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
*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.
10th – Days 55-57, Mar 5-7, 2021, Southern Utah RV Resort
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.
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.
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. 🙂
9th – Days 51-54, Feb 12-15, 2021, Zion River RV Resort
We have HOWE (pronounced, Howie, Home On Wheels) our travel trailer stored in St George, UT, for the winter. It is much warmer there from where our home is in the mountains. It is very easy to drive a few hours, pick it up from the storage site and go out camping. (As you can see, we are doing that at least once a month during the winter months.) When we went to hook HOWE up to the truck, the batteries wouldn’t work to raise the hitch. Thankfully, I have a smart honey who knew to plug HOWE into the truck tail and that used the power to raise it. He noticed that everything in the storage compartment was sticky with an oily substance. Oh dear. It turns out it was cooking oil from a bottle that had leaked. We stopped at Tractor Supply Store in Hurricane where Kevin bought the blue shop disposable towels and more propane. He installed the magnet-thingy on the tanks that tell his iPhone how much propane is in the tank. (See post Do we have gas? for more information.) Everything else looks good and we got hooked up quickly. We headed to Zion River RV Resort in Virgin, UT which is very close to Zion National Park. This campground is rated as one of the top in the entire country for RV resorts. A few months ago when we drove past it, I thought it looked like a neat place to stay. When we saw our site, oh goodness, it looks small and it is a blindside back in. I got out to help Kevin back in. We saw across the narrow road, a lot of people sitting around. Kevin said to them, “Enjoy the show!HAHA” and several guys got up and asked if they could help. Yes, Kevin said, my wife is deaf so you would be a great help. They had a low trailer sticking out a little ways into the road so I think they felt bad and wanted to help. They were so helpful!!!! Kevin got it right where it needed to be with their help. The weather is low 60s and sunny. On the website I saw you can have campfires and I was pretty excited. But guess what…our site is within 25 ft of the propane tank so the fire pit is filled with cement. It is fine, later it was just a bit too chilly to have one, for me.
As I was setting up the trailer, putting out the fresh towels, washcloths, making the bed and putting out the food, I realized that I took the entire 6 pack of paper towels home with us last time. (I am very careful when putting HOWE in storage to not to leave food, paper goods, etc out for mice.) Didn’t have a single one here. HAHA I am so glad that Kevin bought the BIG roll of blue shop towels. Those were our napkins for the week. 🙂
Lots of people have had fires going every night. I fixed hamburger patties for supper. I thought there was green beans in Howe, but nope. HA So I added back beans. We ate outside on the picnic table.
We didn’t have any plans specifically to do for this trip. This morning, Kevin wanted to drive through Zion National Park again. I decided to check the Zion shuttle for tickets. Lo and behold they had some available! Kevin bought some ($1 each) for noon. It was overcast so we took coats. On the few miles from our campground to the entrance of Zion, we passed an older motorhome. Well, when we got to the entrance, of course we were in the slow lane and they passed us in the other lane. We laughed and laughed how they got into the park before us.
As we rode up the canyon, it was raining. It made for stunning scenery! So many of the black rocks were shining with slippery-ness. Even the red rocks, soaked with rain and wet, looked different than when dry, as in a deeper color of red/orange. We took the shuttle to the end and got off. It was raining but we had coats and hats. I had my cruise hat that is made of straw like material and would you believe, my glasses didn’t get a speck of rain on them. We walked the paved trail, more than a mile each way, to the end of the path where the Narrows start. This is the spot that you have to walk in the river to go farther.
There are alerts for dangerous algae and posted signs not to get in the water. The walk is gorgeous with the rocks going straight up next to us. So tall, I couldn’t get it all in a picture. There was lots of red mud on the path but we didn’t slip or anything. We were able to skirt around all the water puddles…until the very last one. There was no way to go around it and so both feet got wet. That made us laugh because our feet had been dry the entire hour walking in the rain. 🙂 We jumped on the shuttle and went back to the visitor center.
