Sequoia and Kings Canyon

IMG_3285Our first destination was in California only a few hours from our starting place. We arrived Monday, April 18th and departed Thursday, April 21, 2016.  Week one of our adventure and embracing being unemployed, “homeless”, RV living and happy.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon 

We stayed in Three Rivers, CA at the Sequoia RV Ranch in a river front spot.  It was one of the best  campgrounds we have stayed  in California.   There is plenty  of space between the spots and lots of trees.  Those of you local or visiting the area check it out.

Visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was the perfect start of our trip.  They have lots of beautiful hikes.  The parks are side by side in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  In between the parks is national forest land which is called Giant Sequoia National Monument.

What we enjoyed about these parks was the beauty of the giant trees and rugged mountains. The best way to explore the parks is to head out on some of the trails.  There are many different options from paved trails perfect for families or people in wheelchairs to more rugged trails.  For us since dogs are not allowed on the national park trails we did our hiking in national forest land where dogs are allowed.

Sierra walking on snow for the first time.

We spent only a day between both parks as we were limited on the areas we could explore with Sierra.  What was nice since it was our first National Park visit it enabled us to get a feel for what was to come.  We knew starting out on this trip we would be limited on what we could do with Sierra in tow.  So our goal was to explore different areas and experiences that we wouldn’t normally see if we had gone without Sierra.

Sierra doesn’t really like to get wet, but she didn’t mind walking on the snow.  The area was so fresh and clean that you could breath in nature.  Walking in the trees and viewing the canyons in the distance I could feel the stress of moving and getting started on this journey begin to melt away.  Seeing the strength of the giant Sequoias with the green branches moving slowly in the breeze was calming.

Since we needed some supplies for the trailer, the second full day  we headed into Visalia, CA.  There we went to Walmart to get the parts we needed.


We had lunch at a local restaurant Casa Mendoza in Three Rivers, we chose it because they had a patio area where we could enjoy the weather and because we had Sierra with us.  Plus it was a mexican restaurant, one of my favorite cuisines. I gave them a positive review on Trip Advisor  link to review.  They don’t seem to have a website but they do have a Facebook page.   They gave us water for Sierra and a dog biscuit.  It was a beautiful spring day and wonderful to be sitting out and enjoying the weather mid-week.   The food was delicious and satisfied my craving for tacos.

The campsite was so beautiful;  besides exploring the area; taking care of housekeeping items we enjoyed just hanging out and observing the river.  We didn’t know at that time that we would be getting into colder weather further along the trip.  But then this trip was about embracing the moments and taking our time to experience the journey.  It was a perfect start to our trip and a good way to easy out of working, packing and preparing for the trip.

Have you visited these parks?  What were the types of things you did?

Embracing the Journey.


#EmbracetheJourney #Day2DayTravels #Findyourpark?

Sierra – Apartment Living

Arriving in Oregon; setting up the Apartment.

My bed

We made it to Oregon, we arrived in early June.  Internet the last few weeks of our journey was not very great. Every time I had access to my humans laptop I couldn’t get on the internet.  I was really missing those crazy cat videos on Youtube.  We are in our apartment and things are quieting down.  I was so happy when my humans bought my Cal King bed into this funny small house.  They think it is their bed but it is mine; I just let them sleep with me.  

I had a good time in the trailer for two months but I am happy to be in a non-movable home.  I have been trying to write to you about this new place but I couldn’t find the laptop with all the boxes.  They have the place put together now and I should be able to grab the laptop when they go out and do errands.  

There is no back yard in an apartment instead there is a tiny cement area off the back door.  If I wanted to run fast I would bonk my head on the wall.  My humans are cool though and they take me for lots of walks but it’s not the same as running around in your own yard.  I am glad this place is temporary.  I am loving the weather here and when my humans go out I get the run of the house.  

I watch TV, Youtube, sleep anywhere I want: my bed, chair, my favorite chaise lounge or the recliner.  

One of my favorite chairs.

