December 31, 2015


"Hen'elele ka moe na ke kanaka 
(a dream is a bearer of messages to man.)"
Hawaiian Proverb

"Holoholo" is the Hawaiian word for traveling for fun without a set destination, leisurely gallivanting, taking in life's pleasures, joy riding and having a good time."

For thousands of miles we watched those wiggling hips of our beloved dashboard Hula Girl, who we fondly named Nainoa, which means navigator. She was gifted to us by Imke's "bruddah and sistah-in-law", Eric and Brenda who live in her beloved Hawaii. That "shak'n it" view brought us so much joy...for the more those little hips wiggled, the more adventures were being had. And Nainoa was such a perfect fixed plans and no intent on arriving at any particular spot. We shared many of those awesome waypoints with our readers and now we want to share a sampling of those asphalt and gravel patches that Nainoa autographed during our many travels.

Driving through Red Rock Canyon, CA on our 
way to La Grande, OR to pick up the Fox. 
This stretch of road always makes us smile, 
for just a few more miles further on 
we join Hwy. of our most favorite corridors!

Our first foray into a Forest Service Campground... 
Williamson Creek Campground. 
This awesome campground got us hooked on the USFS.

Driving from Hood River up to 8-mile Campground. The sites at this small USFS campground are mostly suited for tents, but we went for search of the place among the trees and along a stream where Imkelina could have her 8:05 am "the Bell has Rung" refirement Bloody Mary. 

Driving through of our favorite cities although for us, 
that's an oxymoron, 'cause the word favorite 
would most often be followed by something other than "city." 
We saw a few bumper stickers along the way that said:
"Keep Portland Weird" and that says it all!

A "shunpiking" country road... 
you get to see lots of these "narrow bridge" signs and you just hope
a speeding, logging truck is not coming the other way!

Driving down from Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.  
We had a fun hike in in the swirling clouds with Dick and Melinda 
and were lucky to see a rare, endemic yellow-bellied Marmot.

Crossing the Columbia river from Washington to Oregon on 
what turned out to be the busiest weekend on the Long Beach Peninsula... 
"hot rods lined up to the end of the world" 
bumper to bumper for hours as we crossed the bridge!

Love the Oregon coast...Imkelina and Sydney can leave their
footprints sketched on these sandy beaches for miles and miles! 
And they do.

And then there are the endless seas of trees...that is heaven!
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA en route to another 
USFS campground along the Smith River.

Local girl being hugged by the trees in Redwood National Park.

Traveling down the 101 Hwy after a stint of curbdocking at 
Imkelina's mom and dad's place 
in the Alexander Valley wine country...btw a 5-Star park.

Our Thanksgiving celebration was spent boondocked at 
Rockhouse Canyon Road in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. 

Entering the Mecca Hills Wilderness on our way to Joshua Tree National Park.

Driving through a forest of Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree National Park.

It is on the bumpy, dirt roads that Naninoa dances her best hula.

Hwy. 46, for so many year's Imkelina's daily commute, 
is now the route that takes us off on new adventures 
and also welcomes us back to our Central Coast Hidey Hole.

Our adventures are not just about the beautiful places and the stunning views...but also about the individuals we meet and connect with....our fellow explorers, our tribe members. Our "neighborhood" is expanding. Being out on the road leads to serendipitous encounters, spontaneous gatherings and quite often, long-lasting and enriched friendships. But ultimately, through our travels we become more connected to the reality that everyone is a traveler...on a journey of living life to the fullest, every minute and every day on this beautiful blue dot speeding through the universe. Gotta make it count!!

Live, Love, Aloha
Hau'oli Makahiki Hou and Hele On!

December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice

"Awaken your life force...bring it alive. Fill yourself with Chi (energy). 
Fill yourself until you feel vital, alive. 
Feel it until you become happy and joyful, 
grateful to be alive on this planet.
Feel it until you see how connected you are with all that lives."
Melody Beattie

Winter Solstice comes to us here on the Central Coast at 8:49pm today. The term solstice comes for the Latin word solstitium, meaning 'the sun stands still'. Even though the Solstice marks the beginning of Winter, it is also when the days gradually become longer. For this reason, the solstice has always been a celebration for Imkelina. She dances and exclaims, "Today the sun turns around!" Rather than write about what the longer days mean for my sun, we will let her pictures do the talking. None of these are actually taken on this solstice as we are currently enjoying much needed rain. 
This is Imkelina's ode to the sun!

