Clear Blue Skies

Blue Skies In SoCal

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.

Giant Eucalyptus Trees Near Cambria

We head north with our first stop being one of our long time favorite beach camps, the Rincon Parkway near Ventura.

Manzanita Driftwood Comes Ashore From The Recent Fires

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.

Mom On Her Way Home         Photo: Teresa Taylor

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.

San Onofre Beach 1963

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.  

Another Rincon Sunset

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.

Carrizo Plains Campsite

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.

Sunrise On The Carrizo

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. 

Beach In Cambria

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.

Another Scrumptious Blanic BBQ In Washburn Campground

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.

Imkelina And Sydney Blanic Enjoy The Cambria Coast
Surf Zone Patterns On A Cambria Beach

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.

Tasting At The Harmony Winery

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. 

Campsite Mojave NP

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.

LuLu and Tuks Romp In Camp, Mojave NP

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.

Cheap Gas In Amboy Route 66

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)

The Pups Enjoy The View From The Summit Of Obsidian Butte

We end this post camped along the south end of the Salton Sea enjoying the peace and quiet, bird watching, sunshine and warm temps.

Salton Sea Sunset

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! 

13 thoughts on “Clear Blue Skies

  1. Thanks you again for posting such beautiful scenes! Glad to hear your mom is on the mends and your travels have started up again! I love the music you add to your posts. I have been a home body for must of the winter, but heading to FL for a couple of weeks with my sister! Then maybe off to see a friend in NC! I hope to maybe be in Alaska in I think July with more friends. Mike had a house in Girdwood and Judy and him to be going there! I am hoping to be able to go too! Would love to see you folks then!


    1. Thanks Patti glad you enjoyed it, sounds like your having fun too, it would be great to see you this summer, are you planning on coming up to Denali ? if so give us a call. Send me your email and I can send you our contact numbers if you need them.


  2. I don’t know why I can’t seem to see my errors until I’ve submitted my comment! I need an editor for my comments! :-)) Should read “Looks like wonderful times all around, with good friends and finding peace in your favorite out-of-the-way spots.”


  3. Looks like wonderful times all around, with good friends and finding peace in your some of your favorite out-of-the-way spots. Southern California must have been paradise 50 years ago! Beautiful photos of the many pieces of paradise you continue to discover.
    Glad to see your mom is doing well. What a great spirit she has!


    1. Thanks Laurel, although its becoming harder to be along in California its still a wonderful state. Mom continues to slowly improve even though she is 96, thanks for your kind words.


    1. Thanks Bradley the recent cold front that moved in down here made it a little harder to find moderate weather but… we succeeded.
      Hope you and Brenda are doing well (and Sky and Otis) have fun with your mom!


  4. Love your post and video, especially as we sit here at the snowy RV dealer yard in Bend, OR. Eventually, we should be able to experience warmer weather and clear blue skies! Hopefully, we will be out of here by the end of next week. If you pass this way, call and we can meet for lunch or happy hour.


  5. Yet another wonderful post, stunning photos and soothing video. As we sit here in this over rated, over priced and we are over it rv park in Calistoga…seeing those clear skies in your video bring smiles to our souls. It has been dumping rain and in the low 30’s since we arrived…going on 5 nights now. And like the Dogs, we normally would follow the sun and warm temps, but need to help family for another week or two. Hope we get to connect again prior to your exodus north…we realize a lot is going on…but just in case will keep the meat locker and wine racks full. Safe travels!


    1. Thank you, we often thought about you two as we sat around the fire watching the last full moon. It would be great to meet again this winter but only time will tell. Hope all goes well in Healdsburg we are sending positive vibes your way.


  6. So glad to hear that Tim’s mom has been able to return home. She is indeed an inspiration. Also glad to hear that you are again enjoying the wide open spaces. Lulu and Tuks appear to be enjoying themselves too! More snow predicted today, but we don’t have nearly as much as friends in Fairbanks who have had a VERY snowy winter. Hugs from Tok!


    1. Thanks for the kind words, I always read them to mom as she loves to hear them. LuLu and Tuks truly enjoy the open desert as do we. Hope your winter easises up soon, see you in the spring!


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