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So, here I am, back in Wodonga, at my parents' place, so drunk I can barely use the keyboard, and Phil and my Dad are talking socio-economic diffences between Australia and Britain. Hopefully Phill will still be talking to me in the morning after that. *grins*

But all in all, 's all good.

Give us another drink. :)

Oh, and Auscon was a whole barrel of fun. Can't forget that.
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Well, maybe I didn't go quite as far as to do a Pope imitation, but I am back on my native soil and happy to be so. The fact I'm staying with Mel, and have hanging out with her and Dia and Dyce and Lynx to look forward to, plus AussieCon next weekend, probably has a fair lot to do with it. *grins*

The flight back was... well, there's not a lot to say about a 19 hour flight that doesn't involve the words "exhausting", "uncomfortable" or "bloody long". Unbeknownst to me (until I checked in, anyway) we had a stopover in Aukland, at six in the morning. If I had known, I might have arranged for a longer stopover and a chance to see Acey. Bugger. But that aside, I managed to get onto the plane in good time (thanks to Ashlan and her driving/portage skills), spent portions of the trip asleep (not as much as I wanted to), saw Signs again (fortunately it's not as jump-out-of-your-seat-provoking the second time, or I would've been tranquilised by the stewards) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (also a repeat for me, having seen it in Cinccinnatti with Hutch and Mel), read a couple of books, had a shower at Aukland airport because they're such a good airport, and managed to spill various foodstuffs in the midst of an attack of the clumsies. Oh, and I made a start on the next chapter of Death and the Art of Pyramid Selling, which had been popping into my head on and off during the flight, thanks be to the powers of imagination. I know exactly how it's going to go, just need to transcribe it from the pictures in my head. :)

NOw I'm off to have a shower and get dressed and such, since I've only just woken up. Well, woken up the second time - I was awake when Mel was getting ready for work, but passed out again before she actually left. *grins* Later, all.
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This time the 'here' is LA, Xander's place, to be a bit more exact. Got in the day before yesterday in a suitably befuddled state - it wouldn't be a sojourn at Dex's without being befuddled afterwards. The Backpack of Doom didn't kill me, although it tried damn hard, and I've had a pleasant little sidetrip down to San Diego to have lunch with Maelstrom. And last night was the Gathering of the Core - dinner and kareoke with the SoCal crew.

Needless today is going to be a lazy Sunday in the tradition of lazy Sundays everywhere. And since it's a lovely sunny Sunday at that, I'm thinking erading and lying around in said sun is a good idea.

Peoples wanting to catch up while I'm here - email me at, okay? Coolness. :)
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So, tonight's my last night in Toronto, and I'm staying up for most of it, seeing how I have to leave for the airport at 5am and Dex gets home around midnight. I've had a nap tho', which will help, and my abiility to sleep on public transport of any kind, in any position, will hold me in good stead.

I've got to say it, I'm kinda wishing I had more time here. I just feel so at home. Another week, maybe two. *grins* At least until Doqz and Dex get sick of me, but seeing how I do dishes, that might not happen for a while. So it might be until Immigration catches up with me and ships me home.

*waves to her family* Only joking. Looking forward to being home again.

Doqz helped me figure out why it is I want to go home. It's not homesickness, not exactly - I miss my family and friends and I'm looking hugely forward to AusCon and all - but a need for assert my independence again. To stop relying on the strangeness of kind friends. ;) Or the kindness of strange friends, whichever works. Basically I miss my own space, my own habits.

I've been house-hunting, in my head. Picturing my future abode, furnishing it, establising myself there. Daydreaming about normal life. *grins again* Yes, I'm weird that way. But yeah, I can quite happily settle into the work/home/karate/social routine again, because it won't be a routine, it'll be all new - 'cause it'll be me, on my own, making my own decsions and having a perfectly normal life.

*nods* Yep, that sound like fun to me. :)

But, before all that, I have a week in LA. I'm staying with Xander, and there seems to be a gathering organised for the weekend, which is all good. I'm looking forward to seeing the SoCal folks again, and meeting those I haven't seen yet. Then, Brisbane, and Melancamp and the Ds. *chuckles* Sounds like a blues band - and hey, Mel's even got the fedora for it. ;)

Hmm, must remember to find a silly hat for AusCon that won't give me heat exhaustion..
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The thing about staying with Dex and Doqz (sounds like a bizarre TV duo, don't they?), is that since Dex has this weird work shift (4pm to 11pm), I've been practically nocturnal the past few days. Not entirely a good thing, since it means I've been not doing much in Toronto, but since this is my fourth visit, it's not a big deal. I do need to get into the city and do some stuff, however. Maybe tomorrow.

Any hoo, I'm in Toronto. Apologies to the locals for the nine inches of snow on Sunday - I'd made an arrangement with my travel agent to have snow, dammit, and I was going to get it. *grins* I discovered driving in it isn't fun (not that I was actually driving, but I was a passanger in Lee's car as we were coming back from London), but walking is. But only if it hasn't iced over. Then it's a tad on the slippery slide. Of course now it's warmed up, and it's been raining today, so all the lovely white stuff is now unattractive grey puddles of slush.

I've also come to the decision that if there is any way I can live for a couple of years here, I'm going to. Of course, that means finding a job that will give me a visa, but I realised the other day that the consulate is a pulic service job, and if they can't use a Paperwork Goddess then no-one can. Something to look at, anyway. in the future. Like, in a year or so. But there's something about Toronto, and by extension, Canada, that's so familiar. Dex says he has the same thing about Australia. Must be the similarity between the two cultures. Although standardised faucets/taps would be helpful. *grins*

Flight stuff pretty much sorted for LA. I've discovered that they've changed my flight number and I'm leaving an hour earlier (8.10 in the morning, would you believe it...), but I've got a place to kip and a ride from LAX, so 's all good. Better check my flight home stuff too, if they're changing things on me. :P

Still have shipping and shopping to do. As in shipping stuff back home via surface mail (the parcels are all packed), and finishing my Christmas/souvenier gift buying. Which is why I need to get into town. Ack. Must try and get some normal sleep so I wake up at a normal hour. Like in the morning.

