On the Road May 7-21, 2019

posted in: Arizona, Uncategorized | 0

As of today, (Friday, May 17th), we have made it from Arizona to Ohio. We have seen some beautiful sites especially in Arizona, Utah and Colorado. In the past week and a half we have gone thru Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. We still have New York, Massachusetts and our final destination of Maine.

Our first stop was to Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona. We like to stay at state parks as they have the best places to find hikes right from the park and they are generally very clean and the sites are good. This was a nice first stop and had a good place to walk around.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

From there we visited Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. This is a cinder cone located in Flagstaff. Sunset Crater Volcano was born in a series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100. Powerful explosions profoundly affected the lives of local people and forever changed the landscape and ecology of the area. A very unique area.

Sunset Crater Volcano
John & Shelby at Sunset Crater
Sunset Crater Volcano

Past the crater is the Wapatki National Monument. Ancient pueblos dot red-rock outcroppings across miles of prairie. Where food and water seem impossible to find, people built pueblos, raised families, farmed, traded, and thrived.

Wapatki
Wapatki view

Next up was Page, AZ and the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Grande Escalante National Monument and Vermillion Cliffs. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a recreation and conservation unit of the National Park Service that encompasses the area around Lake Powell and lower Cataract Canyon in Utah and Arizona, covering 1,254,429 acres of mostly desert. Grande Escalante is called that for the series of plateaus that descend from Bryce Canyon south toward the Grand Canyon. Everywhere we looked was just spectacular. The views were 360 degrees.

Glen Canyon – looked like smoke coming out of the mountain but it was clouds.
Glen Canyon view below our campsite
Glen Canyon
Glen Canyon
Glen Canyon panorama a stop right off the road.

 

Glen Canyon looking thru the buildings.
Grande Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Grande Staircase-Escalante
Grand Escalante Snow Covered Mountains
Vermillion Cliffs

Going thru Utah is just beautiful. We went thru Red Canyon and onto Bryce National Park. It was raining when we arrived at Bryce so we just drove thru and continued on. On this leg, we hit rain, ice, snow and sun. Doesn’t get any better than that. Luckily we have been to Bryce NP twice before so we weren’t too disappointed that we couldn’t see anything. There were also restrictions for where you can go with an RV and also with a dog.

Red Canyon
Red Canyon

A favorite place of ours is Kodachrome Basin State Park. We camped here one night, but unfortunately because of the rain, we couldn’t do any hiking while we were here.

View from campsite at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park

Another area that is spectacular is Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, Colorado. The national park campground is usually full but there is a wildlife campground (Mosca Campground) that we stayed at and got a nice sunset picture. Biggest problem here were the gnats. We couldn’t walk around as they just surrounded us.

Sunset of dunes from our campsite
Sunset of dunes from our campsite

We went to the sand dunes with Shelby and he loved walking thru the water. Such an incredible place when you see sand dunes, mountains and running water all in the same place. If you’re adventuresome (which we’re not), you can take a sand board and slide down the hills. We talked with one woman who tried it and she said it was difficult to do. So that let us out.

Great Sand Dunes Panorama
Shelby and John. They look higher than they actually were.
Great Sand Dunes (John’s contribution to photo-taking)
Great Sand Dunes

Sometimes we have to pick campgrounds that aren’t our favorite as they are mainly for big rigs and your neighbor is side-by-side. This was the case at Falcon Meadow Campground near Colorado Springs. The nice part at this place was, we were able to visit with my high school friend, Paula and her husband, Nick. They also had a nice big dog park so Shelby was happy.

Next stops were Ellis, Kansas (never did find Dorothy and Toto) and Arrow Rock, Missouri.

Cedar Bluff State Park (Arrow Rock, Missouri)

 

After this we changed direction from our original plan. We went into Ohio bypassing the Indiana Sand Dunes because of storms that were supposed to be bad. We stayed in Buck Creek State Park in Springfield. We did get bad storms in the night and woke up to flooding in our camper.

After looking at Shelby’s soaked bed and John’s sneakers full of water, we went to a Camping World to have the leak assessed. Bad news is there was lots of leakage from seals on the roof not being taken care of (this is a 2016 RV we bought one month ago). Anyway the dealership in London, OH looked at it and is fixing it for us (over $3,000 cost). Naturally, as with any extended warranty you purchase, it doesn’t cover the type of repair you need to have done. If it was a plumbing leak it would be covered. This Camping World has been fabulous to deal with and we are staying at a hotel overnight (at their cost) while they repair it. Considering all the traveling we have done, we feel fortunate this has been our first major problem.

We look forward to getting home after a quick visit to my cousin’s in New York.

Overall, we love this traveling and our new camper. Being able to see so many beautiful sites in the United States is beyond expectation. Hope you enjoy some of our pictures.