Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Salt Lake City

Well it is never hard for me to decide what city I like to spend the last part of vacation in.  I’m not sure what first attracted me to Salt Lake City, Don will probably tell you the shopping.  We’ve gotten so that this is a last stop on our way home in the spring.  Typically have stayed at Provo Lake State Park, on the far south side.  This year we decided for the purpose of our mad dash out the morning of departure that we would try a place on the far north end.  Every time we drive the I15 and see the signs for Willard Bay State Park we are curious, so this time we made a stop.  There are 2 areas to camp in, the South Marina and the North.  Although we stayed at the North, we would recommend the South.  They both have full services (North $30 and South $25 per night), but the biggest difference is the proximity to the highway.  The South Marina Campground is quite a distance out, and far quieter and secluded.  However we didn't explore the South until we were set up, and after boondocking for so long, the noise was going to be noise no matter where we settled!
We spent our time here trying to mentally transition into the trip home, and the weather cooperated by being downright ugly.  The fireplace went non stop to ward off not just the cool temperatures but also the damp form rain and SNOW!
We did make a tourist drive to Antelope Island State Park.  It honestly didn't seem like a place we would camp in but the scenery was lovely.  We did spot an antelope wandering but predominantly the wildlife were buffalo.




Well this blog ends our vacation.  We are ready to head home at least for awhile.  I don't think our summer is going to be as busy as last year, but never say never right?
I will try to keep you updated, but you know I am not too great at that.
Thanks for coming along with us again.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jeep Week is Over!

And that means it was time to move to Moab.  We really are creatures of habit, as once we find a spot to camp at we like, it is hard to change.  We stayed at Ken’s Lake which is a BLM site.  I won’t say there isn’t any boondocking near Moab, but none that fit our needs.  Some were too adventurous of a drive considering our habit of not being able to sit still, some were already packed full, and some were just not us.
Ken’s Lake is on the south side of Moab and only about 5 minutes from town.  A perfect location for exploring Arches National Park and surrounding areas, as well as evening wifi entertainment at McDonalds and a few stops at the Moab Brewery.
I guess I just summarized our stay here, but let me tell you about the hikes…
On a drive along the Colorado River one day we happened upon a road that said Fisher Towers, and a campground sign.  That was enough intrigue to lead us down the road.  While the campground was not for us, the road too bad and the sites too small, the trail called us.   It was absolutely phenomenal!  There is nothing like seeing these rocks and towers, and although I’m sure there are thousands of hikers who have viewed them, nothing is visible form the roads.  Wandering through the gentle red rocks, trailing around tower formations, climbing up crevice ladders, and ending at the perfect picnic site is beyond words.
The mightiest tower, the Titan, is a midway point.  This is a popular spot for climbers, and we observed some hearty souls that reached the summit and posed for photos.  On our way back to the trailhead Don spotted a couple whom he had taken some photos of.  He called out to them to show the photos and between their broken English and our total lack of German, we exchanged emails, and later sent the photos to them.  They were so grateful and excited, as they explained never did they expect to have a couples photo taken while climbing!
Although marked as moderate, this trail was pretty challenging for us, especially me.  Don may admit he is not the most comfortable with heights, but I am not the most comfortable with heights, climbing, walking on ledges and edges and sweating!  LOL  So it feels especially good to challenge ourselves and finish the hike.








Our last hike of this holiday was the Negro Bill Trail northeast of Moab.  This is a popular trail in the heat, as it winds along a creek bed and has fabulous tree coverage for shade.  It is rated moderate but is an easy moderate.  The gift at the end is the Moring Glory Natural Bridge.   The bridge has a 75 foot span, and provides a cool covered area to rest, or have lunch.  Natural bridges are so awe inspiring and this one a bit ore than orhers.  Hopefully the photos help you “get” that!










The rest of our time in Moab was spent driving exploring and laundry.  Yup that still needs to be done.
We are moving north to Salt Lake City today, and I will try to catch up before we leave for home.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moving Onward

Sometimes upward, sometimes downward, but always onward!
We decided to return to Sand Island Recreation Campground.  It’s on the San Juan River by Blanding Utah.  This is a dry camping area, but they have potable water.  It’s such a great location for discovering all the areas around, the only downfall is there is no close place to get wifi that is dependable or consistent.  Oh well.
We stayed here for 5 nights.  As seems normal in this area at this time, the days are hot and the nights are cool.  Which is the perfect conditions for boondocking.
We entertained ourselves by sightseeing and hiking.  For some reason when we are here we tend to take a day drive to Cortez Colorado.  Probably because it has a Super Walmart.  lol
We also took the opportunity to find a new hike.
There are many Mule Canyon hikes if you google them.  As we hiked on and on it became apparent we were not on the short House on Fire ruins walk.  We took the path less followed and travelled the South Fork Mule Canyon Hike.  It was a 9.2 mile hike with the final gift a breathtaking view of the Last Ruins.  Along the way were many other clusters of ruins, all accessible to visit and take some close ups of.  I really enjoyed this hike because the ruins were in a totally natural state.  Because no restoration had been attempted you could truly appreciate the craftsmanship and design.  Standing there it was easy to transport back in time and have a small feel for where the ancient people lived.  The canyon started with walls of about 80 feet, then grew taller the deeper you travelled.  It was one of best hikes this year.







