Hurrah, we made it to Rapid City, SD, my domicile state. Our plan is to stay here for at least one week to get a few things done and explore the Black Hills and the Badlands National Park.
For consistency, let me go back to the last days in Park City, UT. The weather turned pretty bad and besides heavy rain the temperatures dropped into the 20s. Frost and snow all around us. For the last two days the weather improved and we did some nice hiking. The Round Valley Trails east of Park City have been designed for hikers, horses, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers.
We enjoyed walking these rolling hills with elevation changes of approximately 800 feet between hilltops. Everything about these trails is very well organized, clean and dogs are allowed off leash. It is amazing how much infrastructure a community can create with the initial money infused by Olympic Games.
On the last day in Park City we drove to the Antelope State Park. The park is located on a peninsula extending into the Great Salt Lake west of Salt Lake City. The truly bizarre landscape along the shoreline combined with the awesome vastness of the lake is absolutely worth a visit. Our dog Cooper was limping at the time of the visit, so we kept the hiking to a minimum and drove from vista to vista for a few hours.
Talking about Cooper, we visited a veterinarian in Park City to have him checked for Heartworm Microfilaria. The good news is, he is free of the parasite. It looks like we beat the disease. The little guy almost died in March 2016 and now he seems to be ok.
From Park City, UT we traveled about 650 miles to Rapid City, SD with overnight stops in Rawlins, WY and Douglas, WY. Wyoming displayed sparsely populated landscapes and wide open spaces. At about 60% the size of California, only about 550.000 people live in the state. The Wyoming population density is approximately 5 people per square mile (compared to California with approximately 200 people per square mile).
We have not seen much of South Dakota yet. However, the part we have seen is beautiful. Stay tuned.
Yesterday (Sep. 20, 2016) marks the 100th day we are living in the motorhome. Reason enough for me to write a summary of observations.
The most important thing from my point of view is that I don’t miss anything. I did not expect this transition to be so smooth. The living space in my opinion is more than sufficient and there has been no moment yet where I missed any personal belongings. Everything I needed during the last 100 days was actually available. As a matter of fact, I already identified stuff that I don’t need. Once we roll by our storage unit in the San Francisco Bay Area I believe I will deposit another box of stuff there.
As far as living in a confined space with a human partner is concerned, the jury is still out. So far we only had fair weather days. During good weather, one can spend time outside of the motorhome. The next two days are forecasted to bring rain and thunder, let’s see what the mood is going to be after being trapped indoors.
The cats have adopted much better than expected. Cats derive security from the location they are living in. They typically do not enjoy changes in their home environment. While the motorhome is traveling down the road and is parked in different locations; the inside of the motorhome – their home – does not change. Consequently, the cats are fine.
The dogs, as expected, are in dog heaven. They are essentially 24/7 with their pack. There are established feeding times and some kind of outdoor activity every day. What else is there to life? Dogs feel secure in their pack and their pack has not changed.
The coach has performed well (knock on wood). We had to fix a few small problems and one large issue (battery replacement). According to experienced RVers, there seems to be always something to be fixed on a motorhome.
In summary, so far, so good.
We did touristy things today in Salt Lake City and visited the Temple Plaza, the Beehive House and the Utah State Capitol. Before driving home to Park City we lingered for a while in Liberty Park.
In the afternoon of Sunday Sep. 18, 2016, Gosia was busy with other stuff and our dog Cooper was limping and needed some rest. What are two guys (one human and one dog) to do? We went for a lovely but steep hike in the hills above Oak City, UT.
We walked into this valley …
Ended up here …
Our view …
Anyhow, we left Delta, UT on Monday Sep. 19, 2016 for Park City, UT. For those that don’t know, Park City is the location where the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City took place. Before parking our house in the Park City RV Resort we visited a RV repair shop in Salt Lake City and had all 8 house batteries replaced (ouch). The batteries had failed big time while camping on the Bob Scott Campground in Austin, NV a week earlier. We are carrying four solar panels on the roof of the RV, feeding 640 Watts of pure green energy into the battery bank. Without reliable batteries, this setup is useless and camping in less developed areas would be difficult.
Old batteries out …
New batteries in …
We made it without any problems to Park City, UT. More to come. Stay tuned.
After getting a leaking tire valve fixed in the morning we traveled from Ely, NV to Delta, UT, a distance of approximately 150 miles along Highway 50. Our plan is to stay here over the weekend and continue on Monday Sep. 19, 2016 to Salt Lake City, UT.
While traveling on Highway 50, we were stopped by a police officer that informed us about three approaching oversized vehicles. He instructed us to get off the highway and wait until the vehicles have passed. Really? How big can these oversized vehicles be? Well, we found out that around here they can get pretty big.
On Tuesday Sep. 13, 2016 we traveled from Carson City via Highway 50 to Austin, NV. Highway 50 east of the Sierra Nevada is nick-named the “Loneliest Highway in America”.
The little town of Austin (population 300) has a fascinating history. In the 1870s Austin was the second largest city in Nevada with a population of 9000 inhabitants. While we were there yesterday, it appeared that Austin has been turned into the “Donald Trump for President” headquarter. It was impossible to overlook the display of Trump support in town. I am pretty sure “The Donald” will make – amongst other things – Austin great again. Austin clearly needs all the help it can get.
We stayed overnight on the beautiful Bob Scott National Forrest Campground approximately 6 miles east of town. Here we discovered that the RV home batteries are probably due for replacement (ouch, that will be expensive). Other than that and the fact that our dog Cooper while hunting rabbits got lost for a long time we enjoyed the stay.
Today we continued our travel from Austin to Ely, NV. The vistas provided by Highway 50 along the way are stunning.
Here we are, on a campground near Carson City, NV and one of the first things I learnt from the camp host was that they don’t recycle in Nevada. What the f@#$ is wrong with these people? Well, after researching the Carson City and Reno community website I am relieved to report that they do recycle in a one-stream garbage process. That means, somebody will separate the recyclables from the garbage as it all moves by him or her on a high-speed conveyor belt. While this is convenient for the customers, I do believe holding people responsible for separating recyclables from non-recyclables may have more of an educational effect.
Since arriving here we hiked in several locations. The Washoe Lake State Park north of Carson City was nice, but there was no water and consequently no lake.
After paying the $10 non-resident fee to enter the Spooner Lake State Park we took a nice little walk around the lake with the dogs on leashes. Later we walked up the North Canyon Trail toward Marlette Lake for a few miles with the dogs roaming free.
Yesterday we hiked about 6 miles on the Tahoe Rim Trail to the 8000 ft marker starting at Carson Pass on Highway 50.
Yesterday was a good day! After 3 months of living in the motor home at several locations around the San Francisco Bay Area we took a major step forward. We left the San Francisco Bay Area and the state of California. Starting at sea-level in the California Delta we lifted our entire household by 7200ft and rolled over Donner Pass into Nevada. Our home for the next week will be Carson City, NV.