In week two we traveled from the Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone National Park and then we continued into Idaho to Henry’s Lake State Park about 15 miles west of Yellowstone.
Grand Tetons and Yellowstone’s borders touch and these parks together cover a massive area larger than some states. Snow caped mountains, wild rivers, water falls, and mountain lakes are everywhere.
MaryAnn and I had been here around 20 years ago, but things are not what we remember. But what we did remember is the unsurpassed beauty and splendor of this place. Everywhere we looked was a declaration of God’s power and a testimony of His grace and His hand in this magnificent world in which we live.
Let’s take a look at God’s handiwork…
From Henry’s Lake we continued north to Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana. We stayed through the weekend at Great Falls to resupply, do laundry and dump tanks in preparation for boondocking in the National Forest in week three. Until next time, safe travels my friends…
In this addition we travel from Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada to Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah and then on to Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
The road to Grand Teton National Park was marked with snow caped mountains and raging rivers filled with fresh ice cold snow melt water. We zigzagged through Utah, Wyoming and Idaho several times before arriving in the Grand Teton National Park.
Prior to arriving in the Grand Tetons, we stopped for a few days at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah just north of Salt Lake City to dump our holding tanks, fill up our fresh water tank, wash clothes and resupply our refrigerator and pantry.
While at Hill Air Force Base I had a flat tire on my ebike and had to get it replaced. Mark, a fellow retired military and RVer came to my rescue and did all the work replacing the inner tube on my bike, thanks a lot Mark! Take a look at the beauty and wonder of the Grand Teton National Park…
After our five mile hike around Jenny Lake we took the boat back across the lake to the visitor center. After lunch we road our ebikes around the Grand Teton National Park for about 19 miles. We had a great adventure in this beautiful National Park.
Next time we will be leaving Grand Tetons and traveling into Yellowstone National Park and then on to Henry’s Lake State park in Idaho…
In this post we are continuing east through the mountains of eastern Nevada. The snow covered mountain ranges are everywhere. Our next stop will be in the Great Basin National Park. It’s at the Great Basin we test out our new ebikes and found them lacking. We had to contact the company “Blix” to find a solution to their poor performance going up hills. Come to find out putting more air in the tires is all we needed to do. We will also give a taste of the glamorous side of RV life in this episode of our blog.
Come along as we explore the Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada…The road from Ward Mountain to the Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada.The Barber Road is the road less traveled.Views from the road to Great Basin.One of many snow covered mountains seen from the road to the Great Basin.
Beautiful snow caped mountains.The entrance to Great Basin.Our campsite in Baker Creek Campground inside the Great Basin National Park.Views from our campground.From our campground.Our first day we explored the National Park with our ebikes going down the mountain was a wild ride at 30-35 miles per hour. Coming back up the mountain to our campsite was quite a workout at only 5 miles per hour. My bike barely made it back up.A selfie with four people is actually a lot harder than it looks. Fortunately someone stopped to help us out by taking our group picture.
Our second day we hiked up the mountain. Tai stopped to pose for a picture. He looks like he’s enjoying our hike, but actually he hates hiking!We stopped to take a break while on this 5 mile hike up the side of the mountain.MaryAnn’s reading the trail map to see where we are on the mountain.MaryAnn, Jane & Tai on the mountain trail.Jane & Tai
A short video clip of the trail up Baker Creek Trail in Great Basin National Park.
The glamorous side of the RV life, emptying our gray and black holding tanks!
Before we left Great Basin we had to empty our tanks and fill our fresh water tank. In the process of filling our fresh water tank, MaryAnn “claims” her hand slipped losing control of the water hose and soaking me down with ice cold water! She claims it was an accident, but she was laughing the whole time!
We have been on the road for only four days and traveled from Rio Rico, Arizona to the White Tank Mountains west of Phoenix, Las Vegas, Ward Mountain Campground in the Humbolt National Forest and the Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada.
On this fourth day of our road trip we continue northeast into Utah. We’re about two weeks behind on our post due to lack of internet connection, we are actually in Montana right now, but we promise to get caught up.
We’ve been busy preparing for our next road trip adventure. In just two days we’ll be back on the road again this time for two months! The road is calling us to eastern Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
Our first stop after leaving Arizona will be in Las Vegas to meet up with fellow Leisure Travel Van (LTV) owners and good friends of ours, Tai and Jane, who will be joining us on this trip. Tai and Jane have the LTV “2019 Serenity” model, ours is the LTV “2018 Unity FX” model.
We plan to boondock in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest near The Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada. Spend Memorial Day weekend at Hill Air Force Base near Salt Lake City, Utah. Then on to The Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone in western Wyoming.
Then we plan on meandering through Wyoming for a while before heading north to Montana and The Glacier National Park. In mid June we plan to cross over into northern Idaho and spend a month meandering through the National Forest and the many mountain lakes of Idaho.
All our supplies are collected and our clothes are packed. Fresh water tank is cleaned and sanitized, black and gray water tanks are cleaned and empty. Tires are checked, oil level is good and batteries are ready. The road is calling and we must obey! Come along with us as we continue our adventures on the “Barber road…”
We visited the Andersonville American Civil War, Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Georgia in May 2019. The official name of this POW camp is Camp Sumter, 45,000 Federal prisoners were held captive here from February 1864 until May 1865. During these 14 months 13,000 of these prisoners died of disease, malnutrition, exposure and poor sanitary conditions.
Originally the camp was designed to hold 13,000 prisoners. However, by June of 1864, just four months since it opened, the prison population had grown to over 26,000.
Andersonville is a very sobering place, a bitter reminder of what people are capable of doing to one another. Someone once said, “If we don’t learn from history, we will repeat it.” This is a place that every generation of Americans should visit. God forbid we as a nation ever forget…
The first prisoners were brought to Andersonville in February, 1864. During the next few months approximately 400 more arrived each day until, by the end of June, some 26,000 men were confined in a prison area originally intended to hold 13,000. The prison grounds were expanded from its original size in an effort to accommodate the large numbers of prisoners, but was still too small to hold the thousands of Union soldiers eventually held here. The largest number held at any one time was more than 32,000 in August, 1864.
Handicapped by deteriorating economic conditions, an inadequate transportation system, and the need to concentrate all available resources on the army, the Confederate government was unable to provide adequate housing, food, clothing, and medical care to their Federal captives. These conditions, along with a breakdown of the prisoner exchange system, resulted in much suffering and a high mortality rate.
Andersonville Prison ceased to exist in May, 1865. Some former prisoners remained in Federal service, but most returned to the civilian occupations they had before the war. During July and August, 1865, Clara Barton, a detachment of laborers and soldiers, and a former prisoner named Dorence Atwater, came to Andersonville cemetery to identify and mark the graves of the Union dead. As a prisoner, Atwater was assigned to record the names of deceased Union soldiers for the Confederates. Fearing loss of of the death record at war’s end, Atwater made his own copy in hopes of notifying the relatives of some 12,000 dead interred at Andersonville. Thanks to his list and the Confederate records confiscated at the end of the war, only 460 of the Andersonville graves had to be marked ” Unknown U.S. Soldier.”
In case you were wondering, these atrocities committed against POW’s didn’t occur only in the South. The POW camps in the North have similar stories to tell of the horrors witnessed by the Confederate Prisoners of War.
The “Barber Road” continues through Georgia next time…
Our last stop on our Southern Arizona Tour was at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Mexican – U.S. border. The elevation at Organ Pipe is around 1.600 feet, the high temperatures during the day in mid-April were nearing 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but don’t worry – it’s a dry heat – humidity less than 9 percent!
We chose to end our tour here in Organ Pipe, perhaps next time we lead a tour through southern Arizona we will continue on to Yuma. Some of our LTV group went on their own to Yuma. Among other things, there’s a state historic park in Yuma – a prison that dates back to when Arizona was still a territory, opened July 1, 1876 and closed September 15, 1909. But we’ll have to include that in our next tour of southern Arizona.
Many of the pictures in this post were donated by our Leisure Travel Van tour group. Let’s take a look at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument…
This post concludes our 2021 Southern Arizona Leisure Travel Van Tour. This was truly an epic adventure! We started the journey as mostly strangers and ended as good friends.
