Grammy’s House

We’ve been in Grants Pass for just about two weeks now. We’re staying with Jeff’s Grammy and getting time to spend with his family here. His grandfather passed away not too long ago so it’s nice to be able to be with Grammy. She seems to be enjoying our company and hosting our stay. Jeff’s been working this last week with his uncle and will continue to work for two more weeks, so I stay at home with Grammy and we find things to do. Her and I run errands, chat over coffee (or tea), do a little yard work or conjure up something yummy for dinner. Grammy just got a new puppy too so much of our day is spent training and running after the little stinker.

His grandmother’s home is just outside of town with a lovely view of the surrounding mountains. The mountains seem so close I feel like I could just walk across the street and right on up a trail. Birds come from all directions and greet you with their songs as you walk out the back door and sometimes a light breeze wraps around your shoulders as you sit in the warm sun. If you explore too far behind Grammy’s house you’ll run into bushes of wild blackberries, they’re a sweet treat to pick in the late of a summer afternoon. We put a hummingbird feeder up at Grammy’s kitchen window and within 24 hours, we had little buzzing hummingbirds fighting over the little yellow flowers on the feeder. She is really enjoying watching them and gets as excited as a young school girl when one of the little birds shows up as she stands there doing dishes.

Vanna is currently being used as a work van. All of our bedding and even the mattress has been removed as Jeff is using her to go back and forth to work. Most of our things we kept under the bed have taken over one side of Grammy’s garage. Rakes, shovels and other concrete tools now replace our totes and luggage. I got in the van the other day, in just a week of work it’s gotten so dirty, I can only imagine how dirty it’ll be when he’s done working in two more weeks. Our ‘house’ will be in need of a good cleaning before we get back on the road and continue our journey.

My back, well my whole body is enjoying some rest outside of the van. I got away from doing my yoga, so I’m trying to get back into it while we’re planted here in Oregon for a few weeks. Jeff’s cousin works at the YMCA here in town and gave me a few day passes, so I’m going to try to get a little swimming in. (ok, ok I’m probably just going to splash around like a dying seal) I’m also thinking about looking for some volunteer opportunities to keep me occupied while Jeff works. There’s a farm right down the street that supplies fresh food to the county’s food bank, I think I may give them a call. Gardening is always good for body and the soul.

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Grammy and I making dinner
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Vanna at Grammy’s
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Jeff taking photos in Grammy’s backyard 

I love the Smell of Gasoline in the Morning

Our van has been giving us a little bit of trouble again. Fuel is still leaking from below, it leaks the most when we completely fill the gas up or when go over lots of bumps. It’s not a lot of leaking but enough to make a smell and annoy us. Then the last week or so when we try starting her up, it takes a long time or doesn’t even start at all. We eventually get it started and then the van is fine for the rest of day. Jeff is pretty dang sure it’s all still related to the fuel pump we had fixed back in Arizona.

We’re in Grants Pass, Oregon now visiting with Jeff’s Grammy and family. While we’re here Jeff is going to work for his uncle for a couple weeks so we can make a little money to continue on our journey. He starts work on Monday and will need the van to get here and there. He’s going to be spending time over the weekend trying to fix it. We’re crossing our fingers we can figure it out so he can get to work and so Vanna doesn’t leave us stranded anywhere.

Sweetest Award

Our blog was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by Pamela @ Bee Organized With Pamela We’d really like to thank you Pamela, it’s very much appreciated!!
Pamela’s blog is the greatest thing for those needing some tips on organizing all the necessary things in life. Lets face it, we could all use a little organizing and order to the chaos, even if we just start with the dreaded junk drawer. She gives clever advice and has some really neat ideas too! Find her here and follow her on facebook too!!

So what is the Liebster Award anyway? As a new blogger on the scene, I had never heard of such of a thing, so I had to do a little digging around on the good old internet. I found this: it is an award given only online to bloggers from other bloggers. It helps new (or newerish) blogs get more recognition from the public, which is great because that’s why we write our blogs, so the people will read them. (Yay!!) The term Liebster is German and means; sweetest, kindest, dearest, lovely, etc… You can find the official rules for 2016 here.

Here are my answers to Pamela’s questions. Now, even though the blog is ‘our’ blog, I am the primary writer, so questions and random facts will be pertaining just to myself.

1. A person whom inspires me would be my older cousin Deana. She’s always been one of the people in my life I’ve looked up to. She’s one of the toughest women I know; mind, body and soul. And she has the most generous heart. She inspires me to be a better person everyday.

