Sunday, September 29, 2013

6,371 Miles

We are almost back to Yuma, AZ where we will spend the winter trying to stay warm.  I used my Streets and Trips program to track our 2013 trip and to see how many miles we have traveled without any side trips or U-Turns.  6,371miles since we departed Charleston, South Carolina last March.  Our trip isn't over as we are meeting up with some friends here in Bullhead City but I am amazed at how wonderful this whole experience has been, how much we have learned, the beauty we have seen and the FUN!  Just plain FUN!  I really do love this lifestyle and am already thinking of the possibilities for next year!  Any suggestions???

Friday, September 27, 2013

Alignment


Remember the blowout we had a few days ago?  It really messed things up so yesterday we stopped at Red Rock Garage in St. George, UT and got both axles aligned.  He said they were in pretty bad shape and it was good that we did that as we would have ruined our beautiful new tires.  But, oh, that damage.  Isn't it awful?  Every time I am on that side of the rig and see that my heart skips a beat.  My poor home.  We are talking to the insurance company and hope to get it fixed soon.  

It is morning in Mesquite, NV and we will be on our way later to Las Vegas.  The time change got us up early this morning!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Utah



We finished Utah this week and are currently sitting in Mesquite, Nevada, where we will just stay for one night.

Utah was awesome!  I would come back in a heartbeat and if you haven’t visited you need to get this on your bucketlist!  I took more pictures than I want to admit too and choosing the ones for this blog was really difficult.  With our friends Ray and Lucy we toured parts of Zion and also Dixie National Forest.  Ray was the best driver in the world – he stopped about 50 or 60 times for Lucy and I to take pictures.  But the best awaited us at the top!  Cedar Breaks National Monument was awe inspiring!  And - the Aspen trees were beginning to turn since we were well over 10,000 feet! I don’t think I need to say much more – here are some photos. (Remember to CLICK on the pictures if you want to enlarge them!)

We also explored a small amount of Zion National Forest.  Kolob Canyon was a wonderful treat!  




Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blowout!

Yesterday wasn't the best day ever, that is for sure.  We started out from Yuba Lake State Park for the three hour drive to Cedar City, Utah.  The mountains and the views were gorgeous.  At the end of our little highway we merged onto Interstate 70 west.  Our altitude was pretty darned high - over 7,000 feet at times.

I was minding my own business and daydreaming when suddenly Kirby put on the blinker and the brakes and began to pull to the side of the freeway.  Of course I asked what the heck was going on and he replied - "Blowout". 

I was nervous about getting out of the truck on the freeway and even more nervous about going out to the other side to look at what used to be our tire.  What I saw was Unbelievable! I still can't believe the damage that was caused to our rig by the flapping of the rubber before it finally got Kirby's attention and we got stopped.
We got back into the cab with the flasher going click, click, click constantly and Kirby got on the phone with our insurance.  I do love cell phones!!!  What would we have done 30 years ago?  I will tell you.  I was about 18 years old in Colorado returning from work on a Saturday evening.  On the freeway I had some car problems (cars always broke down back then) and I was stuck on the side of the road.  Fortunately for me, there were houses backed up to the freeway.  I climbed a low fence, knocked on a door and used their phone to call home.  Those were the good old days.  No one murdered me or raped me....they only helped a stranger.

Anyway, back to yesterday.  Help arrived even sooner than we had been told it would.  Kirby had the spare ready so it wasn't long before we were Hitchin' to Go!

That is Mike from Sorensen Towing with Kirby.  He was very efficient, knowledgeable and pleasant and he got us going in no time at all!

Not far down the road at Beaver, UT we decided it would be a good thing to have all of the tires looked at.  We stopped at Beaver Tire and the guys there were all over us when they saw our poor beat up rig.  They showed us where all three of our remaining tires were bulging and ready to blow any time.  So scary!!  

Aren't we lucky - we got to buy 4 new tires for our less than year old RV.  I just want to thank Keystone and the rest of the RV community for selling us a tinker toy for an RV.  Oh, did I mention that the day before our sofa broke?  How, you ask, can a sofa break?  Easy - the front just falls off.

