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Author Topic: Florida to the Pacific NW  (Read 15953 times)

hoddinron

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Florida to the Pacific NW
« on: July 16, 2013, 06:34:26 PM »
Our two month tour of the Pacific NW has begun.  We started out on Sunday, July 14 leaving our home in Seminole, Florida .  But gremlins plagued us for the first two days in the form of a problem with the trailer tail lights.  Something was causing a fuse in the truck that was dedicated to keeping the tail lights and marker lights on to blow.  We stopped in Ocala after discovering that they were not working, but couldn't find a mobile RV service that would return our call on a Sunday.  So Monday we found B & E RV Repair to take a look.  The were really nice guys and did replace the tail light fixtures, bulbs etc which were rusted in place and could have caused the fuse to blow.  They got them working, but not for long, so another stop in Lake City at the Camping World and another long wait.  Finally a 20 something kid who was assigned to trouble shoot this problem figured it out!  I was so impressed!  Turns out the was a short in the wires that led from the gooseneck to the front marker lights.  Once it was disconnected, the tail lights stayed on and did not blow a fuse! 

By that time we were too tired and it was too late to continue, so we spent last night at the Lake City Campground, a former KOA. 

Today we headed west on I-10 and connected 231 through Dothan AL, and I-65 in Montgomery.  Now we feel that our trip has truly begun!  Tomorrow we plan to stay with friends in Nashville and head NW again on Thursday.  Plan to hit the coast at San Francisco, and head north along the coastal highway.  After reaching Port Townsend WA, we may take a side trip to Victoria Island or head east to Glacier NP.  Yelllowstone, and Rocky Mountain NP are destinations for our return trip to FL.

It's funny but when you leave home there is a kind of separation anxiety.  That's why it's best to make a fast get a way, and start to focus on the road ahead instead of thinking about what you've left behind.  Taking two and a half days to get out of Florida made this real to me.  I almost gave up the trip and was temped to turn around and head home, but that would be admitting defeat.  Now it's time to think about destinations and routes and make them a part of our reality, day by day.

Thanks for being there and for reading this.  I've started a blog on blogspot.com and will share it after we get a ways along and have some good photos to share.

Ron and Joyce headed for California, Oregon, Washington :)
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ArdraF

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 11:08:22 PM »
After a rough start, I hope the rest of the trip is all you have wanted in your imaginations!  It sounds like a good trip.  Safe travels!

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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 09:02:57 AM »
I don't want to alter the perspective of your good time on the coast, but last summer we did a considerable section of the Oregon coast and the Olympic peninsula.

Because of the nature of the coast road, be prepared for narrow roads, some dips where the road washes, and a lot of traffic. The point of all this being that you should not expect to make good time. On the other side of the coin will be the views and there will be some places to pull out, but your rig will limit you  some.

As a car trip, launched from wherever you stop, there is no small number of interesting places to visit, sightsee, and enjoy the ocean air.

We stayed in Sequim for a month and thoroughly enjoyed the area, including Port Townsend.

Hope you have a great visit!
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hpykmpr

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 09:06:33 AM »
Good luck with your trip . We left Oviedo,Fl on May 9th for our 6 month western trip. It has been an eventful trip so far but we are enjoying it . We are currently In the Vancouver BC area and will be leaving for Whidby Island Washington on Thursday.Sorry about your troubles of your first few days but one thing we have found out is no matter how new your RV, expect trouble and if you do not have any you can count your blessings. I don't know where you are planning to go on your  trip but we will be in the Wasnington, Oregon , California area for another month and a half so maybe our paths will cross. Have a safe trip ....Alan

hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 09:52:25 PM »
Trip update,

We got to Nashville and stayed with friends at their home in Brentwood, where a lot of the Country Stars live.  Tony and Dana showed us around, and made us feel at home.  Toured the music city for a couple of days and got a good feel for the place.

Then today It was time to hit the road again.  We said our goodbyes and headed out of town towards St Louis.  It was a very hot day, so I kept the speed down to keep the tires cool.  Some rough roads especially in the city centers. Crossing the Big Muddy made us feel that our Western Adventure has truly begun!  :)

Heading towards Kansas City tomorrow, then north on 29 to pick up 80, and then over to Cheyenne for the Frontier Days which starts today!  We've got to stop and have some fun along they way, right?

Still debating about where to go after that.  We could just stay on 80 to San Fran, or just head up to Glacier and then go West to WA and OR and down to Frisco.  Might be best to go to Glacier first while it's hot further south.  What do you think?  We could go through Yellowstone on the way to Glacier and drive the Sawtooth mountain road too. 

Alan, we will be in the WA,OR area at the same time you will, so it's possible we could meet on the road!

Ron and Joyce on the road east of Kansas City
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WineLuvrs

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 12:18:15 PM »
We too will be heading from FL (Treasure Coast) and using Crescent City CA / Brookings OR as our FBO while on the Left Coast. We intend to take the Northern Route I80 & I95 heading West then I10 & I40 East before the New Year. Maybe our paths will cross. Good luck and keep the shiny side up!

BTW folks in the West refer to S.F. as San Francisco or simply the City. No offense intended kind sir, but saying Frisco marks you as a rube tourist.
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 12:49:35 PM »
We are sitting in Rawlins, WY, about 150 miles from Cheyenne. We have reservations for the 22nd thru the 24th at  Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne. We are attending Cheyenne Frontier Days on those dates, including the rodeo. We made our reservations in February, and bought the rodeo tickets in March.

I would strongly suggest that you make some calls for places to stay in Cheyenne. I suspect there will be slim pickings. We called Terry Bison Ranch, a Passport America park (no discounts during CFD however) and asked if we could get in a day early. They said they have dry camping only available.

We hope you get to Cheyenne and are able to find a spot. We checked on NFS and their website for the Cheyenne area said all campgrounds are closed due to falling trees that have died from the bark beetle infestation.

It sounds like you have a great trip planned. It will be fun to read your blog.
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maverickbbd

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2013, 01:01:48 PM »
We are presently sitting here in Copalis Beach, Washington about 100 yards from the Pacific ocean.  Hoping the temperature gets up to the 70's today so I can take off my sweat shirt and put on shorts.  Great trip you have planned.  Guaranteed to be a lifetime experience.

halfwright

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 01:17:27 PM »
We are currently In the Vancouver BC area and will be leaving for Whidby Island Washington on Thursday.

I do not know if you are eligible or not, but there is a VFW post on Whidby Island near Oak harbor that we stayed at for 10 days at $10/day for electricity and water with an on-site dump. Great bunch of people there. Do not miss Ferndale near Eureka. beautiful Victorian buildings.  We spent 7 weeks going from Whidby to Simi Valley. PM me if you want more information.

Edit: Fixed quote.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 06:11:24 PM by Tom »
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 09:49:40 PM »


BTW folks in the West refer to S.F. as San Francisco or simply the City. No offense intended kind sir, but saying Frisco marks you as a rube tourist.

Ha! SF isn't a city. Its a wide spot in the road. Population of 825,00! For God's sake, it has a SUBURB, San Jose, that is larger, population 984,000.

Not being a rube, but Frisco a city is rubbish.  ;D ;D
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Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 09:54:37 PM »
Quote
Population of 825,00! ... it has a SUBURB, San Jose

A simple google search will correct both errors  ;)
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2013, 09:59:11 PM »
Google "population of San Francisco city only"...it will show 2012 est of 825,000. Don't Google the metro area, or SMSA for SF or San Jose.

Google "population of San Jose city only"...it will show 2012 est of 984,000.
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Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2013, 10:05:10 PM »
San Jose is not a suburb of San Francisco, and is not even in SF County  ;)
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2013, 10:54:21 PM »
Frisco and San Jose are not related at all two totally different beasts many miles apart in different counties. I have never understood why people in Northern California get so upset when you call it Frisco? Why is that bad, but it is OK to call it The City, like it was the only city in the world.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2013, 11:08:19 PM »
It was called 'Frisco' in some old western movies.

OTOH that's like calling Los Angeles 'Angles'. 'Cisco' might have been a better (more acceptable?) name than 'Frisco'.
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ArdraF

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2013, 11:24:22 PM »
San Francisco and San Jose are 50 miles apart and in different counties with Silicon Valley between them.

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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2013, 07:24:27 AM »
Rube Tourist here.. ;D

We made it Grande Island Nebraska, and have reservations for Cheyenne WY's AB campground in a full hook up site for Sunday and Monday to take in the Frontier Days.  I know we won't see everything, but hopefully we can sit in the bleachers and watch a rodeo, which is much more interesting to us than listening to some dude yodeling.

We did pass quite a few wineries, on I-70 before getting on I-80, but had to keep the doggies Rollin' Ee-Haww!

Have a nephew in San Francisco who's in charge of  the cities IT network, and hope to stay at the Novato Campground in Marin.  That's not too far from where he and his lovely wife and daughter live. 

Drove farther than I like yesterday (450 miles), so that today we have only 352 to Cheyenne, WY.

The weather here in Nebraska is cool and dry this morning, although I'm sure it will warm up.  So encouraging to know that it's cool on the coast of Oregon! A Thanks for that nugget!  We were in Northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan including Copper Harbor for 6 Weeks last summer and didn't need the AC once!

We've mostly stayed east of the big muddy for the past four years and I'd kind of forgot how you really have to put in some long days if you want to get across this grand country of ours.  I'd like to go short distances each day, but we want to save some days for the destinations we have planned to visit.

Anyway, thanks for all the input regarding the left coast including San Jose and San Francisco and WA and OR!

Guess we'll stay on 80 and go to California first before trekking north to OR and WA.  We've been to most of the major western National Parks, so we can stop in Glacier, Yellowstone, and maybe Rocky Mountainq on the way home.  Blog hasn't been updated since before Nashville, but I should have time to put something on it in Cheyenne.

Cheers to you all!  And thanks!

Ron and Joyce about to head out for Frontier Days in Cheyenne!


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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2013, 07:42:47 AM »
I have a few left coast suggestions for you. I doubt you will be able to get there in time but if you can the first week in August there is the most amazing display of wildflowers on Earth (at least of all the ones I have seen or heard of ;D). It happens at the Paradise section of Mount Rainier National Park. Most wildflower explosions have millions of wildflowers. The one at Paradise has billions of wildflowers.

There is a National Park in northern Washington that no one knows about. You can have the whole place to yourself in the middle of summer. It is called North Cascades National Park. There is a great campground there called Goodell Creek. The are 21 spaces there some are right on the Skagit River, and on the weekend when it gets real busy maybe ten spaces are being used. The rest of the week it is usually empty. Stunningly beautiful park.

Also in Washington is the Olympic National Park. There is a wonderful campground right on the beach there. The campground is called Kalaloch Campground and you will probably need reservations. It is hard to beat the beaches in Washington.

The Museum of Glass in Tacoma is another one to put on your bucket list.

And at Glacier National Park the Going to the Sun highway is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
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hpykmpr

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2013, 08:44:47 AM »
I do not know if you are eligible or not, but there is a VFW post on Whidby Island near Oak harbor that we stayed at for 10 days at $10/day for electricity and water with an on-site dump. Great bunch of people there. Do not miss Ferndale near Eureka. beautiful Victorian buildings.  We spent 7 weeks going from Whidby to Simi Valley. PM me if you want more information.

Edit: Fixed quote.
  We are sitting on the hill overlooking the beach at NAS Whidbey Island as I am posting this. I don't know if you have been here since they re-built the campground or not but it is gorgeous here . I think that is the nicest campground that we have ever stayed at. Thanks for the tip on Ferndale maybe we will look it up

therealsimpsons

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2013, 09:57:00 AM »
One final point. I think you will all agree that Oakland is a suburb of SF. Is it not in a different county? I think you will all agree that all of Marin County and its various little towns are suburbs of SF. By definition, a separate county. Until the 1980's and the dot.com and Silicone Valley explosions, San Jose was ALWAYS a suburb of SF even though its in a separate county, just like many of its other suburbs.

In the Chicago metro area, there are 316 separate incorporated municipalities in IL alone that make up the suburban sprawl, which include Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, and DuPage counties. That doesn't even include Gary, IN and Racine and Kenosha, WI. They are all suburbs of Chicago. In fact, a good argument could be made that the entire state of Wisconsin is a suburb of Chicago.  ;D

I'm reminded of years ago trying to make a delivery in my truck to a Naperville, IL address (snooty posh suburb) and spent hours looking for the address only to find out the address was on the same street but in neighboring Aurora, IL (blue collar ordinary suburb). When I told the lady of the house that she didn't live in Naperville, but instead lived in Aurora, she was very put out. I live in Naperville she insisted. Same county, same subdivision, same nice homes, except that it straddled the city boundaries between the two.

