Monday, May 25, 2020

Wheeler Gorge Campground

We are still in shelter in place orders here,so I am going to do a couple blog posts of places I visited in the past. One such place is Wheeler Gorge Campground located in the beautiful Ojai, California.

 My husband and I spent a few days in the campground with our two dogs a few years ago. When we entered we met the camp hosts who were friendly and polite. They greeted us with smiles and pats in the head for our dogs. Our first choice of campsite had been washed out due to heavy rain a few weeks previously, but thankfully there were plenty of other camp sites available. It was an easy drive in and quick to set up camp. 

The area is gorgeousurrounded by trees and lush green mountains. I spend so much time in the desert I'm always really happy to see anything green. It's a quiet out of the way area and wasn't overcrowded like some places we've visited. After we set up camp we took a hike through the forest. The best part is the campgrounds are a short drive from the beach! We spent the mornings at the beach and the nights in front of the campfire. This trip was one of my favorite camping trips I've taken. I highly recommend making the trip out here if you get a chance. Unfortunately, I didn't get many photos from the vacation. The one above is my golden retriever, Wook peaking out of the tent in the morning impatient for the day to start. 

Wheeler Gorge Campground is located at 17017 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023. You can check the CampOne website for more information. Things to nore: Always double check about pet policies as they can change. Often California campgrounds have restrictions on having a fire and moving/using firewood so check that as well. Happy Travels!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks is a natural area located in Agua Dulce about 40 miles away from Los Angeles, California.It sits right off the 14 freeway between Palmdale and Canyon Country. It offers almost 1,000 acres of pet friendly hiking. The views are spectacular and the rocks will make you feel like you've stepped into another world or maybe another planet. In fact, the area has often been used to film movies and TV shows. If you're a fan of star trek, Holes, Joe Dirt or  Planet of the Apes, just to name a few of the many productions shot on location this is a must visit place. Even if you're not into sci-fi you will want to check out this park for the views alone. It's moderately busy and dogs must be kept on leash at all times. It does offer plenty of parking on the grounds, just be sure not to park on private property if the lots are full as there isn't much street parking.

As of this writing (4/9/20) Vasquez Rocks may be closed due to Covid-19. Please follow all local laws in regards to social distancing. This is one of the places I miss visiting the most and will enjoy as soon as the quarantine is lifted. The Los Angeles County Parks website will give more up to date information about closures and such, so please check there before you head out for adventures with your pup.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Trying to stay active during the lockdown.

Hey everyone. I hope this blog post finds you and your families safe and well. I haven't been able to post much, because we are in quarantine like much of the world. I've been trying to stay healthy by hanging out with my pets in the garden and playing fetch in the yard. If the weather is nice we go for a jog in the open space near our home. How are you all coping?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Anthony Chabot Regional Campground

Anthony Chabot Campground is nestled among the trees near san jose, California. spanning about 3,000 acres it offers many hiking trails to explore. This hidden gem allows on leash dogs in the campgrounds and on some of the hiking trails. Best of all there is NO pet fee for taking your furry friend with you to enjoy nature. That alone earns this campground a star of approval from Wookiee and I.

The area is seriously gorgeous and even though you are conveniently located a short drive from the city, you will feel like you've entered another world as you walk through the forest. I really hope we can go back some day as we had an absolute blast.If you'd like to learn more you can check out the website:
A special thanks to my sister for taking the photos in this blog post.

Friday, March 6, 2020

spring garden

Have you started your spring garden yet? Recently I planted tomatoes, peas and cilantro. I added that to my backyard which already houses a blueberry bush, roses, a dwarf peach tree and flowers. The carrots from winter are almost gone. The radishes and turnips are just about ready for harvest.

Inside my house I have a bounty on my windowsills. I grow mint, basil, chives, lavender. I also have cat grass for the kitties. I'm even growing a variety of lettuces, a few carrots and a couple radishes.
I'd like to add a few more fruit trees and grow sunflowers again. What are you growing? Any plans to add to your garden?

Sunday, March 1, 2020

An Ode To Misty Mornings

I was born and raised in the desert. Home to me means joshua trees, jackrabbits and the song of coyotes on a summer night. While I will always consider the desert my home there are other wild spaces that hold a special place in my heart. Let’s face it, the desert is hot. Really hot. I remember one particularly brutal summer I was working on a rescue ranch and the temps reached a thermometer busting 118F. Even the animals were miserable. When we get a bit of cool weather it’s a nice change of pace. Beyond that it reminds me of some of my favorite memories growing up. 
You see, my parents were the ones who fostered a love for the outdoors in me. If it involved the outdoors we’ve done it. We’ve road tripped to the Grand Canyon. We’ve snorkeled in the Florida Keys. Many a chilly morning was spent traipsing through our local nature preserve trying to point out plants and animals we can identify. There’s a saying (and I’m not sure who was the first person to popularize it) but it goes something like “at the end of your life you won’t wish you had spent more time at work.” No, but these are the moments I will remember when I’m older. 
I may not have a lot of money right now, but I still have a lot. It’s mornings like these when I can sit on my porch with a cup of tea in my hands and my pups curled at my feet and close my eyes. I can imagine the cool breeze is the crisp mountain air against my cheeks. I can almost see myself waking up in my tent to the smell of campfire and coffee grounds. Or bundled up on the beach at night, toes in the sand eagerly awaiting the grunion run.Or paddling out to the lake at 4am with the scent of diesel fading from the docks. I’m not jetting off to Fiji at the moment and my travels are confined to one state,but I can still cherish the adventure in every single day.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Pet Friendly Beaches in Southern California

San Diego county has many options for dog beaches. It's overall a very dog friendly city. A few of the on leash options include Del Mar City Beach,Grand Caribe shoreline park and Bluffs beach in Oceanside. For off leash options check out Coronado Dog Beach or North Beach in Del Mar. Wookiee and I stopped at solana beach many years ago and it was a lovely area. 

LA County is harder to find dog friendly beaches in but if you're already camping in the area or visiting dog friendly sights it's worth the stop for a romp in the sand with your puppy pal. I've never personally been, but I've heard very good things about Rosie's Dog Beach. It offers an off leash area for you and your pooch to enjoy. There's a beach called staircase beach off the PCH which allows on leash dogs on the sand. Huntington Dog Beach is a favorite among Angelenos and offers ample space to kick back or play fetch. I'd avoid Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey if you want to bring your dog along. 

I haven't been to any beaches in Northern California with my dogs, but it is on my bucket list. What about you? Comment below what's on your travel bucket list.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Lancaster Museum of Art- a trip for the two leggeds

Lancaster Museum of Art is a small museum that is worth checking out if you're in the area. Hidden in the city center this unassuming building hides an array of displays from various lesser known artists. It's free to enter (if you can make a donation that would be great, it helps to keep it running.) and offers plenty of free street parking. While small it's located amidst bakeries, a movie theatre, a cute used bookstore and much more. You can easily make a day out of visiting the museum and surrounding areas and it will be well worth the trip there. I wasn't able to get to many pictures when I went, but here is a taste: learn more here

Monday, February 3, 2020

Windowsill Garden Update

A few months ago I started a trial of growing on my windowsill. I've always had succulents or flowers growing indoors and veggies in a garden bed outside, but this was my first time trying my hand at bringing the vegetables indoors in containers.

First, what didn't work: Radishes. I do have some radishes growing successfully in a pot outside, but the radishes in plastic water bottles did not work. They grew long leaves and very little root. I don't think I'd attempt it again.

Otherwise I will call my little experiment a success! Here's a few photos of what did work:

Green onion and lettuce

 red leaf kale, a succulent and basil


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Art in the Community

One nice thing about Santa Clarita is that the community has a big focus on art. There's many places around town where you can find beautiful artwork from statues to murals. Both indoor and in outdoor places where you can bring your dogs along. Here are just a few pet friendly places my dogs and I have visited: 

The mural at the skate park. Offers walking trails and an off leash dog park.

There are many statues around town. All the photos above were taken at Westfield Valencia shopping center. The mall is very dog friendly featuring water and treat stations around the outdoor shopping area. A koi and turtle pond and outdoor seating. Lazy Dog Cafe (located near the Valet parking) allows well behaved dogs on the patio and even features a dog menu! 

Many walking trails feature art. Central Park is one of them. This photo was taken at Ironhorse Trail which you can read on my blog post here

If you'd like to learn more about art in the city click here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A day in the life... with 17 pets.

If you're new to my blog first of all welcome and thank you for checking it out. I'm Renee and I have seventeen pets. I'm very passionate about rescuing animals especially those most people don't think of when they think of shelter pets, such as mice and turtles. I have four dogs: Wookiee, Luna, Pepper and Kiko. Two cats: Primrose and Persephone. Four turtles: Milly, shelly, Yertle and Ninja Five birds: Blueberry, Kiwi, sherbert, Cocoa and Java. And finally my newest rescues my two fancy mice Chunk and stubby. Having this many pets is a lot of work and responsibility, but also very rewarding. Here's a day in the life with my many rescued pets.

