Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sand Island BLM Campground

   Sand Island is a great access point for running the San Juan River. The campground is small and in good weather may fill by late afternoon. Petroglyphs are visible along the canyon wall.

   None of the sites are marked as accessible but all have tables with long overhangs. The vault toilets are accessible but may have a short step up to the concrete slab due to erosion. The petroglyphs are easily viewed from your vehicle.

   A few of the spaces are long enough for large RVs. Campground
37.26056, -109.61778

Monday, April 29, 2013

Natural Bridges National Monument

  A nine mile loop road has overlooks with short paved trails to good viewpoints of the three bridges. Hiking trails lead to the canyon and the base of each of the bridges.

  The visitor center and theater are accessible. The trails to the first two bridge overlooks, Sipapu and Kachina, are very steep in sections. Wheelchair users will need help to get back up the hills. The trail to the third overlook, Owachomo, is almost level but the railing is made with logs which block the view for wheelchair users. The campground does not have any sites marked as accessible. Both vault toilets are accessible but one has a step up to the concrete base.

  The visitor center has long spaces for RVs. Visitors with trailers or long motorhomes should drop them at this lot because the parking areas at the overlooks are not very big. The campground spaces are limited to 27’ RVs.  Park
37.60879, -109.97713

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Capitol Reef National Park


  Along with the beautiful scenery and unusual geology of Capitol Reef is the evidence of years of human inhabitation, from petroglyphs left by Freemont People, to orchards and buildings of a small Mormon community who called this fertile, well watered but very isolated valley home. The last resident left in 1968.

  The visitor center is accessible but the sidewalk leading to the entrance is steep. The campground has several sites which are partially accessible and close to the restrooms. The Gifford Farmhouse is not accessible due to steps. The school house is not accessible due to steps. The parking lot at the petroglyphs site has usable curb cuts. The boardwalk is accessible and viewing for the petroglyphs is very good.

   Campsites are first come/first serve so an early arrival is necessary to get a site. Most sites are small but there are some large enough for big RVs. Visiting the historical sites and driving the scenic park road are best done in a car or small RV. The visitor center lot is very small with no room for large RV parking. The farmhouse lot is very small too. The scenic drive ( the only part of the park that has an entrance fee) is narrow and twisty. Vehicles over 27’ are barred from the unpaved sections. Park



Friday, April 26, 2013

Anasazi State Park Museum

  The little town of Boulder, Utah contains the ruins of a small Anasazi farming village which has been partially excavated. The village was occupied for about 50 years and may have housed a couple hundred people. A short trail circles the ruins. A six room replica has been constructed to give visitors a better idea of the living conditions of the Anasazi.

  The museum is accessible. The trail to the ruins is paved but very steep in sections. The trail to the replica is loose gravel and hard to push along. The doorways are too narrow for wheelchair access.

  The parking lot has long RV spaces.  Museum
  37.91115, -111.42399

Hole-in-the-Rock Escalante Heritage Center

   In 1879 a group of Mormons left Escalante to travel 200 miles and establish a community in San Juan County. The journey took six months. Two of those months were spent creating a road down the cliffs which stood 2000 feet above the Colorado River so that the river could be crossed. The story of this monumental task is told at this small interpretive site located on the outskirts of Escalante. A visitor center is in the process of being created but for now interpretive signs and a wagon do a good job of telling the story.

   Everything is accessible.

   RVs can be parked lengthwise along the car spaces. Center
37.76198, -111.57844

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bryce Canyon National Park

  The park road extends 18 miles into the canyon with many stops along the way to view the fantastic colors and shapes of the hoodoos which have been carved by ice and water and tinted with iron rust.

  The 1/2 mile paved path between Sunrise and Sunset Point has the best viewpoints for wheelchair users because there are places where it’s possible to go off the trail and get close to the edge for an unobstructed view. The paved path is in fair condition with some bumpy spots and a few slight grades. Most of the other viewpoints are close to the parking areas with good curb cuts.  High log railings make viewing difficult although some have sections with metal grids which helps with viewing. Rainbow and Yovimpa Points, at the far end of the park, have short, fairly level, paved paths to the viewpoints. The paved paths at Bryce and Inspiration Point are very steep.
   Sunset Campground has two sites marked as accessible (we didn’t check them ) which are close to the restrooms. The visitor center exhibits and theater are accessible. Some of the restrooms at the viewpoints are accessible.

  Both campgrounds have loops for RVs over 20’ and under 20’(no generators). Most of the sites are small but there are some that are large enough for any RV. The visitor center does not have long RV spaces but RVs can be parked lengthwise across the spaces. Most of the view points have long RV spaces. The spur road to Paria View is closed to all RVs. Both Paria and Bryce Point are closed to trailers. A large parking lot for trailer and motorhome drop off is located on the left side of the road a little way past the visitor center. It’s best to drive south to the far end of the park then stop at the view points on the way back because they’re all along the left side of the road when traveling south.  Bryce
37.64082, -112.16971

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Red Canyon Bicycle Trail

  This trail parallels the road through the beautiful scenery of the canyon in Dixie National Forest. The trail can be accessed from Red Canyon Visitor Center, Red Canyon Campground or from the numerous pull offs along Hwy 12. Plenty of parking room for RVs.

