RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 25 & Day 26

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Today we were on the road by 6:30 AM. to leave Moab and head to Chapman, Kansas. This is the first of our two days to get back home. The skies were beautiful as we headed out of town.

Our drive has been uneventful today. We didn’t have any traffic delays, issues on the road or with the RV! Whew!

When we hit the mountains of Colorado the temperature fell from 90 degrees to 54 degrees! Our gas mileage wasn’t very good when we were driving in the mountains.

Our route took us through Fruita, Colorado which had several roundabouts. The town has added sculptures to the roundabouts that we drove through.

For awhile I-70 was parallel to the Colorado River.

Colorado River

We passed several ski resorts. One was Vail.

We also drove by Copper Mountain Ski Resort.

Copper Mountain

Bridal Veil Falls is near downtown Idaho Springs, Colorado. The falls spills out of Soda Creek and then flows into Clear Creek.

Bridal Veil Falls

Our granddaughter did a FaceTime call with us! That was the highlight of the day!

Near Evergreen, Colorado we saw rafters on Clear Creek which runs along the freeway!

Rafters on the Clearcreek!

Our overnight was at Chapman Creek RV Park in Kansas and was located just off of I-70 which was perfect for us.

Day 26

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

We left Chapman, Kansas a little after 7:00 AM and our destination is home! The last day of our trip and it was raining. This was the only day where we had to drive through rain.

Late morning we got ahead of the rain and the sun was shining!

Wildflowers along I-70!

Our drive was going smoothly until a car motioned for Dave to pull over. Our tow dolly was smoking near the tires. Thank goodness a driver let us know before we had a fire! We sat for a little over an hour to let the wheel bearings cool down. But it turns out the issue wasn’t with the bearings but with the emergency brake that got triggered. We believe that happened because of all the bouncing on the freeway. Every time we stopped for gas, we checked the emergency brake on the tow dolly.

The rest of our drive was uneventful and there wasn’t much to see in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio. Our travels for the last 26 days have taken us to places in the United States that we have never visited and were overwhelmed by the beauty of our country. We put over 2,000 miles on the Prius, and over 9,000 miles on the RV. It was a trip to remember!

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 24

Monday, June 28, 2021

We were on the road before 6:00 AM to drive to Moab, Utah. The sun was rising as we left and it was a windy day.

As Dave drives, I take pictures of the scenery around us! We live in such a beautiful country with such diverse landscapes!

As we got close to Moab, the landscape changed again.

We arrived in Moab around noon and headed directly to our campsite so we could unload the car and head to Arches National Park. We had read online that the park was filling up fast and by early morning they weren’t letting anymore visitors in because they were at capacity. We’re hoping we won’t have to wait to get into the park! Our campground wasn’t far from the park.

Arches National Park

We were fortunate that when we got to the park we were able to get right in! Arches National Park is filled with a landscape of contrasting colors. There are over 2,000 natural stone arches, many pinnacles, tall rock fins and giant balanced rocks. The red rock is everywhere and it changes shades with the location of the sun as it reflects off the stone.

Our views as we began our drive into the Arches National Park.

We’ve included some highlights from our visit to Arches National Park. This park was worth making time to see. This post continues with A LOT of photos.

Park Avenue was so named because of the sandstone sheer walls that reminded early visitors of buildings lining a big city street!

Queen Nefertiti who was an Egyptian Queen is a sculpted rock formation.

Queen Nefertiti from the Park Avenue viewpoint

Sheep Rock gets its name because it looks like a sheep.

Sheep Rock

The Organ

The Organ

The Courthouse Towers

The Courthouse Towers

The Three Gossips

The Three Gossips

Parade of Elephants

Parade of Elephants

Double Arch

Balanced Rock

The narrow path to visit the Sand Dune Arch.

Sand Dune Arch

Pine Tree Arch

Pine Tree Arch

Garden of Eden

Delicate Arch

And more pictures from Arches National Park:

The sun was setting as we returned to our campground.

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 23

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Today we are on the road early because this is a driving day of approximately 500 miles as we head to Jerome, Idaho. Also, we will be losing an hour as we head eastward.

Leaving our campground.

On our way from the campground the road took us through the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, which consists of 40,000 acres of wet meadows and open water wetlands. In the background is the Cascade Mountain Range.

It was a long stretch of road where we didn’t see many vehicles in either direction.

Driving along without traffic!

The following montage of photos are sites along our drive.

It was a long day of riding in the RV. We were glad to get checked in around dinnertime and just relaxing at our campsite.

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 22

Saturday, June 26, 2021

We were awake at 5:00 AM and on the road by 6:30 AM to head to our next to the last national park, Crater Lake.

We drove on Oregon route 138 that begins in Elkton to Crater Lake. This route runs along side the N. Umpqua River for a long way.

