Thursday, August 30, 2012

USA Road Trip

We started our USA road trip on August 15, 2012 with our first overnight at a campground near Great Falls. We spent the next two nights camping near Bozeman. From there we travelled to Yellowstone National Park, and camped for three nights. We saw Old Faithful Geyser but I was actually much more impressed with the other less famous geothermal sites. In particular I liked Midway Geyser Basin, with its' rich colors and steaming pools. The geothermal areas also contained bubbling mud in varieties of colors called mud pots. We did some walks throughout Yellowstone enjoying the scenery and wildlife. We saw bison, elk, bald eagles, herons and assorted small rodents and birds.

We traded in camping for three nights at the lovely Little America Hotel, a slightly retro hotel in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah. The hotel was a green oasis, with a lovely pool. We enjoyed the fun antique browsing and awesome vegan food in Salt Lake. My favorite restaurant was City Cakes & Cafe, a place with amazing vegan baked goods and coffee, plus light meals.

After Salt Lake we camped at Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon National Park. The campground was well priced at $18.00/night and located very close to the Grand Canyon rim. We were also very pleasantly surprised at how well stocked the nearby general store was with vegan products. The Grand Canyon Was an amazing sight! We went on a few walks along the rim and watched the sunset. We also loved the nearby viewpoint of the Little Colorado River Gorge, located on the Navajo Nation.

We have travelled over 3000 kms and are now in Sedona, Arizona for a week. Check out my latest photos at:

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Tesla Roadtrip

During our brief time back in Alberta we drove Joanie, our 2.5 Tesla Roadster, to Edmonton and back. We stopped halfway in Red Deer to visit friends and family. We had intended to charge off of a friend's 220 volt/30 amp compressor plug, however it had a twist lock receptacle and that is the one adapter we don't have! (We ordered the complete adapter kit from Tesla.) However, we plugged in to a standard 110 volt/15 amp plug-in for about 6 hours. We made it to Edmonton with 90kms of range to spare. We would have made it to Edmonton with out the midway charge but since we were already stopping to visit, we wanted to be on the safe side!

Once in Edmonton we had a great visit with more family, browsed the massive Old Strathcona Antique Mall, and drove around. We also had great vegan meals from; Padmanadi, Noorish, & Sweet Mango. We were able to charge via my sister's 220 volt/30 amp dryer plug, by running the cord through the basement window. Once it was fully charged on range mode we maintained the charge using 110 volt/15 amp overnight for the three nights we were there.

On the way back we stopped overnight to visit in Red Deer and charged on 110 volt/15 amp. We easily made it back to Calgary. The total trip was 714 kms, used 115 kilowatt hours, and cost $7.00.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Canadian re-entry

We arrived in toronto on July 30, 2012 for a four night stop over on route to Calgary. We fit a lot in during our few days! The first stop was to stock up on a few our favorite magazines; Vegnews, Bust, Wired, Intersection, & Atomic Ranch. I really missed magazines!

We checked out the Picasso special exhibit at the fabulous Art Gallery of Ontario. It was great to check out the exhibit as it has 147 pieces from the National Picasso Museum in Paris, which was closed for renovations while we were in Paris. I find as I age I appreciate Picasso more. He has a much wider repertoire than I first thought, including a variety of painting styles, sculpture, block printing, drawings etc. My favorite piece was the emotionally charged painting; Massacre in Korea. "Massacre in Korea is a 1951 expressionistic painting by Pablo Picasso which is seen as a criticism of American intervention in the Korean War.[1][2][3] It depicts the 1950 Sinchon Massacre, an act of mass killing carried out by North Koreans, South Koreans, or American forces in the town of Sinchon located in South Hwanghae Province, North Korea. Although the actual cause of the murders in Sinchon is in question, Massacre in Korea appears to depict them as civilians being killed by anti-Communist forces." source:

In addition to Picasso, the AGO has several other permanent and special exhibits including a fabulous collection of works from the Group of Seven, which I adore! "The Group of Seven — sometimes known as the Algonquin school — were a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933, originally consisting of Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Lawren Harris (1885–1970), A. Y. Jackson (1882–1972), Frank Johnston (1888–1949), Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), J. E. H. MacDonald (1873–1932), and Frederick Varley (1881–1969). Two artists commonly associated with the group are Tom Thomson (1877–1917) and Emily Carr (1871–1945). Although he died before its official formation, Thomson had a significant influence on the group. In his essay "The Story of the Group of Seven", Lawren Harris wrote that Thomson was "a part of the movement before we pinned a label on it"; Thomson's paintings "The West Wind" and "The Jack Pine" are two of the group's most iconic pieces.[1] Emily Carr was also closely associated with the Group of Seven, though was never an official member. Believing that a distinct Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature,[2] The Group of Seven is most famous for its paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape, and initiated the first major Canadian national art movement.[3]" source: It was a wonderful way to re-enter Canada by enjoying iconic paintings of breathtaking Canadian landscapes.

We also enjoyed a few meals from the terrific vegetarian restaurant Fresh. Fresh is my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Toronto and they also have some good cookbooks. We had a fun meal at the Hogtown Vegan as well. In between eating, we spent a lot of time walking, 7 to 10 kms a day. We checked out some amazing antique shops on Queen Street West, full of midcentury modern items, industrial design and some fun vintage science items. If the colorful, vintage tapeworm scientific poster had been cheaper it would totally be hanging in our our spare room. We did pick up an exquisite art deco glass vase at a bargain price, but I am not looking forward to lugging it home in carry on!

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