Black Skye on The Road
Updated: Jun 14
We started with a bang right after Laura Not so surprising retirement party.
On 09/11/2021, we went to a Donut Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee. We had delicious coffee, mimosas, and bite size donuts.
On 09/11/2021, Jose and I enjoyed the day time and nightlife of Nashville, Tennessee . To our surprise it is the bachelorette capital of the world.
On 09/12/2021, Jose and I visited the Birmingham's historic Kelly Ingram Park, site of civil rights rallies, demonstrations, and confrontations in the 1960's (Birmingham, AL).
The Oklahoma City National Memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. On 09/15/2021 we visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial which is a sobering experience. No where in the memorial will you find the name of the bomber.
On 09/18/2021 we visited the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. We walked a trail into the Painted Desert badlands and petrified wood at Blue Mesa which is an amazing peaceful walk. We then walked through the Giant Logs section of the park to see some of the largest petrified logs.
09/23/2021-09/26/2021, we attended the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff Arizona. What an amazing time we had.
From 09/27/2021 until 09/30/2021 we stayed at Mathers Campground in the Grand Canyon. Unbeknown to us we had accidently booked a horse site which was amazingly quiet and lavished with wildlife. Each morning the female elks would come to the horse corrals looking for a free meal of horse hay most likely.
10/02/2021, we visited the Hoover Dam on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam tours were closed due to COVID however we got to walk the bridge and drove Black Skye on the roadway that takes you through the top of the dam.
On 10/02/2021, we took Black Skye for a little ride on a dirt road. Jose was a little nervous because Laura was driving.
On 10/03/2021, we stopped at the ugo rondinone: seven magic mountains. Seven Magic Mountains is an artwork of thresholds and crossings of balanced marvels and excessive colors, of casting and gathering and the contrary air between the desert and the city lights-Ugo Rondinone.
From 10/03/2021 until 10/06/2021 we stayed at Joshua Tree National Park. What a beautiful and peaceful place to camp. There are a variety of activities to enjoy suck as hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, camping, watching wildlife, etc.
On 10/07/2021, we got the opportunity to visit Slab City, also called The Slabs which is an off-the-grid squatter community in California. It took its name from concrete slabs that remained after the World War II Marine Corps Camp Dunlap training camp was torn down. The people that we met there were very welcoming and amazing to met.
We also visited the Salton Sea near the Town of Bombay Beach. The Salton Sea is a shallow, landlocked, highly saline body of water at the southern end of California. There is very little wildlife there. As you walk along the sanded areas you could hear the crunching of the hardened layers of salt beneath your feet.
On 10/08/2021, we went to La Jolla, CA and got to watch some amazing wildlife. Laura was in heaven and could have stayed there all day to watch the seals in the Children's Pool.
On 10/11/2021 we visited Laguna Beach, CA. This is the area where we spend the night right next to Heisler Park.
On 10/13/2021 we saw the Queen Mary.
On 10/13/2021, we drove by the Long Beach Shipping Terminal in California. It was backlogged for miles and the shipping barges are waiting to get into the port for miles to.
We were in Mission Bay in San Diego, CA for a few days. We took out the paddle boards and the underwater camera to see the Sea Lions on the floating dock. Unfortunately something went wrong with the underwater camera and it is now not working, however we were able to recover a few photographs that we took from the memory card.
On 10/13/2021, we went to the Santa Monica Pier. This is the end of US 66.
After visiting Santa Monica Pier we took a walk to Venice Beach. We saw an abundance of homeless people, art work, Venice Beach Recreation Center were there are public outdoor gyms.
On 10/17/2021 we had the opportunity to visit Yosemite National Park. Apparently there is a drought and the waterfall was almost non-existent so Laura took the opportunity to climb the rocks where the waterfall should have been.
On 10/17/2021, we stopped in Bridgeport, CA for the night. Here are some photographs of this little Towns Court House. Notice the ghost of Laura's past on two of the photos lol.
On 10/18/2021, we after a very loud windy night in the van we woke up to Jose's broken promise to Laura of never seeing snow again.
On 10/18/2021, we spend the day in Old Sacramento, CA. We had a great time walking around the town and had some amazingly tasty lunch there too.
