Land of Canyons

Seven and a half years ago we came to Moab.  Brielle was just a baby and we rented a popup camper…our first foray into RVing.  Today we are back in Moab with kids all grown and the RV has grown substantially too.  Our last trip we stayed at Dead Horse Point State Park and made a day trip to Canyonlands.  This time we could not get a spot at the state park but still made a day trip to the land of canyons.  The forecast called for cold temps and rain and since we didn’t figure we’d do much long hiking we decided to take the dog along for the ride. Read more

Crowded Arches

I was already upset with Arches National Park after our surprise in the morning led the boys and I out to Fisher Towers but when we arrive to the park later in the morning with Steph and Brielle and there is a line of cars out to the highway, my blood pressure rose dramatically!  I tried to keep a good attitude as we creeped toward the entrance until finally we were in.  We stopped at the visitor center to get information on Fiery Furnace tours…but, they are not doing tours yet.  Fine, we’ll just go to Delicate Arch then….LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.  The parking lot was a circus…cars just driving around and around waiting for a spot.  There was also a huge line at the bathrooms.  We finally get a spot, have a quick bite of lunch on a rock and then head off like just 5 more head of cattle in the heard towards this famous point in the park. Read more

Fisher Towers sunrise

While in Moab you have to go to Arches National Park.  While at Arches National Park you have to go to Delicate Arch.  If you are going to go to Delicate Arch you might as well pick one of the two golden hour times.  Sunset was out because, due to construction in the park in 2017, you must be out of the park by 7pm.  Plus, sunset is the most popular time anyway and the website recommends sunrise as a much less popular time but no less spectacular.  So I set my sights on this prize and convince the boys to get up early with me on this adventure. Read more

Family of fotographers

Caden got a video camera for Christmas a few years back, Dacen got an action cam for this last Christmas,  Steph has her Nexus 5X which takes amazing pictures, I just bought us a new mirrorless camera and so Brielle took over the old point-and-shoot.  Armed with 5 cameras we headed off on the hunt for the best photo, the best attempt at capturing a moment in time.  Our destination, Colorado National Monument, was about 1 mile from the campground.  We paid for an annual National Parks pass and headed up the road.  Just as you enter the beautiful Fruita canyon is a pullout for viewing Balanced Rock.  We also notice some big horn sheep, so before the truck has even come to a complete stop the doors swing open and the mighty hunters jump from the vehicle with cameras aimed and the snapping of shutters commences!  I think we spent close to an hour at this one point and took a crazy number of pictures.
Not posed....seriously!
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Ava and the Beast ride again

Thursday morning after a walk around Golden Ponds with my brother, the dog and I took the Beast up to get Ava.  As we rounded the last corner the Beast bucked just a little bit as though he couldn’t wait to hook up with Ava again.  Sheba was in heaven running around with the farm dogs and the cat while I hitched up for the short ride to Longmont to get Ava packed up for our little spring break trip to the western slope of CO and the Moab area.  It has been dry as a bone and in the 70s most of March and the ONE day we’re going to be driving with a 38ft, 14,000 pound trailer over the Continental Divide the forecast calls for snow.  Well, Friday morning came with pretty clear skies in Longmont and the forecast was clear all day.  We pulled out about 9:00 and had smooth sailing the whole way.  There was fresh snow in the mountains but I-70 was dry until right before Eisenhower tunnel where the roads were wet until Silverthorne…then again they were a little wet on Vail pass.  Nothing slick, nothing scary.  It really looked quite pretty with the fresh snow and the blue skies.  It was a good drive and it felt good to be on the road again with the family…including our new addition, Sheba, our trusty pup.  I’m not really sure what Sheba thought of the ride…she was very restless the whole way….just couldn’t seem to settle in and get comfortable.  She is usually pretty chill in the car but I think the chucking from the trailer just made it a bit rougher than she likes.  But she did fine as I think she was just happy to get to come along with us.
Snow on the pass
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Backpacking with the boys

When we took our little stroll on the AT back in the Shenendoah National Park Caden asked if we’d be able to go backpacking once we were back home in CO.  I was tickled pink that he was the one asking me to go backpacking and I thought for sure we’d have plenty of time.  But after returning home the days of summer slipped away until the the next thing we knew school was in session and soccer in full swing.  However, it turned out that Labor Day weekend was wide open on our schedules and the boys lobbied hard to get a backpacking trip in.  AND, they wanted to go for more than 1 night.  Its a pretty popular weekend so there were no permits available for Rocky Mountain National Park or the Indian Peaks Wilderness.  But, the James Peak Wilderness is also right in our backyard and does not require permits so we put Roger’s Peak Lake in our cross hairs and set off.  I should also point out that I tried to get the boys to play hooky on Friday but Caden didn’t want to miss school or soccer….what kind of kids am I raising?!
The beginning
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We got Ava packed up for the last time and hit the road at 9:15 for the very familiar drive from Phillipsburg to Longmont.  There was a detour that cost us about 30 minutes, some poorly coordinated bathroom breaks, lunch break and a stop at the Welcome to Colorful Colorado sign for a picture.  I spent a lot of the drive time exercising my memories of the trip and tried to avoid thinking about the task of moving back into our house.
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Exclamation point

Ever since I met Steph we’ve made trips to Phillipsburg KS at least once a year to see her family that is there.  So I’ve been there at least 19 times and Steph at least twice as many times as that.  So Phillipsburg almost feels like home.  We planned to spend our last few days of this adventure visiting the little town that feels so familiar.  Phillipsburg will be our exclamation point of this amazing trip.  It was about a 6 hour drive from Kansas City to Phillipsburg and we made the trip without issue.  We are staying at the Cottonwood Inn RV park on the east edge of town.  We checked in, picked a spot and set Ava up for the last time on this journey.  The kids and I put on our swim suits and headed straight for the pool to cool off…it felt great!  After dinner Steph’s cousin Tiff and her family stopped by to visit for awhile after they did chores.  Dacen and Michael played with Legos while Brielle and Chloe played with Barbies.

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We had one of the smoothest moving day mornings of our trip as we packed everything up at Cahokia RV Parque.  Without even trying we were on the road by 9:30 on our way to Kansas City.  As we pulled out and said good bye to our campsite and began our last Thursday of this trip Brielle said, “bummer, we never did get to try those donuts.”  Every time we drove into St Louis we passed this little donut shop called DJs Donuts.  We have stopped for donuts on moving day twice before and both times were more like lunch time donuts: once in Panama City and another time in Philadelphia.  So I figured we needed to have breakfast donuts for a change and I pulled Ava and the Beast into DJs to get some fuel for our bellies.
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