June 30, 2004

Logan, Utah

As you can probably tell from the dual postings, today was a pretty lazy day. We spent the morning having some “tidy time” in the camper and doing our laundry at brother Pat’s house. Dan made friends with Pat’s neighbor Kirk, who is one of those guys who has one of everything. He saw dan struggling to get a long enough hose out to the camper to wash it, so he stopped by with his power washer- go figure.
At lunch time Pat came home and took us up Green Canyon for a bike ride. This ride turned out to be yet another uphill ride- however, this one was nice and gradual and a real treat after our last few. When we finished the canyon trail we rode into Logan and toured the town. We stopped by the Chamber of Commerce and toured the Pioneer Museum there. The museum is small, but has lots of neat furniture including some made by Brigham Young and other Mormon historical figures. After our long ride we treated ourselves to a shake and a float at a real olde-timey soda shop. I honestly can't remember the last time I had a root beer float, I seem to be regressing to childhood in my retirement.
Thanks to Pat for the driveway, extension cord and washing machine- oh and the fresh king salmon and halibut!
Tomorrow we head up to Jackson.

Pat's house.

Dan "power washing" the camper.

We are parked right under Pat's cherry tree. This makes snacking rather easy.

Green Canyon trail head. The path is a gradual uphill which passes by campgrounds and old mining tunnels. There is a creek bed along the trail, but it was dry.

Dan and his brother Dr. Patrick Goddard.

Dan and Rach along the trail.

The Moose

Sunday June 27th, 2004

Our friends Meade and Lee Ann Harbison- Congrats and all our love.

Their wedding marked our last day in Durango and what a fabulous day it was.

Sunday morning we had a farewell breakfast with Dan's family and then at around 11am we hit the road.

First stop lunch in Ouray.

We were serenaded by this waterfall during our lunch.

After lunch we headed up towards Rangely, Colorado. Hwy 139 between Loma and Rangely is truly beautiful, with Douglas Pass topping off at around 8600'. Amazing views and it is open range, so the cow-dodging kept us on our toes.

After Douglas Pass you enter the Canyon Pintato area, which is riddled with ancient Indian art. Signs along the road point to the paintings and there are great interpretive placards all over to answer your questions. If you go there pick up a map in Loma or Rangeley, since there is only one map along the road.

This is a photo from the White Birds site, the first one we visited.

The Cow Canyon site- note the picture of a rifle in this one.

We made camp about 3 miles up Philadelphia Draw on BLM land. This dirt road is also part of the Rangely Loop Mountain Bike Trail. Here's a view from our camp and a picture of Rach showing her feelings on yet another uphill climb just before we hit the top of the road.

This week will be a-typical of our general plan. We will be covering a lot of miles to get things started. We are expecting to go over our $40/ day budget during this time. But, once we hit Jackson we should slow down to more like 50-100 miles per day and then stay on budget. Additionally we started out with a full pantry and semi-full fridge. So our expenses are a bit askew.

Day One: Miles-266, Expenses- $3.26 for groceries.

Day two:
We woke up to a 5-6 mile mtn. bike ride up the road we camped on. The views from the top and the downhill back made this a fabulous ride. Then we hit the road again stopping at East Four Mile Canyon to see some more Indian art. If you only have time to visit one of the sites in Canyon Pintada this is the one to see. There is a 30 minute hiking loop with signs to explain all of the paintings and even an old pioneer cabin.

The Sun Dagger site.

From here we headed towards Flaming Gorge on the Utah/ Wyoming border. We headed up HWY 139 from Vernal. This too is a beautiful drive with impressive views and beautiful aspen fields. National Forest camping is plentiful here and there we many roads to potential boondocking sites along the way. We were ready to see Flaming Gorge though so we pressed on, arriving at the dam around 2:30. As avid river runners dams are always interesting if a bit frustrating to us. We decided to tour the dam, since neither of us had ever toured one before. I must say it was truly impressive to see and a bit freaky to be inside of. We recommend touring this if you are ever there- takes about a half hour and its free. No cameras are permitted in the dam (an after effect of 911)- so here's an outside photo.

We checked out two of the campsites on the lake, they were both $13/ night and neither seemed like a place we'd like to stay so we kept on to Green River. This may not have been the best decision as there is only one campground in Green River, Tex's, which charges $25 for a hook-up site. We opted for the $16 "primitive" site, which oddly enough had water and electricity, and there was a nice shower facility for campers. Not quite sure how this classifies as primitive- but hey- works for us.

Before we checked into Tex's we saw a sign to a "Whitewater Park". This is like Mecca to my husband so we went down to Expedition Park where the signs led us. Primarily this is a memorial park to where John Wesley Powell launched his river expeditions, complete with a trail commemorating many who used or ran the Green River in the past. Dan quickly eyed the whitewater park and we made a note to come back the next morning.

Day two: Miles- 190-ish Gas $68, Park fee $2.00, Groceries $4.75, Camping $18 (after taxes) an expensive day!

After a not-so-scenic night at Tex's we loaded up and headed back to the park. But first a detour to an RV shop for two new drains. Seems the Lance installers may have overlooked o-rings in our kitchen sink, so we had to buy new drains and install them.

Once at the park I took the bike for a ride along the river/ bike trail, which was amazingly nice and beautiful, to the grocery store. I came back to find my husband spinning away on this wave with a grin from ear to ear. For any of you kayakers here's the scoop. As best as I can figure, Green River got a ton of money from oil and gas or maybe the trains and they poured it into their parks. The Whitewater Park is located on both sides of an island. The river right channel is a slalom course and the left is the whitewater section. Here there are two man-made u-drops. The lower one was a perfect surfing wave where you could sit and surf forever and never take a paddle stroke. On the sides of the wave were two frothy holes perfect for spinning.

We stayed here until 2pm. The park made a nice place for us to have lunch but as you'll see in the picture below, it is a bit of a squeeze to get there.

Dan come on- we gotta go, say goodbye to your wave.

From Green River we headed west and made a stop for a 35 cent ice cream cone at Little America. What a place! To quote my husband's journal: (note: southern twain implied in his prose)

"Little America the most largest truck stop ever! RVer/ Trucker heaven with gas, roller dogs (that's Dan-speak for gas station hot dogs), postcards and ice cream. Also a free pooper pump-out. hooo-weee!"

Our intention was to spend the night in Cokeville which allows ofree vernight camping in their city park. However, about 30 miles shy of Cokeville we saw a turn off for Logan, Utah. Right about then Dan's brother Pat called and invited us over to his house for a dinner of fresh Alaskan salmon and hallibut which he just brought back from a trip there. Well it just so happens that he lives in...you guessed it... Logan, Utah. So here I sit in brother-in-law Pat's driveway with a clear Internet connection and no pressing engagements, updating -and rather long-windedly so- our blog.

Day 3: Miles- 175, Groceries $23.89, Drains for camper $9.90

One final note- while I have no photographic evidence... Yesterday along the Logan River in the canyon leading to the town of Logan, I saw the 4th moose I have ever seen. It was pretty cool.

June 25, 2004

The Lower Gunnison River/ Dominguez Canyon

We just enjoyed three days of hot desert rafting. The Lower Gunnison is a non-permitted class I-II stretch. What does a professional class V guide do for fun?.....class I!- ba-dum-pa. What a fabulous time. The only other river traffic was a commercial canoeing trip, they were our neighbors the first night. Their guide, Stan, showed us the lay of the land and was a big help since this was our first time there. Along with a desire to have an engineering degree - cartography would have been a good trade for one of us-(not super encouraging for two folks about to hit the road for a year). Stan also coined the phrase “refocusing” as opposed to retiring. I’ll have to use that.

The canyons were majestic, the weather perfect and the mosquitoes were hardly a nuisance since the biting flies distracted you from them. Dan had a momentary lapse into “Full Metal Jacket” mode where, I am sorry to report, an untimely death came to about 50 biting deer flies. After his a carnal man v. beast display, the smell of death seemed to scare the other bugs away. Who needs Deet- I’ve got Dan.

Tonight we are attending the bachelor/ bachelorette parties of our friends whose wedding is this weekend. Sunday (assuming we didn’t partake too much in the open bar) we are on the road. Six weeks of “refocusing” before our Grand Canyon trip.

Note to readers: When we are on the road I often read our emails on our phone- this makes replying a bit tricky- you know hit the #7 four times to get “s” and so on. If you get a reply from us that is both short and fraught with lines like: thx- and- u r great 2, then you may assume I am trying to conquer technology, and I rarely win in those battles. If you are willing to accept that our replies may not reflect the same writing style we try and showcase here- then email away- we always try and reply.

Now here's the pictures.

Dan bridge jumping.

Somehow I don't look quite as cool- could it be because I am very afraid of heights???

Our boat. The biminy is a new addition and this was its first test run. It will be a fabulous thing to have on the Grand in August.

Rachel rowing.

Dang rowing(by the way Daniel Goddard is called Dang by most everyone)

The view from Dominguez Canyon.

Another Dominguez Canyon view.

Our first night's camp.

Last shot from the rio. Us under the man-made water fall/ shower on Dominguez Creek

Now for some pictures from the Red Bull Divide and Conquer race we worked last weekend...

This is the view from the put-in. We had to put on at 6:30 am to beat the racers to our check point- BURRRRRR!

This is Dan running No Name rapid, a class V. We were hired to provide safety through this rapid for the race. As it turned out this was the only rapid on the whole 27 mile stretch where anyone swam. And swim they did.

This guy tried SO hard to will his boat back to shore, but he had to wait until all the competitors had passed our check point for us to pull his boat off that rock for him. Then, in last place, he still paddled the remaining 20 miles and his team finished the race.

The adventure race was a four-man relay race. The first team member ran 7 miles up Kendall Mtn. from Silverton. He then passed off a silver nugget to a paraglider who dropped off the mountain as fast as he could to the river put-in. Then the kayaker raced down 27 miles of solid class IV-V rapids. Finally a mtn. biker road 27 miles of gruling terrain to the finish at Durango Mountain Resort. This was billed as the hardest race ever in N.A. and was styled after the Dolamite Race.


This is the Rockwood Gorge, the last set of rapids before the end of the kayaking leg.

And Finally a photo from Dusty and Lauren's wedding- what a wonderful spot to get hitched :)

June 18, 2004

Week One

We have officially been full-timers for three whole days. Now I realize that this is a very short amount of time, however, I think I can safely say that I LOVE living in my camper. Everything I need is right here. Dan and I chuckle each time one of asks where something is, "it's in the camper, duh". Where else would it be?

Our first two nights were spent at the Florida Campground, (forest service maintained, $10/night, pit toilets, campfire/ grill pits, plenty of shade and river front spots), just up from Lemon Reservoir. The campsite was fabulous, save for the swarms of mosquitoes. It was right on the river with beach access and a nice, if unproductive, fishing hole right in front.

On Wednesday we headed off on our mountain bikes, or should I say we headed up on our bikes. We climbed for three and a half hours, swearing at each switchback that we MUST be at the top this time. As exhausting as the ride up was, the meadows we saw and the 360 degree views from there made every pedal stroke worth it. And if that wasn't enough, the 45 minute downhill was a blast. After this ride we were a bit tuckered out so we enjoyed our first retiree siesta- something that may have to become a habit.
So far I have read two books, both around 350 pages- I better slow down or I'll run out of books. What a luxury t be able to sit and read for hours on end.

I can safely say that I have not been bored for a minute. We seem to be falling into a routine of up early, breakfast and coffee, morning dishes, morning reading, afternoon activity, (today we are kayaking around the lake), then later lunch, lunch dishes, game of some sort (cribbage, scrabble, bocce ball, etc.), dinner, dishes, evening reading, bed. No time to spare really. Campering is a full-time job.

Currently we are at the Miller Campground on the reservoir (forest service maintained, $12/night, pit toilets, campfire/ grill pits, water, plenty of shade and lake front spots).

Tomorrow we head back into Durango for the wedding of our friends Dusty and Lauren. Saturday we will be in Silverton, preparing for the Red Bull adventure race. Sunday morning we will put our raft on the river, the Upper Animas, row down to No Name, a class V rapid, where we will sit in our boat with safety equipment should any of the racers need assistance. I'll post pictures from the race next week. Here are the pictures from this week.

Florida campground spot #13

Dan adjusting to retirement.

Us during our uphill ride.

View from the ride

Miller campsite #2

Fire damage from 2002 fires.

View from campsite #12

Lake sunset.

June 15, 2004

Full-time and underaged!

So the day is upon us. The last six weeks have been filled with the kind of sweeping life changes that send people into Cybil-like mood swings, depressions and general freak outs. Dan quit his dream job and has no idea what he wants to be the next time he grows up. I graduated from college, without a job prospect. Our doggie died. We sold our home. (This one’s particularly big, because once upon a time owning a home in Durango was our biggest dream. Housing prices are obscene here and selling our home may very well mean that we can never afford to live in Durango again.) We held a slash and burn sale and sold most of our worldly possessions. Anything we didn’t sell has been reduced down to half a Zircon container full of Rubbermaid boxes. And finally we have moved from our 1000 sq. foot home into an 8x11 aluminum can.
This last month in Durango we have become acutely aware of what we are leaving. It is so very easy to take for granted all that you have in your own backyard, especially when day to day life doesn’t allow you to enjoy all of the hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing spots within walking distance of your home. The last two weeks have been nostalgia filled for us. Durango is a truly fabulous town, just perhaps not the most fabulous place for us, right now. However, we realize how blessed we have been to live here all of the years and how spoiled we are to be able to take an entire year to try and find somewhere even better.
First on our itinerary is a “kicking the tires’ trip. Three days at Lemon Reservoir to see if we remembered everything and what we brought that we can leave behind. It is particularly fitting that our journey begins today, June 15th, for this is our wedding anniversary and what better way could we possibly find to spend it?
Today we are officially full-time and underaged.

Old back yard.

New back yard.
If you look closely here you can see the infamous double hitch system.

We are off to camp for probably four days and I doubt we'll be able to post from there. So check back this weekend. Cheers to all.
Dan and Rach.

June 12, 2004

So long, farewell.

Tomorrow is moving day! If all goes well then Monday or Tuesday we will will officially be full-time, underaged RVers.

Rachel's retirement cake.

Dan's retirement party at the fire department.

My favorite part of our house.

Another view of our yard.

All our worldly posessions all packed up for moving.