A very wise man once told me - "It is never as bad as it seems, and it is never as good as it seems".  James Ward, Charleston, SC

After getting settled in our space in Cedar City, UT we found a barbeque place right out on the street.  You know, one of the mobile ones, and had ourselves a great dinner of pulled pork and cole slaw.  And then we noticed a little fair going on across the street so we gathered up our energy and walked over.  Great artwork and fun people to talk to.  Our day wasn't so bad.  We were still able to go have fun and that is what it is all about for me.  "She who has the most fun wins!"  I am still winning!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Come, Travel With Us

(CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT)

We left Jordanelle State Park yesterday morning and headed southwest on highway 189 which curves through the mountains as it heads to Provo, UT.  It was so beautiful and the sun was in the right place for pictures.  So often it is wrong and shooting out the windshield doesn’t work at all.  But yesterday, it was good!  So, travel with us for a few pretty miles as we head for Yuba State Park.




I read the directions for Yuba SP on the ReserveAmerica website and found it on the map so we thought we knew where we were going.  Wrong!  We followed the signs from the freeway and found the park entrance.  The paved road pointed to Oasis Campground and the dirt road pointed to Painted Rocks – where we had a site reserved.  We both grumbled about pulling our 38 foot rig on a dirt road but took off for our destination.  Eventually we had to give up.  We had gone about 7 miles and ended up at nowhere….that road just kept on going.  It took a while to find a place to turn around but finally Kirby managed an amazing turn around in a tight place with soft sand.  Oh, not fun!  But he did it and we headed back the way we had come – very irritated!  I mean we were in the middle of NOWHERE!  Just look at this picture!
 As we headed back down the dirt road, I got out my map and started doing some research on where we could go since this was NOT going to work.  I visited the Utah State Parks website and looked at Yuba Lake.  They had different directions than the reservation system.  So, looking at that on the map I realized that the place we wanted, Painted Rocks, was on the OTHER side of the lake.  We made a big loop – on paved highway, not dirt, and finally we actually found where we were trying to get to all along.  It was pretty easy when you have the correct directions.

And, oh, am I glad we persevered!  Just look at our campsite!  And there is only one other camper here!  I am in love!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Park City, UT

 Fall is coming to the mountains.  It is time for us to go south!  We are near Park City ski resort in Utah at a state park called Jordanelle and the days are sort of cold.  I think yesterday it was maybe 67.  That is not terribly cold but it does remind us of what is coming so today we will head a little bit souther.We have enjoyed our quiet stay here.  Most of the campsites are empty and it is very quiet.  The area is lovely and we got to explore Park City.  I still can't believe what we did!

In order to entertain the summer people, make some money and provide a few jobs, Park City has installed some fun rides - and we did one!  We chose the Alpine Slide because I could control the speed.  I am a scardy cat for sure!
This picture was taken from the chair lift - which turned out to be the worst part of the whole thing.  I have a fear of heights and it seems to be getting worse as I get older.  If we are driving along a cliff on my side of the truck, I can't look down and sometimes I have to just close my eyes.  Ridiculous but it is the way it is.  So taking the chair lift was a huge challenge for myself.  I made it alive.  I did not fall out - but I did have sweaty palms and white knuckles! 

When we got up there we realized that we were expected to claim a glider and drag it to the starting gate.

And this is what a normal person looks like at the starting gate - excited!  (Excuse me - but Kirby is NOT normal!)
I am glad there is no picture of me - you would then have to see what terror looks like!  Well, Kirby went full bore the whole way and I drug on my brake so that the people who followed me in the track next to us (there are 4 tracks) were down and gone by the time I reached the finish line. Oh, well, I had fun my way!
I took this picture from the car later as we were driving around.  You can see the four tracks coming down the hill.  And, yes, I would do it again!  If I could just find another way to get to the top!

These are some photos from Jordanelle State Park.  Jake and I took a long walk one morning and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty. We were even treated to a rainbow!


This is a picture of our 5th wheel at our campsite.







Friday, September 13, 2013

Twin Falls, Idaho



Originally I planned to go to Twin Falls because I wanted to see Shoshone Falls.  I had read that it is considered the Niagara Falls of the west. Then we added in the wonderful treat of meeting up with our friends Lucy and Ray.  We hadn’t seen them since our New Orleans stop back in early April of this year. (They just finished up a trip to Alaska in their motorhome.) And then, after just a bit of research, I found out how much there really is to see in southern Idaho.  We met up with them at Anderson Camp RV Park near Twin Falls and spent two days playing tourist in the area.

