Slot Canyons, Hot Springs and Surf! Good last few weeks in the USA

Jenine and I have had an awesome last few weeks meeting new friends and exploring awesome parts of Utah and California.  We’ve done the gamut from seeing the magnificent Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, slot canyon hiking in Grand Staircase – Escalante,  soaking in incredible hot springs in Death Valley over halloween, and then a week full of surf in the some of the best surf spots in the USA.  It has been “bitchin” as they say here in SoCal.

Bryce Canyon-

Bryce is a spectacular national park, with such unique landscapes.  We hiked an eight mile figure eight loop in the park (Navajo and Peekaboo) that offered some of the most spectacular scenery we have seen so far on our trip.  The park’s marquee features are the Hoodoos, which look like giant sand drizzle castles.   Bryce should be on your must see list, because it is definitely a unique natural wonder:

IMG_8251.JPG

We were blown away by the vistas in Bryce

IMG_8274.JPG

Jenine!

IMG_1330.JPG

can you take our picture?

IMG_1333.JPG

amongst the Hoodoos

IMG_8271.JPG

drizzle castles

Next up, Grand Staircase – Escalante

Escalante is a protected national monument of nearly 2 million acres of incredible landscape, and almost all of it is backcountry / 4×4 terrain.   There is only one official hike in the park, but it does lead to an incredible waterfall.   Escalante was the perfect place to test out Titus (our Sportsmobile) and also to hike in incredible slot canyons, most notably Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch slot hikes.  It would be great to return one day and spend more time exploring all the backcountry here, but we definitely need to get into rock climbing / canyoning before we return!

IMG_1345.JPG

The payoff after the hike in Escalante

IMG_1357.JPG

Our off road camping spot in Escalante

IMG_8360.jpg

into the slots

IMG_8377.jpg

we will survive

IMG_8376.MOV

follow us into the slots

Halloween at the Saline Valley Hot Springs

We had heard by word of mouth about these hot springs in Death Valley.  We knew that they were out in the middle of nowhere (50+ miles down a 4×4 road inside Death Valley), that a dedicated community keeps them beautiful, and that outsiders were tolerated, but not exactly encouraged to visit.  There is no real mention of these springs at the visitor centers, and the park lets this community take care of this special place mostly on their own.   We went there over halloween with our good friend Tim, and the experience was unique and amazing.   It is a truly special place and I hope the park continues to let this place remain as it is.

IMG_0451-EFFECTS.jpg

Saline Hot Springs, incredibly well maintained out in the middle of nowhere

IMG_0453.JPG

Jenine and I cleaning the Sunrise pool, our favorite of the weekend

IMG_1414.JPG

sand dunes forever

IMG_0498.jpg

Happy Halloween from Death valley

IMG_1424.JPG

On the salt flats in DV

IMG_1420.JPG

Top of the sand dunes

The Ocean, Surf, FINALLY!!!

After the hot springs and all the time in the mountains, we were jonesing to see the beach and get wet!  I’ve heard from so many people about the amazing surf in San Clemente, and I’ve been wanting to go there for so long.  Finally, we were on our way to the coast.  But first we stopped in Santa Monica to meet another SMB owner John.  John installed a door “talon” on our van, a contraption he invented that keeps our side doors openly securely – a truly amazing upgrade for Titus.   Not only that, he let us sleep in his driveway and took me on my first night mountain bike ride in the Santa Monica Mountains with his awesome wife Lisa.  If you mountain bike, and haven’t done a night ride, it is a must do.  Flying down single track in the dark with a high powered bike light is next level.

We did some maintenance on Titus with an incredible mechanic at South Bay Car Care in Redondo, and then hit the road to San Clemente State Beach campground.  We got a site right on the ocean, and in the morning we met our new friends Jim and Jennifer, who stopped by to ask us about our rig.  We are finding that Titus is a great way to meet people, as so many people come up to us to talk about our rig!  We ended up hanging out with Jim and Jennifer several days over the weekend: surfing at old mans in san onofre beach, doing beach bonfires, and enjoying gorgeous sunsets.  It was great.

IMG_8563.JPG

Our new friends, Jim and Jennifer - you guys rock

IMG_8536.JPG

looking out my backdoor

IMG_8573.JPG

#lookingoutmybackdoor

The only other thing to note, is that we met another couple traveling down to Argentina.  They are the FlightlessKiwis and have an awesome blog.  We found each other through the Pan Am Travelers FB group and they camped with us one night in San Clemente.  They were on their way to cross the border this Sunday, and we plan on meeting up with them in our first stop in Baja near Ensenada!   I can’t wait to keep running into Ben and Emma on our adventure.

