Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pioneer RV Park, Quincy, CA

Site 32, Pioneer RV Park, Quincy, CA
Sunday, June 29, 2014, Pioneer RV Park, Quincy, CA - 124.4 miles, 11,920.2 For the Trip

I continued up CA 89 after my short post this morning. A very pretty road, although not the type that makes great photographs. Lots of hills, forests, and small towns. I stopped for the day at Quincy, CA, at 5000+, one of the larger towns in the area. I did get a quick introduction to California gas prices - $4.35 per gallon earlier in the trip in a small town, and here it is $3.99.

I didn't unhook here in site 32 - it is level, and long enough for both the trailer & RAV4. $31.61 for the night - a full hookup site, although since I didn't hook up the sewer, the host gave me the water & electric price. While definitely a commercial park, the sites are large with lots of room between neighbors, and many welcome shade trees, most Ponderosa pines. I did run the AC for a bit late in the day when the inside temperature hit 96°F. I spent most of the afternoon reading 300 more pages of Burke's latest book.

Since I snacked much of the afternoon, dinner was a Southwest salad. No photos other than the site one.

Until tomorrow -

Fernley RV Park, Fernley, NV, Day 2

Saturday, June 28, 2014, Fernley RV Park, Fernley, NV, Day 2 - 0 miles, 11,795.8 For the Trip

Sorry for the late posting, not that there is much to post about. I started reading James Lee Burke's latest book - Light of the World. He is one of my favorite authors, and I fell asleep reading. Other than that, all I did today was to wash the RAV4 & read. No photos...

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast & corn on the cob.

Until later -

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fernley RV Park, Fernley, NV

Fly Geyser, NV
Friday, June 27, 2014, Fernley RV Park, Fernley, NV, -136.3 miles, 11,795.8 For the Trip

I hesitated to use today's photo since the quality is so bad, but there is an explanation below...

While it still looks & feels like I'm in the desert, the night time temperature sure dropped more last night than in the last few weeks. It was down to 45°F outside & 51°F in the trailer when I woke up at 4:00AM. I turned on the furnace for a bit to get the temperature up to the 60's, & set up the electric heater to keep it there.

I hate waking up at 4:00. It is too early to get up & get going, but you have been asleep long enough that you really don't feel like going back to sleep. I usually take as long as an hour to get back to sleep at that time in the morning.

Another boring drive across US 50. I did stop to photograph Sand Mountain along the way. I stopped for the night (actually, afternoon) at the Fernley RV Park. I'm in site 1 for two nights at $30.41 per night. Full hookups, although the TV cable isn't working (not that I mind).

After setting up I decided I was close enough to another very photographic place - Fly Geyser, to make a side trip. I say close although 94 miles each way is only close in the West. Wikipedia has information & the history of the geyser. National Geographic magazine did a feature on it, and many photographers have made some wonderful images there. I stopped at the Friends of Black Rock in Gerlach to ask about access - they used to give tours of the site. I've been on their mailing list for a couple of years, hoping to hear about better access to the geyser. Unfortunately, a few years ago the owners closed access to the site due to it being trashed by idiots. Now, the only way to shoot it is from State Route 34 over a half mile from the geyser. They didn't have any news other than the same rumors that keep appearing. They no longer give tours of the site, but at least I bought a "T" shirt!

While I did have my 300mm lens & doubler, giving me the equivalent of a 600mm f:5.6 lens, it was windy enough that even with the VR (vibration reduction) turned on & mounted on my tripod, the photos were lousy. All I can use them for is to remind me that I was there. To see how wonderful the images can be with proper access, check out Diana Petersen's page of photos. I met her at Valley of Fire State Park in southern Nevada earlier in the trip, although I didn't know she was a photographer - she was showing her husband's flutes at the time. I wish I had seen her website at the time - I might have found out how she gained access to the site. A few other photos are on today's LakeshoreImages page.

Anyhow, after a disappointing trip, I headed back to the campground & started a couple of loads of laundry.

There is a Chinese Buffet next door to the campground, so that will be dinner tonight.

Until later -

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Austin RV Park, Austin, NV

Site 2, Austin RV Park, Austin, NV
Thursday, June 26, 2014, Austin RV Park, Austin, NV - 208 miles, 11,795.8 For the Trip

A quiet night (other than the sound of the creek). I did wake up at 2:00AM & decided I should check out the sky; good thing I didn't plan on taking night photos since the clouds moved in & only a few of the brightest stars were visible.

While I still feel Utah 21 is a far more lonely road, I have to admit that US 50 has the same feel with a bit more traffic. I got passed every half hour or so & had on coming traffic go by every 15 minutes, so it was somewhat busy, but you drive sections of road through flats that are many miles long with mountains in the distance on all sides, up & down passes every 50 miles or so, and 80 - 100 miles between towns (and fuel stops). With a 15 gallon tank on the RAV4, I pay lots of attention to fuel refills! For the first time in quite awhile, I had rain during the drive. Nothing hard, but enough to need the wipers off & on.

