Sewing, Food, Lake, and Mountain Views

17th Trip- Days 77-83,  May 25-31, 2021, Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT 

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

What do you do when you want to camp but Kevin’s work requires him to work at home? You camp close by. We came to Utah Lake State Park, which took less than an hour, and then he would drive home to the “office” every day. HAHA Kind of in reverse order of “going to work” but it worked out for us.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

This campsite is really nice. We are on the very end and have lovely views all around of the lake and mountains.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Looking out towards the lake and mountains. It is a nice evening for our walk.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

A nice morning with a good book, yummy breakfast of homemade muffins and a Diet Dr Pepper. What more is needed? 🙂

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

What more is needed? Sewing, of course. Here I am piecing together a quilt top. HOWE (our travel trailer we named Home On WhEels) is an easy place to sew and I have plenty of room for this. If you read past posts, you know I am using a sewing table from SewEZi. I recommend it 100%. It is very sturdy and holds my machine perfectly. It also folds up and fits in the storage under our bed.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

When Kevin got home, I mean, to our campground, HA, we enjoyed a walk around the marina. It is fun to watch the boats go in and out.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Across the lake, you see Mt. Timpanogos. It is 11,753 ft above sea level. It is common to still have snow this time of year.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Who is ready for some veggies on the BlackStone Griddle? Me!

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Kevin brought our hummingbird feeder from home. We were entertained by watching them. In the picture, below the feeder, you see a small airplane. We are close to a small airport. I can’t hear them (I am deaf) but Kevin says he can hear them in a distance. I guess we are easily entertained…we like to watch boats, planes, birds, people, etc. etc. 🙂 Oh yes, and add campers because they are fun to watch, too. Especially when they are backing into a campsite. HAHA

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Serene setting.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

See the paddle boarder?

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Chicken Nachos, anyone? These are suppose to be foil packets cooked in the fire but this area is under fire restrictions. No problem for us! We cooked them on our small gas grill and it worked perfectly. I will add the recipe at the end of this blog.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Sewing pieces for a quilt…outside! it was so nice being able to see the lake, enjoy nature and doing a craft I love.

Utah Lake State Park, Provo, UT May 25-31, 2021

Pancakes for breakfast cooked on our Black Stone Griddle. Kevin does a lot of our meal on that device and it works so well.

Another awesome camping trip. Here is the recipe:

1 bag tortilla chips

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (When I cooked it, I added taco seasoning)

1/2 cup red enchilada sauce

15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies OR cilantro, drained

1 cup black beans, drained

1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican-flavored cheese

Got four large sheets of tin foil and place the chips in the middle. Then add all the other ingredients. Fold the long sides of the foil, leaving a little space on top. Then roll up the sides of the foil. Place on grill until all is heated through and the cheese is melted, around 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

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

Stock Cars, Flat Tires, and Forts

14th – Days 67-70, Apr 29-May 2. 2021, Antelope Valley RV Park, Delta, UT Please note, these blog post are from my travel journal and the “funny” towards the end is really how I wrote it. 🙂

Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

My brother, Ben, has a birthday this weekend and he picked Delta, Utah for the place to go camping. The mountains are still too cold and too much snow for camping yet so we went to the desert. When I had this camping trip idea, I shared it with Ben, our friend Beth, and Kevin over dinner a few months ago. Ben said yes, Beth said she would rent a Cruise America motorhome and Kevin helped her get one rented online. We also celebrated Beth’s birthday.

Thursday 04/29/21 Beth found out she couldn’t pick up the rental until 2:00 PM. That morning she got things ready for her part and I got things ready on my side. Since we have HOWE at home now (for the winter we would store it where it is warm and then take it out for camping from there) it was so nice to have HOWE’s refrigerator stocked  and cold already. The rental was easy to pick up and they had a brief “where everything is” tour. I rode with Beth in the motorhome and Ben followed. From the motorhome place to Delta took 2 hours.

