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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ALABAMA HILLS CALIFORNIA

THE ALABAMA  HILLS

This destination has been on our bucket list for some time, now that we have arrived it is has been well worth the very scenic drive. Alabama Hills is BLM land, with wide open spaces and very large rock formations that look like they could come alive at any minute. Over 400 motion pictures, TV shows and commercials have been filmed here.  Ironically as you enter the area, the roadways name is  movie road. You can obtain a detailed map at the Eastern Sierra Mountain Visitors Center. 

There is a selected few dry camping spots as the BLM is re thinking the usage of the area and in the future may eliminate the free camping. This is due to heavy usage and the destruction of the plants and land. There is two designated camping sites with fees and not much amenities.

Located in the city of Lone Pine, The Museum of Western Film History is worth a stop. For a $5.00 donation the museum includes a history documentary on the film history of the Alabama hills and over 40 on going exhibits containing memorabilia and information about westerns from the earliest days of the silent screen to some of the latest. The staff also offer tours of the Alabama Hills showing you special film locations.

Next stop 15 miles up the roadway is a Internment Camp Museum called MANZANAR. Extremely well presented with actual buildings you can tour and artifacts that humble you. This is a national historic site. Give yourself at least two hours for touring the museum and camp. There is also a drive around the perimeter of the camp with stops along the way. A must see.

Please join us on our next adventure at Death Valley California

CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND

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RED ROCK CANYON CALIFORNIA

I was born and raised in California, everyone I have spoken to about our next adventure have never heard of Red Rock Canyon State Park. Its actually on the way to The Alabama Hills so why not, let’s explore one of California’s least known State Parks. We took Highway 58 from Bakersfield toward Mohave and North on Highway 14, in a little over 20 miles of pure desert you begin to travel into a different land. WOW- you would think you were in the middle of a Indiana Jones movie. In fact many movies, videos and commercials have been filmed here.

Most of the campsites are nestled into the brown cliffs and at night the camp fires danced literally off of the rocks. These fluted brown folds are the result of wind and rain eroding the softer materials. Very nice hiking trails, a beautiful nature walk which starts at the Visitor Center..

Restrooms are very clean with a $20.00 dump site fee. Camp fees are $23.00 a night with a $2.00 discount for seniors. Dry Camping includes tables and a fire pit with spectacular views.

On a personal note we could have stayed here a long time, the campground was extremely quiet with just the sounds of coyotes and the breathtaking hiking trails really ticked alot of our personal boxes. Would highly recommend.

Please join us for our next adventure in The Alabama Hills – see you there!!!

CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND – JEFF AND LIZ

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Fort Stevens State Park – Oregon

Fort Stevens State Park in the fall is another 10 experience. The weather has been perfect with 72 degree days and 60 degree nights. Wind, none-that’s unheard of at the beach-right. Even though the park is literally packed with snow-birds, you would never know it. You practically have the most pristine paved trails to yourself and once you are back in  camp, it’s quiet and so relaxing. The campsites are situated so you have ample privacy, lots of trees and vegetation separating you from your neighbor. All sites have fire pits, tables, water and electric. Two larger loops have full hookups. Restrooms are clean, pretty modern with token paid showers. Full hookup for us was $32,00 a night, well worth it.

Our first day we were so excited to explore the many bikes trails, we actually got up early, packed snacks, water and off we biked hoping to end up at the beach. We geocached along the way and found many, ending up at the beach and exploring  a wrecked cargo ship named The Peter Iredale . Well what’s left of it.

Second Day was exploring bunkers, watching ships come in and out of the mouth of the Columbia River and more biking. This particular bike exploration brought us to a new trail which led to a very pregnant very large elk just grazing in a marsh right next to the trail. Wow are they big! The last day of our time here we are going to spend at the beach and yes probably get there by bicycles. What a fun, relaxing and memorable time this has been.

 

 

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What To Do Here:

First thing we did was get our bikes unloaded and hit the many miles of beautiful trails.

Find the beach – yes we rode our bikes directly to the beach- You can drive there also.

Tour the many bunkers

Geocache – So many very creative caches to be found, most you can find on your bikes or by walking, we found many!!!

Start a fire in your fire pit  and relax

Explore The City Of Astoria and be sure to ride the train

Visit The  Peter Iredale a wrecked cargo ship

See you next time from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Purple Haze Lavender Farm

This is our second Harvest Host experience and believe me another amazing adventure. The hosts and helpers are all so friendly making you feel right at home. Upon our arrival fall was certainly in the air

When you visit the Sequim lavender farm at Purple Haze, you are invited to wander the fields, enjoy the beauty of this sweet smelling herb, pick your own bouquet of flowers and picnic on the lawns. This of course depending on the season. We arrived in late September so the store at the farm was closed, yet we were welcome to wander around and even stay with our RV for the night. As members of Harvest Hosts this was a very nice option. I  need to mention that Purple Haze has a gift and ice cream shop in downtown Sequim. The shop is adorable and the lavender ice cream is amazing, well worth the drive into town. At this time the lavender farm is closed so head downtown Sequim to their unique and aromatic store and dont forget the ice cream, it is amazing.

 A Little History
Lavender is a plant rich in history and myth. With its roots in the ancient herbalists, lavender’s properties as a disinfectant and antiseptic grew through the centuries, even gaining the reputation of warding off the plague. Lavender’s popularity with the English royalty gave it a berth in the ranks of a cosmetic herb, and it was with Queen Victoria that lavender was recognized as a tonic for nerves.

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Until Our Next Adventure From Just Around The Bend

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CLIFFSIDE RV PARK WHIDBEY Island, WA

We are headed to Cliffside RV Park to meet up with our son Ian and his adorable wife Alicia for a family camping experience. They have just recently purchased a 23 foot Keystone Passport Travel Trailer, so this will be fun.

Nestled along the shoreline of NAS Whidbey, Cliffside offers 57RV sites as well as several tent sites, and six furnished yurts overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Peninsula. These sites offer water and electrical hookups; there are great restroom and shower facilities in each loop. More than that, these homes away from home provide the ambiance of shoreline living, an open window on an ever-changing marine environment and unparalleled sunsets. There are several miles of private military beach strewn with interesting driftwood and lots and lots of rocks.

Our camping site faced the Strait of Juan de Fuca, couldn’t have been more perfect, even the weather cooperated. We explored  surrounding capes, abandoned bunkers, homemade ice cream and fresh fish caught that very day. Staying in camp was a relaxing treat, to sit in our chairs, drinking fresh made Kombucha and listening to the soft sound of the ocean. Then there is the trail system, miles of paved walking or biking trails with views of the ocean and driftwood art along the way.

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 Until Our Next Adventure Hope To Meet You On The Road – Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥
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Historic Sumpter – Oregon

Sumpter Oregon population in 2010 was 204 people. It is named after Fort Sumter by its Founders and known as the gold rush ghost town of Southern Oregon. Once sported seven hotels, 16 saloons, 3 newspapers, two churches a Opera House in addition to two Banks and a famous red light district.

Three times a year Sumpter has a very famous flea market, Memorial weekend 4th of July and Labor Day weekend. With over a thousand people with umpteen million things to sell, trade and barter for.

Stretched for miles across the Sumpter Valley and following Cracker Creek in the Powder River are mounds and mounds of rock and debris, remnants of the dredges that once operated in this Valley.

A fun historic town to explore and don’t forget the famous flea market, see you there sometime!!!

Oh and I might have left a Bend Rock behind, painted by my daughter Sarah.
Until Next Time from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥

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