DEAD HORSE RANCH STATE PARK ARIZONA

Another fabulous State Park that is kept in great shape. Clean restrooms that are literally heated, free hot showers and clean, clean, clean. Sites are swept and tables are washed off as soon as it is vacated. The upper loops are $5.00 a night cheaper with great views of the Verde Valley. Quail loop campground was $35.00 a night, the upper loops $30.00 with spectacular views and less trees which make a difference in the warmer weather. Well that’s what the Ranger said anyway. . There are extensive trail systems for hiking, biking and horseback riding. You are miles from Sedona, Jerome, Cottonwood, Flagstaff and Clarksville. There is so much to see and do in the surrounding areas this campground makes for a great base camp.

The first day we visited Tuzigoot National Monument – Indian Ruins and Petroglyphs including a spectacular museum.

Montezuma’s Well WAS NEXT ON OUR LIST-more spectacular Indian ruins

Sedona Valley scenic byway was a beautiful drive with views and snow on the ground.

ALL ABOARD A FUN AND INTERACTIVE TRAIN RIDE

Like I said 2 weeks was probably not enough to see it all but we gave it a good try. In addition we visited Jerome and had a fabulous meal in a bordello called THE BORDELLO OF JEROME . The gyros were highly recommended and fantastic. The cook and owner made everything from scratch including the tzatziki sauce, pita bread and amazing feta crumbles, The lamb/beef mixture was non greasy and fantastic. We also roamed the streets of Cottonwood with lovely eclectic shops and a great BBQ restaurant called HOG WILD BBQ, I know the name is wild, ha but the food was outstanding.

Out next adventure takes us to Gilbert Ray Campground near Tucson AZ – see ya there CHEERS JEFF AND LIZ

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GRAPEVINE CANYON – LAUGHLIN NEVADA

This is one of those local hidden gems that no one tells you about and lucky we found it exploring around Laughlin, Nevada. About a mile off of the main highway on a dusty gravel road named Christmas Tree Road is a protected petroglyph site that beats any petroglyph site we have visited yet in our travels. The parking lot is well marked with a very clean restroom before the trailhead begins. From the parking lot is a easy 1/2 mile walk to the beginning of the cliffs, with plenty of beautiful scenery along the way.

Of course being the Thompsons we packed a lunch and plenty of water and probably spent a good half of a day exploring . The trail meanders around the rocks and petroglyphs for about 2 1/2 miles if you want to walk to the end. It’s a ruff go after the first mile with lots of rock climbing and literally sliding down cliffs but great fun for the young. This is a must adventure if you are in the area.

CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND

OUR NEXT DESTINATION IS DEAD HORSE RANCH STATE PARK IN ARIZONA

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DEATH VALLEY CALIFORNIA

DEATH VALLEY 2019 TRAVELS

We sadly departed Alabama Hills BLM Land and headed over Highway 190 through the Panamint pass, with a 8% grade entering Death Valley. At the very top of the pass a turnout called Father Crowley Vista Point is worth a stop. Just about the time we got out of our truck to enjoy the view fighter jets decided to put on a show of a lifetime for us and before our eyes the jets flew deep in the canyon yet so close to us you could almost see the pilots eyes. The canyon wasn’t straight and to witness the skill of the pilots was spectacular, this went on for over 30 minutes.. From this point on make sure your brakes are good and use your gears, as it is 8 miles at a 8 percent grade yet very scenic.

 We have now arrived at the floor of Death Valley, today it is 82 degrees, I can tell you we are not use to heat and it feels so warming and nice. We arrive at Sunrise  Camp ground with no one to check you in at the kiosk, it’s kind of cool you go to a self-check in stations ( which are scattered everywhere)  enter your information, slide your credit card and presto you go find a site anywhere you want as it is first come first serve.  The fees are $7.00 a night golden age and $14.00 regular. Totally dry camping, you do get very clean restrooms, water and free sewer dump.  Generators allowed with regulated operating hours. The camp hosts are amazing so friendly and helpful. In addition while we visited it was quiet, well except for the howling of the coyote’s, we chose camp site L1 with a vista view of the Funeral Mountains.

