Monday, February 17, 2014


Buckeye and Buckeye Hills Regional Park that is.

First, up the little camping area called Buckeye Hills Regional Park - or Recreation Area. That got me a bit turned around the first time we came since I had my eyes on the road for Regional Park but on the highway the sign says Recreation Area.

Just like Gila Bend - we have been here several times before. One of our favourite stops. Well, one of my favourite stops - Derek's a mediocre fan of the place.

We have two past posts on this place - from November 2012 and February 2012.

Obviously word has gotten out - or maybe it was just because of the holiday - but BOTH of our favourite sites were taken. We were shocked - we are usually alone or with one other rig - maybe.

Our heart sank just a little.

We got two really good hikes in. There are no set trails - you just make them yourselves. We start with the arroyos and go from there.

Sometimes we have to duck a little.

Today we were headed to the hills to the west.


Cassia is becoming quite the little climber. We had to do our hikes in the morning - still it was pretty warm. 

Great views from the top. Sadly though lots of smog in the distance - Phoenix. 

There is a campground with designated spots where we are parked. There is also a road out to another parking area. Above you can see the well marked road in the background - in the foreground is a more rugged road - this leads to a back boon docking site. Good if you have a van or truck and want to get away from everyone else.

Quite a few flowers already.

A shot of the road in - good for a dirt road.

The saguaro cactus at sunset near our site.

We also like to go for an evening walk after dinner when it has cooled down a little. Really - it was that hot! 30C or in the mid 80's while we were there.

Sorry, a bit on the blurry side. Nice that our site had a picnic table and shelter - we NEEDED the shade. Lots of solar power though.

Our third day there and another morning hike.

Back to the hills - a higher one this time.

At the top of the highest hill we came across these beetles - only in this one place. Derek took all of these shots of them. I couldn't choose which one is best so I am including them all. Amazing!

Quite the view of the surrounding area. Still with the smog. Not sure if it is all Phoenix or some from the very busy Interstate.

Looking northwest. 

Heading back down - all at our own pace. This is the usual formation. Derek in lead - Cassia in the middle and mom taking up the rear. 

So, that was our visit to Buckeye Hills. We aren't so good at desert boon docking these days - we get a bit antsy, even with the hiking. The days get a bit long……

With two nights under our belts we headed into Buckeye. Well, not really Buckeye - more like exit 117.

Another of our favourite places - the Lowe's. The third place we stop when we are in this area. The last time we were here we had to do some work on the van - remember our thunk, thunk bang problem from last time?

Good to be back on our spot beside the garden centre.

Cassia and I took a tour of the garden centre - anyone seeing this back at home in Canada?

And of course, Cassia one again posing with her shrub - a desert Cassia.

And with that our tour of Arizona comes to a close. I know - a quick visit. That's how it's going this year - in - out and we are off to the next spot. 

We hear the California and the Oregon coasts calling our names this year and this time we have decided to answer. We've never headed home that way - a first for us. Pretty excited.

If you have been up the coast please share your suggestions and advice. Where should we stop? What should we avoid. We will be tying in at Ventura - lots to see and do. We are looking forward to the beach walks - fingers crossed for an early spring!

And San Francisco! 

Our trips in to El Paso, Albuquerque and Tucson have given us enough courage to take this city on!

This is the second post of the night - I got a little behind without wifi and/or low battery power lately. 

Hope you are all doin' fine! Thanks for checkin' in!


If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. The California and Oregon coasts are wonderful. Do start in San Diego, such a wonderful city, lots of charm. Then up along the coast to LA, just wander around the beaches and Santa Monica Boulevard for a completely diffferent experience. Then on to San Francisco, worth at least three days of exploration. All along the Pacific coast there are many parks and small towns to stop at. Go slowly, and enjoy. It might be a bit cool though. Finally Washington state and the Olympic mountain range is amazing, you will not be disappointed. Take a look at the Ho rain forest, and Whidbey Island...

  2. After being in the desert love seeing all those bright colourful flowers.
    It sure was great FINALLY meeting you guys too. Like you said think we could have talked all night.
    Travel safe and enjoy your trip up the coast.

  3. Beautiful photos this morning!!! Thanks for sharing all of them, even all the beetles! Safe travels.

  4. Are you already gone? We're headed to Buckeye on Saturday...

  5. A few years ago we traveled from Arizona through Bakersfield and Paso Robles to the coast. Between Paso Robles and Cambria was some of the most beautiful hills we've ever seen. We traveled north through Cambria to the San Simeon State Park where stayed for about a week. Rode the motorcycle down to Morrow Bay (beautiful coast.) North of San Simeon there are elephant seal colonies and if you are interested there is of course the Hearst Castle. We had planned to take the 5th wheel up the coast to Big Sur but after a trip north in the pick up we changed our mind about towing the trailer because the road was too windy for a big rig although the tour buses seem to manage. Beautiful beaches to explore. Definitely worth a look.

  6. I'm an Oregonian and have lived in Astoria, Bay City and Tillamook. We love the Oregon Coast. This summer we are going to be traveling the "back roads" of Oregon and Washington. Never get enough of the State where I was born (Washington) and the state I now live in.


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