Pulling into Monterey on April 16, 2016 meant we had officially driven coast-to-coast with Meriwether! I don’t know why, but I was expecting the city to be large and bustling with tourists–closer to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Instead, we found a laid-back marina town that was intimate and in an amazing location for exploring the Pacific Coast. [Read more…]
Sequoia National Park and co-located Kings Canyon National Park often get overlooked because of their more popular neighbor two and half hours to the north, Yosemite. But after our one-day visit this month, we will be life-long fans. We can’t recommend enough that you visit if you’re ever in the area. The sequoia trees are breath-taking in their size, and their natural characteristics result in a deep respect. We can now say that we’ve seen the largest living thing on earth! [Read more…]
Because of our generator issues and scheduling around Spring Break crowds, we had way too many short stays in a row. For us, short stays are anything less than two weeks. It may sound silly at first, but two weeks goes quickly for us because we work Monday-Friday. When we arrived in Las Vegas, our travel schedule finally started to normalize. We stayed for 11 nights.
We like big cities: the excitement of being around other people, the things to do and (usually) good food to eat. Las Vegas provided a balance because we stayed on the outskirts in a peaceful campground, but we were only 20 minutes from the city center. [Read more…]
This is our first year of being intentional about visiting all of the National Park Service sites near us as we travel. In the past, we practically drove right past a ton of places because we forgot to research our surroundings. Or–even worse for this slightly-OCD girl–we went, but forgot to get our passport stamp!
One tool has made it simple to track our proximity to NPS sites lately, and that’s the free mobile app, National Parks by Chimani. We use the map view to zoom into our location and see what’s around us. Then we can click on each location for more information. And once we’ve visited, we can record the year we were there. Totally fun for NPS-lovers and list-makers.
Thanks to the app, I know we’ve visited four national parks, three national monuments and one national recreation area so far in 2016. The latest: Death Valley National Park. [Read more…]
The Sonoran Desert is one of the world’s unique deserts, and the saguaro cactus is its mascot. Until we spent a couple of weeks in Tucson last month, I had never seen this fascinating plant up close or been able to touch it, and I certainly had no idea how much it means to the desert ecosystem it calls home.
So call this my ode to the saguaro (pronounced “sah-wah-roh”). I’m only starting to learn about it, so I’d love you to share any thoughts or knowledge in a comment. I’d also love to know where I can see your favorite specimens!
Here are six reasons to be amazed by the Sonoran Desert’s saguaro cactus: [Read more…]
Lake Havasu City didn’t become a legal entity until 1963, and it wasn’t incorporated until 1978. I wasn’t alive yet, so I can’t be blamed. But I’m surprised no one else had the foresight to capitalize on this beautiful setting.
After a drive through Arizona desert, the sparkling blue waters of Lake Havasu appear in the valley below. From 7,000 feet of elevation in Flagstaff, we’ve descended to a mere 735 feet. Across the Colorado River, which flows into and past Lake Havasu, lies the state of California. The state line is right down the middle. [Read more…]
Our travel itinerary is typically planned months in advance, and stays pretty firm. So while changes of plan can be disconcerting, they’re also exciting. We were supposed to spend two weeks in Sedona, followed by two weeks in Lake Havasu City. We never intended to go to Flagstaff, or Kingman to the west. But because plans changed, we ended up getting to stay in those two cities we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and they were both super cool. [Read more…]
We were heartbroken when we had to leave our first “real” wild camping spot in Sedona. I had been looking forward to living in the peaceful desert, on our own for a whole week, and really proving to myself that I could do it–and enjoy it!
But when our generator decided not to function, we had no choice but to pack up and find power. [Read more…]
I visited Sedona for the first time in 2009. It was a short day trip–just enough time for a Pink Jeep Tour and a stroll through Uptown. Touristy stuff. But I was captivated by the scenic beauty. Those red rocks! And I’ve wanted to return ever since.
So when Eric and I started planning our Grand Loop Tour for 2016, I insisted that Sedona have its place on our itinerary. I’ve changed a lot since 2009, so I found the things I experienced seven years ago had lost their charm for me. But, fortunately, I made new discoveries this time that fulfilled my hopes for our visit.
I’ve heard it repeatedly from friends who have visited Sedona. The first time they drive in, they can’t get over the surrounding mountains of rock, with their varied shapes and brilliant colors. Go see them for a slice of Arizona beauty, and stay a while for good food, memorable hiking and browsing this eclectic town. [Read more…]
As I spend my afternoon writing about Tucson, I continue to be amazed at how much we found to do there, and the fact that I still have a list of things we didn’t do! It really is a fabulous city.
So, just to recap. We’ve written about the beautiful Sonoran Desert, an article that chronicles all of our outdoor adventures in Tucson. I’ve also covered our spontaneous afternoon in downtown Tucson, a guide to a full day of sight-seeing, eating and cocktail-ing in the center of town.
This will be my last article about things to do in Tucson until the next time we visit. It’s basically “everything else” that didn’t fit into the first two articles. But don’t consider these the leftovers. You’ll see tortillas larger than your face, and experience a 30-degree temperature change in the space of an hour. [Read more…]