Kayla & Richard


Kayla & Richard

Our favourite things to do are mostly centered around being in the outdoors and enjoying natural areas, so we are more likely found seeking out the lesser known parts of areas we visit, and the least populated areas. In past years, we've been known to hike for days, hauling heavy packs into remote valleys and forests just to avoid the usual front country crowds and see wild animals truly in the wild. These days, when on the road, we can be found driving the lesser traveled highways and byways in North America. Or on safari in remote parts of Southern Africa.

Kayla's current passion is photography; Richard loves geology and rocks, the older the better. We love to seek out places that feed both passions. Iceland in 2013 was one of those places we loved. Sorry, no blog for that. Tons of photos, though.

We don't do a blog for every trip, and don't always have good access to the internet, but for those who do follow our blog, we try to say something and at least post a few photos. When we are not busy with photography, geology, hiking, traveling or spending time with family and friends, that is.

North America » United States » California » Camarillo September 30th 2013

After our one day hiking in Zion Park in Utah we made a long trip to Death Valley in California. This included some Interstate 15 Highway driving in a cross wind near Las Vegas that had semi trailers slowing down to a crawl. At one point we thought we had blown a tire but realized when we stopped to have a look that it was the wind getting under the awning over our slider. The temperature forecast for Furnace Creek in Death Valley was 95 F so that was cool enough for us, but the wind made walking around the RV park a sandy challenge. Next day was a drive west along Highway 190 across the valley and it was only 85 F so the drive was a pleasure. We stopped at elevation -200 feet in ... read more
Colourful Mountains
Hitchhiking Anyone? Just Kidding.
Santa Monica Mountains National Park

North America » United States » Utah » Zion National Park September 25th 2013

This was a full day travel from Sedona. Since Highway 89 past Page to Zion Park was a long detour because of a rock slide over the road, we went via Highway 89A and crossed the Colorado down stream of Lee's Ferry. Then enjoyed views of the Echo Cliffs and Vermillion Cliffs and past the Grand Canyon North Rim road at Jacobs Lake. Unfortunately our large RV would not make the gravel road trip north up House Valley from 89A to 89 – saved for another time with a better vehicle. House Valley Road passes the trail to the “Wave” - a famous sandstone rock formation only accessible through a scarce reservation system. We arrived at our RV Park near Zion Park at sunset after a long day through beautiful desert scenery. Next day we took ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Sedona September 23rd 2013

Next stop Sedona, AZ for three nights. The 90 miles from the Grand Canyon to Sedona was an easy trip past San Francisco Mountain and Flagstaff and we arrived at a lovely RV park along Oak Creek a few miles from Sedona. Next day we scouted out Cathedral Rock for sunset viewing locations and walked by the “Vortex” along Oak Creek. The so-called Vortex which Sedona is famous for, displayed many balanced stones from folk trying to shed bad energy. Then we joined lots of photographers for views of Cathedral Rock at sunset. Everyone was friendly and shared the better photo set up locations, only the wedding party across Oak Creek were in Kayla’s way of “the no hand of man” pictures of Cathedral. Next day was haircut for Richard, a 4 mile hike to Chicken ... read more

The Grand Canyon was a disappointment when we were last there in 2008. The same time of year – mid September – but that time the weather was cruel – big wind and cold. So we had to come back for a second chance to enjoy the vistas, rocks and photo sunsets. This time the weather was perfect and we were rewarded with several rim hikes and a 300 metre descent into the canyon along the South Kaibab trail. We started with Shoshone Point - a trail head with a locked gate but Kayla had beta that said it is open to walk-ins. So a mile walk gave an amazing view of the canyon all by ourselves. Then we joined the other tourists for a two mile walk along the busy rim trail. Along this trail ... read more
Panorama from Shoshone Point
Richard Next to a Rock Formation
Many People Visiting the Viewpoint

