Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Monday, April 14, 2014

Joshua Tree National Park

Welcome to Jumbo Rocks Campground at Joshua Tree National Park. Where it is bright, sunny and about 50F.

Can you see our truck and trailer down there?

We took several treks through the desert...

... through the Joshua Tree forests....

... and exploring the occasional cave.

Jena LOVES camping! She's a real dirt dog!

An unexpected surprise from all the rain we just had... There were lots of desert flowers in bloom:

It was a GREAT weekend, but now it's back to work...
Have a great week all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Welcome to Death Valley...

... where it is 70F during the day and 40F at night. It took us 6 hours to drive to Death Valley, thanks to the road closure on the South side. We had to drive around and enter from the West. Then our campground was all the way on the North end of the valley. It was out of the way, but a great little campsite!

We didn't have much daylight left on Thursday, but we managed to see Ubehebe Crater which was caused by volcanic activity in the Park a few hundred years ago. This was my favorite site in the Park. A short .5 mile hike uphill took us to a view of the smaller craters.

We also drove up to Scotty's Castle. This was a family's vacation home in the park and cost them 1.5 million to build in 1906. We arrived after the tours ended, but that's okay... taking tours of inside of houses is not my "thing."

The next day was a hiking day (I LOVE me a good hiking day :oD ). Our first hike was through Golden Canyon. And the walls of the canyon were a yellow-y color... I guess you could call it gold... or maybe there was gold discovered here. We don't know for sure because we didn't pay the 25 cents for the interpretive brochure. We made it 3 miles round trip to the Red Cathedral.

Our next hike was through a canyon that we hiked about 15 years ago called Mosaic Canyon. 15 years ago, we got there so late that we didn't make it to the end, and I really really wanted to make it to the end... it was such a beautiful interesting canyon. The walls and floor of this narrow canyon are made of smooth white marble. It opened up into a wash and ended at a dry waterfall... 4 mile round trip.

We also drove past a couple interesting spots... Artist Pallet where the hills are infused with soft watery colors (I took that description out of the tour book):

This is Salt Creek. There is actually running water in Death Valley and it's supposed to be full of Pup Fish... not a pup fish in sight...

After our 7+ mile hiking day, the next day was a driving day. We took a drive out to the Rhyolite Ghost Town in Nevada. My favorite building was the house built out of 30,000 bottles from the local saloons.

Our drive back to Death Valley was though a narrow one way trail. It's hard to see the majesty of the scenery from these shots. It was really breath-taking!

Here are a last few pics from the campground... and Jim's 62nd birthday! Happy Birthday, Jim!

Thanks for coming on our trip with us!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Last Day...

Hi all! This is the last leg of our trip. We stuck to State Parks for the rest of our journey, but had another catch in our plans. Up to know we've had no trouble finding campgrounds with open sites. Most of the time the campgrounds were almost empty, But... SURPRISE! It's fall break up North! The kids are out of school and families are getting in their last camping trip of the season. We headed south, going through the 17 mile drive. The highlight was supposed to be the iconic Monterey pine tree on a rock... Uhm, okay, we saw it. Then we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge and ended up in Butano State Park. We got one of the last campsites and the campground was full of kids and families.

It was a beautiful campground. The trees were very open and there were lots of space and fun places for kids to play... and there were a lot of them. It made me think of a shire full of hobbits.

The next day we stopped at 4 different state parks further along the coast before finding one with a vacancy. It was a long drive day. We ended up all the way down in San Simeon State Beach. San Simeon had two campgrounds. The campground with running water, toilets and showers was full, so we were in the dry dusty primitive camp, but we did drive over to the other camp to sneak in a shower... shhhh, don't tell.

That's it for the trip, I think it ended way too soon. We didn't get to see all we wanted, but now there's a reason for us to go back. :oD
Thanks for letting me share!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


What is October 1st you ask? Well, it's the day that the government closed... and two people who are off the grid camping didn't know about it. We left Patrick's Point and headed east for Lassen National Park. We tried to stop half way at Whiskey Creek National Recreational Area. It was there we found out that all National Park, National Monuments, and National Recreational Areas were closed. We spent 2 more hours trying to find another campground. We finally found one at a dry boat landing called Bailey Cove on Shasta Lake... needless to say, we were the only people in the entire campground. It was right below the 5 FWY and we listened to the cars and trucks run by all night.

The next day we trolled for wifi in a small town and found signal behind the local medical center. There we confirmed that Lassen National Park really was closed. So we headed back to the coast. After going from one barren cold windswept campsite to another, we ended up in Gualala Regional Park. A beautiful place under the bay trees. There is a great trail to a secluded beach.

We had some critters in the camp. Jim left the back of the truck open as he took out some wood and worked to start a fire. We heard a noise by the truck and two raccoons were trying to climb in the back. We also had a little grey fox come right up to us to beg for food. We also saw lots of seals and deer, and also a whale.

That's it for this leg of the trip.
Stay tuned for the last leg tomorrow.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Patrick's Point State Park

The last time we were at Patrick's Point (30 years ago) it was completely socked in with fog... fog so thick that you can't see the coast. This year we had clear skies and sunny days. YAY! The rain is over!

We saw some gorgeous rugged California coast. Also took a walk down to Agate Beach, trying to decide which of those pretty rocks was an agate.

We hiked back out to Patrick's Point at sunset with a glass of wine to toast a great trip. We spent the night at a great spot... not too shady because we needed to dry out from our rainy night in the redwoods.

We got visited in the night be some BIG FAT racoons. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow. But, for now here is the visual journal page for Patrick's Point. We had our beautiful campsite on the bluffs above the rugged coast where we could hear the waves crashing on the rocks all night. I also added some of the gorgeous flowers along the trail and of course the banana slugs and raccoon.

More coming tomorrow!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The trip day by day...

We're baaaak...!
I had plans to blog during the trip, but the only day we had wifi access was the first night at the hotel. I'll get you all caught up now. We are recreating (more or less) a camping trip that Jim and I took about 30 years ago. Our next stop on the trip was the Avenue of the Giants, Humbolt State Park. The smell of a redwood forest is so wonderful... different than any other type of forest.

We stayed at the Burlington campsite. We were one of 4 groups in the site. It was wonderful! We did a lot of hiking and I learned what poison oak looks like. Jim got tangled up in some, but turns out he must have the same immunity to the stuff as his dad did, because he didn't come down with a rash.

The trees are really BIG and BEAUTIFUL! We got some rain over night, and it rained steadily all the next day. We decided to setup of rain and stay put in Humbolt for another night. The trailer is great. It kept us warm and dry.

On our rainy day, we passed on hiking and went on a drive to the coast to the furthest west point in the continental United States... Cape Mendocino. Then it was on to Ferndale to walk through the cute Victorian village and have some lunch.

Oh, I tried a different type of journaling for this trip; visual journaling! Here is my Avenue of the Giants page. You can see the trees with poison oak. The tree with the face is from our campsite, and you see our campsite in the rain. I have Ferndale, the beach and the wild road to get there. Here it is...

Now I just need to add some color to it to finish it up.

Stay tuned for more camping adventures!

Friday, September 27, 2013

On our way...

We are on vacation... just me and Jim... no kids and no Jena. Jena would have loved to come. She gets so excited when Jim brings out the trailer... but where we are going, they are not very dog friendly, so she had to stay home.

We didn't leave this morning until after 6am, so we got caught in the morning rush hour traffic. Then we got stuck in afternoon rush hour traffic in San Francisco. With all the traffic, we didn't get as far as we wanted to and had to stop for the night at the Travelodge in Ukiah. After a good night's sleep we will be on the road again for the Avenue of the Giants!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Camping weekend

Greetings from Silent Valley!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dragon Highway, TN

Cheryl flew out to Atlanta to ride home with Jim. As they were going over the Dragon Highway in Tennessee. It's a well known biker road, and as they came around a corner, they got their picture taken. This is the first look that I've gotten of the new trailer. Jim found it in Nashville.

Miss you, Hun! I hope you and Cheryl are having FUN!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What a WEEK!!!

The boys are gone this week to Costa Rica. So, what's a girl to do?

SUNDAY : We cheered Galaxy to a tie with Chivas.

MONDAY: We cheered Noah's team to a win over Mission Viejo.

TUESDAY: We went to Hollywood to see "Catch Me if You Can."

WEDNESDAY: Girls just want to have FUN! Cheryl went to school for her last final. After she got home, we went to Ladies Night at Road Runner Sports and had a "Breaking Dawn" part 1 and part 2 marathon.

THURSDAY: Running, paddle boarding, shopping, and to see "OZ."

FRIDAY: We went to La Jolla to kayak the sea caves. No sea caves today because of the overhead surf and 11 mph winds. We also managed to roll our kayak during the beach landing. At least it wasn't just us... everyone rolled their kayak, along with one of the guides. After we dried off and stopped shivering, we went into San Diego and spent the afternoon at the museums in Balboa Park.

SATURDAY: We were invited to play in a coed 6v6 soccer tournament. Yes, BOTH of us, and I'm happy to say that I was not the worse player there! Our team, "Accurate," tied one and lost 2. We didn't not make it to the play-offs, but I got free soccer cleats, and had a lot of fun.... I really miss taking soccer pictures...

And we had another Galaxy game to go to. This time Galaxy WON, YAHOO!!!

SUNDAY: We are so sore from soccer yesteray, but we don't need legs for paddle boarding! Now that we are such experts, it's time to try our luck in Newport Harbor. I admit that I fell off the board. My shoe was sitting on the board, and I hit it accidentally with the paddle. I tried to save it before it floated off and tipped the board. Yep, swimming in Newport Harbor... YUCK! It was a beautiful morning!

Now, a nap is in order before we go pickup the boys at the airport after midnight.

Thanks for stopping by and looking at the pictures of our busy week!