Seekin' My World

Subaru Outback traveling, ATC Bobcat on Tacoma in the past

California Coastal trip October 4, 2019

Filed under: Destinations,Subaru travels — Sierrashadow @ 4:02 am

New Brighton State Beach is my favorite first stop. The next day I headed just a bit north to Wilder Ranch just north of Santa Cruz.

Like stepping back in time.

I stopped at Davenport Landing and Greyhound Rock. The pelicans were coming in for a landing. I got a little watercolor painting time in.

The next day I headed down to Monterey and got a site at Veterans Memorial Park. They have raised their rates to the same as state parks, so from now on I will probably go State parks to get a reservation. But it is nice to be right in Monterey.

Then I went to Carmel by the Sea and actually found a parking space right by the sea. What a lovely, although crowded beach.

Driving down Highway 1 is always so beautiful. There were still construction delays at the two big slides, but at least you can get through.

I always stop at the wildlife overlook near Hearst Castle. It was the juvenile males this time and they had switched to the upper beach. Nice time talking to the volunteer docent.

I did some painting at Morro Bay and got a site at MBSP, #100. I went to Taco Temple as recommended by some friends. It was delicious but odd.

Next day I wandered and stopped at the Dana adobe near Santa Maria. They have done an excellent job of restoration.

I went to Mission Santa Ynez to paint, and stopped in at my favorite ice cream shop ever.

I had reserved at Carpinteria. Closely packed sites with no privacy, but that is typical beach camping. C225, not great, but fine.

Off to visit family in Long Beach and San Diego.

Subaru camping is certainly not as comfortable as Bobcat camping, but I am finding that I spend so little time in camp it doesn’t much matter. I don’t know why I even bring cooking gear. I have yet to cook. It’s just a cheap hotel so I can travel more. And it gets twice the gas mileage as the Tacoma ATC. The reflectix window coverings work so well, I find myself getting ten hours sleep a night. I will need to figure out a heat solution if it gets much colder though. And I have to be a contortionist to get dressed and undressed. Keeps me limber!


Southern Utah Fall October 5, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 1:56 am

I wanted to see some color so I headed over 120 and straight across Nevada to Utah. The first day was pure power driving. Kershaw Ryan State Park was my destination. Nevada is one very sparsely populated state. I have never spent much time there since my vacation time was in summer. I may have to rectify that. I think I was near Area 51 but didn’t see any aliens except for plastic ones.

The next day was gorgeous with the red rocks and yellow aspen. I pulled into Cedar Breaks but there was no parking so I didn’t really see it from the rim, but here it is from below.

Then they show you the grand staircase from the top. Better to view from below but still very pretty.

Just before you enter Bryce Canyon from the West is Red Rock Canyon. You get a better view from below this time, and I can include my baby.

That is just a foretaste of the wildly ornate, incomparable Bryce Canyon.

People with better cameras than I get fabulous shots but even just a cell phone works when the subject is this beautiful.

The next day I went to Kodachrome State Park. I must admit I was humming that all day long. Pretty in a different way.

I try to record my lunch stops when the view is like this.

Then off to Zion where I hoped to be after the crowds, but it was still a zoo. Hour long waits for shuttle buses. But at least I snagged a campsite by getting there at 10:30 in the morning.

It was threatening rain and flash flood, but turned out to be just perfect weather. It did rain that evening, but just lightly. I love the sound of rain on the roof of my safe and secure little Bobcat.

Then I drove straight through to Long Beach to see the parents. I haven’t been to Vegas in 30 years and from what I saw from the highway, I won’t be back. Huge!!!

Another wonderful wander accomplished.


Yosemite Fall September 19, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 4:51 am

I love going to Yosemite once the school kids go back and the crowds get less. The weather has also turned pleasant. Goldilocks weather, not too hot, not too cold. Here is my baby parked at Stoneman meadow with Royal Arches and North Dome behind.

My husband chose to go with me, a rare occurrence. The camper is pretty tight for two, but we manage.

We drove down to the Mariposa grove where the Conservancy has just done a complete remodel. You now take a shuttle bus up the winding road to the grove so that the experience is a lot less of a parking lot. They have raised boardwalks where 90% of the foot traffic goes (the shortest loop) to promote healthy root systems. The area almost looked like a manicured garden compared with the trampled mess I was used to.

