Visit to the waterfall at Santiago, Baja, Mexico

Santiago baja waterall

On our road trip over to the East Cape in Baja, we also went to visit the waterfall at Santiago.

Bajainsider says, “Santiago is a small pueblo located 46 km north of the, Los Cabos Airport (SJD), San Jose Del Cabo, Baja Sur. At about 42km you make a left turn off Highway 1 to Santiago…”

Follow the signs (or ask someone like we did) to a rancho officially called the Rancho Ecológico Sol de Mayo. There will be a gate you will pass through and arrive at a parking area where you will find someone to direct you. You can pay a small fee to go the waterfall. We stayed in one of their cabinas so it came with the room.


The walk there wasn’t too bad. A little steep in some spots but there were stairs built into the rock. Bring your own water, snacks and towel. There is a rustico bathroom right at the start of the trail.

Walk to Santiago Waterfall

Santiago Waterfall in Baja

It’s beautiful as you can see. There are lots of watering holes to take a dip in.

Waterfall pools at Santiago Waterfall

Water at Santiago Waterfall

One can climb above the falls and find even more pools to swim in.

Swimming hole at Santiago Waterfall


Santiago Waterfall Pool

And the rocks have some pretty cool and beautiful patterns on them.

Santiago Waterfall rocks

SAntiago Waterfall rocks and plants

Santiago Waterfall Rock Formation

This one (below) looked like an eyeball.Waterfall at Santiago Rocks

I liked this heart rock formation.

heat rock at Santiago Waterfall

We stayed in one of their cabins that was about $30 or so a night.

Cabin at Santiago Waterfall

It was very comfortable!

inside cabin at Santiago Waterfall

Table outside Santiago Waterfall cabin

Inside the cabin was a bed and bathroom and across from that outside was a kitchen building with an upstairs area we could sit and watch the stars. Each cabin had their own kitchen. We did have their breakfast (you have to pay for) in the morning at the main building where you enter the area.Santiago Waterfall cabinas

Upstairs on top of kitchen at Santiago Waterfall

upstairs at Santiago Waterfall cabin

This sun and moon kiss sculpture is inspiring one of my paintings. Stay tuned for more about that.

art in Santiago Waterfall cabin

We cooked dinner by candlelight as there was no electricity. They supplied us with a bunch of candles so it was fun.Cooking by candlelight at Santiago cabin

It was a beautiful sunset.

Sunset at Santiago Waterfall

I highly recommend this adventure!

Snorkel Beach at Punta Pescadero on East Cape, Baja, Mexico

snorkel beach east cape baja

We headed over to the East Cape of Baja, Mexico to explore the area around Los Barriles. We wanted to look for great camp spots on the beach. We love camping and swimming in the beautiful water on the east side of Baja. This trip we were lucky to discover Snorkel Beach.

We stopped in Los Barriles to get groceries and supplies and asked a couple people about where to camp. We were told about a place called Snorkel Beach that was north of Los Barriles near the Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise. It sounded great so we headed out to find it.

We followed the road (Los Barilles-Santa Teresa) north out of Los Barilles along the coast and took a turn off toward the beach at El Pescadero. We traveled along a dirt road (recommend 4 wheel drive) until we came to a beach that we decided must be Snorkel Beach as it was just south of the hotel called Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise.

We learned about this great Baja California Almanac Map below from a couple we met at Snorkel beach. They let us take a pic of it so we wouldn’t forget the name of it.

We highly recommend getting it. It is a very detailed almanac that shows roads that are off the beaten track that don’t show up on your regular map. It’s on our “to buy” list.

Camping baja

This is Snorkel Beach.

There weren’t many people there. We camped for two nights. There were a few people who arrived during the day but only one other car was camping like we were. Everyone who arrived during the day left by the evening.

Camping baja

You can see Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise up on the cliff north of where we camped.

Camping baja

Here’s our camp spot. We got the tarp out to create a little shade.

Camping punta pescadero

Greg rigged it up so we could get out of the sun.

camping punta pescadero

He also fixed us some killer margaritas.

camping baja

After swimming and snorkeling (the best area was around the rocks just below the hotel), naps were in order.

camping baja doggie

On the second night, after a bit of relaxation, we left the dogs to watch over the camp and we headed up the road toward the Hotel.

camping baja

It was a beautiful evening.


It was a nice walk!

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

Once at Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise, we found our way out to the patio and ordered an excellent pizza and margaritas for dinner. Yum! Looked like it would be a great hotel to spend the night at too. But we liked our camp spot so although we considered it, we didn’t stay at the hotel.

hotel punta pescadero paradise

Glad I remembered the bug spray but we really didn’t need it. There was a light breeze that kept the mosquitoes away.

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

The twinkly lights were muy romantico.

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

And the sunset was just gorgeous! It got better as the evening light faded. After dinner we walked back to our camp via the beach. It was a great end to a wonderful camping trip at Snorkel beach.

Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise

We left the next day and explored more of the area south of Los Barriles around La Ribera and then headed up to Santiago to find the waterfall. More on that in my next post.

One other tip….you don’t have to go back on the same road that you came in on. Go north on the dirt road past the Hotel Punta Pescadero Paradise to

Happy travels.

A favorite spot is Sayulita Mexico

Sayulita Main Square

In recalling our recent trip through Mexico and Ecuador, I’m finding that my thoughts keep going back to Sayulita. It is one of my favorite spots from our travels.

There is a lot to love about Sayulita Mexico.

It has a cool main square.

Sayulita Art

Lots of beautiful art.

Greg enjoying Sayulita view

Great views for enjoying a margarita

Greg and Lindy in Sayulita

and a marvelous meal.

Live music at Bar Don Pato

Heard some rockin’ good music at Bar Don Pato.

