Anza-Borrego Desert, and Rainbows!

Lily and I arrived in the desert just before Christmas with much anticipation and curiosity and we were not disappointed. The drive over on Hwy 8 was really cool. The geography of the area is super rocky, hilly, and barren. We came pretty close to the Mexico border and even saw a glimpse of the border wall that separates the two countries from each other.

Borrego Springs

We spent Christmas here and it was an absolute perfect place to spend the holiday and time exploring and learning about the wonders of the desert. The Springs at Borrego was the resort we called home for a week and it was amazing. Wish I would have brought my golf clubs!

Space 217 premium back-in site with wonderful views and neighbors.
Lily is the best lil desert doggy always on alert and monitoring.

Borrego Springs is an international dark sky community so the night sky was really phenomenal to see and capture.

I think the glow behind the mountains are lights from the Palm Desert cities, maybe.

The weather was mostly fine with a few rogue rain storms and of course winds. After each rain storm the sky would explode with rainbows everywhere. It was spectacular.

Christmas Eve double rainbow after a wet and windy night.

The rain and wind did not last long and certainly did not detour me from jumping into the hiking trails that surrounded me. Every trail I would explore would have me pondering the wonder of nature and the beauty of the desert. Oh, and I did some off-roading in the truck. Having 4WD gave me a truly limitless experience.

The Slot Canyon

This was my first trail into the desert and it was by far my favorite. The slot was formed by water and wind over years and years of weather erosion. I descended into the canyon and just wandered completely alone for hours.

Initial descent into the slot canyon.
I was in awe the entire time. Nature created this beauty.
It was really tight in certain spots and not for the claustrophobic or big boned 😂🤷.
Slot selfie!
Perspective video of the canyon depth.
Really cool rock formation creating an arch over the trail.

After a mile or so of meandering the slots, the canyon opened up into a large wash and rock valley.

The trail started to widen and release me from the slots.
Stunning valley and rock formations.
Desert Sphinx, maybe.

There were so many interesting rock formations and ledges. I hiked to the top of the canyon to see what the view was like and listen to the wind and watch the clouds and storms off in the distance.

So that was the slot canyon and it was an awesome experience. I took a different trail back to the truck and observed some interesting desert flora.

Hard to tell in the pic but this tree or shrub was about 10 feet tall.
Just another fascinating desert tree/shrub.

I headed back to the Airstream and Lily to reflect on this awesome experience and go through the 300 pics I took during my hike.

Fonts Point

This was my first chance to put the truck in 4WD and drive about 4 miles into the desert on a dry river wash to the edge of a point that overlooked the badlands. I was a little nervous because the sand was pretty deep but the truck didn’t even care. I had a lot of fun doing sand rooster tails and waving at the people in their rental cars spinning tires and going in circles.

The 4WD sand trail I conquered 😝.
View of the badlands from Fonts Point.

The drive in and out was fun and I could not have done it without 4WD so that was just an awesome experience. And Lily didn’t seem to mind the roller coaster ride.

Palm Canyon Trail

Another mild rain storm rolled in and then rolled out while I was enjoying this hike to a Palm Tree oasis deep in a rock canyon. Alas, no dogs on this trail either, so I went it alone and Lily stayed home napping.

Palm Canyon Trail Head into the rock canyon.
Video perspective of how cool the trail was.
Very interesting rock layers jutting up from the earth.

After a mile or so the desert canyon revealed the Palm Tree oasis. It was fascinating to see and there was water running from the rain storms. I passed some other hikers that said there was no water present a few hours earlier so it was pretty cool to know the water I was seeing came from higher above and had finally made its way down the rock canyons and into the valleys.

The Palm Canyon.
The sudden river of water provided by the rain storm a few hours earlier.
Charred Palm Trees from an arson induced fire in January 2020.

The hike out was a different alternate trail and offered stunning views of the valley and more rainbows.

Yet another rainbow in the desert.
Sun breaking thru clouds and illuminating the cactus landscape.
Beaver Tail cactus. Really cool.
Natures bench along the trail.
View of the valley from the Palm Canyon alternate trail.

Galleta Meadows

Our last days in the desert were windy and cold so we drove around to see the metal sculptures that dot the landscape in various locations. As you can see, it was a stormy looking day so we only got a few pics before retreating back to the Airstream.