At one point, I thought, “I don’t remember seeing where the oven is.” I turned around in my seat and then turned around even farther to see….no oven! I couldn’t believe it. And not even no oven, the microwave isn’t a convention oven. I started laughing and told Beth about it. See, she made stuffed peppers for dinner this night but they have to be cooked in the oven. Thankfully, HOWE has an oven. HAHAHA

Antelope Valley RV Park, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

This campground is one that you email for reservations and the man was always nice. When we pulled up to the office, he greeted us, walked us Into his tiny office and handed us papers to fill out. It is old-fashioned and it work great. He even has a white board where he writes the names and the dates of people staying in each site. (Reminds me of when I volunteered at the hospital and we used a white board like that at the nurses stations.)  We got sites together, 11 & 12. There is a nice size of green grass with an equal size of concrete. The RV goes on firmly packed gravel.

My brother and our friend “Googling” how to set up the rental. Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

Ben helped Beth back in and then they got the outside things set up. Well, thankful for Google as they had to watch YouTube to see how to do something. (We have all been there, I am sure.)  At 4:00, Kevin got off work, at home, and brought HOWE down. We quickly get it set up and cooked Beth’s peppers in the our oven. We ate outside and it was truly the perfect weather. Shade from trees across the street, sunshine out, temp perfectly comfortable and no wind. Kevin and I did our walk-about and we saw an Alliance travel trailer. Kevin got really excited and talked with the owner who said it is the best trailer and service ever. After dinner, Kevin drove the truck back home to Riverton since he “has to work AT home” for his work. Boooo. Beth, Ben, and I played a few rounds of the game Qwixx in the rental and then I came to HOWE for the night. I watched a movie and then went to bed. Ben and Beth said they heard a train go by and someone running a generator or diesel truck for 30 minutes in the middle of the night. Me, I didn’t hear a thing, I am deaf. HA

Friday 04/30/21 It was a nice slow morning waking up. Went to Beth’s rental for Harmon’s Grocery Store cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Since this is Ben’s birthday trip, we let him decide what to do. We got in his car and drove to a place Beth found called Clear Lake which has a wildlife refuge. Right after Ben said to let him know if we wanted to stop, I saw a long line of a tall mud wall.

Wall of Deseret Fort, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

Let’s stop there. As we got out, a memory came to mind of a place like this. Where was it, I thought. OHHHH, “I have been here before!” HAHA It is Fort Deseret and Kevin and I stopped when we had Mom & Dad with us. We had stayed in St George for a weekend and then taking the side road home. It was a fort Mormon’s built and used for protection during the time of the Black War.

Former Clear Lake Settlement, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

Down the road we read about a former place called Clear Lake Settlement. It was a train stop and the town of 3900 people built up. There wasn’t drinking water there so the train had to bring water in for the town and people. From the plaque “ For many years, the State of Utah wanted all the water in the Lake to be part of a wildlife refuge, so they took the water the town of Clear Lake depended on for farming (drinking water was always brought in by the railroad). In the end, the Bonds [name of a family living there] turned over their holdings to the John  family in 1937; the Johns won in court but Clear Lake town lost its water—and died.”

Antelope Valley RV Park, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

We drove on to Clear Lake but there isn’t a lake anymore. There isn’t even a pond. It is more like a few large puddles. We saw ducks and geese in the water and on the ground. We continued on the good dirt road for 1 hr 15 min to Fillmore. We found online a little cafe for us to have lunch. It is called Cluff’s Car Hop Cafe. It is a cute red and white building with a covering over tables in front. The funny thing about this place now is there isn’t car hop service. You have to go inside to order but then they bring you the food. Doesn’t make sense to me. If they can bring your food, they can take your order. Hum. Beth and I weren’t very hungry so we split a blue cheese bacon burger. I didn’t really care for it. The fries looked and tasted liked cooked in old oil. Anyway, it was nice to sit outside under the umbrella and watch the wasps dance with a big pink flowered bush. We left Fillmore the same way we came in. Part way, we turned onto a small and rough dirt road to go see Devil’s Kitchen. Our visitors book said it has petroglyphs. The road was really bad with deep ruts in it. After probably 15 minutes, Ben wisely decided to turn around. But no way to turn around because of the unevenness and ruts in the road. So he backed out a long way until he could turn around. We continued on and went back to the campground. Ben and Beth took naps and I read. Kevin left our house at 4:00 PM and headed back down. I missed him so much. I told him I felt like 1/2 me was missing. He said he felt the same way, too.

