Saturday, April 30, 2011

Campground review - OK RV Park

We enjoyed our stay in Moab and our stay at the OK RV Park which is on the southern end of the town.

Nearby attractions - 9 - Close to Arches and Canyonlands National Park as well as a couple of state parks. Lots to do here in Moab area for outdoor lovers and plenty of eateries.

Staff - 8 - Staff was very helpful and answered several questions we had.

Natural surroundings - 6 - Some trees scattered around the park. Lots of interesting rock formations and mountains surround Moab. Close to some sort of horse and ATV arena, but it was not busy.

Value - 6 - We paid $17.50 a night for full hook-ups, back-in site the first night and we used our Passport America card. After that we had to pay full price of $38 since they were busy.

Bathrooms - 8 - Nice and clean bathrooms. Only two showers each, so sometimes a bit busy.

Roominess - 7 - Barely long enough decent amount of room between sites.

Facility fun - 4 - Communal BBQ and picnic area. Picnic tables, fire ring and cable at each site.

Cleanliness - 8 - Older but still a tidy park.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Smallish laundry facility, very small store, small exchange library, they do sell stamps. Free wifi.

Overall - 7 - One of many choices in Moab.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Canyonlands Boat Tour

We saw Canyonlands National Park in style, onboard a jet boat tour through the Colorado River. It was so much fun. We saw towering cliffs, rock climbers, more arches, nesting herons, a pot hash plant and blooming cacti. Our captain and tour guide was great, knowledgeable and very funny. Even our boys were laughing at his dialogue.

Afterwards we were treated to a chuckwagon style dinner, everything cooked in dutch ovens. Sooo good. They had five types of meat: BBQ Chicken, BBQ Pork, Spicy BBQ Pork, Roast Beef and BBQ roast beef. I had a some of each, plus the salad, so it was healthy! Topped it off with apple crisp and coffee.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Arches National Park

We are so sorry, but this post has been removed becasue it is a aprt of our book Napkin Dreams that details our trip around America!


Check out this post and more of Patsy's posts at her blog at Kirace!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10 things to never leave "home" without

So driving down the road your mind comes up with lots of things to occupy itself. Recently I was thinking of what would I tell someone who was thinking of living on the road full-time they should definitely bring with them to survive and thrive in life on the highways. So for all you potential full-timers or long-termers here is my list of ten things to bring that you might not think of ordinarily. By that I mean I assume you will bring your underwear and some plates. This list is geared for people with kids.

  1. Duct tape - Red Green said it is the handy man's secret weapon and he wasn'tkidding! Temporary fixes are a must on the road. Throw in some liquid nails and super glue while you are at it.
  2. The Kindle - we read to our kids all the time and they also read. We have some books and we utilize exchange libraries all the time, but the Kindle saves a ton of space.
  3. Our membership cards. Zoo, museum, Passport America, Escapees, National Park, Pet Smart and Kroger cards save us a ton of mulah!!
  4. Bikes and scooters. We have some hanging from Howard's ladder, and carry some in our toadie. Kids use them all the time.
  5. Toys. We have bins of legos, army men, magnetix, playdoh, dress-up, dinosaurs, Mr. Potato head, weapons, hot wheels, and remote control cars. All boys here so no Barbie.
  6. Your printer. You need to print off coupons, tickets, tax docs, etc. Nice to have one with you.
  7. A portable electric convection oven. Our little RV oven does one pizza at a time, so we needed more oven space. We have used our extra little oven a ton. Makes meatloaf even.
  8. Crockpot. Another great alternative to the little oven. We have made some killer lasagna in our crockpot and even cooked our Easter ham in ours. Set it and forget it! (We have actually had it cooking while driving down the road before).
  9. Atlas and GPS. You really need both. Do not count on your GPS to get you there every time.
  10. Verizon mifi. Great little wireless internet card that gives you access wherever Verizon is found. Cant rely on parks wifi.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Campground Review - Red Ledge RV Park

Found a nice park that is part of Passport America close to Zion and Bryce Canyon. Red Ledge RV Park and Campground was also our home for Easter this year.

Nearby attractions - 7- An hour from Zion NP and two hours from Bryce Canyon NP. Several state parks close by as well.

Staff - 8 - We met one lady, the owner of this small park. Very helpful and nice.

Natural surroundings - 6 - Some trees scattered around the park. In the very small town of Kannarville.

Value - 8 - We paid $14.33 a night for full hook-ups, back-in site. We used our Passport America card. we did pay full price the first night (park policy).

Bathrooms - 6 - Slightly older but clean. Showers went from hot to cold if someone used water somewhere.

Roominess - 7 - Barely long enough decent amount of room between sites.

Facility fun - 6 - Hot tub and communal fire ring. Picnic tables at each site. Nice public park across the street.

Cleanliness - 8 - Small and older but still a tidy park.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Laundry, very small store, small exchange library.

Overall - 7 - Cute little park near Cedar City attractions.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Today we celebrated our first Easter living on the Road in a 300 square foot motorhome. We had a nice time even without a big home to find eggs in. Still the Easter Bunny had a hard time waiting until everyone fell asleep and filling baskets in the dark and hiding eggs in the rain! Oh well, as a friend of mine said "Silly Rabbit, Easter is for Jesus!"

Some other highlights of our Easter holiday.

  • Visited a nice church here in Utah. Powerful preaching for sure. Love it there are still churches that proclaim God's Word.
  • First time in two decades I wasn't running around crazy and busier than a one-armed paper hanger on Easter weekend. I took my family to church, sat with my wife in service, worshipped God with no preoccupying thoughts.
  • Saturday I took my kids to a community Easter Egg hunt and just enjoyed being a dad and watching my kids grab for the eggs!
  • Tanner's teacher at the church told us how knowledgable he was about the Bible. Best thing you can tell a parent, at least us!
  • Sherman ate two jelly beans. That and the smell of ham wafting in the air and we had one crazy and hyper little Chihuahua.
  • Three words - Durkee Green Beans
  • Watched the new Veggie Tales Easter DVD with the youngest boys.
Earlier in the week we taped this special Easter version of Kevin Shutterbug during one of our visits to Zion National Park. Enjoy the scenery and our boys explaining just what Easter is all about!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Point

Does Patsy have the same color hair as a wooly mammoth?

Utah is known for many things, including being a land of fossils. We had to take some dead dinos in so we visited the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. I had read that there are more dinosaur fossils here than any other museum in the world.

There were a ton of fossils here for sure. Two big T-Rexs, duckbills, triceratops, all the big ones plus a ton more we had never heard of. They even had some ancient bugs fossilized in amber, just like on Jurassic Park. I tried to buy an "amberized" fossil to attach to my walking stick, but no such luck!

The big fossils were impressive, but we also liked the hands-on activities that were interspersed throughout the museum. Digging for dinosaur bones, building your own dinosaur and creating erosion with sand and water.

We also one of the 3D films, SeaRex. We thought this would be about the largest marine dinosaur fossil ever found, with maybe some evolution theory thrown in. However it was almost completely about evolution with a little dinosaur stuff thrown in. While it was a good film in terms of special effects, it was nearly insulting how they put their theories of the birth of life and this earth are a fact. I felt like I was watching a propaganda film.

So if you go to Thanksgiving Point, you may want to go the Museum of Ancient Life, but skip the movie if you do not like to be told what to think!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Campground Review - Utah State Park

We love camping in State Parks and National Parks when we can. The only downside is there usually are no dumps at your site, but this can be worked around for a few days! We stayed at Utah Lake State Park for three nights!

Nearby attractions - 7- Very close to Provo and less than an hour to downtown SLC.

Staff - 7 - Talked to campground host once. Nice older gentleman.

Natural surroundings - 10 - Right on Lake Utah, the largest fresh water lake in Utah. Lots of trees around. We camped right next to a marsh. Not many bugs this time of the year, but there might be more in warmer months. We saw tons of birds including pheasant, killdeer, amazing magp

ies, yellow-headed blackbirds, coots, herons, geese, grebes, ducks, California quail, robins and other songbirds. The sounds from the marsh were a symphony of calls and cackles. Check out the video below to hear some of the calls of nature.

Value - 9 - We paid $20 a night for partial hook-ups, water and electric, pull-through site.

Bathrooms - 7 - New and clean but out of TP a few times. Showers were hot but tight for changing and made for folks under 5'7"

Roominess - 9 - You really can't compare RV Parks with State Parks. State Parks are generally so much roomier.

Facility fun - 8 - Small playground, beach, boat rentals, fishing.

Cleanliness - 9 - State Park clean.

Facility usefulness - 7 - Dump, picnic table with shelter, grill and fire pit at each site.

Overall - 9 - We really enjoyed our stay here. Really nicer than an RV Park.

Campground Review - Pony Express RV Resort

What is the difference between a RV Park and a RV Resort? Beats me! We stayed at the Pony Express Rv Resort for most of our time in the Salt Lake City area. It is a decent and newer resort.

Nearby attractions - 7- in North Salt Lake, very close to SLC and Antelope Park and mountains.

Staff - 9 - Very helpful and nice people working at this RV park.

Natural surroundings - 6 - Some smaller trees but close to I15. A little pond is on site.

Value - 6 - We paid $35.50 a night for full hook-ups, pull-through site with cable. .

Bathrooms - 9 - Nice roomy showers, hot with plenty of room to change in.

Roominess - 8 - Long enough and plenty of room to park van behind the rig.

Facility fun - 8 - Nice playground, basketball court, horseshoes, outdoor pool (closed until summer). Game room with foosball and pool table.

Cleanliness - 10 - Very tidy park.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Laundry, small store, propane, very small exchange library, dog run. Meeting room with fireplace.

Overall - 8 - Nice, clean park with friendly staff.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bingham Canyon Copper Mine

Sorry, but you'll have to purchase our book to read this post!




Friday, April 15, 2011

50 McDonalds - Utah

It has been a couple of months since we were in a new state so we were excited to add Utah to our state total. With a new state comes a new McDonalds to visit as we chase our 50 States 50 McDonalds goal. This time our younger boys were excited about toys from the new movie Rio.

In fact, the only thing Chase likes at McDonalds is a cheeseburger without the burger and ice-cream. Still he begs to go, mostly for the playlands and the Happy Meal toys. Oh well, we still do not go too often so its a big treat for all our boys.

This McDonalds was in Ogden, Utah. Brendan displays his milk carton with the Rio ad on it. We stopped here on our way back down to Salt Lake City from Golden Spike.

Campground Review - Golden Spike RV Park

We stayed at Golden Spike RV Park during our visit to Golden Spike National Historic Site.

Nearby attractions - 4 - 30 minutes from Golden Spike, 45 minutes at least to Salt Lake City..

Staff - 9 - Very helpful and nice people working at this RV park.

Natural surroundings - 6 - Some mature trees but close to I15.

Value - 6 - We paid $35.50 a night for full hook-ups, pull-through site with cable. The 30 amp wasn't working at our site and the manager offered to move us, but we had our 15 amp adapter, so we were OK for the night.

Bathrooms - 7 - were basic, clean and big and nice hot and roomy showers. However my wife said the women's shower was cold. Passcode protected.

Roominess - 8 - Long enough and plenty of room to park van behind the rig..

Facility fun - 2 - Two swing sets. Didn't see much else/

Cleanliness - 8 - above average park in cleanliness.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Laundry, small store, propane, exchange library, dog run.

Overall - 7 - We enjoyed our stay here and met another full-time family staying here. Wish we could have talked to them more!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Golden Spike

May 10, 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit. Golden Spike National Historic Site commemorates this incredible accomplishment of this nation's first transcontinental railroad.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hanging out in Salt Lake City

We spent a great afternoon in downtown Salt Lake City. Our first stop was the Gateway Discovery Museum, a children's museum that was part of our membership program. This is a small little museum designed with kids under seven in mind.

Needless to stay our three younger boys loved the place and there were many shouts of amazement and excitement as we entered Gateway. Their favorite spot was the little city where they could dress up and play roles such as construction worker, letter carrier, farmer, grocer, etc.. Blake and Tanner may be a little old to play these games, but they can live a second childhood by playing with their little brothers who love to have them as playmates.

They also got to put on a little play for us by dressing up as Robin Hood and his merry men, play in a life-sized, albeit pretend helicopter, making sound effects and creating their own cartoons.

After a couple hours of this type of creative play we headed over to the nearby Ben and Jerry's ice-cream shop. You see April 12th was Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's which is quite a deal for a family of seven! The line was stretched out all along the outdoor mall, but the weather was pleasant and the line moved quickly and soon we were licking our way through flavors like Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Brownie and Maple Blondie! Yum Yum!!

After this we had to head over to Hatch Family Chocolates. We loved the Little Chocolatiers when they were on TLC, mostly because their chocolate creations looked so delectable. The show is off the air now, but we promised ourselves to stop in when we were in Salt Lake City. Just Patsy and I went in, leaving Blake in charge in the van outside. This way we could peruse in peace!

Patsy had a bit of a thrill as she got to talk to Steve, one of the owners and stars of the TV show. No autographs were exchanged, but he was very kind and asked us questions. His wife Katie is from Chicago so he was quite familiar with Illinois. I could tell there was a little thrill for Patsy getting to talk to a "celebrity."

We purchased a couple of turtles for ourselves and a mixture of chocolate covered Oreos and gummy worms for the boys. We did save these for later - with Ben and Jerry's still lingering on our taste buds and all.

Kevin Shutterbug and the Wild Buffalo

My lovely wife Patsy has to admit she was wwwwwrong!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Mayan

Some full-time RVing friends of ours advised us that when we hit Salt Lake City to be sure and visit the Mayan Restaurant. Thanks to our friends at Coast to Coast Trips for a great tip! We had a blast at The Mayan. The entire decor of the place is amazing, sort of Central American, Mayan, Indiana Jones feel.

Right away our boys were in awe of the giant snake statues out in front of the place. Once inside we were sat in front of a pool with a faux mountain next to it. The whole restaurant surrounds this mountain and pool area, with balconies and terraces going up four levels in a treehouse like fashion.

The mountain and pool are central to this eating establishment because this is where the entertainment takes place. No, there was no human sacrifices nor were there any dire predictions about 2012. Instead we were thrilled to high divers jumping from around 30 feet in the air into the pool. For those who stand next to the pool you might get a little wet!

Another act involved a curtain dancer who also dived from her curtain perch. During her act one of the divers proposed to her from below while his friends held up a sign reading "WILL YOU MARRY ME?" After her act she dived in the water, climbed up on the rock where her beau was waiting with the ring. He got down on his knees in front of God and all the rest of us! She said yes! Of course my wife loved this little unexpected side show!

We did have a very fun time at the Mayan! Oh, and the food was good too - Mexican food if you were wondering.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Antelope Island

We are so sorry, but this post has been removed becasue it is a aprt of our book Napkin Dreams that details our trip around America!

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