By-the-way, many of Chicago's suburbs, along with many other BIG cities, have suburbs that are way more than 50 miles away.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 10:00:22 AM by parttymer »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2013, 11:01:00 AM »
I am not going to agree that either Oakland or Marin is a suburb of SF. Just because two towns are close to one another does not make one a suburb of the other. Oxnard and Ventura California are perfect examples.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

Tom

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2013, 11:09:40 AM »
Locals wouldn't consider Oakland a suburb of San Francisco. They're even on different sides of the Bay.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2013, 11:11:53 AM »
Locals wouldn't consider Oakland a suburb of San Francisco. They're even on different sides of the Bay.
I think the local from Oakland would be highly offended if you called Oakland a suburb of SF. It might upset the people in SF too.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

Ned

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2013, 11:56:50 AM »
Quote
the entire state of Wisconsin is a suburb of Chicago.

Wisconsin is a place for the residents of Illinois to leave their money, then go home.  And I think you insulted the people of Racine and Kenosha.  I'm not sure if anyone really lives in Gary :)
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WashDad

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2013, 03:32:08 PM »
  We are sitting on the hill overlooking the beach at NAS Whidbey Island as I am posting this. I don't know if you have been here since they re-built the campground or not but it is gorgeous here . I think that is the nicest campground that we have ever stayed at. Thanks for the tip on Ferndale maybe we will look it up

If you are in or near Oak Harbor, don't pass up a visit to Deception Pass State Park. It has dramatic views, beaches, fairly easy hiking, and a great chance to see a bald eagle or two. It's one of my favorite spots in the state, although it can be hard to get into the campground.
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hoddinron

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2013, 11:13:14 PM »
We made it to Cheyenne this afternoon on schedule, and checked in at the AB Campground. A very nice site. Took the shuttle, $1 per person each way, to the Frontier Days area in town.  This is the biggest thing each year for Cheyenne.  Dwight Yokum (sp?) was playing tonight, and the crowds were heavy.  We bought tickets for tomorrow's Rodeo.  There's one every day this week, and Championship Bull riding at night, a separate event and ticket.  Seniors only $19 each for the Rodeo, the Bull Riding was more.

The fairgrounds have a lot of vendors and exhibits, and we enjoyed browsing.  I decided that Wyoming Cowboys are tall and their Cowgirls are blond (mostly).  Lots of good looking people out here.  I'd forgotten that western clothing was so gaudy! 

Thanks Seilerbird for the Olympic Area NP tips.  Will check it out when we get there!

Ron and Joyce in Cheyenne WY

PS - did get to stop at Cabela's in Sidney Nebraska on the way today.  Bought a tee shirt.
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skyking1

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2013, 12:49:26 AM »
That Cabela's was amazing when I stopped there in '03. Do take the truck up into Mt. Rainier National Park when you get there. I was working up there the last two summers on the Stevens Canyon Rehabilitation Project and it is a great sight to see.
The campgrounds in the park itself have a 27' trailer length limit, so it looks like you are good to go with your rig. Be aware, they will be tight to get around in.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 12:51:04 AM by skyking1 »
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2013, 02:29:54 PM »
When we are in Cheyenne, we always make a stop@ Sierra Traders. They sometimes have some real good prices on their items. Have fun @ the rodeo, we are hoping to make it to Cheyenne, during the rodeo, someday.
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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2013, 02:50:32 PM »
If you are in or near Oak Harbor, don't pass up a visit to Deception Pass State Park. It has dramatic views, beaches, fairly easy hiking, and a great chance to see a bald eagle or two. It's one of my favorite spots in the state, although it can be hard to get into the campground.
As newly weds and me in the Navy as an E-4 with almost no money, Decption Pass was our favorite spot.  We would pick up fishing tackle from Special Services on the Seaplane Base, buy some bait shrimp for very little money then go ling cod fishing at the Pass.  There were hiking paths along the bluffs above the Pass and it could get pretty secluded - quite nice and necessary for newly weds. ;)  It is our goal to head that way, probably next spring, to retrace our steps, although, the seclusion probably won't be necessary after 50 years. :'(
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Carl L

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Re: Florida to the Pacific NW
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2013, 02:53:29 PM »

BTW folks in the West refer to S.F. as San Francisco or simply the City. No offense intended kind sir, but saying Frisco marks you as a rube tourist.

Us western folks also refer to SF as SF and as San Fran.   We also refer to it as a middling sized city just north of Silicon Valley.

Some of us also refer to San Francisco as the basement of the National League West.   Especially, those of us down here in the second largest city in the USA.   (Go Dodgers!)
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