Kat Kathie Fischer

All articles by Kat

 

DragonCon – Where Nerds Go To Be Normal

After the eclipse (we still haven’t been able to stop gushing about the experience), we made it to Atlanta GA in time for DragonCon, a huge multi-genre convention held every year over Labor Day weekend. Every year it grows larger, with an estimated crowd size of 80,000 people this year. This is our third time...
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East Coast Humidity… and a Total Solar Eclipse

After our giddy and awesome visit to Red Bay AL, we finalized our order, including our custom color. With two weeks to kill before the solar eclipse, we decided to spend the time in West Memphis AR, right outside of Memphis TN. We stayed at Tom Sawyer’s RV Park which is situated right on the...
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Jello travels

Other than Opie’s daily (bi-daily?) swim in the Colorado River in Grand Junction during the 100 degree days, we avoided being outdoors in that awful heat. Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy the cool mornings or evenings either because the mosquitoes came out in force!! The first night we were there, I (no joke) got over a...
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Dinosaur country

After two weeks in mostly wilderness, it was nice to hit “civilization” again at Cody, WY (pop. 9700). While we still needed to wait until Denver for a Costco or Trader Joe’s, we were able to find nice supermarkets and Walmart again to stock up on food and supplies, plus a nearby dog park (with...
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Yellowstone: Part 2

After a couple of days fighting with the crowds on the west side, we drove to the north side of the park through Norris and up to Mammoth Hot Springs. We stopped at Artists Paintpot which contains a nice array of geological formations: fumeroles (stinky gas and steam, no water… we were making fumerole jokes...
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Yellowstone: A Completely Foreign Planet

Above: Grand Prismatic Spring While the views at our boondock site in Grand Teton were, well, grand, the warming weather brought out ridiculously large mosquitoes in droves so we were not sorry to pack up and head north to Yellowstone. Since Yellowstone is just north of Grand Teton, we didn’t expect our drive to take...
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Grand Teton National Park

From SLC, we made a two-day drive north to Grand Teton National Park. We chose to boondock for free in the Bridger-Teton National Forest adjacent to the park thanks to the good reviews on Campendium. The nearby National Park campgrounds were either $52-70/night with electric, or $28/night with no hookups, in a forested area where solar power...
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Utah, it’s May and snow??

Originally we planned (we use that phrase often) to hit Monument Valley and Moab after Sedona but had to take a sharp u-turn back to Yuma so I could get some quick work done on my crown covering my implant. The positive was that Dr. Urena (my dentist) got me in quick and replaced the crown...
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Sedona hiking and more hiking

We decided to make our first hike easy and short to start warming up our legs. Fay Canyon is a 2.5 mile, flat out-and-back hike through the densely-vegetated canyon floor. The maintained trail ends at massive boulders in a wash but we felt adventurous, plus the first mile was more of a stroll than a...
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Sedona – so much red!

After Phoenix, we stopped at Camp Verde at a full-hookup campground for a couple of days so I could do our laundry, even more important since we planned to boondock for a week in Sedona. This was meant to just be a place to clean up, guzzle water, and clean out our black tank but...
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Phoenix – warming up our hiking muscles

While we usually stay at Catalina State Park when in Tucson, the county and state parks near Phoenix have great reviews so we’ve been slowly trying all of them over the last couple of years. This year we stayed at Lost Dutchman State Park for a week, then Cave Creek Regional Park for a week, which...
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The Glamorous Life of a Full-timer

After Organ Pipe, we got back on track and headed to Yuma for my last dental appointments. One year after starting on this crazy Mexico dental journey, I now have two implants (hopefully) firmly stuck in my mouth. The implants cost me 1/3 of what the US dentists normally charge and I was extremely happy...
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Detours can be a good thing

After finishing with Texas, we headed to our favorite winter destination, Tucson AZ. Since we had to make it through most of Texas and all of New Mexico, it did take us 3 straight days of driving to get to Tucson. Poor Opie was having some cabin, er RV, fever by the time we reached Tucson....
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Everything is bigger in Texas

After leaving Tampa, we took the ubiquitous Interstate 10 straight through to Texas. I-10 is the major east-west highway through the southern U.S. so it’s the most convenient and direct route; however it does have some rough patches in Louisiana and we were sure we might lose some screws, or at least a side mirror...
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Meandering through Florida

Recently we’ve had better luck running into friends we’ve made on the road, and while we were in Florida we had a chance to catch up with Jeff and Sue of Fools Rush Out in nearby Naples FL. In fact, we spent an awesome evening drinking and snacking on the beach watching the sunset and...
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The interlude

Have you ever watched a TV show or movie where a bunch of stuff happens, then the screen fades to the next scene, and it says “3 months later”? It’s a great way to cut out all the boring stuff and get right back into the action. Well, this catch-up blog entry is our quick summary...
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Last National Park of the year

From Denver, we headed north and west to Estes Park CO to visit Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), which will probably be the last NP for us this year. After Colorado, we make our way back “home” to the DC area to see family which means lots of people time, not much sightseeing time. Estes Park...
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Denver and our first 14er

After a steep and careful drive over (and through) the Rocky Mountains we made it back to “civilization”, so to celebrate, our first outing was to the nearby Costco to get our staples. No longer can we buy truckloads of toilet paper, but Costco does have a few things that we can rely on without overflowing Rover. We...
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Ouray, the fun part!

