New Mexico is one of my favorite place to visit. Santa fe is not only very artistic city but also there is many charming houses. But it is far place to visit from San francisco.
We spent 4 days to get there. Everyday ride a bike more than 8 hours. We like enjoying local street sometimes. We might miss many beautiful local monuments or events if we only drive on interstate. We love slow travel.
I think Many American states have each nature color.
California: Dry Grass Green
And New Mexico is Sand Yellow.
Summer bike travel have some benefits. This is one of them. Easy to dry your cloths.
There is a small village call “Chimayo” in New Mexico between Santa fe and Taos. The village have two Native American family own waving shops. “ORTEGA” and “CENTINELA”.
ORTEGA is very traditional waving shop. They strictly make Native American old school design items.
CENTINELA also old school design but they put some new idea on their arts. This time I wanted to custom order my original design vest so I went to CENTINELA.
There is many beautiful art pieces in the shop. They also have many color samples.I pick up beautiful hand dye natural indigo.
Taos pueblo is a housing complex. Yes, native Americans are still living in this building. There are some mismatching colorful doors on the building as you can see in the picture below. Some of the rooms are modified as shops for visitors.
We also stop by at 2nd mesa in Arizona. Where the small Hopi village is. One of very kind Hopi family invited us to their house. The house was build with concrete blocks, no windows, no doors and very hot inside. Hopi Grandma was waving beautiful basket by hand in the house. Hopi guy explained us about Hopi Kachina dolls.Their smile were the best ever.
All American National parks are amazing. This is why I love to roadtrip in the U.S. I have traveled many nature places in Japan but nature in America is way bigger scale.
Of course I like Japanese nature such as natural hot springs in Kyushu, beautiful beach in Okinawa and bamboo forest in Kyoto. But there are not many parks in Japan where we can see wild life animals or wide landscape.
Joshua tree National park is one of the parks that has wide landscape and very wired rocks.
Joshua tree National park is great park to have a relaxing time with your family. I love to spend slow time in this park. Quiet atmosphere gave me very calm down experience at night. I also recommend short hike in Joshua tree. You will find very wired shape rocks.
This delicate arch is an icon of Utah. Arches National park is a bit far from other parks such as Zion, Bryce canyon, Monument valley and etc. But it is worth going there.
Moab is the nearest city from Arches and there is many activity service and restaurant. You might get many great informations for your lest of travel in Moab.
Don’t forget your hiking boots when you go to Arches. You will walk at least 1 hour to see delicate arch. Sneakers will be fine but not flip flops. Oh also you should bring your hat. There is not many sun shade area on the way to get delicate arch.
There are many National parks around the border between Utah and Arizona. This “Grand Circle” area is the best place to visit in the U.S. for road tripping. But those National Parks are always popular therefore I recommend to visit those places before or after high season. You might spend an hour for just to get parking spot sometimes in high season. Bryce canyon is one of the popular National Park.
We got Bryce canyon NP in end of August. It was not very busy so we decided to hike “Navajo Trail”. Navajo Trail is popular short trail in Bryce canyon. I highly recommend to hike if you can have a time. It takes only an hour. But you can walk in between beautiful rocks. Also there is some natural bridges on the trail. You can’t enjoy these hidden natural sculpture from view point.
We had a very long summer in San francisco 2016. Finally winter came to our city since couple weeks ago. We have only 5 more weeks this year. This short trip might be the last in 2016.
We went to Big Sur in California. It takes 3 to 4 hours from San francisco by a car. You can see beautiful land’s end view and wild nature around Big Sur. People love to go to Black Friday Sale after Thanksgiving day. We knew there is heavy traffic early morning on freeway. So we left my house afternoon. We had a lunch and gas stops on the way to get there so we made Big Sur right around sunset. It was very beautiful red sunset.
We started looking for camp sites after sunset. We checked couple National forest camp sites but there were all FULL!? Some of camp sites were even CLOSED. We decided to stop at private lodge for getting some local information.
At the front of lodge,
F: How can I help you?
I: We are planning to camp in this area but all camp sites were full, also many camp sites were even closed. Do you know why?
F: Yes, it’s because if huge fire.
F: We had huge fire last months therefore many place of National forests got damaged.
We don’t have a TV in my house so we only check news on laptop. There was no way I could get this information. Anyway, we have to find a place that we can camp tonight. We started to search private camp grounds and call and ask them if they have any available. Then my wife found one in mountain side. They only had 2 or 3 more available. We were very lucky. It was 8:30pm.
Outside was very dark when we got camp site. My wife started cooking dinner and I started open tent immediately. My wife’s outdoor cooking skill is miracle. She made Korean style bibimbap in 45 min. We love Japanese and Asian food so she always cook rice even outdoor.
We spend couple minutes in front of fire after dinner. Talking about 2017 summer vacation Alaska road trip plan. Our quiet Thanksgiving night finished in California nature.
1988 Toyota Pickup 22RE motor with CVT roof top tent. Not a very fast car therefore I don’t get a speeding ticket. Sometimes I battle with a SEMI truck on freeway especially when street is uphill. But speed is around 65mph. My wife prefer truck than motorcycle for road trip because she can bring a lot of cloths. She told me “I don’t want to eat at fancy restaurant with motorcycle jacket”.
I believe we were driving on I-15 in Montana heading to south. Double rainbow showed up in front of us after rain. We park our pickup truck and enjoy rainbow. It was the biggest rainbow I’ve ever seen.
I got this TW from my friend who gave up to fix her. This TW was all stock condition with full of dust in carb. It was pretty easy to became running condition but original TW wasn’t my style. I decided to cut frame and weld scrap steel. Print my ass to make a carbon fiver seat. At the end this bike became a MAD MAX style. Police pulled over me and said “Your bike is missing something”. But he didn’t give me a ticket.
I started bee hiving to stop my nose running allergy. My friend told me that local honey is great natural medicine for allergy because bees collects pollens from local flowers. But I couldn’t find any “local” products at local stores. There is many ‘California local’ or ‘Bay area local’ products, but California is even bigger than my home country Japan. I wanted to get honey from my neighbor. Of course I don’t have any friends who have bee hives. So I started it.
Now I harvest a lot of honey every year and share with my neighbors.