By Monique & Barry Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
Our next big adventure begins this coming Sunday when we pick up Monique’s brother and sister-in-law in Las Vegas and take them back to our trailer parked in the Nellis Air Force Base RV park*.
Our first excursion with our French relations was three years ago, when we toured from Salt Lake City through the Sawtooth Mountains, into Yellowstone, over to a working cattle ranch in Oregon and down into the some of the world’s most beautiful spots in northern California. Four of us living for four weeks in a 28-foot travel trailer. Two words describe that 3,500-mile jaunt: “SPECTACULAR” and “FUN.”
We expect the same experience over the next five weeks as we motor around “The Grand Circle,” which takes in more of the world’s most inspiring spots, these in southern Utah and Colorado, through the Four Corners and into Arizona. Monique has poured over maps, travel books and internet downloads over the past three months putting together a route that will expose our guests to hundreds of miles of natural beauty, several Native American cultural events and a few surprises.
In the next five weeks, you’ll have a chance to join us on this adventure through our RV.net blogs. As on our Canada and Alaska trip last summer, how often we will be able to post will depend on time and technology.
Time – Several days will fly by as we hitch up and drive for long hours, stopping along the way to enjoy many of the wonders surrounding us. On travel days, we will end the day by parking, eating and, if time allows, taking a look at local sights.
Technology – Whenever I have cellphone service through AT&T, I can tether to my new MacBook Pro (I’m not getting product placement money for this) to connect to the internet. Last time we were in Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde and other national parks, there was no cell service – and we prefer it that way, since it’s our opinion that these natural wonders should be soaked up free of electronic waves. (That’s a mantra I keep repeating to myself when I’m not able to get online.)
Now a quick note about Philippe and Solveig, our travel-guests. Philippe retired as a three-star general in the French Army, with a distinguished career that exposed him to several memorable challenges. Most important to us: he has a wonderful sense of humor, which he honed while playing practical jokes on his troops.
One thing you’ll find reassuring is that he is a great fan of America and its way of life. He once described to me the attitude of Europeans towards America as similar to a parent who disapproves of his child’s behavior, even though he is jealous of the child.
His wife of 40 years, Solveig, has been an important part of his life and career, being the perfect hostess and advisor to the newly commissioned officers serving under her husband. We’ll never forget how surprised she was at the way we talked to people we met in RV parks, on hiking trails and in restaurants on our last trip – they never do that in Europe!
By the time we hit a trail in Yosemite National Park, we were delighted that she was the one starting conversations with hikers, particularly those who spoke French and German. Incidentally, we all speak English (I don’t speak French).
Monique’s plans take us to many of the most beautiful places on Earth. But it hurt her every time she had to bypass places that were too remote to visit in just five weeks on the road. But what we will see will still make this a never-to-be-forgotten journey for the four of us, and hopefully for you, too.
In an unsigned Comment to our San Diego blog last week, a reader wrote, “You see colorful people…Go have Breakfast or Lunch @ the Big Kitchen in Golden Hill Area located @ 30th and Grape. Little be it known what Whoopi Goldberg worked there.” We consider that the type of interesting input from readers that we all learn from. If you have experiences about places we missed while on our route, we’d all love to read about your favorite memories in the Comments section.
This week is hectic as we prepare to move everything we’ll need from our cabin into the trailer and recheck the tires, batteries, etc. IT’S EXCITING!
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
* In reference to Nellis Air Force Base, in a future blog I will write about military campgrounds.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved