Great Ideas How To Prepare For a Weekend Road Trip

The excitement for an upcoming trip can be exhilarating. But it can also be very stressful as you have a million things to remember to do days or weeks leading up to your trip. I, however, have a few extra things I need to do to prepare for road trips due to my auto-immune disorder. I have to plan for meals and food as I manage my disorder through diet that involves more natural ingredients and nutrient dense foods; hence, I have a restricted diet.

Anyway, when we have a road trip coming up, there are several things I do to plan and prepare for an enjoyable worry free travel experience. When I say ‘Weekend Road Trip’ I am generally referring to a trip consisting of approximately 250-300 miles. We usually travel on road trips to Arizona, Palm Springs, or Nevada from the Southern California area. My road trips usually involve a hiking adventure, so this information is geared towards hiking or exploration. One of the most critical things to do to prepare for your road trip is to make sure your vehicle is safe and in good operating condition. Here is a list of things I do for the preparation of our weekend road trip; I start with a vehicle inspection.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Auto Checklist

  1. Open the hood and glance over the engine and check fluids.
    1. Make sure oil is at good levels
    2. Make sure water is enough for windshield wipers
  2. Bring jumper cables in the trunk
  3. Bring a gallon of water
    1. In case your car overheats while driving. You don’t want to be on the road someplace in the middle of nowhere and your car breaks down and overheats, and you do not have water.

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      Photo by Slobodan Jošić on Pexels.com
  4. Make sure the oil and oil filter has been changed
  5. Bring a blanket
  6. Bring towels
  7. Bring a roll of toilet paper
  8. Bring a handful of tools
  9. Bring the air compressor. Make sure all tires have the appropriate air in them
    1. Make sure the spare tire has appropriate air in it as well.
  10. Full tank of gas
  11. Hot climate travel – turn off air condition as you incline mountains etc.
  12. Maps if needed (we do not use GPS); good ole fashion paper maps.
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Here is more information about the auto checklist for a road trip.

Food Checklist

  1. Ice chest – ice – zip lock bags of ice to fit in cooler
    1. I found a styrofoam cooler at Walmart for $2.67 and worked great.
  2. Bring lunch meat turkey breast
  3. Mustard
  4. Enough almond milk for the weekend
  5. Bottles of water
  6. Healthy snacks; nuts, cut veggies, tortilla chips
  7. Energy bars- protein bars
  8. breakfast cereal- cheerios, oatmeal
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Hiking Checklist – local hikes or short hiking

  1. Bring enough water bottles to fill take for the hike
  2. Energy bars and nuts
  3. Appropriate clothing for hiking – hot or cold climates
  4. Small compass, small mirror
  5. A hiking partner
  6. Let someone know where you are hiking, if hiking solo
  7. Small tool-Swiss army knife
  8. Backpack
  9. Research local hiking trails, gather info, trail length, difficulty, etc.
  10. Proper shoes and clothing

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    Photo by Tobi on Pexels.com

Clothing and Personal Checklist

  1. Check the weather to determine to bring lighter or warmer clothes
  2. Jacket or not
  3. Umbrella in the car
  4. Essentials- Lotion (for dry climates), chapstick,
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Hats or visors

In summary, road trips can be a little stressful because of the preparations involved and other unplanned items that may come up, but they can also be exciting! Road trips allow you to be more flexible on your trip, for example, you can take a different route returning home than the route you took going to your destination. You can take detours and stumble upon some amazing gems! Here is one of our hidden gems we stumbled upon on our detour return from Oregon going South. We came across a detour from I-5 to bypass the large fires happening in Northern California areas. Check out beautiful Diamond Peaks mountain range.

Weekend road trips are like a mini vacation that allows you to getaway for a short while to rejuvenate, refresh, and renew! So maximize your life and fill your weekend road trip with excitement, fun, and exploration! Open your mind and go out and wander!

My recent Coastal road trip on PCH

Detours and hidden gems on my road trips

See my beautiful photography of images that will amaze and inspire you! Instagram:
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Thank you for reading and please follow along with my adventures and subscribe to my blog and social pages! If you have any comments, or see any discrepancies please feel free to contact me at fitlife360@yahoo.com.

