2018 in Pictures

A summary of our third year of full-time RVing and an update for 2019

I haven’t been posting for over two months. In the last travel-related post we were hanging out at Rufus Landing Recreation Area in Oregon waiting for the Skate America event, which was held in Everett, WA, this year.

David and I are now in Bangkok, Thailand. We’ve taken possession of our condo in Bangkok for about two weeks now and been busy furnishing it since. It turned out when you buy a new home in another country, you have to buy essentially everything. Surprise. I mean every single thing. Q-tips? Yes. A small bottle of salt? Yes. Clothes drying rack? Checked. Squeegee for the shower? That too. Actually, there was one thing we didn’t have to buy. It’s coasters. We flew a set of sandstone coasters across the ocean with us. We got them from a gift shop at Monument Valley when we visited earlier this year. Just a memento of the Desert Southwest when we spend time here, on the other side of the globe.

So far, our travels have been focused on the US West with part of the year being spent overseas. Next year, however, will be a break from the usual. I’ll elaborate at the end of this post.

January

Hello Taipei. Our first time in visiting Taiwan. We spent two weeks in the city. We thought we were going to have a nice time, like when we visited Singapore and Hong Kong.
This was the first time I could say that we ran into a huge language barrier so hard that we couldn’t really enjoy the city. This is a picture of an air-conditioner remote control in our apartment. It’s a prelude to what we faced for the next two weeks.
This shop had a long line of customers waiting for something that looked like meat in a bun being pan-fried. Naturally, we got in the line. It’s well worth the wait.
This was also our favorite snack in Taipei.

February

Back in Desert Hot Springs in February, in time for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA.

March

Cacti blooming in the desert in the early spring.
Spotted this herd of bighorn sheep on our Desert Edge hike

April

After leaving Sam’s Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs, we went to Mojave National Preserve. Here was the hike to “hole in the wall.”
Old Kelso Depot Station in Mojave National Preserve
Revisited Valley of Fire State Park, outside of Las Vegas, Nevada
The Fire Wave Trail, Valley of Fire
Dried rough mules ears at the noisy Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah
Drove the Cottonwood Canyon Road in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to this surreal landscape
Amused by geological features of The Cockscomb in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Sandstone towers near Grosvenor Arch
We stayed in the Page, Arizona Area for two weeks. And yes, we joined the crowds and took a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon. It was pretty amazing.
Horseshoe Bend lived up to the hype.
There are so many things to do and see in and near Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The Page Area needs more RV parks, IMHO. Walmart parking lot in Page was like a small RV city, just too busy.

May

The iconic view of the US Southwest in Monument Valley
Goosenecks State Park, one of the coolest places to dry-camp. Can you spot Stimpy and Ren on the edge of the canyon?
Made a day trip to Natural Bridges National Monument
Valley of the Gods, the other monument valley
If you have a high-clearance, 4×4 vehicle, driving on Johns Canyon Road is a nice day activity to do while visiting Goosenecks State Park.
From Goosenecks State Park, we traveled to the Moab Area. This bizarre scene in the desert is potash ponds. Picture above was taken from the Potash Road.
Felt dwarfed by enormous arches of Arches National Park
This is not Grand Canyon. It’s Canyonlands National Park, the least visited park of the Utah’s Mighty Five.
Leaning against the massive Fremont cottonwood tree in Capitol Reef National Park.
Took the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park
Many had come to Capitol Reef National Park and never saw the Cathedral Valley. The drive requires high-clearance, 4×4 vehicle. Check with park rangers at the visitor center for road conditions before heading out.
The Gypsum Sinkhole
From Capitol Reef National Park, we relocated to the Hole in the Rock Road near the town of Escalante. The nearby Devil’s Garden in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a fun place to visit.
At the end of the Hole in the Rock Road is, duh, the Hole in the Rock. It’s cool to see for a self-reflection of how soft our generations have become in comparison to the pioneers. The road to get to the Hole in the Rock is torturous. I wouldn’t recommend to any of my friends unless I know that they’re into that kind of things. Nasty bumpy ride, I mean.
Our boondocking spot on the BLM land along the Hole in the Rock Road. That pretty sunset didn’t make it any less dusty.

June

Our second time to visit Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah
Hiked the Cottonwood Narrows in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
After Utah, we visited Great Basin National Park in Nevada en route to Idaho.
Spent two weeks near Mackay, Idaho, a small town at the foot of the Lost River Range
The fascinating landscape of Craters of the Moon National Monument
Mackay Rodeo happened while we were in town, so I got to see my first rodeo.

