Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles, in west central California, is a fairly new park. It was dedicated January 2013, although it has been a national monument since 1908. I’ve owned the National Geographic “Guide to National Parks of the United States”, since the second edition, early 1990s, I think. Like Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in Colorado, dedicated in 1999 and Congaree, in South Carolina, dedicated 2003, none of these parks were in my old book. Time for an upgrade. I now have the…

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Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

I’ve heard of this park, I’ve seen pictures, but until reading my daughter’s post about her visit it really wasn’t on my must-see list. And it should be on everyone’s must-see list! So beautiful. It does take advance planning, as you have to book their vendor, Island Packers, to get to the islands (unless you have your own boat?). Island Packers go to all five islands that are part of the Channel Islands National Park, plus they have wildlife and harbor cruises….

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Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

After leaving the San Diego area, I headed east to spend 3 days and nights at Joshua Tree. I’ve been wanting to visit this park for decades and finally made it out here. Wrong time of year, definitely, with temperatures in the 100s but … I loved this park. I just wanted to see the trees but the park is so much more than that. There is amazing scenery, rock piles, mountains, “gardens” of cholla cacti, plus, great trails, historic…

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San Diego, California

San Diego, California

After Moab I had stays planned in Caineville, Hatch, and Kanab, Utah to visit Capital Reef, Bryce, and Zion National Parks. Because of the heat and the summer crowds, I decided to cancel all the stays. I had booked 3 days for Joshua Tree NP and still wanted to visit there so found a place on the California coast for 11 nights between those dates. I stayed in Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego but with the traffic,…

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Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Despite booking a “pet friendly” hotel, when I checked in Saturday night, I was given a form with all sorts of rules. The first rule: If I left my dog alone, they would call animal control. Absurd. So I quickly went online trying to find a true pet friendly place to stay. I called other hotels, filtered by pets allowed, but all of them said the same, no pets left in room. One even told me “no hotels allow you…

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Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

“The most arid, most hostile, most lonesome, most grim, bleak, barren, desolate, and savage quarter of the state of Utah – the best part by far” – Edward Abbey ** Canyonlands National Park in Utah is comprised of four unique and separate districts; Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and Horseshoe Canyon. All but Horseshoe Canyon are contiguous but separated by the Green and Colorado Rivers. The Maze has no paved roads and is only accessible with 4-wheel…

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Santa Fe: “The City Different”

Santa Fe: “The City Different”

I haven’t been to Santa Fe since 1998, so decided to stay for two weeks to do all the museums and historical parks and sites in the area. I found a B&B, close to downtown on Paseo de Peralta which encircles the historic center. I could walk almost everywhere and not have to deal with parking. The room was very small and I didn’t have much space for “stuff” (I was quite spread out and messy!) but they had several…

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The Truth is in Roswell

The Truth is in Roswell

Or is it? I don’t know but thought it would be fun to stop for a day when driving from Carlsbad to Santa Fe. I am a huge science fiction nerd, growing up watching the original Star Trek and reading Asimov and Heinlein and Clarke. I never did watch X-files. I might need to find that on streaming and start watching it. I did pull up the “Little Green Men” episode of Star Trek Deep Space 9 on Netflix as…

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Carlsbad, New Mexico

Carlsbad, New Mexico

I stayed in Carlsbad to visit both Guadalupe Mountain National Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Unfortunately, the Dog Fire, that started May 11th from lightning, closed much of Guadalupe Mountains NP. And I didn’t get reservations in advance for a tour of Carlsbad Caverns. They were booked for over a week. Luckily, however, I kept checking recreation.gov and got a tour Tuesday, June, 1st. I had booked 5 nights here thinking that would give me a lot of time…

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The eighth wonder of the world. Truly amazing. I arrived in Carlsbad and stopped in the caverns on the way to town. I had hoped to get tickets then as well as general park info. I was told tours were fully booked until June 7th, 4 days after I was leaving. Disappointed but I thought I would continue to check recreation.gov per recommendation from the ranger. Boo and I did the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail and walked down to the amphitheater before…

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