Scamp Shakedown, Part 1

Last week, we took the Scamp out for it’s first camping adventure. We’d slept in it in town a couple of nights but with the new axle set up in place, it was time to take it out in the desert for a bit of a test run. Sylvia and her dog Blue joined us for the adventure and toasting to good times in the Scamp.

We headed out to a secret desert location. I rode in the Scamp to watch how our packing job held up to a rocky road while Forrest, Sylvia, and the dogs rode in the jeep. At our perfect little camp, we took the opportunity to just relax after a hectic week of buying & moving into the Scamp, selling the van, and taking care of projects.

I decided to attempt making skillet pizza for dinner. The pizzas turned out yummy but the recipe needs a bit of refining before I share it here. It was nice to discover that at least three people can quite comfortably eat in the Scamp. Here’s hoping it’s the first of many Scamp “dinner parties.”

Wedding, Part 3: Castle Valley

Thursday morning, we got up, gathered our things, and prepared to head out to Castle Valley. I drove the jeep out to the house (after making a quick stop at the grocery store for the last pie ingredients) and was really quite delighted to see we’d found a beautiful spot for the wedding. I really wasn’t expecting to have Castleton Tower and Parriott Mesa so right there at our venue.

Sprocket with Parriott Mesa

F arrived not long after I did and we set to work unpacking the van. It didn’t take us too long to get everything unpacked and sorted. I put some elbow grease into cleaning up the BBQ while F washed the patio…there were some rough edges to soften to make it wedding ready! We even took this opportunity to hang up Christmas lights in the trees around the patio—no reason not to enjoy the festiveness for a few extra days!

Tony and Vanessa came out to say hello in the evening and stayed for dinner before heading back to town.We were sort of expecting Thomas and Tasha to arrive in the late afternoon but apparently they had fun exploring in the Salt Lake area and didn’t arrive until nearly 11pm. We stayed up and chatted for awhile trying to wait for Ezra and Jolleen but they didn’t pull into the house until around 1am.

Friday morning, we were up bright and early. Steve, Ezra’s dad, arrived in time for coffee. F was anxious to get out and go riding and I had PIES to bake. Turns out he had to wait for Jason to arrive and I had to wait for measuring cups since there were none in the house (fortunately, Jason called to ask if we needed anything before he drove from town and he brought me some measuring cups and spoons).

Once Jason arrived, it was a flurry of activity as I started furiously making pies and F geared up to head out. Several pies later, my mom and aunt arrived from town to assist me. Several more pies later, Amanda (our photographer) arrived at the house. Pie making continued as the dirt bikers returned and others filtered in from adventures in Arches and the greater Moab area. F’s aunt and uncle arrived from Wyoming with their daughter and her husband.

Relaxing on the porch

By the time Stacia and Andrea arrived after their long drive from Denver, it was time go visit Castle Creek Winery. We were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of the wines. The sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and the cabernet sauvignon were all favorites. I had so much fun tasting wine with everyone, it was a really great way to wind down the day.

Castle Creek Winery

Back at the house, we had a frozen pizza feast for dinner (thanks Mom!), while people enjoyed some beer and wine on the patio and throughout the house, and then headed for bed.

The Importance of Blue Highways

F and I (and Sprocket) have done our share of road tripping. We’ve had boring days on the road, stressful ones, action packed ones, and the elusive blissful travel days. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the blissful travel days really aren’t all that elusive, it’s the ability to put all the necessary ingredients together that’s a bit tricky but not elusive.

I alluded to this yesterday but this weekend we stuck to Forest Service Roads, county routes, and minor state highways a lot of the time and it was awesome. It’s just a wayyy better way to actually experience a place rather than passing through it. Have a good travel partner, only a general destination, avoid interstates (and major highways), explore, don’t be afraid to talk to locals, and take a walk or hike…you’ll have an awesome trip

Anyway, we left Thursday after work heading for Pendleton, Oregon. We took the interstate and Highway 395 because, well, sometimes you just need to get out of town, fast. We arrived in Pendleton ready to have dinner and sample some beer at The Prodigal Son Brewery. Unfortunately, they were over at the Oregon Brewers Festival and were closed. Instead we went to The Great Pacific and ordered a pizza and pints of Beer Valley Brewing Co. (Ontario, OR) Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale and Terminal Gravity (Enterprise, OR) IPAWe enjoyed them at an outdoor table with Sprocket curled up on our feet; what a perfect start to the weekend. (By the way, the pizza and the beers are all recommended.)

Cruisin’ in the Blues

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