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Embracing Airlie Beach

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Before we left on our round-the-world, Australia was high on our list of must-see spots. However, four weeks into our East coast road-trip from Byron Bay towards Cairns, we just weren’t feeling it. Tired of long days of driving and exorbitant prices, we were heading North to see friends in Port Douglas, but still searching for the magic we had…

UP ~ A Love Story

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Two young kids, longing for adventure, meet up in an abandoned house, the lone members of the “Spirit of Adventure” club. They grow up, marry, and dream of traveling to Paradise Falls in South America. But, reality intervenes, and each time their savings jar is filling, a problem occurs, a broken down car, a hospital visit, you know, adult stuff.

 …

Snowy Days to Relish

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Snow days. A rarity in Portland. Having grown up in small town Minnesota, I am familiar with bad winter weather. It’s a big part of the reason I no longer live there. Here in Oregon, where we are quite famous for our dreary, rainy winters, and any real accumulation of snow is a bit of excitement.

 
It felt like…

The Land Down Under

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Australia, that enchanting land down under, where everyone has a great accent, looks like Hugh Jackman, and life is a beach. Or is it? I only recently realized in the 190-plus blogs I have posted on Next Big Adventure, only one has been about Australia, and that was simply a foto-Friday of Whitehaven Beach. Why, after spending over six weeks…

Winter Camping at it’s Best

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We are not shy about proclaiming our great love for off-season camping. Nearly empty campgrounds and open beaches bring a smile to our face and joy to our heart. Add in a full moon, mid-50′s temps and no rain (in Oregon in January!) and we were in. For the first time in nearly two years we were joined by Jim’s…

An Enemy named Time.

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To be more accurate, my enemy of late is named the lack of time. Recently I wrote about finding balance and was starting to feel I was on the right track. Then Jim and I both got sick AGAIN, as in for the fifth time since early November. We spent the days after Christmas coughing constantly, sore all over, and simply done in…

Lingering in Lovina

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Meester Jeem, Meester Jeem. Eat here, Eat here! Each night, the calls from the local restaurants followed us down the street. Wherever we travel, few can pronounce my name, but Jim seems to be universally understood. In post bombing Bali, tourists were scarce and the local businesses were in desperate shape.

 
We had come to Lovina on a lark. Although…

Discovering the Subtle Charm of Vientiane

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The Laotian capital of Vientiane is not a city often lauded as a tourist hub. Unlike Bangkok or Saigon, this lazy, tree-lined town is considered boring by many, and to be used only as a transit point for the rest of the country. We loved it.

 
Due to circumstances beyond our control, i.e, a week long wait to acquire…

In Pursuit of Balance

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BALANCE - We all search for it in our lives. The ancient Indian principles of Ayurveda focuses on finding it. In Eat,Pray,Love, Liz Gilbert travels to three continents in search for it. Most of the time, I feel relatively balanced, but the last couple of months I’ve been struggling.

 
I have spent hours watching mindless television, knowing I should be…

Finding Meaning in Luxor

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The sun beat down as temperatures reached the upper 90′s. Sweat dripped off us as we hurried from shady spot to shady spot long the nearly empty streets. The heat even sapped the energy from the few, endlessly persistent touts who still roamed around looking for tourist dollars.

 
We were in Luxor, at the end of a whirlwind month…

Soaking in Southern Comfort

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The pink limo pulled up in front of our camping cabin at the Graceland RV park. Taste buds drooling, we climbed in for our short ride to Marlowe’s BBQ  restaurant, a BBQ institution in Memphis. The food was amazing as promised; BBQ chicken and ribs, creamy potato salad, tangy coleslaw, freshly made biscuits, and southern sweet tea. Life was tasty!…

Finding Solitude in India

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No, You did not read that wrong. This post truly is about finding solitude in India, an oxymoron to be sure. India is chaos personified. Everywhere one turns there are bustling throngs of people, thousands of cars and rickshaws, camels, cows, and endless shops and spice markets.

 
We had two items on our bucket list for our months in…

Savoring Santa Fe

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I have always been a bit fascinated by the Southwestern United States. Although I had traveled through the area several times as a child, for some reason my parents never found the area interesting enough to actually spend time in. When Jim and I decided to take an extended road trip around the U.S. a couple of years ago, we…

Puerto Vallarta – a Flashback!

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We have spent more time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico than anywhere else on earth, except home. Our most recent trip showed that, in spite of some inevitable changes, much of the city retains the charm and culture that we so appreciate.

