The skies had cleared, January was over and our world now looked very different.
Living in Alaska for over 40 years has refined our appreciation of wide open spaces and clear blue skies.
After spending all of January camped in SoCal in my mom’s backyard, the home of the intense paced lifestyle, we decide it is time to break free and live off the grid for awhile.
We head north with our first stop being one of our long time favorite beach camps, the Rincon Parkway near Ventura.
We were still close enough to visit mom daily as she steadily improved, she should be home soon.
Her always positive attitude to improve herself through exercise and physical therapy has always amazed and inspired me.
Spending most of my childhood in and around southern Calif before hitching to Alaska in 1973, I often recall the heady days before SoCal became so congested and hectic.
The southland was the place to be in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I was fortunate to have lived in such a beautiful paradise.
We spend a few days camped along the Rincon enjoying the negative ions and positively wonderful sunsets.
But soon the sounds of crashing waves, highway traffic and the close proximity of trains rumbling past us at 1:00am become a bit much. It was time to move on.
Our goal was to find wide open spaces where there was no cell signal, no wifi, no traffic and the only sound was the song of the meadow lark.
There’s only a few road accessable places left in California where one can boondock in these kinds of conditions and one of them is in the Carrizo Plains.
If there has been enough rainfall during the winter months the plains come alive as millions of brilliant colored wildflowers bloom across miles and miles of rolling hills. It can also become very crowded during this period.
But this time of year the landscape generally consists of a dry brown grassland and temps will often fall below freezing at night. Sometimes it snows.
That usually means in the winter months no one else is around, perfect.
After several days of boondocking in the middle of nowhere we start to relax. In the mornings frost is covering everything but as the sun rises it quickly melts and warms the landscape.
Eventually we travel back to the coast and again north to Cambria where we join our good friends the Blanics at the Washburn Campground in San Simeon State Park.
We spend 4 enjoyable days with these wonderful folks eating, drinking, reflecting on life, families and the art of aging gracefully.
During the day we hike the local trails, wander the local beaches, visit a winery, and drive the back roads in the Cambria area. A true Valhalla.
Our evenings are spent around the fire drinking excellent red wines, devouring Micheal’ s tasty grilled meats and watching the eclipsing super blue blood moon rise over the coastal range. It just doesn’t get any better.
Eventually we say goodbye to our friends and travel north east with the intention of visiting Bears Ears National Monument before any new regulations or boundary changes take place.
Unfortunately while traveling east towards Utah a cold front moves in with predictions for very cold nights. With regret we turn south and instead enter Mojave National Preserve.
Luckily we find one of our favorite dispersed campsites vacant.
Mojave is a wonderful park with very few campgrounds and very few amenities, just the way we like it.
Hiking across the open desert is great fun especially when one randomly stumbles across ancient petroglyphs.
Eventually the same cold front forces us even further south and we find ourselves again 230 ft. below sea level at the Salton Sea. Another one of our favorite places to hang.
The Salton Sea seems a little busier then normal this winter with many snow birds like us forced to congregate in one of the few warm corners of the west.
As campgrounds become even more crowded we move to the southern end of the sea to boondock near Obsidian Butte. Nearby are the mud volcanos. See our post The Primordial Mud Volcanoes Of Morton Bay)
We end this post camped along the south end of the Salton Sea enjoying the peace and quiet, bird watching, sunshine and warm temps.
Stayed tuned as we further explore this remarkable body of water and the surrounding Imperial Valley.
Slip in the ear buds, slide on the head phones or turn up the stereo but don’t miss our latest video “Clear Blue Skies”
Follow the big dogs adventures north as we eventually begin our migration back to our home in Alaska.
Keep you posted!