Monday, July 24, 2017

Vacation Stories

The Wanderlust has been unpacked, scrubbed clean and is back to the storage lot. As soon as I finish the laundry, and sweep up the desert sand that tracked us home, I'll tell you stories of great adventures. 

The Wanderlust Goes West to the Canyons

We set out on the road three days later than planned. We were able to land a site in Amarillo at the campground we canceled on and missed one national park stop (Petrified Forest NP). We squeezed in a few roadside America stops. First we revisited The Groom Cross (D was not with us on our first visit)
 and by "standing on the corner of Winslow, AZ." Completed only by a loud speaker blasting The Eagles tunes, of which we gals sang along to. 

We managed to get back on schedule and celebrated the Fourth of July at the Grand Canyon. No there weren't  fireworks, but there burgers on the grill and potato salad...and old fashion sister silliness. 

The next morning we woke early to beat the summer heat and afternoon monsoon rain to hike the South Rim Trail. 

(Hopipoint Overlook) 

We agreed that hiking into the canyon was priority. So we woke the at 3:30am to hit the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon. We knew we could only hike three miles in due to increasing summer heat and afternoon storms. We needed to be out of the canyon by 10am, per the park ranger. As we descended into the canyon we all began to realize how insignificant we are in this world. 
M and D were a few steps ahead when they were greeted by a long horn sheep. King Ralph and I quickly reminded M of the trick we learned in Glacier--clap your hands and the big horn will move along. So we all clapped and he scurried down the cliff's edge. 
Seeing animals in their natural habitat is one of the coolest things to experience while hiking! 

Just as instructed we were out of the canyon by 10am...with five minutes to spare. 

Hiking always offers some good footwear watching. People confuse hiking with park strolls. Bright Angel is a steep switch back trail. Good hiking shoes are a necessity! I'm not even sure I'd wear tennis shoes. But I'd take those over the German visitor in leather dress Oxfords. And the oxfords over the German woman in her one dollar Old Navy flip flops. The oxfords needed a good polish at the end of the hike. I'm glad I didn't have to see the flip flop gal ascend from the canyon...not to mention she started her poor footwear trek at the time they warned to be out of the canyon. 

On our final day at the Grand Canyon we woke early (again) to hike a small portion of the South Kaibab Trail. This is the trail M coined our canyon hiking motto: down like a beer, up like a hangover. Kaibab is STEEP!

We watched the sunrise that morning over the South Kaibab. 
The view at oohaah point was spectacular! 

We finished the day with a drive over to see the Desert View Watchtower. Climbing to the top creeped me out! I called it quits one floor from the top. The family trudged on up and I happily descended back to ground. Oh my God was it HOT at Desertview! Beautiful area, but super hot!! 

Then it was off to the visitors center to claim a prize. The first of the trip's Jr. Ranger badges. It's a quest that started at ages six and four, and continues at 24 and 22 years old. 

Then it was time to pack up The Wanderlust...moving along to find new territory to explore. 

PS It was a stiff bodied ride for me. The Kaibab kicked my arse! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Top Ten List

Reasons our three week RV trip needs to end 
1. We've run out of laundry detergent 
2. We've run out of quarters for the laundry 
3. We've run out of toilet paper (I nabbed a partial roll from a national park bathroom in case we couldn't find a store mid travel...I'm going to Hell!)
4. The Wanderlust's traveling bar is dry 
5. Mine and King Ralph's hiking shoes have expired as of today 
6. My hair has a grey stripe down the center. (I need hair dye! BAD!!)
7. I can't drink another ounce of Gatorade...even to curb desert heat dehydration
8. Waking daily between 4-5am to hike and beat the desert heat has grown old
9. Folding up the kids bed to make it back into a couch 
10. Review reasons 1 through 4 

Now ask if I am really ready to go home? 

Sunday, July 02, 2017


It's funny how life happens. You can plan and plan, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Last Friday morning we were suppose to be starting our vacation in The Wanderlust...things changed. King Ralph's step-father passed away on Thursday morning. When we returned from King Ralph's mother's house that's when King Ralph titled this year's Wanderlust trip the "Wanderbust."

It's so heart breaking watching my mother-in-law's grief. She herself is not in the best of health. Seven years ago two brain surgeries have left her...well with her thoughts jumbled from time to time. She's going to need her family now more than ever. 

Yesterday D and I called her to go over the funeral music. I explained how she needed to eat, that her body needs fuel to keep going. The tears kicked in and she said "you know what I need?" I knew.  I told her I knew she wanted her husband of 39 plus years, but he was gone and he'd want her to take care of herself. She says things like "he was my honey" or "he was my pal" or "we were suppose to go together." Her husband was a kind of crotchety old sole, but their love for each was deep. What more can one ask for in life than to be truly loved? 

Today will be a long day. Some tears likely will be shed. And maybe, perhaps, Wanderlust 2017 will happen after all.