Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Settled In


Bill and I arrived safe and sound to Yellowstone RV Park in Gardiner, MT on Sunday.  We had called the office and told them we would be arriving a few days early, so even though the office was closed, there was a campground map with our name and site number on it posted on the door.
 
We once again have a nice site that backs up to the Yellowstone River.  (That's our rig on the right, and our friends, Rich and Ronda, on the left.)  We will be here for about two weeks...where are we going from there?  I actually don't know yet, but it will be in the interior of Yellowstone National Park.

Since we were just here in February, we didn't feel that great urge to get set up and then go right into the park.  After being on the road for three days straight, we enjoyed getting settled and just relaxing...and enjoying a visit from the Yellowstone welcoming committee.




On Monday, we went into the park to see the Park Rangers at the Albright Visitor Center to register our truck and get that special sticker for the window that allows us to enter the park with just a friendly wave to the Ranger at the entrance kiosk.  

The visitor center is undergoing a huge renovation with a completion date of May 2015.  There is a temporary building set up across the street for the summer.
 

 And this time of year, Mammoth Hot Springs is a ghost town.

These pictures show how little snow there is in Mammoth...makes me wonder what the interior of park is like. (This sure is different from February.)    

Tomorrow, Bill and I check in with HR and make it official once again.  I start work that afternoon, and Bill will be back at it Friday morning.  We're ready to get going!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Travel Days

After our fun and relaxing stay at Glen Canyon, it was time for us to head north.  This is when we try to cover as much ground as possible, while keeping a close eye on the weather.  When we have decent weather, we keep going, because we never know when a spring storm will blow in, and we will have to hole up for a day or two.  We would much rather get to our final destination a few days early than to be stressing over arriving on time.

On Friday, we had a beautiful drive.  We left Glen Canyon and headed west on Hwy 89 to Kanab, UT, where we turned north and stayed on Hwy 89 until it reached Hwy 28, which took us right to I-15 in Nephi, UT.  

If you are ever headed in this direction, we highly recommend this route.  Hwy 89 is a nice two line highway that goes through a variety of landscapes, which makes for a lovely travel day.  One of my favorite areas is called "Rock Candy Mountain."  This name is so appropriate...the colors were amazing!  Sorry...no pictures.

We stopped for the night at Hi-Country RV Park in Nephi.  It was a perfect overnight stop.  Flying J was conveniently located just up the road, so we could fill the tank before pulling into a nice big 50-amp pull-thru site for $25.  Not bad!

This morning we hopped on I-15 in Nephi, UT and hopped off in Dillon, MT.  This area can be iffy to travel through this time of year.  In fact, in past years, there was always snow/wind/rain to deal with.  Today was clear sailing...except for a few sprinkles.  There was very little snow on the ground, so we kept going.

It was a long day on the road, but we're now settled in at Southside RV Park in Dillon.  We have another big pull-thru with wi-fi and a huge cable TV list.  All this for $30...not bad.

Tomorrow we will have a shorter day to Gardiner, MT, where we will settle in for the next little while.  Our friends, Rich and Ronda, are already there and say they will have supper ready for us.  Can't get much better than that!

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Perfect Day!

Today Bill and I awoke to a beautiful day with no wind!  Perfect, since we had reservations to visit Antelope Canyon located on the Navajo Reservation.  So, after our morning exercises, we loaded up and headed to town for the 10:30 tour.  We have talked about visiting this slot canyon every time we've been in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and today we finally did.  Since Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land, you must take a tour with a Navajo guide.

We were loaded on a truck like this one and then took a 20 minute drive to the canyon.  A 20 minute very bumpy and rough ride through a sandy wash.

 
Here is the entrance to Antelope Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon.
I found it difficult to get really good pictures, due to the number of people, the poor lighting, and flash photography not being allowed.  Pictures do not do it justice.



Fortunately, we were there at noon, and we were able to see this beam of light reaching the ground.  (That's why we paid extra for the "peak" tour.)
We were in the canyon for about an hour, along with several other tour groups.  At times I felt rushed and unable to really enjoy the beauty of the canyon, but all in all, it was a great experience.

Here we are leaving the canyon and heading back to our truck.  You can tell how popular this canyon is by all the parked vehicles. 


