Posts From USA

Lovely State Park (Farewell Bend State Park, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 3rd Jun, 2011 (day 2, miles 521)

We got underway early afternoon yesterday and made it as far as a rest stop just east of Hood River, OR. to read the full post

Nice day - annoying engine noise! (Three Island Crossing State ark, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 4th Jun, 2011 (day 3, miles 716)

We were greeted by another beautiful sunny day which made for pleasant driving. to read the full post

Shoshone Falls (Willard State Park, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 5th Jun, 2011 (day 4, miles 967)

Before setting out this morning we visited the small museum attached to the Park. The displays and short video gave a good explanation of the choice of this location for the crossing. to read the full post

First off-highway experience - bogged!! (Cove Mountain Road - Fishlake National Forest, USA)

Journal entry for Monday 6th Jun, 2011 (day 5, miles 1,203)

Today proved to be a day of diverse experiences. to read the full post

The ER's first big off-highway descent (Cathedral Valley Campground - Capitol Reef NP, USA)

Journal entry for Tuesday 7th Jun, 2011 (day 6, miles 1,299)

I cannot believe the weather. After a cool night with the temperature down into the high 30's we woke to another clear sunny day. to read the full post

Sight-seeing Cathedral Valley (Cedar Mesa Campground-Capitol Reef NP, USA)

Journal entry for Wednesday 8th Jun, 2011 (day 7, miles 1,437)

After the morning chores, which this morning included cleaning the solar panels, we set off down Cathedral Valley in bright sunshine and nice (moderate) temperatures. As you might have guessed from the name the road traveled down a valley between eroded rocky cliffs past a number of free standing rocky features that have been given names like Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Sun. One of the interesting features we passed was a large sinkhole carved by infrequent flood waters. At the southern end of the road the flat valley floor gave way to sandstone outcroppings and the road meandered through these for a number of miles before finally joining up with SR24. to read the full post

Some nice switchbacks (Star Spring Campground, USA)

Journal entry for Thursday 9th Jun, 2011 (day 8, miles 1,531)

Continuing south along the Notom-Bullfrog road this morning we had good views of Strike Valley, a distinct north-south valley formed by sandstone ridges on the east and west sides. to read the full post

A day unplanned (Near Natural Bridges National Monument, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 10th Jun, 2011 (day 9, miles 1,630)

One of the things we really like about low-key RV travel is that days take on a life of their own without us really knowing in advance what will come. to read the full post

Natural Bridges (Blanding, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 11th Jun, 2011 (day 10, miles 1,690)

Back in Natural Bridges National Monument this morning we walked the 0.6 miles and 500 ft up and down to view the Sipapu natural bridge. This is apparently the youngest of the three famous bridges seen from the road circuit in the park. The walk was amazingly strenuous considering its short length. to read the full post

Meeting other ER's (Comb Wash, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 12th Jun, 2011 (day 11, miles 1,731)

We spent a lazy morning at the RV park before heading to Blanding's visitors center to meet up with the group of ERs and the guide. Along the way we discovered that only the gas stations and the visitors center are open on a Sunday. to read the full post

Roast Pork (Elk Ridge, USA)

Journal entry for Monday 13th Jun, 2011 (day 12, miles 1,763)

After exiting camp we took a short but rocky side trail into the Indian ruins at Mule Canyon. There were remains of ceremonial towers built of stones and mud as well as some remains of cliff dwellings. We spent a couple of hours there all in all climbing up and down the canyon. to read the full post

Big and Little Notch (Elk Mountain, USA)

Journal entry for Tuesday 14th Jun, 2011 (day 13, miles 1,812)

We took a 15 minute walk to the end of the ridge this morning, what a spectacular view. Though not good for photographs as the light was into our face. to read the full post

Testing ERs - Rocky and steep (Elk Mountain, USA)

Journal entry for Wednesday 15th Jun, 2011 (day 14, miles 1,858)

Today we headed down into Ruin Park and the beginning of the Needles district. From our camp the route took us along North Long Point Road to the junction with Beef Basin Road and thence a descent into the valley of ruin park. Along the way we had some fine views of Canyonland to the north and stopped at some small ruins. to read the full post

Lockhart Basin Road (Indian Creek, USA)

Journal entry for Thursday 16th Jun, 2011 (day 15, miles 1,932)

By the time we were up and about this morning three of the ERs had already departed and a 4th (the one with Bill and Mike from the Earthroamer company) was about to get underway. that left only three ERs and Bill the guide. to read the full post

Regrouping in Moab (Moab, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 17th Jun, 2011 (day 16, miles 2,085)

A few miles to the blacktop of SR211, a few minutes to re-inflate our tires to highway pressures, and for a while at least our off-road adventures were over. to read the full post

Playing tourist (Canyonland NP, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 18th Jun, 2011 (day 17, miles 2,191)

Today we undertook the typical tourist activities around Moab. After the usual chores we headed out to Arches National Park joining a large throng of US and foreign visitors crowding the parking areas within the park to get a good look at, and walk up, close to those amazing stone structures. We have been to this park a number of times but the grandeur never fails to captivate us. to read the full post

Stuck and shoveling snow again (Paradox Valley, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 19th Jun, 2011 (day 18, miles 2,347)

Our plan for the day was an ascent into the La Sal Mountains on the east of Moab. These are in contrast to the red rock of Moab, The Arches and Canyonland. The La Sals which range up to over 12,000 ft are green and covered in pine and aspen. Our route took us south east of Moab and up a steep forest road with some impressive switchbacks. At about 9,000 ft we passed a car containing two WA tourists who were turning back as the road was too rocky for their hire car. We (unfortunately) continued. It was not long before we were passing small mounds of snow laying across the uphill edge of the road. This is a sign that you would think we would now know and take heed but no, we continued. After passing one particularly narrow section where we were squeezed between the snow on the uphill side and a steep drop and soft edge on the downhill side we came to a bank of snow completely covering the road. Progress was stopped. So we turned out attention to retracing our path. That is reversing as there was no possible chance of turning around. Our first attempt to reverse over the previously mentioned narrow section only succeeded in starting to collapse the downhill side of the trail. A new approach was called for - digging. to read the full post

The hanging flume and unexpected grandeur (Ruedi Resevoir White River NF, USA)

Journal entry for Monday 20th Jun, 2011 (day 19, miles 2,605)

What finds and unexpected beauty and granduer we had today. to read the full post

Towards the Denver area. Tomorrow we put the ER in for some repairs (Saint Vrain SP, USA)

Journal entry for Tuesday 21st Jun, 2011 (day 20, miles 2,831)

It was cloudy this morning as we left our camp beside the dam. However within an hour the sun had burned off the cloud and we had a fine day for our trip down the western slopes of the Rockies into the Denver area. Tomorrow we drop the ER at the Earthroamer factory for some repairs at their favourite Ford dealer. to read the full post

Start of a "mini adventure" (Rasar State Park, Hwy 20, USA)

Journal entry for Wednesday 6th Jul, 2016 (day 1, miles 138)

Nina and I are about start what I think of as a mini adventure. Between now and November we plan on doing some traveling in our Earthroamer. As is often the case for us the route is not well specified but will probably include a lot of time in the Western US and Western Canada. The goal of this exercise is entertainment and relaxation while my leg recovers enough to allow us to get back into the Unimog with its manual transmission and heavy clutch. to read the full post

Re-introduction to the Cascades (Kilpchuck Forest Camp Hwy 20, USA)

Journal entry for Thursday 7th Jul, 2016 (day 2, miles 237)

It is quit a few years since we last traveled highway 20 so today was by way of a re-introduction for us to the forests and spectacular mountains of the North Cascades, not to mention a dramatic change in climate from our recent months in Phoenix. to read the full post

Did I mention recuperation (Jone Bay Lake Roosevelt, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 8th Jul, 2016 (day 3, miles 393)

Last night camping spot (and its network of trails) gave us a chance to do a few miles of walking before we hit the road today. In case I have not mentioned it one of the goals for our mini-adventure is to see if we can maintain an exercise program while on the road. We have set this goal on previous trips but never seem to be able to stick to it. This time though there is added incentive and I need to exercise my recovering leg to re-build muscle and get some flexibility back into the damaged ankle. Thats the "recuperation" bit. to read the full post

Spokane River Walk (Beauty Creek Camp, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 9th Jul, 2016 (day 4, miles 524)

Spokane's River Walk provided the setting for todays entertainment and exercise. In addition to a nice 3 mile walk we got some sun (warn not hot), were entertained by the ducks on the river, and marveled at the competitiveness of young children as they raced stroller-bikes around a temporary track in the park beside the river. For those of you (like us) that do not know what stroller bikes are - they are bicycles without pedals that are propelled by pushing ones feet against the ground. to read the full post

The back blocks of Northern Idaho (Elk River Campground, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 10th Jul, 2016 (day 6, miles 636)

Today we were on the western side of the Clearwater National Forest south of Coeur D'Alene. Our route was south-ish and took us through interminable evergreen forests, on well made and maintained roads with little traffic. There was not much of specific note and as a result no photos for today. to read the full post

A camp fire and hair cut (Nelson Creek Hwy 14, USA)

Journal entry for Monday 11th Jul, 2016 (day 7, miles 736)

The highlight of this mornings travel was the Dent Bridge on the forest road between Elk River and Orofino, it spans the North Fork of the Clearwater River behind Dworshak dam and reservoir. Seems like this bridge is a big deal to the locals in terms of providing a shorter route from the Elk River region into Orofino, though we thought the description of the bridge(on one of the info signs) and "one of the most beautiful structures in America" was a bit excessive. to read the full post

Road Closed (Johnson Bar CG, USA)

Journal entry for Tuesday 12th Jul, 2016 (day 8, miles 892)

Some distance east of last nights our camp we came upon a couple of work crews fixing the road. The first of these was a small affair where a side creek had washed away the pavement. But the second was a major job. It seemed like an entire hillside had collapsed and slid over the road and there was a large crew of workmen, heavy machinery, and gravel trucks clearing the road and rebuilding the hillside. We had to wait a while at the western side of this work area for a pilot car to lead us through the workings. to read the full post

Photogenic little ctitters (Norton CG, USA)

Journal entry for Wednesday 13th Jul, 2016 (day 8, miles 1,060)

As you can see from the photos we spent a pleasant little interlude with a village of prairie dogs (I think they are prairie dogs?), we got their photos and they got bread. Seems like a reasonable trade, we guess "feeding the critters" is a common activity at this rest area (summit of Lolo Pass Hwy 12 MT). to read the full post

A couple of big horns (Lower Seymor Lake, USA)

Journal entry for Thursday 14th Jul, 2016 (day 9, miles 1,163)

This morning we followed a picturesque, but sometimes primitive, road along the banks of Rock Creek (in the Rock Creek Recreation Area, part of Beaverhead Deer Lodge NF). Beautiful scenery, perfect weather and even a couple of big horn sheep (making the most of a 'lick' left by a local farmer). to read the full post

Wisdom and new caps (Shoup Bridge Camp, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 15th Jul, 2016 (day 11, miles 1,278)

We finally got to the little town of Wisdom. MT this morning. We have in a very round about way) been heading towards this little town for the past week. Why you might ask, well in 2009 (on our Americas trip) Nina bought a purple cap covered in small mirrors in a store in this town. Later on that trip she exchanged it with a Peruvian lady for one of their local straw hats. Hence we were keen to get back to Wisdom to "get another". The store where the original hat was bought burned down 5 years ago but a new shop has been built on a nearby site and they had only two of the mirror covered caps left, both in shades of green. to read the full post

Camp cooking (Landmark Stanley RdA Place, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 16th Jul, 2016 (day 11, miles 1,420)

Tonight we camped beside a forest road in the Sawtooth Mountains of ID. This long and somewhat rough road connects the towns of Sunbeam and Cascade and seems to be very popular as we have seen lots of groups out camping. We deliberately sought out a forest camp tonight as we planned on cooking a "roast" dinner (pork loin, potatoes, carrots, and sweat potato) in a "dutch oven" and for this we needed a camp fire. lots of fire wood, and a place to dig a hole to partially bury the oven. Thus the informal camping spot we found for tonight was almost perfect. Except of course for the large stinging flies. to read the full post

A day of repairs (Rainbow Point, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 17th Jul, 2016 (day 12, miles 1,515)

Today turned out to be a day of repairs, or is it breakages. Continuing from last nights camping spot the road into Cascade continued to be rough (lots of traffic and little maintenance of the road seems like the cause) and so we bumped over rocks and wash-boards for many hours. We visited the old mining ghost town of Deadwood, (the old hotel and a couple of other buildings are still evident),bumped into a number of groups of riders, and generally enjoyed the spectacular scenery and wonderfully sunny day. to read the full post

A hot afternoon (Hells Canyon, USA)

Journal entry for Monday 18th Jul, 2016 (day 13, miles 1,617)

The lake (beside the campground) looked really pretty this morning with glass smooth water(the first 3 photos). The remainder of the day was a pleasant and relaxed drive to Brownlee Reservoir at the southern end of Hells Canyon. We were lucky enough to find an informal camping spot right on the shore and idled away the late afternoon and evening with a walk along the nearby road way and cooking a dinner of rice-a-riso (we are becoming quite fond of that particular meal). to read the full post

Cemetery (Hwy 5 West of Cavalier, USA)

Journal entry for Tuesday 11th Oct, 2016 (day 78, miles 8,272)

It was still raining this morning when we woke in the parking lot at Winnipeg airport so we were quite keen to get going in the hope that the weather would be better farther south. That was not to be however. Once across the border into the US we left the interstate highway and followed a series of rural roads with intermittent heavy rain. It seemed to be harvesting season for some kind of root crop in this part of North Dakota and the harvesting process covered the rural roads with a nice layer of slippery mud. to read the full post

Country North Dakota (New Rockford, USA)

Journal entry for Wednesday 12th Oct, 2016 (day 79, miles 8,434)

Better weather today as we continued south through ND along rural roads and flat farming country. The crops have changed a bit, more grain, and no sign of the root crops I thought we saw yesterday. to read the full post

Sunflowers (Tschedia Lake, USA)

Journal entry for Thursday 13th Oct, 2016 (day 80, miles 8,647)

Nina started the day with a longish walk around the campground and local area (and has included a bunch of photos of last nights camping spot in todays entry). Another sunny day and again we are traveling south through ND. Today we passed many fields of sunflower that seem completely dried out and are a dark brown color. Initially when we saw the first of these fields from a distance we thought it was freshly plowed ground. to read the full post

Wall drug, the badlands (Badlands National Park, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 14th Oct, 2016 (day 81, miles 8,912)

We transitioned into South Dakota today and towards the end of the day we pulled into the little town of Wall SD, which if you probably know is famous for Wall Drug, a unique style of business that started life as a real (and unsuccessful) drug store back in the 1930s. Unsuccessful that is until the owners decided to offer passing travelers free ice water. Today it is a massive complex of mismatched buildings selling all kinds of stuff from junky souvenirs to high end leather goods, ice cream and fast food. Since its first founding two nearby tourist attractions (Mount Rushmore and The Badlands National Park) have come into existence and one assumes they contribute significantly to the evident success of Wall Drug. to read the full post

El Morro (El Morro Nat Mon, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 21st Oct, 2016 (day 88, miles 10,504)

After a restful night in our roadside stop we made our way south to I40 and followed it for a while to the town of Grants where Nina took the opportunity to take a walk around the little town and captured some photos of the town's decorative water feature. From Grants we turned south along NM53 looking for a place to spend the night. As we traveled 53 we started seeing signs for The Ice Caves and since there was no way there could be ice in this hot climate started discussing what they could really be. Thus intrigued, when we finally got to the gates of Ice Caves (a privately owned and run tourist attraction) we went in to investigate and discovered that there really was ice, but more of that in tomorrows entry as for now we needed to find a camping spot for the night. to read the full post

Ice Caves ! (Concho Valley, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 22nd Oct, 2016 (day 89, miles 10,643)

Today was a real sight-seeing day. We started by returning to those Ice Caves and discovered that there really is a cave with natural ice in it. Indeed we eventually discovered that back in the early part of the 20th century before this area had electricity and refrigerators the ice was mined to supply the iceboxes of local inhabitants. Apparently the mining ceased in the late 1940s and since that time the ice has recovered and there is more of it today then there was in those days. Is seems I may have confused some readers. Despite the heading to this entry (Concho AZ) the Ice caves are actually in New Mexico. The apparent mistake is a conflict between where we were traveling during the day and where we stayed the night. The heading to the entry gives the name of the place we spent the night. to read the full post

A few days in Phoenix (Apache Junction, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 23rd Oct, 2016 (day 92, miles 10,814)

Today we were headed towards Phoenix and a couple of days of business. From Cocho Valley (on AZ61) we made our way to Show Low and picked up AZ 60 to Globe and then into the KOA at Apache Junction. We have traveled this route a number of times but even so the spectacular Snake River valley is worth a stop and a few photos. to read the full post

Night in the desert (Quartzite, USA)

Journal entry for Wednesday 26th Oct, 2016 (day 93, miles 11,004)

With our business in Phoenix complete we are on our way again on what will be the final leg of this particular adventure as we are now destined for our home in WA via the Saltan Sea. The complication for this next leg is that we are now in two vehicles as one of the reasons for passing through Phoenix was to collect my pickup-truck that was stored down here (don't ask). The goal today was simply to get under way, we made it to the desert just near Quartzite. to read the full post

Salton Sea (Yucca Valley, USA)

Journal entry for Thursday 27th Oct, 2016 (day 94, miles 11,243)

This afternoon we made a stop at the Salton Sea in Southern California. Our plan was this would be our only sight-seeing stop on this leg of the trip. After all we are on our way home and driving two vehicles so it is really two solo trips. The nature of this leg also means that there will be little or no blog updates. I will include an entry for each day, with Nina' photos (when there are some) to make sure the map tracks our route. But since we are driving-to-get-there I expect nothing of note to say. Hence, for a while this blog will be dormant. to read the full post

Nothing to say - just motoring (Independence, USA)

Journal entry for Friday 28th Oct, 2016 (day 95, miles 11,499)

A beautiful cold morning (Beckworth Pass, USA)

Journal entry for Saturday 29th Oct, 2016 (day 96, miles 11,763)

Travelin (Hwy 395, USA)

Journal entry for Sunday 30th Oct, 2016 (day 97, miles 11,987)

Really nothing to say or see to read the full post

Home today, mushrooms in our garden (Government Camp, USA)

Journal entry for Monday 31st Oct, 2016 (day 98, miles 12,255)

Just to remind anyone who is still reading this site. We are going to be off the air for a while as we have a couple of non adventure trips planned and will not be reporting those on the blog. So don't look for any updates until the new year. to read the full post