Solar Eclipe, passing home and heading towards some Rocky mountains.

Our trip today started with a long 3,5 hour drive. We were heading north to get a glimpse of the total solar eclipse. Our current RV Park was in the 80% zone, but we wanted to get at least 90% so we set route towards Nederland.

The Eclipse would be around 11:45, so when we were nearing that time we were looking for a good viewpoint. At 11:30 we thought we found a good one on a parking area next to the road, so we got our chairs and Eclipse glasses out and sat down. Within a minute the area was covered with clouds, so we got back in the RV and drove off to a better location.
10 minutes later time was running short, so we illegally parked our RV on the shoulder of the road, turned on our emergency lights, and got out to check out the eclipse.

Although there was still a big cloud above us, it had a few holes in it which gave us a perfect sight of the eclipse. We were only in the 90% zone, so it didn’t turn completely dark, but it did get noticeably darker. After staring into the sun for a few minutes we got back in our RV and drove off again, only to find a parking space 30 meters away from where we parked. (It was uphill so we couldn’t see it from our spot!)

While driving towards our next location it was fun to see people parked everywhere by the sides of the road checking out the sun.

A few minutes later we arrived in Nederland, a small village in Colorado. It was quite busy there and didn’t look exactly suitable for our RV, so we slowly passed through there and made a stop at their dam which gave us a great view of the entirety of Nederland.

Our next stop was Boulder, but it wasn’t that exciting. We made a quick visit at a Comic & Games store, which turned out to be 99% comics and a small shelve with a few boardgames. Also wasted an hour at T-mobile to figure out how to upgrade our data plan, but afterwards we headed towards the Rocky Mountains. Our RV camp is just before the entrance of the park, so we’ll head into that next thing tomorrow morning. 
Even had a little bit of rain here, but luckily we were still able to grill Marcel’s amazing hand-made burgers.
Most exciting thing going on here: Every 3 minutes this bubble train passes our spot:

Today’s route:

Back on the road! 

But before we headed back on the road, Rhonja really wanted to visit an art exhibit Marcel found for her. It’s called Meow Wolf and it’s a large exhibit you’re meant to immerse yourself into to experience. It also has a story, a mystery you’re meant to discover, but that was a bit tricky to do properly so we settled for interacting with the surroundings. 

It’s set up as a house with a bunch of pocket dimensions containing basically a lot of weird stuff. There was a portal inside the fridge and the fireplace. And through the backyard you could enter the aquarium (a life size replica of the aquarium you could see in the living room!) 

There was a room where you could drum glowing dinosaur bones like a piano, or a room full of illuminated pipes with some toilet flushing mechanisms. The pipes would turn blue if you touched them at the base. Rhonja started asking other visitors peeking in to touch as many pipes as they were able to see if something happened when they all turned blue. Everyone was pretty invested, Rhonja and Marcel themselves used three limbs to illuminate 5 pipes each, but nothing seemed to happen. Maybe because two pipes appeared to be broken. Maybe because nothing was meant to happen. It was a lot of fun though!

We spent nearly two hours exploring the exhibit before we decided to head to our next stop. We skipped the Indian market in Santa Fe to make up some time from yesterday. So our next stop were the sand dunes in Colorado. These are some truly massive dunes right in front of some mountains. Weird! 

It’s a series of geological events that made this happen. Including volcanoes, dried up lakes and the surrounding mountains. We crossed a small stream to get to them and the walk up the first small one was pretty rough! Distance and size is deceiving here. We stopped atop the first one to give Rhonja a rest but right after she sat down it started raining a bit and the wind really picked up! We hurried back to the RV since there wasn’t all that much more to see anyway. This way we could make it to our camp site in a timely manner. 

Tomorrow is the day of the full eclipse! Right now we’re in an 85% eclipse area but we’re heading towards Denver where it’s 90%. 100% is still pretty far and it’s likely to be way too busy as well. So we’ll gladly settle for a high percentage which brings its own special visual occurrences. Now let’s hope we can manage to stay clear of cloudy areas, which seems like it’ll be entirely based on our luck.. 

Today’s route:

Stuck in the middle of nowhere (or Albuquerque as some may call it) 

Today wasn’t a great day. 

We  got up at 07:00, had our “free continental breakfast” at the Koa Office, which consisted of:
– 4 types of cereal
– Toast with butter and jelly
– Milk or coffee
– Donuts
It was still decent though, so after we filled up we headed towards Albuquerque! 

