Days 2-3: The Great Basin

One of the best things about RV travel is how it absolutely shakes up what is "normal." There are unexpected delights (and challenges) around every corner. One moment one is exhilarated at the scenery or weather or interesting cultural phenomena in this great country; the next, one is just tired, cranky, and ready to stop driving. But if you're on US 50--the "Loneliest Road"--you kinda gotta keep driving whether you like it or not.

The other aspect of shaking up what is "normal" is what that does to a puppy who loves him his routine. The past 3 days have been an interesting mix of training opportunities, frustration, and delight. We just loved seeing him figure out his first
(a) snow
(b) buffalo (just like old Nicky boy--he barked his head off!)
(c) road work flag person (again, more barking. Mom, why is that lady in the middle of the road?)
(d) flopping fish (that pup jumped 3 feet in the air and 3 feet backward--brave GSD....)

But we think he's getting it. Today's drive was a lot less stressful (although we had about an hour of stress--that's about 3 hours less than days 1 and 2). He slept more, didn't chew up TOO much of the RV (we have lots of chew toys with which to distract him), and he didn't try to open the coach door or climb over the passenger's lap to get out the window TOO much, today. We have learned to find city parks or empty fields in the middle of the day and throw tennis balls, sans leash. We have been diligently training that pup, and while he's not 100% reliable yet, he's just about 99.9% if I've got a tennis ball in my hand. I make sure and always have an extra in my pocket....

So, on to the photos. Right before we left, we upgraded to iCloud (after upgrading to Microsoft Office 2011 and Lion OS X), which means that all the photos we take on our iPhones automatically sync and download to the laptop if we're on wifi. I think we're happy that the National Park CG was full and we're here at a commercial park with free wifi :-)

Day 2: Truckee to east of Ely, NV about 350 miles (too many for pup)
Boy, oh boy are we ever rusty RVers. We got to Truckee and completely forgot to do anything about the fact that it was going to be 25 degrees overnight. No pink stuff in the drains, no cabin curtain up to keep out the drafts, no ceramic heater plugged in, and the Travasak was turned to "summer" side. Geesh! Oh well. No harm, but a lot of rustling around in the middle of the night to get the ceramic heater going.

Turns out that Donner Memorial State Park (a gorgeous gem of a park) doesn't open till Memorial Day. (I'm also rusty on my pre-trip research), so we had to stay at the only commercial CG in the area. (Thank goodness we didn't boondock on night 1--we were just too rusty!) Turned out great, though, because that place is awash in pine cones and branches, pup's two favorite things to play with. He got hours of play at night and in the morning, hauling HUGE branches and chasing tons of pine cones in the forest bordering the park.

The next morning we were up before 6AM, but felt like it took just forever to get going. That rust just keeps showing up.

Once we finally got off, we hit the worst traffic jam in Reno. Road construction (exit ramps closed) plus two bad accidents equals an hour's delay.

Then we hit the road construction in the middle of nowhere (or close to it) on US 50. Sign said "Expect delays of up to 30 minutes." Yup. About right. So, we arrived at Cave Lake State Park close to 6--late for puppy's dinner and ours, too, for that matter. No matter. It's a beautiful place. Let's go for a walk and shake it all off.

Day 3: Cave Lake State Park to Torrey, UT (about 300 miles--better, but still long)
We had hoped to camp in the Fruita campground inside Capitol Reef National Park, set amidst apple orchards, but no soap. All full. First come, first served and we didn't get there till 3:30. But no matter. We've returned to Torrey and a commercial cg with lots of grass and room to play and wifi so we can update the blog and plan the next few days, which are likely to yield no room at state/national parks (weekend). So, we booked a commercial cg in the middle of Moab, Utah--walking distance to the brewery, a killer BBQ place, and probably a town park. We will take in Canyonlands NP, which we somehow missed on our last swing through here (in a car), and we might revisit Arches. But probably not. It's not dog friendly, so we'll probably go to Dead Horse Canyon SP--a gorgeous spot. We may even move on Sunday night to a winery's grounds--there is a Harvest Host in Moab, but we haven't confirmed this.

Then it's eastward bound again on Monday, making our way to our dear friends' home outside of Boulder. Can't wait. Bago has no idea what awaits him. Jim will wear. him. out.

But before I sign off today's blog, a few more pix, including the most unusual campground bathroom ever. My mom used to distinguish between one and two holer bathrooms, but I'm sure she never meant THIS for a two-holer. Talk about forced intimacy....

More Capitol Reef pix tomorrow when we take the 2-hour scenic drive on our way to Moab. I'm betting there will be a lot of red rocks....

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