Yosemite National Park California USA

 

 

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It’s the end of February 2018 in Yosemite National Park, usually the weather is freezing cold, windy and lots of snow on the ground. For some unseasonably reason this particular day  is zero wind, 72 degrees and literally has a hand full of tourists exploring this extraordinary valley..  This was an especially great day (aside from the weather being perfect) because our granddaughter Kiley and our daughter Sarah joined us. We packed a yummy lunch and lots of iced tea and spent the day hiking the beautifully groomed trails to scenic waterways and waterfalls.

Yosemite National Park offers an abundance of activities and sightseeing destinations. The Valley is a 7 mile wide canyon with incredible rock formations, including El Capitan, the world’s tallest granite monolith and one of the world’s top rock climbing destinations. Yosemite Falls is the largest waterfall in North America with breathtaking views. Peak visitation at the falls is in the spring as it is comprised entirely of melting snow. The park is also known for its Giant Sequoia trees, which are estimated to be over 3,000 years old. Its a must see, if you want to camp make reservations super early as the demand is high. People have enjoyed the tradition of camping in Yosemite for generations. However, getting a campsite in Yosemite is not always easy.

Campground Reservations. Recreation.gov . RV Camping. Pines Campgrounds. Camp 4. WawonaBridalveil CreekHodgdon MeadowCrane FlatTamarack FlatWhite Wolf. Yosemite Creek. Porcupine Flat. Tuolumne Meadows. There are also first come first serve sites available, but you must get there early.

There is such an abundance of things to do in Yosemite one day just isn’t enough.

Fishing, Biking, Hiking, Gold Panning, Arts and Culture, Spas, Breweries and extraordinary guided tours. Oh don’t forget rock climbing, golf, Rafting, Horseback Riding, Zip Lining, fine dining to  Pizza and good old burgers are also abundant.

Hope to see you on the trail and hope you visit Yosemite National Park Soon.

Cheers from Just Around the Bend♥♥♥♥♥liz-logo-1

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Metolius River Camping in Oregon

I was having a conversation recently with a friend which brought up the subject of  RVing. She asked me if I would ever prefer to leave the RV or Tent parked at home and go on a road trip staying in a B & B, hotel, motel etc!  Admitattley I answered NO. So in my long winded way I explained why. I know my husband and I are not the only ones that feel this way as we have met many RVrs and snow birds experiencing the same journey.

There is nothing like having your home (comfort zone) with you, I personally love the fact I can cook healthy fresh food and not break the bank. We also love our own comfy bed and concealed weapons (just kidding).

This is the Metolius River camping part. For the past seven days we have been camped at Smiling River Campground site #22, less than 100 feet from the most glorious, pure flowing river, we have ever experienced.  We do this every spring and fall at a mere $7.00 a night.. This is why we dont stay at B & B’s, hotels etc. Settled in acampground there is a campfire feel of calmness, the tranquille sounds of the river flowing over rocks and its many changing sounds.  Then there is many mixed aromas, grilled trout someone just caught, steaks BBQing and grilled veggies . But it’s the campfire thats the real star, you cannot sit around a campfire telling stories and roasting smores with your grandchildren in a hotel room. We look up at the stars at night and feel such a part of this earth, this is pure relaxation and what its all about.

Lots To Do

The beautifully groomed trails along the metolious wind along the river for miles.

The head of The Metolius has a paved 1/4 mile walkway-to view the beginning of the river-a must to witness

Wizard Falls Fish hatchery-so fun

Camp Sherman General Store is a fun experience with a state of the art fly fishing dept.

Fly Fishing

Kayacking

Birding

Mushrooming

Geo Caching

Fine Lodging and dining

ATV Opportunities and hunting

Hope you enjoy my pictures and maybe someday you can experience the RV life.

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Cheers from Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥                                           Harvest Hosts Affiliate Banner

Ft Worth Texas- Family – Zoo – Botanic Gardens – Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge – Dinosaur Valley State Park – Waco Magnolia At The Silos

Ft Worth Texas

We were was so excited to finally arrive in Ft Worth, to spend the holidays with our daughter, son in law and two grandsons. We arrived just before Thanksgiving and left 3 days after Christmas, we definitely broke our 3 day rule. But we got to be woken up almost every morning by a three year old who would crawl in bed with us, cuddle up and want his grandpa to go hide so he could find him. This was 6 am in the morning Texas  time and 4 am Bend, Oregon time and truly what great memories are made of. Well I could have used some (lots) of coffee and really needed to brush my teeth, but no this little guy just wanted to play, snaky, snaky, hiding rubber snakes all over the house. I will never forget the sound of the boys voices, their feet running on the wooden floors and getting to explore Ft Worth with them.