Our plan was to visit a few (boardgame)shops and then head out north. 
Since we were still having issues with our sewage system and we were a bit early in Albuquerque, we first went to a Cruise America location there so that they could fix our sewage. 

We dropped off our RV at 10:00, agreed to call them at 13:00 to check the status of the repair, and used an Uber to do some windows hopping. 
We checked a boardgame store (which unfortunately didn’t have the items Marcel wanted), visited a Target, ran into a flea market (so we had to go there because: Rhonja), also passed a real American garage sale (only crap) and had lunch at Jersey Mike’s Subs. 

We also visited a Hobby shop. It was a huge store with loads of arts and crafts. They even already had a part of the shop with Christmas decorations which was awesome. If you ever wanted to have bacon or dinosaurs hanging in your tree, this is the place to go. 

We called Cruise America at 13:00, and they told us the repairs would be done by 14:00.
At 14:30 we were back at Cruise America: “They’re almost done, still 15 minutes left”.
15:15:”Just finishing up, we’ll get you when we’re done” 
To kill time Rhonja and I played a few games, and finally at 17:00 they were all done and we could leave. 

To be honest, we had a bit of a double feeling about it. Sure it sucked we had to wait, but on the other hand: it was the guy’s days off and he had to repair the black sewage system of an RV that wasn’t theirs. FYI: Black sewage means all the crap (Hah, another pun! ) that was flushed down the toilet, so in the end our day was still was better than his. 

As soon as we got the Go sign we got into the RV and headed towards Santa Fe. We wanted to go further, but seeing our lost time this was the best option. 
Our first stop at an RV site sucked: the complete park was full. We were a bit flabbergasted since this was the first time we saw a fully booked site. 
When we got to our second RV site, the office was already closed, so we were a bit sad. Luckily they did have a nightly check-in, and the sign on the door informed us they still had 2 unreserved spaces left. When we checked on the spaces we were greeted by an older man, who apparently also worked there part time. He let us in the office and got our paperwork in order. 

He also gave us tips on where to eat: If you like Italian food you should check out the “Ollive Garden” (which is just fast food, but sounds fancier)
When getting back in our RV and trying to get to our space, we were stopped by another man. He had some flyers for us, because apparently there was a big festival going on in Santa Fe, hence the parks being filled up. He also asked us where we’re from. 
We:” The Netherlands” 
Him:”Ah nice! Fryslan?” 
We:”…..uhm, yeah?!” 
Apparently he was a farmer, and had quite a few neighboring farmers who came from Friesland. 

After a long and a bit slow talk with the man, we headed towards our dinner: first stop: Olive garden
We headed there: “Sorry sir we’re full, 30 minutes wait time”
Even the less popular Chilli’s next door had the same waiting time. 
Luckily the Buffalo Wings a few minutes further had space for us, so we sat down and ordered wings and a burger. 
Now the Buffalo Wings was a bit new for us, they had like 20 Tv’s hanging around the room, showing all kinds of sports. 

A short list of the sports we could follow during our meal:

  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • Football
  • Nascar
  • Poker 
  • Baseball 
  • Athletics 
  • Boxing 
  • Basketball 
  • Formula 1

The food itself was great. The burger Rhonja had was nice, and the wings Marcel got were pretty darned good. 
For desert, Rhonja got chocolate cake with ice cream, and Marcel (thought he) ordered fried cheese balls. 
Rhonja’s cake/ice cream was nice. Marcel’s desert was a bit different. Instead of savory cheese, he got deep fried balls of cheese cake. Let me tell you it’s quite the taste experience when you expect the other.  After the first bite he noticed he missed the dipping sauce (which beforehand he thought would be salsa-ish), but after 15 minutes it was finally served: chocolate and caramel dipping. It could be a lot worse, but now he knows deep-fried sweets are not his cup of tea. 

Today’s (short) route:

Ancient Wondertour

It’s always fun to be on the road with the RV. The ever-changing landscape, stopping where you think it looks fun, seeing people get pulled over for speeding after just passing you while you merrily drive along…

Our first stop today was Barringer Crater. A neatly preserved meteor impact site. It was a neat drive because we passed through almost entirely flat land, with a big hill visible in the distance. You guessed it, that would be the crater! It’s absolutely mind-boggling huge and they had a fairly neat set-up for it. They had platforms with aimed binoculars to see some points of interest within the crater up-close. You couldn’t walk around or inside the crater itself so this was a nice alternative. It was an amazing view. 

