Way back home 

Just a small update: we’re back home all safe and sound 

Our newly bought duffle bag unfortunately didn’t survive the trip. The side was torn open when it arrived on the luggage belt, but luckily the contents were held together by the blanket that was inside. 

In the end the trip was amazing. We traveled around a lot more than anticipated, but we had tons of fun visiting all these cool locations and activities. 
Not sure we’re and when our next holiday will be, but it’ll be hard to top this one! (Unless it’s Japan of course) 

Back in San Francisco, directly to prison and breaking stuff. 

Today we drove back to Cruise America in SF to turn in our RV. Marcel even ran a (completely) red light! 

Luckily no cops were near, and the light was located on a weird spot and easily overlooked. 

We dropped off the rv, our total milage was 4679.4 miles, which is 7530.76km!

Afterwards headed towards our hotel in Japan Town using a Lyft. Our driver was really kind and probably asked us a dozen times if we wanted to stop at “The Facebook building”. We would pass their headquarters and apparently their ‘Thumbs up’ sign is pretty popular. We kindly declined and continued to our hotel. Unfortunately our room wasn’t ready yet so we just dropped off our luggage and went is search for some lunch. 

Since we were in Japan town we got ourselves some Curry rice with tonkatsu. 

After lunch we headed for our next location: Alcatraz! 

We had to take a short boat ride to get there but it was great. We did an audiotour (which was actually quite good) which walked us passed all the historic places ( like the cells and fake-heads of the escaped prisoners) 

Afterwards we headed to the Buena Vista for dinner. We ordered a while crab so we got to crack it open to get to the delicious meat inside! 

To finish of our night we headed towards the Arcade in Japan town to get rid of our tokens we bought earlier. We spent them all on “The Bishi Bashi King” (which is also game that also appears in my first travelblog to Japan) 

(Rhonja also played, but at the time of this picture she was already game over) 

Now it’s time to pack our bags and head to the airport tomorrow! 

Beach and returning to base

This morning we headed out towards Moonstone Beach. 

On our way we passed several beautiful sights. In the distance lies the sea, but its covered with mist. 

When we were nearing Moonstone Beach, things became very cloudy. One minute we still had a warm sunny day, the other looked a bit bitter and cold. At the beach itself we spent some time: Marcel was digging up creatures from the mud, Rhonja was looking for stones:

While continuing our trip, we also ran into a Dutch company we didn’t expect here:

At a Goodwill we donated our brand new fan and foldable chair’s, since we wouldn’t need it anymore and headed towards our next RV site. 

Not else really happened. We now have to clean up our RV a bit and return it in San Francisco tomorrow morning. Then we’ll still spend one night in SF (next to the arcade! 

Dancing trees, strange parking, and wavy seaweed

We had quite a drive planned for today, but not without a few fun stops along the way. Rhonja really wanted to drive a little bit along the coastline before heading home again, so we set off for Santa Barbara. On our way there we drove past a lot of joshua trees. These often grow in funky patterns like they’re dancing, so it was fun to watch all the different growth patterns as we drove towards our destination. 

Santa Barbara was awful to park though. It was very difficult to discern whether you were allowed to without a zoning permit or not. We found a spot after a little bit though. Just no parking on Wednesdays but it’s Monday today so yay! We visited another board game store (surprise!) which unfortunately didn’t have that great a selection. After this we went to Chipotle to get a taco. No visit to America would be complete without Mexican food! Since we didn’t see any other interesting stores we headed back to our RV…. Where we found we got a ticket for being parked facing the wrong way. America, where you can turn right on red and must yield for oncoming traffic on green when you wish to turn left, yet you cannot park facing the wrong way. Because apparently you have already committed the crime of driving on the wrong side of the road and will soon do so again. Needless to say we were quite pissed off even though it wasn’t an expensive ticket. 