First thing we did was join the Ft worth Zoo and we visited a lot. Our two grandsons Cole and Bryce know every name of every snake, lizard, alligator, etc. The Ft worth Zoo has won many awards for being one of the best in the nation and for good reason. Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. The zoo now is home to 5,000 native and exotic animals and has been named the top zoo in the nation.

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The holidays were amazing, with an elf appearing every morning in a different location around the house, a Christmas parade downtown Ft Worth and the most beautifully decorated neighborhoods. We even got to attend a TCU versus Baylor football game, thanks to our son in law. To much fun.

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Our next exploration with the boys was The Botanic Gardens a living museum. A beautiful self guided tour of groomed trails, featuring numerous native plants and trees. . This day we were in search of a snapping turtle which makes his home in one of the many streams and beautiful water features and per the boys -loves granola bars. To Funny!!

Next fun adventure with the boys was The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. A natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands allowing you to step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. First stop was the visitor center because we just had to see the texas Alligator and numerous snakes on display. The very nice ranger on duty brought out a snake for the boys to touch, well I had to touch also. We then explored the groomed trails and had a fun picnic on the shore of Lake Worth. Now that the boys are fed its off to do some geocaching along the trails and lake. Fun day, lots of special memories.

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Dinosaur Valley State Park-Where Dinosaurs Roamed

Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.

We packed a lunch, lots of water and set off for Dinosaur Valley State park, a meir 58 mile drive from Ft Worth with typical Texas scenery. (SNORE). Ok, sorry for the comment but when you are from Oregon you start to miss the color GREEN. What a fun day, the boys were in heaven trying to catch tiny fish in the Paluxy river overtop dinosaur tracks. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love the 200 million-year-old fossil trackway. You can spend a whole day exploring the groomed, vista trails.

WACO-Magnolia, Chip and Joanna, need I say more. A 90 mile drive from Ft Worth and you are in Waco eating cinnamon rolls and Joanna’s famous cupcakes at Magnolia. There’s a little something for everyone and another fun day exploring the beautiful grounds and shopping, it’s definitely worth a stop. Everything has been carefully thought out for your comfort and pleasure, from a bite to eat, covered rest areas to a safe large play area for kids.

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Cheers From Just Around The Bend ♥♥♥♥ liz-logo-1

 

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Is A Must Visit

Better start early for this sonoran experience, winter is the best time to visit as the temperatures are a perfect 65ish degrees. We packed a lunch, cameras, water bottles and good hiking boots and literally spent all day exploring,  joining all of the free seminars. The bird presentation was amazing – Raptor Free Flight (seasonal), where visitors watch from the flight path as native birds of prey whiz by so close visitors can feel the brush of feathers. There are two presentations daily and each demonstrates different birds. One program showcases Harris’ Hawks, the only raptors in the world that hunt as a family group using strategy, like wolves.

The snake and reptile program scared me to death, with rattlesnakes  20 feet away yikes. There are three live animal presentations: Live and (sort of) on the Loose, showcasing often-misunderstood venomous reptiles

  • A visit will forever alter your definition of the museum as 85% of what you will experience is outdoors.
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  • The grounds are comprised of 97 acres of which 47 are developed and curated; there are two miles of walking paths, 16 individual gardens, 1,200 native plant species and 56,000 individual plants.
  • The animal collection currently includes 230 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds including a multi-species hummingbird aviary.
  • The Museum includes an Earth Sciences Center which recreates an underground cave, complete with stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Refillable water bottle stations and fountains are located throughout the grounds.
  • Dispensers with complimentary sunscreen are located in most restrooms.
  • The museum is open daily, year-round; hours vary by season. On Summer Saturday evenings the Museum is open until 10:00 p.m. with themed programs especially for families after 6 p.m.
  • Most demonstrations, live animal presentations and primary exhibits are included in the admission price.
  • The Museum is located 14 miles west of Tucson in Tucson Mountain Park at 2021 N. Kinney Rd. just 2 miles from Saguaro National Park (West) Visitors Center.

