2007-2012 – RV and Sailing Adventures

This page contains links to all the places we have visited since we started traveling full-time by RV and sailboat in 2007. Our travels have taken us to the Caribbean.

Florida in the upper left, Venezuela along the bottom.

We spent time traveling in the Grenadines. We have cruised our sailboat Groovy along the entire Mexican coast (except the northern Sea of Cortez). Cruising Southern Pacific Mexico and Northern Central America is quite different than along the northern coasts of Mexico.

Southern Mexico & Northern Central America

Our Travel Route: May 2007 - June 2012


Starting in May, 2007, our travels have taken us to these places:

2007 - RV: New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Canada, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona

2008 - RV:  Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Kansas, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona

2009 - RV:  California, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona, California

Car/hotel: Michigan

RV: Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona

Airplane/hotel:  SE Caribbean

2010 - Sailboat:  California, Mexico's Baja Pacific Coast

2011 - Sailboat: Mexico's Mainland Pacific Coast, Sea of Cortez

RV: Arizona, Utah, Arizona

Sailboat:  Sea of Cortez, Mexico's Pacific Coast

2012 - Sailboat:  Mexico's Pacific Coast + inland trips by bus

RV:  Arizona, Colorado, Utah

A complete chronological listing of all our travels (with links) follows:


Loop and Southern Loop

In May, 2007, we left our just-leased home in

Phoenix, Arizona and picked up our new Lynx

travel trailer in Kemp, Texas outside of Dallas.

We arrived at Marshall's RV with everything we

needed for our new lifestyle packed into the back

of our truck.  After staying near the dealership for

ten days, just to make sure all the systems

worked okay, we headed west.  We traveled

between I-10 and I-40 on small country roads

through west Texas and New Mexico.  We

arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona, and installed a solar

panel and finished some personal odds and ends,

wrapping up our old life in Phoenix.

We left Flagstaff in June, 2007 and went to

Mammoth Lakes, California where we enjoyed

snow-capped mountains and crystal clear lakes.

From there we went to Yosemite National Park via Tioga Pass on the eastern side, and then took the tiny roads out of the

mountains to the west, skirting Sacramento and landing at the California coast at Fort Bragg, 150 miles north of San Francisco.  We

wandered north along the Oregon Coast in July, 2007, awestruck by the rugged beauty of the craggy cliffs and crashing surf.  At the

top of Oregon we turned inland, following the Columbia River along the northern part of Oregon.  Next, we ventured into southern

Washington, exploring the often-foggy coast and the steaming cauldron of Mt. St. Helens.  Then we made our way up to northern

Washington, where we visited Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier.

In August, 2007 we took a ferry from Port Angeles, Washington to Vancouver Island and spent most of the month on the southern

half of the island.  At the end of our visit we spent several days in Victoria, BC, before boarding a ferry for Anacortes, Washington.

From there we traveled east along the North Cascades in Washington to northern Idaho.  In September, 2007 we traveled further

east to visit Glacier National Park in Montana.  Then we dropped south to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming where we

enjoyed both the tamed wild animals and the hot springs and geysers.  Just a little south of Yellowstone we spent a day touring the

incomparable mountain and lake scenery of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and then made our way east to Devil's Tower

in northeastern Wyoming.

At the end of September, 2007, we reached our turnaround point at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the

southwest corner of the state.  We could feel the chill of fall in the air.  We headed west through Wyoming along I-80 and dropped

down into northern Utah, wandering from Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area over to Park City outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caught in an early snow storm we quickly dropped south again to Green River, Utah, and the San Rafael Swell where we were awed

by the easy access to ancient petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks.  We dipped down from there, in October, 2007, to Goblin Valley,

Utah and then to Zion National Park and Kodachrome Basin, all along the unbelievably scenic Route 12 which zig-zags across

Utah.  Chased by cold weather, we went south to the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada, where we found the stunning Valley of Fire

State Park.  Here we saw sunrises that looked like sunsets and cycled on an exquisite road through geological formations of every

shape and color.  As the nights grew cold in November, 2007, we sought warmth at Death Valley National Park in California and

then cruised into southern Arizona in early December, 2007, where we made our first visit to Quartzsite, Arizona.

