In October we left our home in Alaska and headed towards the lower 48 to visit family, pick up a Sprinter Van, help Beth and Ryan do projects on a house that they had purchased, do a first aid recertification, run a marathon and half marathon in New Orleans and prepare for the last section of the PCT.
We had been thinking of a vehicle that would make traveling in the off seasons easier and when our friends in Colorado listed their Sprinter Van for sale, we quickly made the decision to make a purchase.
We had a nice visit in Portland with Jeff, Emily and the two cats, Ruby and Jasper.
We headed North to Washington to visit our friends George and Mary Jo Newbury. We wanted to do some modifications of our couch in the Sprinter and wanted to get George's opinion. Before we knew it George had a plan and the tools to do the project. Several days later the project ws completed!
Since we were in the area we gave our friend Kurt a call and he immediately invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. It is always fun to catch up with Kurt and Becca and learn about their new projects.
Then it was off to California to help Ryan and Beth move into their new house. A toast was in order.
Two months quickly passed with the list of things to do growing smaller. Knowing that we were hiking the PCT starting end of March, we decided to train by running. Don decided to run his first marathon and Donna the half. Each day we would check the training program and head out to do a run. We quickly realized why people love the weather in San Diego.
In Feb. we headed off to the Grand Canyon where Don had signed up to do a Wilderness First Aid Recert. The first day was beautiful and we enjoyed a walk down into the canyon.
At one time we had thought that we might spend some more time here, but with more snow coming we quickly changed plans and headed towards New Orleans. First though we stopped and enjoyed an overnight in one of Texas's many state parks.
Don was born in New Orleans and hadn't been back there since. So when he decided to run a marathon in early March, it seemed appropriate to sign up for one there.
Soon we were there and picking up our bibs.
We spent the day before the race, checking out the French quarter and trying some of the delicious food that New Orleans is famous for.
Since we were in the area, a quick visit to Don's childhood town seemed appropriate.
Heading west back towards California, we made a couple of short stops. The first was at another state park in Texas where we were entertained by a group of javelinas
Upon our return to San Diego, Jeff and Emily were here from Oregon and we all headed to the wine country of Baja where we got to experience a nine course experimental dinner along with some fine wine tasting.