Sunday, October 13, 2019

Zion National Park, Day 1 - Rendezvous with with Martha's cousin and his wife.

We broke camp pretty early at the St. George, NV lotdocking site and after tanking up we drove to Snow Canyon to peruse the sights there.

We spent most of the time at Jenny's Canyon, but the light wasn't right for good pics of the slot canyon that is Jenny's Canyon:

 Martha in the slot canyon that is Jenny's Canyon
as Martha put it, Jenny's Lady Parts.....sigh

The rest of the state park we just drove through on the main road and we then headed towards Hurrican, UT to do some shopping.  Trouble is, we found most of the stores we needed to get something from were closed in Utah.  So, after just getting more groceries (no booze as its Sunday) we then went to Zion National Park's South Campground to check in.

We met up (as previously planned) with John and Renee G from Elizabeth, CO at the campground.  John and Martha are cousins and we'd been looking forward to glamping with them.  They're also RV'ers and have covered 18 states in the last six months!

After respectively setting up camp, I checked out John's setup to flat tow a Jeep Wrangler behind his Class C Minnie Winnie aka the Gullibago.  John's got a nice setup and it seems simple enough.  More on this later I think but I could see a Jeep being flat towed behind Uma, our own RV sometime in the future!

We four then took the shuttle bus into the town of Springdale just outside the park to check out a tavern but weird rules dictated one couldn't just order a drink; one also had to have something to eat with it and you couldn't order a second drink without consuming the first one!  So no "shot and a beer" in this town!  Weird huh?

We gave up after checking a couple of places and instead returned to near the park where there was a Brew Pub.  Had us a couple of pitchers of Hefe Weissen beer and let the afternoon run out and the golden hour begin.

As the sun drew further down in the sky, it illuminated the nearby rock formations and peaks quite nicely as we walked back to camp:

 The Watchman on the left and Johnson Mtn on the right,
from the State Road 9 street that is the main drag for Springdale

 Martha and Renee
At the brew pub with The Watchman in the far background

 Near the visitor center on their way back to the campground

 The view from our campground sites.
The Gullibago is the one to the left of Umarang

We spend the rest of the evening talking, swapping stories and perhaps having a few drinks till almost 10 PM!  Lots of fun to be had when the cousins get together apparently.

More Zion NP stuff to follow tomorrow; the Machidas will be joining us in the morning.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Uralista Meet, Redstone Park and Lotdocking at the Western Aviation Warbirds Museum

Yesterday, Oct 12, it was my please to have coffee in the town of Henderson, NV with fellow Uralista Val H. and her husband Wayne. 

Val showed up in her Baikal Limited Edition Patrol and Wayne rode a BMW 1200 GS.

We had a good time chatting, getting to know each other and sharing stories.  For instance, Val had just had her rig's engine rebuilt (a three month process) due to a crankshaft failure!  Sound familiar.  We looked over each other's rigs, compared notes and such.

Soon though it was time for Val and Wayne to leave, as she was flying out to Steamboat Springs to visit family.

Val and Wayne

Afterwards, I went back to the campsite at the Dry Lake Bed and inspired by an umbrella stand bolted onto Val's rig, I figured out a way to mount (temporarily) the small umbrella that comes with my folding camp chair:

The Machidas then came by and took me back to their RV in the Thousand Trails RV Park in Las Vegas and fed me dinner while we waited for Martha, my loving wife, to fly in from Denver for the week.

It's Fall Break for the school system Martha works for, so I get to have her company all week!

Today, we broke camp soon after breakfast and we took a drive through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  The only place we stopped at was Redstone where there are cool red rock formations and a picnic area.

After being UDF'ed for a bit by two motorcycle riders in the parking lot, we took a short walk amongst the several rock formation easily accessible.  I concentrated on getting shots of the light within the wind-hollowed holes in these massive rock formations.

Who needs Antelope Canyon right?  OK, OK, perhaps it is "mo better", we'll find out later this coming week.

After leaving the Lake Mead area, we went and found our first Harvest Host site, the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum is located on the grounds of the airport in Saint George, Utah.  We got a spot in their parking lot, hence the lotdocking in the post's title.

Part of the premise of using a Harvest Host site is that your expected to make a purchase of their offerings or tour their museum, etc.  In this case, a $10 donation, got us a nice tour of several warbirds, mostly of the Soviet Era:

All the info on the planes:  LINK

Photo of the Mig Trainer version in flight over Utah

After the tour, I unloaded Scarlett and we went into Washington City to the Costco to fight the zombie crowds for some groceries.

That nightmare over with, we returned to the museum's parking lot to find it closed up for the day.

As I type this, one RV shares the parking lot with us, it's tow vehicle is out somewhere, seeing the sights I guess.

The warbird museum is the building behind the US Flag

Good 4G signal, secure parking area, pretty quiet for an airport as its mainly small engined aircraft and such flying in and out of here and not much of that today.  Plus, it's free!  My thanks for the Machidas for getting me into the Harvest Host program.  I hope to use it much more on the eastern half of the country as there is no BLM last on that half of the country.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Glamping at the Clark County Shooting Complex, NV

I rose early this morning in order to motor out with Scarlett and catch the sun's first light on the mountains within the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area that I thought would make a good background.

I broke camp at a leisurely pace and was on the road towards the north side of the Las Vegas Metro area, getting to the Clark County Shooting Complex by 11AM.  Got checked in and found my site with no issues, and being pleasantly surprised that it was a full hook up site for only $25/night!

and some different wildlife than usual:

Such a deal.

Of course, I ran the air conditioner even though it wasn't really that hot (mid-80s perhaps), got some hot water going for a shower, dumped tanks, refilled the fresh water tank and enjoyed the amenities.

I went for some groceries at the nearby Walmart and after returning from that, relaxed the afternoon away reading my e-book until it was time to go catch the sunset. 

This must the be cloudless evening season in Nevada and Utah because there's been a distinct lack of clouds in the evenings!

Note: It was very hazy and smoky, especially for the farther away objects such as the mountains below.  Post-processing tools such as dehazing and saturation boost brought out the colors though.


Later on after dark, I sat on top of Uma, the URRV and shot a set of night shots of the Las Vegas lights.

So, not much riding got done today, just rest and refit.  Tomorrow, I think I'll go back to the Dry Lake Bed BLM site.  It did get pretty windy as I sat here typing this, shaking the RV a bit with the gusts.  I hope it quiets down soon.

Uraling in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area

Tuesday, Oct 8

The Red Rock Canyon Conservation area is maintained by the BLM and they provide a campground near the canyon for visitors.

Not a bad campground, minimal space between sites, sparse vegetation, pit toilets, water and packed gravel for pads.  I paid $20 per night, and I now realize i overpaid by half as I now qualify under the Lifetime Pass issued to me recently by the NPS.  Oh well, live and learn.

Dawn provided a decent sunrise:

After a leisurely breakfast, I geared up and motored out of the campground on Scarlett to go check out the scenic loop within the Red Rock Canyon.  I flashed my Lifetime Pass and was waved through, saving $10 for a motorcycle rider.

It's a 13 mile loop, and the rock formations are fine I supposed.  Perhaps I'm getting a bit jaded once again with scenic overdoses; but I found this particular scenic loop just OK.  Still, there were some spots where the scenery was nice:

As you can see, the clear skies and sunny conditions contributed to pretty flat lighting.  I planned on returned later in the afternoon to see if the lighting would reveal richer colors but I mis-timed my departure and got no pictures.

Oh well, not a bad scenic loop, but I'm not sure I'll return.  Tomorrow, Wednesday the 9th, I hope to check out a Clark County Campground to the North of Las Vegas Metro.