Happening bar in Sayulita

Found some happenin’ cool bars

Leslie Art Opening

Met some nice people and had a lot of laughs. This is Leslie’s Art Opening.

Greg and Mojo in Sayulita Fine Art Gallery

Met some other nice artists. Greg with artist Mojo.

Mojo art

Mojo’s painting

Checking out the views of Sayulita

We took a great hike to check out the views

Walking on trails in Sayulita

and took some great walks too.

Sayulita Jungle

Lots of jungle

Sayulita view from hill

Terrific beaches

Semana Santa in Sayulita

We had fun even when there were crowds of people for Semana Santa.

Sayulita Sunset

Breathtaking sunsets

Sayulita Sugar Skulls

Cool Shops

Sugar Skull shop in Sayulita

Sugar skull art

Adorable Chihuaha

Adorable pups

bamboo cabana seen in Sayulita

Interesting places to stay.

Happiness Factory - ice cream in Sayulita

Gotta love a place with a Happiness Factory.

Tree within a tree in Sayulita

Cool trees

Sayulita Beach looking north

Deserted beaches

Sayulita beach

Beautiful weather

orange flowers in Sayulita

Gorgeous flowers

Iguana in Sayulita


Dia de Muertos painting by Lindy Gaskill

Here’s to celebrating Sayulita, Mexico!
“Dia de Muertos,” acrylic on wood panel, 20″ x 20″, NFS, ©Lindy Gaskill

Traveling in Ecuador

Traveling in Ecuador

We landed in Ecuador about 13 days ago. We took a bus ride from Guayaquil to Montanita and stayed in a small town nearby call Manglaralto. We stayed in a cool cabin on the property of Mercedes and George. They run an eco-lodge called La Factoría which is a center for the development of contemporary craft and design, and also offers eco-training programs. We enjoyed breakfast each morning with them which included locally sourced eggs, cheese, bread, honey, yogurt, and homemade granola. Yumm!

la factoria in Manglaralto. ecuador

manglaralto cabin

One day we walked up to a nearby town called Dos Mangas. Here are some of my fav pics.

Dos Mangas

greg walking back from dos mangas


Dos Mangas



Bamboo is used everywhereBamboo is used everywhere.

Volleyball in Dos MangasVolleyball is a popular sport in Ecuador.

Collecting sand in Dos Mangas

Gordon WhitefootWe called this guy Gordon Whitefoot (get it – Gordon Lightfoot) 🙂

And here is a great video to watch about work being done at La Factoria>

We took the Topolobampo Ferry to La Paz

This is the last post about our road trip down to Todos Santos in Baja Mexico from Prescott, AZ.

We headed out of San Carlos to the Topolobampo ferry and got there 3 hours ahead of time, as the website suggested. If we knew the ferry was going to leave at 8 pm instead of 5 pm, we might not have rushed to get there!

We got our ferry ticket and walked the dogs and gave them water before we got on the ferry. We waited till most of the cars had loaded so we could be on a top deck so our dogs would have fresh air with the windows rolled down. It was pretty hot out.

We gave Cody and Belle a sedative so they could sleep most of the trip. Turned out that was a very good thing and I’m really glad we did because their stay in the car turned out to be longer than we thought. They were comfortable sleeping and had bowls of water next to them.

If we knew the ferry ride experience was going to take 15 hours instead of 6, we might not have gone that way is what Greg said. I didn’t have too many expectations, so I would do it again.

After we got onboard we explored the ferry which was really nice. It was made in Italy. Went outside on the decks and looked at the view. Talked to a few people. Met a nice musician. Then we headed to a bar area and had an ice cold beer with lime. Refreshing!

We wandered around. I read a magazine. Greg explored. Finally 3 hours later, the ferry took off!

Our ticket came with a free meal so we ate dinner and then went to the cinema area to watch a movie. Most people there were sleeping in big recliner chairs. Soon I was sleeping too which made the 6 hour ride go fairly fast.

I only wished I had a blanket or my jacket to make a pillow which would have made thngs more comfortable. Greg would have liked to have had earplugs as between the movie noise, the guy snoring next to him and the man behind us on his cell phone, he didn’t get much sleep. I on the other hand was oblivious and got good shut eye.

Finally at 2 a.m. we pulled into La Paz. We had drank a coffee to stay awake before the ship started on loading.

One of the things they do is separate the drivers from the passengers when they unload the boat. So that was a little disconcerting because we didn’t know where or when we would meet up. Having only one cell phone between us didn’t help matters otherwise we could have stayed in touch. So I kissed Greg goodnye and trusted we would meet up soon.

I went to the passenger area and waited. People started moving so I got in line and followed. We went through an inspection area like at the airport with a metal detector and a machine that scanned luggage. Soon I was outside wondering where to meet Greg.

I could see that the cars that were unloading were all going past this one area so I stood there hoping to catch Greg and let him know where I was.  I could see that they weren’t letting passengers get into the unloaded cars as they moved past. One had to go to a different area that was beyond where I was to do that.

Soon there he was! Yeah! I waved and he saw me. I yelled, I’ll meet you out front and pointed to him where I would be. He nodded. I thought he would just drive around to that area and I would meet him there and that would be that. It was 2:30 a.m.

At 6am, he finally pulls up to where I was.

For 3.5 hours, he had to stay in line as they slowly inched along and did inspections. I on the other hand was waiting out front wondering where he was. I finally asked a worker if this was normal. Yes, he said. I heard someone say it could take over 3 hours!

All the cars and trucks and buse on the ferry would go by where I was, so I knew Greg would eventually find me. So I sat down and waited, wishing I had a jacket as I was freezing in my shorts and t-shirt.

