Adventures & Travel

2023- Our Year In Review

It is hard to believe we are at the end of the year already, and that in less than twelve hours, it will be 2024!  It feels like it was just last month that I was sitting in this exact spot, writing out my goals for this past year!  Now, here I am, writing them out for 2024, along with my Year in Review post.

2023 was a little different for us, in that we didn’t do as much actual travelling.  We started the year in West Wendover, Nevada, and that is where we stayed for the better part of the year.  It is the longest that we have stayed in one area, and while we enjoyed our time there, we were ready to go when the time finally came for us to move on.

This years post will highlight some of the things we did this past year, as well as the travels that we did make.  Normally, I would lay it out according to months, but because not every month was busy, I decided I would just hit the highlights throughout the year.

Welcome 2023!

The year for me started out in Spokane, Washington as I wrapped up spending the holidays with family.

Time was spent checking out local shops and eateries, walking along the river, and exploring different parts of the city.

We even took a day and strolled around downtown in nearby Coeur d’Alene.

Once the holidays were over, it was time to head back to West Wendover.  One flight and a four hour drive, and I was back!

Hit the ground running!

2023 turned out to be an active year!  We  may not have put as many miles on our vehicles and RV as we normally do, but I sure put a  lot on my running shoes!

I signed up for the SLRC (Salt Lake Run Club) Race Series, which consisted of a 5k, a 10k and a 15k.

I completed both the 5k and 10k, but became sick and had to cancel the 15k.

I signed up to do a Resilience Challenge for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, which had a goal of 200 miles of running or walking over a 30 day period.

We ran our first ever Foam Glow race in Salt Lake City at the fairgrounds, and that turned out to be a lot of fun!

We went with friends, put on glow in the dark lights and tutus, and had a blast running through all of the foam!

The Community Cancer Fund put on their first annual Boulevard Race in Spokane, and I flew up to participate.  It was a beautiful run through downtown Spokane.

Streets were lined with cheering spectators, live music, and way more people than I ever imagined showed up to run!  It was a great time for an even greater cause!

We even designed our own shirts for it!

There was a weekend road trip up to Montana, where the Trail Rail 50 mile Ultra was being held.  I did NOT run this.  I did however, crew for it while my daughter ran it, and that was hard work!  It was exciting to do, and we cheered all the runners as they came into the aid stations and left again.  I’d like to think one day I could run that far.

Over the course of the year, I managed to run consistently.  I logged over 700 miles.  I started a running journal after my first run of 2023, and kept it up for the entire year – journaling every run.  I plan to do the same for 2024.

Hikes we took

We managed to get in a couple of really good hikes this year.  You might think being in the Nevada desert and Utah salt flats, that there wouldn’t be much opportunity for hiking, but you would be wrong.  There are some great hikes for all levels of hikers.

The Hawkwatch Trail to Mt. Pisgah Peak in the Goshute mountains is one of these great hikes!

The hike was about 6 miles, and took us just over 3 hours.

By the time we reached the summit (at just under 9000′), a large storm was rolling in.

We signed the book, and made our way down.

It was off season the day we hiked, but during the raptor migration in the Fall, you can watch as thousands of raptors migrate through this site.

Another good hike, and very local to where we were, is the Leppy Peak Loop.

This is a 7 mile loop that takes you out and around (and if you are so inclined, up to) Leppy Peak.  The day we went, we only did the 7 mile loop.

There are varying levels of difficulty throughout the loop, as the terrain gets pretty rocky and steep in several places.

It was a great hike though, with lots of scenery and wildlife to be seen!

Our travels

It is true that most of year was spent in Nevada, on the Nevada/Utah border, but we did pack up the rig and pull out of there a couple times.

The first time we pulled out, we pulled out with a destination of Wisconsin.

Our first night on the road was spent in Cedar City, Utah at the Orchards of Kolob.  Located outside of Zion, this RV park was quiet, clean and had great views.

We had a short stay in Las Vegas where the RV received a much needed wash and wax after a year in the salt flats.

Scout also got a much needed summer groom.

From Las Vegas we travelled through Flagstaff to Winslow, Arizona.

Here, we stayed at Meteor Crater RV park.

We visited the Meteor Crater which was way more interesting than we had anticipated.

We toured the rim of the crater while hearing the history surrounding it.

A visit to Winslow would not be complete without “standing on the corner”.

Our next stop was in Colorado, at a base camp in Alamosa.  It was here that we found out contract plans had changed and Wisconsin was now off the table.  We would be heading back to Nevada!

Before leaving Colorado, we got in a few fun days, which included railbiking in South Fork!

We left Colorado to make our way back to Nevada, making a stop in Green River, Utah for the night.

The following day, with mixed emotions, we returned to the exact RV site we had left just two weeks earlier.

The day came though when we pulled out of that site for the last time.  We had made some very good friends during our time in Nevada, and it was hard to say goodbye.

We got on the road and headed for southern California.

Our first stop was in Yermo, California at the KOA.  We had stayed here before so we were familiar with the campground.

The next morning we arrived at our new location in Escondido, California.  This was also an RV resort we were familiar with, as we have stayed here in the past on an extended stay.

While in Escondido, we made several day trips to visit some sights.

We visited the San Diego Zoo, which was an absolutely fun day!  It was my first time visiting, and I was amazed at just how big this zoo is!

In addition to all of the animal exhibits, we rode the gondolas that took us above the zoo grounds to get a birds eye view of everything.  We also rode the double decker bus throughout the zoo to get some interesting history and facts on the exhibits.

We visited Cabrillo National Monument and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

This was a beautiful day trip as we visited the monument,

toured the lighthouse,

walked out to the cliffs

and down to the tidepools.  We spent the entire day here and enjoyed every minute!

We even got the opportunity to watch a tall ship fire a cannon off the coast as we hiked the Bayside Trail.

One of my favorite things to do though in California, doesn’t cost anything though – packing a picnic dinner and heading to the beach to watch the sunset.  This will never get old.

Even with the limited travel, as I scrolled through my photos, I saw just how busy and active we were.  We had fun, we made some new (and very dear) friends along the way.  We will be starting 2024 off in new places and we are excited to see what the new year brings!

Best wishes to everyone as we leave 2023 behind and enter into 2024!

 

Just a few miscellaneous pics before we go….

Snowy mountains from our RV site in Nevada.

 

Spring brought with it the start of our little travelling garden. We even found some great portable greenhouses!

 

Cooking is one of our favorite things to do, and making homemade pasta is the best!

 

Lucky enough to have my grandfathers ravioli board!

 

Have you ever seen the Blue Whale that emerges from the middle of Salt Lake City?

 

A lot of miles were run this year in the salt flats!

 

A visit to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.

 

Pahranagat Wildlife Refuge.

 

A visit to the Sunflower Festival in Salt Lake City.

 

A lot of applesauce and apple butter was made when we picked 30 pounds of apples!

 

The Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.

 

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