A Travellerspoint blog

Hiking in Bryce Canyon

We took the grandkids for a hike thru the hoodoos

sunny 85 °F

We’d planned to leave early for Bryce Canyon, to beat the heat over the steep stretches of Hwy 191. Of course, we didn’t pack anything after our campfire dessert and didn’t wake up early.

The trip to Bryce took about 8 hours, including bathroom stops and a lunch stop. We did beat the worst of the heat and the stretch south has a shorter uphill, but the downhill is steep and long. Best to let the engine do the braking if possible.

We didn’t have a campsite reservation at Bryce Canyon and were a little concerned, however, there were many sites available. Many sites are sloped but most in Loop A are a pull thru making it easy to park.

After running amok, the grandkids settled in for the evening.

Wednesday morning all of us slept in late. Grandkids ran, hiking up to the top of a hill. They ran back yelling that they saw the entire canyon. They had found the rim trail.

We were really tired of being on the road so it was nice to stay put while kids made up games like “hit the rock across the picnic table with sticks, making mud structures, and playing walking talkie. Fortunately, we were within walking distance to the Visitor’s Center, so picked up Jr. Ranger books, and watched the movie.

Thursday was our big day. We’d decided to go to breakfast at the Bryce Canyon Lodge then hike down into the canyon. We got dressed and drove to the Bryce Canyon Lodge arriving at 10:15, only to find that the dining room closed at 10am. Kids were not happy campers.

We ate breakfast at the RV and then hopped on the shuttle to Sunset Point for our hike. The hike we wanted to take the kids on was the Navajo loop taking the cutoff at the bottom to the Wall Street trail. We’d read to hike counterclockwise but the aide at the top of the trail recommend hiking clockwise. As we walked down the trail we saw that the Navajo trail was steep and in the sun. We were glad that we’d checked beforehand as the Wall Street was much shadier and had a breeze. Several people hiking up the Navajo trail were in trouble with the heat and sun.
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https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

Kids ran down then up the 1.5-mile of trails, but I hoped they looked around at the beautiful hoodoos. Hopefully, they will remember this trip for its unique beauty.

Posted by Miss Chris 19:58 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature hiking national_park outdoors grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra bryce_canyon_national-park Comments (0)

A Day With the Dinosaurs

A day in Dinosaur National Monument

sunny 90 °F

The drive from Cedar City was hot and long. We’d forgotten how long of a steep grade we had to drive over. If you are planning a trip over Hwy 191 into Vernal, then just beware and be prepared.

We arrived in Dinosaur about 6pm, found our campsite and unpacked. We had thought that it would be nice and cool but alas, it was very warm. Fortunately, the evenings cool off nicely. After dinner and a campfire, we turned in for a much-needed sleep.

Monday morning, we got an early start. We wanted to go on the ranger-led hike at 10am and then visit the Quarry site. There are other sites I’d like to visit and photograph, but it will need to be another trip.

We got to the Visitor’s center in time to buy forgotten hats before catching the tram to the top of the hill. The quarry, where Dino’s were discovered, is at the top of the hill and the hike is out of the quarry area.

https://www.nps.gov/dino/index.htm

The Quarry is the hill where Dinosaur bones were discovered and taken from and then others exposed. A building was built along the hill protecting the exposed bones and allowing for inspection by the public.

The ranger-led hike goes down into the canyon from the quarry. One goes forward in time, from when an ocean was covering the area. Wave prints are visible in the rocks as well as exposed dinosaur bones from 150 million years ago. It was great for the kids to get a visual experience in reading time in the rocks and seeing a real deposit of dinosaur bones.

On our hike was the man and his son who were camped across the road from us. At the campground, we’d said hi and kids had played some together. On the hike, we got to be better acquainted.
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We finished up our hike, and the plan was to find a picnic table, finish up the Jr. Ranger books, eat lunch stored in our electric ice chest in the truck, get Jr Ranger badges and a couple of souvenirs, then go back to the campground.

Great plans foiled again! We found that our built-in inverter had stopped working so the food in the ice chest was getting warm. Then we realized that the sandwich bread had been left back at the RV. So much for sandwiches!

We ate some pieces of turkey and cartons of yogurts then went into the visitor’s center for the Jr. Ranger badges and a little souvenir. Kids chose small magnifying glasses and Emilio, dino toys.

Starving, we piled into the truck only to discover why our inverter quit. The battery was completely dead. Dale tried to find someone to give us a jump while I went into the Visitors Center to see if I could get us help in there. Alas, I was told to call Emergency Roadside which was all well and good except that my phone was at 1% and our AAA card was back in the RV. Fortunately, another GM truck owner came to our rescue, gave us a jump and we were on our way.

Arriving back at our campsite, our new friends, Zac (the dad) and Benjamin (the son) came over. Benjamin came to play with the kids and then dad (encouraged by us) brought his camp chair and chatted.
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Benjamin ate some additional dinner with us and Zac brought over their smores makings. Around our campfire adults drank wine while kids gorged on smores.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:26 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature hiking outdoors grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra dinosaur_national_monument Comments (0)

A Real Adventure To Start A Grandkids Trip

Spending time in the ER is not the way to start a trip

We’d promised a grandkids trip to the 4 middles, ages 5-11 and thought that a trip that included Dinosaur National Monument for our 5-year-old obsessed with Dinos, would be good. We had put off the trip for a variety of reasons, and finally were running out of time before school started. As school is starting next week and kids clamoring to go, now was the time to put up or not!

We decided to leave early Saturday morning and beat the heat over the pass. That meant shopping with 4 kids on Friday: Costco, Trader Joe’s, and the local supermarket. Of course, we had so much food that the RV fridge couldn’t hold anything more and we had to use our electric ice chest.
Saturday morning came too early as we’d been up packing until 2a.m. We didn’t wake up super early and still had food to pack. Finally, at the late hour of 9am we drove away.
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The drive thru Las Vegas was really hot and super slow over the passes but we made it past St George where it was slightly cooler by 10pm. We found a rest stop for the night believing that it would be quiet and restful.

The RV was quite warm, so we opened the windows and the door, with the screen shut. A truck pulled up beside us with a refrigerator running, making a racket. As the kids were complaining about the racket I thought I’d shut the main door. I opened the screen and stepped, not onto the steps, but rather into the air, about a 3-1/2’ drop. Apparently, I smacked down onto the pavement, hitting the left side of my head.

Dale said I screamed, a scream that he said he cannot forget. He put the steps down then helped me up. Blood seemed to be pouring from my head. I thought that I should go to an emergency room as my head was hurting and still bleeding. Poor grandkids were so scared, but we thought to put on a video, so they became occupied quickly.

At the ER, they took a CAT scan and pronounced my brain was intact. One friend commented that “at least they found a brain”, which is better than no brain probably! I told the Dr. that I bonked my head but didn’t knock any sense into it. He asked if any anyone caught me treading air on video? Well, fortunately, no one caught that act on video, so I would not be appearing on stupid-stunt videos.
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I got a pill, something strong, to reduce the swelling, and make me sleep. Unfortunately, it was like Codeine which keeps me awake. I left with instructions for massages, foot rubs and ice cream in bed.

We stayed camped in the hospital parking lot for the night and by morning the swelling was down. Unfortunately, I was awake most of the night, so I was ready to sleep.

Like another friend said, “not a good way to start an adventure”.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:10 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra Comments (0)

A Road Trip With No Point

At least we could eat

rain 37 °F

We had Zaya and needed to get her back to her parents. We thought we’d get her to Reno where we could meet our kids, saving them time. As they live north of Reno, they could drive down to meet. Then realized that, if we were going to Reno anyway, we should ski at Tahoe. I looked at the weather and it was supposed to be great skiing on Monday and Tues.

By Sunday, we remembered that Dale had an appointment on Wed a.m. and then we saw that the storm wasn’t going to hit until Tues/Wed. We decided to leave on Wed after his appointment, ski Thurs with Zaya then meet our kids on Friday. We’d stay at our favorite place, the Peppermill, in Reno.

We packed all set to ski and drove off, unfortunately, mid-Wed afternoon. This meant that the Buffet was not going to be open for dinner. Then as we were driving I checked the weather for Boreal and saw that it was actually raining at the base and forecast to rain on Thurs. By this time we were already committed to meeting Nate and Bekki and our room had a non-cancelation clause.

We had no problems going over I-80 as it was mostly raining, nothing heavy, but rain nevertheless. The forecast that night was rain at the base of Boreal for most of Thurs.

The buffet closed as we arrived so we opted to eat at the café, a place where we often eat a late dinner. I like to play Keno with dinner, so I filled out my 3 numbers. I only had $12 so marked 2-$5.00 games. The Keno lady came by and suggested that I play 5-$2 games instead and I thought why not. Wouldn’t you know, the first game I had all 3 numbers winning $86, however, if I’d played the 2 games as I’d planned the prize was $250! Alas….
Thurs morning, we slept in and weather still was forecast to rain then turn to snow. Instead of skiing, we headed down to the buffet to console ourselves with food. We were in touch with Nate and Bekki and we agreed that we’d call as we were leaving.

As we were finishing breakfast we were talking about how we’d promised our middle son, Justin, that we’d bring his kids up maybe over the weekend so that they could visit Nate and Bekki. Let’s see now- it’s Friday and we are going to come back over the weekend? What kind of stupid plan was that? And Zaya wouldn’t care if boys skied but she couldn’t? Not one of our better ideas.
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We called Nate and Bekki and suggested that we simply go back home with Zaya in tow, pick up boys then start the trip all over again.
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Oh well, we had a nice road trip!

Posted by Miss Chris 13:36 Archived in USA Tagged snow road_trip travel snowstorm grandkids sierras gmc_sierra Comments (0)

Road Trip Delays

You just can't make this stuff up

storm 30 °F

We had planned to stay home for a change and start remodeling the house, but then our son asked if we’d help with their move back to Northern Calif, Surprise Valley. That sounded easy enough: pick up a cargo trailer (none near him) and go to Hollister on Tues, load up the trailer then drive up to Surprise Valley. Turn around on Wed, spend the night in Reno and get home on Thurs. All well and great plans.

We were so confident of our plans that we did not bring many snacks as we’d be on the road. Didn’t bring food for meals because we’d be eating out. Well…..

By the time we got to Hollister, it was mid-afternoon. Nate needed tires and off we went to see about getting tires switched out. We all realized that we’d be spending the night in Hollister so had to buy groceries for dinner.
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Wed morning, we got up and finished loading the trailer and stuffed the pickup as full as possible, leaving 1 seat up for our 2-year-old grandson, Jasper. We had our 9-year-old granddaughter sit in the middle front with all kinds of stuff on the floor at my feet.

I’d checked the roads and there didn’t seem to be anything amiss over I-80, the shorter route. This route goes thru Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. The weather didn’t show that storms would hit right away so off we went.

We were driving along I-80 when it started snowing. Traffic started slowing down, then way down, then it stopped. Snow was falling harder by then. Soon we came to a chain control stop. We assumed that we’d be fine as we have nearly new snow tires, but alas, that was not to be.

The CHP stopped us and said that because we were towing a trailer that we had to have chains on both the truck and the trailer. We had chains for our truck but not the trailer so were told to get off at the next exit and buy chains for the trailer at the station, after which we could continue down the highway.

Dale was driving, it was snowing hard and we did not see the station until we were passing by. Oops! We got off on the next exit, one where nothing was and Dale put the chains on the truck. We figured that those were better than nothing. Dale was just getting them tightened when someone came by and said that the chain requirement had been lifted. Off came the chains. Now that Dale was wet and hands frozen we started back where we’d left off.

About 5 miles down the road, there was another slowdown. Another chain checkpoint. Here we were stopped again, This time the CHP told us that the truck must have chains on but the trailer tires did not need them. This time we got off at the next exit, stopped at the gas station, put on the truck chains and drove to the on-ramp.
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At the on-ramp, Cal Trans was inspecting vehicles getting onto the I-80. The inspector took one look at us and stopped us. He said we had to have chains on the trailer in addition to the truck and that we could make a u-turn then go back and buy chains or cables for the trailer tires. Back we went to the station, bought cables and put them on the tires.

As Dale was putting the cables on I noticed something on the back tire of the trailer. With a closer look, it appeared that a link of a chain had been picked up by the tire and appeared to be embedded.

We were approved finally continue our journey and while Dale drove I called U-Haul, where we’d picked up the trailer. After a 2nd call to them, I was told to call their roadside service. Roadside asked if we felt air leaking out. I said no, we didn’t notice so we were told to keep driving and just check the tire. If there were problems then we were to call back.

We stopped outside of Reno to check the tire, no problems. Then we decided to also get fuel. Dale got out and was getting the fuel going, I got out with Zaya to make a pitstop. I left Jasper in his seat as Dale was by the truck. When I closed the door I head the sound of the doors locking. My first thought was NO!!!! This can’t be. We tried all of the doors and they were locked. Dale’s key in the ignition, mine in my purse. Fortunately, we got Jasper to push the lock button and he unlocked the doors. We didn’t have to call AAA. We finally got back on the road and off to Nate and Bekki’s arriving 5 hours late, starving and tired.

We wanted to get an early start on Thurs for home as we now had a very long day of driving. We thought that we’d start unloading what we could. Dale and I unloaded the bikes off the bed of the truck then Dale went to reposition the trailer so we could have it closer to their ranch house.
As Dale was backing up I was pointing for him to move it more to the left. Then it caught my eye, the tire was white. At first, I thought that it was white mud but I knew that it couldn’t be mud. I walked over to the trailer and the tire was completely gone from the rim. I thought we were done with all of this!
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I called U-Haul and explained that the tire was now completely gone. Now we had another delay, waiting for someone to come and replace the tire in the middle of nowhere. Finally, by 3pm we were able to start for home.

Now if all of there were not enough, Nate had packed and was carrying most of the food. I’d packed up a few yogurts, rice rollers, cookies, granola bars for each Bekki and our vehicles. We assumed that we would arrive in time to make dinner. I’d also put some gluten free pasta and sauce in Bekki’s car because we knew she’d arrive before the rest of us as we were towing the trailer and Nate would be behind us. Well, that was all the food we had with us. So when Nate did not arrive until noon we’d eaten about everything there was. We didn’t starve but there were slim pickings.
Then our granddaughter was eating a piece of beef jerky when she said, “my tooth broke”. Sure enough, a piece of her tooth came out along with blood. She thought she’d bitten into a piece of bone. Bekki took her to the closest dentist, an hour away, only to find that her permanent tooth was pushing the baby tooth out, weakening it so when she bit into the jerky the tooth fell apart. Fortunately, we met Bekki on the road traded Zaya and kept driving for home.
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Enough adventures for 1 trip.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:19 Archived in USA Tagged snow road_trip travel snowstorm grandkids sierras gmc_sierra Comments (0)

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