Steve Angerthal

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Steve Angerthal

I enjoy travel and look forward to the adventures along the way as I explore this great world of ours. So many places to visit, I will never tire of experiencing new sights, people, cultures and food.

We are awakened around 630am by the sound of an airplane just outside and it turns out to be a crop duster doing its thing over the sunflower field right across the street from the hotel. There's a pretty big hill just behind the hotel so when the plane reaches the end of the field across the street, he has to pull up into a pretty steep climb and then turn around for his next run back over the field. It takes about half hour for him to cover the whole field, but it's actually kinda cool to watch. We've never seen anything like this before. We're off to Lava Beds National Monument after breakfast. The kids are anxious to explore the lava tube caves. We've played up the idea of crawling around in caves in ... read more

We start the day with a nice breakfast with a family at a neighboring campsite. Zach has been playing soccer with one of their sons so they invite us over. They have so much stuff that they need a decent-sized trailer to haul it all...and it can hardly be called camping. After breakfast, it takes us about an hour and a half to break everything down and pack the car, which is less than I thought it would so we're out on the road earlier than we'd planned. It turns out to be a good thing, because we've got a long day of driving ahead of us. We head east through some scenic countryside, the road hugging the Trinity River as it passes through the Trinity National Forest. I watch many taking advantage of the river, ... read more

Today is the second and last day with the redwoods. Kris wants to see tidepools on the beach...just like Monterey and Acadia both a couple of years back, it's always fun to watch the kids explore. We have two options: hike to the beach on Damnation Trail or drive to a place called Enderts Beach. This highly recommended trail in the guidebooks is only a couple of miles to the beach (then a couple back!) but rated as strenuous since it's a pretty steep elevation difference along the way. The tidepools at Enderts are rated as some of the best around. Unsurprisingly, Enderts Beach wins so we head up there early enough to make the 45-minute drive (the entire redwoods area is long north-south and takes over an hour to travel by car) in time to ... read more

We're up and ready for some hiking today. I spent a bit of time researching the trails in the multitude of hiking guides before flying out and realized that there are so many trails here that two days are only enough to barely scratch the surface so I have to pick carefully. I'm screening for distance (the kids aren't babies anymore and we've hiked enough in the past that I'm figuring about 7 miles in a day is a good target), difficulty (we've done some pretty tough hikes, up an active volcano in Guatemala and a mountain in Chile but moderate is about what I'm aiming for) and scenery (we're here for redwoods so I want to see old-growth forest, the oldest, biggest, tallest trees that escaped the lumberjack's axe and the developer's bulldozer). I've imported ... read more

Today is a long day. We're up a bit after 3 to get out to Dulles in time to check in for our 6 am direct flight to San Francisco. Factoring in the camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, etc) and clothes, we have 5 bags, 3 of which are hockey equipment bags and 1 a baseball bat bag so I feel almost like we're our own little sports team as we wheel the bags around on those smart carts. Lucky for us, United Airlines allows military members the perk of 3 bags per family member, even when not flying for official travel. Thankfully there are no delays and we arrive on time, our bags are quickly up on the baggage claim carousel and there are no hitches in getting the rental car so we're out of ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Montt December 30th 2012

The sky is cloudy and there is an intermittent light rain. We can no longer see the volcano. After breakfast, we head over to the Saltos de Petrohué which was very nice. We got there early, but still there were a lot of tourists since this is only a few minutes down the road from the Chilean side of the lakes crossing into Argentina across the Lago Todos Los Santos. I am surprised at the high number of tour buses running up and down this road. We did take the extra few minutes and go all the way down to the lake but there really isn’t much there unless you’re getting on the boat heading over to Argentina or staying at the hotel there. The lake itself didn’t seem as spectacular as we’d been led to ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island December 29th 2012

The sky is turning cloudy and it’s threatening rain but we decide to head down to Chiloé to see the penguin colony. The drive is several hours and requires a ferry to cross to the island but the sky is relatively sunny and clear once we hit Chiloé. The countryside on the north end of the island as we cross from the ferry landing to the penguins over on the other side is very nice and picturesque. Since we’re again on gravel roads once we get out of town, we stop often for pictures. The boat ride out to see both Magellanic and Humboldt penguins was really nice, definitely worth the drive and the highlight of the day. After lunch on the beach nearby, we head back because the drive is long.... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Ensenada December 28th 2012

The weather is beautiful, sun is shining and sky is clear and blue. We head down toward Cochamó and Puelo, two very small towns along the Reloncaví Estuary. The road is gravel for a good portion of the distance and there’s not much traffic, which is a good thing because the views of the volcanoes, especially Osorno, are beautiful and we make a lot of stops for pictures. If we had more time, we would have made the drive a loop and taken a ferry over the river to a different road for the return to Ensenada but we have activities scheduled for the afternoon. Another day or so in this area, and we would have gone horseback riding overnight deeper into the Cochamó Valley, which is supposed to be quite nice and similar to Yosemite ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Ensenada December 27th 2012

We’re leaving Villarrica today and heading from the northern end of the Lakes District to the southern end. A little while after hitting the road, we reach Highway 5 again and begin driving south at 120 km/hour (at least that’s the posted speed limit). The sky is clear and blue, the sun is shining, and traffic is light so it’s a nice day to be driving. About three hours later, as we get close to our first stop at Frutillar on Lago Llanquihue we see in the distance first Volcán Puntiagudo (literally sharp point because the top is pretty pointy) and then Volcán Osorno. The Frutillar exit from Highway 5 (like all exits) is well marked and we get off. Kris uses the map app on the smartphone and does a good job navigating us through ... read more

South America » Chile » Araucanía » Pucón December 26th 2012

The clouds are gone and the sun is out. The view from the front porch of the cabin and out the huge glass window is of clear blue Lago Villarrica and the volcano, Volcán Villarrica. Smiles all around, beautiful view. After breakfast we head out to Parque Nacional Huerquehue (Huerquehue National Park), about an hour away. We like to see national parks back at home in the US and like to stamp our park passport book but here we settle for pictures in front of the sign. This is our second Chilean national park for those counting at home. We set out on the Sendero de los Lagos (Lakes Trail) to see…you guessed it, lakes. The trail passes through some real nice forest of Araucaria trees in the beginning which looks pretty nice but then the ... read more

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