In the end it all worked out but Greg was not happy when he finally pulled up. He told me his story about what happened. The long wait. The inspections. The not knowing where I was. The dogs were fine which was a great relief. I told him my story. The waiting, the not knowing where he was and if he would find me. But we were fine and glad to be together again!

We decided to head to Todos Santos and stop somewhere for breakfast.

Originally we thought we would get in at 2 am and go camp at the beach till morning. But that didn’t happen. We found a great little restaurant and had a bite.

We finally made it to Todos Santos and to the casita. After unpacking a few things and getting the dogs settled, we layed down for a nap which felt oh, so good after the long, challenging ferry adventure! Sometimes a good nap makes everything okay. 🙂

Do you have any memories of a challenging time during travelling? Sometimes these make the best stories.



More Baja Trip Notes

Here’s a little video of me in the studio and then the continuing story of our trip to Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico.


After we got our auto import permit for our truck outside of Nogales we were on our way to San Carlos where we were going to spend the night.

It’s a pretty uneventful drive. Straight roads almost the whole way so that it feels like you’re just driving and driving and driving and the landscape is pretty much the same for miles on end. Desert and small little towns. There are some nice mountains though to look at.

San Carlos is a really cute town. A seaside resort is what they call it online. I sure wish I had the photos off our camera to share because then you could see how nice it is. You can tell it is a tourist town during the high season but for us there were not a lot of people around so it looked very quaint.

In San Carlos we stopped at the grocery store and picked up some food and supplies. We talked to a nice man who told us about a good place to camp. I’m always a little wary about beach camping. I fight my fears and so far we’ve always had a great time camping.

We headed to the beach and found a nice protected area with trees and dunes. Looked like a good camp spot so we parked.

Our two border collies, Belle and Cody, played in the surf while we unpacked. Then I walked the beach and collected a handful of pretty shells and rocks. Greg made margaritas.

After dinner we watched the sunset and then pitched the tent. We looked at the stars and then called it a night.

The next morning we had our usual cereal and yogurt. Greg made coffee.I packed up the tent and rolled up the air mattress and we were on the road again – headed to the Topolobampo ferry to La Paz  which is near Los Mochis.

More on that part of our trip Friday.

We visited Bahia San Basilia, Baja California, Mexico

We made it to Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico. Our trip odometer just turned over to 3,000 when we pulled into town. Wow, a 3,000 mile road trip. We thought that was pretty cool.


I’ve made previous blog posts about traveling down Baja before so this time I will just blog about a few highlights from our road trip.

We wanted to explore a new beach on this trip so we chose Bahia San Basilia which is located on the middle, eastern side of baja, north of Loreto which is a town we like to stop at. Greg did some research online but could find very little about this bay. It looked like most people go there by sail boat.


We wanted to drive so Greg looked on Google earth and found there was a small dirt road out to this beautiful beach on a small bay. He could tell from the Google street view that the road started at mile post 50 on Highway 1. Turned out it was mile post 49 when we got there but sure enough, there it was. So we headed out on what appeared to be a very good graded dirt road. It looked like it would be about 10 to 12 miles.


We found there were white ribbons tied to shrubs that seemed to be showing us the way. We kept on and veered right each time there might be a choice of a way to go. There were very few other roads leading into the main road  so we didn’t feel like we could get lost. That gave me much relief.

Road to San Basilio

A few miles down the road we passed a small ranch and there were some great looking cattle on the road. Made we want to paint a picture of this one.


We passed this beautiful tree with white bark. It had the most amazing root system.


If you know me, you know I love trees so I was fascinated with this one.


There were only two spots that we wished we had a 4 wheel drive. One was a stretch of soft sand but we made it through just fine. The other was a steep rocky grade but that turned out fine too.


Finally we came to a private property sign. On first glance it looked like we shouldn’t continue which would be disappointing because we had already traveled 10 miles! But on reading further it was a sign that said to respect the land — do not speed, do not litter, no hunting, no fires, etc. So we ventured on!

RespecttheLandSignFinally we came to a parking area.


And the bay was gorgeous.
Bahia San Basilio
We set up camp on the beach.
We were the only ones camped there.
It was beautiful for swimming and kayaking in the afternoon. There were a few boats out in the bay. One couple used their skiff from their sailboat to get to the beach and came over and visited with us which was nice. It turned out they were from Albany, Oregon.
We met quite a few people from Oregon on our road trip. I believe Oregonians are quite adventurous.
The morning was calm and peaceful. We really enjoyed ourselves and soaked up our surroundings.
San Basilio-2
Soon we were packing up and continuing on our road trip to Todos Santos.
If you’re up for an adventure, I highly recommend traveling the dirt road to Bahia San Basilia.
p.s. My art e-Newsletter for May will be mailed in a few days. Sign up for it now and you’ll be sure to receive it.

Never doubt the impossible.

Never doubt the impossible. Halleluja! I found our lost photos on our new camera! They’re some of my fav pics from our trip so when I thought they were deleted I was pretty bummed. They’re from when we visited Kristen in Provo on our recent road trip.

See my previous blog post about losing the photos. There was a folder on our camera called private1 and that’s where they were hidden. How I found them is a miracle. Truly. I really don’t know how I did find them but yesterday they appeared and man, was I surprised! I thought I would never get to see them again. So I’m pretty happy.

We braved  blinding rain and stormy skies to get to Provo when we hit Utah on our road trip to meet fellow blogger and writer Kristen Randle and her family.


And it was worth every minute because when we got to where Kristen lives, the sun was out and it was beautiful sky! We met some of her fabulous family and she took us down to the barn to meet her boys.

LindyandKristenBoys meaning her horses! And it was Greg’s birthday and he loves horses and riding. So it made his day when Kristen asked him if he wanted to go for a ride.

