Chiloquin, Oregon

After we left the Oregon Coast we headed inland somewhat to Chiloquin. This was a good location for visiting Crater Lake National Park. We stayed at Collier Memorial State Park which was nice and woodsy. For the first time since we left Florida we had the right kind of trees at our site to use the slack line kit we got for Christmas. The kids enjoyed this so much for the 2 weeks we were there, and made lots of friends too because all the neighbor kids wanted to come over and play on it too.

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Fat Cat loved this site because there were so many chipmunks to chase!

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Why does she always look so mad?

For a couple of days we had some really nice neighbors that let us borrow their inflatable kayak for the river right behind our site. Now we REALLY want to get one of these!

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The campground had a nice hiking trail along the Williamson River which led to a logging museum which was part of the state park.

The walk along the river was beautiful and the water was so clear!

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Williamson River

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The logging museum was really interesting. You walk through several different areas from different time periods and learn the history of logging in Oregon.

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The boys played in the river one day while Chris tried some fishing. The water was freezing! I’m talking ice cold, instant brain freeze the moment you put your feet in the water cold! Jake was the only one brave enough to go all the way across to the other side of the river.

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Jesse jumped in and jumped right back out!

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Jake yelling about how cold it is.

You can just barely see Jake out in the distance making his way very quickly back across while Chris was fishing.

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One of our favorite things we did in Chiloquin was visiting the Klamath & Western Railroad. On Saturdays they offer free train rides. These are like model train railroads that you can actually ride on. The people that run this really seem to enjoy sharing their hobby with others. I was so impressed with the level of detail along the railroad, the length of the ride which was about 20 minutes long, and that they offer all of this for free! They do however take donations which they certainly deserve. The boys said they felt like we were riding through Grampa’s Christmas village train track while we were there. It was so much fun!

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Of course the highlight of our time and the reason we came here was to visit Crater Lake. But that deserves a post of its own, so please stay tuned.

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Bandon, Oregon

After leaving the Redwoods we traveled up the 101 to the cute little town of Bandon, Oregon. This stretch of Hwy 101 has to be one of the most scenic drives ever. I kept wanting Chris to pull over and stop so I could take pictures. I cannot get over how beautiful the Oregon coast is!

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After several stops along the way we made it to our campground at Bullards Beach State Park. It was so nice to get back to a state park! From what I saw, we couldn’t stay at any state parks in California… every one I looked into had a size limit of 35 feet and we are 41 feet. Anyway, that meant that while we were in CA we had to stay in RV parks. The places we stayed were all nice, but we missed state parks. Oregon has a very impressive selection of state parks and I look forward to staying at as many as possible.

There was a trail behind our site to the beach and every time we walked there we had the whole beach to ourselves.

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Nature trail on the way to the beach

The Coquille River lighthouse is at the state park so we went to check that out one day. It was so cold and windy while we were there so we didn’t stay very long. Actually it was cold and windy for most of the week that we were at this park even though it was June. I guess that’s normal for the coast.

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Coquille River Lighthouse

After getting settled into our site I posted on Facebook where we were and then heard from my good friend Kelli from back home in Florida that she was also in Oregon that week for work. She just so happened to be staying 20 miles north of us! What are the chances? She drove down to see us one evening. It was so nice to see her! I love traveling but I sure miss my friends and family from home so her visit was a real treat.

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There is a lot to do in Bandon! I took the kids on a field trip one day to the West Coast Game Park Safari where you can pet animals that roam throughout the park, and you can also pet baby bears and tigers and other typically dangerous animals during exhibits throughout the day.

We purchased food for the animals as we went in and the deer swarmed us the minute we walked through the gate.

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I loved this donkey, he followed us around the park for awhile.

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The alpacas were really fun to see. They have such a funny look on their faces!

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Jesse and the alpaca making faces at each other.

There were lots of big horn sheep hanging around.

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We got to pet a tiger, bobcat, lynx, fox and bear. They were all so cute! Especially the bear.

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We were even able to hold some of the animals.

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After the Safari Park we headed over to the scenic Face Rock Viewpoint. I’m telling you, the Oregon coast is breathtaking!

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We finished it off with cheese samples and ice cream at the Face Rock Creamery.

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Historic Old Town Bandon is also very cute, but unfortunately I only took one picture. Not sure why I didn’t think to take more!

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We loved our first stop in Oregon and there is so much more to see. I’m so thankful that we will be spending a couple of months in this state. Stay tuned for more incredible scenes from this beautiful part of the country.

