Saguaros and Spanish Missions- All Dog Friendly

Do you want to hike in Tucson among Saguaros with your dog?  Saguaro National Park is beautiful but you will be limited to viewing the Saguaros from your car and 2 very short paved trails.  Today was a great day.  We got to hike with Gizmo on dog friendly trails through Saguaros with a jagged mountain backdrop. dsc_0239  Continue reading

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Acadia National Park- 5 of our favorite hikes

This past November while hiking Vulture Peak we struck up a conversation with another hiker we met on the trail.  She and many of her friends are planning a trip to Acadia National Park.  She asked us if we would send her an email with our favorite hikes.  It took John and I a while to settle on our favorites but we wrote them down and mailed them off to her.  I decided I should share this information on my blog in case others are planning a trip to Acadia in the near future.

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Yuma- Mexico, Hiking and Prison


This is our first trip to Yuma, Arizona.  In our 2 years of traveling in the west we have heard lots of people talk about going to Yuma, so we figured we would stop for a few nights on our way to Tucson.  Our first campsite is actually in Winterhaven, CA right on the border with Arizona.  One important thing to know if you are staying here is that it is on “Arizona time” as is Los Algodones, Mexico.

The first thing we had planned was a trip to Mexico.  Everyone who talks about Yuma talks about crossing over to Los Algodones, Mexico.  The attraction to this area of Mexico is inexpensive dental work, prescription eyeglasses and prescription medications. Our plan was to get dental cleanings and a new pair of prescription sunglasses.

We started our day off early by dropping Gizmo off at Uptown Pet Spa in Yuma.  We then headed to the Quechan Parking Lot (actually in California).  It costs $6 to park your car right at the border crossing.  Once you are parked you simply walk across the border to Mexico.  This is not Cancun or Playa Del Carmen, this location is really all about dental work, eyeglasses and pharmacies.  The first thing you will see as you cross the border is the Purple Pharmacy.  There are signs out everywhere letting you know the price on commonly prescribed medications.img_5828   Continue reading

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The End of the Journey West and the Beginning of the Journey East

On Valentines we will begin our slow (2.5 months) journey east.  We will have been on the road for 134 nights by the time we leave on Tuesday.  This past week I think we “hit the wall” and we haven’t left the campground in 3 days.  We have had a blast touring the U.S. and seeing all the sights.  We decided we would take some time to rest up before we start moving east.  This stay in Pio Pico is our last 3-week stay of the journey.  Once we start moving east we will move every 2-7 days.  This has been one of our favorite campgrounds.  The first 2 weeks we loved the campground for it’s close proximity to San Diego.  This last week we have appreciated the location itself.  The campground is one of the few we stay at where you can literally walk out of your RV and start hiking right from the park.

This morning we woke to overcast skies and a light mist and decided it was a perfect day to hike with Gizmo.  The overcast skies meant he would not be “baking” on the shadeless trails.  This time we hiked right out through the back of the south end of the campground.  The clouds and fog were hanging low in the valley creating an other worldly atmosphere.img_5709  Continue reading

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Cedar Creek Falls and a Bonus Waterfall

One of the things I miss the most right now is a good internet connection.  We are camping at Pio Pico RV resort in Jamul, California.  It is a great location because it is out in the country in the mountains yet it takes only 35 minutes to get into San Diego.


Looking down at our campground.  We are surrounded by beautiful mountains that block the cell phone signal.  

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San Diego- So Much to See So Little Time

I have spent most of my life disliking cities.  I think San Diego might be one of the exceptions.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the past week here and I’m already planning future visits to the area.  We have found that despite it being a large city it is pretty easy to navigate.  We have spent the last 2 days checking out different areas of the city.

Our first stop was at Balboa Park.  What a gem this is for the city of San Diego.  We spent the morning walking the park with Gizmo and getting information about what we might want to do on another day.  This is a great place to walk with your dog.  The buildings are beautiful and there are plenty of spaces to get a break from the sun.

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Five Mountain Challenge and Otay Mountain

We love a challenge, especially when it comes to hiking mountains.  We were delighted when we read about the five mountain challenge at Mission Trails Regional Park.  The best thing is the park is only a 40 minute ride from our RV park.  Yesterday we decided to check out the park and hike one of the shorter trails.  These are not huge mountains or long hikes but they will give us a good workout and great views of the San Diego area.  We wanted to hike early before it got warm so the visitors center was not open yet.  I was able to download the map from the parks web page.  We decided to hike Kwaay Paay.


You need to get a summit picture with the sign in order to claim your certificate for completing the challenge.  

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Pacific Crest Trail- in search of the Southern Terminus

We had an chilly start to the day with a thick coat of frost on the car.  This led us to take our time getting ready to head out for the day.  Once the sun came out the temperature jumped up quickly and it was too hot to do a hike without shade.  We decided that our adventure for the day would be to try to find the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail(PCT).  I had read online that it can be tricky to find and there would be a walk of about 1/2 mile to where the start is.  The weather was forecast to be around 70 for the day but the Santa Ana Winds were still with us.  It was pretty calm at our campsite but the strongest winds were being recorded in Campo, our destination.  We figured we would take our chances as the winds were supposed to die down as the day progressed.  We programmed Campo into our GPS and it would be about a 45-50 minute ride.  We were not sure of the exact location but we had our Delorme California map with us and we were pretty sure we would be able to find it.  We left Pio Pico and turned right on to Campo Road (Rte 94) and followed it all the way to Campo.  This is a very scenic and winding drive that is surrounded by mountain peaks that are around 4000 feet tall.


Beautiful winding drive on Campo Road

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Del Mar Beach and La Jolla Sea Caves

John and I really enjoy spending the winters in the desert, but I have to admit it has been nice to be on the coast.  Is there anything better than a long morning walk on a beach?  Yesterday we decided on Del Mar Beach.  The entire beach is dog friendly from Labor Day to June 16.img_5143  You will need to keep your dog on a leash on the south beach and main beach.  They need to be under voice command on the north beach. Continue reading

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Cabrillo National Monument & Dog Beach

We arrived in the San Diego area on Tuesday after 5 days of rain.  There is quite a bit of flooding and damage from these storms. There is a dip just before our campground that has about 3-4 inches of rushing water going across the road. car-in-dip We were initially nervous about crossing until we watched several others go through.   When we arrived at our campground, Pio Pico, we had to check in on the north side as all the south side spots were full.  The north side has no sewer hook ups.  We are on the waiting list to get to the south side.  We could have moved yesterday but we are holding out for a “perfect spot” before we move.  Today we are up to number 2 on the list. This means that each day we need to go to the south side at 0830 to see the list of open sites and decide if we want one.  If we do, we wait until 0900 and then people pick their spot based on what number they are on the list.  We are hoping today will be the day we get the perfect spot.  This does mean that until we get a spot, we can’t head out on adventures until after 0900.   Continue reading

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