60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
TRAVELGRRL's Recent Blog Entries

Vacation Day 72/90 - What Else Could Go Wrong?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

So today was our move day to Salt Lake City.

TC went to move the truck...and it wouldn't start! Apparently he had left the keys in the vehicle and the radio on. Oh well! Called our Roadside Service and they arranged for a guy to come out...problem #1 solved!

Then we went to a "quarter" car wash to blow the worst of the dirt off the trailer. Pulling out, we hit a pothole, scraped bottom, and broke off a stabilizer. Ack. Problem #2.

Traffic through Salt Lake City was intense, even at 1 pm. While going around a curve, TC saw a huge piece of steel belted tire in the road, but because of the traffic, he couldn't swerve. We hit it head on, and it ended up denting the trailer in the front and on the side. Problem #3.

Of course, we still have our water leak (Problem #4) that we can't figure out. We went to an auto service place in Moab and the technician tightened a bunch of connections (hey, they shake loose after 7,000 miles on the road!), but it didn't solve the problem.

So tomorrow is the day. If the RV dealership can't solve the problem, we may just go home. Living in a trailer without water isn't fun. "Should we stay or should we go?"

Will let you know tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 7/24/2014 8:46AM

    What a rough day. Trouble does seem to come in bunches!

Good luck on figuring out what to do!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SUGAR0814 7/24/2014 12:41AM

    Oh no! Sorry to hear about all of the problems! Hope you can get the water issue fixed. Water is definitely needed. Sending positive vibes your way!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 7/23/2014 8:35PM

    What a cluster of problems -- they do seem to come in clusters, don't they?? I remember my sister telling me once when I was dealing with a whole batch that I had "used up my lifetime supply" and things were going to get better . . .. and they did!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KNEEMAKER 7/23/2014 7:48PM

  Believe and achieve! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Vacation Day 71/90 - Last Hike in Moab

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We have enjoyed our time here; we are 10 minutes outside of Arches National Park and about an hour away from Canyonlands National Park. We have hiked both parks pretty extensively and enjoyed them immensely. As we wind our way from one national park/national monument to another, I truly understand why these areas have been set aside for the enjoyment of all. They are beautiful and unique. I am so grateful for these national treasures.

Yesterday, on an impulse, we turned down a road that had a sign for "Castle Valley". As it turned out, it was the "Colorado Riverway", a scenic byway that meanders next to the Colorado River. The sheer rock walls soar up hundreds of feet. To think that this river, over the course of millions of years, carved out the canyon is just impossible to really grasp. The power of water!

We discovered a trail and got up early this morning to hike it. It was called the Negro Bill Canyon Trail. It was so lovely! A large portion of it was in the shade because of the narrow canyon, and also because there is a lot of vegetation -- it follows a stream. In fact, we crossed the stream 11 times!

The really cool part is the Morning Glory Bridge at the end of the trail. It is the 6th largest arch in the world! (At least that's what the sign said.)

And, the big payoff was watching a group of young people rappelling off the arch!

Tomorrow morning we leave for Salt Lake City. We are scheduled to be there four nights, and the highlight for me will be seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Sunday morning service. This may be the end of the line for the vacation, but that's not decided yet. It's supposed to be super-hot in SLC but then our next move would be north, to Grand Teton National Park, and it's a lot cooler in Wyoming. So we shall see!

Have a great day, Sparkfans!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 7/23/2014 1:54PM

    how amazing! You're blessed to be visiting these places and I'm blessed that you're so generous to share

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPANNELL0 7/23/2014 12:10PM

    Fantastic photos! We live 30 miles south of SLC! Wave and you go by!!

emoticon emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 7/23/2014 8:35AM

    Lovely scenery. What great hikes. I like the rock formations and colors. Enjoy SLC.


Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 7/23/2014 7:52AM

    How fortunate you are to to be able to get out and see the wonders of nature and the beauty of man. Hope the voice of the choir meets or exceeds your expectations.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRISKECK 7/22/2014 11:43PM

    What fantastic pictures! And I'll be in SLC tomorrow too! Unfortunately flying out after 4 days a conference but managed to squeeze some hikes in - it is so beautiful here! Have a wonderful time and I look forward to more reports from you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUGAR0814 7/22/2014 10:09PM

    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
144AUTUMN 7/22/2014 4:14PM

  Keep up the good work!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Vacation Day 65/90 - Random Thoughts

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I am down another pound, so happily I am now below my ticker weight! Yay!

Watermellen wrote a great blog today about celebrating her 5-year maintenance anniversary, and in it she talks about many of the things she's learned to do to maintain her 90-pound weight loss.

The thing that spoke to me this morning is that we have to understand that our weight WILL fluctuate, that upticks DO happen, that we WILL make bad doesn't have to be a catastrophe. When it happens make a FIRM DECISION to go back to the basics that worked for you in the beginning: track, drink your water, watch your portions, cut down on the carbs, eat nutrient-dense meals, get more active on Spark, reach out to your Sparkfriends, etc. Whatever works!

