Roswell….. The Truth is Out There….

untitled-3932Couldn’t resist the title.  Sean is a huge X-Files fan AND has wanted to see Roswell since he was a kid.  It worked out great, not only were we passing nearby BUT one of Sherry’s good Theater friends, Chris, lived nearby so we could visit.  Before going to Roswell, Sherry had researched places to stay and we decided on a State Park called Bottomless Lakes.  The park has a series of very deep sinkholes (not quite bottomless) and full hook-ups, an added benefit.  We must have hit at a very bad time of the year.  The park was nice, well off the beaten path.  The nearest store was a good 30 minute drive.  The night skies were absolutely amazing.  On clear nights it seemed like you could see every star in the sky.

So why a bad time of the year?  Well, nights were cool but as the day warmed up we dealt with swarms of gnats, flies and then hornets.  Literally swarms of mud dauber hornets.  The first day we had several burrow their way into the RV between the slide out seals.

We ran out to the nearest Wal-Mart and purchased a can of wasp spray.  There were only two on the shelf… We should have known.  When we returned to the RV we had a nest going up on the roof.  We sprayed and they just kept coming.  Sherry noticed they were crawling in the hollow portions of our seals so Sean sprayed into and up those areas.  Dozens dropped out.  The Hornet Wars had begun.  Over the next three days we battled (had to find more Wasp spray at a local feed store) and held the bugs at bay. 🙂

Roswell was interesting.  Not as Alien driven as Sean had hoped but the mothership would have to be on display in the Walmart parking lot to please him on that. 🙂

Sean and Family? Friends?

Sean and Family? Friends?

We did tour the UFO Museum and Research Center and walked downtown.  Very interesting stuff.

We also visited the local Winery – Pecos Flavors Winery.

Vance, Chris, Sherry and Sean at Pecos Flavors.

Vance, Chris, Sherry and Sean at Pecos Flavors.

We really enjoyed the wines and conversation.  In fact, we bought a few bottles of the Alien Cabernet.  🙂

Between the weather and evil bugs (maybe they were really aliens???) We didn’t do much hiking or exploring beyond what we just mentioned.  That did mean we had time to plan out our next several stops and we decided to do a detour to Alamogordo, NM.  That was a blast but we will save the details for our next post. 🙂

On a side note.  We are running a contest on our Facebook page for a free 16X20 print of one of our photographs.  All you need to do is ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the post about the contest to enter to win.  We know none of us full timers have wall space for pictures but if you are interested, or know someone who might be interested direct them to our Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/loveyphoto/?ref=bookmarks

 

 

Advertisements

Cooking in the RV – Butternut Squash Soup

Hello Friends,

This post is our third video.  In it, Sherry will show how easy it is to make a nice hearty Butternut Squash soup while on the road.  If you enjoy the video, please like and share.  : )

We are curious to hear from you.  What sort of meals do you prepare on the road that are ‘just like home’?

Our next video will post on Wednesday and is of our train ride from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon.

Happy Trails!

Lake Mead, Sedona and Flagstaff… Oh My

Hello friends!

Yes, it has been an incredibly busy month of October and promises to continue to be such for us.  We can’t start this entry without thanking everyone for the positive response to our videos.  We had no idea they would be such a hit!  Look for a video update from us each Sunday and Wednesday.  We will do our best to stick to a post each of those days and already have enough to keep us going for a few weeks.  Please subscribe to our channel on YouTube to stay up to date on the videos.  Sherry and Sean’s YouTube Channel We will try to answer questions that have come our way, especially about cooking and life in general in the RV.  Now, on to the blog:

We left Mesquite, Nevada and drove a few hours to get to a camp sight on Lake Mead.  The drive was pleasantly uneventful other than some rough roads and traffic through Las Vegas.  Yes, there were some shorter routes for us to take, but we decided to stick to interstates and keep it simple.

When we arrived at our spot on Lake Mead, we quickly set up, walked the pups and took off for Hoover Dam.  Sean had last visited the area with his grandparents back in the 70’s.  He commented several times how amazed  he was at the low water level.  We knew how tough the drought conditions were, but the sight of the water line marks on the lakes edge and the actual water line were stunning.

