3:10 to Yuma

Yuma? Yes, Yuma bound. But first, back in South Dakota, I’d just become a resident by getting a driver’s license and registering the 5th wheel. No luck with the truck.

Near Rapid City, Custer State Park is a 71,000 acre wildlife preserve in the Black Hills and a great place to see herds of Buffalo.

I was lucky to visit when I did. Tragically, the Lake Fire in South Dakota has Custer State Park closed right now (December 2017) and nine of the burros have suffered burns in the blaze. The fire is now 100% contained.

On through Lake De Smet, Alcova, and Rock Springs in Wyoming, Duchesne and the disappointing Crystal Geyser in Utah, we arrived at Green River, UT – base camp (at a truck stop) to see Arches National Park. This should be on everyone’s bucket list (the Arches, not the truck stop).


On to Sevier, Utah where I was stuck in a snow storm for 2 days, then Las Vegas where about six miles away the largest mass shooting in US History happened during my stay. So, yeah. Of course there’s nothing that could have been done to prevent that – who could have imagined that someone buying scores of automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo might want to use them. Really, he was an NRA hero, showing just how much you can accomplish when you buy a congress. We should get him a statue.

Hmm, I may have gotten off topic there.

OK, on to Needles, Quartzsite and finally Phoenix to end the Big Truck ClusterTr**k.

Finally 310 to Yuma

On the old RV I had a solar power system installed by Starlight Solar in Yuma and it’s just about time to do the same on the new RV. Just 310 miles to go – Phoenix to Gila Bend to Holtville CA to Yuma. Sort of a cinematic epic.

Starlight is only open from November 1st to May 1st each year, because, you know, who wants to work outside in Yuma the rest of the year. When I got the new RV I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal living without solar for 4 months or so, but really it was. I had a little generator, but having to run it every day, listening to the noise, smelling the fumes, running out for gas every other day, and having to run it to even charge up my laptop … well it really made me appreciate the solar power. Silent, clean, always there for anything I need short of air conditioning. When I pulled in on November 13th for installation I was almost giddy.


[ List of places visited is not shown on this browser ]

[ Map of places visited is not shown on this browser ]

Two of my Favorite Things

Two of my favorite things – lakes and salt – it should be great!

Just 25 miles from camp (38 including wrong turns) is the Great Salt Lake. It was well over 100 degrees when I arrived at Saltair, the third attempt to build a resort on the shores of the lake. The abandoned building now hosts just a tiny gift shop and the lake is now a mile and a half away.

The third incarnation of Saltair is all but abandoned. All that remains is a small, sad gift shop.
The third incarnation of Saltair is all but abandoned. All that remains is a small, sad gift shop.

The odor coming off the lake was near suffocating. I’d say it most resembled rotten chicken. I walked out about 15 minutes toward the lake before giving up and taking this shot:

The Great Salt Lake, over a mile from the closest parking. Be glad you don't have smell-i-vision.
The Great Salt Lake, over a mile from the closest parking. Be glad you don’t have smell-i-vision.

The signs say the lake is an important habitat for birds, however on the walk out and back I saw not a single living thing except a couple of flies that couldn’t fly and a few humans trekking toward the lake (on the other hand, I didn’t actually check them, they could have been zombies).

This shot, from the state marina. There were over a hundred boats parked in the lot, but only one car. There's a small channel that connects to the now distant lake.
This shot, from the state marina. There were over a hundred boats parked in the lot, but only one car. There’s a small channel that connects to the now distant lake.

Of course the other mandatory stop in SLC is the highly manicured Temple Square.

Temple Square, Salt Lake City
Temple Square, Salt Lake City