Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Germany in 2016 | Belgium | Tasmania 2017 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 | Australia Flying Safari 2017 | Philippines 2018 | Spain in 2018 | Alaska in 2019 |

Table of Content for trips:

More pages: February 2021 November 2020 October 2020 September 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 June 2019 May 2019 March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 June 2018 May 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997



2020/11/11 Road trip from Dallas back to CA via Texas and New Mexico National Parks
π 2020-11-11 01:01 in Hiking, Trips
After our road trip to Dallas to see Jennifer's parents, we did the trip back.through the southern portion of the southern states, crossing theborder patrol checkpoints multiple times because we were close to the Mexican border. We mostly took hwy 40 east, and hwy 20 and 10 going west (both are more south than 40).

So, this is the 3000+ mile trip back west from our 2000+ mile trip east.

Photo albums for each day:

  • Day00 Trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3PhKhWFVyPEhGUzb9
  • Day01-02 Big Bend: https://photos.app.goo.gl/PEXBYbQE5mpmYwUaA
  • Day03 Carlsbad Caverns: https://photos.app.goo.gl/LbR1oTwrPPKUXZpe9
  • Day03-04 Guadalupe Mountains NP: https://photos.app.goo.gl/TWGPVu3GB15RRsby6
  • Day05 White Sands: https://photos.app.goo.gl/TWGPVu3GB15RRsby6
  • Day06 Gila Cliff Dwellings and Forest: https://photos.app.goo.gl/tbMba3tNRnU89kqQ7
  • Day07 Chiricahua: https://photos.app.goo.gl/MixwKSM5ribnXUvV7
  • Day08-09 Saguaro East-West: https://photos.app.goo.gl/RjmUJgFZzP9WhU2N6
  • Day09-10 Organ Pipe NP: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xvYzBWLADj1VzM9E8
  • Day10-11 Phoenix: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9CA87M36Wy8k6XZr6
  • Day11 Joshua Tree NP: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ztx6vM3uNccmPgHEA
  • And just like the first leg, this was our ugly ducking for the trip, our Kuga Campervan (read more here)


    and we were ready for the trip back...

    Day 00: 12H drive from Dallas to Big Bend

    Big Bend is nice, but it's way the hell out there by the Rio Grande and Mexican border. Even within texas, it was a 9H drive, and we didn't even start from the northern point. We did a few stops on the way to break the very long drive, and had a 12H day by starting at sunrise:

    leaving Dallas
    leaving Dallas

    some of these were still running
    some of these were still running

    Our first stops were two old hangars used for training during WWII. Unfortunately the first one, national WASP WWII, had just closed the week we arrived so we had a peak around the area, but no museum:





    An hour down the road, was hangar 25, also used for training:






    and a few miles down the road was a vietnam memorial:





    Then, we resumed the drive, although we found some groundhogs and other things on the way:






    jackrabbit roping was a thing
    jackrabbit roping was a thing

    yeah, a 'few' of those on the way
    yeah, a 'few' of those on the way



    i73*


    and then, the remaining of the long drive to big bend:



    sunset on the way
    sunset on the way



    Day 01-02: Big Bend

    After our first night at Chisos Mountains campground, we got up very early for a long hike:

    pre-sunrise
    pre-sunrise

    nice moon
    nice moon

    breakfast by the Chisos visitor center, ready for the hike
    breakfast by the Chisos visitor center, ready for the hike

    hiking up to Emory Peak
    hiking up to Emory Peak



    great colors
    great colors

    quite hazy
    quite hazy


    we were parked down there
    we were parked down there

    and we sumiitted pretty early, 3rd people up
    and we sumiitted pretty early, 3rd people up



    word!
    word!




    woodpecker
    woodpecker

    Boot Canyon was nice with shade, but we didn't get to see any bears
    Boot Canyon was nice with shade, but we didn't get to see any bears


    south rim
    south rim


    that was the best animal we saw, no bears
    that was the best animal we saw, no bears


    we did a good time, 16.3 miles in 8h, 2.4mph moving average
    we did a good time, 16.3 miles in 8h, 2.4mph moving average

