Sunday, July 22, 2018

Arizona

Two Stops in Arizona

White Tank Mountain Regional Park and Catalina State Park (Tucson)

We spent two nights at White Tank and Three nights in Catalina.

Both stops where in the desert (and yet it still rained on us in both places). White Tank had more cactuses while Catalina was a little more scrubby and closer to the mountains (several of the walking paths actually went up into the mountains).

     We started off in White Tank with a back in spot.  
View from out front door.
We requested a change to a pull through spot and since there was almost no one there they let us switch.  The pull throughs are backwards, though.  
Once you pull in to hook up your front door and "porch" are on the street. Weird. So we went ahead and moved back to the back-in site.  Since we had to take the car off to do that, Bob decided to go into town the next day and play golf.

    When he got back I went out and did a hike on one of the trails that started in the park. It was HOT!



I didn't take Buffy because the one walk we did that morning got cactus burrs all in her paws and I had to carry her back.

As usual, for every place we have stopped so far,(even Vegas, although I didn't mention it) it rained. 


    We then went on to Catalina State Park.  We stayed here two days last year, and Bob really liked it (nice nearby Golf) so I booked three nights this time. 
It was really hot here, too well into the 100's.  Of course our last day here it rained and got all our rugs wet. They had finally dried out from our last stop, and now wet again.  

     Bob played golf.  I went to Walmart and hiked a couple times.  This time I took Buffy because the trail was cleared off for biking. 

It's so fun here with all the hundreds of ground squirrels everywhere and roadrunners.  I even saw a coyote. 



    

Circus Circus RV park in Vegas

Las Vegas


My favorite place outside of home.





  Took Buffy on several walks, because of the hot sidewalks and the fact that I went into a lot of casinos we used the stroller when we didn’t have grass to walk on.  She’s likes riding in it, (Except for her first escalator, she didn’t care for that.)



      I had eight nights booked here. It wasn't 
enough I
could have 

stayed eight (or eighteen)
more. 











The park had been built as a KOA so it was pretty standard. The whole area was cement and rock, which was better than gravel because it's so windy the dirt and gravel would be blowing in your face. (One unexpected wind came up and bent our canopy arms, while we were trying to bring it in.) 

 Our spot was pretty big and we had a tree.  The cement was really hot though, so we carried the puppy to the dog park and the grassy areas.  A few premium end spots had a little grass area with trees and a patio.  I will reserve one of those next year.  Lot 52, so I can remember, was a good one.

  RV Pool was nice and almost empty compared to the Hotel pool which was beside it and was super crowded. 




      The location was a little out of the way being on 

the far end of the strip but it was way better than last year being so far from the strip. Although it was a 

pretty long walk just getting from the RV park, 
through the hotel and out to the strip it was doable.  The bus stopped right in front, too.  Although I only used it once, it was nice to know it was there. 
  The hotel was nicer than I thought it would be, too.  (Had a McDonalds and Krispy Kreme so...civilized). It had several casino areas plus the circus acts, rides and games. They had a merry-go-round of slot machines which tickled my fancy.



Mostly I played the slots. Once I won over 100 free games on Crystal Forest and still won less than fifty dollars.🙄


      I walked and walked and Bob played golf.  Hit all my favorite casinos and malls, too.  Didn't take very many pictures out on the strip because I've been here so often, I think I already have photos of everything.






Saturday, July 21, 2018

Grand Staircase Escalante and Capitol Reef National Parks

Escalante and Capitol Reef

July 1 to 3. 
    We stayed at a park actually in Escalante although it was a privately run business.  It was pretty nice for an out of the way desert spot. Except for the fact that the bathhouse was up a staircase then a steep, slippery hill. There were only a few people here and the spaces were large. 
      It was kind of unpleasant getting there though, very rough roads.  I actually felt very stupid when we got there. The official name is the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, like Mount Rushmore, and I thought it would be like one big mountain with like a natural staircase or something. It's not, it's basically just a National Park. 
A really BIG national park.  And I wasn't really impressed with it.  We ended up using our full day driving the hour and a half into Capitol Reef Park. 

It was much better.  We were only a mile or so from the Petrified Forest, but didn't take the hike (The long hike is the only way to see most of the petrified wood).
     I really glad we went to Capitol Reef instead it was pretty awesome. 


The last several miles of the scenic loop was a gravel, one way road with pot holes, but we made it intact.   Most of the photos are on the Yellowstone/Utah page if you want to see more of them.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City


Salt Lake City was a bit of a bust.  Bob didn't feel good the last two of three days we were there so didn't do much of anything.

  He played golf on day one and I took Buffy on the trail that "started" off to the side of the RV park. I say started because it was a huge many miles circle that went up and around Salt Lake. 


Turning left onto the trail comes to a small stream.
View of the RV park from circling around and under the highway going to the right on the trail.

We did several miles than came back.  Lots of bikers on the trail.  The bottom photo below shows where the trail is. We did a little ways going the other way on day two.  I didn't really want to go anywhere without Bob so we will have to come back if we want to see the Lake and go out to the island.

We stayed at Pony Express RV resort.

It was super nice with paved roads and sites.  
Grass, pool, street lights.  The only complaint would be you had to leave through the park gates and park to use the laundry.  There was a nice lounge and the pool was there so I guess at least there was something to do while you waited.  If you look down the street on the left those white things that appear to be sticking up is a giant chess set.  That is about where the walking trail gate is.
     

Grand Teton

June 26-28 in The Grand Teton’s


We stayed at Fireside Buffalo Valley RV Park. I was a little worried as there were many bad reviews but we liked the location so took the risk. Nothing at all wrong with the park. Great view, large sites, clean showers.
Here are the views from our front yard.

And a night time view.

   The night time mosquitos were really bad, but don’t see how that was the RV park’s Fault and the bartender at the outdoor bar (in the park) would spray anyone that asked.
     It was a really short drive into the National Park, so great location.  They didn't have a store, pool, or restaurant, but there was a diner at the small resort down the street that had burgers (including buffalo burgers).
     There were buffalo all over the area.  Stop at some of the pull outs on the flat areas before getting into the mountains and you'll see them.
    The area was beautiful.  We drove up into the mountains, it was mostly warm, but there was still pockets of snow in a lot of places and of course the tops of the mountains were still covered.  
Jenny Lake was still and so clear the reflection was unbelievable.  Stop at the area right off the dam and walk up the trail for a good view.  The best short trail to an overlook is just behind the bathrooms.





Thursday, June 28, 2018

Yellowstone

We made it to Yellowstone.  

There are a few photos here but a lot more on the Yellowstone/Utah page.




 We are Staying in another KOA. It’s a pretty big one, too.


Store, indoor pool and hot tub, two dog parks, play ground, cafe, and a coffee/ice cream shop. Plenty of showers and. Bathrooms. Trees and grass. Nice and clean. Great location, noWYFI though. 




Yellowstone itself was amazing. I took so many great photos I’m going to make a page just for Yellowstone.

Though I’m going to put just a couple here.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.


Paint Pots, very cool with boiling mud and steam rising up off them.  This was a little later in the day so the steam wasn't quite so obvious.

Old Faithful
We came really early and there were very few people around.  We went out and got a front row seat on the bleachers.  It was super cold but we waited at least an hour, eventually the place filled up and the geyser went off.  It
was cool, but I felt really stupid the time of it going off was posted in the store.  We could have wandered around for an hour and not froze to death.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Cody, WY

Cody

We stayed at a smallish KOA in Cody.

 

It was pretty nice. Pool, dog park, play area. We had a nice view across the street and after the rain, a rainbow. 

Cody was just a one night stop, but I had time to go to the Cody Museum. It was really nice.