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We woke up in Windwhistle today, a BLM campground on the way to Moab. On our way out of Blanding yesterday we stopped off at the gas station/A&W/bowling alley to let the kids bowl a few frames. Lowe threw three balls before becoming bored with it. “Me done.” We have to remind ourselves sometimes just how young he still is. Ouest bowled three games and would have kept going all day.

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On the road north the weather went from gorgeous to torrential rains in seconds. We were passing through a small town when Ali spotted a library with a Books For Sale sign out front. Salvation. Four bucks for a good pile of books. The rain blew through and we made our way to the campground where the kids could play happily knowing they wouldn’t be getting a shower that night.

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After we rousted ourselves we drove a bit more to the Needles Overlook. Man, Utah is amazing. Such a beautiful state. We eventually ended up in Moab.

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Seventeen years ago today Ali and I got married. And since we’ve been getting this question non-stop this past month or so, we decided now was as good a time as any to let you all in on the secret to our successful marriage.

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It worked for the Cleavers right? Seriously though, when we bought the bus from three thousand miles away we figured that the fold down dinette chairs would be where we would sleep. Only when we got on the bus the first time did we discover just how ridiculous that idea was. The seats do fold down (well actually we’ve never gotten one of them to work quite right) but they are neither long enough nor wide enough for the two of us. Even the VW bus would have been spacious accommodations comparatively. So, the only other option was the bunks. This bus came designed with this pretty cool bunk bed system where the back cushion of the couch lifts up and snaps onto the ceiling with what are essentially seat belts. And it isn’t just the back cushion that you see when the couch is down, but there is in fact another piece that folds on hinges behind the couch, which makes the bed wider when it is put up. So anyway, for however long the bus trip lasts we get to act like we are back in my college dorm room, and I get a place to hang my Farrah Fawcett poster.

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  1. avatar
    Dick Murdock Reply

    Happy anniversary!

  2. avatar
    Guy Reply

    Happy Anniversary, Bums!

    And best wishes for many more to come.

  3. avatar
    205guy Reply

    I love canyonlands NP. Beautiful out-of-this-world scenery and all the crowds are at arches, or at least they were 10 years ago when I went. Another spectacular viewpoint, similar to needles but overlooking the river, is dead horse point state park.

  4. avatar
    Trent Reply

    Hello, Happy Anniversary & i just want to say that
    picture of Quest and her Dad makes me so happy inside
    it reminds me of the special relationship i have with my
    own little girl the love of a father & daughter is precious
    and truly priceless beyond words. I Just love it personally.

  5. avatar
    Bruce Ellen Reply

    Hi All
    Happy 17th anniversary.
    Time flies when your having fun.
    We have just passed 50 and the double bunk would not cause us a problem what with snoring but I would have to have the bottom bunk as there is a requirement to travel at night.
    See if you can leave some photos on google earth to show that you are realy out there

    Stay safe
    Bruce from sunny Queensland

    • Pat
      Pat & Ali Reply

      What does leave some photos on google earth mean? I haven’t used google earth in ages.

      • avatar
        Roland Reply

        Here is how to do it with Panoramio: You can skip the GPS baloney if your camera has GPS.

        • Pat
          Pat & Ali Reply

          I watched the video, and I honestly have no idea what the hell the purpose of doing that would be.

          • avatar

            Agreed :-)

          • avatar
            Anthony S

            So if you are uploading pictures, it will add them to google earch … think of it as the poor mans google streetview, but of cool places that most people don’t or can’t go, but want to potentially visit.

  6. avatar
    walden creek rv steve Reply

    happy anniversary Have been following you for years- I spend my summers in Minn – Wisc- winters in Florida- But have traveled the USA – soo much to see- Sort of favor Colorado- check out Ouray Colorado if you get the chance- called the Switzerland of USA take care Walden Creek Rv steve

  7. avatar
    Magic Reply

    Happy Anniversary you guys. It makes me happy to see you all doing exactly what you sre. The kids are getting a priceless foundation for a meaningfull life.
    Love to all,

  8. avatar
    Zaneta Reply

    Happy anniversary! We are celebrating our 17th this year also. I did a double take on Ali’ s pic, Lowe looks like a mini me. Beautiful pics.

