Saturday, May 5, 2012


Day 1 of the Grand Canyon.

We got up and managed to get out reasonably early.  We were on the road before 10 am.  That is good for us.  Drove up and started taking pictures.  It's weird.  It is almost like the canyon is too big.  So far this place hasn't has as visceral an impact as some other places we have been.  I really want to go down into the canyon and I think that would make a bigger impact.  I don't think that is in the cards this trip though.  We still don't have plans for tomorrow though. 

Turns out there is only about a 25 mile stretch of road along the South rim that you can drive with a few scenic overlooks present.  Looks like there are a ton of hiking trails that would lead to a better experience, but with the kids, mom and the dog in tow, that isn't happening.  Oh well, again a reason to return someday.  Much like Yellowstone, there is far too much to see and do if you only have two days.  So we hit the high points.  We took 195 pictures, a few of which actually turned out pretty good.  I will post a couple here and some on Facebook as well.  The full picture and trip report will have to await a better internet connection and a less exhausted narrator. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


Woke up this morning at 0600.  These time changes are getting to us.  Since I was up early anyway and we didn't have a long drive, I decided to go for a run.  The elevation is still taking some getting used to, but I want to run in it because the Tough Mudder will be at 7000 ft.  Gotta get used to it.  So I ran.  The mile markers for the drive out to the crater lined up such that I was hoping to get in 5 miles.  Ended up being 4.86.  Sigh. Had I known, I would have just kept going long enough to make it an even five.  Oh well. 

Still a good run.  Next time I will try to remember the sunscreen. 

Then I showered and we took Mom to the Meteor Crater.  We had time for the rim tour as it was starting when we walked in.  Interesting.  I have been to the crater enough times that I could certainly have done without it, but Mom hadn't seen it.  It was also a mile hike.  I don't normally run that far then go hiking.

Back home, lunch and then the open road.  Short day, only about 100 miles.  Flagstaff is still very pretty. 

We stopped in Williams AZ.  Sarah and Mom went to the grocery store to stock up.  Tomorrow we see the canyon.  Tonight is tostada night.  I LOVE tostada night.  I will try not to eat so much I throw up. 

Another night with poor WiFi, so just one picture.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long day of driving today.  Just over 300 miles.  That's pretty long with 3 and 6 year old passengers.

Arrived safely at the Meteor Crater RV park.  Got to take a picture or two of the old abandoned building that I like so much and may take some more tomorrow.  The plan to to take Mom to see the crater in the morning.  Tomorrow will be a short drive of around 100 miles so no hurry getting out.

The sunset was gorgeous tonight and I took some pictures but haven't looked at them yet.  I'm sure they are awesome.  How could they not be?  Sarah made a fish chowder tonight for dinner which is a stretch because she usually doesn't like fish.  Then we sat and tried to watch Starman in honor of our visit.  Nothing doing though, the connection was too bad.

So we broke out the telescope and checked out the stars.  For the first time I actually saw the rings of Saturn.  Way cool.  Now I am going to try to convince Sarah to go out and see a shooting star for the first time.  I can't believe she has never seen one.  I saw two tonight.  I love firsts.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Busy day today for such a day of rest.

We got up and I decided to go for a run.  Only made it two miles.  It wasn't the altitude entirely, although that did probably play a role.  I just got tired of running around in circles around a small RV park.  I did get a little dizzy and a slight headache.  Turns out that running at 6500 feet is different when you are used to running at 1200 feet.  Yet, I can still do it.

Then we went to look at RV's. My mom and Michael and Max all wanted to go to the RV store and look at RV's.  The kids always find this enjoyable and I think mom was daydreaming about a nice class C.  Pete Wiserman, the salesman, was really nice about it.  He knew right from the start we weren't looking to buy and weren't even from the area.  Yet he took us around and showed us all the new stuff and the fanciest motorhomes.  They had a good selection and their prices were pretty reasonable.  So, if you are in the market for a new or used RV, check out Pete at La Mesa RV in Albuquerque.  There, I feel a little better about wasting his time.

You know, the guy at the Petco was friendly and knowledgeable.  As was Pete, as was the waitress at the restaurant Pete recommended.  It seems like this place is full of smart, friendly folks.  I would love to do a contract here.

After that we went home for some coffee and a nap for Nana.

Then we went to the Sandia Tram.  Way cool.

I will add pictures to the Adventure Nickel website when we have a better connection.  Nana was scared all the time because of the steep drops and our kids.  The grand canyon is going to be tough on her.  Turns out Max did fall, but it was while chasing a moth in the visitor center while waiting for the tram to arrive for the trip down.  Smacked his head pretty good too.

We were up there for a beautiful sunset.  Another good adventure day.

Tomorrow we head out to Meteor Crater.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I know...I know...turn LEFT in Albuquerque.  We ARE headed to Pismo Beach after all. 

Today's drive was better.  I watched the elevation increase and the view became more interesting.  Pulling Irv in this situation is about heat management as much as anything else.  The truck has power enough to accelerate up the side of a mountain.  The problem with doing that is that, at the top, the truck catches fire and leaves a black mark for all future passers by to see.  Not good.  So you balance your speed against your cooling system and daydream about the day you will have enough extra (HA HA HA...extra.  That is a good one. You ever have extra money?   Me neither) to buy the deeper transmission pan or the upgraded coolant tubes or whatever else unobtanium doodad would help.  Oh well, the Civic couldn't really keep up anyway. 

When we got to the RV park, there isn't any WiFi, so no pictures tonight.  Not that we took any anyway.  Instead of going to the Sandia Tramway tonight, we went to Petco and bought more crickets for Ned.  We met a nice employee there named James who taught us a ton about crickets we never knew.  Thanks James. 

The site here is horribly unlevel.  How hard is it to make a simple, level RV site?  Apparently it is some weird alchemy that only a select few know.  The site here is not level front to back or side to side.  Adding both my 2x12 board and my lynx levelers wasn't enough.  We are still a quarter bubble off in both directions. least try. 

We will try to rest tonight and do some sight seeing tomorrow.  Maybe there will be enough bandwidth to upload at least a few pictures.  The question will be do I add them here or Facebook.  We will see. 

Monday, April 30, 2012


OK, so the stretch of I-40 between OKC and Amarillo is just boring.  There really isn't any way to sugar coat it.  Luckily, tomorrow is another day. 

We managed to get Nana situated into our routine fairly quickly.  It is almost like we have experience adapting to new situations.  We got up and out at a reasonable time, despite having to squeeze through a tight exit to the RV area at the casino.  There was a hole in the slab being replaced and it cut the angle of the exit down to almost nothing.  But we made it.

Then the drive.  Grass land with some gentle hills.  I really love being on the road.  It engages my senses in a way little else can.  Especially towing the house around.  There is just enough pressure to keep you engaged, but not so much that it wears you out.  At least not for the first 5-6 hours.  I remember doing to all day drives when I was younger.  Driving for 24 hours straight was no that big of a deal.  My personal record was 39 hours from San Francisco to Houston.  At least that was in the truck.  I would occasionally do an 18-24 hour ride on my old Suzuki rf 600r sportbike.  Ahhh...those were the days.

Dinner tonight at the Big Texan of 72 oz steak fame.  We declined the challenge thank you very much.  It was a very touristy thing to do, but isn't that what we are now?  I have passed that place a dozen times.  It was about time we stopped. 

Beautiful sunset tonight.  Another lovely day on the road. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012


And now the real adventure begins.  We pulled up stakes and left Arkansas.  A few hours later we pulled into the Firelake Casino just outside Shawnee, OK.  They have several RV spots in the back parking lot with water, electric and a dump station.  Nothing fancy, but at $0 a night, you can't beat the price. 

We went and visited with my sister and my mom.  And tomorrow we plan on pulling out of here with my mom coming with us.  She has decided to tag along on this portion of the adventure.  I'm pretty excited.  It will be neat to get to share this with her if even for only a week or two.  Should be really cool. 

Tomorrow Amarillo.  Should be an adventure.  As usual.