After our Antelope Canyon visit, we drove out to see Horseshoe Bend.  This is a "must do" for us whenever we're in the area.  It's a short walk from the parking area to this amazing view.
 


























































       
After a quick stop at the grocery store and the gas station, we were back at the rig where we enjoyed a campfire after dinner.  We have been carrying a bundle of firewood around with us since our tent camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park back in November.  It was a perfect way to end a perfect day!
  
Tomorrow we head north...back to winter.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wahweap Campground - Lake Powel National Recreation Area

Today we had another short travel day, less than 200 miles.  Remember the winds that I mentioned in yesterday's post?  Well, they were back today.  At times we had a crosswind, then a headwind, and even a tail wind every now and then.  We were happy to reach our destination.

Wahweap is one of our favorite stops.  In addition to being very scenic, the area offers lots of great hikes.  We hope to take advantage of what the area offers.  However, today we are hunkered in, waiting for the wind to die down.

There are few rigs in the campground, and we were able to snag a favorite site...#5...a huge pull-thru with a nice view of Lake Powell.
 Here's the view from our dining room table:


Monday, March 31, 2014

Yellowstone...Here We Come!

It feels good to be on the road!  Even though we had a fantastic winter, we are happy to be on the road again.

We took our time getting ready this morning and pulled out just before 10:00.  Fortunately, we had a nice, uneventful day...just the way we like them.  You can sure tell it's spring...there were LOTS of RVs on the road.

If you've been a blog-follower for any amount of time, you should know how much I detest going through cities.  Thank goodness, it doesn't phase Bill at all.  The drive through Phoenix was like a walk in the park...a very crowded and busy park, but a park nonetheless.

We had a short day today, about 200 miles, stopping in Camp Verde, AZ.  We are Passport America members, and I had a PA park selected.  When we arrived around 2:30, there was just overflow sites available.  The site had water and electric, which would be fine for an overnight, but when we saw the site, we knew it wouldn't work for us.  So, we ended up back at Distant Drums RV Park.  We stopped here on our way home from Yellowstone in October.  You can read about that stay here.

We were able to get a big pull-thru site, so we didn't have to unhook.  Plus, they offer free wi-fi and cable.  Since it seems I have become addicted to "The Voice" on Monday nights, I am happy to have cable.  And, we got off the road just in time.  As we were setting up, the winds picked up something fierce.  

Here's a picture of our site...and as you can see, that obnoxious, Vegas-like flashing sign is still here.  (You can see it above our slide.)
Tomorrow....on to Page, AZ, where we will play for a few days in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Day of Fun and Meeting New Friends

Yes, it's trite, but I'm going to say it anyway...the best part of this lifestyle is the folks we meet along the way.

Bill and I had the great opportunity to meet Wayne and Rhonda of Turn When the Road Does.  We have been following each others blogs for a while, and today we finally met face to face.

We had a delicious lunch at a cute coffee shop/restaurant in Patagonia, and then Bill and I were treated to a tour of Patagonia Lake State Park, where Wayne and Rhonda are volunteering.  It was a beautiful day for a boat ride.

We were in good hands with Wayne at the helm, and Rhonda shared lots of info about the lake and the local wildlife.
 
 Patagonia Lake is a real gem in the desert.

And here's the obligatory group shot.  Thanks again, Wayne and Rhonda, for a fun day.  Looking forward to our paths crossing again!
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Countdown has Begun!

The two biggies are crossed off our to-do list:  our winter visit to Yellowstone and my mother's visit to Benson.  Now, Bill and I have just two weeks before we head back to Yellowstone for the summer.

This winter has flown by.  I guess that's what happens when you play all winter and don't work.  I did miss a few things about working...mainly, socializing with the great folks I worked with the past few winters at Kartchner Caverns State Park.  (But, I did get by to see them a couple of times.)  However, I have truly enjoyed the freedom of coming and going and doing whatever we want.

We still have a couple of items on our list before we can head north:  getting our teeth cleaned and getting new tires for the truck.  After that, we are ready to hit the road!

Getting back to my mother's visit...it was awesome!  We all had a great time, and before she left, she was talking about coming back next year.  I'll leave you with a picture of my mama and me taken at Saguaro National Park: