A road trip!! I love the traveling!
another gorgeous sunset
A house in Tecate-viewed from the highway
at the border
Palm in lights-Guerrero Negro
Sand Crane at Cocos Beach -Bahia Concepcion
Saul's in Mulege (the grocery store) -This is an
english speaking store that caters specifically
to americans and canadians
San Felipe-Bird sitting on statue's head
view from the corner
Excellent restaurant, Marramio's in
Headed home. We've got over 700 miles to drive back to Arizona, and Christmas is close. So, we decided to head back.
It took us only 3 days to get to the border at Tecate and this is what we found.
The traffic was backed up for over 2 miles at the border. We could not believe it! We waited 3 hours in line, and wouldn't you know, we would be the vehicle they decide to search. 25 minutes later, we were AT LAST, back in the U.S.!
It's good to be home.
Pelican...just bathing in the sun.
A day trip south 50 miles to Loreto was fun. Loreto, we found to be a much more americanized city. Condos are being built, property being developed all targeting american and canadian tourists. I guess we didn't take any pictures of the city itself, so thought I'd show you one of Jack.
Mark & French
When Mark and French, and 'Mimi' (their puppy), pulled into Las Cocos on Dec. 9th, we thought 'what in the world!'. They were traveling with two Quads. One pulled a small trailer which housed their pop up tent. Her quad carried all their food, kitchen supplies and water.
They are from Quebec, but began their one year journey out of British Columbia, this past July. They traveled south through Montana, Idao, Utah, Arizona and then into Mexico. They plan to continue all the way to Cabo San Lucas, then return north along Mex 1 back in to the United States. Fascinating couple with a true sense of adventure. We enjoyed visiting with them and plan to follow their trip on their website at www.quadtrek.net
Playa Los Cocos
When we arrived at Bahia Concepcion we felt like we had finally arrived! The bay in the Sea of Cortez is beautiful and the beach was nice. There were about 15 other rigs on the beach, so we decided to stay awhile. We paid for 7 days and were able to setup the trailer about 8 feet from the water. $6.00 a night, but no hookups.
We were invited to go for dinner at El Burro, Bertha's, a restaurant up the highway. A seafood platter of scallops, shrimp and yellowtail; add two marguritas and $17.00 later, we had dinner. (This was probably the best deal in all of Baja that we found).
Another plus about Los Cocos is that vendors come right to the beach with fresh shrimp, scallops, tamales, and even blankets.
Relaxing in the sun at the beach is what we primarily did for the next 7 days.
Mama's, a popular restaurant and stop for
the Baja 1000 participants, in El Rosario
We tried the burritos and they were excellent!
Catavina, an overnight drycamping spot in the
middle of nowhere for $6.00 a night.
Three couples we had met in San Quintin had told us about the overnight spot in Catavina, so
all three of us traveled the same day and spent the night here. A short 100 mile drive, some interesting rock fields along the way. I will have to post a couple pictures of them.
Now....that's a beach!
El Pabellon Campground, the 'Whale'
Miles of sand dunes
Our beach chairs at sunset
A short drive today, only 100 miles. But what a stop! The El Pabellon (means 'butterfly') Campground. The ocean is at our doorstep, and the sand dunes are amazing! We let Jack loose, took our sandals off and walked along the beach. Hot sand between the toes! Is there anything better? It is incredible that there is so much beautiful beach with NO people!
SO NICE - we decided to stay a second day! We were able to sit in the sun at the beach for an entire day. It doesn't get any better than that. This would be a definite 'must return to' place in our book.
Our breakfast consisted of some chicken tamales purchased from a street vendor. We had our coffee outside and let BlackJack off his leash to run the beach. What fun watching him! We left San Felipe around 11:00 a.m. and made our way through the mountains and Ensenada, a city of about half a million people and incredibly filthy. We passed right through the city and stopped for the night in a small town called Santo Tomas. We were the only campers at the campground, which is a big 'no-no', but there we were. We had no problems and nobody bothered us.
P.S. Another offer from someone to buy BlackJack.
Fishermen boats and the lighthouse
On our way!
Our Beachside camping spot in San Felipe
We headed from Yuma to San Luis, Arizona to cross the border. As we approached, we got the green light, which meant two things. No need to stop, but the second we did, we had no clue where to go. We know we needed to locate the immigration office for our tourist cards, but didn't know where to find it. After three rounds, we finally found it! Henry was able to obtain both his and mine while I waited in the Jeep with Blackjack.
We arrived in San Felipe around 3:00 p.m. and found a campground with an oceanfront site.
Nice little town as we discovered the next morning.
P.S. The guy at the Pemex (gas station) offered to buy Blackjack.
We are really hoping for some awesome weather. Lots of sun, and very warm temperatures. The weather here has cooled down to the low 70's, and just a bit cool for us.
Merry Christmas to our friends and families!!! AND...Welcome baby Madeline...our third grandchild to be born December 3rd!
On the wrong road, but the view was great!
On top of Tootsie Roll 'Mountain' - 1st find
Our Baja trip has been postponed until December, so we decided to check out the trails and caches in the area. Turns out, there are over 400 geocaches, so we better get on it!
The first find was Tootsie Roll "Mountain"....a big rock on the top of a hill that resembles a tootsie roll. Then, on to Brown Bear, which entailed lots of skinny trails...you know, the kind that as you approach the top, you cannot see IF the road continues on the other side, or if it is a dropoff. Of course, they all continued on, so we decided on a 3rd cache for the day, which was called 'way down there'. An appropriate name indeed! We parked at the 'way' top, and walked way down into the gulley. We found the cache, always making it worth it.
As the temperatures are cooling here, in the seventies, I am even more anxious to head even further south!
BlackJack is now 1 year old, and finally weighs over 7 pounds. He is all of 8 lbs. 4 ounces!!
We are thrilled that despite his medical problem; liver shunt (liver disease), he has actually gained over a pound since diagnosed. Finding creative ways to disguise his medication and coaxing him to eat is a daily challenge, but, he is doing fantastic!
In this photo, we had just returned from the vet and the groomer. He's ready for Baja!
It's painted white, the stripe is brown, 19 feet front to back, Second hand from a guy in Quartzsite. I rode up with Henry when he went there to get it. Put on a wash, added a shine, A fold up stove and a 3 way fridge. It's just an 'ol '84 Starcraft, 19' flyer, 13" tires.....
And, just our '92 Jeep, with 3 1/2" lift.....5 speed transmission, 167,000 miles.....
Turn it left, steer it SOUTH.......Look out BAJA, HERE WE COME!!!!
Amanda and Tyler
Dad and daughter on the boardwalk
to Liard Hot Springs
Almost a month since our last post, so here goes.
We pulled out of Alaska the 15th of September, with two 20 year olds, our daughter and her fiance. The Alaska Highway was good traveling, with no snow, some rain, and excellent roads. Even the diesel prices were not too bad. It took us only 7 days this trip, as we had to be in Tacoma to pick up Tyler's car.
Gig Harbor, WA.: 1 week in Gig Harbor, while the kids hung out with a couple friends of theirs, and did some shopping. Again, the weather was pretty nice, but a bit on the cool side.
Onward towards Phoenix: After our jeeps arrived almost a week later, we began our caravan southbound. Both kids driving their own vehicles following behind us.
As we got to the Hoover Dam outside Vegas; Amanda and Tyler drove their last 300 miles in to Arizona, and we felt a bit lost as to what we would do next, and very sad as we said our goodbyes to our daughter. Do we ever stop worrying about our kids?
But, nevertheless, we managed to continue on down the road, traveling a mere 160 miles the first day, and 113 the second.
Yuma is home for a couple days at least.....temperatures are in the mid 90's, and we've got some catching up to do on our tans. We feel pretty white in comparison to everyone else we've seen.
I am ready to head for warmer weather, although I must say, the temperatures here have been above normal for this time of year. But, with only 14 hours of daylight now, and the northern lights making an occasional appearance, I know Old Man Winter is just around the corner.
Alaska is a beautiful state and to those adventuresome enough to travel here, I applaud. Yes, the highway has some rough spots, but no worse than lots of highways in the lower 48, (parts of Oklahoma for example). Yes, it is a long way to travel, so take your time, the scenery is breathtaking and the wildlife is not to be missed. Yes, the price of gas/diesel/food is a bit higher, but what's a few pennies more, when you're not paying sales tax.
I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting those this summer who have made the journey. They came from literally all over the world; by motorhome, by motorcycle, and by bicycle. I admire their spirit. They came for the adventure and took home with them an experience of a lifetime.
We will have been here four months and have witnessed spring, summer and fall, all from within the confines of this campground. The tourists in May were few; whereas June brought them from everywhere in the lower 48. With the month of July came an influx of Europeans, and the first two weeks of August were consumed with fair vendors and fairgoers. We are still seeing plenty of Europeans, most of whom speak no English, as we head towards September.
But, there is a feeling of unrest amongst our long term campers who have been with us all summer. It is probably the sense of the inevitable winter months ahead and the need to arrange for other accommodations now.
One family, a father and his two sons, are purchasing their airplane tickets to Kauai, Hawaii where they will live. They will leave in 10 days. Another family; husband, wife, two children....I don't believe they have anywhere else to go as of yet. The two single men in campsite 'B' are hurrying to get an apartment, and the family in Site 31 are probably trying to find somewhere to move their Toyota Dolphin Class C to.
One thing everyone is sure of. Winter is coming, and in Fairbanks it comes early.
BlackJack & the zucchini
19" in length
Flowers are really blooming now!
The zucchini was given to us by the caretaker of the Fairgrounds. 19" in length! I have no idea how I will be able to use it all of it....zucchini bread, zucchini chocolate cake, fried zucchini, baked zucchini? Wow!
Our daughter and her fiance will be traveling with us out of Alaska, all the way to Tacoma, WA. where they will pick up their vehicles which are being shipped, along with our jeep. No double towing for us through BC this time. We will probably have them follow us to Arizona, where they are moving.
For us, on to New Mexico for October, Texas in November, Yuma and Quartzsite, December and January, then Baja, Mexico for the duration of the winter months. That is our plan thus far, always subject to change, of course. The beauty of fulltiming.
The 10 days of the fair brought some interesting people this way, and we had a couple incidents, like kids stealing bikes, and the typical freeloaders, but all in all, it went pretty smooth.
Nighttime is always a different story though. We still get the knocks on our door at all hours..."here's my situation", "someone is in my sight", "the laundry room is locked", etc. all, despite the sign on our door "Host is OFF duty". One guy said, "Oh, I didn't know what that sign meant." (Duh!).
We are beginning to think about where we will go when we leave here. We are only a month away....YAY!! Wherever the sun is shining and the temperature is above 75 will be fine with us.
Most likely, Arizona first, and will go from there. No schedule, no concrete plan....relaxing is our number one priority.
Okay, not such a great picture of Karen...
the photographer didn't do so good.
But good of the rest of the clan.
Terri and her 'helper', BlackJack
Mike and Terri brought all the fixings for a barbecue! They all came to the campground, because it's difficult for us to leave (fair time). Terri even 'made' chocolate chip cookies, complete with her own label, 'Fred Meyer'. Mike barbecued the hamburgers, we got to meet Justin's girlfriend, Meagan....food was great, the company even better! The rain stayed away for the evening, and the campers left us alone...what a nice break.
Terri always tends to my flowers when she comes by, and last night she had a little help from her friend.
We have been asked for $5,00, $10.00, a box, neosporin, cold medicine, an extra chair, 6 paper plates, tin foil, cork screw, can opener, ice, hammer, grease gun, screwdriver, wrench, scissors, the use of our computer, printer....Yup. I think that's about it.
This weekend begins the real 'craziness' as vendors will arrive for the fair. We are completely exhausted with all of it. If we could just make it through one night with no disruptions, it would help. Friday night was 'domestic disturbance' in Site "C". Saturday night was LOUD talking in the middle of the night by some woman not even staying here. And last night was just the typical campers who sleep all day, but are UP all night. We figure we may have to buy a new door for our 5th wheel trailer, because ours has been knocked on so many times and opened and closed several hundred more, that it will be worn out by September.
Ahh, the life of a campground manager. And they have invited us to come back next year! No thanks.
The campground office complete
with 'hobbit door' and flowering roof
(click images to enlarge)
A closeup of the roof
Finally, the wildflowers are blooming on the roof! And....the Carni's are coming! Fair time is just 2 weeks away and the carnival people are beginning to arrive. The campground is adjacent to the fairgrounds and we have been warned about how crazy things will get. Can it get any crazier? Oh my goodness! Hope I'm ready for it.
Between selling Arctic Circle tours, Dri Wash 'n Guard and running the campground, this summer has been nuts.