Monday, January 16, 2017
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
0600 Wake up
0728 Leaving - only half an hour behind schedule
0735 Starbucks line is way too long so don't stop
0744 Gas, $3.61/gallon
0806 Heading up Ute Pass
0807 Fire danger is Extreme
0819 Stop at McD's in Woodland Park. The GPS lied to us. It said there is a Sonic (there's not) and there isn't a McD's (there is). Oh well. At least I got food and coffee.
0844 Rocco is making a weird noise in the back.
0846 Painted lizard rock grafitti
0850 Rocco making weird noises again - what's wrong with him?!
0855 South Platte River
0905 Pike National Forest and Wilkerson Pass. Elevation 9,507 feet
0932 San Isabel National Forest and Trout Creek Pass. Elevation 9,487 feet
0940 Chaffee County. "Now *this* is Colorado!"
0947 Buena Vista, elevation 7,954 feet
0955 Sign advertising a 10 day rafting trip
1016 Arkansas River
1024 Leadville, elevation 10, 151 feet. "On top of it all!"
1037 Tennessee Pass and Continental Divide, elevation 10, 424 feet. Current weather conditions - 66 degrees, sprinkling and breezy. Feels cold!
1050 Top o' the Rockies Scenic Drive. Looks like a nice area to camp and hike.
1055 White River National Forest
1100 Eagle River
1105 Notch Mountain, elevation 13,237 feet
1106 Old mine town
1108 This road is super curvy but has an awesome view!
1131 Bellyache Ridge Road
1151 Colorado River
1153 Glenwood Canyon
1158 a long tunnel
12:06 p.m. No Name, CO
12:08 p.m. Glenwood Springs Hot Springs pool - the place is packed!
12:30 p.m. Rifle, CO - roundabouts in this town - yuck!
12:32 p.m. Sonic for lunch. Program the GPS for Heber City. 205 miles away as the crow flies. Current ETA is 6 p.m.
1:01 p.m. Gas, $3.89/gallon
1:08 p.m. Show on the radio about fire-adapted communities. We have moved farther and farther into the mountains and forests and we need to learn to live in an environment that has fires.
1:18 p.m. Smells like rain
1:33 p.m. Construction stop
1:51 p.m. Stegosaurus Ridges
1:53 p.m. White River
1:56 p.m. Sheep
2:10 p.m. Rio Blanco River
2:37 p.m. Desperado Mine Road
2:40 p.m. Kenney Reservoir. Maybe next time we should plan a break to swim in the lake.
2:47 p.m. Two plastic pink flamingos stuck in the rocks.
2:48 p.m. Cool globe statue
2:53 p.m. Chevron oil field
2:59 p.m. Pretty desolated out here in this corner of Colorado
3:07 p.m. Dinosaur, CO - elevation, 5,900 feet
3:08 p.m. Brontosaurus Blvd/ US-40
3:12 p.m. Utah
3:23 p.m. 97 degrees
3:27 p.m. Green River
3:43 p.m. Highway Patrol drives a pickup truck here
3:50 p.m. Gas, $3.73/gallon in Vernal
4:21 p.m. Uintah River
4:28 p.m. Best Western Plus - seems like a pretty nice hotel for a not-so-scenic area
4:32 p.m. Roosevelt, UT, 100 degrees
5:02 p.m. Starvation State Park
5:20 p.m. Wahsatch County
5:39 p.m. Chicken Creek East
5:46 p.m. Summit, elevation 8020 feet, 80 degrees
5:49 p.m. A semi truck is going 10 mph down the hill
6:02 p.m. Another one-lane construction road. We are so close to our destination. Will we really be there in 15 minutes?
6:20 p.m. Jordanelle State Park. Are there campsites available??? Yes!!!
6:28 p.m. Campsite selected. There is some highway noise but otherwise pretty quiet here.
