Palm Springs – among a select few spots at the top of our list – and back to Connecticut.

Our next stay after San Diego was four weeks in Palm Springs.  We’ve been to Palm Springs twice before and have always loved it, but this would be our longest stay by far.  Before we arrived we were thinking it could be a top contender for the “Can we live here someday?” sweepstakes.  By the time we reluctantly left, it was running neck and neck with Beaufort, SC.  We even briefly debated staying for an additional month, but logistically we couldn’t make it work.

With a great vibe and even greater weather, we made the most out of our stay.  Since we had a late check-in, we took the long way around the barn to get there from San Diego.  We went via Brawley so we could buy carne asada at Ramey’s and Jeff could see the Imperial Sand Dunes near Glamis for the first time.  The dunes are massive – often reaching over 300 feet high – and several movies have been filmed there, including Return of the Jedi.  




Since Palm Springs was only an hour away from Joshua Tree National park, we took a day trip there and were both very pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed it.  The landscape was much more interesting than we anticipated, and we’d definitely go back again.

Joshua Trees:



The Cholla Cactus garden was amazing.  I loved the way the light shining through them made them look as if they were glowing (it was better than the picture).  If we move to Palm Springs, I would absolutely plant some.  The cactus is also called “teddy bear cactus” and there are large signs warning people not to touch them.  I could definitely understand the temptation because they looked soft and fuzzy.  Note: they’re not.


An oasis in Joshua Tree National Park:


We also just enjoyed daily life, taking full advantage of the walking paths, parks for metal detecting (for Jeff), and local events.  I even spent one memorable Saturday learning how to flag at a Flagging in the Desert event.  Of course it’s obvious that I was a newbie compared to the second video with the people who know what they’re doing!

So what puts Palm Springs in the very top tier for places we’d be happy to live some day when we aren’t cruising?  It has great weather (obviously).  The city has a laid-back vibe with an all-inclusive population and fantastic mid-century modern architecture (which we love).  




It’s large enough to have many things to do but not so big that it’s impersonal, and there’s no need to take the freeway to get everywhere.  There are tons of hiking and walking paths, plenty of parks, and it’s close enough to L.A. and San Diego for getaways without being too close.  Basically it checked almost every box we have, so we’ll see.  Who knows what the future will hold?


But meanwhile, it was time to pack up the car and point the bow east (assuming a car had a bow, of course).  After one last visit with Lyn and Ken in San Diego and family in L.A., we were off to Phoenix where we had a great visit with my high-school friend, Wes and his wife.  

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Wes and I have been friends for 39 years!

The next day was the start of two 700 mile days so we could spend more time doing a “greatest hits” tour up the east coast.  60 hours after leaving Phoenix we were pulling into my uncle and aunt’s driveway in metro Atlanta for two nights. We hadn’t been to their new house yet, and it was great to see them!

After that it was off for a two night stay in Beaufort, SC (we can’t miss having our tomato pie):

We took advantage of having a car this time to drive to Hunting Island State Park, less than 1/2 hour from Beaufort. It has a gorgeous beach – yet another reason why Beaufort remains neck and neck with Palm Springs

We also visited Wilmington, NC for the first time. It’s a detour up the Cape Fear River that we weren’t sure would be worth taking. After visiting, we decided that it most definitely is. What a fantastic downtown. It reminded us of a northeast city with the weather of the southeast (photos courtesy of Google):

A stop in Belhaven was mandatory (of course) and, once again, we took advantage of having a car by driving to Washington, NC to see if we might want to go there on Pegu Club (it would be a 30 nautical mile detour off of the ICW, up the Pamlico River). We loved the downtown area and will absolutely stop there again.



Last but not least, we enjoyed a great stay in Delaware with our good friends Vanessa and Kurt. We also had the added bonus while we were there of getting together with more good friends – and fellow cruisers – Jay and Tanya from S/V Minx.

And now we have landed back in Groton, CT where we are busily preparing Pegu Club to go back in the water. Shore leave is days away from being over. What’s next? Stay tuned!

Greetings from San Diego.

Our San Diego AirBnB reservation was for 3 1/2 months which gave us plenty of opportunities to explore.  This isn’t vacation for us – it’s life – and our budget doesn’t allow for an “every day is a vacation day” attitude.  We’ve also visited San Diego several times and gone to places like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Balboa Park, so this time our activities were more like what locals would do (taking Covid into account, of course).   Continue reading “Greetings from San Diego.”


With cold weather nipping at our heels, we had a beautiful drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to our next stop in Fort Bragg, CA.



Fort Bragg was a VERY cute town which we enjoyed very much.  There were lots of independent shops and one of the best visitors guides we had ever seen, with a map showing all of the shops and restaurants along with the distances between areas of town.  Whenever we travel we play the “Could we live here?” game, and while a move to Fort Bragg is definitely not in our future, it ticked the boxes for the kind of town we could see ourselves living in some day.

Roundman’s Smokehouse and Butcher Shop had this in the shop which made me laugh:



While we enjoyed Fort Bragg itself, what wasn’t as enjoyable was our our camping neighbors who kept waking up all night to smoke pot, resulting in coughing which in turn kept waking US up all night.  We were supposed to stay in Fort Bragg for three nights, and after the first night I surreptitiously looked at the tag hanging from their rear-view mirror to see when they were leaving.  Phew.  They were leaving the next day.  We could suck it up for one more night.

After our second sleepless night we woke up relieved, knowing they were leaving that morning.  After they made no signs of breaking camp, I took another look at their tag.  Damn!  They had added another day.  I said to Jeff there was no way I was putting up with another night of this, and with 30 mph winds expected to arrive that afternoon heralding even colder temperatures, it was an easy decision to leave one day early and try to make some tracks south.  With a hastily booked motel room in Santa Cruz, we put our pot-smoking neighbors in our rear-view mirror and enjoyed another scenic drive down PCH.





The next day we set up the tent at New Brighton State Beach, just south of Santa Cruz.  We were noticing that the farther south we went the dustier the campsites were getting, and the temperatures weren’t getting any warmer.  We couldn’t seem to get ahead of the cold.  It was cold during the day, it was colder at night, and the fun-to-suck ratio was WAY off.

So, consistent with our philosophy of never hesitating to change our plans when needed, after five weeks of tent camping we pulled the plug.  It was time to get warm again.  We still had two weeks to go until our San Diego AirBnB reservation began, so we cobbled together a few different stays with a combination of friends and relatives in Los Angeles and San Diego, and a hotel in Palm Springs.  By the time we checked into our AirBnB we were warm and refreshed, and I had decided that I had zero interest in ever tent camping again!

Arboles gigantes.

After three nights in Brookings it was time to continue slowly making our way south down the Pacific Coast Highway. One of the things Jeff was looking forward to on this trip was the chance to see the Redwoods in person (I had seen them back when I was a child when my dad took me on a week-long camping trip up the California coast), so we booked a few different campgrounds to cover the next week or so.

We settled in to the KOA near Crescent City (much better than the KOA in Montrose, CO) and spent a few days hiking and exploring.  We were both underwhelmed by Crescent City itself (it had a very weird vibe), but the Boy Scout Tree Trail at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park – one of the largest, old-growth redwood trails in the world – certainly didn’t disappoint.  We even met a park ranger on the trail on our way back out who cheerfully answered all of the questions we had been asking ourselves while we hiked. Continue reading “Arboles gigantes.”