San Antonio to Date

How time flies when you are having fun. This post has some of the good , the bad, and the ugly of travel. Every bit of it a privilege, and at over 100 days on the road I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

San Antonio River Walk. Avoid in the heat of the summer but was a pretty day for a gorgeous walk.
The River was diverted many years before to create a place of art, hotels, and exercise around the downtown of San Antonio.
Tower of the Americas (center)
Beautiful day and a look at the mix of architecture.
of course to keep the canals of the riverwalk in check.
The Alamo. We did not tour as the line was around the building to get in, on this trip, lines are kind of a deal breaker.
I didn’t know it was such a series of buildings.
For you Dottie.
every good walk, deserves a beverage and authentic Mexican lunch.
Mi Tierra Cafe.
To ring in the New Year, we spent almost a week outside of Corpus Christi, Mustang Island, Port Aransas Texas.
We had a quiet week at the beach, not many photos, many of the man made creatures like the on seen above.
It was chilly and drizzly, but we were still able to watch the tankers come in to port.
I was able to take a short video of dolphins playing in the bow wave of the tanker, I posted to facebook, but this platform doesn’t like video.
So, this is half of a nylon/plastic guide, that keeps the metal tubes of our slide out arms separated so they function properly. We have ordered replacements and will be doing some repairs when all the planets align.
We took the ferry from Port Aransas and headed up and thru Houston, which is absolutely Huge. This is it starting on the left and it just keeps on going.
There was even more city off to the right of this photo. I guess everything is bigger in Texas!
We spent 4 nights in New Orleans because of some storms coming in, we had 2 good weather days. This is Jackson Square, with St. Louis Cathedral in the background, behind me is the Mighty Mississippi River (not pictured)
One of the many beautiful balconies in the city, this is in the french quarter. We rode the trolley into the Garden District which was beautiful, the home of Tulane and Loyola campuses

We stayed in a rv park next to a train yard that had over a dozen of rail sets, the train system is alive and well in the big easy. Also about a half mile behind us was a well known area for street racing. It’s called Da Pad, Utube has videos you can watch, we heard it almost nightly while we were there. The burned rubber on the concrete was so thick in places it looked like blacktop instead.

We did some exploring outside of New Orleans as well. This is Shell Beach, with a memorial to all that were lost in Hurricane Katrina.
It was raining as you can see the rain drops are caught by the camera but the names etched in the granite are not.
One of the houses raised after the flood waters receded.
We saw one with a school bus parked underneath but couldn’t find it again on the way out to get a photo of it to give even more perspective of how high off the ground these are.
We went out as far as the road would take us past a little fishing village.
We started eastward from there, and had 3 very foggy days in Biloxi, and then Mobile.
I think the next photos speak for themselves.
Convention center Mobile, AL The man in the next car asked if I wanted his photo too, I politely declined. 🙂 We spent one night in Mobile, drove downtown for about 20 minutes, went down Hank Aaron rd and Satchel Page drive to the Costco for our spoiled dogs, we were out of their favorite dog bones.
We spent 4 nights in Destin Florida at the Destin West RV resort. Very nice place that had an agreement with the hotel on the beach to use their facilities. It was too cold to swim, but we stuck our toes in the water. This photo is from yesterday. Jeff and I landed in a local watering hole to shoot some pool and celebrate his birthday!
We are in Mexico Beach Florida for one more night. October of 2018, Hurricane Michael had his way with this stretch Florida’s coast. The devastation is still very evident a year and a half later. In this photo, you can see something written on one of the buildings. It is ASI, All State Ins. and a claim number. We walked part of a neighborhood where there is nothing left of the houses except the concrete slab foundation, some carpet tack strips, linoleum, or tile stuck to them. I’m talking a full street in this neighborhood, A dozen houses, 6 per side of the street gone. I can only imagine the heartache this area has been through and still deals with, count your blessings and share all the love in your heart, it’s all we really have.
This used to be a restaurant, the yellow part on the right still has tables and chairs in it. Jeff just told me put that thing away, we are going to that island in the gulf…the adventures continue. Be happy and well until I type again!!!

Back to Blogging

I clearly took some time off from this for the Holidays, so much so as I had to look to at my last post to see where I had left off. December 12 seems so long ago, when it’s only been 16 days. I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas, is still enjoying Hanukkah, and any other joyous activity this season brings.