What we are listening to:
DJ MANNY WATERS! Chill Fall Remix

Oh, and we have a new business card…check it out! Next stop, MEXICO this Wednesday!

IMG_8528.JPG

Our new business card, a little different from our old ones

More pics of our last weeks in the US:

IMG_1318.JPG

Welcome to Bryce Canyon

IMG_8241.JPG

Hoooooodooooos!

IMG_8251.JPG

We were blown away by the vistas in Bryce

IMG_8259.JPG IMG_8263.jpg
IMG_8265.JPG

nice socks old man!

IMG_8274.JPG

Jenine!

IMG_8271.JPG

drizzle castles

IMG_8286.JPG
IMG_1324.JPG

First look at the Hoodoos in Bryce

IMG_1325.JPG

Along the figure 8 (Navajo and Peek a boo) loops in Bryce

IMG_1330.JPG

can you take our picture?

IMG_1333.JPG

amongst the Hoodoos

IMG_8300.JPG
IMG_1345.JPG

The payoff after the hike in Escalante

IMG_1349.JPG

River in Escalante

IMG_8329.jpg

Devil's Garden in Escalante

IMG_1354.JPG

Me trying to chop the hardest piece of wood on earth, camping in Escalante

IMG_1355.JPG

Baby rattle snake camping by us

IMG_1357.JPG

Our off road camping spot in Escalante

IMG_1365.JPG

Jenine behind her new bug nettig

IMG_8341.jpg

TITUS

IMG_8350.jpg

Jenine getting into the slots

IMG_8351.jpg

That is a nervous look

IMG_8354.jpg

profile pic!

IMG_8358.jpg
IMG_8360.jpg

into the slots

IMG_8375.jpg

getting nervous here

IMG_8377.jpg

we will survive

IMG_8383.jpg

You can fit in there?

IMG_8385.jpg

going deep

IMG_8387.jpg

made it

IMG_1370.JPG

Time for the slot canyons in Escalante

IMG_8376.MOV

follow us into the slots

IMG_1386.JPG

The hummer and Titus, ready to hit the 50 mile road to Saline valley

IMG_1388.JPG
IMG_1390.JPG

Tim, so good to see you!

IMG_0436.JPG

The Saline Valley Welcome sign, happy halloween

IMG_1401.JPG

Amazing sunsets in Death Valley

IMG_1402.JPG

Saline Hot Springs

IMG_8410.mov

climbing boulders in DV

IMG_0442.JPG

The showers at the lower spings

IMG_0451-EFFECTS.jpg

Saline Hot Springs, incredibly well maintained out in the middle of nowhere

IMG_0451.JPG

The crystal pool

IMG_0452.JPG
IMG_0453.JPG

Jenine and I cleaning the Sunrise pool, our favorite of the weekend

IMG_0454.JPG

The source!

IMG_0469.JPG

The sand dunes in death valley

IMG_1405.JPG

TIm and Oakley loving the dunes in DV

IMG_1414.JPG

sand dunes forever

IMG_1420.JPG
IMG_1421.JPG

That oasis in the distance in the Saline Valley Spings

IMG_1424.JPG

On the salt flats in DV

IMG_1425.JPG

It's salty here

IMG_0498.jpg

Happy Halloween from Death valley

IMG_8503.jpg

late night halloween at Saline Valley

IMG_8513.JPG

The burros - hide your food and don't feed them! Your fingers look like carrots

IMG_8521.JPG

A waterfall in Death Valley

IMG_8525.JPG
IMG_8542.JPG

cleaning up after surfing Old Man's

IMG_8545.JPG
IMG_8555.JPG

We lucked out with these sunsets

IMG_8561.JPG

Let's get the fire going!

IMG_8563.JPG

Our new friends, Jim and Jennifer - you guys rock

IMG_8564.JPG

not really interested in leaving anytime soon

IMG_8567.JPG IMG_8571.JPG
IMG_8573.JPG

#lookingoutmybackdoor

IMG_8528.JPG

Our new business card, a little different from our old ones

IMG_8536.JPG

looking out my backdoor

Posted in USA Tagged with: , , , , , ,
6 comments on “Slot Canyons, Hot Springs and Surf! Good last few weeks in the USA
  1. SOOO Cool, per usual… Thanks for the musical shout out!! Love reading these blogs!

  2. ryan says:

    you two are awesome. that is all.

  3. Donna says:

    Looks like you are having a fabulous time! What beautiful photos- I look forward to the next post.

  4. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and
    detailed information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every
    once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted
    rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google
    account.

  5. Linnea says:

    If you are interested in topic: earn money online quickly uk
    – you should read about Bucksflooder first