After settling in, we immediately head to the visitor’s center for maps, weather info and info on ranger talks. There is a lot to see and do from trail hiking, biking, arches to view and miles and miles of salt beds Ninety-one percent of Death Valley is designated wilderness, you must use common sense exploring this vast land. Before setting off on trails or roadways the park recommends one gallon of water, a day per person is required and you must stay on all trails and roadways. There are overly  friendly coyote’s you must not feed, sidewinder rattlesnakes that burrow under the rocks and sand waiting for kangaroo rats and the cutest burrows that bite and love to block traffic.

PS: Texas Spring is another campground with the same amities. Across the roadway is Furnace Creek Camp Ground with full amities if you desire.

The lonely Burrow

Join us on our next adventure to Lake Mead, maybe the weather will let us launch our kayak and do some water exploring.

CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND – JEFF AND LIZ 

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Redwood National Park CALIFORNIA

From Brookings, Oregon and a mere 30 mile drive the Redwoods begin. Large and empowering giants standing guard on the edges of the Redwood Highway with vista views of the Pacific Ocean. What a beginning to our next ADVENTURE.

You are in Redwood National Park. If you travel north of Elk Country RV park past Berry Glen and turn west on Newton B Drury scenic parkway and stop at the combined California state park and national park visitors center. You can then proceed for 10 miles of amazing redwood trails and vistas.

NOTE: We hadn’t expected that all of the National Parks throughout our journey would be closed due to Political issues, so our adventure was condensed. The National and State Park volunteers and Rangers are so accommodating and helpful they want you to have a wonderful experience in spite of political issues. The main trails to lots of huge Redwoods were closed, Visitor Centers and some restrooms depending on if they fell under State or Federal.

Despite the closers we did get to see a lot of The Redwoods and many large trees and definitely felt the Redwood experience.

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Until Our Next Adventure – Cheers from JUST AROUND THE BEND 

NEXT STOP NAPA VALLEY CALIFORNIA

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Yosemite National Park California USA

 

 

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It’s the end of February 2018 in Yosemite National Park, usually the weather is freezing cold, windy and lots of snow on the ground. For some unseasonably reason this particular day  is zero wind, 72 degrees and literally has a hand full of tourists exploring this extraordinary valley..  This was an especially great day (aside from the weather being perfect) because our granddaughter Kiley and our daughter Sarah joined us. We packed a yummy lunch and lots of iced tea and spent the day hiking the beautifully groomed trails to scenic waterways and waterfalls.

Yosemite National Park offers an abundance of activities and sightseeing destinations. The Valley is a 7 mile wide canyon with incredible rock formations, including El Capitan, the world’s tallest granite monolith and one of the world’s top rock climbing destinations. Yosemite Falls is the largest waterfall in North America with breathtaking views. Peak visitation at the falls is in the spring as it is comprised entirely of melting snow. The park is also known for its Giant Sequoia trees, which are estimated to be over 3,000 years old. Its a must see, if you want to camp make reservations super early as the demand is high. People have enjoyed the tradition of camping in Yosemite for generations. However, getting a campsite in Yosemite is not always easy.

Campground Reservations. Recreation.gov . RV Camping. Pines Campgrounds. Camp 4. WawonaBridalveil CreekHodgdon MeadowCrane FlatTamarack FlatWhite Wolf. Yosemite Creek. Porcupine Flat. Tuolumne Meadows. There are also first come first serve sites available, but you must get there early.

There is such an abundance of things to do in Yosemite one day just isn’t enough.

Fishing, Biking, Hiking, Gold Panning, Arts and Culture, Spas, Breweries and extraordinary guided tours. Oh don’t forget rock climbing, golf, Rafting, Horseback Riding, Zip Lining, fine dining to  Pizza and good old burgers are also abundant.

Hope to see you on the trail and hope you visit Yosemite National Park Soon.

Cheers from Just Around the Bend♥♥♥♥♥liz-logo-1

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Metolius River Camping in Oregon

I was having a conversation recently with a friend which brought up the subject of  RVing. She asked me if I would ever prefer to leave the RV or Tent parked at home and go on a road trip staying in a B & B, hotel, motel etc!  Admitattley I answered NO. So in my long winded way I explained why. I know my husband and I are not the only ones that feel this way as we have met many RVrs and snow birds experiencing the same journey.

There is nothing like having your home (comfort zone) with you, I personally love the fact I can cook healthy fresh food and not break the bank. We also love our own comfy bed and concealed weapons (just kidding).

