Posted by: ssichler | March 2, 2009

The next adventure

Note: see our new trailer blog for current updates.

Last summer as chronicled here at the sichblog we sailed with Jaime’s  Dad Capt. Jim from Guatemala to Isla Mujeres, Mexico and then traveled by bus around Mexico and Guatemala.  We had discussed getting a trailer  at some point and visiting some of the National Parks in the West that Jaime hasn’t seen  – not counting Crater Lake where we went to with my folks last year and Joshua Tree 60 miles away I think the count is zero.  After a particularly rough night at sea for Jaime I told her “OK we will get that trailer next year and stay on dry land.”

I’m happy to report  we have purchased the trailer – Pacific Coachworks Tango 256RKS –  and are now making plans to depart in May. This also necessitated buying my/our first truck. No more yuppified SUVs for us;)

For our maiden voyage we camped 7 days in the Arizona outback with my parents and their friends last week. We had a great time and added a zillion things on our “to buy” list before our next departure.

Pics from our trip:
Arizona Outback
More photos on flickr.

Posted by: ssichler | November 19, 2008

Belize Blue Hole on Today Show

Blue Hole

One of the highlights of Central America for me last summer was diving the Blue Hole (link to my post). The Today Show broadcast Monday from Belize and you can see the footage on the msnbc site.

Posted by: ssichler | October 4, 2008

Going Coastal back to California


Last week we packed up our new Mazda hatchback and started the trip back to Palm Springs from Oregon. Our plan was to take the coast route as much as possible. The first two nights we camped outside of Florence and the weather was perfect during the day but a bit nippy at night in the tent. The new queen areo bed was a vast improvement over the pads we used last camping trip – I’m thinking Clinton was enjoying cigars in the White House at the time.

Jaime and Lucy enjoying the beach in Florence, Oregon
From Florence we headed down the 101 and camped at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings. Even stacked full of gear we averaged a little over 30mpg which was a good thing as the next day we entered California and gas was over $4 per gallon. We made a brief stop in Redwoods National Park, stayed one night at a state campground and decided to keep on heading South for MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg above Mendocino as rain was in the forecast.

Lucy Camping
We only spent one night in Fort Bragg as both of us had come down with a cold and we were starting to feel crummy. The next day we made our to I-5 above Sacramento and pushed on through back to Palm Springs by 10p.

Posted by: ssichler | September 15, 2008

Crater Lake National Park

Oregon has many beautiful places but only one national park – Crater Lake. Last week we packed up my parents RV and headed South for this special place. Camping with my parents is not exactly roughing it. We had all the comforts of home except for unlimited water to bathe a very dirty Lucy who seemed to have a cloud of dust follow her like the Peanut’s cartoon character Pigpen.
Crater Lake National Park
The lake is almost 2,000 feet deep and has a brilliant blue color we’ve seen offshore sailing. Visiblity the first day was a bit muddled by nearby forest fires but the next day cleared up nicely for a drive around the caldera in the jeep.
Lucy and Andy enjoy the view
Phantom Ship Rock formation

Posted by: ssichler | August 28, 2008


We flew back to Oregon yesterday (no mas bus) and are staying with Jaime’s Mom. It was good to see them and our now shaggy dog Lucy. Many thanks to Dave and Becky for taking care of her while we were gone.

Order of the day is to locate a used car. It would be nice to not have the expense of a car but not very convenient. I’m thinking I should have tried to buy this one we saw in Mexico.

Posted by: ssichler | August 21, 2008

Back in the Estados Unidos de Norte América

We walked across the border yesterday morning after an all night bus ride from Veracruz to Matamoros. The US Border agent asked me all kinds of questions I had difficulties answering correctly. “How long have you been out of the country?” – “ugh… 8 months … no wait I left May 8th.” – “Where do you live?” … “Los Angeles… well Palm Springs really but we just moved there before we left so…” – “What do you do for work?” – Me thinking answering “Nothing” wouldn’t be good I used the handy “Internet consulting” answer – “Do you have any prescription drugs?” – “Ambien in my backpack” – “Do you have any other drugs such as blah… blah… or Cipro?” – “Oh yeah we bought some Cipro after getting food poisoning.” – “How much?” – “Four doses” – “Let’s see” -“Jaime, Where’s the Cipro?” – “Sir you have more than four doses here. We will need to anal cavity search…” OK the cavity search part didn’t happen and but he did have me go back to toilet and dump out the Cipro.

After finally answering enough questions we were admitted back in the country and we met Capt. Jim and are now staying with them here in lovely and sticky “Port Uglyville”. After spending over a month in the temperate highlands of Mexico and Guatemala where it never got above 85 degrees, it seems pretty hot.

I’ve added a link to a Google map of our trip in case anyone is curious.

Posted by: ssichler | August 19, 2008

Wrapping up Mexico

Yesterday we left Oaxaca on a relatively short bus hop over to Veracruz. The scenery coming down the mountains was pretty spectacular. At one point the area reminded me of Yosemite with massive granite mountains and valleys except there were huge 6-8 foot tall cacti.

We are getting ready to leave Veracruz on a 2:30p bus today and will get in to Matamoros tomorrow morning and walk across the border to meet Cpt. Jim in Brownsville, Texas. We opted for the luxury Uno bus line and will hopefully have a comfy ride. The beaches in Veracruz aren’t exactly white sand and won’t be earning an “A” rating in the LA County grading system anytime soon so there wasn’t much to tempt us into staying in longer. Still many, many places here in Mexico I would like to see. Next time.


Posted by: ssichler | August 16, 2008

Really, Really Old Stuff

Jaime and I have been getting our culture on for the past two days. Yesterday was a trip to Monte Alban ruins and today we went to the Centro Cultural Santo Domingo. The older gringos staying in our B&B love to discuss Oaxacan culture in excruciating detail. One lady was a bit taken a back yesterday when she recommended we hire a guide to the ruins and I told her that we avoided guides and tours and preferred to go at our own pace and read about the details in a book. Apparently she was at the ruins at the same time we were with a guide and he produced shards of pottery that happened to be just sitting around the ruins. I suggested they were planted by the guide. I don’t think she liked my suggestion.

Cultured Gringa at Monte Alban Ruins (I think she has spotted some pottery shards)
Monte Alban

Monte Alban skull from tomb 7
Monte Alban skull from tomb 7

More pics on my Flickr Page –

Posted by: ssichler | August 14, 2008

Oaxaca, Mexico


We are here in Oaxaca, Mexico after a 12 hour overnight bus ride from San Cristobal de las Casas. Not too much to report as we are still a bit fried and just had a couple of hours to wander around as our room was being prepared. Looks like a nice place.

Holy crap!!! How did it get to be the middle of August??? OK we will start making our way North Sunday. See you gringos soon.

Jaime looks at Oaxaca

Posted by: ssichler | August 12, 2008

Back in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico

We left Antigua, Guatemala at 4:30am yesterday and arrived in San Cristóbal around 4p yesterday. Jaime had a rough time of it but is recovering nicely here at the Sol y Luna B&B. Great place to relax and enjoy the orchid gardens. Here’s some quick snaps –

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