The only thing that would make it perfect is if I could open the refrigerator, then I could eat my favorite leftovers, steak.  Now that things are settled I think we are going to explore and find places where we can hike and maybe an off leash dog park or area.  I used to love to hike at Del Valle in Livermore, it would be great if we found a place like that.  Hiking here I think will be wonderful since the weather is much cooler than in California.  

 Take the time to embrace the smells and sights of your journey, enjoy the moments of each day.


Super Doggy

#EmbraceNewSmells #FindyourPark #Day2DayTravels

Comfy blanket and chair

On the Road 39 Days

We have been on the road for 39 days and tomorrow we arrive at our last National Park, Glacier.  We have another 11 days including our stop in Glacier.  Part of me doesn’t want the journey to end and another part is ready to start setting up our base camp.  We have learned so much about traveling on a long trip like this and what I do know is I would like to do another in the future.   There are so many historical and beautiful places we have yet to visit.

Oregon Trail Historic Site in Wyoming

What is exciting is that once we arrive in Oregon we begin a new adventure and journey; learning about the new area we planning on living for the long term.   While on the road we secured our apartment in a complex that we had viewed several months prior to starting this trip.  One  challenge was e-signing the 51 page rental agreement over the campground wifi.  We had brought with us a hotspot device which still didn’t have full range but was way better than the free wifi.  So we were able to get the job done.   I am looking forward to better bandwidth once we we settle in our new place.

I am so thankful that we took the time out to travel and I am excited for the next chapter as well.  We purposely are not stopping at any of the national parks or historical places  in Washington or Oregon on this trip, those will be adventures we will have from our new home base.

Mt. Rainier- Washington State

Today we are staying in Missoula, MT a planned stop to rest between Yellowstone and Glacier.  We will be doing some chores, getting the oil changed on our vehicle, grocery shopping and maybe some laundry.  One thing is for sure no matter where you are you always need to do the laundry, change the sheets and go grocery shopping.

Things I have learned while traveling across country:

  • Starbucks is not everywhere
  • Dairy Queen Blizzards are very good
  • When in a RV you don’t have to use stinky rest stop bathrooms
  • Wifi available doesn’t me it will work
  • Take your time and enjoy the surroundings
  • Driving 3 to 4 hours across country the scenery is very diverse
    • Nothing like driving Interstate 5 in California from the Bay Area to So. Cal.
Road leaving Zion
  • It is very hard to eat outside in the rain/snow because you have a dog in tow.
  • Not all states allow dogs on the patio area of restaurants
  • Most places that you can eat outside on patio area with a dog are fastfood
  • Eat out in nice places when your dog is in daycare, cook the other times
  • Learned how to cook for two
Sierra’s favorite meal that I cook
  • All gift shops start to look the same
  • Don’t trust your GPS (okay I knew that before) always have paper maps with you to validate where it is sending you.
  • Its okay to take a day out and do nothing

As our journey starts coming to end, I will continue to enjoy each moment and let the next steps come naturally.  At the end of the day life is journey with many different chapters.   I have many blogs to share about our journey but right now I am focused on today and what memories and joy it will bring.

When you travel how do you handle taking care of the day to day needs?

Embracing the Journey.


#EmbracetheJourney #Day2DayTravels #Findyourpark?



Sierra- Colorado

Bunnies, Elk, walking around town,  a lake and a river.

Going from Utah to Colorado was interesting.  Our first stop was in Golden, Colorado.  Which is the home for Coors and KONG.  I don’t really like beer so we went to check out the headquarters for KONG.  Couldn’t determine if they had tours but I was able to see where these fun toys were made.  My cousin Maya loves these as much as I do and I wanted to go on the tour so I could buy her one.  My human said I could get her something along the way.

In the Golden area there was a lot of hail and thunder storms and even tornado warnings to the east of our location.  We were watching the news and there were some people camping and their RV’s were flipped over.  I am really glad we were not camping over there, that would not be any fun.  Earthquakes or Tornado’s wouldn’t be good for trailers.  I also do not want to be transported to OZ and meet those flying monkeys.  Just the thought gives me chills, I don’t know how Toto survived that experience. 


One cool thing in Golden, there was a Starbucks and I had my first Puppuccino.  It was yummy.   My human mom was so cool to ask for one for me.    It was just whipped cream but so cool and delicious.

The other cool thing about Golden was at the RV Park there were bunnies which are way more cool than Squirrels. I so wanted to frolic in the the grass with them but my humans wouldn’t let me off my leash.  😦  I enjoyed watching them from the trailer and imaging what it would be like to run in the grass with them.

Next we went to Estes Park near Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was snowing there, it was awesome. I like snow much better than rain.  It was really cool.  Then during the night when we went outside there was snow everywhere.  It was a little chilly out so I was glad I got to stay at doggy daycare and play with my new friends inside.


The last day we went for a walk along Estes Lake and there were Elk everywhere.  They are not cute like bunnies so I didn’t want to run and play with them.  I just observed them from a safe distance with my humans. 

The one thing I liked about staying in Estes Park is that we walked the town each day and down by the river.  One day we were having lunch by the river and there were two big labs like my cousin Maya jumping in the river and fetching a stick.  They were crazy dogs, why would you jump in water, very cold snow melted water just for a stick.  I can see maybe for some steak but a stick.  Then to keep doing it over and over again, that is not something I think would be fun for me.  I hear that labs love the water so maybe this is really a fun thing for them.  Every dog is unique and enjoys different things, as long as I don’t have to jump in with them and they are happy they should go for it.  I am the type of dog that loves blankets and long walks on dry land.

Next we head to Wyoming and South Dakota maybe I will get to see more bunnies there and get a chance to run around and play with them.  I wonder what new places I will see tomorrow and yummy treats for my tummy.  Take the time to embrace the smells and sights of your journey, enjoy the moments of each day.


Super Doggy

#EmbraceNewSmells #FindyourPark #Day2DayTravels

Planning the trip

Thoughts on the road- Starting our Adventure

It was a warm spring day when we started our adventure. No job, no house just our trailer and the road.  We embraced that we were not on a time schedule and hit the road.  We stopped at the rest stop to stretch our legs and then stopped for lunch.  It felt good not to have to check email and see what is going on while traveling.

bitmoji-Tiffany Bon Voyage

To be able to start this adventure it took a lot of planning.   We knew we wanted to travel the country and visit national parks.  So which parks and how will we travel there?  How much should we book ahead and how fluid did we want things to be.  Based on reading blogs and our experience to date in booking campgrounds we knew that if we didn’t want to dry camp  we needed to book ahead.

The route needed to be figured out first, our starting point was the San Francisco Bay Area and ending point was Portland Oregon.  We knew that Zion, Bryce and Mt. Rushmore were must have places we wanted to visit.  I spent hours searching different National Parks, maps, RV blogs, Pet Blogs, mapping trip tools and different Ipad applications.  I purchased a few books some for my Kindle and others hardcopy.  One that I purchased to help with research and we have used a lot during the trip is National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States, 8th Edition (National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States)

One of my favorite applications to research campgrounds  was the All Stays Camping App:
125x125 AllStays Faded Edge

It showed the most campground options and was very easy to use.  So I would sit and play with the route,  until I came up with the baseline of which major national parks/monuments and points of interest to visit:

  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon
  • Death Valley
  • Las Vegas
  • Zion
  • Grand Canyon North Rim
  • Bryce
  • Capitol Reef
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Mt. Rushmore
  • Crazy Horse
  • Devils Tower
  • Yellowstone
  • Glacier

Then the research started, I also downloaded an app for my Ipad; National Parks by Chimani

 and purchased the different parks we were interested in visiting so that I could do research whenever I had a free minute.

We  were taking our dog with us and most National Parks and National Monuments don’t allow dogs beyond the parking lots.  We needed to research what we would do with our dog.  In most towns there were places that specialized in dog boarding or daycare.  I also purchased a book and App to aide in this search:

Dogfriendly.Com’s United States and Canada Dog Travel Guide: Dog-Friendly Accommodations, Beaches, Public Transportation, National Parks, Attractions. They also have a blog with lots of great information.

The last piece of the puzzle was timing, when were we going to start this journey.  That would be driven by the sale of our house,  we couldn’t even plan anything until we knew that timing.  We also had some important family events going on so we couldn’t leave any earlier than April 18th.  That was our fist line in the sand, hit the road on the 18th.  The big question; would the home sale line up with that or push it out.  Thankfully our home closed in plenty of time.

Empty house, ready to hit the road

Once we were in contract on our home we felt we could start planning our trip out.  I was playing with different ways to keep track of what we were booking but settled on a basic Excel spreadsheet with all the dates listed in each row and then filling in the places as we moved across the country.  Once I had it all figured out then I transferred the information to my calendar so that it would sync with my phone, computer and Ipad.  I also loaded the information to the cloud and downloaded the excel file onto my Ipad and phone for reference.  Then I printed it out on 11×17 paper to keep in the car, wasn’t sure what our internet connectivity would be like along the road.

We used a combination of several different tools to figure out our path, leveraging  AAA trip planner (TripTik) and Good Sam’s trip planner.  Both were memberships we already had and both have different benefits and features.  The nice thing about Good Sam’s planner is it takes in account your RV size with the routing. Using these tools helped us determine distance between each location and determine where we needed to insert additional stops.  Our goal was to spend between 3 to 5 hours max on the road between each stop.  We planned either 2 to 5 days at each stop.  We also needed to keep in mind that Memorial day was going to be in our window of travel so that needed to be considered as well.

Route Map.PNG
Our Route from California to Oregon

So with a rough outline of our path my husband and I spent a weekend booking our trip, locating places to stay, checking reviews from AllStays (All A RVer needs: Campgrounds, Fuel, Parking, Washes and more) and Trip Advisor before determining where we wanted to stay.  I used my Ipad and laptop and my husband was on his laptop verifying via google maps the distance between each place.   At the end of plotting out the trip it felt like we had already been on a journey, a virtual one.  Now the big question, what would the trip be like.  Did our research pay off and what about the place that took only cash or check.  Was it going to be okay?

Embrace the Journey
Day2Day Travels- Yosemite National Park – One place we had visited many times before but not on our list for this trip.  Goal was to see new places or areas.

We removed two major National Park from our list, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon because it did not open until May 15th and by then we would be in South Dakota.  We also removed Capitol Reef because we were concerned we would be tired of all the red rock items.   I guess we will have to plan another trip in the future and catch all the parks and areas we did not reach.  There are so many beautiful places and so much history to learn about.  The only thing we planned out was campsites and dog day care.  What we did at each stop or park was going to be planned out in the moment.  Our goal was to enjoy the sights around us, be flexible and embrace the journey.  Do you enjoy planning a trip or just winging it?

Embracing the Journey.


#EmbracetheJourney #Day2DayTravels #Findyourpark?

Sierra – Death Valley, Las Vegas & Zion

Death Valley, Las Vegas and Zion National Park

I have been to 4 national parks and Las Vegas.  The best part is I have been hanging with my human’s almost the entire time.  I have visited two doggie places too.

When we left Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks we headed over to Death Valley NP.   It was hot there and windy.  The ground was warm and my mom keep checking it with her hand to make sure it wasn’t too hot for my paws.  She is a worry wart like that, I am 10 years old I know how to tell her if it was too hot.  I would jump into her arms, duh.  It was really windy there so windy that the trailer was rocking all night and day.  Mom said it was like being in turbulence on an airplane.  I am not sure what that is but what  I didn’t like was all the sand blowing in my eyes.

Here I am in the truck with my humans exploring Death Valley in the Air Conditioning.

After Death Valley we went to Las Vegas and they took me to the Camp Bow Wow and it was the best.  I really need some doggie time.  I love my human’s but being with them 24/7 and no doggies to sniff and play with was a bummer.  But don’t tell them I liked it there because I want them to feel a little guilty for leaving me.