 

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2 For 1 Archaeological So Cal Hiking Trails * Coast to Crest

Santa Fe Valley Hiking Trail
Santa Fe Valley Hiking Trail

Weekends are very special to people, it is considered very valuable time for some. It means taking advantage of time off from work, or it might mean spending quality time with family and friends. The weekend is also perfect for running errands and doing tasks that you weren’t able to do during the week. But the weekend is not only for playing catch up on household work, it’s also great for going outdoors and exploring the local area hiking trails. And hiking on the San Diego area trails are perfect to fill your weekend with fun outdoor adventure!

 

 

 

If you have the desire to make the most of your weekends, here are a couple hiking trails I thought were very easy and interesting. The Santa Fe Valley Hike and the Del Dios Gorge trail heads are located directly next to each other. There is a rock gravel parking area that you can park at no charge, then go and explore one trail and continue on and hike the other; exploring both trails all in one visit. Directions: I-15 to exit Via Rancho Parkway, Go West 3.5 miles, go left on Del Dios Road 5.4 miles, and turn left when you see a organic fruit stand building and veer to the right and continue driving down the road that will lead to the gravel parking area for the trails.

 

The Santa Fe Valley trail is not only great for hikers but you can also bring your bikes out on the trail. There is even a bicycle repair station to use if you need a few tools to do a small repair or simply need to add some air in your tires on your bike. Also, one of the pleasant viewpoints of this hike are the beautiful views of the Crosby Golf Course.
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My visit to these trails did not only present striking natural landscapes for viewing pleasure, but I learned they also have archaeological significance. The flood of 1927 apparently exposed countless artifacts of the areas early inhabitants.

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Del Dios Gorge Hiking Trail

Three pre-historic cultural periods describe this region and it portrays a peak at how Native Americans explored through this valley. The Harris Site is noted as one of the most significant archaeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The Santa Fe Valley and Del Dios Gorge hiking trails are both segments of the Coast to Crest Trail, which expands 55 miles from the ocean to the Pacific Crest.

Rattlesnake Viewpoint

One final thought, the next time your weekend is full of an endless to do list, make sure you add hiking and going outdoors to that list. Something to remember; make the most out of your weekend as well each and every day you get. Maximize life by learning, exploring, making memories with your family, and treasure every moment of this life.

Thank you for reading, to see more hiking adventures, check these other 4 great local San Diego Hikes here:

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Coastal Road Trip Part 2: Redwoods & Oregon

And then there were trees
Our adventurous expedition continues, as our plan today was to spend time hiking and exploring these massive trees and nature trails. Redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) are the tallest tree species on earth! And then there were trees, lots of trees. They were big, small, wide, corked, and even drive through with a car trees. Gigantic trees were everywhere you turn. We did get a little tease earlier in our drive as we started venturing through these magnificent specimens starting around a little town called Leggett, California. We browsed our way through Smithe Redwoods SNR, Humbolt Redwoods, and then onto the Avenue of the Giants.

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Avenue of the Giants was a peaceful less traveled path to take to explore these natural wonders. This particular area is the greatest accumulation of biomass, which is comprised of both living and dead organic material, ever recorded in a coast redwood forest in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Did you know that coast redwoods are taller than any other living thing! Here are a few interesting stops we made on this tour:

Stop 2: Bolling Grove where many of the redwoods take interesting shapes and sizes.
Stop 3: Visitor Center
Stop 4: Weott
Stop 5: Mahan Plaque is where there have been reports of people seeing an elusive large creature across the road (Sasquatch, Big Foot).
Stop 6: Dyerville
Stop 7: Chandler Grove
Stop 8: Drury/Chaney Grove where a nice 2.4 nature loop trail takes you through these massive species of trees.

We continue our journey north passing through Eureka and arriving into our resting destination of Arcata, California. But before arriving in Arcata, we also stopped for a rest at this neat stop in Klamath, California where a giant Paul Bunyan and Babe statue stood. We went into the museum and shop to browse around a bit and glanced at all the historical photos of characters from the old Wild West including the Indians and other explorers.

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We arrived early but yet late enough to check into our hotel and we dropped off our food and personal items, then headed back out to explore a new area. We returned to a scenic spot we passed by earlier to re-capture a few more photos of these extraordinary vistas and views.

