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Arastradero Preserve

As our Airstream home on wheels has been grounded of late, Kelly and I have been focused on uncovering local attractions in and around our home base here in HMB.  More specifically, those destinations which welcome not only us, but our pooch Lilly as well.

A few weeks ago we stumbled across a location with good potential and have since been there twice.

Situated an easy 30-minute drive from our place, sits Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve.  Located just outside the city of Palo Alto, the 622-acre preserve offers sweeping views of the south bay, and is also a great overlook to Stanford University’s impressive  campus.

Like many of the grassland foothills in this area of the peninsula, Arastradero Preserve offers any visitor – human or canine – numerous trails to explore.  Overall, the preserve is great option for us.  Sure, I wish it was closer to where we live, but visiting the preserve in the morning creates an easy excuse to venture into Palo Alto afterwards and visit great restaurants for lunch, before returning home.  A win-win…

And best of all, Lilly loves this place.  I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.

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Beautiful start to a hike

A few sections of tree overgrowth

A few sections of tree overgrowth

sweeping views of the valley

sweeping views of the valley

A selfie gone bad

A selfie gone bad

Banana slug on its way

Banana slug on its way

Arastradero Lake

Arastradero Lake

Big Tree & little tree

Big Tree & little tree

Wild flowers blooming

Wild flowers blooming

Orange

Orange

Lilly in the mix of purple and yellow

Heads down into something

Heads down into something

Frolicking in the grass, under the warmth of beautiful sunny skies

Frolicking in the grass, under the warmth of beautiful sunny skies

Not Quite As Planned

Generally I limit updates to this blog to those topics related our travels – the places we go and things we see while on the road.  Sadly, adherence to these rules has resulted in the deafening silence that is the 62 days since I last posted any content.

The winds of change can be a real pain in the ass … and for Kelly and me, the changes are wreaking havoc on our travels.  Twice this year we have prepped the trailer for travels, only to cancel each trip.  Mostly, work is the culprit, but three root canals between the two of us are not helping matters.  More, in what might be the most pathetic reflection of our travels so far this year, the single trip we’ve taken in 2014 was necessitated by legal requirement to visit a trailer-friendly DMV office about two hours from our home base in Half Moon Bay.

In a bitter twist of irony, the California DMV is to be credited for enabling the only quick weekend trip we’ve managed to squeeze in this year.  Although to be completely forthcoming, the DMV did collect $1,100 from us in the process.  I’m still not sure who got the better end of that deal.

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Mabel collecting clutter … wishing to be elsewhere

Realistically, there will no trip anytime soon – work is too hectic for both Kelly and me for the foreseeable future.   Mabel continues to sit idle, and like Kelly and me – wanting badly and waiting anxiously to be on the road exploring.  At the moment, we travel vicariously (and with jealousy) via a variety of travel blogs and Instagram feeds – all the while, grasping tightly onto plans for a mid-May rendezvous with our fellow Airstreaming pals Brian & Leigh in Oregon … a place that makes everything better.

In between now and then, things will continue to be chaotic.  Odds are good that my job will send me abroad to India and Germany for a period of  3-4 weeks while I also do my best to settle into a new role resulting from a recent promotion.  Keeping up the tempo herself, Kelly is also basking in the joys of a recent promotion and other work accolades, doing her best to juggle the work of two – possibly three people.

Like I said, things are hectic.

Despite all of this, I remain optimistic that things will be okay and Kelly and I will again find ourselves course-corrccted, and soon enough back onto our preferred path.

Yesterday, my boss and I were chatting about the importance of momentum in sports.  Specifically, how momentum can be an incredible force – something capable of propelling a team down 20 points … and seemingly left for dead at halftime, forward to victory.

To be clear, Kelly and I are not down by down 20 points (and I hope no one has left us for dead), but we do need to get momentum once again back on our side before the game begins shifting from feeling to actually being out of reach.  If we can keep the game close until our trip to Oregon, I think we’ll have a good chance of regaining momentum for the second half of this year.

 

 

 

 

Almost Perfect

Some days are damn near perfect; today was one of those days.

As hoped, this side trip detour of ours to Coyote Lake Campground has been time (and $24 in campground fees) well spent.  As all the elements of a relaxing day fell into place, Kelly and I took full advantage of 73 degree temperatures and a mostly empty campground.

Following an extended night’s sleep, I ventured outside the trailer this morning to find that we had a new neighbor a few sites away.  To his or her credit, they didn’t make a peep setting-up last night … which is much appreciated.

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Under clear blue skies, we ventured out for a morning hike.  Our 3-hour loop trail took us through some rolling hillsides before ascending atop the main ridge-line, and back down again through more rolling hills, and ultimately back into the campground.

Given today’s glorious weather and it being the weekend, the trails were a bit more crowded than yesterday, but nothing I should complain about.  Like us, people seemed thrilled to be outside, enjoying themselves in this lovely park.

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The smog and haze around this part of California can be intense.  Amazingly, just on the other side of the ridge-line, as we crested the top, the views were terrible.  There is also a massive draught crushing the state which also contributing to the miserable haze.  It hasn’t rained in months; consequently, dust and other micro-sized elements linger airborne, exacerbating the problem.

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 Quickly enough, we made our way back to the “clean” side of the valley and began our descent through the cover of trees and back to the trailer.

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Look closely at the photo above and you will see our lovely home basking under full sun.  More and more, I am loving the solar panels I installed this summer.  It’s so convenient to know the house batteries are quietly sipping energy while we are out playing.

Returning to the Airstream, we had a mostly lazy afternoon and evening.  We both did a bit of work this afternoon, but not too much such that it took away from our day.

Hey … almost perfect.

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

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Kelly and I initially registered our Airstream with the California DMV in July of 2012.  The process was a fiasco, as the workers there could not decide how to designate the trailer … body type PTI (permanent travel trailer) or CCH (trailer coach).  In what was an unnecessarily lengthy deliberation, DMV officials feverishly scoured various official looking manuals and appendix guides in search of the answer.

Waiting helplessly and quite frustrated, I used my iPhone to quickly navigate to a FAQ page on the DMV website in search of answers.  About 90 seconds later I was able to confirm CCH was the proper designation type.

No matter, the team of DMV all-stars concluded that PTI was the correct designation, and soon thereafter issued Kelly and me PTI license plates.

Today, I finally put the matter to bed and corrected the issue, but not before first driving 75 miles from my home to the nearest DMV wherein I was able to secure an appointment before a February-2nd deadline as imposed by a not so friendly, late night encounter with a California highway patrol officer a few months ago.

An hour of my time and one $1,140 re-resgistration later, I was on my way.  A not so wonderful way to start a Friday.

Looking to salvage a shitty start to our Friday and weekend, Kelly and I quickly set our attention to Coyote Lake Campground (CLC), a park we’ve visited before

Lacking a reservation, but assuming there would be ample availability, we drove to the park in hopes of securing a spot for two nights.  Incredulity, the park is nearly empty.  In fact we have an entire giant campsite loop all to ourselves.   Situated only 20-minutes from the headache-inducing DMV, CLC is currently a serene oasis.  

Perhaps we are the only folks braving the 68 degree “winter camping” temperatures this weekend?

Kelly and I plan to park ourselves here until Sunday before venturing back into the real world.

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