How long is 9 Mile Canyon?

16th Trip- Days 74-76,  May 14-16, 2021, Castle Gate RV, Helper, UT

If cabin walls could talk. 9 Mile Canyon, UT May 14-16, 2021

Friday 05/14/21 Kevin and I decided to come back to this campground. We want to explore more of the area. Last time we were here we went to the museum and learned so much in the 3 hours we were there. What did Helper Help? This trip we want to explore 9 Mile Canyon. Now, a little bit about 9 Mile Canyon…it is 74 miles long! HAHA Cracks me up every time I think about the name. I hope to discover more about the name tomorrow. Today I went shopping and to lunch with my sewing friends. When I got home, Kevin already had the trailer hooked up and ready to go. I grabbed a few things and we were out the door. We stopped at Maverick for gas where gas prices have gone up. Now (May 14, 21) it is $3.39 a gallon. On the freeway, we had a gust of wind shake us. My eyes went huge, I am sure. But Kevin handled it greatly. Nice ride up Spanish Fork Canyon. Things are nice and green. It won’t be green for long, this is desert-y and the area is in a drought. It is pretty right now.

Hanging out with friends. Castle Gate RV Park, Helper, UT May 14-16, 2021

Our friends, Larry and Marcia have joined us on this camping trip. Kevin and I already had it booked when we invited them along. As luck would have it, they were able to reserve the camping spot right next to us. On the way to the campground, I got a text from Marcia saying it is so hot at the campground. I knew it would be hot in the summer but this weekend is extra hot. As we drove in, they were sitting outside in the shade from their trailer. This is a newer campground and the trees have not grown up yet. While we were eating, we saw a train pass. It had 6 engines in front and 2 at the end. Wow. Larry and Marcia fixed dinner tonight. They grilled potatoes and thick tenderloin steaks, salad, rolls and apples. Delicious! Kevin and Larry made a fire for us and we enjoyed sitting around the campfire. Hey, I just felt a rumble at me feet…Kevin said a train is going by. I am deaf but I can feel! 🙂

Moonlight and reflections on river. Castle Gate RV Park, Helper, UT May 14-16, 2021

Saturday 05/15/21 Speaking of feeling the train go by, I woke up this morning and was enjoying the morning in bed. I felt another rumble and told Kevin, “I felt somethings. Is it a big truck or a train?” He starts laughing his head off….”em, no, I farted.” 

We slept with some of the windows open and the cool air felt nice. But we are in a dirt/gravel campground and I noticed everything is covered in a layer of gritty dirt. OH well, I can clean. Kevin had set breakfast with Larry and Marcia for 9:00. At about 8:30, I had a “feeling” to get on the government website to check for tickets for Glacier National Park. See, there are so many people traveling the country now, and especially the national parks that several have instigated a rule that you have to purchase a ticket to get in. This is different from the entry fee. We looked it up a few weeks ago and yes, Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park requires this ticket. We got online a few days ago when it first opened. 60 days worth of tickets were sold out in minutes. I don’t think it is fair to not give the people with reservations to the campgrounds there first chance. We booked our campground last October. Well anyway, I had a feeling to get on this morning. Wouldn’t you know, the only date available and open this entire summer, 60 days out, was July 14. Well, we will be there the 18th. The ticket is good for 7 days so that will work for us to go on the end of those dates. We grabbed it and paid the $2.00. Whew! It was kind of scary. I have researched a lot of places in Montana and we could have gone to those places if Glacier didn’t work out for us. But glad it did.Grabbed the blueberry muffins I made at home, along with bananas and apples and went outside right at 9:00 for breakfast. The morning weather was calm and sunny. After breakfast, we got into Larry’s truck and drove to 9 Mile Canyon. Now just so you know, 9 Mile Canyon road is 74 miles! No one can tell me why it is named 9 instead of 74.

Petroglyphs, 9 Mile Canyon , UT May 14-16, 2021

The road is paved and unique because it has quite a few petroglyphs along the way. I picked up a free guide at the campground and we were able to learn a lot at each stop.

A balancing rock in 9 Mile Canyon, UT May 14-16, 2021

Besides the petroglyphs, there was a huge “balance rock” that looked like it could tumble at any time. I would guess it was the size of a truck. There was a lot of ranching and private property along the way.

Cabin in 9 Mile Canyon, UT May 14-16, 2021

If walls could talk!

Cabin at 9 Mile Canyon, UT May 14-16, 2021

We drove as far as Daddy Canyon, got out and walked the trail looking at more petroglyphs. There is also covered spot with 2 picnic tables. We ended up eating our lunch of sandwiches, chips and fruit.