There are even fewer choices for RV stays along this section of US 50. I wanted to do around 200 miles for the day, so Austin was the town of choice (the next one would be Fallon another 100 miles down the road). Two RV parks, the first very small (7 sites) and no showers or restrooms, and Austin RV Park, run by the Baptist church, still small at 21 sites (although I only found 9 of them) but with showers. A single men's bathroom & shower, but the place doesn't look busy enough that that will be a problem. No host or office, just a slot to drop your registration and money. $20.00 for full hookups. Nothing special, just a place to cram one's trailer in next to another, but level enough that I didn't have to unhook. Not a lot to do in Austin, so leaving the RAV4 connected will make it easier in the AM. I wasn't even going to put the stabilizer jacks down, but the wind picked up & was rocking the trailer, so the rear ones are down.

No photos other than the site picture.

I do hope the traffic slows down over night - US 50 is about 20' below & behind the trailer!

Dinner will be a pot pie.

Until later -

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Great Basin National Park, NV & Lehman Caves

The View From Great Basin National Park

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, Great Basin National Park, NV & Lehman Caves, - 189.1 miles,11,587.8 For the Trip

I decided to head across Nevada on US 50 (the Loneliest Road in America) , although I have to say UT 21 wins that prize. Only saw t cars & 2 trucks in over 100 miles, with 88 miles between gas stations. Along the way I stopped at Cove Fort for a couple of photos. The Mormon's give tours of the fort. A nice break along the way. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Anyway, just after crossing the Utah/Nevada border I stopped for the night at the Great Basin National Park. I've driven by signs for the park on many of my trips, but always found it too far out of the way, and didn't stop. This time I did. While I probably should have known, Lehman Caves is part of the park. Since I love to photograph & take cave tours, I signed up at the Visitor Center. Unfortunately, all the long tours were sold out, so I ended up on the Lodge Room Tour. A very pretty cave with many different formations. While not as "Dead" as Carlsbad Caverns, it is not as "wet" as Caverns of Sonora (my favorite). You do get up close to the formations. I built a page of photographs.

After getting my tour ticket ($4.00 with the Senior Discount) I headed for the Lower Lehman Creek Campground & set up in Site 2. While a pull through, it is not very level - the 5" adjustment my Anderson leveler gets me wasn't quite enough, however I found that if I backed onto the gravel near the back of the site, I was level without it. Most of the sites are on a downhill slope as well as off to the sides. Like most of the National Parks, no hookups, but only $6.00 with the Senior Pass. The babbling creek is just behind my site - great sleeping music!

After setting up I drove to the Wheeler Peak Overlook on the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. I didn't have time before my tour to go to the top, but it was a far more pleasant drive to 10,000' without the trailer! The view is incredible!

Surprisingly, I have a strong 3G signal on the Verizon network here at the campground. No AT&T, of course, but I was able to post all the cave photos without a problem. Since the campground is at 7752', even though it is in the high 80's right now, I suspect it will cool off quickly once the sun goes down. Too many trees around the campsite for any good star photos, but they have some wonderful examples taken in the park at the Visitor Center. I don't think I'm going to drive to the 9,000' viewpoint at 2:00AM for a photo, although I have to admit I'm wimping out compared to what I'd do 20 - 30 years ago!

Dinner will be grilled chicken breast & coleslaw.

Until later -

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Richfield, UT KOA

The Escape at 10,435' - Cedar Breaks National Monument

Tuesday, June 24, 2014, Richfield, UT KOA, - 209 miles,11,398.7 For the Trip

The plan was to drive to Cedar City, find a campground, drop the trailer, then drive to Cedar Breaks National Monument. I saw a sign for Cedar Breaks a few miles before Cedar City, so I took the exit & headed for the park with the trailer in tow.

A couple of points: Yes, the RAV4 will pull an Escape 17B weighing 3000 pounds to the monument. Point 2 - I sure wouldn't do it again, or advise anyone else to do it! While I have pulled the trailer up an 18%, 4 mile grade without too much trouble, the starting altitude was over a mile below that at the start of the pull to Cedar Breaks. It is also a much longer pull. End result? The only time I've had my foot to the floorboard in first gear & had the RAV4 slowing down. As I said, I made it, but it was a pull. The transmission temperature warning light never came on, but the scan gauge indicated it peaked at 266°F. I really wonder how hot it has to get to turn on the light! While there was a dirt road to the top, I quit at the first paved pull off at 10,435'. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I took a "through the windshield" (actually the driver's side side window) photo of a dust devil. Very impressive in that it was well over 100' high.

After that it was on to Richfield, UT & site G1 at the KOA. As usual, more expensive than others, but there isn't much else in Richfield. After setting up it was off to get an oil change, and find a Walmart for some resupplies. They also have a large "Fresh Market" grocery store that had very good fried chicken, so that was dinner.

Until later -

Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT

The Milky Way Over Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT

Monday, June 23, 2014, Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT, - 145.7 miles,11,189.7 For the Trip

While I did manage to post the last 4 days journals & photos during a short stop at Ruby's Inn near Bryce Canyon National Park, I still don't have internet here at Kodachrome. I'll make some updates to this post tomorrow morning as I drive through (well, I'll probably stop). After a late lunch at Ruby's Fast Food Restaurant,( a shrimp basket) I headed into Bryce. Just as beautiful as ever, and still difficult to photograph. I've tried different times of day, weather, etc, but am never pleased with the result. After a couple of stops I headed back to Kodachrome.

I'm in site 3, a full hookup site for $28.00. Only bad thing about it (other than the infamous June southern Utah gnats) is it is about as far as you can get from the showers & still be in the park. After a second walk around the campground, I have to take back my complaint about the distance from the showers. Seems there is another restroom building hidden by some trees that is pretty close.