  The trail is a little over 8 miles long one way, wide, smooth asphalt with a slight uphill grade. Trail
37.74369, -112.32906

Friday, April 19, 2013

Zion National Park

n  A little advance planning is necessary for a visit to Zion, something that we didn’t do, so when we arrived at the park in mid afternoon to find that the first come/ first serve campsites were all taken, we decided to skip the shuttle bus tour of the main section of the park and just drive through on Route 9. This is a gorgeous drive but we really have to come back and visit the rest of the park in the future.

  To help with congestion and pollution the main park road is closed to traffic from the end of March to the beginning of September. A free shuttle bus leaves from the visitor center parking lot and makes nine stops at points along the scenic drive. The bus has a wheelchair lift. People who have medical conditions that require devices which can only be transported in their private vehicle may use that vehicle instead of the bus.

   Most of the trails are tough hikes but two are marked as being accessible – a section of the Pa’rus Trail which can be accessed from the South Campground and the Riverside Trail  at the north end of the bus route. The visitor center and history museum are both completely accessible.

  The visitor center lot has a section for RVs. Most of the roadside pull offs are long enough for RVs. Visitors traveling through the park on Route 9 must purchase a tunnel permit ($15.00) if their vehicle is wider than 7’ 10” or higher than 11’ 4”.  Zion
37.19874, -112.98764

Jacob Hamblin Home

   Jacob Hamblin was an early convert to Mormonism, migrating to Utah in 1850 and becoming a missionary to the Paiutes and Utes living in southern Utah. Hamblin settled in Santa Clara and helped build a small fort. When a flood destroyed the fort in 1862 the stones were used to build this house. The house is shown by guided tour. The stories told by our guide were very interesting. Since the church owns the home and the tour guides are LDS members religious material and a free Mormon bible are offered to visitors at the end of the tour.

  The house is not wheelchair accessible. The entryway has a short step. The back section of the house has several steps and the second story has a long narrow flight of steps inside and another flight outside.

  The parking lot is large enough for vans and small RVs.  Home
37.13371, -113.66089

Thursday, April 18, 2013

CasaBlanca Casino

   Follow the signs for RVing parking. Easy access from the interstate. A stay of 72 hours is permitted in one lot only. The lot has a slight up or downhill slope. The casino also has a reasonably priced RV park.

   The sidewalks and curb cuts leading to the casino entrance are in good condition. The casino is fairly accessible but some of the chairs are fixed in place. Others are movable but very heavy. Casino
36.80224, -114.10366

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Festivals Map

View Festivals in a larger map
   Over our twenty years of fulltiming we’ve attended very few festivals. Most of the ones that we did attended were by happenstance - we were passing through at the right time. We’ve enjoyed every one and would like to attend more so…another map!

  The placemark colors designate the time of year for each festival so it’s easy to see what’s happening when we are in a certain area. Google maps will accept 200 placemarks per page therefore I haven’t included some things like music festivals. There are just too many of them. While I was researching festivals I found a couple of very good sites so if you want to find more festivals check these links - Top Events USA  and Find the Best - US Festivals

  I have room on the map for more festivals. If you have a favorite or know of a good one that I missed please leave a comment below. :- )  I’m including a map link in the “More Maps” section.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Leaving Vegas

  We’ve been here for over a month and a half, much longer than we usually stay at one place, but now Tony is nicely healed, our motorhome is super clean and waxed, lots of little maintenance projects are finished and we had a good time visiting with our daughter and old and new RVing friends. :- )

  Our original plans were to drive along Route 66 from Santa Monica pier to Chicago but with hot weather coming and a planned vacation visit with family, that’s been put on hold – maybe in the fall? So  we’re heading across southern Utah, through the beautiful National Parks and red rock country, over to northern New Mexico and up to Colorado high country for the summer.

   Northshore Road, through Lake Mead NRA, is very scenic, a much nicer route for traveling towards Utah than I-15. The picnic areas at Redstone and Rodgers Spring have long parking spaces, accessible toilets, short paved trails to the tables and longer hikes for able bodied visitors. Both are worth a stop.  Lake Mead NRA
36.0114, -114.79219

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Neon Museum

    This is not a typical museum because it’s all located outside and the only way to see it is by guided tour. It’s a fun place to visit especially if you like old signs. Everything is very neatly arranged along a curving path and the guided talk is full of little known trivia  about the signs, the casinos, and early Vegas. The museum has also restored some signs and installed them along Freemont Street. They look really nice all lit up at night.

  Everything is accessible. The path is composed of finely crushed, hard packed stone and is very easy to roll along.

  The parking lot has some spaces where RVs will fit.  Museum
36.1773, -115.13474

Monday, April 1, 2013

Another Great Resource


   We’re back road travelers and very lax planners. Many times when we start out for the day the only plan we have is getting to certain destination. Sometimes even that doesn’t happen! With a general direction and the ultimate goal in mind, I open up the big Rand McNally map and look for the smallest paved roads and we’re on our way. Often I find that we’re driving along one of these byways and because I’m unaware that it even existed ( no markings on the map) we miss a lot. I think that I’m going to be visiting the American's Byway site a lot in the future. It’s extremely well organized and stuffed with all sorts of information including maps, attractions, activities, itineraries  and comments from fellow travelers. And it has my favorite planning tool– a clickable map! I’m adding a link to the More Maps section under my blog heading.