9 Mile Canyon, UT May 14-16, 2021

This picture above shows Kevin and Larry. They think they are interpreters…not in the American Sign Language way, but in telling us the stories that the petroglyphs are saying. They were both very animated and the stories went on and on and on. Finally, Marcia and I just sat down. HAHAHA

Larry & Marcia, 9 Mile Canyon, UT May 14-16, 2021

I love how this our friends, Larry & Marcia, love each other. We see them holding hands whenever they are side by side. A beautiful sign of their love story.

We got back to camp around 3:00. All but me took naps. Later Marcia sent me a text that they were at the picnic table by the river and they had ice cream treats. Kevin bolted out of bed! HAHA We ate ice cream and played a few games. Then it was time to get dinner ready. It was my turn to fix the meal. We had green chili smashburgers, baked beans, zucchini and carrots, and funfeti cookies. Next was a campground walk-about for Kevin and me. Larry told us there were two Aliance travel trailers here and Kevin wanted to scope them out. Once back at our site, we joined Larry and Marcia in some games. At dark, we sat around the campfire. We started s’mores but the wind kicked up in a big way and us ladies went to our trailers.

Sunday, 05/16/21 Larry and Marcia made a delicious breakfast for us on his camp chef stove: eggs, bacon, and all the trimmings. Kevin and I got packed up afterwards and headed home. Larry and Marcia planned to leave the next day. We had a great time with them.

Larry & Marcia, Castle Gate RV Park, Helper, UT May 14-16, 2021

The weekend was great. We enjoyed good friends, good food, good campground, and good exploring.

Helper, UT May 14-16, 2021

Need an Oven Stretcher! Deaf & Hiking. A Blog is Born.

11th – Days 58-60, Mar 19-21, 2021, Zion River RV Resort, site 118

Friday 03/19/21 A year ago today I lost 100% of my hearing. It has kind of been a day of reflecting for me.

Camping, Zion River RV, Virgin, UT Mar 19-21, 2021

It was a beautiful drive, with outside temps 64-73. The traffic was lighter today, until we got past Cedar City. Then we had slow trucks passing slow trucks and it really bogged the traffic down. That is okay, though, because our only hurry was just the excitement to get to camp. Kevin knew we would need to air up at least one tire on HOWE when we picked it up at storage. It went pretty fast. Got to Zion River RV Resort and found our site. Due to Covid, the campground emails you the site and a map. It works out fine. Right behind our site is the Virgin River. It is still winter, and everything is dry. Of course, it is the desert too, but no leaves out yet. Kevin started setting up camp outside but the water wouldn’t hook up right. We got a new part from the campground office but it didn’t fix it. Kevin informed them at the office and they radioed someone who was at the campsite before we could even walk back. Took two people but they eventually got it working.

Nap time, Zion River RV, Virgin, UT Mar 19-21, 2021

Kevin, in the meantime, had a nice nap in his chair in the shade of the awning. We took a walk-about. Everyone is always so friendly and waves.

Facebook group RV Quilters sticker

Kevin put two stickers on HOWE for me – RV Quilters. We also have Escapees stickers but we can’t find them. Must have left them at home. We hadn’t eaten lunch, just some snacks on the drive down and we were getting hungry. So Kevin started a fire. Now mind you, it was fully daylight still. But we were hungry. We roasted hot dogs and they were delicious. We were afraid we would burn through all our wood before it was even dark! But alas, we still had fire when it got dark. Whew! HAHA

Saturday 03/20/21 Why do we sleep so well in HOWE? I don’t know, but we do. Breakfast was mini crumb cakes. Kevin still enjoys percolating his coffee every morning. For today, we thought about going on a hike. Before we came, we looked up some hiking trails on the app “All Trails”. We found one called “North Rim Trail” (7 miles) just south of Virgin. But this morning, as Kevin was reading up about it, he saw that it is a walking and bike trail. He was concerned, and rightly so, about me being deaf and how not to get run over! Apparently, bikers will announce they are coming up behind you and they expect you to get out of the way. Well, how does that work if you are deaf? Yikes, I shudder to think about it. Instead, Kevin found some hikes in Zion. We quickly looked up online to see if we could get a shuttle ticket. There was one ticket available…hum, who should take it. Just kidding. No worries, we would drive through and see if we could get a parking spot for a hike. Springdale, the town just outside of Zion National Park was a bit busier than we have seen the last few months. Lots of cars were parked outside of Zion with signs saying the parking lots in Zion were full and to take a city shuttle. We didn’t mind just driving through so went on through to the Visitor’s Center. The parking lot was completely full with vehicles driving up and down the lanes. We couldn’t believe that in the farthest lane, we found an empty parking spot! So thankful. Parking was so full that people would follow other people walking to cars and ask if they were leaving. Then they would stand in the parking spot until their vehicle got over there.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park, UT Mar 19-21, 2021