And I cooked tonight. Just for me, seeing how Doqz has Issues with vegetables (although there's a bowl left out for Dex), but it was rather yummy pasta if I say so myself. There's something about cooking and other domestic chores that relaxes me. And as I was saying to Doqz, I don't think being domestic makes me in any way less of a feminist. Quite the opposite, in fact, since it means I can look after myself quite adequately, thank you very much. That extends to bike maintenance, changing light bulbs and removing spiders. *grins*

And I'm off to the pub to meet up with Dex on his way back from work. Catch you later.
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Yep, we're back, and in Toronto as I type. Although Canada has proved something of a gyp - there I was in Ottowa and not a hint of snow! Any way, just letting people know we're safe and sound and that Walkabout (the bit with Gerg, anyway) is now officially over. *pauses* Wow, that feels kind of strange.

More later, once I discover whether my cable has surfaced yet. :P
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Weird, I've been skimming through past journal posts and am feeling rather dislocated as to time and space. I have to remind myself that yes, I am on the other side of the planet to the place I'm usually at, and that this has been the case for a while, and will continue to be so for a few more weeks yet.

That aside, onto where we've been and where we're going.

6 Nov: Savannah to Atlanta The drive was fairly uneventful down the interstate, and we managed to hit rush hour traffic, as we have done in every other major city we've gone to. [ profile] queenieb welcomed us with much Southern hospitality and we went to the taco place for dinner. Yum.

7 Nov: Atlanta Attack of the lurghi - I spent the day on QB's couch feeling crappy whilst Gerg went out and did the tourist thing at the World of Coca-Cola and the Matrin Luther King Jnr Memorial. Chinese food was obtained and the rejuvenating properties of spicy Asian soup appreciate by myself.

8 Nov: Atlanta to Kingsport, Tennesee The faithful chariot that is Gerg's Subaru needed an oil change, so once that was done, we were given great directions for the scenic route through the Smoky Mountains by one of the mechanics whose family lives in Kingsport. So there was much ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the pretty countryside. it was also a short-cut, getting us to [profile] user a lot quicker than expected. Gerg made dinner (we were all kinda zonked) and I finally got to see episodes of Mystery Science Theatre - 3000. All I can say is... it all makes sense now. :)

9 Nov: Smoky Mountains Upon rising (eventually) it was decided to go into the mountains for some hiking and such. Pausing to get gas, it was discovered Epona's car had sprung a leak in the radiator hose, and so we had to dodgy up a patch with electrical tape (and then duct tape purchased at a nearby hardware store), before reaching an auto parts palce for a replacement. Repairs done, we hit the crawling monster that is Pigeon Fork traffic (every tourist and his dog was there!) and finally escaped into the hills around three-ish, giving us time for a couple of walks, although the last (to Grotto Falls) was concluded in darkness. Another Gerg-cooked meal (he's handy that way *grins*) and then we addicted Epona to Chez Geek.

10 Nov: Kingsport And on the seventh day they lay around reading comics and watching TV and playing Chez Geek. Seems like these "do nothing" days are getting more and more frequent - clear sign I'm runing out of steam, I think. Besides, we all need a sloth day, right? Dinner was had at the Outback Steakhouse, the Aussie-theme restaurant that reduces me to a giggling mess every time. Snagged another menu, since one of my rellos acquired the last one and I wanted to show my brother how silly it all is. We had an amazing lightshow on the way back, care of the thunderstorm coming over the hills, and a tornado warning during Apollo 13. Yes, the wierd weather jinx is still with us.

11 Nov: Kinsport to Washington DC, Maryland More driving through pretty autumn colours - nice of things to wait for us. :) We stopped in Blacksbug for lunch with [personal profile] technophobia (some interesting re-packing to fit him in the car!) and then continued on our way to the nation's capital. Fonrtunately no tornadoes, despite the weather warnings, and not even too-horrible traffic - at least it was pretty mobile. We waited on [profile] drbenway's front steps for about half an hour, during which time I got another couple of postcards into the mail, and then after dumping stuff, headed to the Ethiopian restaurant. And I am so going to have to find one of these in Melbourne, because the food was terrific.

12 Nov: Washington DC Since it's pretty consistently raining out there, we're holing us inside for the day. Besides, my credit card has horfed again (curse that bloody week-long delay with payments!) and I have US$20 to my name earmarked for dinner with various peoples tonight. It's not actually too much of a problem - tomorrow I get to switch currencies again.

13 Nov: Washington DC - Ottowa, Canada Yes, we're pulling the pin on Philly. Seems it's not a convenient time to catch up with people, and I'm out of US currency, and Gerg has a family thing to go to next week. So we're heading north. Breaking the drive with the Ottowa side trip (only an hour away from where we're crossing the border) and staying (hopefully) with a mate of Gerg's.

14 Nov: Ottowa - Toronto After perusing the markets of Ottowa (there's something Gerg wants to get, and I'm still short on gifts), we're driving the four hours or so to Toronto. Be prepared, [personal profile] dexfarkin and [personal profile] doqz. :) And if you get a parcel for me, hang onto it, it's my cable. :)

I'll be in Toronto until the (horribly early) morning of the 22nd of November, whereupon I'll be flying out to LA to hang with the SoCal folks and readjust to warm. Then I'll be flying to Brisbane, leaving the 29th and arriving on the 1st of December (yep, you lose a day flying to Oz). And then eventually, home. But you'll hear from me before then. :)
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Okay, having spoken to Gerg, here's plans from Epona's place to the end of the week.

Monday 11th Nov: Leave Kingsport, possible lunch in Blacksburg with Twiller, then onto Washington DC.

Tues 12th Nov - Wed. 13th Nov: Washington/Baltimore. Not sure about how this is gonna work - perhaps some kind of get together? Dinner? I'll leave it up to you guys cause my planning ability is just about exhausted.

Wed. 13th: Philadelphia: [personal profile] redhawk and Hex let us know if lunch is possible on this day. If it isn't, perhaps dinner if floorspace can be provided to crash on?

Thurs. 14th: New Jersey for the comic shop, and then onto Toronto. Should be arriving... um, actually, I have no idea. Probably late.

*sighs* Sorry to miss people - I feel bad about it - but I honestly can't do much more.
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Yup, Rossi can write good.

Okay, so the plan for the rest of the week is as follows:

Wednesday/Thursday: Atlanta.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Kingsport, Tennessee, with Epona.

After that we're heading up to Washington DC briefly, and Philedelphia for lunch with Hex, and then New Jersey for Jay and Silent Bob's House of Swag. And then we're calling it quits. Or at least getting out of the States, where the exchange rate is not being kind to my finances. So, we'll probably be back in Toronto weekend after next - a definite date to be announced.

Apologies to those who we'll miss (ie, Yona and Obsidian, and possibly various Vortexians), but it's time to wrap this up. Just about all Walkabouted out.

Update Time

Nov. 4th, 2002 04:28 pm
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So I've been trolling around my LJ friends list, doing anything but actually updating. Actively avoiding it, actually. It's Post-Con fatigue, where all the late nights and large amounts of beer catch up with you. But I finally have decided to stop wasting time (and stop tying up Duey's phone line) and actually do another of those brief catch-up updates.

First up: the cable has surfaced. Dande emailed me to say the parcel had arrived at her house, finally, and I've asked her to send it on to Dex's house. So, I shall have my computer back in not too long a period of time. :) Of course, until then it's still the hand-written notes, and these summaries, but at least it's communication, right?

So, let's get on with it...

Oct. 22nd to 24th: Fayetteville, Arkansas. Time was spent with Icewing and his partner Jason, and much fun was had. It was also a good chance to catch breath.

24th Oct: Fayetteville to Hot Springs. Having come across this in the Guide, and having not actually gotten on the road until afternoon, we decided to camp overnight in the National Parks campground, and then visit the hot springs themselves in the morning.

25th Oct: Hot Springs to Huntsville, Alabama. Ah, the curse of the Aussie dollar. My credit card started making creaky noises, so we decided the best place to be should it actually fail would be somewhere that didn't cost us money. In other words, Gerg's aunt and uncle in Huntsville. We wandered the town of Hot Springs, made lunch, and then got back on the road. Four states in about six or seven hours - Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. We also paused in Memphis long enough to see Graceland (again, that money problem meant we couldn't do much else), and then arrived sometime around nine-ish.

Oct. 26th to 28th: Huntsville. Another one of those 'catch-up' spells, which were becoming more and more necessary. Whilst waiting for the bank to clear money for Gerg, Steve adn Judy (Gerg's aunt and uncle) looked after us with true Southern hospitality, which included a great meal the second night, and tickets (as Gerg's birthday present) to Music Man, the musical with "76 Trombones" in it, and dinner at a teppenyaki restaurant (the Japanese ones where they cook the meal in front of you on a hotplate set into the table-top). Gerg and I also visited the Rocket and Space Museum, which included all sorts of exhibits on the States' space program, and the world's silliest ride.

29th Oct. Huntsville to Panama City Beach, Florida. Having seen the weather forecast for parts north, it was decided to head south, to sunny Florida. Unfortunately, our drive was marked by torrential rain of the tropical sort, and a speeding ticket. So in order to pamper ourselves (or rather, Gerg to pamper both of us, since he paid for this lot), we stayed in a nicer hotel and had a wonderful seafood dinner. Florida lobster, yum.

30th Oct. Panama City Beach to Perry. At some point during this trip I'm going to understand just how long a mile is and how long it takes to drive 200 of them. Because due to another late start (it was sunny, and the hotel pool was beckoning) we realised that trying to reach the Ichetucknee Springs that day was an exercise in futility. Especially when you use the coastal road. It was worth it, though, for pristine white beaches and great scenery. We got as far as the town of Perry and hit another hotel room.

31st Oct: Perry to Savannah, Georgia. Just as well we didn't get to the Springs the night before - things were mostly closed, the springs themselves restricted to just canoeing (it's famous for inner tubing in the summer), and so we continued on to St Augustine, reaching it by noon. St Augustine is the oldest settlement in the United States, and has soem great old buildings as a result. We split up so we could see the city at our individual paces, and wandered around for a couple of hours. Then upon meeting up again, I called Duey and worked out how to get to her place and how long it would take. We had a beer in one of the nifty pubs in the Old Quarter to fortify us before taking off, and thanks to the backroad short cut Duey's husband Lee gave us, we reached Duey's house (about an hour out of Savannah) in record time.

1st-3rd Nov: SavannahCon. Or DueyCon, as it was renamed after many beers rendered us opting for the shorter version. :) Whilst numbers were small (seven in all; me, Gerg, Duey, Lee, Dex, QB and Maeve (and her partner Zack one night)), it was quality rather than quantity. Our constumed pub crawl became unofficial as we took way too much time to get ready, but it was a blast any way. QB was Buffy, Dex was John Constantine, Gerg was Ultimate-Beast, and I have hair several shades lighter than before as a result of my Jenny Sparks costume.

Note to the parents/non-comic-people: No, you aren't expected to understand most of that last sentence.

There was also wandering around Savannah, watching O Brother Where Art Thou after drinking makes it a seriously freaky movie, much talking and laughing and general relaxation. Kudos to Duey. :)

4th Nov: Gerg's Birthday. Yep, that's today. Wish him a happy one.
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Okay, we have a Plan for the next few days. And no more Issues to worry about, which is good 'cause I was starting to have stress-dreams. ;)

29th Oct: Huntsville to Panama City, Florida: All that snow has scared us south. :)

30th Oct: Panama City to Jacksonville: From beaches to the States' oldest settlement, and then to Jacksonville for the night.

31st Oct: Jacksonville to Savannah, Georgia: More specifically, [profile] anastasiab's house. We'll be aiming for afternoon/evening, when you'll be back home from work, Duet, but I'll call you before to get directions (again - I've forgotten since last time!) and make sure things are okay. :)

1st Nov - 4th Nov: SavannahCon: A gathering of the Southern Folks, plus a few ring-ins. And a Halloween (or the day after) Haunted Pub Crawl. We're still costuming, right?

That's it for the next section - as far as I can remember how it goes. We're leaving Huntsville in the morning so as to reach Panama City (or the National Park campground on the beach I've found in the Guide) before dark, but best laid plans and all... ;) We'll be around and in touch. :)

Speaking of in touch, I finally got to mail postcards today. *grins* Some of these are from British Columbia, for goodness' sake.
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Yes, as you've probably gathered from various replies to various other LJs and such, I have computer access. We're at Gerg's aunt's house in Huntsville, Alabama, and will remain so for the next couple of days whilst we wait upon the Almighty Bank. I have my own room to sleep in, which means actual sleeping, and Gerg's uncle Steve cooked last night and is promising French toast for breakfast when he gets back from an errand. All is good.

I still have to confirm with Gerg, but I think we'll be hitting Savannah either Wednesday or Thursday. Full details to be posted once they're in existence. :)
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Okay, this is going to be roughly where we'll be the next few days. Very roughly. There's a whole bunch of factors influencing choices, and frankly, I've hit my decision-making limit and am having a serious case of the 'eh, who cares?'.

So, we're heading to Memphis today. After that, it's either New Orleans, or Huntsville, where Gerg's aunt lives. Contacting will need to be done. From there I'm not sure, but we will be in Savannah for SavannahCon, arriving possibly on the 30th or 31st. Apologies, [profile] anastasiab, we'll call you when we can be a bit more specific. Hopefully there's still somewhere for us to kip there? :)

I'll try and jump online again in the next few days, once I have a better idea of what's going on. Catch you then.
deathpixie: (Default)
Alas, my cable is still MIA. Lost somewhere apparently in the wilds of the US postal system. Which means I haven't been able to do my usual "every couple of days added to" LJ post. Add to that the fact we've spent a large portion of the past week or two in wilderness areas where there is no electricity and showers, let alone Internet, and you have an explanation for the rather prolongued silence from my LJ.

So, it's the "we're still alive and somewhere in Arkansas" post. Apologies for any inadvertant tackiness in that statement considering recent fanficcer events of which I've only recently caught up with.

I will be doing a longer post (and finishing my Hob Gadling fic, dammit!) once I get my cable/buy another, but for now, a quickie summary of life since Vancouver. Besides, I've learned no-one actually has the time (besides my family) to read those monster posts of mine. ;) So, for the terminally-busy, the Cliff Notes Version!

*looks through her diary* Aw crap, you mean I have almost a month's worth here? Ye gods, how the time doth fly.

October 1-3: Vancouver. A combination of social stuff (hanging with [personal profile] lise and [personal profile] chandri, for not nearly enough time, as always, and not catching up with Glock and Maggie) and touist-type things, with the Tour De Van woth our lovely assistant Lise. :) And that damned cheap CD shop again.

Oct. 4: Vancouver-Seattle: We took off around 1pm, had Fun With Immigration (I had to get my entry permit extended, as they only last three months and was due to expire half-way up the East Coast) and then battled Seattle's bizarre street layout to find the hostel. And once again we hit a major city during rush hour.

Oct. 5: Seattle-Portland: [ profile] kielle, if you and Laer are still thinking of moving North, I'd heartily recommend Seattle. Lovely place, lots to do, and the Experice Music Program (a kind of high-tech museum for modern music) would need days to fully appreciate. There's also the Underground City tour, lots of nifty places to eat, and cool older buildings.

Oh, and like everyone else before us, we got lost in Portland. Even with three maps.

Oct. 6: Portland. The mornign of the discovery that I'd left my cable behind. And there was much swearing and gnashing of teeth and snapping at innocent travelling companions. Staffie got to see me as I was coming down and talking to the Seattle Hostel people. So he did the good thing and distracted me by taking us out to lunch in a renovated asylum, and to the Multnomah Falls, and then to Powell's Bookstore, where the temptation was to great and I ended up with the Spider Robinson books I'd been searching several countries for.

Oct. 7: Portland - Klamath. Klamath is in the heart of the Redwoods. Need I say more? I do? Okay, the drive down the scenic Highway 1 was well worth the greater driving time, and the hostel was extremely pituresque. Happy? *grins*

Oct. 8: Klamath - San Francisco. We started the morning with a walk amongst giants. The redwood, and the giant sequoia, are Trees, with a capital T. Just amazing. Then we hit the road again, stopped in Eureka for lunch, did a windy mountain road that nearly made us both carsick, stopped at Glass Beach and had Taco Bell in Fort Bragg. Bad idea - I got stomach cramps and ended up passing out on the side of the road after getting Greg to stop so I could encourage the said Taco Bell to abandon ship. I slept the last few hours to San Fran (which we hit by midnight) and awoke as we weer crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Navigation was performed above and beyond the call of duty, and I was molested by a drunken German teddy bear.

Oct. 9: San Francisco. We had planned to stay a day or two in SF during the Rockies stretch, and so we had ourselves a tourist day, wandering here, there and everywhere. All the usual things - cable cars, Lombard Street, that really steep, squiggly one they have car chases down in movies, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown... Again, another really nice city.

