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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Grand Canyon and 5 Months on the Road

Hello!

Well, let’s start with being on the road for 5 months.  A few days ago we were looking through our website at the albums we’ve put up and Sherry exclaimed, ‘Wow, we really have done a lot in just five months!’.

It really is pretty exciting to look back and realize all that we have seen and accomplished while roaming the country.  It is also shocking for us to think that we are nearly half way through our 1 year plan to be on the road.  Have we talked about our plans after a year?  You betcha!  We are honestly torn between continuing our travels and settling down (according to our original plan).  As we have traveled, we have realized there is so much more to see in so many of the places we have visited.  Despite spending nearly three months in Montana and exploring Glacier NTL Park, we want to go back.  We feel we only scratched the surface.  We barely touched the Badlands or the Grand Canyon….  What a dilemma to have.  LOL.  Well, we will have to see what the next 7 months bring in our direction.  It is so cliché to say this, but the last five months have helped us find ourselves.  We have a deeper appreciation of each other and the great diversity of our nation.

One of the best parts of this journey has been meeting so many people and having some great conversations!  Not just the locals, but fellow tourists from all over the world.  At Old Faithful we met a family from England traveling the country after attending a wedding.  In Montana we met many people from the couple back country camping to the families who are full timers with their children.  Let us not forget all of you in internet land.  Some family and friends, but many more we met since starting this journey through our blogs or yours.  Discovering this full time community has been a fun experience of its own.  Thanks to everyone for your encouragement, funny comments and suggestions, and following our growth as full-timers.  🙂

On to the Grand Canyon.  OK, this was a spot Sherry was dying to get to and she was so excited to be able to ride the train into the Canyon (see the blog before this one for a video of the experience).  When we arrived in Williams, our plan had been to explore, take the train and then rush off to our next stop.  All in about three days.  Well, we changed those plans and decided to take a full week in Williams.  That would allow us to visit the canyon twice and see much more of that beautiful area.

Our first trip into the canyon was by train and was amazing.  The train ride was a blast, check out our video of the trip.  When we arrived at the station, we departed quickly to go to the rim.  The view as we walked up was spectacular.  The weather was cold, partly cloudy with spot showers.  You might think, ‘Yuck’!  No, imagine standing at about 7,000 feet, as you approach the rim the reality of the canyon opens up with each step.  Deeper and vaster than you can really grasp.

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Looking down you realize there are layers and layers of depth and the immensity starts to sink in as clouds stream by below your vantage point. Bringing your eyes up to look across the canyon, the sunlight breaking through the clouds brought out vivid colors, the clouds themselves cast immense shadows and added to the depth. The reality was it gave us some spectacular views as we hiked the rim trail.  The sun breaking through the clouds brought out spectacular colors and shadows.  Words fail and photos simply don’t capture the majesty and immensity of the site.  However, we are trying since we are writing this blog and illustrating it with photos… 🙂

A few days after our first trip, we drove back to hike as much of the rim as possible.  Sherry had packed a lunch of chicken gnocchi soup (she is posting a video about how to make it along with the recipe). We spent the entire day exploring the rim from one end to the other and making use of the excellent shuttle service to make sure we hit all the highlights (Sherry said one day she wants a sticker that says “we hiked rim to rim” and for it to be true because we hiked the whole thing from the inside).    There were many visitors to the park, but we found that once we were off the shuttle stops and hiking, we saw very few fellow hikers.  It gave us great opportunities to stumble across some of the wildlife.  A beautiful day for a hike and a fantastic view no matter where we looked.

Returning to the canyon is a must.  We have set a goal to do a Rim to Rim hike… So, another reason to continue our travels.  🙂

We have truly appreciated the comments and conversation with our online friends.  Visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to our videos.  We will try to post new videos twice per week.  We will cook, share stories, and show life living on the road!

OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Please feel free to send along your thoughts and ideas.  As usual, to see more of our photos please visit our website at:

Lovey Photography

 

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

Being flexible, Snow Canyon and 4 Months on the Road

Moon Rise from our 'backyard'.

Moon Rise from our ‘backyard’.

One of the very fun things about our adventure is that neither one of us has a problem changing plans on the fly.  True, it can be a little frustrating when things don’t work out the way we plan.   Fortunately, we both approach life with the attitude that it is more about the journey than the destination.  A good case in point would be our recent trip to Zion NTL Park.

We had heard that it was important to arrive early in order to get good parking, so we got up, fed and walked the pups and then hit the road.  From where we are staying, in Mesquite, NV it wasn’t a bad drive of only 60 miles.  Some of this was backtracking on HWY 15 but we enjoy that section, especially going through the Virgin River Gorge.  A note for any future travelers; It is a very steep and winding section of HWY with several warning signs about high crosswinds.  There is also construction that narrows the lanes considerable.  Nothing that slow and careful can’t overcome.  🙂

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A few miles from the Zion Entrance.