We looked at the map and decided on The Watchman Trail. This is listed as moderate 3.3 miles out and back. Armed with our walking sticks we took off. The trail was sand/dirt and started off along Virgin River. The hike was enjoyable. The trail is sand/rock/dirt and is narrow, two people can’t walk side by side. There were some switchbacks which make it fun to look at people right below you. It was quite a busy trail.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park, UT Mar 19-21, 2021

The end of the trail wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be. There wasn’t dramatic views of drops down the canyon or high walls of cliffs. In fact, it wasn’t any different than when we drive through Zion, but we are glad we took the hike. Speaking of hiking on a single path trail, Kevin walks in front of me. This is opposite and not normal to us because he would usually have me walk first so he can watch and protect me. Being deaf has changed that. If I am in front of him, I can’t hear him if he says stop to see the view or stop because someone wants to pass us. With him in front of me, I know that when he moves to the edge of the path, I need to move to the edge as well. Then I can look around and see why this move was needed. 🙂 See, we are getting this deaf-thing down. Incidentally, we get passed a lot when we walk. Kevin says we are “strollers” and just strolling along. 🙂 We take in the view and the journey. Hiking to us isn’t about the destination, it is the journey along the way.

Zion National Park, UT Mar 19-21, 2021

After the hike we ate our lunch of peanut butter sandwiches, chips, and cookies in the truck. The wind had started up and there was quite a bit of red dust blowing everywhere. We never get tired of driving Zion past the tunnel and back. So we did the drive again. As we went around a hairpin turn, we saw a lady standing in the other lane of the road, no seriously, IN the road, trying to take a picture of a group on the other side. She was stopping traffic because they couldn’t go around her with her in the middle of the lane. There were already 4 vehicles completely stopped as we passed. Take about laughing!! It took us a long time to get over that! We don’t know if she knew she was stopping traffic but didn’t care because she needed her picture, or if she was total oblivious. Either way, too funny. We drove back to our campsite.

I love to cook and it is especially fun in HOWE. I wanted a flat stone to put in the oven. I “LOVE” Pampered Chef and have a lot of their products at home and in HOWE. I bought a small pizza stone from Pampered Chef. I went to put it in and…oh no. Kevin said, ” We need an oven stretcher!”

We need to stretch the oven so the pizza stone fits! Mar 19-21, 2021

Talk about falling on the floor laughing! Yes, we need to stretch the oven so the pizza stone will fit in it. Of course, Faith Hayes, my Pampered Chef consultant, was great and texted me immediately on options of what to do. I appreciated her laughter and ideas. If you want/need anything from Pampered Chef, contact her: Faith Hayes, Pampered Chef

In texting with our sister-in-law, she mentioned how her and her husband would like to come down here and do they have cabins. We went to the office and asked and were able to book a cabin from them and a campsite for us right across the road. It will be Sept 23-26, 2021. The cancelation policy is $5.00 if we cancel within a week. Not bad at all.

Travel Means Life is born. The past few days, Kevin and I started talking about doing a blog over our travels. Several people have recommended it to us. We thought, why not? It would be fun. So after Kevin’s nap, we sat around the table and tried to come up with a cute fun name that would encompass us and who we are. We played with names for over an hour, typing them in to Word Press blog to find a name that hasn’t been taken. We liked the idea of have it a website with .com so that took even more time to find a name. travelmeanslife.com is what we decided and we are very excited about it.

I fixed spaghetti for supper. I had to cut the garlic bread in half to fit in the oven. HAHA It was still very windy outside so we ate inside. After supper the wind died down so we went outside and enjoyed the sun. As it got dark, Kevin made a fire. I never cease to marvel at how watching a fire can be so relaxing.

Relaxing campfire, Zion River RV, Virgin, UT Mar 19-21, 2021

Sunday 03/21/21 Disembarkment day. We didn’t want to think about having to leaving. We ate our crumb cakes for breakfast and learned more about blogs. 🙂 Since check out is at 11:00, we started getting packed up at 10:00. After putting HOWE in storage, I drove home while Kevin set up the blog. We are pretty exciting about it and hope people enjoy it.

Just Hanging Out

10th – Days 55-57, Mar 5-7, 2021, Southern Utah RV Resort

A man on top of his motorhome looking at the gorgeous sunset. St George, UT Mar 5-7, 2021

Kevin signed up for the online RV Fulltime conference from Escapees this weekend. We decided to just hang out at the campground this weekend so he can watch the conference. 

