Looking Back

One week from today the Hubs and I pull out for 17 days of exploring the Oregon coast. Let’s just say there’s a week left but my mind is already in the front seat of the truck with an atlas in my lap plotting our destination of the day. If you don’t have a true case of “Ramblin’ Fever” then I could never explain to you the feeling of pre-vacation yearnings. I know this upcoming week will be a struggle, and the struggle is real.

In an effort to thwart any of my adult responsibilities, I’ve been looking back over the past four years to see what we were doing at this time. It really comes as no shocker that all but one year we were traveling. And we got to see some pretty amazing places. The only year we weren’t on a trip the Hubs was in Yosemite National Park on a fire detail. So technically he wasn’t at home sitting still. And while he was gone I was dealing with the 100 year floods of West Texas which ended up being an adventure all on their own.

So today’s post is a flash back to a half a decade of travels to some rather amazing places with a rather amazing fella!

Bristle Cone Pines in Great Basin National Park
Bristle Cone Pines in Great Basin National Park
There were some beautiful lakes in Great Basin National Park. Amazing!
There were some beautiful lakes in Great Basin National Park. Amazing!
Not a clear picture but still a picture of the Hubs on fire detail in Yosemite.
Not a clear picture but still a picture of the Hubs on fire detail in Yosemite.
This was on our first trip to Colorado. We took two more vacations to that beautiful state after our initial voyage.
This was on our first trip to Colorado. We took two more vacations to that beautiful state after our initial voyage.
This train trip is a must when in Durango, CO. http://www.durangotrain.com
This train trip is a must when in Durango, CO. http://www.durangotrain.com
Studying the Atlas while planning our next route in Colorado. We love that state!
Studying the Atlas while planning our next route in Colorado. We love that state!
We were thrilled to spot this grizzly family while visiting Yellowstone National Park. They are beautiful!
We were thrilled to spot this grizzly family while visiting Yellowstone National Park. They are beautiful!
This doesn't even look real to me. The Grand Prismatic Spring is probably one of the most beautiful things I will ever see.
This doesn’t even look real to me. The Grand Prismatic Spring is probably one of the most beautiful things I will ever see.
You just can't imagine what the Tetons look like until you visit them. I must go back.
You just can’t imagine what the Tetons look like until you visit them. I must go back.
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The Gift of Garlic

I LOVE our RVing life. It has simplified so many aspects of the way we live that I often start thinking it’s too good to be true. We really do have an easy setup, so I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But….there are things. I never realized just how much I missed them until I got a most pungent package in the mail yesterday.

You see, my father in law is gardener. And he’s not just any old gardener hoping that his crops will grow and produce enough food so that they can have a few good meals during the summer. By profession he is a scientist, and he utilizes his knowledge while gardening thus producing some of the most delicious goodies in mass quantities in a very small space. This man knows what he’s doing. So yesterday I went to the post office to collect the mail. It’s the Hubs 50th birthday, so packages have been showing up regularly. Anyway, what I found was a package for me! And as soon as I opened the locker I could smell exactly what the contents of that package were. It was a box of garlic!!

The wonderful gift of garlic that arrived from my father in law.
The wonderful gift of garlic that arrived from my father in law.

For weeks now, the Hubs and I have been venturing to local farmer’s markets to get fresh garlic, but there hasn’t been the availability like there was last year. So it’s taken some work, and it had even started to worry me that we wouldn’t have enough garlic to get us through the winter. And it has been years since I’ve bought it at the grocery stores. More times than not, if you’re paying attention you will notice that the garlic at the store is a product of China. I once watched a documentary that really spoke to me, and in it one of the gentlemen said, “Your food should never arrive in a cargo box from another country packaged alongside thousands of pairs of flip flops.” And he’s right. So, back to the story.

When I opened my box of garlic I literally teared up. Who cries over a box of garlic, right? Inside of that box was enough garlic to carry me through until next year! And there were amazing varieties of garlic too. Did you know that there are over 600 sub-varieties of garlic in the world? (http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/garlic-information.html )I kid you not! But there was something about opening that box of garlic. A gift from the heart that I can consume. There is so much beauty in growing a garden, and I truly miss that. I just didn’t realize how much until I got that box yesterday. The gift of garlic from my precious father in law filled a void that I didn’t even realize was there. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s a gift that helps complete my RV lifestyle. I am so grateful for the gift of garlic!

The Beauty of Southeastern Arizona

Southeastern Arizona, particularly around Sierra Vista, is so un-Arizona. Before we moved to Arizona I always thought of this state as just a hot and dry place. I think everyone’s heard the phrase, “It’s a dry heat!” But I must say that SE Arizona totally breaks all of the rules that I thought this state had to follow.