While we had some sleepless nights fighting the mouse war, we were finally able to get out of the RV and do some sightseeing. My friend, Debbie, came out from Virginia to visit us so we spent a few days doing the fun touristy stuff around Ouray and Silverton. The town still has a very old-fashioned...
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Ouray Colorado’s unwelcome guests

Before we started RV’ing, we had never heard of the majority of the places we have ended up visiting, including Ouray (pronounced either YOU-Ray, or You-RAY) Colorado. Mike’s Mom’s neighbor mentioned Ouray as a great place to visit so we added it to our list, and we’re glad we did. Ouray is a small town...
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San Diego – land of wet dog

The last time we were in San Diego, we stayed at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, about 40 minutes outside of the city. While we enjoyed the park, driving into the city to do sightseeing became tedious quickly. This year we decided to stay inside San Diego at the Mission Bay RV Resort. It’s located right next to Mission Bay,...
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And Zion Makes Three

After Bryce, it was time to change directions and start South since we have to get back to Yuma and Mexico for my next dental appointment in mid-June (yuck). That meant a fond farewell to Bryce and a howdy to nearby Zion National Park. Of course that also meant getting to Zion during Memorial Day...
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More than just Bryce, thanks to Opie

After our rest stop in Page and Kanab, it was time to hit our next National Park. We packed up our stuff, deflated the Sleep Number bed, and took an uphill journey to Bryce Canyon, elevation 8000 feet. Small tip: make sure all your top-down bottles are placed upright or you will have some explosions when...
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Sedona – A whole new world of hiking!

While we’ve done some great hikes (Glacier National Park comes to mind), Sedona is in a class of its own! Everyone we talk to, and I do mean everyone, who has been to Sedona raves about how beautiful and wonderful it is so we were looking forward to our visit. After being here, we can see...
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Dusting off the hiking boots, packs, and poles

The time had come to stop lazing about and start stretching our muscles again. Our next few stops are well-known for fabulous scenery, hikes, and gorgeous weather which meant dusting off our hiking equipment. Opie, of course, was ecstatic at our change of pace. We made it to Cottonwood Arizona about 1/2 hour southwest of...
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4 weeks of a whole lotta nuthin’

We decided to wait out the rest of winter in Tucson and Phoenix before heading further north in the spring, so back to Tucson we went. Being back at Catalina State Park almost feels like coming home since we’ve been here multiple times and it’s still one of our most favorite places to stay. When you’re home,...
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Lake Havasu, not just for Spring Breakers

When we (ok, Mike) originally made our winter plans, we were going to split our time evenly between Borrego Springs and Lake Havasu City. After further research, we (ok, Mike) shortened our stay in Borrego Springs and lengthened our stay in Lake Havasu which turned out to be a good decision. The various sculptures in Borrego Springs...
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Dental tourism in Mexico…no, really!

Having no dental insurance, we decided to join the thousands of other RV’ers (and other non-insured folks) who travel to Mexico for dental and vision work. The cost of dental and vision work in Mexico tends to be anywhere between 50-75% of the cost within the U.S. so dental tourism has become a huge draw for many...
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Boondocking: the good, the bad, and the ugly

above: desert art at eye-level (top-left) isn’t fully appreciated until viewed from above with a drone! Being back in the Southwest meant we could finally put our solar panels to use! On the east coast and much of the south, the dense population and lack of open public land makes it almost impossible to find any free land...
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What Opie wants, Opie gets

above: sunset from our campsite at Catalina State Park, Tucson AZ I’m fairly certain Opie either sends commands to me telepathically or he’s just really good at making me feel guilty. Either way, Opie successfully made the Catalina stay all about him. Last year we spent a lot of time in Tucson sight-seeing which is...
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Our gas budget is shot

above: mountains in west TX covered in snow from Winter Storm Goliath. With such a long visit with East Coast family near the end of the year, we originally thought of either spending the winter in FL or meandering across the south and skipping the Quartzsite AZ gathering in January since that would require a lot...
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Friends, (more) coasters, and (more) family

above: our first Florida sunset in over a year, during an overnight stop Leaving DC was both easy and hard: easy since we were both excited to be back on the road and hard to leave family behind again. Hopefully they will come visit us out west next year as we travel around. Florida (by...
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Family, friends, and so much food!

above: Opie and Jaxon surveying our beautiful camp site in Reston VA. After six weeks in Northern VA, it’s time to lift up the jacks, say bye to family and friends, and head toward warmer climes. When we originally scheduled six weeks back home (technically it is no longer home, but I think I’ll always consider...
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Windy City and the RV Capital

