Week 23: One of Best Adventures in Utah yet in the Escalante Slot Canyons

I feel like I’m stuck in the Land of Eternal Winter.

We’ve been teased by glimpses of the end of it for a month
now.

Sunny days that require only a T-Shirt and shorts that have been
followed by days of bitter cold where I’m digging deep into our
Yakima SkyBox for my thick winter tracksuit pants I thought I had
long packed away.

I find camping in winter so draining and it makes me want to cry
each time I return to the sweater.

Noooooo. Please just give me warmth. I’ll take 100 degrees any
day!

This week on the Burr Trail in Utah

It’s May and we nearly had snow the other day. That’s how
cold it is!

I refused to leave Goldie (our RV) when we were back at our
boondocking spot after our days hiking. I can’t step out there
and feel it for another minute.

We’ve just had several days of rain and Goldie is coated in a
nice shade of orange and brown mud. More rain is coming.

Did I mention we are in the desert!!

Camping this week near St. George,
Utah

I love how travel teaches you don’t know much.

The American Desert is vastly different to the Australian one
– no snow, little precipitation and little chill around. I guess
the driest continent in the world is going to be true to the desert
definition.

We’ve had so much rain since we’ve been in the South West.
It’s mind boggling.

I can be impressed and awestruck by it at the same time I’m
shivering. Long winters just aren’t in my DNA.

I find it amazing that we’ve even traveled for nearly 5 months
in an RV over winter. We’ve done well, but I’m ready to change
things up.

I fear though, as we move soon into Northern California and the
Pacific Northwest that the heat I’m craving just won’t’
arrive.

Pit stop on Hwy 24 in Utah recently

It’s verified for me one of the reasons I love living in
Raleigh so much. I know that now it is May the warm sweaters are
packed away in those boxes for the next 5 months. They won’t be
seen.

Everyday and every evening will be hot. Warm blanket, sweaty hot
– just the way I like it. I like waking up and never having to
check the weather.

Today will be hot, hotter or hottest.

I love how travel helps you to know what you like and don’t
like. If you only know what you know then how can you know if
it’s truly what you love and why!

Yep.

After spending 20 years traveling and living in various
climates, I truly know what I love and what works best for me. 4
seasons with a short winter and long, hot, humid summers.

That’s my jam’.

The good news is the cold is not stopping us from having an
incredible time and doing amazing things.

You’ve just got to know how to dance in the rain and cold!

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This week 23 wrap up of our USA road
trip
 shares our adventures from Saturday to Friday.

I publish the posts on Sunday (I need a few days to prepare it!)
More in-depth posts on each region with loads of tips and
suggestions will be coming soon.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook where
we share the current day-to-day adventures

The Saddest News of our RV Travels so far Bryce Canyonon the road past Bryce
Canyon

Our beautiful email community already know this (as they get the
insider stuff first. Jump in our virtual suitcase if you haven’t
already. It’s free!)

We made the heartbreaking decision to skip Bryce Canyon.

It is by far my favorite National Park in the USA (so far). We
have been circling it now for 6 weeks waiting to get in. The
Universe is against it.

Horse riding wasn’t available (for over a week). This was the
number one thing we wanted to do. Craig and I did this in 2006 and
it was one of our favorite travel adventures ever and we had been
talking to the girls about it since before we left Raleigh.

Bryce Canyon, UtahHorse riding in Bryce
Canyon in 2006

A couple of the trails we wanted to hike were also still closed
due to winter weather damage. And it was due to have cold temps and
rain ALL week!

We didn’t want to go to this magical fairy land and have half
an experience. Since Utah is pretty central, we’re sure we’ll
be able to fit it in somewhere else on the trip at a better
time.

Bryce Canyon, UTAHIn Bryce in 2006 pre-kids

If not, we will fly into Las Vegas or Salt Lake City and road
trip in from there at some stage.

One of the benefits of my 22 years of long
term travel
is that I’ve learned to easily accept what is and
let go.

We did get a glimpse of it as we drove through. My God it’s
beautiful.

Bryce Canyonon the road past Bryce
Canyon

With this never ending winter surrounding us, I’m ready to
drop anything that doesn’t’ give me warmth at the moment.

Don’t miss my post this week on 8 reasons why travel
helps you live a life that is good.

RV Travels this week in Utah Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch Slot
Canyon

Slot Canyons in Utah

When we left you last week, our friends Mike and Anne from
Honeytrek were sitting with us around the campfire drinking way too
much wine.

