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.

1 year And What Did We Do?

One year ago today we picked up our 26 ft 2020 Shadow Cruiser travel trailer and 2019 Ram truck. We didn’t know how much we would use it but definitely didn’t want to only use it 2 or 3 weekends a year. Well, THAT didn’t happen! 🙂

In one year:

*134 days camping

*26 trips

*7 states

*17,550 miles on the truck

From mountain lakes in Glacier National Park…

To stunning red rocks in the desert Southwest…

From wildfires in Montana…

To the aftermath of forest fires…

From watching our first horse race…

To the exhilarating thrill of stock car racing…

From camping with friends…

To being by ourselves, thinking, enjoying the rain…

From “someone” thinking he is Lewis & Clark on the trail…

To him thinking he owns a yacht…

From Utah mountain rivers…

To beauty that takes your breath away…

From food that always tastes better cooked outside…

To steaks as big as my head…

From the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache Mountains at 11, 949 ft in elevation…

To watching the sun set over the water…

From broken windows along the way…

To adventures I would never trade.

We aren’t stopping! Our travels continue. Thank you for reading our blog. We love sharing our travels with you.

There are more places to GO, things to SEE, adventures to DO, and life to EXPERIENCE.

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. 🙂

Checking out Arizona, part 3

Driving along and suddenly red rocks reaching for the sky. Sedona, AZ January 2021

Have you been to Sedona, Arizona? We have heard friends and family talk about this place but we hadn’t been there before this trip in January. It is a very beautiful place.

Our hike at Fay Canyon, Sedona, AZ January 2021

We drove through the town and finally found the visitor’s center. The gentleman gave us a good map, highlighted a plan for us, and gave a suggestion for lunch when we asked. We drove west to Fay Canyon and took the hike. The path was easy to follow and ended up in a box canyon. It was a beautiful hike with greenery, trees, red rocks and steep cliffs above us.

Fried ice cream! Sedona, AZ January 2021

El Rincon Restaurant, ” Arizona Style Mexican Cuisine” in the old Tiaquepaque Village was what the gentleman at the visitor’s center recommended. He was right on, it was delicious. We finished up with fried ice cream. Doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂

Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ January 2021
Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ January 2021

This beautiful chapel has a great story of why and how it became this place. Check it out: Chapel of the Holy Cross

Sedona, AZ January 2021

Sedona definitely left a great impression on us and we can’t wait to go back.

Checking out Arizona, part 2

Outside of Flagstaff, AZ. January 2021

One day we drove from Phoenix to Flagstaff. The drive goes through all sorts of different landscapes. From cactus, to evergreens, from flatland to mountains. Kevin and I like it all.

The famous Route 66 in Flagstaff, AZ. January 2021

We drove directly to the old downtown area. This is a favorite thing for us to do as you can see and learn history there. Here is Kevin (with mask on) standing on the Route. Behind him is a train depot with a small museum. Trains still use this track.

Best authentic Shepherd’s Pie, ever! January 2021

When we travel, we like to stay away from the food-chain restaurants and eat at local places. It took us quite a while to find a place open because 1. this wasn’t their busy season someone told us and 2. Covid had a lot of places closed. We found this place and we were delighted. The food was over the top of what we expected.

Shepherd’s Pie at Collins…I am ready to go there again! January 2021

Hang on, as I pause to remember this delicious, mouth-watered dish! Okay, moving on….

Arizona “Check it out” trip. Jan 15-24,2021

We like to learn the history of old towns and are always glad to see signs on the buildings describing their history. The Babbitt Brothers came from Ohio in 1886. They bought some land near Flagstaff (a wild and rowdy town of 600 people) and put some cattle and sheep on their land. They were very successful. The two brothers convinced the other 3 brothers to move there and they all started this mercantile store. Inside, you can see the tile on the ceilings and the floor is warped with time and use. Here is a link for more information on the Babbitt brothers:

Babbitt Brothers Information

We continued our walk and saw the Pinecone Hotel, the old opera house and many other buildings

Kevin shouts “A Maverick!” Camp Verde, AZ. January 2021

If you know Kevin at all, you know he “loves” his Diet Coke. And this convenient/gas station is his favorite. He was thrilled (translation: squealed like a kid at Christmas!) when we saw this Maverick Store along the road. Of course, we had to stop. And, he made me take his picture so that he can remember this good find. HAHA

Is A Town With Our Name A Place For Us?

8th – Days 34-50, Dec 18, 2020-Jan 3, 2021, St George, UT, Arizona, and Nevada

Harsh but beautiful desert Dolan Springs, AZ

Friday, I drove the truck while Kevin worked from the passenger seat. This works out well for us. We left at 8:00 am because we wanted to give the sun some time to warm up the roads. It was in the 20s when we left. Glad we are going to weather in the high 60s! Kevin’s work gave everyone a 1/2 day off today since they can’t have a Christmas party. I thought that was very nice. Stopped to pick up Carl’s Jr in Beaver for lunch and ate in the truck. Picked up our trailer at the storage. All looks good. After a setting up our campsite, site #9, we drove to Ace Hardware to get some screws for the name sign Kevin made for us.

