Happy Holidays

Monday 27th December 2021

2021 has been quite an eventful year. We have been vaxxed, boosted, trapped under a heat dome in Oregon and dodged wildfires in Washington. Life has calmed down since we arrived in Phoenix in November. We are staying busy playing plenty of Pickleball and hiking. Of course the Beast always needs pampering over the winter. After 12 faithful years the dishdrawer conked out. We installed a new one which thankfully slid right in the same hole.

We always enjoy a hike in the Superstition Mountains just up the road. The Saguaro with all the arms looks nice and healthy considering it’s at least a hundred years old.

This one is in its final death throes.

It’s always great to hike with good friends. Hope we get in a few more trips Jan and Tom.

I have been practicing the macro setting on my new phone.

It helps when it’s nippy in the morning and the butterflies are slow to get moving.

This guy was giving us a serious look as we slowly passed by. The whole area was open range.

Since it has been just the two of us this holiday season (Bah Humbug) we found a tiny 10 lb turkey and chopped it in half. We had this exact same meal at both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I have a new flower garden to play with over the winter.

We have had some very nice sunsets lately.

Dean and I wish you all the very best in 2022. Stay healthy everyone.

Posted in Travel | 16 Comments

Traveling South to Arizona

Sunday 31st October 2021

The coast of Oregon is green (It must be all the rain and fog that reminds me of England). Eastern Oregon high desert is pretty barren and brown. (Probably because it hardly ever rains). Washington, Oregon, and California have such wonderfully diverse terrains and climates. From seasides to lush valleys and snowy mountains to high deserts. We had a nice stopover in the middle of nowhere. Lovely and quiet.

There’s not much traffic on highway 50 in Nevada. I guess that’s why it’s called the loneliest highway in America. That definitely suits us.

We had a quick stopover in Ely Nevada to have full hookups. That pesky cleaning and laundry has a way of catching up with us. Charcoal Ovens State Park still looks good. Nice to see nothing vandalized in such a remote park.

The smoky haze from so many recent wildfires had mostly gone by the time we arrived at Great Basin National Park. We love this park! It seems everyone else does too, as our usual first come first served campsites, are now all reservation only and booked solid. We did manage to find one spot after a trek on gravel roads, and squeezing the beast through a maze of undergrowth. We stayed 5 lovely sunny days. Since it is so isolated and at high elevation (7500-10,000 ft) this park is a great place to stargaze. We enjoyed looking at the Milky Way in a massive starry sky. There were quite a few satellites zipping by as well. My iPhone refused to give me a useable star pic but then again I am just a point and shoot pic taker.

It’s always a good feeling to hug a three thousand year old Bristlecone Pine Tree. I felt like a young nipper.

At over ten thousand feet elevation, the Bristlecone trees were pretty small on this exposed ridge. It’s hard to compete with the savage winters here. We had a lovely lunch spot next to these minis.

Dean just had to outdo me and snuggle up to a tree dated over three thousand five hundred years.

There are quite a few Aspen groves in the park, and many trees had already shed their leaves. This one had a cool looking trunk though.

I don’t know what this rock is made of, but it just looked good.

I appreciate a sit down now and then.

We did a hike at lower elevation and found a lovely Aspen grove to have our lunch and rest.

St. George in Southern Utah was our next stop. I really wanted a new walking stick and this is the perfect harvesting area for Utah Agave stalks.

Sawing off the spiky base.

The seed pods are next to go.

SCORE!!!! Three good possibles. We will store these until we get to our long layover in Phoenix, and then hopefully, one of these stalks will be be magically transformed into a Rose hiking stick.

A great day out.

After a whopping 64 mile drive we stopped for a few days at Pipe Spring National Monument. There was a very nice and cheap campground on the Kaibab Tribal Lands next to the Monument. Full hookups and good wifi. Yeah baby!

The fortified ranch house at Pipe Spring was built by Mormon settlers in 1870. It enclosed a large spring which caused major problems for the local Kaibab Paiute Native Americans. Cut off from the water they suffered greatly for many years. The buildings and spring became a National Monument in 1923.

The bedrooms looked pretty comfy.

Dean was thinking about dinner.

The spring is still pumping out water.

We managed to squeeze in a nice easy slot canyon hike.

I found a cozy nook for a rest.

Of course Dean had to outdo me.

The remnants of this ladder were lodged about 20 feet above the canyon floor. Note to self, always check to make sure no recent rainfall in slot canyon areas we might think about hiking.

After another massive 87 mile drive it was time for a couple of days rest in Page, Arizona. Glen Canyon Dam always look impressive. The visitor center is still closed but we could at least walk on the bridge. The water level doesn’t look too bad here.