After capturing a few eye catchy coastal view photos, we headed back to our hotel in Arcata, and while on the way we stumbled upon a quaint Mexican restaurant while driving through Eureka. We are usually very hesitant to try new places, but it was a sit down restaurant and we thought we’d give it a try. If you have food allergies or food sensitivities, they will do whatever you ask them to suit your needs. They mentioned to me that most of their sauces contain milk, except for one kind and that is what I chose for my Enchilada sauce. The food and sauces were made of quality ingredients. Hence, our meal did not disappoint, and was very delicious! If you are traveling through this area, you may want to check out this restaurant.
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After inhaling the scrumptious dinner at Tres Pecosos, we thought we would try to seek out another photo op before the sun goes down. A scenic area for a sunset at the beach and coast area would be perfect. But there were still a couple of hours of sunlight and we were just too tired to mill around until sunset so we captured a few stunning shots and made our way back to the hotel and hit the sack.

Sunset at beach area, near Eureka

The excitement level at this time was through the roof

And we had not even made it to the Oregon border yet. We’ve heard the most wonderful things about Oregon and especially about the coastline and its remarkable beauty. We awoke to a morning full of sun and fresh breezes. It was an absolutely beautiful day in Northern California, and we were ready and set to charge our way into another Redwoods area *Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP area and on into Oregon with our excitement level maxed out at this point. We topped off the gas tank and hit the road running. We also noticed that the California Redwoods parks are considered both the National Park and State Park areas.

This particular area of Redwoods is named for an American explorer, Jedediah Strong Smith, who traveled across the lands of the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific coast in the early 1800s. There is also the Smith River that provides such elegant beauty and crystal clear waters.
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Smith River

Side Note: There are a couple things we noticed as we traveled further north along the coast into northern California, Oregon, and Washington. There are several homeless (or look like they were homeless) folks wandering around the streets, parking lots, roadways and highways. We also noticed several folks appear to live in their vehicles and made lengthy stays at every rest area we stopped at. A few rest areas had posted signs that stated parking in this lot for only a minimum number of hours are allowed or vehicle will be towed. We also noticed that free coffee was offered at the rest stops in Oregon and Washington. Another thing we made a note of and something to be aware of is know where your rest stops or bathroom breaks are. The number of rest stops in California seems to be limited and the ones they do have several of them were closed. This is something to keep in mind as you travel on a road trip through California.

We could hardly believe our eyes
As we cruised through the massive Redwood National Park near the Klamath area, and again were in awe. From the enormous trees to the amazing shoreline beach vistas, it was a nature photographers dream.

We finally crossed the California border and into the beautiful state of Oregon. We drove down the roadway for a period of time this morning, and came upon a nice facility that was one of the Oregon Visitor Centers. We used the restrooms, browsed around the shelves full of pamphlets, brochures, and magazines about Oregon. We took a few info brochures, and then spoke with the woman working behind the counter and she provided us a few tips about the scenic stops and photo opportunities along the coast. These are some of those points of interest we made sure to stop and explore as they are described here:

Natural Bridge Cove: Trail

Arch Rock
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Port Orford Heads State Park
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Coos Bay
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Heceta Head Lighthouse (Viewing area)
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Cape Falcon
Tillamook
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A quaint little farming town with an air museum with a large blimp hangar, cheese factories, and agriculture fields.

Cannon Beach

This little beach town was spectacular and was alive! It appeared quite busy for how small it is. Several folks crossing the roads, on sidewalks, restaurant parking lots were full, it seems this beach town jewel had it all going on! The beach is wide and offers quite a scenic treasure accompanied by the large rock formations and is home to the word’s third largest monolith Haystack Rock standing 235 feet high, home for birding and natural beauty wonder. This coastal area made for incredible filming scenes for several movies and films. Examples include The Goonies, Point Break, Free Willy, Overboard, Twilight movies and many more.

As we departed the Cannon Beach area we felt a little sad, as we really wanted to stay longer. But we knew we had to make our way on to Portland, which was our resting point for the night. We proceeded north on highway 101 and reached highway 26 which took us all the way into Portland and definitely did not disappoint, as it was quite a scenic roadway. We enjoyed glancing at the natural surroundings and tree lined road as well as the open fields as we watched the sun set.

We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier day the next day. We woke up to a beautiful Portland morning and hit the road towards Seattle. We arrived in Seattle a handful of hours from Portland and prepared to make our way downtown to find parking. We pre-purchased baseball tickets to see the Seattle Mariners play on July 4th and it was a blast! The stadium was full of cheer, music, excitement, and patriotism!
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Safeco Stadium 4th of July Fly over from McChord Field: C-17 Flyover: WOW!

