Posted by: sunnyharvy | June 8, 2016

Home At Last!

We got to our home in Rhode Island a couple of days ago after driving some 45,000 miles over the course of 2 years and 8 months…whew. Even I can’t believe what we did!

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HaRVy happy to be home once again. (Please ignore the weeds.)

Now it’s time to wrap up the final reporting on our adventure. In my previous post we had just crossed over the border into Canada along the north shore of Lake Superior. After our morning tour of Fort William we were back on the road. Thanks to generous Boondockers Welcome hosts, we camped overnight near the shore of Whitesand Lake near Schreiber, Ontario.

The sun finally came out for our last afternoon and evening on Lake Superior while we were camped at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. Got the bikes out for a little ride and took a couple short walks on the beach.

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3 kilometer sandy beach on Lake Superior at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

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Lunch stop at Bruce Mines harbor on Lake Huron.

We were lucky enough to find several Boonodockers Welcome hosts on this portion of our trip home. We thank them all for generously allowing us to stay on their property. We hope to host some boondockers at our home this summer…come on down! Our next overnight boondock was with Doug near Sudbury, Ontario. We spent a couple of hours together pouring over maps and telling traveling tales.

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OK, will do.

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Snowmobile suspension bridge over French River. The largest of its kind in the world.

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Wild Columbine – love it.

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Another picturesque lunch stop. This one at Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park.

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The “Big Chute” Marine Railway, Lock 44 on the 386 kilometer Trent-Severn Waterway. The only lock of its kind in North America.

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The carriage picks up boats here.

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And carries them down this hill.

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To this lake, which is 58 feet lower. Unfortunately, we did not get to see it in action.

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The next day we got luckier as we watched three boats ride this mammoth Lift Lock at Peterborough.

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It’s pretty amazing how it uses only the weight of water to operate.

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This is Lock 21 on the Trent-Severn Waterway. We’d love to boat there someday.

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Cool tunnel next to the lock we just had to take haRVy through.

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The lovely garden we camped in at the home of BW hosts Ron and Pat near Picton.

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Wooded pathway to their lower 40 acres of land.

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Pat’s creativity was evident throughout their property.

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A quick 15-minute ride on the FREE Glenora Ferry took us towards Kingston, Ontario.

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Our front row position almost felt like we were driving the boat.

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Lunch stop on shore of Lake Ontario.

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Camped near the shore of Charleston Lake north of Gananoque where we also took a look around.

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An enjoyable paddle after dinner.

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A nice pink sunset sky at the end our time on the water.

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Alongside highway 68 near Ogsdenburg, New York after we crossed the border back into the USA.

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Just love the ADKs. Almost felt like home we’ve been there so often.

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This was our first time at Lake Eaton. Nice site just a few feet from the water.

Our night onboard haRVy at Lake Eaton was supposed to be our last of this grand adventure we’ve been on for nearly three years, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Less than an hour after a delicious lunch at our favorite ADK eatery in Chestertown, the wind and rain became intense enough to make driving a bit uncomfortable. Since we had no schedule to meet, we pulled into yet another Boondockers Welcome driveway in Saratoga Springs to camp. The next day was sunny and clear providing a very pleasant drive to our home in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

I am looking forward to taking a break from blogging, but next time haRVy is on the road I will be back! In the meantime, come visit us this summer. Y’all welcome! Sincerely, Sunny Harvy.



























Posted by: sunnyharvy | June 6, 2016

Still Out Here

It is a LONG drive from California to Rhode Island! Especially when you choose to take the northern route over the Great Lakes. We don’t have any real schedule to meet, so we’re (mostly) enjoying the ride.

Just before crossing the Canadian border from Minnesota, we stopped at Grand Portage National Monument where we learned about the extensive fur trading that went on in this area in the early 1800s. The partnership between the Grand Portage Ojibwe and the North West Company was reportedly quite agreeable. The beaver pelts the natives brought to this bustling depot found their way to Montreal, New York, London and Paris to be made into fashionable hats. They traded the pelts for items such as blankets and metal cooking pots that made life a bit easier for them.