  • 5am- wake up to slobbery puppy kisses
  • 5:05am- Take dogs out to go potty
  • 5:10am- feed and water crew, start coffee pot
  • 6am-6:30 eat breakfast,wash breakfast dishes, scrub food and water dishes
  • 6:30-7am spend time with birds, free flight time
  • 7am-7:30/8am walk dogs
  • 8am work online
  • 9am housework, clean cat litter, clean yard and water garden
  • 10am change paper in bird cages and bedding in mouse cage, more online work
  • 11am- lunch for me, play fetch with dogs
  • 12 work, housework
  • 1-3pm everyone is napping while I do paid and housework
  • 3pm feed and water, scrub dishes
  • 4pm start preparing dinner for the humans
  • 4:30pm set up maze for mice to play in, free flight for birds
  • 5pm dinner for humans
  • 6pm maybe another walk or playing fetch
  • 7pm start setting up for bedtime, cover bird cages
  • 8pm potty before bed
  • 9-10pm self care routine, snuggle with pets, bedtime
Weekly/monthly/yearly tasks: Full cage clean, grooming, flea and tick meds, check ups, dental cleanings etc. 

This is just to give you and idea of our routine and the kind of work it takes to care for so many animals. It isn't set in stone. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my large family. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Persephone the hiking cat

A few years ago I went to the shelter "just to look." (Famous last words for animal lovers and those like me who do rescue.) When I arrived I looked around. There were a lot of people there looking at the many kittens up for adoption. I thought I might like to adopt a kitten as well. As I looked around I felt a sudden tug on my shirt sleeve. I looked down to see a little paw grabbing my arm through the bars of her cage. I immediately asked the shelter staff if I could hold this cat. She was a beautiful multi-colored tortoiseshell with piercing yellow eyes. When the staff member put her in my arms she started kneading me and purring tight away. I knew then that I had to make her part of our family. When I had to put her back in the kennel to fill out the paperwork she dug her claws into my tshirt and didn't want to let go. I had a feeling this kitty was going to be very special. Frail and skinny she seemed like a very calm cat when I first took her home.

When she met the dogs she wasn't afraid at all she bopped them on the nose and let them know she was the new boss around the house. After a bit of recovery I came to realize she was actually very high energy. Every time I leashed up the dogs for an adventure she would stand at the door and cry and try to follow us. I had heard of people walking cats on leashes, but hadn't tried much myself. The thought of taking a cat hiking or camping seemed crazy. I decided to give it a try and she loved it! There was no looking back for this former feral. Persephone went from homeless to avid hiker and we couldn't be happier that she found her way to our family.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Ironhorse Trailhead

Ironhorse Trailhead in Valencia, California is a bike trail that allows on leash dogs. It crosses a bridge and meets up with another trail that runs along a creek bed. It's a popular trail that has nice views and is a great place for walking dogs. It's an easy trail for beginners. If you're in the area and want to check it out it's located at 25331 Magic Mountain Pkwy. You can learn more here.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Antelope Valley Native American Museum

The Antelope Valley Native American Museum is a hidden gem in the desert. It's deceptively small on the outside, but once inside you will have plenty of educational displays to browse through. Don't miss out on climbing up a staircase built right into the rocks for more exhibits on the top floor of the museum. The authentic feel comes from turning a historical home into a museum so everyone can enjoy learning about this important piece of California history. I visited on a day when the rain was pelting down hard, but the docent said there are hiking trails open to visitors on the property as well. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed but this is one trip that is well worth leaving the pups at home for. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Placerita Nature Center

If you enjoy both history and hiking then I highly recommend you make a stop at Placerita Nature Center in Newhall, California. Nestled among the lush landscapes lies a hidden waterfall when the season is right. Add in historical homes, educational displays, a butterfly garden with fish and frogs and a tree from local legend and it adds up to a great place to spend a hour or two wandering with your pups. Besides the numerous hiking trails there are several displays on paved paths that are easily accessible. If you're in the area you won't be disappointed in making the trip here.
If you would like more information you can check out the official site click here. You can purchase some of my nature photography here.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Charlie Brown Farms

Charlie Brown Farms is an underrated spot in Littlerock, California in the Antelope Valley. It's a large and unique store that I could spend hours wandering around. You can go back time and again and still discover new things. They have every kind of gift and unique item for that hard to shop for person. Chocolate, jewelry, local honey, a bbq restaurant, garden decor. Here's just a glimpse of the things you can find there:
If you would like to learn more please click here to visit thewebsite.