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Redwood National and State Parks

Northern California and the Redwoods are incredible! It seems the further north we went in the state of CA the more we liked it. Sorry SoCal folks, don’t hate us but we’re just not fans of traffic and crowds. Once we got up near the Redwoods it was like we arrived in a different state. It was so much less crowded and busy, and people on the roads no longer seemed like they were in such a hurry. Suddenly life slowed down and became more peaceful and relaxed, just the way we like it.

I wasn’t sure if we would like going to the Redwoods so soon after visiting Sequoia, but we really loved it! Even though they are both about big trees, they are so different.

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We spent 2 days exploring this park and the surrounding area. On day 1 we hiked the Big Tree and Lady Bird Johnson Grove trails. When we were in Texas we visited the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park. We learned a little bit about his wife Lady Bird Johnson, and it was fun to see a trail named after her at this park. She loved the Redwoods and was at the dedication of the national park in 1968.

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Hiking among ancient giants

It’s humbling to see how small we are compared to these giant trees.

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Can you see Jesse in this picture?

The next day we drove up to Crescent City to visit the Battery Point Lighthouse. I loved all the purple flowers in bloom… so pretty!

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Next we did another Redwoods hike called Damnation Creek Trail. I’m not sure where they got that name, but it was our favorite hike that we did at this park.

Most of the hike was among the enormous trees. The sun shining down through the trees looked so majestic!

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Banana slug we found along the trail.

After what seemed like a long time of hiking through the woods, we suddenly came to a clearing with this breathtaking view!

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It was so beautiful here! I took way too many pictures and we stayed for a long time. It was very hard to leave this spot!

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Jake loves looking at all the sea life in the tide pools.

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Jake’s collection of snails and mussels.

As much as I hated to leave this place it was time to head back. I still had one more hike for us to do before the end of the day. The hike out of here was tough! The entire hike getting to this point was downhill which means the hike back out was a very hard climb. I wasn’t sure I could convince my people to go on just one more hike after this one, but thankfully they went along with me. 🙂

This was the Yurok Loop Trail which was a short trail with stunning Pacific views.

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By the time we finished all of our fun that day it was too late to get back to the Visitor Center in time to get the kids’ Junior Ranger badges. We went the next morning just before we left the campground to head to Oregon.

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32nd Junior Ranger badges

While visiting the Redwoods we stayed at the Klamath River RV Park. This was a very pretty park right on the river. I loved this view right in front of our camper with the mysterious looking fog.

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I think of all the places we have visited in California, Yosemite and the Redwoods have been my favorite. I can’t say I was sad to leave the state though; I sure don’t miss that traffic! We moved on and headed up to Oregon which is quickly becoming my new favorite state. More on that later.

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Visiting Friends in CA Wine Country

My friend Holly flew out from Florida to spend a few days with us in California Wine Country. We stayed in Napa Valley, but didn’t actually go to any wineries there. Instead we visited some amazing wineries in Sonoma thanks to my friend Sue. More on that later.

First we picked up Holly at the Oakland airport and since San Francisco was “sort of” on the way back to our campground in Napa I thought we should really go see the Golden Gate Bridge. If you know us, we avoid large cities like the plague! Since our mode of transportation is a large dually truck we prefer wide open spaces and San Francisco would be the exact opposite of that. I would love to visit that city, but until we are traveling in a smaller car I’m not sure how that’s going to happen.

Anyway, San Francisco being “sort of” on our way back to the campground means about a 2 hour detour if you are at all familiar with California traffic. 🙂

I think it was worth it to see this awesome bridge!

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The next day it was time to visit some wineries! My friend Sue who used to live in Fernandina Beach now lives in CA. I kept telling her we would meet up with her eventually in our travels and it finally happened. She knew I wanted to visit some wineries and she knew of some great ones to take us to in Sonoma. What a blessing Sue was to us that day! I like wine, but I’m not at all familiar with what is good. I mean I typically have wine out of a box in my RV fridge if that tells you anything. Sue took us to 3 great wineries and I have never tasted wine so good before. What a great day we had with her and her daughter and grandson! My kids enjoyed playing with her grandson all day which made it not so boring for them to spend the day visiting wineries. 😉

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Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards

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Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

The next day the kids got to have their fun. We participated in the Six Flags Read-to-Succeed program this year and got free tickets for the kids to go to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vellajo, CA. Strangely I realized I hardly took any pictures and I have no pictures of the kids! I guess that’s what happens when I’m hanging out with my friend.

