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The Solar Eclipse & Vacation in a Volcano

Where The Buffalo Roam


View The Solar Eclipse & Vacation in a Volcano & East Of The Rockies on DillyLynn's travel map.

Hello, Friends! I finally feel like writing again. I can't wait to catch you up on all the places we've been. We're currently in one place with good internet access for at least 2 weeks and I'm determined to write a little every day.

This episode begins on August 15, 2017 as we head south from Billings, MT toward our Eclipse Viewing campsite at the Wyoming Eclipse Paramotor Fly-in. I'd planned to spend the night at the free campground in the Kaycee, WY city park. That campground was a joke, so we found a spot at the local rest stop and spent a quiet night there instead.

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Wyoming Eclipse PPG Fly-In - 8/18-22/2017

We arrived in Wheatland, WY a couple of days before we were allowed into the ranch where the Fly-in was to be held. We had to find a place nearby to spend a couple of nights.

Free and/or inexpensive overnight parking was impossible to find the week prior to the Eclipse. The cost of lodging and campsites within the Band of Totality, where the sun would be completely covered, had skyrocketed. Everyone was trying to cash in.

Luckily, we found an out-of-the-way spot at the Wheatland Airport and spent a quiet (& free!) Wednesday night there. We spent Thursday night at a rest stop just north of Wheatland and Friday morning we set off for the Fly-in site at Kamp Dakota Campground and Guest Ranch.

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This historic campground established in 1970 included a rodeo arena and once hosted amateur rodeos. These days the rodeo arena is long gone and campground is overgrown. The current owners, Adene and Randy Kusma, raise cattle on the land and operate the facility as a hunting lodge.

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Several abandoned RVs remain on the property; remnants of the ranch's former glory days. Just inside the door of this Winnebago Brave was one of the funniest things I'd seen in a while...

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Mike & I had a great time at the fly-in, meeting old friends and making new ones here in Wyoming.

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This group photo and the following one of the total eclipse were taken by Dallas Mount. The aerial shot of the flight line was taken by David Nebel. Click for more photos of the Wyoming Eclipse PPG Fly-In.

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Total Solar Eclipse - 8/21/2017

Wow! The total solar eclipse was an incredible, multi-sensory experience! Photos just don't do it justice. The temperature drops as the sun becomes covered completely. Crickets begin to chirp, just like they do at dusk, and there's an orange sunset glow in every direction. I'm already making plans to see the next one in the US in 2024!

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Medicine Bow National Forest - 8/22-24/2017

After the fly-in, we were invited to camp with some of our friends in the Medicine Bow National Forest. They led us to the Nash Fork Campground near Centennial, WY. It was a beautiful spot to spend a couple of days.

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One day we took a drive and found Little Brooklyn Lake. There's a little campground on the lakeshore. What a beautiful place!

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It was the end of August and the weather was still nice in Wyoming. Summer was winding down and many families had gone home. Back to school; my favorite time of year! :)

We'd made no plans to see Yellowstone National Park and decided we were too close not to try to see it. So we left Medicine Bow National Forest on Thursday and headed northwest to visit Jackson, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park and maybe even Yellowstone National Park.

On our way both to and from Yellowstone, we stayed in the camping area at the Lander, WY City Park on the banks of a river. We were lucky to snag the same private campsite each time we passed through town. You can see our rig in the distance through the trees along the creek in the second photo.

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Jackson Hole, Wyoming - 8/24-29/2017

Jackson Hole refers to the 48-mile long valley along the Snake River. This area includes Grand Teton National Park and the town of Jackson, WY. Here was our first look at the Teton Range:

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Our first campsite in Jackson Hole was on BLM land. Prized for being free and for its great view of the Grand Teton, this campsite was very popular and crowded. We only stayed here one night before moving on to Jackson, WY.

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We spent the weekend exploring the city of Jackson. Overnight parking on the street was allowed for 72 hours and spots were difficult to find, but we made it work.

One day we packed a picnic lunch and took a drive out to Atherton Creek Campground on the shores of Lower Slide Lake. We thought it might be a nice place to camp, but the sites were too small and not level. The view of the Teton Range from there was stunning, though:

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Jackson Hole is home to the largest elk herd on earth, but we didn't see any while we were here. Instead, on our way north we got as close as I would ever want to be to a large herd of wild bison! I'm sure the log fence between us and the herd was never meant to stop a stampede!

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Turn up the volume on this video to hear the sounds of bison:

Grand Teton National Park - 8/28/17

Since it was the end of summer, we decided to take our chances at getting a campsite in the Grand Teton National Park with no reservations. We were happy to learn there are plenty of campsites available this time of year!

