Exploring the Southern End of Highway 395 – CA

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Although this is my final installment covering our two weeks of outdoor fun along scenic Highway 395, it’s by no means our final visit.  Many beautiful sights remain to be seen, even after our second stay.  As I’ve mentioned before, the area is not only breathtaking but also provides access to several other natural wonders.  One of them is Death Valley National Park, and we decided to take a detour to it, one of our favorite places in the west! Continue reading

Things are still fine in Lone Pine, CA!

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It’s turkey day, but this lucky one got away!

Steve and I are thankful that all of you have continued to jam on down the road with us, and we wish you all the best and a very Happy Thanksgiving!



If you’re fans of old western movies as we are, a visit to Lone Pine, CA should be on your must-do list.

Why?

Well, one of Hollywood’s favorite western movie locations, the Alabama Hills, are right here.  It’s where hundreds of cowboy and war movies have been filmed since 1920.  The Museum of Western Film History should be the first stop to not only get your bearings, but also to learn about specific locations of the area’s appearances in Hollywood feature films.  After that, grabbing a self-guided tour book that describes famous movie locations will be the start of a unique day of exploration in the area.

We always get excited when we watch an old movie and recognize the places we’ve seen here, yelling, “been there!” together 🙂 Continue reading

Hiking the Eastern Sierras – Bishop, CA

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Continuing our drive south on Hwy 395, we quickly descended from 7,654′ at June Lake to 4,150′ at the scenic small town of Bishop.  Here the cottonwoods, willows and aspens painted the valleys, mountainsides and meadows in gold!  For us, autumn is the best time to visit, but the area wilderness adventures are gorgeous year-round.  And thanks to John Muir, the area is steeped in conservationist history.  Hiking here leads to majestic granite mountains, alpine lakes, lush forest, pretty desert scrub and spectacular views: Continue reading

Revisiting the Eastern Sierras, CA

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Betsy got a safe and sound rest at Sparks Marina RV Park

We paused in our southward migration to park Betsy at Sparks, Nevada, taking the car for family and friend visits between there and the Bay Area.  We had no desire to drive Betsy down there again, and being able to stay with family for a few days made it a no-brainer (thank you, Becky!). Continue reading

Barely scratching the surface – Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

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Having lost a day to explore Lassen Volcanic National Park due to Betsy’s coolant issue, we compressed our schedule a bit and accessed the park from its northwest Manzanita Lake gate entrance.  It was 26 miles south of our campsite at Rancheria RV Park in Hat Creek. Continue reading

A near disaster for Betsy, a waterfall and lava tube – Hat Creek, CA

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We were excited to move on to our next stop at Hat Creek, CA as a home base to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park.  This was our second attempt, since heavy snow had turned us away the first time in 2016.  As we were humming south on I-5, we forgot that we were crossing into California and had to go through an agricultural checkpoint.  But our lemons and other fruits passed muster and we were waved through – for sure it was nothing like the stress of crossing a U.S. border! Continue reading

Planes, Birds and Friends – Metro San Diego Area, CA

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We initially thought our six week stay in the San Diego area might be a little long and tedious with all of the noise and traffic.  But there were so many people to see and things to do that the time just whizzed by.  While here we stayed in three different campgrounds: Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, Sweetwater Summit Regional Park and the San Diego Metro KOA.  The weather was perfect – dry, sunny and warm with only one day of rain from a passing winter storm.  We can handle winters like this one! Continue reading

Looking ahead to 2018

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African Geese

Hello dear friends and readers, it’s about time I wake up from my on-again off-again blog slumber!  My goodness, I can hardly believe it’s 2018!

But first, I hope everyone had a great holiday season with family and friends, and that you are underway toward making your resolutions come true.  I want to thank you for continuing to follow our journey, in good times and in bad, for you are the inspiration that keeps me going in the blog world.

Dueling American Coots

With 2017 now a memory, let me quickly look in the rearview mirror before throttling into the future.  We had three unforgettable highlights that happened last year: in June we took a fabulous hike at The Wave, a tough summer followed in Tucson, and in the fall we enjoyed our marvelous Grand European River Cruise.  We made it through the ups and downs of life last year, and we’re gearing up for a better year ahead!

White-tailed kite in search of a rodent lunch

Steve continues to recover and he’s back to enjoying his favorite foods, hiking, tinkering with Betsy and socializing.  He’ll be under his doctor’s surveillance for the next couple of years, getting checkups every 3 months.  Gaining some more weight is his resolution (definitely not mine!) for this year.

We are currently in San Diego, enjoying the unseasonably warm winter while some of our friends are freezing back east.  While here, we’re looking ahead and plotting the route we plan to follow this year.  We’re getting antsy to do some serious traveling again!  Some of our stops this year will be re-visits to places we loved, while others will be new ones to explore.  We’ll pause for a month near Salt Lake City while I fly back to the Philippines for a high school Golden Jubilee celebration, and by fall we plan to be all the way to Florida where we’ll spend most of next winter.

A rough draft route for our 7th year full timing

Celebrating friends

Friends and relationships we’ve forged through our years on the road have brought joy and support to our journey.  Reconnecting with some of you each year has been a part of our traveling tradition, and we’re always eager to see you whenever our paths cross.

Betsy’s caretakers in Corrales, New Mexico – Hector (HMLopez Photography) and Brenda (Island Girl)

Bob and DeeDee (Travels with Charlie & Marshall Dylan) at Desert Trails, Tucson

Several of my friends visited Betsy on Thanksgiving day in Tucson

Five great blogger friends had a delightful evening recently in San Diego.  Imagine the noise we created at that restaurant!

The ladies posed while the men chatted away.  Myself, Lisa (Metamorphosis Road), LuAnn (Paint your Landscape), Laurel (Raven and Chickadee) and Pam (Oh the Places they go)

Urban Hiking in San Diego with Hans and Lisa, John and Pam

Hiking with Eric and Laurel at Iron Mountain Trail in San Diego

Celebrating holidays with family and friends in Los Angeles:

Former co-workers

Family and friends

We met new friends because of a hummingbird at one campground, through RVillage, and on our river cruise:

We also met this African Geese couple.  We didn’t catch their names, but they honked at us when we crossed the road 🙂

 

Cheers to good health, safe travels and an exciting year ahead!