When we started fulltime RVing in February 2014, our only pet was a bearded dragon named Trogdor. In the past four years, Trogdor passed on, Caspian was born, and we adopted two rescue cats. Over time and extensive conversation, we made the decision to rehome both cats, as we prepare for the next phase of our life and travel. [Read more…]
If we don’t spend at least one night within a state’s borders in our RV, then we can’t add it to our state map. That’s our rule. So while we traveled through Idaho in 2016, we didn’t get to claim it as conquered. No matter what it took, that was going to change this year.
It wasn’t much of an inconvenience. We left Jordanelle State Park after work on Friday of Memorial Day weekend and drove a beautiful 227 miles to Indian Creek. This dry camping area in Caribou-Targhee National Forest is free, with a 5-day stay limit.
We chose to get as close to the water–Palisades Reservoir on the Snake River–as we could. The road towards the water has some unpleasant potholes, but the distance isn’t long. We turned off on the last path to the right, and pulled onto the grass just off the road. [Read more…]
In a country as large as the United States, it is actually possible for entire regions to be magnificent, and yet unknown to almost everyone. I know, because I’ve been to Heber Valley in Utah.
I’ve said before that our travel day limit of 250 miles forces us to stop places we’d normally skip. We needed to get from Moab to Grand Teton, and our 250 miles fell right around Jordanelle State Park in Heber Valley, right outside Heber City. While the situation with the state park ended up being slightly irksome, the area itself was stunning. I’m so glad we stumbled upon it. [Read more…]
Off-roading and Jeep culture are a huge part of our lives. Ever since we bought a Jeep Rubicon in summer 2016, we’ve gotten really into meeting people in the Jeep community, modifying our Jeep, and challenging ourselves with harder and harder trails. Jeeping is definitely Eric’s #1 hobby (though he’d probably use a more intense word).
For my part, I enjoy 4×4 trails that combine beautiful scenery with interesting obstacles. (I’m not super into jolting over rocks for hours.) I do appreciate the places our Jeep allows us to access, that we’d never be able to get to otherwise.
Though my passion for Jeep life may not be as strong as Eric’s, we were both looking forward to staying in Moab, Utah. Moab is an international destination [Read more…]
Zion National Park. Bryce Canyon National Park. On to our third in Utah: Capitol Reef National Park.
This one required some special doing. We left Toquerville after work on a Friday, and drove 200 miles through Fishlake National Forest and along the edge of Manti-La Sal National Forest. We traveled through beautiful farm land bordered by grass-covered hills. I had no idea there was a place in the United States that looked like this. It reminded me of photos I’ve seen of the Scottish Highlands.
And then the grassy hills gave way to brilliantly colored, jagged rock. Through the small town of Torrey, with its inviting restaurants, outdoor adventure companies, and local motels. We used the Jeep to scout our dry camping options and ended up in Capitol Reef Overflow, about half a mile outside the boundary of the park. [Read more…]
We had a fabulous time in Arizona, but we were more than ready to enter Utah. Believe it or not, Utah was the first state we added to our travel map since Montana in mid-2016. 😶
Our two-fold mission in Utah: visit all five national parks and do tons of off-roading with our Jeep. Will we succeed? [Read more…]
It doesn’t matter how long we travel. New places and new experiences continue to stretch us, and the excitement never goes away.
Dry camping hasn’t been an emphasis for us throughout more than four years of fulltime RVing. While we have our reasons, we never stop questioning the way we do things: asking ourselves whether there’s something better outside our norms and comfort zone.
Shortly before we started our Western Mountain Loop Trip, I told Eric, “We’re not doing it right.” I felt like we had been taking the safe, routine route: staying in private campgrounds with full hookups and a strong Internet signal, while missing experiences beyond the edge of civilization.
With that unsettling realization, I decided this year would be different. [Read more…]
I was mad at Flagstaff, Arizona, last time we were there. We only went because our first attempt at wild camping had failed miserably. As far as I was concerned, Flagstaff was an inferior Plan B to the grandeur of Sedona.
But time was kind to my memories of Flagstaff, and Eric never had a grudge like I did. So when it came time to plan our route for 2018, I gave Flagstaff another shot.
Good thing I did. Because after our two-week visit, I kinda think Flagstaff has made my Top 5 list of places we’ve stayed in four+ years of fulltime RVing.
The day we arrived in Flagstaff, our three older boys flew in for Spring Break. Eric drove to Phoenix to pick up Darius (20), Javen (17), and Silas (14). [Read more…]
When we plan our trips, we have a list of what we want to see. But since we only travel 250 miles every two weeks, there are always places we stop simply because they’re at the right place between Point A and Point B. Gallup, NM was one such means to an end.
When we decided to stay in Gallup on our way from Santa Rosa, NM to Flagstaff, AZ, I wasn’t exactly excited. It seemed like a small town on Route 66 with some hiking options, on the way to other places.
But when we made friends with some Albuquerque locals last week, some of them had negative things to say about Gallup. The kind of things that stick in your mind and cause your perspective to change. From that point on, I wasn’t expecting much out of Gallup.
I was wrong. [Read more…]
We followed the sidewalk almost directly across from our site, heading straight toward the bathhouse. As we left the campground, turning a corner through the dry Texas brush, furry figures came to a halt a few yards in front of us. We squinted, trying to discern between mounds of sandy dirt and earth-colored animals. The yelping from the sentinels, a high-pitched bark that gives the prairie dog its name, told us exactly where to look.
We were within sight of the trailhead, coming back from a five and a half mile hike, which included a rigorous climb and descent. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I whisper-shouted, “Look!” to Eric. Blocking our exit, a bull bison stood munching the tall grass. He had spotted us, so we slowly created our own trail back to the Jeep.
Two stories of many from our week at Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle. This underrated state park is unlike any place we’ve stayed in more than four years of fulltime travel. To think it’s in our home state, and we had never been there before this month.
You’ll never stumble upon it. You have to know about it to find it. But once you do, you’ll be immersed in wildlife and red rock beauty. This is home to the Texas State Bison Herd, a group of about 100 animals that literally roam free around the entire state park, including through the campground and onto hiking trails. [Read more…]