We spent a very relaxing Monday night at Colter Bay Campground in site M263. The ranger that registered us gave us a site on the right side of the road so our cabin door would open into the forest. This would turn out to be our favorite campsite in Jackson Hole.

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Yellowstone National Park - 8/29 - 9/1

To be sure we'd have a place to stay, I did call ahead and make reservations for a couple of campsites in Yellowstone National Park. It was exciting to score a campsite in Yellowstone on such short notice. And they said it couldn't be done!

We entered the park on Tuesday, 8/29 and headed toward Bridge Bay Campground on the shores of Yellowstone Lake.

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We were assigned to campsite H413 in Bridge Bay. These campsites were much smaller and closer together than the ones at Colter Bay. As you can see, our neighbor across the street was unconcerned that his slide-out was intruding into the roadway, effectively pushing all traffic much closer to our front door than it needed to be. I continue to be amazed at how inconsiderate other campers can be about fitting within the boundaries of their campsite.

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After one night at Bridge Bay, we were glad to move to Grant Village Campground site I311 for 2 nights. We had a heck of a time getting level at this site. I think we worked on it for over an hour before we were happy. Though I didn't get a photo of our campsite, here's one of the campsite next door. It was really beautiful there.

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One evening we took a walk along a sandspit on Yellowstone Lake and watched some kayakers float by.

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During our 4 day/3 night stay in Yellowstone National Park we were able to drive around the entire Grand Loop Road. We saw many of the park's most famous sights including:

Lake Village Lodge - Tuesday, 8/29

This was our first look at one of several historic buildings we would visit during our stay at Yellowstone. It really is awe-inspiring to see these places in person.

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Yellowstone River

These photos and video speak for themselves. It was a beautiful day to be on The Yellowstone River.

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Old Faithful Lodge - Thursday, 8/31

We were both excited to see Old Faithful. We got there early, so it was easy to find a parking spot. I was surprised that there was so much more to see here than 'just' a geyser eruption.

The Old Faithful Lodge was built in the 1920s. This is the front entrance and side porch of the Lodge. Moments after I took this photo of an empty porch, a busload of tourists arrived and soon every seat was taken.

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These photos are of the main lobby. The giant windows look out on Old Faithful and the fireplace is directly across the room. Truly magnificent!

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Old Faithful Geyser

There's a clock in the lobby of the Old Faithful Lodge indicating when to expect the next eruption of Old Faithful. As that time draws near, the crowds gather with great anticipation. That's the Old Faithful Inn in the background.

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Seconds before its eruption, Old Faithful begins to bubble & spray. And then...

Old Faithful Inn

After the eruption, we walked around the geyser to see the Old Faithful Inn, which first opened in 1904. Impressive from the outside, it was even more so on the inside. The woodwork was incredible!

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Having had our fill of the Old Faithful Historic District. we continued around Grand Loop Road. Our next adventure was to be a short scenic drive...

Firehole Canyon Drive is a one-way loop off of Grand Loop Road that goes along the Firehole River. This canyon cuts through 800-foot lava flows, passes a 40-foot waterfall, and accesses one of only two swimming holes in Yellowstone National Park. Even though crowded and slow, this was a beautiful drive.

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The next geothermic feature we stopped to see turned out to be my favorite feature in Yellowstone...

Grand Prismatic Spring - Thursday, 8/31

Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the US. This area includes many smaller hot springs. As you approach the entry to this exhibit, you see this golden waterfall.

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This aerial view of the Grand Prismatic Spring is from Wikipedia. You can see the boardwalk we walked in the lower right corner...

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This photo of people standing on the boardwalk at the edge of the Spring. Yes, it really is that steamy!

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l was a little nervous being surrounded by this prehistoric stew. It seemed like the earth could erupt at any second! The hot springs are fascinating nonetheless, and I'm really glad I saw this place with my own eyes. The clear blue water and brilliant colors here are amazing!

The vivid colors are caused by the organisms living at the water's edge. During summer the microbes don't produce much chlorophyll and appear orange, red, or yellow. In winter, less sunlight causes more chlorophyll to be produced and the colors become muted. I'm glad we visited while the colors were brightest!

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Hayden Valley - Thursday, 8/31

Our next Yellowstone adventure would be driving through Hayden Valley. There are lots of happy bison living in this valley. Those dark spots dotting the landscape are bison.

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Here you see the Yellowstone River running through Hayden Valley. The mountains in the distance form part of the rim of the Yellowstone Supervolcano and we were in the middle of the caldera! Yikes!

