Fall road trip 2017

This year’s big road trip started in Ventura, CA with a quick detour to sunny San Diego for nephew Owen’s 3rd birthday party. (Happy birthday, buddy!!) From San Diego we traveled east.

  • San Diego, CA
  • Valley of Fire state park, NV
  • Fishlake National Forest, UT
  • Utah Lake State Park, UT
  • Colorado River Recreation Area (Moab, UT)
  • Arches National Park, UT
  • Canyon Lands National Park (actually just outside the park), UT
  • Kaibab National Forest, AZ
  • Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
  • Mojave National Preserve, CA

 

Mission Bay, San Diego singing the birthday boy Happy Birthday!! 

Mission Bay, San Diego singing the birthday boy Happy Birthday!! 

From there we traveled east towards Las Vegas, NV. We slept in the truck for the first time with Mia at a rest stop somewhere in the desert. No pictures from that stop but it was a successful first use of the new truck/camper shell setup. More on that later. 

 

Mia enjoying the cool shade at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park. 

Mia enjoying the cool shade at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park. 

After waking up at the rest stop we continued on to Nevada for an early stop at the Valley of Fire. A very neat spot to learn about some geology and do some fun hikes. Mia enjoyed lunging after the lizzards.  

 

Sitting by the fire in Fishlake National Forest, Utah near a little creek.

Sitting by the fire in Fishlake National Forest, Utah near a little creek.

Here we learned that Mia likes to sit in camping chairs. We also tested our skills in “dispersed camping“ or camping in the wilderness not in a proper campground. Brian designed and built the amazing stone fire ring. We also had a near encounter with a bear! After some panic caused by what sounded like deep growling and hurrying to lock ourselves in the truck, we realized the “bear” was snoring away in the truck with us. Oh Mia....

 

Brian cooking dinner in the back of the truck. 

Brian cooking dinner in the back of the truck. 

Utah was well into the fall season for this trip. The colors were spectacular but the heavy rain all night really tested our camper shell setup. 

Mia and Brian having a lunch break under an overpass somewhere in Utah. 

Mia and Brian having a lunch break under an overpass somewhere in Utah. 

Truck camping turned out to be a great way in involve Mia in everything we did. We cooked tortellini with pesto sauce on the camp stove.

Huevos Rancheros camping style.  

Huevos Rancheros camping style.  

On Monday we left the Fisklake forest and headed up towards Salt Lake City for Brian’s Geothermal Resources Conference. We found a campground with heated showers but more importantly we found a Sprouts grocery store and experimented with a few camping recipes. Huevos Racheros and Pizza! Both turned out really great and were repeated during this trip. They will probably become our regular camping meals.

The awesome spot we found at the Colorado River Recreation area in Moab, Utah. 

The awesome spot we found at the Colorado River Recreation area in Moab, Utah. 

Mia patiently waiting for the next adventure/walk to begin. 

Mia patiently waiting for the next adventure/walk to begin. 

Arch rock

Arch rock

Brian and Mia climbing an arch rock

Brian and Mia climbing an arch rock

An arch rock  

An arch rock  

The truck

The truck

Indian creek falls back country campsite off the trail

Indian creek falls back country campsite off the trail

riding in the truck is exhausting

riding in the truck is exhausting

Campfire pizza... brick oven yummy

Campfire pizza... brick oven yummy

Pizza baking lids

Pizza baking lids

Indian creek falls back country hike, Mia is afraid to go higher

Indian creek falls back country hike, Mia is afraid to go higher

Relaxing in the truck because the ants were out and crawling on her

Relaxing in the truck because the ants were out and crawling on her

Indian creek falls back country hike, resting in the shade and enjoying the view

Indian creek falls back country hike, resting in the shade and enjoying the view

Indian creek falls back country camping  

Indian creek falls back country camping  

Indian creek falls back country hike

Indian creek falls back country hike

At the Grand Canyon south rim. 

At the Grand Canyon south rim. 

Kaibab National Forest camping  

Kaibab National Forest camping  

Ancient Navajo Sweat Lodges

Ancient Navajo Sweat Lodges

Kaibab Forest and Sweat Lodges

Kaibab Forest and Sweat Lodges

Mia finally relaxing in the back seat of the truck

Mia finally relaxing in the back seat of the truck

Mojave National Preserve near granite pass

Mojave National Preserve near granite pass

Mia sleeping in the desert shade

Mia sleeping in the desert shade

Brian cooking dinner at the camp

Brian cooking dinner at the camp

Mia playing watch dog at sunset

Mia playing watch dog at sunset

Finally heading home and sleeping on the way

Finally heading home and sleeping on the way

Dirty dog has to have a bath before returning home

Dirty dog has to have a bath before returning home

Home at last, Mia is back on the couch. 

Home at last, Mia is back on the couch.