Route 138 has also been called the Highway of Waterfalls. We tried to see the waterfalls but there wasn’t a place to park an RV towing a car! At Clearwater Falls we turned on the road that said it was parking for RVs over 25 feet and then there wasn’t a place where you could park and then turn around. It was a fiasco getting out of there. We had to drive the car off the tow dolly, unhook the trailer and then Dave worked and worked to get us out of this tight space. We were both drenched with sweat and the mosquitos were swarming!

The highway is surrounded by the Umpqua National Forest. As we were driving we saw MANY acres of burned forest! It was so sad to see the destruction from fires. We found online that this area was destroyed in 2017 by dry lightning strikes and over 64,000 acres of Umpqua National Forest.

Near Diamond Lake as we get closer to Crater Lake.

Crater Lake National Park was magnificent. What a place to visit! We entered through the North entrance which opened on May 28, 2021.

North Entrance to Crater Lake

Crater Lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. We took many pictures as we went around the rim of the lake. We were lucky that we were able to drive the entire rim and stop at all of the viewpoints (8 main viewpoints and 15 turnout vista points) because the East Rim Dr. opened on June 25th, the day before we arrived! The rim drive is 33 miles and loops around the caldera. Below is our first view of Crater Lake. We were awestruck!

Crater Lake with snow on the hillside.

Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only lake shore access. It is a very steep trail but it wasn’t open when we were there because of the snow and ice conditions that still existed.

Cleetwood Cove Trail

As we drove along the Rim Drive we couldn’t believe how tall the snow poles were that measure how much snow the area received. There was still snow around the area.

Wizard Island was formed about 7,300 years ago when a newer volcano emerged!

Phantom Ship is an island that is a natural rock formation. We walked a trail up to the viewpoints to see this island. It got its name because it resembles a ghost ship. They said if it’s foggy or not much light it really looks like its name.

Pumice Castle in the Crater is another viewpoint that we viewed. We really had to follow the map for some of the viewpoints because they are not marked and Pumice Castle was one of those. It is made of orange-brown pumice rock. Its castle shape was formed because the rock around it has eroded away.

We spent hours hiking the trails that were open. There was a slight breeze and it was a sunny day!

Crater Lake Selfie

Crater Lake is 1,943 feet deep. It is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the deepest volcanic lake in the world. The lake is fed by rain and snow!

The NPS (National Parks Service) app allows you to use your photos to make a postcard. It’s a cool feature! Here is one example.

Crater Lake Postcard

A favorite photo from Crater Lake is the one below that looks like the lake is in a frame of evergreen trees!

Crater Lake

Our campground for the night wasn’t far from the lake. In fact it was called Crater Lake Resort. Fort Creek runs through part of the park. We were informed that we were in luck because this evening a local band from Klamath Falls, OR. would be playing behind the store.

After dinner we walked over with our chairs to the lawn to listen to the local band called “Michael Quinn & Cherry Wine”. They mainly play music from the 60s and 70s with a few other decades mixed in.

After the band finished playing we headed in because we would be having an early start!

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 21

Friday, June 25, 2021

Dave went fishing first thing this morning. He caught a couple of bass and also broke his reel when he lost his balance in the mud along the river! He had hoped to fish this evening but not now!

Late morning we spent outside enjoying the beautiful scenery, listening to the flow of the river and reading our books or “resting our eyes”!


This afternoon we drove over to Drain to go to their grocery store because the store in Elkton is very small and Drain has a local grocery that is a little bigger. Drain is a historic northwest timber town and was first settled in 1847. John Drain was the first mayor.

While in Drain we visited Pass Creek Bridge. It was first built in 1876 and the current bridge replaced the original bridge in 1925. Pass Creek Bridge first carried stagecoaches over Pass Creek. The bridge was moved in 1987 and 1988 to a city park and was used as a pedestrian crossing. It was closed in 2014 when it became unsafe for pedestrians.

Not far from the bridge was a Drain covered wagon that was reconstructed to celebrate Oregon’s 100th year of statehood in 1959. It was to repeat the journey that brought pioneers to the Pacific Northwest. The wagon tried to follow the original Oregon trail from Independence, Missouri to Independence, Oregon and passed through six states (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon).

Drain Covered Wagon

This evening we relaxed because tomorrow we leave Elkton, Oregon and our friends! It was so good to spend five days with them!

“Travel is better with friends!”

Our last sunset at Elkton RV Park and the Umpqua River.

Last sunset over the Umpqua river

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 20

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The four of us left in the morning for our drive to the Oregon coast. Our friends wanted to show us more of the coastal area. Winchester Bay was our first stop. It is a small sea town located at the Pacific end of the Umpqua River. It is known for its fishing, both fresh and saltwater.

