Page 5 of Riz7 Travel Blog Posts

If someone asked me this before we began this trip the answer would have been "yes" though I must confess I haven't worn flowers in my hair. I haven't been to San Francisco before and have been keen to visit for a long time. It's one of those places - like New York- that I’ve grown up seeing in countless TV episodes and films (Bullett and the Dirty Harry movies spring to mind) so it all somehow seems quite familiar even though I've never been here. What I hadn't realised is that there say a dozen distinct city areas that are each quite different. The iconic film-scapes with cable cars and steep hills is really just a small area of North Shore. Like any large city it’s not RV friendly but J finds a state campground ... read more

Possibly the only place that we knew we would definitely visit whilst in California was Yosemite National Park. I tracked down one of my old college friends who lives about an hour and a half from Yosemite so we arrange to meet him on the weekend and as he’s keen for some walking, do a day hiking together in the Park. The benefit of meeting my friend is that he drives us into the park, which is quicker and easier than taking the RV, the down side is that at the weekend the park is (as expected) pretty busy, but I’m actually surprised at how well the traffic flows and we find a parking space at the end of the valley without too much hassle. There aren’t that many shortish hikes you can do in the ... read more

North America » United States » California » Ukiah April 18th 2018

On this trip I’d wanted to see the giant Redwood trees of California, but had thought this would be the Sequoia National park that is between Yosemite and LA. When a little internet research reveals that we’re about to drive though the coastal Redwood parks I’m quite excited. The Redwoods in this area are Coastal – or Californian - Redwoods and different to the trees in Sequoia which are Sequoia’s or Giant Redwoods. They aren’t as wide as the Sequoias but are actually significantly taller. The tallest tree in the world is somewhere here (the location is kept secret) but there are plenty of very tall (250ft +) trees you can walk to see and a few that are wide enough to drive a car through, though an RV would be a challenge! The other factoid ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Florence April 16th 2018

As expected the weather on the Oregon coast is poor but we nevertheless manage to have a good day here with some excellent wildlife viewing even if it isn't the best day for outdoor activities. Just south of the appropriately named Pacific City and right by the road is a blowhole and with the sea rough today it is blowing nicely. Further south we stop off at Cape Foulweather which was named by Captain Cook after encountering stormy weather here. The weather today isn’t great for views but we do catch a glimpse of 2 grey whales cruising just off the head. We pay entry to see the Yaquina Head area. The lighthouse has tours but these are all booked up but we walk around the headland and see the discovery centre which has some interesting ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland April 14th 2018

Although everyone thinks it rains all the time in Portland we have a relatively dry day here, and it’s not until late afternoon when we need to don our rain jackets. We hear it isn’t actually as wet as they make it out to be and it’s become a bit of a myth the Portland folk like to peddle so to keep away all those southern sun seekers. We have come here via the Columbia River gorge where we found another boondocking site to pull up deep (well 5 miles) into the state forest. It’s certainly not the best time to tour Washington, many of the attractions are not yet open for the season and the main appeal of the area are the outdoor activities which the current weather rules out. We pull up for petrol ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle April 11th 2018

We’ve made it to Seattle after a slightly tortious journey from Banff. First we went to Calgary for a few days to stay with an old school friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. It was good to see him and to meet his wife and teenage son who I’d not met before. Whilst we were in a major city we also sorted out the shipping of our ski gear back to Australia and took the opportunity to buy some much needed clothes that should last us until we reach Europe. On a fine day we walked into central Calgary, which is an OK city but too be honest not desperately interesting for visitors, but I did like the connected walkway concept that links the business towers and shopping areas with each ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff April 7th 2018

I didn’t want to like Banff but having been here for 10 days and had 7 days of excellent skiing, it’s hard not to want to come back, but it is cold. I expected it to be expensive and up-market and it is, but overall it’s not exclusive and late in the season our hotel is quite reasonably priced. There are also plenty of good, and not too expensive, places to eat and drink. Our hotel is a little way from the centre of town so it is a chilly walk back in the evening, but that isn’t as bad as it sounds as there is a free (for us) bus into town if we time it right and our stop is one of the first pickups and stops for the ski bus we catch to ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Golden March 26th 2018

The town of Golden is our next stop but we don’t plan to spend years here, in fact only a couple of days. Although it is close (about 10 miles) from the ski resort of Kicking Horse the logistics of staying in town and skiing in Kicking Horse seems tricky, so after some debate we opt to spend only 3 nights here and longer in Banff, and see if we can figure out a way to get up to KH and if we can’t we won’t have lost much and we will find other things to do here. This turns out to be the right call. There is no shuttle bus from Golden to KH (there was until 2016 but none now). You can take a taxi (there is only 1 taxi company in town) but ... read more
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North America March 23rd 2018

Revelstoke is our next stop after Sun Peaks. When we planned this trip it was probably my top pick of ski resorts in Canada. We have 6 days skiing here. We're not particularly lucky with the weather as there hasn't been much recent snow despite it normally dumping snow here (it gets about 11m every year), but that's just a part of any ski trip. It also has a reputation for steep runs and has some of the best vertical of anywhere in NA. One of the runs here is called "Glades of Glory" which gives me the title for this blog entry. Even without ideal conditions it is still very good skiing here. We get a small top-up of snow each night and on Thursday overnight about 15cm fresh snow on the higher runs, so ... read more
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North America » Canada » British Columbia » Sun Peaks March 16th 2018

The second stop on our ski tour of Canada is the resort of Sun Peaks. We decided to ski here as friends of ours in Australia, who are very keen skiers come here regularly and recommended it. Sun Peaks is still in BC but inland from Vancouver about 6 hours by bus along Highway 1. The bus goes to Calgary, but we get off at the town of Kamloops which is a regional centre of close to 100,000 people. The resort is a further hour from Kamloops needing a local mini-bus transfer which you need to book. Sun Peaks in the same general area as Big White and Silverstar, inland in BC but not as far East a number of the other resorts and this is not yet the Rockies. We've pre-booked our accommodation here as ... read more

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