Winslow, AZ

I was quite tickled that a little Arizona town, became a tourist attraction because of an Eagles song. They did it up proper, and I love the little details in this scene. There are plenty of tourist shop to get your Eagles or Route 66 fix.

Well, I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona….

Grand Canyon – South Rim

While the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is my favorite, the South Rim boasts many more view points, and looking north into the canyon is easier on your eyes and better for pictures since the sun is behind you. It is hotter on this side, and the wind can be ferocious. Still, the views are spectacular!

Grand Canyon – North Rim

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is my favorite. It’s 1200 feet higher, so the temperature is cooler. I was here in August so appreciated that. The drive in boasts more greenery than the south rim. It’s not nearly as crowded and has a lodge on the rim with breathtaking views. Plus it has an added bonus on Bison!

Beehive Kilns

The Beehive Kilns in Frisco Utah is an old mining town that offers great ghost town exploring. The incredible giant beehive structures on the hills are actually old charcoal kilns. You can still smell the smoke in them. The roads are sketchy, I was glad my truck had 4WD. It was a fun morning adventure.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a beautiful 74,000 acre park in Corinne Utah. It includes a variety of habitats such as open water, mudflats, wetlands and uplands. The refuge host millions of migratory birds each year. The Educational center was closed, but the 12 mile auto route through the refuge was open. It was a breath of fresh air to see all this water in an otherwise dry area.

San Diego Safari Park

Is

My favorite animal at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is the Okapi, a member of the giraffe family. I understand it to be the last large land mammal to be discovered. The park is one of the largest tourist attraction in the area. The African tramway was closed during my visit, so I only managed to see the African exhibits. I hope to get back soon to visit the other areas.

Magnuson Park

Magnuson Park is one of my favorites in the Seattle area for birding, hiking and relaxing along the shores of Lake Washington. The wetlands part of the park was restored only a few years ago. I love to watch the seasonal changes year to year as the area matures.

A Year in Review

I can’t believe I have completed my first year on the road. It went by so quickly.

Being the Data Maven I am, I will start with a few statistics. In 366 days I drove 24,611 miles; 12,520 (51%) of them towing Bob. I averaged 15.7 mpg and used 1568 gallons of gas. I explored 4 countries (US, Canada, England & Mexico, visiting 29 US states and 3 Canadian provinces. I waded in the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. I dipped my toes all 5 Great Lakes, as well as the other big lakes of Crater Lake, Flathead Lake, Lake Louise, Lake Champlain and many other smaller lakes and ponds. I stayed in 70 campsitesaveraging 178 miles between campsites driving anywhere between 15 or 310 miles to each one. I experienced temperatures between 27F and 97F. I counted 48 thunderstorms (likely there were more) 1 Tornado watch and 3 flood watches. There was no snow. I hiked through too many to count, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Preserves, State Parks and County Parks.

North America is a beautiful country! Here are a few of my favorite moments:

Olympic National Forest:

I shed 30+ years of stress dealing with corporate politics in technology jobs in Puget Sound walking through the old growth rain forest, mountains, streams and lakes healed me and made me whole. I could breath again.

Mountains Majesty

Jaw dropping, awe inspiring, beauty

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

A special place in my heart filling my soul with peace and serenity and fond memories of the past.

Upstate New York

So much diversity and history.

The Gulf Coast

I am definitely drawn to the Gulf Coast. It has everything I love: beaches, birds, and good food

The Desert

The wide open spaces, the solitude, and again the beauty.

Friends & Family

Most of all the chance to visit with friends and family and meet new people.

Sheltering in Place on Wheels

Situation practically Normal: Certainly the COVID-19 situation has made an impact on my tour of the country. Being an introvert though, social distancing is the norm for me – although I am now more aware maintaing 6 feet between others. Sheltering in place can be done on wheels, fairly easily. My trailer is fully self-contained and comfortable. I’m either relaxing inside of it, or hanging outside in my designated site. Towing is also self contained since I am driving alone in my car. I have adapted: I wear a doggie poop bag on my hand when I pump gas, then throw it out. I eat out less often, and then of course it is only drive through or pickup. I grocery shop less frequently. I wash my hands more thoroughly.

The biggest downside for me: Some of the places I was really excited to see are closed. (National Parks, State Parks, Beaches) It is hard to find places to get some healthy hikes in. I can and do walk around the RV parks multiple times a day. I miss occasionally going to a mid week matinee (but not as much as I thought)

The upside for me: There are no social events I need to scrounge up the courage to attend. I am less likely to be hit up to do small talk which I am particularly uncomfortable with. I am getting more of my knitting projects done. I’ve cut down my future reservations, and will be staying at places longer reducing mileage. I am saving money on gas and food. I was lucky enough to find the last package of RV toilet paper at the Walmart in Silver City a few weeks ago.

I made it back to the west coast! My circuit is almost complete. It felt like coming home. There truly is nothing like the Pacific Coast.

Del Mar Beach – From Afar…