Author Topic: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)  (Read 7487 times)

Offline PBaruch

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Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« on: August 03, 2016, 10:59:06 PM »
We are huge fans of America's National Parks and the American Southwest so DW decided to plan an RV trip throughout Utah and Arizona this summer (2016).  Since I selected our adventure in Iceland last summer, it was only fair to let DW choose a trip this summer.  Further, after renting a camper truck in Iceland, we were hooked and looking forward to an adventure in a proper full size motorhome.  The advantages of an RV include freedom to move around on a whim with no need to unpack in a different hotel each night.  However, the cost of an RV rental (including insurance and mileage) and fuel can be expensive.  As anticipated, the kids had a blast and are looking forward to another future RV adventure.

We flew into Las Vegas on an early Sunday morning and took a taxi to El Monte RV on Boulder Highway.  We decided to rent from El Monte because this was one of the few motorhome rental companies that we found to be open on Sunday.  Information about El Monte RV in Las Vegas can be found here:

https://www.elmonterv.com/rent/where-you-can-rent-rvs/rv-rentals-location-las-vegas-rv-rentals-sales/

We rented a 31 foot long Class C motorhome, information about which can be found here:

https://www.elmonterv.com/rent/rv-details/cabover-style-fs31-slide-out-rv/

This particular model has a bed over the front cab, a queen size bed in the rear, a bunk bed in the middle, and a sofa and dinette that convert into additional beds if needed.  This model also has two slides.  One slide extends the living/dining room area while the second slide extends the bunk bed and rear bedroom area.  Although I was a bit apprehensive about driving such a monstrosity, my initial fears turned out to be unfounded.  Aside from constantly correcting the steering as a result of road conditions and wind gusts, it was fairly easy to drive.

Photographs of the RV:

DSC_6442 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6445 by P Bryan, on Flickr

A few interior photographs (more of which can be found on the El Monte website link above):

The rear bedroom with a queen size bed.

The rear bedroom with a queen bed. by P Bryan, on Flickr

The over the cab bed.

Bed over the front cab. by P Bryan, on Flickr

The check in process was painfully slow and if you are expecting car rental service you will be grossly disappointed.  We had to wait for several hours before finally being seen.  After going through the paperwork and a walk through of the motorhome with a primer on how to use the various systems, we were off.

Our first stop was at a nearby Walmart Supercenter, where we purchased cheap sleeping bags, pillows, drinks, and supplies for our journey.  The motorhome rental does not include any bedding/linens and there is a $50.00 per person optional fee to rent blankets, sheets, pillows, and other items.  Instead of paying this fee, we bought sleeping bags for $10.00 each and pillows for $3.00 each from Walmart.  We joined two sleeping bags together to create a queen size sleeping bag for the queen bed in the rear of the motorhome.

The sleeping bags we purchased can be found here:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-50F-Warm-Weather-Sleeping-Bag/49937670

Our next stop was at Smith's Food & Drug Supermarket, which has a dedicated kosher section with a large variety of take out foods.  Information about Smith's can be found here:

http://www.jewishinlasvegas.com/Smiths-Kosher-Experience.html

Photographs of the kosher section:

IMG-20160703-WA0008 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG-20160703-WA0014 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG-20160703-WA0012 by P Bryan, on Flickr

After stocking up on food at Smith's, we were off to Ruby's Inn RV Park & Campground, information about which can be found here:

http://www.brycecanyoncampgrounds.com/

We chose this particular campground because it was near Bryce Canyon National Park, our first destination.  We arrived at the campground well after dark and since our site wasn't "pull through," I had to back the RV into our spot.  It wasn't easy but we managed.  After parking the RV and hooking up to electric (which is necessary to run the air conditioning system and outlets unless you are using the built in generator), we went to bed.  DW and I had not slept at all the night before (due to last minute packing) and we were plain exhausted.  Although we didn't have much time to spend at this campground, it was my favorite because the RV spots were nestled among the trees.  Most of the other campgrounds we visited were more akin to cement cities.

The next day we visited Bryce Canyon National Park.  Here are some photographs taken at Bryce:

DSC_6467 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6506 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6475 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6559 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6582 by P Bryan, on Flickr

After visiting Bryce, we drove to Page Arizona, our second destination.  Along the way to Page, we stopped off at Hanging Garden Trail near Lake Powell Dam.  This trail leads to a hanging garden.

IMG_2275 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hanging Garden Trail (near Lake Powell Dam), Arizona by P Bryan, on Flickr

After Hanging Garden Trail, we drove to the Page Lake Powell Campground, information about which can be found here:

http://www.pagecampground.com/

The next day we visited Upper Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon located on the Navajo Reservation.  I've been wanting to visit Antelope Canyon for years and it was a dream come true.  Our entire family, including my little guy, walked through the canyon.  Here are some photographs taken at Upper Antelope Canyon:

Upper Antelope Canyon (sunbeam), Arizona by P Bryan, on Flickr

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona by P Bryan, on Flickr

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona by P Bryan, on Flickr

After Upper Antelope Canyon, DW let me take a photo tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, which allowed me to bring my tripod into the canyon.  Here are some photographs taken in Lower Antelope Canyon:

DSC_6974 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6960 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6946 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Antelope Canyon - Spot the eagle by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6808 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_6787 by P Bryan, on Flickr

After visiting Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, we drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  During our drive, DW became concerned about our little guy.  He hadn't been feeling well and felt very hot.  What most concerned us was his refusal to drink or eat.  Upon our arrival at the Grand Canyon, DW found a park ranger who called an ambulance.  The emergency medical technicians checked out our little guy and recommended that we take him to the closest hospital in Kanab, Utah located about 80 miles away.  We were told that our little guy had a fever, was dehydrated, and needed IV fluids.

Before the ambulance arrived, I was able to take a few pictures at the Grand Canyon:

DSC_6988 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7004 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Upon our arrival at the hospital, DW took our little one into the emergency room while I stayed with our other kids in the RV in the hospital parking lot.

IMG_2649 by P Bryan, on Flickr

The little guy returned several hours later with a burst of energy unseen in days.  He was literally bouncing off the walls.  I'm not sure what concoction IV he was given but I'll take a double dose.  After a while our little guy settled down and we all went to sleep.

The next morning we drove to Zion National Park, our next destination.  At Zion, we did the Riverside Walk hike, a paved path running alongside a river.  Here are some photographs taken at Zion:

DSC_7015 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7034 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7058 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DW was tired out and decided to rest with our little guy on a bench along the hike while I continued on with our other kids.  While DW was sitting on the bench, one of the ferocious park squirrels chewed through DW's backpack to get to some snacks:

IMG-20160706-WA0009 by P Bryan, on Flickr

The squirrels at Zion have no fear of people and we saw people literally step over squirrels on the path.  Clearly, someone has been feeding the wildlife.

On our drive into Zion we passed by majestic scenery which I thought I'd have an opportunity to photograph on the way out.  However, we drove out of the park using a different route and sadly I didn't have an opportunity to photograph those spots.  Zion is definitely a park I would like to visit again.

After our hike in Zion, we drove to Zion River Resort, where we camped for the night.  Information about Zion River Resort can be found here:

http://www.zionriverresort.com/

The following morning, we drove to Hoover Dam, our final destination of the trip.  Here are some photographs taken at Hoover Dam:

DSC_7129 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7175 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7121 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7165 by P Bryan, on Flickr

The Arizona side of the dam had Arizona time:

DSC_7168 by P Bryan, on Flickr

The Nevada side of the dam had Nevada time:

DSC_7158 by P Bryan, on Flickr

It was freakin hot:

DSC_7176 by P Bryan, on Flickr

After visiting Hoover Dam, we drove to Lake Mead RV Village, information about which can be found here:

http://www.lakemeadrvvillage.com/

On Friday morning, we drove back to Las Vegas.  Our first stop was at Smith's where we picked up food for Shabbos.  We then returned the RV and took a shuttle to the Westin, which I booked using SPG points.  We were unimpressed with the Westin but I didn't want to spend money to stay at a nicer hotel for Shabbos.

Our flight home was Sunday morning and we were all looking forward to get out of the Utah and Nevada summer heat.  At the airport, we visited the Centurion Lounge, which turned out to be a major disappointment.  I was very excited when American Express first opened this lounge upon hearing that kosher food was offered.  However, when we visited the Centurion Lounge, no kosher food was available.  Most of the fruit was already cut and they did not offer any disposable cups for coffee.  Further, when I asked for a disposable cup explaining that we could not use the ceramic cups, the woman at the bar rudely stated that they do not offer take out.

Here are some photographs taken at the Centurion Lounge:

DSC_7190 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_7191 by P Bryan, on Flickr

We most certainly want to return to Utah and Arizona in the future and I am already planning a hike through the narrows at Zion National Park with a friend for next year.  I hope you enjoyed this trip report and thanks for reading.

What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline shulem92

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 11:06:08 PM »
Great TR. It brings back good memories of my national park/Utah/Arizona road trips. Especially the pictures. Great shots

Online Yaalili

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 11:17:34 PM »
Fantastic TR and pictures.

Offline Chalil

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 11:18:00 PM »
Very nice report perfectly detailed stunning pictures you have the cutest little guy there

Offline TimT

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 11:19:39 PM »
Nice report. Thanks for taking the time.

Offline mbelsky

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 11:22:02 PM »
Stunning pics

Offline Moes Tavern

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016, 11:27:44 PM »
Pics are amazing.
"I've done some things I'm not proud of, and the things I am proud of are pretty disgusting"

Offline jlj

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016, 11:48:45 PM »
Wow!

Offline yitzf

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 12:12:22 AM »
Nice report. Thanks for taking the time.

+1

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 12:19:43 AM »
Awesome TR and amazing Pics! Thanks for sharing!

Offline ckmk47

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 12:44:09 AM »
Great pictures!  And I think you've planned out my trip for me.  ;D
I've been thinking of going there.





Offline ganizzy

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2016, 12:46:38 AM »
Wish I would have read this before I took my trip last summer . We did Bryce, zion and the grand Canyon north rim. Didn't know about antelope and it was too late by the time we got to hoover dam.
Don't know how old your kids are, but we did the narrows. My youngest was 8. It was fun

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2016, 12:48:02 AM »
Great pictures!  And I think you've planned out my trip for me.  ;D
I've been thinking of going there.

Nice.  I'd recommend a few more spots to visit as well if you have the time and as long as its not so friggin hot.  For instance, we also wanted to visit Horseshoe Canyon but the hike in the heat was just unbearable. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 12:49:13 AM »
Wish I would have read this before I took my trip last summer . We did Bryce, zion and the grand Canyon north rim. Didn't know about antelope and it was too late by the time we got to hoover dam.
Don't know how old your kids are, but we did the narrows. My youngest was 8. It was fun

My little one is 2 so no hiking the narrows as a family.  Next year the plan is to do a proper full day hike through the narrows.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline cholent

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Re: Motorhome Adventures in Utah and Arizona by PBaruch (2016)
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 12:54:54 AM »
 Really nice TR, thanks for taking the time! I've always wanted to do an RV trip
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