Join me today as I share a preview of my winter road trip and where some of my walks took me. With a camera and phone in hand, I took loads of photos on my daily walks. I managed to walk over 10,000 steps a day as recorded by my Fitbit. I needed to with all the good food I ate!

We spent 18 days traveling to Southern California, Northern Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Christmas in San Diego

After an eleven-hour drive to San Diego where we would spend our first week of the trip, we enjoyed time with my daughter and her boyfriend. They graciously let us park our trailer in their driveway and hook up to electricity. We loved having our own sleeping space in our trailer and it made a temporary escape space once the whole family arrived at her house for Christmas day.

We spent Christmas Eve at my stepdaughter’s new apartment in Pacific Beach. Even the kite surfers were out enjoying a cold but sunny afternoon as we walked along Sail Bay.

Kite Surfer Pacific Beach
Kite Surfer in Sail Bay, Pacific Beach

Arizona Walks

We traveled on to North Phoenix, Arizona where we met up with Ingrid and her husband at the Pioneer RV Park. This time we stayed six nights and enjoyed a lot more of what Phoenix has to offer. Ah, those sunny winter days! Later in the week, Ingrid and I visited the Desert Botanical Garden and walked the gorgeous trails.

Cactus Light in Botanical Garden
Cactus Backlight in Botanical Garden

“Wild Rising” was the theme with more than 1000 sculptures adorning the park.

Desert Botanical Gardens
Walking through the Botanical Gardens

A Check Off the Ole’ Bucket List

While staying in North Phoenix, early Monday, December 28, we drove three hours one way to … drum roll please…the Grand Canyon!

Yes, I shed a tear as I walked the short distance to the magnificent sight of the canyon! The light from the snow provided amazing contrasts to the warm red and orange rocks. This was one of my first images!

South Rim of the Grand Canyon in snow
South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Unlike last year’s US government shutdown of national parks, the park was alive and well with a few brave tourists bundled up for the cold, wintery conditions. Even our dogs got their walk in on the South Rim trail.

Winter in South Rim of Grand Canyon
Cold Winter’s Day in South Rim of Grand Canyon

On our drive back to North Phoenix, there was snow on the ground, but thankfully no ice on the roads.

If you are new to my blog, you can read more about our crazy 2019 Winter Road Trip.

For the rest of January, I will share more of my photos from the road trip.

That just about does it for this post, which is inspired in part by Jo’s Monday Walk, Cee’s New On the Hunt for Joy Challenge and Becky B’s January Squares Photo Challenge.

A hearty shout-out and thanks to Hugh for hosting Sunday Stills while I took my break.

Sunday Stills resumes right here next week! I hope to see you back with your creative ideas and images.

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74 thoughts on “Winter Road Trip Preview: Walking in the Desert Light

  1. I never knew that it snowed in the Grand Canyon, Terri. Probably because when we were there, it was in the 90s and we’d come up from Las Vegas. It must have been a fantastic experience to walk in the snow while taking in the views.
    It sounds like you had a great trip and had a great Christmas and New year holiday.
    Welcome back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hugh! Last year it even snowed in Vegas! Winter does hit the desert but I didn’t know there was going to be this much snow. I nearly fell twice, but I caught myself. Poor Aero slipped a little and rolled and he was grumpy the rest of the day! All that snow made for some amazing images for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Terri, I have been enjoying your photos on Instagram. Good for you on over 10,000 steps a day! It also sounds like a fun family get together, especially when you have your own sleeping space in the trailer. The photos of the Grand Canyon are stunning! I don’t often see Winter photos of this area. Good thing for warm, cozy, garb. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We were in the Arizona, Utah area exploring a few years ago in September. Beautiful time of year, although still very cold in the higher elevations. And, yes, I get it with the tears when I first saw the Grand Canyon.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m still so bummed we weren’t able to meet up Terri. What a glorious view at the Grand canyon !!
    And isn’t the botanical gardens just beautiful. We have been once but need to get back again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your tears at seeing the Grand Canyon – it is a magnificent sight. We’ll be in Vegas for the Rockabilly event this spring and you’ve got me thinking about taking a side trip to GC while there. There won’t be snow (which is so beautiful) but maybe the crowds won’t have fully converged yet. I’m sorry we weren’t able to meet up in San Diego while you were here… maybe next time. I’m looking forward to reading more about your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I got emotional after last year’s failed attempt, but it certainly is an amazing sight, Janis. Our SD trip was so full of activities, I thought I would have more time to visit friends. I’ve heard that the GC is tops on the list of US national parks to visit by German tourists. I think every time of year, there are big crowds. Even with the snow and cold, there were quite a few. The trick is to go as early as possible. As we left, the wait to get into the park, looked like a parking lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an amazing trip. Such beauty in nature. It’s amazing the Grand Canyon can be cold enough for snow and hot enough to fry eggs. My record on a walk was in Japan: 16,000 steps in one day. If you’d asked, I would have said I couldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post came at such a good time, Terri. I’m working at getting ready to move to Arizona in early April, so I look forward to seeing the Grand Canyon again, in all seasons, and other places there, too. Thanks for the unintended encouragement because although I look forward to all the great parks and other areas in the Southwest, moving is such a chore and I’m going to miss my park so much! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janet! Arizona seems to be the place to move to these days. We plan to relocate to Spokane, WA in 18 months. I’ve been in this same house for 32 years, so I feel your pain if preparing to pack and move! I will look forward to your pics of Arizona!


      1. The content look on the blog will change dramatically when we move from the Midwest to the Southwest. 🙂 When we moved here from Ohio, we’d been in our house for 27 years, four big bedrooms, an attic, and a basement…and somehow we moved in a week and the weekends on either end. The house had been on the market, but we still have to pack, get rid of things, etc. I have no idea how we did that and I never want to do it that fast again!! All the best on your move.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂
        and side note – my spouse was married before we met – and on their honeymoon the trip included a visit to the Grand Canyon – and it was so foggy they saw nothing at all. Just another one of the foreshadowing signs that they were not meant to be – hahah

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yeah – I guess they were pretty bummed at the time – and even tho it was a short marriage – they had a short time when things were nice – and I have a step daughter from that arrangement – so that is nice –
        hope you enjoy getting back into blog mode

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My 2 brothers and their spouses saw the canyon during a snowstorm which closed all of the roads around them. They were VERY lucky they weren’t killed driving the icy roads (everyone else was smart enough to stay home LOL). I’d LOVE to see the canyon in snow – so far only a summer visit. Sounds like you had a great trip Terri and the foot must be fully healed??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, how scary, Tina! Last winter, the roads were a mess and we didn’t try to pull the trailer near the area. We came prepared this trip with chains but didnt need them. It was quite wonderful to see it covered in snow. My foot is great, thanks for asking 😁


  8. We visited the Grand Canyon about 35 years ago. i remember walking along a relatively flat landscape and then coming to the edge of the canyon – just a few feet from totally flat, it fell to a precipitous drop of a mile deep, and the North Rim maybe another mile distant. Between were some of the most famous features of the canyon. Webster had to create the word “breathtaking” in anticipation of the transcendent view. That first sighting is so astonishing, I will never forget it. Glad you’re having such a momentous tour of the great western part of the US. Your photos are terrific – of course!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How amazing is the Grand Canyon! I was lucky enough to go a couple of times good few years ago now, but it’s one of those scenes which sticks in your memory for ever. It’s an unbelievable sight, I remember it taking my breath away. Looks a fab trip you’ve had Terri

    Liked by 1 person

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