More later.

Not much more - Since I had a late lunch, I'm only having cheese & crackers for dinner. Today is the first time of the trip I've felt the need to run the AC. 100°F outside & 98°F when I got back to the trailer. It sure feels nice & cool now!

The gnat/no-see-ums/midge bites on my lower legs are itching like mad; even worse than Florida's chigger bites. I sprayed some Bactine which will help. Of course the real solution would be to stop scratching, but you know that isn't going to happen!

Right now (at 6:00PM) there is a mixture of blue sky & clouds. If the clouds go away, I'll try for some Milky Way photos. I managed to shoot an interesting one with the trailer under the stars the last time I was here, but is was a clear night.

On edit Tuesday morning - The sky cleared completely by 1:00AM, so I took a few photos. I'm sitting in the parking lot for an abandoned Pizza stop at the entrance to the Ruby Village area of Bryce doing this post. Heading to Cedar City and hope to have an internet connection.

Until later -

Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Pectol's Pyramid, Capitol Reef National Park

Sunday, June 22, 2014, Capitol Reef National Park, UT, 74.2 - miles, 11,044.0 For the Trip

Still no Internet. I believe this is the longest I've gone without posting an update. I hope everyone out there knows I'm OK.

A short drive to Capitol Reef National Park. After setting up in site 18, I headed to the Hickman Bridge trail head. I hiked up the Rim Overlook trail to take photographs of Pectol's Pyramid. I took some on the last trip, but was hoping for better clouds this time. On the way back I decided to make the .7 mile hike out to Hickman Bridge since I was already about one third of the way there. While there I met a couple from Switzerland enjoying the scenery, but not to happy about the heat. Actually, it is cooler than yesterday by about 10°F.

I also took a bunch of photographs of the barn at the Fruita Oasis next to the campground. I've also done that before, but never can get it quite right. I sat & talked with the campground host for a bit & watched the hummingbirds - she got permission to hang a feeder while they were there.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campsite to spend the rest of the afternoon reading & slapping no-see-ums. The season will be over in another 2 weeks, however I will be long gone by then. I even resorted to bug spray. First, some environmentally healthy stuff that did nothing, and finally a "Bug X 30" pre moistened towelette. I collected a bunch of them at one of the health fairs I attended representing the Oswego County Office For the Aging Board. It was soaked in DEET & it worked.

Dinner will be the rest of the spaghetti sauce & meatballs.

Until the next data connection -

Monday, June 23, 2014

Goblin Valley State Park, UT

Little Wild Horse Canyon, UT

Saturday, June 21, 2014, Goblin Valley State Park, UT, 125.4 - miles, 10,969.8 For the Trip

Another day without posting; no internet here at Goblin Valley State Park. I'll look for a connection tomorrow so I can post the last 3 days.

I got an early start this morning; I left natural Bridges around 7:15AM. The plan was to drive up UT 95, and though Goblin Valley State park was listed as full for the weekend the last time I had an Verizon signal to check, sometimes a site opens up. Since there are no hookups, the heat gets to some campers & they leave early. When I arrived, there were two sites open - 21 & 22. I stayed in 21 in 2012, but someone was ahead of me & grabbed it. I settled for 22, which is a pull through next to the bathrooms. $20.00 for the night. While there are no hookups, there are bathrooms with flush toilets & showers. More on the bathrooms later!

While I make lists of places I want to see both new and again, two for southern Utah on this trip are in this area. Yesterday's Fallen Roof Ruin was on this year's bucket list and today I got to hike the Little Wild Horse Canyon just outside Goblin Valley. The previous times I've stayed here I either didn't know about the slot canyon, or wasn't able to schedule a trip. While not as photographic as the Antelope Canyons of Page, AZ, they are worth the hike. An eight mile loop through 2 canyons is possible, how ever I only did about 2 miles worth of Little Wild Horse.

I also took a few noon time photos at the Goblins. Not the best light, but the good color later in the day makes terrible shadows so I try to do some of each. It is clouding up now (around 6:00PM) so I don't know how the later photos will go. It's later - no problem with shadows at 7:15 - the overcast doesn't as warmth to the images, but it does prevent shadows. I don't think I'm going to get any star photos tonight. The moon has been late & the campgrounds dark, but the clouds have not cooperated for night time photos. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I hit the bathroom for a shave & shower (the showers are individual rooms on the back side of the bathhouse). While the showers were fine (and welcome) the men's bathroom had a drainage problem - all the toilets including the urinal were overflowing...

Dinner will be as late as possible - it is very warm - (98°F) so I'm waiting to cook. I'll probably make spaghetti & meatballs.

Until the next data connection -

Natural Bridges National Monument, UT, Day 2

Fallen Roof Ruin, Road Canyon, UT
Friday, June 20, 2014, Natural Bridges National Monument, UT, Day 2, 0 - miles, 10,844.4 For the Trip

I made another attempt at finding the Fallen Roof Ruin in Road Canyon this morning with much better luck. And, I do mean luck. On the way in I managed to go past the ruin, and continued on to the next ruin. Unfortunately, I only had my wide angle lens, and the climb to the ruin was bad enough that as a single hiker, I skipped it. You will have to do with some soft enlargements.