Kristen showed us the barn and arena and introduced us to her horses.


Greg loves horses and riding so it was fun to see him doing what he loves.

GregonhorseSmiles all around.

I think the horses were pretty happy too. Is that a horse smile below?


We visited with Kristen and the horses till it started to get dark. It was lots of fun. Thank you Kristen!!

To continue the photo journal of our Southwest adventure…I left off when we were headed to Gregg’s Hideout at Lake Mead after Mesa Verde.

GreggsHideoutRdGregg’s Hideout is down an 18 mile dirt road which we got drive in the dark because we spent most of the day crossing Arizona.


It took us all day…driving and driving. It’s pretty uneventful driving and not much to see but miles of desert and big sky.


But we finally got to Gregg’s Hideout on Lake Mead. Of course, my Greg loved the name and chose it for that very reason.


We got there in the dark but found an awesome camp spot.

night camping

and made a pretty nice campfire. I love camping and having a campfire and then watching the stars on a clear night.


It was perfect. Beautiful weather and a whole lot of doing not much.

I painted some during the day. And a few of my tiny paintings from the trip are for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I made shell designs in the sand. That’s always fun.


We took a little hike and set up the self timer. It was a windy day on the mountain.


Greg decided to take a big hike with Cody, our dog. I stayed back at the tent with our other dog Belle, and made art.

Greg hiked up to the bright spot on this mountain. To the very, very top.


He shared with me the photos when he got back.


There were some awesome views!

Lake Mead

Lots of cool cactus too.


Can you imagine camping up there? Someone did and left their firepit.


I was glad when I could see Greg and Cody on the side of the mountain. I get a little worried when Greg hikes by himself. He could see our tent where he was too. Except when he got to the very, very top.


Then he could see in all directions.


Part of me wished I had made the hike too. So I could see the views.

But then again….

I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed walking along these ridges.


So you can say I’m adventurous. But not as adventurous as Greg.

So what about you? Would you have taken a hike like this?


After Gregg’s Hideout we bee-lined to Oregon. We couldn’t wait to get home.


We camped out one more night and hit some snow as we neared Bend.


Finally we were home! I love coming home when you’ve been gone awhile.

Happy sunsets and pink skies to you!


I’ll share with you my hand painted Christmas ornaments and some new paintings in my next post.

More About Our Southwest Adventure

Here are some more photos from our 3 week road trip to the Southwest in October. After we went to Santa Fe and Taos we headed to Heron Lake to get our kayaks in the water.


Heron Lake is a beautiful lake in the desert in Northern New Mexico. There are some remote camp spots along the edge. So we headed in that direction. We each had a dog on the back of our kayaks. The dogs sit on a piece of carpet that is attached to the kayak and they’re trained to sit still and not rock the boat! Greg had Belle on the back and I had Cody.


But not long after we got on the water, the wind started to pick up. It got pretty gusty and rolling dark clouds were headed our way! We knew rain was coming! So we got to our camp spot quickly and Greg rigged up the tarp. It kept us dry when it rained overnight. It was a great camp spot though and we had a nice campfire! The next day, the dogs were able to run and play and get in the water.


But in the morning the ground had turned to mud. It got on everything! An inch of mud would instantly stick to the bottoms of our shoes. It was pretty yucky and messy so we decided to head back to the truck and hit the road. Destination, Mesa Verde.


Once you turn into the Mesa Verde Park there is atleast a 45 minute drive on a winding road to get to the museum and where you can see the cliff dewellings and take a tour. We didn’t get to see much view from the road though cause of the fog. But finally we broke out of the clouds and there it was!mesaverderoad

Cliff dwellings.


They were awesome.


It’s one thing to see it in photos but when you’re actually there seeing it live and in person, you really get a feel for what if must have been like to live in these stone houses under the eave of the rock mountain.

mesaverde6We had fun exploring on our own too.


They’ve found over 600 sites in the park where ancient people have lived. We visited the museum.


There are lots of trails and places to explore. We only went to two sites though and I really recommend going and spending a chunk of time there. I wish we had and that the weather would have been nicer. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip seeing these cliff dwellings. I really enjoyed it!



When we were done seeing Mesa Verde, we decided we wanted to head to some sunshine for the remainder of our time. We wanted to find a place to chill out and relax. So we looked online and found there was rain and 50 degrees in just about all areas of the Southwest except Lake Mead in Nevada. So that is where we headed. To a place called “Gregg’s Hideout”. My Greg found it online but it mean driving all the way across Arizona, in one day!

We had to drive and drive.


We stopped for a break at the 4 corners.


And then we drove some more!


When we finally got to Lake Mead it was dark! We had to drive 18 miles down a dirt road but we were up for an adventure and we finally made it. We found a great little camp spot out on a spit and in the morning we got to get up and look at our surroundings which we couldn’t see much of in the dark when we arrived. Below you can see our tent. It was beautiful weather and just what we were look for! Peace and quiet and sunshine!


More about Gregg’s Hideout in my next post.

Be well,


We Were Inspired by Earthships and Santa Fe

We toured the Earthship homes on our way to Santa Fe. Earthships are off the grid homes which are built with recycled materials using earth filled tires, bottles and cans. We found them fascinating so we visited a community center where you can learn about how they’re made. Visit for more info on them.

earthship5There was a fully sustainable Earthship home being built nearby that we toured. I liked the arches and the use of bottles to make a stained glass effect.



There is a surrounding Earthship neighborhood called the Greater World Earthship Community which one can see from a distance from the community center but you can’t tour it which is understandable.


