6 Months on the Road

Before we start on this post we wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  We are fortunate enough that we are able to spend this holiday with family and are looking forward to good food, company and maybe a drink. :).  Wishing the same for all our Blogger friends and fellow full timers.

Wow, it seems like we were just writing about being on the road for 5 months and now we are approaching our half year anniversary.  So much has happened in that time (and before).  We made our Sunday video a recap of the last 6 months and you can see it below.  For our fellow RV’rs with spotty WIFI here is a quick summary:

  1. Planning
  2. Repairs
  3. Seeing amazing sites
  4. Loving each other and our pups.

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Cooking on the Road – Gnocchi Video 10

Hi All,

Here is our Wednesday video.  Sherry is making Gnocchi/Chicken Soup.  It was delicious and great on the trail.  We actually brought some along when hiking the Grand Canyon and heated it up in the JetBoil.  Yummy!

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 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

 

Meteor Crater and Albuquerque

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Sean is the ultimate science nerd.

Leaving Williams AZ we took a short drive down the highway to a site just outside of Winslow.  What is in Winslow?  Well, the best preserved impact crater on the planet, Meteor Crater!!!!  OK, this is very exciting if you love science… In fact, it was pretty exciting regardless once we got there and could see the sheer magnitude of the site.  Sean has wanted to see the site since he learned about it as a child, back in the 60’s… or was it the 70’s?  🙂

OK, we were just under the speed limit. :)

OK, we were just under the speed limit. 🙂

We were only staying the night, so immediately after setting up in the RV park, which was only a few miles from the site, we drove to see the crater.  It was a short drive through scrub desert, nothing to see for miles but a few mountain ranges in the distance.    As we approached the impact site, the terrain, which had been relatively flat, rose up to form a steep ridge.  The museum and visitor center were built about halfway up the rise.  Like so much of what we have seen the last few months, the sheer magnitude of what can be found in nature doesn’t become apparent until given a perspective.  For us, driving up to the visitor center we were struck by how massive the huge ridge rising before us truly was… It was amazing to contemplate that huge wall was thrown up when a rock hit the earth….  True, a big metallic rock traveling at about 40,000 MPH, but still, a rock.low res-3763

We took some time exploring the museum and visitor center and watched the short but informative movie that shows every 30 minutes.  We should mention that the site is privately run and there is an admission fee to enter the visitor center.  low res-3726After watching the movie, we walked out to see the crater.  It was a fairly steep climb to get to the top observation deck but well worth it.  We snapped several photos and soaked in the view.

Our next ‘Ahhhh’ moment came when we were on the mid observation deck and used the telescopes set up to show various sites on the floor and walls of the crater.  One sign said there was a mine entrance on the opposite wall, we couldn’t pick it out until we looked through the telescope or our zoom lens on the camera.  Another telescope was aimed at a 6 foot silhouette of an astronaut standing near an American flag at the center of the crater.  Again, almost too small to see with the unaided eye.  We soaked in the views before returning to our RV and capturing some amazing desert sunset photos.

Leaving Winslow, we continued our journey, the next stop being Albuquerque, NM.  We had hoped to stay for several days, but had to adjust plans on the fly.  Sean had been in ABQ several years before for a conference.  He loved the city and in his spare time explored places, but wanted to spend more time viewing the petroglyphs and a few other sites.  Since our plans changed, we only had a day and decided to go to the ABQ Botanical Gardens.  Sherry had read about it and we thought it would make an interesting stop.  We spent a day wandering the gardens and the adjacent aquarium.  The gardens had a number of surprises for us.

Sean loved the train garden and stood for a while watching the various ‘garden’ trains meander along the tracks laid out through the plants.  These ‘garden’ model trains were specially designed to be used outdoors as accent pieces for a formal garden.  The history of the trains and that type of gardening was fascinating reading.  Sean swears if we settle down again he will do a train garden. 🙂  Sherry was fascinated with the Homestead farm on the grounds and became engaged in a conversation with several chickens…

Seriously, Sean pretended he didn’t know her…..

Here are a few samples from that visit.  Sean really enjoyed the waterfall shots and playing with camera settings to smooth out the falls or capture each drop.  These images have been heavily edited to enhance that effect.

