A monthly travel journal from two full time RV nomads about RV living and full-time travel.
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Well, hello. It's been a while.
One of my favorite perks of having a blog is having the freedom to not do something if that something doesn't make the cut of most important priorities for the month.
I'm sure everyone reading this can relate to the experience of looking out over all the things and saying to a few of them, "not this month". That's what Let's Get Lost was for me for the past two months. So, there's a lot to get caught up on.
Camping on Antelope Island
We spent the first 2 weeks of April on Antelope Island, a peninsula on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. We'd been there before, for a 1-night stop over in 2020 and then 2 weeks in April of 2021. So we knew what to expect - calm, quiet days surrounded by bison and other happy campers.
Antelope Island is the largest of ten islands in Great Salt Lake. I should say "was" the largest island because it's not an island anymore and the Great Salt Lake isn't as great as it used to be.
For years, water has been diverted from rivers that used to flow into the lake. Because the lake is only about 35ft at its deepest point, less water has quickly translated to receding shorelines.
So, while the lake used to cover nearly 1,500 square miles, in 2021 it covered just 937.
When we were on Antelope Island in April of 2021, the chronic receding of the shoreline was easily visible. And the summer of 2021 was extremely hot and dry, causing the level of the lake to drop past a 170-year record low.
So by the time we arrived this past April, the level of the water was startlingly low.
The two photos above were taken in April of 2021 from the road that leads onto Antelope Island. By April of 2022, there wasn't any water on either side of this road.
It's really quite sad.
Still, while it's likely the last time we'll camp on Antelope Island unless we are just passing through the area, it was a lovely place to spend the first half of April.
If you ever visit, here are some of the things to do and see on Antelope Island:
- Hiking: There are over 20 miles of hiking trails on the island.
- Watch the herds of bison: Although the island is named after the pronghorn antelope, you are much more likely to see bison. They are everywhere. It's one of our favorite things.
- Check out the Fielding Garr Ranch, an adobe ranch house from the mid-1800s that's the oldest European-American building in Utah still standing on its original foundation.
- Biking: We peddled all over the area on our electric bikes, but you certainly don't need a bike with a motor to see the island on two wheels.
Coalville - Another Utah Gem
My experience of Utah is that you can select any location at random and it is likely to be gorgeous.
Coalville is a small town in the mountains that are west of Salt Lake City. When I was planning this year's travel schedule, I selected it because I wanted a full-hookup RV park somewhere in between Antelope Island and the Flaming Gorge.
My only expectations were that we could flush our tanks, do some laundry, and have a strong enough cell signal to work all week before moving on. We ended up liking it so much, we stayed an extra week.
The little RV park we stayed at is called Echo Island and our space backed up to a gurgling stream. The park was quiet, we rarely had neighbors, and our internet signal was fast and reliable. Sometimes, those simple things are honestly all we want in the world.
May in Colorado
Our original plan for this year was to spend a week boondocking at the Flaming Gorge before arriving back in Colorado on May 1st. I think this photo pretty well sums up why we wanted to go back to the Flaming Gorge...
Fellow campers and RVers: If you're interested in where the photo above was taken, this was Jug Hollow Dispersed Camping on the Utah side of the Flaming Gorge near Dutch John. We were there end of March, beginning of April 2021 and it remains one of our favorite boondocking locations (for that time of year, at least).
But, the 2-year anniversary of our son's death was on April 29th and we were feeling a lot of anxiety about being away from our daughters on that day, so we changed our plans and headed back to Colorado early.
We parked ourselves at the Boulder County Fairgrounds for a couple of days and spent what might have been a really terrible day having a really great time with our girls.
It's good to have a plan and it's good to know when to change it.
We spent all of May and the first week of June in Lyons, CO at a campground that's become our Colorado home. LaVern M Johnson Park was the very first place we parked ourselves after moving out of our house and into an RV. And, it's the place we keep returning to whenever we are in Colorado.
We really love almost everything about it. The park itself includes walking trails, a river, playing fields, BBQ grills and fire pits, picnic areas, and playgrounds. There is tent and RV camping and it's an incredibly popular place during the warmer months.
We also love the town of Lyons. Within a 5 minute walk from any of the RV camping spots is a little market with a fantastic bakery and deli counter, a brewery with great beer, cider, and pizza, and several other popular shops and restaurants.
Our one criticism is that while they did a fantastic job designing the park as a whole, we are convinced that whoever designed the RV park had never actually stayed in an RV.
The RV spaces are very close together and the hookups are not in a convenient location for almost any size camper.
Regardless, we love it there.