Oct. 10: San Francisco - San Luis Obispo. Having called [ profile] dandesun and finally gotten some plans made, we took off to the Golden Gate Bridge for some photography (and of course, the Fog was with us, sorry, Marine Layer *grins at Dande*). We had lunch in Haight Street (birth place of the Summer of Love) and paused in Gilroy, Garlic Capital of the World, before reaching Dande's place a few hours later than expected.

[Sidenote: If we arrange to visit/get together, please be aware it's really, really hard to specify a time. Too many other factors kick in, especially when we're somewhere scenic. But we will try to not be more than a few hours late. *grins*]

Oct. 8-12: San Luis Obispo. Hanging with Dande, and such California peoples as could make it up there. Apologies to those we missed - time, and more importantly, money, were starting to be pressing factors. Please forgive us? Also, I'll be back Nov 22-29, and I'm sure Gerg has plans to return sometime himself - he really loves this side of the country.

Oct. 14: Los Angeles. This was'nt an intended stop, but credit card issues meant we had to stop and sort things out.

Oct. 15: Los Angeles - Joshua Tree National Park. Seeing how we were in LA, we managed lunch with Pebblin, before heading east to the Joshua Tree NP. Remember the U2 album? Those are Joshua Trees, and they grow in the desert. We arrived by moonlight (a recurring theme, night campsiting), and I slept in the car whilst Greg tented it.

Oct. 16: Joshua Tree - Las Vagas. Joshua Tree is a climber's Mecca. Rocks, rocks and more rocks, which I happily scrambled around on wihlst waiting for Gerg to wake up, and then later as we toured the park and saw Those Trees. The onward to Vegas, which isn't really my kind of place, so I socialised in the hostel whilst Gerg went out and won $300 on the pokies, thereby financing his evening out.

Oct. 17: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon. It was impossible to be this close to the Canyon and not actually stop, so using the old Highway 66 route, we hit the Canyon at sunset and camped at a site called Desert View. A dinner by candlelight - darkness caught us making food and so we used the citronella candles purchased in Moose Jaw as lighting.

Oct. 18: Grand Canyon to Albuquerque. We started at six am, because we had a lot of ground to cover, and still managed to be seven hours late. Ah well, it was worth it, with the Canyon at sunrise, Navajo and Hopi country, and the Canyon De Chelle, which has the ruins of pueblos built by the ancient Anasazi Indians. We hostelled it, having reached 'Querque' that evening, and arranged to meet [personal profile] azzinita for brunch.

Oct. 19: Albuquerque - Las Cruches. Met Azzy, which was cool, wandered around Old Town and watched Gerg get hit on by a jewellery maker, then dropped Azzy at work before hitting the road again. We got gas in Truth or Consequences (an actual town name), and roughed it at a roadside stop outside of Las Cruches for the night.

Oct. 20: Las Cruches - Carlsbad. More National Parks. White Sands is a gypsum desert of pure white sand, and Carlsbad Caverns are on the Heritage List. In between the two we had lunch in the woods near Cloudscroft (Gerg was happy to find trees taller than himself again, and hills - all those flat spaces...), and our luck enable us to catch the famous Mexican free-tailed bat flight from the cavern at dusk. And I was visited by a friendly skunk as I was making dinner.

Oct. 21: Carlsbad - Fayetteville. The tri-state run. Those of you who know the area, or who are following this trip on you maps at home, will realise we covered three states and a huge amount of area in one day. Catch-up time; we have the deadline of November 1st to reach Savannah, there's much to do and see in between. But first, we had to walk the Caverns, which were indeed awesome, and one day I'm coming back so I can do the tour where you crawl through little tunnels on your hands and knees. :) We reached Roswell in time to do the extremely daggy and highly amusing UFO Museum, and then drove. A lot. I fell asleep sometime after we reached Oklahoma, and awoke to Gerg telling me we were in Fayetteville at four in the morning. We found a motel and crashed.

Oct. 22: Fayetteville. [profile] icewing00 had class until 2.30-ish, so we slept and ate and then hung aroud doing little until it was time to call for directions. Then talking, dinner out, and a most amusing painting-pun in a coffee shop.

And that's the month in review. I'm really wanting my cable, and it's so good to just stop for a while, but the desert was wonderful. Definitely a 'me' place. We still need to decide our future course - that's for sometime today, I think, when Gerg's done playing computer games.

I'm going to go do some laundry.
deathpixie: (Default)
Okay, so we're in San Luis Obispo, which is where Dande lives, and we're staying at Dande's parents' place, which is really nice and very cool. And we've had a fly-by KJ-ing, and an Ashlan is here now, despite having a test on Tuesday to study for (for she is a wonderful person), and 's all good.

Except there's some problems.

There are money issues.

Also, I inadvertantly left my power cable for my lap top at the hostel in Seattle, and gave them Dande's _old_ address to mail it to. We went round there today and left a note for the new tenants (who weren't home), but I think I'll have to call the hostel and see if it's been returned. As a result of this, I can't actually use my computer (there's not a lot of juice left in the batteries), until I get it back. It's... stressful, since I can't afford to but another cable.

Travelling has its up and downs, and hopefully it's as difficult as it's going to get. Just makes things that much harder.

An updated itinerary for the next stage will be posted soonish, as soon as I can nail Gerg down long enough to get some input and figure out how long distances are in miles. Patience, please, from those expecting us in their regions.
deathpixie: (Default)
You may have noticed, we're slightly behind schedule. We arrived in San Francisco last night (in the fog) and I'm sure once it's a really pretty place - once the fog lifts. *grins* The hostel's great, an old Army base, datin gback to the Spanish. We're wandering around today, adn staying tonight, and then heading further south tomorrow sometime, once we work out things with the So Cal people. Which reminds me. Can someone email me or comment and let me know what plans are karaoke-wise? 'Cause I'm so out of the loop here. ;)

And Gerg promises to update the site as soon as he gets a connection. It's all done, just needs the technology. ;)
deathpixie: (Default)
Although the HI in Seattle isn't as cheap as its siblings...

Yep, we're spending the night in Seattle, owing to not getting on the road until afternoon and then the distances being a bit longer than anticipated. Also, we felt silly driving through Seattle and not actually stopping. So we're spending the morning in Seattle, sightseeing, and then heading down to Portland. I can't say when we'll get there because it's beyond my abilities to predict. So, the below schedule ought to be pushed along by one day.

See you on the flipside.
deathpixie: (Default)
Okay, fairly reliable itinerary for the second leg of the trip. Dates are as near as can be. Still waiting on a couple of emails, but, so accomodation could be interesting...

Friday, 4th October: Depart Vancouver for Portland, Oregon. Hopefully catch up with Falstaff.

Saturday, 5th October: Portland to the Redwood Forest National Park. We're hitting the coastline and heading for the HI hostel in the redwood forest.

Sunday, 6th October: San Francisco. Again, hostel.

Monday, 7th October: San Francisco still. We've got a bunch of places to see from a couple we met in Jasper.

Tuesday, 8th October: Continuing south. Depending on whether Dande is able to put us up, or possibly one/some of the other SoCal people, we'll either be north of LA or in it. I'm not sure, but I think we were intending to stay a few days.

After this we're heading for Las Vegas *shudders* and then across to Alburqurque. And I know I've probably misspelled that but it's late and I can't be bothered to check it. I'll have a better idea once we actually know we have somewhere to stay in Cali. Contact details, etc for Dande, KJ nad anyone else wanting a couple of travellers crashing on their floor, would be greatly appreciated - email me at, please?

Man, this part's less organised than the first part. Scary thought.o
deathpixie: (Default)
Prince Rupert: 27/09/2002.

Prince Rupert in the early morning. We bid farewell to Patrick (he was going down to Bela Bela, about half-way down the coast), and collected the car. The hostel was closed, so we went to Cowpaccino’s again for brekkie. More o ld cycling magazines. *grins* After checking in, the day was spent tidying up and typing this (and so not finishing, seeing how this is now five days later and I’m at Lise’s house in Vancouver). I got to commune with my countrymen – there were three Aussi e guys leaving the hostel that day, two from Melbourne and one from Sydney. And we solved the mystery of my accent – it’s not me that has the funny Aussie accent, it’s the rest of you lot. *grins* Either that or I’m in touch with my Inner Bloke, because I was bloking away with the best of them.

There was also a Dane couple who were looking for a car to buy, and Gerg, being the Native Guide, went out with the guy to look at cars for a while. No luck, but I think they’re going to try again in Calgary – the y’re doing the reverse of the trip we’ve already done. I hit the hay early that night, since we were getting up at five-thirty to be at the ferry terminal by six for the seven-thirty service.

Inner Passage: 28/09/2002.

Good ol’ internal alarm. I woke up at one-thirty, four-thirty, and then five. I lay there for a few minutes, then got up as quietly as I could (we were in the dorm) and had a shower, since that’s the only way I can actually function that early in the morning. I’d already packed (and was greatly surprised to see Gerg had packed the night before without actually waking me – brownie points for the earplugs, even if they don’t work on snoring), so I shook Gerg’s foot a few times until he moved enough to satisfy me he was alive and then headed downstairs. No time for brekkie – we still had to lug stuff downstairs – and then off to the ferry terminal. We didn’t have to wait that long, and we had granola bars and apples and cereal (which Gerg eats like potato chips) sitting in the queue.

The Inner Passage trip was amazing. It’s basically a ferry down the coast, threading its way through the various islands, through some of the most beautiful parts of British Columbia. Hard to describe in detail – again, the pictures will do that job far better. And we saw whales, or at least their tails, and finally a bear! It was on the shore, a little black fuzzy blob, but a bear all the same. It was funny – the captain announced over the PA: "If you look to starboard, you will see a black bear near the river…" and everyone rushed to that side – I was waiting for the ferry to list to one side with all the weight!

In all, the ferry was a really good way to get down the coast. A lot quicker – if you look at a map, there’s not a lot of roads down that part of the Canadian coast, and you have to backtrack as far as Prince George – and less stressful. And cheaper, considering fuel prices. We left not long after 7:30, and got into Port Hardy around 10:00pm. Patrick had told us about a cheap-ish camp ground not far from the ferry terminal, and we joined a RV convoy there, pitching our tent quite successfully by the parking lights of the car.

Vancouver Island: 29/09/2002.

Gerg communed with the wildlife, making friends with a rather cheeky (and noisy) bird who decided the tent was worth investigation whilst I was in the shower. Brekkie was instant oatmeal – porridge if you’re Aussie or a Brit. And just what kind of size person are those servings intended for anyway? Once the car was packed again, we took off down the road south, aiming for Victoria and the HI hostel. Along the way, we read the signs and took a nifty little detour onto some forestry roads to the Little Huson Caves. After a nifty walk down, we found ourselves at a very pretty river that had carved its way through the rock. There was a group of teenagers abseiling down in front of the cave mouth, and then using ascenders to get back up, which looked like a lot of fun. Gerg, in his quest for the perfect photo, managed to maroon himself on a rock in the middle of the river, and got his feet a bit wet getting back – I rescued the digital camera off him first, convinced he was going to end up arse over in the water. It was all very nice, and if the weather had been a little warmer, I might ha ve been tempted to swim. The water was lovely. And the way it swirled around, it was all sparkly and bubbly, just like champagne.

