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:
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
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..............