I finally decided that what I saw must have been the second set of ruins described in the hiking guides, so I turned back. I stopped to rest under the shade of a Cottonwood tree, and swore I could hear voices. When I moved out of the shade & looked up, I saw a couple of hikers & just beyond them the edge of the Fallen Roof Canyon. Without hearing them & probably would have missed it. Not quite as impressive coloring as the House on Fire ruin in nearby Mule Canyon, but well worth the hike (well, 2 hikes.)

Anyway, I did get my photographs. On the way back I decided to drive to Mexican Hat to photograph Goosenecks State Park &, of course, the Mexican Hat.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After gassing up in Mexican Hat I headed back up the Moki Dugway. I saw 3 class C RVs coming down the Dugway; it was interesting that they were all rentals.

Back at Natural Bridges I met & talked with a Casita owner from Colorado. While I was gone the propane tank ran dry. I usually remember to open the valve on the extra tank so the automatic switchover works when I'm near the end of a tank if I'm going to be away from the trailer, but forgot this morning. I don't like to leave both valves open all the time because it might switch without me knowing it & leave me without as happened on a 25°F night at the Grand Canyon. The freezer was up to 10°F & the refrigerator section to 39°F, so I must have caught it early.

Anyhow, I'm going to do nothing for the rest of the day.

Dinner will probably be a tuna fish sandwich unless something else simple jumps out at me.

Until the next data connection -

Natural Bridges National Monument, UT

Owachomo Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument
Thursday, June 19, 2014, Natural Bridges National Monument, UT

I got an early start for a short drive to Natural Bridges National Monument. I found the campground pretty empty - had my choice of a number of sites. Even now at 10:00PM there are empty sites. While the entire campground is dry, I can't complain about the price - $5.00 with the Senior pass. I'm here for two days, although you won't read about it until I find an internet connection. No AT&T & a 1X non data signal on the Verizon side. Among the RVs in the park is a French "Unimog" type vehicle. They are pretty impressive - I suspect they can go just about anywhere!

After setting up in site 9, I drove the loop to photograph the "bridges". These are arches made by water rather than wind like those at Arches National Park. Not as striking, or colorful.

After making the loop, I headed to Butler Wash to photograph some ruins. They were located across the wash, and unfortunately, I only took my 24 - 70mm lens, so I had to do enlargements to show the ruins. One of the more impressive parts of the ruin were the foot holds carved into the face of the sliprock used to travel up the sheer wall between the different sections of the ruins.

After shooting Butler Wash I headed back into Blanding to fill up the RAV4's tank. I stopped at the Edge of the Cedars State Park, which has a wonderful museum filled with native American bowls, photographs, and other artifacts. Well worth the $5.00 entry fee. Outside the building is a Kiva that you can climb into, as well as a few Pueblo ruins. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After getting back to the campground I made an early dinner of grilled chicken breast & mixed vegetables, then read for a bit. I made another round of the loop hoping for better lighting conditions around 7:00PM. I'm including both images so they can be compared. While late evening warm light is usually beneficial, the bridges were in shadow, and appeared much cooler than during the morning. On the other hand, the detail, particularly on the ruins was better in the evening. I also shot a panorama from the bottom of Owachomo Bridge in the evening.

Until the Next Internet Connection -

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT

The View From Muley Point, UT
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, 102.6 - miles, 10,809.4 For the Trip

I drove out to the point at Dead Horse Point Sate Park last night hoping there would be an interesting sunset. There wasn't, but I took a few photos anyway. Very windy, enough that it was hard to hold the camera still on a tripod. It was windy all night, letting up around 4:00AM.

A relaxing drive down US 191 to Blanding, Utah. I stopped for a photo of the trailer & RAV4 at Wilson Arch, then continued to the Blue Mountain RV Park a few miles south of town. After setting up the trailer I decided to take the hike to Fallen Roof Ruin. I had no problem finding Cigarette Springs Road or the trail to Road Canyon, but never found the ruin. I probably didn't go far enough down the canyon. In any case, I may give it another try if I can find a campsite at Natural Bridges. I did take a few photos along the way, including one of a yellow cactus flower that shows off a good example of "Biological Soil Crust" or Cryptobiotic Soil , the stuff you should avoid stepping on.

After leaving Cigarette Springs Road, I drove to Muley Point & the Moki Dugway for a couple of photos. For anyone who doesn't already know about the Moki Dugway, it is a section of UT 261 that goes down a cliff. About 4 miles of 10% grade, washboarded, gravel road with many switchbacks. While there are many that have driven RVs up & down, even though I'm sure the RAV4 would make the grade either way, the washboarding is bad enough that I won't haul my trailer over it. There is a great video on YouTube of a truck going down - it is what got me to the Dugway the first time.

At the top (North) end of the Dugway, there is a dirt road to the left (coming up the Dugway) that leads to Muley Point (called appropriately, Muley Point Road). If you are anywhere near it, take the road to the end. There is a stop along the way that looks like the end, but the road continues to the right. At the end there is an almost 360° view centered on Monument Valley. If the internet connection improves later, I'll add a panorama made at Muley Point. A large, 10,000 pixel wide, 2.6MB version. The rest of the photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I chose site 33 even though it was a long walk to the showers (remember, I've been without water for the last 3 days) because it was one of the few that has a picnic table, which I use to cook on. By the time I got back to Blanding from the afternoon drive, it was too late to cook so I ate at the Homestead Steak House. A bit greasy, but OK, and filling, seafood dinner. So, no need for the picnic table, but even with the long walk the shower felt great!

