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Salt Lake City Puppy Run

I never thought I would be the type to buy a motorhome. Years later, guess what…we are on our third RV!

And now we are doing something else I never thought we’d do….we bought a dog! Even crazier, the puppy is located 1274 miles away…and we’re going to drive the RV to go get her!

I would never have predicted either of these years ago. I can hear my past self now…”I would never buy one of those motorhomes,,,,they get like 7mpg and they would be intimidating to drive!”. “I don’t get why people have dogs! I would never own one!”.

Aaaaaand, here we are, on our way to Utah to buy a Miniature Goldendoodle (was hard to say without laughing at first), which I tell people is named similar to the treats she will be leaving us in the yard!

Here is a photo of Marley, the newest RVer in our family! We are excited to pick her up!

Day 1

We had a rainy start, but cleared up quickly and no more mad weather expected between home and Salt Lake City

Tons of windmills in Oklahoma. We saw a couple hundred with red lights blinking at night, all at the same time. It was really neat to see that!

We stopped in Amarillo, TX at the Overnite RV Park, which is a small clean park. If you stay here in a big rig, get one of the long pull thru sites at the back. Normally we would stay at Amarillo Ranch, but it was booked.

We are a little tired of eating ham from Thanksgiving, so we ate at a place called The Big Texan!

Day 2

Super windy! 32mph headwinds for hours on end, which made it tough to stay straight! Kind of like being close behind an 18 wheeler.

Albuquerque! We stayed at Enchanted Trails RV Park where we stayed a few years ago.

It was extremely windy here!

We went to Walmart to pick up a few things, and wow…we’ve been to a lot of Walmart stores across the country, but we’ve never been to one with so many shoplifting issues. To start with, they had two mobile security camera setups (several cameras on top of a tall pole, powered by a generator) out in the parking lot with blue / red flashing lights on them. They had red/blue lights on the security cameras mounted on the outside of the store also, so you knew they were there. Inside the store, the entire cosmetic section had its own checkout so people had to be funneled through one opening to reduce theft:

In the hardware section, the entire tool isle is behind locked glass:

Probably the craziest thing was that the laundry detergent Tide pods were behind locked glass!

After that, we went to see the movie Ralph Breaks the Internet. When we got out of the movie theater, we stepped outside into a major wind / dust storm. Really high winds blowing dirt and dust across the entire city of Albuquerque. That was not fun to walk through on our way to the car!

When we got to the top of the big hill near where our campground is, you could see the entire city lit up in a brown haze.

This RV park is known for their vintage campers you can rent. They are lit up for Christmas!

It was going to get down into the 20s overnight, which I realized around 11 PM, and had to go disconnect our water hose! Time to use the heated water hose for the rest of the trip.

Day 3

Tripp settled in near a heater vent this morning:

We headed to Moab! And here is where the adventure began….

Apparently, as I was hooking up the jeep to the RV this morning, I connected the brake system air hose to the jeep, but didn’t connect the other end of it to the RV! This meant that whenever we push the brake pedal in the RV, the brakes would not engage in the jeep, nor would the jeep’s brake lights come on. No bueno! But we didn’t realize I made this mistake when we left the campground…

After we started driving, I’m guessing the hose got caught under the front tire and ripped it right off! So if you see a blue air hose lying on I 40 westbound near Albuquerque, please return it to me!

I discovered the missing air hoes while we were getting gas and I was inspecting the towbar linkage as I normally do.

Here is all that was left on the jeep (The little blue nub is the remains of the air hose!):

You can imagine the look on my face when I saw that.

We stopped at a Walmart and Home Depot in Gallup, NM so I could look for an air hose and the proper fittings. I found an air hose, but apparently the brakes system requires 1/8 inch fittings that are nowhere to be found at any auto parts or hardware store in town. Great…

Where we parked in the Walmart parking lot, we were starting to get boxed in and were worried we wouldn’t be able to leave if we waited much longer.

