Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The final posting - a Readers Digest of our trip

We have been home several days as I try to “boil down” our trip. Of course there is a lot to do at home after being gone for 55 days. Restart is hard – we just want to get back on the road again. Hmm - sounds like it would be a good song lyric.
The Lord has given us safe travel. We had only a few car incidents. On the 2nd day a piece of retread flew off a truck and hit our grill.  In Yosemite some Yahoo opened his/her car door and scratched my door strip, and in Kansas a bird flew in front of us at 70MPH and left a couple small dents in our hood.
Henry  Hudson Honda has served us well however.  Mary Beth the GPS has left something to be desired as to accuracy. She also is not as user friendly as I would like. Perhaps I have not read enough of the 300 pages that came along with the feature.( We decided to name the car and our GPS. HHH after the famous explorer, Mary Beth - not a clue where that came from)
We drove 12930 miles, used 537 gallons of gas, and average 24mpg. Not bad given all the mountains we went over. We stayed 48 nights in 42 different motels. Most were good and we didn’t find bedbugs in any, though we checked every time before getting settled in. We earned 6 free nights from Choice Hotel chain because we were good customers. 1 from Best Western after 8 nights which seems low compared to Choice. (22 paid room nights at Choice chain.)
We were in 22 states, 2 provinces, took 4170 pictures and over 2000 were in Utah!! That tells you we loved Utah.
The ability to keep the car packed neatly was an acquired skill, but learned quickly by both of us.
As we went we tried to see as many National parks as possible, and we saw 24. We also saw 3 Canadian National Parks (Naturally people will always remind you of the one’s you should have seen.  "Park X – Oh it was beautiful – you really missed it”)
National Parks In Order of Appearance
(to us)
The Badlands of South Dakota
Barb and 4 guys at Mt. Rushmore
Devil's Tower National Park. It is amazing how far away you can see this.
A less famous geyser at Yellowstone
Beautiful country - still a lot of snow so "Going to the Sun" Highway was closed.

Cascade National Park

Olympic Peninsula National Park

Crater Lake National Park -never saw such a blue lake

Redwoods National Park
Mt. Lassen in Lassen National Park
Bridal Falls in Yosemite National Park

Sequioa National Park - notice the size of the people compared to "General Grant"
Kings Canyon National Park

No words can  describe this place.
There was a landslide blocking the road so this is all we saw of Zion - Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park - UtahCedar Break National Park - Utah
Arches National Park - Utah
Capital Reef National Park - Utah  - little known but wonderfully filled with sights.

Needles Overlook of Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado

Four Corners National Monument
Mountains,Sea,streams, falls, plains and desert all were beautiful in their own way.

Yellowstone Falls

Glaciers in Banff National Park B.C.
"Weeping Walls" in Kootenay National Park - British Columbia
Jasper National Park Alberta and BC Canada

Falls in Rainer National Park

Horsetail Falls along the Lewis and Clark Trail in Oregon - Barb in front of falls

The famous Oregon coastline - so many beautiful overlooks

Lake Tahoe - elevation 6900 ft.

Yosemites Half  Dome right center

Grizzly Falls in Sequioa National Forest

Mohave Desert near Edwards AFB

Mohave Desert

Near Hoover Dam

Grand Canyon

Between Grand Canyon and Utah

Red Canyon -an entryway to Bryce Canyon in Utah

Bryce Canyon
Goblin Valley State Park - Utah

Monument Valley in Utah

South Western Colorado - in the San Juan National Forest on the San Juan Scenic Byway

South Western Colorado - in the San Juan National Forest on the San Juan Scenic Byway

Valley in Northern New Mexico

The Tooth of Time on Philmont Scout Ranch , Cimmaron NM

Royal Gorge near Canon City Colorado

Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs Colorado

We tried to follow famous trails.
This was one of many points we crossed along the route of Lewis and Clark.
Because the Santa Fe Trail crosses Philmont Scout Ranch where I went in 1952, we decided to follow that home - sort of.
Ruts left from the Santa Fe Trail
Council Grove, Kansas
The best preserved ruts we saw. The field is native prarie grass. Near Gardner MO where the Santa Fe, The Oregon and the California trails diverge
Some memorials to famous people were seen.
Mt Rushmore
Wild Bill Hickock in Deadwood S.D.