On 10/18/2021, we went to our first Harvest Host location at Julietta Winery. Laura had an amazing time stalking the humming birds that were feasting on the beautiful flower garden in the winery.
Jose found this little booshie coffee shop in California were you have to pay to rent a private room in order to use an electrical outlet to charge your computer or any other devices.
On 10/19/2021, we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and spent the night between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Laura finally broke out her tele zoom lens for her camera and found that it wasn't that hard.
On 10/22/2021, we were driving through Orick, CA and saw a herd of Elk hanging out in the center of Town without a care in the world.
On 10/24/2021, Black Skye got to met the Creeper (our first starter camper van). We met with the Creeper's new owner's who renamed the van @arthurs_adventures after the first original owner Arthur Gatzuras which was an amazing idea. The van will continue to travel around the world making Arthur and his wife Esther Gatzuras proud. We had an amazing time with you and you did a great job updating Arthur.
10/26/2021, was the first time Black Skye was hooked up to shore power after constant rain and clouds for about a week.
On 10/28/2021, Black Skye went back to Overland Van Project (OVP) out of Portland, Oregon for an upgrade on the battery system. We added another 200 amp hour battery to the electrical system. While we waited the owner let us borrow his bran new electric Mustang to go explore Portland while they upgraded Black Skye. We went to breakfast at the Screen Door thanks to a recommendation from the owner of OVP. We eat exquisite chicken and waffle dishes and had excellent customer service. If you are ever in the area we recommend the Screen Door. There are a lot of homeless people living out of tents right in front of businesses and private homes all over Portland.
On 10/29/2021, We stopped at Weed, CA to get gas, coffee, and tea. Jose walked into a Coffee Café and insisted on eating breakfast. We eat like kings and queens. It is a neat place to visit. The City of Weed.
October 30th, 2021, Jose reunited with his Army wingman after 33 years. Mike always had Jose's six covered. Mike took Jose and Laura out on his boat. Jose had to drive a boat for the first time and was a little nervous but got through it with no damages sustained to the boat lol.
It's moving day with a lot of traffic due to this Tractor Trailer accident. Looks like the driver of the TT made it out of the accident with minor injuries. Be careful out there everyone.
On 10/31/2021, we spent the night at a 14 day BLM camp site in Quartzsite, Arizona.
A beautiful piece of art work that we saw in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Roadrunner.
We love the message on this tire cover.
On 11/2/2021, this was our morning view when we woke up on Brantley Lake in New Mexico.
Just another beautiful view while traveling.
On 11/02/2021, we saw the World's Largest Pistachio in New Mexico.
On 11/02/2021, we had a blast visiting the White Sands National Park in New Mexico. Laura made sand angels while Jose had fun running up and down the sand dunes.
On 11/02/2021, we stopped by Roswell, New Mexico. The Roswell UFO incident was named after the Town through the crash site of the alleged UFO was some 75 miles from Roswell. The investigation and debris recovery was handled by the local Roswell Army Air Field. There is a museum of the Roswell UFO incident and the town has embraced some alien spirit with the décor of the Town. Here are some photographs that we took.
On 11/03/2021, we enjoyed the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The cave we walked through was breathtaking and so peaceful. This was another place Jose had to drag Laura out of because she could stay there all day and night lol.
On 11/04/2021, we drove by the Blue Origin Launch Site One in Texas.
The Prada store where you can only window shop lmao.
The Starlink 4-3 Falcon 9 Block 5 SpaceX Rocket Launch on 12/02/2021.
On 1/16/2022 we had the opportunity to hike the King's Canyon inside Tucson Mountain Park in Arizona. We took in some amazing and breathtaking views. Here are a few photographs that I am proud to have taken.
Laura finally got some pictures of a road runner after three months (3-0) of trying to get at least one photograph of these fast birds that can run 20mph and are elusive.
Jose and Laura were camping at the Big Bend National Park when they noticed they were being watched by this wonderful creature of the night.
Whale watching in Scammon's Lagoon near the Town of Guerrero in the northwestern Baja California Sur state of Mexico.
June of 2022 We were lucky enough to watch Dolphins in their natural habitat in Florida.