Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Catching Up: Winter and Planning a Roadtrip

February 26, 2009

Wow, a whole month has passed by since my last post. So much for my goal of blogging every day. It’s snowing like crazy today and I’m glad. It will give me at least one more chance to get out and cross-country ski or snowshoe. This winter I’ve only been cross-country skiing once and snowshoeing three times. I don’t want winter to be over yet because I don’t feel like I’ve taken advantage of it. It has been a cold one and maybe that’s why I haven’t been out much. I’m not exactly a die-hard. Then, we had an early thaw and there was no snow left to enjoy. So, with this new snowfall, I’m looking forward to an active weekend outdoors.

What I have been doing lately is planning a roadtrip for this summer. H and I will be taking the camper from Minnesota to Oregon (and back). The lucky dog gets to come along too! He loves the camper. Sometimes we’ll be sitting outside in a campground on a lovely day and Manchas will cry to go inside the camper. Makes me wonder.

I’m very excited for the trip! We will have the opportunity to visit two of my cousins. It will be great to catch up with them. Apart from the family reunions, some specific places that we’ll be camping are (click to see photo):

This will be a nature-based vacation since we’ll have the camper and the dog with us. I doubt we’ll be found in any museums along the way. But that is the way I like it. I’d rather soak in the scenery than a painting.

What a Rush!

January 26, 2009

Beginning of the trip. I'm in the front with the dark glasses and H is right behind me.

The most exhilarating, fun experience I’ve ever had was whitewater rafting. A couple of years ago H and I entrusted our lives to a guide from Wild Water Adventures near Banff, Alberta, Canada. The trip took us 20 km down the Kicking Horse River in an hour and a half. We wore wetsuits, polar fleece jackets, raincoats, neoprene booties, and helmets. I learned firsthand that wetsuits don’t keep you dry (that’s what drysuits are for).

Our self-bailing raft (water escapes through holes on the floor) would disappear into huge swells and the water would come crashing over the top of us. At 4°C (39°F) the glacier-fed river was quite refreshing and took my breath away. With each wave I could feel the icy water rush down my back and I was totally soaked in no time. I wonder if the water temperature had anything to do with the level of excitement?

We did several Class IV rapids, which is the highest level that a commercial trip can attempt. Class IV rapids can be described as erratic waves or holes. Large obstructions need to be avoided. Risk of injury if swimming. Very difficult.

Dangerous? Yes. But what a rush!

I started the adventure in the front of the boat. Half-way through the trip we rotated positions. I can tell you that the front position is the most fun and exciting place to sit! However, you will bear the brunt of the waves.

I have a hard time understanding the desire to sky-dive, rock-climb, and bungee-jump. But I do understand the call of white water.

Black & White in the Everglades

November 24, 2008

We were surrounded by dozens of prehistoric creatures. I was struck by their color—black. They were well camouflaged, swimming through the dark waters of the canal. Then the boat sped forward and an enormous white creature appeared from nowhere. It spread its wings and took to the air in front of us. The most beautiful creature in the Everglades—the Great White Heron—shares its home with the alligator.