A Travellerspoint blog

San Diego

Our last few days in the States.

sunny 25 °C

Hi all,

We are still not into Mexico, but plan to head out tomorrow morning. Lots of preparing in terms of gear, insurance and all the rest. Over the past couple of days we have been staying outside of San Diego in a community called Chula Vista. It has been tricky navigatnig the inerstates, but we are finally starting to get a handle on the city.

One thing we did not expect to experience was the infamous 'Black Friday'. Canadians don't really do this in the way Americans do. Basically, people line up and start shopping for deals at midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It is total chaos in malls, box stores and basically all shopping outlets. Paul and I stopped at the Target (basically an American Zellers) to pick up some items and found ourselves in the middle of the works. We escaped, and then managed to have more bad luck when Phyllis, our Trooper, wouldn't start. People were lining up for our parking spot and we were frantically trying to get her moving. After a lot of stress and a few phone calls home, Paul managed to diagnose the problem- a worn wire to the fuel pump... needless to say I will not be shopping on Black Friday again. I suppose it was karma.

While in San Diego, we have also met up with half of the team that runs the website drive the americas . Chris and Kristen were lots of fun when we met up with them for pizza and beer. We previously met Tom and Kelsey, the other half of the team, in Vancouver. This website is a super helpful forum that connects people who are roadtripping in North, Central and South America, and helps people with information and advice about trips. It's a pretty good site to read if you ever have an interest in any pan-american travel.

Anyways, that's it for now.
Tomorrow - MEXICO!

Posted by SusieMiller 16:05 Archived in USA Comments (3)

South through the USA

roadtripping highway 93 and east.

sunny 24 °C

A lot has hapenned since our last post. Paul and i are now in the Southern United States. We are in the Pheonix area soaking up the sun before the next leg of our trip down the Baja peninsula. The American portion of the journey has been surprising and beautiful.

We crossed the Canadian-American border into Roosvelt Montana (just south of Fernie) and caught the first snowstorm of northern Montana's fall. I(having not travelled much in the US) noted quickly that each gas station in Montana seemed to be attached to a casino and sell delicious micro-brewed beer. Many other Americanisms amused my Canadian self as we made our way south through Idaho on the secondary Highway #93. The snow followed us into Idaho at higher elevations, so we bombed through in search of warmer weather.


We crossed into Nevada in a town called Jackpot. Having never been to the central United States before, both of us were intrigued by the hoodoos and cliffs of the Nevada and Utah desert. We left highway 93 and headed into higher elevation. With the higher elevation in Utah, we found Bryce Canyon's incredible geographical formations, as well as cold weather and more snow.



After Utah, we headed into Arizona. We decided to check out the Grand Canyon (being such a legendary spot) and were completely blown away. The sheer size and scale of it is enough to impress anyone. From the canyon's North Rim we were not able to see the Colorado River, but caught a glimpse of many mountains and additional sections of the canyon's vast expanse. I recommend checking this out at least once in your lifetime if you ever get the chance.




We continued south through Arizona driving through the Navajo Nation to arrive in the town of Flagstaff. Flagstaff is immediately identifiable as a progressive student town with a bit of a hippy vibe. We ate good food and continued on to stay with my aunt and uncle in southern Arizona.




I can't forget to thank the people up north who put us up in Dawson City. Bobby and Julia showed us around and made our time up there a blast. I promise to update again soon. Wish us luck on our USA- Mexico border crossing.

Posted by SusieMiller 15:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Photos of the Northern most leg of the trip

all seasons in one day -27 °C

Hi All.

We ran into some problems in Whitehorse with a card I was using in my camera. This resulted in loosing all the photos and videos we had taken from Vancouver Island to Dease Lake. Not a worry though we have fixed the problem and here are some pictures from the northern leg of our trip.


If you want captions and titles view them in the my photo gallery.

Posted by PaulTodd 21:12 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The Great Northern Circle Route

From Vancouver Island to Yukon Territory

overcast -2 °C

We finally got our asses in gear and left the island on the 25th of October. Many unecpected repairs/ unforseen preparations came up making our departure later than anticipated, but nothing we could not fix.