Our tour included an excellent video presentation at the Heritage Center as well as a self-guided tour of the depot that has been reconstructed in its exact original location.

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A foot powered lathe being demonstrated.

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Outdoor kitchen.

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Bedroom/office for one of the North West Company’s executives.

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Some of the goods available for trade.

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Examples of the furs brought in by the Ojibwe.

One of the interesting things we learned was that the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States acknowledged American control of the area where the Grand Portage depot was located. To avoid American taxation the North West Company moved their depot further north. The new fur trading post was located on the Kaministiquia River and named Fort William after William McGillivray, chief director of the North West Company from 1804-1821.

Today, with 57 heritage and modern buildings on 250 acres, Fort William Historical Park offers a vivid and rich tapestry of fur trade life, running the gamut from culture to crafts, medicine to business, domestic life to heritage farming. With our curiosity piqued at Grand Portage, we felt compelled to visit Fort William next.

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We took the first tour of the day.

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Nice to see the fort without a lot of tourists about.

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Shops where several different trades are demonstrated.

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Onsite working farm.

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One of the interiors recreated with incredible historic detail.

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Birch bark canoe building shop.

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Tinsmith working at his craft.

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We were there very early in their season, so much was still getting setup.

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The busy cooperage.

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The complex has camping right outside the gates so we took advantage of that.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | June 5, 2016

We’re On Our Way Home

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks in Canada where we can’t use our mobile internet hotspot. Therefore, we must get online in places like McDonalds and Tim Hortons. Since I don’t consider these suitable environments to spend time working on my blog, I am behind on my posts. We crossed back over into the States yesterday, so I’m back on it.

Once we left Theodore Roosevelt National Park (previous post), we didn’t find much else to stop for in North Dakota, so it was pretty much an all-day dash across the state. Seems that the locals might also be bored, since they have erected all sorts of huge, sometimes strange, sculptures. We saw the “World’s Largest” Holstein Cow, Buffalo, and Blue Heron (photo below).

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As far as I can tell, this is pretty much what the entire state of North Dakota looks like.

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This huge metal blue heron was erected to heighten awareness of birding opportunities in the area.

We crossed over into Minnesota just east of Fargo and camped at Buffalo River State Park. From there we headed for the North Shore of Lake Superior where we were greeted by fog and rain that stayed with us for nearly a week. Not the best weather for sightseeing or photography.

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In Knife River, Minnesota we stopped at Russ Kendall’s Smoke House and purchased a huge Lake Trout filet.

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Took a lunch break in Two Harbors to view historic coal docks, a steam powered tug boat,

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a lighthouse and this interesting watercraft the sign told us almost nothing about.

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Gooseberry Falls State Park has several preserved log and stone structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

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The park also has, as the name implies, Gooseberry Falls.

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Further up the coast we viewed Split Rock Lighthouse.

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And took several brief hikes to stretch our legs.

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Tattagouche State Park

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Temperance River

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Historic fish shack near campground in Grand Marais.

 

Posted by: sunnyharvy | May 25, 2016

Heading Home… The Long Way

When this epic journey began over two and a half years ago, we crossed the country from Florida to California. We are now returning via the northern tier states and parts of Canada around the Great Lakes. From Rick and Leslie’s (thanks again) home in Minden we scurried across Nevada and into Idaho.

In Twin Falls, ID we stopped at the Perrine Bridge that spans the majestic Snake River Canyon.

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BASE jumpers use the bridge as the launching point for parachuting to the canyon floor below. We watched one during our brief visit.

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In 1974, with much media fanfare, daredevil Evel Knievel tried and failed to leap this mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon on his specially engineered rocket motorcycle.

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Camped at Craters of the Moon National Monument

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Spatter Cones on scenic drive through park.

As we drove east across Southern Idaho we began seeing signs for Atomic City, which drew my curiosity. Searching online I learned that this area has contained more than 50 nuclear reactors and that we would soon be passing by the World’s First Nuclear Power Plant, Experimental Breeder Reactor I, commonly referred to as EBR-1.

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Unfortunately, they don’t open for public tours for a couple more weeks.