Many Earthships are built into the ground. The way the home interacts with the sun and the earth maintains a stable, comfortable temperature. Their website says, “The outer few feet of the earth heats up and cools off in response to surface weather. However, deeper in the earth, about four feet and beyond, the temperature is more constant (around 58 degrees). Here, the earth can be used to both cool and stabilize temperature if the home is appropriately designed.”

I love this idea of using recycled materials and living off the grid. I don’t know if I could do it but I admire those who do. What do you think of these homes?


We stayed in Santa Fe for a few days and toured the Plaza and Canyon Road which is lined with art galleries. So many galleries! So little time!


I don’t think we even saw half the galleries on Canyon Road. There were so many! We saw a lot of art…really lovely paintings and sculptures!canyonrd

I took notes on things I liked. I really liked this folk artist and his studio below.


We went out to lunch (here we are, pretty happy with our coffee and dessert).

We came across this beautiful mosaic on a wall outside the restaurant. I love this one with all its color. It was made and designed by students which is pretty impressive.

I went to the Georgia O’keefe museum and was taken by her art and story. I admired her independence and drive to make art! I wanted to see the area where she lived at Ghost Ranch outside Santa Fe. So we headed toward  O’keefe country and Heron Lake where we hoped to put in our kayaks and do more camping.


We’d been carrying these kayaks on the truck the whole trip and were beginning to wonder if we’d ever get to put them in water!

OkeefeCountryYou’ll see with more pics to come in my next post.

Our Taos, New Mexico Adventure

When we neared Taos we took a break and had lunch.


When we stopped, I kept seeing lovely green rocks on the ground so I started a collection.


We also stopped and took a walk along a path which led to this church. There was a gorgeous view of the surrounding area from the top of this butte that the church stood on.


We stopped and took some pics of these wild horses out in the brush too.

Finally we got to our camp spot up on the Mesa above the big Rio Grande canyon.


We toasted to another beautiful camp spot.


And grateful for  a clear night under the moon and stars!



In the morning, we rode our bikes to the Black Rock Hot Springs, located along the Rio Grande River, north of Taos, west of the town of Arroyo Hondo. They were really beautiful and again, we were the only ones there! Nice! It was a tough bike ride home up the winding switchbacked road to our camp spot but it was worth it! Felt great to be exercising. Although, the next morning we drove the truck there cause it really was pretty tough going up the mountain on our bikes.


And then there were the hot air balloons to watch being lifted off right near where we camped.


They were fun to watch.balloon2
Especially when they went down into the canyon.

balloon3Another highlight was meeting Thor Janson, wildlife conservationist, photographer, author and adventurer, who was camping near us on the mesa. We met him while he was photographing the balloon launch. He said he would use the images when he got back to Guatemala where he lives. He came over to our camp spot and we shared stories and compared travel notes. It’s always fun to meet interesting people when we travel.

We loved the small village called Arroyo Seco, located east of where we were camping above Arroyo Hondo.


We loved the town so much that we ended up staying there so we could experience it a little longer.

snowmansionThere we met the family who run the Snow Mansion, Seco’s local Youth Hostel. It was convenient to stay there because we could pick veggies out of their huge garden and use their kitchen and facilities. Greg actually helped them a little with the SEO (search engine optimization) on their website. It was a really great place and friendly too!


And I loved the little artsy touches around the property.


We took a walk in the evening with the dogs and admired the gorgeous scenery!


Did a little dreaming about what it would be like to live there.


We walked till sunset…till it got dark. We decided we love our new camera too.


We did get into Taos as well to look at some art  galleries which was inspiring. I took notes on artists names of the art I liked so I could look them up on the computer when I got home.


When we were at Seco’s local Tea House, we heard about a nearby community of people who live in Earthships, a type of  home made of natural and recycled materials. There was a tour one could take and see some pretty unique housing and how it was built. So we did that one day too. And I’ll tell you about that and our stay in Santa Fe in my next post.

earthshipEarthship house.


~ L

Colorado Photos and Travel Highlights

We’re a bit sorry we didn’t take Kristen’s advice and travel south east along Colorado’s lower half to travel across Colorado. She told us it was a beautiful route. And we would find this out on our way back. But going, we didn’t do it, instead we decided to take the Central route.

But first we stopped in Telluride to check out this quaint mountain town before we headed East.


We grabbed a coffee and walked around, checking out the sights.


I loved this cute sign, Fly Me To The Moon Saloon.


And the colorful buildings.


And the cute benches made of skies.


We would have taken the tram up the mountain but we were anxious to get travelling.


So we just admired it from afar and soon we were back on the road.


Admiring more beautiful color.


The scenery was breathtaking near Ridgway, just north of Telluride.


We really liked Ridgway which was another cute mt. town. I don’t have any photos of it but we stopped there for lunch and did sone browsing in the shops.


I love this lake and sky shot below that we travelled by.


It seemed it started getting dark fast. Probably because of the time change. So we found an interesting place to camp up a dirt road. We travelled through a deserted mining town which was very eery. Deserted for the season anyway.


But in the morning, we got to see the lovely aspens along this dirt road.


I got some good shots for inspiration for my aspen paintings.


I’m really fascinated by the patterns of the bark. This one looked like a face to me.


It was really a beautiful stand of trees!


On we went. And then this is where we thought, hmmm, maybe we should have taken the Southern route.


Wasn’t it beautiful, sunny weather, just yesterday? Why didn’t we stay south?


But we stopped for some yummy tamales and that made it all better!


We figured we might hit some snow along the way. And we sure did.

Next stop, Manitou Springs, CO.


Home of Pike’s Peak and the most charming town ever.

Yes, it rained. But we sure enjoyed visiting this cute town.


We walked around, exploring. Visited the local artist’s co-op gallery.
Hooked up to the internet at a cozy restaurant. Visited a nifty arcade.


