NASCAR stands for National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.
Sunday 03/06/22 NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway! We had watched some RVers on Youtube and saw that they camped AT the race. That looks like a lot of fun. A few weeks ago, we decided to get tickets. Not for camping, as we didn’t know the set up for work and such.
Off we went early in the morning. Got to the speedway with ease since we were early. The race starts at 12:30 but we were there at 10:00. Fun to walk around the Fan Zone outside the gates and see all that was going on. Then inside, we walked the length and saw a lot of food vendors.
We found our seats…literally on the very end of the entire seating and next to the last from the top. Seats 1 and 2, row 81. We thought these were perfect as we could see the entire race track. Thankfully, no one sat in the three rows in front of us so the view was completely clear. Later, we both commented on how both of us thought we would see some rowdy and drunk people. But we didn’t see anyone like that at all. Kevin said the price of beer was too much to get drunk on. HAHA It was clean, the bathrooms spotless, there were stadium seats with armrests and they were clean. Very impressed.
For lunch, Kevin got one sausage dog with peppers and onions on it on a regular bun. It cost $13! I got pizza and we didn’t even look to see how much that was. HAHA
The race was great. Everyone had ear protection on. Of course being deaf, I couldn’t hear the engines but I could feel it and it was incredible. It felt like a big ole pipe organ, playing a chord of low notes and it would swell and get bigger and bigger. I loved it!
We didn’t have anyone we wanted to win so we picked #11, FedEx, since Kevin receives and sends a ton of stuff with them for work. #11 was doing great..until he blew the transmission lap 219 or so (out of 267).
We decided to leave after the FedEx car was out. Where did we go? Well, don’t forget to read last week’s blog to see where we went after the race. Kevin wanted a desk! 🙂
Sunday 03/06/22 Kevin wants a desk! There isn’t space in HOWE (our name for our travel trailer – Home On WhEels) to have a desk so he works from the dining room table. Since we are now traveling Full-Time, a desk would be much better. Kevin has been researching travel trailers the whole year we have been learning about Full-Time. He found he likes Alliance the best. This day we went to NASCAR Race in Las Vegas. (I will tell you more about that in the next blog.) When we left the race Kevin had me look up Johnnie Walker RV in Las Vegas. He had found them online last night and they have Alliances for sale. I was sure they wouldn’t be open on a Sunday but they were. They closed at 5:00 and this was about 4:00. We stopped in, told them we knew they closed soon, and we just wanted to see the Alliances they had. Robert, the salesman, took us to see them. They had the floor plan we were interested in. Alliance Avenue 32RSL. We looked at it and ah man, soooo beautiful! Light and bright with tons of windows. Truly, our dream floor plan, too. Oh my gosh, from what we see, it is everything we want. The back has a huge couch but we will take that out and put in a large desk for Kevin to work. Robert took us to the office and ran some numbers. Pretty soon, we were filling out all the paperwork. Done! HAHA We left, got in the car, looked at each other and said, “What did we just do?” Laughing our heads off!!! But oh no, we don’t have a truck big enough to pull it because it is a 35 ft 3 inches long, 5th Wheel. Last night, he had also found online a Ram truck, 3500, diesel, long bed, with a 5th Wheel hitch in Kingman, AZ.
Monday 03/07/22 We went to Martin Swanty Ram in Kingman. The truck that Kevin found online was sitting right there for us. 🙂 Chuck was a good salesman. He had on jeans, boots, a Car-Hart jacket, and a hat. Looked like he just came in from the farm. HAHA He gave us the keys and let us test drive it. It is the truck for us and we bought it. We didn’t have a Wells Fargo check with us so they said for us to take the truck home and bring a check tomorrow. Wow! As we left, I asked them their favorite place to eat. Chuck said LaCatina Mexican is his wife’s favorite and she would eat there every week. So we went there, just down the road from the dealership. The food was fine.
Tuesday 03/08/22 Called Robert and told him that we got the truck and have new insurance for the new truck and new HOWE. He said it would be ready for pick up on Monday. Then I thought about campgrounds. If you have been reading along (thanks!) you know that we booked a campground in Flagstaff for a base this summer. It is much cooler than other parts of Arizona and we want to explorer Northern Arizona. It seems that “most” (slight exaggeration!) people in Arizona camp in Flagstaff for the summer! I had a hard time finding a place even though we were booking it back in February. I remember when Kevin booked the one in Flagstaff, they had told him it was a small site, but wide. He called and there is no way a 35 ft 5th Wheel will fit in the site and they had all the other sites filled. I had a little panic as I knew all the other places around we had called were full. I found a few places and since I am deaf Kevin called them. All full. You can be on the waiting list, #12. No thanks. Thankfully the campground in Flagstaff called us a few days later and had a bigger site for us. Next was to talk to our current campground named Deseret View RV in Needles, CA. We were able to get a bigger site. So very thankful how things are working out. It is just amazing.
Later in the day, we back to Kingman. Stopped and picked up our mail. Kevin got a “Employee Appreciation” box from his work. It had healthy snacks, lavender essential oil, a Starbucks gift card and several other things. What a great company! At the dealership, we gave them a check. Back at HOWE, I made stroganoff for dinner. I had bought a garlic butter spread and I put it on some sliced tiny French bread from Smiths then heated in the oven. Very delicious.
