ZION

So friends, here are the photos from Zion at last.

We had such a great time on the trip to Zion with the Sun City Anthem RV club. Lots of outdoor activities, lots of happy hours and lots of shared memories.

The first day, shortly after arrival we had happy hour, heavy appetizers and then a camp fire with our two guitarists, John and Doug playing while the rest of us TRIED to sing. Out of the 40 or so there, only about two had a voice that you would want to listen to under other circumstances.  But then it was all in good fun.

The second day we hiked a couple of easy trails in Zion. It was a perfect day … cool weather and clear skies.

Having had enough hiking, we shopped in Springfield the third day  and went to an old Mormon ghost town just outside of Rockville in the old town of Grafton with our friends Scott and Donna. It had a small cemetery, a school house and a couple of other old buildings. The interesting thing about the cemetery was seeing how many people died from the pandemic flu and from Indian attacks. Also, it was interesting to see how short their lives were. Most died either as children or as young adults. You might notice in one of the photos someone was trespassing while taking photos. Naughty!

The last day we went to Kanab and we stopped to see BEST FRIENDS, a beautiful animal sanctuary just outside of Kanab. It is a wonderful organization that has made a huge impact on turning shelters into no-kill shelters. They have saved thousands of animals since inception. You can volunteer there and we are hoping to do that some day.

We also kept seeing these strange creatures as we were driving around. What? You paid $20.00 for an ostrich egg? Silly tourists.

 

At the end of the trip, our great wagon master told us he and his wife were retiring from being wagon master for this trip.  (Jack and Rochelle) He asked for volunteers and all hands pointed to Lennard, my husband.  Hmmmm … Who is going to do all the work?

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Could not ask for more breath taking scenery!

 

 

End of the Epic Road Trip

Well, we finally came to the end of our Epic Road Trip.  It was a combination of joy and sorrow.  We were sorry to leave our home on the road and all the adventures we had, but happy to return home to our family and friends.

We were on the road for six months and five days, 16,860 miles (a lot on gravel roads).  We saw 38 states, three Canadian Provinces and one Canadian Territory. On the maps below, the red lines show our planned route and the black line shows where we really went. Our RV map shows all the states we managed to visit.ERTMAP

We traveled from the redwoods of our rugged northwest coast, to the spectacular glaciers in Alaska, to the beauty of Alberta, Canada, to the magnificent Mount Rushmore, to the splendid Niagara Falls, to the beauty of the Maine coast, to the hills of Tennessee, to the windswept Outer Banks of South Carolina, to the Blue Water of the Florida Keys, and a lot of places in-between.

We lost one camera, broke another (me), dropped a cell phone in the water (Lennard), had several repairs on the road, lost the keys to the tow car and had a fabulous time doing it.  We saw bears, moose, elk, deer, caribou, went fishing, hiked on the Appalachian Trail, drove the Blue Ridge Parkway, tried to catch crabs, ate lobster, attended a Tiffin Ralley, kayaked, went sightseeing in every place we stopped, and met so many wonderful people. We stopped in several places to see relatives and long lost friends and went to Casey and Brian’s wedding.

I did laundry along the way, Lennard cleaned the RV and tow car (who would have guessed?) and we got our mail through a virtual mail box.  We found places to get hair cuts, groom the dogs and get minor medial care.  We ate in the RV, cooked on the grill and ate outside, ate in nice restaurants once in a while, and great little hole-in-the-walls a lot.

Six months is a lot of time out of your life, but I can tell you it was more than worth it.  We really weren’t sure how long we would last or how far we would get when we started, or even if we might kill each other. In the end, we were lucky to have so many memories and to have gained such lovely new friends along the way.  Its a trip not many people could or would make, but we are so grateful we were able to. Were glad to be home and don’t have plans for another trip yet, but I am sure we will be making another one. P1000346

 

ELVIS IS IN THE HOUSE

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Elvis was born in Tupelo Mississippi on January 8th 1935 in a two room house his father, uncle and grandfather built. He lived there until he was 13 years old, when his family moved to Memphis. Tupelo did a fabulous job of designing a monument to his birthplace and child hood.  You can see memorabilia in the museum, visit the house he was born in and even sit in the church where he first heard gospel singing.  There is a bigger than life-size statue of Elvis as an adult and in front of that, a statue of him as a child. Tupelo is also home to the hardware store where his mother, Gladys bought him his first guitar for his tenth birthday.

You can really get a feel for how poor his family was when you visit Graceland after seeing his childhood home. The comparison is incredible.  Elvis really was a rags to riches story and he never forgot that as evidenced by his generosity to his family, friends and many charities.

We were finally finished with our repairs in Red Bay and took off for home, grateful for all the hard work the mechanics in Red Bay did for us.  We decided to stop in Memphis to see Graceland.  Why not? We were going through anyway. That night we ate dinner at Marlowe’s, which is a famous BBQ and Rib place near Graceland.  Apparently, Elvis ate there and they have a lot of Elvis memorabilia. And…they even have a pink Cadillac, which will pick you up from either the Graceland RV Park or Heartbreak Hotel, both on Graceland grounds. By the way, the food was bad for you, but delicious.

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Graceland was beautiful and the I-pad tour was extremely informative and easy to use.  It not only took you on a self-guided tour of the mansion, but gave you details about Elvis, his family, friends, the art and furnishings. Most of what you see is original, just the way he left it.  We also saw archives of photographs, his automobile collection, his costumes and his two planes.  His favorite was the Lisa Marie, named after his daughter. The tour took about three and a half hors and was well worth the admission price.

