The GRAND Tetons!


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-08-2008

On my 48th birthday, we started our trek in Utah, then drove through Idaho, Montana and ended up at the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.  We drove through Yellowstone (our next adventure) to get to the Tetons and had the most beautiful day!

We visited the World Potato Museum in Blackfoot Idaho and learned more about potatoes than we EVER knew! Nikki was in heaven as potatoes are her favorite food and we had to get her a very funny potato t-shirt!

We walked to the beautiful Jackson lake at the base of the Tetons. We had a  yummy birthday Mexican style dinner made, of course, by Ken.  (ONE of his new “careers” is being a chef!)   The view was out of a fairy tale!

We blew our second jack out but were level enough not to feel too slanted to the right! 

Our next trek: TWO WEEKS in Yellowstone!

Salt Lake City


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-08-2008

We stayed at a perfectly manicured campground (Pony Express) where the kids swam in a salt water pool and played at the cool playground into the night.  We have never seen a campground which was so clean and spotless!!  No dirt to be found anywhere! 

The girls and I spent a day in the city to get my hair and nails done. I was looking a bit like a mountain woman with 10 weeks in an RV and needed to spiffy up!  We had SO much fun walking around this pretty city!

We all toured “Temple Square” and got to see the amazing headquarters of a world religion.  What beautiful buildings and gardens in this area! 

Part of the reason we came to Salt Lake City was for our annual business convention.  My wonderful friends, Darcy and Marcilynn,  flew in for the Convention.  The three of us bunked up at a hotel in the city and had a special few days working together, drinking together (no easy feat in SLC!) and sharing our dreams together.   It was so hard to say good-bye!

We had dinner at a Brazilian churrascaria on Ken’s birthday with the kids, Darcy and Marcilynn. Eating that much meat on a stick brought us back to our memories of Brazil!  Thanks Darcy for being such a trooper given you are a vegetarian!  

Marcilynn spent two nights in our RV before making the trip back to Indiana. Our FIRST overnight guest in our new home and it really wasn’t THAT tight a fit!!  (Okay it was a bit tight but we are among friends!) 

On the way to take Marcilynn to the airport, I dropped off Ken and the kids at The Great Salt Lake! We had to see it!  The kids floated in this amazing (and quite odd) lake because of the lake is up to FIVE times saltier than the ocean.  They caught brine shrimp while floating.  Now that’s a cool way to fish! 

From urban SLC back into the wilderness and Teton National Park.

Provo and Utah Lake


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-08-2008

On our way to Provo. . .a night at Walmart! 

We had to experience what many RVers have done before us and spend the night in a Walmart parking lot!! It actually was GREAT as we were in need of a wide array of groceries and stocked up!  Can’t beat the price of “free!”  We did our banking at Wells Fargo, conveniently located in the parking lot along with dinner at a great new China Buffet in the very same parking lot!  Even got the oil changed on the van while we shopped! 

A visit to Provo Utah:

After spending our time at some of the west’s most amazing National Parks, it was a different experience to stay at a private campground again.  The RV park was clean and nice and the kids played in the pool by day and we all watched the Olympics by night.

Andrew and Ken did some serious fishing at Utah Lake, walking distance down the road for us.  Andrew caught a whopping 25 FISH in one morning and donated them to the nice couple next to him that looked really hungry and weren’t too good at fishing! 

We took a great bike ride along a long path which hugged the river and went through fields of horses.   It’s always so nice to find paths that don’t go along streets with cars. 

From Provo, onto a more urban environment in Salt Lake City. . .

Zion National Park – a place we will never forget


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-08-2008

We really had NO idea what to expect in Zion.  We try not to look up anything prior to our visit so we can see the new location with fresh eyes.  Our first introduction to this park was when the ranger informed us that we would have to pay a $15 fee to have him escort our RV through the mile long tunnel.  We (I mean KEN) had to drive it right in the middle of the tunnel which as 13’ high and the sides of the tunnel are a mere 11’ (The RV is 12′ 10″ high!!!).  The ranger had to stop the oncoming traffic so we could hog the tunnel and make it through without peeling off any of the paint on the top! 

We camped right on the river and it was a big enough river for the kids to tube down it.  Most people had these expensive tube rentals which were big and strong.  Our kids, well, they had the $3 ones we bought at Target and boy could they feel the rocks along the bums!  It was such fun sitting along the river and awaiting the arrival of our offspring on their tubes, screaming all the way! 

There were great bike paths throughout the park and we all took a long ride along the river and through the “no cars/shuttle only” area.   We sgot to see, up close, amazing views of the magnificent cliffs and rock formations.

Each morning, Ken and I would take a bike ride to a local little java place.  We sat on the roof top deck and planned out our lives.  Quite special time. 

The park has amazing hikes all throughout it.  One of the most famous hikes is “Angels Landing”.  When the shuttle bus driver talked about this hike, she said, “It is not for anyone afraid of heights”.  Why did I then blurt out,”Hey Ken, what about hiking Angels Landing?  Of course he said “YES!” (being the adventurous man who left the corporate world behind!).  SO, Andrew, Ken and I left at 6:30AM for this infamous trail.  The hike is 5 miles and goes up 1500’. The last half mile had sheer drops on both sides – one 1200’ and the other 800”, You had to hold a metal chain to avoid falling off. But it was worth it – what a view!  I am so glad I did it and can check that one off my list! 

From this special National Park, we set our sites on Provo, a town along near Utah Lake. . .



Bruce Canyon NP and the Hoodoos!


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-08-2008

Bryce National Park was really a one of a kind place.  Anyone ever heard of “hoodoos?”  They are amazing rock formations unlike anything we had ever seen.  It was as if we landed on another planet.  We took a hike through the “Queen’s Garden” and got up close and personal with these rock “sculptures”.  We make the 3 mile trek (in 85 degree weather) with only bottle of water for the 5 of us. We declared Andrew the “water boy” after this debockle! (What were we thinking??) 

Ken, Poohnut and I woke up one morning at 5:30AM to watch the sunrise over the canyon.  Then we made sure to watch the sunset as well.  Lighting really makes the canyon come alive and changes so much of its dimensions. 

The kids found a great place to do jumps on their bikes and I swear they would have been happy just doing jumps for 8 hours in the day!  Simply pleasures. . .

Without a doubt, there were far more foreigners than Americans in this park.  It was cool listening to all the different foreign accents.  The women sure dressed nicely to go on these long hikes.  I now prefer my “keens” to my high wedges – something I am amazed to admit!!
From Bryce, we took off for the famous Zion National Park. 



Capitol Reef NP


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-08-2008

An amazing trek through Capitol Reef National Park in Utah:

We found this amazing campground that was built among the fruit orchards planted by the 10 or so families that settled the area.  The National Parks Service still maintains the orchards and allows the public to pick from the apple and pear orchards.  Although we were in a very dry region, there is a constant creek right next to our campground that the kids enjoyed and Andrew made balanced rock sculptures along the shoreline.
We enjoyed listening to the Ranger talk on nuts and trees, entitled, “Sometimes you feel like a nut!”  Did you know the bark of the Ponderosa pine smells like French vanilla ice cream (but Nikki says it smells like orange ice cream).  It is so true!  Now we have become a tree sniffing family!

The weather was quite hot and we found a natural waterfall that flowed into a beautiful clear pond.  Andrew was the only one who had the guts to jump from the top!  (Only after other people showed us it was safe!)  He had a blast and we all laid around in the water, not unlike a tribe of mammals who found a new watering hole. 

There was a small (darling!) historic house on the site of the campground.  They had an amazing kitchen of fresh baked goods and homemade jams and salsas.  We bought little pies that were baked down the road at a FIVE STAR restaurant!  Who knew this town had such a restaurant as it was  TEENY TINY town!!  Boy, was that pie the best we have had in our lives!! This house was so adorable and small and I actually felt like it was BIG (in comparison to our RV) and we all agreed we could live in a house that size.  We shall see where we end up after this two year trek. 

When we left Capitol Reef, we drove over a beautiful mountain range.  The fog was so dense you would think the ocean was near.  Then, it started POURING RAIN!  We got to see a  flash flood emerge in the river alongside the road.  Quite exciting and a bit scary had the flood been more extreme. 

Our next stop, ZION National Park.  Who knew it was going to completey live up this its name! 




Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 03-08-2008

Making our way to Utah with our first stop in MOAB. Here are our favorite memories:

  • Well, we looked for a truck stop to spend the night but found nothing.  We ended up parking on a side street in downtown Moab with the slides in so we didn’t atract too much attention.  Found out in the morning our campground was only 3 miles away.  Luckily, we didn’t check in because we found a better campground with a front row spot with the best views.
  • Andrew and Ken mountain biking on the most famous mountain biking path in the world – Slick rock! The 12.7 mile path is suppose to take 5-6 hours (so they did the short loop which still took an hour+ to go 2 miles)
  • The family bike ride was in downtown Moab along a riverwalk trail.  It ended in a park with very large musical instruments that we had fun clanging on (oops, it was a little early)
  • Sallie sleeping outside in cots with Poohnut (Lauren ) and having her tell me all about the different constellations
  • Driving through Arches National Park and counting all the arches and taking a hike to see “Delicate Arch” in 105 degree weather!  There are suppose to be over 2,000 arches in the park but we only managed to get to 20 or so.
  • Driving through Canyonlands National Park and seeing canyons cut from the Colorado and Green rivers as far as the eye could see.  
  • We also took a drive up the mountain (10,000′) to get out of the heat.  Seeing a sign for a lake, we took a dirt road up the main path and found a great spot.  Lots of fish rising to the surface but no keepers.  Hobie got excited about all the cows we passed on the road.

Island Acres (Grand Junction)


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-08-2008

Highlights of our trip to Colorado River State Park Island Acres just outside Grand Junction:

  • Riding bikes to the truck stop across the highway for ice cream
  • Who knew Grand Junction was the center for Peaches and Wine?  So we had to go check out some cool local winerys and pick up a bottle or two.
  • The next offramp from the campground had a canyon where there are suppose to be some wild horses.  Biking very early in the morning up the canyon to find the horses but saw nothing but horse poop.  At least the down hill portion was fun.
  • Watching the girls become “Indian girls” and set up a “fort” while the boys continued up the steep path and back.
  • Driving up from 96 degrees to the mountains and “Mesa Lake” where there are more than 200 lakes and it was only 58 degrees!  The boys had to go after some trout splashing in the water.
  • Watching the kids float around in the swim beach (small lake) in their big inner tubes.
  • Andrew met a new friend, Austin, by sharing a mutual interest, monster trucks (remote control!)
  • Getting a hydraulic jack replaced due to leaking fluid. The 65lb jack was sent from Oregon in 3 days and the guys at the truck repair took only an hour to replace it.  Then it was off to Utah instead of going back to the campground.  Our first night cruise with no reservations….  Where will we spend the night?