 
 
While going through some old files last week, I unearthed photos from one of our favorite trips…

A Place of Dry Water

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Africa, a continent of magic. Often referred to as the “Birthplace of Humanity”, it is a land that has drawn me back again and again. Of the many fascinating regions of this vast continent, one of the most compelling is Etosha National Park, set in North-central Namibia. Etosha means “place of dry water”, an excellent description. The semi-arid savannah, full…

Happening Halong Bay

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You Sing! You Sing! The karaoke microphone was thrust into Jim’s hand by the cheering crowd. Thick smoke circled the room, becoming increasingly worse as the passing tobacco bong was alternated by chain smoking cigarettes.. I sat silently, waiting to see what he would do. Singers we are not, but faced with such enthusiasm, it would be hard to resist.…

Cape Lookout in Pictures

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We have been busy getting the Black Dog Chronicles up and running in the last week or two, but I wanted to get a brief post off showing a recent weekend at Cape Lookout in pictures. A more detailed post will follow but for now- enjoy the perfection of fall camping in Oregon.

 
 

 
 …

Images of India

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Rajastan, India.  A fascinating, frustrating, amazing part of the world. The exquisite workmanship and carvings make for a photographers delight.

 

How I wish I was there now!
 …

Living Well in Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang is a place I loved, and yet am unsure if I ever want to return to. A UNESCO World Heritage Site of around 50,000 residents, the town sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. What makes it so appealing may also lead to it’s inevitable downfall, as more and more travelers flock to it’s…

A Unique Day in the Country

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My traditional krama scarf kept only some of the dust out of my nose and mouth as my motorcycle driver raced along the packed dirt road and I was soon covered from head to foot in the fine, grey powder. Jim and his driver had taken an alternate route out of town and were nowhere to be seen. I was on…

Renewing our Spirit in Kochi

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Traveling in India is tough. It’s chaotic, challenging, intoxicating, gorgeous, disgusting, fantastic. The one place where I have felt more alive than any other, all senses on full overload at all times. It can inspire and invigorate, but it also often leaves you lying, helpless, in the dust, thinking, how does this strange and amazing place even exist on the…

Autumn Magic

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Fall in Oregon is a magical time, and our favorite camping season. With warm days, cool nights, and half filled campgrounds, it’s a campers heaven.
 

Labor Day weekend found us at the beach. Long days on the beach, miles of hiking, and evenings around the campfire. The drive home was gorgeous, leaves were beginning to turn all shades of…

Meeting Dorothy Inglis

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As the woman in front of us at Costco talked to Jim about her love of the memory foam pillows we were purchasing, I was fading in and out, thinking of what needed to be done when we arrived home and what to make for dinner. My fragmented mind suddenly heard the words “in my Roadtrek camper” and my attention…

Happy Birthday Porter!

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One year ago today, we went to the Humane Society and brought home our sweet boy Porter. Still reeling from the loss of our beloved Maddy, we knew that having a new fur face would help heal our hearts and bring life back into our house.
 

He quickly became the new heart and soul to the house, proving to…

The Joy of Long-Term Friends

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We recently spent a long weekend with our friends, Ron & Dario and Dave & Anne. Having camped solo so far this year, it was an excellent reminder of the joy of camping with friends. Shared meal preparation, good food and wine and conversations around the fire made for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. We’ve known all of these friends…

The Imperial Citadel of Hue

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Hue is the former capital of Vietnam, situated nearly in the center of the country. It is an easy city to get a hang of, split down the middle by the Perfume River, boarded by an appealing boardwalk.  The weather is infamously bad,  with the Truong Son Mountains seeming to bring in frequent drizzle, but it is a relatively pleasant…

The Black Hills of South Dakota

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The Black Hills was a frequent haunt of my childhood vacations, but Jim had never been there. A few years ago on our road-trip around the United States, we made time to explore this fascinating area of the country.

 
Known for it’s outdoor activities; camping, boating, and fishing, intermingle with enough history to keep everyone interested. Mt. Rushmore, the…

Peace in Nature

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The sun shown brightly overhead as I swayed in my hammock. Fish jumped for flies and the only sound was the whistle-like singing of the birds in the trees. Dappled sunlight reflected off the water as I soaked in the beauty of the lake. And I remembered why I love backpacking.

 
Pamelia Lake was it; the destination for our…

Waltzing through Ruins

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The temple ruins of the Kingdom of Angkor. A dream destination for historians, photographers, and travelers alike. Shrouded in misty, humid jungles, much of the city still buried in the over-growth, the full scale of the size of the city is impossible to fully comprehend from the ground.

 
Angkor served as the head of the Khmer empire from 802AD…

Finding Beauty in Simplicity

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My breath fogs the air, mixing with the morning mist, as I climb out of the camper. The morning sun is peeking through the trees, causing flashes of light to reflect off the lake. Jim and the dogs are still asleep and I stand in wonder at the absolute silence surrounding me.
At moments like this I’m always struck by…