Since we only had a day, we tried to make the most of our time.  We started off by heading to the dam and, after passing through a security checkpoint, we stopped at an area were we could take a foot tour up to the new Tillman Bridge and across the bridge to get a bird’s eye view of the dam.  The bridge and dam are both amazing feats of engineering.  Sean remembered taking a tour of the inside of the dam and learning that so much concrete was poured in such a short time that cooling pipes had to be run through the dam to aid in the curing of the cement.  Otherwise, it would have taken decades to finally set.

We did drive down to the dam and park so we could walk across.  A note here.  Don’t bring your spare tanks of gas with you when visiting the dam.  You can’t park anywhere but the open sites due to security. We didn’t think of that when we left as we were rushing to get on with the site seeing.  OH, another note – Sean made too many dam jokes as we took our walking tour.. pun intended.

The day after our visit to the dam we crossed the Tillman Bridge with our home in tow and our next destination of Williams, AZ where we would stay at Railside RV.  Our original plan had us here only a few days but we upped that to a week so we could see all we wanted to see.  Sherry also had her heart set on riding the train into Grand Canyon National Park… Well, that will be the subject of a new blog AND a video!    : ).

The day after we arrived in Williams, we drove into Sedona.  This was a beautiful drive, winding down the mountains on a road that reminded us of the Going to the Sun Road, only a little wider.  We dropped several thousand feet and gained a few degrees.  It is probably worth mentioning that we went from 90 degree temps to 60 degree temps going from Lake Mead to Williams.  Brrrr.  There are several parks along HWY 89A worth stopping at.  One of them, Slide Rock State Park is the home of one of the top ten swimming holes in the country.. or so we heard.

Sedona was amazing, and we enjoyed wandering the small town and visiting many shops.  Sean even found a coffee mug like one used by his favorite ex-late night talk show host Craig Ferguson.

After Sedona, we holed up in the RV for a little R&R… Well, cleaning and laundry.  The weather had really turned on us and was wet and cold.  Perfect to catch up on chores and edit some videos.  The next day was marginally better so we decided to drive into Flagstaff to see the Lowell Observatory.  This was a religious experience for Sean.  Please don’t ask him why Pluto should still be considered a planet.  We toured the old observatory and heard about the conditions the astronomers faced when it was in use like climbing onto the roof to shovel snow and standing around at night in sub zero temps getting frostbite while waiting for a photographic plate to gather an image of the heavens.   Amazing.  We also had our first (but not last) Tarantula sighting along one of the trails at the observatory.  YIKES!!

In our next several blogs we will cover our trips into the Grand Canyon and a few videos on cooking and baking.  One of the upcoming blogs will cover some of the amazing people we have met through blogging and travel since we started this journey.

Our next entry will be a video blog about cooking.  Sherry made a delicious Butternut squash soup.  Yes, we will share the recipe. : )

Please pass along our links to anyone you think would be interested.

Signing off for now!

Click the link below to see more photos of Sedona, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

Travel Photo Link

Second Edition – Outside the RV

Hello Friends,

We are back with the much anticipated second edition of the video tour of our RV.  🙂  In this edition, Sean does a tour of the outside features of our Bighorn and gives some information and insights we have gathered since starting this journey.  We thought it would be appropriate to thank our fellow bloggers and full timers.  We’ve learned so much from everyone and have truly enjoyed the process.

We do have two cooking videos we will post in the near future and would love to hear your thoughts and comments.  Do you like the videos?  Any topics you would like to see?

We also have several posts to catch up on with photos from stops at Lake Mead and Sedona.

Our First Video Post

Hello Friends!

We are expanding our blogging to the wonderful world of video and YouTube. In our first video we do a walkthrough of our RV with some of the insights we have gathered since starting our adventure.  We are hopeful that this will be helpful to anyone starting out as full timers, or amusing to you veterans. 🙂

We have also completed a video on the outside of the RV as well as a cooking video.  We would love your suggestions and comments, especially ideas you may want to see or read about in the future.