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Once we experienced the requisite bison traffic jam, I felt our Yellowstone trip was complete:

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Our last stop on Grand Loop Road was at the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Here there are more blue hot springs and a couple of boiling mud pots:

It was unsettling to be surrounded by so much volcanic activity and fascinating at the same time; It was the experience of a lifetime and I was glad to leave!

We left Yellowstone on Friday, 9/1. With one last look at the Grand Teton Mountains...

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...we headed south, spending our last night in Wyoming at the Laramie Walmart parking lot.

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Here's a map showing our route through Wyoming:


Next I'll tell about when we were East of the Rockies in Colorado and New Mexico. We were near Rocky Mountain National park during elk rutting season and had several close encounters. Tune in next time to see what happened... :)

If you're interested, please subscribe to Our Permanent Vacation by clicking this "Subscribe" link. Thanks for coming along! Until next time...

Posted by DillyLynn 21:56 Archived in USA Comments (2)

It's Our First Nomadiversary!

One Year Of Living Full-Time In Our RV

We can hardly believe it's been a whole year since we moved out of our sticks-and-bricks condo in Santa Barbara. This time last year I was sitting in a lawn chair in our living room because we had just sold my favorite chair.

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Over the past year, we have traveled across the US from the Mexican to the Canadian borders and back again. We've visited several states that we'd never been to before and made new friends along the way. We've seen herds of bison, elk, antelope and lots of other wildlife in their native habitats. We have had some amazing adventures so far.

One of the best things about being mobile is the having the ability to stay in a comfortable climate year-round. We spent the summer in Northern Idaho and Wyoming near the Canadian border. As summer turned to fall, we traveled south through Colorado, saw the first snow of the season in the Rockies and just enough fall colors before reaching the desert Southwest.

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As I write this, we are camping at Elephant Butte Lake State Park in southern New Mexico. The weather is beautiful here this time of year and the crowds are gone. I'll be posting more photos of our latest adventures soon. I just couldn't let this day pass without commemorating our first year on the road.

Both of us have adapted very well to this tiny home on wheels. Honestly, we have everything we need and nothing we don't. Our Permanent Vacation is turning out to be everything we hoped it would be. We eagerly look forward to another year of exploration and adventure. This is the life!

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Posted by DillyLynn 14:00 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Utah Rocks!

Arches, Canyons, Petroglyphs and Dinosaur Bones

Hello, Everyone! I have finally finished this very long post about our travels in Utah. We've been moving so often it's been hard to find the time to write. And lately, we've been camping out of cell range, so it's sometimes impossible to upload this blog.

We've had a great summer exploring Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Currently we're camping in Estes Park, CO at the entrance to Rock Mountain National Park. I'm already working on my next article, so it won't be such a long time before you hear from me again. Anyway, I hope you enjoy hearing about our travels through Utah.

For years I've heard about how beautiful Utah is, and I've seen pictures, of course. But there is nothing quite like being here. The colorful rock walls and arches seem "other-worldly". We had a great time exploring the "Trail of the Ancients".

This story begins while we were camped just outside of Moab, UT.

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Arches National Park - Friday, 4/28/17

It was a beautiful day, but too windy to fly. We decided to go into Moab for lunch and tour Arches afterward. Our friend Jim (Sky) King was with us. The park was not crowded this time of year so it was a perfect time to visit. Ours was mostly an auto tour, plus a few easy, level, short hikes.

This is one of the first scenic overlooks you reach after entering the park. This collective formation is called Park Avenue and there's a short path that goes through the valley to meet the road on the other side. Note the stairs in the foreground.

I think this was my favorite stop in Arches. Wish my knees would have let me take the hike, but we enjoyed the view nonetheless.

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This formation is called Balanced Rock for obvious reasons.

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All the formations are so HUGE! It's impossible to judge size without a reference, so I'm including this shot of Mike & Jim next to one of the formations:

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This is called Turret Arch. I half-expected to see Fred Flintstone any minute. :D

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This formation is called the North Window and South Window.

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We were lucky that it wasn't crowded here. I was able to capture the North Window with just Mike (arms wide) and Jim in the shot.

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This is Wolfe Ranch Cabin, an old homestead settled in 1888. Can you imagine living in a place like this?

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This is just a random far-away ridge. It looked bright orange in the distance.

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This is the Delicate Arch formation. There is a 1-mile trail up to it, but we weren't up for the hike. I was happy to be able to enjoy it from afar. If you look closely, you can barely see tiny people to the left of the arch.

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Dead Horse Point State Park - Tuesday, 5/2/17

Dead Horse Point State Park was a beautiful place to have lunch. This scenery was some of my favorite in Southern Utah.