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dead Horse Point State Park, UT, Day 3 & Arches

Turret Arch, Arches National Park, UT
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, Dead Horse Point State Park, UT, Day 3 & Arches - 0 miles, 10,706.8 For the Trip

I slept in this morning & didn't get going until around 9:30. The campground is still full; as people leave, someone else moves in. There are a few reserved spots that are still empty; although they are usually filled late in the evening.

I thought about going back to Canyonlands, but decided to do Arches National Park instead. I almost skipped it this trip since Ive been there many times. Still, many wonderful formations as well as arches. I planned to do some of the arches at the Devil's Garden that I missed the last trip, however they are repaving the area, and the entire section beyond Sand Dunes Arch parking lot is closed. They do let campers through if there are openings at the campground, but, as usual, it is full.

The closing temporarily removed 150 parking spots from the park & it was easy to see they were missed - all the lots had rangers directing traffic & to help find spots to park when available, and chase people off when there weren't.

So, some photos of arches and formations that I've done before, but great to see again. The last image is the Colorado River just outside Moab. Speaking of Moab, I finally bought the Navajo Flute I've been seeking for the last two trips. Now all I need to do is learn to play it!  More photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

It is very windy; too windy to cook outside, so dinner was a couple of tuna fish sandwiches & chips with bing cherries for desert.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dead Horse Point State Park, UT, Day 2 & Canyonlands

Green River Overlook, Canyonlands National Park
Monday, June 16, 2014, Dead Horse Point State Park, UT, Day 2 & Canyonlands - 0 miles, 10,706.8 For the Trip

I drove into Moab to do laundry & replace some supplies. After putting the laundry & groceries away, I headed to Canyonlands. This is my second favorite National Park, probably due to my favorite hike - False Kiva. I didn't do the hike this year, but instead took the hike to Aztec Butte. It was closed the last time I was here, but now you can hike to the top and walk around the top, but the graineries are still off limits. They are built into alcoves in the rock walls, and the ceilings are unstable. There is a structure at the top of the Butte, but I am suspicious as to it's authenticity.

The smaller graineries that are on a spur on the trail are accessible.

After that I drove to the Green River Overlook for a couple of photos. Of course, I also took some "Tree" photos. The last stop was at Mesa Arch. I wanted to get a close up of the "Washerwoman" formation. Very crowded, and it is much more interesting at dawn (2012 Trip).  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was grilled chicken breast & corn on the cob.

A very windy day & the power just went out. Good thing it is cool enough not to need the AC.

Until Tomorrow

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dead Horse Point State Park

View From Dead Horse Point, UT
Sunday, June 15, 2014, Dead Horse Point State Park, UT- 60.0 miles, 10,706.8 For the Trip

Another early start - I was on the road by 8:15AM. The plan was to try for one of the non-reservable sites at Dead Horse Point State Park. This is a very popular campground with beautiful scenery, both in the campground as well as at the point, about a mile further on. Two years ago it took 3 days of trying to get a spot. Today, I checked with the entry station, and they had one open site. I'm in site 12 (one site away from where I was in 2012) for the next three days. While most of the drives are long, the park is still a good location for visits to Canyonlands & Arches. It is good that I got the spot - by 9:30 the park was filled, although one trailer left around noon & was quickly replaced.

I drove out to the point & took a few photos as well as a panorama. As usual, I saved a large 3.5MB, 10,000 pixel wide version as well as the normal images. While at the point I met an individual with a NY hat standing on the edge of the valley. We chatted, and discovered he is from Peekskill, the town in Westchester County I lived in from the age of 5 - 10. Yes, it is a small world! I love the trees here, so you are going to have to put up with lots of photos of them. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing, reading, and a short walk to the visitor center for a "T" shirt.

Dinner will be a pulled pork sandwich & chips, with the rest of the snap peas.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Green River State Park, Green River, UT

Site 13, Green River State Park, Green River, UT
Saturday, June 14, 2014, Green River State Park, Green River, UT- 180.4 miles, 10,646.8 For the Trip

I got an early start and a good pancake, eggs & sausage breakfast (for only $3.00) at the KOA, and headed south on US 6 & US 191. I stopped for some supplies at Price, then continued to the Green River State Park for the night. $25.00 for an electric only site, although they do have flush toilets & showers. Lots of cottonwood trees still putting out fluff. The campground is a mix of tents & RVs.

Other than setting up the trailer (I didn't even unhitch), I didn't do much. A bit of reading (I'm reading Gulp, by Mary Roach), an interesting book about the digestive system (Yes, I did say interesting!)

No photos other than the campsite, which is #13.

Dinner will be a chicken breast sandwich.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, June 13, 2014

Salt Lake City KOA, UT

City of Rocks State Park
Friday, June 13, 2014, Salt Lake City KOA, UT - 187.6 miles, 10,466.4 For the Trip

There was a very blue bird & his mate outside the trailer this morning, so I took a couple of photos.

