CRUISING: Zion National Park via Grand Tetons National Park, Salt Lake City and Heber City

Hello dear friends and family!  Hope you are all doing well!  I just want to catch you up to where we are now, so here goes!

After leaving Yellowstone on July 9th, we headed south and entered Grand Tetons National Park by early afternoon.  Our initial intent was to stay in the Tetons for a couple days but we  could not find a RV park that fit the bill AND we had an appointment in Salt Lake City to have some work done on the RV so Bob wanted to get down there and make sure we had plenty of time to get that done.  And of course we wanted to see our grandbabies (and Lisa and Mike too!) as soon as possible!  Lisa and her family had just returned from a 2 week vacation and were trying to catch their breath when we called and said we would be in SLC earlier than expected.

But to give them breathing room before we descended on them we thought it would be nice to stay in the Tetons for a night or two. Driving down through the Park, the gorgeous mountain range, rivers and lakes were calling to me!

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As we entered the Grand Tetons National Park, the mountains reach out and hold your attention.
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Lake Jackson ringed by the Grand Tetons.

We stopped at the Grand Teton Visitor Center and tried to get an RV site for the night but that didn’t work out (you usually have to book one year in advance!), but I did poke around some and found a beautiful beach on Lake Jackson with the majestic Grand Tetons reflected in it–what a beautiful sight–which made me want to stay even more–but it was not to be!   So one more thing on the old bucket list!

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A wildflower-strewn path leading to a small peaceful beach on Lake Jackson.
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The beach was beautiful and quiet with children playing in the edges of the water.  Sunny shores and snow-frosted mountains–what could be better than that?
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It was hard to say goodbye to this beautiful scene.

Very reluctantly leaving this incredible setting, we headed south.  We stopped in Jackson Hole long enough to get the oil changed in the Jeep and also found a wonderful Mexican bakery that made some delicious sandwiches on fresh-baked bread for us.  Yummy!   We ate the sandwiches sitting in the RV on a side street near the Jeep dealership’s service department.  We were very lucky to find a parking spot that would accommodate Baby so close by.   After calling around, we still could not find an RV site, so continued down the road and wound up camping that night in Idaho on the Snake River just a short drive away.

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The Snake River in Idaho.
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BIG black cows roaming free near the Snake River in Idaho.
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Rolling plains in Idaho.  Looked almost like a moonscape.

From our Snake River campsite,  we headed south the next morning through Bear Lake, Utah (it was the season for raspberry milk shakes on the shores of Bear Lake so we did follow that ritual!).

And then we headed into Salt Lake City, arriving just in time for Mikaela’s soccer practice.

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We ditched the RV at Walmart and went over to the soccer fields to watch the kids, then we all went to dinner.  By then it was getting late so Bob and I headed to a RV campground close to the RV repair place so that we could be first in line for the repairs the next morning.  The RV place didn’t have a site available so they let us plug up on the sidewalk with just one slideout out so that we could squeeze into bed.  That was interesting….

The next morning as we pulled into the RV facility, a big banner across the front welcomed Bob Tiffin from Tiffin Motorhomes (the owner of the RV company that built our RV)–apparently he was there from Alabama visiting the dealership for two days.  So Bob L. enjoyed chatting with Bob T.  throughout the morning while they ate strawberry covered fresh made waffles–compliments of the dealership in honor of Mr. Tiffin’s visit.

I headed up to Lisa and Mike’s house in Bountiful after running a few errands of my own. Once repairs were complete, Bob drove Baby to Lisa and Mike’s house to pick up Lisa and the kids; they were planning on spending a couple days with us at our next campground in Heber City (about an hour from SLC) and Mike would join us the next day.  Bob arrived in the RV at their house on top of the mountain blowing his air horn and making a real ruckus (reminiscent of Christmas Vacation when cousin Eddie shows up in his old battered RV and parks it on the street), which got the kids very excited.

The campground in Heber City turned out to be very nice, and we spent lots of time that weekend playing at the pool with the kids–they also enjoyed the playground and games in the park.  We cooked out the night Mike came up and the weather was perfect — a beautiful weekend!

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Balloon floating over our campground in Heber City early one beautiful morning.
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A perfect sunset over Salt Lake in Utah just below Lisa and Mike’s home on the mountain!  This is also their view from their back deck–very relaxing place to sit and watch the sun go down…

Lisa and Mike and kids headed back home on Sunday  (they have lots of activities–soccer practices, karate, etc.) and we relaxed and drove down to SLC a few times to attend soccer practice, and hang out with them.

