Homeward Bound

It is September 1st and we are heading home for the winter. We drove about 230 miles to our first stop, Canyon Pines RV Resort on the Little Salmon river just south of Pollock, ID. We traveled 2 very steep and long downgrades, White Bird Pass and The Lewiston Grade. Engine braking made it much less harrowing than on trips past. Our site is very pretty and the sounds of the rapids are quite nice.

Our Site at Canyon Pines

We spent 2 nights here which afforded us the chance to drive up Hells Canyon. We only went a few miles up the Salmon River from Riggins and the scenery was excellent.

Back to the task at hand, a few more miles south down the road took us to the Mountain Home Elks Lodge where we spent Labor Day Weekend.

Site 1 at the Lodge

Right out our front door, I found many Agaricus Campestris mushrooms. Unfortunately, most of them were past their prime. Sad, because this close relative of the common grocery store white button mushrooms, Agaricus Bisporus, is quite tasty.

Field Mushrooms

Rolling on, we were off to Tremonton, Utah where we spent one night.

Site 49 Aspen Grove RV

The next day we were headed to Deer Creek State Park near Heber, Utah where we stayed 3 nights. Because we eschewed the Interstate as much as possible, we were able to purchase ripe local peaches and delicious sweet corn which we found at roadside stands along Utah highway38. About halfway between Tremonton and Heber on Utah highway 6, we stopped at the Tie Fork rest area. It is certainly a unique and enjoyable place even if you don’t need a break.

A few more miles and we arrived at DeerCreek.

Deer Creek State Park Site 14

While here we explored the towns of Heber City and Midway. Bought cheese and ice cream at an artisan creamery and relaxed.

It is now September 10th and we are off to Hillview RV which is about 6 miles south of Price, Utah. We have time here to do some exploring.

Our site at Hillview RV, Wellington, UT

With 2 full days here we did a little exploring The first day took us back up the road to Price where we viewed the Utah State University Prehistoric Museum and then on to Helper where we saw antiques, crafts and the Big John statue..

Our next stop was the Circleville RV Park in Circleville, UT. We wished we had planned more than one night. As it was a very pleasant park with many things to see and do nearby. And on the way we found a great spot for lunch.

Our site in Circleville

Kanab was our last stop in Utah. We stayed at J&J RV which was on the edge of town giving us the opportunity to check out some of the area attractions.

Our Home For 2 Days In Kanab

Simply because we felt that Kanab to Prescott would be more of a drive than we cared to do and because it has been many years since we have been in Page we decided to spend a night. We checked out a couple of trading posts and went out for dinner.


Site 8 At The Elks Lodge in Page, AZ

Our very last stop on this adventure, Prescott Valley, AZ.

At the Elks Lodge in Prescott Valley

We enjoyed a day wandering around historic Jerome, AZ an old mining town and now a tourist attraction with many places to spend time and money.

On our last day we traipsed Whiskey Gulch which is the historic district of Prescott, AZ and ate ice cream for lunch. A fitting end to this years odyssey.

I will leave with a picture of the sunrise as we were hitching up to head to Tucson.

A Great Way To Start The Day

Until we hit the rode again, Your Random Rover, Gordon

Riverside August 2021

We returned to the Bowl and Pitcher Campground at Riverside State Park to be camp hosts in the lower section.

Host Site #7

We had impressive views from our campsite.

And many more from park trails along the Spokane river.

There were many flowers and lots of critters to watch even in the heat of summer. We saw squirrels, marmots, ducks, geese, osprey, deer, and numerous wildflowers in the park.

We enjoyed a few evenings with family at their homes and here in the park and were able to do a few little things for them. We plan to head back here next summer so that we can spend more time enjoying the “inland empire.

Now that we have completed our hosting duties we will be spending about 3 weeks heading home via a route that we have not taken before and are looking forward to many new sights along the way.

All that glitters is not gold (Shakespeare) — Your Random Rovers

Another View of our Host Site

Summer Vacation

It is July 1st and our first month at Bowl and Pitcher / Riverside is complete so we are off on a month-long vacation. Our First stop is Yakima. Though we have passed through more than once, we have never spent any time here. The Yakima Elks Lodge has an RV park that is an easy drive from Spokane.

Did some shopping and then walked the grounds of a beautiful arboretum which is just a few miles from the Elks Lodge. We were really looking forward to cooler weather. Spokane and Yakima are hotter than Tucson. Soon we will be on Hoods Canal where we will probably exchange shorts for long pants.

Little Creek Casino Shelton WA

July 5th: Here we are on Hoods Canal and it’s much cooler. A good overnight stop.