The road leading into Zion passes through several small towns and has a number of places that would be worth pulling off to take photos of the mountains.  We arrived at the park entrance around 10 AM and were greeted with a relatively long line of cars and a sign that told visitors the park lots were usually full from 10 AM to 3 PM.  We’d already noted many cars parking in town and along the road leading to the park.  Oh well, we decided to drive on and at least scope out the park and, if needed, make plans to visit another time.  The short version is, what we could see from the road was amazing but there was absolutely no parking.  Our adjusted plans now have us returning, parking outside of the park and then riding the shuttle bus in to our hiking destination.  Like many others, we plan on seeing the narrows, a strenuous but beautiful hike.

So, after leaving the park, we started discussing our other options.  Sherry had heard of a great state park in St. George, UT called Snow Canyon and since it was on the way we decided to make a stop.  Our truck was also ready for an oil change so on the way Sean called a Chevy dealership in St. George, Steven Wade Chevy, to see if we could get in for oil, tire rotation and a brake check.  Lucky for us, the service rep said they were slow that day and could get us right in!  This is probably a good area for another side note.  We are both adamant about preventative maintenance.  One of the reasons we got our particular tow vehicle was the great extended warranty and reliability.   We’ve stuck to the recommended service schedule and pay particular attention to the biggies like tires and brakes.  After all, it would really suck to go down some of these big inclines and realize you can’t slow down.  YIKES!!  🙂  Anyway, we were able to get in and out within 30 minutes.  All was great with the truck.

Snow Canyon was a short drive from the dealership.  We paid a small fee of $6 to enter that park and drove on to the first trail, Jenny’s Canyon.  The park itself is very small but there was a great deal to see in that small area.  The Jenny’s Canyon trail is relatively short, under a mile and leads through some scrub brush and cactus to the canyon.  The trail does branch off, go right and take a steep climb to the canyon overlook, or go left and enter the narrow canyon.  For a short hike, there was a lot to see and we enjoyed exploring the narrow canyon.

Driving on, we stopped to take several pictures before arriving at the petrified dunes and Butterfly Trail.  This is a longer trail that leads over and along the dunes and into the ancient lava flow.  A very fun hike and not too strenuous.  Even the inclines were made easier by nature’s staircase along the petrified dunes.  Sean was very excited to walk on the lava flow.

As we were leaving the park we did see the camping area and thought it looked very nice.  They do have sites with water and electricity as well as a dump station.

We have just passed our 4 month on the road anniversary and as is our custom, we thought we would wrap up with a few thoughts.  Some we mentioned above, such as the maintenance needs.  It is easy to get in a vacation mindset and ignore some of the basics like vehicle maintenance.  Don’t let that happen!  This month we have been on the road more than the last two and we truly enjoy it.

Whether we are out taking a hike and exploring or staying close to ‘home’ there is always something to see if you look around.  Even if it is just watching the Gambels Quail walk up and down the stucco fence near our RV or seeing Maggie scamper after salamanders on one of her walks.  Watching the moon rise over the mountains or sitting amazed at the sight of thundershowers in the desert.  It is about the journey.

Well, enough rambling on for now.  We are waiting for weather to clear and the danger of flash flooding to subside before we make our trip back to Zion.  Hope you are all enjoying where you are and what you are doing!

For more photos, click the link below:

Snow Canyon and Assorted Nature Photo Gallery

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

 

Yellowstone STINKS….

… if you are standing downwind from some of the Sulphur smelling geysers, fumaroles, mudpots or hot springs that is.  🙂  Gotcha.

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Yellowstone is one of the world’s largest ‘Super Volcanos’ and according to park literature, one of the more violent and active.  The bulk of the park is actually inside the volcanic caldera.  It is mind-blowing to look at a park map and realize how huge the ‘volcano’ truly is.  It is even more impressive to drive the miles and miles of the loop seeing evidence of how seismically active this region is in the form of the geysers, fumaroles and hot springs scattered through the park.  Sean loves the science behind Yellowstone and was eager to see as much of the activity as possible.  He would also be the first to admit that despite reading and seeing several specials about Yellowstone’s super volcano, he was unprepared for the reality.

Elevations were as high or higher than most places in Glacier but seemed much more accessible due to the excellent system of roads and trails through the park.  Craig Pass is at an elevation of 8262 ft, about 2000 ft higher than Logan Pass in Glacier, but if you miss the sign, you might never know you had reached that height.  In fact, one of the biggest differences we noted was how easy it was to see some of the highlights of the park from the car or just a short hike.   Another thing that struck us, as we entered the region, was how different it looked from Glacier.  Where Glacier was jagged and raw, Yellowstone was ’roundier’: a word Sherry coined to describe the lay of the land.  : )low res-1486

We only took two days to see as much as possible, and two days was just barely enough to scratch the surface.  There are multiple entrances to the park, but because of where we are staying, we chose the West entrance for convenience and access to the grand loop which would allow us to see most of the notable sites in the park.  Despite the fact that we were visiting ‘off season’, we were still impressed by the numbers of park visitors.  We would later learn that this was a record breaking year for tourists in the park.  We once described Glacier as a theme park, and we think that Yellowstone might have even more of that large tourist attraction feel.  It was hard to get parking spots at some of the more popular attractions.  We’re sure if we had longer we would have tried more of the ‘off the beaten path’ attractions, but we followed all the other sheep to the easy to access sights.  The park is set up really well to allow for easy access to beautiful scenery.  The difference in Glacier is that most of the best views are a 1/2 day – whole day hike away.  The most we travelled on foot in Yellowstone was a mile or less at one time.  We probably missed many amazing locations, but we didn’t book as much time here as we did Glacier, so we did what we could in the time we had.

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This guy was one of the first things we saw after entering the park. He was meandering down the road right next to the cars.

Entering the park on our first day, we drove just under 15 miles to Madison along the Madison River.  This is a gorgeous drive with the river running parallel to the road, in many places opening up to flat grasslands where we almost immediately sited Elk and Bison.  We had decided to see Old Faithful, but also wanted to stop at some sites along the way.  After turning south at Madison, it wasn’t long before we saw steam off to our right as we approached the Lower Geyser Basin.  We had been guilty, as many other visitors, of not really considering that Old Faithful was just one of the signs of seismic activity in the park.  Sean acted like a kid on Christmas morning, so of course we stopped.

The trails through this area are well maintained boardwalks.  As the signs at the entrance indicate, walking on the bare ground wasn’t healthy for many reasons, including melted shoes.  LOL  The various hot springs along the walk were quite beautiful, varying in color… but not smell.  Yes, this is one of the stinky parts of Yellowstone.  low res-1522Several times we walked through steamy clouds of sulfurous… yuck.  Again, well worth it for the views.low res-1513  After low res-1548leaving the lower basin, we continued our drive, stopping frequently to photograph wildlife and various geysers and hot springs.  When we arrived at Old Faithful we were impressed by the excellent parking opportunities as well as the visitors center.  There are several museums and education centers in the park.  This and the one at Canyon Village were the two we were able to see and were well worth the time.

Anyway, we arrive with 45 minutes to spare to see the eruption, so after a quick run through the visitor center and a walk along the trail circling Old Faithful, and stops at several small springs, we went to the benches surrounding the geyser and waited.  Sean was eager to take shots of the eruption and played with camera settings as we waited.  He wanted to have the shutter and focus set so that some shots would ‘stop action’ the eruption, others he wanted to give more of a blurred effect while capturing the sky and background.   The biggest issue with this was the changing light conditions.  When we sat down we had nearly cloudless blue skies.  That quickly transitioned to a mostly cloudy sky.  The eruption was all it was cracked up to be.  Very impressive and worth the wait.  It was funny to hear the applause from the crowd that had gathered.

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After seeing Old Faithful we decided to continue our drive to West Thumb, which is on Yellowstone Lake.  This was another area with steampots.  At that point, we called it the end of a long day and drove back to our RV.

Day 2:  Once again, we entered the park from the West entrance, but this time we turned North at Madison.  We had decided to take the Northern part of the loop and complete the circle, seeing Old Faithful one more time.  This meant missing some areas of the park such as Mammoth.  The northern route took us through forested regions and into vast rolling grassy plains.  On this drive Sean saw a wolf, no photos as he or she had moved on before we could take any shots.   We also saw many bison and elk and other wildlife in the plains and along the rivers.  The drive also had a number of interesting stops such as the Artists Paintpots, Sean’s favorite – the Mud Volcano, and Sherry’s favorite – the Dragon’s Mouth.

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Bates, obviously entranced with Old Faithful… not.

We had our dogs with us on the second day because, after visiting the first day, we realized that we weren’t going to venture out into the backcountry, so they could travel in the truck with us to see the sights.  They are allowed on some of the developed areas, so we were able to get out and walk with them.  low res-1990Bates really enjoyed the area around Old Faithful.  Maggie is anxious and doesn’t enjoy crowds, so we left her to snooze in the truck while we walked up with Bates to the area around Old Faithful. (Don’t worry, it was in the 50s that day and the truck was nice and cool while we were gone.  We do not take them unless we know conditions are going to be good for them.  We love our furbabies and would never do anything to injure them).  Dogs are allowed around the grounds except close to the geysers.  There are signs indicating where you can and cannot walk.  There are MANY people who apparently do not pay attention to any signs.  A ranger had to go out and make an announcement to “all people with dogs” that they had to stay back from the geyser viewing area.  We were already in the designated area, so Bates felt smarter than all the other dogs there.  Lol.  He received tons of attention while we were there too.  He is a very good boy to take into large crowds.  His training has definitely paid off, and he is very obedient.

We are glad we had the chance to see Yellowstone, if we have any regrets, it is that we didn’t get to hike into the backcountry.  We are sure there are many more things to see than those to which you can drive, but we are happy with what we were able to see in such a short amount of time.

We have many more stunning photos of Yellowstone.  Just click the link below to go to our Travel Photography page and click the Yellowstone and Old Faithful gallery.

http://www.loveyphotography.com/Traveling-Photography

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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!