Bryce is Best

The first Canyon views bring a gasp of amazement. Can this be real? Is is some kind of lighting trick?20160424_102544.jpg20160423_140750.jpg20160422_113539 Reality set in, and my head swiveled from side to side to take in the extraordinaryness that is Bryce Canyon. My second thought? I don’t have the camera or skills to capture this. I wish I had a stereo, or 3D camera.

imageOur three-night stay in the North Campground turned into four, as we swiftly figured out that we couldn’t possibly drink in all the sights in such a short time. I don’t know how much time would be enough, but we didn’t reach that limit. At Bryce, the attraction is the hoodos, those tall skinny spires of rock that reach up from the Canyon bottom and are wind and weather eroded into spectacular formations. 20160423_124638.jpg20160422_10350720160424_124336.jpg20160424_124716.jpg20160422_11290320160422_102850Some have names, such as Tower Bridge.20160424_120753Others set your imagination reeling with images from your own knowledge. Some days, we shuttled to trailheads on the amazing bus system, and bicycled back and forth other days when it suited us. It was always cold in the morning, warming up into the mid 60’s – 70’s during the day. Spectacular winds blow through the Canyon, swirling dust devils through the air. Parents clutched their kids, and everyone hung on to their hats. John convinced me to step out to precipice for a photo op. I had to brace myself from being blown off the edge, and hang on to my favorite hat at the same time.imageWe hiked the northernmost trail (Fairyland Canyon) and the southernmost trail (Bristlecone), and several inbetween those two. The details of each day have already blurred, so I’ll just share a few of my favorite photos.20160423_124959.jpg20160423_130219.jpg20160424_110209.jpg20160424_102731.jpg20160423_131258.jpg20160423_130219.jpg20160424_110209.jpg20160424_115055.jpg20160424_124336.jpg20160424_124716.jpgEven if you never hike, amazing views can be had from the Rim Trail which travels along the 18 mile length of the Canyon. Take the shuttle, jump off and on and you please.image20160423_132918.jpg20160423_140750.jpg20160423_141607.jpg20160423_141757.jpgEven the jet contrails above Bryce resemble hoodoos. I was sorely tempted to turn this photo upside down to make my point, but you’ll get it anyway.20160422_120634My quest for the Bristlecone Pine, the oldest living trees on earth was answered, but not in the manner that I had hoped. This is what I had hoped to see, but the Bristlecones we saw were far less spectacular.20160423_134804.jpg20160422_103817But we did observe many in varying stages of life, and felt privileged to do so. We saw some variety of spruce that was forming cones, and the branch tips were bright pink. Perhaps it was new branch growth, but it appeared to me to be cone formation with the striking color. A visit like this will remind you of all you do not know, and probably will never really understand.20160424_104123.jpgNow we have seen the oldest (Bristlecone), tallest (Coastal Redwood), and largest (Giant Sequoia) trees in the world. My heart still belongs to the Sequoias, but it quiets me to be in the presence of any of these giant trees.

I have so many more photos that I perhaps will share on a separate photo-only post, if I find a place with some good WiFi. A post like this gobbles up an amazing amount of our monthly data plan. ;-)

Our post-Bryce plan was to camp on BLM land in nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. But, we awoke to snow and freezing rain. We packed up our stiff and frozen awning,  and rolled as quickly as possible to a lower elevation. As we dropped down (over 3000′ for the day), the snow turned to sleet, then to sunny breezy 50 degree temps, then back to rainstorms as we reached Kanab, UT. The knowledgeable Ranger at the Visitor Center there advised us not to venture onto any of the backcountry roads, as the storm threat and past rainy weather had made the roads unpassable for two-wheelers such as us. She showed us where we could find a great camping site just off a paved road, which we checked out. It was raining by the time we got there, and the deep ruts in the clay site were enough to scare us off camping there for the night. There are signs everywhere warning of impassable roads under rainy conditions. We headed back to an RV park in Kanab. It’s probably a good thing, since it’s been raining steadily for six hours since. One bad experience with a tow truck has made us wary of volunteering for another

Tomorrow, we plan to venture back up into Grand Staircase to see if it’s possible to actually stay and explore for a night or two. But, having had one bad towing experience, we’re not about to expose ourselves (willingly) to another. We may roll eastward. Destination unknown.








