The Push for the Grand Canyon

We’ve been pounding pavement day after day making our way west hoping to make the Canyon before the weather changes. Moving everyday several hundred miles is exhausting. We decided to break the pace in Amarillo Texas.

There’s not much to see in Amarillo but we did manage to find a privately owned antique car museum that was amazing. Bill’s Backyard Classics had everything from modern type Hot Rods, 1920’s-30’s oldies, and lots of really cool Caddies!

Comparing these to modern-day cars…..I think we’ve truly lost a sense of design!

After 1900 miles, traveling through what seemed like endless road construction, the remnants of a hurricane, and having gotten the coach stuck, we finally park in Williams, AZ. The Grand Canyons’ south rim is still 50 miles away.

We wake up early, pack lunches, and we’re off! The morning air is crisp and the weather forecast for the canyon is a bit iffy but we’re not deterred! This has been a bucket list item for some time!

We get parked and make our way to the visitor center to get the lay of the land. Shuttle schedule, hiking trails, the best picture spots and “what not to miss” suggestions top the agenda for the awaiting park ranger.

Armed with more info than one can remember it’s off to the closest observation point to get our first glimpse. And this is what we see…….2018 October Grand Canyon day 1_10 04 18_7664

FOG! The entire canyon is fogged in! Visibility is less that a quarter-mile and with the exception of a couple hundred feet down….nothing but white! We’re SO BUMMED! And to add to the enjoyment, (sarcasm intended!) it’s starting to rain. We make it to the gift shop just in time before the sky opens up to a torrential down pour! PERFECT!

Hey wait! The clouds are moving on….Sunshine and blue sky! And no more fog! YES! Now this is more like it!!2018 October Grand Canyon day 1_10 04 18_7823

You can look at a thousand pictures and until you are standing on the edge and looking down five thousand feet, you just can’t appreciate how magnificent this place is! The vastness, the colors, and depth…This is one serious hole in the ground!

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10 Feet back and it’s a loooong way down!

Every now and then I grab the camera away from my bride in order to put her in the shot. Admittedly, she’s the one that adjusts the settings because, well, I haven’t got a clue how to work the thing! This shot almost looks like Susan is standing in front of a back drop!

So many great observation points are along the length of the canyon. And so many photo opportunities. Just click on a pic for a better view.

We were excited to finally see a few Elk. This bull was just standing off the road and seem to pose as the shuttle moved slowly past. The other two were not far from a parking area.

At the far eastern end of the canyon was “Desert View Watchtower”, and observation tower built by and artist/architect and first opened in 1932. This construction exudes the presence of an ancient people who were the canyons earliest inhabitants. At seventy feet tall it offers awe-inspiring views of the canyon. 2018 October Grand Canyon day 1_10 04 18_7772_edited-1



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Wall art carefully restored.

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Upper floors inside the tower

Part of the enjoyment of our travels is meeting great people and sharing our experiences. We had a great time exploring and spending the afternoon with Joe & Nicki from Natchez, LA.2018 October Grand Canyon day 2_10 05 18_7883

To both of you, our sincere thanks for helping make our afternoon so enjoyable. We  enjoyed your company and are honored to have met you! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip.

I mentioned earlier that we were on a fast pace to the canyon in order to beat the winter weather. The day prior to our leaving and moving further south, we woke up to this!

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Early October Snowfall

Westward Ho!Again!

It seems that the older we get the faster time goes by. So true was this past summer. When we started this adventure, we agreed that we would travel for 2 years and then decide if we would continue. It seems like yesterday we began traveling and year three is underway. So I guess we continue!

We ended up staying in Michigan longer than expected. Dr’s appointments and a unexpected trip to the hospital petty much put the brakes on an earlier departure. We thought about going east and then south but a hurricane changed that plan in a hurry.

Having missed going to the Grand Canyon twice because of weather, we set that as our destination goal. Leaving Michigan mid month meant we would have push it in order to beat winter weather.

We stopped for the night at Grissom Air Force Base Museum. What a great place to spend the night. Classic war planes, trainers, simulators and a front row seat to air tankers shooting landings. It was a blast!2018, Sept. Grissom Air Museum_09 20 18_7551_edited-1


Our Best Maverick & Goose impression!

These one night stops are part of the Harvest Hosts network of museums, vineyards, farms etc. that allow RV travelers to stay overnight.

