Grand Adventure

This past summer we hitched up our trusty little Coleman Pop-up camper and headed west for a “Grand Adventure”.

All loaded and ready to go / Google Photos

We spent 16 days traveling and visited 3 National Parks with the camper. Our trip started in Smithtown, NY and headed first to Ohio to camp overnight at Barkcamp State Park.
It was a nice park but the facilities were a bit lacking.

First stop – Barkcamp State Park, OH / Google Photos

Glad we only stayed one night. Then it was up early the next morning to hit the road and make it to Cuba Missouri for our second stop.
We stayed at Meramac Valley Campground for two nights so we could do some sightseeing in St Louis.

Dinner at Meramac Valley Campground / Google Photos
Tour of the Budweiser Factory / Google Photos
St Louis Arch selfie / Google Photos

Then we were back on the road again. This time another long drive to make it to Amarillo, Texas where we stayed at a very nice state park called Palo Duro Canyon.

Stopping for dinner before Palo Duro Canyon State Park / Google Photos
Cadillac Ranch / Google Photos

After a single night at Palo Duro Canyon we hit the road again to drive to Sedona. I wish we could have stayed another day in Palo Duro, it was such a nice park.

We drove a good 10 hours to get to Sedona and stayed at Rancho Sedona RV Park. It was a very nice RV park and we all loved the amenities.
While we were in Sedona we did some hiking and then stopped at Slide Rock State Park and did some swimming in a VERY COLD river that had cut through the red rocks and made some natural slides. It was the highlight of our stay in Sedona.

Camping in Sedona / Google Photos

From Sedona we got back on the road for a short 3 hour drive up to the Grand Canyon. We stayed inside the park at Mather Campground which was pretty nice. The sites were good and the facilities were clean. It was amazing that we were so close to the actual canyon (5 minute drive) and yet you would have no idea that it was there.

We finally made it to the Grand Canyon! / Google Photos

When we arrived at Mather we had enough time to quickly set up camp and then we headed off to take a helicopter tour of the canyon. That was amazing! Everyone had a great time.

Taking off! / Google Photos
Flying high! / Google Photos
Views from the helicopter / Google Photos
Our helicopter / Google Photos

Then we spent another two days exploring the Grand Canyon. We had some great weather and took lots of photos.

Grand Canyon Selfie! / Google Photos
Family shot at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos
Family shot at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos
Relaxing at the campsite / Google Photos
Sunset at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos
Sunset at the Grand Canyon / Google Photos

After our 3 days at the Grand Canyon we packed up and headed up to Zion National Park. While at Zion we hiked the famous Angels Landing Trail. It was a tough 2.5 miles to the top where we stopped for lunch.

Zion National Park – Angels Landing Trail / Google Photos
Zion National Park – Angels Landing Trail / Google Photos

We only got a single day at Zion which was a shame, there seemed like so much to do there. Perhaps one day we will get the chance to go back.

From Zion we drove up and over the Continental Divide and into Rocky Mountain National Park where we stayed for two days in Glacier Basin Campground.
It was amazing the sights we saw, the animals and the scenery. I couldn’t get used to the elevation and how it affected everyone. Just the simplest thing would get you short of breath.

Rocky Mountain – Red Fox / Google Photos
Our campsite at RMNP / Google Photos
Hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park / Google Photos
Rocky Mountain – Elk / Google Photos
Highest Elevation – Rocky Mountain National Park / Google Photos

While in Colorado we took a quick trip down to Boulder to show the boys where we used to live and just check out Pearl St.

We had a great time seeing all the National Parks and camping in our little camper, but now we had to start heading home. It was a long drive and everyone was tired so we ended up spending our last two nights of the trip in hotels, we would drive as far as we could and then just pull off the highway to find a hotel.

It certainly was a “Grand Adventure”! Everyone will have great memories of the trip and we are already planning our next one!

Family Camping Trip

We took our pop up camper on a dry run this past weekend and went camping out in the Poconos. It was a great weekend with nice weather and the entire family had a good time. We learned a lot about the camper and how to use it as well. I think both Paula and I have nice long lists of things we want to do to make the camper even better!

Happy Fathers Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day and we celebrated it by staying home and relaxing. We went swimming in the pool and hung out on the new deck. Alex put up my camping hammock and I was going to get in and relax a for few minutes but the weather changed and we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm for a little while. I have to say thank you to Paula for the gifts and for working so hard (she actually was out in the rain standing at the grill).

Alex on the other hand enjoyed the hammock while he could.

And 5 minutes later after the rain started.

Camping at the cape…

The family and I recently went camping in Cape Cod, MA at Nickerson State Park. It was a great (albeit) short weekend camping trip. We got a late start due to some rainy weather, and then of course we hit traffic on our way up. But once we got there and set up everyone enjoyed the park and the bicycle trails all around the area.

Nick’s Fishing Camp

All last week Nick has been attending a fishing camp down at Short Beach in Smithtown. They have been teaching them how to surf cast and fish from the beach. The’ve used all sorts of different rigs and he even has caught some keepers. Here are some of the ones we actually got to eat. They were Porgies and they were delicious. Nick even helped Paula clean them.

City Sailing Trip

Yesterday we went into Manhattan to take a sailing tour on the Clipper City Tours boat. We visited the 9/11 memorial and walked around Battery Park. Then we finished off the evening with a nice sailboat ride around the Governors Island and past the Statue of Liberty. It was a very nice trip, we all had a great time. Here are some pictures of the trip.