The Rambling Family


North America Road Trip 2017

No Ticks = Success!

After rolling the two kids and the camper all the way the Alaska and back, we couldn’t just stop and go home to the heat in Arizona.  Instead, we continued to Pennsylvania to visit family and give the kids an opportunity to attend summer camp via Penn State University’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.  Zoe went to a week of their camp a long time ago and has, ever summer, asked to do it again.  Finally, this year, I was able to say yes. Continue reading “No Ticks = Success!”


Sucked In

East of Calgary the prairie expands out to the horizon, and if you head out there, after about two hours the grassland drops off to expose the badlands that lie beneath.  Dinosaur Provincial Park resides out there and is a buggy infestation. Well. Wait.  It’s also really neat; along the bottomland a stream feeds a nice collection of cottonwoods making a pretty little oasis of the park’s campground – and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  But, really, its nice.   Continue reading “Sucked In”

The good, the bad, and the boring

The Canadian Rockies have been looming on our horizon for a while, and it takes at LONG while to get there.

Where the the northern boundary lies is vague.  The general range continues pretty far north with expanses of rolling forested hills spreading the rocky peaks further apart the farther you go.  Continue reading “The good, the bad, and the boring”

Top o’ the world to you

By the time we got to Fairbanks this whole camper was ready for a break.  We had a truly wonderful visit with some dear friends who showed us around town, let me do laundry, and treated us to the feeling of home again. I can’t express how wonderful it is to be able to see people again after living in totally different places.

Continue reading “Top o’ the world to you”

The sunny Yukon

There was a rough relic sign I saw somewhere in the hamlet (village? collective?) of Carcross that called the area “The Switzerland of North America” and it could be true if we are talking topography only. Get some new trains up here, ski resorts, cows with bells, and, uh, people, and it could be like Switzerland.  Continue reading “The sunny Yukon”

Ride the mountain rails

When Avi was little he loved a Canadian show called Mighy Machines; it features short documentaries about large equipment for kids.  There are episodes about recyling, lumber, farms, street cleaning, etc.  We all find them interesting, but one of Avi’s favorites has always been the episode called “Ride the Mountain Rails” about the trains that maintain and fix the White Pass and Yukon railroad. He has always wanted to ride that train, so I made a point of making that happen.  Continue reading “Ride the mountain rails”

It’s cool here

It took a while to see the appeal of Juneau, and I’m pretty sure the weather as to blame.  It is cold here. And rainy.  But otherwise it’s really pretty.  The huge mountains that lock the town against the coast are covered with trees and waterfalls and glaciers. Along the open spaces are tons of wildflowers like lupine and fireweed and flox. Continue reading “It’s cool here”

Ferry Camp

The Alaska Marine Highway System is the way to travel Alaska, I tell you! It is a series of long and short distance ferry routes throughout coastal Alaska, with a stop in Canada and as far south as Bellingham Washington. There are ferries of various sizes, and for the long-hauls they are large vehicle carriers that also include sleeping berths, a cafeteria, and various lounges over 2 decks for passengers.

Continue reading “Ferry Camp”

Cariboo country 

The north central part of British Columbia is sparsely populated and full of gigantic thick evergreen forests.  It’s also where gold was found during the rushes of the 1800s.

Continue reading “Cariboo country “

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