Piedras Marcadas Canyon in Petroglyph National Monument

Piedras Marcadas Canyon in Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque, NM, combined my love of and fascination with history, geology and archeology.

When I began fantasizing about this journey to southern Texas, I planned to leave northern California the third week of September, in time to get to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta. Since that didn’t happen, I had no real plans of what to see or do in Albuquerque other than to try to find some New Mexico wineries. I had no idea that Petroglyph National Monument was so close to where I was staying. Petroglyph National Monument Visitor Center After a little research, I learned that there is a visitor center but no trail access there. Petroglyph National Monument is a day-use park so the visitor center and the four trailhead parking lots are open from 8:30 to 4:30. The trailheads range in distance from…

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Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert

Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, lies at the heart of the Painted Desert and is one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world.

When I heard that the National Parks’ Senior Lifetime Pass was increasing from $20 to $80, I decided to go ahead and get mine. I was a few years past the time when I qualified but I never really thought I would use it. Other than Yosemite, there weren’t many National Parks near me in northern California but I wanted to get it, just in case, before the price increase. So, who knew I would use it twice in one week on this trip, for Grand Canyon National Park and for Petrified Forest National Park. The first time I used my pass was when I went to the Grand Canyon on October 31st (Halloween). When I booked the Grand Canyon Railway, I had to either…

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The Incomparable Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railway

I love trains so I knew that combining the Grand Canyon Railway with seeing the Grand Canyon would be the highlight of my trip.

My RV journey began with the thought that a travel trailer might be easier than finding multiple hotels that would take my three cats on my move from Northern California to southern Texas. From that simple thought it grew into the idea of fulfilling a life-long dream of traveling around the country in an RV. As I fantasized about what the trip might look like, I knew the only thing I HAD to do was see the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and the only one in the United States. Everything else I might get to see or do would just be gravy on the potatoes. Grand Canyon Railway I don’t remember how I learned…

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Lessons Learned from Two Weeks on the Road

Check out the lessons learned on the road in just two weeks. I’m loving this journey of discovery and the continual reminders that I can do it.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned on the road these past two weeks is that I can do a lot more than I ever thought I could, or at least more than I was ever willing to push myself to do. Fear of the unknown or fear of failure can keep us from doing so many things. I was not really fearful about this journey in general, but certain components of the journey scared me silly. I use the word silly because it turns out most of my fears were indeed silly. Take for example big trucks passing on the freeway. Yes, you definitely feel them but as long as you are aware and prepared, it is not really a big deal. A…

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Notes from an RV Newbie’s First Weekend on the Road

If my first weekend on the road as an RV newbie is any indication of how things are going to go for the next few weeks, I’m truly going to love this life.

If you have been following my blog, you know that just before my birthday I made a life changing decision to downsize, buy a travel trailer and do some long-term traveling while moving in the general direction of southern Texas. Preparing to be an RV newbie has been a monumental chore with not much to write about so it has been a while since I posted. I’m back now and plan to share the whole adventure with you. If my first weekend on the road as an RV newbie is any indication of how things are going to go for the next few weeks, I’m truly going to love this life. Day one, Friday, October 12 I finally pulled out from Pine Grove at about…

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Travel Safety Tips for the Solo Female RV Traveler

Solo female travel safety is an important topic. These tips will help give you peace of mind while traveling solo in your RV.

A while back, I wrote a post about solo female travel. Who knew I would be contemplating and putting into action doing just that for an extended period of time. I belong to several RV travel Facebook groups and every time I see someone ask how solo female travelers keep themselves safe, many respond with “don’t be afraid.” I don’t think wanting suggestions for how to keep yourself safe has anything to do with fear, at least not for me. For me, it’s no different than asking what their favorite must haves are. It is about being confident that you can avoid a dangerous situation. It is about being prepared and making your travels as fun and rewarding as possible. Although these solo female travel…

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A Newbie’s List of RV Must Haves

RV Must Haves - Although space is pretty limited in any RV including my travel trailer, there are a few things that I am putting on my RV must haves list.

Two months seems like forever, yet no time at all when there is so much to do. My tentative goal for hitting the trail is September 21st — two months from today! I have some pet sitting commitments through September 19th then, after that, there is nothing to keep me from starting the adventure. My biggest chore before heading out is, of course, downsizing and getting rid of the majority of my stuff. I know what a monumental task this can be. I sold, donated and gave to friends so much of my stuff when I moved here four years ago. How can I still have so much? I still have boxes in my garage that haven’t been unpacked! I keep thinking, if I get…

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Am I Too Old to Start Traveling the Country in an RV?

Am I too old to start traveling the country in an RV? As I sit here on my birthday, looking at my new to me travel trailer sitting in my driveway, I wonder if I have lost my mind. What was I thinking?

As I sit here on my birthday, looking at my new to me travel trailer sitting in my driveway, I wonder if I have lost my mind. What was I thinking? Am I too old to do this? Am I too old to start traveling the country in an RV? I am a firm believer in the adage that you are only as old as you feel. Although my body is slowing down a little, it is still in pretty good shape. I really have a hard time with the number assigned to my years because I definitely don’t feel old! My mind still wants to do all those things I dreamed about in my younger days that never came to be, including traveling the…

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Gold Country Cowgirl is Hitting the Trail!

As much as I have enjoyed learning the ropes of living in Gold Country, this Gold Country Cowgirl will be hitting the trail soon. Will I take up a life of living full time on the road in a travel trailer? Read about my life-changing decision.

Although I’ve been trying to stay active on social media, I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately. Maybe you noticed. I made a life-changing decision a couple of months ago and it has kind of consumed me since. It all started when my friend, Kelly, who I moved here to Gold Country to be near, told me she and her family were planning to move to Tennessee. I wasn’t invited to join them but I probably would not have chosen to do that even if I had been. So, it really got me thinking. Would I want to stay here if she moved? I have quite a few friends here, some wonderful pet sitting clients and I have cultivated some great business relationships through…

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Why I Missed the 2nd Anniversary of the Blog

March 7th was the 2nd anniversary of the Gold Country Cowgirl blog. I had intended to do a special post and a giveaway for the blog anniversary. Check out this post to see the wine events and more that kept this from happening.

March 7th was the 2nd anniversary of the Gold Country Cowgirl blog. I had intended to do a special post and a giveaway for the blog anniversary but between a three-day trip to Southern California, having company, lots of wine events, being sick twice and an especially busy couple of weeks of pet sitting, that special day came and went with hardly a thought. In fact, I haven’t written a blog post since the end of February. When I sat down and made a list of all the things I’d done over the past four to five weeks (and that list didn’t include several personal events), I wasn’t surprised that I haven’t gotten much written and that I’m sick! The good thing is that several of the…

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