Sundance Kid - aka Harry Longabaugh in Deadwood S.D.

Mark Twain in Hannibel Mo.

We saw interesting locations, but cities were not included.  We avoided cities if possible

Lake Louise - British Columbia
Jasper Alberta.  Great Salmon meals while in this area
Winthrop Washington - looks like there should be horses tied up instead of cars

We took a drive through Las Vegas and left - not our speed.

Hoover Dam

4th of July in Richfield Utah

This was the oldest city we visited -1000 AD in Mesa Verde National Park

Durango Colorado
St. Elmo's - a ghost Town in Colorado which is being restored - 7 miles out on a gravel road.
Cripple Creek, Colorado - mostly casinos now.
Old gold mining camps in the foreground, modern gold mine in the background. Cripple Creek, CO
Dodge has rebuilt all the old district and nothing I saw deserved a picture.
Hannibel MO. has preserved history of Mark Twains youth very well.
St. Louis - the arch is very impressive - the crowds, oppressive.
Story Indiana. An old store and small,small town with an entrepreneur who has made it into an inn and restaurant and redone several homes in the village as part of the inn.

Madison is one of the nicest towns we have ever seen, maybe the nicest.

A section of the main street

A few odd things were also seen.
The Spruce Goose in McMinnville Oregon's Evergreen Air Museum
An accident on the route of pre 1914 cars in Ohio
At our motel just outside of Yellowstone.Trying to pack with this guy made me just a little uneasy.
I couldn't believe I got a shot with both antelope and bison running

On the way to Cedar Break National Park. Must have been a government contract job.

Rt. 191 Utah - A home and restaurant were carved out of solid rock over a period of 50 years.

Barbs trick shot

Love the name!

At first we thought it was a corn transporter. Turned out to be a coal transporter but we didn't find the source. This was in northern Kentucky

Saw this neat picture in Pennsylvania. We actually saw a lot of llama's on the trip.

We tried to follow Rivers
We crossed the Missouri and Mississippi both ways, out and back.
Columbia River Valley which we followed across much of Northern Oregon

The Rio Grande in New Mexico
The mighty Mississippi.We took a cruise on this "paddle" wheeler.

The Ohio River - lots of commercial traffic still using it.

The Ohio from the Kentucky side

We tried to always see flowers in natural settings.

Washington State roadside
Heavily moss covered trees on the Olympic Peninsula

Scotch Broom vegitation along the roads is beautiful, but very invasive
Near Lake Tahoe
Yosemite Valley flowers
Desert Cactus in Utah

Kings Canyon National Park  Yucca Plant - saw hundreds of them here

Another Desert Cactus flower - in Utah

South western Colorado roses

I know its not exactly a natural setting , but I think its neat.

The garden behind the Inn in Story Indiana

We were fortunate to find some old and new friends and loved ones along the way, although we didn’t stay with anyone except Barb's sister Shirley.

Mark, Elfie and Bill Broton in Byron MN. Bill is an old classmate and Marine freind from Owego. Elfie is from Germany and son Mark lives in Alaska and was home for sister Melissa's wedding.

Bruce and Norma Taylor, Cody WY, formerly from Newark Valley and members of NV Baptist church.

Lisa and Matt Villinga. New friends we met in Richfield UT on the 4th of July. They invited us to a patriotic service and community picnic. They also gave us the tip on visisting the Capital Reef National Park.

Homer and Esther Smith, Hutchinson KS - friends from International Baptist Church - Stuttgart Germany.

Barb's sister Shirley- DeGraff Ohio. She is not asleep.

Rich and Wanda Schulbaum, DeGraff OH. retired farmer and encylopedia on agriculture.

Grandson and Granddaughter Sean and Kimberly O'Donnell - Abington Rd.Township PA

Kaidence O'Donnell - our great grandaughter. She is currently battling Leukemia.
So - that is a thumbnail of our trip- the Readers Digest version if you don't have time (or inclination) to look at all the blog.
We hope this will encourage people to travel our great nation and see the beauty of creation. Don't wait till it is too late. I think we got in under the wire, but we hope to go again someday.
It was a wonderful time in our life and one we will remember fondly. We are thankful we were able to do it and and thank the Lord for allowing it. We thank Greg for tending the home while we were gone and Hannah Brown who filled in for me with Joshua while we were gone.

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