We’ve now wrapped up our 2014 Adventure. Our destination was the great northwestern United States with a focus on the Pacific coast. It was a wonderful trip – really, everything we hoped it would be. Early in our journey we found southeastern Utah to be a pleasant surprise. We’ve heard so much about the vicinity of Moab; especially Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. These were even better than we expected and some of the most beautiful spots we’ve ever been.
We spent a couple of months visiting different places along the Washington coast and then another month along the Oregon coast. We loved it all and I especially enjoyed the splendor of the Oregon coast. If a person loves nature they will love that area.
We continued into northern California and soon moved inland to the Sacramento area and points east and south. After wearing jackets and even needing heat in the camper the warm temperatures were a shock to the system. Still, camping along the whitewater of the American River and then staying in the high country of Yosemite was a real pleasure.
It was with some sadness that we turned east and headed for Arizona because that meant we were now winding down our big Adventure. Still, we’re talking about Arizona here; long one of our favorite states. We spent a month there, working our way from the northwest corner of the state to ultimately exit at the southeast corner.
Before long we were back in Texas – enjoying the splendor of the state’s southwest. We’ve always liked the Texas State Parks and it was a pleasure to visit three of them, especially Davis Mountains State Park, as we worked our way east.
After almost seven months we’ve now arrived back where the Adventure began: Lake Conroe Thousand Trails. We towed the 5th wheel about 6300 miles and then drove about the same distance sightseeing and “just living.” We stayed in about 40 different campgrounds, generally for a week and a half at a time with several shorter stays when we were in “repositioning mode.” In January I’ll release our budget figures but we pretty much stayed on target through the year.
It was a great trip and I’m already looking forward to return visits to and through these areas.
Posted in Scott
Tagged Arizona, California, camping, National Park, nature, observations, Oregon, planning, sightseeing, state park, Texas, Utah, Washington
Our stop in North Ogden, UT was just a couple of nights. This is a mobile home park that has converted some of the spots into RV sites. The streets are wide and the sites are the size of a mobile home site – in other words, pretty big. The park itself is just minutes off of I15 and there are several fuel stops and fast food restaurants nearby. The restroom/shower is actually a manufactured home that is being used for this purpose – in other words, using the restroom or shower is like using one at someone’s house. There’s one especially nice feature – it’s the view to the east. I’ll include a photo of that view here – sorry to say our stay was brief and I didn’t get any other photos.If you need an overnight stop this one will do.
Everywhere I looked on the internet people recommended Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, UT. Now, I’m happy to add my recommendation for this beautiful park. The “point” in this case is a point of land looking out over the canyons that include Canyonlands National Park, as much as 2000 feet below. Many have compared this view with that of the Grand Canyon, high praise indeed. Every day this state park is filled with people who include the superlative view at the “point” in their trip to the national park.
The campground is very popular and a prospective camper will want to make reservations well in advance of arrival, although there are just a few drive up sites available. Generally speaking, the campground is full night after night. There are only 25 sites and only around a third of them will accommodate a larger camper. I saw one 40’ motorhome arrive about dark. They looked at their site, realized they would never fit, and drove on out of the park. (Hopefully, they knew about the BLM Horsethief Campground nearby.) Also, the sites aren’t especially level. Most of them lean to the front or to the back but are okay side to side. Our 35’ 5th wheel pretty much used all the room available in our pull through site.
My Verizon phone worked, but data was intermittent and at times neither 3G nor 4G worked, even using a signal booster. At other times, I had a fairly decent data flow.
The sites all have 50 amp power, no water, and no sewer. Also, there is no water for a RV’s fresh water tanks in the campground. The nearest camper water tank fill up is available at the Shell station/RV park 20 miles away at the intersection of Highways 191 and 313.
However, I’ll add that there are modern, flush toilets in the campground. Also, there’s a sink with running water where dishes can be washed and drinking water containers can be filled. There’s also a dump station with a water faucet that can be used to rinse hoses, etc.
If you can get a spot that you can fit in, Dead Horse Point State Park is a terrific base of operations for visits to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and the Moab area in general. It’s not only handy for touring the area, but it’s a destination in its own right.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Canyonlands NP although we only saw the Island in the Sky and not The Maze or The Needles. Island in the Sky has good roads and is relatively easy to access. The other two are more remote requiring hiking and 4-wheeled vehicles. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and looked at the displays and watched the video introducing the park. I was surprised that in spite of it’s beauty Canyonlands was not made a National Park until 1964.
We followed the main route and took the short hike to Mesa Arch. While we were driving and talking about the park I accidentally said it was an “abunderful” place and it truly is both abundant and beautiful. Each overlook is breath-taking and the main stops are easy walks. Canyonlands National Park has been called the Grand Canyon of Utah. I can see the resemblance with its amazing canyons, beautiful colors, towers, and views of the Green and Colorado Rivers. We hope to visit this “abunderful” place again someday.
We arrived at this amazing park about noon, stopped at the visitor center, picked up a map then headed out. Be sure to bring drinking water or empty bottles and fill them at the visitor’s center.
We drove the 18 mile road and stopped at every major pull out. We saw arches, windows, sandstone fins and balanced rocks. We enjoyed seeing every thing and tried to capture it all with photos. One of the last stops was Delicate Arch. Our view from the lookout point was wonderful.
At one stop we took a free Ranger tour and learned the history of the park, the geological history, and how plants such as the yucca and Juniper and piñon trees were used by the indigenous people. It was very interesting walk although one place was a scramble and I need a hand to climb up it. I recommend taking at least one Ranger led tour.
An exciting moment happened early on as we were chatting with a Canadian couple when someone glided off some rocks across from us which is illegal here in the park.
It did get warm in the afternoon so I would recommend an early start. Every one should visit this park at least once.