2. A favorited place traveled is easy as we haven’t traveled too many places quite yet. I’m going to have to say Yosemite NP (Ask again in a few weeks and I may change my other mind). Absolutely the most beautiful land I’ve seen yet.

3.Brazil is the place I’d like to travel to one day. It’s always been one of those far away places that seems so exotic and dreamy.

4. I haven’t read many books lately (still trying to get through Pride&Predujice&Zombies) but Running With Scissors was always a favorite, it’s such a dark yet comedic look into his world.

5. Secret talents? That’s a tough one, I don’t want to let out all of my secrets out at once… but I am quite crafty in the kitchen. I love finding the last few things in the fridge and seeing what comes from it.

6. I’d have to say one of my best character traits is I’m a very positive person. I’m the annoying one who always finds the positive side of a bad day.

7. A character strength I admire in others is of those who easily find themselves the center of attention. I like to say I’m outgoing and not shy but crowds and outings really make me nervous.

8. Jane Goodall is whom I’d like to meet if I had a chance to meet someone from history. Her work and compassion for primates is something to be admired and I would love to hear her stories.

9. I’d like to say I could pick one specific piece of advice, but my dad shoots out great advice daily. He’s such a positive person and always spreading it around.

10. One of my favorite meals would be Shepards Pie (vegetarian version) with Peach Cobbler for dessert and I would love to be able to share one last meal with my Papa.

11. The inspiration for our blog is simple; Life is short, get out there and experience it. We thought we would share our adventures and misadventures while we go where ever life takes us.

Image from judithetrose.blogspot.com

And who wouldn’t want to know 11 random things about me?!

1. I’m one of the only 2 people in our family who are left handed.

2. I’m a true crazy cat lady at heart. (Drive my husband crazy with cat videos all the time)

3. I broke my nose once in a mosh pit at a metal concert. It had to be surgically reset.

4. Love gardening and am missing it right now as we’re traveling.

5. My husband and I are so in sync with each other that we often say the same things at the same time. (I always tell him to get out of my head.)

6. I’ve been vegetarian for 8 years now.

7. I once hand fed and raised a baby pigeon until he was old enough to be released into the wild again. (they actually drink a ‘milk’ when real young)

8. I will always prefer yoga pants/leggings over jeans.

9. I love splashing in water but deeply terrified of drowning.
10. I cannot drive a stick shift and refuse to learn….

11. I am truly enjoying writing our blog. I was a little nervous about it at first to be completely honest.

*Questions to my nominees:
1. Vacation time, however you have to choose between an Island Getaway or a Mountain Retreat. What do you choose?

2. What was your favorite meal as a child? Has this changed now as an adult?

3. Morning wake-up; Coffee or Tea??

4. What is the farthest distance you have traveled from home?

5. What would be you ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ getaway vehicle? (sorry zombie nerd!!)

6. Stranded on a deserted island; What three items would what to have with you?

7. If you could travel back in time, which decade would you go?

8. What’s your favorite board game?

9. What was the inspiration for your blog?

10. How do you wind down after a long crazy day?

11. Who was your teen heart-throb?

And the nominees are…. (*insert Drumroll here.)

Sequoia, King’s Canyon and Yosemite NP

Jeff and I have spent the last 2 weeks camping in California and exploring couple national parks. The mountain lands of California are absolutely beautiful with ferns growing everywhere, the giant trees towering above and wild flowers blooming on the hills. We first found ourselves camping in the Sequoia National Forest right in the middle of Sequoia NP and King’s Canyon. The spot we found was what seemed to be an area for cross-country skiing in the winter, however it had a big turn around and fire pit so we made it home for a few days. We hiked around on the ski trails several times, we even found a few patches of snow still melting from winter. Our camping spot also offered great privacy so we were able to use our solar shower and get cleaned up after hiking.