Stockings are hung with hang sign Kevin made.

Then we went to Harmon’s Grocery Store. The traffic was pretty crazy, probably due to the weekend before xmas. Came back to camp and had hot dogs and Mac and cheese.

Beauty reflecting off our trailer during sunrise.

Saturday, we had a really fun drive. We are looking for a “home base” and Kevin found Dolan Springs in Arizona. We had decided to drive there. So, three hours south and oh it was fun. The scenery is beautiful with the rocks and desert. Las Vegas was easy to drive through. We wanted to get drinks at Boulder City but ended up driving through the whole town, which was fun. Picked up McDonalds and then took a few pictures with Lake Mead behind us.

Laughing with each other in front of Lake Mead.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Look at the different landscapes

Kevin’s input: Dolan Springs was a bust! Our thought right now is to have some land for a “home base” when we travel full time in the future. There are a lot of counties that restrict camping to so many days a year. Dolan Springs is in a county that does not have that restriction – and it shows. Although there were a few places that looked nice, the majority of them are run down. It looks like a place where mobile homes and trailers go to die. There were a lot of abandoned trailers with no windows. I am sure there are great people there, but it was not for us. With my namesake, I would have hoped for better.

Is this our future? The name is right. 🙂
Dolan Springs, AZ.

That evening we got to camp around 4:00 pm. I had made French Dip in the crockpot at home and had put it in Food Saver and froze it. We had French dip sandwiches for supper and it was very good.

Sunday, we didn’t know what we wanted to do. That morning we decided to drive through Zion National Park. It was stunning! Like before but with snow at the top. The park doesn’t have the shuttles running because it is “off season”. Well, they should have…it was so full the rangers blocked off the road to all the hikes and stops! It was okay, we drove on through the tunnel and out the east side of the park. We are amazed at how the landscape changes just “down the road a little bit.” So fun to see what it looks like around the bend.

Zion National Park. Fun watching what looked to be some people’s first snow.

I am setting up my camera and tri-pod, ready for the outstanding photo that will blow the world away. And then…SOMEONE steps in front right at the second I press click. Does he like to have his picture taken or perhaps he just likes to bug me? 🙂

I, Charla, have no words! 😉

We drove to Kanab and got ice cream at a gas station. Then on through Fredona. We remember stopping at Pipe Springs with my Aunt Goldie and Uncle Jim years ago. We though it was very interesting and had lots of history. Kevin and I passed the turn off and then turned around to go get his National Park Passport stamped. On the tiny road, I remembered that the Indian Reservation is extremely high with Covid. We turned back around when we saw a sign in the middle of the road saying no visitors. On through Colorado City and Hilldale. In Apple Valley we saw a “tiny home resort” and of course had to turn around to see it. The tiny houses are literally smaller than our trailer. HAHA The road down to Hurricane is fun: drops off quit a bit. We came back to camp and just read and watched movies. Dinner was corn dogs from a food truck that came to our RV park. It wasn’t what we thought the batter would be (sweet) but it was good. We were glad to support the truck.

Southern Utah RV Resort, St George, UT had a food truck. Yum!

Monday, Kevin and I both worked. Kevin sat outside most of the day. I was out there a lot but it was so bright it was hard to see the computer. The shower head broke this morning so we went to Walmart and got a new one. Plus I got a hand held vacuum and we got some groceries.

Tuesday, same thing as yesterday. We both worked. Kevin was able to sit outside most of the day. I sat inside. I enjoyed working from here. 🙂  In the evenings we watch RV youtube videos and it is fun. We also booked flights, hotel, and rental car for Phoenix, AZ Jan 15-24. Going to check out land, houses, communities, etc. 🙂 We are excited about our plans….

Wednesday, Happy 32nd Wedding Anniversary to us!  I finished all the things for work about midday. Last month, Kevin made reservations for us at Cliffside Restaurant, here in St George. We drove up there and it was still light out, since our reservation was at 5:45 pm. We were a little early but the view was great. At 5:30 pm they texted Kevin and said they were ready for us. (This is a new way since Covid: you wait in your car.) Oh, this restaurant surpassed all expectations! We got a table by the window and the view over the city and bluffs was stunning. The food was some of the best we have ever had! The flavors were out of this world. I had chicken fried chicken and the best mashed potatoes and dipping sauce ever. I tasted rosemary. Kevin had surf and turf. We had coconut shrimp for starter. The sauce had a lovely orange taste but not overpowering and not tart. We enjoyed our evening together.

