Category Archives: Travel

Red Rocks and Ruins

Red Rocks  and Art

Enjoying the Red Rocks of Sedona and their mesmerizing call to climb, sit, and commune with them. The artist and galleries here are incredible, filled to overflowing with talent and creativity. It is so amazing what people can do with their hands and minds. We’ve walked the shops and enjoyed without spending too much; mostly because we don’t have room for anything extra. I like to entertain myself with window shopping, and play a game of picking out my one favorite object in the window that I would buy if I was a mega rich person. I not only have fun, but it also makes me look really closely at all the pieces and see the detail, time, and work that goes into each piece of art. It’s nice too, to go around closing time. There are fewer people, the light is usually beautiful, Pia can enjoy strolling, and there’s even less pressure to buy…


Red Rocks of sedona

We’ve taken some outrageous hikes into some of the canyons here, hiking on this lovely slick red rock. In the late afternoon, the red colors cast a beautiful orange glow everywhere. And it is true what they say about the energy here. I’m not sure if you have to go to special “vortex” sites, but the energy definitely flows when you get into these rocks. More than once, I’ve had tears in my eyes from the blessed feelings and the intense beauty.


We spent a day touring some of the ruins south of the Sedona area. Pia enjoyed herself…she was allowed to go everywhere we went. (We didn’t go to the places she wasn’t allowed into.)

Montezuma’s Castle is an ancient pueblo site built into the face of a majestic white chalk mountain. Folks lived here between the 12th and 14th centuries.  This is the main building – it has been mud plastered over to preserve it. Some of the original’s remain, but this is the most impressive.

Montezuma's Castle
Montezuma’s Castle


Montezuma’s Well was even more impressive. It is a natural limestone sinkhole over 450 feet across. It never dries up and over one million gallons of water flow into this well per day. Yes it really is in the middle of the desert.

Montezuma's Well
Montezuma’s Well


Tuzigoot National Monument. An ancient Sinaguan pueblo overlooking the Verde River Valley. Think I would rather have lived here. The views are fantastic!

Tuzigoot National Monument
Tuzigoot National Monument


For more detailed info on these sites, please check out the following websites!

Montezuma’s Castle

Montezuma’s Well

Tuzigoot National Monument

Sending Sedona Blessings to All



Desert Boondocking

red-orange desert flower of the mallow family
Coulter’s Globe-mallow


We finally pulled out of Prescott.

Leaving our happy little campground home and new friends, we stocked up on groceries, filled the gas tank, and hit the road.  Destination – Sedona, Arizona.  All intentions were to arrive by mid-day, but we got sidetracked visiting the old historic mining town of Jerome, and a bit intoxicated by the scenery up and down the white knuckle highway over the Mingus Pass.

red-orange desert flower in the Mallow family
Field of Coulter’s Globe-mallow

Knowing accommodations (even camping) are scarce around Sedona, we took a turn onto a forest service road just to see if it might be good lodgings for the night, so we could get an early start into town the next morning.  Looking pretty nice, we set up camp, put out our solar panels to charge up all the gadgets, and were even able to take a quick solar shower. We had been hauling the camp shower on top of the van during the day, in hopes of enough hot water to clean up in the evening!

Beautiful jagged slick red rock mountains outside of Sedona, Arizona
View of Red Rock mountains around Sedona

Above is the view looking out of our door. Those mountains are the red rock cliffs of Sedona!

Early morning light greeted us (actually Pia got me up) to see a hot air balloon hovering so low in the sky over the van, I could not only wave to the ballooners, but could exchange “hellos” with them.

White Eurovan camped in the desert near Sedona, AZ
Boondocking in the desert

During the night, we heard the sound of another Volkswagon van pull in somewhere around us…(you can tell by not only the familiar engine sound, but also by the all famous sliding door whenever it shuts!)

Fred went to greet them and discuss of all things Volkswagon vans, and who do you think it was but the lovely couple from GoWesty fame, “Where’s my office Now?” a blog sponsored on the GoWesty Blog Page (Note the GoWesty solar case sitting on our van?)

What a small world this is! It was great to meet you Cory & Emily.

Onto Sedona..


Prescott, AZ

New territory, new sites, new friends! Yuma is far behind us, and we’ve settled into Prescott, AZ for awhile.


Watson Lake, Prescott
Granite Boulders at Watson Lake, Prescott


The climb to over 5,000 feet in elevation has certainly cooled things down a bit, and we are now bundled up in jackets again. (At least in the evenings)  We really like Prescott a lot. We’re camped in a lovely spot call “White Spar” a forest service campground located only 2 miles from town.

Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ


A combination of hikes, taking care of business, and meeting new friends has kept us busy.