They also had a little museum with information on meteorites, comets and obviously this specific meteor in specific. We could pet a real meteor and also create our own meteor in a simulation to rain destruction upon the earth! MUHAHAHA!
It wasn’t too big though, so we soon headed out for our next stop of ancient wonders!

Which would be concerning petrified forests! Ages ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, a coniferous forest washed away and got layered under sediment. Time would help it crystallize and minerals would give it colour. We headed to DoBell Ranch which Rhonja had found right next to the National Petrified Forest Park. You can’t gather any fossilized wood within the park, but at DoBell Ranch you can!
So behind a 3 mile pothole with some road Rhonja gave Rhonda a call and soon we saw a 4×4 truck arrive. Driven by a 10 year old boy. He was very knowledgeable about the site and possibilities and asked us to join him in his truck so he could drive us out to the site. Which wasn’t far at all but down a road the RV would 100% get stuck on. There we met his aunt and we got a small tour. We saw some beautiful pieces of petrified wood already and they also showed us a huge piece of wood. They say it might be the largest discovered piece and might even be eligible for the Guinness Book of World Records.
You’d think this was a pretty big deal and a very special specimen to be treated with care. But we were encouraged to walk on top of it and everything! It’s a very hard material and can only be cut with diamond or itself. So us walking on it wouldn’t do much damage at all.

Rhonja was particularly excited about doing some digging of her own though, so she asked if it was possible and yes! So we headed out and got some shovels and smaller tools and headed to their recent dig site. We got told it’s most likely to find wood near white sediment since that forms around the trees. There were some white areas so we started mashing away. That stuff is hard as rock though (gee why would that be?). 

After a bit the boy came up and asked if we found anything. He also explained we were trying to dig in the hard sediment and they usually use their digger for that. We could also look in the softer top layer for white gravel, which would also likely hold petrified wood.
Boy we definitely did have an easier time there and found some great pieces! Rhonja even “struck gold” as the boy told her. She had likely stumbled upon a log! He got really excited and helped unveil it a little more to see what it was about. It was too large though! So though Rhonja had some fun digging it out a tiny bit she already knew she had to leave it behind. It’d be too big for our bucket anyway!
She did leave her e-mail behind to receive a picture of the piece once they dig it up themselves. And we paid the massive sum of $3 to take home some of our prettier finds. If you’re ever in the area, definitely visit the DoBell Ranch!

After having already seen the biggest log of petrified wood though it felt like the National Park would not offer much more than that. We also took a “wrong” entrance, making the actual petrified forest a pretty far drive still. So after taking in some of the ordinary sights of the park we decided to head back out and towards our campsite.

We decided to head to Grants KOA, little over an hour from Albuquerque (capital of New Mexico). It’s a neat little campsite located in the lava fields! You can take a short hike of half a mile through their fields which was really pretty to see the black rocks among the desert sands and minor foliage.

But we also got a free cookie and tomorrow there’ll be free breakfast! Awesome!

Tomorrow we’ll head to Albuquerque and then slowly head north to get ready for the solar eclipse in a few days!

Today’s route:

 (we also passed the 2.000 mile point today, which is 3.218km for normal people) 

Bonus: we also (twice!) encountered people moving their complete homes today:

Grand Road Trip

It was again Rhonja’s turn to drive and Marcel must have been particularly anxious as it was a drive through the Grand Canyon! Rhonja managed to not murder two marmots on the way there, sitting on her side of the road, but did murder a lot of butterflies attracted to the pretty flowers beside the road.

When we were nearing the entrance of the park, we noticed signs entrance would be $30. We figured this would be on top of our AIB-pass. Luckily when we arrived at the gate our AIB-pass was enough and we could pass. The value of that thing is pretty darn good, seeing as it only costs $80.

The Grand Canyon wasn’t too far away, as we quickly arrived at a giant parking lot from where we could head out to the lookout points along the west rim. You could rent bikes, but you weren’t allowed to ride them along the rim so what’s the point? Needless to say we walked as it was only about 10 minutes at most.

The view was spectacular though! The canyon area is way larger than either of us had imagined. It was a humbling sight to behold. We also saw a lot of slightly suicidal idiots who thought it was a grand idea to sit on the edge of the canyon. Or go rock scrambling a little bit for a better view, or better picture. Marcel recounted a story of a family who took as small step back for a good picture and fell to their deaths. He complained a lot about stupid people.
We walked along the path and took some awesome pictures of the view though.

After the west rim we decided to continue on to the desert viewpoint. We stopped at a different viewpoint along the way though where there was an old path that copper miners used. You were also allowed to walk down it which we did for a little bit. It was safe and the view was very nice because now you could also look up the canyon a bit instead of only down. It’s a different viewpoint of the majesty of the Grand Canyon.

Desert viewpoint had a tower at the edge though. It was pretty neat as you could climb the tower. The view was cool but there were windows so any pictures always end up a bit dusty. 

After we took in all the sights along the canyon we continued to our next campsite near Flagstaff. It’s a nice and big spot we got in a forested area. They even rent out large tipis here and we’re parked right next to the tipi site. It’s pretty neat. But not as neat as the dinner Marcel made on his grill, we even had marshmallows this time!

Today’s route :

Hoovering to Route 66

Today was our last day in Las Vegas.
We got up and had a quick “breakfast” at Krispy Kreme, which consisted of a doughnut filled with Marshmallow stuffing and a cup of coffee.
The reason for our quick breakfast: Rhonja wanted to play some more carnival games (we also had coupons which gave us discounts on 4 games).

When we gobbled down our doughnuts we headed towards the carnival, but it was still a bit quiet there. We arrived at 10:15, but everything was still closed. Rhonja asked around and we found out that the carnival part opened at either 10:30 or 11:00, which would be a bit tricky since we had two checkouts to be done: out of the hotel at 11:00, and out of the RV park at 11:00.
We headed back to our hotel room to pack everything up and afterwards check one more time at the carnival, but no luck. We had to leave without winning any more prices.

Today we would be making our way towards the Grand Canyon. We didn’t want to do all traveling within one go, so we stay somewhere in between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon: a small place called Seligman.

We still needed to get stuff for dinner, so we first made a stop at the Mexican supermarket “El Super”. It was huge, but also very crowded. We got some really cheap corn cobs and they also had a delicious meat counter. Thick slices of fine looked meat were spread out on the counter, and for a great price as well.
We got a nice thick piece of steak of 0.5 kilogram for $5 there, and afterwards headed towards the checkout. Unfortunately that one took a while. cashiers aren’t exactly fast there and if I can have prejudices; I think them being Mexican didn’t help a lot.

On our way to our next destination we also passed the Hoover Dam, so we made a stop there as well to check it out.
Before we could cross over the dam (the parking spaces were on the other side) we had to pass inspection. Three officers stopped us, and while Marcel had to open up all the compartments on the outside of the RV, Rhonja had to show them the inside of the RV. They seemed content and let us pass.

We headed up to the parking spaces (of course RV’s were only allowed to park a long way from the dam itself), got out and were greeted by blazing heat. It was 37 degrees Celsius and we had to walk 10 minutes to the damn. The way towards was manageable, since it was downhill.
It was worth it though, we had a great view over there.

The way back to our RV was a bit more difficult. It was pretty darn hot and going uphill wasn’t much of a help either. Soaked in sweat we got back in our RV, cranked up the AC to the max, and continued our way.

Eventually we arrived at Seligman. Our TomTom is a bit wonky with addresses, so we missed our camping spot, but this brought us directly onto the original Route 66. It looked wicked, but we actually wanted to turn arround to get to our RV Park (our bellies were craving for the amazing food we got).

After 10 minutes we finally found a tight spot where we could manage to turn around, and made it to our next stop.

The place is great, we had an amazing BBQ, but there is one downside. We are thousands of miles away from home and it’s great, but at the moment we’re parked next to some Frysians…

Ah well, better luck next time.
Also, today we passed the 1.500 miles (2414 km) mark with our RV. Many more to come!

Today’s route:

Steaks, Comedy and Magic

Today was a bit of a resting day for us. We slept in a bit and didn’t plan that much to do.
In the morning we got some breakfast at one of the many places in our hotel, and afterwards we went to a booth where they sell tickets for shows with a nice discount.
We got afternoon tickets for Mac King, who is a magician, and slowly headed towards the Harrah on the Las Vegas Strip. But to kill some time we first headed towards the amusement park inside our hotel.

We looked around at all the (rigged) carnival games, where you could win hideous stuffed animals.
It was fun to see kids trying out all the games; it didn’t cost us any money, and we got to see people win/lose.
At the “Toss a ball towards the cups and if it lands in a certain one you win a price”, Rhonja really wanted to have a go, so we laid down $2 and got 8 balls to throw.
Of course Marcel won a price on his first throw, so we got this awful green smiley faced thing.

All 7 other balls we missed, but we were still content with our winning and headed towards the Strip
At the Harrah, we noticed it was a lot like our hotel; getting lost was amazingly easy, so we spent 15 minutes finding the desk where we could exchange our piece of paper for real tickets.
When we got the tickets we had a little bit of time to spare, so we went outside to a bar to get some drinks. We both went for an unknown beer to us: Coors Lite, which is one of America’s favorites.

Apparently Americans don’t really like beer.
Instead of Coors Lite we could’ve just ordered water; The only difference would be the color and the absence of foam. Just like with Budweiser there is barely any taste, so that was $12 down the drain. (Although water costs roughly the same, so the damage wasn’t that big)

After our disappointment we headed towards the third floor of Harrah, and got in line for Mac King.
We didn’t get the “VIP” tickets, since we knew those still were first-come-first-serve seatings, so we got the cheaper general admission ones. Still we got some pretty good spots, we were seated on row 4 which gave a good close view of the stage.

The show itself was really good. We weren’t sure what to expect, since we only paid $26 and he was an American Magician/Comedian, but we had a great time. In general: lots of tricks, jokes and interaction with the audience. We definitely recommend seeing this one whenever you’re in Vegas.

We took a small break back at the hotel and around 17:00 we headed towards the location of the other show we had planned: Penn&Teller.
First it was time for dinner, so we went for steaks. We were seated at the bar, where all the seats also had a poker machine in front of them built into the counter, so you could waste more money while eating. Luckily ours were the only ones which didn’t have machines, so we could watch others around us fail while enjoying our dinner.
Two steaks, a few drinks, and $80 lighter we headed towards the theater section.

The Penn&Teller show was really great. We weren’t sure our seats were any good since we sat on the balcony, but we still had a great view of the stage (and it saved us around $40 each)

Our last destination was the Fremont street, which was the original Las Vegas Street which started it all. It was really crowded, but lots of great decorations. Also quite a few barely or even not-clothed women were prancing around the area, dressed up as cowboys/showgirls etc, so I (Marcel) couldn’t really complain.

Tonight was our last night in Vegas. Tomorrow we’ll pick up our RV again, head towards Hoover Dam and see the Grand Canyon!

Vegas baby!

Yet again we made it an early morning because as nice as this campsite was, we had more in mind for our road trip! So after breakfast and another successful detachment of all the hoses and power line Rhonja took the wheel!

Marcel went to call Cruise America right away to try and get them to find a place to fix our RV now that it was Monday again. Luckily for us, they actually had a main RV station in Las Vegas, our next destination!
It was a good 3 hour drive still, and along the way we made a stop at an Alien place. Since we were near Area 51 we thought it’d be fun to take a look around. We were a bit disappointed though as it was mainly a basic truckstop; a small market, a little restaurant and a few alien themed souvenirs.

This was a real road trip though. Long, straight roads through the desert. Not as devoid of traffic as one might think though, but that might be because we were heading to Vegas.

At Cruise America we got our happy, happy news. They would swap out our AC roof unit, power flush our sewage system and even see if they could fix our broken drawer so we wouldn’t need to use a broom anymore to lock it. We were told to wait inside where it was cool and he would come and get us when it’s fixed.
We did need to wait for a bit though, so while we waited we browsed some of the brochures for fun activities in and near Vegas.

The AC now works! Our sewage doesn’t leak! And our cabinet still gets locked with a broomstick! That one turned out to be a little too broken for a quick fix. Apparently the entire locking system for that cabinet is messed up.
But we can live with a broom-lock! And so we headed out to our hotel, Circus-Circus! (it’s no joke).

Upon arrival we parked perfectly in a spot. When trying to check in we got spoken to by a woman who at first glance appeared to be a hotel employee. She wanted to help us and asked us about our trip and where we’re from, etc. etc. Oh and come with me I’ll get you guys some gifts!
The guy at a counter she brought us to told us about $125 dollars in coupons we would get for free and we could spend them at some steak restaurant inside our hotel. And it’s free and $125 dollars. But nothing is truly free. We only needed to pick up those vouchers. Tomorrow at 08:00 we could get on a bus in front of the hotel, to be brought to a nearby resort they were promoting. We would get the vouchers after a 2 hour tour at this resort.
Now this guy was pretty chatty and interested, but as soon as we said yeah no thanks he shut down immediately. So much for being interested 🙁

But at least now we could head over to the real check in of the hotel, without “free” gifts. This lady though, as soon as we asked her if we were allowed to park our RV where it was in the parking lot, told us quite promptly to park in the RV park as it wasn’t allowed to be in the parking lot for whatever reason. And the RV park obviously costs us extra money. That sucks for an RV we’re not currently using!