Enjoying delicious food, great atmosphere, and stunning views for our 32nd Anniversary Dinner.

Next week… more exploring.

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.

More beauty

6th Trip – Day 18-27, Oct 16-25, 2020 Part 2

Sunday we have a humungous drive from St George/Leeds KOA to our next campground, Southern Utah RV Resort….15 miles! HAHAHA We took our time this morning and finished off the Blueberry Muffins. We didn’t cook outside at this campground. After a walk-about to a historic brick house that is on the property there, we left at check out time, 11:00. We decided to drive to Southern Utah RV Resort to see if we could check in early, otherwise, check in is at 2:00. Kevin said they were so nice and said we could check in now. This was at 11:15! This place is great, paved road, gravel sites. Large sites! Each has a tree growing but is small since this place just opened up last year. Lifetime brand picnic table. Nice grass with games, bath house, etc. We really really like this place! It would be hot in the summer but perfect right now.

Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

After we got all set up, we decided to drive to Kolob Canyon. It is the Northern part of Zion NP.  It is right off I-15. We stopped at the visitor’s center but it is closed due to Covid. The Ranger outside with his table of maps was nice; no charge that day to go in the canyon. We drove the 5 miles to the end and like this entire area, it is hard to describe the beauty. Lots of cedar trees but then jutting up to the sky would be these red rock cliffs. Incredible.

Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

We even got out and walked down a trail for a ways.

Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park, UT

When we were down there, hum, what should we do now. We looked at the map and picked Cedar Breaks National Monument. You go up the canyon out of Cedar City. And can I tell you, again, breathtaking!

The road to Cedar Breaks National Monument, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

These rocks were white, not red like Kolob and Zion. The Autumn leaves were full bloom with lots of yellows. The road goes up over 10,000 ft in elevation. At Cedar Breaks National Monument, the temp was a cold 50 with wind blowing quite hard. It was beauty to see, though.

10,333 ft elevation, 50 degrees, Cedar Breaks National Monument, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

It looks like Bryce Canyon. Kevin checked and we were at 10,333 ft above sea level. We are so happy we went on that road. At one side stop, you can see clear to the mountains near Virgin. I recognized it from the other end. 🙂 

Back at camp, Kevin cooked Philly cheesesteaks on the Griddle. No campfires in this campground but you can have propane. This campground is full and it has more huge motorhomes than we have seen elsewhere. Probably more of them than trailers.

Southern Utah RV Resort,St George, UT Oct 16-25, 2020

Next time…how to sew/quilt in a travel trailer! 🙂

South for the Winter

6th Trip- Day 18-27, Oct 16-25,2020 Fillmore KOA, St George/Leeds KOA, Southern Utah RV Resort PART 1 🙂

This trip started out as a baseball-watching trip. Our high school friend is a fantastic baseball player and we like to go to his games. He was to have a tournament with college scouts watching on Oct 15-18 in St George. Kevin and I decided we would go and watch and camp in our trailer. Well, why not stay longer while we are there! (This is common for us. HAHA) Let’s make it a week, with Kevin working during the days, and then add the two weekends. We found a campground that looked neat but they only had openings from Sunday to Sunday. So Kevin booked that and then we booked a KOA near Leeds. Then, the baseball games got canceled, due to Covid, but we didn’t hesitate, we are still going. 🙂 Since we didn’t need to rush to a ball game, I suggested we go 1/2 way on Friday night. That way we wouldn’t be setting up in the dark. Kevin liked that idea and made the changes.

Friday we left after Kevin got off work (both always antsy to get going with excitement!). We had a great drive to Fillmore KOA. We thought there would be more traffic, this being Fall Break, but we were just a head of it. The campground at Fillmore is really great. It is a Journey with beautiful grass at each site, water, electricity and a dump. We didn’t use the dump, being there just one night. Our site was at the back and opened up to open range. In our walk-about, we saw a lot of ATVs. Talked to one guy and he said it is a popular place for them up in the mountains. We didn’t have a fire that night but just relaxed. I had made Tortellini Salad and homemade Banana Bread for dinner. It was perfect.

Beautiful “backyard” and surrounding area. Fillmore, UT KOA.

Saturday, after relaxing and breakfast of homemade (at home) Blueberry Muffins, we headed out. On the way, we stopped at The Creamery in Beaver. We had stopped before. We ate cheese curds and grilled cheese/patty melt. Then we walked around the store a little bit and bought some Salsa Cheese Curds. Next was famous ice cream. We ate it outside. Everyone wore masks. As we were walking to the truck to leave, I got a horrible feeling in my stomach. Had to take some time in their bathroom. As I got in the truck, Kevin had the same feeling and took some time in their bathroom. We didn’t feel well for about an hour afterwards, although we continued on our way. I think it must have been all the rich cheese…and it is so good we ate it fast. Thankfully, we felt better later. Oh, right as we left, I felt I needed the bathroom again. Kevin pulled into a parking lot and opened the door of the trailer for me. I ended up not needing it but there is something to say about having your bathroom with you. HA

We checked in at St George/Leeds KOA (Hurricane address). It is our least favorite campground, so far. Very clean but the spaces are too close together. One spot we saw two slides literally inches apart from each other. We would stay there if we have to, but not really planning on it.

Too close to the neighbors! KOA Leeds, UT.

After setting up, we decided to take a drive. We drove through Hurricane (much much bigger than I thought!), on through Springdale, and ended up at ZION NATIONAL PARK! Now, last week I had researched and saw that you get tickets ahead of time for the shuttles. They are every hour throughout the day. They are $1.00. I clicked on it and found out that every hour, for all 10 days we are down here, were sold out! (Places like this have been extremely busy due to Covid and add to that, Fall Break. No worries, we had been here before. We went to the Visitor’s Center and Kevin got his National Park Passport stamped. Success!

Kevin getting his National Park Passport stamped. Zion National Park, UT.

He bought a huge mug and we got Zion masks. Then we drove the “tunnel road”and my gosh, the scenery was stunning. It was “golden hour” about 5:30pm and the setting sun made the rocks, mountains, trees, everything just glow with beauty. We went out the other side of the tunnel a ways and then turned back around. As we entered the 1.1 mile long tunnel, I was curious about the inside. It was built around 1930 and I wondered if the ceiling was curved or flat. So I took a picture…

Entering Mt. Carmel Tunnel at Zion National Park, 1.1 miles
Literal picture of INSIDE the tunnel! I still don’t know if the ceiling is curved or flat! 🙂

ZION NATIONAL PARK

Stunning landscape at Zion National Park, Utah.
The different layers of rock, sandstone, and trees.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park, Utah

We scored on our little “let’s go for a drive” big time! When we got back to the campground there was a trailer right next to us and so close we didn’t even feel like sitting outside. No worries, we were ready for bed.

Stay tuned for more about this great trip.

Short people problem!

5th trip – Day 14-17, Oct 2020, Brigham City/Perry KOA, Utah

My parents have been wanting to camp with us so I decided to set up this camping trip to include them.

Autumn leaf on campsite table.

Kevin and I stayed in our travel trailer and Mom & Dad rented a deluxe cabin there at KOA. There are smaller Kamping Kabins, but this one had a bathroom inside. We went up Thursday evening. Kevin and I have been to this campground at least three other times over the past years. We like it and remember wagon rides and ice cream socials. Well, those aren’t happening right now due to Covid. Mom & Dad’s cabin has a small stove and a fridge. She made her Baked Beans and brought them for Thursday night supper. I made corn muffins at home and brought them for this meal. We ate outside their cabin.

Charla’s parents & Kevin enjoying a fire.

Friday I played games with Mom & Dad. Friday evening Ben came up and stayed in the cabin. Meals were at our campsite table. We sat around our fire pit that evening.

Camping Brigham City/Perry KOA, UT Oct 8-11, 2020

Saturday we got in Mom & Dad’s van and Kevin drove us to Bear Lake. The idea was to see the Autumn leaves in Logan Canyon. They didn’t disappoint! So beautiful and all colors. While driving up there, I got a text from a friend. She and her husband were camping at Bear Lake but heading down the canyon while we were going up to have lunch with granddaughter at USU. For fun, we found their trailer, took a pic and sent it to them saying “No one is home.” They got a great kick out of it.  We didn’t drive too far around the lake. Drove back to Logan and had a picnic lunch of sandwiches that Mom and Kevin made that morning. We ate at a park just below USU main building. It was a lovely day.

Beautiful Logan Canyon

Traveler’s Quilt Book stop was at “Village Dry Goods” in Brigham City. I bought some fabric that is gray and white that says things like “sewing is my happy place.” The ladies tried to sign “thank you” but ended up signing “never” and I so appreciated their attempt.

Fabric store!

Dad wanted to stop at Smith’s & Edwards. It is the huge store mentioned in a previous post. Back to camp for naps. That evening Kevin made his now famous Smashburgers.

Who is ready for smashburgers? Me!

Mom got excited and told me she wants to buy a camper van.

“Kids” Terry & Barbara Kester, on their phones.

One day I went to use our bathroom in our trailer. “Someone” put the toilet paper on the top of the highest shelf in the bathroom. I can’t reach it! 🙂 THAT is a short person problem. Actually, it was a tall, husband problem because he got in trouble. HAHA What did I do? As soon as I was home, I bought a toilet paper stand for the bathroom. Problem solved 🙂

Someone is in trouble for placing the toilet paper on the highest shelf in the bathroom!

Sunday we had a nice relaxing and lazy morning. Then we all headed home.

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