Our first stop was to Minidoka Relocation Center which was used during World War II as an internment camp for the Japanese.  That visit weighed very heavy on our hearts as we read the history of Minidoka and the people who lived there.  It was heart wrenching.  If you want to read about it, a very good novel that I read recently is Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  It is a wonderful, bitter sweet story which really helped me to understand that bit of history.
(CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT)
Minidoka Relocation Center
There was not much to take pictures there but this building that is still standing was used to store cold items.  The places where the people lived were much worse.

Then it was on to Shoshone Falls!  This little water fall was on the side of the road.  This was a very dry year for Idaho so I would imagine that in a wet year this would really have been roaring. 
 I couldn’t believe it when we got to Shoshone – almost no water.  Like I said – a dry year.  But the views were magnificent and we enjoyed imagining the water.
This is the Snake River at the bottom of the falls

Shoshone Falls with almost no water flowing.
Just up from the falls was a small lake where we found this young man learning to fish.  He was so proud of his catch.
 And the guys didn’t mind sitting in the sun and waiting for us to wander around taking pictures.
 I didn’t want to miss the Perrine Bridge that crosses the Snake River right on the edge of Twin Falls.  What a wonderful view!  We have continued to cross the Snake River over and over.  We have camped on its banks too!  Definitely my favorite river!
The Snake River as viewed from Perrine Bridge
The next day we headed out again to explore.  We visited Malad Gorge State Park and drove all over marveling at the gorge that seemed to be almost hiding in the brush.
Lucy and Kirby at Malad Gorge State Park
We also were able to visit a State Fish Hatchery.  I wish they had given tours or at least had some information available.  There were tanks and tanks of fish with nothing to tell us about them.  I am wondering if these fish are Golden Trout.  If you know, please leave me a comment!
Our last stop was to see one of the Thousand Springs that are in the area.  The water just flows right out of the wall of the canyon.
Some of the Thousand Springs
Yesterday we arrived in Utah.  We are staying at Willard Bay State Park near Ogden.  Today will be a “just sit and goof off” day.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Juniper Campground, Swan Valley, Idaho

We were so pleased when we finally departed Star Valley, WY for Idaho and ended up at this wonderful campground!  Juniper Campground is about 3-4 miles off the highway so it is very quiet.  It is well kept and has very friendly hosts. And - this time of year - with school begun, there are very few people there.  We selected a site in the new pull-through area (Site C-12) and loved the quiet and the manicured grass...especially Jake....he loves grass! (CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT )
 Look at this - no one else in sight.  The sites were all lovely and I couldn't select a favorite.  The ones on the reservoir side of course were the best.
We found a little trail from our site to the bluff overlooking Ririe Reservoir.  Jake loved the whole thing and in the morning he found something that I never did see to chase after.  He loved it there!
This was so cute sitting in our barren campsite.

 This morning we took off to explore the whole campsite and the reservoir.  At the bottom of the camp we found a VERY steep road leading down to the water.  And then we found a trail leading around the perimeter.  Surely it will take us back to where we began - Kirby said.  Wrong.  I risked my life to get down there with him and then had to turn around and go back up.  It was VERY steep!  I was breathing very hard - but I made it!  And it really did feel good to know that this old body can still do that! Mostly we have spent the past 8 years on FLAT land.  Hills are very hard on this old lady.  Sometimes I wonder why I follow Kirby wherever he goes.  I have done that since day one with him.  Must have something to do with loving him.


 I loved this big rock and suggested to Jake that he climb up on it.  He did - and checked out the water too.  Doesn't it just make you think of Indians!!??
 At he very bottom of the reservoir there is a small marina.  I guess if you wanted to have a cooler and such, you would have to carry it all the way down there....it must be for younger folk than us!
Can you see what this picture is about.  They threw a lot of huge boulders down when the created the dam.  A stick got stuck between two of them and that is where is will be forever.

Loved this place and would go back in a flash.
Full hook-ups