7:17 p.m. Camp it set up so head over to the beach. The kids made a new friend - Ted the Rock. They helped him become a Driftwood Sailor and gave him swimming lessons.
7:50 p.m. Back at camp to make dinner. Tacos. The refried beans smell funny so we throw them away and Bella ate a quesadilla instead.
0840 p.m. Finishing up dinner. The sun is down now and it is cooling off nicely. We play some Crazy 8's before bed.
Monday, July 8, 2013
0545 Rocco wakes me up early - again! I let him out and he comes back with muddy paws. :( I clean him up and then go back to bed to play on my iPad.
0700 Get up. Have a cup of coffee. Try to get another updated long version posted to the blog.
0830 One half-cup of coffee later, Day 3 has been posted.
0945 Walk Rocco
1030 Go shopping while the kids stay home to play Wii. I go to Sonic, DSW, Whole Foods, Archivers, and the thrift store.
12:45 p.m. Back home to watch Rocco and get the van clean and prepped to get back on the road while the kids go to lunch and a movie with Grandpa. Lunch at Schlotsky's and Despicable Me 2.
More afternoon activities... pay bills, wash dishes, find a campground for tomorrow, and fold the last load of laundry.
Dinner is bratburgers on the grill (yum!), beans, and peas. Grilled cheese for Bella. Then a couple more roads of Mexican Train. We end on the 2's. It's late and I need to sleep. We have a long drive ahead tomorrow.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Grandpa made bacon and eggs for breakfast- yum! Ron and Ryan took Rocco for a long walk out in the park behind the house. Afterwards we all drove out to Black Forest to see the fire damage. Sandwiches for lunch when we get back to the house then I take Ron to the airport. We stop at the auto shop along the way so he can fix my headlight (thanks!). I get to stop at Target on the way back. The afternoon rainstorm passes through. For dinner we go to SMASHburger. After dinner we play Mexican train dominoes until bedtime.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
0550 Wake up
0725 Leaving camp
0730 Stop for a train crossing
0734 McD's for breakfast and coffee. Ron even ordered it right. :)
0744 Another train. There were so many trains passing through last night.
0745 Question of the morning... How was the campsite?
Bella: I would've slept through the storm if Felisa hadn't been crying.
Ryan: The pavilion was nice. Everything was nice until... the storm.
So next time we need to set up with better wind protection and more stakes. The wind out here on the prairie is no joke!
0813 Cows and antelope grazing amongst the snow fences.
0818 Medicine Bow River
0819 Thunderstorms predicted state-wide today.
0823 All of these snow fences look new. Not sure I've ever seen new ones before.
0825 Windmills (very appropriate for all the wind around here!)
0902 Gas, $3.33/gallon
0910 Wyoming Territorial Prison
What did we learn here?
Ryan: Before the stockade was built in 1875, 25% of the prisoners regularly escaped.
Felisa: Every day 720 brooms were made in the broom workshop
Bella: One prisoner gained the trust of the guards and was allowed to have a pet antelope. One night when he went out to feed it, he just walked away and escaped.
Felisa: broom factory
Ryan: cell blocks
Bella: none of it
1013 Headed through Laramie
1120 Fort Collins
1136 Stop for lunch at SMASHburger
12:11 p.m. Leave SMASHburger. Drive past DSW.
12:16 p.m. Peloton Cycles. We give Ron 13 minutes to look around.
12:23 p.m. His review... they have "every specialized bike around".
12:53 p.m. Day 11 summary has been posted to the blog
1:05 p.m. Entering Denver and hoping for no traffic jams but the highway has been pretty busy so far all the way down from Ft Collins.
1:36 p.m. Castle Rock
1:40 p.m. And there's the traffic jam... down to 2 lanes.
2:19 p.m. Grandpa's house! Showers for all! Laundry is started! Time to relax and tell stories from the trip. Rocco enjoyed some free time in the back yard looking for rabbits.
5:46 p.m. Going to Saltgrass Steakhouse for dinner. Rocco waits in the car.
