On our most recent contest, you guessed that I had stayed in 110 places during my trip, which is pretty darn close to the actual answer, 100. I zoomed around quite a bit in my little teardrop, but also frequently hunkered down for a couple nights in one spot.
Kent, leave me a comment on this post with your email (I won’t publish it), so I can get in contact with you regarding your grand prize.
Canada was so close. It had been almost four years since I had lasted visited my country of birth, so I figured it was high-time to cross the border and enjoy a butter tart or Nanaimo bar.
I left Clarence the teardrop trailer with a babysitter and hopped on a ferry to take me across the strait to Victoria, a very architecturally pretty city. With the Olympic peninsula behind me, I looked forward to a weekend dedicated to getting caught up with my ensemble of childhood friends. I couldn’t wait to reminisce, laugh, and relax with some ladies who have known me since I was a wee child in corduroy pants and Velcro sneakers.
British Columbia is an absolutely beautiful province. It’s landscape is very different from Ontario, where I grew up, but the general Canadian-ness was still the same. People said “sore-y” when accidentally bumped into, just like I fondly remember.
The gals and I hung out at Mystic Beach one day, reveling in the sunshine and gorgeous backdrop of evergreen trees. A mini-waterfall sprayed behind us, while the ocean waves crashed in a soothing rhythm. We talked for hours, enjoying being outside and getting reacquainted with the happenings in each of our lives.
One evening, I saw bioluminescent bacteria trickling around the shore of an inlet. I placed my hand in the water, swished it around, and watched green lights sparkling about. It was special – something I thought only happened in remote, exotic places in the world.
When I return to the good ol’ U.S. of A., I’ll be on the final leg of my journey. With 2,927 miles separating me and home, I’m eager to begin my final push east.
Now here is your chance to ask questions that you have regarding my trip. It can be about the parks themselves, the logistics of traveling, or any other curiosity that has left you wondering.
No topic is off-limits, but I can’t promise 100% that I’ll answer everything.
So here’s what you do.
Simply comment on this post and I won’t approve it. Yep, that means that I’ll be the only one who will ever see your name attached to your question. If you have my personal email or number, you can also contact me that way. In 7 days, I’ll create another post responded to your inquiries.
Petrified Forest national park is chock-full of fossilized wood. Based on the pictures I’d seen, I figured that there may be a couple of key places where one might be able to see this mineral-permeated organic matter. After all, how much “rock-wood” can actually be found in an arid desert-like environment?
Apparently a lot.
Thanks to plate tectonics, this area of Arizona used to be near the equator, resulting in a lush, rain forest environment. These trees got buried under layers of sediment, became saturated with minerals, and turned to stone. (This all took many, many years, of course). There are big chunks that can be found at the Long Log section, and smaller multi-colored pieces that are strewn all about the Crystal Forest.
It’s pretty. It’s unique. It’s science!
I also had a chance to tour the Painted Desert Inn, an old traveler’s rest stop that now serves as a museum. In the spirit of Halloween, we took the entire tour in the dark. Using only glow sticks to light our way, the ranger told stories and tall tales about a myriad of suspicious and creepy behavior that happened in the old inn. Spoiler alert: someone actually did die there. We entered the basement through a locked door – a place where park visitor’s are only allowed to go once a year. The floor creaked and the dumbwaiter was super eerie.
Was it truly haunted? The park rangers and volunteers seem to think so.