Tiny Turquoise Trailer

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Maiden Voyage

 I've had a request from my family to post more.  Because I am now way behind.  I am really a terrible blogger.

Soooo, this trip is way back in June 2013. Eons ago.  But, I want to document EVERY journey that we have gone on with our tiny turquoise trailer.  And as many of the details of the restoration that seem pertinent. Or fun.  And there has been a lot of fun details.  If you don't believe me, ask my hubby since he had to help me with them. Fun.  I keep telling him that that is what it is.

So, we had the trailer painted inside and out and decided that we needed to take her on a road trip. Maybe a short one where a minimal of things could go wrong. What's a few hours away?  Mmmm...The Manti Pageant, that's what.

For those of you who don't know.  The Manti Pageant is a holy spectical of Mormon-ness that needs to be seen to be believed.  My older two kids had been to the Manti Pageant in a whirlwind of overnight camping with my sister that involved barfing kids and our tent blowing away.  That's what happens when three women take twelve kids to do stuff that is kinda out of their wheelhouse. But, it was really fun. Except for the barfing.  I could have done without that.

We figured that this awesomeness was something that Elizabeth needed to experience firsthand.  The first thing we needed to get was a campsite.  This is easier said than done since Mormons can be really wholesome and what is wholesomer than camping? or cheaper?  So, they tend to snap up campsites at Palisades, which is close to Manti (and has a awesome lake) realllyy fast.  I didn't think that we had a prayer of getting one, but lo-and-behold! there was one.  Somebody obviously canceled at the last minute.  But, who cares! we snagged it, loaded up what we could basically scrap together anything that resembled camping items and headed out.

Winging it- that's what we were doing

.This little trailer pulled like a dream.  A tiny bit of sway but that just made her look extra happy

We pulled up to our campsite.  It had partial hook-ups which was really dandy.  We really just needed electricity to run our fan.  Because it was 103 out and the closest tree was a hundred yards away.  The funniest thing was seeing our tiny turquoise trailer next to the behemoth of a motor home in the next campsite.  It was like in  A Goofy Movie when Pete pulled up next to Goofy's little trailer in his RV with a bowling alley on the roof.

 Palisades State Park is really very nice.  The upper campsites have hook-ups and the ones on the edge of the lake do not.  But, the ones along the lake also have trees, which the ones with hook-up do not.  It is a tit for tat kinda thing. You can rent canoes to explore the lake.  We didn't do this this time, but on the infamous barfing trip, we did, and it was a lot of fun.

We have always loved Manti and Ephraim, which is 10 minutes away from each other.  Has anyone ever noticed that Utahns measure distance in how long it takes to drive there? I couldn't tell you exactly how far Salt Lake is from where we live but I do know that it takes 60 minutes to get there.  Hmmm...this is weird to think about.  Maybe it's a western US thing.  Anyway, Ephraim is where Madisen went to her first two years of college.  GO SNOW COLLEGE.  She more than loved it.  It's also where she met her husband, Vic.  That might have something to do with it.  He was the Badger mascot. She was the business senator.  Match made in Heaven.

Since it was just too damn hot to hang around in the trailer, even with the fan running full blast, we went to loiter around Ephraim.  The Malt Shoppe is a great place to get something to eat.  Like ice cream.  And french fries. THAT is a match made in Heaven.  At first, my family thought that I was gross to pair those together, but they have come around to my bizarre way of thinking.

 Elizabeth thinks that this is a fantastically hilarious picture.
It was so bleeding hot outside, I thought that I was having heat stroke inside of the Malt Shop

On our way back, we got to herd some sheep, which was awesome.

Manti Pageant was great.  The folding chairs that they made us sit on weren't.  They used to let us lay on blankets... but I guess that took up too much room.  I remember this because that is where my nephew, Kevin, started throwing up.  On the blanket.

Returning from the Pageant at 11:00 at night to a trailer that sat in the fun all day was not awesome. So excruciatingly hot.  I also forgot how much I hate the sound of sleeping bags...scratch, scratch.  Scratch. I'm making some proper bedding when we get home. And curtains. Because getting dressed in the dark stinks.

The whole trip was a success.  I didn't have to cook and the trailer didn't fall apart so it was a win-win.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 9 & 10...that's a whole lotta days, people...

They have a fantastic eatery in remote Tuolumne Meadows.  Fantastic because I didn't have to cook.   It really was delish, though.  So, that's where we ate our morning grub.  We sat on a rock and looked over the Meadow.  Wonderful...

So, then on to the thing that had been stressing me out the whole trip...descending Tioga Pass.    Our Murano has been completely awesome so far.  She has climbed the Sierra Nevadas, crawled along the PCH, basically climbing from sea level to 10,000 feet without so much as a flinch.  Descending so rapidly?  That was a little worrisome.

Guess what?  no problems whatsoever.  Except I was, once again, sitting on the sheer drop-off side.  I really hate that.

Wanted to stop at Mono Lake...hubster blew right past.  Wanted to stop at The Mobil in Lee Vining...hubster blew right past.  Wanted to stop at the Bodie Ghost Town...hubster didn't want to stop because of the rough road/trailer combo.  I may have to come back to that one sometime.  I got the feeling that he just wanted to get to Elko.  

The roads through Nevada were terrific.  Smooth. As. Silk. That is until we hooked up with I-80.  I-80 is one terrible road to drive with a little trailer.

We decided to stay in a hotel for the last night.  I know. Total cop-out.  We all needed a shower and I definitely needed to spend an hour in the hot tub. And eat to Costa Vida.  I needed that, too...
We didn't sleep any better in the hotel room than we did in the trailer.  In fact, the hubster got up in the middle of the night and went to sleep in the trailer.  The horn from the train that was a half mile away, while he was dead asleep, almost made for the second cardiac incident of the trip.

It was a fantastic trip.  The trailer didn't desolve into kindling and we had so much more fun than we even expected. I have the feeling that this trip will obtain legend-status.

ps....The Suisse Yosemite tent? Fantastic!  Went up and down 6 different times.  It was super easy to pop up. No tears or damage.  Would totally recommend this tent to anyone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 8 - Tuolumne loves Toulumyou

Ok. About the blog title...I couldn't get the drift of saying "Tuolumne".  So, I do what I always do when I need to inscribe something in my little brain - I make up a song about it.  Just ask my family.  Not only do they think that I'm off  my rocker for doing this, I generally drive them nuts with it.  So, it is a win-win all around for me. Maybe not for them.  For those of you familiar with John Legend - you'll get it.

Back to our little adventure...We returned in the dark to our campsite and cooked.  In the dark.  Need to invest in some lanterns. Eating with head lamps tend to blind the person across from you if you happen to glance up. Unfortunately, Kolton learned this the hard way.  He is now blind.

I wished that we could have seen more of Summerdale Campground but we had decided to move on through the park since the fires were mostly contained.  That would put us on the east entrance to Yosemite.  East meaning we were closer to home when we got up to drive the following day.

So, we were able to give the tiny turquoise trailer the Grand Tour of Yosemite Valley.  We had initially planned on not stopping in Yosemite Village because we thought that it would be too busy, but the previous day was so sparse on visitors that we thought that we would see if our luck would hold out.  And yay! it was even less crowded early in the morning, so we parked the trailer in Yosemite Village and went to see the Ahwahnee Lodge.  This was something that we really wanted to see and it didn't disappoint.

No...don't take my picture...

We had thought about eating breakfast at the Ahwahnee but they have a dress code, ya'll!  And camping and dress code aren't simpatico.  If you know what I mean.  We did use the bathrooms there, though, and they were pretty swanky. It is sad how you learn to appreciate bathrooms when you are camping.

Didn't eat but did admire.

LOVE! This picture.  This is a true vintage camping adventure.
The drive through the park was slow going but beautiful.  It was even slower going because they had decided that August would be a great time to do road construction on the only road through Yosemite.  The CDOT must have the same mindset as UDOT ...I know! Let's do a major shutdown of the road during the busiest time! Yeah! Great idea!   Luckily, we were pulling all of our food in the trailer so we were able to have a grand time chowing down on the remaining junk that I had been hoarding.

 Tenaya  Lake was just too beautiful to zoom on past.

Of course, the second we stop our car, our tiny turquoise trailer becomes an immediate draw.  That has been one of the things that has surprised me-how many people want a peek inside and want to know all about her. Where did we get her? Was she in good shape?  What year is she? You have driven how far?  We have had probably 100 people stop us and ask questions.  We have, also,  had many people honk at us as they passed us and give us the thumbs up.  I love that people love her.  She has been such a happy traveler!  We look in the rear view mirror and see her happily swaying behind us like she is saying "I'm going on a trip!".  Love that cute little trailer.
Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Where were all the people in Yosemite?  They were in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground.  Sorry.  Not a huge fan.  It was convenient to some really great hikes and amazing scenery but it was soooo crowded.  And there was absolutely no privacy.  The neighbors tent was less than 10 feet from Kolton's tent.  Dirt.  No vegetation. Whatsoever. Bathrooms were pretty nice, however, and there were lots of trees.  I did see that there were some nicer campsites than ours but there wasn't very many of them.  Once again, you couldn't pick your own campsite, they were assigned when you arrived.  So, basically, it was a complete crap shoot.

I had initially wanted to stay at Saddleback Campground but it was first come/first serve campground and I didn't want to put all of my eggs in that basket.  I gathered eggs as a kid and when you have a really full basket - that's when the psycho rooster chases you down and jumps on your back and digs in his spurs.  It's the stuff of nightmares. So, I chose to play it safe.  I still think that it was the right decision, albeat, the more crowded one.

Toulumne Meadow was beautiful.   I think that everyone just hung around the campground because all of our hikes weren't crowded at all. The hikes closest to the campground are easy and full of spectacular vistas.  I know that Tuolumne is a jumping off point for some harder and high adventure hikes, but there are plenty of easy or moderate hikes to go on.  I loved this every bit as much as Yosemite Valley and I feel that we made a fantastic choice to travel from one end of Yosemite to the other.  Of course, we barely scratched the surface but what we did see was amazing.

This is a particularly favorite picture.  That is a mule train headed out into the backcountry.  Love it!
The campground is in the far upper left.

A beautiful spot to rest.

Soda Springs
What a lovely day!  We cooked up the remaining food in our icebox...can I say that I got tired the standby hamburgers and hotdogs?....I need to learn how to cook more stuff.  Maybe dutch oven? However, I didn't get sick of s'mores...or anything chocolate.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 7 - Yosemite, here we come

We woke up early.  Not because we were eager to get up and get going, but because the two brothers in the tent trailer across from us were, as brothers do... fighting.  Something about one brother claiming both of the sleeping bags as his. There was a lot of screaming and calling each other a big jerk.   Hey!...I think that I have actually lived this scenario with my brothers who were born 18 months apart.  Of course, they are in their 50's now, but some of their arguments still have this childish quality of one brother (always the eldest) laying claim over something that wasn't his...

I was waiting for their mother to hit them both with the cast iron pan. It didn't happen.

Anywho... aside from the fighting brothers, waking up lakeside was wonderful. Waking up lakeside has always been a dream of mine.  'Course, I have woke up lakeside before, but this time I didn't have sand in every crevice...and in all my food, no trees anywhere and my tent full of black flies. (Where was this enchanting spot, you wonder?  Lake Powell...great for scenery and watersports,  Not so much for grit-free camping)  Now, this place was perfect.  What a lovely spot.

All good things must come to an end, although, I would have liked to stay another day.  On our way out of town, we stopped at the local coffee place - Shaver Coffee and Deli.  It was a great place to have breakfast.

We headed north toward Yosemite.  We had reserved a zipline tour through Zip Yosemite, just outside of Oakhurst.   We had to take a dirt road for a few miles but, luckily, it wasn't too steep or rough because we were pulling the trailer.  We had chosen this Zip Yosemite because 1)they got great reviews and 2)they were close to Nelder Grove, which is a secluded Sequoia grove.  Yosemite has a sequoia grove but we heard that it could be a zoo in the summer, so we decided that we wanted to check Nelder Grove out.

Kolton and Elizabeth went ziplining and both LOVED it. It was a fantastic experience for both of them. The guides were a lot of fun and the views were spectacular.  How often will you be able to zipline through sequoias?  I was so happy that they were able to do it.

