Just Chillin’ Weekend.

24th trip – days 126-128, Aug 13-15, 2021 Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT Aug 13-15, 2021

We picked this campground because Kevin is on call this weekend and we know the internet is great here. When we were here before, we enjoyed the luxurious campground and the adults-only heated swimming pool and hot tub. 

Friday, 08/13/21 Got a little later start this evening due to Kevin needing to do some more things for work. But that was just fine; didn’t bother us at all. We knew we were camping pretty close to home. Ah, this place is luxury personified. 🙂 Lots of green grass, picnic tables and our site backs up to beautiful trees with great shade. When we checked in, Kevin asked if there were any entertainment things going on this weekend. She said, no, because the guy who does it (setting up the movies, for example) broke his collar bone and some ribs. Ouch! Poor guy. While I was helping Kevin back in to our site, a worker driving a golf cart came up and started talking to me. I said, “I am deaf, please talk to him.” I was using our walkie talkie and so Kevin knew what was going on. The guy said they had two trailers booked for this spot and to wait. I saw the second trailer behind him. So we waited in the road for a few minutes. Then he came back and said everything is fine, He misread the paper and the other trailer goes in F3, we are in F2. No problem at all. He was very nice. We got backed in no problems. The F3 trailer is from Sandy and they are here for their boy’s 8th birthday, Grandparents were coming over to celebrate. We ate a simple meal of pasta salad that I made this morning. We also had a roll with it. We realized that we didn’t bring Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Coke and there was only 1 each in the fridge. After reading and playing on our laptops for awhile, we drove 5 minutes away to Walmart. As we went to check out, we saw there was 0 cashiers and no check out lanes open. Not one! The line of people was waiting for the self check out. How weird is that?! Of course we didn’t have cold drinks, so a stop at Maverick was a must. Kevin said inside there was only one person working. Made us wonder, is there not enough people working at Walmart and Maverick? Must be due to Covid. Back to HOWE, we sat in the shade under the trees at the back of the site and property. We didn’t feel like swimming but plan to tomorrow.

Enjoying Our Campsite.

Saturday 08/14/21 I had been feeling dizzy at times. It seems to be getting worse. Sometimes I have to take a step to the side to balance myself. Today we just rested. Kevin was on call and ending up on the phone for quite a while to help out some people. I enjoyed the time reading.

Chick’s Cafe in Heber, UT.

For lunch we went to Chick’s Cafe. My dad drives 40 minutes to eat here a couple of times. He said the Chicken Fried Steak is delicious. I tried it and he is right.

Who Is Hungry?

We ended up not swimming. The campsite next to us had a boy who was turning 8 and he was having a party with his family and friends. One of the family friends had to leave quickly because Parley’s Canyon caught and fire and they lived near there. Later, the parents offered us food and cake and ice cream. They said they had plenty because so many had to leave to check on the fire. They were so very nice. We had just eaten. Kevin cooked sausages, peppers, onions, and zucchini on the griddle. I was too full for dessert but Kevin had some. 🙂 

Sunday 08/15/21 I woke up at 5:00 AM with severe vertigo. I ended up sitting up in bed and not moving my head at all until the sun came up. I felt nauseous, too. Thankfully, I didn’t throw up. We headed home around 11:00 am.

Mining, Smoke “Stack”, and Fabric Store (Continuing Glacier Trip)

We left at 9:00 am and went to find a dump station. Kevin thought a large Maverick with RV bays would have one. Nope. We went down the road and the Love’s had one but it was so disgusting, Kevin wouldn’t even get out. (Good!) Went on down a bit farther to another place and they had a dump. $10 but that was fine. On the road by 10:00. That morning I had looked at a map and saw a road, MT Hwy 1, that went south to Philipsburg and then around to Anaconda. It is what Kevin and I “Louie L’More land”. He was a popular western writer. We can see the open range, mountains/hills behind with trees, open grass for grazing the cows and usually a canyon where we know the bad guys would come from. HAHAHA This road definitely had that. Philipsburg wasn’t much to see from the road but we drove into town and it is a happening, old-time place. The drive from here to Anaconda was breathtaking! Tall pine trees, but not dense, a lake, and a place we thought would be fun to have as a north home base. The town of Anaconda is bigger than we thought it would be. Due to narrow hills on both sides, it is long and narrow. We will come back to explore. Our campground is Fairmont RV Park. They are strict on the 5 mph rule and repeated it over and over in emails and at the office. It is all gravel, but level, with side yards of dried grass. We think there might be a mountain behind but can’t see due to the think smoke from wildfires. I fixed roast and packaged rice for supper. 

Wednesday 07/28/21 Breakfast is cinnamon rolls then off to Butte. Butte originated as a placer mining camp. Gold was discovered in 1864 on Silver Bow Creek near the south end of what is now Main Street.The gold was heavily alloyed with silver. I had researched and found a famous World Museum of Mining. The museum did a great job putting this place together, in our opinion. They have a mining town set up and quite a few of the buildings were the original buildings of what it represented. All the buildings are old and some were donated and turned into a certain business the town would have. I also noticed the sponsors mostly match the building. For example, the eye doctor building in the old town was sponsored by a current real eye doctor. I think that is very cool. They also have a lot of mining equipment and we climbed a tall Head Frame. We can see where the railroad cars would go into the small building and the rocks would drop in. We read on a sign that the mucker was invented by a man living in Park City, Utah.

