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Discussion Starter #1
Hola,

We're headed out Friday afternoon for 10 days of fun! Leaving ABQ and headed West to Chaco Canyon, then the Grand Canyon, then Zion/Bryce, CanyonLands, ...

I only have the first three nights planned out, after that we're just going to "wing it" and see where we end up.

The van isn't complete by any means, but we do have the bed and fridge. I did manage to finish off the ceiling with some paneling this week. I'll try to get some pics later.


Looking forward to some clear skies and lots of stars at night :)

Stand by for some pictures.
 

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S. Utah is perhaps the greatest collection of natural wonders anywhere! Have fun travel slowly and see lots! It’s not at all like Florida! There is a great BLM campground up on Dead Horse Point that gives you access to Canyon Lands, Moab, and Arches, called Horse thief campground.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Cool, I just marked that down as a spot to check out!

I haven't spent much time in Southern Utah, but I'm looking forward to it!

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We will be in the same general area and flexible Monday-Thursday. Would love to meet up.
That would be awesome! Maybe I'll finally get that mosquito net door from you :)


I replied to your PM
 

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Ok, so someone is on my [email protected]/ list now. After showing off her van to the wifey I now have about a years worth of projects to do on our van.

Thanks a lot!!! :)
 

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Come on you have seen the pictures it’s your own fault! I could have warned you MsNomer does a killer job!

We just had some friends come out of Zion and had a terrible time getting camping space. The tourists drove them crazy too. They ended up going to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, no tourists, great nature, great camping.

http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire-state-park/
 
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We're headed out of here too tomorrow. It's crazy. If msnomer and hubby hadn't so graciously shared their site I'm not sure where we would have ended up. It's a madhouse here, much like the south rim was this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Day 1.

The van is packed and ready to go. (As ready as it's going to be, it's still a work in progress)

Headed to Chaco Canyon to spend the first night. It's a quick two hour drive for us. I made reservations months ago as we learned last time we tried to stay there it fills up quickly and it's a long bumpy drive out there.

The campground was full, of course, including a group of about 1000 girl scouts that never did shut up. There was an older guy in the site next to us in a black Nissan NV2500. We talked vans for a while, he said he had looked at the PM's, but liked his Nissan. I said I had looked at the Nissan's, but they were just too UGLY. We both laughed and he agreed :)

We had a great night for the stars, which is what I was looking forward to:







I didn't take a lot of pics of the place, the wifey was busy doing that. I need to go through her camera and see what she has.

Day 2,

A long drive through mostly nothing to get to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, another place to make sure you have reservations. I had my reservations, but thought we'd try it anyways :). What a mad-house it was. I guess we hit it at peak season, the place was full of people. I likened it to DisneyWorld, the buses, the parking, the lines and crowds were just insane. I couldn't wait to leave. Another campground full of screaming kids was icing on the cake. I did get some decent pics though.






(to be continued)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Day 3,

Time to blow this place and see if the North Rim is any better, stopped at a few places along the way to take pics. I have to confess that this was my first visit to the GC, even though I grew up in the California and my parents dragged us all over the US when we were kids, we never made it to the big hole. I don't care what those Geologists say, I know it was created when the giant alien mother-ship crashed, but that's a story for another day.





Marble Canyon was pretty cool, we stopped and had lunch and walked the bridge, awesome day!



The North Rim was much quieter, although still quite busy. The campground was very nice, now where near full and we had some great neighbors that we seem to have things in common and lead to some great discussions. Lots of interest in the PM. Everyone wanted to take a look and know more about it.

The trees were gorgeous:



I sprung for an hour long mule ride on the rim. According to the lady at the ticket office, I was "OVER QUALIFIED" to take the 4 hour ride down the canyon. (i.e. I'm too fat, the weight limit is 200lbs for the long ride. No tip for her!



We did end up eating dinner at the Lodge that night. It was WELL WORTH IT. The dinner was amazing, I had the duck, and Jane had the Scallops with a blue cheese citrus sauce, sounds strange but was delicious! Highly recommended.

Headed out of the park to Kanab UT, for a night in a hotel to get a shower and do some laundry, (I know, I know, we're wimps, we could have done that at the campground, but I'm soft that way)

I saw a sign for a Firetower on the way in and we stopped to check it out, the sign says feel free to climb, but we're not saving your ass if you fall, so "Challenge Accepted", we started up. At 8,000 feet, we were huffing and puffing by the third landing, but managed to make it to the top. The view was great, but we really felt like wimps when we got back down and found out it was only an 80' climb, it seemed like a lot more!








