RV Trip: Week 9: Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Palm Springs & Laguna Beach

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So many beautiful sites this week. I was thinking this week, “could I pick a favorite spot so far?” and the answer is NO. My answer inspired me to write this status update on my personal Facebook page.

“Getting ready to hitch up our home and move it to the next place.

Every time we do this part of me wants to stay where we are just a little bit longer to soak up the beauty.

But then we get to the next spot, and it is just as uniquely beautiful as the last.

Unique being the key word! Beauty is unique; you can’t compare one to another whether it be a geographical spot or a person.

We are all unique; we were not made to be compared to another, we were made to be valued for our uniqueness.

What makes us unique are our gifts. Let them shine for the one who created you.”

You are beautiful just the way you are.

Now on to what we got up to this week.

RV Trip: Week 9: Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas.

Monday we got up, packed lunches and hit the road for Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas. At our first stop, we got out to explore a bit and climb a few rocks before heading to the trail we had picked out as our hike for the day.

It was a chilly day in the low 50s, but considering it was just above 30 when we were at the Grand Canyon last week, it felt pretty warm to us.

RV Trip: 22 weeks of camping across North America. Red Rock Canyon just outside Las Vegas

There were several hikes in the park to choose from and in the end, we picked Calico Tanks Trails. I think this was our first “moderate” hiking trail of our trip. Up until now, we have stuck to hiking “easy” trails only.

We picked it because it promised great aerial views of Las Vegas and it lived up to that promise. However, the whole family commented on the difference in difficulty there is between an easy trail and a moderate one.

It was a good workout getting up to the top, but the views made it worth it.

RV Trip: A stop at Trader Joe's to fill up on favorites.

We were finished seeing the highlights of Red Rock Canyon National Park by mid-afternoon, so we hit a few stores on the way back to our RV park.

One stop was Trader Joe’s. I felt so blessed to find one just off the highway since this Sunday was my birthday and Trader Joe’s sells some specialty foods that I treat myself to just twice a year: once at Christmas and once at my birthday.

I stocked up on dark chocolate covered ginger and various other ginger flavored products that I will spare you from hearing about as I know that ginger lovers are few and far between. But if you are a fellow ginger fan drop everything and head to Trader Joe’s. You can thank me later for the ginger heaven you discover there.

 RV Trip | Camping across America | Mesquite Flats In Death Valley National Park

Tuesday we pulled out of the Las Vegas area and headed for Death Valley. I once read a book by an ultra marathoner who talked about the Death Valley area; he made it sound so dry and barren I didn’t think I would find beauty in the area.

BOY WAS I WRONG! Creation once again shouted loud and clear that even those things that look dry and barren can be fruitful and beautiful.

Just over a mile outside our campground were the incredible Mesquite Flat sand dunes. We spent just over 2 hours exploring them. Our kids were having so much fun running down them as fast as they could I of course just had to join them. I might have turned 43 this Sunday, but I am still such a kid at heart.

RV Trip| Death Valley Sunset

After dinner Tuesday night I was in the RV trying to do some reading on ways to improve blogger readership when something tugged at my heart and said drop that researching and get outside.

Now I know from earlier in the trip to listen to that voice and so I did. I grabbed a chair and started to watch the sun disappear behind the nearby mountains. The clouds above caught the colors of the sun like a canvas catches the paint of an artist. For the next 30 minutes, I watched the most beautiful sunset unfold.

 RV Trip: Week 9: Death Valley, Dante's Peak.

With just one full day to explore one giant and geographically diverse park, we got an early start to our exploring Wednesday and headed right to the Golden Canyon trail that took us out to Red Rock Cathedral.

After we were done, we headed up to Dante’s Peak where we dangled our feet over the edges of rocks enjoying the view of the salt flats below while we at our lunch.

RV Trip | Badwater Basin in Death Valley.

After we hike around the peak for a while, we headed back down to the valley and eventually made our way to Badwater Basin. This is the lowest point below sea level in North America.

It is also probably the hottest place in North America. I couldn’t believe how much hotter it was out on the salt flats than it was on top of Dante’s peak.

RV Trip | Driving a camper trailer for the first time.

 Wednesday evening my husband and I walked around the campsite enjoying the view of the stars. As we walked, I told him I was feeling like I would like to try driving the truck while it was hitched up to the trailer. I felt like Death Valley was the perfect area to try due to little traffic.

So the next morning I did just that! I drove the truck with our 27-foot travel trailer hitched up to it for just over an hour. I was surprised by how easy it was to pull. I thought I would feel it more than I did. Now, I am in no way ready to maneuver it in and out of a gas station, but I do believe that if my husband should want a break, I could take over for a while.

RV trip: Palm trees of Desert Springs

After a relatively long day of driving Thursday, we arrived in Desert Springs where my husband’s parents winter.

The temperatures were in the low 80’s when we arrived, and the sun was shining.

RV Trip | Laguna Beach

Friday our family drove into nearby Palm Springs to check it out and eat lunch together, but the main event for our time in Desert Springs didn’t even take place in the nearby area.

You see, Sunday was my 43rd birthday, so my husband planned a night away just the two of us near the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Laguna beach.

Although it was misty during our time there, the views were still fantastic. A highlight of the trip for me was a solo run down beach side early Sunday morning.

RV trip | Trying local food | Urth Caffee

When we were registering at our hotel, we asked for a good local restaurant recommendation. The hotel manager told us to try Urth Caffe.

WOW! The food was fantastic. In fact, we loved it so much that we ended up eating their again for dinner and one more time for breakfast. Yep–the food was that good.

Wisdom Learned On The Road

12 Tips For Long RV Road Trips

10 Things To Bring When Exploring The National Parks

Want to read more about our RV trip? Dig into the links below!

Finally on Our Way!

Week One Update: Nashville and Atlanta

Week Two Update: Atlanta, Savannah and St Mary’s

Week Three Update:  St Mary’s and Little Talbot Island

Week Four Update: Orlando and Niceville

Week Five Update: Niceville, New Orleans, and Sea Rim State Park

Week Six Update: San Antonio, Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands

Week 7 Update: Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks & Sedona

Week 8 Update: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

Week 9 Update: Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach (you are here)

Week 10 Update: Joshua Tree, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Sequoia

Week 11 Update: Sea Glass Beaches and The  Giant Redwoods of California

Week 12 Update: Seattle, Port Angeles, & Victoria

Week 13 Update: Nanaimo, Tofino, & Courtenay

Week 14 Update: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Week 15 Update: Okanagan

Week 16 Update: Okanagan

Week 17 Update: Canadian Rockies, Drumheller

Week 18 Update: Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake

Week 19 Update Carters of The Moon, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton

Week 20 Update Grand Teton National Park, Salt Lake City, and Zion

Week 21 Update Kolob Canyon, Red Cliffs, Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon and Estes Park

Week 22: Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Custer State Park, And Wind Cave National Park

The Final RV Road Trip Update: And Now We Are Home

Visit our RV Trip page for the story of how the trip came to be, a map of our route, and more

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Comments

  1. Congratulations on driving the truck and camper, and a late Happy Birthday to you!

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