Home with a view!

We’ve enjoyed the past four days camped at Goosenecks State Park in Utah, but the itch to move on has set in.  adventureWith Moab a mere two hours up Highway 191, hubby and I hit the road but not before taking one final look around camp.  We find ourselves doing a quick recap of our stay at Goosenecks State Park and what made our stay so enjoyable;Goosenecks State Park

Socializing with our RV neighbors, Linda and MikeValley of the Gods

Exploring Valley of the GodsTrail of the Ancients

Touring the Trail of the AncientsMexican Hat

Discovering how the town of Mexican Hat got its nameSan Juan River Utah

Fearlessly enjoying inclement weather and high winds camped on an open, exposed mesaGoosenecks State Park

Enjoying sunrises and sunsets with a view that stretches endlessly.

Adventure and DiscoveryIt was such a positive and fun experience that Al and I feel this may just become a regular stopping point as our travels take us between Colorado and Arizona.  I will add it is very remote country; perhaps some might even use the word desolate to describe it.  Thus, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  However, it’s hard to dispute the beauty of the landscape.

After an uneventful scenic drive (we like uneventful), we arrived in Moab, Utah.  We originally planned to stay at Ken’s Lake Campground where we stayed last fall, but changed our minds wanting to explore new territory.  However, I would definitely recommend this BLM campground.  There are a bunch of sites that can accommodate almost any size RV and the internet connection was relatively good.

Hum, wherever shall we stay?  We found a large parking lot in Moab to park the RV while hubby and I set out in my truck….the “scout vehicle”…..and scout we did.  We already knew we didn’t want to stay in any of the BLM campgrounds along Highway 128 and thus we didn’t even bother checking them out on this trip.

Hwy 128 meanders along the Colorado River in a canyon and is very scenic.  However, the campgrounds are designed more for tents, pop up trailers, or small RV’s.  Of course, there are always a few sites that might accommodate larger RV’s, but they first need to be available.  Spring and fall are very popular times to visit Moab, Utah, and the BLM campgrounds fill up fast.   Finding an open site isn’t always easy.

Most of the campgrounds along Highway 128 are very tight and almost impossible for us to maneuver our truck pulling a 31 foot 5th wheel around.  That said, we skipped the BLM sites and ventured further north along U.S. 191 toward the Moab airport in search of a boondock spot. I’m looking for a home with a view!   FYI…….. Moab offers a ton of RV Parks with full hook-ups and lovely accommodation’s as well as plenty of hotels.  home with a view

We found a great spot about 15 miles north of town on state land with beautiful views in all directions.  This is popular Jeep and ATV country so one needs to embrace dirt, dust, and the vroom, vroom of engines to fully enjoy.  With amazing views and a nightly fee of nada, we were a couple of happy campers and most of the four-wheelers were rather respectful.  Yep, I found my home with a view and now it’s time to explore………camping in Moab

Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting

Woodall’s RV Owner’s Handbook, 4th Edition

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Crazy or Callous?

Ah, yes!  Another day of explorations unfolds.  It’s a beautiful spring morning in southern Utah.  Our journey today (April 3rd) has us taking a scenic drive which is part of Trail of the Ancients.  Trail of the Ancients is a National Scenic Byway located in the southern portions of the states of Colorado and Utah.

Gooseneck
Happily perched above the San Juan River at Goosenecks State Park – RV upper right

We began our day from our home at Goosenecks State Park then headed north on route 261.  It wasn’t long before the yellow signs appeared warning us of impending road conditions.  I had read about this stretch of road called the Moki Dugway from fellow bloggers and was prepared for a little white knuckle driving.Moki Dugway scenic byway scenic byway

The pavement quickly came to an end.  The 3 miles of gravel road along with its numerous switchbacks would take us 1,000 feet up to Cedar Mesa.  10% grades, no guardrails and tight switchbacks would’ve had this gal sweating bricks twenty some years ago…… regardless of the beautiful scenery.  Today?  No white knuckles, no sweating, no problem.  While asking hubby, “When do you think the really scary part of the drive will begin?” all of a sudden the road widened onto pavement and we had just completed the “Moki Dugway”  portion of Utah road 261.scenic road in Utah

scenic drives in Utah
Very well maintained road

Have I become immune to these types of roads?  Am I crazy or just callous?  The road was a piece of cake with my Tacoma and if we ‘had to’ and I mean really ‘had to’ we wouldn’t have any trouble pulling our RV up and over.  Marsha and Pam each photographed trucks pulling this pass.  Mind you, I don’t recommend it because the sign clearly states ‘not recommended’ and the road does get pretty narrow in spots. My point is, if you’ve ever spent much time driving the back country in a mountainous area this road is no big deal and the views are beautiful.  Over the past few years, I’ve driven some pretty dicey back country roads making the Moki Dugway look like a well maintained every day highway.  However, a flatlander may view it differently.

scenic byway moki dugway
lots of switchbacks

That said, I assure you twenty some years ago as we explored this part of Utah with 2 little kids and a dog in tow, I had a very different opinion.  Being a flatlander from Illinois and a city gal at that, this land made me feel very uncomfortable as well as these roads were not something I was accustomed to.Moki Dugway scenic drivephotographic scenic drives

The barren red rock, sparse vegetation, and consistent change in elevation made me feel like I was in another country, or rather on another planet.  There was plenty of discomfort and white knuckles the last time (mid 1990’s) we drove through this part of Utah.  Today?  Well, I seem to be in my element and loving it.trail of the ancients

The entire Trail of the Ancients Byway consists of approximately 480 miles (772 km). We’ve chosen a 100 mile (161 km) loop portion of the trail in Utah to explore.  Along the route are numerous opportunities to view archaeological, cultural, and historic sites highlighting Native Americans in the southwest. Trail of the Ancients

This scenic byway is considered a trail from the past to the future.  It encompasses the history of Ancestral Puebloans to nomadic Navajo, Apache, and Ute tribes to the impact of European settlers.  It’s the only scenic byway totally dedicated to archaeology and it’s necessary the traveler get out of the vehicle to truly experience everything the byway has to offer.   Knowing this, I originally had a bunch of stops planned along today’s route.  One of which was a hike to ‘House on Fire’ a unique ruin that photographed at the right time of day appears to be on fire.  Unfortunately, 30-40 mph sustained winds accompanied by 60+ gusts kept hubby and me comfortably confined to the vehicle.

ancient ruin
‘House on Fire’ ancient puebloan ruin. Photo courtesy of Linda; Bear Tracks Blog

Although we may have missed out on some amazing sites, the drive was never the less beautiful.  When we returned to Goosenecks State Park, we proceeded to share our info on Trail of the Ancients with Mike and Linda.  We  knew they were working their way north and we thought they might be interested in hiking to ‘house on fire’ and indeed they did.  Linda captured some great photos…..thanks Linda.

Next stop Moab…….

 

 

 

Valley of the Gods

From our perch 1,000 feet above the San Juan River at Goosenecks State Park, we awoke to another beautiful spring morning.  The winds during the night were mild, providing us with a wonderful night’s sleep.  After enjoying our coffee with a view, we decided to explore the surrounding area.red rocks and things to see in Utah

The day’s destination was Valley of the Gods.  This 17 mile gravel scenic drive took us through some of southern Utah’s stunning sandstone red rock formations similar to Monument Valley.red rock formations

We accessed Valley of the Gods on the valley’s eastern end which starts about nine miles north of the town of Mexican Hat along U.S. 163.  This gravel road is relatively well maintained and usually passable by normal vehicles in good dry weather.photographic drives in UtahAs we turned off of U.S. 163, the gravel road immediately dipped and we crossed Lime Creek, a seasonal wash.  Since we’d received some rain a few days earlier, there was indeed a small stream of water we needed to travel through…..piece of cake for my little truck or any other high clearance vehicle.scenic Utah red rockssandstone red rock formations in Utah

After crossing the stream, the road climbed up slightly and we were greeted with a stunning view as the vast valley opened before us.  There were tall sandstone rock formations as far as the eye could see.  These red mesas, buttes, cliffs, pinnacles, and monoliths form unique shapes.  Shapes that one can’t help but name because of the unique characters they seem to form.  The locals have name a few.

