After a long break, a reveal of our 2017 travel plans

Well, it’s about time I wake up from my blog slumber.  Several people have asked why it’s been so long since I last posted.  I just felt like I needed a break after posting summaries and fun facts following completion of our major retirement goal.  It felt good to just explore, enjoy and not think about tapping on my computer during the past few weeks.  However, the downside is that our new story lines are clogging my brain and it’s difficult to recall everything we’ve done lately.  Perhaps my photos will help jog my memory.

Its seems like ages since we bid goodbye to our family and friends in the Bay Area.  We got back on the road at the beginning of the year, meandering down far southeastern California.  Then, after a 10-day beach party detour to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, we headed into Tucson, AZ where we are currently hanging out for a while.

For now let me entertain you with some drive-by shots of the diverse California scenery we enjoyed as we headed toward Arizona:

Soledad, California
Vineyards in Soledad
Salinas Valley "the Salad Bowl of the World"
Salinas Valley “the Salad Bowl of the World”
Oilfields at Lost Hills, California
Oilfields at Lost Hills
Burbank, California
Orange groves near Bakersfield
Central Valley, California
A snapshot of the Central Valley, where much of that produce at your grocery store is grown
Tehachapi, California
Wind farm in Tehachapi
Part of a huge solar farm in Mojave
Mojave, California
Arid desert in Mojave
Highway 395 heading toward Apple Valley
San Gorgonio Mountains
Snow-covered San Gorgonio Mountains
Imperial Sand Dunes, California
Imperial Sand Dunes
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Cruising through California’s largest state park – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

I’ll say more about our stops along that route in upcoming posts, but at this point let me reveal our 2017 travel plan.

Unlike the first five years where our routes were structured toward spending time in every U.S. state, this year will be a more “typical” travel mode and more laid back.  We’ll make extended visits to Prescott, AZ and Grand Junction, CO as possible permanent residences in the future.  We’ll also explore new places in Oregon and Idaho as our northernmost stops this summer, with sunny and humid Florida as our likely destination for next winter’s hibernation.

Below is our preliminary plan.  Everything up through Oregon and Idaho is pretty much set in stone, with the route after that being “unreserved” as we strive to arrive in Florida at the beginning of December.


One stop we’re looking forward to that got me really excited is Kanab, Utah.  As some of you know, hiking at Coyote Buttes North (aka “The Wave”) is limited to a lottery drawing selection and a few walk-ins each day.  I think the odds of getting in can reasonably be estimated at somewhere between 2% and 10% between April and October.  I applied for a permit online as an afterthought when I realized we’d be near there on Hwy 89 again.  I forgot all about it until I got an email on March 1st saying we had won 2 spots for June 4th. Woohoo!

So there you have it, and as usual we’d love to hear from you about any “must do’s” along our planned route so we don’t miss anything this time around.




  1. Congratulations on getting some of the coveted Wave tickets. Sorry to see you’re headed to FL next winter, we will miss you in AZ. Looks like a fun summer in some of our favorite areas.

    • I thought of you Faye when I received the email and you can just imagine my excitement. Had we not win a spot we would likely do the tour you did.

  2. Glad to see your blog is back. Always enjoy it! Looks like you will be in our neck of the woods again when you are in Oregon area. Let’s stay in touch while you are there…it’s only a short distance for us to get where you will be – it would be fun to visit and catch up.

  3. Fantastic photos! Maybe you’ve mentioned it before, but what camera did you use for these photos? Such great snapshots of your drive! Maybe our paths will intersect next winter!

  4. Blogging is great journey of our activities, but it a lot of work, as you know. John has also been enjoying a break and hasn’t blogged since one brief blog about our arrival. It’s great to see you back in print since we won’t be seeing you in person for awhile after we all depart from Tucson. We’ll need to keep in touch through our blogs:)

  5. You always take the most gorgeous photos. I love the one of Central Valley and Mojave.

    Oh my gosh, the Wave. That is going to be such an adventure. I am sure your photos are going to be awesome. What a treat for the both of you. Congratulations.

