Monday, April 8, 2013

Home Sweet Home

We awoke early this morning in Miles City, Montana, to a winter wonderland.

Because we had already winterized the rig, we were just wanting to head for home.

I will admit to some tense driving moments on the interstate, until a sanding truck appeared and we tucked in behind him.

The only problem was we could only do about 30 mph.

After crawling for a long while, the road cleared up, and traffic was flowing at about 50 mph.

Even though Teresa and I are very honest, and don't try any funny stuff at the border, we are always a little apprehensive about the procedure.

Today's crossing was a real treat !! 

We were asked all the usual questions, then the kind agent welcomed us back to Canada, and wished us safe travels.

There was a lot of snow in the fields in Saskatchewan, but only little patches on the highway.

However, we were embarrassed at the state of our roadways.

I am talking huge potholes, that rattled our teeth, and knocked things out of cupboards !!

Our provincial government is spending record amounts on infrastructure, so we are hopeful this will be improved.

The first thing Teresa did was turn on our Canadian cellphone, and started texting family and friends that we were nearly home.

We were thrilled that our daughter was able to come see us for a couple of hours before heading out to another commitment.

She sure got a lot of hugs, and a few gifts !!

After she left, we did a little more unpacking.

We ordered our favorite pizza, took long hot showers, and with heavy eyes, we are heading to bed.

It took us nearly 9 hours to cover those last 300 miles, so we are both exhausted and happy to be back.

It is true, there is no place like home !!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Miles City, Montana

Our drive today was a little shorter, but still took nearly six hours with construction delays.

As soon as we got into our site, I started the task of winterizing, and now our rig is ready to head into the freezing Saskatchewan temps.

The overnight lows in Regina are predicted to be around -16C !!

It sure is a huge pain to have to go to the campground washroom, and I bet tomorrow morning will be a thrill trying to get through our morning routine without the convenience of running water.

But we are alive and healthy, and looking forward to making it home.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Casper Wyoming

We were off to an early start again this morning, with much cooler weather.

I could easily see my breath as I was breaking camp.

As soon as we left Grand Junction we started climbing in elevation and saw snow on the ground.

We did receive a few minutes of rain, but none of the white stuff.

We remembered how abundant the wildlife is along this drive, and sure enough, we saw multiple herds of deer and antelope.

At one point I had to brake hard as a herd of elk crossed the highway in front of us.

After seven hours of driving, and just a tad short of 400 miles, we arrived in Casper where we will spend the night.

We will winterize the rig when we arrive in Miles City, Montana tomorrow.

That means we will not have a bathroom or any running water.

Just like the early pioneers !!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Grand Junction, CO

Just a short note today to let everyone know we are in Grand Junction tonight.

Drove about seven hours, and it seemed like we were either going uphill or downhill.

We are at a wonderful park - Junction West RV Park.

They accept Passport America, so for full hookups we are paying less than $20.  The WiFi is very, very fast.

The owners are super friendly, and we would highly recommend a stop here.

Tomorrow we should make it to Casper, Wyoming.

Our home town of Regina, Sask. is experiencing one of the worst winters in history, and another blizzard is forecast for this weekend.

Don't worry, we will not take any unreasonable chances, but with careful driving, we should be home Monday night. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bryce Canyon National Park

Wow, two days in a row that we have been out the door shortly after 8 AM !!

Our muscles were complaining loudly, but we ignored them, and jumped in the car for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Bryce.

We thought our Zion pass would work here, but it didn't, so we had to purchase a new one.

We went directly to the Visitor's Center and watched the park film.

The shuttle buses will not be operating until May, so we chose to drive our car to the various outlooks.

The views were amazing, but because the sky was overcast, our photos are a little washed out.

The first thing we noticed was that this park is not nearly as busy as Zion National Park.

All I can tell you is that Bryce Canyon is a must do destination.

We heard people talking about Zion and Bryce, and heard different opinions on which was better to tour.

In our opinion, each park offers different perspectives.

Zion is rugged and majestic and overpowers a person.

Bryce is like a giant playground on steroids.

We can't say which is better.  It is like asking what is our favorite dessert.  You can't choose one !!

If you are in the area, be sure to spend time in each one. 

Today we hiked the Navajo Trail, and the Queen's Garden.  Absolutely stunning and beyond words.

The hike lasted a little over two hours, but that was with many stops for photos.

We could barely lift our legs into the car when we were finished, but we would not change a single thing.

Tomorrow, we lift the jacks and head a little closer to home.

