Posted by: wheelsandfeet | June 3, 2011

SoCal…still there!

but who knows where the border between NorCal (northern California) and SoCal (southern california) is exactly…I think people just make it up as they go, local or not!  let’s say it’s just north of santa barbara…near San Louis Obispo.

well, right now, nicole and I are hangin out in a cool smaller city called Visalia, Ca.  Just a crazy town.  ya look around at the people and who knows where anyone is from…could be asian, could be latino, african american, could be european…oceania…the only culture I haven’t seen here is middle eastern.  it’s but the restaurants say otherwise.  I’m likin it.  old town main street stuck in the late 80’s early 90’s with sales on clothes all over the place.  huge homeless population hangin out at the park.  about 50 miles from sequoia/kings canyon national parks and sequoia national forest where gear heads, tree huggers, and hunters all kinda just get along.  pretty cool little part of the country.

Well, here’s to getting to know a little this and that of SoCal!  Rob and I (patrick) spent some time in the hills of the San Bernardino National Forest at his favorite spot.  a great time with some good food and a great view of the San Joaquin Valley (I think…) overlooking west Palm Springs…?…we were also able to be “trail angels” to some very cool pacific crest trail hikers for a few days!  water? pop tarts? anyone?  they definitely took full advantage of our stash!  and it felt great to help out.  some of those folks were getting their butt kicked by the pacific crest trail and needed a little respit.  rob and I did a little kayaking on Big Bear Lake.  very cool, but had to pay $15 each for a day permit! ridiculous.

picked up nicole at the LA Airport on the 24th and headed in to venice beach for a comfortable night’s sleep on some random street recommended by the Venice Beach Man, Rob Dew.  great hanging out with him in Venice Beach for the short time that I was able…here’s to hanging out with him more. can’t wait for nicole to meet him. still waitin for nicole to meet him.

Nicole and I continued up the coast.  we stayed at Lou Carrillo state park where the ocean meets the hills.  a pretty cool park. each campsite had some privacy which is a pretty unusual thing along the socal coast!  we had a great time watching surfers for a couple hours…dreaming of having our own boards! well, at least I was 😀 nicole’s gonna start with a boogie board. 🙂  and we’ll see where it goes from there…

from there we headed up hwy 1 to Montana de Oro State Park.  a very cool park, rugged socal coast with plenty of room at the campsites.  good mountain biking and great trails along the coast with some very cool tidal pools and “gnarly” coastal waves.  downside was a lot of ticks! yikes. oh well! worth it, none-the-less, of course.

across to Fresno we went to store our stuff at a public storage place.  $1 is true (plus $22 administrative fees) for the first month!

off to Lake Isabella, The Kern River, and some awesome Hot Springs for Memorial Day Weekend.  ARGH, holidays for working people…they really get in the way of our fun! 😀  what to do with so many people around!  well, the remington hot springs was a great place to hang out for a couple nights!  and Miracle Hot Springs was very cool, too.  the hot springs on the Kern River are worth a visit.  so cool. and free…FREE.  national forest is OUR LAND…let’s use it!

we went to Sequoia National Forest for the next three nights. found an awesome spot right on a stream where the trout fishing was great.  we picked up a ridiculous amount of garbage from the previous ‘CAMPERS’.  well, those folks threw their garbage everywhere and since the rain/snow on the saturday night of the memorial day weekend “forced” them into their cars to drive back to LA in the middle of the night, we could tell they felt no need to worry about the tents they left still staked in.  But, we found 8 cold beers and some really cool petroglyph and pictographs near an old rock/cliff dwelling not far from our camp! that was well worth the work it took to pick up the camp area. please, pack in pack out! (but it’s okay to leave the beers! :D)

at this camp we met a great couple who have been traveling for years.  we actually had heard of them in New Mexico because the woman writes an E-Book on free camping state by state! her name: marianne edwards!  so cool to have their acquaintance especially after we had heard of them a few months ago!  they even cooked us up a great meal.  that was cool.

off to the Freeman Trail, a very cool bike/hike trail of the sequoia giants where we saw “The George Bush Tree” if you can believe there is such a thing.  and, yes, IT WAS STILL STANDING!  he didn’t use his chainsaw to cut down this 250 ft 1500 year old beauty.

We then checked out the trail of 100 giants.  so cool to see these trees, the largest living organisms on earth.  ridiculous, really.  so we took the hwy out of the sequoia national forest late last night to see the sunset over classic california horse ranch country on a tiny windy 2 lane paved road, J37. very cool road. would be cool to do a road bike on that one.  great great country here.

Now, we need to get going to the sheriff’s office so I can get my fingerprinting done…gotta start the process of getting a temporary work permit for travel nursing in California.  exciting! but good grief, there’s a lot of red tape…california has the most.

very quick post this time…no re-read! I hope it’s okay!  😀

off to sequoia national park and kings canyon national parks!



  1. Hola, sounds like you’ve stumbled into all kinds of trouble, ticks, sunsets, surfing and even managed to stave off impending wilderness-hardship to some pobrehito PCT hikers. Yeahhhh! You guys rock. Didn’t know you were planning on staying in CA (and work? Yikes! Red Tape for sure). Thought your ultimo destino was OR or WA ? So you’re stuck in California… hope you all take care and keep having lots of fun. Looking forward to Nicole’s European installment…
    Here in NM, we’re having a smoky start to our summer (gee thanks, National Forest Service) but it’s green & gorgeous too. Lots of love ***Ruth, Sophies & Cass

  2. i love yoou all so much and im so proud of you I talked to Bill Weeks today in Lunds and gave him your web site and he said and i quote ” well im not surprised ” He has great admiration for you and said he For Sure would check out yourWheels etc.You both have touched so many lives so far and it will never stop How fun MOM

  3. What are you still doing here?? Thought you had to be back in MN for a wedding? What’s the latest?

    Was hanging out in Fairfax this week with my parents and it reminded me of you. Hope you’re having fun. Remember you promised I get to meet Nicole one of these days and I just renewed my zoo membership so it’s on!

    P.S. the ceiling is eggshell 🙂

  4. Hey Pat and Nicole,
    It’s great to see you guys are still rockin’ and rollin’ down the road! Just don’t get too down on the working stiffs crowding the parks during the holidays (I empathize with them). Too bad about the trash, though.
    We enjoy following you guys through the blog. Keep it up!

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