymore. It is actually very old and it was pretty cool. We were there for around 1-2 hours just exploring and going through all the tunnels. I had to hold on to Steve for the duration when we walked through the tunnels as it was very, very dark – nearly pitch black. Hard to see, and when you have no hearing – it’s really hard to keep your balance when you cannot see, too. Yikes. So I had to hold on to Steve whenever we were in the tunnels. There were a lot of moisture in there too, so much dripping going on inside as well so it was pretty creepy. *laughs* But it was really beautiful and the landscape outside of the tunnels was just amazing, so it was cool. When we were done with the tunnels, we went driving for the rest of the time to get closer to the U.S. border and stopped at Hope, just before the border, for the night.
The 8th day we went driving from Hope, B.C., through Washington state to Salem, Oregon. We took a lot of breaks, but that day we just aimed to drive and drive until we got to California. We got to the border crossing, and we ended up having to wait an hour before we got through. It was crazy, though it was funny at one point, while we were sitting and going and sitting, we then encountered a sign that said, “Thank You for Not Idling”…Oops! Heh. Anyway, after we got past the border, we went through a lot of big cities – Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, Oregon. There were a lot of traffic jams, much to Steve’s frustration – he hates big cities and all those traffic. So, that wasn’t much fun. We stopped at Salem, Oregon for the night.
We left Salem and then drove through to Crater Lake Provincial Park in Oregon. We stopped at one point as we saw a sign saying Dexter Lake, which made us think of the TV show we watch, Dexter. So it was funny and we just took the time to pose with the signs. *laughs* There were a lot of mountains, fields and lakes on the drive to California. We then arrived to Crater Lake to check out the land. It was very, very cool, we were there for around 2-3 hours just taking pictures and filming, and just looking at it all. There was very, very blue waters that my camera couldn’t actually replicate, but it was gorgeous. The lake was caused by a volcano that blew – the overflow of the volcano created a lake all around the volcano, and the volcano part became Wizard Island. The waters were incomparable – just so blue and gorgeous. There were a lot of steep hills around the lake so we couldn’t just go in there and check out the waters! Heh…oh well. After Crater Lake, we went driving, and kept on driving and we got to Klamath Falls, so we stopped there for the night. We went to Applebee’s for supper and then headed back home. We passed our motel accidentally, thinking that it was further down, and then we noticed we were being pelted by bugs, a ton of bugs, just…a ton. We couldn’t believe it, how much bugs we were being pelted by as we were driving, and then after a point of our driving (slow going as we couldn’t see through our window anymore as it was full of bug gunk), Steve thought that maybe we did pass our hotel, so we turned around and drove back. We got to the hotel, and got out, and saw that the car was all muddy with dead bugs. Ewwwwwww. Never seen anything that bad…yuck! Steve decided to look up what kind of bugs they were, as they were big bugs that hit our car, and there were like hundreds of them. Turned out that this town had those bugs that were only native to Klamath Falls, they were Klamath bugs called Klamath midge…so we were like, wow, we feel so special and so lucky. Yuck! We got in our motel and we realized that it was our third motel so far that had just a shower, no bathtub. That was sad, because both of us like taking baths. *laughs* So that was unfortunate.
The 10th day we got to California at 9:30 in the morning. While we were just driving around to our destination, we were amazed at how much nature there was in California. I suggested to Steve to take a road closer to the ocean so he did, we turned on to the Trinity highway. However, the drive took us around 3 hours extra so it was pretty crazy. We went up and around mountains so it was pretty nice. We stopped here and there to take pictures and film, but otherwise just drove. We stopped at Laytonville, California for the night.
We then got to San Francisco at around 2 the next day. We just drove with no stopping. When we got to San Francisco we started walking up and down the hills there – that was hard. We stayed there for a short time, and we also went to Baker Beach when we first got there to check out the Golden Gate Bridge from there. We did drive across it when we first arrived too, but we also wanted to see the beach where you could see the bridge in the distance. We tried the ocean there at Baker Beach and oh, gosh! Was it ever cold! I barely kept my feet in the Pacific Ocean, it was friggin’ cold! The bridge was pretty cool, kind of reminds me of those old “Full House” episodes with the intro of the car driving through the bridge. Kind of funny, I guess. San Francisco was pretty, that’s for sure. We then got out of the city and back on the road, and then got to see the desert and fields of California, kind of. We then got a hotel and went to Applebee’s for dinner again and then went swimming that night – it was nice after the cold ocean that we checked out. Heh.
The twelfth day, we then drove down to L.A., and arrived at Calabasas. We needed to change the rest of our Canadian dollars to American money so we tried going to a bank to change money but no one would let us exchange our money for US currency, so we kept going to different banks and one said that we could have money changed over if we opened a Wells Fargo account and then we would be able to exchange the money. So after all our frustration, Steve decided he wanted to open an account so he could do that, so he had to do that. After that was all done, we drove to Hollywood along Ventura Boulevard. At one point, Steve decided to get his oil changed while driving, so we stopped at a garage to get his oil changed. We drove through Encino, Studio City, and then Hollywood. When we got there, we got a hotel room. After that we went walking through Hollywood to find supper and found a place that made shawarma food. We ate there, then afterwards, tried to figure out what was around Hollywood, and figured out there was the Walk of Stars, so we went to downtown Hollywood to check it out. There were stars along the sidewalk so it was funny to see that they were there. The Walk of Stars consisted of stars such as Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, and so on, so on. We also found this one area where different stars had imprinted their hands, feet and signatures into cement. It’s funny though because Robert Downey Jr. had huge feet and tiny hands. We spent around 2 hours at the Walk of Stars, it was crazy, but it was pretty cool to see though.