Another thing Rhonja wanted to do was walk on the beach for a little bit. So after we drove a little further along the coast we saw an exit for state beach El Capitan. It looked promising, but then we ran into an entrance booth for the beach which cost $10. Only in America you pay for the beach! We both found it weird and a little funny at the same time. The beach was nice though! It wasn’t very wide but it was clean. We even got a free parasol from people who were just leaving:

We went into the water which wasn’t even all that cold and they had pretty decent waves we had fun splashing around in. The only downside was there were (smooth) rocks on the beach and as such they were also in the water. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t form clusters that would lie in a little underwater hole. There was also a lot of seaweed which we needed to get used to. But no jellyfish or crabs in sight so that was nice. After we splashed around and got splashed about by the waves we headed back to the rv for a quick shower and continued to our RV stop in Santa Margherita.

Today’s route :

Going from rare views to overcooked locations

First on the agenda for today was Zion!
Our RV Park was pretty close so it wouldn’t be that long of a drive for us.
We’ve had heard great thing about the park so we were very anxious to see it.

Of course our AIB pass gave us free entry, but the lady at the gate asked us, since we had a pretty tall vehicle, if we also were interested in paying the fee to get through the tunnel.
Having no idea what she exactly meant Rhonja got a bit confused but Marcel immediately said: “Buy it, it’s probably good”.
So we bought the tunnel pass, got a map, and continued through Zion National Park.

While Rhonja was driving Marcel took a look at the map:”Yeah, we definitely needed that tunnel pass. We wouldn’t even be able to enter the actual park otherwise.”
After a few minutes of driving we arrived at the tunnel, where a park ranger was waiting. We showed our special tunnel pass and we could head into the tunnel, we were instructed to drive in the middle of the road though because of our height, which meant the incoming traffic would have to wait just for us to pass the tunnel (which was about 2 km long). We felt kinda special!

After we exited the tunnel, we were greeted with some great views:

They also had a few trails available, but seeing these were only accessible by shuttle bus and it was already kinda too hot to walk outside for a few minutes, we decided to skip these and just continue on our way.

Rhonja found a boardgamestore onroute, so of course we made a stop in St. George. It was a pretty big store with a huge play area (probably 70% of the store was dedicated to playing), but the few last things Marcel had on his wishlist were obviously used and being sold a new, so slightly offended we left the store and headed towards our next destination: the Valley of Fire *insert ‘Gerudo Valley’ theme here*

Using Marcel’s highly advanced el-cheapo meat thermometer we found things were heating up quite a bit:

Luckily in the Valley of fire we found a place to cool down:

(It was still freakin’ hot though, but the shade was still miles better than being directly cooked by the sun.)

The rest of our trip was mainly driving. We passed Las Vegas again and drove quite a few miles today.
We even passed our milestone of 4.000 miles!
Currently we’re in our RV, with both the AC and fan on. Right now it’s 38C outside (20:05) and if we’re lucky it’ll cool down to 26C tonight….
Today’s route:


Or rather, a relaxing trail ride on horseback. We left from the meeting point at 8:30 to go to the local ranch for an awesome ride through the red rocks of Losee Canyon. 

It was Marcel’s very first time on a horse so it was very exciting. Though Rhonja was probably more excited about both Marcel on a horse and riding the trail herself. We got assigned horses after the cowboys asked who had previous experience. Marcel got to ride Peaches while Rhonja got Flea. 

We ended up at the back of the line which Rhonja prefers as you get to set your own pace without bothering people (she snuck in a few short trots) but this did end up meaning we didn’t get to hear much about the canyon. Nevertheless it was awesome to just enjoy the canyon in peace instead.

The three hour ride flew by and soon we had to continue on our normal journey again. After lunch and checking out a few local shops we headed towards Bryce Canyon National Park, right next to Bryce where we already were. It was one road up and down a mountain with some impressive views of the huge red sandstone canyons that make up the area. 