Lake Powell is drying up quite a bit though. It is down over 50 feet just this year. The water level should be a long way up this road. Forget about oil, the West coast needs a water pipeline coming from the East coast. Maybe we could have a reverse pipeline and send some of our nice dry air to offset the Eastern humidity.

Our usual free parking spot to hike to Horseshoe Bend is now paid parking with several pay booths. It’s a very popular area with a steady stream of tourists.

We decided to save the $10 parking fee (wine money), and hiked from town over slick rock terrain. We actually found a rock guide that helped navigate us several miles. The 9 mile roundtrip was really interesting with lots of great views. The wine tasted pretty good as well after the hike.

Dean cautiously wiggled up to the edge of the cliff.

He got a great pic of the Colorado River at the aptly named Horseshoe Bend.

It’s been a fun trip south. We will be in Mesa (suburb of Phoenix) for the next 3 months. Would love to meet up up if you might be coming this way over the winter.

Posted in Travel | 19 Comments

Oregon Coast

Sunday 19th September 2021

We spent a few weeks traveling down the Oregon coast. The weather was pretty decent most of the time. Depoe Bay is always a nice stop. The worlds tiniest harbor is only 6 ½ acres. We had some really nice fish and chips too.

Yaquina Head lighthouse in Newport is very photogenic. Due to Covid, all the lighthouses are closed. At least we could enjoy walking around the outside.

Yaquina Bay bridge was undergoing some repair and cosmetic work. The giant white bandage moves along after each area is sandblasted.

You can’t stop in Newport and not visit the Rogue Brewery. There are so many taps, even a cider.

Nothing like a refreshing brew after a long bike ride.

What do you get with a bunch of sticks…

a cardboard box…

…and some wild Alaskan salmon filets. (It was on sale at the superrmarket)

That’s right a smoker. After a quick brine the salmon got peppered and placed on racks on the picnic table to get pellicaled up. Then into the fancy smoker.

After a few hours we had some delicious smoked salmon. Since we live full time in our camper we have learned to be creative when it comes to fixing grub.

Our good friends Calleen and Jon came to Florence to have some fun with their Razor on the Oregon Dunes and they invited us along for a ride.

There are over 31,000 thousand acres of sand dunes to explore. This sand rivals Florida in the fine pale yellow grains. What a fun time we had.

Florence in all it’s foggy beauty. The Suislaw River bridge made a nice backdrop.

In Coos Bay we were invited to stay at the Beechly RV Resort. We sure appreciate those nice big driveways. I like to think we make good guests since we bring our own house with us.

We had a nice hike along the Bluff in Charleston. I think we must have done this hike 20 times over the past 25 years or so.

There were several beautiful sunsets. It was very relaxing to sit on Linnae and Eric’s deck with an adult beverage enjoying the view and of course conversation.

Thanks so much Linnae and Eric for your wonderful hospitality. we give your ‘resort’ a 5 star rating.

We have not seen many people on the Southern Oregon beaches. It might be because the water is freezing. Add a brisk wind and social distancing takes care of its self.

Even the Cedar trees are big out west.

This fallen cedar made a nice resting spot.

Walking along the beach in Brookings I saw such a variety of seaweedy stuff.

This lot looks like it belongs on an Alien planet.

There are so many sea stacks along the coast in southern Oregon. The surf makes great pounding sounds hitting all those rocks.

It has been fun Oregon Coast, but now we must start heading inland. Our next big destination stop is Great Basin National Park on the border of Nevada and Utah. Since Northern California and Southern Oregon have been on fire for the last several weeks/months we will have to try and plan a route to dodge the smoke. Thank goodness our house has wheels.

Posted in Food and Beverages, Travel | 12 Comments

Washington 2

Tuesday 10h August 2021

We managed a couple of good hikes in the North Cascades National Park. It was pretty hazy due to the 2 massive wildfires just east of the park. Over 114,000 acres already burned and less than 50% contained. Thank goodness the wind was not blowing in our direction.

There were Pikas leaping about all over the place. This little guy actually jumped on my camera on the end of my selfie stick which caused some pretty loud screaming on my part. Dean had a good laugh for sure. The Pika gave me a pretty disgusted look as well.

A family of mountain goats nibbled their way across our path.

After that big hike day it was time for a rest. Blackberry picking time.

And plum picking also.

I used my handy siever thingamabob to get most of the seeds out of the blackberries

I didn’t have enough jars to make the blackberry jam so have frozen the mixture until we get back near some stores. A nice bit of plum jam though.

Time for another big hike up the mountain. There were a lot of snowmelt streams and plenty of pink Monkey flowers.

They look so pretty in a close up.

We got a lot of use out of the water filter. Lovely ice cold snowmelt. It sure beat lugging extra liters of water up the mountain.

We were surprised to see Hidden Lake. I guess the wind kept the smoky haze in the background.

There was plenty of rock to scramble across.

It sure was easier going down the trail.

Moving on to the the coast the skies were a lot clearer. This boat was a definite fixer upper.

You know you’re in the Pacific Northwest when you see lots of Foxgloves.

A nice sunset to finish our stay in Washington.

We are now moving back into Oregon and taking a month or so to travel down the coast. We hope to see our Oregon Coast friends. Linae and Eric and also Esther and Roy sure hope we can latch up.

Posted in Food and Beverages, Travel | 5 Comments


Saturday 31st July 2021

We camped for a week below Mount Rainier. A day visit to the East side of the park convinced us to keep away from the area as it was very crowded. It was time to test our hiking legs in the back country. This trail was only a bit over 8 miles but had over 3100 ft elevation gain.

The trail started out nicely. Lots of blooming bear grass. But then it got quite steep.

It was a brutal slog which took a long time as I am very slow going uphill. Thank goodness for the audio book we listened to with shared earbuds. It certainly helps with the drudge part of the hike. We finally entered the alpine meadows which were not quite in their prime yet. Still very lovely and the trail was now level. It was very nice hiking.

There were patches of Avalanche lilies to enjoy,

and gazillions of Common Blue butterflies. They were flying all around us and latched on to any source of water.

I am always happy when a close up actually comes out well. Thank goodness for digital pics. Delete is my most common tool used when editing.

Snowy Mount Rainier was a good backdrop for our hair.

We needed a day of rest so Dean did a little ebike maintenance. Living in a camper forces you to be inventive when it come to tools. This swing set worked pretty well.

We were ready to tackle another hike. This one involved a bit of snow crossing here and there.

Goat Lake was still frozen over.

Pink heather was flowering all over the place.

There were just a few Pasque flowers blooming. They look so delicate with fuzzy stems and petals.

Most of them had already bloomed but the flowers turn into these cool looking seed heads.

As we moved closer to Seattle it seemed like a good idea to have a bike ride. Close to the trail was Deans favorite brewery.

He really enjoyed this pint of Lush IPA served straight from the tap. They even had cider on tap. We took our own lunch and spent a pleasant hour.

Now we are moving up to the North Cascades area and hope to catch the flowers just right.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Oregon 2

Tuesday 13th July 2021

We rested up for a few days in a nice quiet campground in the high desert of Oregon after our busy time near Hood River.

It seems we have missed the wildflowers here too. Summer came early but the wild sagebrush sure smelled good.

We couldn’t figure out why this car was dumped in the middle nowhere. It had quite a few bullet holes.

We rode our nice comfy ebikes a few miles around Newberry Crater National Monument. It sure is great going up the hills with power assist. My croc knee thanks me every time. With the rear baskets we are able to haul chairs and cooler.

Little trees were hanging on for dear life to the exposed posts next to this bridge.

The temperatures started to soar into triple digits so an early morning hike around Smith Rock was in order. We love Smith Rock State Park and never get tired of hiking around it. Monkey face was getting a workout. Climbers were climbing and rappelling all over.

We saw several people sitting in his mouth.

This handy crutch station is about halfway up the trail. Thank goodness they were not being used.

The lads came for a quick visit and the river seemed the best place to be in the intense heat. I felt like a queen being paddled up and down the river. We only fell off once. Thanks Jay.

At least we stayed nice and cool.

A freak wind whipped through the campground. This trailer was just 2 spaces over from us. Bad things can happen when you take off for the day and leave your big awning out especially with a light weight camper.

Finally a nice elevation hike.

We even managed to snag some cherries before the season finished.

Back by Hood River for a raft trip.

We had a lovely afternoon paddling down the Lower White Salmon. Dax used to be a river guide back in the day so he was able to expertly aim the raft so we got maximum splash.

Jay had fun trying some water tricks.

The wind was blowing so hard we were getting blown back up river the last ¼ mile. Time to get Jay onboard and help paddle!

Dax was going to run a waterfall so we roped our way down to the river.

Yikes! It was a lot bigger than I thought.

We are now heading up to Washington for a few weeks. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a few wildflowers and no wild fires.

Posted in Travel | 12 Comments


Monday 14th June, 2021

We stopped into see our friend of many years. We first met Pat in a campground in Arizona. Pat now lives in Salem and just celebrated her 95th birthday. Happy birthday dear friend.

Finally it was time to pick up our carpet. We thought it might fit in Jays house. He recently moved back to Oregon.

Thank you Paige and Rod for looking after our carpet for 17 years. It does not seem possible that we have been on the road for that many years.

Maya and I enjoyed a lay down.

We moved up to Portland for a week and it was fun to visit with the lads over Memorial Day weekend. A decent climbing rock was close to the campground and the lads got in some practice.

We dropped them off upriver and they paddle boarded to the campground.

I’m always a happy camper when Dax and Jay stop by.

Time to move on to Hood River. I was hoping to get some good wild flower hikes in but the Columbia Gorge was dried up. I fear the drought is all up the west coast. The views of the river are always nice though.

Another day we hiked at a much higher elevation and found more greenery. A doe with two tiny fawns crossed our path.

We couldn’t figure out why this gate was attached to a tree but had no fencing on either side.

Swallowtail butterflies were flitting all over the flowery bushes.

A couple of Admirals like Deans feet.

I even had one enjoying a rest on my foot.

Mount Hood peeped out from under the clouds for a few minutes.

A bike ride along the Deschutes river was fun.

The only wild life we came across was a very lazy slow moving rattler.

A fast flowing river enticed the lads up to Hood River. Jay is really enjoying kayaking again.

He seems to have got the hang of it pretty quick.

Dax likes to run waterfalls.

We are so happy our lads live close to each other again.

Now we heading to Bend area for a few weeks. Pickleball and hiking are on the menu.

Posted in Travel | 6 Comments

California Coast

Sunday 16th May 2021

It took a month to slowly move up the California coast. We were looking forward to visiting Venice Beach. It’s very quirky and a great place to people watch. What a disappointment! Many streets had homeless people camped out on the paths.

The strip where all the usual entertainers and artists worked was crowded with shelters and tents.

Even the beach was tent city. What a shame to see so many people living in such dire straits.

At least the trees looked cool.

We had a fun week in Santa Barbara. Biking…

and hiking on the beach.

The city had closed the Main Street to traffic and all the restaurants had expanded their seating areas into the road. It was a great idea and we hear that it will be kept that way at least through the summer. The restaurants were doing a cracking business. We tried to help the local economy with a bit of eating and drinking.

Even dogs were welcome.

The eucalyptus trees were blooming in all shades of pink.

This Coral tree was so pretty. The branches had no leaves, just vivid red flowers.

We did a little inland hiking. It was early April and already the hills were browning up. I sure hope the west coast is not plagued with wildfires this summer.

We moved up to Morrow Bay for a week. We have been here so many times it feels like a second home.

We always enjoy walking around the harbor. There were plenty of sea otters lounging about in the kelp beds. A few had babies resting on mums tummy.

A really cold front whipped through and I had to dig out my 1 pair of trousers. Can’t remember the last time I had any on, it’s been several years. Thank goodness I was able to repack them after a couple of days.

This bronze seat was a real eye catcher.

Springtime at Montana de Oro state park is usually a huge expanse of yellow and gold. This pic is from 2006.

This year it looks quite drab. I think global warming is taking it’s toll.

We finally arrived in Oregon. We had to put the motorhome in a garage for a few days to have some repair work done. Luckily our good friends Calleen and Jon made us welcome in their house and we had a great visit.

The motorhome had a malfunctioning lock on a bay door. Since Jon seems to own every tool known to mankind he was able to help Dean fix the problem.

Calleen has a soft touch for this pet rabbit that has run wild for several years. Of course his name is Peter.

We finally got the camper back and fit very nicely in the covered slot that Jon and Calleen let us stay in on our stops through Grants Pass. Thanks guys for our stay at the “Jordon” RV Resort.

The beast is now in good working order so we are moving up Oregon. Get your mum hugging arm limbered up lads. Will be seeing you shortly.

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Indio Spring

Wednesday 31st March 2021

February was marmalade time. We stopped by Jay’s house and picked all of his oranges.

He gave us lots of lemons too. The park we are staying at had plenty of grapefruit trees.

Since I only had to buy sugar, I felt compelled to make several batches.

Batch one done and dusted. I do enjoy a piece of toast loaded with chunky tart marmalade just like my mom made.

We have been back to the desert slot canyons quite a few times. It’s pretty nice with hardly any people about. Social distancing at its finest. This ladder was on its last death throes.

This metal one had also taken a beating. When it rains in the summer, water whips through these slot canyons and many time busts the ladders into shreds. Hiking clubs in the area always seem to replace them when needed.

Thank goodness some generous person made this steep descent nice and easy with a lovely strong ladder. It was at least 20 feet tall.

We took a drive to Bombay Beach which is by the Salton Sea. Back in the day before the sea started drying up, this whole area used to be a huge holiday resort. Now it’s a smelly, dusty dump.

A few undaunted people still live in hamlets around the toxic sea. It seems a few artists have moved to the area.

A pile of old televisions had a colorful makeover.

I am not quite sure what to make of all the doll body parts attached to the car.

The local drive in theatre looked a bit decrepit.

I liked the way this plane was recycled into a piece of art.

Dean really tried to get this bucking bronc to giddyup. There are quite a few golf courses in the area. It’s amazing to see such lush green manicured courses in the middle of the desert.

We were lucky to see a group of mountain sheep nibbling on a bit of grass. They posed and smiled for a picture.

After Dax saw a picture of me climbing this rope he thought he had better send some emergency equipment.

We are now the owners of some very pretty daisy chained webbing and carabiners. Dax even made us a couple of mini videos on how to make a harness and hitches and also make the elegant daisy chain to keep all the webbing neat and tidy. He also cautioned us not to be crazy old people getting trapped in a canyon with no escape.

Jay gave us some old climbing rope so Leslie, Stuart, Dean and I decided to do some repair work on the rope hike. You know it’s gonna be fun when someone has sprayed danger on the rock face.

This rope was badly frayed at the top.

New strapping, rope and some plastic hose made it a lot safer.

Several other ropes got some tender loving care as well.

The Ocotillo have started blooming. Not much else though as it has been a really dry winter here in the desert.

We had a nice hike in Joshua Tree National Park. Some of these trees get really big. They are actually members of the Agave family.

The mountains got quite a bit of snowfall but the desert floor has stayed very dry this winter.

The campground we are staying in has flower beds all over. Petunias and snapdragons seem to be the flower of choice.

A couple of ladies spend hours every day keeping all the beds weeded.

Hiking and eating great meals with our good friends Leslie and Stuart have made this long Covid winter zip by.

We have both had our double dose of the Pfizer vaccine and feel pretty healthy. Everyone is still masking up when shopping but now more people are getting vaccinated and places are opening up. Better times ahead!

Our plan is to move slowly up the California coast and then into Oregon to visit family and friends. We hope to spend some time hiking in the Cascade Mountains in Washington and then head back down south via the Oregon coast. It will be nice to see some grass again.

Posted in Food and Beverages, Travel | 12 Comments

Indio, California

Tuesday 28th December, 2020

We have been in our RV spot for a couple of months now. We have a pretty nice view of the golf course and hills in the background. We rented a propane heater from our neighbors which makes for more comfortable sitting on chilly evenings.

I have my little flower garden up and running. With my croc knee it’s nice to be able to deadhead the petunias without kneeling.

We have had several visits from a roadrunner. He is quick so it’s hard to get a good close up pic.

The highlight of our holiday season was having both our lads staying for a few days. We were able do some good slot canyon hiking. Our four legged granddaughter Maya was so happy to explore the canyons too.

She waited patiently for Jay to haul her up the many ladders.

Several narrow slots to maneuver through.

There was plenty of squeezing under and around boulders.

Sometimes you just have to lay back and enjoy the ride.

Dax was happy to have some nice sunshiney days down in the desert.

We even managed a bit of pickleball.

Everyone pitched in to wash Jay’s grubby car.

There were a few friendly competitions.

We borrowed our friends grill and had smoked turkey.

All the trimmings were delicious too. I used my griddle as a warming tray. It kept everything toasty hot.

This is a desert Christmas tree.

Most everything is closed in the area and the park we are staying at is really quiet as no Canadians are down for the winter. We are able to play Pickleball with a few Americans that are here. Thank goodness for our good friends Leslie and Stuart. They are our hiking buddies.

We found a new rope hike that was quite demanding.

Yikes! Which do I move first, hands or legs.

A push and a pull was all Leslie needed.

This rock was so comfy.

Not much wildlife on the trails but a cute tarantula posed for a pic.

Stuart had his drone up flying about taking good pictures. I think it would be even better if it could bring me a cocktail.

The lads were running short on soap so I had a soap making week and now have a a nice supply curing on the dash. No problems keeping squeaky clean for the next few months.

We have had several beautiful sunsets lately.

Hopefully we will all be vaccinated up quick smart and this wretched Covid will be a thing of the past. We both wish you a happy and healthy 2021.

Posted in Travel | 18 Comments