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Author: Lisa

Recent retiree. Looking forward to seeing even more of this beautiful world than I already have. I visited all 50 states as a kid, with my parents and sisters. We did long car trips every summer, with our station wagon, camper and tent for the kids, visiting all the National Parks, historical markers and other sites that interested Dad. I get my love of our beautiful national parks and history from my Dad. As an adult, after spending time in South Carolina, Alabama and Texas in the US Army I then was stationed in West Germany. I saw most of western Europe while there for almost 3 years. Divorced with one child, I wanted to show my daughter the same amazing sites I got to see. We didn't visit all 50 states together but did visit 36 or so, as well as 50+ countries and all 7 continents together. Now that I have all the time in the world, I have a long list of places on my bucket list. I'll be traveling solo, just me and my dog named Boo. A 11-year-old rescue dog I adopted last year, he's a great companion and loves car trips.
Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

After visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park, I drove straight north to Bend, Oregon for a week stay. Because of all the fires, 97 was one lane for several miles and I was stopped for about 20 minutes. I thought it was just road work until they let us through and I saw all the heavy equipment knocking down and cutting up burned trees. Devastating to see the damage from all the fires. Some days in Bend were hazy because of…

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Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Like Pinnacles, I hadn’t heard of this park, either. I read about it on my daughter’s blog. Unlike Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Pinnacles, however, Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a “new” park, it was established in 1916 under President Wilson after Teddy Roosevelt made it a national monument in 1907. I did check the active fires in the area before booking here or Bend, Oregon. Crazy. I’ve never thought about doing this before, but every time I listened…

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Driving the Pacific Coast Highway

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway runs from just north of San Diego all the way up to Seattle, Washington. Two years ago right after my retirement, during the “Summer of Lisa”, I drove the coastal highway from Redwoods NP, California up the Oregon coast to Seattle, Washington. This year, I did it in several stages. When in San Diego, I drove Highway 101 to and from Carlsbad many times. While it still had heavy traffic, it was much more beautiful and certainly easier…

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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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