It’s been called the Loneliest Highway in America, and whoever coined that phrase sure knew what she was talking about. That’s US 50, running west to east across northern Nevada. In two days, we probably didn’t see 75 cars on the road over about 400 miles. That’s lonely.

My expectations for US 50 were low. Scrubby desert, beige, barren and trashy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was more like driving through Death Valley – an amazing array of colors and textures, punctuated by historical landmarks. US 50 is the Lincoln Highway, after all….

We stopped to see landmarks for the Pony Express, which ran along this route.20160417_134755 Hard to imagine the hard lives of the riders, and also of the men who manned the stations, maintaining fresh horses and supplies.

There was also the occasional huge sand dune, totally out of place against the desert landscape. One huge dune begged for a photo, but I was so disappointed in the result that I’m not posting it. Without anything nearby for scale, the photo has no impact.

Another interesting portion of the Highway, stretching for about 6-10 miles had low sandy banks on each side. People had left messages with black stones – mostly about who loves whom, but some about world peace, high school graduations, and whatnot. It was charming.

We stopped at Grimes Point to view petroglyphs that are nearly 1000 years old. In this small area, nearly a thousand of these ancient etchings existed.20160417_12381620160417_12373220160417_124026 But, some of the rocks have been defaced, and appear to have markings indicating that the petroglyphs  had been chiseled off.

John located a spectacular (free!) campground for us for the evening called Hickison Petroglyphs. In this 16 site campground, we were the only campers. See us in the center of the photo? Do we look lonely?20160417_170138 We picked a site with a great view, and had our own sheltered picnic table and vault toilets. Bad point? The trash. All the bins were overflowing, and previous campers had left their trash on the ground, bagged up for the critters to get into. Idiots and jerks. It was the only low point of this great site. We hiked the interpretative trail, and totally enjoyed this unique BLM (Bureau of Land Management) campground.

The next lonely day took us to Great Basin National Park, located in northeastern Nevada. Once again, we found ourselves nearly the only campers in a pristine campground.20160418_150029 I can’t say enough positive things about camping here. It is spectacular. The Great Basin actually covers most of northern Nevada, although the National Park is just a small piece of it. The Great Basin is this huge area where the only water is what falls here, as a result of rain or snow. No rivers flow into or out or it. We’re camped at Baker Creek Campground, high desert at about 7500+ feet. We hear the creek roaring from snow melt from nearby Wheeler Mountain and other peaks, and the wind whistles through the spruce trees, which are everywhere. That’s the only sound. No cars, no generators, no voices. Lots of turkeys, although we never actually saw any of them.

We hiked twice, taking the Scenic Drive as far as we could until it was blocked off. John, Jezzy, and I then hoofed it up the road about 2-1/4 miles to Mather Lookout (about 9200′) where we were treated to spectacular views of Wheeler.We passed a few altitute markers.20160419_11183920160419_122419 Some of the spruce trees here are bursting with pinecones. Many of them had thousands of budding cones – a sight I’ve never seen before.20160419_113137Again, we were the only ones here – how many people get to experience their own private National Park?

This park is home to the Bristlecone Pine, an ancient tree which grows at high altitudes for thousands of years. After it dies, some of the trunks remain for another two thousand years or so, before the wind and elements wear them down. There’s a young (probably transplanted) specimen near the Visitor Center, and it’s the most amazing tree. 20160419_145833 The needles are short and thick with an extra resinous coating to reduce moisture loss. They are incredibly dense. Although I scoured the campground for more Bristlecones, I wasn’t able to find any. In the Park, they are all above the 10,000′ mark, which was inaccessible to us on foot. Photos of the ancient Bristlecones show windblown, hardy trees. It was so sad not to be able to see them, since this seems to be our Trip of Trees.

Today we hiked up Baker Creek, and the South Fork from about 7500′ to just over 9000′ feet. We were thwarted in our original plan, as the Trail forked, and both directions were deeply snow covered, unlike this photo, which is just slightly snow-covered.20160420_112152 Without any other footprints to keep us from wandering off the trail into the wilderness, we felt we had to turn back.We passed this grove of birch trees, which all had a sensuous bend near the ground. Tough to get a good photo, but I hope you get the idea.20160420_122117 So, it was three miles up, three miles back. We passed through alpine meadows and followed the rushing creek, so it was a pleasurable hike in any case.