It is no wonder that when years ago someone first asked me, what does her name mean, my heart created the words and I answered without hesitation...
It means, "Remember the Sun." 

We wish you joy, love and light. May your wine glasses always be filled...cheers!

December 10, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park

"We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important 
than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us."
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Total Solitude, and get this, we are in a National Park campground with the closest campers 3 miles away. 

Joshua Tree National Park is a masterpiece of creation and we highly recommend a planned visit or multi-day stay. A land sculpted by strong winds and the occasional torrents of rain, you have here two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, coming together in Joshua Tree. The park is also a mosaic of natural and human history. Twisted rocks, water scoured canyons and some very cool and surreal granite monoliths hint at those immense forces that continue to shape this landscape. And the imprint of the American Indians, cattlemen, and miners is evident everywhere. With approximately 800,000 acre of wilderness, you will have wonderful opportunity for exploration and getting lost in nature. Camping, hiking, climbing, astronomy, birding and four-wheeling can all be part of your itinerary. And the park's extensive interpretive exhibits will provide you enough information to transform you into a Joshua Tree expert.

For our temporary home, we chose Belle Campground. It was by far one of the smallest campgrounds with only 18 sites (versus over 100) and Belle featured about six sites that were spacious, private and could accommodate our truck and trailer. As the other campgrounds all had sites that were occupied, we were quite surprised to be the only campers each night in our secluded campground. We loved the silence, the darkness and only our own distorted firelight shadows on the clusters of boulders surrounding us.

Well, with the clear skies come low temperatures! Each night the temps got down to freezing, even less with the wind. We kept snug with the help of our Mr. Heater Buddy. We turned it on to warm our coach prior to bedtime and again in the morning. Our trailer’s furnace, which was set low, kept the rig’s temperature tolerable in between. RVers know that running your house furnace throughout the night is the fastest way to burn up your propane, so in very cold weather, you need to wear your “bunny feet pajamas” or have a partner with hot flashes…I have both!

We ventured out many times in the desert near our campsite and went on a few short trail hikes. Because doggies can't go on the trails, we opted to take shorter hikes so Sydney does not feel too left out. Jumbo Rocks has many awesome boulder piles...for climbing, scrambling or just as viewing platforms of this magnificent desert. The Skull Rock trail is pretty popular and unique as you can explore all the boulder "condos", desert washes and namesake Skull Rock.

The Split Rock Trail is a 3-mile loop trail that provides a miniature perspective of this desert's fauna and Joshua is so huge, it is sometimes hard to grasp. Joshua Tree's Rock formations, particularly those in the Hidden Valley are a rock climbers mecca. We imagine that there must be times when the rocks are dotted with athletes testing their skills on many climbs rated Class 5.5 and beyond. We stayed in the Class 3 and below category...boulder hopping, some climbing and mostly hiking from ledge to ledge. 

You feel like testing your off road driving skills? Try the Geology Tour Road. It is an 18-mile motor tour guiding you through some of the most fascinating landscapes in the park. There is soft sand and steep grades, recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicles, but if you have a vehicle with cojones and enjoy the drive by going slower, you should have no problem. We never needed to be in 4-wheel drive mode. 

Joshua Tree National Park not only preserves an undisturbed population of Joshua Trees, but is home to some of the darkest skies in the United States and one of the best places in California to see the Milky Way.

Each evening, before the moon rose in the horizon, Imke went out to stargaze and each time came back to our rig quite amazed with the clarity and dazzling star show...ah, the beauty of the heavens. The night sky is a glittering dome peppered with stars, planets and passing meteors. And darn those commercial jets to interrupt you. So how do you describe an endless blanket of stars that seem to be within your grasp? Or share the vision of being a grain of sand illuminated by millions of candles?

At Waypoint 34.001600 -116.020890