Category Archives: Travel

2015 On the Road Again

We rolled out of Grand Junction with Aphrodite after a little problem.  The first time you open the garage after the winter you keep your fingers crossed, as there are just so many moving parts in one of these trailers.  So our morning started with the discovery of no battery life.  Being the rookies we still are and needing to get the trailer lined up to Thor we proceeded to hand crack the trailer up and up and up.  After many cranks we were hitched up and did discover that as soon as the trailer is plugged into Thor you have power and the electronic jack worked.  I must say that brought a big smile to both our faces.  It is so funny how the little things make such a difference when they work as designed.  The batteries are great now after 6 hours of driving today.  We will deal with this upon our return.

Our first trip of 2015 and it is a family camping trip.  I have 3 brothers and 2 sister in laws and here is how our adventure lays out.

Mike (my oldest brother) and Mary (Michiganders)-drove out to Colorado with their R-Pod trailer last week and we had a wonderful weekend in Colorado, a typical spring weekend.  Sun, snow, sun, snow.  They pulled out Monday for Moab and met up with my youngest brother (from Las Vegas).

Jim (brother 3) rented an RV and met them in Moab on Monday.

John (second oldest) and Cheryl (also Michiganders) flew to Phoenix and picked up their RV. They have an RV at home but didn’t have the time to drive 3 days out so chose to go this path of renting.

Here is our plan:

Tonight we are in Bryce Canyon with Mike, Mary and Jim.  We are here until Sunday and then we caravan to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  I have never seen the GC so super excited would be an understatement.

We look forward to sharing this family vacation with you.  We have not vacationed together since a trip to Walt Disney World which took place many, many years ago.  It has been a year in planning.  I can’t think of a greater adventure than doing a trip with family.

Our adventure has begun and I looking forward to laughing, sharing and together time with an amazing family.  Follow us as we explore this great country and share time together.

Jim and Mary’s RV Park Missoula MT

We arrived in Missoula yesterday at Jim and Mary's RV Park.  I am devoting a post to this location, because it is the most wonderful, lovely, peaceful RV park we have been at to date.  As you can see by the pictures they pay enormous attention to detail and even have their own greenhouse which they start all the flowers from seed.  This park is owned by a couple and they take real pride in the upkeep and care of the park.  We have come to appreicate how much work it takes to keep up an RV park.  If you ever get to Missoula and need a place to camp, stay here.  I wish we had another few days here, not only is Missoula a great town, this setting is worth staying for.   P1010631 P1010630 P1010632 P1010627

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Back Home

We arrived home today after putting Aprodite away until our next adventure.  Let's just say backing into a fixed garage is harder then a campsite.  And she was tucked safely away.  We were very glad we took on that part of our adventure when rested and fresh after only a two hour drive.  Next time we will know much more.  Arriving back home today unvieled winter once again.  Not unusual in May, but we were a bit surprised.  It had snowed here all weekend and everyone is expecting the mountain to re-open for skiing over Memorial Day.  Here is a look at what we came home to.   IMG_0128_2

Next up, Crested Butte for the July 4th weekend and then onto Montana with two other couples for some camping, hiking, fishing and time with great friends.  Until then thanks for coming along with us on this journey.    <just let go.jpg>

Final Day in Las Vegas

After a WINDY night last night (Aphrodite–she was a shakin') we started preparations to head back home tomorrow.  First, we went into Boulder City which is right next to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead for some breakfast at The Coffee Cup.  Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and DIves the food and service (and bloody marys) were great!

We then went to the Strip to meet Ginny's brother, Jim, for an early dinner.  We headed over to Bobby Flay's Burger Palace.  Likely the best burger we've ever had! BBP

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Vegas Sunrise Duathlon and Vegas Strip

We woke up to a lovely day for a race.  Today was Joe's first race of the season, a duathlon.  The race consisted of a 5k Run, 13 mile Bike and then finishing with a 5k Run.  He had a very good race, finishing second in his age group.  The course was challenging and the by the time he finished the temperature was already 90 degrees.     P1010557

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the day we made our way to the Strip, which always seems to be a true melting pot of the world.  We met up with my brother and walked over to the newest attraction on the Strip.  The LinQ and the  High Roller.  The High Roller is a observation wheel with pods that hold up to 40 people.  The wheel rises 550 feet above the Strip and gives views of the surrounding area for miles.  We all agreed doing this at night would be amazing.  We would highly recommend doing this next time you in Vegas, and get your tickets on line.  I have attached a few pictures to give you an idea of what the experience was like.  

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We took a walk down the strip to The Cosmopolitan for dinner at China Poblano.  A fusion between Chinese and Mexican.  We have been there 4 times for dinner and have enjoyed every dish ordered.  Jim was all set to enjoy the Brussel Sprouts, maybe even 2 orders.  Then, we search the menu and search the menu and no Brussel Sprouts-seasonal menu change.  The Brussel Sprouts have been replaced with Asparagus.  All in all we enjoyed our dinner as always and all agreed the Brussel Sprouts were better.  A nice night in Vegas.  Always fun, high energy and a total experience. IMG_0848

Bryce Canyon National Park: The Figure 8 Combination

DSCN1345With the winds finally calm this morning we set out for an early start on this hike.  A quick overview on Bryce Canyon National Park from the local park paper "The Hoodoo."  (Established in 1928 as a National Park, best known for the beautiful and bizarre rock spires called hoodoos and the dark night sky.  A Hoodoo is a pinnacle or odd-shaped rock left standing by the forces of erosion.)   DSCN1298The park itself is not large, the total area is 55 miles.  However, it is truly awe-inspiring.  We were guided to this hike by the ranger we spoke with yesterday.  It is a combination of the Queens Garden Loop, Navajo Loop and Peekaboo Loop for a total of 6.4 miles and 1,631 ft of evelvation change.  We encountered very few people during the majority of the hike (thanks in part to an early start).  We stopped at several points along the way because every corner gave you something else to view and it is truly like nothing we have seen thus far.  DSCN1325 A picnic lunch after and back to Aphrodite.  

Hell’s Backbone Grill – Boulder, UT

Yes, Boulder UTAH…not a typo.  A friend of ours, David, mentioned that he and his wife always route themselves through Boulder, Utah (population: 180) when they are driving back to Colorado when visiting relatives in Las Vegas.  We thought: what the heck could be in Boulder, Utah that would want you to drive an extra 4 hours and over an unnecessary 9,600' mountain pass on two lane roads to get home??

The answer: Hell's Backbone Grill.   DSCN1272Jen Castle and Blake Spalding are the owners and co-chefs.  They started the restaurant 15 years ago, along with their 6 acre farm.  They produce most of what's served in the restaurant including vegetables, herbs, meats, and chickens.  Almost everything else is sourced from other local farmers (like the eggs we had for breakfast before we hit the road that had those orange yolks you see in Europe).  We had a great dinner in the quaint dining room, then came back for breakfast the next morning. (Note for non-RV travelers: they are connected to the Boulder Mountain Lodge)

 

 

Camping accommodations were a bit–shall we say–interesting.  When we made our dinner reservation (by the way, it was packed on a Sunday night so if you go call ahead) we asked about camping.  They said that there really wasn't anything except the gas station has "a few hook-ups". DSCN1269 So…we called the gas station, they took our name, and we showed up. Sunday.  In Utah.  Everything's closed.  SO we went next door to the Anasazi Museum and the woman said to go aheaad and hook up, which we did. And we settled up with the nice folks Monday morning before we left.

Life's grand journey…we'll be back to Boulder. Utah, that is.