We took the back roads back to the highway (more rally driving, Gerg was very happy), and took another detour to a camp grou nd called Lake Schoen for lunch. Lunch is generally soup and sandwiches, and the setting was perfect – mountains soaring over the clear blue lake. Having eaten and admired the scenery, we got back into the car and continued south. We had a choice – mounta ins or coast, and I chose coast. Possibly not the best decision, as it did take longer, but still very nice. At some stage during the afternoon, Gerg satisfied his Tim Horton’s craving (a coffee and doughnut chain indigenous to Canada), and we switched drivers because he was tired. Lots of gear practice to get out of the town we were in whose name escapes me, and I drove maybe a couple of hours until it got dark and started raining pretty heavily.

It was dark, around nine-ish when we got to Victoria. I think I’m going to have to do a return visit to Vancouver Island, to see what I’ve missed during the dark bits. And the fact we zipped through pretty quickly, mainly because we wanted to get off the road for a while. Notwithstanding we’d spent four days i n the Queen Charlottes. Either my navigation or Gerg’s direction-taking is improving, or perhaps both, or maybe the maps are getting better, because we found the HI hostel with no difficulties at all. Dinner was souped-up Kraft Dinner, and then I pretty m uch crashed. The past few days had been wearing on me – I was getting tireder and tireder.

Victoria: 30/09/2002.

Morning was devoted to exploring Victoria. I rang the ferry terminal and checked out the timetables and fares for Vancouver, and figured we could catch the afternoon ferry. We decided on the museum, as the Guide had given it a good write up and it had been a while between museums, at least for me. The Royal British Columbia Museum is only a couple of floors, but has a great First Peoples exh ibit, as well as a good one on BC geography and ecology. There was also a special exhibit on the Royal Family, which amused me no end, being the good little republican that I am. I got snagged by a survey taker as we were finishing up, so Mum, Dad, if you get a call from Canada about whether one Joanne Howard took a survey on the BC museum, say yes. *grins*

In the course of our wanderings, we saw the wharf and the Legislature Building, and some really lovely buildings. Gerg wanted to see Antique Row, and showed me the old $20 bill with the picture of Lake Morraine, which we’d seen in the Rockies. Then we had to hustle ourselves to the ferry, which we caught with no difficulty. It was much more spiffy than the Queen of Prince Rupert (the ferry to the Char lottes), and the Queen of the North (the Inside Passage ferry), and even had some little corrals with power points for your computer (with a nifty little warning about the power source being unreliable and to use at your own risk). So the scenery was igno red largely for the sake of the journal entry (the sacrifices I make for you people *grins*). Then, when we were heading back down to the car, Fate intervened and Gerg bumped into a friend of his, Stacey, who is living in Vancouver and works Mondays, Wedn esdays and Thursdays on the island. Gerg had forgotten to contact her, and meeting her was sheer coincidence: any other time it wouldn’t have happened. We walked down to the cars together, and arranged to have dinner with her and her husband the following night. Having called Lise for directions from the bowels of the ferry and managed to find our way to the boondocks where she lives, we did what all ficcers do and talked into the night before crashing. I even had some brief AIM time, technically to see i f Mel was around (I miss Mel, like sleep), but instead catching up with Samy and Trisha and Dex and very briefly Falstaff, which was nice. And I slept on the couch, which was blissfully quiet.

deathpixie: (Default)
Jasper to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gawaii)

19/9/02 – 27/9/02.

Hi there again, my faithful fans. All three of you. *grins* It’s time for another bulk update, typed on the fly, so apologies for the quality of typing. I couldn’t take the computer with me to the Islands, so this is being done on the day of posting, and beyond, if I don’t finish. We’re sitting in the hostel in Prince Rupert, waiting for the manager to get back so we can check in and have a shower and sort out the complete chaos tha t is the car – for people travelling light, we certainly added enough stuff to our packs whilst over there.

Jasper to Smithers: 19/09/2002.

With heavy hearts and lowering skies, we took our leave of Mt Edith Cavell and Kat, who had been so hospitable f or the four nights we’d been there. As usual, packing and all was a mammoth undertaking – the thing about car touring is that it’s all too easy to let things get out of hand, throwing stuff into the back seat willy-nilly, and every so often you have to re pack everything. Bike touring or bushwalking is a lot different – you have to carry everything every day, in the one pack, so you repack every time you start off again. Any way, we finally got on the road by mid-morning, and wove our way out of the Rockie s. It was odd, losing the comforting presence of the mountains on all sides, but it was only temporary – British Columbia’s north isn’t shy on mountains itself.

I have to say I don’t have a lot to say about this section. After a couple of weeks of gorgeo us weather, the rain finally arrived, in great big bucketfuls, and there’s something about a warm car, wipers swinging back and forth hypnotically, that puts me to sleep, especially after days and weeks of sleeping on couches and hostel beds and camp mats. So basically I slept, on and off, for about five hours. There was a lunch stop, in Prince George, and much debate about possible places to stop – the Guide wasn’t terribly helpful, practically saying this part of BC wasn’t worth stopping in. But then ag ain, they weren’t trying to drive almost one thousand kilometres in a day.

Eventually we decided to stop in Smithers, especially as it was getting dark and deer were starting to pop out unexpectedly. Deer (and elk and moose) aren’t particularly helpful w hen you’re tired. It took a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, but we eventually found a not-too-expensive motel (no hostels out here, and after the rain, the campsites were a mess) that even had a kitchenette. Which was great, since it meant we could make our ow n dinner and breakfast and save money that way. Things were getting tight, and are a whole lot tighter now, but more of that in its proper time. I also made Gerg watch Pretty In Pink, reliving my high school days. Man, I’d forgotten how bad that mo vie is.

Possibly the most memorable thing about Smithers was the view from the motel carpark – more of those mountains, huge, snow-capped monsters, holding up the sky. I think the sunset was worth the stop. That and the lovely comfy bed.

Smithers to Hyder (Alaska): 20/09/2002.

Having confirmed plans the night before – at one point the motel bed was lost under a sea of maps and pamphlets and guidebooks – we headed north, to Alaska. Mainly so that we could say, "Yes, we went to Alaska." It was a scenic drive – no falling asleep this time! – through the mountains and past yet another glacier: Bear Glacier, this time. Much more impressive and far less crowded with tourists than the Columbia Icefields. Stewart, the town at the end of the road on the Canadi an side, was where they filmed Insomnia, and there are traces round about; mostly autographed pictures in the windows of certain shops, and interesting signatures in the guest books. It’s a nice little town, and we had a wonderful lunch at this caf é/restaurant that made its own bread and had the best chai I’ve tasted in a long while. I bought a mug, mainly because I liked them so much, but also because my personal collection on coffee mugs numbers less than six. Bit of a pain for gatherings and Gre at Australian Slumber Parties.

Once fed, we headed over the border. After a slight misdirection, we found ourselves crossing into the United States, and in this era of ultra-paranoia and jumping through hoops, it was amusing to find that Hyder, Alaska, d oes not in fact have any border controls at all. No Customs, no declarations, no checking of hiking boots for explosives, zip. Guess there aren’t many terrorist targets that far north. Apart from being one of those amusing border towns – think Albury/Wodo nga, those who know it, except you’re changing countries instead of just states – Hyder’s claim to fame is Fish Creek and the salmon run. And the bear viewing platform.

Now, let me state now that despite my paranoia of the Rockies, born of one too many w arning posters, I am starting to believe bears are all a clever Canadian hoax. Like drop bears in Australia. Because, alas, we had arrived too late in the season for the be-furred tourist magnets, and saw instead a lot of dead/dying fish, and many seagull s having themselves a smorgasbord of salmon. Mind you, the fish were pretty cool – salmon runs aren’t usual in Australia, and I’d never seen such big freshwater fish before. Mind you, I don’t live in Queensland.

Having exhausted the possibilities of Fish Creek, and having gone rock and photo-collecting on the river further downstream, we wandered back to Hyder. Of course, I had to have a postcard from Alaska, so we stopped at the amusingly – and appropriately – named Border Bandit, where I secured a post card and experienced small-town rudeness at its finest. Having decided Hyder had offered us all it was going to, we began to head out of town, and then stopped to examine a nifty old building that had once served as a powder magazine. After doing the phot o thing, I found Gerg had wandered into a shop/gallery, and since there were shiny things in the window, I followed him in. I’m glad I did, because not only did I find a birthday prezzie for [Bad username or site: @] (which will be mailed eventually, mate, p robably when I reach Vancouver in a few days’ time), but the owner turned out to be quite chatty and rather interesting to talk to. And she showed me how glass beads were made, which could be something to learn for my retirement years (there is a plan. Mo re of this later).

Finally exhausting every Hyder possibility, we drove out of town, pausing at a small cemetery to change drivers. Seems Gerg wanted to photograph the scenery from the car, but found (from experience – thankfully I was asleep duri ng the experiment!) that driving and cameras don’t mix. So I drove, and I enjoyed it, since it was a bendy road and required me to use the clutch and gears a lot more and helped me dump some of my driving paranoia. And Gerg got some great photos, if the digital ones are anything to go by.

By nightfall we’d reached Terrace, and we ventured into a Denny’s for an experience in chain-store dining. The place was covered with Norman Rockefeller prints, which were more interesting than the food (yes, that blah) and then Gerg took over the driving for Prince Rupert. I fell asleep again (it was dark and I was full of food), and apparently there were deer. And then Prince Rupert, unfortunately too late to get into the hostel, so we roughed it in the next-c heapest motel, which wasn’t too bad.

Prince Rupert: 21/09/2002.

Rupert, as it’s known by the locals, is a quaint little coastal town, existing mainly as the ferry point for the Queen Charlotte Islands and parts south, but with enough quirks to make it i nteresting. It is also famous for it’s rain – the highest rainfall of any place in Canada, and I’d believe it. We had brunch at Cowpaccinos, a coffee shop on Cow Bay, which has a Fresian theme going on; even the fire hydrants have black and white splotche s. I managed to find an old cycling magazine to read over a bagel and the best coffee I’ve had in a while, and Gerg and I got into a lively discussion about cyclists and road rules, particularly the one about passing on the inside at stop lights. Apparent ly that drives Gerg nuts, since he has to keep passing the same cyclist, but I’ve been cut off at the intersection too often by people who don’t signal turns to not put myself out the front where I can get the jump on the traffic when the light cha nges. We didn’t manage to resolve that one.

Finances were examined and re-examined, and it was concluded that catching the Inside Passage ferry down to Vancouver Island from Rupert would be cheaper than the extremely long drive (we’d have to go back to P rince George, as there aren’t any roads for quite a distance from the coastline), and give us a break besides. And there are whales. So when we booked the Islands ferry, we also booked the Passage, and then found ourselves with a day in Rupert, as there w ere no places until the next night’s ferry. And no carspace. We spent the day doing small errands, and then went hiking in the rainforest, to a place called Grassy Bay. I’m hoping Gerg can get the pics up soon, since those describe the walk a lot better t han words. Let’s just say it was wet, muddy and extremely green, and a lot of fun. Except the bit where I slipped on the log. That wasn’t fun at all. Luckily the pain didn’t hit my back until we were almost done, but when it did… ouch. It was my introduction to the wonderful world of back spasms, and I’m hoping it was a one-way trip, since I’m not wanting to relive the experience. Especially the bit when my right arm and leg went pins-and-needles.

Gerg got me back to the hostel and I took some Advil and passed out for a while. He woke me at dinnertime, and things were much better, so we went to the fish and chippery round the corner for local halibut and chips. The place had been given a write-up in the Guide, and it was well deserved. Great stuff. The r est of the evening was spent organising packs for the Islands – no car, remember? – and watching the Magic Picture Box, also known as TV.

February 2016

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