As we were leaving, I got in the driver’s seat and adjusted the brake / gas pedals as I normally do and heard a strange crinkling sound. It sounded like an empty water bottle had rolled up underneath the pedals and was getting smashed. I looked under the dash and noticed that the cable that moves the gas pedal backward and forward had come loose and was all mangled!

Since it didn’t affect the safety of the gas pedal, and only the position of the gas pedal, we decided to keep going. However, after I started driving, I immediately noticed the gas pedal was much closer to me than the brake pedal, which felt extremely weird! We pulled over off the side of the highway and I was able to hold the mangled cable in place long enough to adjust the gas pedal so that it was even with the brake pedal.

At this point, we were beginning to question whether we should keep going or turn around. It was a little nerve-racking, knowing there was basically nothing between here and Moab, where we were headed for the night. If we had a mechanical breakdown, there wouldn’t be an RV or Freightliner shop nearby.

And it was around this time we also started thinking it’s going to be crazy with a new puppy with potential car sickness added to the mix! What have we done??

But we pressed on! We have seen some really beautiful landscapes on highway 491 north from Gallup, which is really neat to see for the first time! Very bumpy 2 lane highway, though!!

Tripp snapped a photo of some snow capped mountains on Colorado:

As it started to get dark, we unhooked the car from the RV and Carla drove it. That way we didn’t have to worry so much about the jeep brake lights not working. We also weren’t sure how steep some of the hills would be going through the mountains and we didn’t want to strain the RV brakes by having the jeep connected with no jeep brakes working.

That’s Carla behind me:


We drove through the mountains on a narrow two lane highway that was very hilly! No fun, with the weak motorhome headlights. We arrived at Spanish Trails RV park in Moab. All gravel, and only a few people staying here (all the smart people have gone south for the winter!). Nice wide roads through the park. This seems like a great spot to stay and is reasonably priced.

What’s funny is that since the 90s I’ve dreamed of mountain biking in Moab and also wanted to go off-roading here. And now we are here, with no mountain bike and no 4runner. We will have to do that another time!

One awesome thing about staying at a campground where there aren’t many people is that the Internet speed can be amazing!

Tomorrow we will explore Arches National Park!

Day 4

Since we got in when it was dark last night, we couldn’t really see what was around us. We were excited to see what the landscape would look like when we woke up. It did not disappoint!

Looking out the passenger side of the RV are snowcapped mountains:

Here is what is out the other side!

Looking out the front windshield, we can see the town of Moab:

Chilly outside!

I took off half day of work and we spent the afternoon at Arches National Park. It was absolutely amazing!! So beautiful! The drive through the park was as neat or neater than the actual Arches!

We sure loved the town of Moab. It was awesome seeing so many Jeep / Land Cruiser / side-by-side rental places. I was drooling at all of the mountain bike shops and off-road vehicles! This place revolves around things I love to do!

Day 5

Nice day today! We will be back to this RV park, but for now we are heading to Salt Lake City to get our new puppy!

Our drive started off with more awesome Canyonland scenery:

We got up to 7500′ in elevation through snowy mountains! It was a little nerve wracking, but so worth it!

We got setup at the Pony Express RV Resort, which is very nice!

And the moment we had been waiting for!


She had no issue sleeping in her new crate. The breeder told us she likes music, so I put on some nice smooth jazz and she seemed to like that! Plus, the floors are heated which she seems to like!

She even woke up and scratched at her door when she had to go potty! We are off to a great start! We all sure love her! She is so tiny at only 4lbs. They told us she will likely be around teacup sized, which doesn’t get more than about 15lbs.

Day 6

Day 7

She loves to play with ice cubes!

Day 8

After a lot of deliberation, we decided to leave a day early and head south on I 15 towards Las Vegas, to avoid going back through the snowy mountains that were supposed to get a lot more snow recently.

Unfortunately, we did hit snow around 6500 feet while going through some mountains south of Salt Lake City. Good thing we had the new brake cable for the jeep!

We stopped in a town called Cedar City, Utah and stayed at a mostly empty KOA.