After a week of delicious happy hours, mediocre Mexican food, and dark sky star gazing, our time in Anza-Borrego came to and end but I wanted to try something cool before leaving the area. We spent one night on BLM land parked on the edge of a cliff overlooking the badlands and the Salton Sea. It was an absolutely crazy amazing scary experience that I will never forget.

The little spec in the center of the pic is us!

The location was so perfect and unique I was actually considering spending a few days/nights but a wind hurricane started in the middle of the night and had me genuinely scared I would blow off the ledge. And it didn’t stop, it just kept blasting us all night into the next day. So, we stayed on schedule and headed out towards our next destination.

So that’s our time in the Anza-Borrego Desert. It was awesome and definitely left an impression on me. I’m glad I came when I did because despite the rain and wind I think it would be too hot in the Summer months to enjoy the things I did.

Next stop for us is Palm Springs. Happy New Year!

California Coast, part 3.

Our time on the Malibu coast was interesting. We had two major rain/wind storms and then just the wind which caused my allergies to explode. I was miserable for several days. But, it was undeniably beautiful where we stayed and I got to visit with friends while we were here. It was a good week overall.


The Malibu Beach RV Park was pretty amazing. They do run a tight ship – I got yelled at a few times when Lily was roaming near me off her leash. And they don’t let kids run around screaming which was important – kudos to the golf cart brigade zooming around keeping things in check. Also, the park was maybe 30% full when we were there. We enjoyed our time there very much.

Welcome to Malibu Beach.
Birds eye view of the park entrance.
Catalina Island off in the distance.
Our perfect perch above the ocean.
Our view from the bed as we woke up each morning it wasn’t raining.

Of course, I enjoyed some fish and chips while in the vicinity of the Malibu Seafood Shack. It was just a quick hike down the canyon from the RV park. And, I think the hike down was when my allergies decided to erupt.

Very popular place with the locals.
I promise they were not frozen fish sticks 😂.

After I devoured the delicious fish and fries, I hiked back up to the park to take a grease induced nap.

Allergy inducing flora.
Solitary palm tree still charred from the 2018 fire.

Alas, another storm rolled in just before we were scheduled to leave. It was an ugly day but the storm cleared out to produce a stunning sunset.

Sunset and stars on our final night in Malibu. Absolutely perfect!

As we pulled out the next day, I stopped along the PCH to take in the Pacific Ocean one last time before we head towards the desert.

Classic image of a life guard shack overlooking the beach.
Airstream parked along the Pacific Coast Highway.


We left the coast and headed towards the desert but made a few Harvest Host stops along the way. First stop was an interesting winery in Escondido. It was the only winery I’ve seen so far that has a medieval themed Hollywood style castle and I seem to remember seeing this from the highway when I was a kid and thinking it was cool.

Balle Marie Winery.
The winery owners live in the castle.
The wines were interesting but nothing special in my opinion. I only bought one bottle 🤷.
It was a peaceful night parked next to the castle.

Next morning, my allergies were still at max strength so I made the decision to get some relief in the form of Nasal spray before continuing on into the desert.

Quick stop at Target for some allergy meds.


Back on the road and medicated we continued south towards the Mexico border to our next Harvest Host which is a campground and animal rescue farm in the middle of Native American territory. This place is rich in Native American archeology and history.

Parked among the oak trees for one night.
I found some of the laborers that were building trumps wall.
Native American prayer labyrinth for contemplation and reflection.
This is how close we were to Mexico.
Lily making new friends.

So, that concludes our time on the California Coast. We will spend the next part of our adventure in the desert. Next stop is Borrego Springs! Truthfully, I was getting bored with the coast so I’m happy to be heading in a new direction. And, my allergies are back under control so bring on the Palm Desert winds and climate!!!

Next time you hear from us will be after the holidays so we just want to wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks for reading and journeying with us this far. See you in 2022!

Happy Holidays from Paul and Lily – Malibu, California – December 2021

California Coast, part 2.

Lily and I spent a low-key week in Ventura at the vintage Airstream park. It was some good down time to get stocked up on groceries and collect some deliveries from Amazon. In case you were wondering how I get Amazon deliveries on the road, it’s really easy, you just select a location nearby that has an Amazon locker and the package is delivered to one of the lock boxes, then you show up and scan a barcode on your phone to unlock and retrieve your deliveries. In Ventura, there was a locker at the Rite-Aid down the street from the Airstream park.