Two years ago while staying here we hiked all the Natural Bridges in the Natural Bridges National Monuments Park.  It was one of our greatest accomplishments!  While we weren’t going to do them again, we still wanted to have a look from the top of the bridges, so we spent a day driving though and playing normal tourist – stopping at the bridges and taking the easy viewing paths to each one.





Again Bluff and Blanding served us well, and another place we will be back to.  There must be at least 4 more Mule Canyon hikes to visit!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Old Friends

Simon and Garfunkel have this great song.  This part of the lyrics are applicable to our visit today:
Time it was and what a time it was…
A time of innocence a time of confidences
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph preserve your memories
On Monday night after returning from our Devil’s Bridge hike I was browsing Facebook.  One of my friends had posted photos of her hike on the Devil’s Bridge trail that very same day.

I’m sure you have heard me talk about something similar in the past where I have been reunited with an old girlfriend, someone who was connected to me through who we dated in our early years?  After all I was pretty young when Don and I started dating and since we’ve been together ever since it shouldn’t be surprising that many of my girl friends from school dated a guy in our group or one of Don’s friends.

Anyhow, this time it was Robbie Westgard!  Robbie dated Don’s cousin back in the day, as well as we were one year apart in high school.  We have not had a face to face visit since before Don and I were married, so prior to 1980.  Other than that we are not exactly sure.  So after a few messages back and forth we decided to meet in Phoenix for lunch and a visit!

What a great visit it was!  Of course we only made it through a few memories and a couple of years of catching up, but the real thing about this sort of meet up is the flooding of memories of who you were and who you have become.  Yes people change of course we “grow up”, but the truly lovely personalities you remember are usually still there.  The smile, the laugh, and the joy in being who you are is what is shared again.

For me meeting these people from our past touches my soul, and takes me back to A time of innocence a time of confidence.  Just like listening to an old song.

Till next time Robbie and Ken…

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sedona You Own Me!

Honestly – I love this place.  Although the town itself is a bit crazy busy for our liking, the areas surrounding are amazing, our boondocking spot is one of our favorites (thanks Ivan), and the hiking is whatever you want.

We are so fabulous at boondocking, and we do enjoy it.  When you find a place like we are at, everything combines for perfection.  First the weather in Sedona is just so fair.  Although the days are hot, the evenings are cool and breezy, no need for air conditioning, heat, or anything in between.  Although there are several units here this year, boondockers are quiet and respectful people.

We finally had the opportunity to take in some “real” hikes.  This means boots, packs filled with water, and some sore feet.  The perfect combination.

Our first hike was the Cathedral Rock.  It was a nice trek until the end, where the expectation was to climb quite vertically up a crack in the mountain, to the top.  Don went as far as he could, I stopped at that point.  Besides a fear of coming down more than going up, I have a torn tendon in my shoulder that I am still being careful with.  A climb like that requires lots of draw on your arms and shoulders, and I didn’t want to risk it.  Nonetheless it was a great hike!






One day on a drive we came upon a sign for Tuzigoot National Monument.  Although we have been to Sedona many times, neither of us recalled checking it out, so we turned it.  Although it was a casual walk around, the monument itself is worth the stop.  I’ll let the pictures tell the story!









This visit our camp area had some colorful visitors, more than one early morning.  I will now never forget the sounds of a hot air balloon landing immediately adjacent to ur trailer.  The roaring bang of the propane heater at 6:45 am is quite the noise!  And the orange glow cast inside the trailer form the balloon being RIGHT beside us was a bit spooky.  I assume the pilot knew he was almost landing on us??  Apparently we are in the area that they land in a lot, based on three consecutive days of landing.  I will admit the last time was a bit tedious.  I have had a lot of Board meetings while away this year.  Two mornings in a row this stay, so the balloons only woke me once.




We were busy enough here that I will break the visit into two posts!

You won’t believe who is featured in the next one.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Devil's Bridge Trail

Well I really just wanted a simpler hike, and the attraction of a new natural
bridge was too strong to avoid.  Cited as easy in the trail guide I was reading,
which is no longer one I will use, it was an easy choice where to hike on
Monday.

The notes mentioned you needed a four wheel vehicle to get to the trail
head.  I think the folks who write these references should all have to start
with a class on some idea of consistency in descriptions.  We have been on ATV
trails that were supposed to be un-navigational for trucks, and now this “truck”
trail that ATV’s were sometimes struggling with.  The reason behind my whining
is that it added a LOT of distance to the hike.  But oh well right?  This was
after all an easy trail so final distance wasn’t a concern.  Apparently I was
born yesterday!  I always wondered.

Back to the trail.  It was an absolutely beautiful hike through trees and
rocks, and the ultimate prize – viewing the natural bridge – was more than worth
it.  So was the sense of accomplishment that always comes from finishing one of
our hikes.

Somewhere along the trail there was an old friend of ours.  We never
encountered her on the trail, but later the same day saw on Facebook they were
there.  That just teases you into the next post so stay tuned.

Meanwhile more amazing photos from my driver…