The Seattle morning offered to us was unbelievable! Full sunshine, blue sky, gorgeous temperatures, and not the Washington temps I remember. (in a good way). (I lived on Whidbey Island, WA 20 years ago).

We walked around the city for a while, then filled the car up with gas and started our return trip. San Francisco was our final stop, return the rental car, and catch a flight home. But of course, before that flight departure, we took in another baseball game and saw the San Francisco Giants play ball! That was certainly a thrill to see! I don’t know how people watch the game when they have such a gorgeous view looking right back at them in the stadium!

Our road trip back through Oregon was sort of a detour path as a result of the fires on I-5 near and around the borders of Oregon and California. Our detour included taking us onto Highway 99 South through several beautiful open landscapes, Mt. Shasta, Diamond Peak Mt., and other gorgeous vistas for our viewing pleasure and an overnight resting stop in Eugene. To cap off the evening, we enjoyed a stunning sunset!
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This coastal road trip was truly a remarkable experience for us! I remember always hearing about Highway 1 and PCH (Pacific Coast Highway); the scenic views, landscapes, and beautiful beach towns along the path. And I have only seen photos of places like Pebble Beach (or watching golf tournaments on TV), but for many years it was just a dream or a thought. It is remarkable that I have lived in the West between California and Washington for more than 20 years and have never driven this route. Well, now it’s not just a dream anymore, it became a reality for this wandering adventurer!
Thank you for reading!

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Read my Coastal Road Trip Expedition Part 1: Pebble Beach, Redwoods, & Street Art

Sources:
Avenue of the Giants brochure
California State Map
Oregon state printed informational material

 

Coastal Road Trip Expedition*Part 1

Coastal Road Trip Expedition Part 1:
California Coast * Mavericks and Pebble Beach* Streetart

It’s an adventurers dream to make the road trip of 2700 miles, visiting 3 states, and sleeping in 7 different cities. Not to mention capturing over 1000 images of stunning landscapes, blue crystal waters, and impressive giant trees and nature trails. I hope I got your attention, because that is exactly what we did to kick off our first timer experience on this extraordinary coastal road trip route. We went road trippin along the coast on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), Highway 1 the path along the pacific ocean coastline consisting of some of the worlds’ most beautiful scenery.
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The scenery along the southern California coast is magical, although overcast conditions were presented to us as we began on our journey through southern to central California. Which is sometimes typical of southern California weather, the marine layer can come in along the coast and is usually burn off by noon. We proceeded onward with our trip heading north.

But before I continue to share more of our incredible experience, I want to explain a brief overview of the planning and preparation we put into this trip.

Our goals and dilemmas consisted of the following:

  1. Quality of sleep and rest in a comfortable, safe, and clean hotel.
  2. Allowing for about 6-8 hours of driving a day only~making sure to get enough rest.
  3. Not paying too much for lodging.
  4. Food and meals: I have food sensitivities so I am limited to which restaurants and types of food I eat. (Gluten, wheat, dairy, peanut/legume)
  5. The quantity of food for all breakfasts and lunches. (Great for budget travel)
  6. Return flight – limiting the number of bags and other things. (since I had to bring all this food)
  7. The type of cooler to bring:  disposable one. (Since we had a return flight).

The meals planned for each day were as follows:
Breakfast:  Hotel breakfast for my husband, I ate Cheerios and granola together with the
Almond Milk of which I brought.
Lunch: Deli cut lean turkey meat (I brought this also)-using Gluten Free bread for me;
and a peanut butter sandwich for my husband. And tortilla chips.
Dinner: Denny’s or Mexican Restaurants
Snacks: Fresh carrot, celery, cucumber slices. Almonds and Cashews. Tortilla chips, fruit

PLANNING:

Lodging and Transportation: The planning of this trip was not that easy.

My husband is a premier member to the Choice Hotel chains, so one of our stays was free and we gained more points again for the entire week to receive another free room or two for another stay. We found that the most comfortable hotel that offers more value among the choice hotel chains is Comfort Inn. My husband made reservations in 7 different cities and researched on Google maps to the location of that hotel to see what restaurants were nearby, and if it appeared to be in a somewhat safe area. All of this went into the planning and preparation for our exciting coastal road trip on PCH Highway 1.

