Camping, Searching of our next phase, RV’s, and Handgun class.

Just need a quick (ha!) catch up before I go on official travel.

Camping in Utah with Eli
I flew home from Sweden, directly to Salt Lake City.  Mike drove over that day with the trailer, picked me up , and after a short visit with Mike’s parents we took our grandson, Eli, Camping for 3 days.  Very exciting, very fun.  Just a few hours from his home.  We get such little time with the kids, especially compared to their other grands, that we thought perhaps it would be better to start trying to share quality time individually with them, rather than showering them with generic gifts.  Mike should do what he does best and we should take the kids out and spend time with them.  So this is the first of what we hope will become many adventures.. After all Eli has 4 siblings, and there are 2 more grandkids in Phoenix.  I worked during the two days out, but Mike and Eli fished in the river and fished in the lake.  We built a campfire, and roasted marshmallows… fun stuff.

Camping Wyoming at Greys River with Jed, Debra,and Joe
From there, we met up with Mike’s sister Debra, and her husband Joe, who had a new trailer then were itching to get out in.  We picked up Mike’s son, Jed, and headed up to our old stomping grounds in Star Valley, Wyoming, where we camped on the Grey’s River, fished, cooked in the dutch ovens.  And had another relaxing weekend.


Dinner and Dancing in Pocatello
Heading on out from there I had a Square Dance Festival in Pocatello, Idaho, so we stopped in for the night with some alpaca friends we had there, who graciously got our whole gang of alpaca friends together for a dinner party.  Wonderful!

LaNae and Londa
Shannon and Mike in a SERIOUS discussion.
Rich.. the ultimate host (with Shannon)
Londa and Jody

In the morning we took the trailer over to the campground I would be staying at during the festival then I drove Mike down and dropped him at his parents and went on to the airport to pick up Sol, who was flying in from Santa Fe to dance that weekend with me….   Back up to Pocotello, we dance all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Unfortunately the dance hall was far to hot to be enjoyable, but other than that it was a nice festival.

Me, and the New Mexico Crew of dancers.
My hotel during the festival.  (The tiny one in front!)

Sunday I took Sol back to the airport and picked Mike up at his parents, we retrieved the trailer in Pocatello and headed on for McCall, Idaho.  We have been (perpetually) looking for a place to move to.  Over time this has developed to thinking of buying a piece of land that Mike can fish/hunt/and ski from, and building a small cabin on the land, then get a small place in town to “live”.  We went to McCall to check it out.  We had always loved McCall, and knew of a very nice RV resort to stay at there, so we stayed the week. With full hookups, Mike explored, while I worked… It was heaven!  In the end we decided the fishing was not good enough to buy in McCall but we had a fun week none the less.

My office that week

Stopped and had breakfast with my ex-colleagues in Boise

Flaming Gorge
We were home for a couple weeks then headed back to Utah to meet up with Jed again and camp at Flaming Gorge.  I had always wanted to go there, and it’s one of Jed’s favor places to take out the boat.  He loves to take a fall trip.  We drove up on Sunday and stayed at an RV park where I could have internet and work, while Mike went fishing again.  He had wanted to fish the Green River just south of the Flaming Gorge Dam for a long time.  To get in there you either have to float or hike a long way.  He hiked…   Three long days of hiking.  Perfect as I could trade in the morning, work the rest of the day and take a hike outside at lunch.  Jed came up Thursday night so we moved to a campground on the lake, and were out on the boat Friday, Saturday, and half of Sunday.  They fished, I read… a luxury I rarely indulge.  Sunday we went home picking up a few geocaches on the way to break up the trip and found a new favorite restaurant in Steamboat Springs for dinner.


Somewhere in the middle there Mike found a piece of property in Granby, two hours North of us here, near Winter Park.  The land seemed much more affordable in that valley than in the Breckenridge area.  We went up on an a land shopping trip, met with a realtor, and ended up finding a beautiful piece of property with nice price, great views, great location… We loved it.  When we got back from Flaming Gorge we decided to take an overnight trip to Granby to feel out the area a little more.  About 15 minutes before we walked out the door, Mike found a rental house in the valley (Fraser this time, a little closer to Winter Park) and know that we would be looking for a place to live while we were building, we called the guy and set up an appointment for later that morning.  It was a reasonable house on 4 acres, in a beautiful Aspen grove, the price was good too.  The house had the things we were looking for, lacking in our current house.  Although the internet and cell phone signal were questionable and that of course would be a problem.  Anyhow we went about our day (which was a GORGEOUS fall day BTW.), re-visiting  the lot we had found looking at a few others, stayed at an AirBnB, and talked to the locals.  We went back to the rental house, and decided to go ahead and take it.  Gave him a check, first/last/and deposit.  Then I called the internet provider to discuss options and they told me that the area was being upgraded to fiber optics the next week!  Wow… Seemed like this was supposed to be.