Wednesday 03/09/22 Laundry day. Got me thinking…what is it like to have a washer and dryer in an RV? Our new Alliance Avenue has places for them and hook ups ready on both sides of the closet. I started researching and even asked the question on a Full Time Living Facebook page. I found out there are two kinds. One is a combo (hardly anyone likes this!). The other kind is a stackable but can be apart, too. Lots of great reviews on having them in the RV and Splendide is the brand to have.
Thursday 03/10/22 Kevin called Robert at Johnnie Walker RV and asked for the couch to be taken out and how to get a washer and dryer. He gave Kevin a number to call for Service. Kevin said the service guy was really nice. He would have the couch out and they would order and install my washer and dryer. He moved out inspection time from 11:00 on Monday to 2:00.
I tried baking potatoes in my crockpot. They turned out great! It took about 5 hours on high but they were tender and fluffy. We had chili and fixing on top.
Sunday 03/13/22 We felt we didn’t need to leave until around noon so hung out. We hooked up HOWE to our new-to-us truck and I will tell you, we couldn’t even feel it behind us when driving! It felt like we were cruising in our car. We drove to Johnnie Walker RV, parked in the driveway and walked in. He walked us to the gate, gave us the code, showed me our new HOWE -getting the washer and dryer installed right then- and went to the back of the lot. We are very impressed! They have several full hookups plus in the corner, a nice large bricked patio with clean plastic chairs, picnic table, umbrella, fire pit, grill with grilling utensils, horse shoe and pits, mini golf and nice palm trees. They really thought about the customer.
We sat on the patio for awhile reading and then decided to go to Walmart. Kevin needs a bunch of stuff (grease gun, etc) but they didn’t have it. I got some food. Then home to read. For dinner I made grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh, this large Walmart had Grandma Sycamore brand bread! I was so excited. HAHA
Monday 03/14/22 We were told by Robert that new HOWE wouldn’t be ready today. We are a little disappointed but we guessed that would be the case. No worries. Kevin worked and I read. Later that day, they parked HOWE right next to HOWE. Wow! It is huge! 35 ft 3 inches compared to 25 ft. Chris, one of the shop guys, said we can walk around and look inside but not to move anything in to it yet. So excited. So amazed at this new one.
Tuesday 03/15/22 Our walk-through was at 11:00 am. Chris showed us lots of things. We found a few things that need fixed, liked a light bulb out in the fridge, etc. At noon we signed the papers, gave them the check, and it is officially ours! Moving in time. Kevin loaded up old HOWE in totes and then would bring it to the door of new HOWE. It is fun to decided where to put everything. There is a lot of room and still empty spots.
Wednesday 03/16/22 Chris came over and did a few things. Kevin got his work desk all set up. We had them take out the back couch (77 inches long) before they gave it to us. Today Kevin finished putting together his work desk that we got from IKEA. It is great! Nice cabinet drawers on both sides. The desk top barely allows for the side table storage to be accessed. Wow! Today Kevin finished putting all the wires and L-brackets to secure it. We went to the store and got groceries to stock up the fridge. It is a blast setting everything up. We said to each other that we don’t even need a stick and brick house now. Kevin said we would pull HOWE into the garage and sill work from HOWE. I said we would sleep in HOWE since our bed is so comfy. Then we laughingly said we would just live in HOWE inside the garage. HAHA
Please check out this website and see more pictures of the inside of our new 2022 Alliance Avenue 32 RSL. Ours looks just like the company pictures. Alliance RV
Monday 02/21/22 Happy President’s Day. Today Kevin is off work. I made pancakes for breakfast. As I got out the mix, I wondered if it was just flour because the batter didn’t bubble up as normal. I went ahead and made a pancake and gingerly tasted it. Yes, whew, it was pancake mix. HAHA (In the past, I had it in a container with a dry eraser pen written on it but it wipes off too easily). After breakfast, we got in the car and drove to Kingman, AZ. It is about an hour from Needles, CA. We wanted to gather our mail. For full-timers with no “home” address there are companies who will give you a real street address where the mail comes. We use iPostal1. They will take a picture of the outside of the mail and we see it on the iPostal1 app. We then have several options: hold for pickup, open it and scan it to us, shred it, or forward to where we are. Our postal box is in a Staples. It was easy to pick up.
Here is the finished Yard Flag:
Tuesday 02/22/22 I was happy to get sewing again. I made a 12 inch “Folded Square” out of material for St Patrick’s Day. It turned out really cute and I want to use the pattern again. After dinner, we watched together the recording of the History Channel – Abraham Lincoln. It is sooo good! We like how they interview experts plus act out the scenes.
Wednesday 02/23/22 We have been “full-time” for two weeks. It is going great and feels like the others times we have “lived” in HOWE. Today I decided to tackle laundry, especially since Kevin told me he has just one clean shirt left. HA The laundry room here at the campground is very nice and big. It has four large washers and four huge dryers. Plus a nice table in the middle to fold clothes. The washers are $2.00 a load and the dryers are $1.50. I said the best going away present for someone who is living in an RV is a box of rolled quarters! 🙂 The office has them for sale, which is nice. The washer was easy to use and get started, so was the dryer. The laundry day went very fast because the washers only take 28 minutes while mine at our former house takes 52 minutes. 🙂 I didn’t dry my pants but just hung them out around HOWE. Kevin kept thinking I was standing by the door.