We passed through a lot of newly burned area from the Ferguson Fire.

I love how majestic Half Dome is from Washburn Point.

I waved down at my rig parked below.

Saw this interesting rope ladder that others might be interested in.

Then I took another watercolor class. I must find a way to carry less but I carried a stool, table, lunch and art supplies. The new art center at Happy Isles is NOT convenient even though it is a more beautiful location. Not much fun to be a pack mule.

Only a two day trip, but so rejuvenating.


Hybrid trip North Part 2 July 22, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations,Non ATC Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 3:13 am

Vancouver Island has been on my bucket list for 35 years. My college roommate and I got to Port Angeles then and decided not to go when we saw how much the ferry cost. We are no longer poor recent graduates, in much better financial shape.

We crossed over from Anacortes, a lovely ferry ride past the San Juan’s. It arrives in Sidney and since we didn’t want to go through Victoria, we meandered through the Highlands. Some tiny little roads with a primeval look. The rainforest is such a joy to us parched Californians, even if they are in a “heatwave”. We stayed at Bamberton Provincial Park. Canadian provinces sure know how to do it right.

Then we went to Chemainus, city of murals.

Then through Nanaimo (not impressed) to Coombs where there is a bakery tourist trap called Goats on the Roof with, well, goats on the roof.

we stopped at the Taylor river rest stop in the middle of nowhere because it said it had free WiFi. My friend is teaching an online class that allows her the freedom to travel but not without a few strings. I happily sketched the beautiful overlook with the most gorgeous turquoise water. Not glacial flour turquoise but a clear beautiful color.

We stayed at Port Alberni in a motel because my knee was killing me. Then on to Ucluelet at the end of the road where it meets the Pacific Ocean. A hippy vibe kind of place with gorgeous views. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch with thimbleberries as a snack.

On to Pacific Rim National Park with beautiful sandy beaches.

Tofino, at the other end of the road has a much richer feel. We managed to find a cheaper restaurant with ranks as one of the top two fish and chips I have ever had.

We decided to forego the upper half of the Island in favor of going to Whistler, but that will have to be a part three.


Hybrid trip north July 19, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations,Non ATC Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 8:34 pm
Tags: ,

I needed to head to Seattle for family, so I built a whole trip around that. My husband joined me for the straight shot up highway 5. He let me do all the driving since he is unused to the camper visibility. That was a novel experience for us as he always drives when we travel. But he was a pretty decent passenger.

After family obligations, I had a few days before my college roommate joined me for a Vancouver Island trip in her vehicle. So I did a two day loop around Mount Baker.

I have always wanted to see Concrete,Wa but I missed the turn for the beautiful lake. Oh well.

Nice campground by the glacial fed river where I set up the tent as practice for the BC part of the trip.

The Oso slide was massive and there is quite the memorial growing there.

And just for giggles and kicks we visited the Funko Flagship store in Everett. Quite the zoo, a frenetic Disneylike feel, not my cup of tea but very well done. It is a spark of revival in a economically depressed city. More power to them.

Beautiful Vancouver Island. They were having a heat wave that felt blessedly cool for me.

Chemainus is a city of murals well worth the stop.

Headed out to Tofino, Goats on the roof in Coombs is a tourist zoo. But funky. This rest area on the Taylor River was a beautiful surprise. The water was the most incredible aqua turquoise.

Ucluelet was funky, hippy enclave. We enjoyed a lovely picnic on a cove beach,with a laughing bald eagle and thimbleberries, yum.

Into Pacific Rim National Park where the beaches were so lovely. And had a lovely dinner at Big Daddy’s Fish Fry in Tofino. Tofino has a much more upscale feel than Ucluelet. Guess where I felt more comfortable?

So long for Part One. Sailing across to the mainland now.


