From Alaska to Tierra del Fuego

Joshua Tree gallery

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Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 4:56 - Categories: USA


how not to travel by scooter reposted

No, I'm not still going by scooter, but someone had this page bookmarked for spam, so I deleted the original post and repost it now. Don't now if this helps, but I cannot close the comments from here as I would need to alter the file on my computer...

First of all I have to say that travelling on Moty (yes, I gave it a name) is fun. But there are certain things one should research, prepare for or just take into account. So for those who feel like travelling a long way with a scooter here is some advice:
Know what a scooter can and cannot do. My scooter is a 2 stroke, 49cc engine, basically similar to a lawnmower, sounds the same, too! It relies on a oil/gas/oxygen mixture. Which means that going over a mountain pass, which is 4600 feet high might alter oxygen pressure and cause your engine to die. Again, and again, and again. Going down was fun, though and Mt. Reinier is beautiful.
Have a good map, especially going in and out of cities. Unless you enjoy having to go in circles, backtrack and have lots of converstions with local, trying to find out where you are and how to get where you want to go to. I hate one way streets.
Don't keept your food inside the scooter next to the gas tank. It makes your breakfast unenjoyable.
Gas... fill it up on time...


But, going through the backroads of Washington and Oregon was fun, the landscape is beautiful, deer are grazing by the road, the small towns are pretty and people are generally nice. It is definatly different from running from tourist destination to tourist destination. I just arrived at the coast of Oregon today, weather is gray for the first time, but seaside is pretty and I will be getting icecream today in a town down the coast. But first I will go and buy oatmeal, which does not taste of gas...

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 4:32 - Categories: USA
Comments: »
hey...   Posted on 8 Nov 2012, 5:41 by pollux
Hey. wie geht es dir, es ist schn zu lesen, dass es dir Freude bereitet zu reisen, die Landschaften und auch die Tiere der Umgebung zu bewundern... Die Fotos sind ein Wucht. Toll, weiter so. Ganz liebe Gre von Ulli, Angela und Crisanda. Sie fragen mich immer wo du bist, dann zeige ich ihnen die Seite. Es tut mir leid, dass ich nicht eher wieder reingeschaut hab. Aber jetzt habe ich endlich deine Siete als Lesezeichen fest im Laptop... Also, lass was persnliches von dir hren und weiter so... Ksse, Tine



Joshua Tree

I love the desert, and the desert of Joshua Tree National Park is especially beautiful. I took a lot of small hikes, it was a bit hot for long ones and took (for me) a lot of pictures. I put them on an extra page of the blog, look here

After I spent two days in the Park I only had enough time to drive straight down to Yuma, the road took me past Salton Lake, a lake in the middle of Californian desert, dotted with palm covered beaches. After Salton Lake I passed some smaller towns on the way to Freeway 8, they looked neglected, run down and deserted, opposite of polished high class Palm Springs.
I also passed red sand dunes passing into Arizona, the Californian desert is yellow, the Arizona one is red. Sand dunes in the sunset, deserts are beautiful.

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 5:41 - Categories: USA
Comments: »
I miss California   Posted on 10 Aug 2012, 3:52 by Tomage
Oh man.. this sounds rather really awesome.. I spent a day in Joshua Tree NP, and it was fantastic. Really liked to hike a bit around, and see the desert.. -T



a promise

when I was planning my trip I decided to go to a creationist museum in Washington. Upon hearing this a friend asked me to take a picture of me next to a Crocoduck. (The Creationism proponents used to say that if evolution were true, we should expect to see a crocoduck (a crocodile/duck transitional form) in the fossil records). I did not make it to this museum, but instead went to one close to Palm Springs, which is a Creationist Dino Park:



There was no Crocoduck, but this :


because as we all know the bible states, that in paradise the T-Rex was friends with the lamb...

One could also climb up a huge T-Rex and sit in his mouth, looking out through the teeth, that was cool. As were the robotic dinosaurs and the archeology pit (where children could search for fossils), but the creationist science is weird...

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 5:45 - Categories: USA
Comments: »
Very nice!   Posted on 10 Aug 2012, 3:49 by Tomage
Why thank you! Indeed, they look like they are having a great time, the lamb and the T-Rex. Much like the goat and his friend in Jurassic Park.. Best regards, -Tomage



Palm Springs

I took the public transport (bus, train and bus again) to Palm Springs and ended up walking along the main street in 40°C or 110°F looking for the tourist information and/or a motel. Some young people (my age, ergo young) shouted out to me and invited me to a beer to find out who is crazy enough to walk along the street in this weather with a big backpack. They also pointed me in the direction of a Motel, and after two beer I stumbled (not only because of the heat) in the direction I had come from and finally found the Motel I had been looking for. After some food and a lot of time in Air Conditioning I found that Palm Springs is actually a nice town to walk around in, with smaller Cafés and Shops on the one main street and for some reason this:



yes, she is wearing underwear. Everything was closed, museums, gardens etc. As it was off season in Palm Springs. After going to the Information Centre by public transport, plus walking 2 miles I noticed that east California is a place which expects you to have a car. So I rented one the next day, to go to the creationist/Dino museum and to Joshua Tree National Park.

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 5:47 - Categories: USA
Comments: »
Unterwaesche   Posted on 9 Nov 2012, 3:00 by me
sie ist weiss :) Und so ne Oma Unterhose, aber in den 50gern war das wohl modern :)

Yeahhh   Posted on 8 Nov 2012, 5:44 by pollux
Huhu, ich bins wieder... Ich habe grade vor einem Tag die Reportage ber diese Statue gesehen... Schwupps, bist du dort, toll... Welche Farbe hat die Unterwsche?? Tine



Big Sur

I made my way down to Big Sur after San Francisco, leaving the city was easier than all the other cities I have been, too, but then going by scooter became difficult. Often I had to decide whether to brake the law by going on the Freeway or by going on the bicycle way. After the highway patrol stopped me once (but believed I was a stupid tourist, that had lost the way) I decided to go on the bicycle way, no one was using it anyway...

I was getting a bit tired of riding Moty after two weeks and started looking for someone to buy her off me. In Big Sur I found a hitchhiker, who had been traveling since two weeks and was looking for a change. A match made in heaven.
I took the opportunity to go for a two day hike in Big Sur, this place ins beautiful, after a days hike I ended up sleeping in heaven:



Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 5:50 - Categories: USA


San Francisco!



I got my pictures back today and as expected one roll of film was empty. Which is really sad, because I had made a picture of Moty in front of the Golden Gate bridge after we went over it. Yes, you heard right, I arrived in San Francisco by going over the Golden Gate bridge, with a view on Alcatraz.

Now the only picture I have of Moty is this:



That is not me on the picture, that is a hitchhiker, who I sold Moty too in Big Sur.

San Francisco is a cool town to hang out in, as expected. I saw all the tourist destinations and had a lot of Chinese/Asian food, especially as my hostel was next to Chinatown. San Francisco is deservedly famous for Asian food! I also ate some of the famous sourdough bread, but as a German it is hard to be impressed by bread.
As i said, I walked around a lot in San Francisco and saw everything one expects to see, Fisherman's Wharf, with Sea Lions and view of Alcatraz, the bridge, old San Francisco, pretty houses, steep staircases and a huge chocolate shop :)

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 5:52 - Categories: USA
Comments: »
yes   Posted on 8 Nov 2012, 5:45 by pollux
cool...



Redwoods, redwoods, redwoods!

This is what I wrote as a first sentence when planning California, and for the north coast it is very true, there are redwood forests and only redwood forests. I went on the scenic drive through Prairie Creeks State Park and the Avenue of Giants, both very pretty, but after driving through forest for hours I was glad to see the coast again, when I made it to the 1. It also does not help that if one does not go through redwood forests the 101 is a freeway (but bicycles are allowed on there) and quite boring to drive, imagine going 50km/h on the Autobahn, my German readers...
But the number 1 is fun! It is curvy and hilly, and made me feel like being on a proper motorbike. Plus the landscape is amazing! I wish I had pictures to go with this, but I managed to put the film in the wrong way in the camera, so all the pictures are on top of each other as the film did not unroll. Therefore my description must suffice...
The grass on the hills is burned yellow from the sun, contrasted by the old dark green gnarly trees growing every here and there, sometimes growing along the roads, creating a hollow. Fog hangs in the valleys, and in places it is like driving into a cloud, just to emerge into brilliant sunlight and the deep blue sea glittering below on the other side. The towns are smaller again, more little cosy villages than towns. On a sad side, I did see a lot of foreclosures along the road, summerhouses people bought during the bubble and can now not pay for anymore. On a scary side, I came through Bodega Bay, but did not get attacked by birds, so I had an ice cream there.

Posted on 5 Aug 2012, 9:56 - Categories: USA


California

On my forth day travelling through Oregon, in the afternoon, I suddenly came upon the sign: "Welcome to California". I was exhilarated, but also somewhat nervous. From then on, I was riding my bike semi-illegally. According to California State Law Moty falls somewhat in the grey zone, the engine is small enough not to require a motorbike endorsement, but it can't be padelled, making it somewhat of a motorbike afterall. I also should have had an insurance, in case I ran into someone. In California the Highway 101 also becomes a freeway in some places, where I am not allowed to go. Isn't it funny that the freeway has limited access? Anyway, there is a bike route along the Caifornia coast, and I decided to just follow the signs. Riding past farmhouses ld me to certain observations: California roads are badly maintained, the bike route seems to assume bikers do not neet to sleep and avoids gas-stations. I do not know the statistics, but it seemed to me, that there is much more poverty in California than Oregon. Consequently, as it became dusk, I found myself in a part of town I did not really want to be in, ith a sore behind, almost out of gas, desperatly looking for a campground. Fortunatly the cassier at the gas-station could point me in the right direction. I arrived after nightfall in the campground, but by then putting up my tent and making a fire was pretty much an automatic action.
Welcome to Caifornia, indeed.

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 5:54 - Categories: USA


the art of forgetting

As a kid one of my favorite tv shows was the japanese anime "Anne of Green Gables" about a girl on Prince Edwards Islands by Canada, who's dreaminess and absent mindness kept getting her in trouble (as well as her temper). Obviously I identified. But that it has gotten so bad, that I forgot a whole state is a bit worrying. Sorry Washington, I did drive through you, and here is roughly what happened on my first days on Moty, as well as I remeber, but with pictures!

I started in Seattle, the same day as I bought and registered my scooter, Moty. That is to say, the nice people from the Seattle Scooter Centre registered it for me. They also gave me advice and a bottle of oil, as 2-stroke engines need different oil than cars, and it might be hard to find on the road. I strapped my backpack on the bike and went off, but first I met a familiar figure from Iceland:



I wonder if he is stalking me? So off I went, thinking of camping that night somewhere below Mt.Rainier. And then I got lost, One Way streets, a very bad map and my own underdeveloped sense of direction caused me to sleep in a Motel, somewhere in a not so nice part of town, I felt reminded of "My name is Earl". The motel was next to a trailer park. People where nice though (probably absolutely confused by that crazy person that came among them), and they helped me pick up Moty after I managed to make her fall over by trying to put her on the centre stand. Something that I proceeded to do several times on the trip. She looks a bit battered now, poor girl.
Anyway, the next morning, after getting directions from the locals, I set off again, somewhat more optimistic than the night before. And I made it! I slept on the slopes of Mt.Rainier that night, after having travelled through lovely country villages in the sun, thinking that going by scooter is fun. The next morning, going up the Chinook pass the altitude started setting in. On one of the countless stops that my engine died, I made a beautiful picture of the mountain:



I was starting to get nervous, thinking my scooter was already broken, until some road workers drove past (asking if I was out of gas) and told me about the altitude problem scooters have. And just as they said, after making it past the pass Moty rolled happily down the mountain and after a final wave of goodbye



we road speedily until we happened to come to Lewis and Clark State Park. To put in another (and last) pop-reference, I actually wondered why the State Park was named after characters from superman (Lois and Clark) and then felt a bit silly for not knowing that Lewis and Clark were explorers (and both male). Anyway, the state park is beautiful, it is in a temperate rainforest, and I took a walk through the woods in the evening, but it was too dark to take pictures. Frogs were hopping across my way and I saw a fat mouse trying to climb up a leaf of grass. The next day I drove all the way to Portland and greeted it by making Moty fall over again, when trying to park her in front of the public library.

Posted on 24 Apr 2013, 6:03 - Categories: USA


Oregon coast third day

Sand, lots and lots of sand!
I passed the famous sand dunes of Oregon today, went for a walk in them, saw a slug with leopard prints (never seen a slug like this before, bright yellow with black spots) and marvelled at the beach in Coos Bay. The town is not pretty at all, but the beach is the beginning point of the prettiest part of Oregon coast, rocks in the ocean with one crooked tree on it, wild coast with white sand, absolutely stunning. Pictures will appear on this blog!

Posted on 22 Jul 2012, 5:22 - Categories: USA


Oregon coast second day

it's sunny! Riding along the coast in the sunshine gives me a summer feeling. The coast gets prettier and prettier from here on, todays big plan is going to Newport and try a lot of beer from Rouge Brewery. They have about 20 different kinds of beer, everything from Weizen to Stout. I'm a red beer or stout girl and my favorite is Mocha Porter, dark not bitter, slightly chocolaty. There is also a decent red one (I think it had rouge in the name) a nice summer beer called "yellow snow" (points for the name) and a chocolate beer, which is well, chocolate, so you can't go wrong there...
For those concerned that I was riding my bike blind drunk, I tasted the beer together with a group of Americans on holiday, so I only had sips and safely as well as legally rode my bike 20 more miles to a campground in a state park on the beach.

Posted on 22 Jul 2012, 5:16 - Categories: USA


Oregon coast first day

My first day on the coast started with rain, and it kept on raining the whole day, so I did not get very far, nor did I a lot of walking around. I had made it to Seaside the day before, but camped out of town. In the morning I went into town, it reminded me of the coastal towns in Belgium, lots of tourist shops, hotels, summer houses, arcades and little cafes. I drove on to Cannon Beach, but it was very much the same as Seaside, I did find a fun kite shop, though, which was nice to look around. The restaurant with the best clam chowder ever (according to Kristie and Randy) was unfortunately closed, so I drove on. I did find the smaller towns, less developed (read touristy) towns, such as Rockaway Beach, prettier and I had a clam chowder in one of them. I noticed there is a train going on this part of the coast, I don't know how far, but train tracks kept accompanying the 101 for a while. In Tillamook, I did visit the cheese factory, it is impossible to miss, as it is directly on the 101. It was Sunday, so most of the cheese production was at a standstill, but I did get to try lots of cheese. I still like medium cheddar the most, though, guess my cheese taste is one of the few conservative things about me. It was still raining, so I gave up and pitched my tent in Tillamook and had a very wet dinner.

Posted on 22 Jul 2012, 4:55 - Categories: USA


Seattle vs Portland

this is a very unfair comparison, because Seattle was a mess. One of my Creditcards did not work (wrong pin) which ment I had to find alternative ways of financing (another bank account that is) and couchsurfing did not work out on short notice, but fortunatly I was rescued by a couchsurfer (Thank you Nicholas!) who I was only supposed to meet to talk about Iceland. So I did not see a lot of Seattle, except for the scooter shop, the public library (which is a really cool building!) and some of the centre. I di go into a Starbucks and made a picture of myself, as a friend has requested me to do that. There is a Starbucks on every corner in Seattle, people there must live of Coffee (and have lots of money to buy it). I do not like Starbucks Coffee very much, maybe I'm spoiled by "Te og Kaffi", but I also did have better coffee in the little drive through expresso shops on the road.
Portland was awesome! Couchsurfing did not work out again, so I had to stay in a Motel as the Hostels were full as well. But the Motel had a bar attached to it, where I went to have a bruger after a long and somewhat scary ride into the city. I somehow ended up going over one of the biggest bridges into Portland, surrounded by Trucks, in afternoon traffic. So I needed a bruger and a beer. Oregon is famous for it's microbreweries, and the bar had a few of them on tap, so I asked the couple sitting next to me, which beer they recommend. Which was lucky, as the couple were Kristie and Randy, who I had a long converstion with, about travelling and beer and where to go on the Oregon coast. Kristie had a free day the next day, so she was nice enough to go and take me to see the Multnomah Falls, one of Oregons most famous tourist attractions. We climed all the way to the top adn had a beer afterwards in Edgefield, an old Workers-Farm, which now belongs to the McMenamins breweries and Restaurants. I was impressed enough by the beer to buy a shirt :) In town we met up with Randy and had dinner in a pretty little Restaurant, which was serving Thai, Mexican, Ethopian and Carribean food, somehow this worked together and the atmosphere was pure summer holiday like. I went to bed early as I needed to get up early to go to the coast, but I definatly enjoyed Portland a lot.