Prescott is part college town and part old historic western town. We strolled down “Whiskey Row” an old area full of historic bars and cutesy little tourist shops, and went out for lunch at the “Palace Bar and Restaurant” built in the 1870’s.  It’s claim to fame seems to be that the old western movie “Jr. Bonner” was filmed there.  Aside from that, the service was fabulous, the costumes entertaining, and the live music – a tribute to Waylon Jennings – was enjoyable.


Lunch at the Palace
Lunch at the Palace


The Palace Bar & Restaurant
The Palace Bar & Restaurant


The really impressive thing for me though about Prescott is the wonderful trail system that surrounds the town, and connects with numerous forest service and wilderness trails. The city publishes an absolutely beautiful colorful map with ALL trails labeled clearly. And it’s free! Always love those freebies that are actually useful.


Pea Vine Trail, Prescott
Pea Vine Trail, Prescott

Relatives And Repairs in Yuma, Arizona

We’ve been in Yuma now going on 6 days. We knew we would be here  visiting our relatives for awhile before taking off for the wild blue yonder, so we left a few van issues to take care of while here.

First up were the brakes. We needed new brakes on the van all the way around, so that was the first item we needed to cross off the list. Luckily – our hunch was correct. The price we just paid for 4 new brakes and pads, with the rotors and back drums turned, an emergency brake adjustment, and the entire system bled, was less than half the cost they quoted us to do the job back in Santa Cruz. We just saved almost $500.00 by waiting to get to Yuma to do the brake job! UNBELIEVABLE.

Feeling now pretty happy and with a few pennies leftover, we decided to order the part for the fridge. We needed a new lighter ignition unit (not the technical name I’m sure) to get the propane to light properly.  After finding good guy Jerry who is going to put it in for us, we ordered it Friday, and it should be here Tuesday or Wednesday. Jerry also did some rewiring on our electrical to get that all working in top shape. Yeah!! Super excited to have the fridge run great off both electricity and propane once again. Before we left Santa Cruz, we also replaced the old propane tank with a brand new shiny one.

We are really itching to get on the road again, but trying hard to be patient. It is nice to be able to take care of these issues, while having a lovely place to stay, and good company to spend our evenings with! Of course getting all the work done for much cheaper is not too bad either. 😊

We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful spot to wait and work on our patience.  I took this little photo tour of the yard and Minneola orchard this morning after sipping my jo,  and here is my first wordpress slideshow.  Enjoy.    ❧


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Day Nine

That week sure flew by!

Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree National Park

The van’s running great for the most part. The fridge always has been and still is irritating, being oh so temperamental and undependable. It is one of those things we’ve never dealt with, and I know most people with this same Norcold fridge have the same complaints. We will one day deal with it! For the time being we are happily eating simple foods, and using it again mostly for storage.

We are all adjusting, sleeping well, and traveling contently. We have boondocked a few nights, camped in a National Park a few nights, spent our first night of this trip in a Wallmart parking lot, and tonight are in a nice soft bed at my relatives house here in Yuma, Az.

Mohave Mound Cacti

The most drastic adjustment has been the weather. One week ago, we were bundled in down jackets, hats and gloves, and still cold and damp. Today it was 100 degrees in the shade.

Big Rocks at Joshua Tree Joshua Tree National Park was as always lovely. The temps there were warm, but not too hot, the wind kept things comfortable, and we had a wonderful campsite for $5.00 a night, and no fee to visit the park. (Thanks to Fred’s senior interagency pass)

There was enough flora still in bloom to keep us happily busy identifying what was what, and we took turns taking short nature hikes while the other one hung out with Pia. We played on the boulders, took some driving excursions and ate leisurely breakfasts with coffee and tea. We met some really nice folks driving and camping in a Volkswagon Rialta – a small RV, bigger than our Eurovan, yet smaller than most other RV’s. They are pretty cool abodes, very roomy, but still get great gas mileage. Maybe someday, but for now we like the versatility and ability to go where other RV’s can’t go with our LWV. Our van has been lifted up and has larger wheels and tires than most Eurovans do. It therefore handles quite nicely off road, as well as on highway.

Blooming Silver Chollo Cactus

"Cactus Garden" in Joshua Tree

 Peace   ❧

Henry Coe Camp Trip

On the two days between storms we found our way to the top of a long ten mile long winding road to Henry Coe State Park near Gilroy, CA. for a final last two days with family.

Fun times were had! Good meals, a lovely long hike to Frog Lake (destination chosen by granddaughter Malaya) and Yahtzee games in the dark cold night with a bit of bubbly champagne, made for a fabulous send off.

Yet another cold morning rain finally did us in, and we scampered down the hill for a good breakfast with kids, before heading for warmer weather.

Destination Yuma Arizona, via Josua Tree National Park in the southern California desert.