There are many other amazing sights in this remote National Park. As we drove in, we thought there was a deer on this small bank. 20160419_144914It actually was a stone statue of a giraffe, although one of its horns was busted. Giraffe? Nevada? In the Visitor Center, there’s a 132 year old Winchester Rifle which was found leaning against a tree in a remote area in 2014. Imagining the story behind this sets my imagination racing. The rifle has been restored, and sits in a protective glass case.20160419_102300

I have to be honest and admit that the very first part of our drive leaving Carson City was not so lonely. We decided to detour to Virginia City, an old-timey Western mining town. Part of the silver rush in the late 1850s and 60s, it was a bustling mining town. A devastating fire demolished most of the town in the early 1870s, but it was quickly rebuilt, and it has remained in that state since.20160417_10133420160417_101002 The old buildings, which have been updated somewhat to accommodate electricity and modern plumbing look like another fire waiting to happen.20160417_100849 There are huge timbered facades and wooden sidewalks. Miners, cowboys, and saloon girls in period clothing wandering around. 20160417_102202It was quiet when we wandered through on Sunday morning, but this is certainly a spot which would deserve a second visit.

We head out tomorrow for Bryce Canyon. Our campground will be at 9200′, so we are keeping our fingers crossed for continued great weather. Don’t want to have to winterize on the fly, but we will if we have to!



The Campshaws and The Giants

Let’s go for a walk and a bike ride. I’ll show you what we’ve learned about the Redwoods in the past week. We decided to see this area from three different campsites over a range of 120 miles or so, and that was the best decision, as each has its own character. Humboldt Redwoods State Park was our first stop for five days, and we could not have had a better experience. The Fireball was nestled in a deep floor of redwood needles – when you’re camped in an ancient forest, you’ve got lots of time to built up a soft floor.20160401_171449 The area where the campground sits had been logged about 100 years ago, so many of the biggest, oldest trees were only stumps. No ordinary stumps, mind you.image20160402_10345720160402_104605 Everyday was full of new treasures – the forest explodes with every shade of green you can imagine, streaked with bits of sunlight that can make it through the dense canopy 200-300 feet above our heads. All of the biggest trees are not named or tagged, but we think we saw the best of them all. 20160402_14152420160402_11383620160402_11380220160402_110011 Redwoods have the ability to regenerate new shoots from old roots, creating ‘fairy rings’ of trees. Some are fused at the base, separating into separate trees many feet above the surface. They survive fires, floods and droughts. It’s the wind that generally bring them down, unless the timber companies have gotten to them first. Redwoods are still logged, but regulations say that only trees between 40-60 years old can be cut, and five new trees must be planted for each one cut. Big trees also grow from the tiniest pinecones – this photo shows (clockwise from top right) the eucalyptus seed pods, a pinecone from a large non-native cedar that was everywhere in the campground, a sequoia cone, and three redwood cones. Amazing, isn’t it? In the center is a quarter, for size comparison.20160402_130648The forest floor is full of white, pink, purple, and variegated trillium. The high rainfall (60-80 inches per year) also means that there are rhododendron everywhere, although we’re a few weeks early to see them in bloom.

It’s an absolutely mind-boggling experience to wander among these giants, and each grove had its own character. 20160402_120228We saw the Dyersville Giant, which had been the third-largest Coastal Redwood in the world until a wind brought it down in March 1991. Unbelievably, it fell in one piece, so you can walk along the full length of this tree.20160402_141730 One resident recalls the night it fell, saying that it sounded like a freight train – and she lived 15 miles from the site. It’s estimated that this tree weighed a million pounds. One favorite tree was an enormous specimen which had been girdled in 1901. About ten feeet of bark had been removed from the bottom, and shipped to San Francisco for an exhibition.  Remarkably, more than a hundred years later, the tree still lives.20160404_130144I’ll leave you with a few other photos of our exploration of this magnificent Park and the area nearby. Their Visitor Center was wonderful – full of photos and newspaper articles of the Great Flood of 1964, which destroyed entire towns. In several spots, there are high water mark signs.20160402_13461220160403_12374220160402_13485520160404_122801 If a State Park can be this incredible, then the Redwood National Park must be even better, right? In our minds, unfortunately not. The National Park is actually a combo State/National Park effort.. We get to use our Geezer Card for half-price camping, but the facilities are actually run by the State. Complicated, but I guess it works for everyone. So, our second stop (first within the National Park) was Elk Prairie Redwoods State Park, which is kind of a godforsaken campground cut out of a swamp. A musty creek winds through this low area, and skunk cabbage is the prevailing plant, resulting in a very strong, skunk odor every day, all day. Our site was carved out of a thicket, and didn’t have many memorable qualities (of the good type). Elk Prairie is also home to a large wild elk herd, which resulted in an interesting experience for John and Jezzy. While strolling one morning, Jezzy caught the attention of a large bull elk, who happened to be snoozing in the field nearby. He decided to investigate, and began following John as he walked back toward camp. John stopped, and the elk continued his advance.  At that point, the Camp Host noticed John’s predicament. He jumped in his jeep and came roaring down the road, passing between John and the elk, who was now only about 50 feet from him. The elk retreated and John and Jezzy scurried back to the Fireball. Whew!

Fern Canyon is one unique hike that visitors to this park usually want to do. We decided to bike to the trailhead, through a series of extremely muddy singletrack trails and dirt roads. I have NEVER ridden on such steep dirt roads in my life – twisting and turning through the dark forest. Unfortunately, we shared the road with cars, so there were a few uncomfortable moments as we flew through some of the downhill portions only to find a car coming up the middle of the road toward us. Fern Canyon is just a few hundred yards off the ocean, and is a steep slot cut into the coastal barrier. The soft, rocky-pebbly walls are dripping with ferns of all sizes. At this time of year, the creek is high, and there’s lots of water in the bottom. We decided to sacrifice our hiking boots, so we just sloshed in, and let the water in. After riding all that way, we weren’t going to go away without seeing what we wanted. The dappled sunlight into the canyon makes for lousy conditions for photography (at least what I can manage), so I have no photos. (The scenes are beautiful to my eye, but just don’t translate to the camera. I find the same is true for so many of the beautiful wooded scenes I shot.) The barrier dunes (I guess that’s what you call them) leading up to the Fern Canyon area have been eroded away. You can see from this photo that they don’t appear to be much more than big mounds of gravel, stuck together with a bit of vegetation.. 20160406_115102Recent slides are everywhere. From a distance, the shifting terrain is even more obvious. At the top of the dune are the cedars and pine trees that have been there forever. Below that, the lighter colors are all deciduous trees that have sprouted in the areas uncovered by the landslides.  At the bottom, some of the cedars still hang on, with beach grasses leading to the ocean’s edge.20160406_131328We were happy to leave Skunk City and move to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, our northernmost stop in the quest to see the big trees. This is very near the area where the 1936 film The Last of the Mohicans was filmed. Our campsite on the bright green Smith River is perfect. Here’s a photo from camp, and another from directly across the River.20160408_142827We’ve hiked to the grove where the biggest trees are, encountering an interesting stream crossing get there. John successfully navigated his way across the fallen logs, using a large branch as a walking stick.20160408_140414.jpg I wasn’t so successful – looking down at my feet on the log with all the swirling water caused a motion sickness sensation. So, to hell with it, I waded across. It wasn’t bad except for a section about five feet across where the rushing water was just up over my knees.imageOnce again, my boots filled from the top – and we had just gotten them dried out from Fern Canyon. The Stout Grove was interesting in that it’s an ancient grove, having never been logged.20160408_13575620160408_13174920160408_12594420160408_125715 But….our hearts still belong to the Humboldt Redwoods.  They just seemed to be the biggest and most beautiful. I was disappointed to review my photos to date from J. Smith are all a bit fuzzy – probably due to my greasy fingers grabbing my camera out of my pocket all the time. Lesson learned. It’s been an amazing camping trip – real camping in a huge, quiet forest. Being among these ancient giants seems to make (most) campers behave respectfully. In the woods, there’s a hush. People talk in soft voices, with the occasional exuberant yell from an excited kid. It’s an awe-inspiring place to experience.

But, I have to say….my heart still belongs to the sequoia groves. If I can only visit one place again, it would be there.20130401_132743.jpg

We are leaving here in two days, and pointing the Fireball toward the east. We’ve seen the biggest and best, and are satisfied.

Whew! Rolling On….

Wow – what a week! Back in the swing of our regular camping routine, we are happy campers.