Looking from Winchester Bay

We stopped at Ziolkouski Beach Park in Winchester Bay. It has a wide expanse of sandy beach. This is where you’ll find a triangle that is a jetty formation. It consists of two jetties that consist of rip-rap structures jutting out into the ocean and then they connect with each other and this forms the triangle. As we walked along the beach there was a LOT of driftwood! A family was creating a fort with the pieces of wood. In the middle of the triangle we saw the oyster pods from the Umpqua Triangle Oysters.

“The Triangle”

After walking along the beach and climbing over the jetty to look at the oyster pods, we drove to the Umpqua River Lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally built in 1857 near the mouth of the river and the Pacific Ocean but it was destroyed by a flood in February, 1864. The lighthouse was rebuilt at its current location in 1891 and was finished in 1894.

Portside Restaurant, Coos Bay

Coos Bay is where we stopped for lunch. Coos bay is a city where the Coos River enters Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. This city is the most populated city along the coast. We had a delicious meal at the Portside Restaurant which is located along Coos Bay.

After lunch we visited Shore Acres State Park. This park was originally the summer home of Louis J. Simpson who was a lumberman and shipbuilder. It was built on a scenic bluff and then purchased by the state of Oregon in 1942 because after the crash of the Great Depression Simpson was bankrupt.

Shore Acres has a formal garden with plants and flowers from all over the world, a Japanese style garden, and the All-American rose selections. In the garden there is something blooming year-round. There is a trail that leads to an ocean cove called Simpson Beach and another trail that takes you to the cliff’s edge.

We were able to get a close up photo of the Cape Arago Lighthouse from the cliff’s edge in Shore Acres. The lighthouse was first erected in 1866 and the only surviving building is the third lighthouse. The lighthouse stands on Chief’s Island at Point Gregory and is now private property owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.

When we finished touring the gardens we started back toward our campground. The route back is the same that we took yesterday so we passed the elk viewing at Dean Creek. Today we saw bull elks feeding. Of course we pulled over and watched them.

The sunset over the Umpqua River was beautiful this evening.

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 19

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Today we drove over to the Oregon coast with Peggy and Ernie! Our first stop was the Oregon Dunes Overlook. There are trails that you can hike over the dunes to the Pacific Ocean.

After walking around the dunes we got back on route 101 and drove to the city of Florence which is along the Siuslaw River. We had a nice lunch after we parked and walked back into town.

Florence has sea lion caves where we saw many Stellar sea lions relaxing! These sea lions are also threatened.

Near Florence we could see from the scenic viewpoint off the highway the Heceta Head Lighthouse which has been restored. The lighthouse was first lit in 1894. In 1963 the lighthouse was automated and run by computers. The former Keepers house was turned into a Bed and Breakfast in 1995. Due to COVID the tours of the Keepers house and the lighthouse were canceled.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

The views along the Oregon coast were beautiful!

At Cape Perpetua we saw more of the rugged Oregon coast. From the viewpoint you could see how the ocean has carved blowholes and other formations.

The Captain Cook Trail is a loop that we hiked and we could see Thor’s Well which is also known as the Drainpipe of the Pacific. At Thor’s Well you can watch the water come in and then shoot up! It wasn’t very high when we were there.

Devil’s Churn is a narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean. It is a huge rock chasm which is a deep crack in the Earth’s surface. Devil’s Churn is believed to have formed from a collapsed lava tube going back many, many years to Oregon’s volcanic days. The ocean waves crash and then churn!

Devil’s Churn

On our drive along the coast we also hiked the Giant Spruce Trail. We hiked through the dense forest to a Sitka spruce tree that is more than 500 years old. The giant spruce is more than 185 feet tall and a circumference of 40 feet! Pictures of the giant spruce are below.

Baker Beach is located north of the town of Florence. To get to the sandy beach, the trail is about half a mile through the grassy dunes.

As the sun was beginning to set we started back toward our campground. On our way we saw elk eating near the Dean Creek Elk viewing area. There are a series of pastures along the Oregon highway 38 that are maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. You can view elk almost everyday. Today we saw many females but no bull elks. They were busy feeding!

We had a such a good time exploring the Oregon Coast that we are going to different areas along the coast tomorrow!

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 18

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dave purchased a fishing license for today and he went out early to hopefully catch and then release some fish. He caught four so he was happy!

He had visitors around while he was fishing! I think they were hoping he’d help them out with their breakfast! 🙂

After Dave was finished fishing he wanted to drive up to the newer bridge that crosses the Umpqua river to see about fishing there. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to get to the water around the bridge. We did cross the bridge and looked down at the water which was really clear and we could see some really big fish swimming down river! You can tell that the water level is down from its usual level and this was just before the really hot days arrived in Oregon. We can only imagine what the water level is now!

