HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT

HOVENWEEP: Indian ruins are fascinating and the history is incredible. The harshness of this country makes you wonder how in the world did these people manage. The ruins are mostly destroyed by looters and the test of time, but definitely worth a stop.

Our Next Exploration is Monument Valley, Natural Bridges, Mexican Hat and The famous Goosenecks S.P.

Cheers Jeff and Liz

Arches National Park- Canyon Lands and The Needles

Leaving the Swell we headed for Horse Thief BLM Campground, a beautiful drive 20 miles from Moab heading towards Canyonlands National park on Hwy 313, eight miles off of Hwy 191. The campground is very beautiful, campsites are nestled in amongst pinon pines and Utah juniper with panoramic views of the upper high dessert.

Sites are large and very private and just $10.00 a night. Amenities are again very clean pit toilets’, fire ring and a camp table. Just 8 miles up the road was Dead Horse S.P. and Canyon Lands N.P. and the Island In The Sky Section. Mountain Biking is abundant and the bike trails are everywhere and amazing. Jeep and side by sides are everywhere, but all trail riding and back road jeeping requires a permit.

We decided to bike from Moab to the Arches visitors center on our Blix Electric Bikes, the bike trail is paved and so much fun. Speed limit was 20 miles per hour, to funny because you could go a lot faster down some of those hills and we might have. It was so much fun we continued down the bike trail all the way to Hwy 313, In all we biked 21 miles and found about 8 geo caches ALONG THE WAY.

Arches N.P. requires you to make reservations to visit during the day time. BUT, if you enter the park at 5pm, you dont need reservations. So that’s what we did and worked well for us, less people and parking was great. Arches is so far in our travels a mind blowing experience of amazing wonders. This is our second time to visit, never gets old.

We spent a day in Canyon Land – The Needles and hiked to Indian ruins and lots of petroglyph’s. Very unique landscape and much different from Arches.

We tried out the Plant Based food in Moab and what a treat. It happened to be our 27th anniversary so we went a little crazy finding the best food ever. We first tried Quesadilla Mobilla and ordered the Vegetarian Quesadilla, no words can describe how good these were and I will be making these at home from now on -YUM. Oh no we aren’t finished, we were advised to try the Rainbowls Food Truck and order The Gold Knob Nachos made with plant based walnut taco meat with cashew cheese sauce, incredible. We were so happy we found such excellent Plant Based food. The finale was The Garage, a hip ice cream store we had visited on our last visit. The owner offered to make us both affogatos with their signature coffee, no words again so darn good. What a great Day! After all of that indulging we headed out to hike some trails and find some geo caches.

NEXT: Due to a weather anomaly (THATS WHAT THE RANGER TOLD US) we headed from the dessert to Blanding, Utah and luckily got a RV site at Blue Mountain RV and Trading Post. The wind advisory was 29 to 60 miles an hour and 20 degrees at night. We tucked in and stayed pretty warm, but our RV was litterly rocking all night long with 40 to 50 miles an hour wind gusts, it was scary.

CHEERS JEFF AND LIZ

NEXT HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT

The San Rafael Swell Utah – BLM camping

Its April 1, 2022 and we are fully loaded, probably overloaded if you know us headed to our first BLM experience at the Swell. We have given ourselves two days to reach the Swell. Stopping at a truck stop in Winnemucca, Nevada for our fist night and our second night at Rowley’s Red Barn in Santaquin, UT. This was a Harvest Host location and a lot of fun with great ice cream. We woke up early to snow capped mountain views and hurriedly headed to The Bonneville Salt Flats. First impressions, Flat, Vast and super white. Encompassing approx. 40 square miles and 7 miles long, you can drive on the flats as far as you can see. Very unique, you got to visit just once.

The drive from Nevada into Utah is definitely a high dessert experience, rolling hills, sage brush and sand dunes, surrounded by snow topped glacier carved mountains. Its mile after mile of sand and sage yet with this said there is a peaceful beauty. We headed down route 10 to Castle Dale and headed East into the San Rafael Swell. We stayed in a BLM campground named N. Swinging bridge. Amenities were a actual clean pit toilet that didn’t smell and cleaned daily , a picnic table and a fire ring. NO water is available in the whole area and we were twenty eight miles from a paved road. At $3.50 a night not bad, we were very prepared for this and only one other camper in the campground, very peaceful.

The next 2 days we spent exploring petroglyph’s and pictograph’s, hiking through slot canyons and even a dinosaur foot print. The views and the rock formations were incredible. the roads are ruff, wash boarded and dusty. We especially loved the Little Grand Canyon view point.

Next Stop Arches National park

Cheers for Jeff and Liz

PS: Not everything is perfect on the road. We had to buy a new battery for our Honda CRV that we tow, but luckily we were in Santaquin and not in the middle of Swell. Otherwise all systems are working great.

Winnebago Navion – Our new Adventure

Hey friends, we have changed gears and shifted in a new direction. For those who don’t know us we are Jeff and Liz and to our loyal followers welcome back. We are excited to share our new adventure with you all. After much discussion, many pots of tea and crunching numbers we decided to put our 25P Artic Fox up for sale. After many miles, many great memories and RV Adventures we found just the right buyer to continue the Artic Fox’s Journey. Now your wondering what the heck did we do!!! WE purchased a 2018 Winnebago Navion, 24 D on a Mercedes Chassis. Jeff had been shopping and crunching numbers searching all over the USA for just the right fit and price. We found our dream Winnebago, no not in Oregon or even a couple of States away, but in Florida. We have never been to Florida and didn’t really realize at the time how gosh darn far Florida is. But being crazy adventurers that we are, we packed our Honda, notified our family of our crazy idea and set forth to Florida. We decided if we were going to drive that far to pick up our RV we would make a grand trip out of it. It all turned out quite wonderfully as we got to spend a night with our cousin Denny in Arizona, our Son in Law, daughter and grand kids in Ft Worth, Texas and finally arriving in Florida.

My first reaction at seeing our new NAV in person was oh my its really Bougie. We were both so pleased that our purchase was everything we hoped and in perfect condition. Now our first NAV adventure begins. We decided to work our way down the coast to Pensacola Florida and stayed our first night at the Elks Lodge to work out how the heck all of these fancy new buttons and switches work. That took two days, I told you its fancy. We used our Honda to day trip in Florida , visiting The Blue Spring State Park, famous for viewing over 300 manatees, spectacular and explored the Gulf Gulf Islands National Seashore, National Park. From Florida we headed to Goose Island State Park in Texas spending several days exploring the Aransas National Wildlife Area. We were on a little bit of a time line as we wanted to make it to Ft Worth Texas for our Grandsons golf tournament and of course Christmas with our family.

Heading for home in our new RV, we left Ft Worth a day before New years Day as a storm system was heading our way. We spent our first night in Davis State Park, getting to view our first wild javelina’s. I’ll give you a list of of our journey to home, instead of going into such detail for each stop.

Rock Hound St Park, New Mexico – Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Arizona – Joshua Tree, California – Our daughters in Waterford, California – Lake McClure, California – Chacewater Winery, California – Brookings (Elks) Oregon – Florence (Elks) – Oregon – Tillamook Blue Heron French Cheese Factory, Oregon and finally home!!!

We soon became very familiar with our new NAV and I had to say I personally love to drive it. I am only 5 feet tall and to find a vehicle to fit me with comfort and safety is very important. Its loaded with amenities making our lives easier. Our next adventure is a shack down trip to Camp Sherman for a few days, but right now its snowing so as soon as it gets a little warmer than 20 degrees we will head out. Then comes the next big trip, I am so excited, we are headed to the big 5!!! Please stay turned as its going to be exciting.

Cheers – Jeff and Liz

Florence Oregon – 2021 Road Trip Adventure

Our oldest daughter is getting married on June 26, 2021. So what do we do, we make a RV adventure trip out of it. Well we have to drive from Bend, Oregon to Central California right, so why not RV our way to the wedding. We packed our trailer and decided our first stop would be Florence, Oregon, yes right on the beautiful Oregon coast. What I didn’t tell you was that we left 28 days before the wedding so we could explore our way down the Oregon coast to Napa Valley and then to Waterford, California. Hey its a wedding, so lets make it fun, right.

