Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house.
We spent the weekend at Bodega Dunes campground, part of Sonoma Coast State Beach. We haven't been camping in our trailer since October and we wanted to get out there.
Bodega Dunes is just north of Bodega Bay. There are hiking trails from the campground that go to the beach and over the dunes which are extensive. For many of the trails, you share the trail with horses so we were selective about the trails we took. On the first day, we went to the beach for sunset.
There is precious little counter space in the kitchen. We opted for a 3 burner stove and now wish we had gotten the 2 burner stove turned to maximize counter space. So what to do? We had been putting some items like pots and plates on the bed just behind the stove but that is not very satisfactory. We decided to build an extension counter to be attached just behind the stove. I reserached what others had done on the Escape Trailer forum, and then arrived at this design.
After visiting Bryce Canyon, we drove a short distance to Zion National Park. The two parks could not be more different but each is special. The major feature part of the park is Zion Canyon where the Virgin River flows, and it has several other parts that are also spectacular.
Kodachrome Basin State Park is about 25 miles from Bryce Canyon NP. It has some similar features but is also different and worth exploring. It is not as extensive as Bryce Canyon NP but we felt it was a worthwhile place to visit. We arrived at lunch time and ate in the picnic area. We headed out to Angel's Palace Trail which goes on top of a rock structure and provides great views of the area and gives you a good sense of the park.
In October, we visited Bryce Canyon National Park with our Cleveland friends, Jane and Charlie. Bryce Canyon is amazing. The park is on the side of a mountain with the main feature, hoodoos which are rock formations, on the east side. We first drove out the park road and stopped at most view points. We hiked down into the hoodoo formations on several trails and we encourage you to do the same.
I had heard from others that Valley of Fire was worth visiting, and it was. We entered from the west, paid at the entrance station, and went to the visitor center. When you get there, you begin to realize how great this park is. The main road takes you up through narrow canyons between the red rock formations and goes on for maybe 5 miles to White Domes with many great places to stop and marvel.
We recently traveled from home to Bryce and Zion national parks. Since the travel took more than one day, we decided to stop on our way out at Lake Mead. While we were there, we also visited Valley of Fire state park.
Lake Mead is the reservoir formed by Hoover Dam. It is very large. And very low. The drought has taken its toll as we were on the lakeshore but a long way from the water. It is a pretty area.
Lava Beds National Monument is in northeast California. We visited it as a day trip while we were staying in Weed for a few weeks. It's a long drive there and back, but we enjoyed it. The key feature there is the lava tubes formed when the laval flowed over this area. There are other featiures having to do with human history but we didn't have time to view them.
We have a travel alarm that we have used for years. If you push on the front of it, a blue light turns on and you can see the time. That's handy at, say, 4 am. In our new trailer, there wasn't a convenient place to put it that is handy to the bed. We perched it on top of the stove, but that was not a good location.
When I built the spice rack, I had some leftover oak. It looked like the perfect solution to our need. I built a very simple shelf that could hold the travel clock and a few other things, like eyeglasses.