A beautiful, sunny day, with temps in the 50-71 as we drove to St George. We stopped at Maverick for gas, drinks, and ice. This is the first time I have used a cooler. With the warmer temps out side, I thought this is a safer way to get some food, instead of going to the store in St George. That way we wouldn’t have a lot leftover, since it is a short trip.

Kevin said it is fun to work on HOWE. He got new o-rings for the water at Harbor Freight. We ate pasta salad outside on the picnic table. Evening was spent outside enjoying the lovely evening. Oh, the day got to 81 here (it is March).

All day Kevin was watching the RV Fulltime conference. He really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I spent the time binge watching movies. I was outside and inside (sun got bright on the computer screen later). Breakfast was Blueberry muffins I made at home. Lunch was BBQ chicken sandwiches. Dessert is homemade molasses cookies. Supper Kevin made Smash Cheeseburgers on the Blackstone griddle. So delicious! Added stuffing on the side.

Kevin: The remote work virtual conference was really great! There is a RV club called Escapees. They have several sub-groups, and one of them is called Xscapers. This group is primarily people that work from their RV or want to work remotely. The conference was all about how to do that. There were sessions on internet connectivity, how to find remote jobs, challenges with being remote, etc. They finished off the days with some kind of social activity. They did very well at setting up the conference. I will attend another one if they do it. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming: (Charla)

At home, I put mayo, mustard, bbq sauce, and ketchup in little round containers, then put it in a Food Saver container that took the air out. It worked great. Our campsite has a very large green grass area right out our slide window. It is the dog park. HAHA I am quite entertained by watching big, burly men, scrawny little old ladies, and all in between pick up poop. Disgusting and funny.

Fun at Southern Utah RV Resort, St George, UT Mar 5-7, 2021

Tonight the campground had “Music on the Patio” and we were able to watch from the back of our campsite. It turned out to be singers with canned music but it looked like a lot of people were there dancing to the country music. It started at 7:00 and was still going past 11:00! So fun. I can imagine how fun it will be after Covid. Even though I am a deaf, I still enjoyed watching people enjoy the music.

Watching the set up for music at the campground. St George, UT Mar 5-7, 2021

Disembarkment Day. Breakfast of Blueberry muffins. We decided to take our time leaving. We talked about it and we don’t ever want to leave so we weren’t going to hurry up and leave. We waited until the last possible second to go. 🙂

Zion in February Rain

9th – Days 51-54, Feb 12-15, 2021, Zion River RV Resort

Zion National Park, Temple of Sinawava, Feb 12-15,2021

We have HOWE (pronounced, Howie, Home On Wheels) our travel trailer stored in St George, UT, for the winter. It is much warmer there from where our home is in the mountains. It is very easy to drive a few hours, pick it up from the storage site and go out camping. (As you can see, we are doing that at least once a month during the winter months.) When we went to hook HOWE up to the truck, the batteries wouldn’t work to raise the hitch. Thankfully, I have a smart honey who knew to plug HOWE into the truck tail and that used the power to raise it.  He noticed that everything in the storage compartment was sticky with an oily substance. Oh dear. It turns out it was cooking oil from a bottle that had leaked. We stopped at Tractor Supply Store in Hurricane where Kevin bought the blue shop disposable towels and more propane. He installed the magnet-thingy on the tanks that tell his iPhone how much propane is in the tank. (See post Do we have gas? for more information.) Everything else looks good and we got hooked up quickly. We headed to Zion River RV Resort in Virgin, UT which is very close to Zion National Park. This campground is rated as one of the top in the entire country for RV resorts. A few months ago when we drove past it, I thought it looked like a neat place to stay. When we saw our site, oh goodness, it looks small and it is a blindside back in. I got out to help Kevin back in. We saw across the narrow road, a lot of people sitting around. Kevin said to them, “Enjoy the show!HAHA” and several guys got up and asked if they could help. Yes, Kevin said, my wife is deaf so you would be a great help. They had a low trailer sticking out a little ways into the road so I think they felt bad and wanted to help. They were so helpful!!!! Kevin got it right where it needed to be with their help. The weather is low 60s and sunny. On the website I saw you can have campfires and I was pretty excited. But guess what…our site is within 25 ft of the propane tank so the fire pit is filled with cement. It is fine, later it was just a bit too chilly to have one, for me. 

As I was setting up the trailer, putting out the fresh towels, washcloths, making the bed and putting out the food, I realized that I took the entire 6 pack of paper towels home with us last time. (I am very careful when putting HOWE in storage to not to leave food, paper goods, etc out for mice.) Didn’t have a single one here. HAHA I am so glad that Kevin bought the BIG roll of blue shop towels. Those were our napkins for the week. 🙂

Looking towards Zion NP. Zion River RV Resort, Virgin, UT Feb 12-15,2021

Lots of people have had fires going every night. I fixed hamburger patties for supper. I thought there was green beans in Howe, but nope. HA So I added back beans. We ate outside on the picnic table.

