Hugh & Denise
2018 Christmas Letter


What a year we've had. We mentioned in our Christmas Letter last year we'd be selling our house and going traveling full time. Well, we accomplished this during 2018.

But first we spent last winter, December thru March, in Brenda AZ. It's a lot warmer than Klamath Falls which is nice in the winter (not so much in the summer). Good times, but a lot of looking towards the work ahead.

Going Fulltime

Returning from Brenda in early April the craziness really commenced. We finished fixing up the house and going through 24 years of accumulation during April and May. We arranged for estate sale professionals to come in and do two sales which got rid of most of the stuff. We sold properties in the area and put our house up for sale the third week of May. We had an offer on the house in 10 days and closed on June 18. Lots of details skipped over here, if you've bought or sold property you know all the stressful details and delays that pop up. We moved to our trailer June 6. Time between June 6 and 18 involved a sale at the house and unanticipated delays. A whirlwind, but by the third week in June we are living full time in our 19' trailer and only have a large storage unit of extra stuff.

While waiting for the house to close we spent time outside Klamath Falls at Topsy CG. Nice place to stay and we'll be back when we visit Klamath (during the summer).

South Dakota

June 19 we made a quick trip to Canada, Chillawack B.C., for a frame recall on our trailer. Then back to Klamath for delivery of a canopy for Larry our new RAM 2500 pickup. Finally we shot to Rapid City SD by July 1. Here's a pic of our rig, Dora our 2011 19' Escape trailer and Larry (Laramie) 2018 RAM 2500 Cummings Diesel. (Picture from Knolls Rec Area, a stop over in the middle of Salt Lake.)

Larry is very much overkill for our trailer. But we needed a storage shed (pickup bed) and room for the dogs (crew cab). It sure travels nicely, you can easily forget the trailer is there. Haven't had to slow for a hill yet and diesel fuel mileage is good. It's really big for running errands around town though.

The reason for South Dakota was to set up domicile (residency) which, for all the details we needed, required staying for a month. We're not sure where we'll land after travels, so we picked a move to SD for tax purposes, no income tax. It was a busy month setting up banking, estate planning, drivers licenses and car registration. We did have some time to poke around the Black Hills.

Travels

Then, the first of August, on to the fun part. We started traveling without a destination.

We spent a couple of weeks in the Bighorn Mountains in northern Wyoming. Not much beyond resting and a little hiking (quite typical). We like this range of mountains located between Yellowstone and the Black Hills.

Then a trip to the Medicine Bow range in southern Wyoming. The range isn't real big (unless you're hiking) but elevations over 12,000'. Some very nice hikes that take your breath away in more ways than one.

From Medicine Bow we spent a few days re-stocked in Fort Collins. Then west over Hwy 14 and 40, a very scenic route for a stop over at Dinosaur National Monument. Then north to Flaming Gorge National Rec which we've been trying to get to for some time.

After a week or so at Flaming Gorge we headed through Green River towards Moab, UT.

We thought we had finding a campground figured out. But pulling into Moab mid-week early in the day didn't help us. There are a number of campgrounds along the Colorado just outside town, but boy are those busy. Even the RV Parks in town were full. Finally we headed into the Manti-La Sal NF and 5 miles up a really nasty washboard road. Not too bad in Larry but really beats up Dora. The campground was great.

It was at 9600' though which turned out to bother Denise. So after a few days we headed back to Moab and this time found a BLM camp site. But found the area too busy to enjoy. So we had a very scenic drive north along the Colorado River and back to Green River for a few days at the state park there. Outside Green River we found a couple of canyons with petroglyphs to explore. Here is one example:

After stocking up in Grand Junction we drove to Cortez on CO 141, a beautiful but desolate road on the west side of the Rockys. The goal was to see Hovenweep NM and Canyons of the Ancients on the CO/UT boarder. There are a number of Anasazi ruins here we wanted to explore.

We'd have stayed at Hovenweep longer but the weather turned quite cold for the forseeable future. Not good at all when we're chasing good weather. But at least we can move to chase that good weather. SO, we packed up and headed for Bullhead City AZ. We've stayed there before and it is a lot warmer being on the Colorado River across from Laughlin NV. And it was much better weather.

We needed to be in Klamath Falls for doctors and other appointments November 1, now only a few weeks away. So slowly moving north we stopped in Valley of Fire outside Las Vegas. Beautiful red rocks and hiking.

And a short stop over further north at Cathedar Gorge, a Nevada State Park.

To Klamath Falls the first of November. It was cold but we had to go. Over the week we were there it turned real cold with lows in the teens. Too cold for our trailer even with electric heat, as we were at the local KOA. Too much for us so as soon as possible we shot south. One night in Sparks and then to Beatty NV. Beatty is south and a little lower so OK temperatures. Finally, to Boulder Beach CG outside Boulder NV which finally gave us warmth again.

Finally to Brenda AZ for the winter. Ruby wonders when we're going home. We keep telling her "soon".

Merry Christmas:

We hope your year has gone as well. If you'd like a blow by blow account of our adventures, we're keeping a journal at www.currin.us/Escaped-Doodles.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hugh & Denise