Summer 2018 Update #11 – CA to OR

How many of you do this kind of stuff?  We got home from the mountains on Tuesday evening, spent Wednesday getting haircuts, doing laundry, sorting through the mail, etc to get up Thursday morning and leave the house at 5 am to avoid the Los Angeles morning commute traffic to begin a drive (in the car this time) to Oregon.  Flights were too expensive so we decided to drive – crazy, I know!

Our niece was getting married on Friday in Bend, Oregon.  Since San Francisco is (sorta) on the way, we stopped on Thursday night to have dinner with kiddo #1, her hubby, and the grandbaby!

(I so wish I had taken a picture or 2!  I would probably have to crop it so much you wouldn’t be able to tell anything about her!)

We got up the next morning to finish our drive to Bend.  Arrived about 4:30 pm and all the festivities were at 6.  And we were worried we wouldn’t make it on time!

Sorry, no pictures of the wedding – respecting their privacy!

Our hotel in Bend was the Best Western Premier – I would NOT recommend this place.  The other 2 nights we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express and the BW was the same level as these.  The Holiday Inn Express even has a better breakfast!

  1.  What’s so premier about it that you charge $270 per night?  It was just like any other hotel we’ve stayed in.  Nothing special.
  2.  When you reserve with a fireplace and a view, you expect a fireplace and a view.  We “got to” change from a king room to a 2 queen room with a fireplace and “view”.
  3.  The view of the parking lot does not qualify as a view.  From our room the distant mountain tops were obscured by trees and cell phone tower!  Guess the 3rd floor isn’t high enough.  Maybe they should consider that when they market it as having a view.
  4. the fireplace was an electric wall heater with a computer screen in front of it.  It was a virtual fireplace!  You click a button on the remote to change the color of the “flames”.  Talk about a disappointment!
  5. After being moved, John lifted the toilet seat and it was obvious the rim and under the seat had not been cleaned.  Called for housekeeping to come and finish cleaning the bathroom.  Disgusting!!

Saturday morning we got up and began the drive home.  We stopped in Fresno for the night.

Now I know there are some who are wondering why we took the 99 instead of the 5.  We HATE the I5 through the central valley of California.  We avoid it at all costs!!  Limited services being one of the reasons, 2 lanes the entire way with too many trucks and crazy drivers trying to get around the trucks being another.  It only adds about 5 miles to your trip to Sacramento taking the 99.  Even when we go to San Francisco we take the 99. Worth it!!

Got up Sunday morning to drive home, stopping in Los Angeles to visit kiddo #2 – what we thought would be a “quick” lunch stop turned into 4 hours.  She was having computer issues and we worked on that for a chunk of the time.

Driving the car for this distance was so different than driving the motorhome.  We definitely made better time in the car but it was weird!

Our only pic of Bend.

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  • driving distances:
    Thursday – about 435 miles
    Friday – about 475 miles
    Saturday – about 595 miles
    Sunday – about 280 miles

So now we are home for the rest of our summer vacation, unless we do an unplanned trip.  Who knows what will happen!

Summer 2018 Update #10 – AZ to CA

We left Sedona, AZ and made our way to Rock Creek Lake area in the Inyo National Forest in California, specifically staying at East Fork Campground.  This was about 700 miles from Sedona.

On the way, we stopped in Phoenix, AZ and purchased lunch to go at Jason’s Deli.  Another one of our favorites!  The nearest Jason’s to us in southern California is in Phoenix or Las Vegas.

We did 10 nights off the grid – no hookups and nearest cell reception was about 10 miles away.  It used to be about 20 miles, but the have added a tower, not that we ventured away often.

This is the view from our motorhome table.  I was eating breakfast and this was my view!  And the video doesn’t do the sound of rushing water, birds chirping, squirrels squirreling, chipmunks chipmunking any justice!  (what do you call the sounds the rodents make??  chirping??)  Thankfully, no bears in the campsite this year!

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John went fishing just about every morning in the nearby lake, catching the lone fish in this video!  We read 4 novels between the 2 of us and completed 3 puzzles (our evening entertainment!)  We also took daily “hikes”.  It was so relaxing!

Here’s a short video of our camp site.  Enjoy!