There were lots of machines from the early days that were cool to see.


Next we checked out Colorado Springs and then we were headed to New Mexico. Check back for more about our Southwest journey. Tomorrow’s post will show some of my fav parts of the trip.

Bye for now.

~ L ~

We Went to Moab on our Road Trip

We loved Moab. It’s home to Arches National Park. A beautiful area with towering spires, big canyons and magnificent arches!


I loved seeing these huge, expansive arches!


And in Moab we found a cool camp spot near Slick Rock with an awesome view! Check out the beautiful fluffy clouds below. We had gorgeous weather.

The landscape makes me want to paint it!


I’ve only painted a few landscapes before. One of them was my “Superstition Mountains” painting from 2006. See below.

superstition-mtSuperstition Mountains, acrylic on wood, sold

I’m thinking I may want to try my hand at painting some more landscapes because I’m so inspired by the images we saw!


The red rock canyons were spectacular!



We did some biking a few times while we were there too which was fun!


One day we rode out to what I call “Dog Face Rock”. And yes, we took pics of us sitting in the dog’s mouth but this photo below is best for seeing the rock face.


I thought many of the bike trails in Moab were really advanced and too difficult for my abilities. But we found enough places to ride that were really fun that I would highly recommend going! The bike shops in town have maps. So if you go, just ask around and there will surely be someone ready to help out with a recommendation for where to ride.

Then we were off to Colorado where we saw more wonderful color!

More spectacular scenery.


And found another great camp spot. Along a river this time.

Tomorrow’s post will have more on Colorado’s wonders.

Till then…

Have a Happy Halloween!

Art Show and Southwest Road Trip Travel Pics

My show at the Tumalo Art Co. is coming to an end this Tuesday. It’s been a great show! And Opening Night was so fun. Here I am with my friends Sandy and Wes.

Oct Tumalo Art Co. Show OpeningI talked with lots of people about my art that night.

Oct2010I was very grateful to be showing with Dorothy Freudenberg. I love Dorothy’s art and her work goes well with mine with vibrant reds and oranges.


And then we came home and started packing for our Southwest road trip! We packed up our gear, a bunch of maps, 2 mt. bikes, 2 kayaks, our 2 border collies and off we went. Travelling through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and California, we had quite an adventure!


Here we are so happy to be on the road and at our first camp spot. Our trip lasted 23 days and this photo below is our first night out. In the next few days, I’ll be posting some of the images from our trip and telling you about some of the highlights.

First Camp Night
One of the best things that happened during our trip was I was able to meet a kindred spirit… artist, blogger and wonderful writer, Kristen Randle, and some of her family too! I find it quite amazing that we were able to meet in person! How cool is that!!

The Randles opened their arms and home to us and we were overjoyed to spend  an evening with them! Kristen let Greg ride her horses which made Greg’s day and since it was his birthday, even more special!

The sad thing is…I don’t have any photos from our visit! We just got a new camera before we left and somehow one of us accidently deleted the images from that day! I am so sad about that. But you can see some photos on Kristen’s blog — go over to the K Street Journal to see some pics.

Early on we decided we would try to hit some hot springs during our travels. The Randles told us about some beautiful hot springs in their area that were well worth going to. So we headed on over there the following day. The leaves were changing color and it was a magical walk up the trail with our two dogs, Cody and Belle.



An approx. 2.5 mile walk along a creek leads to the hot springs. There was not a soul in sight. Probably because it was still morning. When we were leaving we passed lots of folks coming up the trail.

Note to self: Visit hot springs in a.m. if you want them all to yourself.

5th Water Hotsprings

Fifth Water Hot Springs, Utah

These are the lower pools and if you walk up the trail there is a waterfall with even more pools.

One thing I didn’t know about sulfer hot springs is that they will turn your silver jewelry lovely shades of turquoise, green and blue.

So take your jewelry off before you go in unless you want to see it change color! Although it does go away and turns back to silver once you’ve been out of the pool for awhile.


And then we were off to Moab. A place I had always wanted to visit and ride my mt. bike at. Moab is home to Arches National Park and the coolest big red rock canyons ever.MoabSign

Tomorrow I’ll post some photos of this leg of our journey.


Happy Travels!

We Camped at Playa Escondida on the Sea of Cortez

We’re back in Bend, Oregon. We left Todos Santos on the 25th. We stopped on the Sea of Cortez at Playa Escondida for a couple days of R & R. We love camping on the beach!

We snorkeled and swam and caught the rays! It was hot! About 105, maybe more.

We built a great little camp with a palapa hut.


The views were beautiful!


The water was my favorite color! I call it mediterranean green. But maybe I should be calling it Sea of Cortez green.


I liked this painting overlooking the beach.


It was way up there. I like surprises like that…when you’re looking around and then you notice something way up in the rocks and you have to squint to see it or get your zoom camera like I did.


Our friend Heidi traveled up Baja with us. This is Greg and Heidi enjoying dinner by the sea. I had to stop and go get the camera and I snapped their pic.


There was a full moon that came up over the mountains. It was so orange and gorgeous! Hard to capture by photo just how spectacular it was!


Greg fixed us killer margaritas. He’s mastered the recipe!


He also mastered the art of relaxation!


Heidi and I were pretty happy relaxing too!


And Greg and I were especially happy because one morning on a walk along the beach, Greg proposed and I said yes! Here we are celebrating with big, happy smiles!


Now we’re back home but we sure have good memories from our camping and road trip!

I hope your days are bright and blessed!!

Got any fun plans for the summer?

