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Travel With No Place in Mind

Updated on September 5, 2014

Traveled for 18 Months

We took off on a road trip, just my husband and I. We packed the back of the SUV pretty full, including a small refrigerator that plugged into a direct current outlet in the back . (It was a pretty neat thing to have actually both the refrigerator and the a/c plug adapter.)

Said our goodbyes and took off down the road. We did not know where we were headed or how long we would be gone. We did not even know exactly what we were going to do.

Even though it was late that first night, we headed north; we spent the night in a motel in Flagstaff, AZ. Nothing special and we had not gone very far. But the excitement of being on the road with the entire country in front of us had taken its toll and we were exhausted. So we got a room, took a hot shower and fell into bed. It was the last time that we slept on a regular bed for eighteen months.

We Headed North

Mountains Around Park City UT
Mountains Around Park City UT

We had sleeping bags, one wool blanket, an air mattress, one large tent (16'x18') and one small tent that fit over the back of our Excursion. We used the small tent as a bedroom while the big tent was our living space. There were some other things, a few cooking pots and pans, several sharp knives, a Coleman stove, refrigerator and couple of laptop computers.

Along the way, we collected an electric skillet, a microwave (do not laugh, it came in very handy for heating water for tea and coco!), a pair of hiking boots for each of us, pillows, dishes, a plastic pail to carry water and to wash dishes in. Things that we did not take or use were too many to mention but one thing that we did not miss were the cell phones that had been constant companions for each of us.

First thing we did in the morning over breakfast at Denny's (if anyone has been to Flagstaff, you know the place), was to pour over the map of the US. We threw pennies at the map and look to see if there is where we wanted to go. No so much! So we continued north toward Utah.

The mountains are beautiful around Park City. I had an uncle who lived in Park City at the time, so we stopped there for lunch on our way through the area. Beautiful views, but his sixth wife was not pleased to have family stopping by. I can imagine what she thought when she saw how the Ford was packed.

She then laughed when I told her that we were on our first expedition in the Excursion and had no time to spend the night. Although we thanked them, we continued down the way to a camping site and spent the night. I am sure that she was glad to see us go.

We continued North - for a while.

West Side of the Rocky Mountains

North Fork Area
North Fork Area

We then headed East back to Colorado and the Rockies that I love so much. We camped our way on the West side of the Rockies and stayed clear of most people. We had been married a long time but this was the first time that we took some extended time for just the two of us.

We stopped in small towns and bought groceries. Remember we had the small frig in the back and it held all cold stuff. We also purchased a portable ice machine. We could plug it in to the voltage converter that we have carried in the car forever and made ice in about 10 minutes. (I love those little machines - just pour water in and soon you have all the ice you want!) Camping was great - good firm mattress (air bed over the ground) - early morning cups of hot tea watching the sun come up. And a good roaring fire in the early am hours as well as sunset and late night fires.

Portable Ice Maker

This is one of the best tools of the trade - camping and ice. The two go together like hot bread and butter!

This is the model that we bought and still use today. Makes great ice.

Elk in Western Colorado

Do You Travel by Car?

Natural Bidge Cove off HWY 101
Natural Bidge Cove off HWY 101

Have You travel the Western US?

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Campfires Are Soul Warming

early morning fire
early morning fire

One thing that we got very good at was making a camp fire. We had two a day - one in the early morning to take the chill off the air and to bring other people into our area, one at night. Campers are friendly people.

The early raisers would bring their own cup of coffee and often a piece of wood for the fire. Seems as if since we were up first (I'm guessing), people thought it was easier to share the warmth of our fire than to build one of their own. Often there were people who would share our fire and never say a word, just bring a piece of wood for the fire. No one had to talk - just smile or not. Some people are early morning people, others are not. All were welcome, provided they brought their own coffee, and the extra wood never was turned down.

This group would grow when we stayed in one place for more than a few days, which we did from time to time. We found that camping was more about learning about yourself than 'having' the right equipment, although having the right equipment is not a drawback.

At night, when the sun went down, it was chilly - sometimes downright cold. A fire became a necessity. Again, some would come to share the warmth and company. At all times, the people were friendly and polite. Looking forward to the next trip.

Northwest Coast of US

haystack off the Oregon Coast
haystack off the Oregon Coast

We decided to head west and once we hit the Pacific we headed south on the Coast Highway 101. We fell in love with the southern Oregon coast and decided to spend some quality time along it.

We found a camp ground that had everything we wanted: space, water, electricity and WIFI. What more could a camper ask for? The trails around were awesome, we could walk for hours or days without running into other people. Our backpacks were loaded in the morning for the walk - the load varied according to the length of time we were to be gone. Our tent was pitched in a spot away from most of the other campers at the grounds. The owners were great and kept an eye on our things if we were not in camp.

Often when we returned, someone would ask if the campfires would resume. We would laugh and say '... yes, in the morning..."

Rogue River - What Fun!

Up the Rogue
Up the Rogue

Taking a ride up the Rogue River from the Port of Gold Beach on a Mail boat is nothing short of a hoot! The ride lasts all day. You come back sun burned and your bottom is a little sore from bouncing, but you will have had a great time.

One point of caution - take ear plugs as the engines are quite loud.

Motorhome or 5th Wheel

There are advantages to both - it comes down to a personal choice.

For this trip we were in a tent until about half way through - then switched to a more traditional long term camping in a 5th wheel RV. We enjoyed the space and frankly, the extra protection from the weather.

One night when we were still in the tent, there was a thunder storm that was so close that the security alarms form the big pushers (Motor homes) went off. I must admit that once the lightening was close enough that I jumped up and pulled a blanket over my head. I have no idea what I was thinking at that point. But we both laughed ourselves silly.

We still took side trips where we carried a tent with us but we did like coming 'home' to a soft chair and lots of hot water for a shower.

It's the People

Inside a Teton RV
Inside a Teton RV

The grounds had a mixture of tent campers like ourselves and RVs. There were 5th wheels that were really nice and some of the motor homes were as nice as some homes with their accommodation. I've seen. I must admit that my favorites motor homes were the Country Coaches and the best 5th wheel we saw were the Tetons. But both come in all sizes and models, I would be hard press to say which I like the best!

When it is all said and done, it really is the people you meet that make the experience.

One More Breathtaking Look

Oregon Coastline in Google Easth
Oregon Coastline in Google Easth

The West Coast of Oregon is one of the most lovely areas we have ever seen. We have travelled all over the world and the first place we will return to is this coast. I get rather 'homesick' for this beautiful coast line at certain times of the year, and I'm from the desert.

My husband is from the east coast and even, he thought this was spectacular!


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