Happy Travels – Sean and Sherry

Fire and Water

You know when you smell something stinky, but you can’t figure out where it is coming from??  Yeah, so do we.  There has been a growing sour smell in the RV for a while.  Yes, we have two dogs, but they both said they “didn’t do it”.  We thought it was the heat because it is in the 90s here in Nevada and our rig is sitting in the sun.  We thought that it was heating up the pipes and holding tanks and causing the sour smell and we noticed it most when running water… Hmmm, our first clue.  We bought new chemicals for the tanks, emptied them,  added chemicals, filled with water, and thought the smell had dissipated.  It did not.  We thought it was food particles stuck in the drains, or food particles coating the grey water tank and fermenting in the heat.  We dumped and refilled the tanks multiple times.  The smell continued; it got worse.  It was like sour milk and old feet – absolutely awful.  Sean is amazing about doing research and looking up solutions for the problems we encounter (if you have kept up with our blog, you know that we have encountered several issues – like clogged loos and slide out issues).  He saw an article about how hot weather can cause the water in holding tanks and hot water heater tanks to sour and start to smell.  This made sense to us because the worst times of the smell were when we did dishes in the kitchen sink with hot water and when we took showers.  We also realized that we had used our hot water very infrequently over the last month as the tap water on cold was fairly warm, and we even used it that way in the shower.  The smell was not coming UP from drains, but OUT through the taps.  It was the water itself that was stinky.  Even though we drained the water, the tank and lines still had bacteria in them and the smell was coating the water as it passed through and also as it sat in the hot water tank and our fresh water tank.  The solution was to turn off the water heater, drain all tanks, and put a mix of fresh water and bleach into the fresh water holding tank.  After adding the fresh water and bleach, we were to turn on the pumps and run hot water (with the heater turned OFF) through the lines until the water coming out of the faucet started smelling bleachy (bleachy is a highly technical term).  We did all those things and had bleach water coming through the lines.  We probably used more bleach than necessary because the bleach smell was overwhelming, but we felt that at least it was sanitizing the lines.  We left the faucets on one by one to allow for a lot of bleach water to pass through the lines, especially the hot water lines.  Let sit for 24 hours then completely flush the system with fresh water.  We did this process two days ago, and for now the sour smell is completely gone.  The bleach sanitizing method seems like it has worked!  The joys of owning a home on wheels.  Lol.  OH, as a side note, we had ready mixed sanitizer coming out of the faucet to clean floors, counters, etc.

Now, about the FIRE….

No, we didn’t have a fire in the RV.  We visited the Nevada State Park, Valley of Firelow res-2896It was wonderful!  We wrote earlier about Zion and how beautiful it was, but how packed it was with tourists and how hard it was to get in.  We’ve realized we much prefer the parks and areas that are less popular.  Valley of Fire was pleasantly unoccupied.  There were tourists, but very few on the trails, and we had ample parking opportunities at each hiking location.  Interestingly, the Valley of Fire is apparently a popular location for many movie sets.  Sean was especially excited to see that Capt. James T. Kirk of the Star Trek Enterprise had his death scene somewhere in the park.  (Side note: Sean is a geek.)  He may have also mentioned 1 or a thousand times how the landscape looked so ‘alien’.  low res-2909

We really did love this park.  It had canyons, red rock, variations in rock colors, animals, and great trails.  The park was still primitive which is something we really enjoy.  The trails weren’t paved and we could choose from several paths on each hike.  Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy when trails are paved because we love that all people can have access to nature and beauty that way, but we personally enjoy unpaved, primitive hiking trails with more options to explore.  The Valley of Fire state park was that kind of park.

We hiked through canyons with ancient petroglyphs and sandstones of many colors.

low res-2926

Take plenty of water – don’t let the heat get to you!

low res-3074

Some sort of desert sheep…

It was a wonderful (but HOT) day in the desert.  We would recommend getting there in the morning if the forecast calls for a hot day.  There isn’t much shade, and it can get sweltering quickly in the red sand.  We drank two bottles of water each, one bottle of Gatorade each, and Sean had a can of soda.  We were only there for about 4 hours.  Moral of the story:  take lots and lots of fluids!  We still felt dehydrated for the rest of the day.  The dry air and sand sucked out any moisture.  The park has two visitor centers, one at each entrance.  They have small gift shops with some food and drinks, and they have displays that explain how the valley was created and creatures in glass tanks to look at before you go out into the park itself.  We didn’t see any scaled, slimy, or slitering critters, but we did see a horned sheep while driving through the main road.  We were able to stop and snap a quick pic.  The park brochure did not list the sheep on the park animal list, so we’re not sure what they really are or how they came to be in the park.

