Jonna and Alan's RV trip to Graeagle, CA

Just weeks after we returned from our Wyoming trip we were off in the RV again. This time heading to Graeagle, CA in the Sierras to spend some time with Jonna's brother Jamie and his family - especially with Grandniece Amara and Grandnephew Questor. On the way west we stopped at Great Basin National Park to tour Lehman cave and hike up on Wheeler Peak. On the way back we camped at Deer Creek State Park in Utah. The time with family was a highlight but the trip was marred by some camper problems and high gas prices.

Here are some of our favorite photos from the trip (each photo is a thumbnail linked to a higher quality picture.):

1) Our travel problems started early. Driving in the high summer heat on I-70 in Utah we had a rear tire throw a strip of tread. We managed to find a tire shop in Green River, Utah that had the right size tire and had them replace both of the right rear tires. We paid twice the price for cheap Chinese made tires but at least they had what we needed and didn't delay our trip too long. Sadly, a few days later we'd have a similar problem with one of the left rear tires which we ended up replacing in Fernley, Nevada so the take away was that we should replace the rear tires on the RV before they get down to the wear marks when driving long distances in high temperatures.

2) We'd tried to visit Lehman Cave in Great Basin National on a previous trip but at that time found that both the campground and the cave tours were booked well in advance. This time we'd planned ahead and reserved the tour a month early. The 90 minute Grand Palace Tour was worth the wait. The cave is stunning with loads of features all throughout the cave system. The cave also has unique cave shield features which we hadn't seen at other caves we've visited.

3) In addition to the tire troubles we also had the rooftop air conditioner fail while camping in Nevada. Fortunately, it rained in the evening after the A/C broke so it wasn't too hot. Jonna got online and found Ziggy's RV Remedy in Fernley, NV, which we'd be passing through enroute to the Sierras. Iazaya was amazing. He drove to Reno, bought the replacement A/C unit and then met us at a parking lot that was on our route where he replaced the rooftop unit in the boiling afternoon heat. The whole time he was working he was friendly, professional and extremely fast. It was an unexpected expense for our trip but we drove away talking about how lucky we were to find Iazaya to get the problem fixed.

4) Our week in Graeagle, CA involved plenty of time in the water whether we were hanging out at the Graeagle millpond, in the neighborhood swimming hold near the cabin where we stayed or hiking to some of the many lakes in this area. Our first stop was an afternoon hanging out at the millpond with Jamie, niece Rosie and her cousin Gus.

5) Having the two year old twins with us meant constantly finding ways to keep them entertained. Quess really enjoys digging in the driveway, moving rocks around with a shovel and wheelbarrow. Clearly, he is following in his grandfather Jamie's steps!

6) The temperature up in the mountains was in the 80s and 90s, which is quite warm up at altitude, which mean that frozen treats were popular with the kids.

7) Amara and Quess enjoyed getting to play in the cool water at both the swimming hole and the millpond. Both kids would stay in the water until their little bodies were shivering from the cold.

8) Grandma Kelly brought up some new clothes for the kids and a fancy Princess Elsa dress was among them. Amara was so excited to dance around the deck of the cabin spinning to flare out the ruffles like flower pedals.

9) Jamie's brother-in-law Patrick and his son Gus also came up to Graeagle for the week. We joined them for a drive to nearby Quincy, CA to visit a swimming hole they knew about on the Feather River. We spent an afternoon swimming in the river, jumping off the rocky cliffs, watching the water snakes and generally enjoying the cool air down in the Feather River canyon.

10) There is a small swimming hole along Gray Eagle Creek just a short hike from the cabin where we stay. Most days we made the walk over to enjoy the cool water and the shade in the little creek valley. The twins enjoyed getting to play in the shallow creek and shoveling the mucky mud into little plastic buckets.

11) For their second birthday, back in 2021, we bought the twins Strider bikes and every day they would get them out of the garage so they could ride them on a nearby sloped driveway. Both kids have learned to steer and coast on their Striders and will be ready for peddle bikes soon.

12) July 4th provided a chance for the kids to see their first fireworks display. Quess is sensitive guy and we were worried that the noise might be a bit much but he sat wide-eyed in Uncle Larkin's lap and enjoyed the display.

13) What Quess really enjoyed was seeing all the big trucks in the next day's July 4th parade. Amara and Quess got to play in a big bouncy castle (Amara was all about getting bounced around among all the older kids but it was a bit much for Quess) and they got drippy ice cream cones. Then came the hour long parade filled with fire trucks, big pick-up trucks, two vintage military trucks and many more. Then, as a bonus, people were throwing out candy! After the parade we walked back to the park for more bouncy castle time and then gymnastics on the grass with Uncle Larkin.

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Alan Fleming