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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

On To Warmer Lands....Maybe

We pulled our bikes out on Monday and rode down into the canyon at the bottom of Hurricane Rim. I may have walked quite a bit going down. I'm not as steady as Abe who's been mountain biking and dirt biking since he was a kid, and I had a definite fear of falling on the large, sharp rocks that covered the steep road to the bottom, especially when my tires slid when I would brake. I couldn't believe it when I looked down and saw seashells embedded in some of the rocks on the road! I also happened to look down and spot a small piece of petrified wood. Those were the first fossils I've ever found, and I had no idea they would be there, but the shells were everywhere. We made it to the end of the road, where there was a small brown pool and some large boulders, and there were several imprints of shells on the boulders. It was pretty amazing to see evidence from when the entire Utah desert was part of the ocean floor.

At some point in history, people worked by that pool, maybe mining? I'd love to know the history of that spot. There was a shallow rectangular dip in the ground that was covered in dead grass with what looked like a couple of water gates in it, where people had let water into the dip when the stream was running high. One of the gates had the wheel on it still, but it had long ago broken off the other one. There was also an old iron rod sticking a couple inches out of a large boulder at the side of the pool, and the remnants of some piece of iron equipment near it. We found part of the missing wheel on our way back up the trail.

We were going to skip driving through Zion National Park because of the $25 entrance fee plus $15 escort fee for motor homes (there's a long tunnel that isn't wide enough for a motorhome AND oncoming traffic), but Abe's uncle Gary had an annual pass and offered to drive us through. On the way there we stopped at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. I had to take my shoes off to feel the sand on my feet. It was a little warm on top, but still cool when my feet broke through the surface. Idaho has Bruneau Sand Dunes and the Weiser Sand Dunes, but I've never felt anything like the sand at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes! It was almost as fine and light as powder. People were going down the hills on snowboards and skis, and I don't think you'd get a softer landing if you fell on fresh powder snow.

I thought where we parked at Hurricane Rim was breathtaking, but driving through the canyon was beyond words. The mountains are so colorful, with their layers of different mineral compositions. Giant plateaus towered above us, their steep sides dropping down to meet the sloped mountains that were divided into wide horizontal stripes of red, tan, and green. The sandstone cliffs were striated with thin slanted layers, and I could imagine the flood waters lapping across them as they receded, causing the layers of sediment that would eventually dry and harden into sandstone.

We were all hungry when we left Zion National Park, so Gary took us to eat at Thunderbird Restaurant - Home of the Ho-Made Pies. I love a business with a good story, and they had one. Here it is:

Tired of the evening windstorms every day, we gladly secured everything and hit the road after two nights. Next stop - Mesquite, NV. We stopped at the Eureka Casino parking lot, where we would stay for two more nights. And the second night once again met us with a windstorm. 30 mph with 50 mph gusts. It's a good thing we have jacks, or we would have been rocking like crazy. As it was, the motorhome just shook slightly when there was a large gust. We got to meet a few of the people. I was surprised to learn that people live in their RVs in casino parking lots. At least, they did in that one. There were a few set ups with large potted plants outside, and a dog who'd been there long enough to be off leash so he could run in the dirt lot at the back when he had to go. One lady we talked to was working remotely for the government and had been parked for a month. No one had come to tell her to leave yet, so she was still there. There were a couple of other people that seemed to know each other really well. I don't know how long they'd been there, but I got the feeling it had been for a very long time.

Next we headed to Camping World in Henderson, NV to pick up a new water pump. Ours started cycling on and off constantly, so we have to shut it off except for when we need water. Abe called Good Sam because they have a free service to help you troubleshoot problems, and we learned that our water pump needs replaced. This is our first on-the-road repair. I am proud to have done most of the installation on this one. I was just small enough to fit in the compartment. We tried to get everything fixed ahead of time, but we knew things would come up. We just didn't expect something to come up so soon. Our fuel costs are high because we're trying so hard to get south to heat, but our food costs are low. Hopefully everything balances out and we can keep within our $20,000 budget for the year. I have a suspicion that it will be closer to $25,000.

Once we replaced the water pump, we headed to Hoover Dam to stay in the Hoover Dam Lodge parking lot. I'm looking forward to using our Harvest Hosts app one of these nights, which allows us to stay at breweries, wineries, farms, and museums across the country. All that most of them ask for as payment is that you buy something from them. I'm especially excited about staying at farms to get some of the things we need. I'm really hoping that we'll come across one with horses that will let me ride. That might be asking too much, but you never know. Heck, I'd be happy to muck stalls as payment.

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2 Weeks


Mar 29, 2021

Hi Abe and Kandy, during your stop at Camping World in Henderson, I think we were pretty close to you. We were in Vegas visiting family the week of March 22-28. We explored Boulder City, Valley of Fire State Park, and Red Rock Canyon. Some amazing places for hiking. You are in the right area for some great weather this time of year! All the best to your Spring in the RV! Troy

Kandy Thietten
Kandy Thietten
Mar 30, 2021
Replying to

I'm feeling a little dumb now. Abe just told me that this is Pastor Troy. I thought your last name was spelled differently. Sorry. 😞 That's cool that we were so close to you. It would have been great if we'd seen you!

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