Yosemite Nature Journaling class May 15, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 10:57 pm

I spent four nights in Yosemite to attend an art class. The reserved campsite for the class only allowed tent camping, so I tried to get my own since I am too spoiled to sleep on the ground anymore. The computerized system of five months in advance on the fifteenth of the month is a nightmare. If you haven’t gotten something in the first three minutes, it isn’t going to happen. But persistence pays off. I kept checking multiple times a day for cancellations and slowly cobbled together four nights. It meant moving off site every day and parking in the day use parking area. The advantage in that is that it is easy to find a full sun parking space to recharge the battery.  Then after the class was over, I went to the next campsite. Good thing the ATC is so easy to open and close.

One day I parked along the meadow. I enjoyed framing Half Dome with the door at lunch.

I added a new safety feature. I store the one pound propane for the cook stove in the main propane cubby. It used to rattle around in transit. The padded bubble wrap wasn’t working that well. I saw the hiking bottle holder and thought, “I wonder if that would work?”. It keeps the bottle from tipping and moving. 

This was on my neighbors site, but it has lots of potential. It’s a US General magnetic paper towel holder for $20 on Amazon.

One of the gals brought a pretty cool chair I may look into. But $170 seems a bit steep. It swivels!

The falls were at their fullest, and the dogwoods were magnificent. 

I found a Sierra Sculptured Puffball (a fungus). What a strange and beautiful creation. 

So my trusty steed got a little more exercise, and didn’t let me down. 



Oregon coast 2018 May 3, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Destinations — Sierrashadow @ 1:08 am

Got a chance to get away and the weather looked nice enough to brave the Oregon beaches. It may have been not raining, but that doesn’t mean warm. There is a constant wind near the beach that chills your bones even though the sun is out. These are some hardy people.  My first night was at my tried and true Simms Flat, near Dunsmuir on 5. It was just finishing off a rain storm, so I took the first site again because it is the brightest.

I saw a tiny house traveling down the road. That was a first. But they sure aren’t designed for transport.

Using my Ultimate campgrounds app, I found a boat ramp that allowed overnighting, free! I always wonder if I am going to get a knock in the middle of the night, but at least I had “proof” that it should be allowed. I admit to feeling both relieved and concerned when the creepy, hippy painted van on its last legs pulled out after being there for several hours. Did he know something I didn’t? But I slept quite well, had the place to myself and was next to a beautiful river a mile or two from the ocean. Life is good.

Brandon, Oregon is very nice. The south jetty had some beautiful vistas.

Breakfast at the beach.

I thought clear cutting was no longer allowed, but evidently not.


Found a beautiful place to do my bible study at a coast guard station at Coos Head.


Pulled over to see the Winchester lighthouse. Much of the middle coast of Oregon is sand dunes. That is not my favorite view. It’s different, but after a while I want to see the waves that are just over the hills.


I stopped at the Darlingtonia Californica wayside. I stopped to paint on the boardwalk. It was the first time I got warm since it is surrounded by tall trees. I camped at Sutton, but forgot to get a picture, but this is the overlook at the end of the road. See how you can’t get all the way to the waves. That is what I don’t like about the dunes section of Oregon.


Heceta Lighthouse is a classic beauty on this coast. There were sea lion barking on the beach below the overlook, and floating in rafts in the waves protecting the young. I have never seen that before. The joys of off season travel. I walked out to the light and got the tour. They don’t let you climb it, but you can get the feel from the inside.


Devil’s chasm near Cape Perpetua was interesting. Would be very cool in a storm, when things are roaring.


Got my site at Beachside State Park. And drove north a bit looking for dinner. The Hilltop cafe was excellent. My second crab melt of the trip, but I don’t get good seafood often at home.



The  next morning when I woke up it was spotty light rain. I headed up past Newport and was going to go to Yaquina head lighthouse but decided to head inland to avoid the rain. Once I turn around it seems like it’s “Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead”. I ended up at Valley of the Rogue State Park. It’s awfully convenient and I know I can make it home in one day from here. Any trip that ends up with this many bugs on the front must be a good one.


For my modification friends,  I am sorry to disappoint you. This trip just felt comfortable. All the systems I have in place functioned perfectly and I don’t have any great thing that I need to do to make it better. I feel sad but yet pleased. The IKEA step is great. And these down booties are the bomb. Keeping my feet warm goes a long way towards staying warm at night.