Travel trials, tribulations and tidbits

People tell us all the time they wish the could do what we’re doing, living on the road and seeing the USA. This is one of the first couples we started following on the ‘net as they love to hike as they travel. They’ve just concluded their five year long retirement dream to not only see all the contiguous states but also much in Canada and even trekked in Mexico. Their map is great and they’ve included lots of stats as they wind down. We hope to get back to blogging as we hit the road again.
We’re in Jacksonville, Florida so that’ll be our next post.

Lowes Travels

This is the final segment to wrap up the first chapter of our RV travels.  The previous segment with our statistics is here.

As we reviewed the 422 posts that we published along the way, we recalled many fond memories and also came up with some fun tidbits that we thought were unforgettable, surprising, scary, stressful or fascinating experiences.  Compiling this collection made us pause and reflect on how many wonderful experiences we’ve had while on the road.

We faced our first major challenge just as we started the journey at Pleasanton, CA.  A hydraulic failure left our jacks and slides extended, and we learned a lot about that system during the next 3 weeks that it took to get it fixed (under warranty, fortunately).  Since that time we’ve dealt with many minor water leaks, a dead video camera, an intermittent engine cooling issue, refrigerator problems and other things that we consider part of the joy of moving…

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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

To break up our beach adventure, here’s The Places They Go’s amazing blog. Here they are near Big Pine, California. These pictures are incredible. Who knew California had scapes like these!

Oh, the Places They Go!

Bishop, CA

On Sunday we made the short trip from Lee Vining to Bishop, CA, a distance of about sixty-three miles and are set up in Highlands RV Park for a week.

Rte. 395 looking west with Highlands RV on the right

On Monday morning Dave and Sue joined us for a visit to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest outside Big Pine, CA.  We drove south on Rte. 395 for about twenty miles, then turned east on Rte. 168.

Looking east on Rte. 168 toward the White Mountains

Rte. 168 is a nicely paved two lane road that frequently undulates while it twists and turns heading into the mountains.  At one point for about a mile it narrows to just a bit over one lane in width.  Fortunately traffic is sparse and we didn’t meet anyone heading west.

The “narrows” of Rte. 168

Thirteen miles up (and we mean “up” as…

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Hiking to Parker Lake and Some Hot Water

Two of our favorite hikers, who blog and post pictures beautifully! Join us in this fabulous journey!

Oh, the Places They Go!

Lee Vining, CA

On Wednesday morning we drove south of our RV park here in Lee Vining to explore the June Lake Scenic Loop,  a loop road about 15 miles long that passes by a number of beautiful lakes.  But first we needed to fill the Jeep’s tank with fuel, a painful experience in the mountains of California!


About twelve miles south of Lee Vining we turned west on to the loop road.  After about a mile the road crests a hill and June Lake comes into view.

June Lake

At the Boulder Lodge we stopped to get a close-up view of the lake.  No need to guess where the lodge gets its name.

A few miles further around the loop we spotted some water spilling over the rocks above us.  A little research revealed it to be Horseshoe Falls.

Horseshoe Falls from a distance

A closer look reveals the waterfall…

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Last Days in Park City

This blog has something for everyone! We’ve never been to the beautiful state of Utah. What a great post to give us a taste, and as usual, beautiful photos!

Oh, the Places They Go!

Park City, UT

Friends Steve and Joan (FOSJ) have been spending the last few months working with a company that surveys roads for the Bureau of Land Management.  They are currently in Nephi, UT, about 75 miles to the south of Park City.  We emailed back and forth about getting together and, since they have never been to Park City, they volunteered to drive up for the day.

Steve and Joan

Once they arrived we drove to the north of Park City to visit the Utah Olympic Park.  During the 2002 games the park hosted the bobsled, skeleton, luge, ski jumping, and Nordic combined events.  Today it serves as a training center for Olympic and development level athletes.  We visited the park about ten years ago and enjoyed watching summer aerial training.  Fortunately there were skiers training again, so we were able to watch more jumpers.

The many slopes

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Fall Foliage and the Fabulous Flat Tops Wilderness

I’m making so many new friends in the blogosphere! Here is another awesome post about one of my favorite states to live and vacation in, Colorado! Aren’t these pictures fabulous and the history of the area so interesting?

travel magnolia

Trappers Lake, Flat Tops Wilderness Area, Meeker, Colorado Trappers Lake

As Joni Mitchell observed in her classic Big Yellow Taxi, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” The vast wilderness encountered in the United States west even through the early 20th century has been eroded by development. Fortunately, the National Parks and National Forests along with many state and local agencies have preserved enough open spaces for visitors to enjoy.

Trappers Lake, Flat Tops Wilderness Area, Meeker, Colorado One of the 110 lakes in the Flat Tops Wilderness

While people are familiar with Yellowstone, Yosemite and Glacier National Parks, leading to traffic jams, overflowing parking lots and other annoyances, there are terrific destinations waiting to be explored, such as Sheep Creek Canyon (see previous post Rocky Mountain Road Trip) and the Flat Tops Wilderness Area in northwest Colorado.

Trappers Lake, Flat Tops Wilderness Area, Meeker, Colorado Heading to Big Fish Lake

In three days of fishing, horseback riding and hiking, we saw virtually  no one…

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Roaming Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Since we’re not traveling, might as well continue to share some of our favorite bloggers and RV travelers fabulous posts. I lived in Colorado for six years, from about 4 years old to 10. My childhood memories were captured here! Then I took my husband there for vacation twice, in September (and we did go to Pikes Peak and experienced a blizzard) and he fell in love with it as well. We can’t wait to take our RV there. One day…..

Lowes Travels

We’re back in Colorado, and this time we’ll hang around the central and western areas of the state until the threat of nasty weather runs us off to warmer grounds.  The first time we stayed in Colorado last spring we were enthralled with the beautiful scenery around us, and the many iconic outdoor places to explore and visit.

On the current migration toward our southern winter destination we’re climbing over the Rockies on I-70.  Our first stop includes a long-anticipated visit to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).

Boyd Lake State Park A morning crescent moon (with Venus nearby) appears  at Boyd Lake State Park

A 5:30am wakeup at our home base at Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland gave us an early start toward RMNP, which allowed us to avoid the crowds for several hours.  Leaving before sunrise also rewarded us with an alpenglow as the sun slowly rose to awaken the sleeping giants:

Alpen Glow

Some 4-legged morning greeters were on hand as we entered the park:

Elk, Rocky Mountain National Park Our greeters…

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A few days in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia

Here is another Travel Adventure blogger we follow. She’s in our territory here and this is a must visit place next time we are in the area! Enjoy another view of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian mountains.

Wandering Dawgs

Fall was in the air when we arrived in Virginia. In just a few days we went from hot and muggy to crisp and cool. Our shorts and tee shirts were traded for jeans and sweatshirts. The air conditioner was turned off and the windows were open to let the fresh air in. And the best part was campfires at night.

We love to stay at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, Virginia when we visit our daughter’s family. We had a great time hanging out with our grandkids in their new home and meeting their two new kittens. Watching our granddaughter’s swim team practice and our grandson’s soccer game were the highlights of this trip and the reason we came up here.

Morning walk at Claytor Lake State Park Morning walk at Claytor Lake State Park

Sadly, we couldn’t spend every minute with the family so we spent some time exploring the area. This was our…

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So much to do in the Black Hills of South Dakota

One day, we will make it here…and hopefully, with our two grandsons if their parents will let us have them one summer! I know their parents will want to come, too, though. Hope we can work it out!

Lowes Travels

When there are many things to see and do in an area, we try to prioritize what we would like to experience and accept the reality that we can’t do it all.  Leaving a few items unchecked gives us a good reason to come back and enjoy the area again.

Such was the case here in the Black Hills area.  Our wildlife encounters were just half the fun.  Then there were monuments to marvel at, historic towns to visit, scenery to take in, amazing geologic formations to enjoy and a little history to learn.  And I must not forget one of the most important activities – hitting the trails!  So much to do in so little time – and to think we were here for two weeks!

First, the monuments –

With more than 175 miles of mapped and surveyed passageways, Jewel Cave National Monument is the third-longest cave in the world.  To get underground we joined the…

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