Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kanab Utah

Kanab is in a great location with access to three National Parks. Kanab is about 90 miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, about 40 miles to Zion National Park, and about 80 miles to Bryce Canyon National Park. In town there is the Frontier Movie Town Movie Set Museum and within 20 miles there is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and the Pipe Spring National Monument. So Kanab is a sightseers paradise but now for the rest of the story.

Kanab is a small town of about 3500 so there are no Wal-Mart locations or any stores you might recognize. When we started out this years journey that was appealing but it has kind of worn out its welcome. What made the other remote locations better was the local dining options. If we could not get to a cheap grocery store like Wal-Mart then we could eat out. Both of us searched multiple times for a good dining option but came up empty. The place most mentioned by other park residents and online was Houston's Trails' End Restaurant and we tried it for lunch and got below average food with above average surliness from the wait staff. Our best dining was the lunch buffet at Lotsa Motsa Pizza and that should tell you all you need to know about Kanab dining.

To be fair probably the two best places to eat in town were open at 5p but you know us full-timers don't like to be out after dark.

So Kanab is a great location just bring your food with you.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, October 28, 2011

We are off Daylight Savings Time early

Since Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time we fell backwards one hour yesterday when we left from Kanab and crossed the border into Arizna. We are back at the Meteor Crater RV Park near Winslow Arizona. It was about 240 miles driving the first part in southern Utah which is gorgeous. But the big highlight of the trip had to be the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. We liked the Page Arizona and Lake Powell area so much that have added it to our list of places to visit.

While here we plan to eat at the Turquoise Room in the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, one of our all time favorite places to eat, and visit Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument near Flagstaff.

After a few days here we are off to Goodyear Arizona where we will spend the winter.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Utah National Parks Tour - Zion National Park

We have to say that Zion National Park is our favorite National Park so far. It is very hard to compare all these beautiful parks that we have seen but the ruggedness and the red sandstone cliffs and then a lighter sandstone formation behind a red one really makes Zion an amazing place to visit. Since we left from Kanab the east entrance into the park on Highway 9 Scenic Byway was the best option. Here is a scenery shot as you approach from the east.

Since we are a dually truck we had to pay the escort fee through the tunnel so we got the single lane treatment as if we were towing our RV. Bob took this photo of the tunnel while we were waiting.

It is a 1.1 mile tunnel completed in 1930 with only a couple of cutouts to get natural light. Here is a photo of one of those cutouts after we have cleared the tunnel and then spent some time on some winding roads.

We toured the Visitors Center and then boarded the free park shuttle to scenic stops into Zion Canyon. The Weeping Rock stop was neat where you can take a trail up to where the snow on the top of the mountains melts and is absorbed into the rock and then weeps out lower in canyon walls. You can actually get underneath where the weeping occurs. Here are a couple of photos from the Weeping Rock area. First is looking at the weeping rocks.

The next one is Bob underneath the overhang and looking through the water.


We saw some climbers going up steep walls at The Bend stop.

At the end of the line is the Temple of Sinawava where you can walk on the Riverside Walk trail. Ths trail is real neat because you walk near the Virgin River (which shaped Zion Canyon) into an ever narrowing canyon. Here are a couple of photos from the Riverside Walk.


Photos from Zion Canyon have been uploaded to the Kanab Utah set on Flickr.

Utah has been amazing and our favorite State visited so far while full-timing and Zion is our favorite National Park.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Frontier Movietown Movie Set Museum & Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

The North Rim round trip and hiking at 9.000 feet wore us out so we stayed around Kanab. First we toured the Frontier Movietown Movie Set Museum. Kanab has been called Little Hollywood because a lot of western movies and television series have been filmed in the area. To name a few; Daniel Boone, Gunsmoke, Windrunner: A Spirited Journey, Planet of the Apes, El Dorado, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Lone Ranger, Sergeants 3, and Stagecoach. Sergeants 3 and Oceans 11 were the only two films that starred the entire Rat Pack (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford).

Here is the entrance:

Here are some of the movie sets.

Next we journeyed to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, which are the only sand dunes on the Colorado Plateau. One of the unique features is the color of the sand. The sand originates from Navajo Sandstone beds in the area. The color results from a high concentration of iron oxides. Although this type of sand is widespread in southern Utah, no where else has the wind piled the sand into the majestic dunes found here.

Here is a picture of the dunes:

Here is a picture of the consistently fine texture of the sand. The wind is amplified through a nearby gap in the Vermilion Cliffs. The wind is extremely selective; if the particles are too small they blow away as dust, while particles too large cannot be moved the distance from the gap to the resulting dunes.

Photos from this sightseeing day have been added to the Kanab Set on Flickr.

A side note is that we have posted info on Ron's Mobile Service on the Carriage Yahoo Group, Escapees, and disputed the credit card charge. We have requested assistance from the 'RV Action Line' from Trailer Life magazine. Thanks to tips we will be notifying the park, Norcold and the BBB.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mobile Service horror story

And this close to Halloween :-)

Sorry this post is so long. The Executive Summary is that Ron's Mobile RV Service in Colorado Springs CO is unprofessional, rude, overcharges and should be avoided at all costs.

We have utilized RV mobile service companies a number of times and have found all of them to be professional and courteous except one, Ron's Mobile RV Service in Colorado Springs CO. To date the standard practice has been one service call fee per event. If multiple trips are needed there has only been the single service fee and we settle up at the end. Our cooling unit in our Norcold refrigerator failed while in Colorado Springs and Ron's was recommended by the park. Ron himself came out and diagnosed the problem and we were charged a $75 service fee and one hour labor totaling $170 which he said was the minimum charge. Since it was the weekend Norcold could not be contacted.

Bright and early Monday morning we called Norcold to inquire about the warranty since there is a lot of confusion on the length of the warranty. In 2009 Norcold went from a 3 year warranty to a 1 year warranty but since we own a Carriage Cameo that has a two year warranty Norcold gives a 2 year warranty on refrigerators installed in a Carriage. We were less than two weeks past the warranty date. Norcold indicted that they would "probably" provide the cooling unit since it was so close to the end of the warranty but they weren't sure if they would cover the labor. Norcold needed to confirm the diagnosis with Ron's Mobile Service so they asked me to have Ron's call them. Which we did so we talked to Norcold before Ron's ever did.

Norcold did provide the cooling unit free and shipped the unit and Ron's came out and installed it. As they were leaving we were charged another $75 fee which we weren't sure was service or labor. At the time were were not sure if Norcold was going to pay for the labor so we thought it was a reasonable charge of $245 total to install the cooling unit since it took them about 2 hours. Later when we were looking over the Norcold paperwork it indicated that Norcold would cover 4 hours of labor. A lot of times with mobile service companies we pay the provider and then we get reimbursed so we made copies of the receipts and mailed it to Norcold. A few days later Norcold called back and said they already paid Ron's 4 hours labor.

Thinking we were due a partial refund we called Ron's and was treated to the most rude, unprofessional conduct we have ever encountered. First of all according to Ron we should have been happy with Ron forcing Norcold (his words) to give us a free cooling unit, which they already told us that they would do anyway but Ron did not know this. Also since it was a very expensive cooling unit "we got because of him" we should just forget about what money we paid them. He does not know us very well, do he?

We are going to pursue a partial refund from Ron's and make sure that this behavior is made known to the RV'ng community.

Wish us luck,

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

Our first sightseeing adventure from Kanab was the North Rim of the Grand Canyon located in Arizona about 90 miles away. With the winding roads it took us almost 2 and a half hours but the drive was scenic. We made one stop on the way at the Le Fevre overlook on Highway 89A. Most of the park offices were closed except for the Visitors Information Center and Bookstore but the roads, trails, and scenic overviews were accessible. The weather was perfect, in the mid 60's with sunny, clear skies.

We drove first to the Visitors Information Center and walked on the trail to Bright Angel Point which is a one mile paved trail. But let us tell you that hiking at 9000 ft. is not fun, even the paved trails seemed uphill both ways and this trail was way uphill on the way back. Here are a couple of photos along this trail.

We next drove to Cape Royal stopping at scenic overlooks along the way. We took the paved trail to Angel's Window and Cape Royal. Here are a couple of photos for this portion.

We have to be honest in that we think we liked the Utah National Parks (Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef) just as much or better than the North Rim. It's not that the North Rim was not beautiful, which it was, it is just that Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef were so amazing and much more than we expected.

Photos have been uploaded to the Kanab Utah set on

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, October 21, 2011

Torrey Utah

Now that we have left Torrey Utah we can reflect on the location which is remote and you may not have heard of Torrey but it is a great place to visit. Located on Highway 24 which is a scenic byway so just getting there is neat. Torrey is the starting point for great tours of the Capitol Reef National Park and Highway 12 scenic byway which was just completed in 1985 turning a 200 mile journey from Boulder to 37 miles. We got great pies at the Gifford House in the park and great food at Capitol Reef Inn and Café (not to be confused with the Capitol Reef Restaurant in the Best Western). We wanted to try the Café Diablo which only serves lunch and supper since it was always busy when we drove by but we never did, oh well, have to save something for next time.

Like we said a very small remote town so no grocery stores, closest is 18 miles away, Chuck Wagon General Store has enough to get you thru the week. The area has better cell phone reception than some areas we have been but still very remote so spotty.

We enjoyed our stay in Torrey and the surrounding area so put this on your list of places to see.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Almost made it to Arizona

We drove from Torrey to Kanab Utah on Wednesday October 19th. Kanab is very near the Utah-Arizona border. Kanab is convenient to three National Parks but unconvenient to any one of them as it is about 90 minutes to 2 hours to a park.

It was another beautiful scenic drive, we chose not to take Highway 12 which was a little longer and mountain driving but took 24 to 62 to 89 which was more of a gradual change in elevation. We are at the Kanab RV Corral in a 50a FHU site with a great line of sight for our satellite dish and a scenic location even though in the heart of the city. Although it is a nice park we have gotten used to having a little more space between sites or having the park mostly to ourselves. It is kind of neat that we are parked next to another Carriage Cameo.

Here is a couple of views of the Cameo in the park with the scenery all around us.

While here we plan on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Although a lot of the stuff at the North Rim closes in mid-October the roads to the scenic overlooks are still open so we are heading there today.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Utah National Park Tour: Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park was established to protect the grand and colorful geologic feature, the Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100-mile long warp in the Earth’s crust. The most scenic portion of the Fold, found near the Fremont River, is known as Capitol Reef: capitol for the white domes of Navajo sandstone that resemble building domes, and reef for the rocky cliffs which are a barrier to travel. When we drove thru Capitol Reef National Park on our way from Moab and did not see many cars and when we had the RV park mostly to ourselves we thought we pretty much would have Capitol Reef National Park all to ourselves as well. So Thursday we did chores.

Friday we went to the visitors center and although there were more cars we thought it wouldn't be too bad. We toured the visitors center and then watched the film. At the start of the film we were among two couples that were there. By the end of the film the theater was full and the visitors center was jam packed and the parking lot was too. We changed our minds and did the short day on Saturday and the long day on Monday.

One thing you notice here is how far you can see, the air is so clear that there is 267 mile visibility on a clear day. That contributes to the awesome scenery being able to see up close then the rocky cliffs and then the mountains in the distance all so very clear.

Here are some photos from our tours. The first is our drive from Torrey to the Park.

Panorama Point on the way to the Park


Cassidy Arch on the Grand Wash unpaved road.


Hiking in the Capitol Gorge


Another arch, the Hickman Natural Bridge at the end of a 1 mile moderate trail


Here is our Highway 12 Scenic Byway tour where you can see the clarity and part of the Waterpocket Fold in the left part of the photo.


Photos have been uploaded to the Torrey Utah set on

This park is remote and has not gotten the visibility of other parks but it is sure worth a visit.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Full-timing with 3 cats - life on the road with an OCD cat

Every once in a while we blog on how it is full-timing in a 359 sq. ft. 5th Wheel with 3 cats.

We suspect that all cats are a little OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but Tiger is full blown OCD. It took us a while to realize this but once we did and once Bob started doing the same going to bed routine it has gotten easier to live with Tiger. A couple of recent events just highlight Tiger's OCD condition. Every night Bob gives Tiger dental and hairball treats, giving the dental treats first because Tiger likes the hairball treats best. One night Bob put the hairball treats in first and Tiger gave him quite a look. Luckily she didn't make Bob take the hairball treats out and ate both treats after the dental ones were added.

The other event concerns the closet doors. Even though Tiger may not want in the closet if the two doors are not in the middle she will paw and cry at the door that is too close after eating her treats. Once it is slid to the middle she is OK with it and jumps up on the bed to go to sleep.

Life is sure interesting with 3 cats on the road but we frequently make comments as to how nice it is to have them with us, wait we have to go break up a fight, darn cats!!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Canyonlands National Park

While in Utah we visited Canyonlands National Park near Moab. If you do not have much time the trip to the visitor center and the views within walking distance of the visitor center are worth the drive.

You know you are in a remote National Park when you see a sign as you are entering says "No Gas, No Lodging, No Groceries" among other things. All the toilets in the park are of the outhouse variety even at the Visitor Center. The remoteness just adds to the scenic beauty. Even though close to Arches National Park the scenery is vastly different. Canyonlands was formed by the workings of the better known Colorado River and the lesser known Green River.

Canyonlands preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes. Although this is a primitive desert the landscape has been shaped by water.

The colors of the canyon are amazing


Canyonlands also has an arch called the Mesa Arch.


Looking through the arch you can see the canyon below and the snow capped mountains in the distance.


We did not know much about Canyonlands when we started our Utah National Parks Tour so were were pleasantly surprised how scenic and how different from Arches National Park that it was.

Photos from Canyonlands have been uploaded to the Moab Utah set on

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, October 14, 2011

Moab Utah dining

The first thing you notice about Moab dining is that the "Moab Dining Guide" is everywhere. This free publication lists most of the restaurants with menus which helped us a lot in deciding where to eat. We wish that more places would offer this type of publication.

The second thing you notice about Moab dining is that there are a lot of breakfast only places and a lot of places that are open only at 5 p.m. This is due to the vast amount of recreation activities in the area with 2 National Parks, countless 4x4 trails, mountain climbing and bicycling. There was a bike race while we were in Moab so there were bikers everywhere.

The hit of Moab dining had to be the Jailhouse Café, which is in the historic Moab Jailhouse. Open only for breakfast until 1 p.m. the Jailhouse Café serves excellent food including old fashioned ginger pancakes which were to die for. Soul food bacon and a spinach and mushroom and feta omelet were also good. Try this place out if you are ever in Moab except on Tuesdays because it is closed.

You know we like our Diners so we had to try the Moab Diner which is open all day and serves breakfast all day. Outside of New Mexico Bob had one of the best green chile omelets he has had. Jo had great blueberry pancakes so add this place to your list if in the area. We also ate at the Pancake Haus which is another breakfast only place that is good and got carryout pizza from Paradox Pizza which we also recommend.

Moab is a great place for scenery and for places to eat.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yet another scenic campground

We left Moab yesterday and journeyed to Torrey Utah. The drive started out near the colors of Arches National Park then we hit the rugged desert and then the beauty of Capitol Reef National Park as we drove through the park on Scenic Byway Utah 24 to get to Torrey.

We are at Sand Creek RV Park (50a FHU sites) and it sure is scenic. The parks out west are some of the most scenic that we have stayed at and the drives between parks are very scenic also. One thing that we have noticed in our travels in Utah is that we have seen more rental RVs than at any other location that we have been in a little over 2 years of full-timing.

We plan to visit Capitol Reef National Park while here but we also plan to catch up on some housecleaning and laundry and some relaxing. Even folks that full-time need a vacation now and then. The weather forecast looks promising with sunny skies and highs in the low 70's and lows in the low 40's so we can pick and choose which days to go to Capitol Reef carefully avoiding the weekend.

Here are a couple of photos of the Cameo at Sand Creek RV Park.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Arches National Park

Our first stop on our National Parks tour took us to Arches National Park near Moab Utah. Arches is known for over 2000 natural sandstone arches including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to vibrant and varying sandstone colors and formations. Delicate Arch is the most photographed arch in the world and is Utah's State Symbol.

This is a living park as 43 arches have collapsed since 1970. The most fragile arch is probably Landscape Arch, which since 1991 three slabs of sandstone measuring 30, 47, and 70 feet long have fallen from the thinnest section prompting the Park Service to close the trail that once passed beneath it. The Visitors Center has an introductory film that includes amateur footage taken when the 70' section collapsed. Landscape Arch is one of the world's longest arches.

