I started this entry sitting in a crowded McDonalds in Page, Arizona. Out the window in front of me was a thunderstorm about 10 miles away over the Arizona Desert. An occasional flash of lightning drew my eye from the computer screen. There were several different languages being spoken by the people around me. I sat wondering if that storm was headed my way. I’d ridden my Suzuki Bergman there, maybe it was time to go… or maybe not. I was waiting for a Flickr upload to complete and catching up on work and this blog. Then it became clear it was time to go, that nasty Thunderstorm was getting close. The sand was drifting and swirling across the highway. I bolted out of there to avoid getting stuck waiting for the storm to pass.
Tarnished Digital Nomad Credentials
The last week challenged my digital nomad credentials. My awesome signal amplifier setup couldn’t boost my data signal enough to be used for more than just very basic email use. The campground wifi was sporadic at best, working fine for a few minutes but usually not much better than my feeble 3G service, if at all. This resulted in the use of a McDonalds in Page, Arizona for a temporary work location. The same place I arrived promptly at work at about 8 AM on Monday and worked until the meter on my laptop battery was telling me it was time to find an outlet or go back to the RV park. What happened to that daily blog post? It’s been patiently waiting for me to get some decent connectivity and that finally happened, today, near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. I have some great 4G service here, a little research and reading some reviews of RV Parks paid off! I talked about it in my last update, but planning more carefully really does make a difference.
Here is a quick summary of the last four days:
Day 18 (July 6th) – Day Trip to Monument Valley, Hiking
Day 19 (July 7th) – Work Day, Family Relaxing Time, Game Night
Day 20 (July 8th) – Antelope Canyon Tour, Work
Day 21 (July 9th) – Packed up and left Lake Powell, Settled in near Bryce Canyon National Park
Things I’ve been thinking about
I’ve gotten bits of inspiration along the way and sometimes it’s just a desire to do something with certain people. One of my customers in Arizona wants to raft the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. I am going to follow up and suggest we plan a trip. Two of my buddies invited me to an annual ride to Mike’s Sky Rancho in Baja on dirt bikes. I am not sure if I am ready for it but I think having a dirt bike is in my future and so is spending time with them. I also have a friend who has an adventure grade bike. I am thinking it’d be fun to do a tour of some awesome places on two wheels with him. I am also feeling the call of Chicago, having missed the Genius Shared (out of the ashes of SOBCON) event and a chance to reconnect with some amazing people at that event last month. I am going to find an excuse to visit Chicago, soon.
I’ve also been thinking about what I “need”. We’re going to be seeking a new living arrangement when we return. The family all has lofty ideas, but I’ve been thinking more about what we really need. We’ve been living very well in a very small by home standards, 40′ RV for the last few weeks. No-one has suffered, if anything we’re closer as a family than ever before. I haven’t had to irrigate a bunch of grass and plants or pay a mortgage. I haven’t had to pay for any home maintenance. It’s nice living a simpler life.
We got up early expecting a pretty long drive based on Google Directions estimate. We lucked out, this was a much shorter day trip than we expected. We had a great hike on the 3.2 mile Wild Cat trail. Luckily we had arrived early so it wasn’t too hot on the way out but wow on the way back the heat and deep sand started to wear on us. Definitely a great hike and well worth the time. We did see two groups of horses roaming free very close. I will add a photo once I update my Flickr. It’s a work in progress with my data situation presently.
The family’s mainstays – movie night, game night, are so much more fun on the road. They are a great way to release some of the inevitable tension that builds up being in close quarters. It’s an essential part of our wind-down and family bonding time.
Antelope Canyon is Amazing
We took a mid-day tour to Antelope Canyon, they say it’s the best time because the light shines down into the canyon during that tour. I’ve seen the pictures but being there was really incredible. One of the things our tour guide Cheryl mentioned was that the water that goes through the canyon starts 30 miles away. It comes down a huge wash and the canyon is a choke point. This causes the water to be forced into this small area. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like when it happens, but what is left is absolutely magical.
See all my Antelope Canyon Pictures here.
Goodbye Arizona, Hello Utah!
As I mentioned earlier we’re going to be in Utah for a while. I will be visiting customers in the Salt Lake area. I also got some great news, the shop foreman at one of my customers in Colorado cut a vacation short so I’ll be able to see them. We’ve only worked using phone and Email so this will be our first face to face. Here is a map of where our rolling home has been, it doesn’t include all the travel by car or the Bergman, though.