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Journal Entries for 2005-08 RV GC, Bryce & Zion
OVERALL SUMMARY: We finally got to use the RV, otherwise known as the "covered wagon" or "the Wagon" for short or "home". The RV was in storage for over 10 years and we've been working on getting it ready for the road since earlier this year. We made a quick trip to Laughlin a month ago, just to make sure that most things were working and it was safe to drive. Our plan was to drive to Parker, pack up the RV and take off really early on Sunday morning (to make the most out of the cooler mornings in the desert). We planned 2 days on the road, going through the Grand Canyon to Bryce, 3 days in Bryce, 3 days in Zion, then 2 days to get home. We stayed at the river a few days, then meet Barbara & Floyd (friends from work) on Friday for a weekend at the river.

We stuck to the plan for the most part. We left Parker a day late. We forgot how tired we get from the drive out to Parker, plus the heat really wears us out. We (actually mainly Carl) had a lot of things to do outside to get the RV ready, so when it's hot (over 100 deg) it takes its toll. Anyway, long story short, we left a day late (on Sunday, rather than Saturday) and only spent 1 night on the road instead of 2. So, we made up 1/2 day. The 1st night was at the Grand Canyon, so we rode the shuttle to the west end and drove the Wagon through to the east part. We were there just last year, so we just hit the highlights.

We spent 3 nights/days at Bryce. We hiked around the Rim Trail, went down into the canyon and even went to the north end of the park to a great little trail, Mossy Cave Trail, and hiked to a waterfall and a mossy cave. The weather was great. We had been worried that it would be too hot, but the monsoons came in and cooled everything down. It rained some every day, sometimes morning, sometimes evening, but we worked around it and had a great time.

Then we drove 85 miles to Zion and spent 3 nights/days there. We took the shuttle up the canyon, did some hiking, got in the Samurai and did some driving. It was warmer here, even had to use the A/C one night (but we had electric, so this was OK).

On the way home we took a detour to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. The map showed a Painted Desert Vista, but we found much, much more. There were many Indians ruins (the largest had a self-guided tour) and the volcano with lava flows (with self-guided tours). This was really great!!! We were going to stay in Flagstaff, but this detour was just north of Flagstaff and there was a campground just outside the National Monument area. We stayed an extra night here because it was so great. We were at 9,000 ft and it was cool, with pine trees and just absolutely fantastic. We had been very active and this was a nice rest day. We stayed at Kingman on the way home, got up early to beat the heat and got into Parker about noon on Thursday (the planned return day was Wednesday).

Barbara & Floyd showed up on Friday afternoon. We chit chatted for a while, then put the 2 jet skis in the water. Carl took them up to the dam and showed them the upriver section. Then on Saturday, Rohde & Shelly came by in their pontoon boat and we went downriver to the casino. On Sunday brave Floyd wanted to try the stand-up jet ski. He did great!!! He got on, did some circles and then stood up (as he went right by us, of course). Barbara & Floyd left after brunch at the VFW with Rhode & Shelly. We all had a great time. Carl & I came home on Monday.

Carl hooked up a radio and antenna to the Tiny Tracker, so friends could track us on the Internet. Well, that only worked for a few days. It died at the Grand Canyon, because of the battery. Another toy, the Data Logger, didn't work consistently either. We wanted to carry it with us, particularly while we were hiking, but also turn it on when we were going down the road. Then we could download the data and plot it on a map. The canyons show up really great on the topo maps. I wanted to somehow get this in �.jpg� format so that I could add it to the picture slide show. We finally figured it out during the Zion portion of our trip and we got some great data.

Well, that's our trip in a nutshell. You can stop here or read the journals for the details.
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