Anyways, we are on the road now, hanging out in beautiful (and cold) Whitehorse, YT. We went north to Prince George, took the 16 west to Kitwanga, the Cassiar (# 37) north to the Yukon, then north on the Alaska Highway. The driving conditions have been variable with some snow and ice, but overall not hard to manage.

Firstly, We want to give a shout out to a few special people who helped us get up and running. A thank you to the folks at Gurton's garage in Sidney, BC for mounting one of our spare tires for free. We are stoked to have our first sponsor! Also, big thanks to the Lorraine and Richard Lalonde, who hosted us in Smithers and made us feel so welcome and at home. Another thank you goes to Annie Miller and Ian James for the good times and great pizza in Nanaimo.

Other than that, one thing that has stuck out for us on the route north are the short days. The sun has been setting around 630pm and rising at a fashionably late 830am. We had our first full day of winter driving from Dease Lake north to Whitehorse. We crossed the Yukon border, and travelled the Alaska highway seeing a bunny, 2 foxes, an eagle and many caribou on the road. We also saw a semi trailer flipped over in the ditch. We are staying safe on the road and making decent time.

We are including a bunch of photos from the first week since they are really more eloquent and descrptive than I can ever hope to be. Stay tuned for more sights and stories from the northern territories.

Ok so no pics at the moment. The camera card is not loading or some such deal. We will post them once we get it sorted out. sorry.

Posted by headsouth 12:07 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

New Ride. Trooper!

Trying to get an 1700$ SUV as ready for the trip as possible in 12 days.

Ok. So this is my first post on this blog thingy that Susan has set up. I guess its my turn to let you few people know what is going on with the preparation for our trip. Right off the top I am not as wordy or i guess literate as Susan so please bear with me. I am the one who fixes the truck and surfs and Susan is the brains who can speak other languages and things.

Together we bought a 1989 Isuzu trooper a short while ago. Yes its legal drinking age in the states. It is a pretty sweet mix of: size (big enough to sleep in), fuel efficiency(2.6L 4 banger), Off road cabability (4H/4L and clearence), Simple enough to work on (its a 1989), and low key looks (so not to draw attention and get us robbed).

The trooper

The trooper

So yeah it should do just about everything we need it to do on the trip. Parts for it might be the only wild card so I plan on taking just about every thing that is likely to fail. The Trooper we bought came with four boxes of spare parts from another trooper so to say the least we will be rolling around with more parts than most people on a similar trip and of course all the the tools to deal with troubles. The best thing about taking lots of spare parts is that if you have it in your kit it will never break. I guess its Murphy's law.

I don't have much more to say, so I thought I would include the ever growing list of things that have to get done before the trip starts. This is just the start. The list in the back of my mind is at least 5 times longer.

Here it is:

Pan America Trip

-timing belt(done)
-exhaust(see if it will hang on till mex cheaper)..... (It did not hang on in fact it fell off in my hands.... Fixed)
-alternator/starter/water pump(done spares packed)
-hoses(done)/belts(done)/plugs (done)/filters/dis cap|(done)/wires(done)
-tires (DONE! 235/75/r15 goodyear wrangler territories on sale at can tire woot woot)
-driving lights Done
-heater Core (Done)
-hidden kill switch

-bed platform/mattress (just about done)
-Cb install(not doing)
-curtains/bug screens(done yay susan)

-Roof rack spare tire/Jerry cans(Done)
-lock boxes (ammo boxes?)
-surf board box/Thule (Done 90$ on craigslist)
-roof rack for long boards (done)
-kitchen boxes redesigns(done)

Camp stuff
-not shitty chairs
-water jugs (done)
-cooler different size (done)
-Travel Backgammon game!!(done)

-first aid kit(done)

-International driver licences(done)
-medical insurance(done)
-Mexican car insurance(get in san diego)

There you have it. That is what I am planing on doing for the next 12 days while Susan is visiting family out east. Wish me luck.

Posted by PaulTodd 00:13 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

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