Truck on the train rails at Western Mining Museum, Butte, Montana

We saw an old truck on a railroad track that has a wooden, open box looking thing on the back. It looks like you could raise the top. We decided it must be to reach wires and lines above the trains.

Cute name for a road! Western Mining Museum, Butte, Montana

One of the street names in this old town is “Enda The Road.” HAHA We asked the worker where she would recommend for lunch. She said Annie’s Cafe is her favorite and so we drove to Front St. Along the way we commented that Butte reminds us a lot of San Fransisco! Lots of steep hills and even saw garages with the house on top. We have had a problem in Montana! We have yet to have food that tastes 1/2 way decent. And we are still looking….. Annie’s Cafe was closed for vacation so we found on Google Hanging 5 Family Cafe. I had chicken fried steak and Kevin had a patty melt. Both tasted burned. Oh well. We drove around downtown Butte but didn’t get out. It looks like the buildings have been revitalized and yet has kept the old feel and architecture of old. Well done, Butte. Many of the houses have the same look and were well maintained. Not so much in the town of Walkersville that is an extension of Butte. We see lots of mining still going on. From here we head to Anaconda.

Hard to see through the smoke – Famous Anaconda Stack, Montana

The wildfire smoke was so thick that it looked like evening and cars had their lights on. We saw and looked up the “Stack”. During smelting, each of the furnaces would have it own stack. Later, they would connected through flues to a large central stack. In May 1918, the base of the “Big Stack” was completed, being 30 foot high octagonal base. The stack raises for the base elevation of 5,754 ft 585 feet to elevation of 6,339. Years later, the company moved smelting to another town and was going to tear it down. The people of Anaconda rallied and was able to save it. We wanted to see it and I found there is Anaconda Stack State Park. We put it in GPS and drove to it but the first road went right into the tailings. The second road came upon a “do not enter” company only and construction gate. So we turned around. We could see Stack in the distance. Kevin said an amazing thing: “I love you. I love being with you. No matter where we go and even if we are lost or can’t find something, we still have a great time, together.” OH my heart!! I feel the same way about him. We drove down the road and we see a parking lot with a large mining-bucket and decided to turn in. Would you believe, that is the State Park! HAHA So tiny. Anyway, we got out and walked around the small place. The neat thing is they have bricks and a small wall outlining the size and shape of the base and then the top of Stack. That gave a really good perspective. The big bucket we saw was taller than Kevin and was used to dump ore. After this came the fabric store.

Fabric Store in Anaconda, Montana

My “Traveler’s Quilt Book” listed The Upper Thread Embroidery and Fabric Room. The building was old and had a musty smell. I hope it isn’t in the fabric I bought. The ladies in the back were having their quilting time together, which they do every Wednesday. Kevin said they were chatting like long lost friends. So nice. I found 2 fabrics I like and then Kevin insisted I get one more. He is the best! As we were checking out, I saw a complete quilt kit for sale. I asked if the pattern for it is for sale. She looked and no, it isn’t. I ended up buying the entire kit and am pretty excited about it. It has farm things but the piecing is different and I like it.

Farm Quilt I Made For My Dad

(This is a picture of the quilt finished.)

Just a “Small” Ice Cream Cone! HAHA

Since I bought fabric, I told Kevin we should get some ice cream at the corner drug store. I kid you not, the ice cream on top of the waffle cone was almost as big as my head! I had huckleberry and Kevin had Carmel. So delicious and filling…that was our supper. 🙂 We went back to HOWE and changed into our swimming suits. Within walking distance is Fairmont Hot Springs. The springs/swimming isn’t open to the public but our campground had passes for it; we just had to pay $13. They have 4 pools, 2 inside, 2 outside and they are huge! The pool was 93 degrees with the hot pools 104. The hot pools were too hot for me that day but we sure enjoyed the pool. After an hour, a staff member told everyone to get out of the pool due to weather (lightning within 30 miles). I didn’t hear, because I am deaf, but was glad to look up and see Kevin motioning for me to get out. Back to HOWE for relaxation.

The next blog post will show Kevin thinking he is Lewis & Clark. 🙂

We Took A Vacation to Glacier National Park. Part 1.

22nd trip – days 105-122 July 16-Aug 1, 2021 VACATION Glacier National Park, Montana, Idaho, and Washington

We planned this vacation back in October. We thought it would be fun to see Glacier NP. While there, we could swing over to our great friends, Cathy and Dave, in Spokane. I had read from a blog that their favorite campground was West Glacier. Kevin and I looked at it online and booked it.