As promised in my last post, I had a few pictures from my inner child day that were still on my phone. The Charles M Schulz museum was closed the day we were there, but I was able to get a few photos that I love.
Thanks to Kevin McCool. Gave us a tour of Snoopy’s home ice. Gave me a ride on the Zamboni, allowed me upstairs to see their Hall of Fame. Those who have had the opportunity skate with Snoopy line the walls of the hallway where rink offices are, I found too many of my favorites there to post.
Some of the stained glass inside the snack bar area.

We left Santa Rosa/Petaluma and headed down to Gilroy, CA The Garlic capital of the US. We spent a few days there, headed over to the coast to see Carmel by the Sea and drove down the coast as far as Big Sur.

There was a little scenic road through Carmel by the Sea that gave these great views of houses right over the edge it seemed. When you looked back at the land side of the road there were houses all nestled in with one another with gorgeous and huge windows for looking out to the water.
If this isn’t a scene out of a Disney evil Queen movie, I don’t know what is.
The waves kept rolling in and the water was such a mixture of colors.
We stopped here for lunch that day. The next few photos are from the restaurant. Well worth the stop.
The weather had just cleared, they were fogged in about a half hour prior and as we drove back up to our RV park the fog had rolled back in, We were lucky.
A place outside to sit and enjoy the views
This bridge is on the cover of our Rand McNally Road Atlas and Jeff was determined to go over it and get a photo of it. It is the Bixby Canyon Bridge, construction finished in 1932.
clouds rolling in

When we were north of San Francisco, everyone kept telling us how expensive Napa and Sonoma were and we had just visited a half dozen little wineries in a few days, so we continued from Gilroy to Paso Robles. More wine country, different, but lots of little places to enjoy. We were most impressed by the difference of scenery to the coast than we had experienced before.

I forgot to tell you we were headed to the San Simeon Coast, the home of Hearst Castle and a bunch of fun elephant seals. I had a blast watching them, hopefully you will enjoy them too.

At first you think they are all asleep, until a few of them move and bark and fight.
Scratching an itch. I didn’t realize they had similar dexterity and it almost looks like our digits at the end of their flipper/fin, what ever it is actually called.
The one on the right starts a fight.
Swing and a miss, but next time…
He connects.
Look Ma no cavities.
Pick Me, Pick Me
Hearst Castle up on the hill. $35 a piece for one of 3 tour options. We decided on a nice lunch by the water instead.
We were able to catch some kite surfers.
Another angle of the Castle, and there are zebra on the grounds. I thought my husband was teasing me until he handed me the binoculars.

I haven’t taken many photos since this time. From Paso Robles, we headed east and south and moved everyday, until Christmas. We moved through Bakersfield, which was touted as a relatively unpleasant place to live, spent the night in Mojave, CA, then Needles, on to Buckeye, AZ, over to Lordburg, NM, and into Texas.

First, VanHorn, Ozona, Fredricksburg, Austin and currently San Antonio. We will be heading to Corpus Christi on Monday. I have a few photos from Austin and San Antonio. I will update the blog with those next time. All I will tell you, if you have a chance to go to a conference or a long weekend in San Antonio. Do it, the river walk area is beautiful, food is fun between bbq and tex/mex, I would highly suggest to miss it in the summer.

California here we come!

I had never been to this part of California before. I experienced my first glimpse of Redwood trees. Absolutely fantastic and amazing to see nature at her finest. Crescent City had plenty to offer for a few days. Let me show you…

Crescent Bay Lighthouse
With all the rocks, you can see why any Captain would appreciate a little help.
Harbor seals talking to one another. It was nice to hear something bark other than Rudi.
Apparently nap time for this bunch.
There is a 16 mile drive through a redwood forest with several hiking trail heads along the way. I was completely fascinated by the size of these trees and the fact that the soil can support so much surrounding these monster trees.
Jeff easily has a six foot wing span, not even close to the length of the base of this one.
Sun roof was great , it’s hard to look so far up and take a photo without getting a little dizzy.
Jeff walked the base of this tree and figured it was at least 100 ft around the base.
nice little creek running through
This was in our campground.
Standing on that stump, I could have climbed in and played hide and seek.
Mother Nature never gives up. This is a fallen tree and shows how these trees propagate. side view next
I just loved the ferns
The root end of an upended redwood, I have no idea how long ago it toppled.
A marina near Eureka CA
Carson Mansion from the Marina. Carson ran the largest logging company in the area. From Eureka we traveled to Ukiah, CA to visit Jeff’s Cousin. We had a good time reminiscing and creating new memories as well. Since then we have traveled down to Petaluma, CA where I was able to entertain my inner child at Snoopy’s home ice at Santa Rosa. I will post pictures once I get them off my phone.
We are headed to the coast tomorrow toward Monterrey. See you Soon!

