Dec12

Southwest Tour 2012

Posted by admin on 12/12/12  ~  Posted in: Galleries, Galleries, Utah

Click any image to enlarge or begin slideshow

During the spring we spent another few months in the southwest.  I say "another" because between Shannon and I, I've lost track of how many times we've been through the southwest.  The fact is, one could spend a lifetime exploring southern Utah, Arizona and the surrounding areas.  There's just so much to see and do.  This trip was a bit of a whirlwind because we were meeting Chuck and Nikki before they headed to Uganda, and we were eager to show them some good spots.  We didn't take a lot of pictures (we're still backlogged about 15,000 photos from our LAST southwest trip that still need to be edited so I wasn't eager to add to the pile).  That said, here are some quick shots of the trip:

We made camp just outside Zion Canyon - a beatiful stop with a great view!

The desert flowers were beautiful!
We stopped at a cool rock shop that had countless cool natural wonders, it was hard to peel away to get into the canyon!
Driving through Zion - a beautiful place!
In Escalante we went to this restaurant that made a claim about having the biggest pancakes.  Nikki wanted to see for herself.  In the end, the pancake won.
We headed out to Peekaboo Canyon for some cool slot trekking after making a quick stop at The Devils Rockgarden (at least I think that's what it's called - it seems like half the monuments in Utah have the word Devil or Hell in them... I wonder if it has to do with the Mormons...)
Yellow Rock is an amazing place.  A short hike from the road puts you on an incredible land formation.  Definitely worth checking out, this was my 3rd or 4th time here.
Some shots from the road...
We made another camp in the Valley of the Gods, just north of Monument Valley.  I quickly got to work making a ridiculously elaborate fireplace.
With the sun going down in a beautiful place, what better way to spend the evening than with some whisky, my brother and Super Mario Bros. - that's right Super Mario Bros. in the middle of the desert, what of it?
Nice sunsets here
The pets certainly enjoy the van life more than urban life, that's for sure!
Some views from Mulee Point, looking south at Monument Valley.  This was a cool place to start experimenting with timelapses.
Our Westy in the wild and the pets diggin' the view
Monument Valley pano
We stopped at Newspaper Rock, then made camp to the south in the hills above Canyonlands National Park.
Van life is pretty good indeed.
...at least until you start spraying coolant out of a cracked coolant junction in the middle of the desert.  Luckily Trevor in Fort Bragg had pointed this piece out to me months before and warned of it's impending cracking so I had spent our last 40 bucks in Santa Cruz at the Van Cafe buying a replacement.  Certainly glad I did, and glad for all of Todd's help getting me comfortable maintaining this thing.  It ended up being a quick fix instead of a thousand dollar tow job from the middle of nowhere.
We got some cool weather near Moab, although having lightning striking all around us can be a litle scary.
Well, we were in Moab so we had to at least get a little mountain biking in.  After numerous spills in the orange/red dirt, we started to look like Oompa Loompas
Nothing a dip in the Colorado River wouldn't fix.  Sam got his dip too.
Well, there you have it.  I've left quite a bit out, like our awesome trip to Colorado and Mesa Verde, but hopefully I'll get to that soon.
Mar01

Big Sur

Posted by admin on 03/01/12  ~  Posted in: Galleries, Galleries, Galleries, Big Sur

We ended up staying in the Big Sur area for a couple weeks, hanging out high in the hills above the ocean. We left Los Gatos just as a nasty stomach bug was taking hold, first in Shannon, then in me. As miserable as being sick was, at least we were in the wilderness, the calm. We spent many days just laying out in the sun, reading, doing yoga, watching the clouds come in below us and the sun dip below them. It was a wonderful, rejuvinating time and it was a spiritual recharge to be back out in the wilderness. We avoid campgrounds as much as possible and Big Sur was no different - I'm glad we were able to find some nice sites away from traffic and people. Just the sounds of the birds and the wind. Here's some shots from our stay:

Feb20

Our Van Has a Name! TORTUGA!

Posted by admin on 02/20/12  ~  Posted in: Welcome

Well, at long last our van has been christened Tortuga.  The suggestion came from our dear friend Becky (see her blog here: http://isntthatsofunny.blogspot.com/)  It's green, it's slow, it's our shell of a home that just keeps chuggin'!  Go Tortuga go!

Feb01

Having Fun - Fall 2011 - Gallery

Posted by admin on 02/01/12  ~  Posted in: Galleries

 

Jan25

Keeping Her Running - Fall 2011 - Gallery

Posted by admin on 01/25/12  ~  Posted in: Galleries

Fuel line replacementOut of gas - almostMore fuel lines to be replacedThese fuel lines are way back thereFixing the blower fan
This involved wiring up an LED to feed through a hole to seeWater pump failureFixing the water pump wiringDrilling out the broken alternator bold with Trevor

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