Camping close to LA (Dec. 14-20, 2016)

After leaving Rancho Oso, we headed to our next RV Park, this time north of Los Angeles, Soledad Canyon. We were here for about a week, with plans of visiting Los Angeles one day and spend a few days visiting relatives close by.

The RV Park was pretty but didn’t get to do much around the area because it was pretty cold the days we were there. Rubi has relatives that live about 10 miles from the park, which was awesome! We got to spend a few days with them.

On a day the weather seemed to be the best, we drove down to LA to check it out for a day. We have already been to LA before, a few years back, while road tripping around California, staying at different hostels around the area. Back then, we stayed at a hostel in Venice Beach and loved it.

We did the whole Hollywood thing last time, so this time around, we only drove by it but didn’t spend much time in that area, we wanted to go and spend the day in Venice Beach…. and that we did πŸ™‚

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Got to Venice Beach and spent the entire day there, just walking around, enjoying the cool vivid vibe that this area has. Got to enjoy some great street performers and one more beautiful sunset!

We strongly recommend anyone that might be in the area to stop by and check out Venice Beach… a very colorful and “different” kind of beach πŸ™‚

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Exploring Santa Barbara and Solvang (11/30-12/14 2016)

Our visit of San Francisco came to an end the same day our visitors from Austin TX went back home. On the 30th, we took off on the road once again, this time making our way down to Rancho Oso RV park, which is about 30 minutes from Santa Barbara and from Solvang. We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, taking our time, taking in the gorgeous scenery πŸ™‚

If you ever get a chance, you must take a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway, you won’t regret it! We actually have been enjoying it all the way from Oregon, a little bit at a time πŸ™‚ … There are several stops along the way but unfortunately, when pulling a travel trailer, is not a very easy task to stop everywhere you want to, and explore 😦 We did manage to stop several times between San Francisco and Santa Barbara to checkout some cool spots… even ended up spending the night right on the side of the highway, which is a no no, but hey, I preferred getting a ticket then driving at night on this twisty road pulling a travel trailer. The drive itself is an extremely enjoyable and as mentioned already, we highly recommend it, even if you are traveling in an RV.

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There are not many RV parks along the way, specially in the Big Sur area. We were actually looking for a place to stay the night, but couldn’t find anything close to where we were at and had to make the decision to stop on a spot on the side of the road to spend the night. It was pitch black when we stopped and just made sure the area was big enough for us to stay there safely, hoping that the area wouldn’t be so bad the next morning when we woke up and actually got to see where we ended up stopping at…. and oh we were pleasantly surprised the next morning when we opened our door and saw the view right from the travel trailer’s door!

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Once we were at Rancho Oso RV Park, we spent a few days riding the MTBΒ trails around the area. We actually hadn’t ridden our bikes since our trail ride up in Oregon 😦 … But this place was perfect for riding. There were several trails that actually passed by the rv park, which made it very convenient πŸ™‚ Took us a ride or two, to start getting back into a good riding pace. The area in general was pretty nice, but had been hurting with a heavy drought over the last few months 😦 The river that passed close to the park was almost dry and there had been some nasty fires not too long ago around the area.

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The main reason we stayed at this RV Park was because it was closed to Santa Barbara. We stopped by Santa Barbara a few years ago, but just for a few hours, and this time we wanted to actually spent a few days exploring it… and that we did! We even road around the city with our bikes, hiked along the beach, got to see the X-Mas parade the first day we visited it.

Before coming to this area, we had no idea there was another beautiful town close to Rancho Oso, it was a total surprise to us, Solvang! We felt in love with that small Danish village πŸ™‚ We visited several times during the daytime and in the evenings. The town was so beautiful, so colorful!

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Overall, we had almost no time off while staying here, there was always something to do. The park itself is nice, has a big horse stable and several horse trails (which are also the ones used for biking) … Only big drawback for us about this park, was the lack of cell phone reception… it was pretty much non-existent.

And as usual, after exploring this area for a while, our time here came to end and we took off on our way to another Thousand Trails, this time, close to LA, Soledad Canyon… and another unexpected surprised awaited us there πŸ™‚

Here are two albums from our Flickr Account, one is from the drive down to Rancho Oso from San Francisco and the other album is from Santa Barbara, Solvang, and Rancho Oso area. Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving in SF, CA (Nov. 22-30, 2016)

After leaving Oregon, we headed down to San Francisco to meet up with our nephew and his girlfriend, who were coming to spend Thanksgiving with us in San Francisco πŸ™‚ We left a few days early, hoping to stop along the way on the Pacific Coast Highway to explore a bit on our way there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as we had thought, to stop anywhere we wanted to explore, pulling our trailer, so we focused on the spots that we

We stopped just past the California border to spend the night at a casino parking lot (yeah, those are awesome places to spend the night) From there, we headed to Russian River RV Park, about 90 miles north of San Francisco where we spent 2 nights while it was time to head to San Francisco and check in at the RV park there. Unfortunately we couldn’t escape paying for the RV park in San Francisco … and it wasn’t cheap 😦 but it was the least expensive option.

The RV Park was just a big parking lot, very very tight spaces… nothing fancy, but it was right by the ocean and not too far from downtown San Francisco… But as we mentioned before, it was a better option then paying for a Hotel or something similar to that.

We did enjoy the time in San Francisco as much as we could with our visitors from back home πŸ™‚ Got to visit Muir Woods National Monument, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Point Bonita Lighthouse, Alcatraz, and of course Downtown San Francisco.

Muir Woods and San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park do have an entrance fee of $20 per person… but you can get in without paying if you happen to have the National Parks Pass, which is a pass that pretty much anyone that loves visiting national parks should have. Muir Woods was pretty awesome, we did struggle to find a parking spot because it was PACKED!!! but at the end, it was well worth it.

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While visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, we took a crazy, twisty road from there to Point Bonita Lighthouse… thankfully it is a one way road because oh it is pretty nerve wrecking! The area around the lighthouse was pretty to walk around, a lot of history for all of you history buffs out there.

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And talking about a lot of history, we also got a chance, thanks to our visitors from Austin, TX, to visit Alcatraz on one of their tours. The tour of Alcatraz was a pleasant experience. Got to learn a lot more of its history thanks to the audio tour guide πŸ™‚

Lastly, we got to enjoy the downtown area as well. We tried it one day but it rained on us 😦 … But we went back of course! Rubi and I had already visited San Francisco a few years back while taking a road trip around California but this time was different because we took everything at a much slower pace (last time we only had two days to explore the city).

Now for the bad… traffic, parking costs, and golden gate bridge toll costs! That toll across the bridge it’s pretty expensive for us RVers 😦 since they go by axle. And around the city, traffic is pretty bad. Parking is plenty but it’s a bit expensive as well. Best option was for us to drive to one of the big train stations and take the train from there to downtown and the bus around the city.

But overall, we had an amazing time exploring not just the city of San Francisco, but the cool spots around the city, and with great company!

After our guests from Austin flew back to Austin, we also left the RV Park and headed towards San Barbara, planning on taking two days to get there to enjoy the scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Check out all the photos from our visit below. If you want to see them in full resolution, just click inside any of them and you will be taken to our Flick Page. Enjoy.

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Back to Oregon Coast :) (Nov. 14-21, 2016)

Out of the few states we have been so far, Washington was one of our favorite States and would love to come back, over and over πŸ™‚ There was so much to do out outdoors! And Seattle was a pretty cool city to visit as well. Got to see some amazing lakes up in North Cascades, wild and beautiful ocean beaches in the Olympic peninsula, and stunning looking snow mountains! But sadly, we had to leave Washington, and head down to another awesome State, Oregon! … We were here back in September/October, in the Bend and Portland area, as well as in Seaside, but now we headed a bit further south on the Oregon coast to Newport Beach Oregon, staying at another thousand trails close to town, Whalers Rest.

