The Rambling Family

Shutting Down the Park

The Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National park is always a fun surprise because there really is NO forest.  We took the kids there, and like clockwork they got out of the car to exclaim, “where are the trees?”

“Look on the ground,” I’d reply.  And, there, the rocks tell the tale. “Those are the trees.  This was a forest about 200 million years ago.  It’s now petrified!”

“Oh.  huh.”  Disappointment?   Not quite.   Continue reading “Shutting Down the Park”


On a mission for cooler temps

It has been hot, super hot, 104 or more, for months, and though I escaped the hottest part of the summer with our big road trip, being hot this last month has been enough to make us all ready for a reprieve. Don’t get me wrong; we love the sun and blue skies and daily dip in the pool, but, a few days up in the mountains sounds like heaven. So, over Labor Day weekend we drove above the Mogollon rim. Continue reading “On a mission for cooler temps”

Back to School

After a summer living in the camper, it was nice to come home and have a couple weeks of staycation. Then, it got a bit boring. Kids were fiesty and picking on each other. We needed to get things rolling with school. Continue reading “Back to School”

No Ticks = Success!

After rolling the two kids and the camper all the way the Alaska and back, we couldn’t just stop and go home to the heat in Arizona.  Instead, we continued to Pennsylvania to visit family and give the kids an opportunity to attend summer camp via Penn State University’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.  Zoe went to a week of their camp a long time ago and has, ever summer, asked to do it again.  Finally, this year, I was able to say yes. Continue reading “No Ticks = Success!”

But, what about the crowds?

Yes.  Yellowstone is pretty crowded in the summer, but with a bit of luck and some open minded freedom from expectations, we had a wonderful time.  Our trip was full of adventurous campsite-seeking evenings, fellow boondocking crazy’s,  lots of thermal features, and one of the best backpacking trips we’ve ever had. Continue reading “But, what about the crowds?”

Sucked In

East of Calgary the prairie expands out to the horizon, and if you head out there, after about two hours the grassland drops off to expose the badlands that lie beneath.  Dinosaur Provincial Park resides out there and is a buggy infestation. Well. Wait.  It’s also really neat; along the bottomland a stream feeds a nice collection of cottonwoods making a pretty little oasis of the park’s campground – and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  But, really, its nice.   Continue reading “Sucked In”

The good, the bad, and the boring

The Canadian Rockies have been looming on our horizon for a while, and it takes at LONG while to get there.

Where the the northern boundary lies is vague.  The general range continues pretty far north with expanses of rolling forested hills spreading the rocky peaks further apart the farther you go.  Continue reading “The good, the bad, and the boring”

Top o’ the world to you

By the time we got to Fairbanks this whole camper was ready for a break.  We had a truly wonderful visit with some dear friends who showed us around town, let me do laundry, and treated us to the feeling of home again. I can’t express how wonderful it is to be able to see people again after living in totally different places.

Continue reading “Top o’ the world to you”

The sunny Yukon

There was a rough relic sign I saw somewhere in the hamlet (village? collective?) of Carcross that called the area “The Switzerland of North America” and it could be true if we are talking topography only. Get some new trains up here, ski resorts, cows with bells, and, uh, people, and it could be like Switzerland.  Continue reading “The sunny Yukon”

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