Arches National Park, Utah

Our drive into Utah from Colorado was a cold, rainy/snowy one.  However, when we got to Moab, Utah, the skies had cleared a bit.  The Arches National Park is right outside of Moab, so we figured we would stay at a campsite there, as there seemed to be tons of them here and we knew we were still a bit off-season.  No one else would be camping now, right?  WRONG!  All the campsites were full due to some big car show in Moab.  We did find one spot where we could dry camp, so we took it.  The wind and rain went through most of the night, but the next day was pretty clear.  We got into the park around nine and stayed for most of the day, until the weather started turning and we wanted to make Park City before it got too late.  The natural arches and red rocks are a site to behold.  We are enjoying our visits to the national parks we have put on our list of places to visit on our way home.   One, Bob has what he calls his “awesome card”, which allows him free access to all of the National Parks, and two, there are amazing sites to see in the US.

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Snowy drive in Utah

Snowy drive in Utah

Snowy drive in Utah

Snowy drive in Utah

Pur travels since we left Arizona on nov. 20, 2015

Our travels since we left Arizona on Nov. 20, 2014

 

Colorado Scenic Adventure

Wow, what a beautiful state.  I have been here many times throughout the years, but never really appreciated it’s beauty as much as seeing it through the eyes of someone who is taking their time to enjoy peaceful, relaxing travel.  Always in the past when I traveled somewhere, I was on a short time limit (vacation) and had to cram a lot in at once.

First stop was at the Royal Gorge Bridge at the Royal View Campground for about 2 days. We had originally planned one night, but we spent the entire day at the bridge area and the campsite was so nice, we just decided to hang out for a few days.  From here, we were heading towards Durango, hoping to ride the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railway.  The ride along the river from Royal Gorge to Del Norte area was breathtaking.  We stopped in Del Norte at a campsite for the night.  The camp was chilly and the wind picked up in the night, but the next morning was a clear day and we took a walk along the  Rio Grande River.

Second stop of interest was to be Durango to ride the train to Silverton but we ran into a snag.  The railway didn’t start running to Silverton until May 1.  We were too early!  It was running the halfway mark to a pavilion area, where you get out and have lunch, but the weather was turning and it was predicted to rain/snow the next day, so the trip would have been a waste of money.  Oh well, we are good at shifting gears when things don’t work out, so on to Mesa Verde National Park.

Mesa Verde National Park.  We decided it was time to warm up as we have been staying in some really chilly places the last few nights, and the lodge in the park was reasonable and open.  Our room had an amazing view of the park and the restaurant was unique.  Bob had an Elk Shepherds Pie, which was delicious.  The next day we spent the entire day in the park.  If you haven’t been here, GO.  The ruins of the Puebloan Indians rivaled any ruins we had seen in Mexico/Central America.  The cliff dwellings were in good condition.  We were not able to do a tour of them because, once again, most things in these cold states do not open until May 1.  We did have great views though.  Pictures on this will be added later.  This was our last stop in Colorado, and I hate to leave this place, but we are heading up to Bob’s condo in Utah next, with a stop in Arches National Park.

Wine tasting at the Abbey in Canon City, CO

Wine tasting at the Abbey in Canon City, CO

wine tasting at the Abbey

wine tasting at the Abbey

wine tasting at the Abbey

wine tasting at the Abbey

wine tasting at the Abbey

wine tasting at the Abbey

Royal Gorge Cafe, Canon City, CO

Royal Gorge Cafe, Canon City, CO

Royal Gorge Bridge

Royal Gorge Bridge

Royal Gorge Bridge

Royal Gorge Bridge

Another hat??  Royal Gorge Bridge

Another hat?? Royal Gorge Bridge

Royal Gorge

Royal Gorge

View from our room at Mesa Verde Lodge

View from our room at Mesa Verde Lodge

View from our room at Mesa Verde Lodge

View from our room at Mesa Verde Lodge

 

 

 

 

Wyoming to Colorado

Cheyenne, WY is COLD!  We found a RV camp, hoping it had a restaurant/bar so we could warm up a bit.  It had a restaurant, but they only served root beer.  HUH?  Oh well, we stayed inside where it was warm and left in the morning for Longmont CO to pick up parts for the camper.  The road has been a bit rough on our little casa.  We need a new door to the battery compartment because one too many topes in Mexico slid the batteries almost right out the door, so we had to gorilla tape it closed.  We also needed a new water intake valve  after a semi-trailer hit it and broke it off at a border crossing in Honduras.  We had to order a new vent/fan for over the bed where strong winds blew it so hard that it stripped the bolt and it is now taped down with gorilla tape.  Whew!  On the way to Longmont, we saw miles and miles of antelope.  Antelope, Antelope everywhere.  We arrived at the Outfitter camper place only to discover that they are closed on Mondays.  We are good at going with the flow when plans don’t work out so decided to go up to Estes Park for the day.  The closer we got, the snowier and colder it became.  Too snowy to go through Rocky MT. National Park, so we spent the day touring the Stanley Hotel.  It is supposed to be one of the most haunted hotels in America and is the inspiration for the Steven King book, The Shining.  As hard as I looked, I couldn’t find any ghosts.  Bummer.  On the way out of town to camp in Loveland, we saw about 7 different herds of Elk, right in town.  Elk, Elk, everywhere!  Our campsite was right along the Big Thompson river and was so pretty.  Tomorrow we will head to get parts and then go where the road takes us.

snow on the way to Estes Park, CO

snow on the way to Estes Park, CO

our camping spot along the Big Thompson River, CO

our camping spot along the Big Thompson River, CO

Elk along the roadside in Estes Park, CO

Elk along the roadside in Estes Park, CO

looking for ghosts at the Stanley Hotel

looking for ghosts at the Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park-supposed to be haunted

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park-supposed to be haunted

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park-supposed to be haunted

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park-supposed to be haunted

Plattsmouth, NE-home sweet home

Great time with the family and the weather, for the most part, was great.  We had rain and even a few flurries one day, but it didn’t last.  Stayed with my sister and had a great time.  A big Easter event at their house with all their kids and grandkids.  They know how to do it right!  Nebraska in the springtime is such a beautiful place to be.  The tulips are springing up and all the trees’ leaves are popping out.  Went with my brother to Arbor Lodge, which I had not been to since I was a kid. I had forgotten how pretty it was.  While this is a national holiday, few people I have come across outside of Nebraska have really heard of it.  What a shame.  I had such a good time there, I went back to see it when Bob got into town.  After 9 nine days with some family bonding time, Bob came into town and we spent several more days here.  We went to a Mexican restaurant in Omaha that had some of the best Mexican food we have had north of the border.  Sad to leave, but needed to move on and let my family get back to their lives.  We headed to Ogallala, NE for our first camping time in almost a month.  On the way there we stopped at Ole’s Big Game Saloon and Restaurant, which was a really interesting little place.  It is located in the middle of Nebraska in a small town.  The owner was a big game hunter and the place is full of his mounted trophies.  After a few beers and fried pickles, we headed on to Ogallala for the night.  The weather had turned and we were right in the middle of tornado watches which were in effect for the area until late in the evening.  The wind blew so hard, we thought we were going to blow away.  Not a good feeling when you are in a camper.  We survived the night and the next morning, we visited Boot Hill Cemetery.  Now on to Wyoming.

Easter with the family

Easter with the family

Ole's in Paxton, NE

Ole’s in Paxton, NE

cook out with the family.  Isn't Nebraska pretty?  Look at all that green

cook out with the family. Isn’t Nebraska pretty? Look at all that green

time with my dad.

time with my dad.

IMG_1045

Arbor Lodge-beautiful spring day

Arbor Lodge-beautiful spring day

Bob loves hats!  Lets be pirates

Bob loves hats! Lets be pirates

drinks with great friends

drinks with great friends

sushi with my sister

sushi with my sister

dinner with the family

dinner with the family

North Dakota to Canada

North Dakota is COLD!  It is snowy and cold here, and the wind blew so hard while we were driving, our larger solar panel blew off.  When we met the big trucks driving from Deadwood to Medora our front end would be lifted off the ground.  One of those trucks took our solar panel with it.  It is somewhere on the highway in western North Dakota.  Fortunately, there wasn’t anyone following us, that we know of.  But even with the cold and wind, ND is a beautiful state and we had a great time.  We saw wild buffalo, prairie dogs, turkeys, deer and of course, lots of antelope.  We needed a hotel in a town in North Dakota and there was a sign on the door of an inn that said “we are next door, call us and we will be right over”.  We called and told them we needed a room and they said that they were actually in South Dakota and we could check ourselves in.  The key was in the room, it was unlocked and they would trust us to just leave the money on the dresser when we checked out.   Only in North Dakota!  We also got to visit Bob’s family and see where he grew up.  Memories….

Since we were so close to the Canadian border, we decided we had to go up to Winnipeg and complete our visit to all of the North American countries.  Winnipeg was great, not quite as cold as it was in ND and we were able to walk everywhere.  We went to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.  It is a beautiful building and the technology used in the displays is state of the art.  We spent 6 hours there and it didn’t feel like we had been there very long at all.  We are making a stop at the Canadian Mint and then will head back to Grand Forks, ND so I can catch a plane to Nebraska.  Bob will join later after going to Boston to watch the Frozen Four.  From there we will start our trip back to Arizona, but there are still some great sights to see along the way.

North Dakota

North Dakota

North Dakota-wild turkeys saw about 22 of them

North Dakota-wild turkeys saw about 22 of them

North Dakota

North Dakota

North Dakota-bison crossing the road.  we saw about 40 in several herds

North Dakota-bison crossing the road. we saw about 40 in several herds

North Dakota-check out the safety tips

North Dakota-check out the safety tips

North Dakota-prairie dogs everywhere

North Dakota-prairie dogs everywhere

canada-moose

canada-moose

canada

canada

canada

canada

canada

canada

canada

canada

canada-icy river

canada-icy river

canada-muskrat hat

canada-muskrat hat

canada-trying on hats

canada-trying on hats

canada

canada

canada

canada