Firestorm & Murder in Southern California!

Firestorm and Murder in Southern California!

The morning after the election…. are we any closer to saving our democracy? It wasn’t a “Blue Wave” but the gains were significant in the face of REPUBLICAN GERRYMANDERING. Now I’m waiting for Mueller and the indictments and someone to call for impeachment. Let the public see Trump’s tax returns. Investigate the many ethical violations of his cabinet members and staff. Have a real Congressional investigation into his campaign’s collusion with PUTIN and RUSSIA.

And the Twitter Troll is GUILTY of another crime today (Obstruction):

And so the Midterm Elections are (almost) over. The Democrats gained many seats and reclaimed the House of Representatives! No more political ads! And a few of the scumbags who have been there too long are finally out of office! Wednesday’s TV news was a day of post-election coverage and political speculation as Donny couldn’t wait to fire Attorney General (and angry elf) Jeff Sessions, and now what will it mean for the FBI’s “Mueller Investigation”?

Wednesday ~11:30pm: News of another MASS SHOOTING in Thousand Oaks!


A guy walks into a bar….. and kills 12 people. NO JOKE.
No one is safe. No place is safe. Live your life accordingly.

The Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks College Night is attacked by a lone gunman armed with a legally purchased semi-automatic handgun. Shooter kills 11 people at the nightclub and 1 first responder before killing himself (according to the news). 13 Dead, more injured.

12 HOURS LATER: The shooter was white. The shooter was an ex-Marine who served in Afghanistan as a machine gunner and lived with his mother in Newbury Park. The shooter was cleared after a mental health evaluation as NOT BEING A DANGER TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS….. He was a “quiet guy who kept to himself” and he killed 12 people without warning. Someone screwed up BIGTIME! Oh, and the media is having a non-stop coverage orgy of this tragedy in Los Angeles.


13 HOURS LATER: Tribute to fallen hero, tribute to first responders, tribute to victims, father crying over news of dead son, eyewitness accounts and survivor stories, TV experts and grief counselors, and what you can do (give blood, vigil tonight, etc). Thoughts and Prayers again.

I never hung out at the Borderline during my time in Thousand Oaks. I was an El Torito guy. I know many people with ties to T.O. and today they are dealing with a mass murder in their town. Every local channel has had non-stop news coverage since midnight. Time for more “thoughts and prayers”.

Thursday Afternoon: And now there’s a fire in Newbury Park, and the 101 freeway is closed in both directions in Agoura, and the wind is really blowing……..


“And we do want to warn you this video is graphic” = we are going to show it as many times as we can and you’re going to watch it. The ghouls at KTLA News have now gone 24 hours on “the Massacre” with a short break for Fire coverage and sports.

And the fire’s growing fast. Camarillo Springs is on fire too now. The embers are blowing and hitting homes and burning RVs now.


And Oak Park is ON FIRE, homes are burning north of Kanan Rd and it could jump Kanan and burn many more. Winds blowing 40-50 mph in places and It could jump the 101 and burn all the way to the Pacific! The 101 is closed. They are now ordering everyone out South of the 101 all the way to Mulholland! The Paramount Ranch is in danger!

Friday 2:30am: They are now ordering everyone out South of the 101 all the way to Mulholland! The Paramount Ranch is in danger! Ventura County Fire Station 37 is ON FIRE at Kanan and Upper Ranch Rd north of Thousand Oaks. The fire is threatening homes in Agoura Hills.

Evacuations from Sunset Hills to Mulholland, Lindero Cyn to the 23 fwy north of the 101! Westlake blvd to Las Virgenes south of the 101! Homes are burning on E. Hillcrest Dr in Thousand Oaks. Power outages in Malibu. Morning winds coming too. It’s really really bad.

Friday 8am: And the fire jumped the 101 this morning and is burning through the canyons. Malibu now is under a mandatory evacuation order! *URGENT SAFETY MESSAGE* Fire has jumped the 101 fwy near Chesebro and is headed to Ocean Mandatory Evacuations, 101 Fwy to the coast between Las Virgenes Cyn /Malibu Cyn Rd. to the LA County line. Imminent threat! Malibu lakes residents must leave area immediately.

It’s a MAJOR DISASTER! The fires are out of control and still growing! Many homes and fantastic places have already been destroyed.


