Last week we returned from a phenomenal five week camping trip to the Southwest.  It felt great to be back out on the road indulging our wandering spirits.  We split our time between campgrounds and boondocking sites in Utah, Nevada and Arizona, returning to some favorite spots as well as discovering new places we can’t wait to return to.  The constant motion of life on the road offers challenges and rewards unlike anything we’ve ever experienced under the protective roof of a house.  We’ve been home for one week and already the road is calling us back.

Here’s a recap of our trip that started Thanksgiving day and ended the last day of 2014…

Thanksgiving Day we camped on the shore of the Colorado River at Big Bend Campground in Moab, Utah.  There’s no better way to give thanks for a life well-lived than by sitting around a campfire beneath a star-filled sky:

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Valley of the Gods in Southern Utah is always a stop we make on the way to Arizona.  It’s exactly half way between our house and my hometown of Lake Havasu City.  The views, weather and peace & quiet never disappoint.
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Once we arrived in Arizona, we spent two wonderful weeks at Lake Havasu State Park.  Our shoreline campsite treated us to otherworldly sunsets night after night, one of my favorite reasons to camp in the desert during the winter.
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Mark discovered his new passion for weight-shift controlled trike aircraft.  He spent lots of time training and generally having the time of his life!
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I went for my first ride in a trike and had the most fun I think I’ve ever had.  We want our own…bad!
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An aerial view of the Colorado River from my first trike ride with Rebel, owner of Ultralight Dreamcatchers.  If you’re interested, I can’t recommend Rebel highly enough, he has to be one of the coolest guys in the sky.
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Time in Lake Havasu meant catching up with family and my adorable nieces:
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Our first time exploring and camping in Nevada blew us away.  I guess that’s whats possible when you have zero expectations.  Northshore Road in Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a scenic drive I can’t wait to do again.
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The best part about 35 days of truck camping is being outside every single day.  Not a day goes by without movement, exploration and generally loving life.
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Valley of Fire State Park, North of Las Vegas, had long been on our list of places to see.  I was so in awe of this place that it left me shocked that it’s not a National Park.
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Valley of Fire filled our days with so many things to do and see that we couldn’t let nightfall stop us from continuing to play.
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A day full of photography would end with a night spent in our new mobile office or “Camping Utility Trailer” as we now like to call it.
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Finding remote airstrips like this one at Echo Bay at Lake Mead only fueled our desire to one day camp at and fly in and out of such places.

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This was our first extended trip with our Camping Utility Trailer and we were uncertain it would provide useful enough to be worth the hassle of towing it.  It proved to be zero hassle to tow and ended up being more useful than we ever would have guessed.  It served as our kitchen and mobile office and allowed us to carry along way more resources (such as propane, water, fire wood) and toys (bikes, paddleboards) than we ever could have fit in the truck.
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Lake Mohave treated us to a few calm, sun-drenched days.  In an area known for the wind, we reveled in the fact that the only thing making waves were the ducks.
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Any day in December that I can where flip flops and go paddleboarding is a good day.
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Before purchasing our Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper two and half years ago, I had a running list of places I wanted to go and things I wanted to see.  Two and half years ago I would have assumed that a trip like this meant crossing things off my list.  What I didn’t learn until now is that while trips like this may help cross two, three, four things off that list, you end up adding ten or twenty more.  There’s no end to the exploration and discovery that is out there to be had.  That’s the beauty of the open road.  Let it take you where it will and you will be in awe of what nature and America have to offer.

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