The Bisbee Falls only flow during monsoon season in SE Arizona which is usually from July-September.
The Bisbee Falls only flow during monsoon season in SE Arizona which is usually from July-September.
We are currently going full force into monsoon season. The beauty of monsoon in SE Arizona is that once the rains start to fall most afternoons the temperature does a nose dive. I often travel home in the afternoons with the temps hovering in the low 80s and sometimes 70s. The grass is amazingly green now. And the abundance

Male flowers of the Meadow Rue
Male flowers of the Meadow Rue
of wildflowers in this area is simply astonishing. We also have waterfalls throughout the area that look like something you would see in a tropical setting. Yes, SE Arizona is amazing!

Lady Bugs gather on Carr Peak to mate before descending to lower elevations to feast on aphids.
Lady Bugs gather on Carr Peak to mate before descending to lower elevations to feast on aphids.
While the flowers are in bloom we’re trying to hit the trails as often as possible. This weekend we ventured on a hike up to Carr Peak which was better than I could have imagined.  Aside from the wildflowers, the views were breathtaking. And the yearly influx of lady bugs on the peak were worth the hike in itself. So for now I’m curing my Ramblin’ Fever with weekend hikes. I’d be foolish to go running off somewhere else when there’s so much beauty around me! So here are a few photos from our hike. I hope you’re finding something amazing to enjoy where you live. Get out this weekend and experience something new!

View of the Reef from Carr Peak trail
View of the Reef from Carr Peak trail

Arizona Thistle
Arizona Thistle

I’ve Got it Bad, And That Ain’t Good

It’s only been a month. One Month! But I am starting to get restless. I had planned on it being two and a half months, but now I know Ican’t wait that long. Well, maybe can’t is a strong word. I don’t want to wait that long. I’m missing it terribly. I’m day dreaming about it. I’m  fantasizing

Our Casita is the best road companion ever.
Our Casita is the best road companion ever.

about all the things I could do. No, I’m not talking about a person that I’m pining after or some food I’ve decided to give up in an effort to make myself better. I’m talking about traveling.
Yes, the travel bug doesn’t wait very long before it’s back nibbling on my brain. I believe these bites cause fever, and once you have the fever you can’t shake it. It was just a month ago that we spent the weekend in Prescott, AZ. And it was a great trip! My plans were for us to stay

No home is complete without mood lighting.
No home is complete without mood lighting.
We almost made it to the Southern boarder of the Arizona trail on our weekend hike. Unfortunately a potential storm sent us back to the truck.
We almost made it to the Southern boarder of the Arizona trail on our weekend hike. Unfortunately a potential storm sent us back to the truck.

home for the two and half months until Doug’s Most Excellent Birthday Adventure was to take place so we could save some money and just hang out a little. But now I know that waiting until September is going to drive me nutty. So, I’m in the process of planning a weekend trip to Northeastern Arizona where the temperatures are cooler and there will be sights that I’ve never seen before! And for me, there is nothing better than to wake up in a new place with new adventures ahead of you.
I often wish I could curve this desire to get out and go. It’s tough when you know there are roads out there you’ve never traveled and places you’ve never seen. It creates a restlessness that can only be cured by getting out and traveling. Is this an addiction? Am I just wired to be this way? I definitely think I’ve come by it honestly. My Mom dearly loves to travel although she doesn’t tend to wander quite as far off as I do. But I think she would if thought she could. And then there was my Grandfather who always, always, always talked about traveling. But such adventures were not to be tolerated by my Grandmother. To this day I have no idea how he cooled his heels and stayed put. Maybe he just loved her that much and keeping the peace was more of a priority to him. Maybe the less you go the more you become okay with it. I’m not sure exactly how that works, but I can remember a few conversations many years ago that ended with me saying to the Hubs, “If you don’t want to go I’ll just see you when I get back.”
So for now I’m trying to remain calm for about two more weeks, and then we’re on the road at least for the weekend. And when you have “Ramblin’ Fever” sometimes a weekend dose of excitement is exactly what will help until the next bout of fever kicks in!

Best Seats in the House

It was a rainy 4th of July here in Southern Arizona. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but we had some really good rain over the holiday weekend. If you live in a part of the world that gets regular rainfall then you might be disappointed by this. But because we don’t see rains on a regular basis we were pretty doggone excited! So we settled in for a quiet weekend. The area of Arizona that we live in is actually more high desert and gets more rain than the areas around us. We have grass and trees and all those things that most people don’t have when they live in Arizona.

We live about 4 miles outside of town, so we were curious on the night of the 4th if we would be able to see the fireworks from our RV. Not wanting to venture out into the crowds, we came up with a plan. So about 15 minutes before the excitement was to begin we hauled my camara and ourselves onto the roof of our RV. Then, we sat and waited.4th of July Fireworks

All of our neighbors were also out picking their premium spot for the spectacle, but no one had the view that we did! Before long, neighbors were walking by asking if they could join the rooftop party! They wanted to know if we were serving drinks on deck. Everyone was excited for the fireworks but also excited to see their two neighbors rooftop surfing on their RV to get a premium view of the fireworks. And it was worth the climb! Not only could we see the fireworks in town, but we could also see the fireworks throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. We could even see the fireworks show over in Tombstone, AZ! Now that was pretty cool.

