Blogs from California, United States, North America


North America » United States » California » Clovis May 31st 2015

I think I am now using my fourth or fifth passport. I received my first one in 1971, prior to my first trip to Europe. I actually found it last October when we were packing to move here. My current passport needed additional pages prior to a trip in 2013 to Ecuador, and Colombia. In its current condition, it resembles a small book, difficult to stash in a secret location, and so obvious whenever I carry it in my pocket. Did you know that the number of US passport issued has 14 million in 2014, up from only 5.5 million back in 1996? A passport seems to be relatively easy to acquire. Perhaps that is why we have so many undesirables entering our country, either to become terrorists or mooch off of our social welfare system. ... read more

May 27, 2015 (San Francisco) Sitting in SFO airport waiting four our global chauffeur to pick us up in the Dreamliner, listening to Beth Hart belt out the blues...watching the fog roll out of the bay and the bright blue sky show its smiling face. We'll miss that in Chengdu!... read more

North America » United States » California May 27th 2015

Yes, 11 days and I will be on my way. Just before that I am spending three days with three of my close friends at Bon Echo Park. That will be my winding down time because right now I look like I'm in a frenzy. You would laugh if you could see me - I am sitting at my desk in front of my computer and my iPad with Mapquest and Google maps open, switching back and forth. There are papers, maps and tour book spread on every horizontal surface. I have lists of things to do and things to buy on little scraps of paper which I promptly lose and have start another list which ends up with completely different things on it. I'm not really as stressed as it sounds though - I am ... read more

Transcribed from a letter written May 20, 2015 I think this post will mark six weeks on the road unplugged and the first direct and focused commentary on digital technology. It's interesting I haven't written much about it because from day one I have been living the intention of no digital technology and telling everyone I meet about it. Obviously, I have no cell phone or computer but no debit card, either. Cash or check only (which has been the only annoyance. I've run out of cash on a Friday night, twice!!) People are interested in knowing if I'm experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I have to admit, there have been zero withdrawal symptoms. From day one, I have felt a freedom such as I have not felt since childhood - a complete liberation. It's not merely being ... read more

North America » United States » California May 25th 2015

It's been a busy few months for me as I started thinking about getting ready for this trip. I don't travel a lot. I don't even travel well. So it's sort of a big deal. I've had a of things to do that needed to be done before I left. Not all of it got done due to personal circumstances which kept me very busy, but enough of it did get done for me to feel that I accomplished something. So the thing is, one part of taking a trip that I really enjoy is preparing. I love to look at maps and pictures of the places I plan to visit. I enjoy anticipating what things will look like and feel like. I read information on the locations I intend to see, so that I understand ... read more

We left Chico Wednesday morning after a short hike and delicious breakfast, and headed into the foothills to the northeast towards Lassen National Park. We have wanted to do this drive for several years, but the roads have been closed due to snow in May until this year. The drive to Lassen was pretty, but the weather was rainy and clouds blocked some of the views. Our first stop was the Sulphur Mine area, where we saw the boiling mud! There were many fumaroles dotting the landscape; reminders of just how active this volcano is.... After a drive between high snow banks to the site of the devastation from the last eruption, exactly a hundred years earlier, we left Lassen and headed to Old Station buy gas. After crossing through Modoc National Park, we stopped in ... read more
The boiling mud!
Lassen Peak
 Lassen Peak

North America » United States » California » Chico May 25th 2015

We arrived in Chico around ten pm, after being stopped by highway patrol after Bill slowed down to let the vehicle with overly bright lights pass was a state patrol officer who thought Bill had been drinking since he slowed down and pulled over...after ten minutes of questioning Bill, the officer admitted to us that perhaps the lights on his new rig were quite bright.... The next day, Garth and Val had arranged for us to tour the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico. It is an amazing facility, where nothing is wasted. After the tour, Garth drove us up the Butte Creek Canyon on a narrow back road up to the town of Paradise. We spent another night with Garth and Val at their lovely home in the hills above Chico before continuing on ... read more
Sierra Nevada Brewery Tour
Adding hops

Hello Dear Family, Friends and Travel Fans, Ross Smith and Lance Russell are about to go on another great adventure. A trip to the USA which will feature a week in San Francisco, a week in New York City, and a stay in Maine with Lance's relatives. Ross will also travel to Montreal and will offer a different blog for his part, so look out for that. We leave on June 30th for Sydney and stay overnight at Rydges Hotel at Sydney Airport. Then next day, Wednesday, July 1st, at noon, we fly to San Francisco with United Airlines. United Airlines happens to be the only airlines that offer a non-stop flight to San Francisco from Sydney. Hmmmm. After a flight of about 14 hours, we arrive in San Francisco at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, July ... read more

North America » United States » California » Hanford May 23rd 2015

Show this message... img=,UserTileMedium/-7662498636835654950?ck=1&ex=1 From: golfkat ( You moved this message to its current location. Sent:Sat 5/23/15 11:43 AMTo:Gerry ( Hanford was famous in the Sixties for being the home of the famous, five star, Imperial Dynasty restaurant. It was known ... read more

Show this message... img=,UserTileMedium/-7662498636835654950?ck=1&ex=1 From: Gerry Kataoka ( You moved this message to its current location. Sent:Thu 5/21/15 6:58 AMTo:Gerry ( I have been to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, but cannot recall getting over to the Getty Villa, near Malibu, just... read more

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