Remnants of the Summer 2018 Trip


Smoky sunset Burns, Oregon July 6th, 2018


39 nights, 4,243 miles, $1125 on gas, and many untold stories that deserve to be told.  Here are some of the stories plus a few pictures that didn’t make it on their original blog.

Our most harrowing towing experience so far, was on our first day of travel to Cedar Breaks.  Going up a 13% grade, with a 35 mph headwind.  Pedal to the metal, second gear, and we were certain the truck was going to stall.  It was scary and a bad start to the trip.  The two signs below are on the downgrade at the top.  You might be thinking, how could we be so dumb to put ourselves in that kind of predicament.  Well, we relied on the Allstays app when researching the road.  The app had the warning symbol for a steep grade in the wrong place.  A technology failure.  Next thing we knew, we were in the middle of it with no escape.  If you go to Cedar Breaks do not take the Parowan route.  Go through Cedar City.





Ancient Bristlecone Pine, Cedar Breaks National Monument



Inferno Cone hike, Craters of the Moon National Monument


One of the craziest things we saw was on the U.S. Highway 20 between Hill City and Mountain Home, Idaho.  Unfortunately there was no place to stop to take pictures.  At first we thought there were rocks all over the road.  Then we noticed they were moving, hundreds if not thousands of them.  Then we started looking closer and we could see smashed reddish bug guts all over the road.  What the hell?  Amelia texted Doña and she told us they were Mormon crickets.  Lore has it an infestation like that means a big winter.

Sun Valley to Bend is too long of a drive for us, so we decided to break it up.  We almost stayed in Vale, Oregon.  Well almost on paper, it was one of the options when we had when planning the trip, but after seeing Vale we are both glad we didn’t stay there.  Instead we spent one night in Burns, Oregon.  If Burns rings a bell, that’s because it’s the area where a bunch of militia, ‘we hate the government guys’, thought they’d take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January 2016.  Even most of the locals got tired of their act, especially since the ‘we hate the government guys’ weren’t even from the area.  These things never end well.  On January 26th, in a confrontation with the authorities, the spokesman for the militia group,  Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum met his maker, 19 miles north of Burns on the 395.

If you are driving through the area and need a full hook spot for one night we highly recommend Burns RV Park.


The bikers they are referring to were not us, but we still felt very welcomed.




It’s refreshing to see some people still have a sense of humor.


A really nice one night spot, Burns RV Park


Sometimes you have a brief encounter with someone and it just sticks with you.  While we were filling up with gas in Susanville there was this old man doing the same.  He took one look at Sara and said, “That’s a great looking Puggle.”  I said, “Thanks, you must be familiar with Puggles.”  He said yes, his brother had been raising them in Louisiana for the last 15 years, but he died last year.  As he was telling me all about his brother you could just see the sadness he was carrying around.  I let him ramble on for a few minutes watching him getting misty eyed as he was petting Sara.  It was sad.



Tomato plants, wink, wink



English Bullmastiff meets Puggle at La Pine State Park.  At first Sara was a little intimidated, but the dog was a gentle giant.  They had identical heads with their short muzzles.  When in campgrounds I’ve found the three easiest types of people to identify are Euros, childless couples like us, and retired firemen.  This guy is a retired fireman.



Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park.


Lassen Peak


In celebration of the 50 years of the National Trails System, the visitors center at Lassen was giving away these bandanas if you did three hikes.  Amelia really liked it since she turned 50 this year also.





I sampled many local beers on the trip, it’s one of the joys of being on the road.  Here’s the Top 3 IPA’s.  I’m still kicking myself for not stopping at Melvin brewery in Alpine, Wyoming.


A checklist is for naught if you don’t use it.  Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants thought they had packed everything and didn’t look at their packing checklist list when they departed, so they didn’t have their big road atlas.  We relied heavily on the iPhone maps app for navigation.  By the end of the trip I got so tired of that chick’s voice telling us to turn right, left, merge, etc, etc.  Smart phones are making us dumb.  I bet a percentage of the population would follow her directions even if she said accelerate and drive straight over the cliff.  If the Russians hacked into our navigation apps this country would be in big trouble.



Vaya con dios mis amigos.

8 thoughts on “Remnants of the Summer 2018 Trip

  1. Awesome finale report. On July 10th, 2018 Trump pardoned the ranchers whose arrests started the siege out there near Baker. Three were serving time. He pardoned two. The third was “technically involved” but he’s the one serving time for the whole deal. Through his attorney we are told he’s pissed.
    I know how stressful it can be traveling/ hauling up a grade. Even a 6% grade gets old if it’s a long haul!
    Thanks for the pic of the RV place in Burns. Now that you posted it, I recognize it .I often say, “Hey, that one looks pretty nice!” I now will always remember it & I’ll break up my jaunt to Cannon Beach by staying there. Super helpful, your blogs are!
    Those Mormon crickets are all done in. I travelled that area a couple days ago.
    Currently there is smoke going North up central Idaho all the way to the Canadian border. We know that CA Fwy 5 is a smokey hot mess and much of south central Oregon is. I know that the border area of Canada/ Washington is smokey too. Summertime fires and road repairs. Hard to miss ‘em!
    I love how Sara has made so many friends! 🐶

  2. Another nice blog. Tomato plants my foot, Eric tried that one time and I found one in the pantry and he said tomato plant and I said get that marijuana plant out of there. The joy of raising sons.

  3. Greg, you are such an amazing writer. Even if you did not have the pics I could totally see the images of what you were describing. Your sense of humor is so refreshing.
    Amy, you are sooooooooo blessed to have such an adventurous heart. Many people spend their entire lives in a rat cage turning the wheel but the two of you choose to go outside the cage and venture into the awesomeness of this beautiful planet. You truly get it! God made all of this for our joy and amazement, but too many of us don’t take the time to venture out.
    As always, I thank the two of you for allowing me to be on this adventure with you through your posts and beautiful pictures.
    May God continue to give you good health, an adventurous spirit, and childlike wonder.

  4. Always enjoy your blog! Next best thing to being there.
    We all tried that tomato trick. My mother, your mother Ruth’s good friend, was a high school teacher who found ‘tomato plant’s in her classroom flower pots. She thought they were weeds, and well, she was sort of right!!!

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