Traveling to Todos Santos


Last  Friday we camped at Playa Santispac on Bahía Concepción on the Sea of Cortez. We headed toward Todos Santos on Saturday morning. On this leg of our trip we traveled very long, straight stretches of roadway through a whole lot of nothing but desert for hours on end.


Although we did get to see some goats when we stopped for road construction work on the highway. You can barely make out the goat amongst the bushes below.


We pulled over and ate a picnic lunch before we got to Ciudad Insurgentes near the Pacific coast.


Finally we went through La Paz and it felt like we were almost there! The last 50 min. or so of roadway is a 4 lane highway, two lanes in either direction, that was built last year. It made for a quick ride into Todos Santos.

Below is a photo of the gate Greg built last year for our place. The bouginvilla has really grown!

roadtrip2-12And so have the banana trees!


Over the weekend, I unpacked my art supplies and got my art table set up.


My trusty studio companion, Belle, lounged around after the long ride, soaking up the atmosphere. Good dog.


In my next blog post I’ll show you some photos of how much the plants have grown in our yard and what I’m painting in the studio this week. Bye for now.

On the road to Bahía Concepción

Last Friday we headed out toward Bahía Concepción on the Sea of Cortez from Bahía de Los Angeles. This is an area that we really love. We spent 3 days there last year on our return trip up Baja and this time wanted to explore a different playa (beach) in that same area.


First we stopped in Guerro Negro and got our tourist visas and passports stamped at the immigration office. We were glad we were there on a Friday since we didn’t know if the office was closed on the weekend. We got lunch and filled the gas tank and continued toward Santa Rosalia on the coast.

To see a video, click the link> baja driving

This part of the drive has some super steep roads as one heads over to the Sea of Cortez. The below photo doesn’t do this area justice. I don’t have a photo of the super steep part because I probably had my eyes closed and was holding my breath as Greg drove fearlessly down the very steep and winding road…on that part it was ever so slowly though.


We drove into a small town called Santa Rosalina to see what it was like. We hadn’t stopped there before.


There were lots of shops with colorful exteriors and signage.


We stopped at a panaderia (bakery) for fresh bread and muffins that were delicious! This one had been there since 1901. We thought the town was quaint and the people friendly.


Then we headed toward playa Santispac where we were going to camp for the night.


It was beautiful there. So calm and peaceful. We ate at a nearby restaurant and then went to our camp spot and set up our stuff. The dogs played in the water.


For $8 per night and hardly anyone around, we felt like we were in paradise.


In the morning we got up and took a swim before we left. It was gorgeous!


And then we hit the road for our final destination, Todos Santos.


Greg in the drivers seat.

I’ll write more about that leg of the journey in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.

Notes from the road

We began our drive to Baja on Sunday. First stop, Harbin Hot Springs in Northern California. This was a surprise birthday present from Greg to me. What a sweet man he is!

Now I don’t have any photos from this part of our trip because they don’t allow any picture taking at the Hot Springs but I do have links to some photos from the Harbin website. We stayed in one of the Tent Cabins that was really cool. Part of it had a huge window where we had a beautiful view of the forest valley. It was very private and we were able to use the hot soaking pool after we did a nature walk around the grounds. It was a wonderfully calm place to relax and refresh our spirits before continuing our drive.

We stayed the second night at a camp ground near Pyramid Lake outside of Los Angeles. It was an okay spot but it wasn’t the best evening. The hard core rap and rock music our camping neighbors (a young family) turned on that evening kept us awake for a while. They had a gigantic bonfire that they would leave unattended. We had a bird’s eye view and couldn’t help but look their way. Now I could turn this into a rant about parents who play loud music with not a care about their kids being exposed to the vicious words in this type of “music”, that these parents didn’t care enough to turn the “music” down so that their children could sleep quietly after they went to bed or let their neighbors sleep quietly but I’m not going to. GRRRRR!!…you get the idea, so you can see it was not the best night. We should have left and found another place to camp but we didn’t.

In the a.m. we had a couple guys visit our camp site. They had been camping near us as well and they were pretty sketchy characters so after they left, we got packed up fast and got back on the road.

That day, we visited Greg’s Mom outside Banning which was really nice but way too short of a visit. Hopefully on the way back up we’ll stop and see her again. Later that evening we went to our friends house in San Diego. We visited with them and spent the night there.

This morning we got up and headed toward the border.

We didn’t get going as early as we had planned though but we were crossing about 9-ish. It looked quite different then the last time we did this. Lots more people and cars then we remembered. As we followed the other cars along, we were flagged over to the side so our car could be searched. But it was only a few minutes delay as a nice man poked around in the back and asked a few questions. Soon we were on our way.

It was cloudy when we started out.


But it cleared up and it was a beautiful day and uneventful drive! We like uneventful. No problems. Just driving and chatting and listening to music and watching the views go by.

The wild flowers were out along the road. It was very pretty.


For lunch we stopped and got sandwich makings and drove out to the ocean and had a picnic. The flowers on the beach were vibrant. Hot pink and yellow. bajaday1-3


The dogs played in the sand. Chasing each other with a stick and exhausting themselves. They’re good travel dogs but I bet it felt good to them to run free after being cooped up in the car so much.

Soon we were to our next stop. A little town called El Rosario.


Our tired pups from the long car ride today.

We love this one little motel here. It’s the first motel on the left as you come into town next to the Pemex gas station. They have some new remodelled rooms that are terrific and cost about $30 a night.

Our dogs love it too because they get to stay in our room. Belle found her place under the bed stand and Cody layed down near by.

Later we took the dogs for a walk and stopped and got tacos. I ordered my fav mexican drink…horchata. If you haven’t had some of this sweet spiced drink, you must try it. I’ve ordered it many times at different mexican restaurants in the states and in Mexico but tonight’s was the very best ever! I might try making it at home sometime. There are different ways to make it but here is a recipe if you would like to try it yourself.