What a slacker

Hope all of you have enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday, got some shopping done or simply enjoyed some time away from the daily grind. Since last I updated the blog, we made our way down the Washington and Oregon Coast, spending the Holiday in a KOA at the Oregon Dunes. Miles and piles of sand the families as far down as LA come up to play on with their ATV’s. It was fun to see families out enjoying the outdoors and each other. Lots of mud and noise. They also let you drive on the beach itself in this area. I’m sorry to report I didn’t get any photos while driving on the beach. I was busy enjoying the moment. The Dunes are close North Bend, OR and Coos Bay.

Whether it is rainy or clear, it is a beautiful coast line.
This area reminded me of Scotland a bit. Not near as cold but a soft day nonetheless.
The lump on the sand isn’t a rock, it’s a seal. This is Coos Bay where we encountered the most sea creatures.
All the brown squiggles you see on the rocks are sea otters or seals.
The day was drizzly and the waves were kicking up. I was trying to time the photos to get some splash. I got a few, but need far more practice.

Onward to Washington State

We left the Portland Area and headed north into Washington. We stayed first in Gig Harbor about an hour outside of Seattle. We avoided the major city in favor of quieter adventures. We drove around the area and found the most amazing Ymca camp. I would have loved to spend a few weeks of my youth there. After a few days we moved on to Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The strait is the water border between the US and Victoria, BC, Canada.

Victoria Island, BC
We drove along the coast to get out to Cape Flattery, the farthest NW point in the continental US. This is part of the 1/2 mile hike through the forest to get to the Cape.
First Views from the trail of the Pacific Ocean.
Toward the end of the trail, they refer to this area as sea caves as the waves continue to work deeper into the rock here.
Directly in front of the cape is Tatoosh Island. If I had my telephoto lens, you would be able to see the lighthouse on it more clearly.
Same island without any magnification. The weather has been ideal for getting to where we would like to go.
More views of the Pacific Ocean as we make our way down the coast toward Oregon again.

We are making our way down the coast. Staying a few nights in Lincoln City near Devil’s Lake, and then will head down to North Bend just north of Coo’s Bay to spend 5 nights. There are Dunes there to play on and explore the area over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We are thankful for your support of our adventures and wish everyone the warmth of family and friends, as well as a safe and grateful holiday!

Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake and a few other places

We’ve been out of decent internet service for a bit. According to Verizon Unlimited, after you use 25 GB it slows to a snails pace and is no fun to use whatsoever. Lots of big volcanic rocks out west, most of them pretty stunning. I will show you some of the more famous and a few not so famous but still good views nonetheless.

At 14,000+ ft in elevation we first saw Mt. Shasta from about 85 miles away rolling down Hwy 89 toward I-5. This photo is much closer, from the park road leading up to trails all around.
I am finding that the road leading up to your destination can be just as beautiful as the destination. Not a huge fan of looking backwards, but sometimes it’s good to remind you how enjoyable it was on the way there, and how far you’ve come.
Many of the trees in this area have a light green moss, or lichen that grows on the branches and trunks. The nerd in me will have to look it up sometime and figure out which type of plant it is…
From our campground in Weed, CA. It was the perfect time of day as the sun was still up and the moon rising.
Just thought I’d look up one of the big pines and see what I could see.
From Weed, Ca we moved on to Prospect, Oregon. The first day we took a little side trip onto some Fire Service roads up 6 miles or so where people with Jeeps and other 4 wheel drive vehicles go. We met a small caravan of folks coming back down the mtn. This is one piece of an out cropping they call Rabbit Ears.
Both Ears
From as high up as we could drive. Our little Honda has been a trooper! The two tracks got too steep and a precarious from here and we’ve got too far to go to tear up the car.
Once we hit the main road back to our campsite, we followed a sign to this area of the Rogue River, a gorge formed by collapsed volcanic tubes.
Crater Lake, The water is so deep and blue. We have had the best weather we could ask for at this time of year.
Our views of the lake this time of year are very limited. They only keep a small section of the roads around the lake open. They close November first and re-open in June or July dependent on weather.
There is a tour boat that will take you to that island, in the summer.
The cloud above almost looked fake.
One of the few times my husband has ever looked small, at least since I’ve known him.
On the way back we stopped at the natural bridge on the Rogue River.
I took a video, but this platform doesn’t like them. The water flows through and sometimes over the collapsed volcanic tube. The bridge is 250 feet long the water source is melted from atop crater lake.
From Prospect, OR we spent the night near Eugene, OR and moved on near Portland to spend a few days and visit this beauty. Mt. Hood. This is taken near one of the ski slope areas.
As you can see they are getting ready with all the equipment . They have only had one snow so far this season and are eagerly awaiting the full season to start. I hope to be long gone by the time the snow flies.
Looking back on the road, we were above some clouds and were glad that we would be able to see Mt. Hood above them. Later I will show you a better picture of Mt. Jefferson. In this photo it almost blends in but if you look just left of the trees on the middle right hand side of the photo you will see a peak with some snow on it.
The poles on the road, give you an indication of how high the snow gets during any one winter.
The lodge is open to the public and has several rooms to stay as well as restaurants, bars, and lounges. We had lunch in the Cascade dining room. It was a more elegant meal than we anticipated, but we were only going to be there once!
One of the sitting areas where folks can gather around this massive fireplace.
quite a door and latch.
Even the stairways are huge, and ornate. The newel posts had animals carved on top of them.
I found the weather and this view a little more appealing than Mt. Hood. As promised this is Mt. Jefferson.

We drove into Portland today. I didn’t take any photos. I realized that I am definitely not a true city girl. Some beautiful old churches along side new style architecture, the hustle and bustle of traffic with packed parking lots. There are more homeless tent sites here than I expected. We saw many in Las Vegas as well, but these looked a little more permanent along the side of the highway leading into the city as well as on some of the city streets. I can’t put the words together to describe how seeing them made me feel, other than sad. I understand we all make choices, and some poor choices lead us to places we never imagined for ourselves. I’m sure some would choose differently if they felt they had a choice and some aren’t even aware what choices exist. I don’t know what the answers are, or the how or whys some have ended up where they are. Another reminder to count your blessings and be kind to one another.

Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe

We stayed in Mammoth lakes, CA and had the chance to visit friends there. It was a 2 hour ride into Yosemite from there but a lovely ride across Tioga Pass and into the park. The roads have been very kind to us and the journey itself is so beautiful, there just aren’t enough superlatives to describe it all. I found Yosemite less striking than Bryce Canyon or Arches National Park; but still I am extremely grateful the land has been set aside for all to see. We didn’t see any bears, but there are signs everywhere reminding you that you are in active bear country and need to be smart with your food, and any ‘pretty’ smelling items. I was borderline paranoid, which Jeff enjoyed thoroughly.

Half dome from the road at least an hour before entering the park.
The trees are as spectacular as the granite rock formations.
Most of the waterfalls are dry in the park this time of year. Was very happy to catch this one.
I apologize for not knowing exactly where we are in the park or the names of the rock formations, on this day, I just took pictures.
I normally feel short, so I’m used to it, but check out the picnic table bottom left.
actual car door opened by a bear, again Jeff enjoying the opportunity to tease me.
El Capitan
There were several climbers on the mountain. I have a few close ups next.
on the road back from the park
One of the most beautiful lakes I’ve seen. And being from the Great Lake State, I think that says something.
Emerald bay, looking out to the East side of the lake
We have had fantastic weather and wished we could have just stayed on this dock with a cold beverage. Cheers to all of you who are following along. We are now headed even farther north and west hoping to be in Oregon in a few days.

Since leaving Las Vegas

We had to head south, we wanted to head into California and into Death Valley, but Mother Nature had other plans, Santa Anna Winds running 30-40 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph. Winds of that speed don’t mix well with our RV. We were also concerned about winds carrying sparks into other areas we had no idea where and wanted no part in trying to outrun disaster.