Red sand from our hikes.  Sean had a bunch in both shoes.

Red sand from our hikes. Sean had a bunch in both shoes.

All in all, it was a lovely park and we were glad were heard of it!  If you’re in Vegas for any reason, take a trip less than an hour east and visit the park – it is well worth it!

If you would like to see MANY more pics, visit the gallery of photos on our website:

Valley of Fire Photo Gallery

We are so grateful….

We are so grateful for beaver.  Beaver, Utah that is…get your minds out of the gutter people!  We just couldn’t resist the innuendo!  At least we still have our sense of humor!  We are actually behind at least three posts since our Yellowstone and had intended on starting to catch up today.  Unfortunately, what we expected to be a short day of driving turned into much more.IMG_2523

In an earlier post we had mentioned how nerve wracking driving in the wind was for us.  Sean had noticed a great deal of sway as he was driving.  He even commented that he was surprised he didn’t notice that issue in storms we drove through in Missouri and South Dakota.  Sherry had also commented about a month ago that the kitchen side of the RV seemed lower.  She noticed that when we were getting ready to pull out of one of the parks.  Sean agreed it seemed lower, but after crawling under the RV he couldn’t find anything visually amiss.

On our drive Tuesday the wind was pretty strong and Sean said he could definitely feel the RV sway and the handling was off.  Again, we chalked it up to the wind and drove on.  While we stopped for fuel in Beaver, UT at the Flying J, we had a young man come up and tell us he noticed the RV was really sagging on the driver side.  He was a service station worker from the trucker repair shop.  Sherry was skeptical that he was just trying to drum up business.  However, he got down on the ground and under the R.V. to show Sean where he thought there was a problem.  Sure enough, after we looked harder at the driver-side wheel wells, we realized the tilt was even more noticeable than before.  While underneath the RV, Sean was able to see that one of the suspension brackets had snapped off and the spring was resting on the frame.

Brackets from the driver side front spring. We saw this hanging free when we crawled under the RV.

Brackets from the driver side front spring. We saw this hanging free when we crawled under the RV.

Fortunately, this was just enough to keep the tires from rubbing and locking up on us while driving.  That would have been a real mess.  YIKES.

If that young man hadn’t called our attention to the worsening situation, our repairs could have been much more than they were – a possible stranded us on the side of the highway!

We were able to pull in front of their shop and he and the owner changed out all four springs and all fittings on both sides of the RV in under two hours.  IMG_2509Sean watched with them as they did the work and showed him the ‘beefier’ springs and fittings that were being installed.  The owner told us that they were constantly getting called out to the highway to repair broken RV suspensions, so not an uncommon issue.  He said it is easy to not notice an issue until there is a catastrophic failure.  We were glad he said this because we were beginning to feel silly and ashamed for not noticing such a huge problem underneath our rig.  We were so lucky we didn’t have to call in our Good Sam Roadside assistance from the side of HWY 15. 🙂

Here is a little we learned about our suspension while talking to the mechanics:

We have a Mor/Ryde system, which the mechanics said gave a great ride and they generally liked it.  Their criticism with it was many RV companies tend to not use as heavy a suspension on their rigs as they probably should and some of the parts are light weight.  During the repair, we saw several examples of relatively ‘fragile’ parts coming off the RV.  Especially compared to the replacement bolts, bushings and springs.  In fact, the new springs are 5 instead of 4 leaf.

After leaving Beaver, we had another two hours to our destination.  The ride was great!  We can’t believe how much different it felt while hauling down the road.  THANK YOU again to the service mechanics working at the Flying J at the “Goober’s Service” repair shop in Beaver, Utah.  Someone was definitely looking out for us that day!

And, after all the trouble, it is nice to show up to a destination and new site like this one.  It helps us to remember what this adventure is all about.

IMG_2522

A nice corner lot. The view is spectacular!