Spring Jaunt 2019 . . . 92 days, 5 states, 7000 miles, 36 blog posts

This was my fifth spring jaunt. It’s hard to believe I began this new lifestyle in August 2014. Arizona was the winner this year based on number of days per state. I’m glad I spent time exploring this state I considered devoid of beauty during the five years I called it home. My eyes have certainly been opened to landscape diversity as my appreciation for geology blossomed over these past few years.

I added 7,000 miles to my 2008 Honda CR-V during this jaunt. How many miles on my feet? I don’t know as I don’t keep a log, but I wore out at least one pair of shoes. My guess is 600-800 miles.

My Honda CR-V was my home away from home when I wasn’t backpacking. This was my first long jaunt were I didn’t stay in any paid lodging. I only stayed four nights in paid campgrounds as I prefer dispersed camping options. Showers are more important to me than lodging so at least once a week I sought that solution ranging from $1.50 for 5-6 minutes (campgrounds/RV parks) to $10-12 for unlimited time (travel centers/truck stops).

This map includes my spring travels with linked blog posts. Note: If a link doesn’t work, most likely the location is from a more recent adventure and the post is pending release.

High Points:

My first goal was to chase wildflowers. I can mark this as a WIN! Below are a couple of my favorites:

Rock art (pictographs and petroglyphs) became an unplanned focal point.

There were so many other memorable moments, like spending time adventuring with Joan and Nancy, adding to my Arizona Trail miles, and hiking both Little and Big Grand Canyons. Watching sunrises, sunsets, star-studded skies and the moon cycles. Plus so many firsts like photographing a colorful collared lizard, driving through three butterfly migrations, and seeing blooming ocotillo, joshua trees and century plants.

Low Points:

I also had a few challenges, as can be expected on a long journey. Weather played a significant role this year; it seemed I was always running away from or being chased by storms.

Dealing with a spot on my camera lens after dropping it in the sand was a low point. Initially the lens was stuck out which would have been a deal breaker but thankfully with a little cajoling the mechanical problem resolved. I purchased accident insurance through SquareTrade just for this reason.

Finding myself on a couple roads where I wasn’t comfortable but had to push through. First was on a one-lane road with blind corners and hills, those 20 miles kept my heart pumping. Second was on a sandy road after rain where the sand encased my tires eliminating anything resembling traction. It was a white-knuckle drive up a one-lane steep hill with serious consequences should I slide.

Choosing a legal dispersed campsite can be tricky at times. I have a layer loaded on my Gaia app which shows public lands. Additionally I check with visitor centers, ranger stations and BLM/FS/NPS websites. Well this was a first I’d prefer to avoid. I was at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Entering the park from the north means no resources other than a park map. I checked the map for any information on dispersed camping as well as their website. Nothing was noted. At 9pm one night, we were confronted by vehicle spot lights and two Law Enforcement Park Rangers informing us of our illegal campsite referring us to the Superintendent’s Compendium, a word I’d never heard. In all the years I’ve been asking about dispersed camping not one person had ever used that term. Once home I researched further and found this park includes very vague information on their website about backcountry camping, which includes vehicle camping. They include a link to a camping map which wouldn’t have been helpful even if we had a copy in advance. Thankfully I wasn’t solo and we didn’t get cited, although they ran our plates and licenses. As a result we ended up at this nearby campground packed beyond capacity on Memorial Day weekend.

By far the worst part of traveling is coming home to chores and responsibilities. My invisible twin just doesn’t take care of things in my absence. I still haven’t found the right solution. With motivation to get in and out within a month, I stayed focused and things came together efficiently. First priority was cleaning my car. You can imagine what the inside looked like after living in it for three months while driving on dusty roads. It took me a few days to get the grime and stank out!

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 1 through May 31, 2019

Tip(s):

  • I use a laminated yearly planner calendar to keep track of where I’ve been, what I’ve done as well as future commitments. I like the At-A-Glance version as it’s two sided. I use one side to mark activity and commitments, the other for location, etc.
  • I travel with an atlas and state maps. I use permanent highlighters to mark my travels. Thus far I’ve only found these markers at Office depot.
  • I use a note app on my phone to journal.
  • I mark my Gaia app with my campsites, even when disperse camping. I find it very helpful if I end up traveling through that area again. I write notes on the waypoint as to whether it was quiet, ok in the rain, had cell signal, etc.
  • I have a lot of details outlined in my posts about traveling and living in my car (link).

Links:

 

2018 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

Welcome to 2019, how did I spend my last 365 days?

This is an interactive map of the places I visited in 2018. If you click on an icon you’ll find the link to the associated blog post. As of this date, I have a few months of adventures to add to the map and blog. 

2018 Factoids:

  • 209 days spent OUTSIDE hiking, walking, snowshoeing, etc.
  • 27 nights spent in my tent (sadly prime backpacking season was disrupted by my accident)
  • 79 nights spent sleeping in my car
  • 10,000 miles driven
  • 1,500-2,000 miles hiked
  • 20,000+ blog visitors (WOW!)

Travel Summaries:

Popular Posts:

2019 Goals:

  • More time in Colorado, including possibly hiking the Colorado Trail
  • Late winter/early spring trip to include Southern California, Southern Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and possibly Texas.
  • Time in Glacier National Park is still high on my list
  • More shared adventures with new and old friends
  • More PCT and CDT adventures
  • Possibly fall in the Sierra; maybe early summer on the Tahoe Rim Trail if this continues as a low snow year.
  • MORE time OUTSIDE, MORE HIKING, MORE BACKPACKING, less driving!!!!

Backpacking Gear Choices:

Clothing Choices:

Specialty Gear:

Car Camping/Travel Gear:

Please let me know if any of the links are broken. THANKS!

Disclosure: Some items include Amazon Affiliate links where I might get a small financial kickback if you buy through the link.

 

 

2017 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

Map Notes:

  • Links to blog posts can be found by clicking each pin. My summer/fall posts are current; sadly I haven’t completed most of my spring posts (with the exception of Idaho).
  • Use +/- buttons to zoom for more details, or click on bracket in top right corner to open in full screen mode. The window looking icon in top left corner shows the list of hikes.
  • Map Legend:
    • Orange is Winter/Spring 2017 trip (78 days)
    • Purple is Summer/Fall 2017 trip (93 days)
    • Blue is other 2017 wanderings
  • This is my first time to use the map format in my annual review post. Please let me know what you think!

2017 Factoids:

  • 173 days spent OUTSIDE hiking, walking, snowshoeing, etc.
  • 51 nights spent in my tent
  • 85 nights spent sleeping in my car
  • 15,000 miles driven
  • 1,500-2,000 miles hiked
  • 20,000 blog visitors (WOW!)

Travel Summaries:

Miscellaneous 2017 Posts:

Popular Posts:

2018 Goals:

  • More time in Colorado, including possibly hiking the Colorado Trail
  • Late winter/early spring trip to include Southern California, Southern Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and possibly Texas.
  • Time in Glacier National Park is still high on my list
  • More J&J adventures
  • More PCT and CDT adventures
  • Possibly fall in the Sierra; maybe early summer on the Tahoe Rim Trail if this continues as a low snow year.
  • MORE time OUTSIDE, MORE HIKING, MORE BACKPACKING, less driving!!!!

Backpacking Gear Choices:

Clothing Choices:

Specialty Gear:

Car Camping/Travel Gear:

Disclosure: Some items include Amazon Affiliate links where I might get a small financial kickback if you buy through the link.

Summer/Fall Jaunting 2017

July couldn’t come soon enough. I was impatient but knew snow would be a problem in the areas I had on my agenda. Although I didn’t return home from my spring trip mid May, I wanted to explore the high elevation mountains bookmarked for summer travel. With my favorite local haunts inaccessible due to the 2016-17 snowpocalypse, all I could do was wait . . . patience is not my strong suit. But once I got the green light, off I went. This trip met and exceeded most expectations. What a wonderful way to spend a summer and fall. Staying fairly current with my blog made it even more pleasurable.

Length of Trip:  93 days (July 16 – October 18)

States Visited: 4 (Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming)

Miles Driven: 6,412 (averaged 69 miles per day, 25.9 miles per gallon, cost was around $700 at $2.50-$3.00 per gallon)

Activity Days: 52 (averaged 4 days per week)

Night Spots:

Slept in Car (42 nights, with only 2 in campgrounds)

Tent (37 nights, all while backpacking)

Friends/family (7 nights, special thanks to all who hosted me)

Paid Lodging (9 nights)

WYOMING Jaunts:

Wind River Mountains

Grand Teton National Park

COLORADO Jaunts:

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Colorado National Monument

Colorado Trail

Lizard Head Wilderness

San Juan National Forest

UTAH Jaunts:

Bears Ears National Monument

La Sal Mountains

NEVADA Jaunts:

Great Basin National Park

This smiles says it all. Making lots of deposits into my books of memories. Living life and loving it!

Chasing Spring 2017

You may recall my February post, “HELP Readers, I’m in search of early Spring.” I received many great ideas and spent time marking maps with possible destinations. However, it became quickly apparent that my wishes were unrealistic. I was not going to find my idea of spring in March this year and I was much too impatient to wait until April to begin my spring jaunt.

Detailed posts will be forthcoming, but until then, here’s a summary of my spring jaunt.

Length of Trip:  78 days (February 27 to May 16)

States Visited: 8 (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming)

National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas Visited: 10 (yes, I’ve been making good use of my annual pass)

Lassen Volcanic, California

Great Basin, Nevada

Arches, Utah

Canyonlands, Utah

Natural Bridges, Utah

Capitol Reef, Utah

Chimney Rock, Colorado

Rocky Mountain, Colorado

Fossil Butte, Wyoming

Hells Canyon, Idaho

Miles Driven: 6,851 (averaged 87 miles per day, 25.2 miles per gallon, cost was around $700 at $2.15-$2.50 per gallon)

Activity Days: 49 (averaged 4.5 days per week)

Night Spots:

Slept in Car (39 nights, with only 5 in campgrounds)

Friends/family (22 nights, special thanks to all who hosted me)

Tent (9 nights while backpacking – not nearly enough)

Cabin (4 nights on a backcountry ski adventure)

Motel (4 nights, two nights shared)

Photos Taken: 36 gigs (I’d call that a successful trip)

With summer just a few days away, I think it’s high time to share some of those photos and stories.

Where’s Jan?

I’m happy to report my lack of posts is not due to lack of adventure, instead it’s just the opposite. I’ve just returned from a 3-month adventure where I jaunted plenty and will eventually have lots of photos and stories to share.

Until then, I’ll give you a preview.

I drove nearly 9,000 miles through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Oregon.

I visited many national parks, recreation areas and monuments including

  • Lassen Volcanic
  • Mono Lake
  • Death Valley
  • Grand Canyon
  • El Morro
  • El Malpais
  • Petrified Forest
  • Glen Canyon
  • Escalante Grand Staircase
  • Capitol Reef
  • Flaming Gorge
  • Teton
  • Yellowstone
  • Glacier
  • North Cascade
  • Olympic

I hiked a bit on some of the long-distance trails including the

  • Arizona Trail
  • Continental Divide Trail
  • Pacific Northwest Trail
  • Pacific Crest Trail

I lived out of my SUV primarily (oh the stories I have to tell).

It was truly a memory-making trip, and I can’t wait to relive it as I review photos and create blog posts.