Week 52: Grand Teton National Park

After visiting the Black Canyon, it was time to head out of Colorado for a while (but not forever!).  We traveled west, past Grand Junction and Moab, and stayed overnight in a dusty and quiet RV park in Green River, Utah.  Anecdotal reports (read: some guy at a gas station) suggested that we avoid heading west on Interstate 70 from there, so we took Route 6, an easy ride through typically gorgeous Utah terrain.

With a little bit of time before the events to come, we ended up spending three days in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City. You can see pictures from our stay there, including stunning Antelope Island, in this blog post.  Then, still taking it easy, we stopped for an overnight stay on our way north to Grand Teton National Park.

We picked the location based entirely on the name: Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

We forgot to take pictures, so we borrowed this one from the Internet.  We’ll return it later!

True to its name, the town has several hot springs, along with cold-water river tubing.  To be honest, it was pretty hopping for a Sunday night in an Idaho town with a population of 407!  All of our neighbors at the RV park were partying it up – loudly, outdoors.  Not to worry – we were headed for the springs anyway.

As it turned out, the hot springs were very nice, but the “lava” part is not entirely an exaggeration.  It was hot enough that we could only spend a little bit of time in the water before hopping out to cool down.  After repeating that process about four times, we walked back to the RV, which was parked approximately one hundred yards away.

Not sure it would be worth planning a vacation around, but Lava Hot Springs was a pretty nifty place to spend an evening.

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right

The next day we got to our real destination.  Well, close to it, which is to say, Victor, Idaho, population 2,000. As it turns out, Grand Teton National Park is not the easiest place to get to. It is literally built into a mountain range.  Victor is on the western side of that range, and our drive in involved switchbacking up and then down an insanely steep mountain, eventually bringing us into Jackson, Wyoming.

We were glad we stayed in Victor, because trying to get over that mountain in the RV would definitely have landed us in some kind of viral video.

View from the top of the pass.  F the Old West, indeed.

We spent our two days in Victor visiting Grand Teton National Park, and it was glorious.

On the first day, we drove the big scenic loop drive, taking approximately one million photos and swearing continuously at how gorgeous everything was.  Even the visitor center was awesome!

If you’re not familiar with the park, it has two main parts. One part sits on a broad, shockingly flat plain (there’s even an airport!) between mountain ranges, dotted with beautiful trees, rivers, and lakes.

This valley is called Jackson Hole.

Eponymity

The second part of the park encompasses the mountains themselves. “Grand Teton” is both the name of the park and the name of the highest peak (the one in the middle below).  It’s a handsome, brooding crag, and you’re about to see it in the background of a lot of photographs.

The scenic drive took us past the peaks and then back, showing us Grand Teton and his friends from a thousand angles in a thousand shades of sunlight. We were fascinated with photographing the mountains, long past the point where we normally get bored, and the park just kept showing off in new and stunning ways.

Room With A View

We could spend forever naming these places, but we’ll just show off a few, like this awesome picnic spot near Jackson Lake where we munched our lunch. (We were champion lunch-packers by this point in our trip, by the way.)  It was mid-June, the weather was amazing, and there were flowers everywhere.

Rough life.

There was also the beautiful Jenny Lake, which Jake’s family fell in love with during a trip out West in his early teenage years.  Owing to parking issues and some off-camera construction, the experience in person was a little lackluster this time, but you still can’t beat that view.  The water here is a preposterous blue.

(Incidentally, Jenny Lake features in a beautiful story written by our friend Maggie.)

If you’re wondering, Jake’s bright blue shades were purchased in the gift shop after his existing pair broke – and yes, they do say “Grand Teton” on them.

Effing Gorgeous

Everything at Grand Teton was stunning, but our favorite of all was probably Oxbow Bend. Even though this picture turned out really well, it was truly awe-inspiring in person.

Remember how we mentioned swearing at the beauty a lot?  Well… this was definitely a 4-letter view.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

We saw most of the tourist-friendly stuff on Day 1, so Day 2 was spent doing our favorite national park activity: hiking! We drove a few miles down a bumpy dirt road (a common Jake and Heather refrain) before getting nervous about the road conditions and parking in a random dirt lot.  We thought we were close to the trailhead… but we were actually a mile away.  D’oh!