7:19 p.m. Back from dinner.
Rocco enjoys even more outside play time - he doesn't seem to want to go to bed tonight. I'm all caught up on my iPad games and I have posted the full version of the first two days on the blog.
10:00 p.m. Bedtime!
Monday, November 07, 2016
Friday, July 5, 2013
0630 Wake up. Rain and thunderstorms all night long. Looks like Mother Nature wanted her own fireworks for the 4th of July. It's very wet outside, but inside the tent - all dry! For breakfast today we are having eggs and miscellaneous side dishes. The cooler is getting a bit empty but we still need to get ice.
0944 Leaving the campground. Things are sort of dried out.
0948 Stop at Lewis Falls for a picture. Lots of people everywhere! Time to take a poll on how long we will be driving today.
Ryan - 9 hours including stops
Bella - 8 hours including stops
Felisa - 10 hours including stops (but 7 1/2 hours drive time only)
Ron - 7 hours
Sheila - 9 hours or less
0956 Felisa killed a mosquito in the car. No stowaways!!! (I killed 11 mosquitos back at the campground this morning. They are everywhere after the rain.)
1002 Moose Falls. No one at this pull out because you have to actually hike to see the falls rather than the falls earlier that were by the road.
1003 Time for Best Parts of Yellowstone--
Bella - the lake
Felisa - Old Faithful and the lake
Ryan - Old Faithful
Ron - Norris
Sheila - seeing all the scenery and animals
Rocco - the lake and campground walks
1005 Leaving Yellowstone via the South Entrance
1006 A series of roadside signs-
We saw wildlife
Until we hit them
With our car
1007 Headwaters at Flagg Ranch. Stop for gas - $4.05/gallon. Also pick up ice, coffee, and OJ for the road.
1025 Leaving the gas station
1033 Grand Teton Nationl Park and I get a sign picture! :)
1040 Lizard Creek Campground. It looks nice - small and remote.
1042 Jackson Lake. Great view! There is a flock of geese hanging out together in the water, just chillin'.
1043 2,992 miles so far
1048 Lots of wildflowers blooming right now.
1053 Laundry and shower facilities at the visitor center here.
1117 Leaving the visitors center. We have a map of the park, water for Rocco, a smashed penny, and a stamp for my passport collection.
1127 Willow Flats overlook
1135 Jackson Lake Dam
1141 Mt.Moran overlook
1155 Jenny Lake overlook
12:18 p.m. Lots of bicycles out on the road today.
12:22 p.m. Stop at the post office in Moose, WY to finally mail Allie's postcard. The sign inside the post office says "We appreciate you enormoosely!"
12:30 p.m. We have our 3G cell service back.
12:40 p.m. National Elk Refuge
12:44 p.m. National Museum of Wildlife Art - we should definitely stop there next time.
12:47 p.m. Jackson, WY. Very busy in town. There is rock climbing at the city park. A group is riding horses down the ski hill path. There are cool antler arches downtown and there is a tunnel into the mountain.
1:21 p.m. Lunch to go from Betty Rock. We stop to eat at Phil Baux park but unfortunately dogs are not allowed so Rocco waits in the car then walks on the sidewalk.
1:47 p.m. Heading out
2:31 p.m. Look - an actual bridge for sale!
3:13 p.m. Pinedale, WY. This town has a Mountain Man museum. Sounds interesting for a future visit.
4:12 p.m. Eden, population 220. Points of interest include Eden Bar and St Christopher's Catholic Church
4:33 p.m. Wild horse scenic tour turnoff. (Further research reveals that this is an off-grid, serious 4-wheel drive scenic loop. We survived the ghost town road but the van probably wouldn't make it here!)
4:46 p.m. Arrive in Rock Springs, population 23,000. Stop for gas ($3.45/gallon) and snacks. Ron is charging a 7% tax on all snacks which leads to some tough math problems but one of the kids says "Math is fun!" Post an update on Facebook while we are in civilization.
5:07 p.m. Sonic! But we're not stopping... So sad.
5:08 p.m. Starbucks drive thru is very slow. Probably because it's the only Starbucks for hundreds of miles!
5:15 p.m. Stop at the Chamber of Commerce for campground maps. Flamingo Gorge is out - too remote. Instead we are headed for Rawlins on I-80 East.
5:53 p.m. Onion truck with red, white, and yellow onions
6:06 p.m. Cyclist pulling a double-trailer. Apparently double trailers aren't just for semis!
6:36 p.m. Blog summaries are up to date but I have tired fingers from thumb-typing it all.
6:46 p.m. Oh no! Construction!
7:07 p.m. Checked in at Western Hills Campground. We're the first tent here but there are tons of RVs. Ron picked up fried chicken and salad from the grocery store for dinner.
9:15 p.m. A rainstorm is coming so time to head for bed.
10:20 p.m. HUGE STORM!
10:30 p.m. Whew- it's over. We're alive. Felisa says that was the longest 10 minutes of her life. Now that the storm has passed, we need to move the tent to a better windblock and add lots of stakes!
11:35 p.m. Bedtime, take 2.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Last week Felisa drew a picture of all the Thanksgiving foods, including something called Kirby. When I asked her about it she said, "If you sat at the kids' table you would know." I love that! I love that they have special Thanksgiving memories of their own.
Julie, a friend of mine, is an Australian living in the States at the moment. She recently commented on Facebook that she was finally going to be at a regular American Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. When I read that, I instantly felt so sad for her. Thanksgiving to me is all about the people; more is better. We travelled some as a kid to have Thanksgiving with my dad's family in Illinois and I have lots of great memories from those holidays together. We were (and still are) a military family so we moved a lot and didn't always have the chance to drive to Grandma's. On the years we stayed home, our door was always open to anyone we knew that didn't have a dinner to host or attend. We have been fortunate since living in California to be able to travel to New Mexico to celebrate Thanksgiving with Ron's family.
I can't imagine a Thanksgiving dinner with just our core immediate family. All that work to prepare a meal and no other friends or family to share it with? How sad that would be, at least to me. So you can see why I felt sad that Julie hadn't been invited anywhere the first couple years. I can only hope that I am always aware and proactive in future years to notice anyone without a dinner invite so that I can invite them to celebrate with us any time we are not travelling for the holiday. After all, what's Thanksgiving without friends and family and laughter? A few years ago we celebrated at Shani's house. The kids were downstairs while the adults were gathered around the table. Later my kids complained that the adults had been making way too much noise and laughing so much. Really? Sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving to me!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
A comment made by a friend on Facebook, a career Naval officer currently serving a (recently extended) remote duty tour on Diego Garcia. It just really struck me and resonated for me. So true. The goodbyes are so hard but the trade off is all the wonderful hellos that you never would've had otherwise. A hard life in many ways and yet a blessed way of life too. I am grateful to have had so many wonderful experiences and seen so many places thanks in part to the nomadic military life I have lived, first as a dependent, then as an active service member, and now as a dependent once again.
Sunday, October 06, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
0630 Wake up. Get dressed right away so I can get Rocco out for a potty break. He still won’t go. I think maybe he’s still nervous from the fireworks last night. Then we spot some elk cruising through town, enjoying their breakfast and it’s a hopeless case. He just won’t pee! So back to the cabin to see if anyone else is up yet.
Ryan – Pork Chop was a friendly hot spring named for its shape. In 1971 it turned into a continuous steam vent. In 1985 it erupted violently shooting out lots of debris and has continued to occasionally erupt since then. Pork Chop is not so friendly anymore…
Bella – Hot springs are the most common geothermal feature in Yellowstone.
Bella – the orange and green creek
Ron – Porcelain Geyser
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Friday, September 06, 2013