We camped there for a couple of days before we had decided to go explore Sequoia NP, however one evening we did drive down to Crescent Meadows to search for bears. We had met up with some Rangers to get our fire permit and asked where we may find bears. Cresent Meadows in Sequoia NP is a frequented spot for brown bears he said. So, we headed down there around dinner time and set out for a walk around the meadow. Within 5 minutes of our walk on this paved trail, we came up to a group of people stopped, whispering and snapping photos. To our left in the meadow was a cinnamon colored black bear eating her dinner of grass roots and flowers. Upon seeing Jeff’s giant camera, people were shoving him toward the front of the crowd so he could get better shots. As we were standing there watching her and taking photos, one of the ladies around us say, ‘Oh, there are two cubs over there on the trail’. She said it so casually as if the idea of a mama bear with cubs was no big deal. We were both worried about being so close to her, but she didn’t seem to notice us, at least not for a while. The cubs kept barreling out from around the corner, wrestling with each other and then one of them notices all of us staring at them and he comes towards us. I just wanted to yell at the little thing to go away but there was nothing I could do as mama realizes he’s just several feet from us and she makes a few leaps forward onto the path. The people around us unaware of how to react, start running… Jeff and I stay at the tail end of the group and go behind a tree and then continue walking on the path as mama bear went back to eating. After calming down from the excitement, we walked to the other side of the meadow to set ourselves at a safe distance from the three bears and continued to watch them until the sun went behind the mountains.

The next morning we left our camping spot and headed to the park. We spent some time lurking around the visitors center, chatting with Rangers, and enjoyed a nice nature trail around the visitors center surrounded by giant Sequoia trees. We walked the steep trail to view ‘Sherman Tree’, one of the largest Sequoia trees in the world. Jeff helped a sweet lady needing gas to make to the nearest gas station 30 miles away. We carry an extra gas can with us and still had a few gallons on board. She insisted on paying us for the gas, so we used the extra cash to buy us lunch when we reached King’s Canyon later that day.

At King’s Canyon we drove down to Hume Lake and watched families fish and swim about. We also found ‘General Grant’, another one of the largest Sequoias. The forests within these two parks were so lovely, the giant trees with moss covered branches were just like a painting. Ladybugs filled the air too, everywhere you looked these little beetles were flying or landing on your shirt.

We weren’t able to do many of the hikes at Sequoia or King’s Canyon as my back just wasn’t cooperating. I feel bad on days like these when my pain is too much to overcome and I can’t do anything. I know Jeff wants to go out and hike but I know he also wants to stay with me. So, we ended our day early and headed back to the spot we had camped at before, crossing our fingers no one had claimed it for themselves. We were just in luck and had that great spot yet again.

After going down into the valley to refuel, do laundry and get groceries, we headed toward Yosemite NP. We made into the forest surrounding the South entrance by evening and found a spot for camping. The spot we found we were certain no one had driven on the road in months except maybe one car or atv. It was strangely quiet there but it would do for over night. The forest had gotten even greener than before and if this was a glimpse of Yosemite, we were excited.

Jeff and I got up the next morning, made breakfast and coffee eager for what the day would bring. As we drove into Yosemite, then into the Valley we couldn’t believe our eyes. People were passing us on the two lane highway as we drove slowly with our eyes in the sky and our mouths open wide. We hadn’t even made quite to the beginning of the Valley before we stopped to start taking photos.

Yosemite Valley is a small village with the visitors center, an art gallery, market, museum and so so much more. We meandered around a bit in the village before taking the free shuttle around the valley. Mirror Lake is where we first stopped that day, an easy hike and such a rewarding one too. (less than 3 miles roundtrip).The lake was very stunning and appeared to be a great spot for a little dip, however we didn’t leap in. Our second day in the Valley we took Manko on a walk to Lower Yosemite Falls. The trail was built up over the creek and runoffs making for quite a tranquil walk. We also spent some time exploring a nature trail and at a nature center.

After another night of camping we drove up to Tioga Rd / Toulumne Meadows area where at some of the highest peaks it can reach elevations of 10,000 feet. Snow still covered much of the mountain tops although in the afternoon the temperatures reached well over the 70’s causing runoffs in every direction you looked. The Olmstead Point was remarkable lookout, allowing you to look for miles and miles. We sat at Tenaya Lake, a serene lake on Tioga Rd surrounded with beautiful landscape. There are many hikes both day and over night to take along this road, however this first day we just drove up and down taking photos as we couldn’t believe our eyes. Everywhere we looked it just seemed to get even more beautiful.

Our last day in Yosemite we returned to Toulumne Meadows for one last day hike to Soda Springs, a naturally occuring mineral springs coming up from the ground. It was a pleasant little morning walk to end our stay there with pocket gophers and ground squirrels popping up to greet us as we walked through the meadow. Yosemite NP has to be the prettiest place we have visited thus far and encourage you to add it your bucket list.

