Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tucson (AZ)

Jan. 29, 2012 - Tom and I got a late start hiking the Tanque Verde Trail in Saguaro National Park today.  It was in the mid-70s with intense sun by the time we got on this uphill trail.  I was hot and wishing for some cloud cover!  We got to be trail angels coming down the trail.  An older man was taking a break by the side of the trail and was about out of water with another mile of trail yet to cover.  We had plenty of water and gave him some of ours.

Tanque Verde Trail in Saguaro National Park
On Monday, we're heading south to Patagonia (AZ) and on to Sierra Vista (AZ) for the weekend.  There's a Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Sierra Vista next weekend that we are going to.  One of our favorite singer/songwriters, Chuck Pyle, will be performing there.     

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tucson (AZ)

Jan. 28, 2012 - We hiked at Saguaro National Park East this morning.  The hiking is so different here compared to our Pacific northwest.  You can see your shadow when you hike here!!  I love the Saguaro cactus plants, especially when a Gila woodpecker is singing from the top of one of them.

Look...There's a shadow!

Pat on trail in Saguaro National Park
Back at the RV, we looked through Arizona Highways magazines that I had brought along.  There is a lot to explore in this amAZing state of Arizona.  The hot tub beckoned again late this afternoon.  It has been another fine day...

Tom at the hot tub

Tucson (AZ)

Jan. 27, 2012 - Tom woke up with a toothache and ended up at a Tucson dentist this morning to get it taken care of.  I stayed at the RV and finished settling in while he was gone.  When he got back, we relaxed outside on the lawn chairs for a while.  Sat in the hot tub this evening.  A very relaxing day - at least, for me!  I'm not so sure Tom's day was all that great.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gila Bend (AZ) to Tucson (AZ) - 137 miles

Jan. 26, 2012 - We're back in Tucson.  We arrived at our RV by noon today and spent the rest of the day getting resettled into our home on wheels.  It's sunny and 70 degrees here - oh, so nice for taking breaks on the lawn chairs!  Bought groceries.  Went for a walk after dark to look at the night sky.

The RV lifestyle starts now...

Twentynine Palms (CA) to Gila Bend (AZ) - 318 miles

Jan. 25, 2012 - Returned to Joshua Tree National Park this morning to hike among the Joshua trees (which are not a cactus, but in the lily family) and huge rock jumbles of this desert landscape.  The mile-long hiking loop at Hidden Valley was fantastic.  There is more moisture in this high-elevation area of the park which allows for a wide variety of plants within the valley walls.  Old-time cattle rustlers discovered this valley oasis and hid cattle here until they could re-brand them to sell them to some unsuspecting buyer.  There were quite a few rock climbers out today.  Joshua Tree National Park is one of the top rock climbing destinations.

Joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park

Trail in Hidden Valley - Joshua Tree NP

After leaving Joshua Tree NP, we headed east toward Tucson.  We passed through the gridlock of Quartzite (AZ) and decided to keep on going.  What a tangle of RVs and cars and vendor booths!  It's not quite our RV style.  But there are lots of rock-hunting RVers who look forward to the rush of life in Quartzite.

Drove on to Gila Bend (AZ) where we spent our last night in a motel room.  We are in Mountain Time Zone now.  We will be in our RV tomorrow night.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tehachapi (CA) to Twentynine Palms (CA) - 219 miles

Jan. 24, 2012 - Woke up to a foggy and breezy morning, but it cleared off nicely by the time we were ready to leave the motel.  We walked around downtown Tehachapi and took photos of some of the murals.  I love it when cities find artists to paint historic murals on their buildings.  We're finding more and more of that as we travel.  Tom and I shared a Danish breakfast roll at the German Bakery - Mmmmmmm.  Drove on to Twentynine Palms where we stopped for the day.  We're on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park now.  Tom and I drove into the park just before dark for a short exploration and to watch the light change on the desert landscape.

Pat by mural in Tehachapi

Willits (CA) to Tehachapi (CA) - 497 miles

Jan. 23, 2012 - Another day of driving in and out of rain.  It was a pretty drive, though.  We passed Clear Lake, known for great bass fishing.  Saw a small herd of elk on one of the golden hillsides.  After we passed through Bakersfield, we stopped at a fruit and nut market to buy California oranges, dates, pistachios, and a DATE SHAKE!  Saw a huge, beautiful rainbow over golden hills against a dark sky on our way to Tehachapi.  The camera was buried somewhere in the back of the car, though.  It is now in the front seat with us!   

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sequim (WA) to Willits (CA) - 776 miles

Jan. 21-22, 2012 - The last two days have been spent driving in and out of rain as we head south.  We made it to Grants Pass (OR) on Saturday night - a total of 467 miles.  We were ready for pizza and beer at the Wild River Brewing & Pizza Co. as soon as we got settled in our motel room.

Today, we drove the Redwood Highway out of Grants Pass (OR).  We had a 20-minute delay on the highway as we waited for crews to clear two trees that had fallen across the road.  After chain saws were used to cut the trees into sections, a snowplow pushed the debris to the sides of the road.  We continued on, driving in and out of towering Redwood stands, driving in and out of rain all day!  Stretched our legs at Patrick's Point, a California state park, where we watched the crashing surf explode over seastacks and the rocky shore.  It was as much fun as watching fireworks on the Fourth of July!  Made it to Willits (CA) before dark where we checked into a low-class motel because it was the only one we could find that would accept pets.  The room does have a TV, though, so Tom was able to watch the last half of a playoff football game.  He listened to an earlier game on the car radio.  There wasn't much traffic on the highway today.  Could it be that most people were home watching football?

Fallen trees on the Redwood Highway
Crashing Surf

Rainy day on the Redwood Highway

Football Playoff Game on motel room TV

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snowy Sequim to Sunny Arizona

Jan. 20, 2012 -  We're ready to leave snowy Sequim and drive south to sunny Arizona.  We're getting a later start than planned.  It snowed for three days here which readjusted our timeline.  When it snows here, everything shuts down!  Filing our tax papers got delayed, our bank was closed, the roads were a mess.   

But now, the Subaru is packed and ready to roll.  We'll be leaving Saturday morning with Teva and Cooper, our RV cats.  We're looking forward to a leisurely drive to Tucson (AZ) where we'll reconnect with our RV which is parked in an RV lot there.  It will be fun to explore the desert.
"We don't know where we're going, but we're on our way."

Snowy Sequim - January 20, 2012
Sunny Arizona and a Happy Saguaro