We also rented an economical car instead of driving our own vehicle. This ended up being affordable and saving wear and tear on my own vehicle, and our rental car was much more comfortable for those long days of sitting. Our plan was to drive back from Seattle to San Francisco and drop off the rental car and fly home from there. For some reason the Portland airport didn’t allow Dollar Car Rental return, and it was quite expensive to fly out of Seattle to return to San Diego, so San Francisco was where we drove back to and reserved a flight for $72 one way ticket for each.

Meals: Now this was a little tricky. Considering we had a car, we’re thinking we could bring everything that we needed for a road trip, but with a dilemma of an airline flight return home. So, I thought about the foods and snacks we eat and gathered enough for each day of the week using zip lock baggies, the amount of bread for sandwiches for each day’s lunch, and breakfast meals for me since I have food sensitivities. We would seek out certain restaurants for our dinners, and those include places such as Denny’s and Mexican Restaurants of which I can usually find healthy, gluten free options from those places.

JOURNEY BEGINS:

We finally hit the road around 8:45a.m. after leaving our personal car at the car rental place nearby the airport and picked up the rental car. I noticed a few pieces of art in this car rental facility which I thought was very interesting. Look closely now, this art piece is comprised of several vehicle tail lights attached to the wall. Check out these photos:


Here is another art piece that caught my eye nearby the airport and they were moving as the wind speed increased.
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As I mentioned earlier, the day was a bit overcast with some clouds and haze but at least the traffic was minimal driving through the LA area. It was quite a scene driving through Santa Monica, Malibu, and Santa Barbara as we proceeded making our way towards Monterey and the Pebble Beach area.

There are so many California towns and cities I remember hearing the names of over the years, but never really knew exactly where they were until we drove through them. It certainly was a treat to see some of these smaller cities and beach communities as we passed on by.

DSC_0205WEBDSC_0485 webDSC_0220-WEBlogoWe finally made it to our goal stop and point of interest at Pebble Beach. My husband has already experienced Pebble Beach and has played Pebble Beach Golf Links many years ago and paid $250 for the round of golf and waited 8 hours to tee off. We learned how much a round of golf is today at that same course while chatting with the starter and it is not cheap, a whopping $525 for a round of golf.

PHOTOS: Pebble Golf Course

Prior to wondering in awe around the clubhouse and shops at that Pebble Beach golf course, we cruised on our way through the infamous 17-Mile Drive along with a $10 park entry fee. This is one of the most famous scenic drives in the world. We drove through a couple of the viewing stops such as Shepherds Knoll, Huckleberry Hill, and Poppy Hills Golf Course but made a quick visit at China Rock, Bird Rock, and Cypress Point, and not to mention the spectacular Lone Cypress. DSC_0095-WEB17MIL-LONE-CYPlogoThis is one of California’s most enduring landmarks and has withstood this rocky post for more than 250 years.

After a long day of driving, we rested for the night in Marina, California then awoke early and hit the road onward towards San Francisco. Santa Cruz was a neat town to buzz through as we saw quaint coffee shops and surfing boutiques. But our eventual place to see and visit was Half Moon Bay and Mavericks, the place where surfers take on epic big wave challenges and the Monster Mavericks big wave international surfing contests. Waves can sometimes reach up to 60 feet high!
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There is a beautiful lighthouse on this point, of which the surfers head out to sea for about another couple miles then hope to catch that dream of giant waves.

Not only do surfers face the challenge of rough and cold waters here, but the climate is quite cool and cloudy many months of the year in this particular area.

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After wandering around the surfers territory of Mavericks, we made it up to San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge. We missed our photo opportunity that day as it was fogged in and overcast so we just pressed onward heading north. At this point we are on the 101 freeway and found our next pit stop to rest. Santa Rosa was quite charming as we walked around for a bit and encountered a little street fair event with live music and vendors.20180701_134613 I noticed a couple pieces of street art of which are a couple of my favorite characters in the cartoon Charlie Brown series. The weather in this part of California was spectacular feeling the breeze of refreshing coolness and the warm sun simultaneously.
To be continued…

Coming Soon: Coastal Road Trip Expedition Part 2 : California Redwoods Ave of the Giants

*Check out my adventures in Hawaii and other places here:

**Let me know what you think and please comment and let me know if you’ve taken a Summer roadtrip and how you prepared and details of your adventure.

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PCH Hwy 1 Roadtrip*10 Things To Know

Guest Blog: By Sam J.
PCH Roadtrip San Diego To Seattle—>10 Things To Know Before You Go

San Diego –> Crescent City

Are you planning a road trip traveling north on Highway 1 up the coast for your next vacation? Here are a few great places to see and explore.