This is the Metolius River camping part. For the past seven days we have been camped at Smiling River Campground site #22, less than 100 feet from the most glorious, pure flowing river, we have ever experienced.  We do this every spring and fall at a mere $7.00 a night.. This is why we dont stay at B & B’s, hotels etc. Settled in acampground there is a campfire feel of calmness, the tranquille sounds of the river flowing over rocks and its many changing sounds.  Then there is many mixed aromas, grilled trout someone just caught, steaks BBQing and grilled veggies . But it’s the campfire thats the real star, you cannot sit around a campfire telling stories and roasting smores with your grandchildren in a hotel room. We look up at the stars at night and feel such a part of this earth, this is pure relaxation and what its all about.

Lots To Do

The beautifully groomed trails along the metolious wind along the river for miles.

The head of The Metolius has a paved 1/4 mile walkway-to view the beginning of the river-a must to witness

Wizard Falls Fish hatchery-so fun

Camp Sherman General Store is a fun experience with a state of the art fly fishing dept.

Fly Fishing

Kayacking

Birding

Mushrooming

Geo Caching

Fine Lodging and dining

ATV Opportunities and hunting

Hope you enjoy my pictures and maybe someday you can experience the RV life.

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Cheers from Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥                                           Harvest Hosts Affiliate Banner

Ft Worth Texas- Family – Zoo – Botanic Gardens – Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge – Dinosaur Valley State Park – Waco Magnolia At The Silos

Ft Worth Texas

We were was so excited to finally arrive in Ft Worth, to spend the holidays with our daughter, son in law and two grandsons. We arrived just before Thanksgiving and left 3 days after Christmas, we definitely broke our 3 day rule. But we got to be woken up almost every morning by a three year old who would crawl in bed with us, cuddle up and want his grandpa to go hide so he could find him. This was 6 am in the morning Texas  time and 4 am Bend, Oregon time and truly what great memories are made of. Well I could have used some (lots) of coffee and really needed to brush my teeth, but no this little guy just wanted to play, snaky, snaky, hiding rubber snakes all over the house. I will never forget the sound of the boys voices, their feet running on the wooden floors and getting to explore Ft Worth with them.

First thing we did was join the Ft worth Zoo and we visited a lot. Our two grandsons Cole and Bryce know every name of every snake, lizard, alligator, etc. The Ft worth Zoo has won many awards for being one of the best in the nation and for good reason. Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. The zoo now is home to 5,000 native and exotic animals and has been named the top zoo in the nation.

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The holidays were amazing, with an elf appearing every morning in a different location around the house, a Christmas parade downtown Ft Worth and the most beautifully decorated neighborhoods. We even got to attend a TCU versus Baylor football game, thanks to our son in law. To much fun.

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Our next exploration with the boys was The Botanic Gardens a living museum. A beautiful self guided tour of groomed trails, featuring numerous native plants and trees. . This day we were in search of a snapping turtle which makes his home in one of the many streams and beautiful water features and per the boys -loves granola bars. To Funny!!

Next fun adventure with the boys was The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. A natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands allowing you to step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. First stop was the visitor center because we just had to see the texas Alligator and numerous snakes on display. The very nice ranger on duty brought out a snake for the boys to touch, well I had to touch also. We then explored the groomed trails and had a fun picnic on the shore of Lake Worth. Now that the boys are fed its off to do some geocaching along the trails and lake. Fun day, lots of special memories.

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Dinosaur Valley State Park-Where Dinosaurs Roamed

Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.

We packed a lunch, lots of water and set off for Dinosaur Valley State park, a meir 58 mile drive from Ft Worth with typical Texas scenery. (SNORE). Ok, sorry for the comment but when you are from Oregon you start to miss the color GREEN. What a fun day, the boys were in heaven trying to catch tiny fish in the Paluxy river overtop dinosaur tracks. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love the 200 million-year-old fossil trackway. You can spend a whole day exploring the groomed, vista trails.

WACO-Magnolia, Chip and Joanna, need I say more. A 90 mile drive from Ft Worth and you are in Waco eating cinnamon rolls and Joanna’s famous cupcakes at Magnolia. There’s a little something for everyone and another fun day exploring the beautiful grounds and shopping, it’s definitely worth a stop. Everything has been carefully thought out for your comfort and pleasure, from a bite to eat, covered rest areas to a safe large play area for kids.

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Cheers From Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥ liz-logo-1