Tag Archives: Beauty

Amazing Places

We have had the pleasure of visiting some very interesting places over the last six months.  And most have been within half a days drive from our stay in June Lake, California.

We’ve been in the presence of the highest peak and lowest point in the lower 48, the largest (by volume) tree and the largest (by diameter) tree in the world, the oldest known trees in the world, the tallest waterfall in North America, and the tallest trees in the world.  It has been quite an educational experience for all of us!

The highest point in the lower 48!

Mount Whitney, located in the High Sierra Mountains.

Mount Whitney, located in the High Sierra Mountains.

The hottest, driest, and lowest place in the U.S and Western Hemisphere.

Death Valley NP

Badwater Basin

A view of Badwater Basin!

A view of Badwater Basin

The largest known tree by volume.

The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park!

The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park

Largest diameter tree.

The General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park!

The General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park

The oldest known living trees!

Located in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in California

Located in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in California

The tallest waterfall in North America at 2,425 feet!

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park

The world’s tallest trees!

Coastal Redwoods in Humboldt County.

Coastal Redwoods in Humboldt County

Coastal Redwoods in the Redwood National and State Parks.

Coastal Redwoods in the Redwood National and State Parks

 

Salt in the air

As our time on the west coast is nearing an end (at least for the next 6 months), I’m already fearing a future withdraw of the coast and all it has to offer.

photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

We have now lived on the west coast for nearly a year, and six of those months have been spent within a five minute walk to the beach.  The affinity I have developed for this place is difficult to describe, but I know it’s more than just the salt in the air.  I have no great literary language, nor am I a writer by any stretch of the word, so trying to put into words the feelings I’ve had living here is nearly impossible.

photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

With that said, a word picture of my big feelings for this place would fail miserably.  So…while these pictures do not do it justice, I’ll try to portray some of the beauty that I have become so fond of and the reason it may feel so hard for me to leave!

(Photo credits: myself and an iPhone)

Mendocino coast

Mendocino coast

My daily drive along Highway 1 from Westport to Fort Bragg!

My daily drive to work along Highway 1 from Westport to Fort Bragg!

The view from our campground at Westport Beach

The view from our campground at Westport Beach

The big trees...nothing like the Northern California coast!  The ocean in your front yard and the redwoods in your backyard (photo credit: Tim, my partner in crime)

The big trees…nothing like the Northern California coast! The ocean in your front yard and the redwoods in your backyard (photo credit: Tim, my partner in crime)

A California coast sunset...never gets old!

A California coast sunset…never gets old!

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Along the PCH somewhere between Bodega Bay and Point Arena

Along the PCH somewhere between Bodega Bay and Point Arena

Westport Beach sunset

Westport Beach sunset

A view you will find all over the west coast...photo of a friend we met in Fort Bragg who ran a surf school!

A view you will find all over the west coast…photo of a friend we met in Fort Bragg who ran a surf school!

Footprints in the sand (photo credit: my gypsy soul sister, Autumn Gillen)

Footprints in the sand (photo credit: my gypsy soul sister, Autumn Gillen)

From the beaches of California to the beautiful mountains of Oregon!

From the beaches of California to the beautiful mountains of Oregon!

We spent the last year surrounded by great wineries!  The view from Cooper Ridge tasting room...delightful wine and lovely atmosphere!

We spent the last year surrounded by great wineries! The view from Cooper Ridge tasting room…delightful wine and lovely atmosphere!

Ruestle Winery in Roseburg, Oregon

Ruestle Winery in Roseburg, Oregon

Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls

Tioga Bridge over the Umpqua River

Tioga Bridge over the Umpqua River

Crater Lake...leaves you speechless!

Crater Lake…leaves you speechless!

The Oregon coast

The Oregon coast

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse

The trail leading to the lighthouse

The trail leading to the lighthouse

The Oregon dunes at Honeyman State Park

The Oregon dunes at Honeyman State Park

Back to the California coast...Santa Barbara pier

Back to the California coast…Santa Barbara pier

Palm trees in Santa Barbara

Palm trees in Santa Barbara

The rugged coast along Montaña de Oro State Park

The rugged coast along Montaña de Oro State Park

Wildlife in their natural habitat...the elephant seals of San Simeon

Wildlife in their natural habitat…the elephant seals of San Simeon

Morro Bay, California

Morro Bay, California

The native flowers, the harbor, floating sea otters, and as Griffin puts it "our rock"!

The native flowers, the harbor, floating sea otters, and as Griffin puts it “our rock”!

Morro Bay, California...one of the many places we have called home during our travels!

Morro Bay, California…one of the many places we have called home during our travels!

I’m sure it’s difficult to empathize through just these pictures, but the feelings I have with just looking through them is amazing, and habit-forming, and leaves you wanting more!

photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

Although our journey so far has been wonderful, it has done little to satisfy my wanderlust.  Quite on the contrary, it has only furthered my desire to go and explore more places, connect with more people, learn more things, and to grow myself along the way!