1.Hearst Castle/San Simeon are worth a visit if you have never done it and you have time for one of the tours.  I went on the Main House/Pool tour.

2. Make sure to explore around the town of Carmel, Big Sur, and the infamous Pebble Beach.


Read More Here:  

5 Beautiful Hikes To Explore In Hawaii

5 Beautiful Yet Moderate Challenging Hikes to Explore While In Hawaii

Does the excitement of exploring a new place thrill you as much as it does me? Just the thought of seeing new landscapes and unfamiliar nature trails can get those butterflies buzzing around in my stomach! Then if you add the adventures and activities planning; whoa, the excitement plunges through the roof! The place that brings an abundance of excitement to me is visiting Hawaii.

Hawaii is such a magical place and presents a vibe that is like no other. While many people think of Hawaii as a place for charming resorts, sparkling swimming pools, and relaxing patios. Hawaii to me is full of nature, beautiful landscapes and adventure. There are so many hiking trails to explore in Hawaii, that we have yet to scrape the top 10 of them yet. So if you are someone who wants to get more out of your visit to Hawaii and create unique extraordinary memories, then you must explore these wonderful yet moderate challenging hiking trails.

  1. Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail: 4.5 mile roundtrip. Elevation 1597 feet  Directions

If you are hungry for a scenic yet challenging and adventurous hike while on your visit to Hawaii, then this one will surely put a smile on your face. We started off the day with a little sun and clouds hoping that the rain might stay away for this particular hike. I don’t know about you, but the word Ridge places just a tiny bit of fear in me being this is the first time we’ve hiked this trail.

Ignoring the on-slot of a bit of fear I seemed to develop, we proceeded to gather our water, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses and piled in the car and drove towards East Honolulu area. Actually, the journey to get to the trailhead was quite spectacular by itself as we cruised to higher altitudes through what seemed to be an upscale neighborhood of homes and hills. I noticed as we reached the trail head there was no guard or official person around at this time, so we proceeded to park in the appropriate designated spots. Usually you do need a permit to park in the designated areas to hike this trail.

The clouds started to build up around us making for a possibly muddy, wet, and slippery hiking experience. Early in the hike, we approached a beautiful canopy of trees of all sizes but mostly tall and large. The wind began to swirl and howl making for an eerie stroll through this part of the trail.WIL NUI 2

As we made our way through the tree tunnels, we encounter some of the challenges and views that this hike presents. The steeper sections of the ridge continue closer and we used the ropes when needed to assist in the climb to the top.

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Williwillinui Hike Trail

 This part of the hiking trail offered a few challenges and obstacles. The rope was very helpful in climbing to the next phase. This trail can be muddy and slippery when it rains, so take it slow and careful and you will gradually make your way to the summit.DSC_0324williwillinui hike1

The views and beauty of the trail aren’t the only things to be excited about. If you blink you may miss some of the most beautiful plants and flowers that are displayed on this adventure nature trail!WILI NUI6WILI NUI 1

Be sure to take a rest on the ‘Swing’ and tree area, and if you are hiking the trail on a weekday, you may be lucky enough to get a seat on the one lonely bench that sits at the summit of the trail. There are 360 views everywhere up here and they are incredible! Hang on to your hat as the winds can be quite wicked up at the top.DSC_0344webDSC_0346_web

  1. Aiea Loop Hiking Trail: 4.8 mile Roundtrip. Elevation 900 Directions

The Aiea Loop trail is located in Aiea – Pearl City area of Honolulu and is an interesting path as you begin at the trailhead located within a park. There are a few scattered picnic tables and the park is quite large in size. The trees are massive and the lemon eucalyptus trees offer a scent of sweet citrus as you ponder further into the trail. There are a few trail road blocks of large tree trunks, and you’ll climb a few steep switchbacks along the loop.

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Aiea Loop Trail

You will catch some views of the freeway H-3 from particular areas on the trail. This trail can also be a little muddy if you experience the hike on a misty or rainy day.

On this trail, I ended up hiking part of it on my own as my husband went on ahead of us, then my in-laws were slowing and I went ahead of them. I was beginning to question if I was going in the right direction at one point and if I might catch up with them or get to the end of the loop. There is an area where one bench sits at peak of a slight climb and elevated area, and I sat there for a moment hoping I wasn’t lost.   I finally came to the end of the loop and saw my in-laws trying to approach the friendly cat that hung around the park that day.IMG_5568 cat This hike is considered an easy hike with a few areas of moderate challenge.

