Monday, July 26, 2010

Leaving Utah arriving in Golden, Co

I70 East Utah / Colorado
We left Thursday the 1st of July and headed to Wendy's in Golden, Co., and arrived late in the afternoon. We drove across I 70 from Utah to just outside Denver. I70 offers some scenic drive and high elevations up to 11,400 feet. Some areas were slow going up these 8 mile climbs and same for the downhill side.
Vietnam War Memorial, Fruita, CO.

When we entered into Colorado we stopped at a state info center in Fruita, Co., where they had a Vietnam War Memorial there. It was great to see such a memorial in a highly visible area and displayed in such a manner that you have to stop and read the inscriptions and plaques and dedications. The State of Colorado should be proud of this Memorial.

We made it up to Coal Creek Canyon to Wendy and Troy and of course Copper, our granddog, who we like to spoil. We have been doing local things -- farmers market, going into Golden, (no haven't made it for my annual tour of the Coors Brewery, but it will happen soon). We were at Wendy & Troys for a week and then we headed to Loup City, Nebraska to Troy's home town for a celebration party of his retirement from the Air Force National Guard.
We traveled up there in one day and stayed for four days. Accompanying us was Wendy and Wendy's nieces Cydney and Colby. Also onboard was Copper. Kirstie kitty allowed Copper on the RV -- she was the boss and he respected that. It was about an 8 hour trip with an RV. So on the way up the weather was hot so we started the generator and put on a in flight movie. I figured it was only right to break these newcomers to RVing by watching "RV the Movie with Robin Williams. (Because of Troy's work schedule, he traveled to Loup City by car with his brother Brian & his wife Bonnie and sister Janelle. They also had in the car their two dogs.)

"Copper" one of our Grand Dogs

Loup City, Nebraska (The Polish Capitol of Nebraska)

We arrived in Loup City and set up in front of Troy's parents house. We could only open up 2 slides as we were on the city street. We had a lot of fun there with family and friends that we met 18 years ago when Wendy and Troy got married. We went out to the farm and got to see several hundred acres of corn, soy beans and alfalfa. We got to see Troy's dad work the farm cutting the hay and then bailing it into 1800 lbs rolls. While there we had a very heavy thunder shower with hail and a couple of days later we saw the damage that occurred about 20 miles north of Loup City and the corn fields were just destroyed as well as the soy beans. What disappointment as the season was going great till then as they didn't have to irrigate the fields much this year. A total lost to those farmers. We had a beautiful visit with Troy's grandparents Harry and Catherine it was great to see them at the party and at their home before we returned to Colorado.

The party was for Troy's retirement from the AZ Air National Guard and was at the American Legion in town and over the period of the night between family and friends there was well over 100 people who attended or stopped in and wished Troy and Wendy congratulations and best wishes.

Loup City, NE is the Polish Capitol of Nebraska and has about 1200 population and the main street has a couple of blinking stop lights at the 2 major intersections. The town commons has a Veteran Memorial walkway that has upright monuments with the names of those hometown citizens that have served our nation. They take a lot of pride of their veterans and those who served and those who are serving today. We enjoyed our stay and most of all those who we got to reunite after 18 years.

Troy's retirement American Flag, Retirement certificate and certificates and plaques received during his career.

Here is Troy with his Grandparents Harry and Catherine.

We had a pleasant trip back to Golden, except for the bugs on the windshield. That takes a few hours to clean, worse part of driving a motorhome. We are back in Golden with Wendy up on the mountain. The weather has been beautiful -- temp in the mid 70's daytime and low 50's at night. Yesterday Wed. July 28th, in the town of Nederland, Co about 10 miles northwest of us as the crow flies they had a a thunder storm that brought in some hail about 8+ inches. The town had to put the plows back on the road to clear the hail so emergency vehicles can get around. Some roads were washed out and others blocked by some rock slides. It made national news this morning. Where we are we just had thunder some lightning and pea size hail that lasted only a few minutes. We were lucky. Last year while we were here, the town of Arvada had a storm very similar to yesterdays. Right now it looks like we will be leaving around the end of August to head towards SD and then to the northwest to Seattle and then down the coast back to Santa Cruz to be there right after Labor Day.

Sue and I are still able to talk to one another even after 2+ years on the road and in tight quarters. We are enjoying what we are doing and look forward to seeing more of our beautiful country and meeting people.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Moab, Arches and Canyonland National Park

Arches National Park, Moab, UT
We visited Arches a couple of years ago but still had to revisit and do a drive thru. The only problem is that the temperature was around 103 degrees, so it easy to say we did not hike around that day.

This was our second visit to Moab and again really enjoyed it. This town has something for everyone in addition to the National Parks. If you are into 4X4, 4 wheeling, horse back riding, hiking, rock climbing, base jumping (illegal in this town, but still happens on occasion), white water rafting, visiting wineries, breweries, jeep tours guided or self guided, there is something for everyone. The only problem is in July and August it can get very hot (the locals say it is a dry heat) still hot. If you travel by RV there are many campgrounds, hotel/motels inns, lodges a great place to visit. It is only 35 miles off I70 easy to get to and get around.
We stayed in Moab and real tourist town that caters to Rvers, 4x4 vehicles and rock climbers, base jumpers, bicyclist and hikers year round. There is so much that Moab offers great restaurants, a couple of breweries, wineries, Jeep tours self guided or guided. At the Jet boat tour you could go on a rafting trip down the Colorado to Lake Powell or just short raft trips. RV'ers are welcomed everywhere. Our campground was about 5 miles out of town and very reasonable for price.

Canyonland National Park, UT

The next day we drove to Canyonland about 35 miles away. This part of the park is identified as Island in the Sky with another scenic drive. You could call this park a smaller version of the Grand Canyon when you see it. As you drive down the main road you see canyon on both sides of you. One covers the Green River coming into the canyon and the other side you see the Colorado river and at the end of the road is where the two merge together and continue south to Lake Powell. A beautiful park to see. We now wish we had taken the time to go into Dead Horse Canyon State Park about 10 miles outside Canyonland a Utah treasure we were told by many. Canyonland National Park is a great park for those who have 4 X 4 high clearance vehicles if you want to tour the canyon basin as there are many trails to take in the Island in the Sky part or if you want a challenge is to go to the Needles part of the park which is described as for high clearance vehicles. We spent a couple of days there and enjoyed it very much.

Canyonland by Night & Day Jetboat Tours of the Colorado River, Moab, UT.

Sue and I decided to try something different like this Jetboat ride down the Colorado. It was a 32 mile trip down to where you start to enter Canyonland National Park with a view of both sides of the park, the Needles area and the Island in the Sky. We passed by Dead Horse State Park just before Canyonland. The views from Dead Horse State Park have many similarities of that of the Grand Canyon. The movie studios found it easier to get permits to film in this State Park than the Grand Canyon or Canyonland as it is on Federal property. Just a short trip out of Moab is a winery, lodge and movie museum that has a lot of memorabilia from many of the films made there.

As for the Jet Boat ride it was 4 hours long with some stops along the way with a tour guide that was to say had a dry sense of humor. He stressed that when the 4 wheelers and 4X4 come to town they like pain and suffering along with rock climbers. You can tell who has been doing what by the amount of bandages they have on their bodies or the smell of Ben Gay on their sore legs, arms or whatever. He liked to keep his feet on the ground and watch people do some dumb things. The views from river were spectacular. We saw a couple of natural arches in the rock formations. The Needles area of Canyonland mostly accessible by 4X4 high clearance vehicles. We got to see some more Petroglyphs on the rock formation along the river. The river traffic is limited to tour boats like this Jetboat or River rafting as they have all the permits to allow them to enter the National Park property that divides the park.

While we were on the boat ride, we met a couple from California that are also RV'ers that are not full time but close enough to call them that as they are on the road for 9 months of the year. We all discussed our travels and experiences and after the ride we ended up going to lunch with them in town and exchanged information and we plan on getting together when we return to California in September.

Travel continues in Utah National Park, Colorado and Nebraska

Capit0l Reef National Park, UT

We found this park again to be altogether different from the others. We did a couple of hikes and drove the scenic drives, one inside the park that went about 10 miles and the other State Highway Route 24. We hiked to Hickman's Natural Bridge and arch about 1 mile in. On our way out we got to see a Big Horn Sheep that was on the next ridge and were able to take a picture.

In the park are several original structures of the community. The Clifford House and farm which today serves as a museum and gift shop where you can buy old fashion ice cream and homemade root beer. Another structure the Blacksmith shop, and a one room school house.

The school house was used up to 1931 and then became part of the National Park. At one time the enrollment of the school was around 25 which covered all grades. Very tight quarters with a large wood stove in the center of the class.

We stopped at a park near the museum to have a picnic lunch and observed the deer just grazing around the picnic area not bothering with the people there. They know they are safe and will be getting droppings.

We drove to Capitol Gorge and walked the trail out to the Pioneer Register which is where the early settlers scratched their names and dates of travel on the canyon wall, some go back to the 1880's. Along this trail are Petroglyphs that are possibly several hundred years old. We stayed a couple of days exploring this park and enjoyed it very much. Our campground was about 10 miles from the entrance to the park in Torrey, UT.

Sue and I decided after visiting Capitol Reef that we should continue onto Moab and complete the National Parks of Utah by visiting Arches and Canyonland and visiting the town of Moab.