Hasta luego. See you in a couple days.

We're on Our Way

The Trees Sing to the RiverThe Trees Sing to the River,
Acrylic on Paper, Framed 24″ x 20″
By L. Gruger

Oh Happy Day, we’re on our way!

It’s been a very hectic week! But tomorrow we leave on our road trip to Baja, Mexico – destination, Todos Santos.

It will be a long drive from Bend, Oregon! We had lots to pack but now we’re done! Hopefully we’ll be up early and on the road by 8 a.m. That’s the plan anyway.

I didn’t get all my paintings done. But I got some finished and they will be down at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery for sale.

It seems these smaller birch tree paintings are studies for larger ones I will do in the future. I think I’m going to like them even more when they’re large.

The Trees Sparkle and SingThe Trees Sparkle and Sing,
Acrylic on Paper, Framed 23″ x 19″,
By L. Gruger

I was also interviewed this week by Art Calendar magazine and will have an artist profile article in the July/Aug. magazine. So that is exciting.

I’ll try to post some photos from our trip later in the week.

Be well everyone!

We're going travelling


We’re going on a road trip to Baja. It’s going to be a nice getaway especially after the past month we’ve gone through with my Mom passing. Greg and I will be gone for 2 months. I sure am looking forward to it!

I have to say we don’t think of this time as a “vacation” though because we both will be working while we’re gone except when we’re driving of course, but we will be having fun and enjoying ourselves too. It’s always an adventure to go to Mexico!

We’ll be in contact because we will have internet service almost the whole time. So I’ll be writing blog posts and updating my Twitter and Facebook accounts. My Etsy Shop will remain open but I won’t be filling any orders until the beginning of July when we get back.

I love travelling with Greg. We are the best travel buds because he loves to drive and I don’t. He likes to have long conversations about nerdy things like online marketing and so do I. He likes playing loud music and I do too.

He loves stopping to get a coffee while driving on a long road trip and since I don’t drink coffee very often, I love it when we do that because it always feels like a treat!


We’re driving to southern Baja. We’re planning on 7 days to get there. Our first night will be at a Hot Springs Resort that Greg surprised me with for my Birthday! Okay, that part IS vacation time.

Then we will camp a night and then spend a night with Greg’s Mom near L.A. Then we’ll be in Mexico for the next 3 nights till we reach Todos Santos, located in southern Baja on the pacific side.

We do like to follow a plan but we also like to be flexible and love checking out new places. We’ll be staying in a new area on our way down. More about that later.


I’m planning on doing some new paintings in my Baja art studio. And I’ll be making some art videos for my youtube channel while I’m down there too.

I’ll tell you more about our travel adventure in other blog posts this week. We’re packing this week, lining up the housesitter and getting ready for the trip. I’m excited to go. We leave Sunday. We’re taking the dogs with us too.

There is a saying that I got on one of my birthday cards that goes like this, I really like it:

“I think it’s true what they say

Life really is a journey –

and it’s not always easy to know

which maps to trust

or what to pack for the trip.

But whatever the weather,

wherever the road leads,

I think the best possible

traveling advice would be this:

Bring a friend.”

– Keely Chace


So come along. Check this blog often and find out what it’s like driving through Baja, Mexico and living there for 2 months.



Good bye Costa Rica

We took the bus down to Cahuita on Wed. and ate lunch at a restaurant there and then took a hike along the jungle trail that is at the Preserve near the south end of town. The trail goes along the beach and through the jungle out to a point. It took a couple hours! We saw some lizards, leaf carrying ants, a big spider, lots of flowers and unusual plants and a giant blue butterfly that was amazing!

Before we left Puerto Viejo we took a walk behind our hotel. We got to see a sloth! And some beautiful back roads. Then we left Puerto Viejo in the afternoon on Thurs. We took an Interbus shuttle van to San Jose. The 4 hour trip took about 6 hours though! Quite a long day!

We stayed at a nice hotel called Hotel Los Volcanes in Alajuela near the airport. They had some brand new rooms and we got one of them! We didn’t get to enjoy it very long though as we had to get up at 4:30 and take a 5 a.m. taxi to the airport. We flew to Houston and had a layover of 6 hours. And then our plane was delayed an hour so that turned into 7!

We finally made it to Portland and went to my friend Mimi’s where we spent the night and drove back in the a.m. on Saturday.

Home sweet home. It is always nice to be home after being away! And now I’m looking forward to getting into the studio to do some painting!

Travel to Puerto Viejo by Airplane and Bus

Costa Rica Jungle
Before going to Coast Rica, we stopped in Texas and drove up to Austin for 2 days to enjoy the music scene. It was Greg’s birthday so we were in for some celebrating!

We had to get up at 4 a.m. to get to the airport to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica. So we had a long travel day! After we landed in C.R. we took a 4 hour bus ride to Puerto Viejo. I could hardly keep my eyes open the entire bus ride as I was so sleepy! Greg kept waking me up to show me things out the window. The beautiful plants and jungle and banana trees!

Puerto Viejo is a small town on the Caribbean coast. It has a Jamaican feel to it. Very laid back and artsy. We’re staying at Hotel Guarana, a super nice, charming, comfortable place with little cabinas. There is lots of green jungle surrounding the area with beautiful beaches.

I’ll try to post some more pics of the village and beach soon.Two Costa Rica Fishing Boats
I liked these boat images and I’m thinking of putting it into a painting with boats in it.

Visit and learn when the best time to visit Costa Rica is.

Also, here’s a good link to a packing list for Costa Rica. A good list comes in handy for remembering things to bring.


Blue Costa Rica Fishing Boat