Dutch Oven, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

Beth started the charcoal “volcano” and said this was the first time she had started charcoal because Kevin usually does it. He was still driving to here and was missed! She got the coals started and when they turned grey she then set the dutch oven on it. It worked out fine and she was able to cook her Apple Cider Stew. Kevin got here and I was so happy. We did another walk-about and he ooh’d and aaah’d over the Alliance travel trailer again. 🙂 Dinner was yummy and nice to again have the perfect weather conditions. I like eating outside when it is nice out. Ben bought a fun 3-in1 game that has ladders, bean bag toss and something else. It was a lot of fun to play and Kevin even played. Once it was dark, we headed into HOWE and relaxed the evening.

Beautiful mountain and sage April 29-May 2, 2021

Saturday 05/01/21 Kevin made his delicious Blackstone Griddle breakfast. Again, a perfect weather day and we ate outside. After cleaning up, we all got in Ben’s car and we headed west on Hwy 6. We turned right onto a nicely maintained wide dirt road and followed it a long ways. The road goes to a “You dig” trilobite quarry. We heard it costs $50 a person and we didn’t want to do that. We continued on the road and got to 7000 elevation.

Picnic on top of a mountain side, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

Up that high there were a lot of trees and it is very pretty. The road got steep and rough and we turned around and pull over. Got out and sat on a blanket for a picnic lunch of salami, cheese ball, crackers and apples. Very fun. On the way down we took a different road. This area is so different from the area around Delta. Delta is a huge valley of completely flat land. Reminds Kevin of Kansas. But 20 minutes drive and we are in mountains where I think it would be fun to camp. Sage brush around and rocks but plenty of walking space. Along the mountains are black rocks and some have sheer drop offs. We drove along Sevier Dry Lake (no water that we can see) and then turned off on another road that took us back in the mountain. We saw some people rock climbing on one of the sheer rock faces. It is interesting to wonder why these roads were built in the first place. Don’t know but they are nice and well maintained. On the backside of the mountain range we were heading towards Delta. 32 miles out and we got a flat tire. 😦 Ben pumped it full of something from a can and we drove a bit farther. But soon he stopped as that wasn’t helping. Of course we had to pull out a lot of stuff from the trunk including our…OH MY GOSH!!! I forgot to write about the best part of the day! I am laughing so hard, I am crying!!! My Quilter’s Travel Companion Book has one store listed in Delta and of course we had to go. So we went this morning at 10:00 when they opened.

Bags & bags of Fabric! Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

This is a great store. It is called “Mom’s Craft & Fabric”. It is a large store, especially for the size of town. They have a huge variety and I was amazed. They have the regular fabric you would see elsewhere but then equally in size or more, unique fabric batiks, southwest, travel, America, on and on. The two ladies working there were very friendly. Kevin followed me around and kept telling me to buy more. He really is the best. I bought a beautiful black and mint green batik, a brown batik with stars and moon, picnic sayings in summer colors, American map with the names of the states where they go, and a water bottle that says “I live an active lifestyle…I quilt everyday.” After I got my normal “2 yards” of each fabric and checked out, I went looking around while Beth got her things cut and check out. Kevin and I found a fabric panel with the old railroad map from St Joseph, MO to the west. He said we should get it for Marsha since her dad worked on the railroad and I thought that was a great idea. As we checked out for the second time, the lady told Kevin that usually people check out two and three times. HAHAHA.

