Where to begin…We have experienced a lot of different things between our last blog entry and this one, but we will try to get up to date.

We left our work camping paradise on Lake Powell and caught a ride to Vegas with Doug and Teresa for a very enjoyable night on the town before boarding our plane back east for the Taylor Family Reunion.

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Arriving in North Carolina, it was nice to see our kids (and theirs) and we were able to accomplish a few needed things then make the drive to southern West Virginia to reunite with both sets of parents as well as most of the extended family (some of whom we haven’t seen in years).

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Guess this is typical of family reunions, but this one had its own unique feel and we must say, it was a joy to see everyone that was there and we sorely missed those that were not, especially those that are no longer with us.

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After the official reunion it was nice to just be back on the family farm, overlooking the new river, just relaxing for a day or so and be around the parents, kids and grandkids.

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After a short visit to the local state park (Pipestem State Park and Resort) it was get busy driving to North Carolina to catch our flight back to Las Vegas, but this time with an extra passenger.

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Work camping jobs sometimes are just relaxed enough that you can take your oldest grandson along and still make a living while enjoying their company. After another great evening in “Sin City” with JT.  Doug and Teresa proved their friendship again by driving the 276 mile trip to pick us up.

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On our return trip to Page, AZ, we toured the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (complete with race car rides), the Valley of Fire State Park (where it was 116*), then off to St. George, UT where we spent the night so that we could visit Zion National Park the next day, along with the old Gun Smoke set and the movie set museum in Kanab, UT. Wow what a week!

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Anyway, back to the pattern of work some – play some – but keeping JT entertained is motivating us even more on the “play some” side, so other highlights include renting a boat for an overnight camping trip on the sandy beach at the end of Anasazi Canyon complete with arches, waterfalls, 1,000 ft. canyon walls, and the echo of drumming by firelight with the silhouette of a true native American boy dancing on the walls before bed time. Not to mention the 60 mile boat trip to get there with narrated tours of other canyons provided by Doug. In the evenings after work, we enjoy short trips to Lone Rock in the Jeep, or off to Horseshoe bend, or the local museums, or anything else right here close. We have also enjoyed more tour boat rides as well as a weekend trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Our North Rim trip was not the typical tourist trip, even though we did visit the “Official” National Park – our journey was the Good ‘Ol Boy” version that took us all back roads through the canyons, by the Vermillion Cliffs to the high deserts – right to the edge – then straight up to the Kaibab Plateau where we camped in our wilderness site with “killer” views from the mountain, right into the Grand Canyon.

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Working four days on, three days off, has afforded us time to enjoy JT’s company for one of the best months of our lives as it motivated us to not only entertain him, but ourselves as well. Unfortunately, as they say, “all good things must come to an end”, and before we know it, it’s time to get him back to the airport in Vegas. We do have a three-day weekend though, and want to end our visit on an adventurous high note, so, we rent a car and off to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon we go. More gorgeous views and an enjoyable visit while JT earned his third Junior Ranger badge, then its off to Route 66 where we all enjoyed the towns of Seligman, Kingman, and Peach Springs, where we are all convinced that the cartoon movie Cars got its inspiration.

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As nighttime is approaching, we wonder if our choice to tent camp was wise due to a lack of campgrounds, but we drive to the top of Hualapai Mountain and find a remote campground and pitch our tent. When morning arrives, our doubts about camping are completely erased with JT’s amazing ability to lure an elk into the campsite with a honey bun. Before you know it, he has it eating right out of his hand! Absolutely awesome!

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Leaving his new-found friend behind was almost as tough for him as leaving the friends he has made at Lake Powell, but we all want to see more, so away we go to Lake Havasu to check out the town, the island and of course the London Bridge.

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Proceeding north, we enter Southern California and travel the Needles Highway back into the southern tip of Nevada into Laughlin (a quick look around the Colorado River gambling town) then due west and due north to the Hoover Dam.

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Wow – this kid is wearing us out – just kidding, as a matter of fact, it has now become obvious to us all that we are very close to Las Vegas and that means that our visit is officially winding down.

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Such a range of emotions we have all never experienced. Elated to have had this time together, but so sad that we will all miss each other whenever JT returns home. Happy for the memories that we have all made, but sorrow filled that there will be thousands of miles between us. This, to us, has been the only negative to work camping – our adventurous spirits have led us west, but our family is east – it has afforded us the 926opportunity to share the most beautiful landscapes on earth with one of our 4 grandsons and look forward to trips with the other 3, but maybe after this job, maybe it’s time to find work camping back east for a while – since our house is on wheels and home is where we park it – what the heck…

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