ADVENTURES FROM BIG SUR

My sister and her family introduced Pfeiffer Big Sur camping to the rest of our family. Each summer she books a week and different people would join them for a day, a night or the whole week. My daughter, MJ and I went for the first time in 2014 (Summer Waters). A year later, MJ had music camp and couldn’t go (Big Sur Scramble, Big Sur Circuit) so I booked a site for a night and took her and her 2 cousins, A and J (Beyond the Gorge). Again, we duplicated that feat in 2016 (The Big Surious) but made it two nights instead. Most of our time as you can see in the videos, is centered around the creek by the camp and the hike up to the Gorge, a swimming hole complete with a jumping rock.

TWO NATIONAL PARK ROAD TRIPS

The National Park Circuit

The goal of this roadtrip was to visit a friend (Tysonn) in Arizona so we (me, Jackie, Brandon) made a national park circuit out of it. The first day included a long drive to Las Vegas for the night. In Vegas, J and B got a hair cut from Bong and we ate at a buffet. A few hours of cards later, both boys won enough to make it a free hair cut and dinner-I threw away $10 at the poker machines. Day 2 was spent at Zion’s river walk. We camped just outside the east entrance. All camping on this trip were not reserved in advance. Day 3 included a lot of driving-a short drive up to Bryce Canyon and a longer drive to Arches National Park. We camped at the river a few miles east of Moab. Arches deserves at least 2 days of visiting but we got an afternoon in-viewing the Delicate Arch from a distance and a bit of fooling around at the Double Arches. Day 4 got us to Denver for brunch at Sassafras before we dropped B off at the airport to go home. J and I visited Garden of the Gods (it’s beautiful and free!). We camped nearby at Loneduck campground. The next night, we were at Grand Canyon’s South Rim. We grabbed a site at the Desert View campground early and went site seeing and then a bike ride. We saw a lot and wish we had spend 1 more night there but Arizona beckoned and that’s where we were the next day. After a night spent with Tysonn and his family, J and I camped our last night at Joshua Tree National Park. My first time there and hope to go back again. It’s the desert so biking with our shirts off was a must. The video is shown in 3 acts; all 3 travelers, just J and I, cycling.

YOSEMITE

First Solo Trip in the Yosemite Valley

Camped by myself for two nights in the Yosemite Valley. After setting up camp, I cycled around the valley and up to Tunnel View-heat and altitude made it a short tough climb but the view up there is always breathtaking. As if the ride was not enough, I hiked up to Vernal Falls via the Mist Trail in my flipflops. The next day, for the first time, I hiked to top of Yosemite Falls (in my Teva’s-got a few nasty blisters). The highlight of the trip is meeting lots of wonderful people and having brief but awesome conversations with them. June 2016.