Rhonja wanted to try and visit Dixie National Park as well, but it was a little too long so we headed straight for Glendale instead where we stay the night. Tomorrow we visit Zion National Park which we’ve been hearing a lot about. It’s sure to be another fun-filled day! 

Today’s route :

Capitol Reef and impossible roads

This morning we headed out to pass the Capitol Reef National Park. It wasn’t exactly planned to visit this, but it was on our route anyway. 

After driving for 1 minute we made a quick stop: some guy created a kind of museum in his front yard. He had made lots of statues from crap. They looked pretty cool, although the crappy “insipiring” plates attached to the statues could be done without. 

When we passed through the National Park, we ran into a small trail, called the 

We decided to try it out, and after a 30 minute walk, we arrived at the arch:

They trail itself gave some great views, also seeing loads of lizards made Rhonja even more excited. 

Continueing our trip, we suddenly arrived in a completely different fauna:

It was really weird, since one moment we were surrounded by red rocks, and the other there were trees everywhere! 

Some time later we were heading uphill, like a lot. Before we knew it we were at the top of a mountain, and the road was actually in the top itself. This meant both left and right there was a huge cliff. Driving there really makes you wonder if you really are the great driver you think you are. (the picture doesn’t do it justice, At some times the road really got narrow!) 

After being treated with again some amazing views, our next stop was going to be Peek-a-boo canyon. When we took the exit we got our doubts. 

It was a dirt road and quite bumpy (and with bumpy I mean the complete RV started shaking like an addict in detox. We would have to continue the road for 50 minutes to get to our destination, but after 10 minutes of intense rambling we decided we should probably head back since we weren’t sure our RV would survive it. (also the place we rented it from probably wouldn’t cover insurance if anything broke down) 

We got back to paved roads again and continued our way. After a few minutes we crossed a small village, and they also had rental ATV’s, with which we could make it to Peek-a-boo canyon, but Rhonja thought it was too expensive so we continued towards Bryce where our next RV Park was. 


Since we already visited Arches NP, we headed straight for Canyonlands today. It’s a national park but we thought the name sounded like it should have had rollercoasters instead. 

Canyonland has wider and less deep canyons than the Grand Canyons do. It’s very impressive in a very different way. We obviously spent some time at a regular canyon viewpoint but there was also a viewpoint where you could walk out onto a very wide outcropping of the mountain for an awesome view. Marcel is a little afraid of heights though, or more accurately a rational fear of falling to his death from a mountain, so he didn’t get quite as close to the (unfenced) edge as Rhonja did. Though even she kept a body length away from it. There were some dirt roads from ye’ olde days though that were still used by 4×4. Apparently one man was particularly excited to see these being used because when his family called him over he ran and tripped over a tree root. Luckily far from the edge, but it did ensure we kept plenty of distance from the edge. 

Our favorite place from Canyonlands though has to be Whale Rock . It’s a short trail you can take to get to the top of… Whale Rock, obviously. The stone was so rough you needn’t worry about slipping at all even though the rocks you had to scramble up were at times quite steep. The trail sign mentioned it’d be a 1 hour round trip but it really wasn’t that far or tough a hike (it was more like 30 minutes) . The view was pretty awesome though and we were lucky we were the only people on top while we were there! It was nice and quiet. When we headed up, other people were headed down and vice versa.

After that we skipped a last viewpoint because parking was crazy busy, and it didn’t seem all that interesting, and headed towards our next campsite at Hanksville (Rhonja believes Marcel chose this stop on its name alone!) 

Today’s route :

Mystery boardgames, Utah arches, and a place called Moab (but it doesn’t stand for Mother Of All Bombs)

We left Craig this morning and went on a 2,5 hour journey towards Grand Junction, where we would make a few stops (so of course there had to be boardgame stores there)

First we headed towards boardgames: It was the first time we had to pay for parking as well. Marcel tried looking for free parking, but when we found out it would be quite the long walk we headed back and paid for the damned parking.

We arrived at “The Jesters Court”, and apparently today was the last day it’s called that. Tomorrow it’ll close, move, and rename itself to “The Board Fox Games”.
This was by far the best boardgame shop we’ve come across.
They had a huge selection of games, in which we spent 30 minutes just browsing.
When we got to the last shelves, we noticed a lot of dodgy looking boxes, covered in brown paper:

It seemed this shop had a mystery shelve: They had packed up boardgames in brown paper, and on the paper they wrote: Age, Duration, # Players, and one short sentence which gave a clue what the game was about. 
They didn’t give refunds on these games, but the price was also 40-70% lower.
Of course Marcel still had a few games on his wishlist. He couldn’t find these in the store, but there were two mystery games of which he had a pretty good feeling he found the correct boxes.
So in the end we went home with 2 mystery games and one small cardgame which was also 75% off:

(Marcel got both mystery games right, the one on the left was “The Big Book of Madness” which saved him $15, the one on the right “Dungeon Petz” which was a whopping $35 cheaper than MSRP. Very content with the purchase!)

Afterwards we headed on towards our next campsite. We were set to arrive rather early though, so we figured we might as well get one more national park in! We headed towards Arches National Park in Utah!
When we got close we noticed the cliffsides of the mountains were bright red. And the park was no different! We saw some truly impressive rock formations called sails, very thin, flat yet high mountains which were formed because of eroding salt deposits underneath the mountains. There were a lot of impossibly balanced rocks on top of pillars and of course, naturally formed giant arches.
There was also something special about the soil in the high desert though. Apparently it’s “living soil” – filled with microorganisms and tiny mosses that retain nutrients and moisture so other plants can also settle. So there were more signs than usual to not step off of the trails.
We took a short hike to the upper viewing point of the Delicate Arch which was still pretty rough because it was 32 degrees Celcius without shade.
What was pretty astounding about this park were the very different areas right next to each other. There were salt fields which were sometimes even azure in colour. Look the other way and there are the impossibly pointy red peaks of the Devil’s Garden.

After some amazing pictures and taking in the epic sights we headed to Moab where our KOA campsite was located. 

Bonus :

We found caramel popcorn and it’s delicious! 

Today’s route :

We also passed our 3.000 miles today! (which is over 4.800km for normal folks) 

Amazing views, amazing burgers, and Craig

We headed off towards the Rocky Mountains today
At the entrance there was a small stop up, again because of people who didn’t know how to use their creditcard or didn’t understand the system.
We could of course just pass using our pass, and entered the Rocky Mountains

At the first available stop we parked our RV to check out the amazing view:

But as we continued, the view only got better and better (Just one more picture, otherwise it’ll take a lot of time to upload all photo’s)

Other notable mentions:
– For the second time this holiday Marcel got a “That’s an awesome shirt dude!” for wearing his Fallout T-shirt
– Rhonja was asked her opinion on the RV by an elderly couple who were interested in buying their own.

After several stunning viewpoints we headed down again, towards a small town called “Grand Lake”. Lucky for them there was also a pretty big lake next to them, otherwise the name wouldn’t make any sense. Since we completely obliterated our food supplies we went looking for some lunch.

We passed the “Fat cat cafe” which looked interesting, but some genius decided they only open on Wednesdays. So we headed next door to fulfill our burger cravings:

Stuffed we headed back to our RV and got back on the road.
It was a 2,5 hour drive and nothing spectacular happened.
Probably the most interesting thing was that we got to a town called “Steamboat springs”, and 5 minutes later we passed “Steamboat springs II”.

Our next overnight would be in a place called Craig, not sure who he is but they must be pretty fond of the guy. We went to Walmart to fill up on our supplies, unfortunately they misspelled one aisle called “Beers”, since the only thing available was Bud Light. 

Not sure where we’ll head to tomorrow, but probably Southwest, since we should be slowly heading back towards San Francisco.

Today’s trip: