The Las Vegas Leisure Travel Van Rally 2022

We traveled to Las Vegas in early February to attend the annual winter rally of the Leisure Travel Van Southwest Roadrunners Travel Club. This year around 80 Leisure Travel Vans (LTV) and their owners were in attendance.

It’s always an exciting experience to see so many LTV’s in the same place and to meet up with fellow owners. MaryAnn and I love traveling in our LTV, but even more than that, we love to fellowship with our LTV friends.

Picture from our campsite at Burro Creek on Arizona route 93.
Our campsite at one of our favorite campgrounds, Burro Creek on Arizona route 93 just south of the Hoover Dam.
The Arizona – Nevada border at the Hoover Dam.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures on this trip for two reasons: one, I was driving for a change and two, we have traveled this road to Las Vegas many times and have many pictures of this route in other posts.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The entrance to Lake Mead.
This picture reminds me of our trip to Alaska in 2018. This is the back of our friends, Dick & Shirley’s LTV. We followed them a lot in Alaska.
Some of the LTV’s at the Oasis RV park at the Las Vegas Southwest Roadrunners rally.
Around 80 LTV’s in attendance at the rally.
Just a glimpse
MaryAnn just before going into the operating room for surgery to repair her dislocated shoulder and broken arm. The surgeon put seven screws in her arm!

Unfortunately while ridding our electric bikes on a mountain trail at Lake Mead, MaryAnn hit some lose gravel causing the bike to go in one direction while she flew off in another direction. When she landed in the gravel, just missing several very large boulders by inches, the impact with the ground caused her left humerus to be jammed up into her shoulder.

MaryAnn also hit her head, but fortunately she was wearing a helmet and sustained no injuries to her head. However, she dislocated he shoulder and broke her humerus in six places.

Since we were out in the middle of nowhere on a trail in the national park, I called the park visitor center for help. Thankfully my cell phone had enough service available for me to make the call.

It took over an hour for the park rangers to find us since the trail we were on was so long. In fact the search party had to use the GPS coordinates from my phone to finally pin point our location. Fortunately we were not alone, our friends, Dick and Shirley who had been ridding with us were there helping and praying for MaryAnn while we waited for the park rangers to find us.

When the search party arrived in four SUV’s, there were four park rangers all packing firearms and wearing bulletproof vests. The rangers tried to reset MaryAnn’s dislocated shoulder unsuccessfully, not knowing her arm was also broken. They had called for an ambulance, however the ambulance was having trouble getting to us due to our remote location. By the time MaryAnn was placed in the ambulance the rangers had to administer Fentanyl for pain and it was now after dark.

I had to ride my bike back to our RV (about six miles) where one of the rangers met me with MaryAnn’s bike. After packing up the bikes in the RV, I followed our friends, Dick and Shirley 30 miles to the hospital.

After several hours in the emergency room she was released. The surgeon there in Las Vegas told us the arm was broken, but surgery wasn’t necessary. However, when we arrived home in Arizona a few days later and went to an orthopedic surgeon, we discovered surgery was an absolute must, since the arm was not only broken in six places and twisted, facing the wrong direction.

MaryAnn has a long road to recovery. But we hope to be ready for our summer road trip at the end of May. Please keep her in your prayers.

Our campsite at Oasis RV Park in Las Vegas.
While we were in Las Vegas we had an opportunity to meet up with my cousin Greg and his with Ann. This was the night before MaryAnn’s accident.
On our way home to southern Arizona we stopped for the night at one of our other favorite campgrounds in the White Tank Mountains just west of Phoenix.

Some of our friends and family think we should sell our electric bikes because they seem to be a little dangerous. Right now MaryAnn intends on getting back on her bike as soon as she heals up. MaryAnn says she wants to keep ridding as long as she can and enjoy life to the utmost! Let the adventures continue! See you on the road for as long as we can afford it…

News From The Homefront 2022

Since we came home after our Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho tour last summer. We have been busy building a garage for our Leisure Travel Van. The Arizona sun and summer monsoon storms have done a lot of damage to our van in the last 4 and half years. So we decided it was time to do something about that to protect our investment.

It took us six months just to get a building permit. Apparently Santa Cruz County here in southern Arizona dosen’t like giving building permits for RV garages. Living down here on the boarder with Mexico, some people will build an RV garage and use it to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the U.S.

We requested a building permit in July 2021 and it didn’t get approved until January 2022. While we waited for the permit, our contractor started fixing the drainage/erosion problems we had on our property in preparation for the eventual garage.

Our Leisure Travel Van will have a new home that’s 25 feet wide, 40 feet deep and a door with a 12 foot clearance. Come along and watch the progression of our garage project.

Our Tiny House at Burro Creek campground south of the Hoover Dam on Arizona state route 93.
When we started this project all we had was a cracking slab of cement that was constantly flooded every time it rained.
While we were waiting for the building permit the contractor started repairing the drainage problems on the property.
The first thing was to tear up the old cement and install drainage pipes underneath.
The pipes will run under ground in front of the new garage and our house.
The location of the underground drainage pipes.
On top of the drainage pipes, is a concave drainage ditch that runs through the front of the property.
The drainage pipes underneath the concave drainage ditch.
Our RV garage will have its own septic system so we can dump our holding tanks when we return home from our road trips. Above picture is of the location of the new septic system.
Before installing the septic system trees needed to be trimmed back.
The location of the septic tank.
Video of the septic tank placement.
The septic tank has a 1,000 gallon capacity. The tank, seen above, is made of plastic.
The septic tank is placed over 7 feet under ground.
A trench continues out from the tank to serve as the leach field.
A pipe from the tank runs to the leach field.
The leach field is filled with gravel. Water will flow from the septic tank into the leach field. Solids will remain in the tank where they will dissolve over time.
Hurrah! The building permit finally arrived!
The trenching for the footers begins!
The old cement slab is torn out to make room for a stronger better quality cement floor.
Video of old cement slab being removed.
Old cement slab removed.
Ground is prepared for the pouring of the new concrete.
The new concrete has arrived!
Rebar for the concrete floor.
Video of the pouring of concrete floor.
Now we wait for the concrete floor to dry.
It took several days for the new concrete to dry.
Framing begins!
First the walls start going up!
Little by little, piece by piece the walls start going up!
Then the trusses arrive!
The trusses are allowed to drop off the trailer on to the ground.
Then one by one the workers carry them over to the job site.
It’s starting to take shape!
The garage will be taller than the house!
The huge been that will hold the 12 foot high overhead door!
The roofing begins to go on.
The sheets of plywood were brought up and placed by just two men.
The sheeting for the outside walls started going up next.
A door between the house and the new garage has been installed.
The doorway to the new garage.
The new steel door.
MaryAnn and I placed our names on the inside of one of the walls.
The opening for the door looking in from the new garage.
Next the cutouts for the windows.
The garage from the north pasture.
From the back of the house where the leach field is located. The large water tank between the house and the new garage is a rain harvesting system that will eventually be moved to another location. That area will then become storage space.
It will be another two months to complete this project, we should already be back on the road by then.
Our Tiny House is patiently waiting for its new home to be finished.

We are currently planing another road trip this summer. We will be leading a tour of twelve other Leisure Travel Vans and their owners through Idaho. After that we plan to continue our summer adventures in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Hope you will join us as we continue the next chapter of our lives…

I’ve Got Georgia on My Mind: Part Five – Stone Mountain

MaryAnn & I on top of Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain is situated near Atlanta, Georgia and has been visited by Native Americans and European settlers for hundreds, even thousands of years. At the base of the mountain is a 1.3 mile trail that leads to the top of the mountain that has been used to get to the summit since the 1820’s and even earlier by Native Americans.

In 1821 the Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Indian Springs opening up a large part of eastern Georgia for settlement by Europeans. This area included “Rock Mountain” as it was then called. By 1828 hundreds of people began visiting then Rock Mountain as stagecoach service became widely used in the area.

A rock quarry was established in the 1820’s that supplied high quality granite to many buildings throughout America including the Capital building in Washington DC. The rock quarry provided employment for thousands of people in the local area.

The name, “Rock Mountain” was changed to “Stone Mountain” in the late 1830’s. During the Civil War the community surrounding the mountain was destroyed by Union soldiers in the siege of Atlanta in 1864.

Atlanta from the top of Stone Mountain.

Unfortunately, the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization began having meetings at Stone Mountain in 1915 with the permission of the rock quarry owner, Samuel Venable, who was also a member. These meetings continued at the mountain for over 40 years and caused Stone Mountain to be associated with the Klans supremacist ideas.

However, the State of Georgia acquired the mountain and the surrounding area in 1958 and by 1960 the official link between the Klan and Stone Mountain had been severed. 

More views from the top.

MaryAnn at the top of Stone Mountain.

The carvings on the rock face of Stone Mountain depicts Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy during the Civil War, and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

It was the bust of Lincoln that prompted Helen Plane, President of United Daughters of the Confederacy, to contact Gutzon Borglum (the same man who would later carve the images of Mount Rushmore) about the Possibility of doing a head of Robert E. lee on the side of Stone Mountain in Georgia. He agreed to visit the site in 1915 but upon seeing the size of the place he said, “Ladies, the head of Lee on the side of that mountain would look like a postage stamp on a barn door!” Having thus crushed their dream, he proceeded to give them a new one –a large group featuring Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis on horseback followed by a column of soldiers.

Because of World War I, work at Stone Mountain did not begin until 1923. Carving was limited to jackhammers and chisels until a visiting Belgian engineer taught Borglum the use of dynamite for precise work. The head of Lee was unveiled in 1924. Soldiers in the audience who served with the Confederate leader were moved to tears by the likeness.

However, trouble had been brewing between Borglum and the businessmen directing the project, and Borglum was abruptly dismissed. He destroyed his models in order to protect his design and this so angered the directors that a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was forced to flee Georgia. Augustus Lukeman is hired to replace Borglum and Borglum’s head of Lee was removed. In fact, none of Borglum’s work survived when the carving was finally finished in 1970.

A lift was installed for people not wanting or not able to hike the 1.3 mile trail to the top of the mountain.

Gum tree. This tree was given the dubious honor of becoming the place where hickers deposited their used gum while climbing Stone Mountain.

MaryAnn climbing to the top of Stone Mountain. It took us about two hours to climb to the top.

The top of the mountain.

In a few places along the trail some guard rails were installed to help us get to the top.

The view on the way up the mountain.

Starting out at the bottom of the mountain, the trail is wide and easy, but that quickly changes as the trail continues upward.

The another view from the top.

We made it to the top! Not bad for someone with four heart attacks!

Going back down the mountain was easier. However, our feet were sliding up into the toes of our shoes!

Our Tiny House on wheels! About two hundred fifty square feet of luxury!

MaryAnn & our Tiny House. On this trip we were on the road 7 months!

I know that today Stone Mountain is a very controversial subject. However, it still holds a significant place in the history of America that should be preserved for future generations to help them understand where we have come from and how we got where we are today. The old saying, “If we don’t learn from history, we repeat it.” Holds true especially for the parts of our history we are not particularly proud of.

This is the last installment in our series on Georgia. We barely scratched the surface of this beautiful state. The history and beauty of Georgia is a place calling us back here for another look in the near future. If you’ve never been to Georgia plan a trip soon before the fuel prices get so high no one will be able to afford to travel.

I’ve Got Georgia on My Mind: Part four – Ocmulgee National Monument/Historical Park

The Georgia state line.

We visited the state of Georgia in May of 2019 while on our way to Quebec, Canada. Quebec was just the beginning of a trip throughout the Maritimes and eastern seaboard. We were on the road seven months!

Later in 2019 the monument was changed to a national historical park.

Ocmulgee Mounds is located on the east bank of the Ocmulgee River in Macon, Georgia. The mounds preserve traces of human habitation for over seventeen thousand years. (Wikipedia) These mounds are not just burial mounds; they also include the Great Temple Mound, other smaller ceremonial mounds as well as defensive trenches and a trading post.

In 1806 Fort Benjamin Hawkins was built to support trading with the Native Americans. The town of Macon, Georgia began to be developed around the Ocmulgee Mound area soon after the fort was established.

During the Civil War (1860-65) the Confederate Army built trenches through the mounds in defense of the oncoming Union Army led by General William T. Sherman.

MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups at the entrance to the mounds.
MaryAnn is getting tired of me taking her picture.
The bridge over railroad tracks that were originally constructed in the late 1800’s destroying much of the mounds and erasing human history.
In 1843 and 1873 train tracks were laid through the middle of the Ocmulgee Mounds destroying large areas of its history.
Part of the train tracks through Ocmulgee Historical Park.
Looking from the bridge at the remaining Ocmulgee Mounds.
The entrance into one of the smaller mounds reveals a ceremonial meeting place and the highly skilled engineering techniques of these ancient peoples of North America.
The room inside one of the mounds. The room is incased in glass to preserve the area.
The ceremonial room incased in glass.
Returning back up the tunnel to the outside world and back into the daylight.
There’s a lot of walking and stair climbing involved in exploring Ocmulgee.
Ocmulgee area has a deep connection to the history of European American colonies and the Civil War era.
Did I mention there’s a lot of walking?
The Great Temple Mound is one of the highlights of the area. Picture taken from 300 yards away.
The Great Temple Mound.
Steps leading to the top of the Great Temple Mound.
Yes, that’s MaryAnn at the top of the temple mound. I did not accept the challenge! Besides, someone needed to stay with the pups, I volunteered.
MaryAnn doesn’t like to take pictures, but I was able to talk her into one.
It’s a long way up to the top! Better wear sensible shoes when visiting here.
MaryAnn’s finally on her way back down.
It was a hot day. The Traveling Pups needed a break in the shade.
Picture taken from the top of one of the smaller mounds.
MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups are heading back across the bridge to end our adventure at Ocmulgee Mounds.
The Traveling Pups didn’t quite make it across the bridge. They started to protest against walking the rest of the way.
MaryAnn got those tired pups back on their feet and back on the road to our next adventure in Georgia!

There are still more adventures to come here in beautiful Georgia so stay tuned as we continue our exploration next time.

I’ve Got Georgia on My Mind, Part Three: Fort Pulaski.

Pic taken from outside the wall of the fort across the surrounding mote.

We visited Civil War Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia in May 2019. It took 18 years to build the fort and only 30 hours for the northern Union armies to capture it. The main reason for this was that the fort wasn’t built to defend against the more technological advances of weapons in the Civil War. In fact, the large number of casualties during the Civil War was due to the use of outdated tactics against the technological advancements of weaponry during the Civil War as well.

The entrance of Fort Pulaski.
The cannon balls are still lodged in the outside walls of the fort.
Over 5,000 Union Army cannon balls were fired upon the fort in just 30 hours.
A mote completely surrounds the fort.
Amazing story of the battle for Fort Pulaski.
MaryAnn entering Fort Pulaski.
Behind the walls of the fort.
One of the many large cannons defending the fort.
The mote surrounding the fort. Picture taken from the bridge crossing the mote at the entrance.
My favorite picture of Fort Pulaski.
We camped at Warner Robins Air Force Base near Macon, Georgia.
Our campsite at Warner Robins AFB. $20 per night.
MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups visited a small lake near the campground, named after Luna (blonde ears). Peeta (dark ears) is enjoying the grass.
Leaving Warner Robins AFB, a bird of prey flew across our windshield.
Hawk greeted us as we departed Warner Robins AFB.
Quite a large wingspan!

Join us next time when we explore the Native American mounds at Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, Arizona: Leisure Travel Van Rally, October 2021

We were on the road last week. Leisure Travel Vans, Rocky Mountain LTVERS and the Southwest Roadrunners travel clubs had a joint rally at Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood, Arizona.

The rally was sponsored by the Rocky Mountain LTVERS club. Between the two clubs 51 Leisure Travel Vans and over 100 owners were in attendance. The rally was well organized and planned out by the club leaders and we had a great time meeting up with our fellow Leisure Travel Van (LTV) owners.

The rally lasted 6 days, Tuesday through Sunday and included a pizza party, the Verde Valley Train tour, bike riding, hiking, talks on the geology/mining history of the area, tours of the historic mining town of Jerome and the Tuzigoot National Monument, birdwatching, a tech talk about the operation of our Leisure Travel Vans, and much more. Of course gathering every night at our rigs for some good conversations was definitely a highlight, catching up with old friends and meeting new friends as well.

Come along as we travel to north-central Arizona for one of the largest LTV rallies we have ever attended…

Pics from the road to Cottonwood, Arizona

Views from the road.
Saguaro cactus seen from the road.
Views from the road.
Stormy weather on our way north to Cottonwood.
Interstate 17 north.
Interstate 17 north.
Interstate 17.
Interstate 17.
Cottonwood was founded in 1879.

Our campsite at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

We were greeted by a huge thunderstorm when we arrived at Dead Horse Ranch.
Sunset the first night.
The sun peaked out just as we officially started the rally with a pizza party.
Part of the the campground at Dead Horse Ranch.

Tuzigoot National Monument, The ruins of a Native American Village

The ruins are situated on top of a hill near Cottonwood. Originally thought to be a burial mound until excavation began.
Views from the Tuzigoot National Monument.
MaryAnn (on left) with our LTV friends, Maggie and Tony at Tuzigoot.
An LTV from the top of Tuzigoot National Monument.
The entrance to the highest building at Tuzigoot.
Maggie and Tony climbing the stars to the top of Tuzigoot.
The sign says, “mask required”. But then we discovered no one was wearing masks, not even the park ranger. This is MaryAnn.
More views from the top of Tuzigoot.
The Verde River runs along side Tuzigoot.
Verde River.
More views from the Tuzigoot National Monument.
Views from Tuzigoot.
Video from the top of Tuzigoot.
Tuzigoot National Monument.
Me with the Tuzigoot ruins in the background.
We enjoyed the gatherings at many of the campsites every night.

Jerome, Arizona – a copper mining town turned tourist town today

We toured the historic mining town of Jerome, about 10 miles from Dead Horse Ranch.
Some of the LTV owners gathering for a talk about the history of mining at Jerome.
Mike Lane’s talk on the history of mining here in Jerome.
This hotel here in Jerome recently sold to a private owner for 3 million dollars.
These plaques were placed throughout the town of Jerome.
No mining town is complete without a “red light district.”
MaryAnn at the museum/state park in Jerome.
Video of the views around Jerome. The town is built right on top of the copper mine and has been sliding down the mountain.
At the museum in Jerome. From left: Maureen, MaryAnn, me and Kerry. Maureen & Kerry traveled with us to Alaska in 2018. Notice the “J” on the side of the mountain behind Jerome.
Another gathering place at the campground in Dead Horse Ranch. Photo by Chris Tacelli
Our campsite.

We were having such a great time at this LTV rally that we decided to stay an extra day then planned. LTV owners are a great bunch of people, fun to be with and travel with, if you’re going to travel it’s much better with friends.

Next week we will continue our series, “I’ve Got Georgia On My Mind”.

I’ve Got Georgia On My Mind: Part One – Jekyll Island

Due to lack of storage space I had to remove some of my previous post. Now that my space issues have been resolved I am reposting my travel stories.

In May of 2019 we left Jacksonville, Florida and drove north up the east coast on Interstate 95 about 75 miles to Jekyll Island, Georgia. Jekyll Island is where the rich and famous, built their winter mansions in the late 19th through early 20th centuries.

Wealthy business men including Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt families. came to hunt, go horseback riding, play tennis and frolic on the beautiful beaches on Jekyll Island from 1896-1942, they called themselves the Jekyll Island Club. The Jekyll Island Club was founded in 1886 when club members bought the island from its owner John Eugene du Bignon for $125,000 (today about $3.1 million) and the massive club house was completed in 1888. (Ref. Wikipedia – Jekyll Island Club)

The first trans-continental telephone call was made here on Jekyll Island in 1915. The call was from the president of AT&T to Washington DC speaking to President Woodrow Wilson and then his second phone call was to Alexander Graham Bell in New York and his third call was to Bell’s assistant in San Francisco.

The Jekyll Island Club closed down in 1942 at the start of rationing during World War Two. The Island was bought by the state of Georgia in 1947.

The road to Jekyll Island, Georgia.
The bridge to Jekyll Island.
Jekyll River.
The entrance to Jekyll Island.
The road into Jekyll Island.
The entrance to the historic district.
One of many Mansions on Jekyll Island.
Jekyll Island mansion.
Mansions of the historic district.
Some of the people who built winter homes here on Jekyll Island included the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Vanderbilts.
The members of this exclusive Jekyll Island Club spent their winters on the island participating in activities such as hunting, biking, horseback riding, and tennis.
The telephone used to make the first trans-continental call in 1915.
The club house was built in 1888.
From Jekyll Island we continued north another hour and a half to Fort McAllister State Park, Georgia to camp for the night. MaryAnn standing next to our tiny house.