  1. Waimano Falls and Pools Trail: 3 Mile Roundtrip. Waterfall Hike  Directions

This hiking trail was both challenging and rewarding. The trailhead is located near or in the neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.   Parking is limited, so you may wish to start this trail early. The trail begins with a smooth wide pathway of red dirt and rocks with plants lining the path.

As you continue further on the trail, it can become muddy and slippery depending if you hike this one on a misty or rainy day. You’ll have to keep an eye out where you walk and step because there are large tree roots everywhere and the elevation can create a slightly dangerous trail.Waimano Pools Waterfall Trail 4Waimano Pools Waterfall Trail 2
Going downhill may be easy and you can use the tree roots for stepping, but coming back up can get you huffing and puffing. This part of the trail is known as ‘Cardiac Hill’. 20180304_151702web
Again, this trail is really not that difficult, but it becomes slightly dangerous if it’s a rainy or misty day and especially when you are descending down towards the beautiful pools and waterfall, it can be very slippery.

This hike presents a wide variety of plants and trees to ponder over as you slither your way carefully down the path over red dirt hillsides, trees, and slippery mud. I lost the soles of my shoes and mud was everywhere. There are a few spots where you use a rope to help you down steeper rocks or hillside parts of the trail. You may encounter a wild pig or hunters with dogs so just be aware and don’t be alarmed. There are plenty of birds to listen to as they sing and fly from tree limb to limb. The hidden gem on this hike is the infamous Waimano Pools and Waterfall.

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  1. Manoa Falls Hike: 1.6 mile roundrip. Waterfalls (150 feet falls) Directions

If you are looking for an easy yet very rewarding and full of nature and very large trees, then this is the hike for you. At times, this hike can also be slippery and muddy depending on rain. The trees are wide, tall, and giants on this very interesting yet enjoyable trail.

On the day we hiked this trail, the falls didn’t seem as large as I expected, but it is still a beautiful scene of maze and wonder. If you are someone who wants to get away from large crowds and noise, and have a desire to explore and surround yourself with nature, then you’ll have to check this one out. This hike is considered an easy rated trail.

  1. Koko Head Stairs Trail:   1.8 mile roundtrip. Elevation 990   Directions

The spectacular views will not be the only thing that gets your heart racing during this extraordinary hike up the Koko Head stairs.  This climb of approximately 1,050 stairs (or railroad tithes) is a challenge for any exercise enthusiast and will definitely offer a cardio workout like no other. This is rated as difficult.

Koko Head is the eastern side of  Maunalua Bay and the southeastern side of the Island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi. On its western slope is the community of Portlock, a part of Hawaiʻi Kai. You will enjoy wonderful views of Haunama Bay and beyond.  The climb can be grueling and scenic, so its a good idea to take a rest and take in the views.

There is a section where a larger drop to a ridge is located below, so you take your time and go slow if needed. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
You may be huffing and puffing half way up the climb, only to learn you have quite a ways to go and are getting higher.

This is a view from below it may be approximately half way up, but it still looks like there are quite a few steps to go to reach the top. You will be huffing and puffing by this point.

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Koko Head Stairs Hike

There is an no doubt an abundance of excitement and adventurous activities for those thrill seekers visiting Hawaii on travel. But don’t be tempted by those fancy boutique shops, crowds, and lounge bars that bombard you at the tourist beaches. You may want to change your travel strategies to add exploration and hiking to your itinerary.  This will no doubt make the most out of your visit to Hawaii and create remarkable memories.

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When you travel, do you plan for hiking or exploration to be added into your travel itineraries? If yes, which hiking trails or mountains are your favorites and describe them.

I would love to hear from you, please leave comments or contact me via email: fitlife360@yahoo.com.  If you’d like to read and see more hiking and exploratory adventures from around the U.S., please subscribe and / or follow my blog.

Read more about Hawaii:  Hawaii Islands Uncovered

More hiking adventures here: Utah: Arches & Canyonlands

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Hiking adventures Hawaii. http://www.fitlife360.net

 

 

 

My Odyssey Into The Arches & Canyonlands Of Utah

The Ultimate #Roadtrip

Escape with me as I take you on my journey into Utah and our drive from Texas through New Mexico, Colorado, and into Utah to reach this remarkable national park; the Arches and Canyonlands.

