The Road to Ruin

The Road to Ruin

April 25, 2022

Just as it started to get a bit too hot in Marble Canyon, we moved up to Mount Carmel, Utah so we could explore a new area and meet up with some friends staying in Kanab.  Though Marble Canyon was beautiful, our location had frequent high winds!  One of the last days we were there, I made my fabulous rock art before we left on an open patch of sand next to our campsite.  The rocks here are so sharp and rough that my fingerprint no longer unlocked my passwords on my MacBook for a few days afterward!  I also took my firth coin operated shower which was much better than I had expected and took advantage of having laundry facilities close by and got everything nice and clean before we left.  Part of our joy in moving to a new spot is having fresh tanks and a cleaner rig for a fresh start.  

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We spent some time working on our YouTube channel this week to try to increase our viewers and subscribers.  It sure ‘aint easy.  There are so many people making videos and all the social media platforms have their own algorithms that determine what content they will show people so it’s not just about making high quality videos that people want to watch.  We also have to have the right title and keywords and hashtags, etc…I honestly had no idea so much went into it.  We learned that Instagram promotes their reels now as this is their new thing so we got busy making reels.  We also now have a MacNeils on Wheels account on Facebook and Instagram.  I found some new cross stitch patterns for Bryce Canyon and White Sands National Park I am excited to make, but first I have to complete a commissioned piece.  One of the adventure photographers we met out at White Pocket started following me and asked me to make his a cross stitch of the lone rider in Monument Valley at sunset so that’s the project I’m doing now.  You may recall that I did this one already, but sold it to the bar in Patagonia.

Some tragedy struck this week which got me a little down for a couple of days.  We set off for Mount Carmel on 4/21.  We checked everything on the camper including the scooter strapped to a rack on the back before we took off.  We only had to drive for a couple of hours so we figured it would be an easy travel day.  Unfortunately, driving up a mountain towards Page on highway 89, another driver pulled alongside us and motioned to us.  Luke rolled down the window and they told us the scooter had fallen.  There was no shoulder for us to safely pull off the highway for about a mile so we gritted our teeth and dragged it to the next pull off.  When we pulled over, we saw that the guys who had signaled us were also pulled over so they could help us.  The scooter was still locked and tethered to our ladder so thankfully it had not come off completely and caused an accident for anyone.  However, between the fall and dragging it, the body on one side and handlebar had been neatly sheared down.  I didn’t trust trying to load it back on the rack and also I’m sure the ratchet straps we had used were compromised anyone or else it wouldn’t have fallen.  I didn’t know what to do and suggested maybe I could find a trash removal company that would take it for a fee so we could leave it on the side of the road.  They young men who had stopped to help offered to take it for us.  They were mormon missionaries staying on a nearby reservation and suggested that they may try to fix it so it would run and if they couldn’t, there was a dump on the property they could leave it in.  I was really sad to lose the scooter, but this seemed like the best option so we loaded it into the back of their truck and went on our way.  


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If you don’t remember how cool my scooter was before this happened, here’s a before pic.

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That would have been enough bad stuff for one day, but the Gods had other plans for us.  We arrived at Twin Hollows Dispersed camping at around 5:30pm and noticed that the place was crowded with UTVs everywhere.  The whole area looks just like Zion National Park which is awesome with a creek (which they probably call a river out here) running through it alongside the campsites.  We drove through to look for an empty site and got to the end of the road without seeing one.  We then had to back out a ways to be able to turn around.  Luke did well despite being in a crowded area on a dirt road until BAM!  The back window of the truck imploded.  Our poor dog Dobby moved faster than I’ve ever seen to hide under the seat.  At that point I said we just needed to find a place to park the camper for the night so we could fix the window.  As we were driving back out we saw a group site with a large space open and snagged it.  You may recall that this happened to our window once before.  We got a pickup with a short bed so we could have the extended cab for the dogs to have plenty of room in the back.  Our hitch is one that you can slide back and forth to give more space between the camper and truck when we need to maneuver, but sliding it is never easy and we rarely have needed to do so.

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The day was a real solid bummer.  At least we made it to our destination and there’s a body shop close by.  Now we are just hoping they can get the part and fix it before we need to move on and that the repair doesn’t eat up too much of our savings.  We thought glass replacement was always covered 100%, but not with our new high deductible insurance plan 😭

Though Mount Carmel is not far from our last campsite, the elevation is higher so the temps are much cooler.  Our first full day here was rainy and cold!  It has gradually warmed since then allowing us to spend more time outside which is so nice.  I put my chair down by the creek just behind our campsite today.  The people sharing our site are a nice couple from Texas who took us out riding in their side by side.  I’m making them some jambalaya in return.  Camp is also at the site of The Belly of the Dragon which I went to check out today.  It’s a man made tunnel designed as a water culvert that’s just pretty cool to hike through.  As planned, we also met up with our friends Dave and Karen from the Rose Garden (open mic we frequented back home).  We all went out to eat at a restaurant in Kanab that was really delicious called Wild Thyme.  It was a farm to table place and everything was very fresh and flavorful.  I had yellow curry falafel with fresh asparagus and spinach and some kind of Kahlua chocolate mousse for dessert.  Luke also let me have a bit of his carrot cake.  It was the best meal I’ve had in a while and the visit got my spirits back up.

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Lastly, I had to do my part for Earth Day so I grabbed a bag and picked up trash around the campsite because I’m a good little doobie.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Another entertaining read, Jen. But, of course, sorry for your troubles.

  2. Travel days are always stressful but getting to a new beautiful place to settle in is always a cool new adventure. New friendships are made and experiences shared.

  3. Hi Fam, found your blog today and had heard about the troubles via youtube; hold your heads up and enjoy that epic adventure. we’re honored to keep up with you both, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Thanks for reading and for the words of encouragement. I just found a subscribed to your blog and YouTube as well. It looks like we have a similar approach to life in many ways! If you haven’t been to Patagonia, AZ yet, check them out. They seem to have a great community for bikers.

      1. thanks so much!! we will check them out. We debated the RV life at one point and still have it on back burner but we do so much with our bikes and now with the Jeep, next is a house instead of a condo lol. you know the drill. you both are awesome peeps, hit us up if ya need anything. be safe out there.

        ps: hope this didnt post multiple times, wp is being really weird today

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