San Buenaventura

Waypoint Ventura was fun place to park simply because it was so unique and everyone there appreciated Airstreams and either owned one or was renting one for a few nights. There were other types of vintage trailers allowed but Airstream seemed to be the star of the show. We had a lovely RV space tucked away at the end of the row facing the beach and pier. It was a quiet and relaxing six days.

Welcome to Ventura!
View of the park from our parking spot at the end of the row. Really a cool experience overall.

Here are some of the other vintage trailers that are rented out as Airbnbs for the people that want the trailer experience but don’t own one.

At night, the park lights up and you get to make s’mores and drink hot apple cider. Since it was my birthday, I commandeered the fire pit all to myself and made a some s’mores to celebrate.

Happy Birthday to me! 😊
Just waiting for the chocolate to melt.

Being one block from the Ventura Pier was awesome. I walked down to the beach several times and took advantage of the eateries on the pier.

View of Ventura from the end of the pier.
A bird, on a post, on the pier.
View from the beach.

Oddly, I wasn’t able to find any local coffee or a coffee roaster in the near vicinity but I did indulge in some local brewery delights and fish tacos. And, pizza!!!

Local favorites – Toppers Pizza and Transmission IPA.
A flight of local brewery favorites.
Also, phenomenal fish tacos.


We took a drive to the little new age town of Ojai located about 30 mins from Ventura. The village center is dotted with art galleries and cool looking restaurants. I journeyed thru downtown and up a hill to the Ojai Olive Oil Company and tasted the most delicious olive oils ever. I absolutely took some home with me!

Wow – what a cool place and the most delicious olive oils I have ever sampled.
My pantry is stocked.

And, of course, before leaving Ojai, I had to hit a local coffee place to fuel up for the drive back to Airstream heaven.

This off the beaten path place is where the locals hang out.


After six relaxing and productive days, we hitched up and pulled out of Ventura and spent one Harvest Host night at a unique French style winery in the town of Fillmore. It was a low-key fun wine tasting experience and I once again made a modest purchase of my favorites to enjoy later on down the road. Giessinger Winery was located in the smack center of town and it just so happened they were doing a Holiday evening market the night I was there.

A hidden gem.
A sweet trio: Sav Blanc, Port, and Cidre.
Fillmore City Center Park and City Hall lit up for Christmas.


After a peaceful night in the winery parking lot, we rolled back onto US 101 and headed towards our next destination – the much anticipated Malibu Coast. The sun was shining and the waves were crashing as we pulled into the famous Malibu Beach RV Park located right on the Pacific Coast Highway. This place burned in 2018 but has sort of risen from the ashes. Evidence of the destruction is still present – charred palm trees, bare landscaping, and strict rules about where certain types of RV’s can park in case an emergency evacuation needs to occur. But anyway, we are here and it’s amazing.

Space 28 where we will spend the next 7 days.
Parked right above PCH and the beach, it really doesn’t get any better.
View of the beach from inside as I write this blog.
Stunning Pacific Coast sunset over Point Dume.

The waves crashing all night were loud and soothing. This place is worth every dollar and I will certainly come back again and again. In the morning, we woke up to abundant sunshine and I just sat outside with my coffee soaking up the sunshine while watching the cars and people down below.

My spot above the beach, just soaking up the sun with my cold brew.

First stop for dinner was a local Cuban/Mexican spot in Malibu. I was joined by some local friends that had the hookup on the VIP experience – best table, tequila, and parking.

I was getting uncomfortably low on coffee beans so I took to the streets in search of a local business to patronize. Joules & Watts in Malibu was a decent choice.

A lavender oat latte – first time trying oat milk as an alternative. Not to bad actually.

We were thoroughly enjoying the Mediterranean weather of the Malibu coast until suddenly a rouge PNW type storm took over the Los Angeles area for one night and a whole day. Yup, it was rainy and blustery for about 24 hours. But, the storm cleared and all was well again. Here’s a video of the gorgeous post storm sunset.

Video of the sunset and surf after the storm. All is well again.

Due to the sudden rain dump and wind blast, we are a bit delayed on exploring the area. So, I guess there will be a California Coast part 3 next week.

Stay tuned for more as we continue exploring and then wrap up our time on the beautiful Malibu coast just before heading to the desert for end of year festivities.

California Coast, part 1.