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The light blue pools you see here are the solar evaporation ponds of a potash refinery. The bright blue dye is added to speed up evaporation. Potash is used as a plant fertilizer.

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A panoramic view from Dead Horse Point State Park:

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This is the same tower from two different points of view:

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Trail of the Ancients

Evidence of prehistoric Native Americans is found all over the Four Corners region. We spent the month of May exploring cave dwellings and petroglyphs of our ancestral Pueblo people from Monument Valley to Mesa Verde National Park. Rock art can be seen along the walls of the Colorado River and its tributaries. You can drive right to one of these petroglyph sites on UT Highway 279.

Petroglyph Panel Along Colorado River/UT 279 - Wednesday, 5/3/17

Even though I'd seen many photos of ancient artwork, it was thrilling to see it with my own eyes. I learned that pictographs refer to painted artwork and petroglyphs are pecked or chiseled into the rock. Look closely. Each of these photos contains many individual figures. They were very high on this wall, so difficult to photograph.

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Mill Canyon Dinosaur Bone Trail & Track Site - Wednesday, 5/3/17

As a child, I was fascinated by dinosaur bones. At Mill Canyon we had a chance to see some giant lizard footprints preserved in a prehistoric algae crust and some dinosaur bones preserved within a rock wall. The dinosaur tracks were just recently discovered in 2009. It was thrilling for me to see. Can you imagine the size of the lizards that left these footprints?

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It was a hot, dusty hike to see the dinosaur tracks and I thought well worth the effort.

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Next we drove up Mill Canyon to the Dinosaur Bone Trail. This hike was a little more difficult than the one to the Dino Tracks. Thank goodness for hiking poles!

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It was fascinating to be able to see the bones so clearly within the canyon wall. Here is part of a humerus (upper arm):

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These two photos are of vertebrae, or bones of the neck or back.

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This is part of the shoulder blade and some ribs of a dinosaur. Can you see one of the ribs protruding from the rock?

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This cavity is the void left from an ancient tree trunk. You can actually see the rings of the tree in the petrified wood left behind!

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This photo shows the Twin Sisters at the end of Mill Canyon. It was a beautiful place. Hard to believe that it was once a very wet environment.

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Also located here are the ruins of an old rest stop known as Halfway Station. In the late 1800s, it served as a rest stop for people making the 35-mile, 8-hour trek from Moab to the railroad station at Thompson, UT.

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Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky - Thursday, 5/4/17

The next morning we drove to Canyonlands National Park. This national park is divided into 3 separate areas: Island in the Sky, Needles, and Maze. This day we visited the Island in the Sky. The Green and Colorado Rivers carved these canyons into the terrain. You can see one of the rivers in these photos.

See the White Rim around the top of the canyons? There is a 100-mile road around this rim which is very popular with mountain-bike riders and 4-wheel-drive campers. The views must be fantastic from down there. We weren't quite that adventurous, and enjoyed the views from up top.

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We took the very short and easy hike to see Mesa Arch. It turned out to be a view that I recognized from other photos. I've decided it's one of my favorite arches. A kind Frenchman volunteered to take a photo of us here.

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This photo is of me framing the following photo:

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I think this is the money shot!

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On Monday, May 8, we headed south from Moab planning to stay in a dispersed camping area we found near Blanding, UT. When we arrived at the turnoff, we made the mistake of not scouting the campsite first with our car before taking the rig down a one-lane dirt road. We'll never do THAT again!

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The red dirt became deep, loose sand and we almost got stuck several times! Luckily, we came upon a wide-enough spot in the road where we could detach our tow car and turn the rig around. Lesson learned. Now, we ALWAYS scout for new campsites with our car first before committing to drive the RV in. :P

It was getting late and we just wanted to find a place to sleep. We drove back to Blanding and were able to sharpen our urban boondocking skills.

To be successful at urban boondocking, you need to arrive at your night spot in late evening and move to your day spot early in the morning. We found a level night spot behind an abandoned restaurant and spent 3 quiet nights there. Early each morning, we'd move our rig to a side street to have breakfast and plan our outing for the day.

Blanding was in a great location from which to explore Natural Bridges and Bear's Ears National Monuments.

Mule Canyon Ruins - Wednesday, 5/10/17

One day, we took a drive to Natural Bridges National Monument. On the way, we came across the Mule Canyon Ruins. These ruins were so well preserved and close to UT-95 that it was selected for development as an interpretive rest stop. This was the first of many ancestral ruins we were to see on the Trail of the Ancients and every bit as interesting as some of the preserved pit houses we saw at Mesa Verde National Park. Here we had the place all to ourselves!

This ancestral site includes a restored below-ground kiva and the remains of an L-shaped block of 12 rooms. The kiva would have had a mud-covered roof with an opening and ladder for access from above.. The rooms may have housed 2 or 3 families which were connected to the ceremonial kiva by an underground tunnel.

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The first of these photos shows the kiva's fireplace and the second shows the opposite side of the kiva. The vertical rock in front of the fireplace was used to deflect the heat around the kiva.

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Natural Bridges National Monument - Wednesday, 5/10/17

After our tour of Mule Canyon Ruins, we continued toward Natural Bridges National Monument. Bridge View Drive is a short, very scenic loop. There are three main bridges in this national monument. The first of these is Sipapu Bridge. The bridge is difficult to see in this photo, but it is just to the left of the rock formation near the center of the photo. You can see green trees growing beneath it.

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This is the Kachina Bridge. The following photo includes a panoramic view of the canyon in which it was formed. Spectacular!

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And this is the Owachomo Bridge, right in the center of this photo.

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On the way back from Natural Bridges, we had to document this part of the road. The notch cut in this massive ridge for UT-95 was impressive. Driving between the thick towering rock walls was slightly intimidating. Watch out for Falling Rock!

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Bears Ears National Monument - Wednesday, 5/10/17

The Bears Ears National Monument is enormous. It surrounds Natural Bridges National Monument and Valley Of The Gods, is adjacent to Canyonlands National Park on two sides and extends from Moab to Mexican Hat, UT. Its most identifying feature, and the inspiration for its name, are the twin buttes you see here.

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I didn't think the buttes looked very much like bears ears at all. I learned that they are supposed to represent Changing-Bear-Maiden's ears which had been cut off by her Navajo brothers so she could change into another form. Oh, okay...

The Bears Ears have been important landmarks for centuries in the Four Corners region. They can be seen from as far east as Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado and as far south as Monument Valley Tribal Park in Arizona. Locals are divided about whether Bears Ears should remain a National Monument, though. Some Blanding residents were displaying "#RescindBearsEars" and "#NoMonument" banners while we were there.

Sand Island Campground with Petroglyphs- Thursday, 5/11/17

We headed south from Blanding on Thursday, 5/11. We got as far as Mexican Hat, scouting several BLM campsites along the way. The dispersed campsites we explored were either unacceptable or inaccessible to our 30 ft. rig. We didn't want to go further south, so we decided to turn back toward Blanding. Just west of Bluff, UT, we found our next front yard at Sand Island Campground.

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Sand Island Boat Launch and Campground is on the San Juan River. It's a very popular launch for river rafters and is a great place to camp. The sites are large and private. The petroglyph panel was particularly interesting to us. The entire red wall you see here was covered in ancient artwork. It was neat to be able to walk from our campsite to explore the panel.

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Hovenweep National Monument - Saturday, 5/13/17

While we were staying at Sand Island, we took a day trip to visit the Puebloan ruins at Hovenweep National Monument. Thank you for the recommendation, Sue! We thoroughly enjoyed seeing these ruins and it was a great time of the year to visit. The park was not crowded, temperatures were mild and spring in the desert was in full bloom.

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These buildings were constructed more than 700 years ago. Across the canyon you can see the Twin Towers and Rimrock House on the rim. Below the rim there is an Eroded Boulder House with a bright roof. The structure in the foreground of this photo is described as a Unit Type House, probably used as a family dwelling.

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These next two photos were taken from the Tower Point, looking down Little Ruin Canyon. You can see the Eroded Boulder House, Twin Towers and Rim Rock House from a different perspective. The Twin Towers are aligned perfectly and look like one tower instead of two. Just below the Towers, the Eroded Boulder House looks like a mushroom.

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This photo shows the Square Tower in the canyon, Hovenweep House on the rim across the canyon and Hovenweep Castle in the foreground.

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Here's a couple more photos of Hovenweep Castle, the largest of all the structures:

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Spring in the desert; what a great time to be here!

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Monument Valley - Sunday, 5/21/17

We couldn't leave this area without taking the drive to Monument Valley. I couldn't decide which of these photos I liked best...

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Mike & I had been to a PPG fly-in at Monument Valley in October 2010. I found an old photo of our campsite then. It was fun reminiscing about camping in our van. We stopped and had lunch there again.

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Mesa Verde National Park - Monday, 5/22/17

On Monday, we moved to Moreland Campground inside Mesa Verde National Park, home of the famous Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings. The campground was almost empty and the campsites are huge! We were able to choose any campsite we wanted. We scouted around and were able to find one of the only sites with cell service. I'm always in a better mood with internet access. :) By Memorial Day weekend, the campground was packed.

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We were lucky to be able to explore the park during the week before the massive Memorial Day crowds arrived. We took our first short drive just before sunset and the views took our breath away. This massive ridge is called The Knife Edge.

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The first cliff dwelling we saw was the Square Tower House. Residents accessed these dwellings via hand-and-toe holds carved into the cliff face and ropes and ladders.

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Here are the preserved remains of a pit house and several pueblo dwellings.

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These images are two halves of the same ridge. These ruins are called the Fire Temple. Experts suspect these structures were used for ceremonial purposes.

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This is the famous Cliff Palace. Incredible to see in person.

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This is the Spruce Tree House.

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Once you learn what to look for, you begin to spot small ruins under many other canyon ledges.These ruins are near the Spruce Tree House. They were not labeled, and it would have been easy to miss them.

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This is Cedar Tree Tower.

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These next photos are of Far View Community. This was once one of the most densely populated areas of Mesa Verde. Experts estimate these buildings were constructed around 800 AD, centuries before the famous cliff dwellings were built.

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Back To Sand Island Campground - Wednesday, 5/31/17

Many of the more popular ruins at Mesa Verde had been swept clean and restored. We were more interested in seeing ancestral ruins that had not been altered. We heard there were several unimproved ruins near Sand Island Campground, so we returned to Bluff, UT for a few days. This time we were lucky enough to get a primo campsite right on San Juan River at Sand Island.

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During one of our excursions, I spotted a cave dwelling just west of Bluff on the north side of UT-162. The next day, we packed a picnic lunch and set out to visit it.

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Spring was turning into summer and temperatures had begun to rise in Southern Utah. One day the river breeze just wasn't enough to cool us down and we were thankful our generator had been serviced in Reno. Imagine our disappointment and frustration when the generator did NOT start, again!

What could be wrong with it? The generator had been running perfectly when we left Reno.

Mike deduced the problem could be a bad fuel pump. He called around and found the part we needed at a Cummins dealer in Salt Lake City. The next day was Friday and the Cummins dealer was closed on the weekend. If we wanted to be able to have air conditioning without being plugged in, we had no choice but to make the 7-hour drive to SLC on Friday.

Salt Lake City - Friday, 6/2/17

We arrived at the Cummins dealer after a long day of driving and picked up the new fuel pump. As we were leaving the parking lot, we heard a strange clunk from the rear of the RV. Our tow bar had broken! So glad there was no traffic and no one got hurt! Luckily we were in a large city and the local RV superstore had the exact replacement we needed in stock.

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I hadn't expected to be in Salt Lake City and hadn't researched any places to camp, so we stayed at Camping World the first night and Cracker Barrel the second night.

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It was hot and uncomfortable without air conditioning, so we checked into the Pony Express RV Resort and enjoyed having full hookups while Mike worked on our generator.The Pony Express RV Resort is centrally located in SLC. The pool & facilities are nice and clean. Compared to other RV parks in the area, this is definitely the nicest one.

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Our good friends Jerry & Becky stayed next to us for a few days on their way up to Montana. They gave us the grand tour of their new-to-them Monaco Cayman named Nautilus. We had a good time catching up. It was a treat to meet "on the road".

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Mike installed the new fuel pump in the generator and.... it still would not run. What the heck?!

Mike finally found the answer online in the Lazy Daze Owners forum. He found an air leak in the fuel line from the gas tank to the generator. After that short fuel line was replaced, the generator ran like a top! Hallelujah!

We took advantage of being in a big city to have some preventive maintenance done on Sara. On Wednesday morning, it was finally time to head north!

Crystal Hot Springs - Wednesday, 6/14/17

It was a relief to leave the big city behind. Our last stop in stop in Utah was at a cute little campground in Honeyville. Crystal Hot Springs is a mineral-hot-spring water park with 3 hot tubs, a soaker pool, an Olympic pool, two water slides and a campground. The campsites are in a beautiful, park-like setting.

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There is a cold spring that surfaces here less than 50 ft. from the mineral hot spring. Both springs feed the pools and hot tubs. We took advantage of the hot tubs and that mineral water does feel incredible! We would definitely stay here again.

And that, my friends, is the end of this episode. Next time I'll tell you about our adventures in Idaho. Neither Mike nor I had ever been to Idaho and we were amazed by the beauty surrounding us there!

Here's a map showing our route through Utah:


If you're interested in following along with us, please subscribe to Our Permanent Vacation by clicking this "Subscribe" link. Until next time!

Posted by DillyLynn 06:58 Archived in USA Comments (6)

The Lonely Road To Moab

We Survived "The Loneliest Road In America"


View Utah Rocks! & The Lonely Road To Moab on DillyLynn's travel map.

We had mixed feelings about leaving Dayton, NV. We were ready for new surroundings, but still a little sad to leave such a friendly place. We drove to Reno on Wednesday 4/19 to have our generator serviced. We had to wait for a part to be delivered, so we ended up staying in the Atlantis Casino parking lot for 2 nights.

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We were headed to Moab, UT to meet up with some PowerParaglidinG friends from Idaho and New Mexico. We could have continued northeast from Reno on Interstate 80 through Salt Lake City, but we chose a more direct backroad to Moab across the middle of Nevada on Route 50.

The Nevada portion of US Route 50 was named "The Loneliest Road in America" by Life magazine in July 1986. The name originates from large desolate areas traversed by the route, with few or no signs of civilization. We found that description to be completely accurate. The route was constructed over an historic corridor, first used for the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. We saw the remnants of several Pony Express way stations along the highway.

The first leg of our journey from Reno was desolate and beautiful. Our first stop would be in the Toiyabe Mountain Range. Thank goodness we were able to cross this range below the snow line!

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We rolled into the cute little mining town of Austin, NV on the afternoon of Friday 4/21. It would have been fun to explore Austin for a day or two, but we had people to meet in Moab, so we needed to keep moving. We asked a local where we might be able to stay overnight and he recommended the city park. It was a great place to stop for the night. Mike even threw a couple of horseshoes for fun.

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The next night I planned to stay at a BLM campground just east of Ely, NV. The Sacramento Pass Recreation Area is the nicest free campground I've ever seen; with covered picnic tables, bbq grills, pit toilets, trash pickup, even a fishing pond! I couldn't believe we had the campground all to ourselves, especially on a Saturday night! This place must be packed during the summer.

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We crossed the Nevada/Utah border on Sunday morning, headed for Salina, UT. It was interesting to see how the landscape changed. The vegetation gradually became different, and so did the terrain. I snapped a few photos of how rocky it was becoming.

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I had no idea where we would sleep that night, but I knew we could stay at a truck stop in Salina if we couldn't find anyplace else. Luckily, we came across the Blackhawk Arena. The parking lot was open and mostly deserted. Security drove by and didn't ask us to leave, so we were set for the night. We were sure glad to have the arena as shelter from the windstorm that blew through shortly after we arrived.

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The terrain around Interstate 70 from Salina to Moab is some of the most stunning I've ever seen. We just had to stop at a couple of vista points to take in the scenery:

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The terrain turned more red as we approached Moab:

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Our campsite was located in a BLM dispersed camping area off Highway 313,; the same road that leads to Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park. We arrived on Monday 4/24 in plenty of time to stop at the scenic overlooks on the way to camp:

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We saw this type of rock formation everywhere. I found it so interesting that these are calcified ancient sand dunes!

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Our friend Steve had sent us the GPS coordinates of the BLM campsite where we were to meet. Mike & I found it easily and it was a beautiful spot! We were the first of our PPG group to arrive, but we weren't alone for long. The campsite was in a beautiful location amidst the red canyons and mesas. We arranged our RVs into a communal circle, much like the wagon trains of old.

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Unfortunately it was extremely windy during the first week we were there, so we had to find other things to do besides fly. One day, we all took an ATV ride to a special place for a picnic lunch. One of the couples had an extra ATV and generously loaned it to me & Mike for the day. Ours was the red ATV in this photo.

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It was a lot of fun zooming through the countryside in the ATV. I can definitely see the appeal of off-roading. Here's a spot where we took a short break:

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We arrived at our lunch destination and had to hike through a short tunnel to get to our picnic spot. The view on the other side made a great backdrop for lunch.

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I felt a little like a mountain goat here. The "trail" was really narrow.

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Even though Mike wasn't able to fly as much as he wanted to, we thoroughly enjoyed becoming better friends with those we already knew and making good friends with people new to the group. Several people could be with us for only one week. Those of us who stayed an extra day were rewarded with good weather to fly. Here's a short video of Mike's first launch. Thanks for the video, Kirk!

Because there is so much to see around Moab, Mike & I decided to stay another week. After our PPG friends left on Monday 5/1, we moved to a more sheltered campsite in the same area. The first photo shows both our old campsite and where we moved to.

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Here we were within just a few miles of Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands National Park, petroglyph panels and dinosaur tracks. To see those photos, read my next post, Utah Rocks!

Here's a map showing our route to Moab, UT:


If you're interested in following along with us, please subscribe to Our Permanent Vacation by clicking this "Subscribe" link. Until next time!

Posted by DillyLynn 15:38 Archived in USA Comments (12)

Flying @ Salton Sea and Fireworks!

From Yuma to Lake Havasu City, Arizona


View Time Travel In Nevada & Flying With Friends & Fireworks & Journey To Quartzsite on DillyLynn's travel map.

After we left Blue Sky Ranch RV Park in Yuma, AZ, we drove a few miles north on Highway 95 to the small BLM lot next to the VFW Hall. We made camp there overnight on Sunday 1/29 so we wouldn't be driving with the weekend traffic. Yes, the mountains really were that orange at sunset!

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The next day, we headed back toward California on Interstate 8. We knew about some BLM land around Ogilby Road in Southern CA, and wanted to check it out. You can legally camp on BLM land up to 14 days for free, but sometimes it takes a while to find a level spot...

Can you see how Mike backed up into a wash to lower the rear of the RV? He's becoming quite the expert at leveling our rig. We really enjoyed this site once we got settled. Seemed a shame to leave such a perfectly level site, but Mike was jonesing to fly. So the next morning we headed for the Salton Sea.

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We arrived at the Salton Sea for the annual PPG (Power Paraglider) Fly-in/Gathering on 1/31. The PPG Gathering has been held at West Shores Marina & RV Park for several years now. This time of year, conditions around the Salton Sea are perfect for powered flight. Temperatures are warm and the sea has a calming effect on the wind. Sport pilots of every type from all across the country look forward to this fly-in every year.

We are always glad to see our friends when we go to the Salton Sea Gathering. It was especially nice to see some familiar faces after being on the road for almost 3 1/2 months. The weather was perfect and everyone got their fill of flying. Here are some photos of the flight line on Saturday, at its most crowded:

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The Salton Sea Gathering officially ended on Sunday 2/5. Many had to return home and the campground emptied out.

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Several of us were lucky enough to stay a little longer. Mike & I stayed until 2/13 and he flew to his heart's content.

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Look at all the grass growing through the gravel. I have never seen so much grass here before! The copious amount of rain in California this year has really helped alleviate the drought.

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I was excited to head north toward Lake Havasu City, AZ on Monday 1/13. We were going there to watch the Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show beginning on Thursday. I love fireworks and there was a fireworks show scheduled every night for 4 nights! I was really looking forward to it.

We had a few days to get to Lake Havasu City, so we took our time. Along the way, we spent one night on some BLM land near the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. The front yard du jour included a weathered wooden corral and old windmill.

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And of course, windmills are for climbing...

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We continued north on Valentine's Day Tuesday and spent a free night on some land near the Colorado River and Bluewater Resort & Casino in Parker, AZ. Parker is a great place to re-fuel and re-supply. I'm surprised I didn't take any photos of that campsite. You didn't miss anything, though. There wasn't really much to see except a gravel parking lot anyway.

We arrived at Elks Lodge #2399 in Lake Havasu City on Wednesday 2/15. This is a terraced, gravel-covered campground with very roomy and fairly level sites. The electrical & water pedestals looked brand new. It was a very nice place to camp in Lake Havasu City. We would definitely stay here again.

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We enjoyed exploring Lake Havasu City later that afternoon. Lighthouse replicas were scattered along the path around the lake. I can just imagine how busy Lake Havasu must get when the weather warms up!

On Thursday, we scouted out a great spot to watch the fireworks from the BLM land near the grandstand. We had a perfect, unobstructed view. Hundreds of people were camping there for the pyrotechnics show. (We initially thought we would be camping here, too. By the time we made it to Lake Havasu, there wasn't a level spot to be found. Thank goodness there was an Elks Lodge nearby!)

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We saw the fireworks shows on Thursday and Sunday. Unfortunately, a storm blew through on Friday and Saturday. It was just too cold and wet to be outside, so we stayed home. On Sunday, the conditions were perfect for fireworks, and I could hardly wait for nightfall! We packed our chairs, some drinks and a picnic dinner, got there before sunset and waited for the show to begin.

Sunday night's show was fit for a king. Fireworks began before sunset; so early, you could hardly see them in the sky. After hours of fireworks, the finale was a full 30 minutes of non-stop action! It was magnificent! If I had known how well my iPhone would capture the fireworks, I would have taken more video. This is a very short sample of the fireworks we saw:

Here's a map showng this leg of our journey:

That does it for this episode. Next time, I'll tell y'all about our Time Travel Through Nevada. If you're interested in following along with us, please subscribe to Our Permanent Vacation by clicking this "Subscribe" link.

Posted by DillyLynn 10:18 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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