Friday 07/16/21 As usually, we left after Kevin got off work. We got into really slow traffic between Farmington and Layton, the same slow downs as last fall. Once we passed Ogden, it was smooth sailing and hardly any traffic. The sky looks yellowish due to wildfires in northern California and a big one in Oregon. But at least we can see the mountains. That would changed the farther north we go. Around Malad we got under some storm clouds. It didn’t rain on us but it cooled us down as the temperature outside had been 104. Just past Pocatello, ID, we entered the Indian Reservation named Fort Hall. Just off the freeway was Buffalo Meadow casino, hotel, and RV park. We were told to check in at the hotel main desk.

Fort Hall, ID open gate for a shortcut to the casino!

After checking in, we drove to the edge of casino and turned into the RV Park. This park only has about 17 spots. There was a beautiful green space, probably 2 acres, with a large Pavillion and picnic tables. We saw a large bathhouse but didn’t use it. We got parked easily in the pull through. The sites have dry grass and are narrow but a very good place to stop for the night. The site was so level, we didn’t even unhook the truck. Right behind us was the opening in the fence to go to the casino. I thought our friend, Cathy, would get a kick out of that!

Delicious food at Buffalo Meadow Casino

We decided to go in for dinner as we saw a bill board advertising the sports grill. We both thought it very clean and better than other casinos we have been in. Dinner is the sports bar was fried bread with stuff on it (in Utah it is called a Navaho taco). Delicious! Oh, when we were ordering, I pointed to what I wanted and said, “I don’t know how to pronounce this, how do you pronounce it?” And the nice waiter told me. Apparently. I am deaf and still don’t know how to pronounce it. Why do I forget and ask?! Deaf moment. 🙂 We were asleep by 9:00 pm because we both woke up at 4:30, 5:15, 5:30 etc this morning because we were so very excited for this trip.

Saturday 07/17/21 We woke up at 6:30 am and had a good sleep. With it being so smoky outside, we slept with the windows closed and the A/C on. Kevin said he would hear it kick on sometimes but other than that, we slept well. I wasn’t hungry but fixed a bagel for Kevin to eat in the truck. We pulled out, got gas and a drink at a gas station right next to the park. Then we were on the road by 7:00 am.  It was fun for Kevin to see a whole new-to-him state. The farther north we went, the smokier it got. We stopped at Dillon for gas and to walk around. Along the way, the actual interstate had gravel on it for miles. I remember this part I-15 being under construction clear back when I first came up with my friend to her parents, probably 6 years ago. There wasn’t a lot of vehicles on the road but a few passed us and boy did the gravel pelt the truck! The windshield even got a ding. 😦 On to I-90. The land is beautiful: dry with sage on one side and green pine trees on the other. Kevin listened to a book on tape and I just looked at the scenery. The day of travel time seemed to fly by.

Jim & Mary’s RV Park, Missoula, MT.

Our campground for the night is Jim & Mary’s RV Park in Missoula and we pulled in at 2:00 PM. Let me tell you, so far, our most favorite one. We are bemoaning the fact that we can’t stay here longer. We have never seen so many flowers, plants, statues, and garden displays. Kevin asked at the office and they said there are 4 couples who “workamp” (camp for free or discounted in exchange for doing work) here just on the grounds. 8 people. I can see how it would take all of them. There is even a green house here. We pull into our pull through site, C-10 and start setting up. I saw what I thought was a reflection in the big window. I continued doing my duty and then came back and looked and discovered the window was broken and about 1/3 of it was gone!

Thankful it wasn’t something worse than a broken window!

We knew exactly what happened. It was the gravel on the long stretch of I-15. Well, we both know that there are a lot of worse things that could happen. We went to the office to see if they knew of a window fixer but they didn’t.

Kevin calling places to see if they would come fix the window.

Kevin tried calling Safelite but was told to get online. Online we saw they only do windshields. By this time, we were hungry (we had snacked on peanut butter pretzels) and so we went in search of what the office recommended. First, we went to an RV parts place and got a cover for the back bumper (where you put the stinky hose) because we also noticed that the cover was gone today. HA He got the covers but they didn’t have anything to repair or tape up a window. We went to Iron Horse Bar & Grill. Kevin ordered fish & chips and I got nachos. The service was very bad, they brought my nachos out with japelpenos, I had requested none of those. I had to track down our waiter and tell him because he didn’t check on us after the kitchen brought out the food. We had to flag him down again for refills of drinks. And, the food wasn’t tasty at all. Disappointment. After we eat, we found an Ace Hardware, got gorilla tape and plastic and we both said we wanted to get back to HOWE.

Taping up the window with Gorilla Tape.

Kevin taped up the window inside and out. He decided to wait on covering it up with plastic.

The screen held all the pieces. That is fantastic! Outside all taped up.

We are very thankful the screen held all the pieces. Nothing came through inside! We drove down the road for gas, drinks and ice cream.

Relaxing and reading.

Back at the campground we sat in our chairs and enjoyed the tall pine trees, grass, and shade. Later we walked around this gorgeous flowered campground. Back when we first were coming into Missoula, I asked Kevin to watch to see if there was anything he wanted to go and do, since we were here so early. Then we discovered the broken window. He said I have to chose what to do next time. HAHAHA

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”
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