We arrived back at the Pacific Ocean to continue our adventure down the west coast. The drive from the Sacramento Valley to the Coast was a long one – lots of holiday travelers returning home from Thanksgiving gatherings and a few accidents on I-5 kept us inside the truck for almost 5.5 hours. I was exhausted when we finally arrived. One really great thing about California is that it’s December and the weather has been sunny and perfect so far.

Avila Beach

This was home base for a week while exploring the central coast of California. It’s been about 20 years since I was here and I was honestly shocked how nice the place had become. It’s really quite a destination now. We parked for 5 nights on the side of a hill with a view of the ocean and the Port of San Luis. It was awesome!

The town of Avila Beach and the Pier.
Space 11 in the Deluxe Ocean View section.
All setup and ready to enjoy the experience.
Simply perfect weather, couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The Kraken Coffee house in Avila beach made a really delicious Chai Latte.

Happy hours were the best with the gas fire pit at sunset and the sounds of the harbor seals roaring and honking in the bay.

M2 Wine, best of the best for the best!

Fun fact: this location and this view over the fire is front row seating for SpaceX rocket launches at Vandenberg SFB in Lompoc. I didn’t get to see anything blast off but what a cool unique experience that would be.

Pismo Beach

Ahhh, Pismo. Lots of memories here from my early twenties when I would drive over from Fresno just for the day to see the ocean and was too poor to afford a motel room. Everything about this place takes me back in time – the pier, the smell of the ocean, the kelp washed up on the beach, the little town … it all reminds me of my younger days.

View of the bluffs from Dinosaur Caves Park.
The iconic Pismo Pier.
The visitor center is a vintage Airstream on the pier.
Lily and I went for a cute little hike around Dinosaur Caves Park.

And you know, I must absolutely patronize local business, so here were my two indulgences.

Best Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte in Pismo.
Old West Cinnamon Rolls are a staple when visiting Pismo. My freezer is stocked!

Pacific Coast Highway – State Route 1

Lily and I took a drive north on the PCH to check out the coastal towns and see if we could get into Hearst Castle. Unfortunately, it was closed but we got to see the elephant seals beached near San Simeon and enjoyed a stop in Cambria for a Mexican Mocha and homemade cinnamon bun.

Morro Rock and Morro Bay off in the distance.
Quaint little town of Cayucos sitting right on the Pacific Ocean.
Lily checking out the San Simeon Ranch pier.
Distant view of the glorious Hearst Castle – this was the closest I got that day.
Stopped in Cambria to fuel up on a delicious Mexican Mocha …
… and a homemade cinnamon bun.
Elephant Seals beached on the sand soaking up the sun.
Elephant Seal gurgling in the surf.
Distant view of the Piers Blancas Light Station. This was the farthest we drove up Highway 1.

Paso Robles

There is really only one reason to visit Paso Robles – wine! But, I was a bit wined out from my previous stops. So, I came to Paso to see the Bruce Munro Light at Sensorio. And it was stunning! A half mile walk along the trail through the light fields revealed this.

Phenomenal sunset over the field of lights.
The sun was completely gone and the fields glowed with waves of color.
Light towers! Empty wine bottles stacked and filled with LED light strings.

Arroyo Grande

We left our perch in Avila Beach and drove a short distance to stay overnight at Murphy’s Oak Hills Ranch. I had a great time visiting/catching up with everyone and also enjoying the amazingly delicious Mexican food that is everywhere in California. In case you didn’t know, California is literally Mexican Food Heaven. My freezer is now stocked full of homemade tamales!!!

Perfect day and perfect parking next to the barn.
Local Brew “805” with some amazing authentic Mexican food.
This windmill was working hard but I’m not sure what it was pumping.
Lily trying to play with the horses during their breakfast.


We pulled out of the pasture and headed south to our next destination where we will park for another week to collect some Amazon packages and take care of some business. This place is a cool little spot near the Ventura Pier that only hosts Airstreams, vintage and new. More to come in the next blog, but here’s a sneak peak at Waypoint Ventura.

Today, December 5, is the one-month mark since we left Seattle to start this adventure. It’s also my birthday 🥳 but I’m more happy to celebrate the Airstream life and living this dream. We are having such a good time and I wake up every morning in awe that we are actually going places and thriving. Everywhere we stop people come up and ask about my Airstream and I usually give at least one tour a day. It’s really really cool and I still feel blessed.

Lily is loving life and letting me know all about it.

See you soon for the next adventure update!