  6. You’ve been missed, but breaks from typing can be rejuvenating. In New Mexico you MUST add Bandelier and Kasha-Katwue. The Cochiti Lake Campground is lovely. How exciting that you’ll be hiking The Wave. Can’t wait for you photos. Look forward to seeing you guys in May and disappointed you’ll be in FL next winter!

  7. It was great catching up with you and Steve at Pam and John’s last night.
    I have missed your beautiful photography, but so get it about the posting…

    Nice road shots!

  8. When you go to Kanab, Utah, don’t just go to the Wave. We worked there for 6 years and can say there are many places in the Paria Wilderness that are just as beautiful as North Coyote Buttes. Buckskin Canyon is one of the Natural Wonders of the World according to National Geographic. South Coyote Buttes is incredible. Cottonwood Road has multiple hikes along its length. The skeleton remains of the Gunsmoke set still exist along Johnson Canyon Road. The Old Pahreah Townsite has incredible scenery surround the burned out replica of a movie set. Cottonwood Canyon is called “candyland” by many because of the variety and colors of the rocks. The hike to Yellowrock is amazing and the view from the top pretty awesome. But be careful. June in this area can be brutal. The heat is dangerous. Take at least a gallon of water each when hiking to the Wave. There is no shade and the rocks reflect the heat back at you. A few years back a couple that were 70 years old died on that hike from heat exhaustion.
    We are envious of your visit to the area we grew to love so much. Enjoy your visit to Southern Utah/Northern Arizona. It is a wonderland of vistas and feast for a photographer.

    • We will heed your warnings and thanks for the tips on other hikes to do there. We have done the Old Pahreah Townsite last year and Buckskin Canyon is in the plan. I will check out the others and check how far it is from our campsite. Im getting more excited with all these beautiful places to check.I just hope these places does not require 4W drive.

  9. I’m glad to see you back also. Looks like a wonderful summer you have planned with the ease of planning around the wave. Looks like I may be the only one happy to hear you’ll be in Florida next winter. It’s really not humid then. Let me know where you will be so perhaps FINALLY our paths can cross. I made reservations at Koreshan just this morning for next February, so aggrevating. But at least we can see Corkscrew Swamp and Sanibel again.

    • I thought of you Sherry when Florida was our planned winter hang out and our chance of finally meeting in person will soon materialize. Koreshan is only 10 miles from where we will be parked but the reality is we are still on the waiting list for a spot in Bonita Springs. We will know more in April if we get a spot.

  10. Oh, lucky you!!!! So awesome that you guys are going to The Wave! We didn’t even try to get lottery tickets for it, but we did hike nearby Buckskin Gulch/Wire Pass Canyon and it was fabulous. The whole area is spectacularly beautiful. Your 2017 plans look like fun—and yay, you’re going to Florida next winter! We’ll see you there. :-))

    • Yes we will see you in Florida! Entering the lottery was just an afterthought, I guess when you really don’t want it bad you get more chances 🙂

  11. While I’m glad to see your blog update in my email, I can totally understand your need for a break. This blogging stuff is super fun, but it can kind of take over your life. On the other hand, when I don’t keep up with it, I do tend to forget what we did. Double edged sword, I guess…. In any case, I’m happy to see some beautiful photos again and hear your 2017 plans. By the way, your Anza-Borrego photo totally messes with my head. It looks like two completely different pictures – one above and one below. 🙂

    • After 494 posts you really want to take a deserving break. I have to look again at the picture, and sure enough it does look like two different pictures.

  12. Happy to see you back in the writing mode! It does get cumbersome, but I always look forward to your posts. So glad you got lottery win with the wave. Several of our friends have done it, we just haven’t yet. Be careful in June-HOT, HOT, HOT!

  13. Hi Mona Liza, I feel the same way with my blog. I haven’t written much since our Hawaii trip and I have lots let to report on the rest of our Hawai vacation. I’m starting to feel more like writing, so look for more of what we have been and are up to. Some surprises are in store!

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