Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goodby Zion... Hello mouse

TUESDAY,  11/8/11

We left beautiful Zion National Park in Utah this morning.  It was a stop I'm glad I didn't miss.  The campsites are clean and well taken care of.  The Rangers and Volunteers are friendly and helpful.  I'll definitely visit Zion again if I'm in the area.

I am writing this from a truck stop along highway 15 in Nevada on the way to Las Vegas.

When I dumped my grey water and added clean water yesterday afternoon, I met our Camp Host for the first time.  I've seen Mike driving by my campsite in his camp host vehicle, but we had never talked.  I asked him which mountain in front of us was "Watchman."  I had read conflicting information on line and wanted to make sure.  Turns out he has been doing a lot of volunteering, especially at Zion, for the last eight years.  He said he's volunteering at Zion until June this year, all through the snow and floods, and whatever else comes along.  Very interesting man - check out his blog, Light Curve on the Road, for some beautiful photos and clips of Zion.  He has a lot of other interesting posts, too, but last night I mostly read the Zion posts. Last winter they evacuated the park due to flooding, and Mike has a short video of the Virgin River taken from the bridge next to the pedestrian admission area, and it's high and roaring.  When Katie and I crossed it, many times during our stay, it looked like a wimpy little river, and although I heard on my tram tour about how the river carved out the canyons, it didn't seem possible.  After seeing Mike's video, I'm a believer.

One of the posts I read was about some mice getting into his rig and what he did about it.  So, a while later I hear a rustling noise by the couch, and Katie was sitting with me on the dinette.  Hummm.  I hear another sound, look up - and see a small furry head going under the driver's seat.  :(   I blame Mike.  You know how if you don't think about something, it won't happen.  Well, when I read about the mice, I think I made it happen.

Mike had given me his card and I e-mailed him about my critter and asked him what he put in his traps, because I was going to buy some on my way out of the park today.   This morning, there was a knock on my door, and there was Mike with a mouse trap for me.  He helped me load and lock it, and now it's sitting under my couch ready to take the little critter into mouse heaven.  I hope.

Thanks, Mike.  (He also lit my oven for me, which hasn't been working for me for a while.  Thanks again.)

And so we left Zion.  We drove to Saint George and stopped at the BLM office to get info, and then headed over to Snow Canyon.  As we were driving to it with all the gorgeous red mountains surrounding us again, I thought, "A week, or two?"  We got into the park, and headed to the campground with electricity and water hookups.  I had called from town, and was told only site 2 was available for the next 7 to 14 days.

When I saw the site, I was so disappointed.  It's in the most beautiful area, and from what I've heard about Snow Canyon, it has great hiking trails.  But this campsite couldn't have been wider than most parking spots in Walmart.  I got into the site, lined up the hookups and got out to see what we had.  Immediately next to me was a bigger Class A completely blocking any view, sun or privacy.  The windows of that rig were within two or three feet from my window.

I could almost reach out my window and touch the side of their rig.  Their shades were closed, and I can assure you, mine would have been, too.  I sat at my dinette and looked around - Nope - this wasn't going to work for me.  It was $20/night, and honestly I would rather be in a parking lot where I have something of a view and a little privacy.  I pulled out, and down the road to the ranger station and as I went out, I asked the ranger about the sites.  She said there was another campsite with no hookups and there was more privacy in that one - for $18/night.  I wanted electricity because of the cold nights, and since I was already on my way out of the park, I just kept going.

Along the road - there were some fantastic views and interesting roadways:

We'll find something.

THURSDAY, 11/10/11

I'm writing this two days later - I'm parked in a Costco parking lot in Henderson, NV.  Had to get my Almond Ice Cream Bars!

We ended up at the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

We drove along the road to Valley of Fire just as the sun was going down on our right and the moon was coming up on our left.  When we got here, we checked out both campgrounds.   This Arch is between the two, and the moon was coming up as we drove by, so I stopped and got a lot of views of the Arch.  It was amazing.  I’m so happy I stopped here.  It’s worth a day trip even if you don’t camp.  I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

 Moon rising in the East

Different angle, from farther away.  The arch looks smaller here.

 Close-up of the Arch
Sun setting in the West

A few more photos from Tuesday evening:

The site fee is $20/night or $30 for electricity and water.  Since I was afraid it would be cold down here in this valley, I opted for two nights with hook-ups.   The Arch campground was more enclosed, and only one site was taken in the entire loop.  I decided to go back to the first campground where it was more open and there were more RVs.  There were a lot of open sites, so as the dusk turned to darkness, I tried a few different sites to see which one was best and most level and we chose one.  It's a drive through site and pretty level. 

