“Good news: I found a new starting battery. Bad news: it's called a 'Gohner'.”

Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

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NYC to Colorado

Posted on Wednesday Nov 14, 2012

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We're getting caught up on our photos. Here's what happened in NY, WV, KY, MO, and CO!

We had a fabulous time visiting Eric's sister Kate and her husband Michael and exploring NYC and it's multitude of museums, often times by bicycle. But alas, after a month, it was time for us to start our Southwest-ward trek back to the boat.



After 2 months of urban exploring (Maryland to NY), we were ready to lose ourselves once again in trees and mountains, so we hightailed it to the Appalachians of West Virginia. Enroute, we crossed paths with a large thunderstorm making it's way to the east coast – the horizontal rain brought visibility down to about 2 feet so we had to pull to the side, along with thousands of other motorists. Since we were heading the opposite direction from the storm, the worst of it was relatively short lived, and we were back on the road after about 1/2 hour. Unfortunately though, this was just the start of about a week of stormy weather plaguing the entire eastern section of the country. And boy did it rain in the mountains of West Virginia making our hikes quite soggy (trails turning into raging creeks), and difficult to take many photos. Which was really too bad, as the Cranberry Wilderness area is quite beautiful. But, we made the most of the sunny breaks and managed to take some photos of our camping area and it's adjacent river.

On our way to the Wilderness, we passed by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, home to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, with a 2.3 acre (7854 sq. meters) dish area, making it the largest fully steerable dish in the world (see photo). We just had to stop and check out the museum, and take the tour thru the lush property which holds over 30 different radio telescopes. It was an unexpected and fascinating diversion, literally out in the middle of nowhere (hence the reason it's located there, with little noise interference).

Leaving the Appalachians of WV, we decided to drive through the New River Gorge National River on our way into Kentucky. This was an area heavily mined for coal at the turn of the century, and preserved for it's natural beauty once the mines were abandoned. Once thru this park, we ended up on a winding narrow road that led past small coal mining towns butted up against steep lush hills with a beautiful rushing river on the other side. We really had no idea how picturesque this coal mining area would be – alas, it was pouring rain, so there's no photos.

We started feeling the heat more and more as we descended out of the mountains. By the time we made it into Kentucky, our top priorities for camping sites became shade, and a cool place to swim. We found them in the Daniel Boone National Forest, where we biked a great single track trail thru the forest for a refreshing dip in Laurel River Lake, and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area on the Tennessee border. Due to the hot weather and lack of interesting and maintained trails, we didn't linger long in Kentucky and decided to try our luck in the Missouri Ozarks. We were also disappointed in the selection of trails available in the Mark Twain National Forest, and with temps over 100F, decided to explore the Ozark Nat'l Scenic Riverway instead. It turned out to be a good choice with beautiful river scenery, and most importantly easy access to cool slow moving water.

After several days of river soaking, we'd had enough of the extreme heat and decided to make a beeline for the Rockies. Our first stop in Colorado was Ft. Collins to visit our old cruising friend, Ryan, who used to sail on “Godspeed” and later “Sonrisa”. Upon sailing his boat back to Seattle, he enrolled in a culinary school, and to make a long story short, sold his boat and moved back to CO where he converted an old Avion trailer into an Asian Mobile Eatery called “Umami”. Ryan serves up some very tasty Asian fusion treats, and is doing well in a city that has just started to embrace the food truck culture (especially at the craft breweries in the area). We hiked our first Rockies' trail with Ryan in the Horsetooth Mountain State Park right behind his house.

From Ft. Collins, we drove thru the Roosevelt National Forest, which was heavily hit by fires this summer, along the Poudre Canyon Road. A forest ranger recommended the Rawah Wilderness area for good hiking and dispersed camping which we thoroughly enjoyed with spectacular mountain views and even a couple river crossings. We also discovered why this area is famous for moose with several moose sightings including the rambunctious calf Eric was able to capture on video and photo.

Next up, our month long travels on the West side of the Rockies, starting in Steamboat Springs.

The moose is loose video

Posted on Monday Oct 8, 2012

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We captured a rare moment between a mother and her calf while travelling in Colorado. Like teens everywhere, they want to do their own thing.

Rocky Mountain High

Posted on Monday Sep 10, 2012

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We went MIA in Colorado for the past month. Did you know Colorado has over 54 peaks over 14,000 feet? It makes our Mt. Rainier seem a bit lonely. We hiked over 100 miles in the past month and most of that at elevations between 8,500 and 12,000 feet. Access to the internet has been scarce in these wild places and we've collected hundreds of photos and videos we want to post. (Not to mention all the photos from places we went after New York and before Colorado). Perhaps we'll find good internet access in a few weeks and get it all sorted out. Until then, yes moms we are still alive. We are in Moab, UT where we plan to do a lot of mountain biking on their famous slick-rock trails. Then we are going to hike the Arches and Canyon Lands parks. Stay tuned.

New York City Time of Your Life

Posted on Saturday Aug 11, 2012

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New York City was a blast! We saw Yellow Ostrich play 3 times which was really amazing. Their songs still keep getting suck in our heads (listen to a few on the internet to see what we mean). Our 4 weeks in NYC gave us time to eat our way though some of the hidden ethnic food carts and restaurants. We soaked in culture at several museums, rode our MFB's (bicycles) all over the city, and spent time with Kate and Michael.