Virgin River, Zion River RV Resort, Virgin, UT Feb 12-15,2021

We didn’t have any plans specifically to do for this trip. This morning, Kevin wanted to drive through Zion National Park again. I decided to check the Zion shuttle for tickets. Lo and behold they had some available! Kevin bought some ($1 each) for noon. It was overcast so we took coats. On the few miles from our campground to the entrance of Zion, we passed an older motorhome. Well, when we got to the entrance, of course we were in the slow lane and they passed us in the other lane. We laughed and laughed how they got into the park before us.

The Narrows in Zion National Park Feb 12-15,2021

As we rode up the canyon, it was raining. It made for stunning scenery!  So many of the black rocks were shining with slippery-ness. Even the red rocks, soaked with rain and wet, looked different than when dry, as in a deeper color of red/orange. We took the shuttle to the end and got off. It was raining but we had coats and hats. I had my cruise hat that is made of straw like material and would you believe, my glasses didn’t get a speck of rain on them. We walked the paved trail, more than a mile each way, to the end of the path where the Narrows start. This is the spot that you have to walk in the river to go farther.

Zion National Park Feb 12-15,2021

There are alerts for dangerous algae and posted signs not to get in the water. The walk is gorgeous with the rocks going straight up next to us. So tall, I couldn’t get it all in a picture. There was lots of red mud on the path but we didn’t slip or anything. We were able to skirt around all the water puddles…until the very last one. There was no way to go around it and so both feet got wet. That made us laugh because our feet had been dry the entire hour walking in the rain. 🙂 We jumped on the shuttle and went back to the visitor center.

Kevin: On the shuttle I was signing with Charla, and noticed a young family watching us. The Mom then said their children had a deaf student in class, with an interpreter. They knew a little bit of sign language. We tried to “talk” (sign) with them, but they were pretty shy. It is fun encountering people that have a desire to reach out and communicate.

Kevin had read about an old LDS church that had been converted into a pizza shop there in Springdale. Having only had sausage and eggs for breakfast, and cheese and nuts for snacks, we decided to go there for a late lunch. It was 2:30 PM; the sign on the door said it opened at 4:00 PM. Then we checked a steak restaurant and it didn’t open until 5:00 PM. Everywhere we went, it was closed. This was a surprise to us because there were people around who would eat. HA On the way out of Springdale I saw Stage Coach Grill & Saloon. We checked and it opened at 3:00 PM. We decided to wait in the truck for 1/2 hour til it opened. It was a disappointment, I rated my chicken fried steak at 3 stars; Kevin rated his “prime” steak at 2 stars.

View of Zion National Park from Stage Coach Grill, Springdale, UT Feb 12-15,2021

Back to the campground and boy, we enjoyed an afternoon walk. I spent about 3 hours booking places for us to camp from now until end of June. I enjoyed researching and finding places. Of course a lot of the state parks are fully booked out the 4 months.

Kevin worked on the batteries; it seems a cable was loose. The evening was spent doing what we do at home, watching movies and videos, playing games, read, visiting, etc. Absolutely perfect.

President’s Day. Disembarkment Day. 😦 We took our time getting up and around, but we sleep so well there that we wake up early some days. Kevin started on the outside and I did the inside. When we were backing the trailer into the storage spot, I did the usual thing where I FaceTime Kevin and then talk to him through that. Of course, I am deaf so he can’t talk to me but he can sign ASL. I asked if he could hear me and he signed yes. Backing him up, I said, “Driver’s side” pause “driver’s side” pause, then I started pointing to the side I wanted him to turn to. It turns out I was saying it wrong! I was suppose to be saying “passenger side”!  Poor Kevin was so confused and wondered if the mirror was flipped around since I was pointing the opposite way I was saying. We doubled over laughing. Then I said, “Back seat driver’s side!” Finally I just throw up my hands and said, “Come on back, you are doing it perfect.” ROFL Thankfully, the spot is nice and wide and there was no danger.

We talked later at how “off” things were this weekend. Not with us, not one bit, but it seemed more like first time out camper problems. 🙂 However, the scenery was gorgeous and we love being together. Thankfully the drive home was uneventful and the big snow that was warned about didn’t happen. Dry roads most of the way.

Part 3: Quilting, Relaxing, Reading, and Storage

6th Trip – Day 18-27. Oct 16-25, 2020

Monday Kevin woke up at 6:45 am, you know, he has a long commute! HAHA But as he was ready to log on to work and discovered he had left the charging cable at home. Off to Walmart he goes. Back quickly with a new one. He was kind and set up my sewing machine for me. I on one end of the table and he on the other. I love it!

Kevin working on one end and me sewing on the other.

Soon he was outside for the day working in his comfy camping chair. I had a lot of fun sewing in the trailer. I set up the cutting board on the end of the counter; plenty of room. It even has a plug right above for the iron.

My big kitchen allows for great space for quilting.

For lunch I made Steak Bites with Garlic Butter (recipe below). I came to realize that on Kevin’s work days, we should have our big meal at lunch because as soon as he is done with work, we want to be off exploring and not taking the time to cook and not come back starving. In the afternoon I sewed some more and read.

Working while at Southern Utah RV Resort, Camping St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

As soon as Kevin was done with work at 4:00 pm, we were in the truck. We went to Traveler’s Quilt Book stop Quilted Works. It was a small shop and I was surprised not a lot of xmas fabric. But I did find a darling one with snowmen and bought it.

Shopping for fabric. Can never have enough, right?

Then we went to what showed online as a used bookstore. It is called Book Bungalow. As the name says, it is in an old house, cute, but all new books. Kevin is interested in old books. Interesting, online we don’t find any used bookstores in this area.

We drove to Red Hills Desert Garden. This is a neat place where you can walk on and around red rocks that have been shaped from wind and water. Really fun place. We took out our walking sticks and did a bit of walking around. Kevin offered Costa Vida for supper and of course I couldn’t resist! (Otherwise, it was sandwiches.) We ate on our picnic table and enjoyed watching the sun go down and the moon come out.

Beauty from wind and water,Camping St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

Tuesday was incredibly relaxing. I did some quilting, reading and catching up on this diary. Kevin worked from outside. Lunch was French Dip. After work, we drove to a place in Hurricane called “Winder Towing.” They have a YouTube channel called Matt’s off -road Recovery. It is something that Kevin and his brother, Gary, have seen on YouTube and they laugh their heads off! As I understand it, if you need a tow, you get a free T-shirt with their logo. We went there because they have a little shop online and we thought he could buy some things from there. Every though we were there during the open hours and cars were in front, the door was locked.

Kevin and Gary watch YouTube videos of this place. He wanted to see it. Camping St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

Then we drove to Sand Hollow. I hear people talk about that place. It didn’t seem like much to us. Continued to drive along the east side of St George and around the south near the hotel we usually stay at. It is fun to drive around and just see life and houses. We went to Harmons Grocery for treats and bread and then back to camp. We were full from crackers and cheese I had taken with us. I read and Kevin watched some videos. We did a late night (9:30 PM!) walk-about and then went to bed.

Wednesday continued to be a relaxing and perfect weather day. For lunch I heated up the Chili Verde I made at home and we had it over tortilla chips. Yummy. That evening, I had to do a Zoom video conference meeting over the internet with the Department of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Council. Kevin got me all set up on his computer and I had my iPad for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). It worked well since I am deaf. Kevin went off to check out the storage place for our trailer that we rented. Afterwards, Kevin and I went on a walk-about and then came back and had sandwiches for supper at 7:00 PM. Enjoyed a lovely evening reading outside.

Thursday I was busy with emails with the Advisory Council and other things. I didn’t sew today but organized and edited a lot of pictures. I also read. Kevin is enjoying his work from his chair outside. 🙂 At 5:00 PM, we met our friend who goes to college here. We went to Angelica’s Mexican Restaurant. It was good food and fun to catch up with her. After dinner, Kevin and I drove around and looked at some campgrounds around here for ideas for next time. We found we really like Southern Utah RV Resort! Hey, look at the cool way the guy cleans the campground road:

This made us laugh. Riding that thingy and using the leave blower to clean the road.

We picked a name for our travel trailer. Since it is our Home On Wheels, we named it HOWE (pronounced How-ee). We even have the camping dates in our calendar listed under HOWE. HAHAHA

If you remember a few posts ago, we had decided to get a storage spot for HOWE in Southern Utah. This area is warmer and a place that Snowbirds (people who go south for the winter) like to be. Where we live, it is way too cold, too snowy, and most places in the mountains are closed because you can’t get there in the winter. So by having HOWE in the warmer area, we can drive there in a few hours and take it out and camp on long weekends, holidays, etc. Don’t worry, we will be camping in just a short time.

HOWE parked at storage. We can easily pull it out for camping soon.