 

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The next day we headed out on the long trek across the country, doing about 400 miles per day.  That’s a lot in an RV.  We did stop to get some minor repairs and one day we ended up in a traffic jam for over two hours, adding to our day as road warriors.  We even parked in a Walmart parking lot in Amarillo, Texas because we were so late getting that far.  When we got to Grants, New Mexico, the temperature the next morning was 15 degrees.  Wow! From 80 in Florida to 15 in New Mexico.

Our last stop was a short detour to the North Ranch Escapee RV Park to see our friends from Homer, Tom and Linda and their new dog Swiffer.  Swiffer was sooo darling and loved Gypsy playing with her.  Bella just sat and watched. Tom and Linda took us to dinner at Nichols, a small restaurant in the middle of nowhere, run by a Brit of all things.  The food was absolutely delicious, so we took them to breakfast there the next morning, before leaving great friends.

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We finally arrived home on Sunday, November 15, 2015, six months and five days, and 16,860 miles after we left.  We were happy to be home. During the entire trip we didn’t think much about our house, but did miss our family and friends.  I think we will be home for a while!

FABULOUS LAS VEGAS!

RE-blogged from Adventure Cass. She did a great job of showing the different aspects of our great city.

ADVENTURESS ON THE RUN

“throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Las Vegas. Where do I even start? There is nothing in the world quite like it. If you’ve ever been, you’ll know exactly what i’m talking about. The neon lights, the casinos, the entertainment; it’s encapsulating and you become completely lost in the atmosphere. I spent an entire week here in December 2013 and it was incredible!

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LOBSTER, LOBSTER AND MORE LOBSTER!

IMG_2485Before heading down towards Portland and Boston, we stopped for the night in Rockland, Maine.  The nearby town of Rockport has a quaint downtown shopping area and a breakwater path built out into the bay about a mile.  At the end of the breakwater there is a lovely lighthouse.  A walk along this in the early evening was just the ticket to wind down.

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While in Rockport, I was able to meet and buy a book from a local author, Carl Howe Hansen.  His book, Destiny, is the story of two brothers who have been brought up in the area to appreciate sustainability on nearby Pine Island.  When one of them creates a bacteria to dissolve oil spills and the other comes home after years of dropping out, the story comes together in a crisis of monumental proportions.  You will love this story set on Maine’s coast.  His characters are well developed and the story should be one we think about, because it is not that far out of possibility! I loved this book.

Scott and Donna along with Donna’s sister, Debbie and her husband, Tom met us at Bayley’s Camping Resort in Portland Maine.  It was so nice to meet up with friends.  The next day we had a late brunch at Lily’s on the beach, Lobster Benedict of course, and in the evening Lobster at Houts; also on the beach side.

As some of you may know, our kayaking on the marsh the next day cost a little more than Lennard anticipated, as he fell in trying to get out and had his I-phone in his pocket…uh oh! At least he was able to replace it for the minimal cost at the local I-phone store.

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Seen on the marsh

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Touring downtown Portland and the Portland Head light took most of the next day.  We even did a little shopping and had lunch.  That called for margaritas at the pool in the afternoon. Gosh, life is tough these days.

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Bella and Gypsy got a spa day while we toured the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport.  What an amazing place.  All the nearby stores are geared toward outdoor living, and the flagship store was the largest outdoor clothing and gear store I have ever seen.

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Debbie and Tom were kind enough to allow us to park in their long driveway in Haverhill, Mass. That allowed us to not only get to know them better, but to see a Red Sox game at Fenway Field and walk the Freedom Trail in Boston.  We are grateful to them for the opportunity.

The Red Sox lost, but the experience of seeing the game at Fenway Park was wonderful.  A once in a lifetime experience for us.

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Walking the Freedom Trial in Boston is like a living history lesson.  You can see where the Boston Massacre took place, see Old Ironsides, and visit Paul Revere’s House and lots more.  It is a 2.5 mile walk, but because it is so interesting, you don’t realize you are walking that far. Along the way you will see tour guides dressed in costumes depicting the day.  In the museum at the Old State House, one of the deacons gave a presentation, in character of a merchant of the day.  It was informative and enjoyable. Then we got to have lunch at Cheers. No one knew our name.  That’s not fair!

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We took the City ferry from the Wharf back to downtown Boston for $1.60 each.  What a bargain that was!

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The best dinner we had in Boston was at the “Debbie and Tom Restaurant” with lobster, steak and chops along with fresh corn and homegrown tomatoes.  Excellent.  Thanks Tom, Debbie and Donna for the great meal.  Scott and Donna… we will catch you in Vegas in the fall!

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Our next stop is in Amish country in Pennsylvania.  It will be an entirely different experience.

Epic Road Trip

I couldn’t wait!  We are almost to Barstow Ca.  We started early this afternoon and so far everything is holding together including me.   Lennard is doing all the driving. We don’t trust me yet. Had one gust of wind that was scary.  But gusts of wind are usual for this desert area.   

Thanks for all the good wishes from our friends and family.  Happy Mothers Day to all of you who are Moms!  

Ten Reasons Why Death Valley is to Die For

Loving this blog about one of our nearest natural wonders! That’s why we live in Las Vegas.

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By Valerie Coffey


Photo: TripAdvisor

Death Valley is one of America’s most “to die for” National Parks, and it’s one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve visited the park perhaps seven times in four decades. It’s a must-see National Park if you like natural beauty, mountains, the desert, or history. Here’s why:

Death Valley, situated about three hours west of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert, is a region of extremes — it is the lowest in elevation, the hottest in temperature and the driest in recorded rainfall in North America. It’s also one of the quietest places, and perhaps the darkest region of the U.S. at night. It’s not so much a single desert valley as much as a region consisting of several valleys, plateaus, and mountain ranges in Eastern California’s Mojave Desert. Its name comes from pioneers (the Lost 49ers) who struggled to cross this part of the…

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