After finally making it to the trail, we set off through a dense pine forest which just smelled amazing.  Soon, we emerged to a glorious view of… well, whatever this lake was called.  “Lake Something.”  Or maybe… “Something Lake.”

Whatever.  It was pretty.

(Note from Heather: It’s Phelps. Phelps Lake.)

We knew this was supposed to be a difficult hike, but getting to the lake was easy.  We decided at this point we were just so badass that it felt easy.  Then… we started going up.

And up.

And up.

Friends, this is what happens when you choose to hike up something named “Death Canyon”: you get your 3-letter word kicked. The hike ended up being 10+ miles round trip, most of which was spent going straight up a mountain, before turning around and heading right back down.

Oh, and as a fun bonus? The trail runs directly through grizzly bear habitat, and as it happened, we coincidentally went about an hour in the morning without seeing any other humans.  It was just us, a can of bear spray, a walking stick, and some very close vegetation – making lots of worrisome noises.

We never did see a bear, though – at least not at Grand Teton – and the closest we came were some frolicking marmots at the top.  The scenery was unparalleled, as was the feeling of hiking through the huge, U-shaped glacial valley.  We enjoyed another picnic lunch with a view, sitting near a mountain waterfall and a cool old log cabin, before enjoying the bear-free scenery on our much easier descent.

It was a tough but satisfying day, and who would know if we later saw a bunch of young children scampering up that supposedly-difficult trail with infuriating ease?  Certainly not our readers.

Go Fisch

Our final note from Grand Teton has nothing to do with scenery. Jake’s great-uncle on his father’s side moved out to Idaho with his family many years ago, and as it turns out, they all still live out in this area.  We met up for a fantastic home-cooked dinner at the home of Jake’s cousin (once-removed), which turned out to be in… Victor, Idaho.

In fact, after getting lost and driving around aimlessly for a few minutes, we realized her house was basically directly across the field from the RV park we were staying at.  Imagine a Family Circus cartoon, and you’ve pretty much got our driving route.

Courtesy of xkcd

All’s well that ends well, though, and we did finally make it.  It was great to reconnect and, in Heather’s case, meet the other half of the Fischer family for the first time. This was the end of a very long stretch of time in which we saw literally nobody else we knew, so this was a special and much-needed night for us.

We forgot to take a group picture to commemorate, but we did leave laden with food, so we’ll call it an A+ evening on the whole.  Thanks again, Idaho Fischers!

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We’ve reached the end of our roadtrip!  We’re settled down in Denver, but we’re going to keep making blog posts and posting our favorite photos from the trip, so stay tuned for more.

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Week 50: Mesa Verde & Hovenweep

After a week in Moab and visits to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, we continued on our roadtrip, heading southeast into southwestern Colorado.  We had originally planned to visit the famous Monument Valley at this point – it appeared in Forrest Gump, along with many, many westerns – but it didn’t work out.  The area around Monument Valley is incredibly remote, and with so few services, we had been planning to just park in the desert for free.  However, with triple-digit temperatures every day, no air conditioning, and a living space that heats up like a greenhouse, we decided to save Monument Valley for “next time” and head for cooler climates.

Well… air conditioned climates, anyway.  We stayed in Cortez, Colorado, just northeast of the Four Corners (which we did not visit because it is a horrible tourist trap).  From Cortez, it was a short but winding drive to visit Mesa Verde National Park, and a longer but much straighter drive to Hovenweep National Monument.

One exciting development, by the way: Cortez had real stores!  Safeway, CVS, a place to change the oil on our RV – all very welcome for your weary correspondents, who had spent the last month in small towns in the Utah desert.

Mesa Verde

We only had two days in Cortez, but we made them count.  We first visited Mesa Verde National Park, a little-known park set, like Canyonlands’ Island in the Sky, on top of a giant plateau.  Unlike Canyonlands, however, the scenery is not the draw here (although the views were gorgeous).

Unique among national parks, the main draw of Mesa Verde is the huge number of archaeological sites.  In particular, this is the finest place in the country to see Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, located along the edges of valleys like the one below.

The area around the park has been settled since approximately 7500 BCE, but most of the cliff dwellings were built between 750 and 1300 CE.  They are amazing in person, surprisingly large and in excellent condition due to the dry desert air.  (It’s worth noting that many were also restored from ruin by the park service.)  We previously saw cliff dwellings at two locations (one and two) in New Mexico, directly to the south, but the buildings at Mesa Verde blow the ones we saw out of the water.

Much of the park involves a self-guided driving tour, where we looked at various preserved archaeological sites.  This frankly wasn’t all that interesting, but periodically an overlook would provide a view down into a nearby canyon, and we would excitedly point out a visible cliff dwelling.  They’re well camouflaged, so we probably missed some – the park holds more than 600 cliff dwellings in total.

After the drive, we had tickets to take a ranger-guided tour through the Balcony House, one of Mesa Verde’s three largest ruins.  The tour group was huge, but we all fit inside the incredibly well-preserved main room.  In our photos, you can see different rooms – used for storage and sleeping – as well as the large central “kiva,” the round cut-out in the floor that served religious and ceremonial purposes.

The most important part about Balcony House is actually hidden.  In the back of the cave, there is a small, muddy pool of water, fed by a spring in the rock.  Access to drinkable water was hugely important in such an arid region, and all of the major cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde were built around such natural plumbing.

One other fun thing about Balcony House is that the Native Americans who used it did not use ladders or rope.  Instead, they climbed up and down the sheer cliff walls via tiny finger-holds carved into the rock.  Crazy!  Tours today are a little more forgiving, but we did still have to squeeze through a small tunnel in the rock near the exit.

If you ever decide to visit Mesa Verde, you might want to hit the gym first.

After escaping the crowds, we took one last stop to check out the Far View Sites, a short trail that links several ruins that are on the top of the mesa. These ruins are about 200 years older than the cliff dwellings, making them over one thousand years old (!). We were pretty much the only people here, other than a ranger stationed near the trail head. Ah, sweet solitude. Our favorite way to explore.

Hovenweep

On our second day in Cortez, we stopped at the excellent Anasazi Heritage Center*, where the friendly volunteer staff answered all of our dumb questions and even gave us some chocolate bars.  (One thing that became clear to us on our trip: most of our nation’s parks and museums run on volunteers!)  The artifacts on display fascinated us, especially a seven-thousand-year-old basket, as well as the beautiful examples of modern-day basket weaving. And, of course, there was another archaeological site – ruins from the 12th century.

* The preferred word for these peoples now is Ancestral Pueblo; the term “Anasazi” comes from opposing Native American tribes, and was essentially a slur meaning “Ancient Enemy.” 

After having our fill, we decided on the advice of the locals to check out Hovenweep National Monument, a tiny, extremely remote park located on the border between Colorado and Utah on the Utah side.  It’s absolutely barren all around – we were frankly surprised to find that the visitor center had electricity.

But Hovenweep protects something very, very cool: the ruins of dozens of ancient brick towers, built hundreds of years ago by Native Americans – and then abandoned.

The towers at Hovenweep were built between approximately 1200 and 1300 CE, mostly along the canyon edges, with some on the canyon floors.  Nobody really knows why the towers were built, or why they were abandoned.  The largest are three stories high, the precision-cut stone and mortar still holding strong in the desert air.

You can get right up close to many of the towers, with others only visible in the distance.  With so many unique and arresting shapes, it’s a photographer’s paradise.  It was also quiet and still, as only about 4 other people were around in the entire area.  For the first time, we broke out our zoom lens and tripod, trying to capture the somber, slightly awed feeling we felt at being among the ruins.

We probably still didn’t do it justice, but we hope you like the pictures.

Roadtrip Status

We’ve reached the end of our roadtrip!  We’re settled down in Denver, but we’re going to keep making blog posts and posting our favorite photos from the trip, so stay tuned for more.

Our trip to Mesa Verde and Hovenweep was June 10-11, 2016.

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Week 45.1: North Cascades National Park

As a day trip from our campground north of Seattle, we headed out to North Cascades National Park.  The park is situated northeast of the city, very close to the Canadian border, and all we can say is:  Wow.

North Cascades is a stunner.

North Cascades is somewhat unusual in that there isn’t all that much to do – the park is mostly undeveloped, save for a village servicing the hydroelectric dams and some hiking trails and overlooks.  We were there in early May, and as it happened, that was too early in the season even for most of the hiking trails.  (You’ll see why later.  Foreshadowing!)  So, although we love to hike at national parks, we just drove through and enjoyed the views.

Jack Kerouac once worked as a fire spotter at North Cascades for a few months, at the colorfully-named “Desolation Peak,” and we can see the appeal.  The views here are incredible.  The lakes are bright blue, colored by “rock flour” – stones ground to dust millennia ago by the weight of the glaciers.  Most have since retreated, but the park still holds many of the country’s glaciers.  In fact, in many ways, the park is like a less-developed version of Glacier National Park.

U.S. Route 20 runs through the park, and it had only just opened when we arrived.  We didn’t fully understand why until the road began to climb – and the snow piled up alongside us.  Soon, we were driving past massive snow banks, 10+ feet high, the road cutting sharply through the drifts.  In May.

We were wondering about the mammoth job required to clear the road, which can receive up to 40 feet of snow per year and is prone to massive avalanches.  However, when we reached the pass which marked the unofficial end of our scenic drive, we got to see it in action:  the road crews hadn’t quite finished with their snow removal.  The scenic overlook was completely snowed in, with two gigantic plows waiting to finish the job.

Of course, we had to get a picture.

Luckily, a fellow tourist alerted us to an alternative overlook a mile down the road, where we enjoyed a truly epic view.  North Cascades is definitely a “show, not tell,” kind of park, so we’ll leave the rest up to the pictures.

Roadtrip Status

Still alive?  Check.

Where are you now?  “Chicago,” which really means “an hour away from Chicago in Indiana.”

Next location?  TBD.

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Weeks 21-22: Facing the Truth or Consequences

After spending several weeks retooling our RV in El Paso, it was finally time to get back on the road. Our first destination? The oddly-named town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The town was originally named “Hot Springs,” but it changed its name in 1950 to win a radio show contest. The show has long since ended, of course, but the town kept the name anyway.

A real marketing success, if you think about it.

We visited the town and had some “mind-blowing” waffles (according to Jake), then wandered around. It’s a strange place in a good way, with random incredibly-pink and purple buildings, and a window covered with cassette tapes.  (We forgot to get a picture, but here is one by someone else.)  There were a lot of shops but we have no idea what they are like, since at around 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning, almost everything was closed, and wouldn’t open until noon. (Or “noon-ish.”) Retail was apparently suffering a hangover.

As for the hot springs baths in the former Hot Springs, which are supposed to be quite enjoyable, we’re sorry to report we never tried them. We fully planned on it, but then, we kinda just forgot?

Whoops!  What can we say, we do a lot of stuff.

Phrasing!

Our campground during our stay in Truth or Consequences was Elephant Butte Lake State Park. “Butte” here is supposed to be pronounced like “She’s a beaut,” and not like “Elephant butt,” but to be honest, we pretty much called it “elephant butt” the whole time we were there. I mean, how could you not??

Anyway, it’s a popular destination, and for good reason. The lake itself is large and very pretty, and very man-made – not many natural lakes in this part of New Mexico, we reckon – and the lake is surrounded by scenic-looking mountains (the “buttes”). Our RV parking spot was more or less right on top of the lake, and the view was fantastic.

Before and since, it’s the most beautiful place we have parked. The sunsets were glorious.

There was one quirky aspect to the view, though. Imagine a beautiful lake with beaches and sand, glistening in the sun.  Picture it in your head. Nice, right? OK, now, just sprinkle some port-a-potties around out there.

Yeah, you read that right.  Just mentally drop them right out there by the water, or maybe in a nice scenic area. That’s how they do it at Elephant Butte Lake.

At first, we thought the restrooms were ugly, and probably a little unnecessary, since we never even saw one get used (and there were many). But in time, we came to appreciate: these are the most majestic port-a-potties we will ever see.

This must be what port-a-potty heaven looks like.

We Are The Ones Doing The Knocking

Portable facilities aside, we liked the view at Elephant Butte Lake so much that we decided to shoot our Breaking Bad-themed holiday cards there.

Not with a view of the port-a-potties, of course.  Those were carefully avoided.

It’s March, so this is dumb, but: Happy Holidays 2015!

The shoot entailed driving out on one of the park’s dirt roads with our RV to what we hoped was a quiet spot. Then, we put on our costumes: santa hats, hazmat suits, gloves, goggles, and fake respirators. We set up a tripod, mounted the camera, and… wasted 20 minutes trying to figure out how to trigger the image remotely using our phones (while wearing goggles and santa hats, mind you).

We eventually gave up and just had Jake trigger the 10-second timer, then run back down the hill in his hazmat suit into a pose.  (Many poses.)

It turned out pretty awesomely, even if some of the resulting scenes were… strange. (We may have been practicing our rap poses a few times.) Three different cars ended up driving by the road while we were doing our photo shoot. Two of them were curious about what we were doing, then laughed and drove on when we said it was “for our holiday card” (why does that make it OK?).

The third driver stared straight down at the ground the entire way. As he drove past the two people wearing hazmat suits and respirators and Santa hats, with an RV, taking pictures on a dirt road in a state park in the desert. We aren’t exactly sure what that driver thought might be going down, but we are pretty sure he thought it would only be real if he acknowledged it.

Switches Get Stitches

While staying in “T or C” (as they say), we took a “day” trip to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  During this trip, we learned two important things.  First of all, we naïve Northeasterners learned that Western states are insanely gimungous (real word) (probably). It was 117 miles to the cliff dwellings, each way, which is a pretty normal distance for things to be apart in New Mexico.

Second, we learned that there are LOTS of mountains in New Mexico.  So many mountains!  Just mountains everywhere, really, and switchback roads going back and forth, up and down them, forever.

And those two reasons are how it took us almost four hours to go that 117 miles to the cliff dwellings.  Granted, we stopped to take some pictures on various mountains – and one mountain pass – but mostly we just switched back.  And back.  And back.  And back again.

For 117 miles.

After gawking at the snow capped mountains and pine trees of New Mexico, we finally made it to the cliff dwellings.  Set in a steep-sided, lush forest valley, 10-15 Mogollan families at a time lived in these caves, for hundreds of years, before every resident mysteriously departed in the 1300s. We wandered around inside the larger caves, marveling at the building and the black ceilings (due to soot from the fires).

We have to say, they certainly picked a good spot: the view looking out from the caves was amazing.

On our way back, since the sun was setting, we decided to take a less adventurous route.  Well… turns out that we could have easily just driven most of the way to the cliff dwellings on a highway, if only we had come from a different direction.  And not just any roads, but classic New Mexico super-straight, totally empty highways.

So, our recommendation:  see the Gila cliff dwellings, but don’t come from the east.

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What’s now:  We are in Mariposa, California, right outside Yosemite National Park.  Beautiful and Internet-scarce.

What’s next:  Drinking wine in Napa!  We have a rough life.

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Week 12.5: Drinking & Driving in Charlotte & Asheville… Respectively.

Welcome back friends!  If you didn’t see it, we just posted a… post… about our RV renovations, where you can get a glimpse of our high-ambition, low-skill interior remodeling. The renovation was certainly a learning experience, and as the days go by, and our memories fade, it’s something that we might take up again in the new year. The bedroom won’t renovate itself!  [Ed. note:  Heather added those last two sentences unilaterally.  They do not represent the opinions of all Nothing Mundane affiliates.]

Returning to our road trip, we traveled from Richmond, Virginia to North Carolina, “Ol’ Northy,” and the metropolitan regions of Charlotte and Asheville.  Our mission:  have fun and mooch off our friends.

Charlotte

We’ve been to a lot of places on this road trip, and sometimes it can be difficult to find a good place to eat or fun things to do.  Well, we stayed in Charlotte with our friends the Casses, and one of the great things about visiting people is that they already know the cool things to do.  For example, we had dinner at a pretty sweet bar and grill called Lebowski’s, where the food was good and the excuse to run a picture of Jake’s “The Dude” Halloween costume was made plausible.

A surprising favorite stop in Charlotte was the Lost Duffer mini-golf course, which we tried on a whim.  The first half was hilariously easy, each cup placed at the bottom of a hole resembling a giant funnel, but hey – you don’t play mini-golf to feel humiliated.  The second half of the course then went underground, into an “abandoned mine” that was definitely not “the basement of the building.”  It was dark enough that we sometimes had to play by phone flashlight, and the holes were humiliatingly challenging, but hey – you don’t play mini-golf to feel successful.

The whole experience was charmingly insane, and we would definitely go back.

We also toured the hip areas of Charlotte, stopping in for some iced coffee (served in a mason jar) which we foolishly ordered “to stay.”  Have you ever just sat around in a stylish coffee shop, drinking delicious coffee out of a mason jar, with nothing to do but talk to your good friends you haven’t seen in ages?  So boring.  We quickly pivoted to a game of 2-player reactor.

Let’s face it, human interaction is overrated, and if we’re being honest, we drank and/or gamed our way across the city.  We had great German beers at a local beer hall, combined with the first of many games of Carcassonne (a Nothing Mundane favorite and a great addition to any board game collection).  One highlight of this beer hall:  there was a corporate event being held there, and although almost everyone was dressed normally, one guy showed up in full German mountain-man regalia.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!

One thing we’ve found on this trip is that, thanks to the craft brewing revolution, you can get fantastic beer anywhere these days.  (The tiny grocery store in Marfa, Texas – population 2,000 – had an entire refrigerator devoted to microbrews.)  And in a big city like Charlotte, the options are endless – we visited several great breweries just within a few blocks of each other.  Not a bad time to be alive!

Also, there were donuts.

Mmm, doughnuts #donuts

A photo posted by Jake and Heather (@nothingmundane) on

We made one final sightseeing stop in Charlotte, heading to the Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary to make some avian friends.  The founders of Wing Haven were a husband and wife who gardened extensively, nursed baby birds back to health, and did many other do-gooder type things. This resulted in a bird sanctuary that was overflowing with beautiful birds, right in the middle of the city.

At least, that was the impression given by the mandatory 15 minute introductory video, which looked suspiciously like it was shot in the 1970s.

Here in the 2010s, the founders passed away many, many years ago, and in the course of a half-hour walk around the property, we did not see a single bird.  We didn’t see any wildlife at all, actually, not even a squirrel.  We can’t complain too much, since the garden was pretty, and admission was free.  But would it be too much to ask for them to tie a bird to a tree or something, just to keep up appearances?

Is that a bird on the ground? Oh… no, just a rock.

Asheville

We hung out with the Casses for a few days, but before we left North Carolina for good, we took a day trip west to visit Asheville.  Asheville is a quirky, fun mountain town with fantastic 1920’s style art deco architecture, thanks to a decades-long economic depression that prevented any new buildings from being constructed.  Nothing preserves like bankruptcy!

Those days are long gone, and Asheville today is pretty trendy.  The brunch spots were jammed, but we persevered, and ended up having the best fried chicken biscuit of our lives at Southern Kitchen.  There were loads of cool shops, too – we wandered into a quirky gift store that had a display on RV living.  (We are trendy by association!)  It’s also extremely liberal, and it strongly reminded us of Ithaca, New York, where we lived for three years – particularly when we wandered by a streetside hippie peace festival, which aimed to stem the power of corporations via tambourine.

However, there’s certainly still a bit of Appalachia present.  Outside of one restaurant, we saw a guy in a bluegrass band playing an actual washboard, which is all it takes to make our day.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Our final adventure in North Carolina was on the way back from Asheville, as we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We only saw about 35 miles of the Parkway’s 470 mile length, but what we saw was insanely beautiful.  The scenery is gorgeous, with pristine rivers, lakes, and forests in front of endless mountains ridges.

We can’t possibly recommend this one enough, with one caveat:  the Asheville-to-Charlotte leg doesn’t have a clearly defined end point, so be careful where you exit.  We left the Parkway at a random point, and found ourselves more or less on top of a mountain in the deep wilderness, driving down the most switchback-y road in the history of switchbacks.  It was cool!  But it also took us an hour to go about 3 miles.

Photographing the photographer. #blueridge #blueridgeparkway #asheville #northcarolina

A photo posted by Jake and Heather (@nothingmundane) on

Dammit, Joseph!

LAST BITS

What’s next:  Currently, we are in Phoenix, Arizona, “Ol’ Phoenie,” which is surprisingly pretty but disappointingly cold.  Tomorrow, we’re ditching the RV for a month and beginning a 5-day, several-thousand-mile drive back to the Northeast for the holidays.  We’re planning to stop in El Paso, Roswell, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Nashville, and who knows where else.  Wish us luck!

Obligatory social media self-promotion:  If you want to follow along and you haven’t yet, please Like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter (@NothingMundane) and/or Instagram (NothingMundane) to make sure you get all the updates.  All the cool kids are doing it.

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