Friday, January 10, 2020

Return to McDowell Mountain

Fountain Hills, Arizona:  pulled into my campsite at McDowell Mountain Regional Park just before sunset on January 7th.  The site was huge and meticulously clean.  Someone had carefully raked all the gravel into decorative patterns and it looked like I had my own private zen garden out my back window.  So quiet and peaceful.  I immediately began wishing I had booked more than 5 days.



McDowell Mountain was actually our first introduction to the Sonoran Desert near Phoenix.  We stayed here 7 years ago when Jason came down to run the Javelina Hundred ultra marathon in 2013.  I remember thinking at the time that it was like a whole different planet than the one I had lived in most of my life:  different plants, different animals, different landscape.  I really liked it!

Site #57

The past few days I have just been relaxing out here in my little zen garden and hiking some of the many trails around the park.  I put out a bird feeder when I arrived and the birds have been busy eating their way though my entire stock of birdseed.






I also had a coyote visit the campsite several nights in a row, reminding me to keep Frankie in my sight at all times.



There are more than 40 miles of multi-use trails at McDowell Mountain and I have only started to scratch the surface of what is available to hike. The most popular activity here is the trail biking and it looks like an absolute blast with mostly gentle hills weaving through the cactus.  Unfortunately Jason and I only have road bikes and neither one of us has ever tried riding trails with a mountain bike.  I think that next time we come I will have to look into renting a couple so we can give it a try.



Monday, January 6, 2020

A Palm Springs Stopover


Palm Desert, California:  I arrived in Palm Springs on Thursday for a four night stopover at the Palm Springs RV Resort.  The weather here has been beautiful with late afternoon highs near 75 and lows in the 50s.   Perfect January temperatures in my opinion!
  
The resort is fairly large with tightly spaced sites and hundreds of tall date palms waving overhead.  Since this is my third time staying at this Thousand Trails resort I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to park when I arrived.



I chose site #112 which is a nice long pull-through about 3 spaces behind the pool area.  Being behind the pool is good because it cuts down some of the road noise coming from I-10 which is right outside of the park entrance.  I think the further towards the back of the park you can get the better as far as noise reduction goes. 

As you can see the sites here are really close together with the neighbors and in some places navigating a long trailer around the palm trees can be fairly disconcerting.




Even with the negatives, I've decided that I really like it here.  There are tons of things to do in the Palm Springs area.  People staying in the park are always so friendly when I take my evening walk with the dogs, and the grounds and facilities are kept clean.  I also really like the pool and hot tub here.  It's perfect for afternoon lounging in the sun with a good book.




Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Fast Forward - Four Months and a One Year Anniversary


It’s hard to believe, but nearly 4 months has slipped by since our little home on wheels was parked on the rim of the Little Grand Canyon in Utah.

Welcome to my "Holy Crap, RV life is Awesome!" moment in Utah

Since that time we have traveled another 1500+ miles from Utah to Nevada and back to Southern California searching for sunny skies and warm weather to spend the winter days. One of my goals when leaving Alaska last year was to see a whole winter without below 0 temperatures or snow. Unfortunately South Lake Tahoe was not on board with this year's NO SNOW policy.

One member of the crew was happy to see snow in September

As of December, we’ve been on the road for one full year. This travel blog is unfortunately lagging way behind. I don't have a valid reason for this other than that I regretfully chose not to bring my desktop computer along when we left our storage unit in Oregon and editing photos on my little 7 yr old HP laptop is just an exercise in futility. Don't even get me started on my attempts to edit a video! It's a wonder the laptop didn't meet a watery death at the bottom of Henry's Lake back in Idaho.


  A Year in Travel:  12 Photos From 12 Months of RV Living



January

We did some cold and sunny hiking at Oswald State Park, Oregon

February

I got snowed in at Seven Feathers Casino Resort while trying to get to sunny California

March 

We took a coastal hike near Pacifica, California

April

Patience produced a cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake, Nevada
 

May

We spent one fantastic spring month in Cannon Beach, Oregon

June

We try our first dry camping at Mecca Flat on the Deschutes River, Oregon

 

July

 There was a change in the scenery as we moved east toward Idaho


August

I fell in love with this view at Henry's Lake, Idaho


September
Our son spent time with us at Joe's Valley, Utah


October 
I visited my birthplace in Laguna Beach, California

November
This incredible view of Mission Bay was out my window in San Diego, California


December
We spot some impressive cactus near Palm Springs, California