Friday 02/25/22 My adventure out today was going to Roxy’s Quilt Shop. We had found the fabric store last October when we first came to the area to see about having a house in Fort Mohave. We have been in a few times and the ladies are always nice. It is a small shop but they have a huge room where you can rent a table to sew on. This time I went myself. I showed my little notebook that says “I am deaf” and looked around. I found some backing for my St Patrick’s Day yard flag. The lady who helped me remembered me and wrote down, “Where is your husband?” That is cute. Next stop was to Smith’s. I love sending out cards and I like them to be very nice cards. Over the years, I would get them at Papyrus but a few years ago they closed. Thankfully, I had a good stock. Now I needed more, as I have gone through that box already. I looked online and it seems you could order online but then it sent you to a local store. The stores are all in other businesses, like Smith’s and Safeway. I went in and look down the card isle. I didn’t see any and they only had 2 packages of cards. So disappointing. I happen to go around the other isle and there Papyrus was! Score! I was so excited. I bought 3 different boxes. One has a cactus on the card and envelope. So cute and very appropriate for this area. 🙂
We had to go to the storage unit to get a copy of our marriage license for Kevin’s new employer so I can get benefits. All morning we joked about us not being married. It was pretty funny. We have been married for 33 years!
Saturday 02/26/22 I fixed breakfast burritos with eggs and a new-to-us brand of tortillas. We warmed them in the microwave and I will be definitely getting them again. Then, off to Kingman. Picked up our mail and sat in the car going through it. Our new bank debit cards came and we got those activated. After Kevin spent time throwing the discarded mail and envelopes in the back seat with quite the dramatic flair 🙂 he started looking up places for lunch. I asked if we could drive 20 minutes to Hualapai Mountain Resort. Their website says, “The Hualapai Mountain Resort started as a feeding hall for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression. Back then if (sic) was known at (sic) the Pine Lodge and later as the Hualapai Mountain Lodge.” It was incredible to drive just a few miles and be at 6100 ft in elevation and see pine trees and snow. The highest point is the peak at 8000-some ft. We walked in and was lucky to be seated by a huge plate glass window. Through it, we saw 3 elk. I asked Kevin if they were real because they were so close. Yes, they are real. They would slowly stand up, go to the water bucket, and then wander around during our whole meal. What a delightful find! Kevin had a burger and I had hot turkey sandwich. The garlic mashed potatoes are the best I have ate in Arizona, so far.
After texting pics to my siblings and parents and saying we “ate with the elk” My sister asked what we ate. Kevin said, “Elk burgers”. HAHAHA No, he didn’t but that was such a funny answer!
As the sun was setting, we went on a walk along the road leading to this campground. It is the historic Route 66 and along the way, there are rocks placed in patriotic words. For example, POW/MIA, USAF, etc. They each have a little American flag. This evening I found a covid mask near the POW that said, “never be forgotten”. Here is a link to more information about the monuments.
Rest Stop, on in the middle of Golden Valley, AZ. Isn’t that hilarious? We just laugh out loud every time we see it.
As you read in our post last week, we are now traveling full-time. We sold our house, quit our jobs, Kevin got a new one (so he can work remote from anywhere), and we are starting our new adventures. Since we want a home base, we are having a house built in Fort Mohave, AZ. Home is “where you park it” and our home is named HOWE. It is our 25 ft travel trailer, named for Home On WhEels and pronounced How-ee.
We decided to start our full-time travels in Needles, CA. The campground is named Desert View RV. The picture above was taken from inside HOWE. You can see the blooms on the Oleander bush and this is February!
This area’s growing season is October – March. I found a farmer’s market at Triple Farms Produce. The fresh salsa I made was delicious. Again, in February. I smile.
We got tired of locking and unlocking HOWE with a key. So Kevin researched and found this keypad. He bought it and it makes locking and unlocking much easier. The install was pretty easy with great instructions.
