Itinerary Update 2017 & 2018

After a long pause without good wi-fi and a month in England, we have updated our adventure plans for 2017 and started the plans for 2018

Click HERE for 2017 Update

Click HERE for 2018 Update

We look forward to meeting you somewhere on our travels –

Richard & Louise – and Cali

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Cali is Officially Ours

As some of you know, our Motorhome is named after our cat Tigger, a beautiful calico who we treasured for almost 15 years after adopting her from the rescue center near Metuchen, NJ. Tigger left us just under 3 years ago in Naples, Florida.

Nine weeks ago today, we were fortunate enough to be chosen by an abandoned cat in Soledad Canyon campground. A beautiful short haired black cat let us talk with her, pick her up and invite her into our motorhome where she immediately hid in the dashboard and would not come out on our departure day. Others at the campground assured us we were the only people who had been able to pick her up. The Ranger told us she had been abandoned four months earlier. In spite of mountain lions, cougars and coyotes she managed to survive; clean, healthy although a bit underfed.

The First Day we met Cali

Aren’t I Cute? – Please say YES!

We named her Cali, for California, as we did not know if she was a girl or boy. But we thought she was a girl. She slept a lot and cuddled with us whenever we offered her a lap. She hides away from the loud noises the motorhome makes on travel days in various hiding places we didn’t even know we had. But mostly she stays close to us both.

Feeling at Home at Last!

While staying near Olympia, WA we took her to a vet, who said she was a she, healthy, almost double the weight when we found her, probably about 4 years old and that she was chipped. So we contacted the chip company who made phone calls and sent emails to her previous owner. After a week with no response, they said we are now Cali’s new owners. Cali was previously called “Shadow”, had been rescued before as she had been chipped by the LA County Animal Care and Control  and, in fact, is 10 years old (January 2010),

Watching the World go by – from a safe place

We are very fortunate that Cali, in the same way as Tigger, chose us. There are so many similarities in behavior and loving personality that we are convinced that Tigger sent her to us.

Don’t you just love native art?

YES! They are mine at last!

We missed having a cat but were not actively looking while we still make our 2 trips per year to the UK. But Cali prevailed. She is now part of our daily FaceTime with Richard’s Mum who loves to see and talk with Cali and is really looking forward to Cali getting a passport so she can join us on our UK visits.

 

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Simply The Best Seafood Tacos

This is our Go-To Seafood Taco Restaurant.  It is TJ’s Oyster Bar in Bonita, Southern California.  It is a tiny “Hole in the Wall” Restaurant with a few tables and seats at the counter, but it is always busy!

TJ’s Oyster Bar Shopfront

Interior shot of TJ’s Oyster Bar

Interior of TJ’s Oyster Bar

In fact the Zagat sent out a post on the top 15 Taco Restaurants in the USA – it was on their list!

Everything is divine.  We enjoy the broth with seafood (really seafood with broth – see below), their smoked tuna (with cheese) tacos and burritos are fantastic and their Seafood Burrito is my personal favorite.

Broth with Seafood and Seafood Burrito

Smoked Tuna Burrito

We visit when we are staying in the Pio Pico Thousand Trails campground in Jamul, but Zagat list it as San Diego.  So if you are in that vicinity treat yourself to an exquisite meal at extremely reasonable prices.

Menu and Price List

Gear: iPhone 6

Posted in General Information, Place to Eat, Places to Revisit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Death Valley – What An Amazing Park

Our last visit to Death Valley National Park was in 2010, before we had a Motor home (and while I was still shooting black and white film and chromes in my Hasselblad).  We had to delay that particular trip as a storm had knocked out the power in our town and our basement flooded.  But we had eight days and we discovered that was nowhere near long enough!

So we planned a visit for sixteen days this time and it still wasn’t enough!  So we will be back and for even longer next time (not that daytime temperatures in the 70s is a problem in February!).  We stayed at Fiddler’s Campground (Xanterra) although no hook-ups, the dump station was just outside of the campground – but we did get to enjoy their swimming pool, naturally heated to 85F by a local hot spring!

This was also my first visit with my Nikons so it was really exciting.  We did the traditional sunrise at Zabriskie Point (spectacular) but also the less covered sunrise from Dante’s View (fantastic).

Sunrise , Manly Beacon, Zabriskie Point

Death Valley Sunrise from Dante’s View

Panorama of Sunrise from Dante’s View looking East

Detail from “Panorama of Sunrise from Dante’s View looking East”

We also were surprised in Dante’s View carpark by a rather tame sporting bird (origins in the Middle East) who came when called to, just like a cat or dog – obviously very used to humans who unfortunately have been feeding him.

Chukar (Alectoris chukar)

Snowflake also enjoyed a couple of trails on some of the many unmaintained roads (4×4 HCVs).

Echo Canyon Trail for 4X4 HCVs (Snowflake Exceeds)

She performed admirably except for a puncture. That is when we discovered that the spare wasn’t a full sized spare – who, in their right minds, would supply a Land Rover with a donut spare?!?!?!?!  This did curtail some of our activity as I knew the speed limit for the donut was 50 mph, but I did not know about the distance limit of 120 miles.  But we will resolve this issue next week and have a full sized spare.

The visit to the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282′ below sea level) Badwater Salt Flats was rewarded with a rain storm.  The rain would fall, land on us but we were instantly dry! And YES we did see the rainbow! Nearly a double.

Badwater Salt Flats, Death Valley

Panorama of Storm with God Beams passing over Badwater Salt Flats, Death Valley

Detail from “Panorama of Storm with God Beams passing over Badwater Salt Flats, Death Valley”

Rainbow at Badwater Salt Flats, Death Valley

The hike around the Ubehebe volcano was great fun and provided a whole new series of erosion patterns on the lava rock.

Ubehebe Volcano trail, Death Valley National Park

Unfortunately we didn’t have our golf clubs with us, so we could only look in search of the first green at The Devil’s Golf Course

The Devil’s Golf Course in Death Valley (282′ BELOW Sea level!)

Gear: Nikon D800, Nikkor 80.0-400.0mm f/4.5-5.6 VRIII, Nikkor 24.0-70.0mm f/2.8, Nikkor 18.0-35.0mm f/3.5-4.5, RRS tripod & Ball-head, Lexar Digital Film, Land Rover LR2

Posted in Landscapes, Mountains, National Parks, Places to Revisit, Sunrise/Sunsets | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2017 Travel Planning started

2017 Destinations

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