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas September 17th 2013

After the Sierra Nevada Parks, our plan was to drive east to the Grand Canyon. As a half way pit stop we made it to Las Vegas. That was a 400 mile, interstate highway, 10 hours of driving, eat while you drive, three gas station stop, trip. We booked an RV site by phone from the RV using Kayla’s Liberty Hot Spot and arrived at sunset to settle in for two days of desert heat and urban entertainment. That evening our reward for hard driving was to eat out at Red Lobster. The meal cost $40 and the taxi $40 each way – this is Las Vegas. Next day with 100 degree F we were kept inside the RV with air conditioner running and emerged at sunset to visit the strip for a Cirque du Soleil ... read more

Having “done” Yosemite National Park our next stop was intended to be Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. But logistic planning five months ago had us reserving RV camping in Visalia, CA. This city is in the middle of the San Joaquin valley – the heart of California agriculture. The camping spot was clean and comfortable – like all KOA camps but heat and haze had us yearning for the alpine. Next day we climbed 4000 feet to Kings and Sequoia Park for two nights of cool mountain air at 7,000+ feet elevation. In Kings Canyon Park we drove most of the way on the same-way-in-and-out Kings Canyon winding road, stopping short of the end because it was getting late. Richard admired the variety of geological formations in the canyon walls and Kayla had the camera ... read more
Grizzly Giant
Sequoia Bark Art
King's Canyon View

We finally came face to face with the reality of the ”Rim Fire” on the west side of Yosemite Park, which had forced the road closure from the east side of the park. Richard had a (hard won by lottery) reservation for all of us to climb Half Dome and Kayla had booked a one-on-one photography workshop with William Neill, a professional photographer from Oakhurst, CA. Both of these events were to happen in Yosemite Valley. So one way or another, we were determined to find a way to get tere. Which meant finding an alternate route, not an easy task. The shortest detour was Sonora Pass which has hairpin turns, a 26% grade both up and down and very narrow lanes with no shoulders. We had been warned by one park ranger not to take ... read more

North America » United States » California » Lee Vining September 7th 2013

The plan was to spend a week together at Yosemite National Park with Kayla's cousin and his wife, plans having been made several months ago, in time for us to make the reservations online. Us and the rest of the world, or so it seemed when we made the reservations at exactly the right day and time, down to the minute, that the reservations became available. However, the day had finally come, and we left Lake Tahoe knowing already that things would not be as planned. The Rim Fire near and into Yosemite National Park was continuing to burn fiercely with only a small percentage contained by the time we left. Smoke was everywhere. The plan was to spend three days in Tuolumne Meadows on the Eastern side of the park, and four days in Yosemite ... read more
Trees at Dog Lake
Dog Lake Reflection
Mono Lake

North America » United States » Nevada » Lake Tahoe September 4th 2013

Kayla’s cousin Ron and his wife Carol have been vacationing in Tahoe for many years and in 2007 they retired and bought a home there. We were glad to leave our big RV sitting in it's snug space next to their home, and enjoy the driving tours, hikes, cycling and beach walks around the lake. Smoke from the Rim Fire near Yosemite was everywhere, moving in and out, but mostly in, so unfortunately we did not see Lake Tahoe at its best. However, we enjoyed being there and imagining what a clear blue sky would look like. Every year on Labour Day Weekend the Nevada Casinos host a fireworks display from a barge on the lake. So at 9:30 PM on Sunday we took camp chairs down to the beach and watched a great display. By ... read more
Lake Tahoe's Iconic Rocks & Turquoise Water
Smokey Sunset from Marla Bay
Cycling Along the Truckee River

Leaving Fort Klamath the next morning, we turned the wrong way and had to manoeuver a three-point turn in the middle of the road to turn around, not an easy thing for a 33-foot motor home. During the turn Kayla noticed that the sewer cap was not on and the valves were not closed, so we were trailing the remains of our (thankfully) empty tanks on the road. Richard pulled off the side of the road, rectified the situation, and we were consulting a map when he saw flashing blue and red lights behind us. Senior State Trooper Joseph Smith had a lot of questions as to who we were, where we were going and why we were going the wrong way to get to Klamath Falls. When Richard explained the route we wanted to take, ... read more
Richard examining a lava formation
Lava formation up close
Into the cave

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