Port Townsend Elks RV

July 6th: We will spend 3 nights here to see brother and sister-in-law in Port Ludlow and a few old friends in Sequim. Still enjoying cool marine air.

July 7th: 6 nights on the beach at Copalis, WA with John, Laura, Missy, and Jasmine. What a great time!

Tillamook Elks RV

Halfway through July and we are on our own again. We have 2 days here to find new things to see in the area.

Polk County Fairgrounds

We did not make reservations early enough to stay closer to Corvallis. But the fairgrounds here in Rickreall, OR are clean and quiet. Also they were close enough so we could see brother Stephen and sister Julie while we were here. We also found time to shop in Dallas and Independence, OR.

In Prineville at Crook County RV

On the afternoon of our arrival, 7/25, we did a driving tour of Prineville and purchased a few supplies. The next day we went to Bend. We couldn’t believe how much this whole area has grown. The population of Bend has exploded. When I was last here in the mid-’60s, it was a cowboy town of around 15k. Now it is a city of 106K! Exploring a little of Redmond took up our last day here.

It is July 28th and we are heading to our last vacation stop, Hood Park near the Tri-Cities. On the way north we stopped for a break at Shaniko and lunched at Maryhill Park in Washington.

Hood Park

We are spending 4 nights here relaxing before returning to Riverside for another month of camp hosting. We are beginning to plan our return to Tucson in September.

Sacajawea State Park

On our last day we toured this Washington state park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers and enjoyed the interpretive center there. Our little vacation has been blessed with family, good friends, and nearly perfect weather. We couldn’t ask for more.

Happy trails to you from your Random Rovers…

Heffy’s Gallery

I have never devoted a post to a business before, but when I stumbled upon this little shop on Highway 101, in Florence, Oregon I immediately new I had found an unsung gem.

More pictures, information, address and phone can be found at: https://heffysgallery.com/ My only regret is that I did not take a picture of Heffy’s bust carving of Jack Nicholson. It is iconic. You will just have to go and see it yourself.

Summer ’21 1st Installment

After missing last year, as did almost everyone else, we are on the road again. The plan is to spend a month in Spokane Washington, camp hosting at Riverside State Park and spending time with family, then taking a month off on the Pacific coast with stops to relatives here and there, and finally returning to Riverside for another month of hosting. Other than heading homeward after that we really have no plans maybe just randomly roving so we don’t know when we will get back to Tucson.

Dazzo's RV Site 15
Dazzo’s RV Site 15

Our first night was in Wikieup which is really just a wide spot in the road with a few convenience stores/gas stations and diners, but it is a simple one-night stop. While not particularly commodious, Dazzo’s Rv is suitably located and has many Joshua trees and large Saguaro cactus throughout the park. When we were leaving the next morning we learned that the gas station/convenience store/restaurant/gallery where we fueled up the night before had burned to the ground. We could still smell the smoke at the park. Sad news.

Site #4 St George Elks
Site #4 St George Elks

5/24/21 and 278 miles to St George, UT where we stayed at one of our favorite places the, Elks Lodge overlooking a golf course and beautiful red rock formations. Actually, St George is a fabulous destination in itself. The city which has many historically significant landmarks also has beautiful parks and hiking/biking trails. On this trip, we visited Brigham Young’s winter home and did a little shopping on our day off the road.

Lakeside RV Provo, UT
Lakeside RV Site H7, Provo, UT

5/26/21 and another 270 miles closer to Spokane. When we arrived at the Provo Elks Lodge there were no sights available so we spent the night at Lakeside RV which was very near the airport. We never did find the lake but the campground was OK for a night.

Bannock County Fairgrounds
Bannock County Fairgrounds

5/27/21 A shorter day, only 207 miles to Pocatello, Idaho.

Junior Rodeo

We spent 2 nights here where we enjoyed watching the junior rodeo competition and also did a little shopping for provisions.

5/29/21 281 miles to Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge Montana. We are spending 2 nights here so we can return to Philipsburg and shop the Sweet Palace candy store. (Awesomely beautiful drive and fun shopping.) Deer Lodge will be our last stop on the way north. On the 31st we will drive the last 280 miles through Montana, across the Idaho panhandle, and on through Washington to Riverside State Park.

Bowl and Pitcher Campground Riverside State Park

Just keeping the shiny side up, and reminding ourselves that over the hill is still better than under it.

Your Random Rovers, Elaine and Gordon

A Day Trip – Mt Lemmon

Our truck "R2" and Saguaro cactus
Starting Near the Desert Floor

It is March 29th, 2021 and we are taking a day trip up Mt Lemmon to Summerhaven, AZ. Only about 30 miles by highway one way from our home in Tucson but over a mile up. Mt Lemmon features many different climate zones from Sonoran desert to Canadian forest with micro-climates for variety.

