Saturday, April 30, 2011

Moab to the Confluence - Day (5-9)

One of our highlights of the trip is a 4 day canoe trip down the Colorado river. Our friends Kenita and Linda decided to fly out to Moab to join us for this adventure. The 50 mile strip from Moab/Potash to the confluence of the Green River and the Colorado river is a very calm stretch of water. So it's easy to do even with no canoeing experience. You basically rent the equipment from an Outfitter. They drop you in the water, give you a map with suggestions for camps and hikes on shore. You paddle down the river and after a few days, they pick you up in a motor boat and drive you back. The water is still pretty cold around this time of the year, but we quickly figured how to maneuver the boot and managed not to fall in the water and get wet.

What a great way to experience Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado river. I had no idea how much fun this would be. This was truly one of the most amazing experiences I had. The serenity of the river, the red rocks surrounding you…being away from all the tourists and alone in nature really is a completely different experience. We did about 15 miles a day on the river. But sometimes took brakes and just floated down without paddling. Even if you just float with the current, you can still go 4-6 miles an hour. We stopped for lunches and then picked places on the map to put up camp for the night. Canyonlands is one of the last, relatively undisturbed areas of the Colorado Plateau and besides a couple of other canoeing or rafting groups we ran into, we had the river all to ourselves. We saw ancient ruins and petroglyphs, hiked through a slot canyon to a waterfall and made a fire in a cave when it got windy. We laughed a lot and were just happy to be with friends that are dear to us. These are memories I will never forget! It's hard to describe and the pictures really don't do justice of how beautiful it looks, but here are some fun shots from the trip.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Moab (Day 4) - Canoe Trip preparation

Traveling in a RV is a hell of a lot of fun, but I wouldn't tell you the whole story if I didn't mention the little mishaps that are also part of it. Like the thing with our tents. To make a long story short. We have two tents that were supposed to go with us on the RV trip. During the whole move we forgot to unload them in Vegas, which we didn't realize until we got to Flagstaff. So they traveled on to Tucson with us. On our drive back from Tucson to Vegas we realize that we forgot them again this time in Tucson. Tommy's brother Eric is nice enough to ship them to Moab for us to pick up at the Post office. Not realizing that we need both tents, because we promised to lend one of them to our friends for the canoe trip, he just sends one tent. Which we in return don't realize until the day we start to canoe trip and finally open the shipping box. So we end up paying $30 for shipping cost and $60 for a tent rental. We could have just bought a new tent instead. It seems like we've been lucky with the weather, avoiding the rain but in return seem to have bad luck with our tents. Maybe we don't need tents because Tommy's rain dance is keeping the rain away? Well it's not that warm yet and in the end we're glad we do have a tent for our canoe trip.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moab (Day 3)

After 2 days of rain, it finally looked better outside. Excited about that we grabbed our bikes and headed out to find out what all this talk about the Moab Slick Rock is about. We decided to pick an easier rated loop though and not break any bones on the first day of riding here. We found the "Rockin' A" trail just a few miles north of Moab. It all started out as pretty easy dirt trail, but then the slick rocks started! Never experience anything like that before. The trail was basically a painted line on the rock that zig zagged and looped all over the place. It went up and down, with quick turns, drops and short but steep inclines. This ride was definitely a bit challenging and I'm a little nervous now about riding the famous "Slickrock trail'" since it's rated as much more difficult than the one we did today. I guess I need a few more warm up rides and then just do it.

Btw, while we were riding a storm front started building up and moving into our direction. When we noticed it, it had already come pretty close so we decided to take less pictures and get out as quickly as possible. But we were lucky again, and somehow the dark clouds moved right past us. We could see the rain in the distance, but all we felt was a couple of drops of rain. As soon as we got home, it started pouring again. Third time that happened. Somehow we've been really lucky. Or maybe the rain dance Tommy performed at the Rain God Mesa in Monument Valley scared the Gods so much, that they wanna avoid us at all cost. Who knows. We just hope the weather is gonna hold up for the rest of the week…..because our 4 day canoe trip is coming up on Wednesday!!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

'Pour'ab, Utah

It's been pouring rain all damn day here in Moab, UT. We had one little window of good weather and we took advantage. Well, I wasn't really eager to take advantage.. I fought to stay inside today and rest my sore legs, watch movies and drink cocoa. But Danielle found this place called Fishers Tower in the guidebook my mom gave us for Christmas. I begged and pleaded to stay inside but Danielle wasn't hearing it, so out we went into the gloomy Moab afternoon to find this Fisher and his Tower.

