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Category Archives: Lessons Learned

As we have travelled, Jeff and I have been gradually learning that we prefer visiting fewer places more extensively, as opposed to rushing from place to place just getting a taste of each location. In that vein, we decided to visit just one of Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon National Park on the way from Great Basin National Park in Nevada to Moab, Utah, and Zion won.

Zion had several things in its favor. First, my friend and glassblowing partner, Katie, who has visited and hiked both, highly recommended Zion. Second, geologists that we met in Winnemucca, NV and Baker, NV recommended Zion as more interesting. And third, Zion seemed to have a lot more variety in terms of landscapes and microclimates when compared with Bryce.

I do hope to return to the western US and visit Bryce Canyon National Park some day (not to mention the Grand Canyon), but the pull of Zion and Moab will be tough to overcome, given that our vacation time and dollars are not unlimited, and given how much we have enjoyed visiting them.

One of the treasures that we found in the vicinity of Zion was a little restaurant called the Red Coyote Cafe. By chance, we stopped there for lunch, and based upon how surprisingly wonderful and unique the lunch was, we went back for a breakfast the next day, and a dinner that same evening. The proprietor, Jan, was charming, and she gave us great advice in terms of where to go and what to do in the park.


Here is a tip for cleaning lawn chairs, hammocks, etc. after Burning Man: use a coin operated car wash!

We set up our incredibly dusty folding chairs and hammocks in a bay at a local car wash here in Winnemucca. We pulled in our vehicle as well, so that we could rinse our bicycles without taking them out of the bike carrier. Five dollars and ten minutes of washing time later, everything was remarkably clean. Jeff said that there is still a thin film of playa dust on some of the surfaces, but I think that pretty much everything is cleaner than it was when we left Boston.

Next time, I plan to bring along a spray bottle containing a vinegar and water mixture. The vinegar probably would have cut the playa dust to the point where there would be no playa film left behind after the vigorous car wash rinse.

(Oh, that reminds me… we forgot to lube the bike chains after the wash. Well, I think that can wait until tomorrow morning…)

We’re not wasting all of our time sitting by the pool here in Winnemucca. Along with our more serious problems, I’d noticed a dribble from the sewer drain pipe while we were sitting in the rest area waiting for the tow truck on Friday night.

The problem was due to a stress crack in the sewer pipe. Fortunately, the crack was in a reasonably accessible spot near the end of the run. John, who along with his wife Liz owns the RV Park, coached me through the replacement of a length of ABS pipe and the endcap for the drain. The job went fairly well though we did have a little spray when I first opened the “drained” pipe (the small hose drain and end valve were both partially blocked and there was quite a bit of “water” pressure in the system.

Did I mention they have really nice showers here.

Anyhow, that job is done and I’m sitting by the pool where we just met another couple heading to Burning Man. Rachel and Anthony (aka Apple Man) hail from Calgary and just got married last week. They’ll have another ceremony on the Playa at Burning Man.

Last night we met a couple from Ontario traveling with their son and one of his friends. They’re attending Burning Man for the first time and we gave them some pointers about what to expect.

One of the best things about this mode of travel is the people we’re meeting in these RV parks. They are definitely more “social” than hotels and motels.


Back at the rig. I just put the sewer system through it’s acid test. It passed with flying colors. I went so far as to locate all the fancy hardware to make the proper connections as opposed to just sticking the “slinky” hose down into the drain. We look like we know what we’re doing now.