McKelvey & Swann RV Trip - June 2021

First Family RV Trip | 14 Days & 13 States | 2 Adults, 3 Teenage Boys, 2 Dogs...and a Blog.

Pretty view?

On our long way back home, we drove through this one area that looked exactly like the original Windows home screen. It was green grassy hills and they just stopped in the distance not giving any sight of the horizon. There was nothing poking out behind the hills either. It was cool but weird.


After 14 days being stuck in one car with my family, I am now able to sleep in my own bed again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but after that much time with just them 24/7, I need a break.

The trip was very fun. Would I recommend this trip? Yes I would. Would I recommend it to be 14 days? No something like this needs a lot longer to really appreciate. There was so much stuff we were not able to do since we had such a lack of time, so if you want to take a trip across the west and midwest, make sure you take at least a month off.

Heading Back Home

The trip is ending, and yet I’m just starting to get the hang of RVing. After all the countless hours of sitting in the RV, it was so worth it! We all had a great time and many once in a lifetime experiences. I will never forget how rewarding it felt to see all the remarkable places.

Our Last Night in the RV – June 23, 2021

Tonight is our last night in the RV.  The 2015 Forest River Forester provided us with many great memories, a few stressful moments, and all the comforts of home.  We are in Sikeston, Missouri tonight.  We have an almost-full moon overhead.  Thinking back to that first night 13 days ago in Pine Mountain, Georgia, when we weren’t sure of the hookups or how the slides worked or if the water filter would work to now…when everyone just knows what to do, brought a sly smile to my face.

Kirby and Casey hooking up the sewer all by themselves

Tonight, without me yelling or stressing out, we all work together as a team to set up camp.  Kirby and Casey did the hookups all by themselves—even the sewer.  Cameron and Tyler walked the dogs.  I got out the carpets, chairs, tables, and lights (and set up the tripod for our family picture).  Kerry made sure all the hookups were correct and the RV was secure and level.  In about 10 minutes we had our campsite all ready to go. 

It’s funny about RV parks. When you arrive, all the other RVers will just sit and watch to see how you pull in or back in and how well you can set up your site.  There were a few nights where I’m sure onlookers were laughing at our inexperience and cringed as I was yelling at the boys to hurry up and put on their shoes.  But tonight, there was a group sitting outside their campers watching us pull in and set up everything. Man, we looked like professionals.  I smiled to myself and thought what an adventure we have had and how much we have learned in 13 days.  Are we ready to get home? Yes.  But are we are glad we are in Missouri tonight, in an RV.  Absolutely!  Am I sad that this adventure is over tomorrow?  Yes. Very.  

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah – June 19, 2021

About 310 miles northwest of Zion, Utah, is Moab, Utah.  We left Zion about 9 AM and headed for Moab, trying to escape driving in the heat of the day.  (When there’s a high of 110 predicted, you want to get out as early as possible.) I had booked a Moab Sunset Discovery tour for the family through Moab Adventure Center. After driving all week, it was nice to have someone else do the driving for once. So once we arrived at the Canyonland RV park in Moab, we rushed to shore up power and get the AC running for the dogs. 

The boys and I quickly walked the dogs and got them back in the RV. Casey and Tyler played in the pool for about 10 minutes to cool off and then we all walked a half mile (once again in 100 degree heat) to get on our tour shuttle bus. None of us really had any idea what to expect for Arches National Park.  Holy Cow! It was just amazing!!  I had no idea there were 2,000 – 3,000 arches in the park.  And the park was only made a National Park in 1971. 

The night finally cooled down a little and we toured the park for 4 hours.  Our guide David took us to amazing picturesque spots. We even got to hike and explore a little.  There were so many trails that we wanted to hike, but we only had about 10-20 minutes at each stop.  By far, the most amazing stop was the Double Arch stop.  We hiked to the arches and then our group got to climb inside the gigantic arch. Kirby, Casey, and Kerry even climbed up one of the arches to get an incredible view of the sunset.  

These natural arches are caused by years and years of erosion, some are small and some are huge. While at Double Arch, David surprised us all by hiking all the way up, about 50 feet, and then playing “How Great is our God” on his saxophone. 

Then, he took us up the other side of the trail so we could all watch the sunset over the arches. That sunset was the most beautiful sunset I have every seen.  If you ever have a chance to watch the sunset in Arches National Park, do it!  Kerry and I hope to go back to Zion and Arches and stay for much longer so we can really experience the beauty and magnificent of these National Parks. Tonight was worth all the miles, work, stress, money, and excessive heat.  What a blessing to see God’s work; to see rock arches that are millions of years old; to sit with your beloved family and watch the sunset.  Tonight was one of the best nights of my life.

Tyler watching the sunset in Moab, Utah

Zion National Park, Zion, Utah – June 18, 2021

Today is my birthday. 

I almost forgot because I’ve been so focused on securing reservations, researching how to travel in an RV, and studying the maps that I honestly forgot that today was my birthday until I looked at our itinerary yesterday.  What a way to spend your birthday!  However, it was 106 degrees today.  Even right now at night, it’s about 94.  It’s so incredibly hot here.  The good thing is that we have a river lot at the Zion Canyon RV Resort, meaning our RV backs right up to the river. Tyler and Casey LOVE being able to play in the river.  But Zion is absolutely breathtaking.  The colors of the cliffs and ridges are just beautiful against the desert. 

Zion is such a cute town.  There are tons of restaurants too.  Tonight, we ate at the Whiptail Grill.  It was outstanding. (But words of advice, the “Fire” Carne Asada is really spicy!) We were lucky to have Kerry’s brother Sean join us.  I hope I can come and visit Zion again when it’s not so hot.  We did manage to hike a little of the Narrows trail, but the next time we will make sure to rent those waterproof hiking boots that everyone but us had and hike the whole thing.  Zion National Park may very well be the most beautiful national park I’ve seen thus far. 

Sunset Hike

As the day ends, we take a nice hike in Arches National Park. Our tour guide for the hike, David, had some impressive skills. He could rock climb, play the saxophone, and had some funny jokes too. After we climbed the Double Arches, we all had a seat to watch the sunset and it was beautiful. What a great way to end the night.

Almost done!

After countless days on the road we finally get a break from the car. We are staying in a hotel!!!! Real beds finally! The day before we were staying at Arches National Park and it was so pretty. There were rocks formed in all different shapes and sizes, caves and narrow passages ways, and our tour guide even played a saxophone for us as the sun set. And with Arches behind us we are now on our way back to Georgia. Only four more days to go!


So we were in the desert and a storm hit and i was prepared for the worst. Like what if the rv flipped over. But still… AHHHHHHH

Grand Canyon!!! We have arrived!

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon

We made it! After 6 days, 6 different RV Resorts, and over 2,000 miles, we finally arrived at the Grand Canyon. Great RV Park with elk casually walking through our site. J.J., Gypsy, Bella, and I got up for the 5:11am sunrise. We’ll worth the early wake up. Last time I visited the Grand Canyon, I was 18 years old and headed to California for my Freshman year at college. I showed everyone where I hiked the Bright Angel trail back in 1979. Great time at Grand Canyon and next stop Zion National Park!

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