Thursday, October 30, 2014

Escape to Paradise

This time of year, it is usually still pitch black in the morning when Millie wakes me up for her nature’s call.  We stumble out of the rig into the expansive desert that is our boondock spot just outside of Canyonlands Needles District.

The sky is no longer awash with a carpet of stars, but rather, almost completely covered by clouds—all except the fringes along the horizon.  Could we be in for a fabulous sunrise today?  I head back to the RV for my camera and tripod and then set up to await the big show.

What a show it is (and a great way to start the day)!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Walk in the Park

After spending the summer “sitting and selling,” and knowing I will soon be spending some time with much more accomplished hikers, I decide to tackle one of the Canyonlands Needles District’s strenuous hikes to see what this flabby body can and cannot do.  I hear the voice of my friend Suzanne in my head “you can hike just about anything if you do it slow enough!”

So, just after sunrise, even though it’s still rather chilly outside, I open all the windows and roof vents of the RV for Millie, fill up my new Camelbak water bladder, tuck it into my daypack with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and away I go for the 10 minute drive over to the national park.

The Elephant Hill trailhead (where most of the hiking trails in the Needles start from), is not along the paved scenic road, but rather, down 3 miles of a 4-wheel drive road (fortunately, most cars can manage at least up to the parking lot—beyond that, though, the road becomes a hellishly difficult boulder-crawling Jeep road!). 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Finding a Needle in a Haystack

On our second morning camped on the Edge of the Abyss at Goosenecks State Park, Millie starts getting a bit more curious to snoop over the edge…

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Edge of the Abyss

After spending a week in Moab, by Saturday, I had learned one important rule—get out of town on the weekends in the peak Spring and Fall tourist seasons!  The town had seemed to triple in size virtually overnight!  Rather than fight the crowds at the national parks nearby, I pulled up stakes and headed out for a 4-day road-trip to explore the areas along Hwy 191 south of Moab (down to Southeast Utah).

No plan other than that.  No campground reservations for a Saturday night, just trusting that my Allstays Camp & RV app and my Escapees Days End Directory would lead me to some great available campsites!

We meandered our way down Hwy 191 checking out a few camps along the way, but Goldilocks was not finding the “it” campsite just yet.  But as we reached Goosenecks State Park as the sun was setting, “it” had most certainly been found!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Moab Behind the Scenes

Even if you’ve never been to Utah or have hiked Arches National Park, you likely have seen one of its most-famous destinations—Delicate Arch.  It’s image even adorns the Utah state license plate!

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(courtesy: Flickr.com – Romaine Guy)

After leaving Colorado, I had Moab, Utah in my sights.  Warm, sunny days in the upper 70s, pleasant nights in the low 50s, two amazing national parks (Arches & Canyonlands) to re-explore, and lots of brilliant red and orange Colorado River valley rocks to hike and photograph.  What’s not to love?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekend With the Aspens

Visiting the Vail Valley is always a bit of a challenge when driving an RV with a toad attached.  Fortunately, I arrived on Friday afternoon when most folks (and their cars!) were out and about.  I easily snagged a nice parking spot for the RV right in front of the house, but with overnight temps hovering around freezing, my brother’s fiance’ insisted Millie and I stay in the guest room in the house—so, I packed a little duffle bag and away we went for the weekend!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Not-So-Skinnie Winnie Summits the Rockies!

A couple months ago, I decided to finally get my ‘07 Winnie weighed at the nearby truck stop’s CAT scale.  Many other owners of the 1st-generation Sprinter have reported on the Yahoo View-Navion forum that their rigs routinely run a few hundred pounds over the GVWR, so I braced myself as the clerk handed me the printed weight report.

Monday, October 6, 2014

3..2..1…LIFT OFF!

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(web image)

It may have taken 6 months (rather than the 3 originally projected) to get every last item of my household either sold, donated, stored, or trashed, but the job finally, FINALLY got finished on the very last day of September.

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