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Chris likes to call everyone a “joker” so this was perfect for him. It happened to be one of our favorite rides that day too!

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The next day we went to the Jelly Belly Factory Tour which was so cool! This was on my bucket list of things to do in CA.

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It’s a self-guided free tour that is very informative. You walk around the entire factory viewing the different stages in the process of creating a Jelly Belly jellybean. At each area there are videos and information plaques to explain what is going on.

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Look at all those jellybeans resting!

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This is where they made assorted bags.

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The pictures in the background are made of Jelly Bellies.

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Sue and her grandson joined us for this also.

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In the gift shop you can sample as many different flavors as you want. They also have really gross flavors like rotten eggs, dirty socks, vomit and some others. Eww! You can buy a game with those flavors mixed in with normal “good” flavors and dare people to try one and they hope they try the right one. This game is called “Bean Boozled” and you just have to hope you’re not the one to pick the wrong flavor. My kids bought a bag of those and have been having fun with it, but I refuse to participate. I do not want to take a chance on eating a jelly bean that tastes like boogers, gross!

On our last day with Holly we went to Point Reyes National Seashore. We didn’t get to explore much of the park because we didn’t realize it would take so long to get there. Again… California! I should know it takes a long time to get anywhere in that state.

There is a lighthouse there that I really wanted to see, but they told us at the Visitor Center that it was a 45 minute drive to get there, which would mean another 45 minutes back to the entrance afterward. Nobody felt like driving that far after the drive we just had so we ended up just going to one of the beach accesses which was beautiful!

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And we got Junior Ranger badges while we were there! The Junior Ranger book is quite long and we didn’t finish it while we were there, but the rangers were kind enough to swear them in as new junior rangers on the honor system that we would complete the book on our own which we did.

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We had so much fun hanging out with Holly and Sue that week! As with all visits with friends, the time went by way too quickly. It was time for Holly to head back home and we moved on to the Redwoods in Northern California. Stay tuned for a post about that later.

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Pacific Coast Highway – Day II

If you missed my post about Day 1 you can see it here: Pacific Coast Highway – Day I.  The next day we headed north of Santa Cruz. Everything we did this day was thanks to the advice of my blogger friend at Weekend Campervanning, and it turned out to be such a fun day!

Our first stop was at Ano Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals. Wow! So many seals and they make such interesting sounds. Check out my YouTube video below to hear them yourself.

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Beginning of hike to go see the elephant seals; beautiful views along the way!

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So many elephant seals all in one place!

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These seals migrate to this beach twice a year to breed and to molt. At this time of the year they are there to molt or shed their first layer of skin. I found it so interesting that they migrate thousands of miles each year. How do they know to keep coming back to this exact location? Fascinating! I could have literally sat there and watched these animals all day long, but after about an hour or so my people were getting anxious to move on to something else.

Our next stop was at Bean Hollow State Beach to check out the tide pools which were very cool!

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On the way back down towards Santa Cruz we stopped at a couple of beautiful view points. Notice how some pictures have clear, blue skies while others are foggy? It’s very strange how we can drive just a few miles down the road and the skies go from completely foggy to clear!

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Our last stop was at Swanton Berry Farm to pick fresh, organic strawberries. Yummy!

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While we were in this area we stayed at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA campground. This was a very expensive campground and not what we normally spend, but it seems everything in this part of California is expensive so we had to splurge. This KOA though is one of the nicest we have ever been to. Our campsite had a deck/patio in back, a great place to relax! The activities for kids at this place were awesome! The kids loved the bounce pad the best.

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The pool was under construction, but it was too cold when we were there anyway so we didn’t mind that it wasn’t open yet. They had a very nice playground, mini golf, a climbing wall and scheduled activities each day including bingo which we loved.

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One of the scheduled activities included a hole-in-one contest at mini golf that Jesse won. His prize was a free bike rental so we tried out the four-seater bike to ride around the park.

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We enjoyed our stay at that KOA so much and really enjoyed visiting the nearby areas along the Pacific Coast. After we left there we went to stay at a Thousand Trails park for free for 2 weeks to offset the cost. 😉 I know, it’s not technically free since we had to buy the membership to Thousand Trails, but if we stay at enough of those parks throughout the year it really makes camping cheap, and helps to offset the more expensive places we go.

 

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Pacific Coast Highway – Day I

If you read my last post about Yosemite, you might remember I mentioned our unfortunate truck incident that turned out to be a blessing because of the rental car we were able to use to drive the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. After Yosemite we headed to the coast to visit the areas of Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz. These areas are pretty congested with lots of traffic and tight parking spaces so we were pretty happy to have a smaller car for this!