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Pretty cool looking stuff though.

We then continued to the far eastern edge of Idaho, where we turned north on the extremely scenic Routes 33 and 191 along the western side of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

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Riverside Campground in Ashton, Idaho.

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Lunch stop overlooking the confluence of the Powder and Yellowstone Rivers in Montana.

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 Terry, Montana

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota was recommended by some of well traveled friends, so we decided to check it out. The park was established in 1947 as  a national memorial to honor President Roosevelt and to provide a place to experience his beloved Badlands. Do you know that he established the US Forest Service, created five national parks, 18 national monuments,150 national forests, and dozens of federal reserves – protecting over 230 million acres of land? Amazing! Thank you Theodore.

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Wind Canyon

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Look who set up camp in the site next to ours!

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Little Missouri River

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Taking a hike.

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Wild Horses

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Badlands

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Bison were reintroduced to the park some 50 years ago. They seem quite content there.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | May 17, 2016

Back in the USA

We are happy to be back onboard haRVy and traveling familiar territory in the USA. While New Zealand was interesting, traveling full time is just easier here and having nearly full time internet access is a big part of that.

After a few days of jet lag rehab and getting haRVy road ready we headed north toward the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains in Central California.

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View of Lake Kaweah in the foothills of the Sierras from our campsite.

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Can’t camp on this loop.

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You’d get your feet wet trying to dine at that table.

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Never seen a buoy attached to a picnic shelter before, but when it’s underwater I assume it keeps boats from running into it.

No, the drought is not over in California, but it was refreshing to see a lake filled to capacity. Lake Kaweah is normally maintained at a very low level or empty for most of the year, and generally only fills between May and June as the snow above melts. During that time many campsites are (obviously) unusable.

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The next morning w were soon back on a long, winding, and hilly road. Al had hoped we’d left these behind in New Zealand, but no such luck. The southern entrance into Sequoia National Park is so curvy that vehicles over 22-feet long are advised to use an alternate route.

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Not sure what this rig measures in combined length, but it is certainly one of the most unique we’ve seen in over 50,000 miles! The tow vehicle was totally custom made. The “travel trailer” was originally a 1949 Crosby.

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Galley kitchen under the hood, sleeping quarters in the passenger area, and a real character behind the wheel of the tow vehicle. He handcrafted it all himself.

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haRVy looks small driving between two Giant Sequoias.

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Yep, they are BIG!

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Giant Sequoias grow to over 300 feet tall and then begin adding layers to build a massive trunk up to 40 feet in diameter.

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A young pine grows on a fallen Sequoia log.

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We hiked around the impressive Giant Forest. Sequoias grow naturally only on the west slope of California’s Sierra Nevada range.

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And tried to drive through the tunnel log. haRVy needs a bit more than 8-feet of vertical clearance.

From Sequoia National Park we drove into Kings Canyon National Park. Kings Canyon is the deepest canyon in the United States at over a mile and a half deep. It takes another pretty amazing drive to get there.

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Oh yeah.

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Lucky to be here during wild flower season.

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The lightning sparked Rough Fire burned last year for more than five months, consuming over 150,000 acres of forest in the Sierra Nevada. Now, after a wet winter, the charred forest is slowly coming back to life.

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Everything is BIG around here. Can hardly see little Al in this photo.

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Free riverside campsite, thanks to our National Forest Service.

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Grizzly Falls (video here)

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Canyon View Lookout

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We took a lovely hike around Zumwalt Meadow. No wonder John Muir once called Kings Canyon “a rival to Yosemite.”

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Kings Canyon Lodge, built in 1937, was the only structure lost in the big fire. Somehow these antique gas pumps survived. The have been a major attraction in the park for decades so they have been restored and will reopen for the summer season soon.

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Our next stop was at Columbia State Historic Park where an old gold mining boom town has been preserved and restored.

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Columbia contains the largest single collection of existing gold rush-era structures in the state.

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Before UPS and FedEx.

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Hotel lobby – still welcoming guests today.

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Many of the merchants dress in 1850′s attire.