Elkton has 4 wineries within a 2-mile radius. Wine growing began in the 1970s and the first winery was established in 2000. The main grapes planted are cool climate whites and Pinot Noir. We visited two of the wineries this afternoon. Our first stop was the Rivers Edge Winery.

We enjoyed tasting and talking with the owner. He told us about the wines, pairings and his background and that of his wife as biochemists. There wasn’t a charge for any of the 9 wines we tried.

Across the street from the winery were some turkeys hanging out!

Wild Turkeys

Our next stop was to do some tastings at Brandborg Winery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we sat outside on the patio, but it was a gorgeous day so we didn’t mind at all.

When we got back to our campsite, we had a FaceTime with our dog and her Aunt! They are doing well.

FaceTime with Matilda

Dave spent the evening fishing along the river.

Evening fishing
Umpqua River sun setting

The end of another good day shared with friends!

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 17

Monday, June 21, 2021

Today we are driving to Elkton, Oregon. It’s about three hours, RV drive time, from Salem. As we got closer to the small town of Drain we noticed quite a few log trucks heading each direction. There are a lot of logging companies around.

On our drive to Elkton, we went through the Elk Creek Tunnel Forest State Park which is over Oregon route 38. It was built in 1932 and its length is a little over 1000 feet in length. We drove through the town of Elkton to get to our campground site. Elkton is a small town that overlooks the Umpqua river and has a little over 200 residents.

The Elkton RV Park is where we will be meeting our friends that we met on our New Zealand/Australia trip in 2020 just before the COVID- 19 lockdown! Our campsite was set up by noon. We fixed some lunch and waited for our friends to arrive!

A few hours later Peggy and Ernie arrived in their Class C RV and car. We helped them set up and then we enjoyed the sounds of the river and catching up with each other. Of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we each hadn’t done much!

Across from us we saw this Class A RV with this display which gave us a chuckle!


Our first sunset along the Umpqua River! This river flows into the Pacific Ocean.

One can’t help but relax and enjoy the beauty of nature when you are by a river.

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 16

Sunday, June 20, 2021

This morning we decided to eat breakfast at a local restaurant just down the road from our campground. It came highly recommended from the registration clerk at our campground and our meal did not disappoint. The cafe sits on 40 acres that is filled with peach orchards, strawberry fields, and has a produce stand that has been there for over 100 years on the same property by the same family!

Cafe 22

After breakfast we headed to drive the historic Columbia River Highway, route 30. We began on the westend of the highway in Troutdale.

Along this beautiful scenic drive are waterfalls, trails and bridges. Some of the falls were so crowded we couldn’t find a space at the pullovers and we had to look at the falls from the road.

About seventy miles of the original highway have been maintained and in 1984 it was named as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark! In 2000 it was named as a National Historic Landmark!

Our first stop was at Chanticleer Point which is now called the Portland Women’s Forum Scenic Viewpoint. This point offers great views of the Columbia River

Our second stop was the Vista House at Crown Point. It was built, in 1918, as a memorial to Oregon pioneers and sits 733 feet above the Columbia River. Vista House was restored from 2000-2005. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The building was closed because of Covid-19.

As we drove along Highway 30, the first falls we pulled into the parking lot and took the path to see the Latourell falls. We didn’t take the time to hike to the upper falls. This falls drops straight down from an overhang for 224 feet. Joseph Latourell was a 19th century settler in this area who became a postmaster and the falls were named after him.

Shepperd’s Dell Falls was closed so we were unable to explore that area. Next along the highway we pulled over to hike to the Bridal Veil Falls. These falls go under the old Columbia River Gorge Highway’s 1914 Bridge with a drop of about 120 feet.

Multnomah Falls was very crowded with cars and people. The pictures we have were taken from the car as we slowly drove through the parking lot. We couldn’t find a place to park. 🙁

Benson Bridge was a footbridge that is located between the two cascades of the falls and it crosses the Multnomah Creek. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the second cascade. The images online look really cool. The upper falls plunges 542 feet and the lower falls 69 feet.

Since we couldn’t find a place to park we kept driving. Horsetail Falls was next along the highway. This falls was named Horsetail because of it resembling a horse’s tail. The falls is 176 feet in height. If you hike the Horsetail Falls trail you can see two more falls. We didn’t do this trail because of time.

Horsetail Falls

Railroad tracks run parallel to the scenic highway.

Train tracks right beside Highway 30.

We were getting really tired so we turned around at Hood River. Of the 70 miles, we drove 64. So that we could get back to our campsite at a reasonable time, we jumped on the interstate. It was definitely worth taking the time to drive and explore the falls, scenic viewpoints, and trails along this historic road!