Saguaro, Ocotillo, and desert shrubs with Tucson

We are less than 1,000 feet up here looking back over Tucson. This is still desert vegetation here. What an awesome view! There are many pull-outs viewpoints and waysides along this scenic route which is variously known as Catalina Highway, Mt Lemmon highway, and General Hitchcock Highway (in honor of Postmaster General Frank Harris Hitchcock).

Wild Flowers
Some wild flowers at Molino Canyon Vista.
Notice the Arizona Oak on the left only a few miles up the road

It is begining to feel cooler as we climb up the mountain and I no longer see mesquite trees

The better half of the Random Rovers
Elaine spotted this natural sculpture
A Windswept Rock

A stop at the General Hitchcock Wayside provided arresting mountain and canyon views with lots of interesting formations and yet more changes in vegetation. Juniper, Arizona Oak, AZ Rosewood, and ScrubPine predominated. On up the mountain we saw snow by the roadside and the forest changed to Aspen and Pine.

Almost all Pine forest here at our destination. We bought a decal at the general store which was the only business that was open. It was late march so too late for skiers and too early for summer tourists. We consider this drive a must do when you come to Tucson. We simply did a little sight seeing, but this area is a meca for hiking, biking, birdwatching, climbing and of course snow sports in the winter. In the summer it will provide a respite from the Arizona heat.

A natural rock sculpture alongside the Catalina Highway

This has been a short Hobbit’s holiday, but we will be leaving on an extended trip to the pacific northwest in May. Bertha and R2 are ready and so are we.

Travel safely and enjoy life everyday, your RandomRovers

Elaine and Gordon.

Gila Bend, AZ

Why Gila Bend you ask? The town itself appears to be dying. The last grocery store closed more than a year ago. All that is left that might be of interest to a traveler are 2 truck stops, a couple of gas stations, a store that specializes in southwest yard art, a Family Dollar store and a Dollar General store. I should note that one of the gas stations also has some yard art. Just outside of town is the Sonoran Desert RV Park where we stayed 3 nights. The park and all of its facilities are sparkling clean. The sites are big enough for any RV and have full hookups including cable if you should desire it. Cell service is excellent. For a quiet relaxing respite with outstanding hosts this is the place whenever you find yourself between Phoenix and Tucson. We came because we wanted to check out our new (to us) tow rig with sliding hitch and every other bell and whistle you can find on a pickup. The truck, which we christened “R2”, performed flawlessly and I am sure will make our future RV traveling much more pleasurable. The second reason we went was to do a we bit of shopping in Phoenix without the stress of the long drive from our home. And, the final reason: We needed to have a safe outing with a change of scenery during this Covid pandemic.

Bertha and R2 at site 124
Bertha and R2 in Site 124

A lot of sunshine a little rain. Mostly pleasant weather for our short but very nice outing. We can’t wait to get out on a real trip. Vaccines and summer will get here!

Trying to keep the shiny side up. Your Random Rover, Gordon

Arizona’s White Mountains

We have our remodeling project about 80% complete. We haven’t done much of anything with the landscaping but we will. We have been working inside almost continuously because with the Covid-19 crisis and the summer heat it has provided our only viable outlet. But now we have decided that we need to take a break. So, with Bertha loaded and checked we are going camping for a few days.

Ready To Roll

231 miles from the Sonoran desert to the Coconino National Forest at 7,000 feet above sea level. Much cooler here and pine trees instead of saguaros.

Our Site With Forest Behind Us
And A Meadow In Front Of Us

We plan to do some sightseeing and relaxing. Though this resort is lacking in amenities, it is very pleasant and the scenery is beautiful.

One of the many wildflowers we saw.

And another

Mostly we relaxed and enjoyed the mountains.

Excitement

We found out that the little road in front of the campground was the prime location for landing the aid chopper to transfer patients for the ride to larger medical facilities. We are out in the country here. We had two visits during our stay. That is as exciting as things got which was fine with us.

Sonoran Desert Resort, Gila Bend, AZ

On the way home we decided to stop for the night at the KOA Journey in Gila Bend so we could do most of the clean-up and dump duties in cool of the morning and then do the easy 2 1/2 hour drive home. Our first surprise was that it was no longer a KOA campground, but no fear folks, the same great people are running it. We did have a disappointment however. Just down the road a bit from the campground we had planned to shop for yard art at Holt’s Shell as they always had great prices and a good selection. Unfortunately, Holt’s has closed and is being replaced with a Pilot truck stop. We headed on homeward in the morning arriving safely and in fine shape to start planning our next escapade.

Your Random Rovers

Homeward Bound

Wow, can’t believe I did not write and post this a year ago when we got home. Anyhow, I am writing it now and posting it for the record.

With our stint as campground hosts at Hawley’s Landing completed, we hitched up Bertha and went back to Colbert, WA to spend a few more days with the kids and grandkids before heading home. I replaced the main AC unit as planned and the starter motor on the truck which wasn’t planned. John was a big help with both projects and all went well. We did a little travel preparation shopping and then simply enjoyed time with family.

It is September 17th and since all good things must end someday: We’ve said our good-byes and we are headed south, back to our remodeling project and our Tucson friends.

Our first day took us back to Indian Creek RV in Deer Lodge Montana where we spent the night. The next morning found us on the road again heading across Montana to Billings where we stayed at the very first KOA campground. Ok, nothing really exciting, but a decent enough place and certainly a landmark in RV history.

02BillingsKOA
Staying at the KOA in Billings, Mt

Off we go again, now on to Kaycee, Wy. Home of rodeo bareback champion and country music star Chris Ledoux. While here we visited the Chris LeDoux Park and a very fine museum of early Wyoming ranching.

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Chris LeDoux

 

12KayceeJail
The First Kaycee Jailhouse

 

13CampingKCRV
Staying at Kaycee RV Park

The last of the consecutive days of driving. We are driving on to Cheyenne, WY where we will spend a day sightseeing and resting.

21HerdOfBison
A Herd of Bison

 

22CheyenneSculpture
One of the Many Sculptures around Cheyenne

 

23BisonRanchRV
Our “Premium” Site at Bison Ranch

We found Cheyenne to be a charming modern city that is very proud of it’s roots. Unfortunately, the Bison Ranch was a disgustingly filthy and overpriced tourist trap.  If we were to come this way again we would find other accommodations.

Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, WY

276 Miles from Cheyenne Took us to Rock Springs, Wyoming where we spent the night at the Sweetwater Events Complex. Though not by any means pretentious we would recommend this a great stop. The staff was friendly, the sites level and clean and we shared happy-hour with some great neighbors. We couldn’t wish for more.

Back at the Provo UT Elks Lodge

We have planned a day of site seeing so will spend a second night here.

 

Elaine With Waterfall

 

The View From 8060 Feet

We took a driving tour Northeast of Provo, gaining about 3,500 feet in elevation, where we had beautiful mountain views and bought some really good apples from a roadside market.

St George Elk Rv Parking

With 2 nights in St George (our last R&R stop) We headed to the Red Reef Area near Leeds, Utah for an easy day hike.

Red Reef Trail

 

Another View of the Red Reef Trail

Sad to say just a two more nights and we will be back in reality.

Will I still be able to deal that?

Zuni Village RV in Kingman, AZ

 

KOA Journey in Gila Bend, AZ

Our last 2 nights on the road for this long journey. It September 31st and we are home safe and sound. This has been an awesome trip. I wonder where our hearts will lead us next.
Your Random Rovers

Hawleys Landing

Our cruise was over, we went through Canadian customs at Vancouver, took the cruise bus back to the airport, took airport train out to the long term parking, found the truck, crammed all of our stuff in and buckled up headed out. It is nearly 3 and 1/2 hours from our stateroom to this point so our first stop was the airport shopping mall for a ‘necessary’ break. OK, now off to Blaine Washington where we went through US Customs to get back state-side. Since it was much later than we’d hoped for, there was an hour plus back up at the border. Exhausted, we stopped for the night in Wenatchee Washington after a beautiful drive through the Cascade mountains. Then on the road again for an easy drive to Spokane where we house sat for son John, did laundry, and stocked up on fresh food for our next destination, Hawley’s Landing. I think we are getting too old for this reality stuff, taking a cruise was much easier.

When we arrived for our planned 5 weeks of camp hosting we set up in an area reserved for seasonal employees and other personnel that do not need to be in the main campground. This was a pleasant surprise as we did not need to assume our duties for another week. I am sure that this is as close to a sinecure as I will ever get. Our first week of camp hosting with no responsibilities, and no scheduled activities! This was heaven!!!

002 HostSite
Our Host Site

This was our site while we hosted. Hosting here involved keeping the reservation cards up to date, campsite cleanup, and answering questions.

This was a very nice place to be for the week we rested,  and the 4 weeks that we hosted. We headed off to son John’s for a little more time with them. After that, it will be time to set our sights for home.

Just another thread in the tapestry of life

your random rover, Gordon