It was a love/hate relationship with the leprechaun RV. Without too much trouble Adam mastered maneuvering the 30foot long beast and parking it but going down crowded hyws, and twisting through snake like roads, climbing high up to 11000ft proved to be challenging. The RV rumbled and rattled making the ride anything but calm. On the plus side, it was convenient to tuck the boys in bed and continue with the drive. There were meals at our fingertips, and clothes to change into without lugging suitcases around. Except for a few nights in booked campgrounds, we were able to park for free in WalMart parking lots and in free campgrounds. There were some nights we ended up below rugged mountains in grassy fields. Those were our favourite nights with the numerous stars giving us a spectacular show and the moon glowing in the distance. The air was fresh and crisp and the smell of juniper burning on camper's firepits warmed our senses.
For some reason we thought we would have more "down" time on the trip, reading, and sitting by campfires but instead it was a more frenzied pace driving from state to state, a total of 2700 miles.
We rented the RV with a winter special allowing us to pick up and drop off the RV in different states. Bedding, towels, and kitchen supplies were also provided for free.
These three amigos slept in their "fort" above the front seats.
Dragging a carseat through the airports and up the streets of San Fransisco for this little guy made the maneuvering around challenging. For the first day in the RV he sat in the car seat buckled up, the second day he sat in the carseat without his straps and then the third day we tossed the carseat near the back of the RV. Things got pretty relaxed in the back of the RV except the most important rule: make sure the fridge clicks. One jug of milk landed on Andrew's head, our lasagna landed splat on the floor twice.
As convenient as the RV was, parenting was a struggle at times without a spare room to separate the offending parties. In the mornings we would pass toothbrushes out and washcloths but since boys have no interest in hygiene, fooling around took place. We would forget which boy we would tell to "get going" and ended up repeating the same instructions 25 times to all the different boys. They could not get things done without fooling around because they were always in one another's way. For the most part the boys did well during the driving. We generally do not have anything visual playing during our road trips but instead listen to history, bible, and fun stories like Adventures in Odyssey. Finding water to fill our tanks and places to "dump" could be time consuming but it was way better than tenting!
One night after the boys had fallen asleep we were driving through the roads trying to find a spot to park the RV for the night. A gas station owner let us park in his parking lot -right on the border of Arizona and Utah. In the morning we had a surprise for the boys with the big welcoming sign to Utah. It gives me a little thrill of joy to stand on borders!
Just inside Utah a few remaining structures of a Mormon town called Grafton stand alone off of a isolated road. Driving along a bumpy, rutted road we arrived at the town's cemetery, a sobering plot of land surrounded by the beauty of mountains. The graves tell the story of harsh lives for the settlers.
Three young brothers all died within days of one another from the dreaded disease of diphtheria.
Here a whole family is buried after an attack from Indians destroyed them.
Grafton was settled in 1859 as part of a cotton growing project ordered by Mormon, Brigham Young.
Two years after hard work and productivity a flood destroyed the town forcing the settlers to move one mile upriver. Isolation, silt in irrigation systems, and flooding discouraged the families. Along with the unexpected Indian attacks, the town began to falter in 1866.
This is a tourist spot, off of the beaten path - literally. The road was full of ruts and bumps making it adventuresome just getting there. Grafton Ghost town remains unknown to many tourists although several movies have been shot there.
"Look at these beautiful blossoms," I shouted to the boys. They immediately came running. Out of breath, they panted "Where's the opossum?!"