Today Jekyll Island is home to resorts, beautiful beaches, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center as well as these beautiful mansions from the past in the historic district.

Next time we will continue this series, “I’ve Got Georgia On My Mind.” Come along as we visit Fort McAllister, a Civil War era fort used by the Confederate army to defend Savanah, Georgia.

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Six, Part Four – The Road from Boise To Stanley, Idaho and The Salmon-Challis National Forest

In Boise we met up with college friends we hadn’t seen in 40 years. Then started north to Stanley on route 21 through the Boise National Forest.

Our travel friends, Tai and Jane were still in Montana buying land and we planned to meet them in Stanley later that day. In the meantime, we were following our college friends Doreen and Danny, to Stanley and camp in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Of all the places we have seen in our travels, we especially enjoy Idaho. The beautiful lakes, rivers but the mountains of Idaho are so different and unique. We have seen the Blue Ridge mountains, the Smoky Mountains, the Rockies, etc but we have never seen such unusual mountains as the mountains of Idaho.

Sawtooth Mountains
Pics from the road, route 21.
Snow in late June.
Pics from the road to Stanley.
Boise National Forest
National Forest
Pics from the road.
Salmon River
Pics from the road, Salmon River.
Animal crossing bridge.
Salmon River
Pics from the road, route 21 to Stanley.
Pics from the road.
Salmon River
Pics from the road.
Pics from route 21 to Stanley.
Cliffs on route 21.
Salmon River.
Reservoir near Boise on route 21.
Route 21.
Railroad bridge from route 21.
Salmon River.
Boise National Forest
National Forest
Mule Dear on route 21.
Boise National Forest
Pics from the road.
Pics from the road.
Snow along the side of the road in late June.
Rolling mountains of Idaho.
National Forest.
Sawtooth Mountains
Sawtooth Mountains
Pics from the road.
Sawtooth Mountains
Pics from the road.
Pics from route 21.
Sawtooth Mountains
Stanley, Idaho. Our college friends, Doreen and Danny, me and MaryAnn.
We met up with Tai and Jane in Stanley as well.
Sawtooth Mountains
Pics from the road.
Sawtooth Mountains
Sawtooth Mountains
Salmon River
The road into the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Salmon-Challis National Forest
Here’s a nice fixer upper!
Salmon-Challis National Forest
Our campsite the first night in the boondocking in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Cost- free.
Danny at our campsite in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Video of Our second campsite in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Doreen in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Peeta liked the national forest.
MaryAnn, Doreen and the Traveling Pups hiking in the national forest.
Pics from our campsite.
Pics from our campsite.
Our second campsite in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Salmon-Challis National Forest
Our campsite in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, cost $5 per night.

Next time we will visit a ghost town on our way to Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Six, Part Three – The Road to Lake Cascade, Idaho

MaryAnn and I traveled alone to Lake Cascade on June 24th. Our friends, Tai and Jane left early in the morning from Winchester Lake to go back to Montana. They liked Montana so much, Tai and Jane decided to buy land there and put a tiny house on it for future trips.

We had planned to meet up with some of MaryAnn’s college friends in Boise. So we continued south stopping at Lake Cascade State Park along the way.

It felt a little strange not having Tai and Jane traveling with us for the first time in over a month. But they will meet us at Stanley, Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains in a couple days.

In the meantime, let’s check out the road from Winchester to Lake Cascade, Idaho…

These bright yellow fields were everywhere along the road, don’t know what is being grown here, but it is very beautiful.
Can’t get enough of a straight road.
Even with temperatures in the 90’s (Fahrenheit) the mountains still have snow on them.
Mountain View’s from the road.
The road appears to go on for ever.
Never get tired of these Idaho mountains.
Views from the road.
If it didn’t get so cold here in the winter, I would consider moving here.
He looks a little out of place…
I think he just realized he is not in Kansas anymore 😀
Feet don’t fail me now!
Gotta get back to the woods where I belong…
That’s where we are heading too!
More views from the road.
When the sign says national forest, it means national forest!
Beautiful forest!
One of many rivers and streams.
All these pics taken from the road at around 70 miles per hour.
MaryAnn’s driving while I operate the camera.
More from the national forest of Idaho.
The national forests covers large areas of Idaho, that’s what we came here to see.
Salmon River
More pics from the road.
Salmon River.
Hydraulic Mining was originally developed by the Roman Empire and then used in the 1800’s to destroy large areas of the mountains here. Hydraulic Mining used water at high pressure to clear out large amounts of the side of the mountains looking for gold. It leaves behind piles of gravel still there today over 150 years later.
The results of Hydraulic Mining.
Hydraulic Mining canon.
The road to Lake Cascade.
Salmon River.
Salmon River
We stopped to check out a roadside historic site along the way. MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups.
The battle the started the war between the United States and the Nez Perce in 1877.
MaryAnn and Peeta.
The area where the first battle took place. The Nez Perce won decisively.
The U.S. retaliated with such force the Nez Perce never had a chance. The American military killed men, women, and children.
In 1855 the U.S. reduced the Nez Perce territory to a small reservation. Then when gold was discovered on their land, the U.S. reduced the reservation again in 1877, sparking the war.
More pics of the area of the first battle of the war.
Bird Bird battlefield.
MaryAnn at the White Bird Battlefield.
Amazing views coming down this mountain.
White Bird Grade.
White Bird Grade
White Bird Grade
White Bird Grade
White Bird Grade
Finally down to the valley.
Farm land stretching for miles on the valley floor.
Wheat fields.
Beautiful yellow fields.
Bright yellow fields everywhere.
Don’t know what these yellow fields are, if you know send me a comment and let me know.
Railroad bridge.
From the road.
The first views of Lake Cascade.
Lake Cascade.
Lake Cascade
Getting closer to Lake Cascade!
Our campsite at Lake Cascade. The Traveling Pups are excited to be getting out of the tiny house.
Our view of Lake Cascade from our campsite.
Lake Cascade from our campsite.
The lake from our campsite. We considered going kayaking, but the wind picked up and the water became too choppy for us inexperienced kayakers.
One last pic of our tiny house campsite at Lake Cascade.
The sunset at the lake.
Lake Cascade at sunset.

