Glacier National Park


Glacier National Park was everything we wanted it to be. It is arguably more beautiful than Yellowstone but with far fewer people. Honestly, the two are really such totally different places that they shouldn’t be compared, but I found the dramatic mountains of Glacier hard to beat in terms of beauty. You still need to get off the beaten path to find true wilderness in Glacier but most of the time you can drive through the entire park without encountering a single traffic jam!

We decided that the drive from Yellowstone to Glacier was too far to do in one day so we stopped at the half-way point in the one stop-sign town of Drummond, Montana. There wasn’t much to see in Drummond but it worked well for overnight camping that isn’t a Wal-Mart parking lot. The city park offers RV parking right by the river for $15 with water and electric hook-ups. We were some of the only people there, making it surprisingly peaceful.

I fell asleep during part of our drive the next day, completely missing Flathead Lake, which Brandon said was amazing. It is the largest natural lake in the west and the breezy day had lured out all of the sailors. We briefly considered back-tracking and camping at the lake after Glacier but eventually gave up on the idea in favor of spending more time in Portland.  We’re both really looking forward to seeing our old friends and revisiting all of our favorite places in Oregon.

For the next week we’d be staying at the Sundance Campground in Coram, Montana, just a few miles from the west entrance of the National Park. We loved this campground from the moment we pulled up. The place has been run by the same couple for the past 30 years and you can tell that they really care about the place. They were so friendly and welcoming. But what we loved most was that the park felt more like a campground and less like an RV park. There were lots of trees and the layout felt more organic than the typical parking lot layout.

The place got us to thinking about what we would do if we ran a campground of our own. There would be plenty of trees, no clear-cutting of the land. It would be laid out in loops like a state park rather than in parking-lot rows like most RV parks. There would be recycling (surprisingly hard to find at RV parks) and hiking trails. And it would be outside of a cute little town near a lake or river. But most of all, it would be a social park, a place people want to go and hang out. Possibly with a beer garden where we would sell food and drinks and have live music. Think Luckenbach, Texas but with RV camping. Sounds pretty good, right?


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Sneak Peek! Helitour of Glacier National Park

For the past few weeks we’ve been on a tour of some of the more popular national parks in the west. We’ve now toured Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National Park. All were amazing! I am currently working on the blog posts about Yellowstone and Glacier and they should be up soon. LOTS of photos to edit : )

While you wait, please enjoy this video of our helicopter tour of Glacier!

We booked a one hour tour with Glacier Helitours and it was totally worth the splurge. From the air we saw ancient glaciers up close, flew over perfect ice-blue lakes generally only seen by mountain goats, covered nearly all one million acres of the park, and crossed the Canadian border (which is really just a line of clear-cut trees). If you ever get the chance to do something like this, go for it. It’s so worth it.


Yellowstone National Park

The original plan had been to spend a few nights boondocking in the Grand Tetons, but our extended stay in Rock Springs for repairs put a kink in that plan. Instead, we would just have to settle for driving through the Tetons and promise to come back and stay here another time. Even viewed from the main road, the Tetons were stunning.


We arrived at this viewpoint at the same time as a bus full of asian tourists. Their selfie skills were seriously impressive. All my selfies seem so boring after watching these guys.



The large snow pack you see between the peaks is an actual glacier. It used to be much larger, of course, but global warming is screwing everything up. I feel very grateful that we are able to see things like this before they are gone for good.


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Check out our wedding photos!

Jenny + Brandon-146

OMG! They’re finally here! All of our wedding photos and our wedding video are now posted on the blog for your viewing pleasure. Either click on the Wedding Photos tab or click here to view them.

The page includes over 1,200 photos so please be patient while they load. But if you find an issue that is not related to your internet connection please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fix it.


Boondocking at Camp Cummins


Southern Wyoming would be much more interesting if there were still buffalo roaming about. The landscape is mostly high desert grassland and exceptionally windy. You can see for miles around but it’s not nearly as flat as it looks. The road heading West from Cheyenne steadily climbs in a straight line all the way to the summit near Sherman Peak. Even though the ascent was not as dramatic as what we had seen in the Rocky Mountains, we were still having a problem keeping our engine temperature under control. Engines typically run hotter when climbing, but ours was going way above normal operating temperature and was not cooling back down nearly as fast as it should.

This has been concerning us for a while. Our plan was to carefully proceed North towards Oregon, stopping to cool down the engine when needed and avoiding mountain passes when possible. Once we got to Oregon we would take it to the Cummins mechanic that we had been to before. Our RV engine is a Cummins 8.3L 300HP turbo diesel motor and we feel safer taking it to a specialized mechanic that works on these larger engines. This plan probably would have worked out just fine, but we got a lucky break when we stopped in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

With our time in Colorado almost up we had one final goal, to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park. This will be the first in our National Park tour. Once we leave Colorado we’re heading north to visit Yellowstone and Glacier! Stick around and enjoy the scenery, deer herds, and bison from the comfort of your favorite chair.

We left the James M. Robb State Park before 7am, on our way to the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado. We were so pleased with our fairground camping experience in Durango that we decided to give it another shot. Also, most of the other campgrounds in the area were full and we were looking for something cheap because we would be leaving the RV parked for a few days while we tent camped in the Rocky Mountain National Park. No sense in over-paying for a camping spot we’re mostly just  using for storage.

The drive was less remarkable than what we’ve been seeing the past few weeks. We were on I-70 the entire time. The interstate was dull, like most interstates, and very bumpy. Every so often we would hit a pothole and our fridge door would fly open, sending the ketchup, pickles, and last night’s leftovers onto the floor. I was napping in the passenger seat and kept waking up to the sound of food flying across the RV. Each time I would leap out of my seat to shut the fridge and clean up whatever fell out this time. Luckily, the only thing that actually busted open and spilled was a carton of yogurt. We didn’t really like that flavor anyway.

Camping at the Boulder County Fairgrounds is first-come first-serve but there were plenty of spots left when we arrived. This park is set up more like a traditional RV park than the Durango fairground had been. There were about 50 spots but they were all pretty narrow. For the most part there are no staff at this park. You pick your own spot from the available empty spaces and pay at a kiosk. But we didn’t have any problems and all of our neighbors seemed to be doing fine as well.

Once we were settled into our spot we made a store list and picked a spot for lunner. Our choice was a place called the Roost in downtown Longmont. It was excellent. They had shaded rooftop seating and an interesting menu. I had Thai pork tacos and Brandon had chicken fingers and a spiked sweet tea. How southern of him.

We were honestly pretty impressed with the suburb of Longmont. We were expecting another boring suburb full of Costcos and Targets and with no discernible center. Instead, we found a lovely main street with lots of local shops and eateries. It was also very clean, with people out and about everywhere and ample parking. Sure, not all of Longmont is picturesque but it was much better than we expected. We picked Longmont as our home base because we wanted to be within driving distance of Rocky Mountain National Park as well as Breckenridge where we had a potential off-road trip in the works. Also, just about everything else in the area was booked. The off-road-trip fell through but our choice of spot still worked out well.

Our main goal for our first night in Longmont was to pack for our camping trip at Rocky Mountain National Park. All of our camping gear was stashed in the lockers underneath the RV. We needed to drag it all out, make sure everything is in working order, and strap it all to the roof rack on the Jeep. This would be our first tent camping experience of the trip and, actually, the first tent camping trip we’ve ever been on with just the two of us.


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Wedding Photos!

I don’t have all of our wedding photos up on the blog yet (and I’m still waiting on the video) but check out the awesome slide show I just added to the Wedding Photos page!

More photos and video will be available here soon! I’ll give you all a heads up as things get added.

Slowing down and Exploring the Colorado National Monument  

A few weeks ago we had a panic moment when we realized that we hadn’t booked a camping spot for 4th of July weekend. While we don’t usually have trouble finding spots at the last minute, the big summer holidays have been a problem ever since we bought the Alpha Uno in early 2015. Our favorite state parks would be close to empty most weekends, but come Memorial Day, Labor Day, or the 4th of July and everyone was suddenly out camping.

We spent  a couple of hours (while hiding from the heat in Santa Rosa, NM) scouring the Internet for any open spot in the state of Colorado for 4th of July weekend. We kept coming up short until Brandon stumbled upon the James M. Robb State Park outside of Palisade, Colorado. They had a spot open for the entire week! We would also still be heading in the right direction (north) and not backtracking.

The James M. Robb State Park is really a series of five different parks along the Colorado River in far western Colorado. The parks are also very close to the Colorado National Monument, which features hiking, river-rafting, and the stunning drive along Rim Rock Drive through the park.

So for the next week, the James M. Robb State Park would be our home. We were staying in the Island Acres section of the park, which is the farthest from the Monument but very close to Palisade, Colorado. Palisade is a quaint little town that is mostly known for farming. They grow lots of fruits and also have a few wineries.

Overall, this entire area is strikingly different from the small mountain towns we have been visiting. When we left Ouray we dropped significantly in elevation and the aspen, cedar, and pine were replaced by red sandstone cliffs and cottonwood trees. It felt like we were back in Northern New Mexico.

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