A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Equatorials

National Parks

Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon & Death Valley National Parks

After seeing Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Arches and some other national parks in June 2014 in our 1999 Toyota Corolla (which, by the end of the trip, required climbing in and out of the trunk to unlock the car), we decided to see more of the US in May 2015, in the safety of our new hybrid (complete with working locks!).

Joshua Tree National Park's Chief Ranger, Jeff Ohlfs, is my third cousin. Dave and I liked meeting Jeff and his wife Deb. We planned to get the inside scoop on the Park, but instead learned about the extensive travel that the Ohlfs have done. We compared safari notes, Peruvian experiences, and dreamed of future adventures. We also got a bit of Godde gossip - while my great grandfather homesteaded in the desert for the eventual planting of almonds and pistachios, Jeff's ancestor (my great grand uncle) headed west to the ocean to Oxnard, CA. I think that was the way to go!

Here are some Joshua Park pics. (This isn't far from the Godde almond orchards - yes, the ocean might have been the way to go!)


Next Stop:



We got out of there quiick...

On to camping at Grand Canyon National Park. So happy to be there! Dave's first Grand Canyon visit! And it might as well have been my first - I forgot how awe inspiring it is!


We hiked lots...10 miles one day! I think my legs fell off for a minute, I was so tired.


At sunset.


Effort to capture the moment is best done in a panaroma. Did it come across?


It hailed when we left! Glad to pack up our tent and leave!


The Little Painted Desert County Park is such a hidden treat. This is the best of many many pictures we took of the (small) area.


Sedona, AZ is gorgeous. Though Dave was not a fan of the crystal shops...I think we counted about 10? That's 10 more than Dave ever wanted to see in his life.

Death Valley was hot...90 in the tent was warm at night (hard to sleep). But day time was even hotter!

A highlight? Wood was once converted to charcoal in these beauties...


With the sunset looming, Dave and I hoofed it up 4 miles over 3-4K of vertical. We shocked ourselves by summiting in 2 hours, and enjoyed the view. The bad part? Now what we know what our bodies can do...it seems all downhill from here (ba ba bum!)




Lowest point in N. America. Badwater Basin. The drill: get out the car, fake a smile, take a picture, and get back to the A/C.


And so our trip ended...


Posted by Equatorials 20:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Happy Anniversary Parents!

I am very lucky to have wonderful parents, and Alexa, Dave and I wanted to honor their 40th anniversary with a fun gift; we hosted them at a house in Gualala Point. What do I have to show for this lovely tribute? Not one single picture of my parents together in Gualala! But here are pictures from their 40th Anniversary Dinner hosted at their house, with help from their favorite Greek restaurant. Yes, that is a lobster saying hello. Opa!


As far as Gualala Point pictures, here are Alexa and Porter, who is looking longingly at the rough waves in which he was not allowed.


Dave and I, pretending it wasn't cold by the water.


Here are Dave and I revisiting the Anderson Valley spot where had discussed our around the world trip about three years prior (see our first blog entry). We love you Toulouse Vineyard!


Mom and me happy as Toulouse geese.


Posted by Equatorials 17:38 Comments (0)

South and Central American Food

View 40 K Miles, 6 Months on Equatorials's travel map.

Ashley's Birthday Dinner in Cusco, Peru








Other Peruvian dishes and food.






Cocoa tea in Cusco for a bit of a jilt.


Peruvian sweets (continued!).


Meat and vegetarian casados in Costa Rica



Yes, Dave was smiling. But Ashley was beaming. Dave made her this, and every other dinner in their kitchens in Costa Rica, Cape Town, and...in fact, he is making dinner right now here in Sacramento!


Posted by Equatorials 19:31 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Costa Rica's Jungle - Part 2

Covering the Rest of The Animals we saw in Costa Rica


Saturated by our night hike, we still had more animals to see, including a couple that we see pretty regularly.

Feeling tired? That's the sloths' influence. Don't let the momma and baby convince you to sleep 20 hours a day like them!

Posted by Equatorials 19:15 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged hummingbird Comments (0)

Costa Rica's Jungle - Part 1

Covering the Animals we Didn't Cover in Africa (You know Jaguar like cats, and...snakes!)

Over four days, we went on four hikes, three of them guided. In addition to meeting more US citizens than we had since the USA, Costa Rica allowed us to see so many animals.

Top choice! We saw a black cat - apparently a jaguarundi. But you know cats; they are pretty stealthy and quick (read: good) and so we couldn't grab our camera in time.

But we could take pictures of slow things, like signs, plants and lakes.


Taking the jeep-boat-jeep travel option (which involves no jeeps), we went from La Fortuna to Monteverde. Here we saw stunning volcano Arenal.


On a night hike we say a grey fox.


And an orange kneed tarantula.


Some other funny living creatures.


And we came {this} close a viper!!! There it was hanging in the tree above our trail. Cool (though not very photogenic).


Posted by Equatorials 18:37 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (1)

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