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The town’s first fire pump wagon from 1850 was on display here, but too dark to photograph. This 1911 building is sheathed in embossed tin that looks like brick.

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Columbia’s streets are lined with a variety of shops and boutiques with many specializing in nineteenth century goods.

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When we got back to haRVy we realized that we’d parked a bit close to these tree branches. Need to remember to look up when you drive a vehicle that’s almost 12-feet tall!

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Silver Lake on Scenic Route 88 over the Sierras.

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Lunch view.

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Snow right down to the road, even in mid-May.

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Caples lake at nearly 8,000 feet still partially frozen.

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Descending into Minden to visit our dear friends Rick and Leslie again.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | May 9, 2016

Kiwi Speak, Observations, and Peculiarities

Although the folks in New Zealand speak the same language as we do, that does not necessarily translate to our always understanding what they mean. I offer here a few examples of “Kiwi Speak” that we encountered.

arse: buttocks

bach: small holiday home, pronounced “batch”

biscuit: cookie

capsicum: sweet pepper

caravan: travel trailer

cotton buds: Q-tips

courgette: zuchini

give way: yield to traffic

jandal: thongs, flip-flops

kumara: sweet potato

long-drop: outhouse, outdoor loo

panel beater: auto body shop

slow car bay: turnout to let others pass

takeaway: food prepared to go

torch: flashlight

track: walking trail

tramping: hiking, often difficult

windscreen: windshield

wonky: crooked

Care to learn more? Follow the link above the list. Accents and intonations add to the communication difficulties. Most of the kiwis couldn’t understand Al, with his Massachusetts accent, at all.

Don’t order an “ice coffee” unless you want a thick milkshake made with ice cream and espresso. Very yummy, but not exactly what I was expecting. Trying to get an American strength (weak by NZ standards) cup of coffee is also a challenge.

New Zealanders are friendly and helpful, often to a fault. In fact, we had to remind ourselves not to ask a question of one unless we had at least 10 minutes for the response.

A few random impressions I have of New Zealand include:

Sheep, Cows, and Green Hills

Narrow, Winding Roads

Exotic Bird Songs

Tall Tree Ferns

Otherworldly Scenery

Spectacularly Starry Skies

Charming Small Towns

One Lane Bridges

Meat Pies and Pastries

Roundabouts

Beaches, Beaches, and More Beaches

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Tall Hedges

Major Highways with Just Two Lanes

No Billboards

Friendly, Polite, Helpful People (even kids)

Too Many Tourists

High Prices

And now for a few NZ peculiarities captured in photographs.

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Al was fascinated by these wire fence tighteners.

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Free sunscreen

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A water faucet (bubbler in New England).

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All electrical receptacles have switches.

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And pushing “down” turns them “on” !?!

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Toilet flush options.

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Interesting term for a beer tap.

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I have never seen a “Boston Bun” in Boston, have you?

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Faux wood motorhome.

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Enough said I think.

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Only Kiwis or Brits could be this proper when referring to sh*t.

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Why would anyone agree to pay to rent a van with this paint job? Bad enough we had to camp next to it!

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This one is much more fun, but we were happy to have the plain white variety.

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Stuffed with gear for three campers…pretty typical for young travelers, particularly Europeans.

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Amazing automated public toilet, complete with spoken instructions and Muzak.

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Not sure I’d want to sit in that seat. We saw many creative vehicle paint jobs.

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Another word for shopping cart.

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Apparently things can get a bit rowdy in NZ, as we saw several of these signs.

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Not a happy sign for us.

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NZ is the land of tiny sinks – they are everywhere. And why not? They only need to fit two hands. Many were much smaller than this one.

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?

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Murals everywhere, on bus stops, bathrooms, abandoned buildings and more.

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Very creative playgrounds. I had to try out some of the equipment for myself, of course.

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Are we not to foul the dog or is the dog not to foul the area?

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Many, many, many birds…everywhere.

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Creative mailboxes abound. Sorry we didn’t get a photo of a Microwave post box of which we saw several. do like the outboard above though. The plastic number seems to be standard issue and very practical.

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Home Sweet Home.

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Baaaaaa… good-bye New Zealand.

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