Rooms in Kanab are EXPENSIVE, we paid $180 for a night in an older run down place. At least it was clean. The dinner at the restaurant next door was awesome too. As you can tell, we like to eat out a lot :)
 
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Day 5 (I think)

We made plans to meet up with MsNomer and MrNomer in Zion, they happened to be in the area and we looked forward to meeting up with them. I have been amazed at what they've done to their van on the inside and really wanted to see it in person. Little did I know that it would lead to major conflict between the wifey and I and near divorce. :)

Being the early risers we are (Haha, just kidding), MsNomer and I agreed to meet at the South Campground and get in line to get a spot. I'm sorry but this was a Cluster in my opinion. The Park service needs to limit the number of folks they allow in the parks instead of creating a race to find a spot. Fortunately for us, Ms and Mr Nomer got in line early and convinced the Rangers to let us share a site for two nights. We were able to slip past the long line of cars, trucks, campers and others and drive right on it. THANK YOU GUYS!

It was a great pleasure meeting both of them, their van is great and they are both awesome folks with lots of great travel stories to share. I'm thoroughly jealous!!! My wifey is now convinced that I can add all the great things they have in their van to ours. I can see I'll be busy for a while now with projects before the next trip.

I have a great pic of MsNomer trying to fold her portable shower tent up, but I won't post it for fear of reprisal :)

I tried to steal their fog lights as they said they never used them, but alas, the sound of my cordless screwdriver woke MrNomer up.

Two PM's sharing a spot,










Once again, I had to get out of Dodge, too many **** people and too much commercialization of the area for me. I was looking forward to getting away from it all, not be in the middle of it.

Jane and I headed out the next morning after saying our goodbyes and stealing some hot water for Coffee and Cocoa.

Bryce Canyon was next on the list, another place that neither of us had visited it before and we were in awe the entire time, but once again, crowds were the name of the game. I guess we're just lucky that way,





 
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Days 6 - 9.

Things start to blur here, we left Bryce even though the campgrounds had room. Just too many people for me.

We were headed in a general Northeast direction and somehow ended up in the Kodachrome basin. The campgrounds were full, but they let us, and three other couples, (two Sprinter conversions and a cab on camper) in the group site as overflow. We ended up starting a fire in the pit and had a great time around the fire eating dinner and drinking while sharing stories of the road. The other couples were all retired and just traveling around. Funny story, two of the couples were from Vermont and knew each other, the one husband and the one wife use to teach together at a school years ago. They just ran into each other out here in the middle of nowhere.

I didn't take many pictures after this as I started to come down with a cold and gradually got worse each day. We mostly just drove each day headed back in a Southeast direction towards home. We ended up in a hotel in Blanding UT on Thursday night (A DRY TOWN, I didn't think there were such places anymore in the states). They we headed up on Friday, stopping by Mesa Verde for a few hours and the long drive home and back to my bed. I felt like crap by the time we got home Friday night and spent the rest of the weekend in bed.

Anyway, we had a great time, we've narrowed down some places we'd like to go explore again in depth.

For those curious, here's the gas long of the trip from an app I have on my phone:



You can see on the first entry of 10/7 it's been 34 days since the last fill up. I work from home and rarely go anywhere in the van except to Lowes or Home Depot or go get Hay for the horses.

The PM's computer says 25 MPG, but my math says it was 23.3, but still not bad for a week of lots of starting and stopping and climbing hills.
 

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I generously offered to swap my sparking white van for his Deep Red one, but he refused. He didn't seem to like the part about swapping out the interiors. Geez. I had to put a lock on the mosquito screens, too, or they would have snuck off with him. ?

Tell wifey she has some choices to make. For example: 10" mattress, bed under full windows, pull-out table under bed. She can't have all three.
 

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I generously offered to swap my sparking white van for his Deep Red one, but he refused. He didn't seem to like the part about swapping out the interiors. Geez. I had to put a lock on the mosquito screens, too, or they would have snuck off with him. ?

Tell wifey she has some choices to make. For example: 10" mattress, bed under full windows, pull-out table under bed. She can't have all three.
No way I'm giving up that 10" mattress :)
 

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Compromises will be made. Our 5” IKEA mattress is wonderful, why would one want more? I taught in Vermont for 30 years so I would have known those couples too. It’s that sort of place, more like a family than a state but a decidedly dysfunctional family of course!
 

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Are they all Leatherman "carriers" or is that just part of the VT educators "retirement package"? ;)
 
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