Kevin: On the shuttle I was signing with Charla, and noticed a young family watching us. The Mom then said their children had a deaf student in class, with an interpreter. They knew a little bit of sign language. We tried to “talk” (sign) with them, but they were pretty shy. It is fun encountering people that have a desire to reach out and communicate.
Kevin had read about an old LDS church that had been converted into a pizza shop there in Springdale. Having only had sausage and eggs for breakfast, and cheese and nuts for snacks, we decided to go there for a late lunch. It was 2:30 PM; the sign on the door said it opened at 4:00 PM. Then we checked a steak restaurant and it didn’t open until 5:00 PM. Everywhere we went, it was closed. This was a surprise to us because there were people around who would eat. HA On the way out of Springdale I saw Stage Coach Grill & Saloon. We checked and it opened at 3:00 PM. We decided to wait in the truck for 1/2 hour til it opened. It was a disappointment, I rated my chicken fried steak at 3 stars; Kevin rated his “prime” steak at 2 stars.
Back to the campground and boy, we enjoyed an afternoon walk. I spent about 3 hours booking places for us to camp from now until end of June. I enjoyed researching and finding places. Of course a lot of the state parks are fully booked out the 4 months.
Kevin worked on the batteries; it seems a cable was loose. The evening was spent doing what we do at home, watching movies and videos, playing games, read, visiting, etc. Absolutely perfect.
President’s Day. Disembarkment Day. 😦 We took our time getting up and around, but we sleep so well there that we wake up early some days. Kevin started on the outside and I did the inside. When we were backing the trailer into the storage spot, I did the usual thing where I FaceTime Kevin and then talk to him through that. Of course, I am deaf so he can’t talk to me but he can sign ASL. I asked if he could hear me and he signed yes. Backing him up, I said, “Driver’s side” pause “driver’s side” pause, then I started pointing to the side I wanted him to turn to. It turns out I was saying it wrong! I was suppose to be saying “passenger side”! Poor Kevin was so confused and wondered if the mirror was flipped around since I was pointing the opposite way I was saying. We doubled over laughing. Then I said, “Back seat driver’s side!” Finally I just throw up my hands and said, “Come on back, you are doing it perfect.” ROFL Thankfully, the spot is nice and wide and there was no danger.
We talked later at how “off” things were this weekend. Not with us, not one bit, but it seemed more like first time out camper problems. 🙂 However, the scenery was gorgeous and we love being together. Thankfully the drive home was uneventful and the big snow that was warned about didn’t happen. Dry roads most of the way.
8th trip – Days 34-50, Dec 18-2020-Jan 3, 2021. St George, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada (continued)
During the day it was raining. It was a very light rain and not too cold. When it was done, the air felt and smelled like spring.
Tuesday, I sewed all day. Making cute snowmen table runner and placemats. Kevin worked during the day. When we were done, we went to Main Street Quilt Cottage in Hurricane. Of course, found it from Traveler’s Quilt Guide book. It is a tiny store with not really a large selection of fabric to amount to anything. They had patterns, kits, and wool. I bought a beautiful blue fabric that is darker on top and goes to light at the bottom and has gold circles. On the way back we stopped at Walmart for command strips to hang the National Park map that my parents gave us for Christmas.
I was texting with my sewing friend, Sandra, this week. Her and her husband wanted to camp and asked where we are. I told her. The next thing I know, she says they are coming down to camp and are staying in the same campground! So fun. That evening, they knocked on our door. It was nice to meet her husband and introduce them to Kevin.
Wednesday, repeat from yesterday during the day. I sewed and Kevin worked. We are love, love, loving living out of HOWE (our Home on Wheels). After Kevin’s work, we drove to Santa Clara to a quilt shop. It is called Clover Patch Quilt and is in Traveler’s Quilt Guide book. So, of course, I just “had” to buy something. HAHA Ended up buying some pretty pink batiks and Kevin wanted some cute camping fabric that has an old Ford pickup on it.
Got KFC and took it home. Then we went over to see Sandra. Their trailer is 6 months old and is a great floor plan. Kevin and I really like the layout. Sandra and I sewed while the guys visited.
