When I left off, I was driving around, grouchy and frustrated. Also hungry, confused about what time it was, and too damn hot. Both dogs were panting from the heat, even with the AC running as high as it could go. Finding a campground with electric hook-ups felt like a good idea. I’d passed a couple of signs for state parks on my way to Zion and according to the Allstays app, one of them — Sand Hollow State Park — had some sites with electricity. I couldn’t make a same-day reservation and it was already after five, but it was close enough that I figured it was worth a try.

Total, total score.

Campsite picture

The ranger who assigned me my campsite asked if I was okay backing in. Ha. This site is huge and paved and the easiest parking job I think I’ve ever had.

Sand Hollow is a newer park, I think. The sites in the westside campground are spacious. They include water, electric and sewer hook-ups, a shelter, a picnic table, a grill and a fire pit, plus plenty of room, both to park and have loads of stuff or loads of people. Seriously, there’s room around the fire pit for a twenty-person party, easily.

And the view is unbelievable. My site is at the top of a low hill, surrounded by mountains, a lake to one side. At night, the stars are amazing, but there’s also a town in the distance, so a sparkling necklace of house and traffic lights. Darkness here is beautiful. And the sunrise went on forever.

panoramic sunrise

Sunrise at Sand Hollow

Also, it’s been months since I had a water hook-up and it feels incredibly luxurious. I was pouring the requisite two inches of rinsing water into my dishpan yesterday and thought, oh, wait, I can use the sink. I actually laughed at myself because turning on the faucet and watching water come out made me so delighted. Running water! How exciting! But I haven’t had a water hook-up for most of the summer, so I’ve gotten used to using water jugs and being really conservative with my water use. I’m not being wasteful, of course — it’s still a desert, despite the big lake within walking distance — but it was nice to just thoroughly wash the dishes.

It’s also nice to sit still for a couple of days. It’s amazing that I’ve been doing this for over a year and I still haven’t figured out the best travel pattern for me. Maybe that’s because it changes? But I really don’t want to travel multiple days in a row if I don’t have to. Even if the drive is only a couple of hours, it’s tiring.

And no drive is ever only a couple of hours — packing up to move, then setting up at the destination, plus usually errands in the middle — always turns a drive into a day’s adventure. My shortest drive of this current journey was from Fossil Falls to Calico Ghost Town. I knew where I wanted to go in the morning, so wasn’t spending time along the way figuring it out, and the drive was under three hours and yet somehow, at the end of the day, all I felt like I’d accomplished was the move.

I also have to remind myself that I am not on an extended vacation. I read blog posts from fellow RVers who are visiting attractions and restaurants, hiking and kayaking and adventuring, and I feel like I should be doing more, more, more. But that’s not my version of #vanlife and not even the life I want to be living. Today’s adventure — taking a leisurely walk with Zelda around the campground, sitting in the sun while I ate my granola and yogurt, trying to meditate, looking at photos, writing a blog post — this is a good adventure. A really good adventure. If it includes some good words on Grace (yesterday I was seriously and maddeningly stuck, Max would not behave the way I wanted him to, grrr…), then it’s a great adventure.

And a great campground. If I didn’t have Grand Canyon reservations and a yearning to be back in Florida by the holidays, I would wander up to the front office and extend my reservation for a few more days. But tomorrow will be laundry and groceries (including buying new leashes for the dogs because somehow I mysteriously lost them between Calico Ghost Town and here), and then the North Rim.