Posted on 20 Jul 2012, 4:51 - Categories: USA


transport

I think I made a decision about how to get around in the USA. Buying a car seems like a lot of paperwork (and expensive) and renting a car is pretty much unaffordable, even for someone as rich as me. So I decided to buy a moped. Especially for the road along the Oregon and California coast it makes sense to have a form of transport which helps me to enjoy the scenery rather than sitting in a car and having to find places to stop. I found three scooter dealers in Seattle, which also sell used mopeds, although I'm not opposed to buying a new one. Registration usually goes through the dealer, insurance can be made online (required by law in some of the states I will be traveling through) and to ride a 50cc engine my driver license is enough. And mopeds are cool!



Posted on 17 Jun 2012, 19:20 - Categories: USA


California and Arizona

Redwoods, redwoods, redwoods! (101 to San Francisco, 2-3 days, 600km)
Just like there is State Park after State Park in Oregon on the 101 the same is true in northern California, just that this time the focus is on Redwood forests instead of beaches. There are two places where it makes sense to leave the 101, at Prairie Creeks State Park and the small walk down Fern Canyon (the name is self-explanatory, I think) which takes about an hour. After Eureka it makes sense to leave the 101 and take the Mattole Road through Ferndale (town with old houses, I sense a coffee and cake break) as it is supposed to be prettier.

San Francisco to Joshua Tree Park (6 days 1500km approx.)
leaving San Francisco on the I280 gives me the possibility to visit the San Andreas fissure. The 1 on the coast between Monterey and San Simeon is supposed to be the prettiest part of California coast. At San Simeon I plan to turn inland, making my way to Sequoia National Park for more camping and redwoods (but mountains instead of sea this time). I will not visit Los Angeles, but take the small roads through Silverwood Lake to Joshua tree park and then I'm in the desert. I like deserts :)

Joshua tree park to Yuma (400km, 1day)
I will fly to Mexico, without a plane ticket out of the country, the immigration might not let me in. My flight leaves in Yuma, right at the border. I will get there over Box Canyon Road and the Salt Lake Salton Sea. I will also pass Mecca :)






Posted on 3 May 2012, 22:22 - Categories: USA


Washington and Oregon

Time: 10 days

Bellingham - Seattle
I guess there will be buses/trains or other kinds of public transport to get from Bellingham (which is further north than I thought) to Seattle. I Seattle I will have to decide whether to buy or rent a car or other form of individual transport (I'm still hung up on that scooter idea) there will be a blog post about this soon. In Seattle I will couchsurf, of course, after the over 100 people I hosted in Iceland, karma should be kind to me at least couchsurfing wise. No plans for the city, hosts and coincidence will help me out there for the time I need to secure transport. And then the roadtrip starts!

Seattle-Oregon (400km 3 days)
I will be passing two active volcanoes, Mt.Rainer and Mt. St Helens. So there will be lots of opportunities for short hikes and possible death in volcanic eruptions. South of Mt. St.Helens is the ape cave, a volcanic cave which I definitely want to see, because I love caves.
West of Mt. St.Helens is a creationism museum, which would be fun, although it is a bit out of the way.

Portland
supposed to be one of the nicest cities in USA so couchsurfers, here I come!

Oregon coast (325km, 3-4 days)
the 101, apparently one of the prettiest coasthighways and next to some of the most beautiful beaches in the USA and cosy little seaside towns.Ecola State Parks seems to be a good choice for camping, the town Tillamook is famous for it's cheese (desperate for good cheese I am) and there is an opportunity of a pretty coast hike at Cape Meares at the Three Capes Scenic Loop. The prettiest part of this road is between Yachats and Coos Bay, which is basically state park after state park. After Coos Bay Siskiyou National Park on the Elk River seems to be the best place to stay the night. It is a bit inland and might just prove a good change from all these beaches. And then to California!

Posted on 1 May 2012, 22:57 - Categories: USA