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Northbound AZ to Montana – Final stops before the adventure!

We’ve made the drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff a number of times, but we are still amazed by the effects on vegetation we see as the elevation changes:  suddenly, there are Saguaros, then there are not.  Then fields of dessert flowers, then not.  Then forests as you pass through Flagstaff, then they mostly disappear into the desolation of northern Arizona.

To cross the Colorado River east of the Grand Canyon we went across the new Navajo Bridge over the Marble Canyon.  The original bridge is still there, so you can stop and walk across it.  Some 466′ above the river!

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Mesa, AZ – Not it!

Our original plans were to head to Park City for a couple of months before continuing north. I guess this is a good time to tell you we are both taking 3 months off from work to drive through Alaska this summer! That’s why Sue has been working full time since last fall as a compensation to her employer. However, due to being assigned a 2.5 month job in Mesa (near Phoenix), we decided to go stay there. Well, it was interesting. More on that later…The drive from Denver to Phoenix took two full days. The first was 480 miles from Fort Garland, CO to Flagstaff, AZ – our longest day drive yet.  Crossing the continental divide is always stressful but beautiful.

An 8 ton trailer plus momentum causes white knuckles

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Colorado Springs/Denver (again)

Since Sue’s son and daughter-in-law moved to Denver last December, we decided to re-visit and spend some time in that area this spring. We added two more RV parks to the list of places where we have stayed more than once. Garden of the Gods RV Resort is in Manitou Springs with breathtaking views of Pike’s Peak, and Cherry Creek Park in Denver. We spent a day at Copper with Jay, Virginia and her parents, Chris and Connie, who we got to see for the first time since the wedding last August. The conditions were excellent but we struggled with the altitude. Talk about feeling old!

Jeff, Sue, Chris, Constance, Virginia and Jay at Copper

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Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas (Trains gotta honk)

Sue had another long term work assignment in an area where we could park and stay, reducing the amount of flying she had to do. The office is in downtown Fort Worth, but we stayed about 1/2 hour away in Arlington, which is a major bedroom community for the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  It’s also where Six Flags Over Texas is, and it was strange for Sue to remember that she had been there with her family when she was about 5 years old.

We found a nice, quiet park called Treetops and got a spacious spot for a month with trees all around. The weather was alternately wintery (no snow but freezing at night) and summery (80s). It was a gorgeous night for the Superbowl!

Fun watching the game outside: especially for a Pat’s fan!

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Franklin, North Carolina

We were initially going to spend a month in Franklin, NC, but at the last minute we spent 2 weeks cat-sitting Nigel and Jeffery while Jay and Virginia were on their honeymoon. Luckily, Monty fit in their driveway so we had easy access to all our stuff. We spent most of the nights in the house so the cats wouldn’t be lonely and experienced the joy of playful, early-rising kitties. Their idea of rising involves knocking the bedroom door down, face-walking and toe-biting. They are very accepting of strangers!

Jeffery "helping" me plan a trip
Jeffery “helping” me plan a trip

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The Wedding!!! (Roxbury, NY)

Clearly this was a screen shot and I captured my son’s name!

The whole reason we came east for the summer was to attend my son Jason’s wedding to Virginia Hall in August.  A gorgeous farm in the Catskills had been chosen and we were thrilled to find out there was an RV-friendly campground 2 miles from the venue.  We arrived a week early to have some family time with my brothers and their children and grandchildren.

We had some fun kayaking, walking and generally hanging around with everyone for 4 days before the big event. Let me just say, it was HOT. And humid. Continue reading The Wedding!!! (Roxbury, NY)

Branchville, New Jersey

We zoomed across the country from Denver to  Columbus to New Jersey with tornadoes following us one day behind. Since Sue’s son’s wedding was planned for August in upstate New York, we decided to spend the summer in the northeast and see family.

Our first stop was Branchville, NJ. Jason and Virginia live in Blairstown but there were no campgrounds nearby that could handle our large rig. The dates were also complicated by Memorial Day weekend when lots of places were already booked.  We ended up at Kymer’s Campground. This was a large, family-oriented campground with a combination of summer residents (where the RV’s never leave and all manner of deck and screen porch have been added on) and weekenders.

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Moab, Utah

IMG_1602I really, really, really wanted to see the Moab area before we headed back east so we spent a short 2 weeks there since it’s not really close to any major airports for me to fly out of for work. Well, it was amazing.  Canyonlands and Arches national parks are nearby, each displaying gorgeous red sandstone cliffs and arches formed by a variety of physical and chemical erosions.  Carving by the Green or Colorado river, glaciation and tectonic changes all played a role in the variety of formations in the area. Moab is a mecca for mountain bikers, dirt bikers, jeep riders and climbers.

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