I stopped by the City of Rocks State Park on the way out. The place is a bit confusing - the State Park's campground Smoky Mountain is next to the City of Rocks National Reserve, but the actual state park is about 5 miles back towards I84. At the suggestion of the park ranger, I didn't pull my trailer through the park, but left it at the first parking lot. I took a few photos of the formations, but do wish I had known about it when I was unhooked so I could see more of it. A fairly washboarded dirt road leading into the park - not bad enough to pop open the cabinets, but it did move stuff around!

Photos at today'sLakeshoreImages page.

I called Forster's Camera in Salt Lake City to see if I could have a rush job done on cleaning the sensor on the D700. I tried more than once, and all I seem to be able to do is move the dust spots around. They charge an extra $25.00 for the rush job, but I didn't want to wait here in Salt Lake City until Wednesday. Salt Lake City, like all of them is very busy, with backed up traffic all around, and crowded freeways. I did drive by to see the temple, but didn't stop - no parking nearby. Since I had to wait until close to 5:00 to pick up the cleaned camera, I chose to stay at the Salt Lake City KOA. I've mentioned before that I'm not a great fan of KOAs, but you do generally know what you are getting ahead of time. Expensive at $47.62 for full hookups, but the other two campgrounds I stayed in on the last trips through Salt Lake City were just about as expensive, and at least one (in an amusement park) was pretty noisy. So, for better or worse, here I am for the night.

I also decided to do some refills on prescriptions. Since there is no CVS, I went to the second drug store I used on the trip - Walgreens. Unfortunately, it was already 5:00, and the pharmacist insisted on calling my New York doctors before she would fill them. None were schedule drugs, and they didn't do that at the last Walgreens in Washington, but that is the deal here. The counter help suggested Rite-Aid, a few blocks away - went there & they filled them with no problems. So far, getting refills has been a challenge on the trip.

After that it was back to the campground & grilled chicken & snap peas for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Smoky Mountain Campground, Castle Rocks State Park, Almo, ID

Arch View, City of Rocks National Reserve
Thursday, June 12, 2014, Smoky Mountain Campground, Castle Rocks State Park, Almo, ID - 156.8 miles, 10,278.8 For the Trip

A pretty sunset last night, so I included a photo on today's LakeshoreImages page.

Plans change. I was going to try to make it into Utah today, but saw sign for City of Rocks National Reserve. There are City of Rocks in many states, but I've never been to the one in Idaho. A bit off the track - about 40 miles south of I84, but a good 2 lane road. I stopped at the visitor center & found that all the campsites but one were already reserved in the National Reserve, however there were a few that were open for one night in the nearby state park. I'm in site 10 at the Castle Rocks State Park Smoky Mountain Campground. A bit more expensive at $28.32 for water & electric than last night, but a pretty site near the showers.

After dropping off the trailer I drove into the National Reserve. I'm glad I didn't try for the one open site in the Reserve - a very long, dusty road and the site was already taken. Lots of nice rock formations, many complete with climbers. While many formations had names, I didn't keep track of them so you will just have to guess which is which. To be even more confusing, I shot with both the D800 with the 24-70mm lens & the D700 with the 70 - 200mm lens and didn't put the images taken in the same location together. Since I only have one camera GPS & it was on the D800, you can't even use the EXIF data to determine where the D700 photos were taken. Sorry! Photos at either today's LakeshoreImages page or one I made for the park.

After driving around the National Reserve, I headed back to the campground. I'm relaxing for the rest of the afternoon, and will probably go to Almo for a pizza for dinner. It is too hot to cook, although I suspect it will cool off tonight - the campground is at 5562'.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID

Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID - 266.8 miles, 10,122.0 For the Trip
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A new state for the trip - Idaho. I won't be here too long, at least this time; I'm heading to Utah tomorrow. A long drive, but an interesting State Park. Bruneau Dunes State Park has a public observatory, which would have been nice, but it is only open on weekends. They also have sand dunes, so I had to take some photos. They are available at today's lakeshoreImages page.

I'm in site 80, which is electric & water for $16.66 per night (until the weekend & for over 62). And, the showers are free. What a deal!

Speaking (well, typing) of showers, the bathroom at the Wildhorse Casino was interesting. 100 sites, one combined toilet & shower, and one additional shower. They did say they were doing renovations, but there is only one bathroom building so there can't be too many more stalls when the project is finished. On top of that, while there was a shower curtain that kept the drying area floor dry, there were no benches, one hook, no soap dishes, in fact, nothing but the floor to put things on. On the other hand, the water was nice & hot...

Back to Bruneau Dunes SP - Definitely worth a visit, particularly on the weekend when the observatory is open, but even during the week a nice stop over. Two campgrounds, the Broken Wheel  with lots of shade that was mostly reserved, and the other (Eagle Cove) more open, both as to shade & available sites. Some 50 amp sites are available at the Broken Wheel Campground.

Dinner was Orange Chicken & Rice. It was really too hot for the meal, but it was the only one I was ready to make.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Mission, OR

Barn Along US 97
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Wildhorse Resort & Casino - 203.7 miles, 9,855.2 For the Trip

It was a cold night, at least for what I've been used to over the past couple of weeks - down to 38°F. I turned on the furnace & set the thermostat to 60°F around 7:00 AM (it was 49°F in the trailer), then went back to sleep for an hour. Lots of traffic noise throughout the night, however I managed to sleep through most of it.

