Tag Archives: road trip

A Journey to Endor

All my life I’ve been waiting to see the Redwoods, and finally yesterday I got the chance.  Photos can never do these trees justice; you must experience their surreal majesty in person.  I visited one of the most well-known areas for viewing the giants, Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park near Crescent City, California.  In another unintended turn down film history lane, this park is coincidentally home to Endor, the planet of the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi.Do you know that over 90% of the original redwoods have been logged by greedy-ass humans?  Gross, right?These behemoths can grow over 370 feet tall and over 20 feet in diameter.  They are some of the oldest living beings on this planet.  It is truly depressing to walk among these ancient groves knowing that dumbass humans cut down the biggest, tallest, strongest, and oldest specimens in the early 1900’s.  The hubris of a man taking a saw to a 1,000 year old tree is truly disgusting.   Walking through this forest, knowing it is now only a shadow of what it used to be because of human interference, makes me hate people more than I already do.  I didn’t actually think that was possible. Take the time to visit this place and remind yourself how insignificant we are compared to the resources we destroy.  Sitting humbly at the base of one of these granddaddy trees does wonders for recalibrating one’s perspective.  Enough preaching, if you could give a fuck about preserving the Earth, well then maybe you care about visiting Endor.  Whatever gets you there, it’s worth a trip to backwoods California to gaze at the big tall trees.  Psychedelics are optional, but you have a much greater chance of glimpsing an Ewok if you bring some along.

 

Rainbows, Hoh, and Twilight Tourism

After a delightful stay in Vancouver, I headed over to Victoria, B.C. and chowed on the best vegetarian Chinese ever at Lotus Pond.  This 100% cruelty-free joint blew my mind with their extensive menu of mock meat and use of unusual vegetable varieties.  Ever had a lotus root?  Me either.  Fake seafood, check.  Faux duck, quack, quack.  Food is served hot, quick, authentic, and delicious.  The service is kind, attentive, and unobtrusive.  Overall grade = a solid A.From Victoria, we took a little ferry ride to Port Angeles.  This is where we inadvertently got sucked into a vortex of Twilight tourism.  Rather than fight it, we decided to embrace the fromage, so we dined at Bella Italia.  This is the restaurant where Bella and Edward supposedly had their first date.  We avoided the overpriced “mushroom ravioli special,” opting instead for a decent bowl of minestrone and a mediocre Margherita pizza.  I asked the waitress if the place gets overrun with crazy-ass Twilight bitches, and she said for awhile it got so bad fans would steal the restaurant’s fancy leather-bound menus – which is such a profoundly dorky and pathetic move. After dinner, we hopped in the car and drove a little over an hour to Forks, Washington where we stayed at the hilarious Three Rivers Resort.  This “resort” obviously used to cater mostly to fisherman, but has wisely shifted its marketing focus to appeal to the voracious and insatiable Twilight fans.Even though our cabin smelled like a mean girl’s pussy, the owners were super nice, and the little cabin was an interesting departure from the standard hotel scene.  That said, I’m glad we only stayed one night.  Taking the advice of the kind proprietors of Three Rivers, we ventured down to the La Push reservation to Second Beach.  The elders blessed us with a sunny day, so we strolled the immaculately clean sand, snapped photos of the offshore rock formations, and spotted starfish in the tide pools.  Second Beach = trip highlight. Heading down the 101, we explored an enchantingly surreal hike through the mossy Hoh Rainforest.  Within this dense green wilderness lives some of the few undisturbed ancient trees protected from the logging industry.  As one of the few remaining unmolested areas of its kind, Hoh absolutely warrants protection from human destruction.  After our 6 mile hike, we turned back on the 101, and saw an extremely auspicious double rainbow over head.We had dinner in Aberdeen, the birthplace of the band Nirvana.  From Cobainland, we traveled a little further and crossed the border into Oregon by way of Astoria where we settled in for the night.  Tomorrow begins the second half of our journey where we will investigate The Goonies, Dita von Teese and the Redwoods.  Keep your tray tables stowed bitches, we ain’t done yet.

on the road

Many of you know I’m in the midst of an epic road trip.  Twelve days and over 1,300 miles by air, road, and sea.  5 days into the journey, I’ve come to rely on a few unexpected items.  Here are things that have helped me survive, navigate, and stay connected while away.  Laptop, Kindle, cell, I need a least three outlets.  Since I don’t want to unplug every lamp, alarm clock, and TV in every room I stay in, a power strip is key.  Slip one in your bag; you’ll use it everyday.  Many cell phone companies fuck us over by preventing us from roaming on foreign networks.  They don’t want to pay a premium to other service providers to allow their own subscribers network access.  Enter Google Voice.  When you port a number to Google Voice you can hear voice mails, send texts, and make calls even if you can’t connect to a cellular network.  I’m not going to get into all the technically amazing shit you can do with Google Voice, but I highly recommend you look into this rad, FREE service.  On a similar tip, when the GPS isn’t working because you are in the middle of BFE, make sure your ass has an actual map, and ensure the map is current.  We’ve become too reliant on technology.  Learn to find your way around without it.  The most interesting places on this planet do not have cell towers. My wardrobe travel essential this trip has been my hooded army green drawstring-waist jacket.  It has sheltered me from the rain, kept me warm, but not hot, and has plenty of pockets for items I want to keep close.  A loosely structured jacket pulls together an outfit while also maintaining a feminine silhouette.   Bring every kind of wipe you can fit in your bag: anti-bacterial, flushable, baby, whatever.  Wipe the remote and any other surfaces to protect you from the skeeve.  If you watch Hotel Impossible, you already know why.  Mitigate the funk.

Sunday starts a holiday

hot tip

I’m about to take an adventure and I went on a Hotwire binge.  I haven’t used the site before, but I do like a deal on lodging.  I like to keep it under $100 a night including taxes and extra expenses.  Free breakfast is an added bonus, free wifi – an obvious necessity.  You’d be surprised how difficult a $100 budget-restraint can be in both major cities and small towns, assuming you don’t want to go the two star route.  In my opinion a 2 star rating pretty much guarantees a dreaded foreign pube encounter. So here is the tricky shit.  If you are willing to risk the unknown, you can do quite well on Hotwire.  The steepest savings lurk in the Hotwire Hot Rates.  Book an accommodation based on a star rating, general geographical area, and/or amenities, but the identity of the hotel remains a mystery until after you reserve a non-refundable stay.  Risky business, I know.  Those who take risks are well-rewarded.  A 2 night stay in a 4 star accommodation listed for $311.02 on Orbitz.  I booked the same hotel for $228.92 on Hotwire –  for a total savings of $82.10.  To be clear, I didn’t know what hotel I was booking at the time of irreversible billing, I just pressed the button and hoped for the best.  I was pleasantly surprised 3 x in a row in three different locations.  When I compared my booking rate to the available published rates, the savings always ranged from super to spectacular.  It is easy to feel smug from the plush cushiness of my own chair, but when I arrive at these hotels, they better live up to their promised cleanliness ratings.  A rogue hair can really spoil an evening.  In keeping with my budget, Hotwire allowed me to upgrade a full class of hotels.  Plus, I enjoy a thrill when confirming a reservation and the big name reveal comes.  I immediately skip to the other travel sites and gloat over what a fantastic deal I scored.  Fear not, I plan to keep you bitches fully informed from the road as to whether choosing this site was a wise or poor decision.  

Brake Check

After traipsing back and forth across this fine country, can we vent on the shit driving epidemic?  The three worst offenses…

get over

Common courtesy (and in most jurisdictions the law) dictates that if your ass ain’t passing, your ass should be in the right lane.  Douche cruising in the left lane at 5 miles over the speed limit causing everyone to pass you on the right, I’m talking to you.  Get the fuck over.

leave more room

Tailgating should be left to potbellied football fans at Bears games.  In many circumstances, if you rear-end someone you are presumed at fault for the collision.  So maybe get the fuck off my trunk.  Get too close and get brake checked bitch.

coast

Between the gas and brake lies beautiful coast land.  Don’t miss out on this magical place where inertia allows for gentle deceleration.  Finesse marks a skilled driver.  Leave the jerky stop-starts to the nervous nellies.

SHAG

All this balmy weather has me in the mood for road trip, but since that ain’t happening anytime soon, I’ll have to settle for a romp with my SHAG girls.  This weird little cult movie stars some familiar faces: Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates, and Annabeth GishIt perfectly captures the fleeting moment right after high school before everyone goes their own way.  SHAG serves up delicious southern sixties bouffant glamarama in a polka dot bikini.