The room is fine though. It’s really big and we’re up on the 33rd floor so we get a nice view of the city! But it was still too early to retire, so we decided to go explore the hotel and after that walk down the Strip.

Now our hotel is weird. We knew this when booking that there was a theme park inside the hotel. But it’s really weird. Circus-Circus has a casino (obviously), a mini mall, a McDonald’s and so much more. Mostly it’s also a big casino though.

The Strip after that only helped cement the absurdity of the city. Everything is a casino it seems. We tried to enter what looked like a little bar from the outside. A small building. Except it opened up into a huge casino! We still had a Guinness there though before moving on and trying to find something to eat. We decided to stop at Virgil’s BBQ with live music. It looked cosy and reasonable in price. The food was great and we went on for more sightseeing.

The strip itself isn’t too impressive though, it’s mainly the few weird buildings peppered alongside it. We saw two maritime themed restaurants, a Disney castle, a black pyramid, the Eifel tower, and much more.

When we had seen enough we called for a Lyft (a cheaper Uber) and headed towards “Press Start”, which obviously was an arcade if the name didn’t spoil it already. They were mainly focused on PC and console games (We were just a tad too late to enter in a huge Super Smash Bros tournament), but luckily they also had real arcades.
At the arcades Rhonja wanted to start with 1vs1 DanceDanceRevolution, which was a bad choice. Of course Marcel won but we picked several difficult songs, which meant it was quite the exercise and Las Vegas isn’t exactly known for it’s cool weather.

Also this arcade had a Pop’n Music (why did you think we went there?), but the cool thing was: they had it hooked up to the online Pop’n Music network, which meant you could play against players in Japan, keep scores and unlock songs. Luckily I brought along my Pop’n Music card which I bought in Japan, and it actually worked! After a while we played enough and called another Lyft to get back to our hotel.

When we got back at Circus-Circus we were surprised by how gaudy it looked. It was one big light show, it probably used more power than a small village.

That’s all for today!

Hitting the target and going towards our next. 

Yesterday I told about us heading towards Fly Geyser. Luckily the evening before I checked how we would get there, according to Google Maps it would be 2 hours to get there and 2 hours back (since nothing else is in the vicinity). Turns out the geyser isn’t even open for public yet, so we wouldn’t even get to see it!

So yesterday we made a change of plans and we would head towards Las Vegas. Since Las Vegas would be a 7 hour drive we decided to stay overnight at Tonopah (nope, never head of it myself either) and also visit a few things in Reno, which we would pass.

This morning we again got up at 07:00, had breakfast, disconnected our RV from the campsite, and headed towards Reno. Our first stop was a supermarket, to get some stuff for dinner. We really want to have bell pepers on our grill, but apparently those are absurdly overpriced here. 1 small one will cost about $2, so we’re starting to understand why fast food is so popular, since it’s cheaper than eating healthy.

Our second stop was a lot more interesting though: Reno Guns & Range.

We went inside and were greeted by walls filled with guns. Marcel walked towards a counter and asked the guys behind it:”This might seem a bit like a weird question, but could we hire a range and shoot stuff?”. “Absolutely sir, not a problem! Just head over to the other counter, selects the guns you want, and you’re good to go!”

Rhonja was a little weirded out though, seeing a store filled with guns in glass cases like any other store would display their product. At the same time she was pretty excited to try and shoot things though.

Luckily an instructor was available, so we got to choose our guns and targets. We picked the regular silhouette of a person, they also had a Battleship-like target, but we weren’t sure if our aim would be that good.

Hiring one weapon was $10, but it was $25 for three. Seeing we’re Dutch of course we went for three.

We picked our weapons of choice and headed towards our private range for a brief explanation on the guns.

We started out with something small:

Handgun Beretta 92A1

After loading up the magazine, Marcel was first to shoot. He loaded up the gun (which is harder than it looks), positioned himself in the correct stance and pulled the trigger, which took a while since he had no idea how hard he would have to pull it before the gun would shoot. (solution: for the first shot you need quite a bit of force on the trigger, the shots afterwards are lighter)

A huge bang sounded through the room, luckily we were wearing ear-protection. Marcel had almost hit dead center, he was just a little bit off. We had no idea the gun would give such a loud noise and force. Rhonja tried to take maximum action photos, but when Marcel fired a shot she would startle a bit so they all turned out blurry.

After a couple of shots Marcel let Rhonja have a try. She found it surprisingly easy to aim with the Beretta. And her first shots were also pretty accurate! The knock back wasn’t too bad either, she found.

Since we had limited instruction time we decided to finish shooting the remaining rounds later.

On to our next gun, with which Rhonja would go first:


Ours did have a silencer, but it was still louder than the handgun.

Rhonja found the AK quite heavy to hold up and it’s much more difficult to aim than a handgun. Her first few shots didn’t even hit the target! Our instructor explained this is normal for the AK as it’s difficult to aim because of the sights set a bit far above the barrel. You need to lean in pretty far to try and aim properly. It’s more suitable for spray and pray.

Marcel had a bit of a better time with the gun though and made some solid hits. And after that Rhonja, not wanting to be outdone so easily, wanted to try a few more shots to (successfully) improve her accuracy with the gun.

Unfortunately the gun broke down midway our session, but the bullets we were able to shoot were free of charge.

We wanted to go out with a bang (heh!) so Marcel picked up the:

Remington 870 Police shotgun

This was a big one. We loaded up the shells, did the pumping action so it was armed, and Marcel took aim at the target 21 feet (6,5 meters) away. Now we expected to get some spread of bullets, but Marcel created a single big hole, exactly in the bullseye.

It was definitely something we recommend doing when going to the  States, we absolutely had a blast! (that was the last pun)

After we were done shooting stuff we checked out a few nearby stores, had a hotdog with cheese and chilli at Bam!Dog which was good, and headed towards Tonopah.

Now this was just a “boring” long drive. It would take 4 hours and when I called the RV parking to make a reservation we were warned to make sure we filled up our gas tank; halfway our trip we greeted by a sign: “no gas stations for the next 100 miles” (which is 160km). Luckily we were prepared, so no issues there.

At the RV park we were kindly greeted by a lady who talked in slow-motion, and were given a spot to park. Out of the 4 RV parks we’ve visited, this is by far the nicest one. It’s really quiet (we’re the only ones sitting outside), it’s in the middle of nowhere, and the facilities, including wifi, are great! Absolutely a recommendation in the slight chance that you wind up in Tonopah.

Almost time for bed now, tomorrow we’ll be heading towards Vegas!

Todays route:

Seeing Yosemite (Yo-Sam-It-Tee) and crossing mountains

This morning we got up at 07:00, had breakfast and headed towards Yosemite
When we arrived at the “Yosemite”  sign we parked our RV to take some pictures, Marcel mentioned how it was weird that it wasn’t that crowded on the road towards it. No knock on wood so it was certain to mean trouble.

And indeed, no more than 5 minutes later we hit traffic, so we sloooowly rolled towards Yosemite from that point. After 30 minutes we arrived at the entrance where we showed our pass, and we could immediately go through the gate and traffic was gone.

Our first stop was going to be Bridalveil waterfall, and we immediately noticed that as soon as we arrived; The parking lot was overloaded. Cars were waiting in line to get a spot, and being in an RV didn’t make it much easier. Luckily after few minutes a spot came free, and Marcel perfectly parked the huge RV in a tight spot, as the expert driver he is. I’m not sure if we were actually allowed in there, since we were the only RV in the parking lot:

So we headed towards Bridalveil waterfall. We had to climb up several rocks to get a good view, although the other clumsy tourists were the main obstacles, but it was certain worth it.

Afterwards we saw a few more sights in Yosemite and then decided to drive towards our next camping site, which was still 5 hours away; Verdi (near Reno)
We went from foresty mountains to shrubbery-ry mountains and eventually ended in wasteland (which some people call Nevada it seems)
On the way there we even encountered a real life tumbleweed, which Rhonja hit with our RV. Not sure if that was intentional or she just sucks at driving…

And that wraps up most the most interesting things for today, we made a lot of miles to get to Reno. Tomorrow we’ll head up to Fly Geyser and tonight we’ll figure out what else we’re going to visit.

Today’s route: (Note that the 1:05 is just to Yosemite, the total trip was over 6 hours)