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

 

 

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.

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

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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.

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A nice corner lot. The view is spectacular!

 

Three Months on the Road

Since starting our journey, we have done a monthly update on the things we have learned about living in an RV.  We are a little late on our third month installment, but better late than never, right?

Our summer workamping kept us jacks down for two months, but we did a lot of planning and preparation before leaving and then a few things since hitting the road again.  Here are a few of those things:

  1. Hitch Height.IMG_23582 Ideally, you want your rig to have an even ride.  That is, it should be level when hitched up to your tow vehicle.  Sean had noticed that our RV had a decidedly nose down appearance when hitched up.  There are two ways to adjust how the 5th wheel will ride when hitched.  On our rig, we can take out four bolts on the kingpin and raise or lower it OR take out four bolts on the hitch to raise or lower that setting.  Sean removed the bolts from the hitch and raised it one setting (about an inch or so).  That gave us a level look and ride (we checked with our levels).  Since the adjustment we have gone about 600 miles and all seems great.  Sean thinks it tows easier but….
  2. Cleaning the RV:  7992AF34-9025-4709-9F52-F11A82DD76C1We have gotten in the habit of doing a weekly deep clean inside the RV.  We do daily maintenance but once a week we scrub down the inside.  This probably isn’t ‘big news’ to anyone but it is an important point.  We both hate clutter and in a large house it is easy for even a small amount of clutter to spread out and not be noticeable.  In an RV, even a small amount is quickly noticeable.   The only issue with the weekly cleans is Sherry has to work to keep Sean from shoving everything into the ‘shit’ drawer or cabinet.  You know, the place where all the little odds and ends go that don’t have a permanent home.  Sean swears the cabinet makes a perfect ‘new’ home. 🙂  We also took the opportunity to scrub down the outside of the RV and apply wax to the front.  We had collected a bug lovers dream on the front of the Big Horn and had to spend a few days scrubbing and applying bug and tar remover.  Sean felt a layer of wax would at least help after our next encounter with the bugs.  We will let you know.
  3. Staying fit and healthy:  Despite all the hiking, we quickly realized that we were using some muscles and not others.  At home we stuck to a fairly regular routine of running, yoga and some weight training.  We didn’t want to bring weights with us in the RV so we got a set of weight bands instead.  This last month we have been especially conscious of doing some cardio work as well as stretching and Yoga.  We have a set of workout DVD’s we like to use for workouts -P90X.  Good stuff, especially the 30 minute workouts.  Sticking to a routine has been the toughest, but we have balanced ‘cardio’ hike days with yoga days.  Sherry has also done more healthy cooking.  The first two months of our trip we fell off the vegan and healthy food wagon (many times).   Since getting back into a healthier routine, we have both noticed a difference in how we feel.  OH, but there is always room for Huckleberry Pie!  (If you’re interested in any recipes, let us know and Sherry will give you details!)
  4. General RV maintenance:  We are very conscious of little things around the RV that could go wrong.  Sean will periodically walk the RV inside and out to check for loose fittings or other potential problems.  It is amazing the number of bolts and screws that loosen up after a day or two on the road.  Before leaving Montana, Sherry went through and checked caulk around seams, it had been months since we had the seams caulked and some areas were showing minor splits.
  5. IMG_23592Heating the RV and Propane use:  Amazing how fast we have gone from summer weather to mid fall… Well, we are also usually in areas 5,000 feet or higher now too.  Anyway, we thought about ways to conserve our propane long before we started traveling.  Both of us enjoy sleeping in a cool to cold room but it isn’t fun typing while trying to wear gloves.  To warm the inside we brought along a radiator we have had for several years.  It is a Honeywell electric/oil radiator.  Relatively economical to run and what we used at home to keep our bedroom at a comfortable temperature.  We have used it several times when the temps have dropped into the low 40’s and upper 30’s and have found it does a nice job maintaining a comfortable temp in both rooms of the RV.  We did fill our propane tanks up once, about a month ago, but that is the first time we have done that since October of last year.  Admittedly, we only had the RV out a few times before starting our adventure.  For the last two months we have used our shower (hot water) and have done a lot of cooking and some baking.  That said, it does seem like we have done well in propane use.  Any comments from fellow RV’rs?  What is normal propane use?
  6. Driving in windy conditions: A few months ago we did drive through some crazy storms in Western Missouri and again in South Dakota.  Maybe we didn’t notice the wind as much because of the rain and other issues.  We did notice it a lot when we hit Idaho and were driving down HWY 15.  Steady winds at 20 MPH and gusting over 30 MPH.  Question for everyone: When do you decide the winds are too high and call it a day?  In these conditions, we noticed very minor trailer sway.  Sean could see (in the rear view mirror) the bubble on the trailer level move from side to side.  We just kept our speed down and drove through.  Sean did say it was a bit unnerving from time to time. 🙂

IMG_2357In a previous post we had mentioned our slideout ‘preventative’ repair work.  So far all has been great.  We completed adding the fiberglass panels to the slides and after multiple uses everything is looking good.  Since that post, we have met one couple working through similar issues with their RV slideouts.  They stopped by our site a few weeks ago to compare notes and look at what we had done.  Their RV slideouts use small sleds and they were noticing wear on the wood the sleds slid on.  Their plan for a fix was to place a thin sheet of metal on the area the sled would use to help distribute the weight.  Since then, we have heard from several others with similar problems.  Which brings us to the next topic, the RV community.

