Monday, May 29, 2017

Running away from the cold, Heading to Moab - Part 2 of 3

Since going west was looking to be snow and cold, we found ourselves going Southwest heading to Moab, Utah and to a couple National parks.
The trip through Denver with the trailer was interesting, I think it would be ok to skip a repeat of that!
The pass through the mountains on I70 was very beautiful. It was hard to keep my eyes on the road, so much to see! It was hard to keep my eyes off the road because for a while I couldn't see it, it was covered with heavy steam and the lanes were not visable!!!

The National parks are just a small part of Utah, a very good part but the whole area is great to explore!
We were very fortunate to get a camping spot since we didn't have any reservations.
When we left Denver Jan started searching for campgrounds and BLM land near Moab, It looked like there was going to be lots of options to find a cheap BLM spot but decided to do a 
campground the first night so we could check things out.
Jan found Kane Spings campground. They only had one spot open for one night, then they were booked through the weekend!
As things happen sometimes, the person in our spot canceled so we booked 3 more nights and then 3 more nights! We have never stayed in one spot for 7 nights on a trip like this, it was awesome!
It was interesting watching other campers come and go and listen to some of their adventures!
The weekend was pretty busy and we ended up sharing our spot with a young couple and their 2 great kids ages 3 and 1. Also met Cori and Greg from The Restles Youngs  they have been living in their motorhome on the right side of the picture for 5 years now!
We are quite envious of the full time travelers we met out on the road! The open road is pretty addictive!!!
More pics. of our campground and Pritchett canyon trail(right outside our door)
 These caves were above us in the campground and are available for camping, quite an unusual spot! 
 The dogs loved being able to run free!
Loved all the hiking I got to share with this lady!
 Jan and I and the dogs walked the canyon almost everyday!
Checking out the views on Kane creek rd
 Just sitting on a rock! People have asked why I am sitting in spots like this?? I have been climbing to high places since I was probably 3 yrs old, why stop now, I really enjoy the view and usually it's not very crowded!

 Kane Spring rd south of our campground.

 The Pritchett Canyon Jeep trail is rated at a #5 on a scale of 1-5 5 being the hardest so we got to see some pretty nice rigs coming through!

Lots of hiking to beautiful and unusual places!
 The path to Delicate arch, about 3hrs round trip, I liked this part of the trail, flat path with a 100' drop  on the right side:-) Jan did not like it so much:-(
 My dad passed away last December, normally I would call him every day from the road with our updates. I couldn't call him but the walking stick he carved was with me on many hikes!
 I had to get the right angle to get Jan alone with the Delicate arch!
The actual photo! It was a little busy but not to bad.

  I can't remember the name of this hike but it is the first one after coming into arches. We arrived late about 5:30pm so we had it almost to ourselves, it was amazing walking down in the bottom of the valley! With Roara the dinosaur!

The Rim trail above Moab, view from the edge.

 Jeeps everywhere! Fun watching these guys but I would have a hard time even being a passenger!
It's a lot steeper then the picture looks with a huge cliff on the side to role off!!

 Jake checking out Moab
We had so much fun exploring Arches that we really didn't do much more then a drive through of 

 At the Island in the Sky overlook, it would be interesting to drive the white rim trail that follows the edge of the lower canyon!
Just across the road from Canyon lands visitor center is an overlook where you can see the Shafer trail, an old mining road. We will have to take the drive next time!
I found a nice vantage point to check out the valley and road below, Jan wasn't excited about joining me, somebody has to take the pictures.

 Found a good place to meditate for a while!

 1500' to the bottom, heights have never bothered me to much as long as I am on something solid!
It's been on my bucket list to find some spots like this, Utah has many opportunities!
I had this spot to myself, no one wanted to join me:-)
Moab had a big car show going on for the weekend. Lots of interesting vehicles to check out!

Heading the other direction East and North, Leaving Moab, could easily stay here a few more weeks!
Picture taken by the Colorado river heading East from town.

North to Thermopolis!
Park 3 of 3 to come soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Going west or southwest? With Nellie - Part 1 of 3

After 30 years of working as a HVAC guy I convinced my employer to let me take a three week vacation, we are excited! We've been thinking about where to go for the last 6 months??? Texas was our first choice, visiting relatives and camping on the gulf but after watching the weather we decided 80-90 degrees was too hot! So maybe next year, leave earlier? Then we thought about hitting the big 5 national parts in Utah but decided that we need to plan farther ahead for that.
  Finally decided that going west and staying in the center of country would give us perfect temperatures and lots to see, so here we go! South Dakota,Wyoming,Utah,Nevada,California,Oregon and back, woohoo!
Friday night, we're on the way, 1st stop, made it to Minnesota!
Minneopa State park
The first campsite we picked lasted about 5 minutes till the man in the
next site started yelling at his dog and kids:-(
We moved as far away as we could, much better!
The  dogs were very happy to be joining us!

The Buffalo Gap Grasslands outside of Wall So. Dakota was Night #2 and our first time free camping on BLM land.
Alone in the wilderness! Somewhat!
We were 15 minutes from town!
This was a great way to start our trip! Definitely high on my list of best places to camp!
We hated to leave but we had country to see! 
Note: Not easy to get to if it has rained, road gets pretty muddy!

Night#3 Wind cave National Park,
Nice quiet place for an overnight stop. We will have to return and check out the cave!
After a long drive to southern Wyoming and very close to running out of gas!!
Night #4 our first Walmart sleepover, Cheyenne Wyoming
It was a pretty busy place but we sleep well, the dogs weren't bothered by the noise but it did help that it was raining ! We woke up in the morning to an inch of snow on the truck! We were up
early and on the road, heading south!

So it turns out weather is always changing and after we got into Wyoming we found ourselves waking up to and inch of snow on the truck and camper??

It is nice to have a home on wheels so we can move to the nicer weather! If we were to keep going West as planned we would have had 4plus days of snow and ice, that didn't sound appealing.

So we changed directions and headed to Utah! It was very nice to not have a set schedule!
We survived getting through Denver and had lunch with a view!
Some people take pictures with Flat Stanley, our granddaughter Nora sent her favorite
Dinosaur with us so Raura as we named him will show up in many pictures:-)
The scenery changed a little in the mountains above Denver! Beautiful drive!

Night #5 at Highline State park, following good weather is working well!
Left for Moab the next day and drove about 30 miles thinking I would fill up with gas at the neighboring town, no gas station there so not wanting to take the chance in the Utah dessert we turned around. I need a bigger gas tank on the next truck!

Thinking back to traveling with my parents when I was younger, Dad had dual gas tanks on his truck and a 100gallon propane tank, he could drive forever without worrying about running out, sometimes that was a problem when we needed a pitstop!

Now onto Moab,Utah!

Part 2 Coming soon!