In our next post we continue traveling south to Boise, Idaho. We’re going to meet up with a couple of MaryAnn’s college friends she hasn’t seen in 40 years.

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Six – Part Two, Winchester Lake State Park, Idaho

MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups.

From Hell’s Gate State Park in Lewiston we continued east on route 95. The Nez Perce National Historical Site just off route 95 is a worthwhile stop, with another sad story of how the Native American people where mistreated by the American Government and the early settlers.

The Lewis and Clark expedition explored this area in 1805 and were helped by the Nez Perce. Then in an 1855 treaty the Nez Perce territory was greatly reduced until 1877 when their territory was cut down even more because gold was discovered on their land. This sparked a war in which the American government quickly overwhelmed, killed and displaced the remaining Nez Perce.

As I said, it’s a sad story and worth a visit, there’s a short film covering the history, a museum, gift shop and if you have your national parks passport you can get it stamped as well.

The road to Winchester.

We continued east on route 95 into what seemed like going back into another time dimension. The town of Winchester (named after the Winchester riffle) and the state park associated with it are nestled in a rugged and heavily forested area and is definitely a hidden gem.

The town is small, population 340, but has a public library, a gas station, a few small businesses and a couple restaurants. Try not to visit on Tuesday or Wednesday, almost everything seems to be closed.

The town has its roots in lumber and the town moved three times during its history because of deforestation to its current location within the Nez Perce Reservation because of a declaration by President Cleveland in 1895 that said anyone could settle on the reservation. Come along as we do a little exploring of Winchester, Idaho…

Views from the road.
Route 95.
Nez Perce Reservation
Views from the road.
Route 95, notice the lumber truck. Lumber harvesting is still very active here.
More views from the road.
Pics from route 95 to Winchester.
Statues depicting the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805.
Pics from the road.
Views from route 95.
From route 95.
MaryAnn on one of our many bike tours of Winchester.
Canadian geese at Winchester Lake.
Winchester Lake
Winchester Lake
We went on a hike through the surrounding forest at Winchester Lake. From left: Jane, Tai and in the back, MaryAnn.
Jane and MaryAnn
Our campsite at Winchester Lake State Park. From left: MaryAnn, the Traveling Pups, Tai and Jane.
MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups.
In case you didn’t see them before.
One more picture of our campsite.
Okay, I know you like to see our tiny house. Leisure Travel Vans, Unity FX.

Tai and Jane left us for a couple days after Winchester to go back to Montana. They liked Montana so much during our visit there that they decided to buy land and build a tiny home.

In our next post we travel alone to Cascade Lake State Park…

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Six – Lake Coeur d’Alene and Hell’s Gate State Park, Idaho

We re-entered Idaho on June 20 and continued east to the Lake Coeur d’Alene area for some sightseeing before heading to Lewiston and Hell’s Gate State Park.

We were hoping to do some bike riding while we were in the Lake Coeur d’Alene area, but that didn’t work out. Coeur d’Alene definitely lived up to its reputation as a very beautiful area. I took pictures as MaryAnn drove. Check it out…

Views from the road.
Back in Idaho.
Lake Coeur d’Alene area.
Views around Lake Coeur d’Alene area.
Pic taken from the road of Lake Coeur d’Alene area.
Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The road around Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Pic from the road.
Lake Coeur d’Alene.
From the road around Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Scenic by-way around Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Blue water of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Lake Coeur d’Alene is the largest natural lake in Idaho.
Lake Coeur d’Alene is surrounded by mountains.
Scenic By-way around Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Scenic By-way.
Lake Coeur d’Alene
We stopped in Harrison, on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene in hopes of a bike ride around the area of the lake. Unfortunately it’s a very popular place and there wasn’t any room for us to park our tiny house.
Railroad bridge crossing Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The road to Lewiston, Idaho.
Views from the road.
From the road.
Views from the road.
Mountains are everywhere throughout central Idaho.
Idaho is a very lush and green place.
Views from the road.
The road to Lewiston.
From the road to Lewiston, Idaho.
National Forest in Idaho.
Farm land along the road.
Yellow fields throughout Idaho.
Yellow farm land.
Rolling hills of Idaho.
The road to Lewiston.
Farm land along the road.
Russia? Nope, Idaho!
Farm land in the rolling hills.
We came over a mountain and saw Lewiston for the first time!
Lewiston, Idaho.
The Clear Water River through Lewiston.
From the mountain above Lewiston.
Clear Water River in Lewiston.
Close up of the previous picture.
Video from the mountain overlooking Lewiston, Idaho.
Clear Water River and the Snake River meet in Lewiston .
Clear Water River. Lewis & Clark came through this area in the early 1800’s. Lewiston was named after Lewis. Across the river is Clark, Washington.
Lewiston was the first capital of Idaho.
From the mountain above Lewiston.
The road coming down off the mountain to Lewiston.
Lewiston and the Clear Water River.
On the Snake River were several draw bridges.
The entire bridge lifts up into the air to allow boats to go under.
Entrance to Hell’s Gate State Park.
Our campsite at Hell’s Gate.
Tai and Jane are parked next to us at Hell’s Gate.
Our campsite, we stayed at Hell’s Gate for two nights.
Snake River.
Crossing the Snake River into Washington on my ebike.

In our next post we travel to another Idaho state park called Winchester Lake State Park.

The temperature continued to rise to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We needed to either get back into the higher elevations of the mountains or find places we could be plugged in in order to run our air conditioner.

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Five Part Three

We crossed the border into Idaho on June 17. The heatwave of 2021 was just getting started and we were looking for places with electric hookups for our rigs so we could have air conditioning.

I have two phone apps that I use extensively for finding places to camp: “AllStays” and “Campendium”. I use AllStays to find private parks, state parks and military parks. I use Campendium to find national forest, public land campgrounds and free BLM land for boondocking.

Using Campendium, I found a campground in northern Idaho called “Springy Point”. With water and electric hookups, Springy Point was a Army Corps of Engineers campground and since the weekend was fast approaching we decided to secure our campsites with reservations.

We stayed one night at Springy Point and then moved on to Fairchild AFB in Washington near Spokane. We didn’t plan on going into Washington but with the weekend now upon us and the heatwave in full swing we decided the first come first serve campground at Fairchild would be the best place for us.

We spent Friday night at Clear Lake Military Recreation area where reservations were required and there were two sites available right next to each other. Saturday night we had to move to the on base campground.

While at Clear Lake we decided to go kayaking and relax on the gentle waters of the shallow lake. This would be the second time on this trip we got to use our kayak and we are starting to get the hang of getting in and out of it, before you know we could become experts!

Pics from the road in Montana and Idaho.
Crossing the border into Idaho.
The entrance into Springy Point.
Pics from the road around Springy Point.
Pics from the road.
Pics from the road.
I do enjoy a straight road!
One of the many signs along the road.
Views from the road.
Sometimes it looks as though we were heading straight into the side of a mountain.
Views from the road.
Northern Idaho.
Mountains of Idaho.
The twists and turns of the road.
One of many rivers in Idaho.
Taken while traveling at 60 miles per hour on a winding mountain road.
Pics of the road.
Views from the road.
Did I mention my love for a straight road…
The wild rivers of Idaho.
All these pics from the road where shot while traveling 60-70 miles per hour.
Pics from the road.
Northern Idaho.
Mountain lake in Idaho.
Another pic at 60 miles per hour.
Our campsite at Springy Point.
MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups at Springy Point.
Another angle of our campsite at Springy Point Campground.
Entering Washington state, an unplanned stop. When on the road it’s important to be flexible.
Entrance to Fairchild AFB.
Our campsite at Clear Lake Military Recreation Area at Fairchild AFB.
Last two available sites right next to each other.
Our campsite.
Sunset at Clear Lake, Washington.
Fairchild AFB.
Fairchild AFB
Fairchild AFB is a strategic air command (SAC).
Another sunset pic at Clear Lake.
Clear Lake.
Kayaking at Clear Lake.
MaryAnn and me.
One of the many lakes in the area of Fairchild AFB.
MaryAnn and Jane at the campground inside Fairchild AFB FamCamp.
Tai and Jane at our campsite at Fairchild AFB FamCamp.

In our next post we traveled back into Idaho to a state park called “Hell’s Gate”. This park was situated on the banks of the Snake River and on the border with Washington.

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Five Part Two – Libby, Montana

After leaving Glacier National Park we met up with friends and fellow Leisure Travel Van owners on the road (Route 2 west). We traveled with these great people to Alaska and back in 2018. It was like deja vu, we met for the first time on the Alaska caravan 3 years ago. Now we’re all good friends with great memories of our epic adventures traveling across British Columbia and Yukon Territory to Alaska and back.

After our meet up with our friends, we continued our adventure through Montana with Jane and Tai to Libby and our next stop at Blackwell Flats Campground on the Kootenia River. We camped along the river just below Libby Dam. This is an Army Corps of Engineers campground and it was completely free, first come first serve.

From left: Linda, Joe, Jane and Tai (members of the next Alaska trip) Diana, Gordon, Suzi, me, MaryAnn, and the Traveling Pups.
Our meet up with our friends on the side of the road.
Five Leisure Travel Vans, nine friends.
On the edge of route 2 west about fifty miles outside of Glacier National Park.
Welcome sign to the town of Libby.
The reservoir created by Libby Dam.
We stopped by the dam to get a closer look.
Libby Dam
The entrance to the Blackwell Flats Campground.
Our campsite
Our campsite.
A video of our campsite on the banks of the Kootenia River
Kootenia River
National Forest on the banks of the Kootenia River
Jane and MaryAnn at Libby Dam, taking a break from our bike ride.
We considered kayaking on the river, but the current was too fast for us.
So we went on a 18 mile bike ride instead. When we returned from our bike ride I discovered I had another flat tire. Fortunately this time I had all the tools I needed to fix the flat. I should say so Tai could fix it 😊
Kootenia River
Bridge over the Kootenia River
Our bike ride to the Libby Dam.
From left: me, MaryAnn, and Jane. Tai was behind the camera.
Kootenia River
The road to Libby.
The road to Libby.
The road to Libby,
The reservoir at Libby Dam
Libby Dam
The road.
The mountains around Libby.
More pics from the road.
Pics from the road.
A Big Foot sighting in Libby, Montana!

In our next post we travel from Libby across the border into Idaho. We made reservations at Springy Point, another Army Corps of Engineers campground, but this time we had to actually pay for our campsite.

The summer was beginning to heat up with temperatures in the 90’s and even over 100, we needed to be plugged into electric power. It was also the weekend which made it harder to find a place to camp.

Summer Adventure 2021: week Five Part One – Glacier National Park

We spent two days at Glacier National Park, Montana. This year the park announced new rules for visitors to the park: Only visitors holding a ticket obtained online from the park website can enter. It’s next to impossible to get a ticket because only 150 tickets are available each day.

The only other option is to wait in line at 6 am or at 5 pm and hope you can get into the park that way.

However, we met someone who had just left Glacier the day before in Lolo, Montana who told us about another way into the park on the west side that won’t require a ticket or waiting in line. We decided to give it a try and beat the lines at the west gate.

We drove up the dirt road as we were instructed by this stranger. Got completely lost and almost ended up in Canada! Turned around and came back down the dirt road about 30 miles and happened to look to our left and there it was a gateway into the park that was completely open with no one waiting!

Yep, we got lost on a terrible road to Canada, but in the end we were able to get into Glacier National Park without a ticket or reservations. Come along with us as we explore Glacier National Park…

Me, MaryAnn, and the Traveling Pups at the entrance on the west side of the park.
A deer greeted us on the side of the road.
The road inside Glacier.
The road inside Glacier.
The road inside Glacier.
From the dirt road to Canada.
Glacier National Park.
From the dirt road to Canada, pic of the west side of Glacier.
From the road to Canada pic of the west side of Glacier.
From the road to Canada. We were lost, but got some great pictures of the west side of Glacier National Park.
The dirt road to Canada.
The dirt road to Canada.
From the road to Canada, a picture of the mountains on the west side of Glacier.
More pics from the west side of Glacier.
Glacier National Park
From the road to Canada of the west side of Glacier.
West side of Glacier.
Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.
Lake McDonald
Tai and Jane at McDonald Falls.
Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald
McDonald Falls
Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald
McDonald Falls
Lake McDonald
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park
Water Falls in Glacier.
Our campsite in Glacier RV Park, West Glacier
Our campsite
Our campsite.
Our tiny house at Glacier RV Park.

On our next post we continued west on route 12 after leaving Glacier National Park. We were headed towards Libby, Montana and Blackwell Flats Campground on the banks of the Kootenai River.

On the way we met up with five friends and fellow owners of Leisure Travel Vans who had gone with us to Alaska in 2018.

Summer Adventure 2021: Week Four – Flathead National Forest, Hungry Horse Reservoir

On June 12th we left Lolo, Montana and continued traveling north toward Glacier National Park. We had June 14-16 reservations at a private RV park called, “Glacier RV Park” about 5 miles from the west gate of the national park.

We needed somewhere to camp for the weekend while we waited for our reservations at Glacier RV Park. So after studying the map and searching through one of my cellphone apps, “Campendium” we decided on Hungry Horse Reservoir in Flathead National Forest about 40 minutes south of Glacier National Park.

The Hungry Horse Reservoir was created by damming the South Fork Flathead River. Construction began on the Hungry Horse Dam on April 21, 1948 and was completed on July 18, 1953. (Ref

We had several first come first serve campgrounds in mind when we arrived in the Hungry Horse area. Since it was a Saturday we knew it would be difficult to find an available campsite because this was a very popular camping area. We first stopped at the “Lost Johnny Point campground” and even though there were 2 campsites open we didn’t like them and after MaryAnn spoke with the camp host we decided to go to “Lid Creek Campground” about 5-6 miles further down the road.

Lid Creek Campground turned out to be the place for us. The camp host there was very helpful in showing the best sites for us to camp. We were back-to-back to each other and close to the water.

You’re invited to explore Hungry Horse Reservoir with us…

Sunset at Hungry Horse Reservoir.
Hungry Horse Reservoir
Snow caped mountains at Hungry Horse
While driving to Hungry Horse we had to stop at a horse crossing.
Hungry Horse Reservoir
From the road at Hungry Horse Reservoir