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Sammy working with his coach,
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Soccer practice over!
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Girls afternoon! Manis-pedis were just what the doctor ordered!
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Kids just want to have fun—showing Mammaw and Pappaw their tricks on the playground.
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Really going wild!
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The Serio girls with their big smiles!
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Sammy’s new haircut a la soccer star Ronaldo.

Our next stop was going to be Zion Canyon National Park in southern Utah, and Lisa and kids were going with us with Mike to follow for the weekend. On Thursday, we headed down to SLC to pick them up.  This was the first time Lisa and the kids had ridden in the RV; the kids had a blast partying in the RV on the way down–Mikaela was the copilot for either Bob or I as we took turns driving; they loved having snacks and drinks whenever they wanted while riding in their reclining seats.  Of course, some one had to work the galley so Mom and Mammaw played “RV attendant”—and they kept us busy!

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Sammy is making sure all is well and the snacks keep coming while cruising in the RV.
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Mammaw, it’s cold in here!

Once we arrived at Zion, the next few days flew by.  Zion was a stunningly beautiful park, and we never tired of driving through those canyons and gazing at the amazing rock formations and spotting the wildlife posing atop colorful, unusually formed rocks as if in a National Geographic article.

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In the evenings the wildlife make their dramatic appearances.
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Stopping traffic!

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Mom and Dad take their floppy-eared baby’s picture. JR likes to pose for the family album!

 

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Cowboy and Cowgirl Serio with Mammaw and Pappaw.
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Serio Family going Cowboy in Zion National Park!
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Our first day in Zion National Park.

We had lots of fun in Springdale one evening, a little village on the other side of the park–it was an adorable little town with lots of CUTE shopping and interesting restaurants.

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Having dinner at Oscars in Springdale, Utah–on the western edge of Bryce Canyon NP.

We went on a hike back to the Emerald pools in Zion Scenic Canyon and checked out a Trading Post (several times) not too far from our campground.

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Off we go on our hike to the Emerald Pools. Note Mike’s shoulder gear–he is videotaping the entire hike!
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Two brave explorers wearing their Junior Ranger vests.
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Hiking up to the Emerald Pools in Bryce Canyon.
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Waterfall over first Emerald Pool.
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Mikaela, the photographer, at work.

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After a full day adventuring in the Park (or before we headed out), the kids found lots of things to keep them busy around the campground.  They loved the campground with its 2-level pool with slide, rodeo, zipline, horseback riding, country dancing, rock climbing wall, putt putt course, and other activities–not to mention some of the biggest jack rabbits we will ever see.  Pappaw and Sammy chased them down a field one night–guess they thought they may make a tasty dinner!  Lisa said they were as big as a medium sized dog.  I think their EARS were at least that big!  We did s’mores one night, although we were all a little apprehensive about Bob’s roaring fire in the raised fire pit.  We had seen the “Extreme Fire Danger’ signs, but the campground staff didn’t seem concerned about it.  Bob put out the fire as soon as we had our fill of s’mores — thankfully without burning down the whole countryside.

 

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Enjoying the rodeo at the Ponderosa campground.  Sammy has his slingshot with him just in case the cowgirls get rowdy!
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This cowgirl is ready for the rodeo to start.
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We meet the stars of the show. Yes, this was an all girl rodeo!
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Mikaela heading up the climbing wall. She made it to the top!
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Sammy heads up the wall–what a brave 6 year-old!
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Serio family getting ready for the zipline–at night! Sorry guys–my pictures didn’t quite make it–but I have never seen anyone zipline in the dark before–even the workers had to do their jobs by flashlight!
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Another day, another adventure!
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Off they go! Sammy and Mikaela agreed this was the absolute best part of the week–horseback riding!

Our time at Zion ended all too soon since both Mike and Lisa had to get back home to work.  We left as well a couple of days later, heading for Bryce Canyon National Park.  Another day, another National Park, another adventure!

We are now into our last month on the RVing trail, and it is bittersweet to contemplate the end of our adventuring–this round anyway!  Yes, Bob and I are a little tired and we miss our friends and family at home.  But the lure of the road, waiting to see what’s around the next corner, getting to spend some quality, relaxed time with our family and friends who live so far away from us–storing so many wonderful memories away to take out and enjoy later–this has been an opportunity to dream about and relish–even those times when we are sitting in some RV repair shop, or making a big jump to our next stop, or trying to find a place to spend the night.

Lisa, Mike, Mikaela, Sammy, and Junior–we miss you already!

Hugs to everyone!  Miss you guys!  Happy Trails!!

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