Thursday, New Year’s Eve. Sandra and her husband left this morning to go home. Now, when Kevin and I first booked with this campground, we were replacing our cruise, Dec 18-28, which was canceled due to Covid. Then we thought, why go home then? So we had looked to extend our time. Over several weeks, we kept checking but the entire campground was booked. Then one day, we found that 1 slot had opened. We took it. That would extend until Dec 31. We kept watching and soon another slot opened up for Dec 31-Jan 3, exactly what we wanted. So, we had 3 bookings. HAHA When we checked in, they told Kevin that we had missed one day (the check out day we didn’t check in that day and it happens all the time). She made some changes and they had 1 opening. It turns out, we would only have to move sites one time. Pretty cool!
OH, the site we moved to? Was the spot Sandra and her husband were in. That made me laugh. We teased them last night about “get out of our spot!” As soon as they left, we moved over. It was between two long term looking places, one being the AT&T truck. It didn’t have the same feeling as Row E8 and E9 where we have stayed before. But it was fine.
Kevin worked until noon and then everyone was off. After that we went to Sally’s Beauty Supply. You see, I realized something very important. We are camping so much and my Gelish nails (a nail polish that stays on great!) aren’t lasting quite as long since I am hand washing dishes every day. So of course, I need a Gelish kit to keep in the trailer. HA Of course, Sally’s was out of most everything, including the kit. Thankfully I was able to piece together all the parts needed. Back to HOWE and I did my nails. Ah, what a nice feeling. 🙂
In researching things happening in the area, I found that Washington City was having fireworks at 10:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. I think that was a great idea. Kevin and I stood outside and watched them. Our new site looks south and over the whole valley. There were a lot of fireworks and they were fun to see. It was a little bit cold but nothing a jacket didn’t fix. Off to bed we went. One benefit of being deaf? I didn’t hear anything all night. Kevin heard fireworks throughout the night.
Friday, New Year’s Day. This morning we drove through Santa Clara and then north on Hwy 18. We could see Snow Canyon, Dammeron Valley offered gorgeous photos of snow on the cedar trees and ground.
We continued to Beryl Junction and turned left onto Hwy 56. The valley there is very flat and reminds us that it is a dry lakebed. We crossed the state line into Nevada and the road name changed to 319. Up and over the mountains and into snow clouds. The roads were dry and the clouds on the mountains gave the feeling of being the only ones on the earth. A quick stop at Panaca and then we turned north. A few miles and we were at Cathedral Gorge State Park.
We thought the Cathedrals would be as tall as Zion but they weren’t. However, they were like something we hadn’t seen before. Unlike Utah, where formations are made from soft sandstone and erosion, this was hard as cement. In fact, I kept saying how I thought someone had just made it with a concrete truck. HAHA Of course, that isn’t true. When you touch the structures, they were hard as cement but you can see all the erosion over time. It fact, some is eroded so much that it made slot canyons. We walked up several.
There was a little skiff of snow on the ground, but the temp was 52. Kevin made the profound statement: “Who knew Erosion was such as Artist.” Right on.
We are so very glad we went but it is probably a one time visit. We continued home a different way, taking Hwy 93 to just east of Mesquite. This round about way showed us all sorts of landscapes: from the mountains and cedar trees, to flat desserts and Joshua Trees. Back at HOWE, we planned out our next couple of trips: Arizona. We want to look around and see if we like it. We thought we would fly there for a long weekend (MLK Day) but then, why not work the week there and stay ten days, and then, “why don’t I” (Kevin)” just take vacation days”. Sounds good to me! We booked flights, hotel and car.
Saturday, Valley of Fire State Park in Arizona. We had seen signs for this place and when we researched for Gold Butte. Today we drove there. It was another perfect day with sun and high 50s. We are close to the headway of Lake Mead and saw quite a few campers boondocking. Valley of Fire is a lot of red rocks, similar to Zion in color and texture. We stopped at the three cabins, which were used for travelers years ago. They are smaller than our trailer! 🙂 Behind the cabins we saw more petroglyphs. Down the road we stopped at Rainbow and took a hike. It was a mile out and back. I was surprised that the ground was all red sand. Makes sense, that it is from the red sandstone but I hadn’t thought about it before. It was like walking on a beach. Beautiful and the rocks were so close we could touch them. The parking lots were full and we were lucky to find a place to park the truck. Kevin said this was one of his favorite places.
