The End of Our Trip…Sunny Florida!

After 6,000+ miles of touring the country, we have arrived in Bonita Springs, Florida. The weather couldn’t be better. Right now its 85 degrees and sunny, and we are just a few short miles from the beach. There is also a special dog beach that is just for dogs to run off-leash, and for Zephyr and Ruby, its paradise! Currently we are working on selling our fine RV so we can buy a few cars, and Sean is on the hunt for an instructing position at an east coast flight school. Thanks for following along with our trip, and we hope to see you again soon…

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Oak Alley Plantation & French Quarter New Orleans

In Louisiana, there are a lot of great plantations that rose out the sugar trade in the 1800s. We went and visited one of the few still standing, Oak Alley Plantation. Oak Alley got its name from the 28 perfectly spaced oak trees that lead up to the house from the Mississippi river. The mansion, as well as the grounds, were immaculate! Photography inside the mansion was prohibited, so unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of that part.

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After exploring Oak Alley, we headed off to New Orleans. We had an amazing discount at a luxury RV resort right in the French  Quarter. When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by a man in a suit. This place was high class! We has a blast walking the streets and exploring the rich culture of the French Quarter. We also has some incredible meals including dinner at the Acme Oyster Company. Crawfish Etouffee, Seafood Gumbo, and Grilled Oysters…Yummm!

 

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The next morning we took a look around an old graveyard nearby. New Orleans is nearly at sea level, so you can’t be buried underground. The maze of above ground graves were old and ornate. Many of the tombstones were in French and dated back to the late 1700s & early 1800s.

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Carlsbad Caverns, The Alamo, and Corpus Christi

After an amazing time sledding down the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument, we decided to check out Carlsbad Caverns National Park in Southeast New Mexico. We’ve been in plenty of caves before, but this place is in a league of its own! We hiked down into the cave for several hours, dropping almost 750 feet below the surface. The rooms were enormous, and seemed to go on forever. It was dead quiet in the caves and the unfamiliar sights made us feel as though we were on another planet. There were also load of minerals sparkling in the rocks.

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After the Caverns, we set out to reach the gulf coast at Corpus Christi, Texas. Since we had to pass through San Antonio, we couldn’t resist stopping by to check out the Alamo. San Antonio is a cool city with a lot of history. The Alamo is right smack in the middle of the downtown area. Very interesting place to visit! That evening we camped at Mustang Island State Park. For the most part, it was a bust. Red tide was recently in the area, so the beach was littered with dead fish. Gross! At least we were able to cook some incredible burgers on the grill.

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Barefoot Sledding in New Mexico

We made use of our National Parks pass again and visited White Sands National Monument.  The name says it all, white sand dunes as far as the eye can see.image109

The road through the park is plowed out of the sand just like snow.  And keeping with the snow theme, we rented a disc sled and raced down the dunes like kids.  There wasn’t much else to see and do at the park, so we just enjoyed the ride and headed south.  Today we will visit Carlsbad caverns and then head into Texas.

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The Desert

After visiting the Grand Canyon, we headed south into the desert and warmer weather.  image046We camped at Lost Dutchman State park outside of Flagstaff.  The weather was beautiful and we cooked out on the grill.   Our camp site included a very large cactus and we had an unexpected visitor….a tarantula!image001

For the weekend, we headed to Tucson to stay with our friend Estelle.  We visited the Tucson sights and took a nice hike.  While we loved the weather and Tucson and visiting Estelle, we needed to hit the road again.  Sunday we headed down to Tombstone.  We were excited to see the old west town, but sad to see it was mostly an expensive tourist trap, so we headed to New Mexico.  We are camping in Deming, NM today and will head to White Sands National monument tomorrow.  image044

Canyons..Mt. Zion and Grand

It’s been nearly a week since our last post, we’ve been very busy in Utah and Arizona.  After a night in Pahrump, NV we wanted to see Hoover Damn.  We drove through Las Vegas and found that the traffic to the bridge was backed up for miles.  So we skipped the dam and just headed up to Utah to prepare to visit Mt. Zion National park.  We stayed over night in one of Utah’s state parks, Sand Hollow.  It boasted a large reservoir with red sand beaches.  It was one of the nicest state parks we’ve seen on the trip so far. image041

The next day we drove into Mt. Zion National park.  We had planned on 0nly driving through and going on to Bryce Canyon, but Zion was so beautiful we decided to stay the night.  We parked the RV and the dogs and took off to enjoy the park.  We rode the shuttle into the Canyon and enjoyed all the stops.  We didn’t have time (or the gear) to hike the 2.5 miles up the canyon in the water, but we want to come back someday and stay longer.

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image080After Zion, We decided to skip Bryce Canyon and head down towards the Grand Canyon.  We stopped just outside of Page, AZ to stay the night and check out Horseshoe Bend.  It was quite a view and rather scary at the edge since the wind was blowing very hard. image036 The next day we headed into the Grand Canyon.  We can’t think of much to say about the Grand Canyon because it has probably all been said before.  It’s Big.image149

Yosemite to Death Valley

On Thursday the rain finally stopped and the sun came out and the weather was BEAUTIFUL!!  We finally headed into Yosemite.  We spent Thursday touring the park, enjoying all the amazing vistas.  image044

We made reservations to stay in Yosemite Valley Thursday night.  The park rangers told us that their bears were still very active and anything that resembled food (including any soap or lotion) needed to be locked in the bear locker.  Luckily, since we have a hardside RV, we didn’t have to clear out our cabinets.

We woke up Friday to another beautiful day.  We toured the valley and headed up to Tuolumne Meadow high above the valley.  At 9538 feet elevation, there was lots of snow.  We found a beautiful lake to stop and enjoy.image099

Next, we left the park and headed down to our next destination, Death Valley.  It was a treacherous drive, up hill threatening to over heat the radiator, and down hill threatening to overheat our breaks.  But we made it to the valley and the temperature was 100 degrees!!  From snow to 100 degrees in 4 hours.  We stopped at StovePipe Wells camp ground and decided to stay because they had a pool.  We swam and enjoyed the HOT weather.

The next day we pulled out of the campground loaded with lots of drinking water because it would be another 100 degree day.  We toured Death Valley and found ourselves at 282 feet below sea level.image093 Big difference in just 24 hours!  We found Death Valley to be a very strange place, but very peaceful and sureal.

After heading up out of the valley, we made it to Pahrump, NV.  The weather is still hot, but we found a nice RV park with a pool and a winery.  Their wine is actually good!  Strange thing about this city is that prostitution is legal and they offer tours of the brothels!  I think we’ll skip that particular tour!

Tomorrow we head to Lake Mead and check out Hoover Damn.  Sean wants to go on the damn tour.