On day 1 we explored from Monterey south on Highway 1 until we couldn’t go any further due to road closures.

Our first stop was at the Dennis the Menace park in Monterey. The boys loved this! What a unique and fun playground!

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Then we headed on down to the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach. It costs $10 to drive this scenic drive, but if you stop and eat at a restaurant along the way you will get that back. We didn’t stop though because as you can imagine restaurants in this area are quite pricey. $10 off wouldn’t have made much difference.

The first part of the drive was very foggy! It was hard to see much of the ocean. There are several viewpoints along the drive to stop and take pictures.

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One area had some nice tide pools to explore.

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Once we got to the Lone Cypress tree viewpoint, the fog cleared a little bit so we could see the beautiful blue water of the Pacific. This was definitely the prettiest stop along the drive.

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Our next stop was at Carmel-by-the-Sea, a cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants. We had planned to find a place to eat lunch there. We walked around for over an hour checking out restaurants and could not find a single place with reasonable prices for lunch so we ended up just getting some sandwiches at a market/deli and continuing on our way.

Then we drove down Hwy 1 and stopped at many vista points to admire the view and take pictures. The fog would come and go along the way, and in some ways the fog made things look more mysterious.

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Looking down over the ocean covered in a thick layer of fog was a really cool site to see. It was kind of like being in an airplane looking down at the clouds below you. The fog just hovered over the water.

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Our last stop was Point Lobos State Park. The fog cover was so thick there we weren’t able to see much.

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Pretty eerie look with all the fog, don’t you think?

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The next day we drove north to Santa Cruz and beyond to see elephant seals and more. Stay tuned…

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Yosemite National Park

When people ask me what is my favorite place we have been, I find that is a very difficult question to answer. This country has so many beautiful national parks to explore and it’s hard to pick just one. Some of my favorites are Bryce Canyon, Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Now I can add Yosemite to my ever-growing list of favorites because I just loved it!

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We had to take a few days off work to visit Yosemite because we stayed at Yosemite Lakes RV Park where there is no cellular coverage at all. That’s okay though, sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere and disconnect and really focus on enjoying our time at the park.

On our first day driving into the park we were lucky enough to spot a bear grazing in the grass beside the road. We pulled over to get a few pictures.

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Our first hike was to Lower Yosemite Falls. I have to say that when we were there in early May the rivers and waterfalls were raging and so powerful! The large amounts of rain and snow that California received over the winter have resulted in amazing falls to see in Yosemite.

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Lower Yosemite Falls

We hiked a portion of the trail up to Upper Yosemite Falls but did not make it the whole way. It’s a long way up there, but the views along the way are beautiful even if you don’t make it all the way to the top.

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Next we went to Bridalveil Fall which was overflowing onto the trail. As soon as we got close to the falls it seemed like it started pouring rain even though it was a sunny day. The spray from the falls was like a drenching downpour. And our feet were freezing walking through the ice cold water.

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Bridalveil Fall

There were some ponchos to borrow on our way up to view the falls; Chris was the only one smart enough to grab one. The rest of us got soaked!

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Ooh, that’s cold!!

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Raging river below the falls

After this we went to Tunnel View to see one of the best views in all of Yosemite. You can see El Capitan on the left, Half Dome in the distance in the middle and Bridalveil Fall to the right.

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The next day was a cold and drizzly day in Yosemite so we just took care of getting the kids’ Junior Ranger books done and watched the park movie which was very interesting.

On day 3 (our last day in the park) we did a really long hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls. We hiked a total of 9 miles which included a mile each way from the parking lot to the trailhead. We had hoped to also hike the 2 miles to see Mirror Lake after this but we were all way too tired after this hike to do it. Next time!

The hike up to Vernal Fall is very crowded, but starts to thin out once you get past this waterfall and continue on up to Nevada Fall.

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Vernal Fall

There is so much spray from this waterfall that you get soaked on the way up. It felt like we were getting rained on in the picture below.

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With the spray comes beautiful rainbows!

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Once you get to the top of Vernal Fall, there is a large flat area to rest, let your clothes dry and have a snack before continuing on up to Nevada Fall.

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Top of Vernal Fall

Continuing on up to Nevada Fall was strenuous but so worth it!

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Nevada Fall

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Top of Nevada Fall

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There was a nice, large flat area at the top of this waterfall also which was a great place to rest and have lunch.