monoliths in Utah
Setting Hen Butte
seven sailors Valley of the Gods
Seven Sailors
photo of lady in a tub
lady in a tub

Valley of the Gods is managed by BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and as such, dispersed camping is allowed.  Many of the campsites we came across would comfortably fit just about any size RV.  Definitely a boondocking paradise.  The major obstacle in accessing this beautiful valley with a RV is that first big dip in the road at the entrance to the valley and crossing the wash that could be wet and muddy .  Entering from the west would not be an option because the road gets more difficult with dips, turns, switchbacks, and narrows the closer one gets to Utah route 261.

Valley of the Gods
a trailer boondocking. What a great campsite.
boondocking in Utah
Yep, I could call this home! Great fire ring. Although all the info says no fires are allowed and yet almost all the campsites seem to have a rock fire ring.

Al and I seriously contemplate boondocking in Valley of the Gods during our next time through this part of Utah.  That dip near the entrance may have us scrapping the bumper a little on the 5th wheel, but well worth waking up to these views.  Food for thought anyway and worth a second look 😉

boondocking dispersed camping in Utah
The road becomes less RV friendly the further west we head

Valley of the Gods

As the road winds through the valley, Al and I found ourselves stopping numerous times to take in the view.  We checked out various boondocking campsites and admired the red rock formations and scenery.  This is definitely a mini Monument Valley and what’s even better is the lack of restrictions.  Monument Valley is on Navajo land and thus regulated by the Navajo people with strict rules.photography in Utahscenic drives in UtahValley of the Gods is located on BLM land and offers us all the freedom to camp, hike, and explore to our hearts content with a few simple regulations.  Yes, Valley of the Gods is truly a hidden gem….. one we’re very glad we discovered.boondocking dispersed camping in Utah

scenic drives in Utah

Moon Utah (Moon Handbooks)

 

WordPress Photo Challenge: On Top

After 10 fabulous days in Moab, Utah, our travels took us to Grand Junction, Colorado. We arrived in GJ a couple of days ago and our days have been filled with repairs to the RV, catching up on laundry, bills, cleaning, etc. ” What fun”, she says sarcastically!

on top photo challenge
me… on top of the world; Canyonlands National Park, Utah

We’ll stay in Grand Junction for a month or two.  There’s lots for me to explore.  But for now, I’m super happy the water lines in the RV have been repaired.  New tires and a new wheel fender are on order from that blown tire damage.  It feels great getting the RV fixed.  A major cleaning is also on the schedule.

wordpress weekly photo challenge on top
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

I still have so much to share regarding our stay in Utah.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t ready to leave Moab, but we really needed to get to a bigger town to get all the materials necessary to repair the RV properly.

wordpress weekly photo challenge
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

In the meantime, when the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was posted I felt I couldn’t wait to share just a few of my Utah photos.  If you’ve ever visited Dead Horse Point State Park or Canyonlands National Park then you already know viewing the amazing vast scenery from the top of that mesa can make one feel like you’re on top of the world.  So here’s my take on the WordPress weekly photo challenge: On top ….. me feeling like I’m ‘On Top’ ….. on top of the world that is.wordpress weekly photo challenge on top

wordpress weekly photo challenge
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

 

Living on the Edge

Time for me to step away from the photo challenges and return to our travels…… After our grueling, nightmarish, eleven hour travel day, we arrived at Goosenecks State Park and quickly found a level area perched high above the San Juan River to park for the next four days. It was a brutal day and we were glad to finally make it to our destination.Adventure living on the edge

That said, we went to bed early that evening and fell into a deep, exhausted slumber. We awoke the next morning to a stunning sunrise that lit up the canyon. It was a beautiful morning with a clear blue sky. Yes, yesterday was in the past and a new day was unfolding.adventures in RVing

The stunning scenery before us was exactly what we needed to forget about the previous day’s mayhem….that and a little visiting with a fellow blogger.

Camping near Mexican Hat Utah
Camped near Mexican Hat, Utah…..guess where the towns name came from 😉

First, a little bit about Goosenecks State Park. The park is located in southeast Utah eight miles north of the town of Mexican Hat. To use the term State Park is a tad of a misnomer in my book. It’s predominately a scenic overlook with free dispersed camping. There are a couple of picnic tables, a vault toilet, and a few garbage cans. That’s it, but the view…..oh my gosh, it’s all about the view here; an endless view, one that seems to go on forever.Camping near the San Juan River

As you enter Goosenecks State Park, there’s a paved parking lot. Since this park is located along the Trail of the Ancients, this parking lot usually has a steady stream of vehicles coming and going. Thus, it’s not a good place to camp. The parking lot does expand with gravel past the restroom and that’s where we stayed during our first visit here 2 years ago.

This time we took a left at the parking lot and slowly drove over a very rocky, bumpy, dirt road, embedded with large rocks. We knew the further back we went the worse the road would get and after that blown tire we were a little apprehensive to venture down this road too far. We found a nice level spot near the edge (well, not too near) with a comfortable distance from the other RV’s already parked….a little boondock etiquette…..keep some distance.boondocking etiquette

We do use a generator and as a courtesy to others, we make sure we’re parked far enough away from those using solar or folks sleeping in tents. One day we hope to go solar and be generator free, but the budget just isn’t ready to go that route yet especially with new trailer tires on the horizon.

There’s plenty of room to find a spot and spread out.  The majority of folks are just passing through and spending one night.  However, our neighbors to the east and Al and I were planning on spending a few nights.  And just who are those neighbors?

boondocking etiquette
Linda and Mike’s motorhome in the distance

Linda and Mike from Bear Tracks Blog.  We weren’t totally sure if they’d be here or how much of our travels would overlap as each of us kept changing our schedules based on weather.  Don’t ya love that freedom…..freedom to come and go on a whim?  This gal is forever changing her mind……not – it was the weather changing it for us this time.  High winds, snow, and rain kept us in Phoenix an extra couple of days. Linda and Mike rearranged their plans as well due to high winds.

We had a feeling our paths would cross a few times during the month of April since our travels had us going to some of the same places, but we weren’t exactly sure where or when.  It was fun seeing them camped just down the road from us.boondocking

Did I already mention, there’s practically no internet connection here? There’s cell service providing you’re standing in the right spot, “Can you hear me now?” and we did manage to get a channel or two of TV via the antenna. Entertainment?  No problem.  These kids found activities to occupy themselves.

building a fire ring
Ingrid builds a fire ring
wood chopping
Al chops wood
happy hour Utah style
happy hour at Linda and Mike’s place
happy hour in Utah
Cheer’s Linda!
rock art
As we hike around the area we discover rock art by ancient civilizations – or rather a previous camper engaging in another form of entertainment

As beautiful as Goosenecks State Park is, there is a downside and that’s the weather.  You see, we’re sitting on a mesa 1,000 feet above the San Juan River.  There’s nothing protecting us from the grueling winds.  We ended up leaving the fifth wheel connected to the truck for extra stabilization and Linda and Mike pulled in two of their slides when a storm rolled through.  This location is NOT for the faint of heart.  The weather can turn quickly and it’s a long way down.

ominous skies
Ominous skies have us calling happy hour quits and we retreat to our rigs.
ominous skies
keep an eye on the sky!

After a very relaxing and uneventful (the gale force winds rocked us to sleep) four days, we bid farewell to Bear Tracks Blog and Goosenecks State Park.  Until we meet again.