Here I am giving my human dad directions on how to go back to Camp Bow Wow for day two.

Then we went to Zion National Park and there was wet stuff and mud.  My paws didn’t get too wet and muddy but my fur was damp.  I had two play days at the Doggy Dude Ranch and it was an awesome place.  It is like visiting someone’s home.  Loved it there and had a blast playing with the humans and dogs.

Dad and I along the Pa’rus trail next to the Virgin River.

 The last full  day at Zion we went on the hike in the park.  I know I was surprised too, there was actually a trail for dogs.  (Pet Rules at Zion Park)  It is called Pa’rus Trail, which says dog to me “Paws R US” is how I understand it.  Actually I read the sign while we waited for my human dad and it is a Paiute word meaning, “bubbling, tumbling water,”.    Dad dropped us off at Canyon Junction which was by shuttle stop #3.  He then parked the truck and joined us back at the shuttle stop.   I liked that the trail was paved and how it followed the river as we headed to the visitor center.  We stopped along the way at the Human History Museum for a rest before we got to the end.

I wished we had hiked the trail round trip instead of just one way, but mom was afraid it might rain.  Since I am not a fan of the wet stuff, good call but don’t tell her that.   Also, about an hour after we finished that hike and a hike into town it started to rain, thankfully we only go a little wet but it was pouring once we made it in the trailer and the sky was flashing and banging.  I am told that is thunder and lighting, very cool we didn’t have that in California.

I wonder what new places I will see tomorrow and yummy treats for my tummy.  Take the time to embrace the smells and sights of your journey, enjoy the moments of each day.

Super Doggy

#EmbraceNewSmells #FindyourPark #Day2DayTravels

Time for a nap after all that walking and exploring in Zion.

The Dream- Bon Voyage ~ Aloha

bitmoji-Tiffany Bon VoyageWe are not saying goodbye, instead Bon Voyage or Aloha*.  The last two months we have celebrated our exciting adventure with friends and family.  We have shared our plans and the detailed spreadsheet that I have created on the route we will be taking for our National Park tour.

We have played Bocce Ball, gone bowling, celebrated Easter, birthdays, ate lots of yummy food and shared many memories.  We appreciate all the love and care we have received these last few months from our family and friends.

This is not goodbye, but Aloha,  Bon Voyage for the new adventure started    During our journey we will stay connected to our family and friends via this blog, Facebook, Instagram, Skype and whatever means necessary.

The journey has begun and we are thankful to all the well wishes and celebrations that lead to this event.

*In the Hawaiian language, Aloha can mean hello or goodbye.


#EmbracetheJourney #Day2DayTravels #Findyourpark

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The Dream – Telling Friends and Family


Once we decided to take the leap and follow this dream and adventure; the harder part was to share with friends and family.  What was once a maybe someday thought shared with some friends and family was becoming a reality.

Family was first in sharing the news, then friends, bosses and co-workers.  Different people knew at different times.  It was exciting news, life changing news for us and those around us.   Everyone has been supportive and happy for us.  They are also sad to see us leave and don’t want us to go.

For me it’s not goodbye or sad because I know that we can still be connected, it will just be different.   We won’t be across the street, in the next office, 10, 20 , 30 minutes away anymore.  We will be in another state, doing different jobs and visiting by either driving 10 hours or via an airplane.  But we will still be connected, just the how and frequency will change.

We will now have a causal hello via a text message, Facebook Post, Instagram message, this blog, emailed note, post card or via the phone.   Today we have so many ways to keep in touch and say connected. We have our web-camera’s
ready and Skype accounts setup.  It will require more of an effort to keep connected and some of us will drift apart.  Some of us will grow that connection and value the quality of our time together and nurture the time apart with the tools available.

The one thing in life is constant is change and making that statement doesn’t change how hard this is for everyone.  My hubby and I have been thinking, planning and  dreaming about this for a long time.  We have had more time to get used to this idea.  For those that we shared the dream with they knew this is a possibility but not just if it was just talk or if it would become a reality.  Then there are other people where this is coming out of left field and they are hurt that we didn’t share our dream with them.  No matter which group you are in, the feelings you have are valid and adjusting to change takes time.  For us we are excited about what lays head and positive.  There will be days that we will miss everyone and question our choice.  Those are the times we need to stay grounded to our dream and pick up that phone to keep our connections alive.

What ways do you like to stay connected to friends and family that are not local?


Embrace the Journey

Our Trailer

The Dream – Moving

It is hard to say when the idea of leaving California started to form.  Was it when I was in my early teens visiting Northern California, Washington and Oregon with my grandparents?  I remember how green Oregon and Washington were; seeing waterfalls  and the rain.   I also remember wanting to leave California before the big one (Earth Quake).    That is before I learned about the pacific ring of fire and about volcanoes in the  cascade mountain range;  I was in my early teens in the 80’s without the internet.

Flash forward to the summer of 2004, when we go on a family vacation to Oregon. Visiting Carter Lake, Bend, Three Sisters,  and Florence. Exploring Central Oregon to the coast, I knew that this state was where we might want to live.  So my hubby and I made the statement when the kids graduate from school we will move north or maybe east as far as Utah.  So we spent the next 12 years taking vacations, reading and learning about different places to move.  At 40 I subscribed to  Where to Retire Magazine,
not that our move would mean retirement but it could be our forever town.  We also read books:


The criteria for us for picking our new state or town:  Lower cost of living, Airport within an 1 drive, no humidity, less traffic than we have in the SF Bay Area, jobs available for IT skills,  not too hot, drive able to visit family and to go camping for the annual family reunion in Northern California.   We narrowed our search to Washington State and Oregon.  Portland, Oregon area seemed to hit our criteria the best.   We liked the diverse landscape, how it would be easy to drive to the coast or the mountains.  It reminded us of the things we liked the best about living in the SF bay area and all the outdoor options that were close by.

After several visits and lots of dreaming and  planning we made the decision to make this change.  I created a spreadsheet several years ago before we made our final location choice on what we needed to save and pay off in order to make this dream happen.  The target time frame was 2016/2017 depending on where our kids where in their college journey’s.

In late December after our most recent visit to Portland, we asked ourselves what was keeping us from taking this leap.  Fear of the unknown,  would we find new jobs, home, would we be okay with all the rain, would we be get home sick for our CA family and  friends.  Taking a deep breath, with lots of research, dreaming, planning we have taken the plunge to pursue our dream of moving to Oregon.

Have you ever pursued a dream that was fearful?  How did it turn out?



Sierra’s Thoughts on the “Adventure”

DSCN0355By Sierra

It seems everything lately it is all about this move and my humans following their dream.  Camping for over two months in the trailer, not sure how much I am going to like this dream of theirs.  Of course I like the trailer better than when we sleep in a tent.  There is carpet, cushions, a bed and soft blankets in the trailer.  Then moving to a place that has all that wet stuff.  No one asked me for my input on this move. 

Every time I turn around they have moved something  or I see them take it out to the truck. My favorite chair and sofa, they are no longer in the house. I hear strange things about this is going to “long term” or “short term” storage.  What is this apartment me thing they are talking about?  Will it have a backyard for me to chase squirrels and other creatures out of?  What about all that wet stuff, they know I don’t like getting my paws wet.

Then we are camping for two months, visiting national parks.  Which aren’t very dog friendly I have read.  Yes, I read over my human mom’s shoulder.  So what are they going to do with me while they are exploring this unfriendly dog place? Most importantly when are they going to start cooking steak again.  I love chicken but it’s been too long, I need steak.

I will report back to you on this move and camping trip.  As long as I get to be with my humans I think this adventure will be okay, plus they will not be working for 2 to 3 months.  Which means I get to be spoiled with lots of walks and attention.  Maybe once we get in the trailer we can have some steak, since mom doesn’t want to stink up the house before we move.  Yes, camping with steaks on the BBQ, long walks sniffing new smells and naps with my humans, that is my kind of adventure.

Sierra and the Trailer