2014 Adventure Wrap-Up

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.

Shortstop: Wasatch View Estates

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.

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Campground review: Dead Horse Point State Park, UT

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.

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2014 Canyonlands National Park, Utah

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.

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2014 – Arches National Park, Utah

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.

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RV Park Review – Horsethief Campground – Moab, UT

Horsethief Campground is a great campground for people who don’t mind being off the grid, who want a very quiet campground, who enjoy beautiful sunsets and star lit nights. My Verizon phone managed to get a few bars of cell service but data limped along with an occasional 1X connect. The roads and sites are all good gravel and the pit toilets are clean and have no “outhouse” odor. On our senior pass we stayed for $7.50 a night (others pay $15). It’s about 30 minutes into Moab, but the entrance to the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands is nearby.

While Jackie and I would prefer full hookups with maybe a pool, we found this dry camping experience to be an occasional acceptable alternative, especially when it is being done for a good reason (like visiting two awesome national parks). We’re not ready to join the solar-powered boondocking crowd on a regular basis, but staying at Horsethief does allow us to see a bit of what draws them to this style of camping.

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