We had completed a loop tour of the western states, and we were pooped!  We recovered completely during Christmas, 2007, visiting

with family in Phoenix before returning to Quartzsite, Arizona in January, 2008 for their big RV show.  While freezing in howling

winds under grey skies, we kept looking at the weather map on the back page of USA Today and seeing that Florida was toasty

warm.  It was time to leave.  We made our way east through Texas the long way, skimming the Rio Grande and the Gulf Coast,

dashing across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on I-10 and arriving in Florida in February, 2008.  We spent three months in

Florida, criss-crossing northern Florida several times.  We visited Daytona just in time to see the Daytona 200 motorcycle race and

Spring Break.  Then we cruised along the southern and western coasts of Florida, swimming at beaches near Miami and

Sarasota as we looped around to the Florida panhandle.

At the end of April, 2007 we visited the Gulf coast town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, amazed at this town's enthusiastic revival

following Katrina.  From there we traveled north to Natchez, Mississippi where the great river was cresting higher than it had since

the 1930's and the historic mansions told stories of a different culture in a different era.  We drove along the Natchez Trace Parkway

north to Jackson, Mississippi, exploring ancient Indian mounds and cycling this unique commercial-traffic free road.

SECOND YEAR TRAVELS - Southwestern Loop, Florida Dash & Heartland Detour Back West

In May, 2008, we arrived in Chanute, Kansas, putting our sightseeing on hold for a month as we immersed ourselves in learning all

we could about NuWa fifth wheel trailers.  After a lot of thought, we decided to take the plunge.  We made a deal at the factory with

local dealer H&K Camper Sales to buy a new Hitchhiker fifth wheel trailer.  We moved into the new trailer on May 20, 2008, the exact

same day that we had left Phoenix to begin this new fulltime RV lifestyle a year ago.  Thrilled with our new purchase, we needed to

get it set up for solar battery charging, so we returned to Flagstaff, Arizona where we upgraded the solar system we had had on the

Lynx.  We felt a little like we were repeating history--but with greater knowledge and sophistication: we stayed in the same

campground and had a similar (though more complex) solar installation project as we had had during the same time period one year

before.  We had learned something important during this year of travel, however: to slow down.  Taking a break from our solar

installation work on the buggy, we cycled and hiked through the sights of Sunset Crater National Monument.

In late June, 2008, we left Flagstaff, Arizona and went all the way around the Grand Canyon to its North Rim.  We stayed for three

weeks in an idyllic setting about 18 miles from the Rim.  From there we wandered north through Kanab, Utah and discovered one of

Utah's great animal sanctuaries.  After hugging and petting many non-human friends, we continued north to Ruby's Inn and Bryce

Canyon where we spent a month in a bucolic setting.  In a past visit in our former lives, we had squeezed the North Rim and Bryce

into a few days.  We were really learning to sloooow waaaay down.

At the end of August, 2008, we wandering among the small communities that dot the mountainous and red rock strewn terrain of

southern Utah.  We basked in the small town comfort of Kanab and Alton, meandering along their pretty streets on brilliant blue-sky

filled days.  And we enjoyed the hometown fun of a three-day Labor Day county fair in Parowan, Utah.  During September we

stopped in at Pioche, Nevada, a once bustling mining town might have been the wildest frontier town in the heyday of the wild west.

From there we revisited our former lives with a stopover at Interbike, the annual bicycle industry trade-show in Las Vegas.  We

caught up on the latest bike gear and saw Lance Armstrong in a night-time cyclo-cross race (but forgot to bring our cameras, so

there's no proof!).

Sweltering in the 100 degree Vegas heat, we dashed across the California desert (hot hot hot!) to San Diego's Shelter Island and

Mission Bay where the cool breezes, bright sunshine and salt air seduced us into staying for the entire month of October, 2008.

Heading inland, we spent November in Yuma, Arizona, where we enjoyed the last warm days of 2008 before the start of winter.

We stayed in the Arizona Desert for most of December and January.  In Quartzsite we installed a vent-free heater just as the first

freezing winter storm hit.  This kept us warm through the holidays in Phoenix, til we hit the San Diego waterfront once again to attend

the sailboat show in January.  We were reluctant to leave the unusually warm, sunny coast, but great friends, good times and the RV

show awaited us back in Quartzsite.

Ready for a change of pace, we made a mad dash across country, and spent six weeks on the quiet rivers and sugar-white sand

beaches that fringe the Florida Panhandle's emerald waters.  State parks and seaside villages highlighted our visit and made our

photo journal spill onto two pages (Florida Panhandle 2).  Heading north, we visited the Natchez Trace in Mississippi a second time

and made some enjoyable stops in central and northern Arkansas.  Warranty work on our trailer took us to Chanute, Kansas next,

followed by a long slog back along I-40 to Arizona.

We stopped at Roosevelt Lake in Arizona and had two blissful weeks of cycling, kayaking and photography.  Spurred by a desire to

expand our travels onto the seven seas, we went boat shopping around San Francisco & Los Angeles.


Midwest (by car/hotel), West (in trailer), SE Caribbean (by hotel) & Mexico (by sailboat)

An accident in May, 2009 put us in Michigan for seven weeks with friends and family but without our trailer.  We looped around Lake

St. Clair, which borders both Detroit and Canada, and then dropped down to N. Ohio & Elkhart, Indiana where we visited the RV/MH

Hall of Fame and toured Amish Country and the Heartland RV factory.  Later in June, we traveled up Michigan's west coast,

stopping in the charming waterfront town of South Haven.  Continuing north, we traveled along the scenic coastal roads of Lake

Michigan (with a detour through Detroit) to hit Saugatuck, Higgins Lake and Traverse City, alternating between seeing new sights

and having Mark take me on nostalgic trips down memory lane.  We continued north along the Lake Michigan coast, visiting the

harborfront villages of Charlevoix and Harbor Springs and driving under the unique green limbed canopy of the Tunnel of Trees.

In late June we crossed the Macinaw Bridge into the Upper Peninsula and visited the towns of St. Ignace and Hessel, making a brief

stop at the Great Lakes Boat Building School.  A trip to the Soo Locks revealed both north and southbound freighters in the locks

simultaneously, one going up and one going down.  We ended our Michigan visit with a trip down the Lake Huron shoreline,

marveling at lighthouses, shipwrecks and hydroplane boat races, and finally wrapping it all up with a stroll through the German

immigrant town of Frankenmuth.

We flew back to California and moved back into our trailer just in time for San Diego's 4th of July bash.  Taking the long route north

and east, we traveled to Ketchum, Idaho, where we unwound in bliss and rediscovered our inner joy for a month.  We worked our

way down much of the Visitors Center's 50 Fun Free Things To Do in Ketchum/Sun Valley list.  There was the symphony's free

summer concert series, the Sun Valley Lodge itself, and winter sports memorabilia all over Sun Valley, ID.  A little further north we

stopped in Stanley, ID, enjoying several blissful kayak rides in the crystal clear lakes among the mountains.  We got a lesson in

salmon lifecycles too.  As August, 2009 ended, our lessons shifted from fish biology to cattle ranching in Stevensville, MT (just south

of Missoula) at our good friends' neighbor's ranch.  They took us to the annual Labor Day Weekend Hemville Rodeo to see how

ranchers unwind on the weekend.  This event was so much fun we had to create a second Rodeo page.

In September, 2009, we hustled south along I-15, stopping several times between Logan and Cedar City, Utah to take in the sights

and drive the scenic roads through the mountains.  A stint in Las Vegas, Nevada split us up between the glitzy annual Interbike

bicycle industry trade show and the soaring peaks at Red Rock Canyon.  A brief detour along I-15 finally landed us at Valley of Fire

State Park for a second visit (first was in 2007).  Red rocks, petroglyphs, jaw-dropping drives and exhilerating bike rides.  A little

further down the Colorado River, we stopped at Laughlin, Nevada where the RV snowbirds were flocking on their flight south.  By

the end of October we were back in Arizona for a free stay at Havasu Springs Resort in exchange for listening to an RV

membership program presentation.  We returned to our home front, Phoenix, Arizona in November, 2009, and visited two Phoenix

area parks.