I drove US 97 to Ellensburg, then took the Umtanum Valley drive through the non existent town of Wymer. Lots of Forest Service campgrounds in the river valley and a pretty drive, but I wanted to get a bit further for the day. After a bit on I 82 & I 84, the plan was to stop for the night at a small campground in Echo, OR, but it was full, at least as far as I could tell - no one came out to point out an empty site, and it was hard to tell even where the sites were. In any case, I continued on to the Wildhorse Resort & Casino near Mission, OR. I suspect I will be traveling I 84 most of the way to Utah since it is the most direct route, and I want to get to the southeastern part of Utah as soon as possible.

Along the way I took a few more photos of the barn along US 97, and another one on the way out of Echo, OR. Other than those, the only other photo is the site photo. Photos on today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I stopped for a late lunch, dinner will be cheese & crackers.

Until Tomorrow -

Mineral Springs Forest Service Campground

Site 9, Mineral Springs Campground Along US 97, WA
Monday, June 9, 2014, Mineral Springs Forest Service Campground - 179.2 miles, 9651.5 For the Trip

No problems crossing the border, although I did have to pull over to have an agriculture inspection along with a bunch of RVs. The plan was to stay at the Wenatchee River County Campground, but when I arrived, the office was closed, with a sign that it wouldn't open for an hour. So, I continued on down US 97 & stopped for the day at Mineral Springs Forest Service Campground, a few miles north of where US 97 branches off to the left & WA 970 goes west to I 90. Can't complain about the price - $8.50 for the night with the Senior Pass card. No hookups, but a nice shady spot (although close enough to US 97 that there is traffic noise).

While I had a slow connection when I pulled into the campground, it went away just after I read my mail, so I won't be able to post this until I hat civilization.

No photos today other than the usual site one. Dinner will be a chicken patty & snap peas.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Nk'Mip Campground, Osoyoos, BC, Day 3 & The Escape Rally

The Group Photo (From Behind)
Saturday, June 7, 2014, Nk'Mip Campground, Osoyoos, BC, Day 3 - 0 miles, 9472.3 For the Trip

My project today was to make a blueberry pie. I had to give up two of my 18 oz boxes of blueberries because they weren't Canadian, but I found the there are less than 8 oz of blueberries in a cup. So with the 4 18 oz boxes, I had enough to make two pies, with a few left over for snacking. I added a note to the recipe that it takes 2 18 oz boxes to make a pie so I'll pick up the right amount next time.

I set up the toaster oven on the picnic table to avoid heating up the trailer. The pies came out OK, however I really prefer the pie pans I have at home to the ones I carry in the trailer. For some reason, the crust sticks to these. Oh well, I'll try to remember to flour them for the next batch. In any case, they tasted pretty good and both disappeared by the end of dinner.

The beer exchange was a bit different than those I've been to before - rather than exchanging directly from the beer cartons, everyone put their beer on a table, and on the word "Go" (well, minor exchanges were occurring before) everyone dove in and filled their carton. It worked well, and gave people a chance to look over the labels before committing themselves to a trade. Probably would be tough to do at a campground without tables...

Tammy had us arrive at the pot luck early and announced that they would be taking a group photo from a helicopter with all of us standing outside the hall. Of course I had to take a photograph of the group waving at the helicopter (that small dot in the sky of the photo above)!

While I added a few images at today's lakeshoreImages page, all are at the Escape Rally page as well as more on a new Page 2 that includes the beer exchange, the pot luck dinner & more.

Dinner was the Pot Luck, and everything was great! After dinner I spent a little time helping clean up, than headed back to the trailer to post the photos.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, June 6, 2014

Nk'Mip Campground, Osoyoos, BC, Day 2 & the Observatory B&B

Jack Newton at His Observatory B&B
Friday, June 6, 2014, Nk'Mip Campground, Osoyoos, BC, Day 2 - 0 miles, 9472.3 For the Trip

While I'll post an update later, I have to post about one of the highlights of my trip - a visit to the Observatory Bed & Breakfast. One of the members of the Escape Forum knew I was interested, and invited me and a few others for a visit with the owners, Jack & Alice Newton. An amazing place with great views of the lake, valley &, of course, skies. It was a bit cloudy, but we got a chance for some great views of Jupiter, the moon, rings of Saturn, binary stars, etc. Jack gave a wonderful talk about the birth of the universe, and provided a wealth of information. We all felt it was the highlight of our various trips. If you are looking for a place to stay in Osoyoos and don't have a RV (or, even if you do) a night or two at the Observatory B&B can't be beat!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Sorry about the quality of some of the photos, but they were taken at very high ISOs under very low light levels.

More to come -

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nk'Mip Campground, Osoyoos, BC

Escape Rally Registration
Thursday, June 5, 2014, Nk'Mip Campground, Osoyoos, BC  - 140.9 miles, 9472.3 For the Trip

A nice relaxing drive up US 97. I had to give up my non Canadian blueberries - the last time I crossed the border at Niagara Falls they were OK, but evidently California blueberries are a no-no here in the West. I should still be able to make a pie, but not two.

I got registered for the rally, picked up my "booty", a set of wine glasses, and stopped & talked with a number of people, some new, and some I've met at other rallies. I took a few photos, including a pair looking each direction in Reace & Tammy's new 5.0TA. I started making the rounds photographing trailers & attendees, but soon realized that I'm never going to be able to stick names with the photos, (there are over 100 trailers attending) so I'm leaving them blank.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While I thought I managed to skip needing "Loonies" by doing my laundry in Wenatchee, I still needed some - the showers take one Loonie to run. So, I'll probably end up with a few to toss with the Loonies & Toonies on my dresser in the bedroom at home. While I always plan to take them with me when I leave for a trip, I seem to forget & end up adding to the pile when I get home.

Dinner was a quick sandwich & chips.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA, Day 4

Icicle Creek, Levenworth, WA
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA, Day 4 - 0 miles, 9331.4 For the Trip

I drove back to Levenworth and stopped at the Forest Service Ranger Office to see if there were any near by waterfalls to photograph. They said no, but gave me a map of area trails & suggested I drive along Icicle Road and check out the Creek. I took a few photos of the creek as well as some Lupins along side the road. A very pretty drive with a number of forest service campgrounds.

After that I stopped in Levenworth to take a few photographs of the town. Lots of interesting buildings & a concert just starting in the bandstand as I arrived.

After that it was back to the campground & sitting out taking hummingbird photos. I started with the D700, but quickly switched to the D800. You can see the difference - all images at ISO 640 & f: 2.8 to get the shutter speeds high enough to freeze wings. Even at 1/8000 of a second, the wings still blur! The first image was the D700, the rest with the D800.



All the photos on today's LakeshoreImages Page.

Dinner was a cheeseburger. I'm heading into town to purchase the blueberries & pie stuff after posting the web page. That way I don't have to try to squeeze the trailer into the Albertson's parking lot.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA, Day 3

Tuesday, June 3, 2014, Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA, Day 3 - 0 miles, 9331.4 For the Trip

Not a lot happening today. The Escape 5.0 that has been parked 2 sites down left this morning to spend a couple of days at the Wenatchee Confluence State Park before heading to Osoyoos for the rally next weekend. I'm staying here. I did mail Karin's birthday card. While it isn't until July 5th, mail has a way of taking far longer than the post office suggests when going to Botswana. They said 6 days; we'll see...

I also did laundry. I could have put it off for a couple of days, but that would mean trying to get & use  (and then get rid of) Loonies (the Canadian 2 dollar coin) and I wanted to avoid that. Ended up at a strange operation - they use magnetic cards to pay for the machines, but you don't buy one - they use the card & settle up when you are done. I also got a haircut. We'll see how this one holds up. Still shorter than usual, but much easier to comb.

No photographs today. Dinner was a grilled chicken sandwich, chips (I found a supply of Cape Cod Crinkle Cut chips at Albertsons) and a small salad. I don't know what is going on, but there have been fire engines going by the campground for much of the afternoon. If I was still working Red Cross Disaster Services, I'd probably be following them!

Until tomorrow -

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA, Day 2

A Barn Along US 97
Monday, June 2, 2014, Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA, Day 1 - 0 miles, 9331.4 For the Trip

I decided to accomplish two things this morning - a trip to AAA for some maps (my Oregon/Washington one is worn out) and get a haircut. The first went OK, but barbers are closed on Mondays, at least the real ones, and I have had better luck with them than the "Super Cuts, etc". So that will have to wait until tomorrow. I did stop at Albertsons to see if they had a better deal on blueberries than Safeway, and they did - 18 oz for $3.99. So, that is where I'll shoot for on Thursday. I also picked up an ear of corn for dinner.

For the afternoon I drove down US 97 to see if I could find some wildflowers near Blewett Pass. No luck with the flowers, although I did find a few. I keep meeting people that tell me how great the flowers were, but it is always a few weeks before I get to the area. I did find a barn that was in a nice location a little past the WA 970 short cut to I 90 West. On the way back I went a little West on US 2 to Leavenworth & took a photo of a bridge over the Wenatchee River. More photos at toady's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground for some reading & a shower. Dinner was a couple of cheese brots &grilled corn on the cob.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA

Ohme Gardens
Sunday, June 1, 2014, Wenatchee River County Park, Monitor, WA - 85 miles, 9331.4 For the Trip

Not to bad a drive West on US 2 & south on US 97. I'm in site 47 at the Wenachee River County Park. It had been recommended by a follower of my web page, and they are right - it is a pretty park. They suggested asking for a river side site, however they were all filled. I'm in the middle of the campground in a water & electric site for $25.00 per night. While there were a couple of full hookup sites available when I arrives around 12:30, they are near US 97, and noisy. It is a popular campground - by now at 8:30, it is full.

After setting up the trailer I went to Ohme Gardens. $7.00 to get in, with lots of paths through many plantings. It wasn't quite what I expected in that I was hoping for lots of blooming flowers & it is more a natural flower & plant garden. Still, a nice way to spend a couple of hours walking along the paths, ponds & waterfalls. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was a quick stop at Safeway to pick up some fruit & milk. I checked, and they have blueberries at a half way decent price. If they are still the same & the quality is OK, I'll pick some up to make a pie for the pot luck next weekend. I much prefer blueberry to apple!

After that it was back to the trailer & trying to keep cool. Quite warm - I even put out the awning just to shade the refrigerator wall of the trailer. The thermometer in the propane tanks read 93°F, although it was in the sun. Still, a warm day.

Dinner was the left over half of the grilled chicken breast from yesterday, along with a small salad and the last (boo hoo) of the Cape Cod Crinkle Cut Potato Chips.

Until tomorrow -