June - July 2016
  • Day12

    Random Items

    June 28, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    * Excited to find composting in Grand Canyon NP. Disappointed to not find it anywhere else. Pains me to throw food scraps in the landfill!
    * It's so warm, I couldn't take off my wedding band if I wanted to!
    * Been planning for 20 years to buy a used RV and travel the country when we retired - this trip has only made that desire keener.
    * Bummed not to see a California condor...still hoping for a snake, any snake!!
    * Had fun with Mad Libs
    * Missed seeing Goblin Valley State Park, which I was really looking forward to. We missed the turn off and were way past it before we realized it, so wasn't worth backtracking that far...next time I guess!
    * Tough shaving in the tiny RV shower!
    * T-Mobile is dramatically optimistic on their coverage maps in northern AZ and southern UT! We've only had extremely modest connectivity.
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  • Day11

    Capitol Reef

    June 27, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Nineteen layers of rock - lifted up in the 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold. Now I know I'm the geeky daughter of a geeky geologist! Took hundreds of photos of the different types of rocks! Unfortunately, most of the hikes are only accessible off of unpaved roads, for vehicles 27' or under. Drove along the Scenic Drive - saw marmots, deer, and wild turkeys.

    Stopped to see Fremont petroglyphs, Pioneer cabin, school, and blacksmith shop in Fruita (L & I were able to find a few ripe apricots!), several beautiful vistas. Small, but great Nature Center for kids and watched the film at the Visitor Center.

    Arrived at our camp site, R & I went for a cooling swim while L & Tom set up camp and started a campfire. Roasted Polish sausages over the fire. Requisite smores to keep the natives from getting too restless. Lovely sunset over the rock face.

    This morning, we attended a geology talk at the Visitor Center, then the kids received Junior Ranger badge #6. Found out that there are several more these badge-hungry kids could have received, but we didn't know about them.
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  • Day11

    Sego Canyon

    June 27, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Twenty minutes detour to see some pretty astounding rock art panels. On BLM land, these groupings were from different time periods, pre- and post- arrival of white man, both petroglyphs and pictographs. Even what they called gringo-glyphs (from cowboys in the 1800s). Sad to see some had been ruined. I chastised a family from Colorado who had crossed the fence, climbed the wall, and touching the art. (Reported them to BLM too.)

    Would have liked to see the ghost town just beyond, but the gate was too narrow for our behemoth vehicle.
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  • Day11

    Departing Moab

    June 27, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Another slow morning - L played with a boy from Belgium (family is relocating to Michigan for work the next few years) while I made scrambled eggs. Refueled, replenished Tom's stock of lemon iced tea, and stopped for some local pasteries.

    Been three nice days in Moab. Wish we had longer - lots of adventure activities, museums, and hikes we could do nearby.

    Heading into the home stretch - only 5 more nights until we turn in the RV! Think we'll all be ready to head for home by then. Funny that each day seems really long, yet the trip is racing by!

    Only four more states left in the license plate game (AS, DE, ND, & WV - yep, even have Hawaii!) - most we've seen a lot of times! Pretty neat to see people from all over the country and world enjoying the same sites we are! :-)
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  • Day10

    Dead Horse State Park

    June 26, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Ending scene in Thelma & Louise - Susan Sarandon & Gina Davis, driving off the cliff. Great vistas of the wild geology around here. Legend is that cowboys corralled wild horses on the point, took the ones they wanted, leaving the rest to die of thirst. Really glad I don't live in the wild west!

    Occurred to me that our entire trip basically revolves around looking at rocks in one configuration or another. VERY different than the rocks in the Pacific NW that I grew up with - vast majority volcanic. As the child of a geologist, one could say that isn't all that surprising. However, had you told me 30 years ago that I would be voluntarily taking my kids to go look at a bunch of cool rocks, I would have told them they're crazy!

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  • Day10


    June 26, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

    Drove up a series of winding roads to the mesa top. Short video, handful of exhibits, demonstration of animal skulls, and rented audio CD for the canyon drive.

    Nice breeze as we hiked out to Mesa Arch (yes, another cool rock arch). Enjoyed a number of overlooks. Kids notched Junior Ranger badge #5! They're having fun with it and it really works when we need to keep them on trails or not climbing rocks! ;-)

    Looking forward to two days with a lot less hiking!

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  • Day10

    The Windows

    June 26, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    R getting hot, tired, and hungry. "We can do hard things," Final loop at Arches! This is a fun park and we really enjoyed it (R loves any rock he can climb - not the arches themselves of course!), although we're kind of 'arched out.'

    Picnic lunch and then on to Canyonlands!

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    Haha, love this one ~Iris

  • Day10

    Double Arch

    June 26, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Hard getting shots without random people in them. Look closely for R & Tom perched at the top. L & I were happily in the shade below. It's getting hot!

    I see the boys! Is that one of you further behind them in silhouette?

  • Day10

    Balanced Rock

    June 26, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Leisurely morning. Our first on this trip. Slept until after 8am, took our time getting going. Neat rock, seemingly defying gravity. Just a short 0.3 mile walk around the base. Parking getting difficult to find. Cars taken up all the RV slots, so we parked in a car spot (okay, two spots).

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    Debbie Smith

    Moab is my favorite place in the universe! So envious....but not of the temps!! You guys will never forget this amazing trip!!

  • Day9

    RV Update

    June 25, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

    RV has been working out well. Figured out most of the quirks. Big enough that we're not on top of one another. Surprised at how quickly I've become used to driving it - all except for the crazy long wheel base (found a few curbs!) A bit scary how wode we are and tough to remember we have mirrors oirlt anither 18". Speed around turns is critical. I even parallel parked the sucker! Only one bowl broken from bumps so far (I wasn't driving!) Have to be a bit clever, but all our gear fits fine. Not too impressed with Thor build quality - definite rental stock - but no major complaints. AC works well, which is priority #1 these days. Amazing how quickly it becomes a mess - somehow the kids aren't as concerned about putting things away. Tracking in red dirt every time we go in/out doesn't help either!

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