We headed to Lake Havasu City, AZ spent a night there and then headed into California via Newberry Springs, CA. near Barstow. I saw more trains moving than I had in my entire life. Every 30 minutes or so, one would go west and then another east. Barstow is a huge train hub apparently, who knew? There is also a huge USMC logistics base there. They must dispatch most of their equipment from that location, I sure saw enough to make anyone say oooorah! From there we headed up 395 to Lone Pine, CA , a gorgeous place with plenty to see. The following pictures are from 2 days of exploring the area, Whitney Portal road, Horseshoe meadow road, and movie road.

some roads seem to head nowhere…
wait for the closeup
nice spot for your cabin eh?
when you get out into some of the mountain roads, a photo like this helps hansel and gretel get back to their campground.
Horseshoe meadow road was lined by these high desert flowers and were covered with insects, some bees .
This was once Owens Lake. The Owens River flows now into the LA Aqueduct. Water rights were purchased in approx. 1919 up river just north of Independence. CA. By 1933 the lake was dry. The story of this lake was the inspiration for the Movie, China Town.
They have started to let some water back into the lake as part of a reclamation project which has been considered a success, insects and birds have returned to the area. Time will tell what else may happen.
The road back to our campground view. It is a huge valley on the less populated side of things here in CA.
A side road off of Whitney Portal road is this sand road with many offshoots with many different looks. Being 2 or so hours outside of LA it was a perfect spot for filming. The following pictures are all from that area and we had a blast imagining ourselves in the wild west.
Happy Trails to you, until I post again…coming up Yosemite and Lake Tahoe!

Las Vegas

We visited with friends and family for a week in Vegas. As you well know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! I have a few photos of the Hoover Dam as I took the tour, but the rest of the fun isn’t my story to tell. I will share that there were plenty of sights to see and a few I wish I could un-see. I know I am getting older because I was confused by quite a bit that I saw, thinking, why? more often than why not?

The giant Turbines I think there are several more , but one generates enough power to charge 130,000 cell phones for a year. Where the flag is hanging is a crane that they use should any of the turbines need repair or maintenance, 300 ton crane on top and sometimes they move the 2nd one down to help lift parts.
From the observation deck you can see the water leaving the power plant and heading downstream as well as the new bridge. Years ago the only way was to drive over the dam. Post 9/11 most traffic is sent over the bridge and your car is searched prior to driving over the dam.
The water at the dam is about 195 ft low as you can see by the exposed rock. It only has so many more feet before it can no longer produce power. This area of the country hasn’t seen much rain since May, Hence why the wildfires in CA are out of control right now as well as all the watches and warnings in this area.
The back side of the dam shows the depth of the canyon along with all the individual blocks of concrete it took to make this monument to ingenuity happen. They were in the middle of the depression when this was built. Workers made $4.00 per day and had two days off a year. built from 1931 to 1936. Spillways were tested in ’41 or ’42. and hadn’t been used again until 1983, thank goodness they worked like a charm. They ran the spillways in ’83 for 63 days straight and had no issues. If they hadn’t worked, the flooding and devastation downstream would have been catastrophic.

So it’s been a little bit.

The last group of big photos I took sat in the camera for awhile. I was feeling like the blog was becoming more like a job, than simply sharing our views and excitement. Below you will see a small place and wide open spaces outside of Washington, Utah called Little Black Mountain and then Zion National Park. We may be going back to Zion after Thanksgiving. Most of the year, you can only see part of the park in a private car. 20 years ago, you could see all of it in a private car all year long. Now, the park is so popular, they take people on giant tour buses and you hop off and on at different spots.

More Petroglyphs, one of our friends suggested that the indigenous teens weren’t much different from the youth of today, that this was their brand of graffiti. The Bureau of Land Management has their work cut out for them, there is plenty of land in this part of the country.
This was so linear in nature it seemed like a map to where the best hunting was at the time or just a way to pass time, no one really knows.
On the drive into the southern entrance of Zion National park.
The road in is a series of switchbacks offering different views, each as stunning as the next.
How’s that for some fall colors???
This guy, rooted in rock at an interesting angle and the colors behind him…I had to take his picture.
Makes me wish I were in better shape so I could hike wherever my eyes want to go.
every so often the rock washes away and leaves these eyes, my term, wonder if they will eventually, another 10, 000 years, become an arch.
This is checkerboard mtn in the park. You really don’t see defined marks like these on any other mountains here, so why here?
Taken out of the sunroof of the car. Safely seat buckled in, nothing to worry about.
Drink plenty of water on your adventures. The guys in this jeep were visiting from the US Virgin Islands.
We’ve turned around at the east entrance and are almost back to the beginning, the light changes and so do the photos, a little bit.
That’s one of the tour buses I wrote of earlier and they call the rest of the road we didn’t travel the scenic route. Views haven’t been subpar so far can only imagine at this point what we missed. I’ll let you know if we make it back to find out.
by the visitor center
Outside of Zion and back into the wide open spaces. This place is horribly ugly said no one ever!