I felt it the next day when we all went on one of our best
adventures yet – Peek-a-boo and Spooky Canyon.

None of us knew what we were in for.

The kids had a blast and did not want this 3.5 mile long
adventure to end as they climbed and scrambled over rock faces,
small holes and boulders.

Slot canyons in Escalante, Utah

Slot canyons in Escalante, Utah

It was full of explosive moves which pounded my head and
body.

After the tough climb through Peek-a-Boo we entered into Spooky
Canyon, called that for how deep and dark and narrow it gets – 11
inches wide.

It was backpacks off backs, and bums and boobs tucked in.

Slot canyons in Escalante, Utah

We donned our Flat Stanley personas and slid our way through the
crack climbing down further into the canyon as we went. Can’t
wait to show you the video for this adventure.

Slot canyons in Escalante, Utah

Slot canyons in Escalante, Utah

What a way to spend it with our friends!

Hells Backbone Drive

Hells Backbone Drive

After two intensive hikes in a row (the Slot Canyons and

Lower Calf Creek Falls
), a much needed rest day was had sitting
in the car and enjoying the stunning scenery from our window.

First we started with a coffee and a view at Kiva Koffeehouse on
Highway 12 and then drove half of the Hells Backbone Drive, which
really wasn’t anything too amazing.

Kiva KoffeehouseKiva Koffeehouse

Hells Backbone, Utah

Perhaps the part that was closed was better.

Burr Trail Scenic Drive

Burr Trail, Utah

The 64 mile Burr Trail was next which goes through Grand
Staircase Escalante National Monument and into Capitol Reef
National Park.

We knew immediately we had arrived back into Capitol Reef as the
colors turned into the rainbow and the water pocket fold
appeared.

Burr Trail, Utah

Driving down the switchbacks was just stunning. Look at the red,
chocolate, white and yellow colors of the rocks.

Burr Trail, Utah

Slow Camp Life

The rest of the week has been spent attending to errands,
catching up on work, repairing our vans, and enjoying camp
life.

This week we got hit with the rain and mud and had to leave our
first boondocking spot for fear we were all going to get stuck in
the churning mud. It was pretty gross.

I am waiting until we get out of the desert to scrub the orange
dirt off Goldie.

We met some new friends, the family from EcoWomb who are living an incredible
no impact life on Mother Earth. The kids had fun running around the
campfire playing with their kids.

It was great to come out of the wilderness and have access to a
major town, St George. Our first stop was haircuts, followed by
Target, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Albertsons and
Wal-Mart!!

The return to civilization was good.

RV and Road Trip Lessons

Hwy 12, Utah

  • Always check the road around you in a Wal-Mart parking lot. You
    never know when you may drive over a big arse bolt and flatten the
    tire on your Ford 250. The tires on our Beast are massive but were
    no match for the BOLT. $279 later…. Craig changed to the spare
    tire on the side of the highway. Be sure to put your hazards on and
    know where your warning triangle is so you can put that out. We had
    no idea.

  • If you’re boondocking spot looks a little rutty, you can be
    sure when it rains – even the smallest bit, it will turn into a
    mud pit only pigs will love. We escaped before more rain by putting
    The Beast into 4×4 L but were slipping and sliding out of there
    even with the Beast dragging Goldie out.
  • Boondocking takes up a LOT of time driving into town to get
    water, gas, propane, do laundry, dump trash, find showers etc.
    Think about that before deciding to do it full-time if you run a
    full-time business. Boondocking has many benefits that we love, but
    it’s time consuming and sometimes wonder would we be better using
    that time in other ways, like working on our business? Just an
    FYI.
  • Boondocking, or maybe just RV travel, also costs a lot of money
    initially in getting set up for it AND maintenance. I cannot keep
    our weekly costs under $1,000. Something is always coming up that
    needs attention. Hopefully now when our batteries are replaced we
    can stop using our generator which also adds to the gas bill.
  • We just bought 4 x 6 volt golf cart batteries for the RV at
    CostCo which come with a 12 month replacement guarantee – Love
    you CostCo! They will give us 205 amp hours instead of the 110 amp
    hours we currently have with our 12v deep cycle batteries.

  • Americans call Goldie a travel trailer. Australians would call
    it a caravan. Americans call a group of travel trailers traveling
    together a caravan. Australians would call it a convoy. I could
    possibly confuse you a lot with the different terminology I use. If
    you hear me refer to Goldie as a van you know why (short for
    caravan. Aussies shorten every possible word).

I’ve heard those in the van life movement would be upset with
me trying to hijack that term as van is meant for sprinter type
combi vans.

My reply to the van lifers – Get over it. Call it what you
want. Just enjoy the lifestyle!

Where we Stayed Hole in the Rock Escalante Boondocking Spot

We had a few more nights in this wonderful camping spot. You can
read more about it in
last week’s wrap. 

Hole in the Rock Boondocking
Hurricane on Hwy 59

We’re sitting on a plateau surrounded by the spectacular
mounts of Hurricane and St George region. Zion National Park is not
far away so you can imagine how beautiful it is.

The only problem is we’re on clay which turns to mud with just
a sprinkling of rain. And as mentioned, we’ve been getting a lot
of it.

We had to move from spot number 1 and go 2 miles down the road
to a not as muddy spot on the edge of the main graded dirt road so
we could easily get out if necessary.

Our second camping spot

The first spot was a challenge. And on our first night nearby
tent campers were shooting clay pigeons!! Can you believe it? I was
stunned they could just shoot firearms on BLM land near other
campers.

It’s the Wild West y’all.

Made me a little nervous with the kids playing cricket nearby
and I’m pretty sure they were all drinking. Lucky the rain came
pelting down for the entire night to stop their party.

Both these posts are free, about 30-minutes drive from St George
and super fast internet. You gotta still love free.

Travel Costs Burr Trail, Capitol Reef National
Park

Each week, I include our travel related costs for the week.

I don’t include things like business costs, insurance, and
souvenirs etc. That’s so personal that whatever I told you
wouldn’t necessarily be true for you and your budget.

The following, apart from perhaps our groceries, will give you a
reasonable estimate of costs related to travel.

If you are new to our weekly wrap, our costs each week are
usually around $1,000 – $1,300. We’re really trying to stay
under $1,000

My 30 days to
Money Mindfulness Course
 helps you learn how to master your
money (and do things like weekly spending checks no matter how much
they hurt!) You can’t change what you aren’t aware of.

Vehicle Costs

  • Fuel: $153
  • Parking: $ 
  • Uber: $

The generator is costing us a bit extra in fuel. We only use it
for about an hour a day to top up. Once we get our broken batteries
replaced it will be better.

Accommodation Costs

  • Camping: $0 (yay)

Attractions

  • Park Fees: $
  • Tours: $
  • Tickets: $
  • Tips: 

Food Wanderlust Cowgirl Coffee drive
through in Panguitch, on the road from Escalante to St. George

  • Restaurants: $
  • Coffee: $66
  • Groceries: $389
  • Take out/ snacks: $177

We eat a mostly whole foods, organic diet, which means our
grocery bills are higher than what would be typical.

Don’t forget with eating out costs, tip will be included in
the prices and the odd glass of wine or two.

RV Supplies and Living

  • Laundry: $12
  • Firewood: 
  • Propane: $
  • Supplies: $
  • Dump: $13
  • Postage: $

This week we had to buy 4 new batteries – our broken ones will
be refunded so it will balance out. (Thank you Costco). We also had
to replace a tire AND buy a few other supplies to fix things in the
travel trailer.

Total paid by us: $1,605

Without all the RV supplies, we would have come in at $798.
Which is under budget but still not satisfactory as we’re
spending too much on eating out and coffee. #Beinglazy

If this was your full time lifestyle, you’d be more careful.
But, we’ve planned for an epic short term trip of the USA (1
year) so we’re okay with spending a little more on
indulgences.

Where to Next? Burr Trail, Capitol Reef NP

We are back in the land of not sure.

We’re waiting to hear back from possible blogging partnerships
and are dancing around weather so it’s a bit of a limbo land.

Hopefully we’ll have a bit more clarity tomorrow. But, we are
headed in the general direction of Northern California.

Do we go to Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite, even though
it’s still freezing?

Or do we head to San Francisco which maintains consistent cold
weather year round?

OR do we just say stuff it we’re going back to Vegas for some
dry warmth?

Or, perhaps just jump on a plane to the Bahamas?

We’ll let you know!

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You can
find our previous RV weekly wrap posts here.

Our latest in-depth blog post is on
8 Awesome Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park,
California

Videos of the trip coming out soon.  Subscribe to our
channel
 so you don’t miss it. We’re now releasing our road
trip videos.

Check out our latest video of our time in Joshua Tree National
Park

Week
23: One of Best Adventures in Utah yet in the Escalante Slot
Canyons

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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
Week 23: One of Best Adventures in Utah yet in the Escalante Slot Canyons