Goblins and Horses

We don’t usually make reservations in advance, but after stopping on a whim at Goblin Valley State Park on Halloween a year ago, we suspected that if we ever wanted to stay at this small and quirky campground, we’d better plan ahead and book some dates (October 25 – 27, 2016). A year ago, there […]

Cedar Mesa

After departing the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park on Monday, October 17, we restocked and cleaned up in Blanding. The Edge of Cedars State Park Museum is located there, which has an extraordinary collection of ancestral puebloan pottery and artifacts as well as a restored mesa-top ruin with a kiva that’s accessible to visitors. […]

Canyonlands: Needles District

The next stop on our six week Fall escapade was the Needles District, one of four distinct areas within the Canyonlands National Park, in Utah’s southeast corner and the furthest from Moab. It’s known by its iconic, white-topped red spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone. When we visited Needles a year ago, we hiked all of […]

Moab Adventures

After spending almost a week Canyonlands, it was time to restock, clean up and fill up our water jugs in Moab. We returned to Ken’s Lake Campground south of town. David also needed to get some work done so we spent Monday, October 10 in Moab’s wonderful library. On Tuesday, we were ready for a […]

Canyonlands: Island in the Sky

Overlooking the infamous White Rim

It took us three long days to drive from Glacier National Park just shy of the Canadian border in Montana, to southeastern Utah. We spent a night along the west side of Flathead Lake south of  Kalispell, then just outside Missoula, and finally in Idaho Falls before the final push to our favorite Utah headquarters, […]

Glacier National Park

We’d been talking about going to Glacier National Park in Montana and watching the weather closely before committing. When we departed Coeur d’Alene on September 24, and the weather report continued to improve, the four-hour drive to West Glacier made sense. After biking the Hiawatha Trail on Saturday afternoon, we boondocked that night along a […]

Oregon Coast

With temperatures forecast to be over 100 degrees in Portland, we decided to escape to the Oregon coast for a week. We had no specific destination in mind, other than to camp at Cape Lookout State Park for the first night. Having gotten a later start then planned, we weren’t completely surprised that all 205 […]

Transit Enhancements

We’ve just passed our one-year anniversary of owning the Ford Transit Van. We’ve driven more than 19,300 miles, and slept over 170 nights in it while exploring our home state of Oregon, plus California, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and Alberta. Our build-out has been slow and incremental over the past twelve […]

Oh Canada!

July 20: Departed Sandy first thing in the morning, and stopped to stretch our legs at White River Falls, Tygh Valley, Oregon which is an hour and a half from our house. From there, we turned north, setting our sites on Palouse Falls, Washington for the night. July 20-21: Overnight stop and hike at Palouse […]

Hells Canyon and the Wallowas

After taking a horse-packing trip through eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains in late July of 2007, I knew we’d return someday and try to cover the same territory on foot. So that’s what we set out to do in June. We’re also frequent users and contributors to an online camping resource called Campendium, and very few […]

Peaks, Coulees and Dams

What has been so enjoyable about our road trips is that we rarely have a destination or duration in mind when we set out. Equipped with a Delorme Road Atlas, our iPhones and a responsive touch on the steering wheel and brakes have allowed us to discover some pretty great locations. April 30: We were […]

Caves, Cracks and Holes

We drove south on April 23, intending to check out the community of Sunriver which is about 15 minutes south of Bend, Oregon. This was our “shake down trip” since the purchase of a 12 volt ARB refrigerator— we needed to find out what the drain would be on our batteries. While we didn’t much […]

Camping in the Southwest

We thought we’d share some of our favorite camping locations from our Southwest trip in February/March 2016. We didn’t get reservations for any of these places ahead of time. The trick is to show up early enough in the day (before noon is best). And, having a manageable length vehicle (22 foot Ford Transit van) […]

Dog Canyon

We camped for a few days at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park near Alamogordo, NM. It’s a beautiful campground at the base of Dog Canyon in the Lincoln National Forest. The trail head departs directly behind the Visitor’s Center and climbs steeply to a series of plateaus, one of which grew a happy grove of […]

White Sands National Monument

I’ve wanted to go to White Sands National Monument for well over thirty years now, and we finally made it! It’s hard to describe. At first it looks really disappointing. There’s little fanfare as you approach it, and if you’re not looking for the turn, can easily slip right past the entrance. From a distance, […]

Update: Ford Transit Camper Van

Be sure to check out the most recent update of our van conversion: Transit Enhancements We promised a full report from our original post about the 2015 Ford Transit cargo van conversion upon returning from our five-week, 3000 mile trip to the southwest this fall. We didn’t make it as far as we intended (Tucson, […]

Dugway and Goosenecks

After leaving Natural Bridges National Monument, we’d planned to camp overnight at Goosenecks State Park. But with 35 mile an hour winds making it challenging to stand upright, we didn’t stay long. Just after the Goosenecks, we found ourselves hurtling down the graded dirt switchbacks of the Moki Dugway, considered one of the world’s most […]

Canyon Rims

On Sunday, we finally managed to extract ourselves from Moab’s magnetic pull so we could continue to explore southern Utah before returning to Oregon in time to take care of little Margot on November 12. We drove south again on UT191 then turned off into another of the three Canyonland National Park zones. With the […]

Arches National Park

We spent three days in Arches National Park. This post is about our first visit, a very brief three hours late in the afternoon, with a storm approaching fast from the east. Read more about our forays into Arches in our Devil’s Garden post the following Tuesday, and then Fiery Furnace on Friday, October 30. […]

Goblin Valley

Friday started off well enough. After departing Bryce and stocking up in Tropic, we drove a few hours north and boondocked just off the 9111 ft summit of Boulder Mountain at milepost 110 (elevation 85o0 ft). We were concerned about the weather report and didn’t want to get stuck in the snow if the temperature […]

Bryce Canyon

When our Tucson friends Lisa and Dan said they were planning a camping trip to Bryce Canyon in October, we invited ourselves along. I’d been to Bryce for two brief hours exactly 14 years ago when my siblings took our dad to Zion National Park to commemorate his seventieth birthday. This time, we had six […]

Ready. Set. Go!

With a retirement date of October and our departure-from-Oregon on October 5, the last two weeks of September were consumed with putting in my last two weeks of work at school, retirement paperwork, and weeding through decades of files, both paper and digital. I kicked off the new academic year as usual and participated in […]

Transit Camper Van

The information in this post has been updated and published as “Update: Ford Transit Camper Van” BACK STORY: Because of the greyhounds, in 2014 we transitioned from backpacking/tent camping to car camping with a pop-up tent trailer at state parks. We enjoyed the Livin Lite Quicksilver 8.1 trailer— it was sleek,  lightweight and had everything […]

Billy Chinook Overlook

After the Black Butte hike, we arrived at the intersection of NFS 1110 and 1120, (the road up to Black Butte trailhead) intending to drive back through Sisters. We spotted a sign “Lake Billy Chinook- 20 miles” on FR11 and confirmed the route on a paper map, we turned the van toward home, going “the […]

Black Butte

We packed up relatively early (for us) on Saturday morning with our goal of the summit of Black Butte clearly laid out before us, but still cloud-covered after the night’s rain. That’s it on the left of the panorama below. There were only two other cars parked at the trailhead which was just a few […]

West Metolius River

After yesterday’s challenging trek through the lava flow at McKenzie Pass, we thought a low-elevation stroll along the West Metolius River to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery and back was in order. We headed north along the river’s west bank to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery from the trailhead at the Canyon Creek Campground. After […]

Little Belknap Crater

We got a late start for a “pre-Labor Day” excursion because of a delayed roof replacement project at home. After looking at the weather for next few days, we decided on central Oregon as our destination, and focused on the Sisters area. That’s as far as our planning went. We had a full cooler of […]