Travel Diary – Summer 2022

Welcome to my summer 2022 travel blog. My goal for this blog is to capture day-to-day life on the road, from the fun adventures of hiking to waterfalls to the mundane days spent working. 

9 June 22

The day started at 5:30 am when I climbed into Ernie and started my 7-hour commute to Cedar City, Utah. I started early to avoid the heat wave that would affect the desert I would be traveling thru. The temperature was supposed to get as high as 109 F, and I wanted to avoid that.

The drive was uneventful except for the 30min telecon I had for work. It’s incredible how much plug-in headphones are better than blue tooth.

The only exciting part of the entire drive was the electrical system in Ernie. While driving, the dash lights went out for about 2 seconds, only to return. I noticed my cigarette power gauge fluctuated, so I assumed my alternator had failed.

Arriving in Cedar City, I looked for a mechanic show to stop at. I wanted to see if I turned the van off; it would restart. Well, I didn’t find a mechanic shop but a parking lot. 

I turned off the van only to try and restart it. The van didn’t start. I was correct; there was a problem. 

So I grabbed my power gauge and started testing the battery under my seat. Soon I realized that a connection had come loose. I retightened the connection, and the van started up. Crisis avoided.

I booked myself a hotel room, but before I went to check in, I decided to check out a boondocking site 3-miles from town. I’m glad I did this because the boondocking site was fantastic with a little river only steps from my campsite. I decided to forget the hotel and stay here.

While at the campsite, I decided to see if I could get my new Starlink working. The setup was straightforward, and within 5-min, I had satellite internet, thankfully, since there was no cell service in the area.

It was a tiring but good day.

10 June 22

Today I decided to hang out at the boondocking campsite all day and relax. I went for a short run in the morning but only returned 20-min later because the road I was running on was too dangerous.

I pulled out the drone, practiced basic maneuvers, and took pictures. I’m getting better at flying the drone.

The highlight of the day was cooling off in the river. I took my beach chair, placed it in the water, and cooled off. This is what van life is all about.

11 June 22

I decided to get an early start and drive to Cedar Break National Monument. On the way there, I accidentally drove into a 10k road race, so I had to drive extra slowly.

I arrived at the national monument about 1 hour later. The monument reminds me of a small version of the Grand Canyon. It’s stunning.

I took a two-mile trail along the canyon’s rim and stopped by a beautiful pond. The only bad part with the hike was I pulled my calf muscle. Hopefully, it’s only a minor muscle pull.

After the national monument, I drove to a BLM camping spot about 20-minutes away in Brian Head. This site is spectacular.

The site sits 10k feet and overlooks a lovely valley with red rocks. It would be a perfect spot to camp if it weren’t for the high winds.

Unfortunately, I will remember this boondocking sit for the altitude headache. I should have drank way more water and taken it easy. You think I would have learned my lesson by now.

I did finish up my page on Cedar Breaks National Monument

12 June 22

I woke up early and still had a terrible attitude headache. That forced me to pack my bag and get off the mountain and start my way to Salt Lake City.

The drive down the mountain was steep, but the headache vanished once I got 20min down the hill. 

The drive to Salt Lake City was uneventful.

 I did manage to meet up with my friend Nate. I had a good time catching up with him and hiding out in his apartment when the outside temperature was 98F.

13 June 22

Drove the 4 hours 30min to Lander, Wyoming from Salt Lake City, Utah. The drive was pleasant, and I was surprised by how desolate Wyoming can be. 

I ended up camping at Lander Park, where you are allowed up to three days of free camping. There are plenty of vans and RV camping here.  

The park is right next to the Popo Agie river, so I got to achieve my dream of camping down by the river. 

15 June 22

This morning I took a walk around downtown Lander. I like all the mom-and-pop stores on the main street.

After my walk, I headed to Sinks Canyon State Park to go hiking. I hiked to a beautiful waterfall. It was a short hike of 3miles round trip but breathtaking.

I found a great boondocking site to spend the night. I can’t believe I’m camping in this amazing area by a river for free.

16 June 22

I had an uneventful day driving to Casper City Wy. I did pull over and take a nice picture from the back of my van. 

Once I got to Casper, I searched in vain for a butane canister and ended up spending the night at a KOA. I did have a nice meal at the sports bar across the street from the KOA.

17 June 22

Today I drove to Dayton, Wy, to visit Joe and Melinda Chesney. They live in a beautiful little town.

Joe ended up giving me a grand tour of the area side-by-side. It’s incredible how beautiful Wyoming is.

I ended the night with a great steak dinner and visited Joe’s neighbors. Who is very lovely like everyone in Wyoming

18 June 22

All of us headed to the Brighton Museum for Bunch. The museum is located in a spectacularly beautiful area. 

At 3 pm, Joe and I ran a runner’s aid station for the Big Horn Run. A grueling run that has a 100-mile race. It was fun watching the runners make their way to the finish line. We handed out popsicles and hosed them down.

19 June 22

Today they took me into the Big Horn mountains. The mountains are stunning. The drive up the mountain was a little nerve-racking, but we made it. 

We hiked Porcupine Falls and saw Elk, Deer, Bear, Moose, and much more. I pretended to fly fish to get a picture. I didn’t know there was so much that goes into fly fishing. I learned that trout are lazy fish and will only eat selected items presented to them on a silver platter. 

That evening I drove back to Casper and stayed at the Casper KOA. 

20 June 22

I woke up early and made my way back to Lander. The drive was peaceful and only took 2.5 hours.

I got groceries and found a spot in Lander City Park along the river. I met a few people who camped in the park.

Found out that I left my Starlink Base at Joe’s house. I’ve asked him to send it to the post office in Lander.  

21 Jun 22

It’s fantastic waking up to the river in the morning and getting a little work done. I can get used to this.

After my morning work session, I walked around town for a 3-mile walk. Lander has plenty of family-owned small businesses in its downtown section. 

I went to Landers Brewery for lunch where I met up with Trisha and Joshia who I met in Bisbee. 

After lunch, we went to Sinks Canyon State Park.

22 Jun 22

My knee was bothering me today. I did my best to stretch it and keep it loose. 

I met up with Trisha for lunch, and Joshia joined us. After lunch, Trisha and I went to Sink State Park to get a sticker and see the falls.

Afterward, I got stuck on a work phone call.

I relaxed in the van for the rest of the day and did a little work. It was 90 degrees today.

23 June 2022

I started the day at Safeway for food and supplies. I need enough to last the next four days at the Wind River Rally.

Found a nice parking spot below a cell tower next to Lander Brewery to attend some work calls. It’s always lovely having strong cell coverage when I need to use Microsoft Teams for work. 

In the afternoon, I drove to the Wind River Rally location to only be kicked out since it wasn’t ready yet. 

An hour later, I heard from my friend that they had gotten a good camp spot and to come.

The location of the event is questionable. There are very few flat areas for people to park. I managed to level the van.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with new friends and having a good time.

24 June 2022

Went for a walk into town early in the morning. 

We all decided to have dinner in town at a steak place. The dinner was unforgettable. The steak was decent, but what store the show was the appetizer. It was an acquired taste that I hadn’t acquired yet.

25 June 2022

I had a great day meeting a ton of new people. The day’s highlight was watching a traveling family circus perform for us. This reminded me of a 1930s movie. The family was awesome and super talented.

At around 5 pm, most van lifers headed into town to grab a drink at the two bars. I ordered pizza for the table. The pizza proved to be Tombstone Pizza, but it was delicious.

26 June 2022

I had to say goodbye to Trish, Joey,  Jordan, Jamie, and many more great friends as they headed back home or continued on their journey. That’s the bittersweet reality of van life.

Mike, Val, and I made our way to Lander City Park to camp. I must pick up my Starlink base at the post office tomorrow morning.

I did a van tour of Ernie with Van for her YouTube channel. 

I went to dinner with Mike and Val at the Lander Brewery. Unfortunately, I ordered a salad, but it never came after an hour. They comped my meal and made me a salad real fast. I watched; it took 30sec to make. 

27 June 2022

I ran to the post office to pick up my Starlink base. I will never forget my base again, I promise. 

After lunch, I spend an hour lounging in the Popo Agie river talking to Val and Mike. We planned out we are going to create a TikTok video of us in chairs in the river and Mike’s overlander tomorrow.

Spent the evening sitting by the river talking to Val and Mike. We did see a river otter which was cool. 

28 June 2022

I went for another run (2 miles). I’m slowly getting my calf muscle back into shape after pulling it, and getting old stinks.

The majority of the day I spent working and writing a report.

Walked into town and had dinner at Cowfish. It’s a good restaurant where I had the Bison Ravioli. 

The rest of the night we spent lounging by the river.

29 June 2022

Today I washed my clothes and had lunch at a local sports bar. At night hung out on Wazbus and talked to friends.

30 June 2022

Drove to the Teton National Forest from Landers. The drive was beautiful.

We were able to find a campsite on the mountain with an incredible view. The drive up to the campsite was the first time I took a high mountain road.

1 – 4 July

I basically spent the last few days enjoying all the scenery of Shadow Mountain and hanging with friends (Mike and Val).

I spent the 4th of July watching the fireworks from the campsite with Val. Mike left us to drive to Bend Oregon.

5-7 July 2022

I moved to a new campsite closer to Jackson called Curtis Canyon. It’s in the national forest. I meet up with the Ario family.

The only problem with this campground is the drive to it. There is about 1000 feet of elevation gain on a difficult road. I did fine until the last turn.  

7-10 July 2022

I decided to visit Idaho Falls. Driving into the tow I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay there but it proved to be a wonderful place. I spent a few days by the river and working out at the YMCA.

10 -13 July 2022

My trip to Boise was uneventful. Boise is a great town with the snake river running thru it. For a few days, I spent on the river paddleboarding and swimming. 

I ended up getting a room at Motel 6 because of the heat. The temperature was well over 100F. I decided to leave early and head up to McCall early to get out of the heat.

13 – 18 July 2022

McCall is a beautiful mountain town on a majestic lake. The first few days I stayed at Ponderosa State Park. It was expensive but a nice campground.

On the second day meet up with Joey. We had pizza for dinner and went to a brewery. It’s nice to know good van life friends who I meet in Bisby at Weird Wild West.

One of the coolest features of McCall is the lake lap pool. I think I found heaven when I saw this.

References and Other Adventures: 

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