Kevin order a “Bak-Flip” for our truck. He had thought about buying a shell but we looked at them and decided this other way was a better way. Since Kevin had to work at home (Home Is Where You Park It), I went to Lake Havasu, AZ, about 40 minutes away. We had been to this place last week so I knew where I was going. He was nice to tell the worker on the phone that I am deaf. As I got there, I parked across the street because the tiny parking lot was full. As I went through the front door, the nice man walked out with another customer. He smiled and I handed him the keys and pointed to the truck. Then I plopped myself at the end of their counter where there was a bar stool. I got out my pad of paper, my iPhone and my iPad and started reading my book. The guy gave me a thumbs-up when he came in. It was very nice and it took about 1 1/2 hours, which we knew. After I paid, I wrote on my pad is there anything I need to know about the new thing. He wrote did I want him to show me how it works? Yes, thanks. Back at home, Kevin was very pleased with it and started loading up totes for the “warehouse” – what he called the back of the truck. 🙂
We like to look around the area, wherever we are. So many things to see and discover. We decided to try Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Needles. Inside there is a lot of memorabilia about Route 66. We ordered our Diet Pepsi drinks and then another lady, Kim, came over. She saw us signing American Sign Language and asked if we are deaf. We told her I am. She said she is hard of hearing, 40%, has hearing aids but doesn’t use/like them because it makes everything too loud. Her parents and siblings all have hearing loss. We connected right away. She was interested in us and we in her. Soon she took our order, haha, and then brought back her 8 year old girl, Minnie. She is a firecracker and full of life! She asked a ton of great questions. She asked me to teach her everything in ASL. HAHA I told her to give me 3 words and I would teach her the signs. She wanted Minnie Mouse, wheel, and I can’t remember the last one. After visiting for awhile, Kim said they needed to go and let us eat our food. I signed the whole time I am talking. I signed and said to Minnie that it was very nice to meet her. She said, with a dramatic brush of the hands as she pointed to my hands, “Oh, you don’t need to do that stuff…I can hear you!” Kevin, Kim, and I about fell over laughing so hard. As we left, Kim gave us big hugs and was so happy to meet us. We told her we would be back. As we left, Kevin told her “Don’t settle” on hearing aid settings. Go back, get it adjusted. It is a great speech he gives a lot of people with hearing aids and I think it is wonderful. I told Kevin in the car, “Well, there is our community.” We found out later that they have a YouTube channel. You can check it out here: RealTruthTalk
One Saturday, we got up at 5:45 AM and started driving the car to Overton, NV (2- 1/2 hours away). We went to watch our friend, Bryce, a senior in high school, play a baseball tournament. We have attending a lot of his baseball games over the years. We stopped at Searchlight, NV for drive-through breakfast at McDonalds. We had quite a shock because the total was $20. Two breakfast burritos, two egg biscuits, and two drinks. Where we used to live, that would be a dollar per burrito and drink and about two for each biscuit. He double checked at the window and the order was right. The receipt showed the biscuits were 2@$10.98, the burritos were 2@about $6. My goodness! We wondered if all the McDonalds have jumped in price. Kevin said he would put his brother, who likes McDonalds and lives in the Mid-West, on a search-and-learn mission. HAHA Bryce’s team played two games, one at 9:00 and one at 11:00. They lost the first one and won the second. He is always a joy to watch. He has a great attitude and encourages his teammates. The weather was perfect, sunny, slight breeze every once in a while but not cold. After the games, we decided to go home the back roads and it was great. We went south out of Overton past the east entrance to Valley of Fire, which we went to last year. The road is a great, paved, two lane road. At times we could see Lake Mead. The landscape would be flat and then climb through a canyon. At one point there are some red rocks, like Valley of Fire. A lot of people where parked there. In front of us, there came a pack of people on bicycles. They were going 40 mph. We passed them and then came around a corner where the traffic was completely stopped. We could see flashing lights way ahead of us. Thankfully, we only had to sit for 5 minutes and then the traffic started up again. We never saw what the problem was. The road ended up on the east side of Las Vegas Valley, at Henderson. I didn’t want to cook that evening, so we went to Wagon Wheel. They were very full but there was an empty table. Kevin had the western burger and really liked it. I had the roast beef skillet and let me say, it tasted as good as mine! Crockpot roast beef, shredded, in gravy, over mashed potatoes. Back home, we sat outside and read our books…in February! LOVE this weather. 🙂
We leave you with this beautiful sunset. Or…maybe we will make you hungry –
33rd trip – days 157-159, Nov 5-7, 2021 Snow Canyon State Park, UT
Friday 11/05/21 For several reasons, this day took longer than most. Of course it starts at the local Maverick gas station for gas, drinks, and ice. Since HOWE (our travel trailer’s name, short for Home On WhEels) is at the storage spot in St George (4 hours south), where it is nice and warm, we need to take a cooler. Once we get to HOWE and the fridge is cold, we can transfer the items. As we passed Rowley’s Red Barn, in Santaquin, UT, we decided we should stop. I grew up with Rowley’s as neighbors and in school. They had fresh apple cider donuts and I just had to have a box. We also got fresh apple cider and some apples. The “barn”-store has ice cream, candy, boxes of meat, all sorts of breads made in that town as well as a variety of salsas, spreads, you name it, all made locally. We like to support things made and grown locally. Down the road we went, eating our just-out-of-the-oven warm donuts. At Cedar City, we saw the remains of a van that had rolled off the side of the road. The emergency responders were there working. Usually when you pass a wreck the speeds will pick up. But they didn’t. We moved a few yards, slowly, and then came to a complete stop. So stopped, that I turned off the engine. 35 minutes. I even saw people walking around the center median looking ahead. Finally we got moving again. We saw the police standing by a barricade that stops people from going into a construction site on a bridge. On the tow truck was a pickup that was completely smashed, who obviously hit the barricade. We aren’t sure someone could survive after what the pickup looked like. We finally got to St George and HOWE. Then, the jack wouldn’t raise because the batteries are dead. Why? We don’t know. Kevin got on the ground and checked the fuse; it was good. Thankfully Kevin was able to charge it from the truck. Standing there watching him, I felt this red-hot stab of pain on my left hip. Oh, that was weird. It didn’t take long at all to get the jack going and get all hooked up. As I was getting into the truck I felt a red-hot stab of pain at the top of my right leg. Ouch. That was weird. As we were driving, I felt the pain still on the left hip and right leg. Soon I felt the red-hot stab of pain on my left shin. I pulled up my pant legs and there was this huge black ant! I squashed it immediately. I was surprised how big it was. I started squashing movements all around my body! When we got to Snow Canyon State Park and our campsite, I went in and checked and yes, there were bite marks! Ugh. We thought it was strange that Kevin didn’t feel any since he had laid on the ground. Kevin decided he wanted pizza so we drove down the canyon to the city (only a few miles). We drove to a pizza place we had been to before with our friends, Bryce and Heather. So sad, it was out of business. It was #1 on Trip Advisor. Probably couldn’t hold on through Covid, but not sure. Okay, looked up #2, drove some miles to that place and nope it was closed. Remodeling, the sign said. Looked up #3, drove around the city and this place was so packed, we couldn’t even find street parking for more than 6 blocks.We are sure it would have taken forever to get in. Keep going. The next place we found, around the city, was Pier 49 Pizza. There wasn’t a wait and the dining room was empty. Yes! We had the Dinner for 2 which included Cheese bread, our pizza of 1/2 bbq chicken and 1/2 combo, and then a dessert pizza. Very good. Not our favorite pizza but it was good for tonight. 🙂 We made many circle 8s around the town. 🙂 Back at HOWE, we sat outside and watched the stars. Too bad a large motorhome next to us kept their bright outside light on all night. It made a difference in how we could see the night sky. As Kevin went to bed…he said he had several ant bites!