Since we were so close to the Chicago area for Six Flags, we made a weekend of visiting my cousins who lived there. I hadn’t seen these cousins for about 10 years so it was great to meet up with them. Typically in Asian culture, when guests are visiting, the host really goes overboard in...
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Rockin’ redonkulous roller coasters

Our next two stops allowed us to continue to feed our roller coaster addiction. First we stopped at a nice state park in Wisconsin, about 40 minutes from Chicago’s Six Flags Great America. A friend of ours happened to be visiting family in Wisconsin at the same time, so we invited him to check out...
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The Adventures of Max

It’s taken us a couple of weeks to get to a point where we can write this post. Our stay in La Crosse, Wisconsin was Max’s final campground. He was just shy of 13 years old. Our Max was part Great Dane (average life span 8–10 years) and part Labrador Retriever (10–13 years). Over the past 10...
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Badlands: kinda weird, very cool

After Black Hills, we headed over to Badlands National Park. We often heard that Badlands is unlike anything we’ll ever see anywhere else and that does seem to be the case. Walking around the park feels almost like being in an alien landscape, not to mention it feels awfully desolate of animal life. Unlike most...
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Where the Buffalo Roam…

Our next destination on our continuing voyage east brings us to the Black Hills area of South Dakota and all the tourist attractions it offers. We hit the area about 1.5 weeks before the HUGE 75th anniversary of the Sturgis motorcycle rally. When we dropped anchor in Custer, we saw a few motorcycles, but by...
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Someone turned up the sun!

above: the walking bridge between the RV sites and tent sites at Tolt River We decided to try the Kingston-Edmonds ferry to get from the Port Angeles area to Seattle. It would save us 50 miles of driving, although any gas savings is more than canceled by the ferry cost. Still, we thought it would...
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Ready to turn back east

above: our hazy view from Hurricane Hill Port Angeles, WA is our last stop before we start our long trek east back towards home (I guess it’s technically not home anymore, but it’ll always be my figurative home). I can’t believe it’s been 14 months and we’ve only made it 3/4 of the way around...
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Footsore but impressed

above: amazing views of Mt. Hood as we approached Portland As we continued to meander through the Pacific Northwest, we landed in Boring, OR (I think they must have heard every joke in the book). Barton Park is a great little county park about 30 miles east of Portland right by the Clackamas River. That meant...
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Holed up, hermited homebodies

above: Fern Canyon Crescent City, CA, our final stop in CA! From Redcrest, we headed north to Crescent City, but this time we made a side trip along our route. Usually we’ll find a destination and use Red to drive to various spots nearby; however, Mike really wanted to check out Fern Canyon, where parts of Jurassic...
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Free, I like free!

We’re still (slowly) heading north on US-101 but California is pretty darn large. We’ve moved out of the warm CA areas and we’re now getting into the colder areas which is progress. While Mike and I prefer the warmer air, Opie and Max in their black fur coats are much more pleased with the recent...
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Napa – downtime and surprisingly no wine

After staying in a literal parking lot just outside of San Francisco, it felt good to camp at the Napa Expo Fairgrounds. Lots of space, grass, warm sun, and plenty of places to walk the dogs. Since Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is in nearby Vallejo and San Francisco is only 1.5 hours south, Napa seemed...
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San Francisco, even more friends and family

above: driving towards San Francisco from Santa Cruz So far, with the exception of Los Angeles, we haven’t hit really bad traffic in California until we got to San Francisco. Yeah, I thought Northern Virginia traffic was bad, we don’t have anything on these guys. I bow down in awe to those who commute in...
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Under the Redwoods in Santa Cruz

Our original plan was to stay in San Juan Bautista for 2-3 weeks until Rover’s final warranty repairs were completed but we really didn’t like the RV Park we were staying in. The spaces were tiny with barely enough room for Max’s ramp, the resort felt like a large parking lot (all paved), and the areas where...
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Dog-friendly Carmel

After our fun (and not so fun) stay in Pinnacles National Park, we headed to our next stop near San Juan Bautista, a little town off Rt. 101 on our way north to San Francisco. We wanted to get the last few (minor) items fixed on Rover before his one-year warranty was up and San Juan Bautista was...
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Then the not-so-fun part

…continued from previous post After watching Opie trying to ingest as much greenery as he could find, I watched him throw it all back up. Opie enjoys eating small amounts of long-bladed grass and it will pass through his system without any issues. I’ve also seen him frantically eat grass one or twice and throw up...
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Pinnacles National Park: Cool caves, dog woes

After saying a very sad farewell to the strawberries… er, I mean San Luis Obispo, we headed north and inland towards Pinnacles National Park, the nation’s newest national park (established Jan 10, 2013). Before its recent promotion, it was Pinnacles National Monument, established in 1908 by President Roosevelt. It’s a relatively small national park compared...
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San Diego: barely scratched the surface

above: the Louis Bank of Commerce building, constructed in 1888. After Phoenix, we stopped for a few days in Yuma before heading into California. Yuma was just a stop over since it was too far (for us) to drive from Phoenix to San Diego in one day. I can see why Yuma is such a...
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