As we drove out of the park, we were again stunned at how different the landscape is: it just rolls along as a desert and a few hills and then all of sudden, these red rocks jet up. Really neat.
Sunday, disembarkment day. Also so sad. Kevin winterized the trailer as I put things away.
It helps my heart that we have plans for upcoming trips.
8th trip – Days 34-50, Dec 18-2020-Jan 3, 2021. St George, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada
Thursday, Christmas Eve, Kevin’s work let everyone off at noon. That was nice. We relaxed and waited for some family members to come to St George. They got to their hotel around 5:30. I took chili, crackers and cheese to their hotel. We ate and played games. Qwixx is a favorite.
Friday, Christmas, Kevin and I had rented the activity / community room here at Southern Utah RV Resort from 11:00-3:00. The room was decorated in camping-winter themes and very cute. After ham, funeral potatoes, veggies, rolls, and cookies, we opened presents, then played games. At 3:00 we drove through Zion National Park. The parking lot was full and the shuttles were full (we knew that going in) so we didn’t stop at the visitor’s center. The drive was as beautiful as before. Went back to hotel for leftovers and games.
Kevin and I noticed how the same landscape and scenery can change it’s look just by seeing it at a different time of day or a different time of year.
Saturday, Kevin woke up not feeling well. I texted the family and we decided to forgo a drive and exploring. I went to their hotel to play games. Kevin stayed at Home on Wheels (HOWE, our trailer) and slept. The family left at 11:00 am, as they thought it would be fun to take some side roads home. I came back and just hung out. Kevin felt better but took it easy all day and evening.
Sunday, Kevin felt great. He watched his 3 church services online until noon. Then we drove west. We went to Gunlock Reservoir. I have never been there but hear about it on the news every year as it seems to flood a lot. The drive there took us through an Indian Reservation. We saw a unique and old dam made out of rocks. It is open flow now and very pretty. On the lower side of the dam was the overflow. it is called Shem Dam and was built in 1934.
We went through the town of Gunlock, maybe 15 houses with some quite new and large. They don’t have a single store there. Drove on up to Veyo and then down south through Snow Canyon. We didn’t hike, as it was 52 degrees and we were there in Oct. But we sat in the parking lot and talked about how neat and varied the landscape is. Of course we had to stop and watch the rock climbers for a bit. We looked at the map and realized we have done most things down here and have driven all the highways.
We decided to go ahead and go to BLM’s (bureau of land management) Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs. The BLM website had the hwy number wrong but we have been on the road enough to know what it was suppose to be. Hwy 7. Then a dirt road. Crossed over the Arizona line, saw motorcycles and several vehicles. The site is incredible. There are over 500 petroglyphs dating back 8000 years. They were on boulders all around and easy to see.
It is a great place when we come away wanting to know more and to research more. We want to know: what are the symbols and what do they mean? Do Native Americans these days know because of having the stories passed down?
Monday, the laundry! Sigh!! I have never used a laundromat. This campground has some washers and dryers so I thought, cool, I can use them in the middle of our trip. This morning Kevin got some quarters from the office and we went to do a load. There are 2 washers that work and they are both used by the same person. She has her bags on top. I see the time left, set my watch, and go back. The lady says she will be 30 more minutes and there is a line and points to the biggest bags I have ever seen of laundry under the table. Now I am ready for a washer and dryer in our Home on Wheels (HOWE)! 🙂
I asked what the laundry etiquette is on the RV community facebook. I got over 120 answers 🙂 Most people said they always leave at least one washer open for someone else. Some said, first come, first served. Well, after checking the laundry room every half hour all morning until 10:00, I decided to wait until the afternoon. I was finally able to get a washer and dryer. 🙂 I only used one at a time. Nice to have done. Add washer/dryer to the “must have” for our full-time RV!