We headed out to Las Vegas on the 13th day. We stopped for a big breakfast at Denny’s and then drove. We stopped at Hoover Dam to check out their huge dam that is at Lake Mead. It was pretty cool to check out and take pictures of. Steve had heard about it and wanted to go check it out, and it was pretty fascinating. The heat, though, was quite hot – the temperature got up to 45 Celisus that day. Hot, but not humid – just plain and steaming hot. Wow. We went to Boulder City and booked a hotel there – it had a casino in the hotel so we were worried it may be too expensive to stay in, but it was so cheap that we just took a room. Heh. It had restaurants, casinos, pools and all that, so it was good. We ate at a steakhouse there, and that was good, and then afterwards, we went to the casino to play the slot machines a bit then we crashed.
For the 14th day we packed up the car to go to the Grand Canyons, and as we were packing up the car, we realized we didn’t have our hotel key with us to return to the front desk, so we had to let them know that we had lost it while signing out. We then left, and headed out driving to the Grand Canyons. Steve wanted to stop everywhere to film and take videos and all I wanted to do was crash and sleep as it was so hot already. It was very hard to do, just get up and around in the heat. At one point in our drive in the desert we got hit by a rare rainstorm and the temperature dropped from 40 to 22. It was nuts how much it dropped, but it went right back up after we had passed the rainstorm. That temperature went down in the span of 2 minutes so it was really weird to see. Heh. Later there was another rainstorm again where the raindrops were as big as a fist/baseball. We checked out the Grand Canyon – that was unbelievable. It was so huge that we just went on a small part of. It’s probably something I would go to again to actually explore in full another time, but it was just unbelievably massive. It was gorgeous too, but just so, so, so, so big! Steve has said he doesn’t like heights like me, but he wanted to try going on different crevices that was a bit too close to the edge to film and stuff like that, which was a bit crazy. I was too nervous to. Heh…maybe next time. It was quite cool though. We spent a bit of time in the Grand Canyons and then left, and headed out to Wilkins, Arizona and got a hotel room.
The 15th day was rainy all day, so it didn’t make for very nice sightseeing time. We made it to Paige, Arizona. The thunderstorms in the desert were usually pretty weird, it just came and went, really quickly. We tried to get to Antelope Canyon, but we only could the next day as the tours were full. So, it was a quiet day that day.
The 16th day we woke up early in the morning to make our Antelope Canyon tour. It was really fascinating, lots to see and go through, so it was cool. Steve actually wiped out at one point slipping on the rocks on the ground. The grounds in the canyons were either sandy or rocky, so he slipped on a smooth rock that was dusted by sand, so he took a pretty good fall. It was pretty funny but still, ouch! Oh well…he was okay anyway. We actually got through at a really good time, where in one place has that famous light streaming through the canyons at a certain time of day, and I actually tried to capture it with my camera, and I surprisingly succeeded. It was pretty cool to do. Heh. There were so many professional photographers around there so it was pretty crazy. But that canyon was beautiful though, smooth and wavy rocks all through so it was cool. Before I went to the canyons, there was a few people selling jewelry, and I was trying to find turquoise jewelry, as it’s really popular down there, and I wanted something in that. I got a turquoise necklace which was really pretty and different, from them. So I was happy about that. After that, we drove and drove till we got to Pagosa Hot Springs in Colorado. We then went to Pagosa Hot Springs Resort that Steve had booked the day before for his birthday, and then we just went to the different hot spring pools in the evening and relaxed – it was so nice. After a few weeks of go-go-go, just relaxing at a hot tub resort was so nice. That place had hot springs of all temperatures all over the place so I had to go in different ones and find the one I liked. Steve wanted the pools he went to be really hot, where I wanted it less hot, still hot, but less hot. Steve kept thinking the ones I liked were too cool for him. Grr. Heh…it was just weird, but we got to compromise on one pool that everyone else actually liked.
The 17th day was a relaxing day – it was Steve’s birthday so all we did was just mellow out and enjoy the hot springs, walked around town to see what was around. We had breakfast first thing in the morning and that was good – I got homemade waffles which was unbelievable… soooo good! We spent most of the day in the hot springs and sleeping, and then headed to supper at the Plaza Grille which had really good food. It was a good day, relaxing day, which was something Steve definitely needed. *laughs*
On the 18th day, Steve wanted to get up very early, so to start driving back home from Colorado. We just drove and drove and drove. We stopped at Montana for the night that day.
On the 19th day, Steve found that his GPS wasn’t giving accurate directions, so he was getting lost and we kept having to have me read the paper maps all the time, we kept having to stop at each rest stop every time we got to a state, so we decided to stop at a Walmart or someplace like that to get a new GPS, and he picked himself one. It helped with the directions. Heh…he cannot live without his GPS, that’s for sure!
The 20th day was just more driving. We got back home at like 11 in the night but it was a nice relief to be finally home. After the last few days of just driving straight ahead, I was exhausted and totally sick of the car. Heh…it was a really crazy trip, with so much to do, that’s for sure, but it was a fun trip though.