Traveling is always a great adventure for us, a chance to see something new. There’s only one thing better than traveling – that’s traveling with other people with similar interests! Seeing new things and being on an adventure with other people makes the journey so much better than traveling alone!
The road of life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. We need God’s help and each other to navigate all the challenges life brings our way. Don’t try to go it alone. Until next time on the Barber Road…
We left Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge on the morning of day nine of our tour driving north on AZ Route 286 toward the Tucson Mountains. We passed the Kitt Peak National Observatory driving through part of the Tohono O’odham Reservation along the way.
Our next stop on our Southern Arizona Tour is the Tucson Mountain Park and Gilbert Ray County Campground. Places of interest at this stop will be the Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park West, the Pima Air & Space Museum, and San Xavier Mission…
Our next and last stop on our Southern Arizona Tour will be Organ Pipe National Park. Come along as we explore our southern border with Mexico…
On day eight of our tour we boondocked in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge east of Arivaca and on the border of Mexico. Many of our LTV owners had never wilderness camped before so we took them a little out of their comfort zone to experience something new, hoping to inspire them to unplug from electric and city water once and a while.
MaryAnn and I love boondocking, also known as dry camping, in national forests and on Beau of Land Management (BLM) land. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is one of our favorite places to camp, it’s close by our home and it’s wilderness. There are designated campsites that are a half a mile or more apart from each other, nothing but peace and quiet.
Since many of our group had never done this kind of camping before, they’re were many questions about the house batteries, solar panels, and generator use.
Buenos Aires is one of those places where if you didn’t bring it with you, then you have to do without it. There are no convenient stores, no gas stations, no sewer or dump stations, nothing but you, your rig, and the wilderness…
In southern Arizona and throughout the southwest, pack rats are prevalent. Pack Rats are attracted to our RV’s because the wiring in the engine block are made from soy beans – they eat soy beans. To discourage the pack rat from coming into the engine block we open the hood and turn on lights under and inside the engine block area.
There are two things pack rats and other rodents don’t like – open skies above them, because of predator’s like owls and hawks and lights at night, the dirty rats prefer to lurk in the darkness.
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, the best kept secret of southern Arizona! Shhh… let’s keep it that way! Our tour of southern Arizona continues next time at Gilbert Ray County Campground in the Tucson Mountains.
On day six of our Southern Arizona Tour we explored Nogales, Rio Rico, Tumacacori, Tubac, Amado, and part of Green Valley. This area of the Santa Cruz River valley is where our home is located. We even took some of our Leisure Travel Van friends to see our home nestled in the foothills of the San Cayetano Mountains here in Rio Rico.
Some of the attractions we visited in this area of southern Arizona: The border wall in Nogales, the Santa Cruz Chili factory, Tumacacori National Historic Park, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, and the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley.
Most of the photos shared in this post were donated from the people of our tour group.
There are two stories that explain how Interstate 19 became the only interstate highway in America that uses kilometers instead of miles:
Story number one – In the early1980’s congress was considering changing the U.S. to the metric system. It seemed like a done deal at the time, so in preparation for the change, congress chose Interstate 19 in southern Arizona to be the first to change over to the metric system. However, when it was all said and done, the plan to switch to the metric system was abandoned and Interstate 19 was left as it currently is today, measured in kilometers instead of miles.
Story number two – President Carter wanted to make the visitors from Mexico feel welcome so he ordered Interstate 19 to be changed to kilometers.
I will neither confirm or deny either of these stories. You will have to decide which one to believe. However, apparently the second story is actually the “official” story. Personally, I prefer the first story and I’m sticking to it…
We have lived in this area since 2002. We bought our Leisure Travel Van in 2018 and have traveled in it over 67,000 miles, seen 44 U.S. states including Alaska, 8 Canadian Provinces including Newfoundland, and still love coming home to southern Arizona to witness the beauty of our own backyard… Next post – Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.
(The picture above is of the Pecos River in southwest Texas.) My name is Terry C Barber, I am a disabled veteran, retired military and retired pastor. MaryAnn’s a retired special education teacher. Our Next Chapter, the open road – we call it “the Barber Road.” You're invited to join us as we explore North America in our Leisure Travel Van with two Shitzu pups.