Oregon Tour 2012 Days 4-5. Cannon Beach – North Coast

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Day 3 was a travel day from Elma to Cannon Beach where I settled into the Cannon Beach RV Resort.  This has to be the most luxurious resort I have ever stayed at.  Set up for the big motorhomes, my tent trailer was a bit out of place, however all the campers were friendly and the park like setting was relaxing.

My first full day on the north coast would have me driving to Newport to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium after a side trip to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  Both are must sees!  Check out the pictures from my SmugMug set.

Day 5 had me in the Tillamook area where I visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Tillamook Air Museum.

F-14 Tomcat

The cheese factory had an observation deck built above the production floor where you could see the entire process of turning milk into cheese.  After watching the magic, it was off to the factory store to grab a couple loaves of cheese.

The air museum is located in an airship hanger built during World War 2.  If you’re a fan of Mythbusters, you’ve seen a simular hanger from the San Francisco area.  All the aircraft on display are in flying condition.  My favorite, the F-14 Tomcat.

Once back at the camp, it time for a fire and a book.

Home on the Range…… Er…. RV Park.

Next….. Of to the south coast.

Oregon Tour 2102 Days 1-2. Washington Coast

The lens from Destruction Island

Day 1 would be a long travel day. My plan was to get as far south as possible so I would have a short trip to the coast. Plan accomplished! I made it to Elma Washington and found a spot at the Elma RV Park where I was welcomed with a great spot, a hot shower and some chocolate chip cookies! And to top it off, there was an espresso stand next door!
For day 2, I decided to tour some of the Washington coast area. Good choice. My first stop was the Westport Maritime Museum. A former Coast Guard Station, the museum had many great displays and a knowledgeable staff.  However, the best part of the facility was the “Lens Room” where they had the lens from the formar Destruction Island lighthouse.  An amazing piece of engineering, this lens is a must see.

Next stop was the Grays Harbor Lighthouse which is still active after being commissioned in 1898.  Unfortunately,  the lighthouse was closed when I arrived, so no tour was available.  Next time.

Playing in the Pacific.

After lunch, it was off to Long Beach where you may drive you vehicle onto the beach.  This made it great for the dogs.  All I had to do was let them out, and off they went!

After the swim, it was a leisurely drive back to the camp.

Photos from the day are posted to my SmugMug site in the Oregon 2012 set.

We’re off to a good start.  What’s next…….

Oregon! Here We Come! Again!

One of the many lighthouses along the coast.

So it’s time for my summer vacation.  This year, I’m skipping agility camp and I’m going back to the Oregon Coast.  When I was there two years ago, I only had four days to explore.  Not nearly enough!  This time, the whole two weeks is dedicated to the coast.  As of this writing, I have no formal plans.  I’m just going to point the van south and go!

So, depending on WiFi, I hope to update this blog regularly and I still have my travel Twitter account where you can follow along on my trip.   Also, I’ll be taking pictures and uploading them to my SmugMug site.

I’m excited about the next two week and I’m looking forward to getting back to the Oregon coast.  Stay tuned to this blog for more information.

Catching Up!

Hello again!  It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog.  So, what have I been up to……

The UFC Training Center where “TUF” is shot.

Other then putting up with winter, the big event was a return trip to Vegas!  After a great time there in October, I wanted to go back and see a few more places I didn’t have time to see the first time.  First was the UFC training center.  Now finding the center is a bit of a chore since its address is not public.  However, there is a Munzee there so once the cords were in my GPS, it took me right to the

Other places included the Neon Museum Boneyard, the Clark County Museum, the Atomic Testing Museum and, the Pinball Hall of Fame.

Many pictures were taken at the boneyard and Clark County Museum.  I’ve uploaded these to my Smugmug site in a set called “Vegas 2012“.

The Neon Boneyard

One other place I visited was Discount Firearms and Ammo.  Originally, I wanted to visit another popular gun store to try some machine guns, however after reading some less than favorable reviews, I looked elsewhere and found Discount which had rave reviews.  Discount also had one other great feature.  It was only a 3 minute drive from my hotel!

My package of choice was the “SWAT” Package which gave me a chance to shoot a M4, a MP5 and a Beretta 92.  What a blast! (Literally!) I highly recommend a trip to Discount if you’re in Vegas and avoid the other popular “Gun Store”.

While shooting, the Range Master, shot some video.  Have a look:

So that’s the big update since my last post, however, as I type this, I’m getting ready for my next adventure.  Stay tuned to this blog for more information.

Southwest Tour 2011 – Days 10-14. Fun on Fremont!

Well it’s been a fun week. What has happened since my last post?

Fitzgeralds – In downtown Vegas on Fremont Street

Monday and Tuesday were travel days where I went from Petaluma CA to Tonopah NV then from Tonopah back to Vegas. My hotel of choice was the Fitzgerald Hotel on Fremont street in downtown Vegas. I had been told many stories of the street parties and shows in the area so it was put on the itinerary.
What a good choice! The Fremont Experience is something every visitor to Vegas must experience. Within a three block area you can find three live music stages, numerous street performers, vendors and of course outdoor bars. Add to this, the historical casinos with their bright lights then top it off with a video screen that runs the length of the three blocks and you have a one stop party central location.
The entertainment for the evening consisted of three bands. The first was a band-dance act that performed “Halloween” themed music. The second act was a cover band that also performed halloween themed songs in their first set, then played more generic music in their second. The third act was my personal favorite. It was an Alice Cooper –

Alice Cooper – School’s Out
The real one is playing at Caesars!

Ozzy Osbourne tribute band. the first set was all Cooper with hits such as Eighteen, Poison and School’s Out. For Ozzy, we heard No More Tears, Bark at the Moon, Paranoid and to end the set, Crazy Train. Needless to say, when they queued up the train whistle, the crowd went crazy!
During the day, I returned to the strip to visit some attractions I was interested in. Two of which were a classic car museum where I saw more Rolls Royces then I had ever seen before. After that, it was a trip to the wax museum where I gat a chance to work on some portrait photography. Remember, you can see all my pictures on my SmugMug site.
Overall, it was a great way to end the trip. If I can make a recommendation to a future Vegas visitor it to see downtown at night. The strip has the big acts, but downtown has the soul.
This is my last night in Vegas and in some ways, I’m ready to return home. Then again, it may not be hot down here, but it’s still warmer then PG!……..
Thanks for following along with my travels on this tour. It’s been a blast!

Oh yeah! I visited some pawn shop.

Here’s a video with highlights from Fremont Street.  No Alice/Ozzy.  He, they, didn’t play this night.

Southwest Tour 2011 – Day 9. Coasting to TWiT

So today’s big plan was the catching the recording of This Week in Tech (TWiT) at the Brickhouse. Since the show didn’t start until 3pm, I had the morning and early afternoon to kill. What to do?

California Coast

Well, was going to tour wineries, however, I decided highway 1 along the coast would be better so instead of east, I took off west. Good choice! The scenery was incredible and made me realized how much I had enjoyed the Oregon coast the previous spring. After some pictures and a stroll on the beach, it was time to head to the Brickhouse.
I arrived at the Brickhouse at 2pm just as Leo finished his Tech Guy radio show. In studio he had some Mac and Java developers who were in town for a conference. After the show, Leo took all of us on a tour of the whole facility including the basement which houses the server farm. What a sight!

The set of TWiT

After the tour, it was time to get ready for the show. Leo would be joined by Patrick Norton and the Grumpy Man himself, John Dvorak! Once the show started, the small audience was either blogging about the show or taking pictures, or laughing! Overall a great experience. If you’re a geek, put this place on your bucket list! It’s worth it!
Tomorrow is a travel day. Petaluma to Tonopah NV. This route will take me through Yosemite park. I don’t know what I’ll get for pictures, but the camera will be ready.
So, stay tuned……..

The following is some video of the show shot on the 7D.

Southwest Tour 2011 – Day 8. I’m a TWiT!