Good thing it wasn’t “The Big One”. The initial response was slow allowing it to spread quickly. Once it spread there weren’t enough resources to fight it. Homes were left to burn because they were protecting other structures. PCH and the 101 were jammed, showing there is no master plan for an emergency of this scale.

Emergency info was uncoordinated. Evacuation centers filled up quickly and Pepperdine University had students shelter in place (requiring resources to protect them and the campus). Large animal owners were unprepared to evacuate their animals! If you own a horse, you should be required to have a trailer for it and have an emergency plan! There should have been a real firebreak on both sides of the freeway to prevent the fire crossing into the canyons. Its not like this hasn’t happened before.

There are currently 5600 US troops sitting at the border waiting for the “Caravan Invasion” months away. The CA National Guard should be trained for fire fighting and available immediately for firestorm emergencies like this. The amount of dead and dry brush is also a problem since they don’t have an adequate budget or regular schedule for controlled burns, deforestation, or building proper firebreaks year-round.


Paramount Ranch burned again today. Obviously, the Fire Management and Loss Prevention Programs (Federal, State, County and City) are a TOTAL FAIL. There are not enough resources and there wasn’t any planning for fighting this type of firestorm event.

Western Town at The Paramount Ranch in Agoura was destroyed around noon:

Fire is now south of Mulholland and heading for Malibu.

Mandatory Evacuations were ordered! “Get out of Malibu!”

And Pacific Coast Highway was jammed, all lanes going to Santa Monica, then closed.


Evacuation Traffic on PCH between Malibu and Santa Monica (photo by KTLA) this morning.

Friday 5:45pm: Fire is moving into West Hills and towards Woodland Hills and the San Fernando Valley!

Saturday 1:20am There is an ominous quiet in the SFV tonight…. and there is no news after two days of non-stop murder and fire.

Saturday morning 8:30am: It’s cold and clear outside in the SFV. Here’s a pic from Zen Gesner in Malibu. He stayed with his father who refused the mandatory evacuation and fought the fire. Zen and a few friends stayed all night instead of evacuating, and they saved the house and a few of the neighbor’s houses from the flames!
Visit Malibu, where the fire meets the sea:


Malibu Beach On Fire! (photo by Zen Gesner)

Saturday 5pm: The fire burned through the canyons yesterday afternoon and last night. the flames reached the Pacific Ocean after jumping Pacific Coast Highway fueled by high coastal winds and wind generated by the heat. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Agoura, Malibu, Topanga Cyn, and West Hills.

THE FIRES ARE STILL BURNING! It has grown to 70000 acres. The 101 Ventura Fwy remains closed between Calabasas Rd and Lindero Canyon. Kanan Rd and other canyon passes remain closed between the freeway and Pacific Coast Highway, which is also closed from Sunset Blvd to Las Posas Rd. as Malibu remains on fire.

The winds died down and then shifted, and now the air quality is UNHEALTHFUL TO DEADLY today. The Santa Susana radioactive storage site burned early on Thursday, so the air may actually be dangerous and toxic! Particle masks are recommended if you have to go outdoors. Everything smells like smoke and burned houses.

HIGH WIND RED FLAG WARNING! Strong wind is expected tomorrow through Tuesday when “the Santa Anas” return.

Originally Posted Saturday, November 10th, 2018 at 5:45pm
And now back to your regularly scheduled program……

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California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice issued the following statement following the President’s tweet.:
“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.
“At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires.
“At this moment, thousands of our brother and sister firefighters are putting their lives on the line to protect the lives and property of thousands. Some of them are doing so even as their own homes lay in ruins. In my view, this shameful attack on California is an attack on all our courageous men and women on the front lines.
“The president’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for catastrophic wildfire is dangerously wrong. Wildfires are sparked and spread not only in forested areas but in populated areas and open fields fueled by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography. Moreover, nearly 60 percent of California forests are under federal management, and another two-thirds under private control. It is the federal government that has chosen to divert resources away from forest management, not California.
“Natural disasters are not “red” or “blue” – they destroy regardless of party. Right now, families are in mourning, thousands have lost homes, and a quarter-million Americans have been forced to flee. At this desperate time, we would encourage the president to offer support in word and deed, instead of recrimination and blame.”
California Professional Firefighters represents more than 30000 front line firefighters and paramedics in California.


Read the Previous Blog Posts about the Paramount Ranch>

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ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon! Ten Days “On The Road” and on a mission.


Cold Rain and Snow! Ashland, Oregon 3-14-18

Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon and now WE ARE BACK!

NOTE: The road trip happened in early March with the threat of winter weather in the north and in the Siskiyou Pass into Oregon, so we had to time our travel and hope for good weather on both sides.


Monday Morning Road Trip! Los Angeles to Ashland (670 miles) in 10 hours! Instead of stopping, we decided to make a straight shot on Interstate 5 (via the 405 freeway) to stay ahead of the winter weather in the Siskiyou Pass…

A long, beautiful, uneventful drive north with the intent to get there as soon as possible while driving as safe as possible. “No tickets, no accidents, and no encounters with law enforcement” makes for a good trip. We stopped for gas and to stretch our legs (and other business) along the way, and arrived in Oregon in only 10 hours!


Tejon Pass, California

NOTE: This Blog Post was delayed again because of technical issues. Our primary computer crashed recently and it had the transferred pics ready to upload.



Mt. Shasta in the Siskiyou Pass, California (things start getting blurry)

670 miles and ten hours later we were in Ashland, Oregon!


There was beautiful weather all week long. It had snowed the week before, there was snow on the mountains, Mt. Ashland ski resort was open for business, and there was even still some snow on the ground the first day. It was cold and windy at night the first couple nights, and it was raining/snowing in the pass, but the weather stayed really nice during the day (sunny and in the 70s) from Ashland to Medford most of the time.



Ashland Creek in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon


Scenes from the Ranch:



On The Menu in Ashland:

Lunch at Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

Dinner at The Loft in Ashland
NY steak & prawns, fries, veggies, caesar salad, tuna tartare, bread & butter, an excellent 1993 Southing Sea Smoke pinot noir, and a coke

Pizza (take-out) from Kaleidoscope Pizza in Medford
Lunch (take-out) from Arby’s
Lunch (take-out soups) from Olive Garden

BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches for Dinner at the Ranch
Pasta and Meatballs with cheesy bread and a coke for Dinner at the Ranch
Pizza and Champagne Dinner at the Ranch with friends

Ice Cream from Grater’s in Cincinnati, Ohio (via UPS)
pints of black raspberry chocolate chip, cherry chocolate chip,
salted caramel chocolate chip, and chocolate chocolate chip

Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs and Samoas

Dinner (take-out) from La Tapatia in Phoenix (Oregon, not Arizona)
2 chicken street tacos with salsa

Dinner (take-out) from Harvey’s Place in Ashland
roast beef dip sandwich and fries
(Read our previous Blog Post about Harvey’s Place>

Sushi Lunch at Bonsai in Medford
sushi, sashimi and cut rolls

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland
shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, grilled prawns (didn’t eat them, got them “to go”), bread & butter, red wine, a coke, and no dessert thank you

Hand-made Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point


Oregon Sky 2


Walking in Lithia Park on Monday Afternoon (almost alone)



Ashland Creek in Lithia Park


Heading South on Wednesday! Destination: Oakland and then Home!

There was rain and snow in Ashland, in the Siskiyou Pass, and even further south to the Bay Area. And more stormy weather was predicted for Thursday and through the weekend, so when the weather looked clear on Wednesday morning we headed south hoping to get through the pass without incident or chain requirements. It rained a little, it snowed a little, there was a little sleet and then it was clear and beautiful the whole way to Oakland.

We stopped for an hour at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California on the I-5.


Rolling Hills Casino – Corning, California


Going south, we had the choice to “stay on or get off?”: stay on and keep going south on the I-5 with Los Angeles as our destination or get off and take the 505 Winters cutoff to the Bay Area with an Oakland stopover as our destination. We almost kept going, but decided to detour west, get a hotel room, have dinner and rest for the night instead.


San Leandro Bridge and Puffy Clouds 3-14-18

We were going to stay at a hotel in Emeryville where we got off the freeway because East Bay traffic was jammed, but found a good deal on a room at the LaQuinta Inn near the Oakland Airport online and made a same-day reservation through an internet site because it was easy and we were tired. We had Dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Emeryville on Pi Day and tried to connect with a friend who was local via telephone.

On the Menu: Breakfast for dinner.
2 eggs over medium. bacon (with extra bacon), biscuits & gravy, and iced coffee
and then a small chocolate cream pie “to go”
We enjoyed it with some “free” coffee from the lobby in our hotel room.



After we ate, we drove over to the La Quinta Inn at the Oakland Airport via surface streets to avoid the freeway traffic and soon arrived at the hotel without too much trouble.

We checked in, went to the room, unpacked, took a nice hot shower and shaved, and then got dressed to go and meet our friend. But it was too late (almost 8:30pm) so we got undressed and ate some of our pie and quickly fell asleep.

Thursday 7am: Leftover Pie and a Continental Breakfast!

On the Menu (a nice continental breakfast at the hotel): scrambled eggs, bagel with cream cheese, cornflakes and milk, and coffee. We also took a banana, an apple, 2 blueberry muffins, and a bagel with peanut butter and jelly for the road trip home. We also enjoyed the leftover chocolate cream pie and some canned pineapple juice before breakfast.

Thursday 11am: On The Road Again!
I-5 south (via 580) Oakland to Los Angeles

The LaQuinta loyalty program offers a late check-out to guests, so we could have stayed until 1pm. Instead we enjoyed the “free” breakfast, packed our bags, and loaded the car The early storm passed and morning Bay Area traffic cleared and we left at 11am to get on the road and get clear of the weather. From Oakland we had the choice to take the faster Interstate 5 (east route) or more scenic US highway 101 (west route) south to Los Angeles and so we chose the 5 south, again because of the stormy weather on the coast.

There was a little residual rain as we left the Bay Area at Livermore, but then it was blue skies all day and the whole way to L.A. and it only took 5 & 1/2 hours with one stop for gas.



Los Angeles Again 3-15-18

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Oakland Sunrise 3-15-18

Sunday Sunsets (30 Photos) at 70mph! CA-OR Road Trip‬ continued! (Part 4)

Sunday Sunsets at 70mph

California – Oregon Road Trip‬ continued! (Part 4)

This is a TRAVEL BLOG! Even more Select Pics from the Highway – August 2015:

This is a series (but not in order) of 30 photos.

Taken with a Blackberry camera (from a moving vehicle at ~70mph)


California-Oregon ‪Road Trip‬! Pic from the Highway

California-Oregon ‪Road Trip‬! Pic from the Highway

Sunday Sunsets

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NOTE: These pics are not in exact order. The route there was I-5 north from Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon. The route back was I-5 south to 505 to 37 to 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge, through San Francisco to Highway 1 south to Santa Cruz and then south to Castroville and back to the 101 south to Los Angeles. There was also a brief detour from the 101 at Solvang to the Chumash reservation and back on the way home.

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There were so many beautiful moments along the road, driving for hours with only the miles ahead before reaching my destination. For those of you who may have concerns, I’m very careful when using the camera while driving and never take pictures if it is unsafe.

Don’t try this. I’m a professional. Take pictures while driving at your own risk, don’t endanger anyone else…and make sure you get great pictures.

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel –


Travel Answers: San Francisco! Yosemite!

Travel Answers for San Francisco and Yosemite:

Q: What’s a great day trip from SF that’s not wine country?

A: Great Day Trip from San Francisco?

Drive south on beautiful Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. Stop along the way in Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Davenport and/or at Ano Nuevo State Reserve and see the Elephant Seals.

Pacific Ocean from Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Ocean from Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Visit the beach and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, shop the Pacific Garden Mall, and check out the University of California, Santa Cruz (arboretum, performances, museums & special collections at the McHenry Library). Tour the campus, there are great views of Monterey Bay, art installations and walking paths/roads through the meadows, pastures and redwood forest on the hill (just stop and get a visitor pass at the main gate).

There are plentiful beaches, galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, wineries, clubs and other performance venues in Santa Cruz and in the nearby communities of Capitola, Aptos, Felton & Bonny Doon.

Check out the world famous Mystery Spot and Lighthouse Field State Beach! The Evergreen Cemetery est. ~1885 is one of the oldest in the bay area and state and it’s now a tourist attraction.

Return to San Francisco via Highways 17 (880) to San Jose and the 280 or 101 freeways back to the city sometime after sunset.


San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Best 3-day weekend trip from San Francisco? Looking for something outdoorsy that would be a good use of weekend summer trip. Ideally somewhere warm enough for sun, swimming & shorts. Probably for a small group (either 2 or 4 ppl).

A: 3-Day Trip from San Francisco? People have already recommended Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey and Santa Cruz to the south. Marin, Napa, Vallejo, Mendocino, and Lake Tahoe to the north. So how about going east to Yosemite National Park? Yosemite, Merced, Mariposa are all within driving distance and only a few hours away. Just make sure to make a reservation!

Half Dome - Yosemite, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Half Dome – Yosemite, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Best airport to fly into for a week at Yosemite?

I’m planning a fall trip to Yosemite and trying to figure out which airport to fly into: Sacramento, Fresno, San Fran? I’m coming from New York so I have some airline options. I’m most concerned about which airport will have sufficient car rental options and flights at all hours.

A: If you’re flying in from NYC, you’re going to have to land in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland or Los Angeles. Each has it positives and negatives, so base your decision on the cost of airfare and then determine the best mode of transport from your destination city.

Rent a car (get unlimited mileage plus insurance) or take Amtrak (train and bus combo) from Los Angeles or San Francisco/Oakland. The bus will take you right into Yosemite National Park and drop you at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and it’s both less expensive and cleaner than driving!

The drive from Los Angeles is about 6 hours, and you’ll travel the 5 freeway to interstate 99 through Bakersfield, Fresno and the Central Valley to interstate 41 into Yosemite.

The drive from the Bay Area is about 4 and 1/2 hours (could be longer with traffic) on highway 580 through San Leandro and Livermore to highway 205 through Manteca to interstate 120 into Yosemite.

NOTE: If you’re driving in the Sierra Mountains in the Fall, be prepared for rain and snow at higher elevations, some roads may require tire chains (sometimes a problem with a rental vehicle).

There are also tour companies that have chartered buses that will take you into the park, or backpack/bus adventure travel companies like Green Tortoise from San Francisco that include more than just transport:

NOTE: If you’re going to take a chartered bus, make sure the company is CA state licensed and check their safety and consumer record before buying a ticket!

Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Most impressive staircases you’ve ever seen?

I recently saw some of the craziest staircases in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Where else in the world has cool, winding, or even weird staircases? Want to plan some trips to see would be awesome, thanks!

A: In Yosemite Valley there is a stairway to the top of Vernal Nevada Falls that was carved out of the granite rock. You can start at the bottom of Vernal Falls and climb 2000 feet to the top of Nevada Falls and the rim of the valley.

“Climb along nature’s giant staircase, where you are rewarded with close-up views of two waterfalls and numerous geologic features (depending on how far you choose to hike)…Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer (hence the name for this trail!).”

Follow the Mist Trail 0.5 miles up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps! Continue on to the top of Half Dome if you have a permit (and “weather permitting”).

Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Where was your favorite backpacking destination? Out of all the places in the world, where was your favorite backpacking destination and why?

A: My favorite backpacking destination: Tiltill Valley above Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in northern Yosemite National Park. Picture a valley just like Yosemite except there are no other people, no cars, no shuttle buses, no buildings… just an amazing wilderness all to yourself. It’s a long day hike uphill to reach the Tiltill Valley, but it’s worth the trip!

The trailhead begins at the Hetch Hetchy parking area, and it’s a rugged uphill trek past the reservoir and into the backcountry (be sure to get your permits at the ranger station and be aware you are in “BEAR COUNTRY” – problem bears are relocated to this area of the park).

p.s. I don’t recommend backpacking solo, you should always have at least one travel buddy when you are in the backcountry!

Yosemite in Winter (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite in Winter (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: How many days would I need to explore most of what Yosemite has to offer? I’m planning on going there some day and I would like to know how much days would I need to explore most of what the National Park has to offer! Thanks.

A: How many days in Yosemite National Park? It depends on how much of the park you want to explore. If you just want to see Yosemite Valley, you should allow at least three days. You should add more days if you want to really see everything! It also depends on how active a hiker you are because there are great things to do and day trips with varying degrees of difficulty you can experience. Ride the Shuttlebus and walk the valley, tour the valley in an open air tram, hike to Mirror Lake, picnic at Yosemite Beach, hike to the top of the waterfalls or around the rim of the valley, climb to the top of Half Dome or El Capitan. Visit Yosemite Village and the Ansel Adams Gallery and be sure to check out the The Ahwahnee Hotel.

Accommodations in the park range from tent and camp sites, RV sites, covered campsites, tent cabins, and hotel rooms. You need to make reservations for any of the concession vendors a long time in advance at and there are lots of rules and regulations you need to be aware of before and during your visit.


Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

There are other areas to see within the park or just outside: Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Grove and the Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees, Wawona Point (and historic hotel), skiing at Yosemite’s Badger Pass in winter), Bass Lake, Oakhurst, and many others. You should allow 1-3 days or more for each area depending on how active a hiker/camper/skier/snowboarder you are.

If you want to experience the backcountry as a backpacker/camper you should plan 3-14 day trips. there are great areas in and around the park. I’ve been to the Tiltill Valley above Hetch Hetchy Loop and down the South Fork Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, both of which were excellent backpacking trips! Be sure to learn the necessary skills and the park rules and regulations before entering the wilderness.

You are also close to Lee Vining, Mammoth Mountain and Mono Lake State Preserve which are near the east entrance to the park.

See also John Muir Trail and the Yosemite Park website for more info.


Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: You have a day to explore Yosemite. What do you HAVE to see?

I love everything about being outdoors, especially around water. I like hiking, but I don’t get too extreme. Viewpoints that are hidden/will make me never want to leave would be loved.

A: What to see in Yosemite Valley? Everything!

Ride the Shuttlebus, walk the valley paths and bridges, raft or inner tube down the river, tour the valley in an open air tram, hike to Mirror Lake, Picnic at Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, hike to the top of any of the waterfalls or around the rim of the valley or to the top of Half Dome, climb El Capitan. Visit Yosemite Villageand see the Visitor Center and the Ansel Adams Gallery, shop at Curry Village and be sure to check out the Ahwahnee Hotel. See my other answers for more.

Wawona Hotel - Yosemite (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wawona Hotel – Yosemite (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Places to stay in Yosemite? If anyone is familiar with places to stay IN the Yosemite Park… I am trying to decide between a few places… Curry Village, Yosemite at the Falls & Wawona Hotel. From what I gather there aren’t bathrooms in Wawona Hotel (not so thrilled with that idea). Any advice, please on these 3 places?

A: Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is the best place to stay, unless you can afford the Ahwahnee Hotel. It’s centrally located in Yosemite Valley near Yosemite Falls and a couple shuttle stops (almost walking distance) from Yosemite Village. The accommodations are “motel quality” but nice enough considering you won’t want to be inside very much.

Curry Village is near Half Dome, and on the shuttle route. The accommodations are mostly tent cabins with shared facilities and some full cabins with private facilities.

Both Yosemite Lodge and Curry Village have a “cafeteria” style restaurant, a “hamburger stand”, a bar/restaurant and mini-market/gift shops. Yosemite Lodge also has a nice sit-down upscale restaurant.

The Wawona Hotel sits up on the rim of the valley about a 45 minute drive from the valley floor and the village. It’s a very nice historic hotel, but not really convenient if you want to be in the valley. There are cabins with private facilities and they are very nice if you don’t mind walking outdoors to get to the main building (more of a problem in winter). Wawona is great if you want to ski at Badger Pass Ski Area, visit Glacier Point or the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwoods.

There are Ranger led nature talks available and other entertainment at all three locations. Yosemite Village has a market, a Visitor’s Center with an Indian Village and interpretive programs, the Ansel Adams Gallery, the post office and more restaurants and gift shops.


Yosemite Falls - Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Falls – Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)



405 Freeway south at Mulholland Drive

Another day on the 405 freeway south at Mulholland Drive….

405 Freeway south at Mulholland Drive

405 Freeway south at Mulholland Drive (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)



12-13-14 New BLOG Posted!

13 December 2014 (posted Sunday 12-14-14)


The last sequential date this century, made up of four sequential digits: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

You may be wondering “What happened to Part 4 of the Roadtrip?” (see previous blog)

Well, it’s been weird around here lately. Once again I apologize to my loyal readers for being absent from my own Blog and leaving the story unfinished…

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I promise to continue the story of my trip to Ashland, Oregon very soon with tales of Lithia Park, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, antique shopping & fine dining in Ashland, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Reno, Lakeland Village, Harrah’s, Harvey’s, the Montbleu, and the road trip home on US 395 south (a beautiful 8 hour drive through central California).

So, it’s December again. Hooray for the winter holidays and holy days.

Happy Christmas! – Happy Hannukah! – Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Festivus! – and Happy New Year! (almost)

I wish you, my readers, a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Home for the holiday in Los Angeles and shared a wonderful feast with family and friends. (see previous Blog – just posted)

There were two big storms in the last week here in Southern California, and another one expected on Monday. We’ve gotten a lot of good rain, and as they say “We need the rain”. There was also a SMALL TORNADO hit south Los Angeles and someone got it on video!

Here’s the link to KTLA’s New Report:

And the full video with censored commentary from ABC:

We have a lot of fresh snow in the local mountains and all across the United States. Crazy conditions in the midwest and northeast! Winter is finally here. Stay warm and dry!

Talked about the weather and I’m not going to Blog about Politics, War and Racism today.

NOTE: Please read my previous Blog: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” Today there were massive rallies across the country to protest the POLICE STATE, VIOLENCE AND ABUSE OF POWER. I will update my previous blog very soon, and will title it “I Can’t Breathe!”

St. Louis County Police Stormtroopers in Ferguson, Missouri

St. Louis County Police Stormtroopers in Ferguson, Missouri










Burning Man 2014 - The Man 100 feet high

Burning Man 2014 – The Man 100 feet high!

Gates are OPEN! Tuesday 6am – The PARTY is live!

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014

On opening day Monday, heavy rain and hail muddied the playa and caused the organizers to close the gates due to BLM restrictions on vehicles. The gates may have been closed but the PARTY was in full force Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014

Here’s the LIVE ustream link:

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 7:30am

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 7:30am

Burning Man 2014 - Remember it's all about the ART!

Burning Man 2014 – Remember it’s all about the ART!

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 7:30pm

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 7:30pm

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 9pm

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 9pm

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 9pm

Burning Man 2014 Tuesday 9pm

Heidi B. is on the playa (early entry) and is sending some cool pics back:

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014 – pic by Heidi B.

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014 – pic by Heidi B.




I Posted This Travel Answer About Crater Lake!

Crater Lake is a volcanic caldera lake in southern Oregon. It’s the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and famous for its deep blue color, water clarity and elevation. The lake partly fills a nearly 4,000 feet deep caldera that was formed around 5,677 BC by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.

Crater Lake, Oregon (photo from

Aerial View of Crater Lake, Oregon (photo from

Q: Place to stay at Crater Lake National Park? A: The best place to stay inside the park is the historic Crater Lake Lodge on the rim of the lake. Spend the extra money and get a room with a view if available! From the website: Crater Lake Lodge has 71 rooms and is normally open mid May through mid October (2014 Operating Season is May 16 – October 12, 2013). Advance reservations are strongly recommended and can be made on-line or by calling (888) 774-2728 Cabins At Mazama has 40 units and is located in the Mazama Village complex. It is open late May through early October (2014 Operating Season is May 23 – October 5, 2014). Reservations are recommended. (888) 774-2728 RESERVATIONS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED! Accommodations for spring and summer book early and sell out fast! Check the website for info. There are additional places to stay (motels and cabins for rent) and activities (rafting, fishing, horseback riding, and more) available outside the park near Lost Creek Lake, Prospect, Fort Klamath, along the Rogue River and Highway 62 down the mountain.

Vamos a la playa! (Let’s Go to the Beach)

Vamos a la playa!  HAppy LAbor DAy!

Kanan Road to Malibu..

Kanan Road Tunnel through the Santa Monica Mountains to Malibu (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Kanan Road Tunnel to Malibu and PCH Highway (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A beautiful Labor Day Monday morning drive to the beach and back:

101 Freeway north

101 Freeway north

Kanan Road exit

Kanan Road exit (note the Highway Patrol giving someone a ticket)

Kanan Road

Kanan Road and Agoura Road

Kanan Road

Kanan Road to the beach

View of a cloud covered ocean from Kanan Road

View of a cloud covered ocean from Kanan Road

Tunnel Vision!

Tunnel Vision! Kanan Road to the beach.

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean from Kanan Road

Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California

Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway (sunny on one side of the road, foggy on the other)

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University in Malibu, California

Malibu Canyon Road  back to the 101 Freeway:

Malibu Canyon Tunnel to the San Fernando Valley

Malibu Canyon Tunnel to the San Fernando Valley (Pink Lady Art RIP)

Tunnel Vision!

Tunnel Vision! Malibu Canyon to the 101 Freeway.

101 Freeway South

101 Freeway South

As I was coming back, Labor Day traffic was getting pretty heavy and there were five L.A. Sheriff cars going the opposite way to the beach on Malibu Canyon Road.

12-JUL-13: Highway 1

Highway 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway

Highway 1

Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)


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