Oops, I almost forgot about our scenic drive through Valley of the Gods……. that’ll be next!

living on the edge adventure
Can you see that white spec? That’s my home for a few days. Living on the edge! I’m glad I don’t sleep walk 🙂

 

 

Photo Challenge: Monument

When Friday’s photo challenge popped up and the subject was “monument”, I knew I had to post photos of Independence Monument.  Next week we’ll be back in Colorado and the Colorado National Monument will once again be in our backyard.

photo challenge monument
photo taken from the scenic Rim Rock Road. The town of Grand Junction seen in the distance

This monolith called ‘Independence Monument’ is probably the most photographed subject in the Colorado National Monument.  Every 4th of July, rock climbers scale this rock and erect an American Flag.colorado independence monumentLast summer, my sister-in-law and I hiked to the base of Independence Monument, something I had been wanting to do for a long time.  You can read about that 5 mile hike here.independence monument photo challengeYep, I’m looking forward to hiking in “the Monument” again real soon :-)hiking in colorado photo challengeFYI…..I’m not sure why I have ads popping up on my photos, but my apologies and I’m looking into it.  Next post, we’re back to our travels…..
Hikker HP-5 Anti-shock Hiking Pole, 2-pack

 

Photo Challenge: Clean

This week Cee’s Travel Theme photo challenge is; CLEANphoto challenge cleanphotography challengephotography challenge

Cee posted some beautiful shots of flowers with raindrops that indeed exemplifies the word clean.

 

 

 

 

 

Hum…..after a little pondering, I remembered all the birds along the Texas Gulf Coast cleaning and drying their wings.

 

 

 

How about the Turkey Vultures? They not only have cleaned and are now drying their wings, but earlier they cleaned up the dead duck in the middle of the road.photo challenge
photo challenge clean

Gulf Coast birdsI had a great time visiting the Texas Gulf Coast.  Although the beaches were beautiful, I fell in love with all the birds.  I’m hoping our travels will include regular visits to the Gulf Coast.

I’m still in Canyonlands National Park in Utah and surprisingly I do have internet, but weak at that.  Cold weather and rain is rolling in and today’s photo outing was less than stellar. 

I guess I’ll just have to hang around until the weather is more agreeable.  I know, it’s a tough job, but I’m up for the challenge………
Moon Arches & Canyonlands National Parks (Moon Handbooks)

 

 

 

 

 

Should’ve Stayed in Bed

flowering cactusThe sun was shining. There was a light breeze blowing off the lake. The desert plants seemed to have come alive after the drenching of rain the day before. Yep, it sure was a beautiful morning. Seemed like a great day to hit the road for our journey north.

Our stay in Phoenix was already longer than intended and we were definitely ready to move on. Normally I feel a sense of excitement on moving day. Not that day. Al and I both felt a sense of hesitation. Was it because we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Lake Pleasant or was it saying good-bye to our son? Neither one of us could pinpoint our lack of enthusiasm for those RV wheels rolling once again. But roll they did.

desert floraWe left Lake Pleasant in Phoenix, Arizona, shortly after 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 3rd. The first 145 mile, two-hour trek from Phoenix to Flagstaff required a 5,800 foot climb in elevation. Our F-250 pulls our 31 foot 5th wheel over mountain passes with ease. Al and I are accustomed to mountain driving and don’t shy away from steep grades (slope). As long as we stay on major highways or interstates, we’re comfortable and good to go.

In less than an hour, we’d climbed from 1,100 feet to 3,000 feet in elevation. Al’s bike fell part way off the bike rack dragging the hand grip and hand brake on the road pavement. Ok, the kind of damage that can easily be dealt with. With the bike secured, we continued our drive.trailer tires

It wasn’t but thirty minutes later and a trailer tire blew. Oh joy, what fun!!! Al pulls over and he and I assess the damage. I’m ready to call AAA or Good Sam Roadside Assistance, after all we do pay for these services, but Al stops me and informs me he’s going to change the tire himself. Really? After an hour and quite a few expletives later, we were on the road again. What a stud!

While he messes with the tire, I grab my packaging tape and begin to work my magic on the busted up wheel well fender.  We’re looking classy now!

Allow me to back track for a moment…… We had retrieved my little red truck from storing it for a couple of months in our son’s garage and thus that day we were traveling with two vehicles. Al and I were driving separately. As both trucks were parked along the very business Interstate 17, Al had sat in the passenger side seat of my truck while we discussed the plan. We needed air in the now mounted spare tire and the tire behind the one that blew before driving too far or we’d run into more problems and potentially blow another tire.

Since we’ve driven this stretch of I-17 more times than we can count, we’re very familiar with most of the exits and rest areas. Just ten minutes up the road is a Chevron gas station at the Camp Verde exit that we’ve used in the past. Al pulls up to the air pump. We plunk in 4 quarters for air.  It doesn’t even begin to inflate the tire. Those pay compressors rarely do. At this point, I can sense the slow simmer of frustration working up within Al. I recommend we grab a bite to eat.

desert lizardThere’s a Wendy’s attached to the Chevron gas station. We grab a meal, drinks, find a table, and proceed to eat in silence. Half way through our meal, a group of State Troopers entered the Wendy’s. Al lights up, excuses himself, and heads over to talk to one of the officers. Al returns to our table in better spirits and responds, “I know where to get air. There’s a tire store just up the road”.

The guys at Tire Pro Automotive in Camp Verde, Arizona, were awesome. The tech checked and filled all the tires on the 5th wheel, the F-250, and my Toyota Tacoma including our spares. The tech was also a wealth of information. We’ll be getting all new tires on the 5th wheel in a few weeks once we’re back in Colorado.

Whew…..finally on the road again. Al has me drive in the lead. I’m usually pretty good with directions and once I’ve driven a route I tend to remember it. To head up into Utah we need to take Highway 89 in Flagstaff. Well, there’s the 89 that goes through town and the bypass around town via I-40. The signs are clearly marked.

It’s now one o’clock in the afternoon. What should have been a two hour drive had taken us five hours. I had a brain fart fog and veered left onto business 89 and Al veered right to go around town. I called him on the two way radio and let him know I’ll figure it out and meet him on the other side. Once again that fog sets in and I get myself turned around and go to call Al on his cell phone to let him know not to worry. His phone rings under the passenger seat in my truck  #!?@!   Remember when he got in my vehicle to talk while dealing with the blown tire? Well his cell phone fell out of his pocket, down between the seats, and landed under the passenger seat. The two way radios are only good for 2 miles, and we were separated well beyond those 2 miles, thus he and I had lost communication with each other.free ranging cows

Could anything else go wrong? At this point, I’m saying to myself, “We should have stayed in bed”.

Al and I reconnected north of Flagstaff. Al was waiting for me at a pull-out and once I got closer the radios began to work again. We continued our trek to the town of Kayenta, Arizona, where we stopped for a quick dinner of sandwiches and a discussion on our destination.  We had originally planned on staying in Monument Valley and taking in the sights, but at this point we didn’t care about any red rock monoliths, spires, or buttes. They’ve been there a million years, they’ll still be there next year.  I just wanted to park my rear for a few days to decompress and I knew just the spot to do exactly that.

We first discovered Goosenecks State Park in southern Utah two years ago and decided that would be the perfect place to unwind. We pulled into Goosenecks after a very long eleven hour day. We left the rig and truck connected, put out the slides, grabbed a couple of margaritas, our chairs, and sat in silence as we watched the sunset over the expansive mesa.Goosenecks State Park

Oh, did I mention the two very close calls we experienced that day? First let me say, I hate the drive between Phoenix and Flagstaff via Interstate 17, but it’s the quickest and easiest route northbound; not a lot of other options. Since it’s the only north south interstate in northern Arizona it’s frequented by a lot of truck traffic, RV traffic, and traffic in general. Not all vehicles can handle the grades and thus travel 30 miles per hour (65 mph speed limit) as they slowly climb or descend the change in elevation…..I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  This creates bottle necks.  And then there’s the impatient driver with an engine that has no problem with the grades who likes to weave in and out of traffic testing their vehicles performance……zoom, zoom.  Slow trucks, fast cars, add in a mix of RV’s, lots of changing of the lanes, and you’ve got yourself one interesting drive.

That said, while uncomfortably parked along the interstate changing that tire, one of those impatient drivers cut off a semi truck. As the situation unfolded before me, I thought, “This is it. We’re going to be plowed into and killed instantly”. Thankfully, the disaster was narrowly averted due to a skilled truck driver.Gooseneck State Park

Later that day on highway 160 between Tuba City and Keyanta, Arizona, I managed to avoid a head on collision. I saw the oncoming pick-up truck in my lane a little too close for comfort and hit my brakes slowing way down. If I had not slowed that drastically……..? Due to a guardrail, I was unable to move to the side of the road, thus slowing was my only option.  I had no where to go.  Needless to say, Al was following me far enough behind that my braking had little impact on him, but the close call he witnessed had his heart skip a beat.

And now for the topper…….the blown tire damaged our water line.  We get to enjoy two weeks of dry camping with a leaking water line.  All part of the adventure……living the dream.  Dream? Nightmare?  All the same, eh!  Such is life.

Yep, cocktails, sunset, and hitting the hay asap….. Tomorrows another day!Valley of the GodsFYI….  we’re currently in Moab, Utah, and heading up into Canyonlands National Park for a week.  I will be without internet connection while in Canyonlands.  Catch y’all when I get back to Colorado and I’m reconnected 🙂  The adventure continues……

Mixed Emotions

When one lives a nomadic lifestyle, the time to move on is inevitable.  Eventually, we always embrace pulling up stakes and hitting the road in search of ‘greener pastures’. For Al and I that time has come. That itch to move on started presenting itself weeks ago. However, the down time was just what the doctor ordered.Phoenix ArizonaWe’ve been happily camped on the northwest side of Phoenix for the past six weeks allowing me the opportunity to recover from a nasty bout of the flu. The warm temps, blue skies, stunning sunsets, and wonderful company have rejuvenated me and I’m ready to hit the road.flowering cactusJust because I may be ready to hit the road doesn’t mean I don’t have mixed emotions about doing so. As much as I’m looking forward to our wheels rolling again, there’s a part of me sad and reluctant to leave. We’ve had the pleasure of connecting with some fantastic folks during this long stay in Phoenix, as well as managed to fit in plenty of visits with our son. The weather has been near perfect and the scenery very pleasant.

saguaro cactus
Hugs and kisses goodbye to everyone and everything I love in Phoenix

That said, we have mixed emotions as we bid farewell to Phoenix…..as we say so long dear friends…..toodles stunning sunsets….see ya later blooming cacti.….bye-bye wonderful son….adios Arizona….till we meet again.

Phoenix Arizona
This is the hardest part about leaving Phoenix – saying goodbye to our son

Tomorrow we’ll be pointing the RV in a northerly direction and venturing into some less than populated areas. Some might even call these areas remote. Let’s just say, internet and cell phone service will be hit and miss…..more miss than hit.

RV in Utah
Look where we’re going!

So today, Al and I sit in front of our computers making a plan….a plan with a backup and a backup to the backup and all jotted down on paper – hard copies. We have a tendency to still do things the ‘old school’ way – you know – an old fashioned atlas, paper maps, and real books.
Benchmark Utah Road & Recreation Atlas, 4th editionThe Benchmark Atlas’ are great.  We won’t travel off the interstate without one of these in the vehicle for the appropriate state.  They’re an invaluable tool for exploring.

The old way has served us well when modern technology is elusive and elusive it shall be.  We’re prepared to not be connected for the next two weeks…..eek blogging withdrawals!Arizona sunsetsWe have our route planned out, our camp spots pinned down, and hope the weather doesn’t play havoc with us. Fingers crossed!

Monument Valley
On the road again…Goin’ places that I’ve never been…Seein’ things that I may never see again…And I can’t wait to get on the road again….

Note:  I still enjoy ‘real’ books and knowing we won’t be connected for a while I like them even more.  I have the Kindle app downloaded on my laptop and went to read one of my books the other night and couldn’t.  Apparently I needed to download the latest Kindle version….. really?  Grrr!  Thank goodness I travel with some REAL books.  I pulled out one of my Moon Handbooks, the one for Utah.  I stumbled across these great travel books twenty some years ago long before our RV days or internet and recently I purchased up to date versions of several different states.  These books are small, they don’t take up much room, available on Kindle, and are packed with tons of info; sights to see, places to dine, available sleeping accommodation’s, maps, history, plus so much more.  These Moon Handbooks are a great resource for anyone who loves to travel ♥

Moon Utah (Moon Handbooks)