Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 Vacation -- Arizona & Utah, part 1

I have been overdue in posting some photos for our vacation, and now that I am finally on it, I am discovering that there are too many photos to consider.  Since I cannot bring myself to limit the vacation photos to only the best of the best of the best, I am breaking up our vacation into parts.

Part 1 covers Monday, June 4 - Wednesday, June 6.

When I make plans, I am pretty sure I can hear God laughing.  Our intent was to hit the road from Laura's parents' house in Indiana pretty early.  I wanted to put in about a 15 hour day on the road so that we could get out west and enjoy it for as long as possible.  Instead, I spent hours at their house replacing an adapter for the electic hookup, and then buying and replacing the springs on the camper.  What was supposed to be a 5:00 AM departure time ended up being a 1:00 PM departure time.  If there was good news to be had, the repairs were done safely in the Schmidt driveway and not on the side of the road somewhere.

Even with the abbreviated day on the road, we got almost as far as Kansas City, MO on the first day.  On Tuesday, we hit Colorado and began our trek through the Rockies.  That is where we lost our first camper tire.  We always bring two spares.  (Did I hear God laughing again?)  We found out that one of the brand new spares we had brought had five holes for the tire.  Our camper has four holes for the lug nuts.  So, one spare was absolutely useless.  We put on the other spare, but now we had no spares.

After a few hours of driving around Silverthorne looking for a tire place, or at least a place that sells trailer tires, we were told to try the next town up, Frisco.  Good news: We found several tire places in Frisco.  Bad news, they were closed for the night.  But by this time, it was getting late anyway.  We settled in at Heaton Bay Campground in the White River National Forest in the Rocky Mountains.  It would have been nicer if we had stayed their on our own volition instead of as a necessity.  Nevertheless, the setting was a beautiful.

Wednesday morning meant breaking camp and getting our flat tire replaced.  We stopped at Big O Tires where Denis was going to do his best to get our tire replaced fast so we could hit the road again.  Unfortunately, despite what his computer told him, he did not have the tire in stock.  He sent us over to another tire place where we bought the tire (it would have been hours there for them to mount it).  We brought it back to Big O Tires as he instructed us, and he mounted it for us immediately -- and for FREE!  Denis went above and beyond the call for us.  Big shout out to Denis!

We were back on the road before Noon.  We drove past a brush fire on the opposite side of I-70.  (We are pretty sure an RV blew a tire and the time, scraping the road, ignited the dry, dry grass on the shoulder.)  It was not a big fire and it seemed that it was going to be quickly contained.  But to say that we endured a brush fire makes our trek sound like much more of an adventure.

We enjoyed lunch at the welcome center in Grand Junction, Colorado and then we got to Utah.  Our hope was to get all the way to Zion National Park.  We had asked Faith which National Park she wanted to see with us--Zion or Arches.  She had chosen Arches.  (And God laughed.)  But too many late starts and delays meant there was no way we would get to Zion and actually see anything.  So, we drove to the closer of the two, Arches.  After we enjoyed a lot of the scenery along the Colorado River (state highway 128) along the way to Moab, we settled in at the KOA in Moab.  We even got into Arches in the late afternoon to see some of it.  The remainder waited for Thursday.

Photos from Monday, June 4 - Wednesday, June 6:

I-70 into the Rockies





Utah state highway 128, heading to Moab, UT.



Stopping along the Colorado River





Moab KOA.





Landscape Arch


Skyline Arch
Sand Dune Arch


Fiery Furnace