Saturday, March 23, 2013

Awesome times at the Red Bull Rampage Track - unique experiences on the road

Have you ever heard of the Red Bull Rampage? 

 I hadn't, but I sure was missing out! 

Traveling full time brings us to new places and new experiences that I couldn't have even imagine existed.  When we leave the comforts of what we know and have known, we open ourselves up to not only the good in America but the peculiar and the unique.

The mountain bike free ride competition is one such event and experience that I never knew existed but I am so thankful I know now.  I am thankful not only because I love to watch the riders maneuver the seemingly impossible terrain, but because I have met some that rode the track while we watched and they are what makes this sport awesome.

The Red Bull Rampage is an event but it is an experience also, one to be had any time of year in Virgin, Utah.

We were off on one of our many UTV rides in the desert, destination - the mountain biking championship track put on by Red Bull.  When we arrived, we were in shock over the difficult terrain that these young men rode on.  We explored the hills and roads and ended up in the middle of the course.  There was a group of guys riding their bikes there.  

It was awesome to watch them ride down the steep ravines and red rock to the bottom.  

There is more to this story than I can even write in one sitting but, I want to share some photos of some of the riders.

Cody and Hanna are making a documentary of their rides.... coming soon.

Cody and Hanna climbing around the red rock at the new Red Bull Rampage track in Virgin, Utah.
Deep ravines make for awesome tracks down on a bike.

We found this tunnel at the old Red Bull Track on Kolob Terrace Rd in Virgin.

Patrick Schooler warming up on a few smaller jumps at the new Red Bull track.

Sun set at the old Red Bull track.

Jeremy Hottinger climbing to the top of the new Red Bull track.

Jeremy Hottinger training for this falls Red Bull Rampage competition.

Jeremy Hottinger  coming down the steep cliffs.

Patrick Schooler picking the line he will ride down at the new Red Bull track.

Patrick Schooler lifting his bike up the steep cliffs.  It has got to be tough to do.  

Patrick Schooler coming down the side and finishing his attempt to ride the Red Bull Rampage track and making it!

Jeremy Hottinger on the top of the track.

We take our Kawasaki Mule to the most awesome places.

Aaron Butler coming down a track at the new Red Bull track.

Some of the ramps and jumps are crazy!

Jeremy Hottinger and a friend.  It was awesome to meet them.

Aaron Butler jumping about a 70' jump across a ravine.  It was amazing.  He made it.  It was so incredible!

The guys checking out where Aaron landed across the ravine.

Patrick Schooler coming down a jump at the new Red Bull track.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hiking, Exploring, and Hot Tubs - a day on the road

Today was one of those days that remind me why we are on this trip.

It began with an average morning and chores.  Whether in a house or camper - there is plenty to do.

We worked on school subjects until my husband could take his lunch break.  He and I jumped in our Kawasaki Mule and road up to the Red Bull Mountain Bike Track in Virgin, Utah.  We like to hike for our daily exercise and this place had some really steep hills to help me with my backside.

He and I spent an hour climbing up and down the red, crumbly cliffs and slopes weaving through the mesas and buttes west of Zion National Park.  With the gorgeous formations in the background and no one around, it was wonderful.

We had to head on home so he could get back to work.  We pealed out in our Mule at its top speed of 23 mph.  

Later in the day, I told the kids we were going to take a ride up the mountain to Kolob Reservoir.  The kids are all almost done with a bad cold and I figured a ride in the van would be fine.  We just wouldn't let them get out and run too much.  Shae was able to go with us, thank goodness.  The road covered in  snow at the top, which he insisted on driving in the deeper parts.

I told him, "Honey!  We don't have 4 wheel drive!"

He replied, "That's what tow haul is!"  

We always joke that our 15 passenger van has turbo, can go in 4 x 4, and do just about anything my husband wants - all he has to do is push that tow haul button!

We got quite a ways up the road when we came to the road closed sign.  The park doesn't plow the snow and it was too deep past that point.  Oh well, we don't cry of the little things, so we just turned it around, attempting to avoid the deep, thick mud in the ditch behind us, and headed back down the mountain.

Shae decided to continue our adventure by going to Grafton, Utah - a ghost town nearby.  I will write more on that later, but let me tell you, it was a very interesting place to stop.

Since I had made a big breakfast and lunch, I decided to have Hanna make sandwiches for dinner.  Before that, her and I took a dip in the hot tub and then I went to a wine tasting party at the Lodge.  

Quite a day!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Windy Days on the Road

The wind blows my hat off all the time in Utah. The wind whips through the mountains, ravines, and valleys.  The views of the snow blowing from the mountain peaks is breathtaking.

It is that time of year when the March winds blow.  I remember our stay in Carrizozo, New Mexico in 2009.  I didn't know how strong the wind could blow there.  It had sustained winds of 60 mph for days.  I wanted to go to a motel, but instead decided to ride it out at the campground.  We left the camper hooked to the truck to try to help the stability.  I never felt in danger but was that camper rockin'!

March, April, and May are storm months in the Midwest.  While here in the west, we experience the winds and then watch them head east and turn into severe weather.  

Wind and heat do a number on our tires. We should own stock in a tire company!

With 24 vehicles tires and 36 additional tires on ATVs, UTV, and bikes, we really watch wind, temperature, and pressure!  As the spring winds starting to stir, we will plan our travel days around decent temps and low wind speed.  While driving across Kansas, we watched our camper go at a slight angle behind us.  The wind was pushing so strong that it was hard to keep her going straight.  Add high temperatures, about 108 degrees, and there is a recipe for a large expense - all new tires.

An unexpected storm with straight line winds hit our camper early
in the morning and ripped our awning off.

Straight line winds in the Midwest in the spring makes us feel like we are going over!  Shae always calms me down by reminding me just how much this camper can withstand.  All our jacks down helps us to hang on tight to the ground.  Sadly, this storm snuck up on us early in the morning and ripped our awning right off.  And, to add insult to injury, the awning ended up landing on our van door and side mirror and put a big scratch down the side.  We ended up not replacing the awning.  Our cousin gave us an easy up from her craft show days. I actually like it better!  We can take it places with us and also move it when the sun moves.
The wind at the Colombia River Gorge in Washington
State gave us snarls that took a long time to comb out!

It was an awesome sight to see the snow blowing from the tops
of the mts around us in Marysvale, Utah.
When we arrived at a campground in Dublin, Texas, we noticed everyone had tarps tied to their picnic table pavilions.  It only took a day to realize it was to help block the almost non-stop winds in the spring that blow across that massive state.  We bought more tarps and tied them up and things were much better.  After a couple of weeks we got used to the wind and didn't let it stop us from our many adventures.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sickness in the camper is the poops!

Sickness in a camper is no fun.  There isn't anywhere to get away and have peace and quiet.  If I want to quarantine a child to attempt to keep the illness from spreading I might as well forget it.  There is no where to go!

Colds are hard enough but then think about eight people with diarrhea   Or what about all having the pukes at the same time!

Miserable is an understatement.  Sickness on the road is one of the things I dislike most about traveling full-time.  

And it never fails, whenever we visit family we end up sick!  Why is that?

With eight people in our family it can sometimes take weeks before a sickness cycles through everyone.  

Imagine a diarrhea smell permeating everything in your bedroom for days, because, remember -

the bathroom is in my bedroom!

Not only can you smell the diarrhea but you can hear the person going diarrhea   It is quite embarrassing when one of us girls has that issue and everyone is giggling at the table as they hear us go!

Of course, puking is bad enough anywhere, but in these small quarters it is extremely difficult.  We have had bowls and garbage cans stationed through out the camper for all who would need it.  Thankfully we have not had that type of flu this year and hopefully we will continue to avoid it.

If you need a nap - too bad!  There is no way it will happen.  During the first year of my new baby's life, I had two naps with him.  I had to stay up at night with him and then go all day.  

I am not complaining or griping I am just stating the facts.

So, the moral is -if you are sick - stay away!

You have no idea......

We spent the weekend with family and at
the Hoover Dam with visitors from all over
the world, so who knows where Tytus got
sick from!