Marley did really well traveling in the RV, after the initial shock of the slideouts coming in. She was probably thinking, “Why is this room getting smaller?”.

She slept most of the way and loves to be in her smaller crate. She feels safe in there!

To show you how small this crate and Marley are, I put my shoe next to it. You can see her snuggled inside:

Another shot to show how small her head is:

When we got settled in at the RV park, we played fetch with her and she caught on really quickly, likely because she is one fourth golden retriever!

Day 9

We had great weather to start the day!

We headed toward Las Vegas, and the scenery between Cedar City, UT and Mesquite, NV is stunning!! It’s the northwest corner of Arizona, and we had never been through that part of the state before.

First time in Nevada in an RV!

I stopped off at a rest area in Moapa, NV to use my drone.

It was neat to see palm trees again, but also odd since we had been through snow the day before!

Las Vegas!!

We then headed toward Hoover Dam.

Unfortunately, they built a new highway that goes above the dam, and you can’t see the dam unless you take an access road to it and stop at a security checkpoint. Not knowing if we could even fit our RV into any parking spaces, and given the windy access road that went along the edge of steep mountains, I decided to pass on that. We figured we will take our kids there later during a different trip and maybe do a tour of the dam.

On our way to Williams, AZ, I needed a potty break and we stopped at a truck stop that was the worst designed diesel truck driveway / parking lot ever. We ended up coming in the wrong way and there was no way to turn around with the Jeep connected. Arrrggg!!! This is the third time we’ve ever had to do that in 30,000 miles of RVing! We were basically looking at the front of a bunch of diesel trucks getting fuel, kind of like turning down a one way street the wrong way. Fortunately, we weren’t blocking the driveway, but we had to unhook the Jeep so we could turn the RV around. It actually worked out well, as it allowed me to stretch my muscles and get some fresh air! We hooked up the Jeep and off we went.

We got to Williams, AZ and stayed at the Grand Canyon Hotel and RV Resort, which is a really nice place. It started snowing with high winds around 10pm. We may be here a couple of days until the roads are cleared! By 1am, it looked like this, and is supposed to snow until 6am:

Guess we will see how it looks in the morning, and maybe the kids will have some snow to play in!

Day 10

It snowed off and on all night last night. We woke up to a couple inches of snow!

The road conditions map shows ice in several areas, some crashes, and some heavy snow around Flagstaff, so we are going to stay here one more night to let things cleared up.

It will be a good day to let the kids play in the snow!

She really hates this little squeeze toy I got for her today. It’s hilarious!

The downtown Williams area is really neat! It’s fun to walk along the shops at night.

We then went back to the RV and scraped snow and ice off the slideout awnings so they could retract in the morning. What a pain that was! Next time it snows we will put the slides in before they get covered! I needed a taller ladder….I could barely reach the top of the slides! Normally I would go on the roof for things my ladder won’t reach, but I never anticipated the roof being covered in ice!

Day 11

Well, another lesson I learned this morning was to put a heater in the water access bays if it’s going to drop down to 14°! Our water pump (or water line from the pump) froze early this morning! I have a couple of tiny ceramic heaters that I bought to keep the bays warm and forgot to use them! They thawed out the pump/lines and no leaks! Whew!!!!

Marley wouldn’t eat puppy food this morning. We talked to the breeder and they told us to feed her white rice and chicken, which she scarfed down!

Nice day to head to Albuquerque!

We stopped by Meteor Crater, which is only five minutes off the freeway and was really awesome! It’s 700′ deep and 4000′ wide.

It was “breathtaking”! (Thank you, Seinfeld!).

We made it to Albuquerque! We stayed at the Route 66 RV Resort, which is a nice, newer place with really long and wide sites.

Day 12

Here is a daytime shot of the resort we stayed at.

We made it to Amarillo and stayed at the Oasis RV resort. Nice place that is only 1.5 miles from Cadillac Ranch!

We immediately set up the RV and drove to Cadillac Ranch. It was a ton of fun!

Normally, I write this in the sand at different beaches, so this was a fun way to do it:

Next stop, home! See you next time!

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