8th – Days 34-50, Dec 18, 2020-Jan 3, 2021, St George, UT, Arizona, and Nevada
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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? 🙂
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.
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.
7th – Day 28-33, Nov 20-25, Solstice Motorcoach Resort, Mesquite, NV
Friday, we left our house in Riverton at 7:30 AM. I drove the truck while Kevin worked from his laptop and our hotspot. The drive was easy with very little traffic. We got to the RV storage unit in Washington, UT, next to St George, at 11:30. It took about an hour to get everything hooked up; including airing up the tires. Then we drove to Mesquite, NV to Solstice Motorcoach Resort. Now, this isn’t a resort as I think of a resort but it is one of our favorite campgrounds. The campsites are very wide, in fact, you park your vehicle what equates to two parking spots over. It is gravel, with paved road. There are palm trees around what could be a water fountain and pond. No water there now. The view is stunning: we have what looks like the Wasatch front mtns to the east and then behind us to the west is a mesa. Beautiful. We quickly got set up and then Kevin sat outside and did more work. (No picnic table).
Oh hey, it is completely dark here at 4:45 PM! It is because we are on the border of the time zone. I think on Dec 21 it must be dark at 3:00! After work, we drove around part of Mesquite.
We found it interesting that there isn’t a lot of fast food places. 2 McDonalds, a Taco Bell, and a KFC. That is all. We got supper at McDonalds and ate in the truck. Then we went to Smiths grocery store. I didn’t bring food because we don’t have the fridge plugged in so it will take a little while for it to get cold. Smiths was a shock! Crowded rows and out of a lot of food….including diet coke! We got a few things but it wasn’t a store I liked. We went to ACE Hardware for a few things. It is a darling store. Then we went to Walmart and it is a pretty nice store. They had diet coke. HAHA Then back to campsite.
Saturday I made eggs with pre-cooked turkey sausages. They were pretty good. We spent the day driving around Mesquite, NV, Scenic, AZ, and Beaver Dam, AZ. We really like Scenic; was surprised at all the gravel roads. We saw quite a few “pads” with electricity, water, and sewer for RVs. Interesting to us, for sure. We drove to the sign of Gold Butte National Monument on very rough roads. Will be back tomorrow. Back to campsite around 3:00, hung out and then had pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad for supper.
Sunday, same breakfast. Then we drove to Gold Butte National Monument. There was a ghost town called Gold Butte. It was an active gold mine in late 1800’s, early 1900’s. It was a great day. What we thought was rough roads yesterday, well, nothing compared to this day. Most of it was paved at one time, but now it is a truly washboard road. If we were true off-roaders, we would have “aired down” our tires – lowering the pressure in the tires to make for a smoother ride. There were no potholes, just that washboard surface. The area is unique and beautiful with different kinds of rock, sand and dirt. The Virgin River is so pretty; it meanders along the beautiful desert. We saw the beginning of Lake Mead.
We got out and climbed around Whitney Pockets – so unique! The rock at Whitney Pockets is rock-hard, unlike the sandstone that blows away.
We continued on heading for Gold Butte ghost town. At the end, we got to the ghost town.
We were a tiny bit disappointed in that there wasn’t foundations or anything like that to see. We read on the National Park sign that 2000 people lived there in the gold rush of 1906 but they lived in tents, so that is why there aren’t foundations to see. Two guys are buried there; they did live in a house and would feed people passing by. They died in 1958/1961. We ate a picnic lunch on the tailgate of our truck. That was fun. Then we walked a little ways and saw the opening of several gold mines.
We were there about an hour. On the way back, the road seemed even rougher, if that is possible. HAHA It took 1 hour and 10 minutes to drive 14 miles. What a great memory. Oh, the only animals we saw the entire time was 2 wild donkeys. They just starred at us. 🙂
The road is an in/out road. We went 91 miles in 5 hours! So much fun. We thought about going to Valley of Fire but we will do that at another time. Back to the trailer in time to watch KC Chiefs beat LV Chargers.