July

We discovered our favorite boondocking spot near Stanley, Idaho, with this view of the Sawtooth Mountains.
Wildflowers in Central Idaho were in full bloom in early July.
We enjoyed this short hike up a nearby hill for the two weeks that we boondocked here. The view was breathtaking.
And campfires with this view

August

After living so close to Olympic National Park, we finally got a chance to visit.
Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse park in the US. It protects rugged coastlines, temperate rain forest, and alpine environment.
Persistent fog on the Washington’s coast is common. But on this last day in the area, the fog lifted enough for this wonderful sunset. Thank you.

September

Back to our favorite hangout place on the Oregon Coast, Winchester Bay.
Then return to Mount Hood National Forest. Here is the popular Trillium Lake.

October

Slowed down at Rufus Landing Recreation Area in the Columbia River Gorge
In Everett, Washington for Skate America
Hotfooted back to Southern California via the Eastern Sierra. The fall colors here were gorgeous.
Camped by a cinder cone near Fossil Falls, this time without blowing sands. Thank goodness.

November

Back at Sam’s Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs, California to get ready for Thailand
Checked out a recently opened Apple Store in Bangkok. It’s their first store in Thailand.
Inside the Apple ICONSIAM
Explore a neighborhood behind our condo. This is a Chinese temple. The building in the background is our condo.

December

Took a weekend trip to the beach with family and relatives
Yes. This is pretty much Thailand beach scene. Most Thai people are fully or mostly covered. No one really needs more sun. 😄
My mom and nephew
We concluded another year of travels in Thailand wherein we will be spending most of 2019.

In the past years of RVing, we spent most of the year in the US West with part of the time overseas. That changes next year. In 2019, we will be in Thailand for an entire year. David will be taking Thai language lessons beginning in January. We will take a couple of months away from Thailand to visit Switzerland and Italy in the fall. We will return to RVing in the US in the spring of 2020. That is a long time to be away from Stimpy and Ren, and from RVing. Fortunately, our apartment in Bangkok isn’t much larger than Stimpy, so adjusting back to small spaces of the RV shouldn’t be a problem. I’m sure by the time 2020 rolls around, we will be itching to get back to the RV life again.

We will continue to post updates from Thailand. I hope to post tidbits about Bangkok in near future.

Happy New Year from the unseasonably hot Bangkok, Thailand

11 thoughts on “2018 in Pictures

  1. Wonderful recap of your adventurous year. Enjoy your time with family and your new living quarters. I look forward to following along your exciting explorations in 2019. Happy New Year!

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  2. Dear Keng, what a lively and diverse year you and David have enjoyed. Thank you for this summary of all the awesome places you have visited. The photos were absolutely gorgeous. Great to see the lifestyles and scenes of Teipei and Bangkok, especially liked seeing your family on the beach. I loved seeing all the scenes from the American West. The many rock formations and mountains, trails, open vistas were breathtaking. Appreciated the photo perspectives of the size of these mountains, arches; and enjoyed seeing the many desert wildflowers (so special), changing trees too. I remember when you posted on some of these, and was glad to get the overview. Still cannot get over that gypsum sinkhole! My best wishes to you both as you embark on the adventure of a year in Thailand.

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    1. Thank you, Jet, for taking time to write. It’s always a pleasure to have your visit. Sometimes the year has come and gone so quickly that it takes a reflection like in this post for me to really absorb just how amazing the places and the nature we have experienced through our travel. Next year will be an exciting change for us. I hope to be able to cope with the bustling Bangkok. I know that I will miss the US West from time to time and can’t wait for 2020 to arrive. Happy New Year to you and Athena.

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  3. What a beautiful year! I’m excited to read of your new adventures this coming year and, of course, seeing your stunning photography. Once you return to Ren and Stimpy in 2020, I do hope our paths will cross in person. Many blessings to you in the months to come. Dawn

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  4. You guys had a terrific travel year. So many spectacular places and your photos are just wonderful! That sinkhole is just making me way too nervous, though!!

    Next year’s travels will be incredible.. not only Thailand, but Italy, and Switzerland? Wow. Talk about completely different locales! What an awesome opportunity. I can’t wait to hear all about them! Enjoy every moment!

    Happy New Year!!

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  5. You guys had such a great year! Hope you enjoy your time away from the RV, I’m sure it will be a nice change of pace and you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back to it in 2020. We’re currently in the middle of our Southwest road trip, so it’s been great to see all of the places you went earlier this year. Happy New Year from snowy Monument Valley!

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