The WORST thing we can do is start to berate ourselves for being a failure, for letting this happen again, telling ourselves that we'll "never be able to lose weight". Because that's a lie and a copout.

I used to do that to myself all the time. And it's why I stayed 40 pounds heavier for more years than I can bear to think about. I used to think if I couldn't be perfect, "What's the use?" But as KALIGIRL commented on Watermellen's blog today, "Perfect is the enemy of the good." It's a lesson I still struggle with!

Anyway -- when I got on my compact travel scale (after avoiding it for a few weeks) I knew I had to get busy. The number on the scale wasn't a catastrophe, it was a call to action! I am not where I want to be by any means. But keeping off that 40 pounds is my line in the sand, and it's non-negotiable.

This morning we have already walked nearly 4 miles in town, and now we are getting ready to move to Moab, Utah. We will only be 6 miles away from Arches National Park so I'm hoping we can get in a lot more early-morning hiking without having to wake up at 4 am! We will go to the visitor's center for brochures and information and make a tentative schedule for the next 7 days. I know paddling down the Colorado River is going to be one of the things we do.

OK, gotta go; TC is already out there getting things buttoned up. Have a Sparkalicious Day!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELISMYGAME 7/22/2014 11:02AM

    Hope you are still having a wonderful trip!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KENDRACARROLL 7/21/2014 12:04AM

    Looking forward to some "Paddling down the Colorado River" photos :)
Eating healthy while on the road can be a bit tricky indeed, but it can be done!
Congrats for making it work.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYTHMYTH 7/18/2014 3:00PM

    WONDERFUL blog - especially the link and the reminder that we all need right now.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 7/17/2014 9:51AM

    Love your attitude!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TERI-RIFIC 7/17/2014 6:48AM

    Watch out for quicksand.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUGAR0814 7/17/2014 12:08AM

    emoticon and emoticon on the weight loss!! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 7/16/2014 6:50PM

    Hey, thanks so much for the shout out -- really appreciate it!! Really appreciated your kind comments on my blog too.

Congrats to you on being below your ticker weight -- so fit and healthy you can really enjoy this great trip you're on!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BROOKLYN_BORN 7/16/2014 12:59PM

    Great trip and great attitude. Now I'm off to read Watermellen's blog

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 7/16/2014 11:43AM

    I liked Watermellen's blog also. You are so right about simply dealing with the weight fluctuations without berating yourself. Great job on being a pound under yout ticker weight. I may have to investigate that folding scale!


Report Inappropriate Comment
AJDOVER1 7/16/2014 11:37AM

    When I took a disaster-preparedness class I learned a catastrophe is any event that exceeds the resources available to deal with it. Given all the resources we have here, a weight gain is simply not a catastrophe. I like that you define it as "a call to action."

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEADSBAY 7/16/2014 11:28AM

    You are amazing!
I am so jealous about your entire vacation, actually.
Thnx for sharing a link to watermellen's blog...I had lost hers recently.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRAINBENTT 7/16/2014 10:57AM

    great trip !!!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Vacation Day 64/90

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thanks for the comments on my hiking blog yesterday!

Yes, I guess I am "fit" but I see a difference in my body since it's now been 2 months without strength training or any kind of ab work. YES, I could do planks, pushups and situps in the trailer but...I don't. I just don't! emoticon

Also, I've not been Sparking as much, not been tracking...not been watching what I eat very much...and it's starting to show up, especially now that we've not been doing the long, long hikes (except for yesterday).

July 12 was my 60th birthday! On July 13 I officially said "enough is enough" and I've lost nearly 3 pounds of bloat since then. It feels good to see the scale go in the right direction!

AND, today is my 25th anniversary! TC and I are having a very low-key day. It was cooler than expected thanks to a storm last night, so we walked 5 miles and did our errands and "house"work. It's a low-key day, but that's OK, because we're pretty low-maintenance people! Rather than go out for dinner, we'll have pork tenderloin on the grill, a salad, and roasted potatoes/carrots/onions.

However, we DID indulge in a piece of Native-American pottery to mark the occasion! This was crafted and signed by Dwayne Blackhorse, a Navajo. Don't you love the piece of turquoise added to the right of the design? It's decorated on all 4 sides.

So you can see the size. NOT big, because we still have to keep it safe for 4 more weeks before we get home!

This Native American pottery factory we visited also has some pitch-pots that I was very interested traditional Navajo practice they are sealed with the pitch of pine trees and are quite unique. I may have to go back to revisit them before we leave!

All in all, I'm having a great day, enjoying the cooler weather and feel WONDERFUL to be getting back on track! I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have all of your positive blogs to read and relate to. Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLY-1976 7/17/2014 8:16PM

    Happy Belated Birthday & Happy Belated Anniversary!! That is a beautiful piece..the detail is amazing

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 7/16/2014 9:06AM

    emoticon and
belated emoticon wishes.

