Wow. Once I got out of the daily habit of blogging, it becomes a chore to get back to it. Apologies to any readers I have left out there. I suck.
The 7,000+ mile odyssey from California to NC and back is mostly driving with a few highlights. So, to fill in the gaps:
I purchased a new trailer hitch in North Carolina and it works much, much better than the old one by Husky! The Camco Recurve R6 is brilliant with the Anti-Sway designed into the head and is less like a “Kludge” than the old Husky.
With the proper equipment, the trip back out west was quite nice with stops at Mammoth Caverns in Kentucky, Grand Junction, Colorado to visit friends and other fun spots along the way.
Mammoth Caverns was another case of the cool Wild Cave Tour being booked long before I arrived. I had to settle for the “Beginners Wild Cave Tour”. It was still fun wearing overalls, a hard hat and crawling on my belly through tiny holes in the mud. The full tour is 6 hours as opposed to 2 hours and covers much more.
It being fall, the Weather was dicey. I hit lots of rain while visiting Kentucky and the during the drive back across Missouri and Kansas. The worry I had was not making Colorado before the snows hit the Rockies. I had zero desire to tow a trailer in the snow, chains or not!
Sure enough a storm was forecast for I-70 west of Denver and when I emerged from the Eisenhower Tunnel at 11,158ft elevation it was snowing pretty strong. There were no chain restrictions, so I bulled my way down the mountain to Grand Junction, on the western side of Colorado.
I spent a few days visiting friends in Grand Junction, where the Colorado River meets the railroads and highway. It was a cute town in a nice valley surrounded by dessert like wind carved cliffs.
One of the nice things about staying with locals is they tell you about the great places to visit in the area. I did some walking along the Colorado River and we drove to the Colorado National Monument, which is literally next door.
They also suggested I camp at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah on my way back. This is a tiny gem of a park south of I-70 that would be easy to miss. http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblin-valley/ It is really in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the visit. The term “Goblin” refers to the knob of rock atop the rock spires.
So after a long, sometimes arduous journey I returned to California. I was weary of travel and was looking for somewhere to stay for the winter. I missed the simple routine of waking up in the same place day after day, and I missed my family and friends.
Finding a month-to-month spot turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. All of the places I called were booked and had waiting lists! (At least in the areas I wanted to live) It turns out that RV parks are mostly semi-permanent residents and just keep a few spots for daily/weekly guests. More learnings on my part. 😛
I found a park in Jamestown, west of Sonora that had an opening on the 1st of December, and I moved in! Overall, I like it very much.
So I’m dug in for the winter and spring and, baring problems, will be here until at least May of 2016. I still have plans to finish the PCT next year. That WILL HAPPEN!
In the meantime, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!