After resting for a night in Battle Mountain, Nevada, we drove 5 hours to beautiful Oh Ridge Campground in June Lake, California. This place was absolutely GORGEOUS – I would love to come back and spend an entire week at this campground!
Check out our floofy bed, haha! We got tired of the not-so-soft sleeping mat that came with the Jucy, so we bought a foam topper for added cushion. The black blanket came with the van, and the orange and cream things are our sub-zero sleeping bags. Since this was our last night of camping on the trip (3 remaining nights are at resorts), we donated our foam mattress topper and camping chairs to our neighbors at Oh Ridge Campground.
June Lake was so quiet, peaceful, and beautiful – I seriously did not ever want to leave. But we had a schedule to adhere to, so after one night at June Lake we drove a short 27 minutes to The Village Lodge at Mammoth Mountain – a ski resort that offers summer activities in the off season.
We had a one-bedroom suite which was very nice and roomy. It even had a fireplace! The resort had a game room, laundry room, swimming pools, bocce ball court, and below the rooms there were tons of little shops and restaurants.
The first day we just walked around the resort, played games in the arcade, and washed our laundry in the laundry room. We walked to a burger place (called “Burgers”) where we each enjoyed a burger, some fries, and a drink, for a total of nearly $50. OUCH. I guess that’s the big drawback to staying in a resort town – everything is over priced. 🙁 The burger was really tasty though.
The next day we headed up the mountain to the ski area. Jacob was very much looking forward to snow skiing, and I thought for sure we’d be able to, but unfortunately most of the slopes were closed – the only remaining runs were extremely advanced. 🙁
So instead of skiing, we spent the day mountain biking! We hired an instructor who taught us the basics. He first took us to a training area where we learned how to handle different types of terrain, then he guided us down the mountain on a trail made specifically for mountain bikes. This took about 2 hours, and we rented the bikes for an additional 2 hours after that. The trail was super fun, and mostly downhill, with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Once we got to the bottom of the trail (it took about an hour) there was a bus that drove us back up to the top. I didn’t get many pictures, but it was a really great experience! It was pretty exhausting though – riding a bike down the side of the mountain takes a lot of focus and precise handling of the bike (no mistakes or else you could fall off the edge!), so not only is it physically draining, but also mentally tiring. We both took a nice long nap that afternoon.
After 2 nights at The Village Lodge resort at Mammoth Mountain, we made a quick stop at the edge of Death Valley for some shoestring licorice, then headed back to Las Vegas for our final night of the trip. We were supposed to skirt the edge of the Sequoia National Forest on the way to Vegas, but I somehow took a wrong turn so we missed it (oops). We didn’t have time to go back though, and taking the campervan straight through Death Valley might have been a risky endeavor anyway – it gets very hot, and the van had over 250,000 miles on it so I’m not sure how well it would have done extreme heat.
Upon arriving at M Resort in Vegas, we immediately cleaned the van and prepared it to be returned the next morning. Once that was done we took showers, ordered room service, and settled in for a good night’s sleep.
On our final day, we checked out of the resort, returned the Jucy campervan, and spent most of the day sightseeing in town. After all the amazing places we’ve been, I felt like Vegas was just “meh”. It mostly smelled like cheap perfume and cigarettes, and it wasn’t exactly completely trashy, but wasn’t classy either – though I think ‘classy’ might be what Vegas was trying for.
I purchased tickets to see the Michael Carbonaro magic show a couple months before the trip. To our surprise, the line to get in took nearly an hour – despite purchasing tickets online! It felt like we were at the Magic Kingdom – surrounded by families with tired and crabby kids. The show was good, probably not worth the $180 I paid for 2 tickets, but it was entertaining and we can now say we saw a magic show in Vegas.
After spending the day experiencing Vegas, we geared up and headed to the airport! Jacob is clearly an experienced traveler: water bottle in left side pocket, neck pillow on neck, blanket in backpack, and 8 granola bars in right side pocket. 🙂
And that concludes our Epic Roadtrip!
Would I do it again? Not without another adult to share in the driving. There were a few times when we arrived at our destination and Jacob was well-rested but I was completely exhausted (because he slept while I drove). I would definitely love to go back to almost every place we visited – but I would rather spend less time travelling and more time enjoying the destination. The first place I’d like to re-visit is Rocky Mountain National Park. It was incredibly beautiful there, so peaceful and teeming with wildlife. I know Jacob would have really enjoyed the hiking trails if we had more time to explore, and Estes Park is an adorable little town with plenty to do and see. The next place I’d like to visit again is Horseshoe Bend State Park in Utah – and maybe spend more time in Moab (about 2 hours away). The landscapes there were gorgeous, it was just a really great place to relax and unwind.
One place we didn’t visit that I would like to see someday is the Sequoia National Forest in California.
Would we rent a Jucy campervan again? Probably. Having the kitchen was very convenient, and saved us quite a bit of time and money. We eventually figured out how to make the rooftop bed comfortable, and we were pros at the set-up and tear-down process by the end of the trip. The vehicle was easy to drive, and it handled the mountain roads with no problem. Plus it was easy to park – much easier than a full size camper would have been. The downside is that it was not super clean, but it was nothing a container of Clorox wipes couldn’t handle.
So when is our next road trip? Well, this year we’re focusing on the boat, so it will probably be 2020 before we can do another big trip, but that gives us plenty of time to plan for something really spectacular.
Have you been on a fun vacation or road trip? Do you have a recommendation for our next trip? Comment below and tell me all about it!