Maui, HI

Sea salt air and sand everywhere, we went to the beach nearly every day we were there. After a summer exploring land-locked states I’ve missed my Pacific Ocean and soaked up all the warmth of Maui before winter. It was perfect weather, low of 70, high of 80, we didn’t even mind the nearly daily spurts of rain. Oh and the food, all of it was delicious!

Maui, HI

Beau’s mom called us a couple months ago and asked what we were doing in November, she said she wanted to fly us and Beau’s sister+family somewhere. Maui is that somewhere! 🥰 We decided to come a couple days early for some alone time and stayed at a GREAT little hotel in Paia, close to the beach, shops, and restaurants!

Our vacations historically are more likely to look like “How many things can we cram in?” than they are to look like this…just sitting on a beach somewhere. It’s a lovely change.

It’s also strange to travel with your home for a year, with all its comforts and your most needed possessions, and then to travel without it and have to pack and decide what you’ll bring. Loving Maui, and also appreciating our little #homeonwheels

Road Life

A few odds and ends from life on the road…

Boulder City, NV

We visited the Hoover Dam, which I’d never done before! The guy at the security inspection told us there was only one spot for RV’s to park, but we knew better thanks to another RVer’s recent post about their visit - one of the best parts about following other RVers on social media is getting all the best tips and tricks 🥳 Loved the view from the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and drove across the dam, twice! Next time we’ll plan for the tour and gift shop too.

Tucson, AZ

Our last night at Gilbert Ray the sky really put on a show! After that we started making our way north to Nevada, where we briefly stored the RV with family while we went on a slightly different adventure ✈️

Fun fact: The saguaro cactus doesn’t start growing arms until it’s about 70 years old 🌵 Bonus fact: There’s wood inside 😮

Saguaro National Park

We visited Saguaro National Park, which is actually two separate parks! We went to the west park, but hear great things about the east park so we’ll have to come back sometime. The slideshow at the visitor center was well done (the finale was unexpected!) and the gift shop was one of the better stocked we’ve been to! The ranger warned us that the scenic loop is limited to 25ft long vehicles, which we are if you ignore our giant bike carrier, and that vehicles with a long overhang may have trouble with some of the dips in the road. But Reba didn’t have any issues at all! We ate lunch and took a short walk to see some petroglyphs. Beau has been dealing with a bad cold all week, so we didn’t do much else while in Tucson this time, but did enjoy several restaurants and other sites last time we were here in January.

Tucson, AZ

We were both born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, among tall evergreen trees and “don’t mind the rain” attitudes. I never expected to love the desert, but the more time we spend in the southwest, the more I enjoy discovering the many cacti varieties and their shapes. The longer we live in the RV, the more I crave the sun and its warmth. This week we’ve been staying at Gilbert Ray Campground, a county park just outside of Tucson. Last time we were in Tucson we stayed at an RV park in town, which was convenient but not our favorite place we’ve stayed. Gilbert Ray, however, is very near the Desert Museum we visited last time and Saguaro National Park, which we visited this time. It’s been a lovely place to enjoy the desert scapes and soak up a little sun too.

McNeal, AZ

One of the most amazing experiences of my life was in February when we visited the winter roosting site of the sandhill cranes at Whitewater Draw in McNeal, AZ. Watching 20,000 birds all take off at the same time is an incredible and unforgettable experience. I marveled at their flight patterns, the ways they moved together, and wondered how they decided which group to join. We were one of several campers, there was barely room for us, and many more folks showed up just to watch the take offs and landings. Fast forward to present day, we were back in the area and decided to return. Unfortunately there weren’t as many cranes this time, it’s just the start of their season here, and we were completely attacked by mosquitos. The only cranes I saw were in the morning from the safety of the RV 🚐 We’re already talking about trying again in January or February, when the sandhill cranes outnumber the mosquitos 🦟

February 2022:

October 2022:

Beach Vacation

(I had hoped to get caught up on blog posts this week, but we’re on a beach vacation 🏝️ so the newsletter is a little light on posts this week. Hopefully we’ll get all caught up soon. Thanks for subscribing and following along on our adventures!)

The Very Large Array

Our next stop was a visit to the Very Large Array (VLA), which only just reopened to the public! This telescope consists of 27 radio antennas peering deep into space from the middle of nowhere New Mexico. Each is 82 feet in diameter! They are arranged in a Y formation and sit on railroad tracks, allowing scientists to change their placement, and thus what they see, which they do every 3-4 months. Timed entry tickets can be purchased online for only $6, which gives access to an exhibit and short self-guided walking tour that gets you up close to one of the antennas. Electronic usage on site is very limited to prevent interference, though you may recognize the VLA from the movie Contact 👽 or from a Bon Jovi music video 🎸