We began our trip August 10th the destination San Diego California to attend our godson, Ernie’s wedding, August 24th. Our first stop was Cap Rock State Park in Quitaque, Texas. Cap Rock is home to the largest bison herd in Texas and they have free range to the entire park. They visit the campgrounds very up close around sun rise and sun set for grazing. They are large beautiful animals that are not the least bit shy to people or vehicles.
One of our favorite stops when we cross into New Mexico from Texas is the Route 66 casino in Albuquerque. It is a great RV park because it has something each of us enjoys. Vegas likes to play ball in the dog park as well as run free in the large open areas. Lonnie is entertained playing craps in the casino and I enjoy sitting outside in the shade admiring the open vastness of the area and reading. Plus the casino food is very tasty with lots of choices giving me a break from meal preparations.
The drive from Albuquerque to Cottonwood Arizona is a long and hot. We stopped at Meteor Crater which is just east of Flagstaff. The crater was created some 50,000 years ago by a huge iron-nickel meteorite estimated to have been about 150 feet across with an explosive force greater than 20 million tons of TNT. Needless to say it is one big hole in the ground – the crater is 700 feet deep and over 4,000 feet across. An interesting fact is in 1964 the Apollo astronauts trained there to help them understand and collect samples for their mission to the moon. We spent a couple of days at the Thousand Trails RV resort in Cottonwood which is just west of Sedona. The mornings and evenings had welcoming cool weather but by 9:30am the temperature started rising and kept going until it reached 108. We were able to enjoy hiking the hills and river early in the mornings.
California brought welcomed cooler temperatures. We stayed a few days at one of our favorite spots, Mount San Jacinto near Idyllwild at another Thousand Trails property. It’s the mountain that buts against Palm Springs and Palm Desert. The morning temperatures were in the low 50’s and afternoon in the 80’s. What a welcome relief from Texas and Arizona. We delighted in hiking the numerous trails available in the refreshing air and in the afternoon we enjoyed sitting under the tall pines taking in the views. Vegas had fun running free on the trails and playing the extremely large pine cones.
By now we are getting closer to the wedding date, so start heading to San Diego. We stopped for a night in Pala at the Pala Casino and RV Park, then off the next morning to San Diego. In San Diego we stayed the first night at Campland on Mission Bay. It is advertised as a family-friendly fun for everyone and they are right about that. It was packed with families having fun before school starts. It was a blast seeing all the kids roaming free on their bikes, skate boards, skates, and all other fun toys – lot’s of activity. That evening, August 23 there was a very entertaining party for Ernie and Lynsey at the Hotel LaJolla. We took an Uber to and from which worked out great. When we arrived back at Campland there was a live band playing and sat outside sharing a double scoop of butter pecan ice cream taking in the music and the people. The wedding venue was the Scripps center located on La Jolla beach. Ernie arranged for reserved parking for our RV in the Scripps parking lot which is open to the public on weekends. We spent the day overlooking the ocean and watching the numerous surfers enjoying the waves and at night slept to the sound of the rolling waves. The wedding was fantastic and Ernie and Lynsey were the perfect couple. The venue was beautiful and every detail was planned perfectly. We had a fabulous time and it was very heart warming to participate in their day.
The return trip to Austin took us through Utah where we stopped at Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Zion was pretty but Bryce Canyon was outstanding. It is full of fiery colors and endless vistas with fairy tale castle-like rock formations known as “hoodoos”. We camped in the park and walked the trail to view Sunrise and Sunset Point as well as Inspiration Point rather than taking the shuttle service they offer so we could take Vegas with us. We rode horses on an hour and a half trail ride down to the bottom of the canyon. My horse was Red River and let’s just say he was less than enthusiastic to be taking the trip, but it was quite thrilling riding the horse as he walked the narrow and steep ledges down to the base floor. There is also an 18 mile scenic drive which offers several amazing views. One of our favorites was the Natural Bridge view which looks like a fiery red castle sitting atop a bridge connecting to the other side of the landscape. If you have not been, you have to go see this place it is spectacular.
Homeward bound now, basically just following our path back take through New Mexico and Texas. We did make a quick stop at the Four Corners. It is where 4 states intersect, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona. We had a foot in all four states at once.
A great trip, every day was an adventure and so much fun but it is also nice to be home.