Category Archives: 2013 Eight States Trip

2013 January 17-February 8 – Escondido, California

Escondido is only about an  hour’s drive from San Diego.  We settled into our condo, got our groceries unpacked, and took a walk around the resort. We have always tended to be lazy during our time share stays. We find a nice walking route in the area, or around whichever resort we are in, and go for a walk each day.  We do puzzles (me – word puzzles and John – sudoku), we read, we check out any interesting things in the area, and we take it easy.  On two separate afternoons we had lunch with friends we had met on the 2009 World Cruise, and one day we drove down to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is located not too far south of Escondido. I am always happy when I can go see critters.  I didn’t get the name of the bird on the left.  The one on the right is a White-headed Lapwing.

                                               Southern Bald Ibis

             This lovely blue bird is a Victoria Crowned Pigeon                                                   Hyacinth Macaw                                   Lowland Paca – large tropical rodent

                                             The ever-curious Meerkat                           Hawai’ian Goose and a male Ringed Teal                                         A Snowy Egret and a Crowned Crane                                                        Bontebok

                                                  Western Giant Eland

                                                          An Okapi

                 Western Egyptian Vulture and Hooded Vulture European White Stork and a Kori Bustard; the largest flying bird in Africa.

.  A male Abyssinian Ground Hornbill.  The females don’t have the red.  Nyala, one of my favourite antelope species.  They are so pretty.                            The little, but fleet, Thomson’s Gazelle.                                             Yellow-billed Stork

                                            Southern White RhinoIt is easy to see where inventors got the idea for armoured plates.  Rhinos have thick, hard hides.                                                              Wildebeest                                           Fringe-eared Oryx from the Arabian Peninsula – this antelope species lives wild in the deserts of Oman.Watusi Cows – they can survive on very limited amounts of grass and water; a very handy trait to have in Africa. And this was the most interesting thing we did in our time at Escondido.  When our three weeks was up we headed north to Las Vegas where John had secured another week of time share.

2013 January 13-17 – From Home to Escondido, CA (Part 2)

We were on our way to southern California to avoid some of the BC winter and friends we had planned to visit in LA had to cancel because they were sick with the flu.  This gave us an extra day before we were due to check into the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido, so we made a course change and headed to Yosemite.

Most of the roads and trails are closed after November 1st but the main road into the village remains open all year.  It was a beautiful sunny day and Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls were spectacular.                                     Half Dome off in the distance.The rocks had been worn smooth by the flowing water.                          El Capitan, the Guardian of Yosemite.                    Ribbon Falls

             Yosemite Falls                                          The reflections in the river were stunning. After our ‘photo stop’ tour of Yosemite we spent the night in Tulare and drove to Escondido the next day.

2013 January 13-17 – From Home to Escondido, CA (Part 1)

In keeping with my plan to write blogs about the trips and travels we enjoyed before I began writing my blog for our 2014 Cross Canada Trip, I have been working on what I call our “Eight States Trip.”

In January of 2013 we decided to go south to escape some of the BC winter.  We own two time-shares and John is very good at maximizing our one week’s worth of product into a much longer time.  He managed to book three weeks in the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido, California beginning January 17.  Now, most folks that we know that go south in the winter drive straight down via the fastest route possible and arrive in southern California or Arizona in about three days.  We, as you probably know well by now, do not do that.  Still, we didn’t do too badly as it only took us five days to get to the resort.

We spent the first night at Chelan Falls, Washington, arriving after the sun set, which was quite pretty even from the window of the car. We woke the next morning to a lovely day and headed southward once again.                                              Lake Chelan, Washington

We had heard often about the quaint Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.  We turned  westward north of Wenatchee and went to have a look-see.  The place is very popular over the Christmas holiday season because the entire village is decorated with garlands and lights.  It is popular to take a bus tour to go across the line to see it.  Since we were travelling through in mid-January we didn’t get the whole ‘seasonal feel’ but it looked like a cute place.  We just drove around a few blocks and then continued south toward Ellensburg. There is a viewpoint that overlooks the long Yakima Valley.  Even with the light snow layer it was pretty.  I think I took about six photos to capture the full length.  But when I stitch them all together the image is so skinny it loses all the power of scale.

We were blessed with another lovely sunset as we drove into Bend, Oregon for the night.The third day took us from Bend, Oregon to Red Bluff, California. We stopped for lunch at Sand Creek Station, about half-way between Chemult and Chiloquin, north of Klamath Falls.  We were driving through the mountains and there was still plenty of snow around.It wasn’t long after we crossed the border into California that we saw the lovely Mt. Shasta. We had made plans to go into LA to visit with friends we had met on the World Cruise in 2009, but we received a message that they were sick with the flu.  This provided us with an extra day, so instead of heading west, we kept going southeast through some of the old California Gold Rush areas and made a stop at Yosemite National Park.                                                Don Pedro ReservoirTo be continued…