    Next, we drove towards Rio Grande village for our 2nd night, starting with Boquillas Canyon:



    we saw a few road runners
    we saw a few road runners

    mexico, across the river
    mexico, across the river

    you used to be able to cross the border but now it's closed, so they brought souvenirs and left them for sale (honor system)
    you used to be able to cross the border but now it's closed, so they brought souvenirs and left them for sale (honor system)

    the art was actually pretty good and reasonably priced
    the art was actually pretty good and reasonably priced

    we walked into Boquillas Canyon, carved by the rio grande when it had more flow
    we walked into Boquillas Canyon, carved by the rio grande when it had more flow


    When then went back to Rio Grande to watch sunset:







    nice stars
    nice stars

    The next morning, I went to see sunrise colors in around our camp. We then had a look at the visitor center, and drove out via the west to Santa Elena Canyon:





















    Eventually we got to Santa Elen, which started with a creek crossing:




    It was there a nice hike in the canyon, along the Rio Grande, up to where the trail stopped.






    It was then time to leave the leave the park via the west exit, which was best reach by 'old maverick road', a dirt road that is a bit faster, but not that much if you drive it the recommended speed. At slightly higher speeds, we got out in 30mn, so it was a good shortcut:




    After getting out, we took hwy170 to stay by the river and see a few more attractions while we had daylight. We started with Closed Canyon Trail, which as the name implies didn't quite lead to the Rio Grande like I was hoping:




    unfortunately this was the end of the trail for us, it was deep water (deep enough for swimming)
    unfortunately this was the end of the trail for us, it was deep water (deep enough for swimming)




    Nearby was Hoodoos and Balanced Rocks Trail, where we did sunset








    Day 03: Carlsbad Caverns

    After a long 2 days at Big Bend, we drove towards Whites City to go see Carlsbad Caverns the next morning. It was slightly tricky because a timezone difference between New Mexico and Texas when driving a few minutes north and south.
    The Caverns were very impressive. We ended up spending around 3H and we were lucky that it was not busy at all. The only downside of the late season was that the bats had moved to a warmer area:














    this shows how big the caves are, and the elevator as the quick way out
    this shows how big the caves are, and the elevator as the quick way out

    Day 03b-04: Guadalupe Mountains NP

    We then hurried over to Guadalupe Mountains NP to get a camping spot and head over to McKittrick Canyon which closed early (16:30). We had to make a mad rush to the notch at an average of 3.1 miles/h, a record for us. We had a ranger who tried to turn us around before we made it to the top because we were too late, but I begged her and assured her we'd make it out in time, which we barely did with 5mn to spare :)








    don't ask, I don't know ;)
    don't ask, I don't know ;)

    beautiful colors
    beautiful colors

    the grotto, our first stop
    the grotto, our first stop


    long climb to the notch
    long climb to the notch





    on the way out, we found this little guy
    on the way out, we found this little guy


    We then drove back to our campervan for the night:

    water fillup
    water fillup

    Jennifer made burgers for us
    Jennifer made burgers for us


    Early the next morning, we went for the summit hike (guadalupe peak trail) and got on the trail at 08:00:






    Summit!
    Summit!






    long way up from the parking lot
    long way up from the parking lot

    On the way down, we went to another trail to Devil's Hall Trail Garden, a very interesting formation:











    We then had a look at the visitor center on the way out:



    Then it was time to drive towards white sands for a nice hotel and shower


    Day 05: White Sands NP





    Because of Covid, the visitor store was closed, and we weren't able to get dune sliding disks. Jennifer tried the cooler lid, but it was too big and not smooth. I tried a trashcan lid, but it wasn't rigid enough:


    the slope also wasn't steep enough
    the slope also wasn't steep enough

    jennifer tried too
    jennifer tried too

    It was complicated, but we eventually got some disks at big5, and they worked a lot better for Jennifer who was smaller and lighter than me:


    we also walked the dunes
    we also walked the dunes

    I walked closer to the edge to the missile teting range
    I walked closer to the edge to the missile teting range


    was this a missile target?
    was this a missile target?


    Jennifer had more funs with dunes
    Jennifer had more funs with dunes

    Here's a video of how we did:

    We ended up being there long enough for sunset:






    It was then a long ass drive to Gila Forest, crossing a very curvy mountain pass in the dark with a campervan, not that much fun

    Day 06: Gila Cliff Dwellings and Forest

    we slept by a lake, 40mn from our destination
    we slept by a lake, 40mn from our destination



    there was a hot springs on the way, but it was closed because of covid
    there was a hot springs on the way, but it was closed because of covid

    try this at home
    try this at home

    finally we arrived, it was a long trip
    finally we arrived, it was a long trip











    Once there, we went to check out a nearby trail to a natural hotspring:




    after crossing the river twice
    after crossing the river twice

    we finally got to the natural warm pools
    we finally got to the natural warm pools



    Then a long 4H drive back out to Chiricahua NP, our next location




    Day 07: Chiricahua NP

    We arrived late in the evening and got to our campsite parking location or the night:


    We were up early the next morning for a beautiful sunrise on the trail. We ended up doing the full loop plus the an add-on (11.2 miles in just under 5h). Time was of the essence as we had to get to Tucson by 15:45 for our tour there:






    jays were not afraid of us
    jays were not afraid of us










    impressive
    impressive



    kissing rocks
    kissing rocks

    damn, that's a lot of rocks
    damn, that's a lot of rocks




    inspiration point
    inspiration point


    this is all the columns are created
    this is all the columns are created



    It was a bit unfortunate that the time was slightly rushed, but it was a very nice hike. The scenery and rock formations were outstanding. They were only second to bryce canyon...

    Day 07-08-09: Tucson, Titan & Pima Air&Space Museum, Saguaro East & West NP

    As the 2nd part of day 7, we had to hurry out of Chiricahua to get to South Tucson on time for our timed 16:00 tour of the Titan Missile Museum, which was a don't miss if you are in the areas. See the Tucson Titan Museum page for more details.



    The next morning, I went to the Pima Air and Space Museum (see this page for a full report):







    After I was done with the museum, I went to join Jennifer at Saguaro East:





    woodpecker make those holes for nests
    woodpecker make those holes for nests






    After leaving the park, we went to check out Trail Dust Town, which is probably fun outside of covid, but was pretty deserted and sad when we went:



    We then got gourmet thin crust pizza for Jennifer's Birthday:


    The next morning, we went towards Saguaro West and the museums on the way. We started with the International Wildlife Museum, which unfortunately opened a bit late (09:00), but was a nice collection:
















    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum:


















    Javelinas
    Javelinas









    Then, we went to the Red Hills Visitor Center and Saguaro West NP:












    Day 09-10: Organ Pipe NP

    We ended up finishing Saguaro West quicker than we thought, so we headed for Organ Pipe NP to get there before sunset. Organ Pipe NP felt a bit redundant with everything we had already seen, but we figured we were close enough, and not coming back, so we went :)




    We got there in time for a beautiful sunset:














    I found a little rat/mouse by our campervan, while Jennifer made a nice dinner for us:
















    We then went to check out the border of Mexico:



    smile for the camera
    smile for the camera




    After that, we did the Ajo Mountain Dr:




    We then did Arch Canyon Trail, and the unmaintained trail to reach the double arch. That was a huge mistake, it burned a lot of time, and we never really made it to the double arch, although we got so close, but it was getting quite unsafe, so we quit and went back.


    Arch Canyon had a walk to the top, but it was not a great idea
    Arch Canyon had a walk to the top, but it was not a great idea


    nice view from the top, though
    nice view from the top, though


    we were hoping to get up there, we got very close, but not quite
    we were hoping to get up there, we got very close, but not quite

    Next, and last, was Estes Canyon Bull Pasture Trail. It was a nice hike too:








    From there, we drove to Phoenix, which was slightly out of the way, but close enough for a stop

    Day 10-11: 14H in Phoenix

    We arrived just late enough to spend 1H at Odysea Aquarium before they closed at 21:00 (page here)



    After staying in a crappy motel (it was hard to find a better hotel without central air and lobby, but with direct access from the outside parking lot and independent AC units), we went to the excellent botanical garden when it opened the next morning: <center> <iframe src="/perso/gps/gmap/20201030_CA-Dallas-CA.php?center=33.45755,-112.18949&zoom=10" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="1024" height="768"></iframe> </center> --]















    weird growth
    weird growth


    They had a nice butterfly garden, it was their last day of opening when we arrived:










    monarch butterfly catterpillar
    monarch butterfly catterpillar

    We then wnt to visit the rest of the garden:






    It was a very nice botanical garden. After that, we stopped at the Japanese Friendship Garden, which wasn't huge, but a nice oasis in the middle of the city:



    a few fish
    a few fish




    After those 2 parks, it was time to drive back to California, and spend a bit of time at Joshua NP:

    Day 11: California Joshua Tree NP

    After Phoenix, we were driving to San Bernandino, and to break the long drive, it was fun to go through Joshua Tree NP. We only had a couple of hours to go through it, which isn't a lot, but we had been before, so it was enough to see it again (including parts we hadn't seen last time):

    after a long time on the road, welcome back to CA
    after a long time on the road, welcome back to CA


    Cottonwood Spring, we hadn't seen, and is quite nice
    Cottonwood Spring, we hadn't seen, and is quite nice

    impressive trees
    impressive trees




    Cholla Cactus Garden was quite nice, and worth visiting again
    Cholla Cactus Garden was quite nice, and worth visiting again


    interesting to see the mesh inside
    interesting to see the mesh inside


    After the south portion of the NP, we hadn't seen, we connected to the north section, that has lots of nice rock formations and Joshua Trees:









    Day 11: San Bernandino Park and Rave

    It was then time to head out and head for San Bernandino for my Dreamstate Park and Rave show:



    I carried my outfit across multiple states for almost a month, just in case I could end up there :)
    I carried my outfit across multiple states for almost a month, just in case I could end up there :)



    After the show, we found a place to park our campervan, and get some sleep before the drive home the next day:


    Jennifer heard we could park and sleep by Flying J, but that didn't work so well (they apparently don't allow it anymore)
    Jennifer heard we could park and sleep by Flying J, but that didn't work so well (they apparently don't allow it anymore)

    Day 12: Drive Home

    The drive home was uneventful, outside of the onramp of hwy5 being closed by an overturned RV


    After escaping LA before traffic could get bad, we stopped at a truck stop to have breakfast and refill our propane before returning the RV:


    turns out that thanks to the microwave, we used very little propane, only 10%
    turns out that thanks to the microwave, we used very little propane, only 10%



    after being stuck on the hwy5 onramp for half an hour, we had to drive on the onramp backwards, and continue on hwy99 until the next entrance
    after being stuck on the hwy5 onramp for half an hour, we had to drive on the onramp backwards, and continue on hwy99 until the next entrance

    hwy5 has canals on its side for a long length
    hwy5 has canals on its side for a long length

    Eventually, we got home, tired, emptied the van, and returned it to end our long trip.

    2nd leg of our trip was the longest
    2nd leg of our trip was the longest

    this was the full trip
    this was the full trip

    one downside of the Kuga Campervan was its terrible fuel economy, mostly because of a crap american engine
    one downside of the Kuga Campervan was its terrible fuel economy, mostly because of a crap american engine

    That was a long trip, we got to see a lot, and despite the american truck platform the Kuga campervan was built on, was indeed american crap with a gas guzzling engine, the Kuga build on top, was quite good, we enjoyed it.

    2020/11/06 Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden
    π 2020-11-06 01:01 in Trips
    While in Dallas to visit Jennifer's parents, and due to covid-19, we socially met part of the family in a botanical garden. It was surprisingly good;




































    More pages: February 2021 November 2020 October 2020 September 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 June 2019 May 2019 March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 June 2018 May 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997

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