Week 26 – Gonki will stay part of the family!

It’s decided. After confirming that the resale price of Gonki will remain fairly stable over the next four years we have decided to keep our camper. We have been able to secure an enclosed storage unit close to Austin and have already started brainstorming our next trip (summer 2020). We would like to use this opportunity to let you all know that you are happily invited to use the camper. Please reach out to us in case you are interested! (@Daniel – your interest has already been pencilled in. Let’s discuss when we are back!).

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Visa extension request: Pending

Earliest date that we need to leave the US as of now: 11th of October.

We are now only 9 days away from being able to stick to our original travel plans. Let’s hope that the Department of Homeland Security continues to struggle to process our extension request!

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Here is Gabriel’s second blog post – his summary of his trip with us!

I started writing this post while still sitting at the rim of the Grand Canyon, but the days left are numbered and I am full of mixed feelings.

On the one hand, this trip was the best vacation of my life. The landscape, the hikes, the entertainment, the food and most of all the company of my fellow travellers. On the other hand, there is so much waiting for me back in Berlin! I’m grateful for that! Life is wonderful and I can’t remember when I was this happy and optimistic the last time in my life!

Interestingly, I don’t feel that this trip has created a stronger bond between myself and the Meyers. I guess that I was already part of the family before the trip and that our time together just reassured me in this knowledge. I love you guys!

My personal highlights: the landscape and the hikes. Hiking has really grown on me and I will definitely do that more often in the future!
@Tim: Thanks for pushing me down the Grand Canyon!

My favourite parks: Yosemite and Grand Canyon!

The little ones: I love my godsons from the bottom of my heart! Even when they behave as if they had too much sugar for breakfast! Luckily, they always make up for it with a smile, a laugh or something beautiful they say. I love you both!
@Benni: thanks for offering to steal gold coins from daddy, so that I could stay longer! Priceless! πŸ˜˜πŸ˜‚

@Susanne: It was so great to have you there. You always add value to just everything! Seeing you play with the little ones made me realise that I have plenty to learn when it comes to taking care of little children. The way you showed them the world was really cool and fun to wach. Definitely something that I want to add to my skill set!

Tim: check 😘

Mieke: The only thing I regret is that we didn’t get a chance to go on a hike together. I would have loved to spend some time with you alone.

@Vegas: I can only agree with everything that Tim wrote about you!You are a city that no one should have to endure for more than two days.
Who the hell came up with this city in the first place and why the hell did they build it in the dessert (click here to read up on the full history of Las Vegas)?!

@USA: You have such a beautiful landscape and definitely know how to camp, but boy do you need to learn about efficiency! Cities that are around 100km wide but only one floor high, resulting is substantial commute times … and cashiers that are slow as turtles 🐒 … just not for me!

Nonetheless: I’ll be back!

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Our week in bullet points:

  • We hiked the Watchman Trail at Zion NP (7.3km, 120m elevation gain). The heat in combination with a steep ascent was rather exhausting and we were happy to cool off in the river after returning to our campsite.
  • The boys slipped into their neoprene suits for our very own river tour. We splashed through the waters of Zion NP for several hours before taking the shuttle into town for a fantastic dinner at Moki. A must visit for anyone who fancies haute cuisine!
  • We left for Bryce Canyon NP at 05:00 in the morning to claim one of the most beautiful campsites of our trip. We enjoyed the views from the rim and hiked through the canyon from Bryce Point to Sunset Point via the Peekaboo and Navajo Loops (5.4km, 350m elevation gain).
  • After 6 months of continuous use the battery powering our camper appliances (refrigerator, water pump, lights, etc.) is dead – it’s empty just two hours after being fully charged. We therefore decided to replace it. A fun activity that forced me to spend some time underneath our beautiful vehicle. Luckily, the exercise was well worth it. Two days without charging the new battery and it’s elegidly still more than half full!
  • We enjoyed the scenic drive from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef both marvelling in the fact that we have no recollection of the beauty of the landscape along this route. My assumption is that back in 2009 we covered this part of trip during the night. We stopped for lunch at Magnolia’s Street Food, a converted school bus offering marvellous Mexican fair.
  • We were stunned by the beauty of Capitol Reef NP. We went fruit picking in one of the numerous fruit orchards, enjoyed a pie breakfast at Gifford House and explored the Freemont Riverside Walk. I hiked to the Freemont Gorge Overlook (8.4km, 337m elevation gain, time 1:05), while the rest of the family took their well deserved nap time break.

Onwards to Arches NP, Canyonlands NP and Mesa Verde NP!

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