The month was jam-packed with activity... Mother's Day, several birthdays (including our youngest's 21st!), graduations, dinners with friends, lots of time with our daughters which included caring for our youngest while she recovered from a tonsillectomy, AND a surprise trip to Mexico City!
On Mother's Day, our youngest daughter surprised me with a few days in Mexico City. I flew out less than 48 hours from when she told me about the trip and we packed as much into it as we possibly could.
Summer On Lake Michigan!
As I write this we are about 5 weeks into a 4-month journey around Lake Michigan and I can say with authority and enthusiasm that it's a fantastic place to spend the summer.
Our summer travels resemble a loop around Lake Michigan, spending time in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Our favorite things about Indiana Dunes State Park:
- We had campsite #113 which backed up to the forest covered sand dunes that separate the campground from the shore of Lake Michigan. It was quite and beautiful and if we go back, I'll do my best to get the same spot.
- About a mile from the campground is the Southline train that heads into Chicago. We spent a couple of days in Chicago and were so happy to trade Chicago traffic and parking for a relaxing train ride.
- There are a ton of hiking and biking trails all over the park. We did several, but didn't even come close to exploring all of them.
- There's a Pavilions on the beach with a fantastic restaurant that includes plenty of outdoor seating.
Fun things we did in Chicago:
From Indiana Dunes, we headed north to Muskegon and began to understand why people love Michigan so much, especially in the summer.
We stayed at Duck Creek RV Resort and would absolutely stay there again. The spaces are large, there's a cafe on site with great pizza and even better ice cream (Steve couldn't get enough of their cherry fudge), a lake with a swim beach, a pool, and other activities like putt-putt golf (Steve is the reigning champ but I will beat him someday I swear.)
We got to see a lot of the area while we were in Muskegon. Here are some highlights:
- Lunch, cider and strawberry mimosas with a friend at Dunneback and Girls Farm Market. I also went home with a pint of fresh picked strawberries that were so, so good. 😋
- A day hiking and riding through Ludington State Park. Ludington is Michigan's most popular State Park, and for good reason. It's huge and there's so much to do there - beaches, water sports, camping, hiking, biking, etc.
- Muskegon Lakeshore Trail. We rode our bikes a few times on this 12 mile trail around Lake Michigan. It's beautiful, well maintained, with easy parking at various places along the way. The trail ends on the beach at Pere Marquette Park which is also home to a really fun restaurant we ate at a couple of times called The Deck.
- The Deck! The Deck is a fun, quirky restaurant and bar that sits right on the beach. The food and cocktails are delicious, there's usually live music, and they have "swing" seating with the opportunity for entertaining people watching.
- Sunset boat tour on the Aquastar. The night we took this cruise was one of the only overcast nights the whole two weeks we were there. So there was no sunset on our sunset cruise. There was live music on the top deck, but it was so crowded, we opted to stay on the lower deck. The lower deck did not have the great views of the upper deck, BUT it did contain an outgoing local couple who acted as our tour guides and kept us entertained for the whole 2 ½ hours. So, all in all, it was a good night.
- We toured the USS Silversides, a WWII submarine credited with the most prolific combat record of any still-extant American submarine.
Rebecca's Article in Rootless Living Magazine
We've been reading Rootless Living for a couple of years now, so it was really fun to be asked to write an article for them about cooking in a tiny kitchen.
The article includes 6 tips for cooking in a small space plus the recipe for Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil because it's the perfect example of the kind of flavor packed dish you can make in any size kitchen.
If you're an RVer, the magazine is 100% worth the $19 annual subscription.
I've also just completed a series of recipes for their Thanksgiving issue, which will come out in November!
Summer Camping and Cocktail Recipes!
Over the past few months, I reached out to other recipe developers and asked them to contribute to a few small collections of camping recipes. But honestly, every one of these recipes is perfect for the kind of easy-going summer cooking I think we're all into right now.
- 21 Camping Cocktail Recipes: When we moved into our 5th wheel RV, we paired down our cocktail-making tools and ingredients substantially. Thankfully, as this list of delicious camping cocktails proves, that does NOT mean sacrificing great cocktails.
- 50 Easy One Pot Camping Meals: This collection of recipes includes a delicious variety of simple meals that require few utensils and ingredients, but deliver BIG on flavor. You'll find recipes for cooking over an open fire or on a small camp stove, as well as recipes designed for an RV kitchen.
- Blackstone Dinner Ideas. We purchased a Blackstone Griddle earlier this year and are loving it! For most campers, cooking on a Blackstone is considerably easier than cooking on a tiny RV stovetop or camp stove. Plus, if you're feeding a crowd, the large cooktop makes it easy to prepare a lot of food at once.