The RV park had a few things that made it a nice park :), it was right across the street from the ocean; you could hear the waves crashing constantly and that was awesome! Also, the park was the only park so far we have been to, that had pretty fast WiFi! And lastly, the RV sites had a cool looking wooden porch that made it feel a bit more homey. But we typically don’t spend much time in the actual RV Parks, we tend to spend most of our days outside, exploring the surrounding areas…. unless the weather is too crazy, in which case, we spend it inside our trailer, watching movies and drinking coffee πŸ™‚

In this part of Oregon, there were several places we wanted to check out. A friend from Austin told us to check out the sea lion’s cave, which was just about 30 minutes from the RV Park, sadly, when we got there, we were told it was closed for renovations 😦 … We still got to see a lot of sea lions just up the road from there so I guess it was okay he he.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, before we left our last Washington State RV Park, we went down to Portland for a day during an RV Show πŸ™‚ Got to check out some pretty awesome fifth wheels (which is what we intend to upgrade to eventually). On the way back to the RV Park, we stopped by Vancouver WA to spend the evening walking around downtown area.

And now back to Oregon πŸ™‚ … Close to Newport Beach OR we visited a placed called the Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area… pretty cool rock formation for sure! If ever in the area, make sure to check it out.

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And as many of you already know, Oregon has a lot of Lighthouses πŸ™‚

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We enjoyed the days we were here in this part of Oregon, everyday trying to do something new, even if it was just going into New Port Fishing pier and walking along the fishing boats, checking them out, imagining how much history some of them have.

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Once we left this area, we started heading south, on our way to San Francisco. We did stop along the way to check out a few places. We stopped by the Sky Trail, which I guess it is a must if you drive by it???? It was a pretty nice place, the hike to the gondolas was pretty entertaining… The actual gondola ride was just okay, in our opinion, but still an interesting place to check out.

And now off we head further south into California to hang out with our relatives from Austin that are coming to visit for Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

Here is our album from this part of our adventure

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Hiking MT Rainier NP (Nov. 8th-14th, 2016)

How cool is this! One weekend we get to explore the Olympic Peninsula, and the next, we get to explore Mt. Rainier, two very different environments, both close to the RV Park we were staying at… and both very stunning places!

Since Mt. Rainier was just under an hour from our RV Park, this time we decided to head there just for a day and explore as much as possible, considering that part of the Park’s roads were most likely going to be closed for the season already. We made it as far as Paradise on the south part of the park before we got to the road closure. We ran into several people who were there to ski on the hiking trails (that should have given us a clue that the hiking trails were not going to be very “accessible”) But hey, we were here to enjoy a new adventure!

First, we took off on a path that was south of the parking lot, but after hiking for about half a mile, we decided to turn back because we were the only ones there and, well, we got a bit scared he he. We headed back to parking lot and decided to just follow the people and see what trails they were doing πŸ™‚

Ended up on a pretty awesome trail up the mountain! A lot of climbing and a LOT of walking in the snow instead of a regular trail ha ha. Some parts, the snow was knee-deep and there was no clear way of seeing the trail, other than following the footsteps of previous hikers. It was a very interesting hike for sure. We made it about 5 miles before deciding to head back and not push our luck hiking with regular clothes and with no actual visible trail, just footsteps in the snow. A lot of people started the hike at the beginning, but towards the end, we only saw 3-5 other people up at the top when we decided to head back.

By the time we made it back to bottom part of the trail, we saw a lot of people once again (I guess several people would start the hike, but turn back once the trail ends and the “walking in the snow part” begins).

We have enjoy hiking in several different environments since we started this adventure, and this one was our first time hiking in the snow πŸ™‚

If you want you can check out our pictures below from our visit to Mt Rainier or you can also click on any of the pictures and it will take you to our Flickr account for you to see them in full quality. Enjoy.

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Road trip to Olympic NP (Nov. 1st-8th)

A few weeks ago, on our way from Oregon to Seattle, we wanted to stop by the Olympic Peninsula and check out a few places around that area, but it had been raining so much that we decided to hold off and hopefully be able to check it out on our way down from North Washington State. And that is what we did πŸ™‚ After being in the North West part of WA, we headed down to an RV Park close to Mt. Rainier, where we stayed for about two weeks, hoping to be able to visit Mt. Rainier and Olympic Peninsula while staying here.

The drive to Olympic Peninsula from here was about 3 hours or so, but it was a beautiful drive, so not a big deal. We left the RV Park around 5 in the morning to be able to enjoy the whole day exploring the Olympic Peninsula area. We arrived at Ruby Beach early and got to hike along the wild beach for a while. We were impressed on how beautiful/wild the beach was. All the logs along the shore gave it an exotic look that we really liked.

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From Ruby beach, we head to La Push to do a hike along the beach… Here we had a little mishap :)… A crazy wave rambled Rubi for a bit 😦 … Her phone was damaged as well as one of our gopro. It was actually pretty scary because those crazy waves are able to lift and move around those huge logs along the shore like they paperweight. We made it out of there safe… wet and a bit scared, but safe…. I did forget to mentioned that the reason the wave got to Rubi was because she was busy taking a picture of me, with her back towards the waves hehe.

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After our little mishap at La Push, we figured we have had enough of the wild ocean for the day and headed to our campground where we were going to spend the night tent camping by the beach. While there, we found out that we were very close to a short hike that would take us to the Northernmost Point in the Continental USA and of course we had to go check it out πŸ™‚ We were not going to do any more that day, but we couldn’t pass it up πŸ™‚  In the picture below you can see the viewpoint marking the point. Those mountains on the other side of the water are from the Canada side πŸ™‚

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And then, back to our campground for a good night rest πŸ™‚

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The next day, we spent it exploring the mountains of the Olympic National Park as much as we could. We ended up going all around the Olympic Peninsula by the end of our road trip. Started in the Southern side and ended up around the Northern side before heading back to our RV Park.

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Aside from the little setback at La Push that got Rubi all wet and scared for a while, we had a pretty awesome time exploring this whole area. It never rained on us but it was chilly and cloudy. We were not expecting to find a lot of people around the area because it was low season but did run into a lot of people on several of the hikes we did. We want to go back during the summer time and spent a week or so, exploring a whole lot more because it seems like there was a lot to do and see around the entire Olympic Peninsula area! πŸ™‚

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North Cascades NP (Oct. 25-Nov. 1st, 2016)

Being around the city for a while was a lot of fun, but the mountains were calling us again πŸ™‚ This time, we headed north of Seattle, to an RV Park by the beach in a small town about 60 miles south of the Canadian border. We came up here because we wanted to go visit another beautiful National Park in Washington State, North Cascades National Park. Not a lot of people have heard of this park, not sure why because it is gorgeous and free! πŸ™‚

BUT, before we get that far, let’s talk about our little adventure coming up from Seattle area to this RV Park… we had a blowout on our travel trailer 😦 The rear tire on our travel trailer completely shattered and only a damaged rim was left on. We didn’t even noticed when it happened, which I guess it is a good thing??? Since from the beginning of this journey, we had always been worried about what would happen the day we had a flat tire on the travel trailer…. and now we now… pretty much nothing. Not sure how long we drove on the highway with the tire gone. Only reason we noticed it was because Rubi heard a metal sound while crossing a bridge. We stopped right away, only to find the rear tire on one of the axles of the travel trailerΒ gone and the rim badly damaged. We waited a few hours for the roadside peeps to come out and help us out. We got the wheel and tire replaced and continue on…. It was our first major incident with the travel trailer since we started our adventure.

But anyways, back to the main story, our visit to North Cascades National Park! Like we said, the part is gorgeous and not sure why it is not as known as the other National Parks around Washington State. The south entrance to the park was about 55 miles from our RV Park so, this time, we decided to go and tour it in one day without camping up there because it was cold already and there was supposed to be snow up in the mountains. The road that goes across the park and passes many gorgeous views and several nice hikes is Hwy 20.

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We took off early and drove the park from the south entrance all the way until we couldn’t go any more because the roads were blocked with snow πŸ™‚ We got to hike in the snow, see beautiful waterfalls, fall foliage colors, breathtaking lakes, and a lot of elks!

And as always, we took many photos, check them out below and click any pictures if you want to see them in full resolution in our Flick Account. Enjoy!

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