Thread: unURBAN Adventures - Alaska to Argentina to AFRICA!

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Montreal & San Francisco
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    5,736
    E&M,

    It was great to meet you in San Francisco! Thanks for stopping by.
    I expect I will ran into you again soon...

    Christian

    CTO Expedition Portal
    www.expeditionportal.com
    www.overlandjournal.com

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    474
    Quote Originally Posted by awalter View Post
    In talking with some of the old timers in Death Valley, there was a real "marble bath" in one of the side canyons near Steel Pass. It was a tinaja cut into the granite that eventually back filled with sand & today could be buried under 10' of sand. Years ago folks brought a tub out which the Park Service would remove, but the tubs just keep coming.

    Al
    We certainly hope they will keep comming for years and years! And also marbles...

    http://www.4x4abc.com/G-Class/Death....rble-bath.html

    E&M
    ---------
    unURBAN Project on http://www.unurban.no
    ...and more pics on http://www.flickr.com/malinandespen

  3. #103
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    Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2aroundtheworld View Post
    E&M,
    It was great to meet you in San Francisco! Thanks for stopping by.
    I expect I will ran into you again soon...
    We certainly hope so! Take care, and safe travels!

    Espen&Malin
    ---------
    unURBAN Project on http://www.unurban.no
    ...and more pics on http://www.flickr.com/malinandespen

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    474


    One of the things that are amazing about travelling in the US is that sometimes within a short drive the landscape and climate can change dramatically. We woke up by the Eureka Sand Dunes in Death Valley, put on shorts and t-shirt and took off to our next destination, Yosemite. Tioga Pass was our entry point to Yosemite National Park, and there we were surrounded by peaks with fresh snow.





    Our Death Valley clothing was swapped out with pullover, pants and shoes. Tioga Road was a beautiful drive into the park, but everything along the road like campgrounds was closed because it was late in the season. And because of this the campgrounds in Yosemite Valley was full, and if you are able to plan your travel a bit more than us, it is advised to book a campsite online ahead of time.

    We meet up with our friend Tim who had driven his late 80-model Subaru south from Alaska and we pirate camped at a “nice” location outside the park.



    Next couple of nights we were able to get a campsite inside the park at Upper Pines. One evening we had a big black bear running through the campground 30 meters away from our Patrol being chased by a couple of Park Rangers.



    For the first time on this trip we took out our climbing equipment and did a couple of two pitch climbs with Tim. It was great, and I hope we are able to get the dust of our climbing equipment a few more times on the way south.

    Leaving Yosemite we made a stop at the Tuolumne Grove to have a look at the giant sequoias, and they were huge. Sequoias are in the coast redwood family and can get up to 3000 years old.



    In one of the dead giant trees there were cut a tunnel in 1878, so that wagons and later cars with tourists could drive through. Today this road is closed and only used to hike down to the grove to walk among the sequoias. After seeing the sequoias we were ready to head north towards San Francisco...

    E&M
    ---------
    unURBAN Project on http://www.unurban.no
    ...and more pics on http://www.flickr.com/malinandespen

  5. #105
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    Feb 2010
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    474

    Default Black Chasm Cavern

    Okay... There was a detour on the way to SF... We drove north on CA 49 - The Gold Country Highway - on our way from Yosemite. This road takes us through many "old western" towns. And if we hadn't had a roof top tent, I think we would have spent a night or two at this rustic hotel in Volcano.





    But we can definitely recommend the restaurant and their Whiskey Flat Saloon!

    And in this area there are also serveral caves. Some had daytrips where you are crawling around in tight spaces, but we decided to visit the Black Chasm Cavern. This cave is quite known for its helictite crystals. The guided tour took about an hour (they wouldn't let us in on our own... hm..), and behind this modest entrance.......:



    ...we found a differnt world...



    Helictite crystals





    And THEN we dwent to San Francisco!

    E&M
    ---------
    unURBAN Project on http://www.unurban.no
    ...and more pics on http://www.flickr.com/malinandespen

  6. #106
    awesome trip guys,
    brings back a loooooot of memories! thanks for the reports and pics...
    sven

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Santiago, Chile, Chile
    Posts
    563
    Great Shots kids , great shots .. !

    (PS: what camera is that ?)
    JP
    2000 Nissan Patrol Y61 4.5lt , 4" OME lift kit, 35" Cooper STT, ARB bull bar, ARB roof rack, Safari Snorkel, IPF 900XS

    Web : http://sites.google.com/site/jpsnissangupatrol/

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    474
    Quote Originally Posted by jpvm View Post
    what camera is that ?
    We are using a Canon G10. Great camera, but miss a good tele-lense..


    E&M
    ---------
    unURBAN Project on http://www.unurban.no
    ...and more pics on http://www.flickr.com/malinandespen

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    474

    Default San Francisco



    San Francisco was marked in our calendar as “relaxing time”, and we had serious plans about having a good time and not rushing through. And so we had! Before arriving San Francisco, we had made plans with some friends to stay at their place just outside the city, in a place called Livermore. From here it is about 45 minutes into the city center by BARTH, the local city train. We also booked a night at a hotel downtown SF, so we shouldn’t have to worry about train schedules and last departures when checking out the city life.

    When visiting friends that have lived here for years, they do have some cards up their sleeves. We had been discussing driving up to Napa Valley to expose ourselves to some wine culture, but what we didn’t know was that there were about 50 vineyards in Livermore! So, first activity on the list was wine tasting! Stopped by three excellent vineyards, and that was perhaps a little too much for the quality of the tasting, but we had a lot of fun!! At the last place I Think we taster about 10 wines. Hm…



    Zinfandel discussions at Ruby Hill



    Don Franklin explains the production process at McGrail Vinyard.



    Final conclusions at Boa Ventura...

    Another convenient consequence about staying with friends was to have a physical mail address. Incredible how many nice-to-have things available online are never in stock when you try to look for them in an old fashion store. Not an easy thing to have thing sent to you when you never are in the same place for more than a couple of days (and don’t really know where you are going to be next week..). There showed up ,among other stuff, a kit with new rear brake pads for the Patrol – came all the way from Norway as Patrol parts are relatively scarce here in the US.

    Downtown San Francisco we took the “tourist route”; got off the BARTH at Embarcadero, walked along the piers, and found the stairs up to Coit Tower. From there we walked down the hill on the other side of the tower, and came down to North Beach.



    Coit Tower from Embarcadero



    View from Coit Tower towards North Beach and the city center.

    North Beach is not a beach, but the Italian part of San Francisco. And as it was time for lunch, we found a table and had great, Italian pizza at Divine Café.



    On our way back to the hotel (NB Park Hotel in the city center has rooms for only 60$ a night!) we walked through SF’s Chinatown. We are a little fascinated that all bigger American cities has a so uniform looking “Chinese” area.





    In the afternoon we got on the tram for some sightseeing on the other side of the city, Fisherman’s Wharf. Looked around for a place serving fresh fish, but after finding this sign down by the piers, we ended up eating chicken at a Thai restaurant…



    The next day we met up with Luis from www.lostworldexpedition.com which happened to be back home in California for a few weeks. He and his girlfriend have been on the road for almost a year and a half in a Toyota Landcruiser, and they are kind of in Panama now (if they hadn’t been in California…). It will be interesting to see if we will catch up with them. We also met Christian and Dave that also are overland travelers. Christian has been traveling in Africa and Australia, and he is also one of the guys behind www.expeditionportal.com. Dave and his wife are packing their Nissan Xterra as we speak, and will be driving south in a couple of days. Their destination is the same as ours – Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. We had a really nice day talking about preparations, travels, and Central America.

    The last couple of days we stayed in the area, we spent in Livermore, and we really got to relax and recharge our batteries after a lot of driving the last two month.



    A big thanks to Elin, Larry, Diane, Nina, Jan, Jackie, and Peter for a great stay in Livermore, and to Luis, Christian, Dave, Persephone and Matt for a fun and interesting day in San Francisco

    (…and to Charles for an excellent white wine! It went really well with the beautiful ocean view at Kirk Creek Campground along Hw1)

    And from San Francisco we take Highway 1 south along the Pacific coast in the next blog post…

    E&M
    Last edited by unURBAN; 11-10-2010 at 06:09 PM.
    ---------
    unURBAN Project on http://www.unurban.no
    ...and more pics on http://www.flickr.com/malinandespen

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Oregon Coast
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    147
    This is a great trip and hits a number of places on my list to visit when I can.

    If you're still in San Francisco, stop by the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. It was built by the widow of William Winchester (of Winchester rifle fame) and is definitely worth a day to tour the mansion and the grounds.
    92 Dodge W250 regular cab, Cummins, 5 spd, 255/ 85R16 Toyo MT's, some other tweaking and changes.

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