Saturday 11/06/21 We skipped the lemon poppy seed muffins I made, :), and had more apple cider donuts with apple cider for breakfast. Snow Canyon State Park had a 1/2 marathon this morning. The runners start at the top and go down the canyon, which is good because it is pretty steep. We walked out to the road and saw a lady there cheering everyone on. A guy had a sign “You can do it” and was cheering. I was so impressed with the lady, she is older and a little humped over with arthritic hands. But boy, she was so encouraging to each and every person passing by (1500 people did the full length). Kevin and I cheered, clapped and did thumbs up. Kevin signed to me that the lady is the campground hostess. Pretty soon she camp over and started signing American Sign Language! Her name is Nancy, she signed. She had a friend who was deaf so she became interested and learned ASL. She went on to Rochester School of the Deaf in New York! She even taught ASL and became an interpreter. I was so happy and excited to be able to communicate with someone in my new language. She signed beautifully and I was able to understand it all. Made my day, week, month! After the race, we set up our camp chairs in the large grassy area with huge trees. It is a place for anyone who is in the canyon to sit, eat, and relax (not just campers). It was fun to watch people: trailers pulling in and waiting until check in time, bikers stopping for a bathroom break and fresh water, families who are camping here passing by us as they go on a hike (over 30 people all in a line!), and we saw 2 couples on dates who brought up picnic baskets. No matter which direction we look, we see the awesome views of the red rocks so close. Soon, Kevin was taking a nap after reading his book for awhile. We were there so long, we had to keep moving our chairs to be in the shade. 🙂 Oh, for lunch, I heated up pulled pork shoulder that I had cooked at home. I had shredded it and sealed it with my Food Saver. So in HOWE, all I had to do was heat it up. I served it on hoagie buns. I took our lunch outside and we ate right where we were sitting.
In the afternoon, we decided to go on a hike. We drove down to Johnson’s Canyon trailhead and walked. It took us to a very unique place. A very narrow canyon with big trees with green leaves and willow trees. This is something you don’t normally see around here. But alas, it is because there is a little spring of water and it made green things grow. What a sight to see – the straight up red rocks with green down in the bottom. Gorgeous. The hike was very easy and we are glad we took it. When we got back to the truck, Kevin said we needed to get antifreeze for the pipes. I suggested, strongly!, some sort of ant replant, as we don’t want them in HOWE and obvious got them at the storage spot. We went to our favorite Ace Hardware (I wrote about it when we were in this area before). It has a large fabric section – bigger than a lot of fabric stores! Plus, it even has a Post Office in it. HAHA Kevin sent me to look at fabric while he got supplies. After that, we decided to find a place to eat. Hopefully not the double-8’s around the city like last night! HAHA We found a sports bar and went it. We we able to watch the Jazz play and the mushroom burger Kevin had was one of the best, he said. I had a California club sandwich and it was yummy. My favorite was the seasoned fries (tasted like Red Robin) and fry sauce. We will definitely come back here again. Back at HOWE, Kevin sat outside for a bit. I came inside and organized my Paprika App on my laptop. Soon, off to dreamland.
Sunday, 1107/21 Breakfast was the last of the apple cider donuts and some juice. We did another walk-about this morning. This is our 2nd time camping here and is a favorite place. We like the sites with hook-ups and they have a dump station. The scenery all around is breathtaking. Checkout is at 2:00 and we plan to stay until then. We will drop off HOWE at the storage spot and then plan to stop at Mexican Restaurant in Beaver. This is getting to be a tradition or habit. HAHA
NEXT BLOG POST: it will be trip #32, which we skipped here. We have some VERY EXCITING CHANGES to tell you about. 🙂
31st trip – days 151-153, Oct 7-10, 2021 Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT
On Tuesday, Kevin took the gas tanks to ACE Hardware to be filled and topped off. Then he put them back on HOWE (the name for our trailer, Home On WhEels). Thursday he texted me while I was at work and told me when he hooked the tanks up, it must have flipped a breaker because the power was off and the refrigerator was off. I wasn’t upset or mad at all; I was thankful he found it when he did and that it didn’t happen while we were traveling. No worries, he threw out the food we had in there and I went to the grocery store and restocked.
Thursday 10/07/21 The drive up Provo Canyon was stunning. The leaves at the top of the mountains have burst out with color. Provo Peak, at 11,068 elevation, is full of all the Autumn colors. Along the Provo River, the colors are bright yellow and green. Add a little sunshine shining on the leaves and it looks like the sun shines right through them. We are in a different part of the RV park this time but it is very nice. A pool, tennis courts, bathhouse, and fire pit is behind us. As we pulled into our pull-through site, 3 little girls rode up on bikes and asked Kevin, “Do you have any kids with you?” Kevin said, “No.” Girl says “Well, do you have any grandkids with you?” Kevin said they had the sweetest voices and they must checkout all “Incoming” to see if they have new playmates. It was darling. For supper I fixed chili dogs. After eating, we went out and sat by the communal fire pit. The gas fire has the flames so high and jumping around. We were the only ones around it and it was so relaxing just to stare at the flames.
Friday 10/08/21 While Kevin worked (in the office at home), I worked on our blog and pictures. I am so very behind on the pictures. I have a gorgeous view out the windows – a bright red leaved tree, yellow and green leaved trees behind that and a mountain covered with small trees and bushes that are full of all the Autumn colors. Sometimes I just look out and soak in the beauty around us. Later it started raining. It may be weird, but I like taking pictures of windows with rain on them with something neat in the background. We had thought we would go swimming in the adults-only heated hot tub and pool but it was too rainy and was in the low 50’s down in the 40’s. For lunch we had soup and sandwiches. It is cold outside but we are toasty warm in HOWE. We watched some movies on our laptops and then for supper I fixed New York steak and rice. The steak was so tender and perfectly delicious. Since it was raining and cold, we didn’t cook outside. I just cooked the steaks in my big pot with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Yum!!!
Saturday 10/09/21 Still raining and cool outside. We had invited some friends to come up for a camping dinner and was planning on making Smash Burgers outside. We had texted during the week that if it was too cold, we could just go to a restaurant in the area. This morning we texted and all decided to get together in the next week or so. We completely understand. For breakfast I made pancakes. It was the first time we didn’t make them outside on the Black Stone griddle. I just made them on the stove in a skillet. That worked perfectly. After breakfast, we drove around. We thought to drive Hwy 40 out to Vernal, 99 miles away, but then we saw online that it is snowing along the mountain passes so we decided to just drive through Heber. We took Lake Creek Rd and I tell you, the leaves were so beautiful. We saw the tallest pine trees along side brilliant yellows, deep red, burnt orange, and green leaved trees. We got to 9000 ft elevation. 6 miles and you end up at a National Forest. It was snowing by then. What a drive! As we got back down to town, it started hailing and raining hard. We made a quick stop to Maverik (convenient gas station) for soda pops and then back to HOWE. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing with Kevin taking a nap and I worked on photography. For dinner, I made pork chops and stuffing. It continued to rain off and on all afternoon. But after dinner, it was a balmy 42 degrees, no wind, no rain. 🙂 So we decided to try to adults-only heated pool and hot tub. The pool was fine but I quickly got out and went to the hot tub. Awww, perfect. There was some fog rolling on the top of the water. There were several couples who came and we ended up having great conversations with them. One couple has been living full-time in their RV for one year. I asked her if she had any surprises or regrets. She said only that she missed her hot tub at the house they sold and the doggie door. HAHA They are from Tennesse but love it out here. They are going to spend the winter at Las Vegas military campground. She finger spelled her name: Terri. So sweet. Another couple, full-time RVers are from Sandy, UT. They are here at this campground for a month and then going to Southern Utah RV Resort, where we will be. They even asked our site number so we can meet up! I love this life! We left the hot tub after 2 hours! HAHA I think Kevin’s hands must have been tired from all the signing he did for me since I am deaf.
Sunday 10/10/21 We both slept in until 9:20. The sun is out, right now, and we can see the snow on the mountains here. I fixed hash browns and eggs for breakfast. Check out time here is noon so we will hang out until right before that time to leave. 🙂
25th trip – days 129-131, Aug 20-22, 2021 Provo Canyon “Resort”, Wallsburg, UT
As I mentioned in the last post, I started getting headaches and very dizzy. The headaches were debilitating. Along with the dizziness, I was getting vertigo while laying down. Two days before this camping trip, I went to the doctor. He referred me to get an MRI.
I didn’t write anything in my travel blog for this trip. I just didn’t feel well enough. But I was able to snap a few pictures. I was glad to be out in the beauty and nature. I figured, headache and dizziness at home or headache and dizziness out in the beauty of nature. 🙂
Kevin cooked delicious steaks and veggies on the Black Stone.
24th trip – days 126-128, Aug 13-15, 2021 Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last part of our vacation trip Glacier National Park.
Thursday 07/29/21 Slept in and then got all packed up. I looked at the map and we decided to go east on I-90 for a ways and then head south, following the Lewis and Clark trail. Oh, we are glad we took this route and it only added about 15 minutes or so. We aren’t in a rush so this was nice.
We found a historical site and stopped. So glad we did because this told of how this whole Beaverhead area got its name. The Indians named a rock formation Beaverhead because that is what it looked like to them. This became a marker for Indians and later other people as to where to go when they reached it.
We drove on to Dillon and to our campground. It is a former KOA with nice lots and green grass. Outside on the door was taped everyones name and site number on a campground info paper. We drove to our pull through and set up under a nice shady tree. The gravel site was a little unlevel and we had to add a block or two under the wheels on one side. Kevin and I debated how many blocks we would need. I thought it was good enough but he thought one. So we put one down and Kevin drove HOWE on it. I looked at the level on the bumper of HOWE and saw it was perfectly level. I can’t have this because he is right! So I grabbed a pebble and put it under one side of the level. Then I stood in front of that side as Kevin came back to check. The look on his face was so funny! “How can that be? Completely bubble off?” HAHA I couldn’t help it and started laughing as I moved away. He chased me and tickled me. Note: the next stop, he looked for pebbles under the level. 🙂
By this time it was 12:30 and I was hungry. We took our picnic lunch a mile down the road to Clark’s Lookout State Park. There wasn’t much there but we read a few signs and then walked a small trail to the top. You can see for miles, if there wasn’t wildfire smoke. The signs talked about how detailed Clark was with his maps and the equipment he had with him to know where he was (compass, sextant, etc.). They also had a Log Line but didn’t use it much. Sailors would use this to see how fast they were going. A log line had a piece of wood with a rope. The rope had “knots” at certain intervals. The rope was fastened to the ship and the wood and rope thrown overboard. As the line got pulled in the water, the sailer would count the number of knots that went past in 30 seconds. The time was done with a sand glass. Thus, the speed in “knots”. After this, we stopped in at the local visitor center. We got some pamphlets for later. Then it was back to HOWE to write in the travel journal and relax. Dinner was eaten outside on the picnic table – rotisserie chicken and fresh string beans. Yum.
Friday 07/30/21 We didn’t wake up until 9:15. Kevin offered to “cook” this morning. Nice. That means McDonalds. We haven’t been able to cook outside at all this entire trip due to the thick wildfire smoke. It grosses us out to think of cooking food in it. You can see the ash falling everywhere.
We went to Bannack State Park. This was near the top of our favorite sites this trip! Bannack was where the first gold was discovered in Montana on July 28, 1862. The town grew to a population of over 3,000 by 1863. The unique thing about this town is that there are 50 buildings still standing and you can actually walk through many of them. And, they haven’t been moved. We parked and walked to the visitor center to get info and pay the fee. On the door was a sign to watch for rattlesnakes because they had been seen in the town. Eeek!! I hate snakes, no matter what kind or size. We paid the fee and got the $2 information booklet. This was a big help because it gave a lot of information for each building and spot. We walked to the first building and looked inside the windows. As we turned around, there was a huge snake. I squealed and ran to the side. Kevin said he saw next to the snake a dead chipmunk; he is sure the snake killed it. Most of the buildings had walls of plaster and lath. You could see wallpaper peeled off and the boards. Some of the floors had laminate over the 3-4 inch wide floor boards.
It was a typical “old west town” with gun fights. At one point, a sheriff was a convicted felon who had walked out/escaped the front door of a jail in California. There was a jail but most people didn’t want to guard the jail because they wanted to be out getting gold. So a lot of people were hung. The gallows were in direct view of the jailhouse windows. HAHA Several people were even hung in a house. The saloon still has the old bar and it was beautifully carved. During the Civil War, the town was also divided and the northerners coming to the town stayed outside in an area called “Yankee Flats”. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to walk the town. We left the park and turned left to go towards Jackson, Wisdom and around Hwy 43 to I-15. We were excited to see several barn/garages with RVs parked there. It looks like home bases for full time RVers. Fun!!! We climbed to an overlook of 7000 ft. At the historical site, we read about a device that was invented in this area to lift hay up so it can be stacked. Incidentally, we saw quite a few of these in large farm fields. Do they still really use them? Do they use horses to raise and lower the fork? This was also along the Lewis & Clark trail and was the highest point in elevation they came, according to the sign. The view was of a Big Hole which has a large flat valley with mountains around it. There is a lot of cattle here and one ranch alone has 13,000 acres.
There is quite a bit of farming here. The Jefferson Valley, along the river was flat with what we think are mountains off in the distance. Smoke is too thick to see far. We saw hundreds and hundreds of cows and bales of hay. Not kidding. At one point, everywhere you looked you saw big round bales of hay. We wonder where the bales are stored. Some fields had two swathers working, two balers working, and several tractors. Another observation: places around here don’t have a lot of gas stations. Little towns, no gas stations. They must have to travel a long way to get gas. The landscape changed along the way. From large, open valleys to canyons lined with rock and trees.
At one point, we even went around a wildfire and could see the smoke from the trees. I spotted an eagle on some rocks. The rocks overlooked a large valley that is farmed. We pulled over and watched for a while. Kevin said it is a bald eagle and looked to be over 2 ft tall. Back to Dillon, we stopped at a auto parts store to get some fuses. Kevin discovered the horn didn’t work nor our truck camera. Pull out the fuse, put it back in and it worked. HAHA Well, we have extras if needed. The store listed in The Traveler’s Quilting book didn’t have fabric, just yarn. Back to HOWE. I heated up BBQ sweet pork for nachos. The mosquitos are horrible at this camp. We guess because it is by the Beaverhead River and the river moves along slowly through here.
Overnight camping at Blackfoot, Idaho. The city lets you camp in the Sports Park parking lot for just a few days. Even had water and electric hook ups.
This trip was really nice and of course we enjoyed it. We saw Glacier National Park. It was a bit disappointing but perhaps it was due to the thick wild fire smoke and all the crowds of people so we couldn’t even park and hike. We learned fabulous history and stories from locals that we would have missed out on if not asked for recommendations of places to see. Historical markers offer insights to the past that makes you get out your iPhone, look up for more information, and marvel at what you learn.
07/01/21 Today I felt so very relaxed that I was almost comatose. I did some things with the timecards for work, read, sorted and edited pictures, read, pictures, and napped. For lunch I heated up the second bag of sloppy joes. Later, we took a drive. This drive we hit the jackpot! We like to take the side roads and this didn’t disappoint. Kevin is getting really good at spotting the “historical” markers on the sides of the road. 🙂
The first we saw was at the split of I-80 and I-84. The marker said, “The Battle of the Signs”. It told about how the people in Coalville wanted the Lincoln Hwy to go past them on I-80 but Ogden wanted people to go to their town on I-84. One side would put up a sign and the other side would turn it, or paint over it, or knock it down. Oh, this made us roar with laughter. Kevin said it reminded him of a cartoon. Both ways boasting it was the best way to go to Salt Lake City.
We then continued north, to the side of I-84 and ended up in Henefer. The road was closed and we had to detour. We went on West Henefer road and then came to Highway 65 (just a pave, 2 lane road) and we decided to turn right. Soon we saw a marker and shocked of all shocked – it was the Hastings Cutoff!!! (Read the Donner Party).
Farther down we saw where they turned. Continuing down the mountain, we saw East Canyon Reservoir. There is a lovely campground and resort there and we kept it in mind to camp there. (This evening we looked it up and it is a members-only place. Oh well.)
Steep mountains, green pines and green grass everywhere. At the summit, we read that the pioneers were so discouraged as they looked and saw the taller, steeper, and rougher Wasatch Mountains in front of them. At Big Mountain Pass (the summit) there was a parking lot and trails.
We stopped and admired the beauty. Kevin heard this loud banging and I kid you not, on the side of the mountain, next to a building, was a guy playing the drums! You could hear it a long ways. And he was really good. We got such a kick out of that. We decided to not continue on to Salt Lake but turned around. Driving through Henefer, we looked for a little cafe to eat but didn’t see any food places. Back to Coalville we decided on Annie B’s Pizza. But nope, it closed at 7:00 and this was 7:30. We walked on down to Mom’s Place Diner which was a converted house. We were surprised at all the take out orders that came through. We ate there: Kevin had patty melt (said Polar King was better) and I had chicken strips. We talked about the towns of old and how they had to have everything in each town and if the stores didn’t have it, they would order it (think Sears catalog, Wells Fargo, etc.) Then we realized it was the early “Amazon” or order online. Why did that end and then now, that is how people shop. I think it is a cycle where people don’t want what they grew up with. Just a thought. HAHA On our campground walk-about this evening, we saw that the campground is really full. Lots of groups having fun, it looks like.
Friday 07/02/21 Beth came up to visit around 2:00. It was nice to catch up with each other. We played games (Qwixx & Golf) outside and then Kevin cooked Green Chili Smashburgers. Oh, so delicious. After dinner, we walked around the campground to show Beth. She was impressed. It was warm out and we decided we wanted some ice cream so we loaded up in our truck and went back to Polar King in Coalville. It was the first time we saw it packed, which is good. A lot of people looked sunburned and tired from boating all day on Echo Reservoir. We took our shakes to go and ate them at the campground. Soon Beth left. It was a nice day. Oh, one thing I saw on the Facebook RV Community group made me sad. It was a lady that said, “we’ve been traveling full time for a year now and can’t stand being together 24/7/365 even with breaks from each other. So we’re considering trading in the rig for two smaller rigs and travel separately.” Then she goes on to ask if anyone does that. I thought that was so very sad. However, now Kevin and I are joking about traveling separately and I said I would have my trailer fully decked out in yellow, pink, light green, and light blue. HAHAHA
Saturday 07/03/21 We slept in. Then Kevin made pancakes on the Black Stone Griddle.After breakfast, we drove to Park City Museum on main street. The museum cost $15 each and it was worth it.
Next we went to the 2002 Winter Olympics Museum. It is free and so nicely done. There is something about “us” in Utah hosting the world just months after the terrorist attacks on “9/11”. The pride of our country, of our state, of our president sitting with the athletics, of the SLOC putting on the best and most successful winter games to date and the remembering of being there at the events…still brings a tear or two to our eyes.
I didn’t write anything more in our travel journal for this trip. One day we went to Wyoming Downs! We had never been to a horse race before. It was very fun to watch but we quickly got bored with the waiting between each race (that is when people place their bets). We didn’t know anything about it and how it works. We learned all about it. 🙂