We drove the 25 miles it took to get to the trailhead, the last 2 miles of which were on a dirt road. Not just any dirt road, this one had those grooves in it that were like corrugated steel. So let me rephrase, the last two miles were on a dirt road that was so bumpy that I think we probably rattled the muffler half way off the car. I might have been a little grumpy at this point. Sorry babe. :(

Anyways back to the story. After we damn near ripped the muffler off the car we pulled up to the trailhead for Fishers Tower and parked next to two other Subaru Outbacks, which we took as a good sign. We got out of the car and looked around... wow, this place is spectacular. We started hiking and it just kept getting more and more amazing. It's basically these HUGE sandstone fins, row after row. At first I mentioned that the sandstone looked like Disneyland rocks.. which are those fake rocks you see at Disneyland, but these were gigantic. They were like something out of the Lord of the Rings. We ended up having this discussion about how long it will be before these formations crumble to the ground. The largest one we hiked around must have been about a thousand feet long, 200 feet tall and only 15 - 20 feet thick in some places, AND they're made of sandstone which is incredibly weak. At the end of the hike there is this amazing viewpoint, the whole hike was so scenic and beautiful. Oh, before I forget, let me update you on the poor weather I opened the conversation with, we hiked the entire 4.6 mile trail without so much as a raindrop. Then what do we feel when we get about 40 feet from the car? Plop, plop, raindrop, now it's raining!

We had such a good time. I'm so glad that Danielle got me out of our house for a few hours. This place is a must-see.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Moab (Day 1)

Utah really is an amazing state. There is just so much to see. It seems like every corner you turn there is another beautiful canyon or unique rock formation. One National Park or State Park after the other. It's just way too much to see all at once. So I'm really happy we get to spend a lot of time here. And we don't have to rush through everything. The drive today from Monument Valley to Moab was great. We just didn't pick the best weekend to get here. Besides the thunderstorm and rain that the weather forecast predicted, we also picked the busiest weekend to get into town. Supposedly Easter weekend is the annual Jeep Safari. So besides all the mountain bikers, climbers and regular tourists, lots of people with jeeps pour into town. Moab really has an interesting vibe…a colorful mixture of redneck, bohemian and hippies…as Tommy described it. It's pretty dead on. Everybody is super nice though and we feel conformable right away. After having lunch at the Peace Tree Cafe, we decide to venture out and explore. Since the weather is not so good, we opt for a popular short hike to see the Bowtie Arch and Corona Arch.'s kinda hard to see on the image but that's tiny me in the red shirt underneath the Arch. Just to give you an idea of how big this arch is. The landscape here is really pretty impressive….so we're really dying to get our on bikes and ride some of these famous trails here. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Monument Valley (Day 4)

It's our last day here in Monument Valley. To be honest, it couldn't have come any sooner. We've been kind of bored the last two days. If you ever come to Monument Valley, you can do and see just about everything in two days. For instance, today I was so bored and Danielle had had enough of me, so I decided to drive down to the official park and pay the $5 entry fee so that I could try and run the 3.2 mile hiking loop. Now, I haven't 'run' in a couple years and I was already sore from our bike ride yesterday but I went anyways. While I was running I came over this hill and there was a cow standing right in front of me! I had a good time and I think Danielle needed a little alone time too. I am feeling pretty sore though.

We're heading out of here as early as we can tomorrow. Off to Moab, Utah where there is lots and lots to do and see... and ride. The mountain bikes are going to get seriously trail tested.

On a side note, not that anyone reading this blog cares: the really good thing about this week is that we've been insanely productive with work! I haven't felt this focused in a long time.


P.S.  Just looked at the weather and :(

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monument Valley (Day 3)

This morning we got up at the crack of dawn again. We decided to get a quick bike ride in before starting our work day. We just ride along the road for a while and then figured out that the road connects to another road that eventually leads back to the campground. After about 10 miles the road winds around the mountains and turns into a sandy unpaved road. Determined to ride our loop we struggle with the sand but don't wanna turn around. A few horses and a bull cross our way. They seem to just roam around free on the indian reservation. Every so often a car with native americans passes us. Everybody waves friendly and moves way over to make room for us. So nice of them! In LA you have to get out of the way quick enough so you won't get hit or yelled at by angry drivers. The road gets worse and we have to get off our bikes and walk for bits and pieces, but now we're too far along to turn around. We keep thinking the campground should be just around the corner, but we're wrong every time. Our quick morning ride turns into 2 hours but eventually we get back to the campground. We got a great work out but we're really looking forward to our next destination on Saturday. Moab the mecca of mountain biking! We can't wait to ride your slick rock trails with no sand to get stuck in.

~ Danielle

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monument Valley (Day 2)

Unfortunately in Monument Valley you're kind of restricted as to where you can go, unless you pay an indian guide to take you. So we've only had a couple options when it comes to outings. Yesterday we did the one hike that we could do without an indian chaperone. Today we did a 17 mile drive on a dirt road through the heart of the Valley. The views are absolutely amazing. You can see some of the images from the drive here:

Then we came back and worked the rest of the day. It's weird because I actually feel a lot more productive so far! The only distractions are breakfast, lunch and dinner.. and occasionally when a new RV park neighbor pulls in we'll try and figure out what nationality they are. 

- Tommy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monument Valley

After another day of driving, we get to Monument Valley. I don't even know what to say, other than that I'm blown away by its beauty. Our campground lies right in the heart of the Valley. Surrounded by beautiful rock formations! We're happy that we're staying here for  a few days. Driving everyday takes a lot out of you and we're glad to get a break. Not to forget that we actually have to do some work as well. After all it's not really a vacation but working and living on the road. So we get up early got some work done,  went on a 5 mile hike, then back to the RV to work. This lifestyle really starts growing on us :)


more pictures again on Flickr....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utahhhh

Umm, this place is rad. I wish two things: that we were staying here a few more days and that we had a couple 4x4 quads. We got into Kanab, UT in the late afternoon, parked our home, and then met up with my aunt Cheryl and uncle Donny. They happened to be visiting his mother a little farther north so we got to spend a few hours together.

We went out to visit property that they bought a few years ago which was a blast. We traipsed around climbing on the rocks and cliffs looking at some really awesome geology that surrounded the area. We even got some souvenirs.. petrified wood! I decided to kick a cactus on the way back to the car, the cactus won. Then we all went out to a mexican diner at Nedra's and drank this beer from a local brewery called Polygamy Porter, hehe. You'd think this would be enough adventure for one evening, but then Cheryl told us that she had baked us dessert. So we went back to their room where she brought out this awesome blueberry cobbler. Stuffed full of blueberries we drove back to the rv, more accurately: Danielle drove, I slept.

In the morning Danielle dragged me out of bed to go see the Pink Sand Dunes.. which were amazing. In preparation for climbing Mt Shasta in a couple months we did some training and climbed the tallest dune we could find (~80 ft)!!! We spent the morning watching the sun rise over the dunes.

Off to Monument Valley, UT!

Epiphany: I can't believe all the places I've never been before.

- Tommy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Valley of Fire

So off we go and our first stop is Valley of Fire, just 80 miles North of Las Vegas.

Tommy's mom Helen is giving us a great send off by driving out there with us and showing us how to operate this high tech ship. Or maybe she wanted to make sure we're not accidentally driving off the first cliff we encounter. Either way after spending all day with us, she returned to Vegas. Now we're alone....surrounded by beautiful red rocks and tons of germans...why are german tourists everywhere in all the national parks. Well I guess the same reason we're here. Its just stunningly beautiful. Ahhhh this is just the first day and we have two entire months ahead of us.

For more images please check out my flickr account...

~ Danielle

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vegas.. uhg

We're pretty tired after all the packing and moving. Most people have to make only one decisions when they move, 'do I want to move this?' We had to make three, 'do I want this?' if the answer was 'yes' then we also had to decide, 'can we store it?' or 'do we need this on the trip?' Well, all those decisions have been made and now we're in Vegas with all the stuff that we decided should go on the trip. We've got clothes, lot's of shoes for some reason, pretty much our whole bathroom, all of our backpacking gear, our mountain biking gear, more books than I could read in a year, work stuff, and more work stuff. We're getting a little worried about how we're going to fit it all in the RV... and this RV is huge.

My mom was so awesome to let us borrow her beloved RV. She did a great job of helping us sort through the stuff she had in here that we didn't think we needed. Thanks mom!

Friday, April 8, 2011


If you've been to Flag, you know why we wanna move there. If you haven't been, you're probably one of the people doubting our decision to leave sunny California and trade it in with a cold snowy place. Well, we love it and we feel it'll really fit our outdoorsy lifestyle. Btw we love the snow...and the snow storm Flagstaff welcomed us with did not change our decision in the slightest. So here we are moving all our stuff in a storage unit before starting our big adventure.

~ Danielle

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I'm not sure where to start. I guess the beginning would be a proper place to tell the story of how we ended up in a Mobile Love Affair.

Danielle and I met on a dating website, but this was months after we first met in a happenstance encounter at her work. We just didn't realize at first that we had actually met that one time, in person. It's confusing I know. Shortly after this I took a trip up to Northern California to visit my grandparents, we talked on the phone during my drive and somehow we ended up talking about how great it would be to live and work from the road. Here we are a year later and we're actually on the road, living and working!

We just packed up the house we were living in in Encino, CA. Next, we're moving all of our stuff (crap) to Flagstaff, AZ (where we plan to live once we conclude this grand adventure). Then we'll drive to Las Vegas where we'll pack up my moms palatial RV and hit the road.