One thing that you well know is what you need to do for you and that is the greatest gift anyone can have.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYFULSPIRIT920 7/16/2014 7:38AM

    Happy Birthday!!
Love the pottery.

It is a true challenge to maintain healthy eating and exercise while on such an extended vacation - I commend you on the great job you've been doing. Your fitness minutes are fantastic. Don't get too down about your recent nutritional choices. Wake up today and make better choices.


Report Inappropriate Comment
FANGFACEKITTY 7/16/2014 1:11AM

    emoticon emoticon And the pot is gorgeous. I love the Kokopelli theme.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TOVEYTWIRL 7/16/2014 12:01AM

    Glad you,re enjoying your holiday...The pot is lovely and my kind of thing too !! Belated Birthday wishes and Happy 25th Anniversary to you both x emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUGAR0814 7/15/2014 11:38PM

    Happy belated birthday & happy anniversary! emoticon emoticon Love the pottery! Enjoy your trip! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEADSBAY 7/15/2014 8:27PM

    You are living proof that diet (and by that I just mean what we eat) is more important than exercise.
I mean, they're both important but diet trumps exercise.
Happy belated birthday and happy anniversary you two lovebirds!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINILEE4 7/15/2014 7:03PM

    Love reading your blogs. This pot is very beautiful and has such a special meaning for you both. I DO love the turquoise. Keep it very safe for it's journey to your home. Keep stepping in the right direction. Have the time of your life!!!!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Vacation Day 63/90, Hiking in Utah

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yay, heat wave in Utah! The truck temperature gauge registered 106 degrees when we were driving through Valley of the Gods. YE GODS!

Hiking has been difficult! It is 80 degrees by 8:30 am, 90 degrees by 11:30 am, and hotter than that in the afternoons. We're about 6000 feet above sea level so that adds to the level of difficulty.

ANYWAY. We got up at 4:00 this morning to do a 8.6 mile hike in Natural Bridges National Monument. We started on the trail at 6:45 am. The trail climbs down into the canyon and goes underneath each of the three bridges before climbing out. Everything started out fine but we lost the trail several times, which was unsettling since we didn't see ONE OTHER person on the hike. It ended up being a 6-hour, 10.8 mile hike! My Fitbit showed 111 floors (1,100 elevation gain) so it was quite the challenge.

But beautiful nonetheless!

TC loves the sculptural quality of the trees. It's a hard life for the plants!

This is called slickrock, and it is pure rock. You have to rely on rock cairns for trail markers.

Sipapu Bridge

Can you see me? Climbing down, down, down to the bottom of the canyon.

Lots of ladders to get down sheer rock faces:

Yuck! Once on the canyon floor we had to walk through lots of vegetation. I HATE THIS!!! All I can think about are snakes, chiggers and ticks...but thankfully we didn't come across any critters.

Lots of walking along the river bed, which wasn't ALWAYS dry but was ALWAYS rocky.

The last arch, to just climb the 500 feet up out of the canyon!

Tomorrow is our last day here in Blanding. We plan to get up early and do a nice, safe, unexciting walk around town! Then we need to do laundry, clean the trailer, hit the car wash, post office and grocery store. But I think I've had enough excitement for a day or two!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLY-1976 7/17/2014 8:11PM

    Wow..what a beautiful hike!! Amazing pictures as always :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENJESS48 7/15/2014 2:48PM

    What a challenging hike! Congrats!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AJDOVER1 7/15/2014 2:34PM

    Love those pictures!
Do you plan to revisit during another season when the temps are more tolerable?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CINDYSDAY 7/15/2014 1:54PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LAURELSPARK 7/15/2014 9:29AM

    Beautiful pics!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 7/15/2014 8:59AM

    I love those rocks and arches. This is beautiful country. Thanks for the lovely pictures. Take care of yourself in that 106 degree heat. We have it also.


Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 7/15/2014 8:12AM

    You are a much braver soul than me. Thanks for letting us see the world through your eyes. I did a plank the other day and thought of you on the Great Wall.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 7/15/2014 7:08AM

    What a gorgeous landscape -- love the stripey rock and especially the arches!! How fit are you two, to be able to do this????

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIHIKES 7/15/2014 3:36AM

    Wow, beautiful hike! Loved the photos. I can't believe that you hiked that in the heat!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1BEACHWALKER 7/15/2014 1:55AM

    Wow! Loved the pics!!! Glad you didn't get too lost on the trails! You sure are fit to do all that! Well done!! Thanks for taking us along on your vacation!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUGAR0814 7/14/2014 10:50PM

    Fantastic pictures! Stay hydrated on your walks! Thanks to you both for sharing your adventures. I really appreciate seeing all the different places you've gone. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYTHMYTH 7/14/2014 10:28PM

    WOW !!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 Last Page