Monday, May 31, 2010

Woohoo, an oven!

We bought an oven that will work on a propane burner! Now even while boondocking I will be able to cook wonderful things like biscuits and pizza! I can't wait for some pizza rolls!!! :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Diving in an Inland Ocean!

Today we dove at Bonneville Seabase which is essentially an inland ocean.  It is fed via geothermal springs so the water temp is stable year round, around 70-80 degrees.  The water is naturally saline and the owners have brought in several species of tropical marine fish.  They had porkfish, angelfish, tangs, butterfly fish, and even two large nurse sharks!  We had a great time diving here even though the visibility was pretty low on the day we were there, only about 3-5 feet.  Pretty spooky to be diving with sharks in 3 foot viz!  We had a great time!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

We decided to take a tour down the back roads behind the campground we're in. There is a dirt road and in a few miles it takes you up into some real back country in the mountains.  The area was quite peaceful and quiet.  We found several cold mountain streams.

Here is a picture of a mama mule deer and her fawn; you can just barely see the baby's ears sticking up out of the grass.

We and hiked up to the edge of the snow line. From our vantage point on the way back we were able to shoot a nice picture of the motorhome.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The new view

We're in Grantsville, Utah and staying at a free campground on the reservior. We can see snow capped mountains to the north and south and salt flats to the west. The water is crystal blue. The weather is still chilly at night and we had light snow yesterday but today its clear and 70 degrees of perfect!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bison in the Hood

Antelope Island on Great Salt Lake is known for its population of American Bison.  The bison was introduced to this island in the 1890's when the population in the rest of the country was waning.  They have prospered here and there are now about 600 bison on this small island.

We've gotten some really neat pictures of them including a very close encounter when two wandered into the campground yesterday.  They stayed in the campground all day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where the Antelope Play

We've moved to Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake.  We did see an antelope as we were driving in!

This park is known for its huge population of American Bison so we hope to see some while we're here!  We're just going to chill out here for the next couple of days, be homebodies, and get some work done.  And look for bison, of course!  Here's the new kitchen view, we've got the Great Salt Lake right out our window!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Diving the Crater

For years I've been wanting to dive the Homestead Crater which is about an hour east of Salt Lake City.  Now we finally have!

This is a 65 foot deep hot water spring. The water temperature is a toasty 96 degrees year-round so it's just like diving in a warm bath.  No fish or plants live in the Crater due to the high water temperatures.  The walls are limestone shelves and it was fun just to float and relax and explore the area.

This was a very cool diving experience. The water temperature was perfect.  We never got cold even after diving for an hour! The visibility was about 30 feet which is much better than the clarity of the Texas lakes we are used to diving.

If you're ever near Midway, Utah this place allows diving, snorkeling, or swimming and it is a very fun experience that we highly recommend!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hello, Utah! and a new view

We're now in Utah, The Beehive State. There are some very cool rock formations here, even right on the interstate the views are gorgeous. On our way South from Idaho on I-15 we saw the Devil's Slide.

We're staying for a couple days at Jordanville State Park. It's a nice little place right on a lake where we can charge up our batteries and it's very close to a dive site we want to hit in this part of Utah. Here's the new view!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Yesterday we took a day trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument.  This park area is the damaged zone of a huge volcanic event about 2000 years ago.  Twisted black lava formations stretch for miles in every direction.  There is blue shiny lava, red pebble lava, rubble and ropes of lava.  Mazes of black destruction compose this bleak canvas. 

We walked on a couple of trails looking for the pika which are known to live in this area.  We didn't see them because they hide in the lava cracks but we frequently heard them, "Eeep!"

There is a trail that goes right up the side of a volcano and visitors are able to look down into the crater.

There is still snow inside the crater from the harsh winters they experience here.  Chris is staring down into a crater in this next photo.

We also walked through a lava tube, a cave formed from lava.  The caves were difficult to walk in because the rocks are all so sharp that one wrong step and you could really get cut up badly.  The rocks were loose and would shift under your feet. 
We had a great time and were really glad we visited this park.  The lava was beautiful in a very desolate kind of way.  We never expected such a crazy landscape in southern Idaho!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Staying warm

Southeast Idaho's weather is pretty nice but it is still freezing at night and sometimes chilly during the day, too.  So we were pretty upset yesterday when our furnace stopped blowing hot air!  During the repair I was all bundled up in my hat, gloves, and coat!  Luckily Chris was able to get it back online in just a couple of hours!  Yay, Chris!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pipeline campground on the Snake River

We shot through eastern Oregon and into Idaho over the past 3 days.  We've been enjoying the scenery from the interstate.  The Dalles in Oregon was a beautiful area which I wish I had spent more time enjoying.  It's east of Portland on the Columbia River where these cliffs just loom up from the river edges.  The rock formations were stunning.

Idaho is very pretty, lots of farmland which is mostly flat but there are a few gentle rolling hills and the ever-present mountains in the background.

We've now settled in at a new campground in American Falls, Idaho.  Pipeline is a free BLM campground and we're right on the Snake River.  There are no other campers here and the place is lovely.  There are tons of birds here including huge white pelicans cruising the river.  We're just upstream from some rapids so we can hear the water even with the windows and doors closed.  The weather this afternoon was wonderfully warm but we're still expecting chilly nights here.  It seems like a real nice place to spend a few days!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I like camping at Walmart

Most Walmarts allow RVs to park in their parking lot overnight. It's off the highway and it's quiet. Not like I want to live at Walmart forever but it is very convenient while travelling. The only problem is that the shopping is also very convenient!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Moving in a different direction.

We've left Astoria, Oregon but instead of heading north to Seattle, Canada, Montana, and Wyoming we've decided that enough cold weather is enough. We've started heading toward Utah to get some (warm) SCUBA diving in. Today we dropped the motorhome off at the Mount St. Helens visitor's center and drove the Jeep up toward the crater. We ran into more snow on our way up, yet another reminder that the weather's just been too cold for too long.

We were able to clear up our problems from earlier in the week. The Jeep now has a working driver's side door, we have a brand new refrigerator that is larger than our old one, and the cat has started his new diet and insulin injections for his diabetes. We're all starting to feel better.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

A run of bad luck!

Ok, this week was not one of our better weeks.  We found out the cat has diabetes.  The window of the Jeep was broken.   After the repair of the broken window, the driver's side door on the Jeep got stuck in the Locked position.  We've been climbing in from the passenger's side all weekend.  Then Chris forgot the lights on in the Jeep - since he couldn't open the driver's side door there was no warning chime - and the battery was dead when I was ready to be picked up from work.  Poor Chris had quite a time trying to get a jump.  Last night the propane alarm kept going off.  Now the refrigerator has died.  That's right, the fridge and freezer are DEAD.  This kind of fridge usually runs about $1,800.  Can anyone send us some good luck???   

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Poor kitty!

Our big cat, Nay, was not feeling well so we brought him to the vet.  It turns out the cat is diabetic.  Luckily we found a great vet who understands our moving situation and she's going to teach us how to be self sufficient in taking care of him.  We'll have to give him daily insulin doses and we're getting a glucometer to measure his blood sugar.  Hopefully Nay will start feeling better soon!