On Wednesday morning, Katie and I got up early (the time change has us waking up an hour earlier, which is fine with me.  The whole world looks different at 7:30 as opposed to 8:30, our previous wake-up time.  At least mine – Katie is a lazybones.  We walked around the campground – there are 44 sites – and into the walk-in tent camping area where there are three sites.  Along the way we saw birds, a squirrel, and a rabbit.  (Anything resembling a squirrel, chipmunk or prairie dog I call a squirrel because I can’t tell the difference.)  It was a beautiful, cool morning, not a cloud in the sky.  Here are some photos I took on Wednesday as we were walking around:

Sunrise on Wednesday

 Can you see the bird?

 Here's another little critter

 I took this photo out the window - he was on the side of The Palms.  Isn't he beautiful?

 Moon rising last night (Wednesday)

Amazing rock formations.  The only drawback to this gorgeous area is there is no Verizon signal.  I’m fine with not receiving signals for TV, but I want to be able to use my phone and the Internet.  A day or two without them is fine, but today is my Dad’s birthday and I wanted to call him, and I've got an offer on my condo and I want to be available for any updates.   So two days it was and now we're on our way again.  

On the way out of the park I stopped to read this sign and snap a photo of Seven Sisters.  

 I'm not sure if the above is the Seven Sisters, or if the two below are included.

On the road again...

We drove through the Lake Mead National Recreation area into North Las Vegas.  I stopped at a Walmart in one of the cities.  I was thinking I might stay there until tomorrow, but it was a marginal area.  I drove by gang type people and homeless people sitting with shopping carts full of their belongings, a few of strange acting men, etc.  I parked in the lot looking around and didn't even want to leave The Palms to go inside to shop. So we moved along again, driving south toward Arizona when I saw this Costco and took the off-ramp.  One hot dog (eaten) and four ice cream bars (in the freezer) later, here we are.  Soon we'll be driving down the road again looking for a good place to stop.

BYW, this morning I found some mouse droppings on the carpet.  I'm checking every evening and morning, and the peanut butter is still in the trap.  When I get settled again, I'm going to take the trap out, put in fresh peanut butter and leave it on the carpet in front of the couch overnight and see what happens.  

From Me and My Dog, have a great Wednesday, everyone!  : )


  1. In my wildest dreams I couldn't pick up a trap with a mouse in it. When I was camphosting at Lassen I had some kind of rodents, probably mice, and finally resorted to the mouse bait. Fortunately, they all bailed out when I left and drove the 6 miles of washboard gravel road! Never had them after that.

  2. Beautiful pictures! Can't wait to go west again!

  3. You are finding some beautiful places to visit. I am hoping that my kat will keep away the mice.

  4. Mice can be a real pain. I'd put several traps out. :)

  5. I am constantly on the hunt for mice. I've had two in the coach since September and one caught in a tap in the power cord bay. One of the ones in the coach was caught in one day after putting a trap out. The other escaped from a sticky trap, ate the peanut butter out of a couple of traps on consecutive nights, left droppings in several places, but then was finally caught when I invested in a huge and expensive zapper trap.

    I know it was the same one that had gotten free from the sticky trap because he was missing a big patch of fur on his side.

    Get more traps of different kinds. Peanut butter usually works, but a bit of bacon grease is good too.

    the "mouse attractant" that comes with some raps is useless.

    Poison is not good for you because Katie might get it or get the mouse that ate it.

    Good luck

  6. I feel so bad that I am the one who kept recommending Snow Canyon, and it turned out to be such a bad experience! I am so sorry!

    As I mentioned before, I was staying next door at the Red Mountain Spa, so did not scope out the campground as closely as I should...only when riding by on a bicycle, and made a mental note that I would love to return there one day to camp. I can't imagine why they cram everybody together in the middle of the wide open spaces!

    Again, so sorry I sent you on a "bum steer!"


  7. Outstanding photos ! Glad to see you are heading to warmer climates.

  8. lovely photos today!!..beautiful!..hope you catch your stowaway soon!!

  9. Loved the pictures. Beautiful rocks and yes I found the bird. :)
    To bad about the camp site. I would have left too.
    Happy camping. Maybe we will meet up in Tucson if you come this way.

  10. What a beautiful area. You took some amazing photos.

    I hope you get the mouse before she has babies!

  11. Now you've done it again, Barbara! All that talk about those Costco ice cream bars got my mouth watering! Donna wouldn't let me get one last time we were at Costco. I told her I'd ask you to send me one, if she didn't let me buy one!!

    Wonderful pictures and great post. Thanks so much for sharing. Use the mouse as a training tool for Katie! You might be able to teach her how to act like a cat, and catch it!!

    Glad you're getting warmer. We're still in Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Park, enjoying the beach and all.
    Stay warm. Give Katie a hug from us.

  12. Those photos are truly amazing, Barbara, especially with the rising moon. So nice to read about your adventures. Good luck with the mouse. I couldn't possibly deal with a dead mouse in a trap either. Ugh.

  13. Fantastic photos. Put the mouse trap against the edge of the couch or along the wall. They usually go along the edge of things. Good luck.


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