I hope your 4th was as wonderful as ours was. We’re learning that there are so many ways to enjoy RV life, and it often affords you the best seat in the house!4th of July Fireworks 4th of July Fireworks 4th of July Fireworks

June, Where Have You Gone!

Located in Prescott, AZ, Lake Watson is a scenic lake perfectly suited for kayakers. Their speed limits of 5mph keep the traffic down and the paddling easy.
Located in Prescott, AZ, Lake Watson is a scenic lake perfectly suited for kayakers. Their speed limits of 5mph keep the traffic down and the paddling easy.

It is officially summer in SE Arizona. We had a tremendously mild May, but now it’s warm. We live in a very special place, however. Our temperatures usually stay in the 90’s as opposed to our northern neighbers like Tucson and Phoenix that visit temps such as 115 on a regular basis. And for the icing on the cake our monsoon season has arrived early. As I drove home after a monsoon rain one afternoon the tips had dipped to a cool 75! You really can’t beat the weather here.

So we’ve been out playing! We actually thought temps would be a little cooler up near Prescott, AZ. So we took a long weekend to kayak, bike and hike in the area. What we found was that the temps were actually warmer and a little more oppressive. Nevertheless, we didn’t let that slow us down. There are so many recreational opportunities in Prescott that it’s unbelievable! In addition to fabulous hiking trails, they have several lakes that are perfect for kayaking. With speeds no more than 5 mph on these lakes this is a kayakers paradise. The lakes aren’t very large but when you consider that there are several of them within a short driving distance you kind of get over the size and paddle your heart out!

The Rails to Trails system in Prescott is one that every town should adopt if they have old unused railroad beds. I think I could have ridden these trails forever and never gotten tired of the scenery. Unfortunately, the Hubs had a flat and had to head back to the Casita. Only later down the trail did I remember that I had the key to the RV, so the Hubs was stuck out in the heat until I decided to head back. We also hiked one of the amazing trails in Prescott. There was just so much to do and not enough time or cool weather to do it!

Also, around home we’ve been off on some pretty neat hiking and biking adventures. It really has seemed that June went by in a flash! But I’d rather it pass while playing and having a good time. For us, this has been one of the best parts of scaling down. We have more time to play and that is definitely worth owning less stuff!

A beautiful bike ride in the Dells of Prescott. The rails to trails system offers miles of biking and hiking.
A beautiful bike ride in the Dells of Prescott. The rails to trails system offers miles of biking and hiking.
We saw these sunning cormorants on our bike ride in Prescott. Part of the rails to trails system runs by Lake Watson.
We saw these sunning cormorants on our bike ride in Prescott. Part of the rails to trails system runs by Lake Watson.

Dropping Your Anchor While Staying Mobile

Portable Herb Garden
Portable Herb Garden

I recently read a blog post by a friend that had been struggling with some pretty tough issues. Family issues can be especially difficult for stay at home Moms because you’re in the storm 24-7 without getting a chance to step out and observe the problem from a different angle. She spoke of “anchors”, and how during this time she let some of the things go in her life that were her anchors because she was too stressed by dealing with the problem at hand. Anchors are those things that ground you. The things that often round out the sharp edges of life. That take you away from your every day problems and provide a stabilizing effect and better prospective.

I have several anchors, and one of them is gardening. I never realized how important it was to me until I got older and was gardening on my own. Now that we live in an RV in an RV Resort my gardening options are limited, and I’ve felt the pangs of its absence. I’ve never had a huge garden, but it’s always provided enough food for some excellent summer meals with just enough to put away for a few cold winter days when you need a little sunshine in the form of food from your garden.

So how do you “drop your anchor” but still stay mobile through this life? Fortunately, I have several activities that I not only enjoy but consider my anchors. And I’ve allowed them to evolve into important parts of my life while some other activities have had to take a back seat. Now that my garden time and space are limited I’ve shifted my focus to other outdoor activities. I’m lucky enough to still have an assortment of herbs growing in pots. And it really brings a sense of anchoring/peace every time I go out and gather some either to eat at a meal or for drying to use later. I also have really become really interested in birding. Photography is also a passion. So why not combine birds and photography? And then add hiking to the mix. I’ve started enjoying hiking immensely. Every weekend, even through the desert heat, I’m trying to find some way to incorporate a hiking trip. It has become a true and solid anchor for me. And I love it! I’ve even started thinking I need to hike one of the trail systems from start to finish. I may be a little far from the Appalachian Trail right now, so why not start with the beautiful Arizona Trail. I’d love to hike it from beginning to end! So for now, I’ll frequent the fabulous Farmer’s Markets in our area to get that fresh produce I crave and miss growing. A garden will happen again someday.

Arizona Trail
Arizona Trail 

I do think it’s important to consider your anchors when you think about setting up your mobile dwelling or if you plan to continuously stay mobile. Anchors are vital to a sane life even more so than I ever realized. So what’s your anchor? What keeps you sane and grounded during those rough patches in life? Everybody has them. You just have to recognize them!

We'll do tricks for travels