Joanna is now primarily in charge of blogging but I want to add my own personal perspective sometimes. As Paul Harvey said, here is "The Rest of the Story."
As a person who likes to bike, I thought it was pretty cool to see the Ride Across America riders come by us. We saw almost all of the 41 crazy people who entered the race on their 3rd day of racing. At the point we saw them, they were already spread out over about 130 miles. But that still means even the slowest rider is really crazy! A long time ago I rode 155 miles in one day, had a good night sleep and still thought I was going to die when on got back on the bike the next morning to go the last 55 miles of the Seattle to Portland ride. The support needed for the RAAM ride is immense.
After a wonderful time in Utah playing in the canyons, I thought the Grand Canyon would be totally a let down. I have to say though that it was quite impressive and very beautiful. Every different vantage point provided something a little different - colors, views of the river, depth, etc. I did like it. However, was glad we basically only had 1+ days there as it is not really ver accessible and you only look at it unless you really plan ahead to get down into it somehow. Utah on the other hand might not have the massive size of the Grand Canyon but it is much more accessible and provides so many great opportunities for fun activities. I certainly prefer the fun of Utah.
While I prefer Utah, after about 10 days in the desert, I am not sure I would really want to live in the desert. I found the colors and dry air to be interesting but I would prefer a little more green and a little bit of humidity - maybe not Cincinnati summer humidity but some. My lips definitely did not like the dry air. Luckily we had some lip balm with us or they might have peeled right off.
I have been enjoying my early morning runs with Henry. We have only missed 2 days so far. We are generally heading out around 6:30 before it gets hot and before everyone gets up. We run for about 3 miles and generally get to see the scenery in a different light as the sun rises with us. Very cool. We also get to see some animals. I already talked about the Antelope running with us in Great Sand Dunes. In the Grand Canyon, we very nearly ran into a giant Elk twice. We came around the corner and looked up and there was a giant male right in front of us, not even 20 yards away. Luckily Henry is not a big game hunter and he just sat down and watched the big guy. Henry likes small birds, rabbits and squirrels! He did not even bother with the giant ravens in Moab.
Lastly, I have to share some funny RV exploits. They are more funny after they are done and I can look back at them because I was not laughing generally at the time. My first blunder was in Arches at the Fiery furnace parking lot. It was a small circlular lot with no real parking for RV's. I tried to park along a curved wooden fence but got too close to the fence and got a little pinned against it. Luckily only a few small pieces got knocked off the RV and and no real body damage was done but still a screw up on my part. My next challenge came in Grand Canyon. We dumped out the grey (sink) and black (toilet) water in the campground dump. Next to the dump was a hose. I did not really pay attention and started filling up the fresh water tank. After nearly filling the tank one of the kids asked if it matter that the sign said that the water was not potable (for drinking). Duh! I had just polluted my fresh water tank with whoo knows what. We then decide we had to empty the entire tank and refill it with potable water along with some bleach to clean it out and kill some germs. I probably put too much bleach in and put the bleach in first rather than last and it made the tank all foamy and the water smell like bleach. Oh well, at least it was good for cleaning dishes! The last one is the worst and funniest for all of you Robin Williams RV fans. We were emptying the tanks for the black and grey water and somehow in the process, the valve for the black water came open at the wrong time and sprayed out all over the place. Unfortunately, it mostly got on John but he was very good about it. Wow was that nasty. Hope that one does not happen anymore to us or at all to anyone else for that matter.
And that is "The Rest of the Story" for now.