Summer 2018 Update #9 – Sedona

After leaving Williams, AZ, we spent one night in Flagstaff (doing the fun thing called laundry!)  This is about a 35 mile driving day!  Wake up late, quick trip, relaxing afternoon doing laundry.  What more could you ask for???  The BBQ and “fire pit” were provided by the campground.  Figured we should use at least one of them!

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Cocktail Hour!

The next morning we then ventured down to Sedona, AZ.   Another easy driving day of about 62 miles.  We took the recommended directions from the Rancho Sedona RV Park of staying on I17 instead of taking the more mountainous Hwy 89 which adds about 20 miles to the trip.

We got to go to one of our favorite places to eat – Picazzo’s!  They have some of the best Gluten-Free food we have ever eaten in a restaurant!  So sad that the Flagstaff restaurant closed.  We actually ate here 3 days in a row, we think they are that good!  2 lunches, one dinner.  Over the course of 3 days we ate the following gluten-free items:

  • Cheese bread
  • Natural Chopped Italian Salad
  • Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad
  • Sweet Potato Pie Pizza
  • Vortex Pizza
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Spicy Thai Peanut Fusilli
  • Bianca Bigoli
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • New York Style Cheesecake
  • Hot Apple Crisp

This is beginning to sound like we are getting paid to write this – which we are NOT!  They are just that good!

We also took a drive to Jerome, AZ.  Only pictures:  a warning to stay out of someone’s property and the view from the town.

 

We also bought ourselves a couple of the Lyman Whitaker wind sculptures we saw at a Renee Taylor Gallery in town.  Can’t wait to post pictures of them installed in our yard!  They should arrive around the end of July!!

Summer 2018 Update #8 – Grand Canyon NP

We drove from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon National Park south entrance on 2 different days.  It is about 60 miles each way.

Day 1: We took the Desert View Drive east along the canyon.  It is about 22 miles from the main Grand Canyon Visitor Center.  Once you leave the Visitor Center area, there was minimal traffic.

We saw an elk along the road.  There were several idiots out of their cars and standing about 5 feet away from this wild animal trying to get a selfie.

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The Desert View Watchtower gives an impressive 360 degree view of the eastern end of the canyon.  You can walk up several flights of stairs to the top of the watchtower.

 

We also stopped at the Tusayan Museum and Ruins.  It is believed this area was inhabited about 1200 AD.  It was a long hike to the river’s edge so I’m not sure how they  managed to survive here without an easy water source.  Gee, I wonder if the environment or climate was different??  The Museum took about 15 minutes to go through and the trail around the ruins took us about 20 minutes.

 

 

Day 2:  Helicopter (Papillon Heli Tours) ride over the Grand Canyon!  Happy Birthday Hubby!!

 

 

Summer 2018 Update #7 – UT to AZ

So we are now leaving Utah and heading to northern Arizona.  Today was about 300 miles.  This took us through the through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell).  Bryce Canyon National Park is at the very edge of this area.

Love the layers and hoodoos!

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to AZ

 

side note: do you know the difference between a National Park and a National Monument?

The difference has to do with the reason for its development.  Parks are for “inspirational, educational, and recreational values” while a Monument is for “historic, prehistoric, or scientific interest”.

source: https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/portfolio/portfolio0b.htm

 

Summer 2018 Update #5 – Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

So now we have a noiseless carriage!

We take off and change our plans completely since wildfires are now in northern New Mexico (Ute Park fire) and southern Wyoming Badger Creek fire) with the potential of northern Colorado.   We headed south in Utah and spend 3 nights in Panguitch, Utah at the local KOA.  This was about a 240 mile driving day.

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As we leave I70 and head south on Hwy 89, we witness something we have only seen in movies – real cowboys moving a herd of cattle!  I so wish we could have gotten a picture!  There were 4 men, 2 dogs, and a bunch of cattle.  All the men had ropes out, the dogs were on the edge of the herd, and the cattle were moving together in a northerly direction.  It was an incredible site!

We visited Bryce Canyon National Park one day – about 25 miles each way from Panguitch.  We decided to go directly to the southern most point and then stop along the way back toward the entrance.  We had a nice quiet lunch at one of the few remaining picnic areas.  The others were destroyed by a fire.

southern utah

Here are some pics of Bryce Canyon National Park.