Where to start?
Last weekend I was in Irvine (California) for the WITs Summit, a conference from Wanderful made up primarily of travel bloggers. I got to see my pal Katie as well as meet Christina, Cynthia, and Kelly in person. My ExperienceBuick cohort, Lois came as well. It is good to be surrounded by friends who support your efforts, everyone gets each other and what we are trying to do.
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I also met a lot of new people including four bloggers who I got a chance to mentor. Mentoring/Coaching/Consulting is something I've done for a long time. I love to help people. If you think it's something you might be interested in, reach out!
There were so many great moments during the weekend. I particularly loved the sessions from Erin Bender and Gabi Logan. I went to dinner Saturday night with Christina, Cynthia, and Erin at Bluewater Grill in Tustin. They treated us like royalty and I was in seafood heaven!
Erin has not eaten a lot of seafood in her life so we plied her with things like calamari, grilled octopus, crab cakes, and clam chowder so she could try a plethora of American seafood dishes. She was a good sport, but I did not blame her for ordering a steak for her meal, she is Aussie after all!
This was my tuna steak served with cilantro rice, it was just what the I've-been-in-the-landlocked-Southwest-for-weeks doctor ordered!
I spoke at the conference on Sunday which was thrilling. This was followed by the closing keynote and conference close. And then I ran to the airport. When I landed in Phoenix at 9 PM, walking out of the airport I was hit by the 80-degree air. I immediately started peeling off layers!
We left Gold Canyon early Monday morning and headed for Page (Arizona), a stopover point on the road to Bryce Canyon. We spent time in Page four years ago during our 10 day Southwest road trip and we couldn't resist heading back to Big John's Texas BBQ!
We left Page Tuesday morning for Bryce and landed there about noon with plans to do reconnaissance for photos. As we were setting up “camp” we were hit by a snowstorm which made hooking and unhooking everything up a joy! We were snowed in for the evening.
Wednesday and Thursday morning we got up at the crack of dawn to take sunrise photos at Bryce Canyon. Because of its Eastern position, it's not the best place for sunset photography, so that means we are getting up early and heading to the park to take advantage of the best light in the morning. If you wonder why photographs seem expensive, would you get up at 4 or 5 AM, drive for an hour and then stand outside in 13-degree weather with a blustering wind making it -10 so that you can get that shot?
Or at least not all the way! I am getting up with Mr. Misadventures at 4/5 a.m.; I am driving with Mr. Misadventures, but I stay in the warm(ish) car until just before the sunrise hits, pull out my iPhone to get that Instagram photo, and then run back to the car – that's why I am not a photographer (plus I just don't have the skillz).
Since we are usually done at 8 a.m., we have the whole day ahead of us. So yesterday we headed to Kanab to check out some hoodoos we missed when we visited four years ago. We have been to Kanab several times, and although we did visit the area, generally each time we visited we were on a mission. Either visit White Pocket or see The Wave.
So we started the day at 5 a.m. with a temperature of 13 degrees. We did a sunrise shoot and then a short hike to visit the ancient bristlecone pines. The trail was covered in snow and ice. By the early afternoon, we were outside of Kanab in 60-degree weather doing a short hike in sand and rock to see the hoodoos on the Toadstool Trail.
We also went from 10,000 in elevation to 100 above sea level. I don't think our bodies knew what the heck was going on. Also, pro-tip, before you head out on a hike in 60-degree full sun, you might want to take off the thermal layer under your jeans and sweater. Although they say sweating is good for weight loss, I'd rather not do that again. (Another misadventure, le sigh!)
We are in the Bryce Canyon area for ten days, we've got a road trip up scenic highway 12 planned for tomorrow, lots more interesting sites to see! Follow me on Instagram for real-time activities!
Trip details and expenses on this leg of our trip:
> Gold Canyon AZ to Page AZ: 311 miles; Page to Hatch UT: 128 miles. Total = 439 miles
> Shell's Travel Center diesel fuel 65.347 gallons X $2.199 = $143.70
> Kanab Sinclair diesel fuel 35.063 gallons X 2.139 = $75.00
> Page Lake Powell Campground, 1 night $27.74
> TOTAL Expenses: $246.44
RV misadventures this week:
> Smashed bunny: we squashed a bunny that must have been hiding under the wheel when we left our spot in Gold Canyon 🙁
> Electrical short in my seat: the wires came loose and I couldn't move my seat so I had to sit super straight and far away from the window on the Gold Canyon to Page leg, Mr. Misadventures fixed it while we were in Page.
> AC fan: we ran the AC in Page and after we cooled down the RV and shut it off, the compressor fan continued to run for a very long time. It finally went off on its own, but we will have to watch that.
> 30 amp woes: in Hatch, despite being told our spot was a 50 amp spot, it turned out to be 30 amps. We tried it for a day but kept blowing fuses, so we moved to a 50 amp spot.
> Freezing pipes: the RV park is old (but wonderful!) and the pipes aren't insulated so we don't have running water most of the day (this week) so we have to conserve the water we load in our tank for essentials.
> Gauges cold: we believe this is the coldest weather the RV has been in and it is wreaking havoc on our gauges so we don't know how much fresh, grey and black water we really have.
Riverside RV Park, Hatch UT
That’s it for this week! Happy escaping!
What have you been up to?