First of all – the new axle installation went swimmingly. The Fireball is now sitting proudly upon a Dexter axle, new bearings, and two new tires. The necessity for new bearings was unexpected, but Professional Trailer Repair noticed that one of the existing ones was slightly burned(!) so they replaced them. The Fireball sits higher (good, because we had very low ground clearance), travels smoothly, and it appears that we are getting a bit better gas mileage with the new setup. We are very pleased. Hope this is the last you will all hear of the Campshaws and axle issues.

While the Fireball was in the shop, we took the opportunity to explore Mt. Lemmon, the highest peak  in Tucson. Weeks of mile weather enabled us to drive all the way to the top, where we found most of the snow already melted. On the way back down from the 9100′ peak, we stopped to enjoy some of the fabulous views.20160301_12021920160301_120503Even on a Monday, there were dozens of cyclists making the 26 mile trek to the summit. This is not a climb for the faint of heart – even in a car, it’s a heart-pounding ascent. I’m not sure if I could do it on a bike – even on my very best day.

That night was spent with our camping pals Vern and Ilene in their new Phoenix home. After stuffing ourselves with beer and seafood (and sleeping in REAL bed for the first time in months!), we headed out Wednesday morning for Yavapai Campground in the Prescott National Forest. This is the third time we’ve stayed there – it’s my favorite of all the NF campgrounds we’ve visited – clean, cool, quiet, AND composting toilets!20160303_154124.jpgThe same campground host we’ve seen for the past years greeted us again.

Our quest for this year was to complete the hike to the top of Granite Mountain. Two years ago, when we attempted this hike, we were turned back by the first (and only) rattlesnake we have ever encountered while hiking. Believe me, that experience was on my mind – I was jumpy! But, we made the 12 mile hike like a couple of pros – it was gorgeous.20160303_11511120160303_10591620160303_100920 Near the peak, all the trees were blackened stumps from a fire. It’s sobering to see, especially in light of the fact that 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots had been killed fighting a fire in Yarnell, AZ in June 2014.20160303_12105220160303_13164920160303_12045620160303_120013There is so much beauty in this area – we’ve decided to come back again next year and stay for a week. A few days just isn’t long enough to check everything out.

After two cool days, the memory of the hot Sonoran Desert of Green Valley faded a bit. So, we decided to tempt fate and head to the Hole in the Wall campground in the Mojave National Preserve. Two deserts that nearly connect to each other could not be more different.

The Sonoran Desert is alive with greenery – many cactus species, Palo Verde trees, and plenty of groundcover to give it a rather lush desert appearance. In comparison, the Mojave is stark and bare – other than the yucca, which were just beginning to bloom, nothing seems to grow higher than a foot or two. It’s quite a contrast. This little Beavertail cactus had plenty of small blooms.20160304_15155920160304_151448 We camped at the Hole in the Wall campground, which refers not to its size, but to a gap in the mountains which border the campground. At just over 5000′ feet in elevation, it was cool and decidedly non-deserty. We even had 50mph winds and rain – go figure. But, what a beautiful spot for the Fireball…20160304_16174220160304_152227Naturally, our first stop was to the Visitor Center. We love seeing the National Park films, and this one had a fun twist. One of the Rangers there had a young pit bull who was enchanted with the animals in the film. When the desert tortoise first appeared on the screen, she hustled over and sat, transfixed and quivering, directly in front of the screen. Lizards, turtles, and all the little desert denizens had her full attention. Have to admit that she totally stole my attention away from the film! (This is not exactly Big Screen theater!)20160304_150124Although the Mojave National Preserve covers a huge area, there’s only one marked trail in this section, although free-hiking is permitted. So, the Spencer Loop Trail was our hiking choice for Day 2. We were anxious to hike through the Desert, around Spencer Mountain, and through a Canyon to the Hole in the Wall, where a narrow passageway was scalable only with a series of iron loops embedded in the wall. The film in the VC made it look easy. Ha! I think the folks in the film were professional stuntmen.

The first five miles of the hike were b-o-r-i-n-g! Plodding through scrub desert with a blustery dry wind and 50 degree temps was not my idea of fun.20160305_11234520160305_105641 But, all of the sudden, we rounded Spencer Mountain, and entered the canyon. It was eye candy.20160305_121110As promised, we entered the Hole in the Wall, complete with The Rings.20160305_121412It was narrow! 20160305_121750John let me scramble ahead so that I could take a video…

As we left the canyon, we were treated to another surprise. Who could find fault with such an interesting day?