We enjoyed the stop and decided a return to ABQ would be in order.  Our next stops were Roswell and Alamogordo.  More on those in the next post. 🙂

If you are interested in our thoughts about the RV parks where we’ve stayed, we have a separate page for reviews on the blog at this link: RV Parks Thoughts and Observations

You can also access the reviews on the main page of the blog through a link on the right hand side of the page.

Safe Travels!!

Baking Oatmeal Muffins – A Video

We made this video a few weeks ago while staying in Williams, AZ.  The weather had been getting chilly and it was the perfect time for baking.  Plus, we were planning a hike at the Grand Canyon and Sean’s Oatmeal/Craisin Muffins would be perfect as a hikers snack.

We have been all over New Mexico the last few weeks and will do a text blog in a few days.  🙂  As always, we appreciate your comments.

Enjoy the video.  If you want the recipe, just send us a message.

Vegas and Sean’s Birthday!

We have been very busy the past few weeks. After we left the Yellowstone area, we travelled to Provo, UT for a couple of days.  They have a really nice Paleontology museum on the campus of BYU and a gorgeous trail to Bridal Veil Falls.  We took the opportunity to visit both of these spots while we were in the area.  The RV park, Lakeside RV, was nice with a dog park and walking trails.  It was also close to the Provo State Park and lake.

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50?!? That can’t be right!

We headed out on September 15, the day before Sean’s BIG birthday – the BIG 5-0!  We made our way to the Arizona/Nevada border and set up at a nice RV resort with a pool and LOTS of luxury amenities.  We spent the day of his birthday lounging by the pool and eating whatever he wanted.  (NORMALLY we eat vegetarian meals, but Sean wanted bacon for breakfast, so bacon we ate!)  Sherry made a cake (if by made you mean bought); Sean’s favorite is German Chocolate.  Sherry also made a favorite for dinner – tofu stuffed pasta shells and asparagus.  Nom Nom!

 

On September 21 we headed to Vegas to celebrate even more!low res-2224  We boarded our furbabies at the Animal Inn in Vegas and we stayed at New York New York.  Sherry had never been to Vegas and Sean had not been there since he was a teenager with his grandparents.  Our room was great and the atmosphere at New York New York was fun.  We joked that for the last several months we have been in quiet, forested, park areas, Vegas was a shock to our senses.  The lights, noise, and sea of humanity was overwhelming at times.  We enjoyed spending time touring the inside of New York New York.  low res-2627They have “streets” indoors that are similar to those in NYC (Greenwich, Times Square, Broadway, etc).  Vegas has the feel of a theme park like Disney – it is designed to be visually appealing and make you spend money.  lol.  This whole trip has been about decompressing and decluttering our lives, so maybe Vegas was not the obvious choice for a getaway.  We felt the whole place was a little anti-climactic.  Sherry wanted to see the Gondolas at the Venetian, but was disappointed that they weren’t as grand as they were on TV and photographs.  We both enjoyed the fountain show at the Bellagio – they played “All That Jazz” from Chicago, one of Sherry’s favorites.    Sean wanted to see some of the old hotels that were there when his grandparents took him there, so we trekked down to Circus Circus (on the monorail that Sherry thought would be a good idea – it wasn’t…) and it was not the fun, bright hotel of yesteryear.  It was a little “house of horror” looking.  It looked run down and tired.  We think the appeal of Las Vegas that is shown on TV did not come across while we visited.  Maybe we just aren’t Vegas people…

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An “old school” selfie – taken with our good camera propped up on the ironing board in the room.