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Starting our hike back down the other side of Nevada Fall

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We really enjoyed our stay at the RV park because we got to park next to the Travaglino family. They are the ones that started the Fulltime Families group. Fulltime Families runs all of the rallies we attend and it is through that group that we have met so many other like-minded traveling families. We are so thankful for FtF. We had met the Travaglinos before, but never had the chance to get to know them very well. We enjoyed hanging out by the campfire each night and getting to know their family better.

Unfortunately one night while we were sitting around the campfire someone ran into our truck. An RV was pulling into the campground at night and took a turn too wide and the back end of his RV hit the back of our truck. With us always traveling we wondered how in the world we’re ever going to get that taken care of. I prayed that God would help us work out all the details and that something good would come out of the inconvenience. Well it did! First of all, the other guy’s insurance took care of everything and they did it quickly. They got it fixed at our next stop in Santa Cruz within a week, and meanwhile we had a nice fuel-efficient rental car to use to sight-see around Santa Cruz and Monterey. If you are at all familiar with Highway 1 (also known as the scenic Pacific Coast Highway), you would understand that having a smaller vehicle for that was a true blessing. The timing could not have been better to have something besides our big truck to drive around in for a few days. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for the good of those who love God. I find that promise to prove true in our lives all the time, and this was one of those times. 🙂

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Sequoia National Park

After leaving Las Vegas it was time to head into California. First stop was Sequoia National Park located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We had planned to also visit Kings Canyon while we were there, but the only day we had available to do that ended up being a rainy and cold day so we didn’t make it.

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Anyway, Sequoia was beautiful of course but we only spent one day there. We stayed in Lemon Cove about 30 miles from the entrance. I had assumed we could make a few trips into the park in the evenings during the week, but on our first visit on Sunday we quickly realized that was not feasible. The hard part about visiting Sequoia is that you have to drive a very long twisty & windy road up a mountain before you get to most of what you would want to see and do in the park. So even though we were only 30 minutes from the entrance, it was probably another hour drive before we got to any hiking trails and things to see. And that hour drive was the source of some complaining of car-sickness because of the windy road. So we decided in order to more full experience this and Kings Canyon (which is connected to Sequoia), we will come back again someday and stay at a cabin or lodge inside the park. That way we will only need to do the carsick-inducing drive once and then spend a couple of days exploring once we’re in there.

Of course the main attraction at Sequoia are the enormous sequoia trees.

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General Sherman is the biggest tree on earth. Not the tallest nor the widest, but biggest by volume. Interestingly, the top of the tree is dead but the volume keeps increasing. The trunk grows wider every year, adding enough wood to equal another tree.

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A tree’s trunk tells its history. The rings in the tree below show that the tree lived about 2,210 years and marks within some of the rings show scars from at least 80 different fires

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Can you spot the boys and me in the picture below? We are so small compared to these giants!

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The area of the park where you go to see these trees is at a pretty high elevation, so there was still lots of snow left in May.

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After admiring the giant sequoias, we went to hike up Moro Rock. You get beautiful panoramic views of the entire park from up there.

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Lastly we went to the Tunnel Log to see if we could fit our big truck through it.

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We fit!

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We stayed at Lemon Cove RV Park which was a nice little park with a pool. Even though it was very cold up in the higher elevations of Sequoia, down where we stayed it got quite hot that week. An added bonus to staying there is we met another Fulltime Family staying at the park. We really enjoyed getting to know them during the week at our nightly “happy hours” and hope to meet up with them again soon.

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The drive into Sequoia from Lemon Cove is very pretty, passing by Kaweah Lake…

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…and the cute town of Three Rivers and the currently raging Kaweah River. Please be careful if you visit any areas with raging rivers like this. Two people died falling into this river during the time we were in the area. The water is so rough right now due to all the heavy rain and snow CA experienced over the winter, and the rocks are so slippery. I believe the people that died fell in when they slipped on the rocks.

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One day was certainly not enough to fully experience Sequoia, there is much more to see so we will hopefully go back again someday and visit Kings Canyon while we’re at it. Next we moved on to Yosemite, one of my new favorite parks!

 

Categories: National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The City I Did Not Want to Visit

Las Vegas or Sin City. What do you call it? Vegas was never high up on my bucket list of places to go, but somehow we ended up there for a week between Utah and California. It was a good stopping point and there were several other Fulltime Families in the area. But, were we really going to take our kids to Sin City? I was very apprehensive about going there, but some friends reassured me that there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in the area. So we went.