Sunday (today) was a travel day. Usually, we avoid traveling the Interstate Highways, although sometimes, you just want to get there – you know? So, we hit I-40 toward Bakersfield CA for a one-night stand. We hit the most incredible, awful weather along the way – super high winds and dust storms. I was driving, and it was white-knuckle all the way, until we finally stopped just west of Barstow. This photo doesn’t really show it, but this elderly couple was really struggling walking into the howling wind to the rest stop restroom. The mountains in the background are totally obliterated by the swirling dust.20160306_101744.jpg Then suddenly, everything gives way to an amazing lush green landscape. 20160306_130104.jpgTomorrow we roll on to the California coast, where we’ll wander for the next four weeks until we reach the Redwoods in Eureka. New adventures to come.

Hike, Bike, and Life

With our departure date from Green Valley in sight, we’ve amped up our activity level. All of the sudden, there are a million things we want to get done before we leave. One would think that we would have this figured out by now, but we do the same thing every year.

So, we’ve had an assortment of bike rides and hikes that we’ve done nearly every day. I haven’t taken many photos, as most of these are rides and hikes we’ve done and photographed before.

But, Caroline and I did find a few new sights on a hill-climbing ride a couple of weeks ago. Only in AZ will you find someone who is using a Saguaro cactus skeleton painted purple as a mailbox post.20160215_101554We also passed this sign on the road that goes up to an old cattle ranch.20160215_104939Every day has been hot and sunny. Perfect blue skies, and no rain in sight. Now, don’t all of you in snowy climes get all agitated with me, but it’s actually been too hot. Up in the mid 80s in the afternoon, which is just too much. We have had to close up the Fireball and turn on our little air conditioner when we want to leave Jezzy for an afternoon. Never have we had to do that at this time of year before.

We’ve done one of our favorite hikes up to Rogers Rock twice this month. It’s an easy 5.5 mile hike, with a spectacular lunch spot at the halfway point. Love this hike! 20160213_133913The RV park where we are currently camped has a hiking group, and I joined them for a hike to a new spot (for me). We started from the Gordon Hirabayashi Campground on Mt. Lemmon. The campground is the site of the prison camp where Hirabayashi was jailed for refusing to go to one of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans in WWII. Although the buildings there no longer exist, we hiked down into the old reservoir and along the water supply system for the old prison. The campground is a much more pleasant option. The hike itself was unremarkable, but it passed through beautiful Sycamore Canyon.

20160220_10563920160220_11260420160220_113032We stopped to admire some of the many Century plants (Agave Americana). Century plants don’t live to be a hundred years old – 10 to 30 years is the norm. In their last seasons, they send up a tall seed stalk. 20160220_100348The last significant hike I did was in the gorgeous Sabino Canyon area of the Catalina Mountains. The Seven Waterfalls trail was our choice of the many hiking options that day. It’s an 8.2 mile trek, along a trail which crosses the same stream about seven times. The stream crossings are fun, but treacherous on the slippery rocks. We came across one 70+ year old woman who had slipped on the rocks, and was unable to hike back out under her own power. Another helpful hiker was phoning 911 to arrange a rescue. We wondered aloud if she would be helicoptered out, or how assistance would be provided. The answer – horseback rescue. We hiked to the spectacular falls, had lunch, and encountered the rescue operation upon our return. Three horses, about a dozen rescue folks from various organizations – Park Rangers, plus at least two different search and rescue organizations. About six vehicles had hauled the rescuers up the road as far as they could go, and they covered the last two miles on foot. So interesting to see…..20160222_13150120160222_131509I think the rescued woman was pretty certain that her foot wasn’t broken, and seemed to be putting up an argument against being taken to the hospital. I’m sure this was a pretty costly hike for her.

For us, it was a terrific hike with lots of beauty. It’s one I would happily revisit every year.20160222_10291920160222_11054620160222_111223There are seven cascading falls at the high point of the hike, with plenty of water rushing down. Hard to find a more pleasant lunch spot, although it was jammed with other hikers on this warm weekday.20160222_11582120160222_11502120160222_111702We’re excited to be hitting the road again, heading to places in California we’ve not visited together yet – Big Sur, Monterrey, San Francisco, Redwoods National Park. Our new axle will be installed Tuesday morning as we leave Tucson. John has been busy with other repairs and modifications, making the Fireball as roadworthy as she can possibly be.

Ready to roll.