Leo and I on TWiT

Today was day two of the drive from the desert to the ocean. Bakersfield to Petaluma was punched into the GPS and the route was set.
My GPS took me on an interesting route through some small towns which lead me to the Napa Valley area and avoiding the San Francisco – Oakland traffic nightmare.
Once getting into Petaluma, I checked into my motel then headed out to find the TWiT Brickhouse. It was easy to find and I also had a look at the old TWiT cottage. I finally made it to the mecca in internet webcasting.
Since I was in the neighbourhood, I figured I might as well see what’s there is to see. Well my timing was perfect. Leo was finishing up the days recording so I didn’t have long to wait to meet the man himself. Leo was great to talk to. He gave me a chance to sit at the desk and I even had a chance to do a Trackfiles intro on camera. This, plus enjoy the TWiT tradition of having a picture taken with Leo while wearing the TWiT fez.
So after TWiT, I was off to the city by the bay. It’s an easy drive to get to ‘Frisco from Petaluma. However once there, it’s a traffic nightmare! I wanted to go to the Twin Peaks viewpoint. The plan was simple. Come off the bridge, two right turns and up the hill!!
Well construction sent me off course as soon as I got off the bridge and I ended up in some of the city’s famous neighbourhoods. Eventually, I made it to the viewpoints and took some pictures. Then I got lost again leaving town, but it worked out for the better as it took me to a great viewpoint for the Golden Gate. One thing about driving in San Francisco, the hills are crazy!

The Accidental Golden Gate Shot

So, tomorrow is TWiT day and I’ll be spending a bit more time at the TWiT studio. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take some pictures of the inside and I’ll post them to my SmugMug site.
Stay tuned……..

Southwest Tour 2011 – Day 7. Walking the Streets of Bakersfield

Shot by the bus driver.

Today was a transit day. Grand Canyon to Bakersfield California. At a bit over 500 miles (800 Kilometers). the drive took me 8 hours, mostly on the freeway.
Nothing much to see along the way so the camera never came out of the bag. However, since I did get to my destination fairly early, I was able to catch up on uploading pictures.

Sunset at the Grand Canyon

So the sunset shots are now available on my SmugMug site. Please drop by and have a look.
Tomorrow brings the second part of the west coast commute taking me from here in Bakersfield to Petaluma where I’ll be visiting with Leo and the TWiT crew.
If anything happens tomorrow, I’ll post. Otherwise, I’ll catch up with you on Sunday.

Southwest Tour 2011 – Day 5. Get on the Bus!

Today was tourist day. I went on two guided tours today traveling from the eastern end of the park to the west.
The first tour was called the Desert View tour. On this tour, we stopped at viewpoints and were given details of the area by our guide. The final stop was at the Watchtower, which is a replica of an old native lookout post. Many photos were taken and I’ll get to uploading them tomorrow.
Next was a sunset tour which took us west to Hopi point. This was incredible! I took nearly 60 pictures in the 20 minutes we were there. I haven’t look at them yet, and I won’t get to that until tomorrow. As I write this, it’s 7:00 and dinner is calling me! Then relax with a book, then crash for the night.
So, stay tuned to this blog for some great pictures!

Southwest Tour 2011 – Day 4. Off to the Grand Canyon

The Hoover Dam
The Grand Canyon at Mather Point

Today was a travel day from Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Mostly interstate driving with the last 100km on a two lane highway.
The day started off with a trip to the Hoover Dam. Quite the structure. Ok, that’s an understatement. This thing is huge! The pictures don’t even come close to showing how deep the dam is.
From there it was off to the canyon. Once paying my vehicle entrance fee ($25US for 7 days) it was a quick trip to the campsite to set up home for the next three nights.
Then it was time to see what the canyon was all about. My first impressions? Holy Cow! I can’t describe the width and depth of the canyon. I hope the pictures give you some idea of the size, but it is something you have to see for yourself. I took multipole pictures of the same rock formations during my brief first trip. the sun was setting and the colours were changing. Have a look on my SmugMug set and notice the difference waiting 20 minutes can make on the light.
On a side note, there is no cell service in the park, however, there is free wifi at some of the area lodges. The cool thing is that everyone is in the lodge on their computers uploading the days photographs. It’s quite the show with everyone checking out other’s pictures and coming up with their own ideas for future pics.
As for tomorrow, I’m taking two bus tours. One is an early morning departure and 3.5 hours in duration. The second is a sunset tour and I’m really looking forward to that trip.
How will tomorrow’s pictures look? Stay tuned to this blog to find out!