Over the summer we met many full-time RV couples or those who were on the verge of going full time. In our last week at Timber Wolf, we also met several full-time RV families.  We have truly enjoyed sharing experiences with the people we have met.  One family (three children) shared several RV groups with us and were the encouragement we need to jump onto Instagram with our blog and photos.  Our screen name is Sean_and_Sherry

Final thought – Have fun:  Not a lesson we needed to learn but one to share.  We continue to love our time together as a family and the opportunity to explore together.  Now that we are back on the road, we are re-energized, if that is even possible, and excited to see the next stop. 🙂

In our next post – Yellowstone!!

Workamping and Moving On

What’s Workamping, you say? We didn’t know what it was either until we started this whole adventure.  Workamping is really popular for full time travelers to be able to offset some of the costs of traveling.  We first talked to some people about this when we were in Florida.  We met two very nice couples who were working at the state park.  They told us about their experience, basically a few hours a day greeting people, spreading bug killer (for fire ants) and cleaning the restrooms.  For a few hours a day 5 days a week and in return they had a full hook up site.  Many campgrounds offer workamping jobs to long-term travelers.  The campers agree to work a certain amount of hours for the compensation of a free stay at the campground (they usually offer a FHU site and some have restrictions on what type of rig you can bring to their property).  They want to be sure if something is parked long term that it doesn’t look bad.  Some places even offer hourly wages as well as FHU sites.  You must be willing to stay somewhere for a lengthy amount of time because the minimum for most jobs is two months.  We found the site http://workampingjobs.com/ really helpful to look for campgrounds who were hiring.  After our trip back from Florida we decided to put in our resumes on the site and see what happened.  We had an option of targeting specific regions of the country.  So, we talked about areas of the country we would like to spend a few months exploring and came up with four regions.  If we had a request from one of those regions, we would jump at the opportunity.

Shortly after putting in our information, we received an e-mail from an RV site in Montana near Glacier NTL Park.  This was Sherry’s top region to visit!!

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Our ‘work’ vehicle. The campground is large, so we were grateful to have this baby to get us around!

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Sherry putting out the ‘closed’ sign – even though most people just ignored it and walked on in!

Timber Wolf Resort (http://www.timberwolfresort.com) is a really nice campground with RV sites, tent camping, and cabins.  FTer exchanging e-mails with the owners and a few phone calls we decided this was too perfect an opportunity for us to pass up.  Our ‘duties’ as workampers were to clean and restock bathrooms, housekeeping cabins, and watering flowers.  It was not difficult work, and we enjoyed getting out and having a job to do each day.  The days where the campground was busy and there were a lot of beds to make were not the most fun days, but like we said, the work was never hard or strenuous. IMG_2340 We also had some interesting ‘finds’ in some of the cabins…  Gave us pause to think why people would leave certain things…  We were occasionally thankful for rubber gloves.

The work gave us a chance to be out and about meeting people in the campground and getting a little exercise while we were at it.  But don’t get us wrong, we weren’t hauling stuff around on our backs.  The owners had some sweet toys that allowed us to maneuver around the campground easily.

OH, we also met a bear while on our duties.  At the end of August we saw a black bear moving through the woods near some of the campsites.  We CAREFULLY watched the bear from the doorway of the camp comfort station.  LOL  Wouldn’t you know, we didn’t have our cameras!!

The best part really is having the opportunity to explore an area and to take our time.  Most days, after we finished working, we would run out and hit one of the near trails (we were only 9 miles from West Glacier).  If we didn’t hike, we went in and looked at the sights in Whitefish, Columbia Falls or Kalispell.  It didn’t take us long to fall in love with this area.  We met some wonderful people and enjoyed the genuine friendliness of most of the locals.  If you are in the area, don’t forget to visit the Huckleberry Patch for some pie or other yummy treats.

After being at the campground for 2 1/2 months, it was hard to think about leaving.  It was long enough to feel like we were getting settled into a new home.  Christine and Phil, the owners of Timber Wolf, are really wonderful and treated us very well while we worked for them.  For our first experience in Workamping, we feel that we got really lucky to be able to work for them.  We would highly recommend Timber Wolf to anyone visiting the area.  The RV sites are shaded, and the park itself is very picturesque.

Now it is onward to the next adventure!  See you soon!

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The worst part of the job was putting the linen on the top bunk! Sherry always ended up with bruised knuckles and head!

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Watering the flowers! It was SO dry this season.

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Cleaning up a cabin…you never know what might be lurking under the covers! Beware of the left-behind undies!

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Sherry stripping a bed.

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Breaks are always good!

 

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These pretty babies are also on the property. NO, we did NOT have to clean up after them!

 

Stairway to Heaven????

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Heavens Peak. This was an amazing site with sun glinting off the icy snowfields.

Low Res-0948Our time near Glacier Park is drawing to a close, and we have had to put off a handful of our planned hikes due to the fires on the East side.  Still on our list to do was the Highline Trail and either start from Logan Pass or the Loop.  After looking at maps and listening to a few people, we decided to start from the Loop and walk up to Granite Chalet.  From there, we hoped to climb to the Grinnell Glacier overlook.

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Sherry feeling victorious making it to the Chalet. You can make reservations months in advance to eat here too. We once had to move off the trail on our way up because the pack horses were coming down from dropping off supplies.

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We wanted to do the Highline trail for weeks now.  We have a guide map that has the trails rated, and the highline trail is rated #1.  The guide said that starting at the Loop entrance to the Highline Trail is the steepest, but levels off if you want to get the incline out of the way first.  We thought that was a great idea!  Boy, were we in for a surprise!  Paying more attention to the map and the continuous yellow to red highlights might have made us change our mind.  LOL  The trail from The Loop entrance to the Granite Park Chalet is only 4.2 miles.  We thought it was the best way to get up there.  The Highline Trailhead begins at Logan Pass and goes 7.4 miles to the Chalet.

It was smarter to take the shorter distance, right?  We realized when we arrived at the Chalet and saw masses of people walking from the direction of Logan Pass that most people choose to start there.  We understand why.  The incline from the Loop to the Chalet is 2,353 feet in the 4.2 miles with at least four sections considered class 3 steep trail.  The elevation from Logan Pass to the Chalet is relatively nonexistent.  The elevation at Logan Pass is 6,646 and the Chalet is at 6,650 (The Loop trailhead starts at 4,297ft.  We kept wondering why we were essentially alone on the hike up from The Loop!  Most sane people start at Logan Pass and go the 11 mile loop to pick up a bus back to their car.  Flat and longer miles or straight up and shorter miles?  Shoulda, coulda, woulda.  We ended up with about 11 miles total anyway.

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Up, up, and up some more!

From the Chalet you can go another 1.4 miles and see the Grinnell Glacier overlook.

We were told this was worth it, and we were very interested to see it.  However, there’s another 900 or so feet to climb to get to the overlook.  We don’t consider ourselves out of shape, but we were running low on knee and leg strength.  We decided to go for it anyway!  We started our way up to the overlook on the STEEP incline.  It was scary at some points.  There’s really only enough space for one person to walk, but what happens when someone is coming the opposite way?  You climb yourself onto the ledge and let them pass, rocks crumbly beneath your feet and all.  All we kept thinking was about the trip DOWN.

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See the slight -U- shape on the right of the picture? That is the overlook and our destination.

Up was beginning to take a toll on both our joints.  Sean has knee trouble from years of soccer and a few accidents, and Sherry has hip and knee troubles.  We had to stop often and rest our weary legs, and at one point Sherry said she just couldn’t do any more.  Her hip was shooting pain down her leg, and she didn’t think it was a good idea to push it.  We were probably 1/4 mile or less to the summit, but still had a hill to climb to get there.  It wasn’t worth being injured when we knew we still had another 5 miles down to get back to the truck.  We bailed out and started heading back down.  We’re not sure which was worse, up or down.  Both are taxing for different reasons: up is hard on your heart and lungs, but down kills the knees and toes.

We did survive the journey and feel that it was well worth the effort to get up there.  The views are some we haven’t seen while here at the park.

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Heaven’s Peak

We understand why the trail is rated #1.  We are considering doing it again and starting at Logan Pass this time.  We think that if we didn’t abuse our joints going up that we might have more energy to get to the overlook.  There’s another trail called Swiftcurrent that starts in Many Glacier that overlooks Grinnell Glacier as well.  We may try that one instead; however, there’s another 1,700ft. elevation change on that 5 mile one-way hike.  Maybe we are stronger after this one and can manage it better.  Check the blog later to know if we tried it!  Lol.

We still have things we want to do here, but we are ready to move on.  We talked yesterday while driving through the park that with the drought people are not seeing the same park we saw almost two months ago.  Some of the rivers are almost nonexistent and the waterfalls are no longer flowing.  We talk about coming back in early June or late May to see the snow melt and more of the water flowing.

We took MANY amazing photos while we hiked this trail.  Go to our gallery of photos to view the rest:  http://www.loveyphotography.com/Traveling-Photography/The-Loop-TrailGranite-Park-Cha/