Two patient guys at a fabric store. Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

So, where was I? Oh yes, pulling stuff out of Ben’s trunk to get to the spare tire. Well, I have one large bag and Beth has 2 large bags of fabric that we bought that morning. They rode the rest of the way on my lap and on my feet. I jokingly told Kevin that I was hot since I had 5 quilts on me. HAHA 

Stock Car Racing! Park, Delta, UT April 29-May 2, 2021

We went back to the campground. And everyone, but me, took naps. At 6:00 PM we went to Millard County Stock Car Race. I had found this event last week when I was looking at things to do in Delta. It opened up for the first time since Covid yesterday. Ben didn’t want to drive his car with the spare on so he said he and Beth would ride in the back of the truck. We felt like rednecks. 🙂 I had a blast at the stock car races. It is a small place and very few people watching so distancing was great. I could feel the cars when they made noise and it was exciting. I would go again. We all had a good time. Back to campground around 8:00. Kevin made Green Chili Smashburgers. This afternoon the wind had really picked up and so while trying to cook the burgers on the Blackstone, they didn’t get the “smash” well because the wind was blowing the flames around. No worries, it was still delicious. Too windy to eat outside so we ate in Beth’s rental. I also had a pasta salad, fresh carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini with ranch dip made. Ben and Beth were pretty tired so Kevin and I went back to HOWE and relaxed the evening. We went to sleep around 11:30.

Sunday 05/02/21 Kevin and I slept in 9:15! We got dressed and took blueberry muffins over to Ben and Beth. They were drinking coffee and playing cribbage. At 10:00 they left. Beth has a lot of cleaning to do on the rental before we take it back tomorrow. Ben followed her. Checkout isn’t until 1:00 and Kevin and I plan to stay here until then. No other place we need to be. 🙂 On the drive home, we took Highway 6. At some place between Delta and Eureka, Kevin said, “I think people should hang a flag on every 5 or so posts.” “Wow”, I thought, “He is very patriotic!” “That way,” he continued, “I will know which way the wind is blowing.” I laughed so hard I was crying! Completely not what I thought he was thinking.:)

Spices, Sheets, and Snow Canyon State Park

13th – Days 64-66, Apr 16-18, 2021, Snow Canyon State Park Campground

Before we left, I came up with this idea for spices. Since we bring all food back home with us when HOWE (our travel trailer, Home On WhEels) is park in a storage unit somewhere warm, I didn’t want to take the entire spice bottles with us just to lug them home. I have a lot of these small containers with lids and I just measure out what I need for the recipe and take it along.

Idea for taking spices

Friday 04/16/21 About 20 minutes into our drive, I saw something flipping in the back of the truck. I got off the freeway so we could see what it was. It turns out to be a bag with something heavy in it was just flapping in the wind. Driving south on I-15 we always stop at the Fillmore Maverick gas station. It is 1/2 way between our house and where HOWE is stored. Since we stopped in Orem, we didn’t feel we needed to stop in Fillmore. I realized that the truck only knew to exit off the freeway there, go to Maverick, and then get on the entrance ramp. So between the exit and on ramp, I said, “Wow! We have never seen this area before!” HAHAHA It lasted the 1 mile from exit to on ramp. We picked up HOWE at the storage place and headed to Snow Canyon State Park. We were here back in Autumn and did some hiking. We really liked this place. We had tried to get reservations at the small campground inside the park but it was always full. Kevin found a website called Wandering Labs .

With Wandering Labs, you enter what park/campground you would like and it checks for cancellations or openings constantly. It will then message you with an opening. It is a really cool website that a lot of full time RVers would not like you to know about. B-) We have used it twice with success both times. A developer made it for his personal use, and realized a need for it. From their site:

“We find campsites for you at already sold out campgrounds. You know how it’s becoming harder and harder to book a site at your favorite campground, even if you try months in advance? You know how you got up at 5 am four days in a row and tried to get a campsite at Yosemite National Park for your family vacation, and still ended up at a dumpy, run down RV park 60 miles from the park entrance? Yeah, we know how you feel and we’re here to help! With campgrounds filling up faster than ever, we discovered that the best way to get a site is when someone’s plans change and they cancel their reservation. To do this you could monitor the website and refresh the page over and over again in hopes that a site opens. Or…you could tell us what campground you want to camp at and let us do all the work for you. Simply tell us the specifics of your search and we will scan the campground of your choice for cancellations and notify you when a site becomes available. No more getting up at 5 am.”

Campsite, Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

Our site is a pull through and on the end of the row. This is very nice because there isn’t anyone next to us on the “living” side. There is a cover over the picnic table, a grassy-dirt area, and some trees. The back of the picnic table cover is made from lava rocks and looks really neat. We, again, have no fire pit. There is a BBQ grill but we didn’t use it. When Kevin sets up the outside stuff, I set up inside. I got it done pretty quickly. I stood at the door and looked out. Now follow my thought process: That is a nice, solid wood picnic table. I should put the plastic red and white checker tablecloth on the table. Nope, it looks like the wood table is too thick for the tablecloth clasps that we have. I read on RV Community facebook group yesterday that a lady suggested using a twin fitted sheet over a picnic table. That is a really good idea. I need a twin fitted sheet. I need to…oh no! I forgot the sheets for our bed!!! They are in the dryer at home. (I start laughing so hard I can hardly tell Kevin my thought process.) We decided that if it was only one night, we could make do with the comforter and quilts we have. But since it is two nights, we better go into town and get some sheets. You know, all 8 miles. 🙂 

Lava rock, Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

We went on a short 1 mile walk through a narrow. This is where the red sandstone has a tiny path carved from water and wind and sometimes it is so narrow you can barely fit through. After the relaxing walk, off we went to town. We bought some sheets for our bed and a twin fitted sheet for the picnic table. Well then it was too late to cook, so Kevin took me to Cracker Barrel where we had a lovely dinner. Back to the campground we had a nice evening of reading our books.

Saturday 04/17/21 I woke up to watch the sun come over the canyon walls right behind us. It took a long time for the sun to “come up”.

Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021
Lava on top of Navajo Sandstone, Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

We decided to walk a 4 mile, moderate trail called White Rock. It wasn’t hard at all. The trail goes along the lava tubes, which we saw before. The only wildlife we saw was a rabbit.

Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

The trail goes over a lot of lava rocks, wind swept sandstone, and 3 inch deep sand. The Navajo Sandstone was made over many years from water and wind. Then sometime later, volcanos erupted leaving lava on top of the sandstone. It is beautiful: red rocks, with holes from wind and water, and then lava on top.

Lava Tube, Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

The lava tubes have openings and you can walk from one end to the other. It is a mile walk round trip. We weren’t able to do it, as part of it was closed, due to Covid restrictions and too close quarters.

Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

The view, no matter which direction you look, is breathtaking. To see the sandstone, the lava, and what erosion has done makes Beauty all around,

Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

Look at the different colors of rock and dirt. You can also see lines of different colors throughout the area.

Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

For supper, Kevin made Smash Burgers. This time we added green chilies (from a can), some cumin, and onions and we liked this way even better!

Sunday 04/18/21 We took some more walks around the state park. Later we went over to watch the rock climbers. I don’t see that I took a picture, but they are mesmerizing to watch. Later I decided to take a picture of both of us. I set up my tri-pod and placed my iPhone and picked where we wanted to be for the picture. We got fitted and as I pushed the button on my Apple Watch that takes 10 bursts of pictures, a lady walked in between us and the camera. As she realized what was going on, she yelled, “sssssooooorrrrrryyyyy” as she ran through. It was so funny to us and got the best reaction.

Photo-bombed! 🙂 Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

After getting ourselves under control from laughing so hard, we tried again…

Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 2021

As we left, along our path we saw a cairn. You should read up on these, they are used for different reasons.

One of several Cairns. Snow Canyon State Park, UT April 16-18, 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.

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.

Technomadia

Adventures in Nomadic Serendipity

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Go, See, Do, Experience!