Our next stop was Hodgson Mill in Effingham Ill. Another great stop where we stocked up on some of their excellent baking products.2018 September Amarillo, Tx_09 21 18_7647_edited-1

Moving right along we thought it would be fun to stay at an alpaca farm just a few miles in Oklahoma. The owners said we may have trouble getting through their gate due to our height. It turns out the gate was the least of our problems!


Better known as an”Awwe S&*% Moment!

The incline of the entry combined with the crown of the gravel road were too much for the coach to make. Our cars’ tow bar and hitch dug deeply into the hard gravel road and both drive wheels of the coach were off the ground! 45 thousand pounds of motorhome are now stuck…. out in the country…..on a one lane gravel road! It doesn’t get any worse! 4 hours and a whole lot of lumber later I was able to finally back it up. Fortunately there was no damage to the coach. Needless to say we never saw any alpacas!

Time to move on!

Summer Back in Michigan

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So good to be back! Steamboat RV Park on the banks of the Grand River will be “home” for the summer. It’s our chance to reconnect with friends, hug our family, and help the owners with maintaining the park.” Since Steamboat is new,”Work Camping” will give us an opportunity to pass along some suggestions of best practices from some of the established parks across the country. And truth be told, doing a little work is a healthy thing.

Steamboat RV Park is home to the “Grand Lady” a 106′ true stern wheel river boat. Part of my work duties was to help captain her. I’ve been around and owned boats all my life. Big ones, small ones, power and sail. This one however is pretty unique compared to all the others in my past so actually I would have paid them to have this experience!

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The Grand River is a real success story when it comes to cleaning up. Years ago it was a cess pool of pollution. Now through pollution control the river has over 40 species of fish and other wildlife including several pairs of Bald Eagles.

All of our grand kids have birthdays in the months that we are traveling so we decided to  celebrate all of them at once. So we stock the coach with all the treats their parents say they can’t have, name the trip “The Cousins Crew, and head to a popular park north! (may God give us strength!!)


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Swings, monkey bars, swimming pool, bounce pillow, and a 30′ water slide!


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Not too tired to pose for the goofy shot!!

I don’t know……..Do you think they had a good time??? Nana and Papa are exhausted!

Grandkids bring you into a sweeter, slower present. They show you the future at a time when so many are thinking about the past. And they bring you back to childhood–theirs, their Parent’s, your own: a three-time admittance to wonderland.  

We are so blessed to have a loving family that supports our lifestyle. When we leave them behind, we feel a void in their absence. There’s always a fear that our absence will create a disconnect in their lives. But it’s not the case. And when we return we’re reminded that even with our adult children ,we’re still Mom and Dad!2018 August Grandkids_08 25 18_7468_edited-1

Hot Springs & Muddy Waters

It’s been a while since our last post so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

As we made out way back to Michigan, we stopped at Hot Springs Arkansas and toured the famous bath houses that were so popular during the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Now a National Park, a couple have been restored to their original glory while others have been re-purposed as restaurants or boutiques.2018 April Hot Springs & Garvan Woodland Gardens_04 20 18_6360_edited-1

Hot Springs got its name simply because the area is geological hot spot and hot mineral water, a constant 130 degrees, flows from underground springs and pools on the surface though-out the area. 2018 April Hot Springs & Garvan Woodland Gardens_04 20 18_6400_edited-1 The bath houses harnessed these waters and touted they’re healing powers which resulted in wealthy visitors coming from all over the world seeking cures. The treatments, some of which are really bizarre, were performed in total opulence. In short, these bath houses were amazing!bathhouse

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A gym for a health work out

While we were in the area we visited Garvin Woodland Gardens. What an awesome place! This ranks as one of the most beautiful places we’ve visited.2018 April Hot Springs & Garvan Woodland Gardens_04 21 18_6274_edited-1

Serene paths led us through a forest of lush flowers, themed landscapes, and incredible architecture such as the Glass Cathedral.

I keep trying to think of different ways to describe this incredible place. But in this case, Susan’s pictures are worth a thousand words.2018 April Hot Springs & Garvan Woodland Gardens_04 21 18_6321_edited-12018 April Hot Springs & Garvan Woodland Gardens_04 21 18_6302_edited-1

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By now I bet you’re wondering where the “Muddy Waters” I mentioned in the title is. Well, it’s here, our view of the mighty Mississippi as we moved on to West Memphis Arkansas. And ironically the RV Park where we stayed was called Tom Sawyer. For two days we had a front row seat watching the endless commercial river traffic.2018 April Mississippi River West Memphis, AR_04 23 18_6510_edited-12018 April Mississippi River_04 24 18_6529_edited-1

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