Friends of ours from Philadelphia, Linda and Mike, invited us to their daughter Zoe’s wedding. Why not? We can drive the van out to California for the weekend. We left on a Wednesday from home and landed in Flagstaff for the night. We decided to sleep near Lower Lake Mary in the National Forest. It was starting to get dark and the forest had a bunch of campers in it already. We went a bit further and found the perfect spot. Quiet, woods on one side and marshy water on the other. In the morning it was cool and misty but we set out for a 6 mile run to explore. Great trails to run on, although one trail that we went on was a dead end. If you can get a map, do it.
Instead of staying on Interstate Hwy 40, we took a long detour on historic Route 66 through Oatman. You can imagine the cars and travelers going around these windy bends and feeling nostalgic.
We believe the old route went this way because there were already established mining roads. Pretty crazy drive though with the added free roaming burros to boot. The town felt a bit rough around the edges but you get a feel of what it might have been.
Paul found a pay campsite, Bonita Falls, near San Bernardino and we pulled in there for the night. It was an okay campsite with showers, plug-in etc. We did enjoy hiking up to the waterfall after arriving. Not very far and it was pretty impressive even with all the graffiti rocks. There were too many dogs barking at night to sleep well.
In the morning we did a 9 mile hike/run up Middle Fork Road to the Stone House Crossing Campground area. It was lovely and difficult at the same time. We got back and showered and headed to the Leta Hotel in Goleta. We parked in the back lot and after walking Billy Goat, dressd for the evening. Merriment with old neighbors and friends.
Wedding Day: We went for a run from the hotel down to Goleta Beach Park on a nice trail. Sadly I fell and hurt my shoulder pretty good. (not paying attention) Back at hotel we showered and dressed for an amazing wedding day for Dan and Zoe. We dropped Billy Goat off at a dog sitter and got on a shuttle to an event space. Lovely all around!
Beach day for people and dogs! We went to Campus Point beach to relax and enjoy the water with Mike, Linda, Zoe, Dan and family. Billy Goat loved this! Running around after Mello and other dogs. We were planning to drive inland for the night but got a late start and decided to sleep right directly on the Pacific Coast Hwy 1 just past Rincon Point. It was a bit strange to be parked next to big RVs but the sound of the ocean was worth it for a night. Mornings are particularly noisy with car traffic and for the high cost we probably wil not do that again.
Heading back to New Mexico we made one stop at the Lavic Volcanic Field to take a break, eat lunch and roast in the black earth. We actually picked up our dog a few times as we were worried about his feet. There are suppossed to be pretty cool cave here but we just hiked up the mound and down. Might be nicer on a cooler day.
BLM land for the night near the Wabayuma Peak Wilderness. Just off hwy 40 and pretty easy to get to, although you have to drive in about a mile or two to get the best spot. Fantastic!