Don’t Judge A Utah By Its Cover

Utah: I judged you. I was wrong and I say I’m wrong.

I have never spent any real time in Utah. I generalized it as a highly religious state with no booze to be had.

Not sure why I had these preconceived notions. Maybe it’s because every time I told someone about moving to Park City their first reaction is: “why the hell would you do that, you can’t drink in Utah.”

Well, I’m here to say Utahians (???) are not as uptight as I was lead to believe.

So. Many. Breweries. You can drink in Utah. And I intend to try every single one of them. Vanessa:1 Prohibition: 0

Naked Women! I actually saw a billboard for a strip club as we were driving to Salt Lake. Young women in Utah also have the same opportunities to ‘pay their way through college’ as those in other states.

Another thing exists in Utah that I had no freaking clue about. Salt deserts!! Amazingly beautiful, we drove through miles and miles of white, snowlike fields.

What else was surprising about Utah? Always thought Utahians were probably pretty mellow. Well, Brett joined a basketball league here and at his first game there was almost a fight on the court and the benches cleared. Utah is tough!

And did you know it snows in Utah???? Crazy, right? Ok, we knew it snowed, but we didn’t have any pictures to put in and since the four people who actually read this blog probably only look at the pictures anyways we figured we better sneak one in.

Holy crap. It snows in Utah!
Holy crap. It snows in Utah!

I’m sure there will be other surprising revelations too.
Utah…what a state!

Sweet, sweet Utah
Sweet, sweet Utah

Putting It In Park in Park City: An Open Letter to Rhonda from Brett and Vanessa

Rhonda, can you believe it has already been four months on the road? Thank you so, so, so much for putting up with us!!

Thanks for muscling through the recent 12 hour nonstop drive from San Francisco to Park City, Utah. You handled it like a champ, like we knew you would! Now in Park City, I bet you are wondering why we’ve stayed here for so long. Usually we don’t last in one location for more than a day or two before we head to our next adventure.

Well, you will probably be relieved to know that you will be able to take a longer than usual rest: six month rest that is. Yup, we’ve decided to put it in park for the winter season in Park City. We have jobs and in a few days will have an apartment.

And you deserve the rest. We have so much to thank you for:

… the ungodly altitude climbs:

Altitude Sickness Anyone?
Altitude Sickness Anyone?

…the random boondock spots. Some were amazing:

Now THIS is a beautiful boondock!
Now THIS is a beautiful boondock!
While others were questionable:

…the endless meals that couldn’t have been possible without you:

Homemade Pot Pies
Homemade Pot Pies

…taking us to some of the most beautiful sites we have ever seen:

The amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
The amazing Golden Gate Bridge.

Thanks for just letting us hang out and be silly.

Teach me how to Snuggie?
Teach me how to Snuggie?

We’ve collected a lot of bumper stickers along the way.

Nice collection on your backside!
Nice collection on your backside!
And the adventure WILL begin again. Until then, here’s to all of us surviving the snow!

Receding Glaciers…And Hairlines

We traveled all through Canada and one of our favorite places was something called the Columbia Icefield Parkway. It begins at beautiful Lake Louise and ends in Jasper, Alberta. There are a number of huge glaciers on the way. The biggest is called the Athabasca Glacier.

The glacier is absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately it will not be around too much longer.

Athabasca Glacier-2013
Athabasca Glacier-2013

You see, the glacier is receding about 7-10 feet per year. As we walked towards it, there are posts in the ground that show where the glacier used to extend to.

In 1942 it was here. Everywhere you see dirt is where the glacier used to extend to. The snow way in the background is where the glacier extends to today.

Athabasca Glacier-1942
Athabasca Glacier-1942

As we walked by the posts that showed how far the glacier had receded we couldn’t help but think of other things that recede over time. The first thing that popped into my head was my brother Adam’s hairline. If anything was receding faster than this glacier, it was his hair.

In 1982, the glacier had begun receding but Adam’s hair was full of life.

1982-Receding Glacier,, Happy Hair
1982-Receding Glacier,, Happy Hair
1982-Receding Glacier and Happy Hair
1982-Receding Glacier and Happy Hair

By 1992 the glacier was further receded and Adam’s hair was just beginning to show signs despite a raging mullet.
1992 glacier

1992 Receding Mullet
1992 Receding Mullet

As the years went on things only got worse for both glacier and poor Adam.


glacier now

receding 2

Uh oh, there's less ice and hair!!!
Uh oh, there’s less ice and hair!!!

Can’t blame global warming for Adam’s problems. It’s a sad state of affairs for both the Athabasca Glacier and his thinning hairline. The only thing we can do is appreciate all the time we have with these precious natural resources until inevitably, both disappear forever.


Home is where the heart is…We think

Being on the road for four months you spend more time on the phone with your family then you ever did before. It seems they are more interested in what you are doing now that you are living in an RV and traveling through North America. I guess it makes sense.

However, talking on the phone or face-timing is not the same as a face to face visit. That is why we decided to take a break from our travels and fly from San Francisco back to DC. We left Rhonda in good hands with Zach and Tori Allera in San Francisco and headed back.

It was well worth it. We got great home cooked meals from my mom, heated conversations about the Richie Incognito bullying case, and got to play with the new dog when he wasn’t napping.

"Let me sleep in peace."
“Let me sleep in peace.”

Yet there is something even more fun to do. Vanessa and I love playing with our nieces and nephews. We are always very gentle with them and deeply concerned about their safety.

headlock on kids
When my niece mistakenly whacked my nephew with a broom while trying to whack me, it was all in the spirit of fun and games. And when my nephews needed to be carried back to their car after a flag football game I was there to help.

"Quit whining and get in the damn car."
“Quit whining and get in the damn car.”
"Come here buddy.  I won't hurt you."
“Come here buddy. I won’t hurt you.”

Vanessa and I are actually pretty lucky. Some people would probably dread coming back home to hang with their parents and siblings, but it’s actually very entertaining and always a good time.

So, it seems home is where the heart is.

Well, Now We Know Who The Real Dipstick Is….

Oil is like water for Rhonda. She craves it. It’s essential for her survival.

Brett realizes this and obsessively checks the oil dipstick. No really, CONSTANTLY. It’s actually really cute. We get the oil changed every 3,000 miles no matter where we are or what the time constraints may be.

So imagine the look on poor Brett’s face during this exchange while getting the oil changed in Medford, Oregon:

Mechanic: Wow, you are really low on oil sir.

Brett: That can’t be, I check it all the time. Why are you checking the oil on the wrong side of Rhonda’s hood?

Mechanic: I’m checking the oil, you were checking the transmission fluid.


And that ladies and gentleman is how we once and for all discovered who the real dipstick is….