  9. avatar
    Casey Ryan Reply

    Last summer, we went to that same Gas station on the way from Moab to Lake Powell. I went in for the A&W root beer floats. Was totally surprised by the Bowling alley. They had some really weird flavor chips too from what I can remember.

    Hope you have a good time in Moab. I really enjoyed it. There’s a waterfall you can walk to pretty easy just east of the downtown. I think it’s called Mill Creek Waterfall Hike.

    We also did a raft down the Colorado with the kids. Basically the guide paddles and you float in life jackets down the river. It was scenic and laid back.

    Happy Anniversary.


  10. avatar
    Joe Homich Reply

    Happy 17tyh.
    Don’t hide your affection for your wife in the picture.

    Celebrate it!

    Let the world know you love her. It’s good for the kids too.

    It has worked for us 41 years.

    Happy Travels

  11. avatar
    Dick Carlson Reply

    We bought our current motorhome (27′ Class C), the latest in a long line of trailers/campers/motorhomes, after my wife of 18 years assured me that the two rear beds wouldn’t ruin our marriage. I was quite concerned. We did have to build a little “bridge” so the dogs could change sides in the night.

  12. avatar
    Sister Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Love you!

    • Pat
      Pat & Ali Reply

      You know we can never relive our wedding day without talking about Lea Rae. :)

  13. avatar
    Terry Reply

    Happy Anniversary! I agree with the comments about the special times with our kids. Both of ours are married now and it seems like yesterday that they were toddlers! Enjoy every moment! We still camp with our kids now I and it’s still special we just added the 2 more!

  14. avatar
    TampaTerry Reply

    Please think about checking out The kids would love it.

  15. avatar
    Ari Reply

    Does Ouest ever talk about the boat, or school, or Mexico? Any sense of comparison to all her life up till now, vs. the way things are? Or is she basically happy-go-lucky to follow Mama & Papa?

    • Pat
      Pat & Ali Reply

      She talks about school, and her friends there occasionally. And the boat comes up any time we look through pictures. But kids adapt. She has fun every day with the current lifestyle.

  16. avatar
    Susan Reply

    Welcome to Utah, my home sweet home. As the license plate says, “Utah a pretty great state”. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

  17. avatar
    Kathy L. Reply

    Welcome to Utah!! I’ve been here 20 years and am still in a constant state of shock and amazement at the beauty. Glad you made it before the July heat and I hope it continues to be wonderful. And those beds are not far enough away from each other if someone snores……just sayin’.

  18. avatar
    Machelle Reply

    If you are headed to the Grand Junction area, shoot us an email. There’s microbrews with your names on ’em. Terry & Machelle

  19. avatar
    Jim Bond Reply

    We just missed you on a jeep trip in Moab/Canyonlands, would have loved to buy you guys dinner. Loved your book and on track to liveaboard a sailboat in 5 years. Small thanks for giving me the ideas…

    Here were our pics from Canyonlands

  20. avatar
    Pam Reply

    Happy Anniversary!

    (Ali’s prettier than Farrah.)

  21. avatar
    TG Reply

    haha, reminds me of an anecdote I read long ago, at the end of a Reader’s Digest story. Grandma and Grandpa were catching grief over having replaced their double bed for a pair of twin beds – and how the new arrangement must affect their romance, or lack thereof. Grandpa said: “Not a problem: I always wear my hat to bed.” Seeing the puzzled faces peering back at him, he continued: “when I crawl into bed at night, I throw it at your Mom. Sometimes she throws it back, and sometimes she brings it.” .. Congratulations to the four of you.

  22. avatar
    Arlie Reply

    Giant Rock
    California 92285
    In case you make it to California, near Lucerne Valley. Has lots of history around alien visitations. Just sayin’!
    Thanks so much for all your posts, I love your family!

  23. avatar
    Jane T Reply

    Congrats on your anniversary! Please enjoy my home state and all its diverse landscapes!

  24. avatar
    Controlled Jibe Reply

    Happy Anniversary you two. Mark and I are coming up on our 2nd and hope we’re smiling just as wide as you two are in 15 years. We might skip the bunk bed part…

    – Katie and Mark

    • Pat
      Pat & Ali Reply

      If you decide to have kids you’ll find yourself surprised by how willingly you make sacrifices like this.

  25. avatar
    Sage Reply

    Congrats!! I do love following your adventures! –Sage