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Black Bear cubs at Sequoia National Park
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Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park
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The night sky above Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

Monterey Bay

We drove north up the coast on California 1 most of the next day. This highway hugs the ocean with a narrow winding road and signs warning vehicles of certain length to not go on. We stopped at one point to look onto the beach and stretch our legs only to find a baby Loon scooting himself to get into the water. He must have been hiding in the rocks and our presence startled him so he went after mom and dad in the water. The cutest little bird!

It was a pretty grey day, the sun tried poking through the clouds over the ocean’s waves. I was feeling really tired and my back needed a rest, so I crawled into the back of the van telling Jeff I didn’t want to lay down for long. I am now waking up to the rumbling feeling of Vanna pulling off the road. Jeff found a beach of Elephant Seals, so I quickly jumped from my napping state and followed him outside. As we watched seals sway back and forth in the waves and jump onto rocks, we realized the beaches were covered with hundreds of seals. The sun had finally poked through the clouds making a warm spot for these big creatures to bask in. We watched them for several minutes, some digging in the wet sand, some males fighting for territory and others just napping in the wet salty air.

Monterey Bay was our true destination for the day and we rolled in towards the evening. We had seen a documentary (definitely worth watching) on the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few years ago and had  decided we would definitely need to go. At that time we even discussed making a trip there for our honeymoon. So since we made it to town in the evening, we just walked around the beach a bit before going to bed. Jeff and I were both pretty amped the next morning as we drove towards the aquarium, we even got there a bit too early and anxiously awaited for the doors to open like two little kids.

From the outside the aquarium doesn’t look very impressive, no flashy paint colors or decorative murals. We were almost worried as we walked up, thinking the fee to get in was pretty steep and were on a budget but as soon as we walked through those doors, we knew it was all going to be worth it. We first found ourselves standing in front of their Kelp Forest, a two story tall glass wall encasing giant strips of leathery kelp with an array of fish like Rock Fish and Leopard Shark. Jeff and I must have just stood there at this first tank for at least 40 minutes before we realized there was still an entire building left to explore. The aquarium was filled with so much, tanks of glowing jellyfish, splashing penguins, eels hiding about in the dark, and children joyously screaming as they touch and learn. One of our favorite tanks was another two story tank named the ‘Open Sea’. This tank was the length of the wall and held sea creatures such as Hammerhead Sharks, Sea Turtles and the largest Tuna we’ve ever seen. The aquarium also has great educational and conservation programs too. We spent close to 6 hours in the Monterey Bay Aquarium and only saw one tank twice. We had a hard time peeling ourselves away but eventually made it back through the front door and onto our next destination.

Link to Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Lazy Elephant Seals
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Cooling down in the wet sand
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Just one of the Jellyfish displays, one of my favorites
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The ‘Kelp Forest’
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‘The Open Sea’

 

Bitter Sweet

Our first days into California were bitter sweet. We first camped outside of Mountain Center and were in awe struck by California’s beauty. The spot we found to camp had mountains, big boulders, pines and other various trees. Jeff and I walked around a bit with Manko and Leonard before the sun had gone down. We then started hearing a strange call in the dark, with flashlights in hand we headed to find the sound. We only caught glimmers of the small birds eye in the reflection of the flashlight but were able to later identify it as a Common Poor-will. The next morning we were awakened with the sounds of shot guns outside of the van! I grabbed Jeff’s arm in a panic as if maybe we had trespassed but we soon realized we had slept over night in an area where people frequent to shoot guns. After we calmed down (and Jeff shot his gun too) we headed towards my nieces.

On our way to my nieces we stopped in Oceanside. We walked along the Pier, watching the many fisherman awaiting for their poles to tip forward and gazed out into the crashing Pacific Ocean. Afterwards, we felt like it was a day we needed to splurge on a sweet treat, so we started searching for an ice-cream shop but ended up sharing half a pint of ice-cream for lunch. It was soon time to see my niece Brooklynn, so we headed to San Clemente.

Brooklynn and her husband Chris live on base in San Clemente, where he is stationed. We were greeted at Brooklynn’s place with big hugs and wagging tails from their two pups. Our first evening visiting, we had a blast bowling on base and were given a small tour. The next morning, after waking up to our sweet Leonard gone, my niece wanted to help mend our broken hearts by taking us to one of her favorite places; the beach!! We first briefly explored the little beach they have on base then she drove us to Laguna Beach. Jeff and I spent what seemed like hours digging in the sand, watching tiny crabs waddle over rocks and running past the rushing waves of the incoming tide. We ended our visit with a BBQ and chatted over a movie. It’s so nice to see her grown up, married and in her own place but then again it makes me feel so old. We both feel old, she was just over 10 when Jeff and I started dating and will soon be 20! Oh where does the time go?