Just entering the park at the Visitors Center is scenic and incidentally the lowest elevation of the park. As we drive along the many paved roads and walk the trails to the many arches two thoughts came to mind; all Politicians should be required to view our beautiful country at least once a year so maybe they wouldn't screw things up so much, and gazing upon these wonders the only conclusion that you can make is that there has to be a creator to come up with this amazing landscape. We generally try to avoid Politics and Religion in our blog and hope we have not offended anyone but we also try to report on what we see and what we were thinking (and on food of course!!).

Along the way you will see the Windows area

Balanced Rock

And other arches

Photos from Arches National Park have been uploaded to the Moab Utah set on

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another scenic campground

We are currently at the OK RV Park in Moab Utah. While here we have visited Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park which were wonderful and which we will blog about shortly. The next National Parks that we will be visiting; Capitol Reef, Zion, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon have there work cut out for them as Arches and Canyonlands have been amazing.

Here are some photos of the campground we are staying at. This is the view from our back window.

This is the view from the front of our RV.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rifle Falls State Park near Rifle CO

WOW what a neat area! Besides sitting outside and enjoying the scenery and reading and trips into Rifle for shopping and eating we also did some sightseeing while in western Colorado. Just a short drive from our campsite in the Rifle Gap State Park is Rifle Falls State Park. Rifle Falls is a triple falls that is about 70' tall.

There is an easy trail to the top of the falls that takes you past some caves.

The view from the top of the water cascading over the falls and the valley below is breathtaking.

Even though it was a cloudy day and we got sprinkled on at first and then rained on at the end it was still incredible scenery. We are now in Utah to see the five National Parks there which we have never seen and understand has great scenery but it will be tough to beat what we have seen here in western Colorado.

The trail takes your right over the falls and then you can take a steeper trail back to the parking lot. The tip is to go see the falls first and then take the easy trail up and the steep trail down.

Before we conclude our blogging on western Colorado we have to mention the Creekbend Bistro in Rifle. We had one lunch and one breakfast there and wish we had eaten more times. The food was fresh and tasty and we highly recommend this place. We are already talking about our return visit in two years to Colorado and how we must visit this area again.

Photos from Rifle Falls have been uploaded to the Rifle Gap State Park set on

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rifle Gap State Park near Rifle CO

We already have blogged on how Rifle Gap State Park is a dead zone for phone, internet and even local television but it is worth it. The drive from Denver is very scenic, maybe the most scenic we have been on so far. The aspens were in full fall glory and the other colors were tremendous. The highlight of the drive though had to be Glenwood Canyon which was amazing. We do have to say that the rest stops west of Denver are not very big rig friendly, there was even one that stated no trucks allowed. The two that we stopped at were doable but barely enough room to get in and out but not comfortably.

Once we got close to the destination our GPS took us on some back roads off of the Interstate; when you see 'livestock on road' signs you know you are probably off the beaten path. This path was shorter that is for certain but not sure if it was faster since it was narrow county roads with lots of intersections and 15 mph curves.

Rifle Gap State Park is very scenic with a reservoir nestled near mountains. We had a spot backed in with a view out our back window of both.

We had a great patio area with great views of the gap, reservoir, and mountains while we were outside reading.

The interior of the park is asphalt roads with a concrete pad at each site. There is lots of room between sites and our satellite dish got a signal so for us this is a great park and one we will definitely visit again. The only downer is that the water pressure was a little low.

Photos from this area and more from Colorado Springs have been uploaded to

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We are now in Utah

About 200 miles from Rifle Gap State Park is Moab Utah which we drove on Wednesday October 5th. The scenery on this drive in Colorado was beautiful. With ragged cliffs and the Colorado River darting in and out of sight it was another great drive. Not only have we added another state to our 'States Visited' map but we are also in another picturesque campground, the OK RV Park in Moab, it is raining now so we cannot take a picture.

We wondered if western Colorado's scenery would carry over into Utah and it did not. Eastern Utah along I-70 was rugged desert terrain but then we started seeing the colorful mountains which have drawn us to Utah.

We don't appear to be in a dead zone so will be catching up on our blogging and phone calls and email while we are here along with seeing Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo