Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Paiute ATV Trail

Every since we started ATVing and found out about the Paiute Trail in the mountains of south central Utah we have wanted to come here. So when we started making our "bucket list" we knew we were headed this way!

The Paiute ATV trail is a 236 mile loop over three mountain ranges and through rugged canyons and deserts that have been designed for recreational ATV riding. From the main Paiute Trail there are numerous side trips leading to spectacular scenery and all kinds of opportunities which make up over 800 miles of open roads and trails open to ATVs.

We made reservations for a week at Lizzie and Charlie's RV/ATV park in Marysvale, UT and that was the beginning of a "beautiful relationship"!! From our site we can see mountains on 2 sides of us and the Trail is right here! So cool! ATVs are allowed on the streets and they are everywhere. There are about 90 sites here in the park and at each site you will see at least one ATV and usually two or three. And everyone is so friendly. Marysvale was hosting a UTV rally and the park filled up quickly with campers and all kinds of ATVs and UTVs.

As soon as we pulled in and got parked our neighbors beside us and behind us came over to say hello and to welcome us to the park. Bob and Loretta, beside us, have been coming here for 6 summers and know all the trails and offered to take us out on some. Their friends, and our "behind" neighbors, Karen and Jim are here for about a month. Jim and Karen travel in a 37 foot motorhome with their family of 5 dogs and live in their motorhome fulltime. I can't believe we were so fortunate to have parked by these fun and friendly folks!

The first day here we explored just a little on a close portion of the Trail and the next day we joined up with Bob, Loretta, Karen and Jim and took off on our quads for lunch in the small ATV friendly town of Koosharem. By the end of the day we had traveled over 90 miles up and down and through the most beautiful mountains, large stands of aspen, and spruce forests with spectacular views from mountain tops.Wow. It was a fun day but our tushes were pretty tired at the end of it!

By the end of the first week we had ridden almost every day and we just couldn't get enough! The park sits at 5800 feet elevation and we have been up as high as 11,500.This place was everything we had hoped for. We decided we needed more time to see and do so we paid for 3 more weeks here at Lizzie and Charlie's and will ride ride ride!

We like the weather here too. It gets into the mid to high 80's through the day(sometimes 90)and down to 50 or so at night and day time humidity has been as low as 14%! Just right to leave the windows open for sleep. If we do run our A/C it is just for a short time in the late afternoon. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the Sevier River runs along part of the Trail and we hope to get to get on it in our kayaks! We will need to do that during the week though because the week-ends the river is busy with white water rafters. There is a lot to do in this area. So if you are ever near Marysvale,Utah be sure and stay at Lizzie and Charlie's RV/ATV park. You can read all about it on their web site

I will post more later in the week and hopefully some pictures. Until then you will find us on the trails!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Month 2 of Summer travel

We started our second month in the upper peninsula of Michigan. We had enjoyed the lower part of the state so much we didn't think it could get any better. But it was great.

We explored the Lake Superior area for a few days and found it to be beautiful, peaceful and remote a lot of the time. We camped in a Michigan state forest campground along the great lake. We were able to hear the waves at night and ride the quads through the day. We had no cell service, no TV and no internet....again! But it was so much fun to take the ATV trails to some of the light houses and to pick wild blueberries that were growing along the trails and county roads.

We got suggestions from people we met as to what we should see while we were in the U.P. and did actually take in a lot of the places mentioned. One of these places was Tahquamenon Falls. They are touted to be one of the largest falls east of the Mississippi.The Upper Falls has a drop of nearly 50 feet, is over 200 feet across, and can propel a maximum flow of more than 50,000 gallons of water a second over the edge. There is also a Lower Falls located 4 miles downstream that is smaller but just as spectacular. We spent several hours there and were glad we got to see it.

We also drove(the truck this time) to Pictured Rocks National Seashore and it went on for miles! It was well worth the time we spent. We had great weather for our time in the U.P. We were able to leave the bus windows open at night and the days were just right for exploring.

We knew we only had so much time so after our day at Pictured Rocks we moved south a few miles to a National Forest campground on Lake Colwell and rode the quads on the trails in that area. Here the trails were also snowmobile trails and weren't as much fun as the actual ATV trails we had enjoyed up near Lake Superior and down in lower Michigan. But the area was just as beautiful and we are glad we got to see it.

We left Michigan and stopped in Crivitz, Wisconsin to see our friends from Texas, Ed and Karen Dimmick. Karen had told us when we all left Texas that if we got close to Wisconsin to stop in and so we did. They took the day and showed us around where they live. And let me tell you the U.P. has nothing on this part of Northern Wisconsin. Absolutely beautiful. They have the tall pines, blue water, waterfalls and much more. And while we were riding around they took us to see other Texas friends,Roger and Gloria, Rosie and Jim, and John and Carol(only John wasn't home)It was fun to see where everyone lived. What a great day with good friends.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wow! What a month!

Well, we loaded up our toys and left southern Indiana headed north on the 20th of June and are having a great time seeing new places, making new friends, and kayaking and riding our ATVs.

After a stop in northern Indiana to order a new couch for the bus we drove north to a wonderful National Forest campground near Hesperia, MI. Pines Point campground is a very popular spot for a lot of the locals to bring their families and cool off in the White River. They float on innertubes, kayak, paddle canoes and swim.

Our first day in Pines Point we met Mike Wambaugh and his great family and the next day we all loaded up in his truck and ours and hauled 9 kayaks and one innertube up river a few miles and floated back down to our campground. What a neat float! The river was fast enough with just enough ripples to keep it interesting!It was a great day spending time with new friends.The Wambaughs are a friendly and fun loving family and welcomed us into their group. We sure hope our paths will cross again.

The Wambaughs had to leave after a few days and new people were arriving daily. Most of them had tubes and kayaks and were there for a long 4th of July week-end. Jay and Sue were one such couple and they settled in the camp site next to ours. Right away Sue came over to introduce themselves and before you knew it we were making plans to paddle the White River with them! Only this time we went even further up river and had a great 4 hour trip on the water. Sue has been coming to this campground for years and years and knows the river pretty well and was a great guide. The next day we even went on a portion of the river she hadn't been on before but knew people who had. They told her it would take us 2 hours to get to the take out where her friend's truck was parked that would take us all and all of our kayaks back to camp. That didn't turn out to be the case but we had fun anyway! The good news is that we made it to the truck but... it took 6 hours to do it! It was an adventure that included having to portage our kayaks around log jams and shallow water. Our arms were sure tired though!

We spent 12 days at Pines Point and enjoyed every minute of it. We had no TV, no cell service and no internet and it was very relaxing. Terry cooked breakfast every day outside and we had campfires at night. What a great way to start our summer trip.

The next leg of our trip found us near my family in Cadillac, MI. We stayed in a campground near some ATV trails near Luther, MI in Lake County. We rode the trails and explored the area on our ATVs. All the county roads were open to the ATVers and we really hadn't been anywhere that friendly to the ATVers. If we wanted to go to town for icecream we just jumped on the quads and rode to town! But the best thing about the area was that we got to see my family a lot.

Before we left lower Michigan we stopped in Frederic, MI near Grayling at the Happi Days Diner and campground.This was about an hour north of Cadillac and near some awesome ATV trails. The owner,Todd was very friendly and helpful telling us everything we needed to see and do in the area. We stayed at Happi Days 7 days and played every day! We rode the trails and kayaked the rivers that Todd suggested. Since we didn't know anyone else that were going to kayak these rivers we found outfitters to take us up river with our kayaks and then we floated down to our truck.

Our favorite river was the Sturgeon, touted to be the fastest river in lower Michigan and that it was! It was a blast! It was hard work to get around the bends (and it was VERY winding!) without getting swept into the bank or a log jam and to keep from getting dumped. The outfitter told us it has an 85% dump rate and we were proud to announce that we made it without dumping even though we came close!

We wrapped up our time in lower MI with a visit from my stepbrother Larry and my sister-in-law Lynda, my stepsister Donna and her hubby Bruce and my stepmother Dorothy. We all went out to eat and say our good byes. We were so glad they came up to see us off!

We left the next day for more adventures in the U.P. of Michigan.

Friday, May 21, 2010

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Texas to south Florida to Indiana

Here we are at home and have been for 2 1/2 weeks. We had good weather for traveling and arrived at our son's home in Lehigh Acres, Florida 3 days after we left Aransas Pass, TX. And that was after a stop in Livingston.
It was so great to see our son and daughter-in-law and grandaughter. It had been a while! We had so much fun! Troy was able to take the whole week off and we ran every day,BBQ'd every evening and played cards and games every night!
One beautiful sunny day we all went kayaking on the Estero River. Now that is quite a feat for me because we have spent entire winters in Florida with our kayaks and I refused to get into those waters. I just knew I would become some big ole aligator's lunch! But when our son mentioned going I was all for it. There were even warning signs to not swim in the river because of the aligators but we didn't see any and had a great day. The Estero is a beautiful river, I am hoping you can see the reflective waters in the pictures. It runs along side of the Koreshan State park where we pulled the boats out of the water and ate our picnic lunches. We got a little sunburned but had lots of fun. We returned to Troy's house where we were parked and Troy grilled some scrumptious steaks. He said with us there and grilling every night it was like they were camping too.
On our 7th day there we pulled out with lots of tears all around. We drove to Bushnell, Fl where we were meeting some "bus nuts" friends for a cook-out at the SKP RV park. Our friends Tom and Fran were stopping there on their way to Ohio in their Eagle bus and Florida Cliff and his wife Julie came over from their home near Bushnell and we had a good evening catching up and talking about buses and everything else!
Here at home we have been really busy cleaning up from the winter, mowing and mowing and mowing! It looked like a hay field in our yard! We also had a surprise waiting for us...a roof leak. So Terry tore out and replaced the drywall and we got it and the walls all painted and now are just about ready to lay new carpet.It is nice to be here though and be able to see our daughter and all the Indiana grandkids. We really miss them while we are gone.
We have also been preparing to do some ATVing this summer. We ordered a new rack for the ATVs and Terry got it assembled and it looks like when we leave again we can take both the quads and the 2 kayaks! Ya gotta take your toys!
I hope to blog more in a couple of weeks(we'll see if THAT happens!LOL!)But for now had better get busy.

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