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Old 07-13-2014, 08:50 PM   #1
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20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

First let me say thanks to many members here for helping us put this trip together. It was a really big one for us encompassing 7500 (7490 to be exact) miles and 20 states in about 24 days. We weren't really trying to do as many miles as we could, though it may seem that way. We just wanted to see and resee several places, and it just fell together that way.

We stayed in the van 19 nights, IIRC, and only got a hotel twice. Once on her birthday, once on mine. No real reason other than that, and it rained a lot in Oregon, so we didn't want to wake up to rainy camping on anyone's birthday. We were also fortunate enough to stay with family or friends 3-4 nights.

Thanks to those who helped us plan, anyone seeking lots of info on PNW travel and basically lots of stuff between Tennessee and Seattle, you can read up here:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...127080#p127080

Special Thanks to many who attended the Leavitt Lake meetup, which we were able to join, and gave us great advice and unbelievable hospitality in their stompin' grounds. You know who you are if I forget anyone, but thanks to DaveB (and Don), 1der (Ray and Jennifer), Calclimber (Craig and Cindy), Oldbonesclimber (Paul and Tina), and others I may be forgetting. Also, thanks to Ray's Mom who is the most hospitable person we may've ever met!
Also, thanks to those who we missed connections with but had hoped to, Viejo and Shenrie come to mind. I'm sure there are others there too.

We left home in mid-June with Rusty, our newly adopted Sportsmobile. Rusty is sort of like an abused old dog we rescued from a shelter. Then again, he's also kinda like the mentally challenged brother of Cameron Diaz in "There's Something about Mary". He's sort of loud and boisterous, anything but gentle, and always up for a wrestling match in the dirt. Franks and beans..........Franks and beans...........

Rusty carried us first to my bro's house in Colorado. We got the usual family photo in front of his house with Pike's Peak in the background.



We then headed through the Pike Nat'l Forest on 24 to avoid Denver and up 9 through Breckenridge. Here's Rusty near Aspen before he got permanently dirty.



Next stop was Moab and the Canyonlands Maze district. Here's a stop on the way in across from Archview Campground. You can see the Arches in the distance behind us.



Man, this thing makes an awesome quadpod!



We stayed at Horsethief campground the first night at Canyonlands. I tried a couple of night shots but I'm no expert here.





We went in Dead Horse Canyon to look around first, mostly to check out their campground because there was availability. In the end we skipped it but it's a cool State Park. They have a pretty nice visitor's center with a great art gallery/display going on this summer, and a very lonely but welcome espresso stand.

Looking down at the river from Dead Horse Point, there's a boat down there if you can make it out



On the way back to the van from the overlook I nabbed a patriotic SMB shot



At the entrance to Canyonlands I inquired about the White Rim Trail and was kind of relieved to find out it was not open all the way around. We really wanted to do it but didn't have the time or campsite reservations in advance so it was going to have to be an out-and-back day trip on the Schafer Canyon side. We were psyched to finally let Rusty play in the dirt.

Going in on the Schafer side



Looking back at some point. It's such an amazing road.



We made it a few miles past Musselman Arch. We stopped for a few hikes, lunch, and out of some strange bit of luck, it was cool and cloudy there in mid June so we got out and walked around a lot.

Somewhere on the Rim



Musselman Arch





More pics from the Rim. Rusty is somewhat of a picture hog









Lunch stop with a decent view



small van, BIG ROCK



'nuther big rock, precariously poised



Tired and dirty at the end of this epic day, we headed back to Cowboy campground, a tiny, almost unmarked place just outside Canyonlands. It's just up the road from Horsethief. This was the windiest night I've ever spent in the van, but we made the best of it.

Havin' fun watching the sun set in gale force wind



More to come..............

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Old 07-13-2014, 10:40 PM   #2
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip



Ohhh... this is going to be good!!!

Cheers,
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

All I can say is wow. Great meeting you and your family. It's a trip I hope your kids will remember for the rest of their lives and pass it on to their kids. Keep it coming.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

Great report start, I'm gonna follow this thread!
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

Continued............The next day we headed down Long Canyon Rd.



I didn't know it was coming, but all of a sudden one of my favorite offroad pics was right in front of me. It was a pretty day and a good one to reenact it with my van instead of some blingy Jeep in a magazine.



If only I had this in my backyard



Sadly, we were only about 4 or 5 days in and didn't want to spend too long in the Moab area. It's not really too far from home so we will be back soon! On advice from several people we headed across Hwy 50 (The Loneliest hwy in America, as it's known) starting just south of SLC and taking us all the way to 395 at Carson City NV. We had no big plans to go to Great Basin NP, but were really glad we did. It is a spectacular oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. There are 4 nice campgrounds here but I strongly recommend going all the way to the top to the Wheeler Peak CG. It's at 9900 ft. and is simply stunning. It's a beautiful campground deep in an Aspen forest with great meadows and views of Wheeler and the surrounding peaks. I'm stopping here to plug Great Basin because we had no plans to go there having never even heard of it. The Navigatress found it on a '7 Least visited NP's' article online, so I knew right then it would probably appeal to us. We breezed in late in the evening and promptly nabbed a marginal site at one of the lower campgrounds, Upper Lehman Creek CG at 7300 ft. We figured if we drove all the way to the top and Wheeler Peak was full, we would be driving back down in the dark to possible full campgrounds by then below. Big mistake of course. Wheeler Peak was deserted the next morning when we got up there about 9. I WILL be spending some time there sooner or later and highly recommend it. Go prepared though, it's miles above and miles from anything. The town of Baker NV below has 2 restaurants and a gas station, but they do have showers behind the gas station.

We hiked from the Wheeler Peak campground and trailhead to 2 snowmelt lakes, Stella and Teresa, only about a 3 mile round trip, and well worth it. Besides crystal clear lakes and beautiful Aspen forests, the area around Wheeler Peak has some of the oldest bristlecone pine groves in existence. No good pics of them but they are awesome. Here are some pics of the lakes







Arendale Clan at one of the lakes. These creeps showed up seemingly in all of our pics



This was the second place we hated to leave, but we will be back to Great Basin. There are some really cool caves there that we couldn't get a ticket for, and many more hikes including the one to Wheeler Peak itself at around 13000 ft.
We headed on across 50 to Bob Scott CG, near Austin NV. Several recommended this campground. This is NF land in this area and boondocking is plentiful if you don't need a campground or if this one is full. There's a huge spot across the hwy from the campground where many were boondocking. This seems to just be a good halfway point between here and there because it was full. Also, it was free. No envelopes by the pay box, no posted info, no UNlocked bathrooms, no rangers, so basically we were boondocking. Fine with us. That night I tried a new toy on my stove and loved it. Us southerners get a little ancy if we don't have a way to cook biscuits on the trail!

Daughter approved



From here we went on to the Leavitt Lake meetup. After buzzing through a red light camera coming into Carson City , then pulling over to swap a fuel filter in an abandoned parking lot shortly after, we were ready to plant down and rest awhile (read , , and ). Oh, I have some sort of occasional vapor lock problem with my fuel tanks. I haven't figured it out yet, but at this state of the trip it was really acting up. I thought for sure it was a clogged fuel filter from my rear (OLD) Tranferflow tank. Unfortunately it wasn't, filter was clean. We headed up Sonora Pass from the 395 side and I knew it was going to be steep!



more to come............

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Old 07-14-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

I didn't know about Great Basin NP. Now added to my "to go" list...

Anyway, the trees you're showing look more like spruces than aspens...

I also like Long Canyon. I drove it up some years ago and I'm quite sure VivaLaVida should manage to go Under that big rock...
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschitt
I didn't know about Great Basin NP. Now added to my "to go" list...

Anyway, the trees you're showing look more like spruces than aspens...

I also like Long Canyon. I drove it up some years ago and I'm quite sure VivaLaVida should manage to go Under that big rock...
Thanks Claude. Yes they are Spruces The good Aspen shots are on my wife's camera. Mine didn't turn out that well, but they are there!!!! Spruces too, and Bristlecone Pines I wish I had taken more photos of. You would love Great Basin!

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Old 07-14-2014, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

Great start. Can't wait for the rest.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:34 PM   #9
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

Vapor lock usually means your fuel pump is running hot. It will progressively get worse until it seizes. But, it could go a long time. I stretched my '94 a couple of years before finally replacing it.

I kinda learned when to expect it (i.e. about 10 minutes into a hard climb) and try to ease off before then, or at least make sure I stayed in the right lane. I also learned that 5 gallons of cool fuel from the fuel can (which I kept shaded) would get me going as long as I was already done with the climb. But sometimes, like when it hydrolocked coming out of death valley, it simply meant waiting until the fuel cooled.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: 20 states in 24 days, our PNW trip

lotsa wow in your photos! what a great family adventure!! cant wait to see more

a couple we are friends with just gave my wife an i that same exact coleman oven. those things work great. we used ours for the first time at city of the rocks this past april and my wife baked me a b-day cake. it was absolutely delicious and i was very impressed with how well it kept heat. we use it most every trip now.
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