After a life changing event last year, my husband wanted us to take a real vacation and visit a place that I’ve never been. So, we set out on an expedition of the beautiful national parks in the USA. We plan to visit all the national parks one at a time, and we are starting with Utah, the Arches and Canyonlands; and of course I am all in!

As a result of this change in our lives, we also thought long and hard about the important things in life; like family, making new memories and experiences and spending more time with our parents so we also asked my in-laws to join us on this trip. We were living in Florida at the time and proceeded with the plans of this exciting journey and booked our flight into Austin, TX.

From Austin, we packed up our coolers with ice, food, and water and jammed our pillows and snacks in the car and made our way down the highway. We drove through quite a few small towns in Texas of which one of them is Fredericksburg. This small town was quaint, has hometown feel, and is beautiful. It is also considered one of ten best wine travel destinations. http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/

As we were cruising down the highway out of Fredericksburg, we made a few stops to stretch and use the restrooms. A few hours later, we then pulled off the road again at a small rest and picnic area. We enjoyed our home-made turkey sandwiches and chips, glanced at large lizards and trees, then got back into the car and made our way to Lubbock. Here we stayed the night in a very comfortable Holiday Inn hotel and slept like babies.

The morning came quick, as we ate the hotel breakfast and my in-laws enjoyed the cookies and treats. The drive has gone smooth so far to this point along with a few pit stops and lunch time breaks, we finally made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Driving into New Mexico is quite a scene as it is so beautiful and clean everywhere you look. The climate in June was gorgeous here and we were able to see a few historic sites.

 

 

Then we discovered one of the best Mexican restaurants we’ve ever experienced, thanks to the recommendation of one of the hotel staff, it was far better than what we expected. The high quality of food and atmosphere was top notch! Cervantes

After a night of delicious dining and hard sleeping in Albuquerque, we continued our way further into New Mexico. We were smack dab in the middle of Navajo Nation Reservation territory. One of my best friends is Navajo, and we were in the military together. She has since returned to her home state of Arizona. She is always interesting to talk to, as well; I visited her back in 1997 and stayed with her on the reservation in Page, Arizona, which was quite an enlightening experience. Anyway, while driving through this land, it’s remarkable to see all the agriculture and the community of the Navajo Nation. I think about all the history of this country as we pass through these lands and make our way into Utah.

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From the moment you enter the state, we noticed how picturesque it was. The beauty of the natural landscape will mesmerize you. Prior to reaching the very cool small town of Moab, you come upon an arch that you can stop and enjoy as you rest and start your journey of exploring these great lands. Just outside of Moab, you’ll encounter Wilson’s Arch. We stopped here to get our hiking juices flowing and relentless excitement knowing that we were in for quite a treat. We took a few photos and climbed to the top and rolled all over it and reminded ourselves that the fun has only just begun.

 

 

 

The next few days would turn out to be unbelievable and enchanting as we saw the most spectacular natural beauty landscape that you could ever imagine.

 

 

The intoxicating beauty of the rock formations and red rock, the arches were alive. From Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock to Landscape Arch, this place turned out to be all that I thought it would be and more!

 

 

 

 

Our exploration of these extraordinary lands consisted of one day hiking and seeing the Arch’s territory , the second day was spent escaping to parts of Canyonlands; although more days are necessary to gain the full experience of these parks. DSC_0500DSC_0555DSC_0588RED ROCKDSC_0592DSC_0626Redrock2

On day three in Moab, the mountains of La Sal was calling our name. We decided to mix up our trip and add a little greenery, trees, and mountain nature to our plans. As our car climbed the upward elevation of the La Sal mountains, we encountered a few animals. A herd of cattle were apparently on migration from one side of the road to the other. This just made our mountain visit even more memorable.

Our time exploring Arches and Canyonlands was also accompanied by scrumptious dining. We enjoyed a couple meals at a place called The Diner; where you can enjoy a delicious dinner as well as scrumptious ice cream. We left that place with big smiles on our face as the meals were more than delicious.  http://www.moabdiner.com/Home

DSC_0512Morning ArchOverall, our expedition was full of spectacular maze and wonder. We truly enjoyed staying in Moab, UT. DSC00198

It brought us back to life and to realize the truly important things in life that matter. Together with creating new wonderful experiences with our parents, this trip will forever be a treasure trove of unforgettable memories.
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