Why not make a travel adventure out of an upcoming family wedding? This idea spurred us into loading up the trailer, and leaving three weeks earlier than the official wedding date. Hey, y’all! This is an adventure and it is time to start having fun again! So, we left home on May 31, 2021 and headed to our first shake down stop in Florence, Oregon for five whole glorious days…….

We are camped at the Elk’s camp ground, just outside Florence, about a mile out of town. Note – must be a member to use their facilities. The camp ground itself is very clean, quiet, and well maintained. The camp hosts are super friendly and helpful. Sites are multi sizes, lots of pull-thru sites and back-in sites for larger rigs. At $25.00 a night its pretty reasonable and includes water, electric and a state of the art dump station. The restrooms are extremely clean, including very nice showers with lots of hot water. Bonus! Each site is separated by greenery and oversized shrubbery, which makes for lots of privacy. I would say its has a very geriatric vibe. Honestly our grand children would be bored here, not much to do for kiddos but the beach is only 1 mile away, so that’s a plus.

Speaking of beach’s, if tide pools are your thing, this is the place. From Seaside, Oregon towards the California border at Brookings there are 27 Oregon Coast Rocky Intertidal Sites to explore. Oh, what fun! I’ll name you a few of our favorites:

Yachats State Recreation Site

Cape Perpetua

Strawberry Hill

Our very favorite is Bob Creek – lots of agates, star fish, crab and sea anemones. Also great for whale watching!

Walking the streets of Florence and the fun shops is a must and I would highly suggest having lunch or dinner at Homegrown for a delightful experience. Everything is made fresh, homemade, local, and organic…so delicious! We ordered the fish tacos and a chia seed burger with a side of the best clam chowder we have ever had, hands down.

Our next stop is Alfred A. Loeb State Park.

Stay tuned for more adventures…

Cheers from Just Around The Bend – Jeff and Liz

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

 

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Is A Must Visit

Better start early for this sonoran experience, winter is the best time to visit as the temperatures are a perfect 65ish degrees. We packed a lunch, cameras, water bottles and good hiking boots and literally spent all day exploring,  joining all of the free seminars. The bird presentation was amazing – Raptor Free Flight (seasonal), where visitors watch from the flight path as native birds of prey whiz by so close visitors can feel the brush of feathers. There are two presentations daily and each demonstrates different birds. One program showcases Harris’ Hawks, the only raptors in the world that hunt as a family group using strategy, like wolves.

The snake and reptile program scared me to death, with rattlesnakes  20 feet away yikes. There are three live animal presentations: Live and (sort of) on the Loose, showcasing often-misunderstood venomous reptiles

  • A visit will forever alter your definition of the museum as 85% of what you will experience is outdoors.
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  • The grounds are comprised of 97 acres of which 47 are developed and curated; there are two miles of walking paths, 16 individual gardens, 1,200 native plant species and 56,000 individual plants.
  • The animal collection currently includes 230 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds including a multi-species hummingbird aviary.
  • The Museum includes an Earth Sciences Center which recreates an underground cave, complete with stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Refillable water bottle stations and fountains are located throughout the grounds.
  • Dispensers with complimentary sunscreen are located in most restrooms.
  • The museum is open daily, year-round; hours vary by season. On Summer Saturday evenings the Museum is open until 10:00 p.m. with themed programs especially for families after 6 p.m.
  • Most demonstrations, live animal presentations and primary exhibits are included in the admission price.
  • The Museum is located 14 miles west of Tucson in Tucson Mountain Park at 2021 N. Kinney Rd. just 2 miles from Saguaro National Park (West) Visitors Center.

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site – Arizona

Squeaky wooden floors greet your entry into the oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation. Hubbell’s mercantile has been serving Ganado selling groceries, grain, hardware, horse tack, coffee and Native American Art since 1878.

Discover Hubbell Trading Post NHS, where history is made every day a National historic site on Highway 191, north of Chambers, with an exhibit center in Ganado, Arizona. It is considered a meeting ground of two cultures between the Navajo and the settlers who came to the area to trade. It truly takes you back in time. A lovely visitors center with a interesting tour of the original Hubbell Farm House. Definitely worth a stop, with plenty of RV parking, picnic tables and clean restrooms.

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Until Our Next Adventure Cheers From Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥

liz-logo-1