*Steak Pieces in Garlic Butter Yumminess

(We made this on the Blackstone Griddle but this recipe shows cooking on a stove)

 1 1/4 lbs. steak, cut up into small pieces

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp butter

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp parsley, minced

Salt and Pepper


Over high heat, using a large pan, heat the olive oil. Season the steak with salt and pepper.

Place the meat in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir often so that each piece gets brown.

To the pan, add butter and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir so the sauce coats the meat.

Sprinkle the parsley over the meat and serve.

I can’t believe I said that! I am deaf!

I became 100% deaf a year ago, March 2020. So how do Kevin and I communicate when he is driving? How do I help him back up the trailer into a campsite when I can’t hear what he wants me to do? How do I help set up the trailer when I am on the other side of the trailer and can’t hear when someone asked for something? These are just a few of the questions that come up for someone who is deaf. I ask you, if you are a hearing person, please read on so that you can understand what is going on for deaf people. If you are hard of hearing or deaf, I hope you find a helpful hint or two here.

Kevin and I have an amazing relationship: married over 32 years, best friends, and truly part of each other. We get along incredible well and are each other’s favorite person to be with. So with all that, suddenly I am deaf and we can’t communicate while he is driving, or when I am driving, for that matter. I can’t look away from the road to see what he is signing (American Sign Language) and he can’t let go of the wheel to sign while driving. What is a couple to do? It wasn’t until October last year when we finally figured out something that would work. I have an app on my iPad called “AVA” that we have used before. It needed internet connection and that doesn’t work when you are camping and driving around the middle of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, for example. Around October, AVA company made it to work without internet connectivity. This opened up a whole new way for us. When Kevin is driving, I set the iPad on my lap and as he talks, AVA uses voice-to-text to type out his words. Now, believe me, it isn’t great and makes many mistakes including thinking we are swearing! 🙂 But it is better than no communication at all. While we have to start and stop the app often, it is fine because at least we can work on getting it right and thus having hours and hours of communication.

What about backing up the trailer? I call Kevin on FaceTime. He has the phone on the console in the truck but if he needs to communicate something with me, he can stop, pick it up and sign to me. I talk him through backing up. Instead of using “left/right” (which I think could be terribly confusing.) I say “driver’s side” or “passenger side” depending on which side I want the back of the trailer turned towards. It works out great for us. Well, except for one time! I was talking to him as he was backing up. I keep saying into FaceTime, “driver’s side” pause “driver’s side” pause “driver’s side (a little louder)! Then I start pointing because he isn’t putting the back of the trailer where it needs to go. Stop! I walk up to Kevin and he says he is so confused…did the mirrors get turned upside down because I am pointing in the opposite way I am talking. For goodness sake, I realize I had been saying the wrong side! So then I said, “Well….backseat DRIVER’s side?!” We were laughing so hard we were crying!!! Now don’t worry, this was backing up into a large storage space (we will tell you more about that when we get to October camping).

As for setting up or tearing down our campsite, I have found things that are helpful but don’t need to be talked about. I can set the chocks and stabilizers. Did you read the blog post about our first campground? My job then was just to stay out of the way. HAHA But now we have it down where I can help with a few things.

Now, here is the part where I can’t believe I said that!!!!! We will tell you more about this camping trip when we post about November but I will let you know this part now. 🙂 We were camping in Mesquite, NV and in November, it was a perfect warm place to be. We don’t eat out much because of Covid but in looking for a fabric store (squeal with excitement) we passed a Mexican restaurant with outdoor dining. We looked at each other, our eyes wide with excitement, as we both said we wanted to eat there that evening. Later that day, we went to this restaurant. The nice young man led us to our seats out on the patio. As he handed us the menus, I asked, “What do you recommend?” I kid you not! Sometimes I completely forget I am 100% deaf. This nice young man starts to rattle off what he recommends. I am trying to suppress a huge giggle and Kevin is about losing it, trying not to laugh. I nod politely as I assume he told me his recommendations. I was so glad Kevin was there to be able to answer follow up questions. We STILL laugh about this when we think about it.

Of course, losing one’s hearing isn’t all fun and games. It is life changing. I have jotted down little thoughts as I started down this journey of being deaf. Maybe I will share it sometime.

Sometime down the road, I will write about traveling on an airplane and tell you about being deaf and getting a wheelchair handed to me. 🙂

I would like to read any comments you have. Please comment below. Do you have questions about being deaf or hard of hearing? Are you deaf or hard of hearing and having ideas to share to help others who are traveling? Comment below. Thank you.

Fabric Store and a Bridge

I started a new hobby in Feb. 2020. It is quilting. My friend told me fabric stores in different parts of the country will often have a section of fabric MATCHING their surrounding area. (For example, a fabric store in the Southwest of the USA might have more fabric that shows a southwestern theme.) She showed me a book she used when they traveled around the country. The book has a new updated edition often. It is called Quilters Travel Companion and shows fabric stores from every state. Kevin bought me the latest edition and we decided that we “must” look up a fabric store in the places we travel. 🙂 This book is how we came upon the idea to stop at Rupert, Idaho. I had looked up the store on the map a few days before and saw there is only parallel parking in front of the store so we knew we would need to park a few blocks away since we were pulling our travel trailer. It being a Saturday, it wasn’t a problem to park farther away in an industrial area. The Gathering Place boasts 10,000 sq feet of fabric. Of course I found a cute Autumn fabric to buy. 🙂 Kevin liked this store a lot…he could relax while I looked around!

Kevin is happy The Gathering Place fabric store has a comfy chair!
Continue reading “Fabric Store and a Bridge”

We almost sold it!

1st – Day 1-4, Sept 4-7, 2020 On the way to Craters of the Moon. Idaho

It was so hard to wait for Kevin to get off work because we were both so excited for our first camping trip in our new trailer. The second he was done, we were out of here. As Kevin was driving, the truck would seem to float and at some times seemed like it was picked up and when the front came down, it might almost be in a different lane. It was really bad when the road was rough. The ride was so bumpy. He had to slow down quite a bit. I thought we would just have to camp very close to home because it was so hard for Kevin to drive and almost made me motion sick. We were both disappointed. Maybe we just need to sell the trailer?!

Charla, staying out of the way!

We stayed at Aspen Grove Campground in Tremonton, UT. We pulled into the campground and was shown to our site. It is fairly new so the trees weren’t grown. No campfires allowed. I guess because it is in the middle of the town and maybe people would not like the smoke? I don’t know. But that was fine with us. Kevin got electricity and water all set up and I did my job…stay out of the way!

Why do I need to stay out of the way? Well, how do you ask someone on the other side of the trailer to do something when she is deaf and can’t hear? HAHA It is easier for him to do the set up then run around, find me, sign (American Sign Language) to me, and then go about what he was doing. 🙂 Once Kevin had the hoses, cords, chocks, and stabilizers all set up I was able to set up inside. This being our first night out in our trailer I had made a pasta salad at home and put in the fridge. We ate outside in our camp chairs. After supper, we decided to go for a walk and look for geocaches. Downtown Tremonton has some neat old buildings. Because of Covid, we weren’t able to go into them but hope to at some point down the road. I was able to take a picture of a very old building. The center park was pretty. We only found one of a chain of geocaches but that was fine with us. We enjoyed the walk. Went back to the trailer and sat outside as it got dark. Our trailer bed is a queen and so so so comfortable! I couldn’t believe it. We both slept great.

The next morning, after bagels and coffee/hot chocolate, Kevin emptied the black tank (holds stuff from the toilet) and gray tank (holds the water from the sinks). He noticed they were very full for how little we used them. Then we were on our way. Immediately we could tell a difference in how the truck felt. It turns out…the gray and black tanks were full! The RV place had filled them to check for leaks but didn’t empty them and didn’t tell us. THAT is why it was such an uncomfortable ride!! HAHAH Whew, we were so relieved we were giddy. We don’t have to sell it!! The rest of the drive was smooth and we could go faster.

Next stop…Idaho.

I wonder what this building used to be used for. Tremonton, UT

1st camping spot. Tremonton, UT.

What? I can’t hear you!

Covid 19 in 2020 was and continues to be a big deal to everyone. I don’t need to tell you about it because everyone in the entire world experienced the “shutting down” of life as we knew it. On March 19, 2020, I experienced something different. I became 100% deaf. I was Hard of Hearing (HoH) for several years. I was deaf without my hearing aids but with lipreading and the aids, if I could hear the cadence of the voice, I did pretty well. But all that changed on that day. Thankfully, we knew this would happen at some point but were a bit shocked it came earlier than we had hoped. Over the past few years we have been learning American Sign Language. What a blessing! Kevin and I are still able to communicate by using this beautiful language.

Below is a picture of me watching a movie on my iPad. I have to have the closed captions on. Sometimes they help but sometimes they are a mess!

The fun logs is the balcony of Daniel’s Summit Lodge. We spent a great weekend here including lots of walks in the mountains, relaxation, and even our first time on Razors. Whoa, what a blast!

Be sure to follow along because I will be sharing tips, tricks, and my experiences as I navigate this world and traveling while being deaf.

Technomadia

Adventures in Nomadic Serendipity

Changing Lanes

Full Time RV Living

WatsonsWander

Go, See, Do, Experience!