Gary and Liz Gray sent in a trip summary about their western trip out on the road in their 2008 Ford F350 and 2011 Travel Lite 1100RX. Thanks, Gary and Liz, for sharing your adventures with us.
Two Aussies Travel Lite and Far
By: Gary and Liz Gray
We made a base of sorts in Great Falls, Montana. We stored our truck and camper there and traveled to our son’s wedding in New Orleans. A week later we made a quick trip to Australia to attend to a few matters.
Upon our return, we headed south, through wheat farming land, and eventually picturesque mountain scenery near the Missouri River Headwaters.
We had become fascinated by the Mississippi River and equally so with the Missouri. The Missouri River joins the Mississippi about half way into its journey to the ocean and, in reality, is the longer of the two.
With snow on peaks all around us, and local falls predicted in southern Montana within days, we hastily motored south eighty miles to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park, an extinct volcano caldera, is thirty by forty-five miles.
Yellowstone is a hissing, steaming, spurting, gurgling, and gas emitting place with interesting moonlike surfaces in parts. The main feature, the Old Faithful geyser, was a little underwhelming to folks like us who have seen volcanic activity in Rotarua in New Zealand.
The snow and soaking rain predicted for the region the following day arrived right on cue and literally forced us to leave the Yellowstone, bound for Utah.
In Salt Lake City, we traveled on the light rail into the city center to see and hear the (360 strong unpaid volunteer member) Mormon Tabernacle Choir along with the orchestra rehearsing from 7:30 to 9:00pm. We even heard an organist in the Conference Center playing for a short time.
The whole thirty-five acre Mormon presence in and around Temple Square in the city was impressive to say the least.
Further south we enjoyed visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. The two mile walk around the rim gave us spectacular views and photos.
Zion National Park is different than Bryce and the Grand Canyon in that the sandstone cliff faces are much smoother. The other big difference was that we were able to walk the Zion canyon floor until it narrowed to only a few feet.
The day after we visited Zion National Park, the shutdown of all national parks and monuments began (and lasted for two weeks) delaying our plan to visit Death Valley and Yosemite National Parks.
After an agreeable stopover in Pahrump, Nevada, where we participated in the grape stomping festival, we headed north to San Francisco.