As we were so close to Los Angeles, I convinced Jeff we needed to be tourist for a bit and we headed to Venice Beach. Walking from one end to the other we watched street performers, peered into shops, glanced onto the many tables of vendors and the only thing people come to do on Venice Beach- people watch! Watching the array of people that venture out there is worth every footstep in the beating sun. We then drove clear over to Hollywood to walk along the ‘Walk of Fame’ and to see the ‘Hollywood’ sign. We walked among the many tourist, shuffling through the crowds with our heads faced down to read the stars only stopping here and there or even if we could. Our drive to view the sign was worth it just to see all the houses on the hills. The day was drawing to an end, so we ended our tourist adventures for the night.

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Us with Brooklynn

 

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Hollywood

Leonard

Most of our readers who have been following us from the beginning know we brought along my pet parrot Leonard. We got silly stares and lots of finger pointing when he was out and about with us but there was no way I was leaving him behind. I got Leonard a couple years ago from one of our locally owned bird shops when he was about 6-8 months old. I could tell when I first saw him something was a little off but I could also tell something was very special about him too. They did show me he had a slight injury on his right wing where another bird gnawed on it, but that stop me. I just fell in love with his cute face.

He was a shy boy, definitely a big change from our previous bird. He was quiet and didn’t do much either, I kept thinking maybe it’s his species and I’m just not use to it, he’ll come out of his shell eventually. He also had balancing issues which we thought was due to his wing injury, I didn’t think feathers would ever grow back in that spot. He could perch like a champ though, had a great grip. His feathers did eventually grow back in and we realized he couldn’t even fly more than 3ft without crash landing, so we started keeping his all his flight feathers to try to help with balancing. This seemed to help for a while.

He then got his first upper respiratory infection. One night I had noticed his nose run just like a tiny little faucet. With birds, you don’t ignore symptoms of colds or illness so he was put on antibiotics. Then this last winter we started noticing these slow progressing signs; not keeping weight on (although he was a piglet), neurological symptoms (raising one leg, circling) and loss of balance again.

I had made the choice to take him for testing even though we were saving money for this journey but we had to know what was going on with our little Leonard. His white blood cell count was through the roof and his liver enzymes were elevated. The avian veterinarian I was seeing had to consult an avian pathologist about his blood-work. The were quite concerned for our little buddy, both Drs were convinced he either had PDD or Psittacosis. They recommended additional blood-work to confirm the latter but as we just spent $300 and we knew he was sick, I opted to just go for the antibiotics. He was on two antibiotics for 30 days and was to always have a liver supplement.

We finished the meds and he gained 20 grams! He seemed to be doing awesome, no more circling or lifting his leg in the air. We thought we were on the mend and on the road to a healthy bird. So, a couple weeks later we headed off onto our travels. Leonard was doing great with us on the road, he would just eat away or swing on his swinging perch as we drove along the road. He seemed to have come up with his own routine just as we had. He loved coming out of van for walks, sitting on my lap as we drove and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it the best when he got spoiled with sunflower seeds by the girls at Jeff’s sister’s house.

I had noticed he was getting skinny again the last couple weeks, but no weird symptoms along with it. He was bright and alert, swinging and eating really well still until last Saturday. We had stopped at a park in Oceanside, Ca to wait for my niece. I was refreshing his food he crawled onto my hand and I could just tell something was wrong. He was way skinnier that day then he was the day before and he had no energy. He wasn’t lifeless though, but when you bond with a pet it’s almost like they are telling you something. I started to get upset and mentioned to Jeff at this point that I didn’t think he was doing well. Jeff insisted he would be fine and as we drove to my nieces house I probably would have thought the same thing. He rode on my lap and perked up as if the moment we had earlier didn’t happen and we shared a few crumbs of my chips.

The next morning, May 29th we awoke to find my little Leonard laying on the floor of his cage. He saved one last breath, so I could say good-bye. He just wasn’t strong enough to fight whatever he was sick with anymore. He did get go on some amazing adventures with us these last 10 weeks though, one lucky bird. We loved him so much.

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Enjoying some sun

Our House

When do you consider yourself a true van dweller? Brushing your teeth while you drive as strangers gawk awkwardly, sweeping the van out in the middle of a park like it’s no big deal, mastering peeing in a bottle in the dark or is it when you start calling the van ‘the house’? Jeff and I have just started calling Vanna our house, which is true in a way I guess but are we crazy? I don’t think we’re crazy, we’ve just acclimated ourselves to this life style very well. It’s been just over 11 weeks since we left Idaho, 12k miles with Vanna and 78 days spent together on the open road. We’re seeing a lot and exploring new places all over.

We most recently spent a couple of days at the Grand Canyon. Theodore Roosevelt called the Grand Canyon, “the one great sight…every American should see”. It truly is a place everyone should visit in their lifetime. We spent time at both the South and North Rims which are about a days drive from each other. The South Rim was full of tourist and for good reason too, the canyon below was just breath-taking. We spent several hours walking along the South Rim, back and forth, seeing things we hadn’t seen before, mesmerized by the array of colors within the canyon and of course looking for Condors. Jeff was dead set on finding a Condor while we were there, so finally we asked a Ranger about sightings and he lead us to the right spot. He mentioned there hadn’t been any sightings for about two weeks due to a cold front that came through but wished us luck. The area he lead us to happened to be on our way to the North Rim, so started our long drive that direction.

We finally found the bridge the Ranger had led us to, with the afternoon behind us and the sun slowly slinking behind the hills, we walked onto the bridge with our fingers crossed. Jeff and I walked up and down the bridge for several minutes peering through binoculars and the camera eagerly looking for big birds. As Jeff was just about to give up, I spotted at first what I thought was a Vulture only realizing we found our bird! She was sitting on the edge of a cliff and we couldn’t believe we didn’t spot her before. We stood there taking photos for a while and before we knew it another came flying in just about 6 feet above our  heads! She landed on the bridge structures right in front of us so Jeff was able to get nice shots of her. The other eventually flew in and they snuggled their heads up for sleep so we continued our journey.

We found camping in the Kaibab Forest right before the North Rim for the night still excited about the Condors but tired from walking all day. As we drove our way to the North Rim, we drove through the forest, amazed by the beauty. We both kept thinking there was no way among all of this gorgeous forest was the other side of the Grand Canyon. We were definitely wrong. As we pull up, we notice there were not as many tourist but once we got onto the rim we were puzzled as to why. The North Rim is just as amazing as the South Rim if not more so. I’m guessing more people visit the South Rim due to its size and accessibility. If you take that trip to visit the Grand Canyon, do yourself a favor and have enough time to explore both rims.

We camped again another night outside the North Rim in the Kaibab Forest. This time Jeff was on the hunt to photograph a squirrel. We read at the visitors center and in our National Parks book about the Kaibab squirrel. This squirrel only lives in this forest, it does not live anywhere else, making it a rare squirrel. We could not find any information on how many there are or if they are endangered, etc. But Jeff wanted a picture of one, so we set off on a walk and within 50 yards so from our camp we found one. We ended up finding three total by the time we left the Kaibab Forest. They were pretty cute little critters!

After we left Arizona, we headed for Vegas. Now, I know you’re thinking, ‘didn’t you recently talk about budget’? Yes I did just talk about our budget on a recent blog but there were a few places we’ve set aside money for as we’ve planned for them. (Vegas, Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Park Pass) I had never been to Las Vegas, so Jeff wanted to make sure  I got to go. We got into town around dinner, got ourselves prettied up and headed to the strip. We played penny and quarter slots and only spent $10 on the machines. (got to stay in budget!) It was a nice time and I sure enjoyed myself, staying way up past our bedtime and goofing off.

California was our next destination and as we drove from Nevada we dipped back down into Arizona to stop at Lake Havasu City. We had heard about the London Bridge and had to see it for ourselves. As we drove into town the lake and beating sun tempted us, so we stopped for an afternoon dip. Lake Havasu has to be one of the prettiest lakes we have ever seen. The water was so clear you could see for days! After we dried off, we finally fell back to reality and remembered we had more driving to do and started toward California.

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California Condor, one of the rarest birds in the world
North Rim Grand Canyon
North Rim of Grand Canyon
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Kaibab Squirrel
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South Rim of Grand Canyon
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Goofing off in Vegas
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Lake Havasu