After several months of prep, numerous southwest adventures and many appointments attended in California, we are now finally on the road making our way slowly into Alaska.
Our first stop out of LA was a visit up the coast to Santa Barbara. I spent a couple of days working in the office while the kids played at the beach and swam in pools.
Our visit here also coincides with a good friend’s graduation and party which meant the kids had their best friends come to visit at the hotel pool.
With months of anticipation for our departure since we decided to make the summer jaunt to Alaskan frontier, we were very excited to finally be on our way.
We only made it as far as Santa Clarita the first night and spent it at the Walmart. But at least we are now away from the Los Angeles area traffic that I dread having to drive through so much.
If you have been catching up on our blog posts lately, you would have noticed that we are doing our best to get caught up so we can be more current here with our trip. That means a lot of time was spent picking pictures and blogging and Luka is feeling a little neglected from his mama snuggles.
The kids resumed their nature journals now we have something new to see besides the deserts that we’ve been visiting for the last 6 months.
By the second night, we have made it to Las Vegas. Rather than staying at the usual boondocking spots in town, we chose to stay at the quieter Henderson Elks lodge with a distant view of the strip.
One of our reasons to stop over in Las Vegas is to see our friends Brian and Leigh of Aluminarium/Campendium. They are actually staying at an RV park which is totally out of their character but since they plan to store it here for a week while they travel to Connecticut for family visits, it was the easiest place to be. Plus just like us, they feared that the temperature would be too hot go without hookups. The weather turned out to be perfect in the low 80s during the day and 50s at night.
Leigh is now totally owning her boondocking hair rollers. So much so that she can’t stand using a hair dryer anymore even when she has 30-amp hookups.
We had dinner at their favorite pizza place in town, Grimaldi’s. Mila was mesmerized by the dough tossing and spinning.
Last time we were at the Henderson Elks Lodge, we were the only people here. This time there was an older bus on the concrete pad so we ended up in the dirt right next to it.
Here is Ava collecting creosote bush blossoms for her nature journal.
I love how the creosote bush smells after a rain storm on a warm day.
We are determined to try to get some miles behind us so we planned our days completely around working and driving.
As we left Las Vegas, we stopped in St George, Utah in the middle of the night to get one last In-N-Out Burger for the next several months as there are no more from here going north.
We ended the night at the Walmart in Cedar City, Utah. We have been here 2 other times in the past but never made the 25 mile drive up to Cedar Breaks National Monument. This time we took a little time and did a quick scenic detour without the Airstream.
It is over 10,000 ft here and there is still plenty of snow. The kids were loving it. They had been talking about going to see snow for months. With such a dry winter we’ve had in the southwest, their wish finally came true.
Playing in the snow is always more fun in your mind that it actually is. They were not prepared and got cold pretty fast.
We are also still pretty early in the season so that visitor center is not yet open. We will have to just work on the book ourselves and mail it in for our Junior Ranger badges later from National Park Services.
Cedar Breaks is breathtakingly beautiful.
This ended up with one kid laughing and another crying. You can do the math yourself.
No one escaped from the chaos.
Flip flop hikers for-evs.
This is what happens when a 3 year old sits with his shorts in wet, late-spring snow. He rides home in his underwear.
We left the Airstream in the parking lot of the Cedar City Elks Lodge though we don’t plan to spend the night.
We gotta keep pushing on to the next stop so we can get closer to the Canadian border.
From a snowball fight at 10,000 ft to a gravel fight in the Elks parking lot. These kids are resourceful.
This is how rocks and sand end up everywhere in the van and trailer.
Before it got too late, I wrapped up my work day in the parking lot of the Cedar City Elks and continued making our way north.
Our original plan was to drive north from Vegas to Baker, Nevada to visit Great Basin National Park. By looking at the Verizon coverage maps, there was very little reception at all for most of the drive. We took the long route around into Utah instead so we can take it a little slower.
For the night, we made it to the tiny town of Beaver, Utah.
There are a couple of truck stops in town. We chose the small and less popular Sinclair so we didn’t have to hear trucks idling all night.
On the edge of the parking lot, there was this old, abandoned body shop.
If you peek through the missing panel on the garage door, you’d find a little surprise inside.
This is what they call a ‘Barn Find’. A seemingly pristine 1950s-60s era Rambler Six Custom Sedan awaits to be discovered.
Our next top will be Great Basin National Park. We don’t know what the reception is like for our phones but as the weekend is approaching, we will hopefully slow down a bit and do some exploring.
over and out,