The view from the lot.

So we went home, started packing, planning, organizing as the move was supposed to be in the next month.  Calling my sister Monica, in Berthoud, CO, she informed me that they were having a garage sale that upcoming weekend.  We thought it would be wise to get in on that, and get rid of a BUNCH of stuff.  So that shifted our focus from Moving to sorting through stuff and getting rid of stuff… and thank goodness too, because 3 days later the landlord called and said, “Ok, I’ve submitted your application, along with 3 others to the owner.  I’ll let you know what they decide.”  AARGH!!  this was a real blow.  In the end we didn’t get the house so had to slam the breaks on and call our landlord back to beg to stay here.  Really discouraging.  He did say it wasn’t our fault, that he didn’t know why the owners decided the way they did, but take heart, we were Second choice.  Humm, fat lot of good that does me!  We still had the garage sale which was a great success, and got rid of a lot of stuff.  Of course still need to do more of that.

In the meantime… Our second trip out to the lot we loved, and talking to one of the developers there….  Well this land, although inexpensive, was going to be quite expensive to get a well and septic in.  And they have a LOT of covenants, one of which is that you can’t park an RV on the site, and you have to build a bigger house than we wanted, and you have to start and finish within a year… also not in our plan as we were going to build as we had funding…  SO, that option is pretty well off the table.

In our frustration with all of that, and since we had such great trips in our camper this summer, it got us thinking of adopting a full-time, or 3/4 time RV lifestyle.  So, our focus changed again.  Reading lots of blogs, planning, thinking of getting rid of almost all of our “STUFF” (liberating really when you think of it).  We went to an RV show, a few showrooms, and took a trip to Grande Junction to look at at few RV’s for sale (And have dinner with some friends of course).  But it seems to be a big vicious circle.. Like where would you store your stuff, and what about when you are NOT off in the RV, where are you, maybe we should get a little piece of land and put a shed and RV spot on it, but where should that be, and can we afford that AND the RV, or which do we get first.. and what about ski season, we want to keep skiing……   Ah!!  Too many questions, so we are looping!  In the meantime, still looking at RV’s, still looking at land……….  Still up in the air about our future plans.

This one?  Or That one?  That is the question.. (One of many rather).

Front Sight Training Institute
As a completely different topic… also a break for OUR brains.. we went on a vacation out to a town (Pahrump) about an hour northwest of Las Vegas for a week to take a 4-day defensive handgun class from Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.  Mike nor I had ever done anything like this before and it was a blast.  They have a first class operation, would highly recommend anyone who owns a gun go to this.  We shot 600 rounds a piece over 4 days.  Mike learned a lot that he had never heard even though he had been shooting his whole life.  He struggled with changing old habits.  Since I essentially had no old habits, I came by it a lot easier than he did.  I did have pretty good accuracy in my shooting, one of the best in our class (of 40) but I was slow… anyhow we will work on that and go back for more since we bought a diamond membership which gives you free classes there for life.  The only issue was that even though we waited until October to do it, the temperature was still in the mid-90’s and we were out in the sun for 4 solid days from 8am until 5pm.  Brutal… luckily there was some cloud cover 2 of the afternoons.  We also had trouble in out hotel/casino which smelled of smoke, and finding gluten free food in the town of Pahrump!  Seems like a good place to bring our RV next time.

On the road again!
Mike getting instruction


From 15 meters!   Yay!


Death Valley
The class ran Monday through Thursday, so Friday we went out to Death Valley National Park for the morning.  It was about an hour and a half from Pahrump, and Mike nor I had been in the time we could remember.  That was eerily beautiful, although 103 degrees.. so not much time outside of the car!!

That evening we went back to Vegas and spent the night with Mike and Melissa Timmerman.. Sharing their anniversary dinner out with them, before heading home the next morning.

Whew!!  I think that’s it for the last 2 months!  I’m heading out on business travel again next week so thought I’d better take care of this.   Stay active, healthy and happy.  Maybe we’ll see you sometime in our RV.  (And Mike after reading this said, “No, wonder we are tired!”)

0 Responses

  • Great pictures, great stories! You guys are busy, busy! Do you find that business trips give you a chance to slow down and relax? 🙂

  • The camping, hanging out with family and friends all sounds like great fun. The photos are stunning. You do stay busy! All those decisions to make, each one seeming to affect the next. . . yep, I can see how your mind does race.

  • Ditto what Heidi said. I hope you find the right solution for yourselves, though it does sound like you are somewhat flexible, which is definitely a good thing.
    Fabulous pictures! Those could be a collection of a lifetime and you took them all in a few weeks! Amazing!

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