Tag Archives: Truck Camping Adventures

Utah ~ Most Scenic!

The Road Trip

Road trips are great, even though long days on the road can be strenuous. This journey is to do the Pacific Coast highway from Crescent City California to Olympic National Park in Washington State. Part of the real adventure is getting there. This country is so diverse and beautiful, it is nearly unbelievable. Take for instance, yesterday, at the first visitor information center in Utah, we stopped and as we were walking up to the building, we both noticed the lavender in bloom. This wasn’t so abnormal, but what really caught our eyes was the bees pollinating the lavender. They were huge, about an inch and a half long. It is these little wonders that make the road trip a learning adventure.  

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Inch and a half long Bee

Leaving Fruita, Colorado, a town that we visited back in 2013, left a second fine impression on this community. The Visitor Center has a large parking area even with an RV dump station and fresh water fill. (5 stars)

On The Road

Landscape dramatically changes leaving Colorado into Utah. Colors are golden wheat, brown, reds, creosol green clumps of darker greens high up on the Mesa. From flat land to high Mesas this land is different and very scenic. Some spots on the road have signs that say, “No services for 110 miles”. Speed limit is 80mph!

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Flying on I-70!………

I cruised around 65mph, a little higher than my usual 58mph. Following I-70W for part of the way, than US-6 to Provo, UT for the rest of the journey to Ogden, our stop here for a couple of days at Hill AFB, Famcamp. Let me say that once we reached Provo on I-15N, the traffic was heavy, four lanes, 70mph, for about 50 miles. All the way through Salt Lake City, it was heavy concentration!

Let me talk a little about temperature. The late afternoon has climbed to 115 degrees, but it is very true that it is very dry! Ok, this is how we deal with it. When we stop, all windows are open and four fans come on to evacuate the heat inside the camper. It literally takes three to five minutes to do that.

A restaurant takes care of dinner time and than back at the Famcamp, the community room has A/C with TV and high speed WiFi. By now it is after sunset and the temps are dropping fast. It is very comfortable to sleep with the windows open. Early morning finds us actually under the covers. That’s life in the sunbelt! Remember some people come from Phoenix, Arizona to Salt Lake area to escape the heat! That’s life in the sunbelt!

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Welcome to Utah

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Amazing Geology in them there hills!

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It took alot of Din-o-mite to put this road in!

That is what we saw and did!

Aug 1st, 2017 …..330 miles traveled today

 

Rocky Mountain High!

John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High” would be appropriate for this blog, as I sit here in an overflow campground named Meeker Park. Before I recount the end of the day, I must begin at the beginning, early this morning. I had mentioned that we stayed at the Sterling Visitor Center. The management said they do allow overnight parking. The restrooms are open and cars come in, use the restrooms and some sleep in their cars and trucks. The other side of the Center, the big trucks park and stay the night. They are far enough that the running engines noise is negligible. After our tour of the town and their tree and bronze sculptures, we went back to the Visitor Center. The clouds in a distant were getting darker. I got my camera out, hoping to get some heat lightning pictures. The lightning came and went, but I didn’t succeed except for the practice of getting night time shots without a flash and still getting a good focus photo.

We went to bed around 9:15pm, with only one other car in the lot. By morning there were six overnighters. We had a chat, in the morning, with one of them who was interested in my truck camper. I guess it was around 7:30am when we pulled onto I-75W. It was about 148 miles to Estes Park (Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park) (RMNP), but we drove another 12 miles or so to find a campground that wasn’t full! Nothing new here, I expected the area campgrounds to be full, especially on the weekends.

After leave the Visitor Center in Sterling, we noticed a big difference in the landscape. So far our entire trip everything was green, but now everything was a blonde, dry landscape. Occasionally, giant green circle of crops dotted the land, of course this was from irrigation. When we left the Mississippi River Delta, the elevation was off and on around 100 feet above sea level. Now we were at 3,000 feet and rising. We are now at 7,240 feet above sea level.

Back to the landscape, a couple of noticeable features, oil rigs both installed and new derricks drill for that black gold. The very noticeable black and white feature was thousands of dairy cows in several places along I-75. Our first faint view of the Rockies Mountains was in Loveland about 23 miles from Estes Park, our base camp to find our bearings.