Looking for new excitement and warmer climes, we jetted to Grenada in the southeastern Caribbean to begin a 10-week tropical

adventure.  Going aboard a 75' wooden yacht that Frank Sinatra used to sail on was one of many highlights as we stayed on

Grenada's main island.  Paradise Beach on Carriacou Island captivated us, and we enjoyed several walking adventures.  We spent

many days in total relaxation and pure joy in Carriacou, Grenada, and eventually took the ferry to Union Island in the country of St.

Vincent & The Grenadines where Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations were in colorful full swing.  Next day, a 15 minute

flight landed us on the island of Bequia, at one time a charming oasis of peace and tranquility where we planned to spend a month.

Accosted by scam artists at the airport and finding the locals both sullen and mean, we searched hard to find the pretty side of this


Meanwhile, an online search had turned up our dream boat for sale at a rock bottom price in San Diego.  We submitted an online bid

as a lark and suddenly found ourselves thrust into the boat buying process once again.  A wild 33 hour walk/ferry/taxi/jet ride to San

Diego put us face to face with Groovy, our new home.  After two weeks of non-stop preparations, on January 31, 2010 we left San

Diego and went south to Ensenada, Mexico via ports at Puerto La Salina and Hotel Coral & Marina.  We lived on our new boat

Groovy at Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada, Mexico for the next six months.

Getting out and about in Ensenada, we found small thrills in the markets and in "Gringo Gulch," the tourist zone.  Over Valentine's

weekend we got downtown to witness the amazing spectacle of the Carnaval Parade.  Returning to the US a few times we learned a

little about the border and were grateful at last to return home to the boat in Ensenada.  Despite an El Nino year, a tsunami and an

earthquake, life in Ensenada was very sweet.  In April, 2010, we watched two races back to back: the Rosarito-Ensenada bike race

and the Newport-Ensenada sailboat race.  Settling back into our routine, we continued to prepare the boat for cruising and

discovered some colorful neighborhoods in Ensenada.

FOURTH YEAR TRAVELS - Ensenada Mexico, San Diego & Mexican coastline (by sailboat)

As May, 2010 ended, we continued exploring the area around Ensenada, Mexico, including La Bufadora, the famed blow hole.  In

back-to-back contrasting adventures, we experienced both the genteel and the raucous at the Riviera Cultural Center and Baja 500

off-road race.  Sticking to the genteel, we took a daytrip a few miles inland to experience the flavor and beauty of Ensenada's wine

country.  Back at Marina Coral we met many interesting travelers passing through Ensenada, and we discovered a vibrant running

and racing scene in town.  In early August, 2010, we moved Groovy to Ensenada's Baja Naval boatyard for a few projects that were

beyond our skill set, and said farewell to Ensenada.

Towards the end of August, 2010, we sailed up to San Diego and enjoyed the free anchorages that are available to cruisers there,

learning how to boondock on the water.  In September we continued visiting the various anchorages around the bay as our many

projects to prepare the boat for cruising kept us in the San Diego.

In addition to the above map, there is more geographical detail on coastal Mexico here:  Mexico Maps.

Finishing our major outfitting projects on Groovy in October, 2010, we started sailing down the Baja coast on November 2nd.

Harbor hopping a little and doing a few overnight trips, we continued along the Baja coast further until dawn of November 19th when

we motored past the gorgeous cliffside properties on approach to Cabo San Lucas.  Following a brief stay there, we tackled 330

miles of open ocean to cross the Sea of Cortez to Chamela Bay on Mexico's mainland Pacific coast, called the "Costa Algre" ("Happy

Coast") for Thanksgiving.  55 miles further south, we were charmed by Manzanillo.  "THIS is why we went cruising," we agreed,

remaining anchored off Manzanillo's Las Hadas Resort for 10 days.  New friends persuaded us to keep moving south another 180

miles, taking us first to mini island paradise Isla Ixtapa where we swam and snorkeled and enjoyed the tropical air, and then on to

charming Zihuatanejo for Christmas and New Year's.