I am happy to say that despite my misgivings, we had a great time and I’m so glad we went. I honestly did not see anything that weird or inappropriate. I’ll admit, this traveling lifestyle has taken me out of my comfort zone more than once, and this was one of those times.

One of the really fun things we did was hike at Red Rock Canyon. I know it seems strange to hike while in Vegas, but this was a really great place to get away from the busyness of the city. There are so many hikes at this park, but we only had time for one. We did the Calico Tanks hike which was amazing. It is an out and back hike with lots of rock scrambling which our kids love.

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At the end of the trail you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city of Las Vegas off in the distance.

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The next night we went to the Pinball Hall of Fame retro arcade. All arcade games are only a quarter and we had so much fun playing these games that I remember playing in the 80s. Donkey Kong was always my favorite, but I’m not very good at it anymore.

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The best part about our week in Vegas was getting to know the Arnold family better. We had met them before at FtF rallies but had not gotten the chance to spend much time with them. We had dinner with them several times that week, played lots of games together and explored Vegas. They already knew their way around the strip so I felt okay about going to see it during the day with our kids. I was pretty sure we should not stay after it got dark.

It was really a lot of fun exploring all the hotels. This one was one of my favorites.

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Excalibur Hotel

The New York New York hotel was pretty amazing with a roller coaster outside.

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So I said we would not stay past dark, but somehow we ended up staying until 10pm! And it was awesome! We had a great dinner at Nacho Daddy where they have so many unique options for nachos. I tried Thai Chicken nachos and Chris tried buffalo chicken nachos. Both were delicious!

Walking around the strip at night was so pretty with all the lights. And like I said earlier, we did not see anything that made me feel uncomfortable with kids. We did see people handing out flyers for prostitutes, but they do not hand them out to people with kids which I was glad about.

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We watched the fountain light show at the Bellagio Hotel which was so pretty!

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I was so happy that Bunny and Eric were there with us. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much without them to show us around.

Another night we went back to watch the Nathan Burton Comedy Magic Show. We were able to get a good deal on tickets through Groupon and it was a kid-friendly show. We all loved it!

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The kids with Nathan Burton after the show.

We stayed at the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort. This was the nicest and safest place we could find in Vegas, but it was very crowded. It’s definitely not our favorite type of place to stay. You probably have heard me say before that I love state parks where we have lots of space, like the super large space we had at our last campground at Sand Hollow. It was hard to go from that space to this!

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Very crowded and tight sites!

This RV park at least had a pool which was fun for the kids. And us adults enjoyed the hot tub one night while the kids stayed home and played games.

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I am so happy that we did not skip Vegas just because I had heard so many bad things about it. I’m sure there are lots of bad things that go on there, but there are also lots of good, family-friendly things to do. A friend of mine wrote a great blog post about all the fun things they like to do with kids in Vegas: A Kid-Friendly Guide to Vegas.

There were many things in her list that we did not have time for, so I guess that means that one day we’ll actually return to Las Vegas. I never thought I would hear myself say that! 🙂

Categories: Our Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Sand Hollow and Snow Canyon State Parks

While visiting Zion National Park we stayed at Sand Hollow State Park in Hurricane, UT. This was an absolutely beautiful state park and our campsite was huge with gorgeous views all around!

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The Sand Hollow Reservoir was right behind our site.

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This campsite was so big that the kids decided to design their own national park in our back yard. They named it Red Sands National Park. They made a map with trail information and junior ranger books for Chris and me to fill out. They used an app on my phone to map how long each trail was and then led us on some trail hikes.

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I love to watch their creativity blossom at places like this!

We also visited Snow Canyon State Park in nearby St. George. This was a gorgeous state park with lots of fun hiking trails.

First we hiked a short trail to Jenny Canyon which is a slot canyon.

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Then we hiked the Lava Tube trail which was a new experience for us and something the boys really enjoyed. We were able to walk around in the lava tubes which are like underground caves. These lava tubes were formed during a volcano eruption many years ago.

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Then we climbed up this slick rock to an amazing view point.

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See the black hole in the ground below? That was one of the lava tubes we explored. I’ll admit it’s kind of creepy down there. It’s very dark and we only had our cell phone flashlights which don’t shine very far into the dark.

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There is so much to see and do in Utah which is why we keep returning. It was time to move on to more adventures but I sure hated to leave the incredibly spacious campsite at Sand Hollow. Wait until you see the site we moved to next. I’ll give you a hint, it was NOT spacious!

 

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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