Catalina State Park Arizona

Sometimes I’m not sure when we are headed to a new destination what’s ahead. I get anxious,wondering will the park be nice, comfortable, amenities that we enjoy, things to do and explore. Not to worry at Catalina State Park out of Tucson Arizona. Actually I should play this park down and really not tell you the truth as this is a true gem nestled at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The park is a haven for desert plants and wildlife with nearly 5,000 saguaros. I would highly advise staying at least 2 weeks as when you are finished hiking, biking, visiting the ruins,attending the free concerts and Saturday wildlife exhibits you still need to explore what Tucson has to offer.
The campground itself has 120 sites, which are strategically arranged to give you much privacy yet an amazing view of the Catalinas. Campground slips are paved including picnic tables, bbq grills water and electric.Campgrounds have modern flush restrooms with free hot showers. RV dump stations are available in the park with no limit on RV length. Campground is open year round. The fee is $30.00 a night with a 14 day limit.
This is one time we both did not want to leave, we were so comfortable in our site with a spectacular view of the Catalinas and so much to do the time just flew. We will return.

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CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND♥♥♥♥

Sorry most of our pictures of this camping visit are MIA, if they show up I will re post. I did re cover a few enjoy and join me on our next adventure at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

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Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is truly the Land Of The Ancients. Accessing Mesa Verdes premier sites is physically challenging. Most cliff dwelling trails are steep, uneven, with numerous steps, ladders, cliff edges and tight passages. The 7500 elevation and very dry windy hot climate can drain you fast if you are not properly prepared. Luckily, we arrived at the end of the season; temperatures were in the 70’s and nights 30ish. We found a lovely camp spot at Morefield inside the park, an seven-mile drive from the entrance, with a beautiful panorama. Being it is at the end of the season, no frills here, no, water, electric or sewer, pure dry camping-we did get a fire pit and very nice picnic table. This was a true test for our Solar and its working perfectly, I can blow dry my hair, vacuum, we even made sweet potato smoothies in the bullet. The park fee with The Senior America the Beautiful pass was $10.00 a night.
The first day we headed to visit Longhouse, we couldn’t get tickets as it was closing for the season so we opted to walk to the viewing platform, a 3 ½ mile loop, partially paved, with 4 additional Pithouse sites along the way named Badger House. The drive from our campsite to Longhouse parking was 23 miles of twisting, winding, curvy and a very steep roadway. Warnings along the way advising you cannot be over 25 feet long to drive this roadway, glad Julie was not on this road trip. The walk to see the ruins is worth it, unlike anything we have ever seen, the preservation, building skills and humans’ being able to survive in a bleak and harsh environment was astounding.
Our Next day’s adventure we were able to purchase tickets for a park ranger tour of Balcony House, $10.00 for two, named the most adventurous cliff dwelling tour. We met at the trailhead, approx. thirty of us in all and proceeded down a 150 ft. decent straight down, very, very steep steps. Then straight back up a huge ladder 32 steps to be exact to a ledge overlooking the vast Ancestral Pueblo Valley. If you happen to be claustrophobic, I would advise do not do this tour. We spent most of the tour on the ledge of an open cliff face with stone steps and tiny crawl spaces through rock tunnels. It is exhilarating, our Park Ranger was outstanding being an anthropologist he was informative and entertaining. The rest of the day, we spent self-touring other cliff dwelling and ended up at The Chapin Mesa Museum. The park is well marked with informative signage and easy to follow directions. There are a lot of dwelling you can visit, with wheel chair access and easy paved walking trails.

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JUST AROUND THE BEND  ♥♥♥♥liz-logo-1
NEXT ADVENTURE CANYON DE CHELLY
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Moab Utah – Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park

Two National Parks – One Extraordinary Destination!

Less than an hour’s drive from Moab will put you atop the mythical sounding Island in the Sky, a remarkable district of Canyonlands National Park that makes you feel  as if you are on top of the world. The views from the Island encompass thousands of square miles of colorful canyons, mesas and buttes. America Beautiful Pass will get you for free, otherwise a $25.00 fee is required. y, however, doesn’t end with our National Parks. Dead Horse Point State Park is a short drive from Moab and offers visitors amazing views of the snaking meanders of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. Just 20 miles south of Moab are the La Sal Mountains, which are part of Manti-La Sal National Forest.  Attaining heights of nearly 13,000 feet, these alpine mountains are the second highest mountain range in Utah. All of the amazing scenery in this part of the world is why Moab has such a rich history of filmmaking. However, seeing it on the big screen is one thing, experiencing it for yourself will fill you with enough memories to last a lifetime.

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Next Stop Mesa Verde Colorado

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