I love that it looks like Elizabeth's foot is touching the tops of the trees.
After ziplining, we headed to Nelder Grove.  I had read reviews that this was THE place to come for peace and quiet and that was definitely true.  We only saw two other people in the whole grove.  We did see something else, though....as we came around a big sequoia, we heard rustling and saw a big black shape.  BEAR!  No, not really...it was a big black steer.  Apparently, grazing is allowed in the grove or that steer was really lost.  I saw cow patties scattered around so I wasn't too surprised but Rick about had a cardiac incident. And possibly needed a change of shorts.
BEAR! No, but still big and black. You can see why we got a little freaked out.

So, onward, again. The week before we were to go to Yosemite, they had a big fire that closed Tioga, the road, through Yosemite.  Luckily, I had reserved a campsite (six months in advance) for two nights at Summerdale Campground on the south entrance to Yosemite...and also a campsite in Tuolumne Meadows on the east entrance for the same two nights (again, in advance.  Yosemite campsite reservations are notoriously ruthless to get)  because we weren't exactly sure which way that we were going home. I was planning on canceling one of the reservations when we finally decided, but when the fires broke out, I just kept both.  Just in case.  This was a smart move. Ultimately, we decided to stay one night in Summerdale and one night in Tuolumne Meadows.

Summerdale was very picturesque. It is a meadow with bordering trees and a stream running through it.  You can't reserve a specific site - they are assigned when you get there. We got what they called the 'princess site'.  I think that we got it because of our trailer.  Because it is stinking cute....

We wanted to see as much of  Yosemite as we could before it got dark, so we headed into the park.  It is quite a drive into Yosemite village - a least an hour and a half.  Once there, we looked around and asked..."where are all the people?"  We had expected crowds and crowds because it is Yosemite.  And it's summer. Usually, that means that we are doomed to shove-with-love hiking.  The only thing that I could figure was that the fires scared everyone away.

still smoky from the fires, but amazingly beautiful

Cook's Meadow Hike.  I loved this one because it was a great introduction to Yosemite Valley.  You were able to see the majesty of  Half Dome, Sentinel Rock and Yosemite Falls.  Being August, there weren't any Falls in the Falls, but it was pretty nonetheless.  We hiked to Lower Yosemite Falls, but again, no falls.  All was good though.  The valley was AMAZING.  It really took my breath away it was so awe inspiring.  There is a real reverence that you feel when you drive through the tunnel and get your first glimpse of the valley.  Your heart is so full of wonder that it feels like it will burst.

See? No people. Really! Who would have believed it in the middle of the summer?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day 6 - Hello Sierra Nevadas!

ERT  - DAY 6
*Note to Self:  next time you come to Kirk Creek Campground, stay more than 4 days.*

The patient and long suffering husband.  Isn't he so cute?
 Not many men would let their wife plan a crazy vintage trailer trip with such blind trust.

After breakfast, we reluctantly took down the tent, hitched up the trailer and, sadly, moved on.  We had so much fun here and stay here again in a heartbeat.

Back up Highway 1.  It wasn't as scary with the trailer this time because I was on the mountain side of the road.  We, then, cut due east through California on CA-152 and onto CA-145 to Camp Edison on Shaver Lake.

The trip through California's Central Valley was very pretty.  My sister lived in Stockton for year and I remember being amazed at all the things that could be grown in California.  I know that my view is clouded by growing up in a desert, but still.  We stopped several times to stock up on fruit at the roadside stands...heaven!

When we passed through Madera, it was about 100 degrees.  I thought "ohh..we are going to be so hot. It can't possibly be that much cooler at Shaver Lake" but then we started to climb and climb. By the time we hit Shaver Lake, it was 75 degrees.

One of the reasons I picked Camp Edison as our next camp spot was because they had showers and laundry facilities...two things I figured that we would be in desperate need of.  And I was right. Luckily, we aren't overly sweaty or stinky people...anyway, I think we're not...but the shower was heaven.

Our site number was #124.  It was primo.  The best pictures of Shaver Lake are the ones taken from our campsite.  I, again, had to get it 6 months in advance, but I had to fax in requests and wait for them to contact me.  Lots of work, but well worth it.

Elizabeth and Rick went paddleboarding.  No pictures but they had a blast!  Kolton read.  I did laundry...

We heard that THE place to eat was Shaver Lake Pizza.  It was terrific but not someplace to go if you are in a hurry - that place was busy!  However, it gave us time to give the town a quick look.

We had a great time on the lake.  We swam and relaxed and ate lots of great pizza.  Camp Edison is wonderful