August 1, 2022
We were realizing the other day that it’s been almost three months since we arrived in Escalante which is the longest we have stayed in one place since we started our nomad life. We have both enjoyed having the extra time to slow down, explore, and make some local connections. I have only just discovered that I can get meat delivered to me here at the campground from Kanab so this week will be some good eating as I purchased the surf and turf box from Kanab Custom Meats. The salmon they sent was awesome and tonight I marinate this big hunk of steak to make shish kabobs tomorrow.
At the start of this week, Luke lost the drone. He was droning in a remote area down a dirt road and having the drone fly around a mountain when it lost connection to the controller on the other side of the mountain. Normally, when this happens, it would fly home in a direct line. However, the drone was already at max altitude and so could not ascend to clear the mountain and return to Luke. It decided to land right where it was. I was at work when all of this occurred, but Luke texted to let me know. I assured him that we could go out hiking to search for it in the morning if he drops a pin in his location. Well, I guess Luke considered his options and decided that hiking during the day is too hot so he set up in search of it that evening. At around 11:30pm he sent me a text from the GPS inReach satellite phone to let me know he had climbed the mountain safely and had almost reached the drone. His plan was to retrieve it and then determine if it was safe to hike down in the dark or wait until sunrise to return. I tried not to worry knowing he would be at least somewhat careful. He described the hike up as difficult and “some free solo shit”. I waited up trying not to think about worst case scenarios as long as I could. Would he encounter a swarm of scorpions? Would he fall or stumble in the dark and be knocked unconscious? Would he get wedged in a slot canyon and have to remove a limb with his Leatherman in order to free himself? Nah, chances were he would be just fine. As I was drifting off to sleep at 2am I heard the unmistakable rattling of our busted truck. He made it home safely! He recounted his adventures including sliding 25 feet on his ass when it was too steep on slick rock to safely climb down on foot. The drone was also miraculously undamaged despite being in the wilderness during a brief thunderstorm before he got to it. Luke goes to some great lengths for art, but it always pays off. After all, he ended up making this amazing video of some of the landscapes in this area, Escalante.
Most of the rest of the week, I worked long shifts, thought about food, and consumed food. I decided to take part in the planning and cooking for “family meal” here at the campground. This is basically a free meal for all employees and their significant others here. We decided to do tacos and I made Mexican 7 layer dip as a side dish. The dip was a great success. I got to try out using an induction cooktop for the first time. Those things get super hot very fast and cook so well. Everyone showed up for tacos and left looking full and happy.
We still have some intermittent storms. We have not seen a lot of lightning again this past week, but we have had some flooding in the washes. One day Luke and I went out flood hunting for a little while and found some nice waterfalls near a dirt road. We are having fun learning more about how the flooding behaves. While we were out taking photos a couple of people stopped that were passing us and let us know that more water was on the way as they came from higher up the mountain and saw the water descending. We hoped to capture water falling off of small tall cliffs, but learned that the water was already down in the washes so we had waited for too long after the rain stopped to witness that.
I inexplicably have 7 days off in a row now which is fun. There’s plenty of time for adventures and relaxation. My friend Marisol has been trying to bond with Dobby and a couple of days ago we had a breakthrough where he let her pet him! He even sort of pushed his nose towards her hand when she stopped to give Sophie attention. I had to take a photo to show Luke later.
We had an excellent BBQ on an open fire which always makes dinnertime feel so fun, free, and different. The food was very delicious and some friends joined in. For dessert we were planning on s’mores, but then Luke had the brilliant notion to wrap the chocolate and toasted marshmallows in tortillas. I then added to the idea by suggesting we toast the dessert burrito on the fire to give the wrap a nice little crisp. The end result was phenomenal and far less messy to eat than your standard s’mores. We decided that next time we make these, we are adding peanut butter.
Our RV adventure started almost a year ago now. That is, I’m counting the start as when we actually took a working RV for our first trip together with the dogs. That first trip was to West Virginia. We would like to visit the southern states east of the Mississippi again one day. Maybe this year…
We keep finding interesting dirt roads to drive down and explore. Yesterday we took a road near our campground and let the dogs run around while while hiked through the natural wash running downhill and looked at all of the interesting rocks gathered there since the recent flooding. I found these that I think look like they could be fossilized oyster shells. What do you think?
I didn’t do many photo shoots this past week. They are coming though. August makes me think of sunflowers so here’s a sunflower shot from a few years ago for the cover shot.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents the journey through her photography and blog to share with others.