How fortunate are we to bring home some awesome memories.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Zion in a Day

Teresa and I amazed ourselves by being out the door a little after 8 AM.

We had a full day planned and needed to squeeze every moment out of the daylight.

We beat the majority of the crowds in the morning, and snagged a great parking spot near the visitor's center.

It was still very chilly, and we could see our breath.

Like so many other National Parks, Zion has a wonderful shuttle service, where you can get on or off and choose your stops, all for free.

We chose to ride the shuttle to the very end of the park, and our first hike was the Riverview trail.

I think we were done in less than an hour, so we rode the shuttle and hiked the Weeping Rock trail.

By this time the sunshine was reaching the Canyon floor, and it started to warm up.

We boarded the shuttle again, and noticed it was considerably busier.  In fact, multiple times in the day, we had to stand on the bus and hang on.

With sweaters now off, we hiked up past Refrigerator Canyon, Walter's Wiggles, and rested at Scout's Lookout.

From Scout's Lookout, you can then try Angel's Landing.

Encouraged by others we gave it our best attempt.  
There is a sign warning of fatalities on this hike, so we lost a little confidence right off the bat.

We knew there were chains to hang on to, but we were not expecting the level of difficulty we faced.

After only a partial climb, we felt totally out of our comfort zone and turned back.

That hike was nearly three hours long, and we were tired, hungry, and a little sore.

We took the shuttle back to the car, and changed into shorts and light shirts, while devouring the lunch Teresa had packed.

Refueled, we hiked the Lower Emerald Pool in less than an hour.

Oh, and we also watched the twenty minute film on Zion in the beautiful auditorium.

Our last hike brought us through the tunnel that was made in the late 1920's. 

It is a long one, and headlights are a necessity. Just past the other end, we hiked Lost Canyon.

We were played out by this time, but did not want to miss anything, and soldiered on.  I think this hike was about an hour as well.

By the time we headed for home, the sun was setting behind the canyon walls, and made for some great scenery.

We are heading straight to bed after our showers, because tomorrow we want to visit Bryce Canyon.

Guess we will see if our aching legs are up to the task !!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vegas and Zion

Yesterday, we travelled from Palm Springs to Las Vegas.

We got started a little later than planned as we had to return an internet modem to Time Warner, and the line up was twenty to thirty people long.

With that task complete, we hit the road and noticed there were a lot of RV's heading north.

Traffic was not that bad on our selected roads, until we neared Vegas.

It did not help that we were passing through the city in rush hour !

Our destination was on the outskirts of the city.  Friends Jesse and Ginger are workamping at the Clark County Shooting Complex.

They had supper waiting for us, and with empty stomachs it was sure appreciated.

Such great friends, and we will see them again on our cruise next year, if not earlier.

This morning, after good bye hugs with Jesse and Ginger, we made the two hour drive to Hurricane, Ut our base for touring Zion National Park.

Although it was late in the afternoon when we got settled in to our park, we made a bee-line to Zion to catch a glimpse and develop a game plan for tomorrow.

The drive to the park is about 25 minutes, and the views are enticing.

We paid our $25 dollars which allows a week of visiting, though we will only be here a few days.

The place was packed like sardines.  I inquired with a park ranger who told us that it is spring break for lots of kids, and they are here with their parents.

She also advised us to arrive early if we want any chance of parking our car.  From there we can take the free shuttle anywhere in the park.

We certainly won't be the first ones in line to get into the park, but hopefully, we can get there bright and early.

We have a full day of hiking planned, so wish us luck !!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Good Bye Palm Springs

We really feel a connection with this part of the world.

It is a nice size, not too big and not too small.  The airport is a ten minute drive, and has daily flights into Canada's largest cities.

Plus, we love this park.

So it was with some sadness we completed a few more chores yesterday.

Also, we wanted to spend some more time with friends John and Irene.

We thought with our busy day, what could be better than having a late lunch at the park's restaurant, beside one of the pools.

Because it was Easter Sunday, we went with the traditional Easter meals of Cheeseburgers, Clubhouse sandwiches, and fries !!

Everyone enjoyed their food, and I think John and Irene might come back, it is just so convenient and absolutely delicious food.

Parting ways is never easy, and these two have really secured a spot in our hearts.

With hugs and tears we wished each other well. They are returning to this park next year, while we will be in Texas.

This morning, we are going to get these big wheels rolling in an hour or so.

Our destination is just a little north of Vegas where we will spend the night with friends Jesse and Ginger.

After that we are going to spend a few days exploring Zion and Bryce National Parks.

Safe travels to all the snowbirds heading out today.