Fathers day picnic

Posted on Monday Jun 18, 2012

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We had a big picnic to celebrate Fathers Day for my grandfather who is almost 91. Lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all came out for the nice weather and lots of food (yes, we snuck in a vegan cake on them...shhhh). It was great fun to see everyone again after all this time!

Flying through the air

Posted on Monday Jun 18, 2012

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On our way to see the Amish area in Pennsylvania we passed a race track of sorts. The dust caught my attention but the cars flying 8 feet off the tabletop jump made me stop the car. Have you ever seen anything like this? Some of these drivers were quite good considering they have to steer from platform and the cars twist and turn and jump in all different directions.

Washington DC

Posted on Monday Jun 18, 2012

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What trip to Maryland would be complete without a stop at the Capitol? We've been there before the 9/11 rules went into place and toured the inner workings in detail. This time we stuck to looking at things from the outside for the most part and saw parks and monuments we've never seen before. We saw the MLK memorial, the FDR memorial, the White House, the Congress (the house was in session--note the flag flying over the house side of congress), several of the statues (Grant, etc.) along with a quick tour of the Smithsonian Vistor's Center. Did you know that Mr. James Smithsonian was English and never once set foot in America? He gave his entire estate to the US valued at $500,000 or 1/66 of the US budget at the time. Quite a legacy he started.

Cape May New Jersey

Posted on Monday Jun 18, 2012

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We spent a few great days in Cape May.  An old sea town where wealthy eastcoast businessmen and successful sea captains built fancy homes with their new found wealth.  It's a town full of history and beautiful beaches.

Baltimore Sailabration

Posted on Monday Jun 18, 2012

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Here's a slide show of the Sailabration!  We got a chance to tour ships from all the countries that we have sailed: Indonesia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, USA. It was quite a show down at the harbour and tons of people came out to see the boats.

All things controversial

Posted on Tuesday Jun 12, 2012

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While on the boat we see a lot of documentaries which helps keep us informed on the bigger issues going on in the world and the US. We've seen some good PBS programs as well and they are all viewable on-line. So I thought I would post a "collage of controversies" that contain the most thought provoking material out of the many hours we've seen. They run the full spectrum of all things you don't talk about at dinner parties: politics, taxes, religion, and now health care.


Wiki Leaks Decrypted Video (April 2010) In 2007 when a Reuter's photographer's camera is mistaken for an RPG, the military responded in a cold video game like fashion killing 11 people (including 2 journalists). If the initial attack wasn't bad enough, a family on their way to school saw an injured man and tried to help him into the car to take him to the hospital when the helicopters opened fire on them as well injuring 2 young girls in the car. This video is hard to watch for multiple reasons and frustrating because of all the cover-up lies told by the military prior to this video being leaked to the public in 2010 that showed how the event really unfolded. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0
As a side video, Frontline's 2011 episode, Kill/Capture http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kill-capture/ explores America's duality of winning them over vs killing and capturing. Warning: The cultural barriers in this video are stomach turning.
The Warning (Oct. 20, 2009) Long before the crisis of 2008, one woman in the CFTC fought to warn and stop the secret over-the-counter derivatives practices that broke our economy. Her efforts ruined her career and the CFTC was legally barred from regulating derivatives by the millionaires & billionaires pulling the strings. Her story and the players involved are fascinating (follow up this documentary with the movie Inside Job). http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/
Sick Around America (March 31, 2009) The number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is from medical costs and over 50% of those filing for bankruptcy were insured. This program looks at health care issues around the US. As people who are disqualified from insurance in the US due to pre-existing conditions we get it, but many people who have never had to deal with the cracks in the system this might help you understand: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundamerica/view/
Sick Around the World (April 15, 2008) Lean about the health care systems of England, Germany, Japan and Tawian in comparison to the US Health Care systems. A must watch for those who don't like the latest attempts at health care reform. Some of the earlier ideas in the health plan were taken from these countries (like the proposed National Health Card ala Tawain). http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/view/
The Mormons (April 30, 2007) With Mitt Romney in the spotlight there's no time like the present to learn about one of the richest and fastest growing religions in the world. With 14 million takers, they equal the number of Jews in the world and are establishing them as the 4th Abrahamic Religion and are referred to in religious scholarly circles as the “American Religion”. http://www.pbs.org/mormons/view/
Private Warriors (2005) America is moving more and more towards hired guns. Spending well over $11 billion (2002-2005) on private companies who don't have to follow the rules of war or lawful oversight. This growing industry of outsourced killing with little or no accountability is a disturbing trend. But learn about the situation and decide for yourself from the people involved: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/view/
Is WalMart Good for America? (Nov. 16, 2004) Job loss or job creation? Small business destroyer or improving quality of life for poor? An in depth look at the largest employer in the world might give you some food for thought. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/
The Secret History of the Credit Card (Nov. 13, 2004) Thought you knew all you needed to know about the plastic in your pocket? Think again. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/credit/view/