Current destination: On the road from the Salt Lake City area
Next stop: Idaho Falls, Idaho (but merely as a waypoint – endgame is Glacier National Park)
Mood: Michelle is stoked, Casey is “very excited and optimistic about Glacier,” Zoey is “happy!” and Charley is playing with a ball
Last Friday we made it to Moab, Utah, which was awesome and beautiful and HOT. On Saturday we went to a brewery (that only served beers with a 4% ABV and really Utah, you’re so weird), and spent some time shopping in the downtown area in the middle of the day when it was burning lava hot outside. On Sunday Casey and I took an early morning motorcycle ride through one of the parks and Casey’s parents followed us with the kids. It was incredible – I’ve never seen anything like it – but the best thing we did was take this magical hike out to a hidden waterfall and swim in the watering hole it fed into. Because we were forewarned that we would have to wade through knee-deep water to get there, we left our phones, so unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to share (just memories).
On Monday we split off from my in-laws (who decided to go south to Bryce for a few days) and spent our time with friends both old and new in the Salt Lake area. We stayed in a pretty sweet RV park that doubled as an amusement park with mini-golf, a rock wall, a maze, water slides, a lazy river, two pools, and a pie shop. We got there too late to cook dinner the first night so we stopped by the snack shack for burgers, which were okay, fries that were stale, and “nachos” that were tortilla chips stacked next to a cup of gooey cheese. Needless to say, post-dinner we were pretty hungry. Fortunately, our fabulous neighbors had cooked a veritable feast of ribs and corn and mac and cheese (and beer) and offered us their leftovers. And such was the start of a beautiful friendship!
Over the next couple of days, in between water parking, we met up with old friends – Chrissy, who was like my sister growing up, and Gavin and Michael, roommates who recently moved to SLC from Houston. It was a lovely, but very chill week (which we needed), and I don’t have much to report.
I have, however, decided to share a few things I’ve learned about camping that no one thought to tell me beforehand so those of you with little to no camping experience can learn from me.
- You probably won’t want to shower in your camper because either your shower is too small, your water tank fills too quickly, or it’s a combination of both and you have to take what basically amounts to spit showers where you turn the water off and on and freeze the whole time. This is all after you wait 10 minutes for the water to heat up because you forgot to turn the heater on earlier. Oh, and you probably won’t want to shave your legs because what’s even the point when your legs are too goose-bumpy to maintain smoothness.
- You will probably burn everything you cook in your oven if you follow normal directions. To circumvent this, cook everything approximately 50 degrees lower than you normally would and check on it every 30 seconds or so. Or, better yet, don’t use the oven.
- No matter how much packing up you do the night before, it will take you a minimum of an hour to leave every campsite. This does not include the amount of time you will spend discussing the route to your next destination, figuring out who needs gas and which stations have cheap diesel, and the multiple trips back into the camper for water, toys, snacks, and chapstick.
- You will mean to stop at overlooks and “you are now entering” state signs, but the baby will be sleeping, so you won’t.
- Campsites are not free, not even in national parks. You will spend anywhere from $20-$100 per night depending on location, location, location, and whether or not you want fancy amenities like water.
Regardless of the aforementioned things, you will all be so exhausted from driving, setting up, fresh air, arguing over whom should not tell who how to drive, and experiencing a whole new world that you will all sleep more soundly than you have in months. And that will make too cold showers, too hot ovens, and too much spending worth it.
But I guess that’s camping, y’all.
Michelle, I am so glad I found your blog via Facebook! I read about full time rv living and traveling families.
I am excited for you and your family as y’all travel and see the wonders of the states. What an experience!
Congratulations on the addition to the family! I’m sure Zoey is a great big sister!
I look forward to your posts!
Happy and safe travels!
I’m so glad you found it too! We’re so excited to get the chance to do this and so blessed in so many ways, especially with our new baby girl! Zoey LOVES her!!
I hope all is well with you!! xx
Michelle! I just started following your family travels on insta and checked out your blog. 1) JEALOUS 2) So happy for your family that you’re doing this.
Small piece of advice related to your #5 in the post- seek out BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land for FREE (yes free) campsites. BLM land is all over place, and really common to be right outside a national park’s gates. We camped at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP one night on a recent trip, but didn’t have reservations for the next night. Ranger told us to drive out the gate, down the road for a bit, then turn off at this very obscure sign marking the BLM land. He said once you’re on BLM land, pick any spot you want. Literally drive down a dirt road and say, hm, this is a nice spot! We’ll stop here. We saw one camper off in the distance and one tent way off in the distance. Amazing! Very rarely will they have developed campsites with water/sewer hookups, but if you can manage without it for a short time, totally worth it!
Hiiiiii!!! Thanks for the awesome advice! I’ll look into that! We usually like to have electric at the very least because oue children need their sound machine!! Haha. But it’s manageable for a night!