We stayed in Zihuatanejo for most of January, 2011, finding ever more enchantments in its nooks and crannies.  At last we hauled

anchor and motored 200 miles back north to Manzanillo where we met my mom and took her to visit lovely Santiago Bay.  We

hovered between Santiago and neighboring Las Hadas resort for a few weeks, enjoying a wide variety of scenery and activities.

Wandering just a little north for Valentine's Day, we discovered the unique charm of Barra de Navidad, an enclosed, serene lagoon

anchorage.  From Cuastecomate to Tenacatita, once considered paradise, we experienced the human and ecological challenges

facing this area.  A tsunami caused by a record earthquake in Japan sent us out to sea and up the coast where we discovered a

hidden island paradise among the islands in Chamela Bay.

At the end of March, 2011, we left the "gold coast" anchorages of the Costa Alegre, rounded Cabo Corrientes to the north, and found

ourselves immersed in the sailing and gringo oriented town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle outside Puerto Vallarta.  Further north we

visited the famed bells of San Blas and Isla Isabel's frigate bird colony and blue footed boobies.  An overnight passage took us to

Mazatlan where we found a city in turmoil.  So we quickly hustled across the Sea of Cortez on another overnight passage to the

bottom of the Baja peninsula.  La Paz & Puerto Balandra were total delights in mid-April where we got caught up with provisioning

and learned firsthand about the potentially horrifying springtime Coromuel winds that haunt the area.

At the end of April, 2011, we started heading north into the Sea of Cortez, stopping at Isla Partida's Ensenada Grande and Isla San

Francisco.  A late season (May) Norther packed a wallop, but we emerged unscathed in the gorgeous, friendly bay of Agua Verde.

Just a few miles up the coast we witnessed both the natural side and the resort side of the Sea of Cortez at Isla Coronado and

Ensenada Blanca, set against the backdrop of reading Steinbeck's Log of the Sea of Cortez.

FIFTH YEAR TRAVELS - Sea of Cortez (boat), US Southwest (RV), Sea of Cortez again (boat),

Mexico's Pacific Mainland (boat) and inland (bus/hotel)

On May 22, 2011, we toasted the end of our fourth year of travel and beginning of our fifth while anchored off Loreto, a pretty, laid

back town.  We stayed in the Loreto area for several weeks, enjoying the civilized pleasures of Puerto Escondido as well as Loreto,

and then we ventured north to San Juanico and Bahía Concepción where we immersed ourselves in nature and hung out with the

local ex-pats.  At the end of June, 2011, we left the boat in San Carlos Marina in Mexico and went to Phoenix to catch up on a long

list of chores and re-lease our townhouse.

In August, 2011 we jumped in the fifth wheel and went to Bonito Campground / Wupatki Nat'l Monument in Flagstaff, Arizona.  We

explored caves, marveled at 2,000 year old pine trees and hiked red rock canyons in Dixie National Forest, Utah.  Seeking more

red rock vistas, we did two hikes at another hidden jewel, Cedar Breaks National Monument where we were surprised by the

abundance of colorful wildflowers.  Still not saturated with red rocks, we hiked all over Red Canyon and visited nearby Panguitch and

Tropic for some Mormon pioneer history lessons.  We ended our RVing season with a county fair in Parowan, Utah, the Interbike

bicycle trade show in Las Vegas and some Route 66 nostalgia and discovery of Sycamore Canyon in Williams, Arizona.

We returned to Groovy in San Carlos, Mexico in early October, 2011.  After crossing to the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez, we

stopped in at Punta Chivato and Bahía Concepción, where we found a cool wilderness school and met Geary the Cruisers'

Weatherman.  Continuing south to the Loreto area, we swam and snorkeled in pretty La Ramada Cove and Isla Coronado before

seeing civilization again at Loreto and Puerto Escondido.  Further south, the island anchorages near La Paz reveal a tiny

community, a long distance avian traveler, surprise treasure under water, and tropical beauty.  The La Paz area gave us great tacos

and the La Paz Waltz, while nearby Playa Bonanza and Bahía Falsa soothed our souls.  At the beginning of December, 2011 we

crossed the Sea of Cortez to La Cruz and then Paradise Village Resort Marina in Puerto Vallarta where we luxuriated in the

gorgeous resort surroundings.  Swinging through Manzanillo Bay we were entertained by a whale, reconnected with old

acquaintances and made some incredible new ones.  Christmas on Las Gatas beach followed by a tour of the could-be haunted

"Parthenon" of Arturo Durazo in Zihuatanejo wrapped up a fantastic 2011.

We started 2012 in the beautiful, warm and friendly Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area.  Heading south, we found high end yacht races,

soaring cliff divers, a fancy yacht club and several pretty anchorages in Acapulco.  After the frightening discovery of a corpse at sea,

we arrived in the lovely Bahías de Huatulco at the end of January ready to soak up their natural beauty.  In Huatulco's two little

towns we met some young Zapotecs and out of town we explored an Eco-Archaeology Park.  Taking a bus over the mountains in

mid-February, we fell in love with the cool colonial city of Oaxaca.  We found all kinds of color and action at Oaxaca's Zócalo and

were thrilled to witness a wedding in the Cathedral.  Just outside town we discovered Zapotec pyramid ruins at Monte Alban and

wonderful relics at Oaxaca's Cultural Center.  We took a daytrip tour to see the world's widest tree, learn traditional weaving

techniques, admire petrified waterfalls, marvel at ancient ruins at Mitla and taste some mezcals.

In late February, 2012, we crossed the Gulf of Tehantepec and stopped at the brand new Marina Chiapas next to the Guatemala

border.  Taking the bus to Antigua, Guatemala we found a tourism-driven city that has an pretty veneer but a bullied soul.  After a

few days back in Puerto Chiapas, we drove inland through the Mexican state of Chiapas on another unforgettable 200 mile bus ride.

In early March we took intensive Spanish classes in San Cristóbal and walked the pretty colonial streets.  Five hours up the road on

a gorgeous mountain bus ride we stopped in Palenque where we saw amazing Mayan ruins and heard scary jungle sounds.

Narrow, bumpy roads and a boat ride up a river took us to the exotic, inspiring ruins of Yaxchilán & Bonampak.  We said goodbye to

the Mayan world by visiting the gorgeous waterfalls of Misol-Ha & Agua Azul and celebrating the Spring Equinox at the Tenem

Puente ruins.  In April, 2012 we left Groovy in Marina Chiapas for the summer and flew hurriedly to Michigan to see Mark's suddenly

ailing parents.


In May, 2012, we began our summer RVing travels with visits to Arizona's Mogollon Rim & Petrified Forest National Park.

Heading into Indian Country we visited Window Rock and stunning Canyon de Chelly National Park.  Seeking a little more ancient

Indian exploration, we visited Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado and followed that up with some special encounters with the

locals in nearby Blanding, Utah.  Following Utah's spectacular Bicentennial Highway, we visited Natural Bridges National

Monument.  Turning west on Scenic Route 12 we arrived at Capitol Reef National Park where we immersed ourselves in red rock

vistas and pioneer history.  Leaving red rocks for green rolling hills, Fish Lake, UT took us into the rural Utah countryside where we

heard the funny story behind Five Wives Vodka.  With scenic drives as our theme, we continued north along the Provo Canyon

Scenic Byway and Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, home of Sundance Resort.


































































































































The following posts came after our transition to WordPress in the summer of 2012:

An Overview of Our First 10 Years of Full-time Travel + Reflections after 9 Years!

Summaries of Each Year on the Road - All of our travel posts in chronological order:

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