Gold Beach, Oregon

We did not plan well this summer and didn’t line up a park for July 4th in advance, so in May, we realized we could be boondocking on the beach if we didn’t figure something out. (Which sounds fun, but we need shore power and neither me nor the cats like fireworks.) We also heard the Crescent City area LOVES its fireworks, and we didn’t want to find out how much. We got lucky and found the last spot at Oceanside RV Park in Gold Beach, OR for a nearly-two-week stay that included July 4. It wasn’t the cheapest place we’ve stayed, but it had full hookups and it was right on the beach, and it was available. It was really nice having a short drive to a new place we’ve never been, and the cats appreciated that, too. There were tons of birds for the cats to watch, and …

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Tour Through Tree, Klamath, California

This tree is centuries-old and a cheap ($5) tourist attraction worth seeing in the Klamath area. Small cars can drive right through the tree, but there’s no way our truck would’ve made it. So we just enjoyed hanging out in the shade of a tree that’s already outlived us 10 times over. Truthfully, it made us a little sad to see such an ancient living tree butchered like this. The tree still produces sap, constantly attempting to heal the damage. It continues to grow, with one branch in particular that resembled an entire new redwood. These trees are just incredible. When you visit the tour-through tree, do NOT bring your RV! The hill to get to the tree is steep, narrow, and there’s not much room to turn around when you get there. However, we had no problem taking our Ram 2500 up to the parking area next to the …

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New favorite phone app for exploring nature!

We’ve been loving the Seek app for identifying plants when we’re out exploring. The app uses your camera and image recognition technology to identify plants, animals, and fungi. It’s a fun addition to stopping and smelling the flowers. It “gameifies” being outside, by giving badges for discoveries and offering optional challenges. They’re cute features but the coolest part really is the identification of plants, animals, and fungi. Seek doesn’t store or transmit location data, and you don’t even need to create an account to use the app (but you can if you want to). The app is totally free from iNaturalist, which a collaboration between the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. It’s available for iOS and Android, and it does require internet in order to access the iNaturalist database and use the app. We haven’t had luck using it for bugs or animals yet (except humans …

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Jen got a bike! (Updated May 2021)

You may not believe this, but I’ve never really ridden a bike before. I had one when I was quite young, but didn’t get to ride it much before outgrowing it. Plus growing up with severe asthma meant I didn’t get to do a lot outside. David has been biking for a long time. When we moved to the Bay Area and realized driving every day is a nightmare, he got an e-bike to commute, and loved it. I never tried it out, because I’m much shorter than he is, with much lousier balance (due to a spinal cord injury). But it always looked fun! Since I didn’t really have anywhere to commute to, I stuck with my wheelchair (with a Freewheel, which I plan to post about here someday), though it’s a manual chair propelled by my own two hands. My speed was limited to how much energy I …

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The Red Ghost Sculpture, Quartzite, AZ

The Red Ghost sculpture commemorates a sad and bizarre story of a red-haired camel roaming the Quartzite region many years ago, who was found with the skeletal remains of a human tied to the camel’s back. No one knows who the human was, or what happened to them. I imagine this was quite traumatic for the camel. The sculpture is made of old wheels and scrap metal and lives outside Gem World, gem and mineral store on Main Street in Quartzite.

The Last Camp of Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Quartzite, AZ

We visited the Hi Jolly monument in Quartzite. Arizona. The photos tell the story of Hadji Ali (note the whitewashing of his given name), a Syrian Muslim camel expert who helped the US Army with a short-lived attempt to use camels in this part of the country as beasts of burden military purposes. Hadji became a bit of a legend around Quartzite, and when he died, they built the monument to honor him, and the town’s cemetery is named after him.

The Dinosaur Park, Bastrop, Texas

While this is geared towards kids, we are complete and total suckers for anything dinosaur, and it was right next door to us at Hwy 71 RV Park (we could see a couple dinos from inside the RV park!), so we absolutely had to check this place out. The Dino Park is only open from Thursday to Sunday during the day, and it was $9 per adult to get in. You enter through the gift shop, which was full of dino-themed goodness, and an animatronic dino show which you could watch by dropping a few quarters into the machine. Once you pay for your tickets, you can go out the back door and wander through the park. It’s an easy to follow path that’s stroller-friendly, although I did have a little trouble from time to time with my wheelchair, despite my Freewheel attachment. Overall I’d call this an easy walk, …

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Happy Pride Month! And a PSA.

Here’s a rainbow we saw on our travels this week, directly overhead! Despite more people than ever staying home, police violence against Black people continues just as it has since the country was founded. People have reached a tipping point and are collectively standing up for justice because black lives matter. Remember the campsite rule: leave your site better than you found it. What can you do to leave this world better than you found it? The RV community (especially the RV community online) has a whiteness problem, and we need to change that. Find outdoorsy accounts/blogs/channels run by Black folks and follow them. Challenge 10-year age limits at RV parks (which disproportionately affects lower income RVers, and lower income people are more likely to be people of color). Reconsider your RV park reviews complaining about “long term residents” which is often code for “poor people” (who are more likely …

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Always Hungry: Gluten-Free Food Truck in Austin, Texas!

One of our favorite charming qualities of Austin is that there’s a food truck on nearly every street corner, and there are so many interesting restaurants in the region. We’ve been here since December, and to date we haven’t found a lot of dedicated gluten-free spaces, making Always Hungry a delicious date-night treat. Always Hungry is a little taco truck (technically a trailer) in the parking lot of the Spider House Cafe and Ballroom, run by two best friends with a knack for delicious corn-free Mexican-inspired food. The menu is short, and everything starts out vegan, with the option to add meat for the omnivores. We shared two little tacos to start: one with mushrooms, and one with jackfruit. Both are delicious and come with greens, guac, lemon cashew aioli, hemp hearts, pickled onions (which I generously gave to David), and cilantro (no thanks), on homemade almond flour tortillas. They …

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