However, the big excitement was the show that we booked!  We saw Zumanity, a Cirque Du Soleil show at the New York New York.  It was a sensual, funny, heart-stopping type of show.  There was a little person who did a stunning aerial silk act that we couldn’t believe!  It is only for 18+ though, so don’t think about going with kiddos – or if you tend to be offended by sexuality and language.  We had a great time.  😉  Sherry was disappointed, however, that people didn’t seem to dress up as much as she thought they would in Vegas.  Being involved in theater, she always follows the rule that you dress for a show.  Sherry wore a nice dress and heels and Sean wore a suit.  low res-2659The ticket person at the door commented that he loved to see attractive people dressed up for the show, and no offense to Sherry, but he prefers a nice looking man in a suit (wink wink).  Sherry felt pretty lucky to have such attractive arm candy.  It was odd to see many people show up in what they probably wore all day – shorts, tees, and athletic shoes.  Maybe a different show or hotel draws a different crowd.  It was also disappointing to see not many people dressing to go out at all.  low res-2652We spent two nights visiting the dueling piano bar in the hotel and other restaurants around town, and people were dressed casual or less than casual.  Sherry assumed Vegas would have more pizazz and stylish people roaming around in the evenings – it understandable during the day because of the heat and amount of walking, but at night it’s supposed to be glamorous and sexy time! Lol.  We guessed we just weren’t visiting the right places.  We sure didn’t want to spend the money for that kind of style either.  We did have a little luxury by the pool one day when we rented two cabana chairs.  They came with cushions, iced drinks, and a pool raft.  Even though we weren’t gambling at the tables or shopping at overpriced stores, we still had fun eating, drinking, and people watching.  Sherry thought the food was the best part of the whole Vegas experience.  We didn’t have one bad meal!  We also visited the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  We realized as we were visiting hotels that many of them have selfie booths that take your picture and send it to you through email.  Sherry decided that it was a mission to find as many as possible and get a picture.  These are from all the ones we could find (minus the one from Linq because their machine had a window directly behind us that whited out the picture…):

All in all, Sean had a fun birthday and we added another experience to our adventure.  We still think that we prefer what mother nature has to offer over the man made stuff.  We are still considering going back to Vegas one more time before we leave the area to see another show.  We would both really like to see Book of Mormon while it is there.

Many (but not ALL) of our pictures from this trip were taken with our phones.  We really didn’t want to lug the good camera around while we trekked the streets of Vegas, so if you would like to see what we got, visit the gallery on our website:

Las Vegas and Sean’s Birthday Photo Gallery

 

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!

 

The Adventures of Maggie and Bates

Hi, human friends!

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The dog run in Odessa, MO at Country Garden RV Park

Mommy and Daddy said we could write a post about how much we enjoy traveling the country in an R.V.  We have seen (and smelled) SO much in the past three months!  We especially enjoy when there is a dog park at the R.V. park or in the area where we are staying.  There was a small dog run at the R.V. park in Odessa, MO, and an even better one in Wall, SD at a park called Sleepy Hollow.  It smelled like horses, so it must have had them fenced there a long time ago.  It was SO big for us to run and play.  It made it easier on Mommy and Daddy too.  They could give us (and them) a break from the leashes for a while!

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Lounging in our favorite couch in front of the TV. Perry Mason must be on because we were sleepy…

As much as we love the dog parks, we love lying around inside even more! Maggie says that she really doesn’t like Bates, but she sure seems to like him when she needs a cuddle.  Our favorite thing to do inside is sit on the couch and watch MeTV.  There are shows about the old west, old wars, and silly shipwrecks.  We really like Daniel Boone!  He’s a great woodsman!  We may be a little spoiled, they leave the TV on for us whenever they do their hiking.  Sometimes, if they are going on a long hike they have a nice person come to let us out and play.

The best dog park we’ve ever seen is in a place called Whitefish, Montana.  We haven’t seen any fish yet, but there are a lot of dog friends we like to meet.  Bates likes to run and run and run when he is there, then he falls down and can’t run any more.  There is a separate area for “little” dogs like Maggie, but she doesn’t ever want to stay in there.  She thinks she’s a big dog too!  There’s a pond where dogs can swim, but mommy and daddy say that Bates is embarrassing when they let him in there.  He likes to pee in the water.  Maybe when he is older he will understand he can’t do that in his pool.  We both enjoy meeting other doggy friends and playing on the playground there.  We are SO tired after we play.

Well, we have to go eat, or sleep, or go outside now, so thank you for letting us tell you how much we have enjoyed our time so far on the road!  We love our mommy and daddy and being on the road with them.  They let us have morning “puppy piles” where we all lie on the bed and snuggle.  That’s the best time of the day!  We are two lucky pups!

Bark at you later, human friends!

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Maggie and Bates