Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Category: Tour & Traipse (page 1 of 3)

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu – Part Three

Part three: Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City sits on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu, which is part of the Colorado River. It is a fairly new city that started out as an Army Air Corp rest camp. In the late 1950’s Robert McCullough purchased land there and by the early 1960’s established Lake Havasu City.

McCullough wanted to attract visitors to the area and purchased the London Bridge for $2.5 million from the city of London when the bridge there was replaced in 1968. Stone by stone, the bridge was disassembled and shipped to Lake Havasu to be rebuilt exactly.  Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu – Part 2

Part two: On to Sedona

The next morning I felt worse.

John asked if I wanted to go get coffee and breakfast but then, seeing the look on my face, said he’d go get coffee and bring it back to the room for me. I just wanted to stay in my comfy nightgown and sweater and look at photos from the day before.

It was fun going through all of the photos taken from my Canon, as it did a great job capturing the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. After a couple of hours, I felt a little better so we checked out and headed south to Sedona.   Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu

Part One: The Grand Canyon

My husband, John, travels to Arizona for work every couple of months or so. I’ve tagged along with him a few times, but this last week while he was busy working in Arizona, I was busy helping my daughter in law.

It was the week before Thanksgiving and John wasn’t going to be finished with work until late on Friday. So we decided since he was already there, I’d take the train from Santa Barbara to Flagstaff and meet up with him.

I like traveling by rail and thoroughly enjoy Los Angeles Union Station. Built in 1939, at a cost of $11 million, it still looks as grand as it did back then.   Continue reading

Riding down California Highway 1 – Day 2

Sunday morning was relaxing after our fun night in Monterey. Saturday we walked to a little sushi joint called Ocean Sushi Deli – try saying that three times fast. It was nice to sit outside and enjoy delicious food and each other’s company.

We don’t wear any communication on the bike because we both relish the time to just be in our own thoughts and take in the scenery. So we chatted about the ride over sushi and sake.

Walking back to the Hilton, we caught the last bit of sunlight before it disappeared behind a rather thick fog bank.  Continue reading

Riding up California Highway 1 – Day 1

California is a beautiful state with so much to see and do, but my favorite part of the state has to be the coastline. I’ve driven up and down historic Highway 1 many times, but had yet to experience the incredible views from the back of a motorcycle.

So John and I packed our bags and geared up early Saturday morning and made our way to Monterey from Santa Barbara. Our BMW r1200rt has side bags to carry our luggage and a top box to put extras in.

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The Pillion Perspective

I’ll be riding on the pillion of our big beemer today. We are heading up historic Highway 1 all the way to Monterey Bay. Do you know what the pillion is?

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Recover and restore

I’m sitting down to write at a beautiful, peaceful setting that I want to share with you. I helped my son move this week, and it was a bit stressful, but to top it off, I caught my husband’s cold (yes, I’m throwing you under the bus John).

For the last two days I’ve been surviving on DayQuil and NyQuil, which has helped, but I’m still having trouble breathing.

So I’m going to keep this short, and go lay back down for a little while.

Our trip up to Oregon was a good one, with our first stop at my best friends house. She had a wonderful meal prepared for us when we arrived and we were treated like family, as usual. Continue reading

Have you ever toured the Florida Keys via motorcycle?

A couple of people asked about our motorcycle trip in Florida, so I thought I’d share it with you.

It was spring of 2016 and we decided to tour the Keys via motorcycle. Only we didn’t want to drive a motorcycle all the way from California to Florida, so we looked into renting a bike there.

I didn’t even know that was an option until then.

We found Rent My Motorcycle in West Palm Beach, and John was thrilled to see they had a BMW R1200RT bike in the fleet. The owner, JR is a great guy and has a very interesting story behind how he got into his business. Continue reading

Weekend – Spoil

We have our granddaughters for the weekend. We get to spoil have them because their mom and dad are busy, so we are on duty.

And on our way to pick them up, we decided to stop in Studio City and visit the Dr. Martens store. I need a new pair of riding boats, and Doc Martens are the best.

John’s riding boots are about ten years old and he still loves them, and wanted to get me a pair too. How could I say no? Continue reading

Back roads and small towns – Day two

Day two of our back roads motorcycle trip

I didn’t sleep great on our hard bed with hard pillows, but I still woke rested. I will admit, I prefer feather pillows, and these little older hotels rarely have them. John and I have often said, “It’s all about the pillows and towels” when it comes to hotel comfort.

We talked about our ride and John suggested instead of going straight home, we ride out to Frazier Park and then over to Ojai, and I immediately agreed.

Before leaving Taft, we stopped at Jo’s Restaurant for breakfast and I’m glad we did. Continue reading

Back roads and small towns

Day one: 200 miles of back roads and small towns

Memorial Day marks a long weekend for most of us in the states. With so many people hitting the road heading for the beaches, we decided to set our sights inland.

It was time to dust off the big bike and go see the countryside.

John had discovered a road during his work travels and wanted to share it with me. During the Thomas Fire and Flood, South Highway 101 was closed and he had to get creative to find a route to Los Angeles.

That’s how he discovered the Calf Canyon Highway.

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Weekend – Celebration!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely moms out there! I hope you all enjoy a day (or two) of celebration.

This weekend was my birthday party and Mother’s Day celebration, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters arrived Friday night and by early Saturday morning, the festivities began with a wonderful home cooked breakfast.

Truly one of the best things about getting older is having my adult kids as friends. We have the best laughs and enjoy sitting at the table together, talking and joking around, long after the food is gone.

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A must see

While planning our trip to Scotland, I had some areas that were top on my list. Edinburgh did not make the list. But after visiting John’s cousins, who all proclaimed it to be a must see, we made the decision to spend our last day in Scotland in the capital city.

Arriving before noon, we were able to park the car at our hotel, and walk into the city to see the sights. We ended up hopping on a local bus and got off at King George V Memorial Park.

If we hadn’t looked like tourists before, we sure did in that moment.

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How to climb a craig – one step at a time

The Highlands offer so many options to visit, and Cairngorm National Park was a must see for us.

The drive from Culloden to Coylumbridge was just over an hour away, and filled with beautiful scenery. Arriving at our hotel, we walked around a bit, had a light dinner and a quiet evening in. I got online and found what I thought would be a great hike for us for the next day.

After a restful evening, we found the path to the Craigellachie Nature Reserve. It wasn’t easy to find the place! Following Google’s map, we crossed over the spot several times from the main road, never seeing a sign.

So we parked in Aviemore and looked up the local information center. Armed with a map, we were sure to find the entrance to the park, and be on with our hike. But instead we found ourselves standing on a lane, looking every bit the tourists we were as we studied the map to find our way. Continue reading

Bagpipes, bridges, and battlefields

We drove into Inverness from Loch Ness, right into an area of the city that was at first glance, disappointing. It felt stark and dirty and busy and I was worried this was going to be a place I wouldn’t want to stay.

We parked the car at a mall, and found a little place to have a bowl of soup and decide what to do next. I found a couple of B&B’s close by, so we walked around to take a look. Climbing up a hill, I spotted the river to our right and a big old hotel right across from it.

That’s where I wanted to stay.

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Si Je Puis

The Colquhoun Clan’s motto and crest is one that, at first sight, I thought was kind of … well, weird. Si Je Puis, translates to “If I can”. That sounds pretty vague to me. And at the center of the crest there is a red stag, with its tongue hanging out…also kind of strange.

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The bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond

Knowing rain and cold weather was ahead of us later in the week, we headed out early Monday morning in search of Clan Colquhoun on the banks of Loch Lomond.

My sister spent several years researching our ancestry and found our Great, Great Grandmother Mary Colhoun’s family was from the Colquhoun Clan.

Wanting to get a sense of family history, I did a little research and found the Clan was located in the town of Luss on Loch Lomond.

On our way there, we stopped at a few castles that the Clan had governed over. The first was Dunglass, which we could just barely see from a stop along the road. The castle was not open for public viewing, so we marched ourselves on to Dumbarton Castle.

That place was amazing!

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Home for a visit

John’s family in Northern Ireland loves it when he comes home. They don’t say he’s come to visit, to them John is home.

After our hike up to see Cloughmore Stone, and a bit of breakfast, we packed up and headed to Poyntzpass in County Armagh. I’ve been there once before, for John’s Uncle’s funeral service, and to lay some flowers on a grave.

When John and I were married, his sister told me of an Irish tradition of the bride placing her bouquet on the grave of a relative instead of throwing it to the single ladies.

Knowing we were going to Ireland a few months after our wedding, I saved part of my bouquet to lay upon John’s Father’s headstone in Poyntzpass. So we headed back to the little church and graveyard to pay our respects. Continue reading

Tales of giants and rain

Sometimes too much information is well, too much. I had been following the weather forecast for the last few weeks and two words came up each time I looked:

Cold and Rain.

Each day’s forecast was for rain, with Wednesday being the worst. So the plan was to rest and relax that day, until it was time to leave for Rostrevor.

We had spotted what we thought was an Abby ruin from the window in our room, and decided to go check it out before breakfast. It’s not that we wanted to wait to have a late breakfast; it was more out of necessity.

The breakfast place we wanted to try in Donegal didn’t open until 9am.

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The road less taken

Saying goodbye to family, we navigated our way to Donegal Town in County Donegal, Ireland. I’ll admit I did remind John to stay on the left side of the road a few times, even though he was doing a fine job following the rules of the road.

As navigator I was probably more turned around than he was. At one point (okay more like two or three points) I told him to turn left when it was supposed to be right, and we ended up taking a new route.

But I can tell you, that is not a bad thing in Ireland. Honestly, anywhere and everywhere you look you will find some treasure to see. Continue reading

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