Minivan Life

Ferry from Bellingham to Haines, Alaska

Take the Alaska Marine Highway (Alaska’s ferry system) from Bellingham up the Inside Passage to Haines and then drive the last 750 miles to Anchorage. That’s the plan. We left Bellingham Friday night. Saturday was spent entirely at sea cruising through Canada and yesterday (Sunday) morning we arrived at our first stop: Ketchikan. Mike and I had spent quite a bit of time here, nearly 10 years ago, when we were working for NOAA aboard the Fairweather and it was a sort of homecoming. If it hadn’t been for the clear, sunny skies it might have felt more familiar. It’s...
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(Mini) Van Life

Before buying a new car we thought long and hard about what to get. We’d been without a car for nearly two years while living on our boat in Mexico so it was a big decision. We like to go on long road trips but hotels every night are out of the question. We wanted a car we could sleep in comfortably, but it also had to have good gas mileage and space for toys like our SUP and inflatable kayak. Our old 4Runnner had just enough space to sleep in but we couldn’t even sit up in bed and...
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Cranberry Bogs and Desserts

After a week of visiting with friends near Portland, Oregon we are back on the road. Driving south along the Oregon coast on Highway 101 we saw a ‘U-Pick Cranberries’ sign. Having just gotten a new recipe for cranberries and never having seen a cranberry bog we made a quick stop. I was expecting to be wading through standing water but apparently they only flood the bog when it’s time to harvest so the berries will float to the top while the machine pulls them off the plants. This dessert is amazing! Give it a shot. It’s easy and you...
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Close Encounters

We’re still in Denver enjoying the comforts of living on shore. Last week we took a little trip up to South Dakota to see “the heads” and some amazing wildlife. On our way back we nearly had a close encounter of a third kind in Wyoming… Buffalo in Custer State Park Devil’s Tower (featured in the movie: Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977) Prayer-flags at Devil’s Tower Mount Rushmore at night At Bear Country

From the Ocean to the Prairies

After over a week on the road we just made it to our destination of Denver, Colorado where we are visiting with Mike’s family. We’ve been camping out of our mini van, for which Mike built a platform-bed after removing the two rows of back seats. All of our clothes and most gear is stored in under-bed storage bins below the platform. Even my inflatable kayak is under there! We visited Utah’s national parks from Arches to Zion, but the highlight so far was a 10 mile paddle down the Colorado River from below the Glen Canyon dam to Lees Ferry...
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America’s Cup

We just returned from a 5-day trip up to San Francisco to see the America’s Cup boats. Right now is the Louis Vuitton Cup, the races that decide who goes to the America’s Cup which starts in September. Long gone is the big helm to stand behind – these boats are steered with the push of a botton and are so fast the sailors have to wear helmets. On the way home we drove back via Highway 1. If you have not made this drive I would highly recommend it. We’ve made it several times and never tire of the views....
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