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5 Things We’ve Learned Through Life on the Road

Once again we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere on the coast of Northern California, without the luxuries of any wi-fi, cell service, radio stations or television.  Thankfully, the views, the atmosphere and the peacefulness, more than made up for it.  It’s amazing how quickly you can lose touch with what’s happening in the outside world (except for my occasional access while at work).  And now that we have it, I didn’t miss most of it.  Although, just having the access whenever you need it, is quite nice (Thank you Roseburg, OR for bringing us back to the 21st century).

Now, all of that said as “justification” for why my blog posts have been so sparse; however, our Facebook page has allowed for more frequent updates to our adventure!

And on to my thoughts….

When we started this adventure almost 9 months ago, we had no idea what to expect.  Neither Tim or I had done much RV camping when we decided to take the plunge into full-time RV living.  However, we have learned to adjust to the subtle and drastic changes that have entailed.  Here are five things we’ve learned in our travels and why we are embracing them, although, this lifestyle is not for everyone.

1. It’s not just an extended vacation

Many of the people we’ve met in the RV parks and campgrounds are there on a vacation of some sort.  So, after hearing our story, they compare our situation to an extended vacation, in which we nod our head in agreement.  All the while, in our heads, we’re thinking “raising a one year old and a three year old rarely feels like a vacation!”

She has a flair for the dramatic!

She has a flair for the dramatic!

Frequent occurrence around here...

Frequent occurrence around here…

Yes, our unconventional lifestyle does allow us to travel to see new places and explore new areas often, but none the less, we are still just living.  One of us leaves everyday to go to work and the other stays to take care of the kids, dogs, and house.  (Who has the easier job is a topic for another blog post!). We have more time together than we’ve ever had and so far it’s great (despite the above pictures)!

The beauty of Oregon…Watson Falls

The beauty of Oregon…Watson Falls

Nothing beats throwing rocks into the Umpqua River!

Nothing beats throwing rocks into the Umpqua River!

The beauty of Crater Lake

The beauty of Crater Lake

The littles playing on the beach at the Heceta Lighthouse on the Oregon coast!

The littles playing on the beach at the Heceta Lighthouse on the Oregon coast!

Enjoying Lemolo Falls in Oregon!

Enjoying Lemolo Falls in Oregon!

2. Finding everything

I have become an expert user of Google maps to search for anything and everything while researching our possible next location (I actually have a list of things to search for, not surprising to most).  Once we figure out what stores we will be supporting while in a particular location, we get to navigate the unknowns of the current store.  About the time we have the area figured out, we get to pack-up and start all over, which has become all part of the adventure!  The newness of always being a “tourist” has allowed us to find places and information about areas that some locals didn’t even know.  It’s actually quite interesting and exciting to see and learn how others live.  All the while working to enmesh ourselves in the community and make an effort to view others’ perspectives.

3. Cleaning is a breeze

With just over 400 square feet of living space, we find cleaning to be much less of a chore now, than when living in our stick and brick.  I can thoroughly clean the inside of our home in less than 45 minutes (that’s without “help” from the kids).   However, living in a small space does not favor messiness or toys being left out, so our kids are great at picking everything up every night.  (Which makes this “OCD” momma very happy)

From this to this

4. Everything is so much smaller

And I mean everything, from the oven, to the closets, to the size of the beds.  We had to purchase new pans that would fit in the oven and significantly downsize our kitchen supplies (Let’s face it, most of that was rarely used anyway).  We have three RV “twin” beds and one RV “king” bed, that are smaller than its conventional counterpart, so the sheets are always too big.  We were fortunate to have the option of a washer and dryer in our RV, which we gladly took advantage of.  But of course it’s smaller, so a load a day is essential to not getting behind on laundry (or so I’m told).  I’m lucky enough to have a husband that does the laundry, I can probably count on one hand how many loads of laundry I’ve done in the last 10 months.

5. Living with less really is more

We definitely go with significantly less than most Americans, but on the flip side we still have significantly more than those in the third world, which can be humbling.  Our kids are learning at a young age to live with far less than their fellow playground friends, but you sure wouldn’t know it.  Especially when they can be entertained far longer with a box or a blanket than a new matchbox car or doll.  Griffin has a saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know!” (He’s quite the little philosopher).
We’ve actually noticed on many occasions that our fellow “campers” tend to bring more with them for the weekend than we have in our entire home!

The few toys that made the cut to join our journey!

The few toys that made the cut to join our journey!

Our few outdoor toys plus the little's bikes not pictured

Our few outdoor toys plus the little’s bikes not pictured

Griffin's clothes

Griffin’s clothes

Amelia's clothes and few accessories!

Amelia’s clothes and a few accessories!

These are just a few things we’ve discovered during our new adventures.  We are loving this different lifestyle and all the “different” is exciting (at least for now), however; we may still be in the honeymoon phase (check back in another 10 months).

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest