A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

St. George, Utah
March 2017

 

We were pleasantly surprised by St. George. Neither of us had ever spent any time in St. George. Its always been a place we drove through to get somewhere else. The town was larger than we thought and had a cozy feeling to it. I could see the appeal to living here if you liked a small town that still had lots of things available to do.
On the way to St. George we stopped in a tiny town for the night. In the morning I looked on Google maps and found a way down to the river so we could let Xander out to run and play. As we got closer to the route that I thought would take us there, it seemed to be a pedestrian path. I told James to just turn on it and drive off on the dirt shoulder. About 5 seconds after he does this we hear the dreaded sound of sirens. Yep, sure enough we were getting pulled over for driving down a pedestrian pathway. Luckily the police officer was cool and told us that the way we were headed would have got us stuck and gave us directions on how to get to the river. No ticket for us!

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One of our stops in St. George was Snow Canyon State Park. The fee was only $6 to enter and it had a couple of pictures of a slot canyon that we wanted to check out. The first stop in the park was a very short, small slot canyon. Next we wanted to stop at the one trail that dogs were allowed on so we could get Xander out for awhile. I decided on way back to do some running with him to help burn off some energy.

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This park was pretty small. We walked to Pioneer Names rock, which was a rock that had a bunch of pioneer names and dates written on it with axle grease. We did another hike that led us to a lava cave. The cave entrance had collapsed in so you couldn’t get in it. The hike that caught our attention for this park was not on the map they gave us at the ranger station. Upon more research we discover that the park discourages people from doing this hike. I think it might be because of the petroglyphs that are not protected from people doing harm to them.

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After finding some very vague directions on line we wandered around the desert for a long time. We did find two sets of petroglyphs but started to think that it was a lost cause looking for the slot canyon. Finally we decided to throw in the towel and head back in the direction of the van. Boom, wouldn’t you know it, we stumble upon the slot canyon. After we gave up on it, there it was.

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There is a lot of petroglyphs on the tight canyon walls. Some are hard to see because the canyon is so narrow. Right in the middle of the canyon there is a tree growing tall up through the top of the canyon. Eventually the canyon gets so narrow that it is impassable. We made it back to the van and had a good laugh about how we managed to find this slot canyon in the middle of nothing.

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We stayed the night on BLM land and had a wonderful campfire all night. You could hear the frogs croaking all night down by the stream. It was a perfect night. This apparently was the parking spot for the vortex hike that we wanted to do. Upon returning from the hike we walked up to what looked like a parking lot. Spending a second night was not so appealing anymore.

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This hike was another one that wasn’t marked. Again, we followed random internet directions to the vortex. It was unmistakable once we found it. Right in the middle of the huge mass of rock is a giant hole that looks like a corkscrew made it. The bottom of the vortex had a little bit of water in it. People somehow had climbed down in there and etched their names in the rock. James and Xander hiked up higher to get a better vantage point. The drone was able to get a picture of three different vortexes, the giant one and two smaller.

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One the way back we stopped at the stream that we had to cross, and put our feet in the water and cool off. It didn’t take long! The water was freezing. Xander played around, blowing bubbles in the water and jumping back and fourth across the stream. After getting back to the van we had lunch and headed out.

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St. George has some pretty great hidden gems. Small towns often hold wonderful surprises. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t always pass through the little guys. Take some time to experience something different on the way. I love how our life affords us to do this now.

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ZION NATIONAL PARK

Utah March 2017

Zion National Park seemed unreal. The beauty here was astonishing. We came into the park on the east side. As we pulled up to the ranger station, we asked if all the hikes were accessible this time of year. She informed us that they are, but one was closed due to a rock fall and the other was closed in the morning but should be open by the time we get there. The second trail she was talking about was Angels Landing. The reason it was closed was because they were doing a search and rescue, which we found out later was actually a body recovery. While this is incredibly sad, those weren’t my first feelings. This is a hike that is on James’s bucket list. So my fear started settling in right away.

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We arrived to the park about mid day so we spent the rest of the day driving thru the park and figuring out what other hikes we wanted to do. We were excited to find out that we were there before the “season” started here. Of course we ended up hear on a Friday afternoon. Turned out that even though the season didn’t pick up until next week you had to ride the shuttle through the park on the weekend still. As we drove to the different trail heads we understood why. The parking lots were packed and people were parking in the street causing traffic problems.
There was a short but steep hike to Weeping Rock that we were able to find parking for. This was interesting because the water that falls off the rocks is the same amount year round. It felt amazing to stand where the water was falling. It was a welcoming cool mist. In the pictures it almost looks like white noise. Some of the rocks did look like they were weeping. The water seemed to seep right out of the rock. When we were done here we drove just outside of the park to find somewhere to stay and to get some groceries. After grocery shopping we hit the local brewery. That is where we overheard two locals disusing the body recovery.

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Angels Landing is a 5 mile hike round trip. Although the last half mile is the part that will make you shit your pants. The first 2 miles of the hike are paved and the trail has a steady steep elevation gain of 1,488ft. A series of switch backs called Walter Wiggles involves 21 steep switchbacks. Scout Lookout is generally the turn around point for people who are unwilling to make the final push to the summit which is 5,790ft. The last half mile that scales the rock fin formation has an anchored chain along portions of the trail, which has 1,000ft drop offs on either side of you.

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As we approach the first part of the trail that has chain, my stomach drops and I start to rethink my commitment to finishing this trail. As usual James is there to lend supporting words to talk me into it. In passing, some people mention how the rocks are a little slick because of the sand, great! So hear we go, all in, I’m doing this. We get to the first little peak and I discover that is not the end. Oh no, we have much more scary trail to concur. Looking ahead of us at the trail, I really start to panic inside, and outside. I tell James that he has to let me back out if I feel the need. Of course he dismisses my panic and we forge on.

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We came across a guy who followed us up the rest of the way. He became dubbed Uncle Dave. He said he liked our pace and he could tell that James had no fear, so he was channeling his chi. I told him not to channel to much because I needed it! I was surprised at how well I scrambled up this trail. I basically had tunnel vision the whole way up. There were only a couple of spots that made my stomach turn. Once we got to the top we had a breathtaking view of Zion canyon. I was amazed at how many people did this hike. At the top there was a couple big groups of people. We found Uncle Dave and took pictures of him at the top because he did it by himself. He in turn took pictures for us as well, and didn’t miss the opportunity to throw in a selfie of himself. It was pretty funny. This inspired James! He now willingly takes pictures of people for them. One picture is a selfie and the other is of them. I wish we could see their faces when they find his mug on their phone.

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After loitering up to for a while we thought we should head back down. The foot traffic was getting heavier and the thought of having to pass people on this retched trail gave me anxiety. Going down was so much fun. If you believe that last statement then you clearly haven’t read any of this. This was the most horrifying part of the hike, by far. I did a lot of sitting on my butt and scooting down on the really steep parts. There were so many people coming and going that we came upon several traffic jams on the way down.
Once we made it back to Scout Lookout I had a euphoric high. I can’t believe I just did that crazy hike voluntarily! James said he knew I could do it. We were both proud of me. Now it was time for a snack. We stashed our backpack near a bush so that we didn’t have to carry it up the difficult part of the trail. When James walked up to the backpack, he found a squirrel tail deep in it. That little sucker chewed a hole right through our pack and through the lid of a can of nuts we had. The squirrel was in heaven eating all of our nuts. Unfortunately James didn’t catch a photo of the criminal in action. We had a pretty good laugh about that squirrel. Neither on of us gave it a second thought when we left the pack there. Oops!

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James made us a much deserved steak for lunch. After lunch I caught the shuttle back into the park and did one more hike to the Emerald Pools. I have to admit, I had bigger expectations of this hike. Maybe it was the time of year, but it didn’t look any kind of green. I imagine when it is warm the moss grows better and gives it an emerald color. James hung out at the van with Xander while I did this hike. On my way back to the shuttle I passed 3 women who were hiking with their purses. This made me chuckle. Seems like a huge pain to have to carry your purse on a hike but to each their own.

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Zion will always have a special place in my soul. Doing a hike like Angels Landing and seeing the canyon from that height is something you never forget.  Angels Landing is the most epic hike we have ever done. It is hard to put into words how it makes you feel. Zion Canyon is a very popular and busy place, and for very good reason. One day we will make it back to do The Narrows hike. It was the wrong time of year for us. You need dry suits this time of year because the whole hike is in water that is ankle-knee deep. It is hard to believe a place like this exists.

BRYCE CANYON

Utah- March 2017

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Talk about an amazing canyon! The crazy towering rock sculptures, called hoodoos, left us speechless. It looked like a spear made of rock was pushed out through the center of earth. The elevation of Bryce canyon is between 8,000-9,000ft. So as you can imagine, in the beginning of March , it was still pretty snowy. During the day the temperature wasn’t to bad though.

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We were having a good laugh at how we started our day in Grand Staircase, topless at noon, and in the snowy canyon of Bryce by the evening. It its pretty crazy to go from such different climates. A lot of our travels in Utah have been that way so far. We once overheard someone talking about how it takes ten years for a person to climatize to cold weather. Hilarious, I know, but that has been our inside joke every since we heard it. Now we joke that we are never going to be able to climatize with all the different climates we experience in a single day.

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Bryce canyon was a short stop for us because of the snow. We really couldn’t do any of the hikes. When we stopped at the visitor center and asked what hikes were accessible this time of year the ranger told me, “ Honey, do you have any type of cleats for your shoes? Because it is really icy right now.” He recommended one hike that we could do. Of course, as we usually do, we did what we wanted anyway. There was a spot called Mossy Cave that we really wanted to check out. It was actually before the park entrance but still part of the canyon.

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This hike was gorgeous. James talked me into hiking up to a spot that had holes in the rocks to take a picture. It was such a steep hike. Coming down was a bitch, but I made it! There was only one spot on the trail that was a little icy and we were glad we had our hiking poles. Once we got to the cave we were astonished at how awesome it was. It was not mossy, but icy. There were huge icicles hanging down from the cave and also “growing” up from the bottom. You could hear a consistent plop, plop, plop as water dripped into a puddle that had formed.

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Bryce canyon was unlike anything we have ever seen. We had no idea a place like this existed. It truly is amazing. It made me think we were on a different planet. And the color of this canyon had so many variations of orange. The touch of snow on the rocks made it that much more beautiful.

If you enjoy following our travels don’t forget to check out our-

web sitehttp://www.the3gallivanters.com

and our You Tube–  http://www.youtube.com/c/thegallivanter

GRAND STAIRCASE NATIONAL MONUMENT

DINOSAUR TRACKS
Utah- March 2017

 

The weather was really cooperating with us today. You can tell that Spring is on the verge of breaking through. I’m not going to lie, I had expectations for this spot. I really thought we were going to come across some giant T-Rex track! Sadly that wasn’t the case, but it was still cool.

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We drove down a dirt road, for what seems like a lifetime, trying to figure out the correct turn. This spot was on the little map we had but it was not marked at all after we got on the dirt road. After taking a right on the first dirt road we traveled about five more miles down another dirt road and finally decided to stop and do a little drone investigating because the road was starting to get a little hairy and wet. The drone helped us decide that we weren’t on the right track. James maneuvered the van in reverse for a long way before he found a decent stop to turn around. On the way back out we see another dirt road turn off that was only about two miles in. Guess what? That was the road we needed.

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So we turn down that road and find a tiny, crappy sign that marks the dinosaur track spot. It also only stated that they were on top of the rocks straight in front of us. It took a little scrambling up the rock face to get to the top. Xander is really getting good at this! Once up top, we wandered around wondering how we were supposed to find these tracks. Looking back where we had already walked I finally saw them. It took looking at the big picture instead of trying to see one track. You could see the actual path of tracks. After we figured that out we saw tons of tracks all over. Crazy how tracks that old can still be seen in the rock. Why haven’t they eroded like all other rocks over time?

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The weather was go nice that we took our shirts off for the short walk back to the van. We enjoyed soaking up the sun and having some lunch outside. The sun felt so good on our skin. It was warming our bones.

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We had a great time trying to find the dinosaur tracks. Wrong turns aren’t always wrong! We even found a cow with some pretty funny markings, it looked like she had a mustache. Finding the tracks was a great walk thru time (even though it wasn’t T-Rex).

GRAND STAIRCASE

Calf Creek- Bolder, UT
February 2017

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This National Monument is huge. There is one highway that cuts through the north part of it. We didn’t get a chance to do much research on where we wanted to go in this monument. We didn’t have any cell service for a couple days before we came here. There also wasn’t any kind of visitor center either. So we had to wing it! This monument defiantly required more time. It seemed like a lot of it was driving on dirt roads and doing long hikes.
Our first stop was Lower Calf Creek Falls. This was a beautiful small waterfall. The hike was six miles round trip. James decided not to do this hike. I really wanted to see the falls so I went on without him. I was really upset with him for not going, but looking back I shouldn’t have been. Its ok to opt out and just chill, plus he has to be careful of his knee. He took this time to do a few errands on the van and then he just enjoyed the time to himself. He laid down on a bridge that had Calf Creek running under it and dozed off for awhile. I’m glad he enjoyed his time.

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Meanwhile Xander and I forged on to the waterfall. This trail was easy but sandy. I kept Xander on leash most of the time because the trail was narrow and I wasn’t sure how many people we might run into. As you all know by now, Xander is an asshole to people! On the way back I did let him run free for a little while. He had a blast running around like a mad dog in the sand.

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We came across a bird wing on the trail. I’m not sure what kind of bird but it was definitely a bird of prey. Shortly after that I smelled the very distinct and heart stopping smell of a skunk. I kept saying to myself, please no, please no, please no! Good news, we never saw a skunk! Can you imagine James’s reaction if Xander and I both came back smelling like skunk?

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As we got closer to the falls you could hear the load roar of the water plummeting over the rocks into a small pool. The air started to change as well. The temperature dropped a lot and you could feel the moisture in the air. As we got even closer you could feel a light mist on your skin/fur. The waterfall was perfect. It was just Xander and I there. I decided not to torture him by trying to get a selfie with him. I did manage to snap a good picture of him by the fall though. He is really good at dodging pictures. The falls were great but it was getting cold so we headed back “home”.

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On the way back we were almost to the end of the trail when Xander and I heard a noise off to the side of the trail. He immediately barked his big loud bark and I jumped. My heart dropped. I thought we had come across a mountain lion. Turns out it was just another hiker out with her dog! Thank goodness. We both scared each other and had a laugh about it. As we approached the parking lot James said that he was just about to come looking for us. He always has good timing like that. Some how he always knows when I should be finishing. We decided to camp there at the campsite.
There is always something so calming and peaceful about a stream. It was nice camping right there. Although we both wished it was a little warmer so we could sit outside the van and enjoy it even more. While it was hard to find much info on what to do at this monument it was off to a wonderful start. Next up, dinosaur tracks!

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CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK

Fruita, UT February 2017

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We headed to Capitol Reef National Park after our fail to see the Crystal Geyser. Capitol Reef is an old Mormon settlement area. There is also history of Native Americans, but not much is known about them. They know that unlike other tribes they didn’t move with the seasons. They stayed here full time. They don’t know what they called themselves or why the left. A tiny river called the Freemont River cuts through this park, and so the name was given, The Freemont people.

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On our travels we try to take scenic bypasses as much as possible. This is something neither of us have ever done before. Seems like in the hustle of life even if you did do a road trip it was always a rush to get to where you were going because you had limited time to get there, do your thing, and get back to work. I love that we have time to enjoy the route to our destination now. It adds so much more to the experience.

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As seems to be the theme of our travels so far, this park is also formed of wonderful red rock. The canyon walls tower above you. We did a great hike in a wash that had huge canyon walls on either side. We brought Xander with us (shhh don’t tell). He loved it, except when we would make him pose for pictures. You think he would be used to it by now! We spotted a couple of big horn sheep but they were to far to get a good picture of. We found a cool rock formation that I played “where’s Waldo” in. It looks like I have no body in the picture. Xander and I played in a few other rock formations. He loves rock climbing, I think he feels like king of the mountain.

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Next stop was an arch. This hike was short but really steep. We passed a couple coming down and they advised that it wasn’t worth the hike. After visiting Arches National Park we decided that we were probably jaded on our opinion of arches, and took their word for it. We turned around and moved on to see some petroglyphs. Some of these were really different. They looked like aliens carved on the rocks. For some reason this made me think of the movie Stargate.

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On our way out of the park it was close to sunset so we went to sunset point. It got extremely windy. We brought Xander with us here also. He was miserable. He is to prissy to sit on the rock and the powerful wind was cold. He would cuddle up on my lap. After sitting in the freezing wind for about 15 minutes we headed back to the van. The sunset wasn’t worth the misery.

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Capitol Reef was a quant park. You could almost see how the settlers lived. We got to see turkey, deer, and big horn sheep. I love seeing wildlife. It was a good decision to pass through this park. We might have to come back and spend more time here.

FISHER TOWERS

Somewhere in southern  Utah
February 2017

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The drive from Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT is wonderful.  As usual we took a scenic bypass that followed the Colorado river.  Fisher Towers was a random stop that we saw as we were driving.  It was a good decision to stop off and check it out.  The huge rock towers were awesome.  It is a great rock climbing place.  If you’re into that.  I want to be into it but then reality sets in and I remember that I’m scared of that shit.

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After we parked and opened the back to get Xander out a dog comes running around the front of the van.  So we close the door and wait for unleashed dog and owner to pass.  As we are waiting on them we see a lady with two dogs off leash coming up the trail to the parking lot.  So we wait a little longer for this group to pass and then let our monster out- ON HIS LEASH!  It constantly amazes us how many people are completely ignorant about keeping their pets on leash.  I understand letting your dog off leash on the trail, we do that if there isn’t lots of traffic.  The thing they don’t think about is everyone else.  What if someone wasn’t crazy about dogs or afraid of them?  What if (in our situation) there is another dog who is not dog friendly?  At least leash your dog when you are close to the trail head or in the parking lot.  Ok rant over!
On the drive to this stop James had a great idea.  We stopped and he got the drone out and he flew it along the van as we drove down the river.  It was a really great idea.  We have done it a couple times since.  It will be footage for our you tube channel.  There is a beautiful property along the river that has cabins you can rent out.  It would be fun to go back there when it is warmer and do some river floating.  The river is really gentle in this section.

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On the Fisher Towers trail I tried to make Xander pose for pictures numerous times.  I managed to catch a few of him and James.  They both hate being in pictures.  We found a few good opportunities to get pictures of unique trees also.

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We cut this hike short so that we could move on to Canyonlands.  I love finding random gems like this along the way.  The great part about what we are doing is that we can change our plans and any point and make any stop/side trip that we want.  Whatever strikes us at the moment is what we are doing, and it is always the right choice.

 

WIND TUNNEL IN CANYONLANDS

 

CANYONLANDS
NATIONAL PARK

Moab, UT February 2017

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Canyonlands is quit majestic.  James and I both feel that while the Grand Canyon is larger in size, Canyonlands wins in beauty.  The colors here are so much brighter and vary so much more.  We went to both sections of Canyonlands.  The Needles in the south and Island in the Sky in the north.  Canyonlands is located near Moab, UT.

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Moab is a cool little town.  It is defiantly geared towards those interested in the outdoors.  There are a lot of mountain bike and four wheel trails here.  We stopped at a brewery and discovered Utah’s interesting alcohol laws.  Beer on draft can only be 4% abv, but you can buy the same beer in a can or bottle in regular abv and drink it at the bar.  Doesn’t make sense but OK.   At the bar we met a couple who were visiting as well.  They were camping in a tent and said they had a six month plan to be in a van.  It was great talking to them about it and being able to give some pointers.  They said that it just fed the fire for them.  I hope everything works out as planned for them.
Our visit of the north and south section of Canyonlands was divided by my trip to Las Vegas.  I flew out of Grand Junction, Co.  I have family that live very close to Grand Junction so we decided to take a quick weekend detour and go visit my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin.  It was great to see them all.  They are such giving people.  My Uncle is always looking out to make sure I have everything I need (thanks for the full propane tank!).  Xander had a blast playing with the horses and cows that lived next door.  It was his first time interacting with livestock.  He was pretty brave with a fence between them.  He looked forward to going out in the yard every morning.

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We didn’t have the best weather while visiting.  It was cloudy, chilly, and very windy.  It seemed like all the trails here were fairly lengthy.  We didn’t do to much hiking here because James’ knee was acting up (or so he claimed).  That was fine with me because of the weather.  An advantage to going this time of year is that the Park is free in the off-season.  We didn’t have to whip out the annual pass here. The Needles section of Canyonlands is defiantly not as popular as The Island in the Sky.  I think it might be because its more out of the way to get to.

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I can see the lure to this National Park.  It is amazing to see what natural has carved out of the land after thousands of years.  What we are left with is priceless sculptures of the earth.
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Our list of misc stuff we use

So it takes a surprising amount of “stuff” to make the van work smoothly and then you have all the extra “stuff” that you convenience your self you need. Well here is our list of “stuff”!!

This includes everything that is not electrical. For the electrical I am making a separate page

Get unstuck with these tire cleats. They have saved us in Ice and Mud so far. A great tool for the adventurous

Trac-Grabber – The “Get Unstuck” Traction Solution for Trucks/SUV’s – Emergency Rescue Device, Prevents Slipping in Snow, Sand & Mud – Chain or Snow Tire Alternative (Set of 2 Blocks & Straps)


USB 15ft extension. We use this to plug in the dog blanket.

UGREEN USB Extension Cable USB 2.0 Active Repeater Extension Cable A Male to A Female with Built-in Signal Booster Chips (15ft)


Here is the hitch we have that we can stand on and shower of the back.

Heininger 3052 PortablePET Twistep Dog Hitch Step


Here is our cell phone booster

weBoost Drive 4G-X Cell Phone Signal Booster for Car, Truck, and RV Use – Enhance Your Signal up to 32x. Can Cover up to 4 Devices.


This is the shatter proof mirror we use

Source One Acrylic Safety Mirror Sheet Great for Classroom Camping Fun House – Shatter Resistant (5×7 Inch)


This is the front guard/bumper we use

TAC Custom Fit 2014-2017 Dodge Ram Pro-Master Van (Full Size) Front Runner Guard BLK Brush Nudge Push Bull Bar


This is our 2 folding bikes we have

Xspec 26″ 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike Bicycle Trail Commuter Shimano Black


Here is our 4k Video recorder by DJI the Osmo

DJI Osmo Handheld 4K Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal Starters Bundle


This is our 12volt tire pump. The Promaster needs to pump up to 85PSI. Gas stations only go up to 60psi. This is a must have

P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator – Electric 12v DC Portable Auto Air Compressor. Pump to 150 Psi. With Carry Case


This is our heat mat for under Xanders bed. Works great. It is showing not available on Amazon at the moment

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SN6MYA2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Here is our 64 quart DC fridge

Dometic CFX-65DZUS Portable Electric Cooler Refrigerator/Freezer – 61 Liters


And our Mr Buddy Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater and Mr. Heater Buddy Series Hose Assembly – 10-ft., Model F273704 Bundle


Our tape sealant for the roof penetrations.

EternaBond RSW-4-50 RoofSeal Sealant Tape, White – 4″ x 50′


Our front windshield reflector

Sunshade for Ram Promaster Full-size Van w/RV Mirror 2014 2015 2016 2017 Heatshield Sunshade 1562


Our Propane stove

Camp Chef Everest 2 Burner Stove


12 inch DC Fan for circulation

Fan-Tastic 01100WH Endless Breeze Stand alone Fan


This is our deep sink we bought

Mustee 11 Utility Sink, 17-Inch x 20-Inch, White


This is our 20 gallon water tank

Barker Manufacturing Company 11916 20 Gal. Water Tank Kit


A inline water filter prior to the water pump

SHURFLO (255-213) 1/2″ Twist-On Pipe Strainer


Our water pump

SHURflo 4008-101-E65 3.0 Revolution Water Pump


Our fantastic Vent

Fan-Tastic 801251 RV Roof Vent


The Zipper we used for the bug screen

Zipper, 72″ Inch, YKK, Black, 10, Seperating Zipper, Double Metal Slider, Boat Canvas


The Marine Vinyl we used for the bug screen

VViViD White Weatherproof Faux Leather Finish Marine Vinyl Fabric (10ft x 54″)


The UV resistant Mesh for the bug screen

http://www.jjautofabrics.com/vinyl-screen-xmesh-white-56/

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

 Moab, UT February 2017

 

Arches National Park is located just outside of Moab, UT and is neighbors with Canyonlands National Park.  This park is well named.  There are so many beautiful and different arches to see.  The come in all different size and shapes too.

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We did this Park after the South Canyonlands park.  This park was much busier than Canyonlands.  Which equaled lots of bored kids complaining about being there and more foreigners with selfie sticks.  It was still pretty windy and cold when we went to Arches.  This park had more variety of trail lengths though.

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James still didn’t feel good about his knee.  We did a few hikes together to some great arches.  The Landscape Arch is one worth mentioning because in 1991 a huge piece of rock at the bottom part of the arch fell!  There was a visitor who managed to catch a picture of it falling.  Can you imagine being there when that happened?  This trail had a really cool tree on the path also.  We are suckers for pictures of interesting trees.

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Before we ended the day I hiked to Delicate Arch.  James stayed with Xander in the van to give his knee a rest.  This hike was 3 miles round trip and 480 feet elevation gain, all on the way to the arch.  The way back was all down hill.  It seemed like it just went straight up the side of the mountain.  It was all one giant slab of rock.  It is crazy how a trail gets worn into the rock from all the people.  The views up to the arch we spectacular.

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When you’re almost to the arch you walk on this path that they blasted out the side of the rock to make.  It got my stomach turning a little bit.  I don’t like being up on the edge of cliffs like that.  It was totally worth it though.  The Delicate Arch was like a piece of art work that had its own gallery dedicated to it.  When you come around the corner, there it is standing tall all by itself with an amphitheater in front of it.

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After Arches National Park we finished up Canyonlands then headed to Green River, UT.  Talk about a dieing town.  We had researched a landscape called Crystal Geyser, so we added it to our pit stops.  It is near Green River.  We found the route to get out to the geyser.  It was all dirt road.  Well after a few wrong turns and almost getting stuck a couple times we decided it wasn’t meant to be.  The van made some pretty impressive ruts in the super soft sand sections that crossed the road.  I really don’t know how we didn’t get stuck.  You could tell when you hit the sand because the van almost can to a complete stop.  Finally the road just got to rocky for us to safely navigate.

Here is a video

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And a picture of where we almost got stuck.

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While we didn’t get to see the geyser (which who knows if it would have erupted when we were there), we had a blast trying to get there.  This pit stop was about the journey not the destination!  Its important to always remember that.  Utah hasn’t let us down so far.  Cant wait to see more of it.