Monday, Kevin worked and I did some sewing. He got me, for an early Christmas present, a SewEZi table (https://www.seweziusa.com/) and it is incredible!
Fits perfectly in our trailer. I had a lot of fun sewing.
When Kevin was done with work, we both took naps and then drove around Mesquite. A few months ago we found online a different campground that had opening for Christmas. It is cute with palm trees between each site. However, it is in the middle of the city right next to Smiths. It does’t have a view and so we decided to cancel that one and keep our reservation for Southern Utah RV Resort for dates in December. We had the reservations for Dec 18-28, the dates we were suppose to be gone on a cruise. Kevin checked and the exact same campsite was available Dec 28-31 so we took it.
Tuesday, Kevin worked and I did some sewing. Same as yesterday. Later Kevin went with me to two fabric stores. One was Simply Quilt and found from Traveler’s Quilt Book. It was tiny with no more than 20 bolts of fabric. Very nice lady and I bought some white fabric. Then we drove to Stitch N Scrap. The lady there was extra nice and kept asking Kevin how to sign different words in ASL to help me. So kind! I got some fabric just because it is pretty, a rotor cutter container, Isulate-Bright, and a book about a quilter, novel. If you are in the area, check out this store: http://www.stitchnscrap.com
Later in the day, I checked the Southern Utah RV Resort’s website and low and behold, our same campsite was now available for Dec 31-Jan 3. We took it! HAHA So we have 3 reservations, in a row, all for the same site. Kevin called them and we reserved the activity room for Christmas Day, 11:00-3:00. Then we invited Mom & Dad to come for Christmas.
I suggested to Kevin that he try doing a puzzle. I think he would like it and it would be good exercise for his brain. We bought a cute one the other day at Ace Hardware. He started putting it together tonight. He worked on it for 2 hours and I was very impressed. Oh, this was after one game of Cribbage, which I finally won. 😉
Monday Kevin woke up at 6:45 am, you know, he has a long commute! HAHA But as he was ready to log on to work and discovered he had left the charging cable at home. Off to Walmart he goes. Back quickly with a new one. He was kind and set up my sewing machine for me. I on one end of the table and he on the other. I love it!
Soon he was outside for the day working in his comfy camping chair. I had a lot of fun sewing in the trailer. I set up the cutting board on the end of the counter; plenty of room. It even has a plug right above for the iron.
For lunch I made Steak Bites with Garlic Butter (recipe below). I came to realize that on Kevin’s work days, we should have our big meal at lunch because as soon as he is done with work, we want to be off exploring and not taking the time to cook and not come back starving. In the afternoon I sewed some more and read.
As soon as Kevin was done with work at 4:00 pm, we were in the truck. We went to Traveler’s Quilt Book stop Quilted Works. It was a small shop and I was surprised not a lot of xmas fabric. But I did find a darling one with snowmen and bought it.
Then we went to what showed online as a used bookstore. It is called Book Bungalow. As the name says, it is in an old house, cute, but all new books. Kevin is interested in old books. Interesting, online we don’t find any used bookstores in this area.
We drove to Red Hills Desert Garden. This is a neat place where you can walk on and around red rocks that have been shaped from wind and water. Really fun place. We took out our walking sticks and did a bit of walking around. Kevin offered Costa Vida for supper and of course I couldn’t resist! (Otherwise, it was sandwiches.) We ate on our picnic table and enjoyed watching the sun go down and the moon come out.
Tuesday was incredibly relaxing. I did some quilting, reading and catching up on this diary. Kevin worked from outside. Lunch was French Dip. After work, we drove to a place in Hurricane called “Winder Towing.” They have a YouTube channel called Matt’s off -road Recovery. It is something that Kevin and his brother, Gary, have seen on YouTube and they laugh their heads off! As I understand it, if you need a tow, you get a free T-shirt with their logo. We went there because they have a little shop online and we thought he could buy some things from there. Every though we were there during the open hours and cars were in front, the door was locked.
Then we drove to Sand Hollow. I hear people talk about that place. It didn’t seem like much to us. Continued to drive along the east side of St George and around the south near the hotel we usually stay at. It is fun to drive around and just see life and houses. We went to Harmons Grocery for treats and bread and then back to camp. We were full from crackers and cheese I had taken with us. I read and Kevin watched some videos. We did a late night (9:30 PM!) walk-about and then went to bed.
Wednesday continued to be a relaxing and perfect weather day. For lunch I heated up the Chili Verde I made at home and we had it over tortilla chips. Yummy. That evening, I had to do a Zoom video conference meeting over the internet with the Department of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Council. Kevin got me all set up on his computer and I had my iPad for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). It worked well since I am deaf. Kevin went off to check out the storage place for our trailer that we rented. Afterwards, Kevin and I went on a walk-about and then came back and had sandwiches for supper at 7:00 PM. Enjoyed a lovely evening reading outside.
Thursday I was busy with emails with the Advisory Council and other things. I didn’t sew today but organized and edited a lot of pictures. I also read. Kevin is enjoying his work from his chair outside. 🙂 At 5:00 PM, we met our friend who goes to college here. We went to Angelica’s Mexican Restaurant. It was good food and fun to catch up with her. After dinner, Kevin and I drove around and looked at some campgrounds around here for ideas for next time. We found we really like Southern Utah RV Resort! Hey, look at the cool way the guy cleans the campground road:
We picked a name for our travel trailer. Since it is our Home On Wheels, we named it HOWE (pronounced How-ee). We even have the camping dates in our calendar listed under HOWE. HAHAHA
If you remember a few posts ago, we had decided to get a storage spot for HOWE in Southern Utah. This area is warmer and a place that Snowbirds (people who go south for the winter) like to be. Where we live, it is way too cold, too snowy, and most places in the mountains are closed because you can’t get there in the winter. So by having HOWE in the warmer area, we can drive there in a few hours and take it out and camp on long weekends, holidays, etc. Don’t worry, we will be camping in just a short time.
*Steak Pieces in Garlic Butter Yumminess
(We made this on the Blackstone Griddle but this recipe shows cooking on a stove)
1 1/4 lbs. steak, cut up into small pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp parsley, minced
Salt and Pepper
Over high heat, using a large pan, heat the olive oil. Season the steak with salt and pepper.
Place the meat in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir often so that each piece gets brown.
To the pan, add butter and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir so the sauce coats the meat.
Sunday we have a humungous drive from St George/Leeds KOA to our next campground, Southern Utah RV Resort….15 miles! HAHAHA We took our time this morning and finished off the Blueberry Muffins. We didn’t cook outside at this campground. After a walk-about to a historic brick house that is on the property there, we left at check out time, 11:00. We decided to drive to Southern Utah RV Resort to see if we could check in early, otherwise, check in is at 2:00. Kevin said they were so nice and said we could check in now. This was at 11:15! This place is great, paved road, gravel sites. Large sites! Each has a tree growing but is small since this place just opened up last year. Lifetime brand picnic table. Nice grass with games, bath house, etc. We really really like this place! It would be hot in the summer but perfect right now.
After we got all set up, we decided to drive to Kolob Canyon. It is the Northern part of Zion NP. It is right off I-15. We stopped at the visitor’s center but it is closed due to Covid. The Ranger outside with his table of maps was nice; no charge that day to go in the canyon. We drove the 5 miles to the end and like this entire area, it is hard to describe the beauty. Lots of cedar trees but then jutting up to the sky would be these red rock cliffs. Incredible.
We even got out and walked down a trail for a ways.
When we were down there, hum, what should we do now. We looked at the map and picked Cedar Breaks National Monument. You go up the canyon out of Cedar City. And can I tell you, again, breathtaking!
These rocks were white, not red like Kolob and Zion. The Autumn leaves were full bloom with lots of yellows. The road goes up over 10,000 ft in elevation. At Cedar Breaks National Monument, the temp was a cold 50 with wind blowing quite hard. It was beauty to see, though.
It looks like Bryce Canyon. Kevin checked and we were at 10,333 ft above sea level. We are so happy we went on that road. At one side stop, you can see clear to the mountains near Virgin. I recognized it from the other end. 🙂
Back at camp, Kevin cooked Philly cheesesteaks on the Griddle. No campfires in this campground but you can have propane. This campground is full and it has more huge motorhomes than we have seen elsewhere. Probably more of them than trailers.
6th Trip- Day 18-27, Oct 16-25,2020 Fillmore KOA, St George/Leeds KOA, Southern Utah RV Resort PART 1 🙂
This trip started out as a baseball-watching trip. Our high school friend is a fantastic baseball player and we like to go to his games. He was to have a tournament with college scouts watching on Oct 15-18 in St George. Kevin and I decided we would go and watch and camp in our trailer. Well, why not stay longer while we are there! (This is common for us. HAHA) Let’s make it a week, with Kevin working during the days, and then add the two weekends. We found a campground that looked neat but they only had openings from Sunday to Sunday. So Kevin booked that and then we booked a KOA near Leeds. Then, the baseball games got canceled, due to Covid, but we didn’t hesitate, we are still going. 🙂 Since we didn’t need to rush to a ball game, I suggested we go 1/2 way on Friday night. That way we wouldn’t be setting up in the dark. Kevin liked that idea and made the changes.
Friday we left after Kevin got off work (both always antsy to get going with excitement!). We had a great drive to Fillmore KOA. We thought there would be more traffic, this being Fall Break, but we were just a head of it. The campground at Fillmore is really great. It is a Journey with beautiful grass at each site, water, electricity and a dump. We didn’t use the dump, being there just one night. Our site was at the back and opened up to open range. In our walk-about, we saw a lot of ATVs. Talked to one guy and he said it is a popular place for them up in the mountains. We didn’t have a fire that night but just relaxed. I had made Tortellini Salad and homemade Banana Bread for dinner. It was perfect.
Saturday, after relaxing and breakfast of homemade (at home) Blueberry Muffins, we headed out. On the way, we stopped at The Creamery in Beaver. We had stopped before. We ate cheese curds and grilled cheese/patty melt. Then we walked around the store a little bit and bought some Salsa Cheese Curds. Next was famous ice cream. We ate it outside. Everyone wore masks. As we were walking to the truck to leave, I got a horrible feeling in my stomach. Had to take some time in their bathroom. As I got in the truck, Kevin had the same feeling and took some time in their bathroom. We didn’t feel well for about an hour afterwards, although we continued on our way. I think it must have been all the rich cheese…and it is so good we ate it fast. Thankfully, we felt better later. Oh, right as we left, I felt I needed the bathroom again. Kevin pulled into a parking lot and opened the door of the trailer for me. I ended up not needing it but there is something to say about having your bathroom with you. HA
We checked in at St George/Leeds KOA (Hurricane address). It is our least favorite campground, so far. Very clean but the spaces are too close together. One spot we saw two slides literally inches apart from each other. We would stay there if we have to, but not really planning on it.
After setting up, we decided to take a drive. We drove through Hurricane (much much bigger than I thought!), on through Springdale, and ended up at ZION NATIONAL PARK! Now, last week I had researched and saw that you get tickets ahead of time for the shuttles. They are every hour throughout the day. They are $1.00. I clicked on it and found out that every hour, for all 10 days we are down here, were sold out! (Places like this have been extremely busy due to Covid and add to that, Fall Break. No worries, we had been here before. We went to the Visitor’s Center and Kevin got his National Park Passport stamped. Success!
He bought a huge mug and we got Zion masks. Then we drove the “tunnel road”and my gosh, the scenery was stunning. It was “golden hour” about 5:30pm and the setting sun made the rocks, mountains, trees, everything just glow with beauty. We went out the other side of the tunnel a ways and then turned back around. As we entered the 1.1 mile long tunnel, I was curious about the inside. It was built around 1930 and I wondered if the ceiling was curved or flat. So I took a picture…
ZION NATIONAL PARK
We scored on our little “let’s go for a drive” big time! When we got back to the campground there was a trailer right next to us and so close we didn’t even feel like sitting outside. No worries, we were ready for bed.