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US Route 34 from Loveland to Estes Park

After leaving Loveland, the traffic decreased a lot. The road went from straight to straight up! Switchbacks, river racing down the steep gorge. We rose a lot in just a few miles finally reaching Estes Park, a town with everything you could ask for including a first class Visitor Center!

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a campsite in the NP, especially of a Friday afternoon. We decided to take the free shuttle around the area to see where we could camp either at a campground or boon docking. Mary’s Lake looked very good, mountain views all around. The 53 minute shuttle tour ended and I called Mary Lake Campground…No luck (full all weekend)! We decided to drive down route 7 paralleling the National Park. The National Forest does allow boon docking in certain areas. Well here we are at Meeker Park Overflow. Senior Pass (National Park)  half price, so $6.00 isn’t so bad. No internet or electricity, but Honda Generator is taking care of that. I’m writing my blog and when I get to a WiFi Hotspot I’ll shoot it off. I didn’t get many pictures today, but I was able to shoot a short video coming up that winding road.

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Notice in the background…thousands & thousands of cows!

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Oil Fields Equipment ready for production

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Loveland, Colorado nice town

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Rocky Mountains 1st View

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Church built on a rock! 

That is what we saw and did

July 28, 2017 ~ 160 miles today

Nebraska Pioneers ~ The Lincoln Highway

The Platte Rivers

We are on the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers tonight. Here they join and form the Platte River. Covered wagon pioneers of the 19 century liked to joke about Nebraska’s Platte River. This excerpt taken from National Trails System, National Park Service. Quote: “Too thick to drink, too thin to plow, too pale to paint. A mile wide and an inch deep. A stream flowing upside down”.

It goes on: “The river’s setting, too, seemed strange. Surrounding praise, frequently cleansed by wildfire, was burned bare of trees right up to the water’s edge, and a line of low sand hills, looking like a storm-sacked beach, rimmed much of the river valley.

Yet the yellow Platte, that treeless ‘Coast of Nebraska,’ was an emigrant’s lifeline—a water source that snaked 800 dusty miles between the Missouri River and the uplands of central Wyoming.

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This painting depicts how it must of been

As I drove on I-80 West for some 307 miles today from the Missouri River to North Platte River, I can’t tell you how much history we drove by from Pony Express, to the Walker family, first settlers using this path to Oregon, to the Mormons who were also headed to Oregon, but were shunned and instead headed to Utah.

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That must of hurt! “The Walker Family”?

Even though we are to be slowing down and smelling the roses, there isn’t enough time to really study the history of this region. What I will do is when I return home and have the time is do the research. Buffalo Bill Cody was from this region. Heck, John Wayne was born in Desoto, Nebraska right down the road from here.

Nebraska is flat as flat can be. The I-80 heads west and doesn’t seem to wander from the West compass reading one degree. The speed limit is 75mph, heck again, we came across a construction zone with usual signs, “Fines Double in Construction Zone,” but the speed limit at the sign said, 75mph!

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Fines double? What does that mean…going 100mph?

I-80 Lakeside Campground

Tonight we are at I-80 Lakeside Campground on the Platte River. We were entertained by a couple next door who were on their way to a dog show in Casper, WY. They have 15 National Champion Huskies in their toy hauler RV. Two dogs at a time came by for their evening walks. Each came over for a friendly pat around their ears. Paula, we were thinking of you as we learned a little of theses beautiful Huskies.

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National Champion

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Helen’s new Friend!

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Amazing how they can talk to you…This morning they were houling for their walk

That is what we saw and did!

July 26, 2017 ~ 307 miles today

Iowa and I Thought Wisconsin had Corn!

Corn, Corn and more Corn

Wow, rolling hills with endless corn fields. When the big planting machines plant corn everything is measured from inches between seeds to space between rows. Now driving down the highway these rows appear like someone took a comb and perfectly separated them. We both tried to take pictures of this when moving down the highway at 60 mph, but we just can’t seem to duplicate what our eyes see.

This morning I got up and being in Iowa I was determine to have corn flakes and a muffin for breakfast. Yup, it hit the spot! We packed up the camper and drove to the new shower room in the lower campground. To our surprise the water had come up another two feet. Last night we walked down there and this morning that walkway was flooded. I took a few shots with the iPhone after showering.

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If I was a drinking man Amana Villages

Disappointed

Our goal today was to go to the Amana Villages to see old German settlements. Well, the villages are very neat and pretty with flowers, but nothing more than modern gift shops. The girl at the coffee shop said that their wasn’t one original settler family left in the area. We walk a little and headed West on I-80 toward the Nebraska border. Oh, on the way down to the Amana Villages, in Cedar Rapids to be exact, we both smelled a pleasant aroma. A short distance up the road we spotted General Mills Plant, yes, they were roasting “Corn Flakes”!

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The Geese are on my site!

Iowa County Campgrounds Rocks

Iowa is a long state and as the day progressed the temperature climbed and so did the humidity. Thank God for the A/C in the truck. The UV index, we were toll on the radio reached 107. Come 4 o’clock it was time to find a campground for the night. I use Allstays app on my phone. Its the best app I have and very accurate. We are at Arrow Head County Park (exit 23) on I-80 near Council Bluffs, IW. Full hookups, free powerful WiFi and showers. Iowa does it best! Even their rest area have excellent WiFi. My kind of State!

That is what we saw and did

July 25, 2017 ~~ 268 miles covered

First Ride Day Ended Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Leaving our hometown of Berlin, NH around 6:30 am was a perfect time to watch the sun shine on the neighboring Vermont hills. Our travels took us into Northern Vermont with an entry into Canada at Derby Line. By 10:30, the Montreal skyline was in our view. Also, the traffic was nearly at a stop when we reached the “Pont de Champlain” bridge. They are building a new bridge next to the existing and the chaos is nearly understandable considering the immense scope of this project. I was busy driving and I had Helen take a few photos of the bridge and Montreal.

Next direction was towards Ottawa. After these two metropolitan cities, it was pretty easy to drive on the Trans-Canadian highway, AUT 417. Around 4:30, I was getting tired and gased up the truck. I asked if there were any campgrounds around. This lady waiting in line, grabbed my arm and started to tell me of several nearby places to stay. The one that really, really grabbed my attention was CFB Petawawa. (Correct spelling). This stands for Canadian Force Base which just happened to have a, I’m told, wonderful RV campground which is open to the public. Well, the day is long and my stamina gone, we both decided to camp out at a Irving Truck Stop. After a good delicious dinner at their restaurant, we headed for McDonalds for good WiFi and the blog.

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The Construction Maze

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Big Project!

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The “Pont Champlain

That is what we saw and did!

Summer Get-A-Way

The Plan

We are just about a week (a day) away from departing on a tour across the great USA. The plan is to travel across the middle of America to the West Coast, follow the Pacific Coast highway from northern California to Washington State. Ever since our 2012 Alaska tour in the truck camper, this Pacific Coast road-trip was in the making. The original idea was to head south from the Alaska tour and explore the western coast, but at the time of the year the temperatures in that part of the country were very high and we took the Canadian route home. This year, we are going to do it, but we might be facing the same very hot climate! The truck camper, itself, doesn’t have A/C which might make it uncomfortable at night. I have added a few power point sockets to run D/C cooling fans. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

Getting Ready

Arriving at the end of April I’ve been more than busy getting both 5th wheel and truck camper ready for the upcoming season. I have mentioned some of the improvements on the 5th wheel in previous blogs. As for the truck camper, some improvements that I have just recently completed include: doubling the solar capacity, adding another battery, installing several USB charging stations, adding a long-range WiFi antenna with repeater. I’ve also replaced the original stop, tail and turn lights with high output LEDs. Added two 48 watt LED backup lights and added a seven pin plug connector inside the truck bed towards the driver’s side front of the bed. This will eliminate the possibility of pinching the cable (which I’ve done) going to rear toward the back number. (On the 5th wheel, this will eliminate the cable going over the tailgate.) 

 

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Ready for Adventure! Come along for the ride!

The Route

One could leave NH and head over to Vermont, New York and follow the southern side of the  Great Lakes, but I’ve been there before and the nightmare of traffic, tolls is not worth this the aggravation! Instead it is nearly a straight shot leaving NH and through Canada to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and enter the US in Michigan. Stay tuned!

That what we saw and did!

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My First Travel Blog in WordPress

This is the first post at WordPress. It is not my first blog. I have been doing travel blogs on BlogSpot for a few years and just decided to try WordPress for a comparison. If you want checkout  http://2boomersonthemove.blogspot.com for a history of previous. I plan on giving WordPress a go for our neDSC_4057_Home_Colors_edited-1xt travel blog to Arizona this winter. Stay tuned!