With Gardens and Customs under our belt, it was time to do some sailing. Tuesday morning we started with Cowboy Omelet, pulled up anchor and motored out of Butchart. Next up was the port at Ganges where we’d stock up for our next few days in the remote Princess Louisa Inlet. We wouldn’t see a grocery for a week so it was time to shop.
Once we had provisioned Journey, we got back underway. Our next destination was Wallace Island to meet up with Allen and Wendy on Blue Fin. A storm was brewing in the distance, which brought some brisk breezes and an amazing sunset.
On Wednesday we’d take our biggest sail yet, across the open waters of the Strait of Georgia – the waterway which separates Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia. We set out early in order to miss the high winds of the afternoon. We motored cork-like across the choppy seas and finally reached the BC Coast after 3 hours. We sailed protected waters East of Texada Island and the winds went from 10 mph to 20 mph.
Though we’d reached our destination, the perfect sailing weather was too good to pass up and we spent the next 2 hours close hauled to the wind with a heel of 30 degrees and testing how fast Journey could go.
After our afternoon of sailing we tucked into Smuggler Cove, a beautiful hideaway. Andy and Demeree toured the cove on their sea kayaks while Tim and I rowed the dinghy, exploring the lagoons. After a dinner of curry, we rinsed our dishes off the back as the water glowed with phosphorescence.
The next morning we set sail for our final destination. The remote Princess Louisa Inlet. The day was spectacular and though the winds came and went, it was an amazing trip into this remote corner corner of the Pacific.
Here we setup our anchored camp for the next 3 days. At the base of Chatterbox Falls, miles away from a town, road or cell tower, we were truly away from it all.
Once we entered into Canada, we were off to Butchart Gardens. There are only 4 moorings available in the Garden’s small harbor and we got there just in time. We relaxed on the boat for lunch and then went to explore the enormous gardens
By Thursday, July 26th, we were on the road again up over Beartooth Pass towards Red Lodge. After a night of much needed showers and reenergizing at a campground outside of town, we went to Red Lodge, one of our favorite locales. This is a town rich with scenic views and authentic Montana character. We worked through the day in a downtown coffee shop and then were joined by Dan, Rebecca and Sam Staebler for much anticipated weekend festivities.
After dropping off their daughter Sidney at camp, the Staeblers came to town with sightseeing plans. The first must see? Bear Creek Saloon of course and weekly Pig Races. We sat down at 6 pm for steak and burgers (no pork on this menu) and then went outside to find good seats for the show. At 7 pm sharp the bets are placed and the pigs are off!
With 10 races each night, there is plenty of time to get to know the field. We all had our favorites and we placed our side bets accordingly.
Even an evening shower didn’t dampen the crowd’s mood. It paid off with an extraordinary sunset and huge double rainbow.
After the races, we popped the 2 Sportsmobile tops in the parking lot and settled in for the night beside the snoring swine.
Next morning, we were eager to get back to Red Lodge. Vintage cars had been roaring by and we wanted to get to town for the big Red Lodge car show. Detroit classics lined the streets and in this historic town, it was easy to imagine life 50 years ago.
Cars cars and more cars. You didn’t need to be a motorhead to appreciate the wheels on the street.
After our fill of the cars and town, the Bradshaws and Staeblers were ready to get back to camping. We hopped back in the vans and drove to Fishtail Montana, another prize stop on the sightseeing tour. On the way, we detoured to the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe for a world famous burger. We’d had huge breakfast so we split a single burger 5 way…which tells you something about the size of a Grizzly burger.
We then drove to Fishtail, a tiny town on the West Rosebud River. Founded in 1900, Fishtail is renowned for its General Store, with its inventory of housewares, organic local foods and ice cream cones.
The Staebler’s had found an awesome camp spot right on the creek and we settled in for an evening of good conversation, deviled eggs, fresh garden veggies, steak, tomato basil salad and margaritas.
Sunday, we checked out the famed General Store and then drove back up to Bozeman. Tim and I were on our way to Seattle so after loading up with zucchini, peas and lettuce from the Staebler’s garden, we kept heading West towards our sailing adventure.
March, Tim’s favorite month, is always a welcome arrival. With March comes Basketball Madness, SXSW, birthdays, friends and St. Patty’s day. There may be no better 31 days. We started March with a final ride at our favorite AZ campsite at Old Pueblo north of Tucson.
After a reward of Mi Tierra margaritas and showers at the quirky Wishing Well RV Park in Catalina, we began the long drive east across the Texas plains.
We arrived in Austin after a 3 day drive with stops in Las Cruces and Balmorhea Springs just in time to pick up Dan from the airport.
Austin hosts SXSW, a 2 week conference which brings together Interactive (geeky tech guys = Us) + Movies (Hollywood independents sprinkled with a few A listers for star spotting potential) + Music (hip hop, heavy medal, techno and jazz mixing in a single venue – you never know what your going to get).
The transformation of the city as each wave of the conference rolls through is worth ticket in itself. 50,000 diverse attendees combine knowledge, talent and ideas. And the other great thing about SXSW? Well that’s obvious: jalapeno bacon.
But SXSW isn’t just about the music and food. For the second year almost all of Alltrips comes to Texas in order to find out what’s going on in Tech trends. This year may have been the most inspiring yet.
Highlights included :
Peter Diamandis who focuses on Abundance in today’s pessimistic world. His results: The first privately funded space flight; a car that can go 180 miles to the gallon; a technique that can clean up oil spills 600% better than what was available at the beginning of the Gulf Oil Disaster. His next goals: a handheld consumer device that can diagnose disease with the same accuracy as 12 board certified doctors, a water purifier the size of dorm room fridge that can purify sewage to the quality of medical grade H2O with minimal energy; air cleanup technology which can decrease carbon emissions by 80%.
Interactive mobile apps that will change how people do business by combining location, social and the world’s enormous database of all our preferences and desires.
Business development that focuses on not just today, but the next 100 years.
And of course, how to doodle!
After days of this kind of information flow, we met up each evening to share and brainstorm. We started these meetups in town, but the awesome house that Carli had reserved turned into the ultimate place to unwind.
After our 6 o’clock sessions, it was time to eat. Barbeque Heaven never fails to disappoint with worldclass brisket and a mean Turkey Leg. We also visited the famed Nuclear Taco stand, though for some of us, wisdom won over ego and many people didn’t partake. I of course still needed to get a Nuclear Taco #3.
Some people never learn.
This year’s SXSW was also the year of Costume. I am not sure what this guy was exactly dressed as. But we all got inspired. It started small with mustaches and cupcakes to celebrate Tim and BJ’s March birthdays. But then we escalated….
Then after dinner comes the nightlife. Once the Tech winds down, the music kicks up. While Tim and I took one night off for March Madness at Bikinis, we all explored the town for amazing music. Friends, Amy and Bracken, also came down from Boulder, making it an even better week.
For BJ’s Birthday, we went big…and wigged. It also happens to be St. Patty’s Day so all of Austin celebrated with us. From noon on, it was a buffet of music, followed by Pete’s East Side Bar, more music, a late night cap of Hop Daddy and then music ’till 2am.
Sunday arrived too soon. We all loaded up in the van and headed to the airport for dropoffs. Then Tim and I began the drive back to Arizona. With March Madness on the radio, we covered the miles quick. There was still lots left to enjoy in March.