Thursday, July 14, 2016

6 National Parks in 6 Days

The kids at Petrified Forest-Arizona.  Keep moving....not much to see here.
 We didn't set out with this goal in mind, but when we realized after our fifth National Park stop, that if we at least made it into the gate of the sixth, we would have hit 6 National Parks in 6 days.  Not that I would recommend that approach to anyone.  The fact is, we hadn't planned to stop at the last two, Arches and Rocky Mountain at all until we realized we had a little cushion and that they wouldn't be that far out of our way home.  Glad we did.  I will say this, a people that don't protect what has been handed down to it by generations, for over 100 years, don't deserve the country in which they live.

Yeah dad, more rocks that were logs.  Keep moving.

Another recreated photo from our trip to the Grand Canyon 13 years ago.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Obligatory family photo at the gateway to Sequoia-California.....dry with a hint of smoke in the air.

In front of General Grant, one of the largest of the giants, Kings Canyon National Park, California

King's Canyon National Park, California

North window of the twin arches in Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

6th park on the 6th day, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

At the summit, Rocky Mountain National Park

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On the road again.....another trip down Route 66

Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas
It started as a simple college visit to Oklahoma University, that ended at the Pacific Ocean.  We used this blog to communicate in pictures, mostly, our trip out West in 2008.  Wow, has a lot happened since then!  Here are some posts from our Wild West vacation of 2016 which featured a sentimental journey down Route 66, recreating photos of our family from 13 years ago when we took the same trip and our kids were barely 3 and 1.  More posts to follow from this 11 day, 5500 mile trek.

The Dew Drop Inn, inspiration for one of the buildings in the movie Cars, now restored and serving as a visitors center in Shamrock, Texas
This is one of those recreated family photos at the Big Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma

Outside of the Teepee Curious shop in Tucumcari, New Mexico
Williams, Arizona

At the Snow Cap Drive In, another recreated photo, in Seligman, Arizona

Mr. Delgadillo's barbershop in Seligman, Arizona.   Delgadillo is credited with the rebirth of Route 66.

The Wigwam Motor Court in Holbrook, Arizona.  We stayed here 13 years ago-but not this trip.

Standing on the corner in........

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Enjoy the pictures and short stories from our great Westward Ho vacation of 2008. Capturing the spirit and the vastness of the West is difficult to do in pictures, but I bet your appreciation for the beauty of it will grow as did ours. For future, more in-depth observations from our great trip visit me over at

Sorry, you'll have to scroll to the bottom to begin your journey!

Day 12

Completely uneventful.........a long, long drive home with only one Starbucks stop. The kids were glad to be home and ran crazy through the house with their arms waving in the air.

Back to good 'ol river city.

Day 11

We briefly visited the small Lewis & Clark Expedition Interpretive Center along the great Missouri River where they have a keel boat suspended in mid-air. I took a couple pictures of the concrete ti pis South Dakota uses for their rest stops too before we hit THE CORN PALACE and did the brief tour.

From Mitchel, SD we headed north to DeSmet, SD of Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder fame. There we toured the homestead which was a nice break-then on to Walnut Grove, Minnesota for a visit to the Ingalls homestead site along the Banks of Plum Creek. This little tour made my wife very happy. We ran into an enormous bank of giant windmills between SD and MN. Amazing. We spent the night in Mankato, MN and ate dinner in the hotel restaurant all by ourselves and celebrated by son's birthday.

Day 10

We left Custer, South Dakota and headed to Chamberlain, SD via the Badlands again. The route we took out of the Black Hills wound through three stone tunnels and past these enormous presidential heads....yes, that's Ronnie, JFK and GW-say dubb'ya. We spent a little time in the Badlands where I dangled my daughter over a cliff and then ate dinner at the famous tourist stop "Al's Oasis" in Chamberlain-evidently even Al has gone high-tech.

Day 9

We just hung out in the Black Hills between Bear Country (traffic nightmare), Reptile Gardens and Custer State Park. We opted out of doing the Flintstone Village at Custer because they wouldn't let us mini golf-we did however mini golf at another location and I beat my wife by one stroke. At Reptile Gardens we spent time in front of their 1939 World's Fair Funny Mirrors and I visited with an old friend-Methuselah-at 127 years old it doesn't appear my riding him when I was 8 did much damage-although they don't let the kiddos ride him anymore. He's been with the park since the 50's. The kids pretended to be prairie dogs too.

Custer State Park in South Dakota is great for seeing herds of bison, wild burros and antelope. We enjoyed a quiet supper at the Blue Bell Lodge and then fireworks over Custer from the hotel parking lot.

Day 8

Thermopolis, WY, acquiring its name from the hot spring around which the town built its resort reputation, has an unusual tourist attraction-the ti pi geyser. Evidently at the turn of the last century the townsfolk constructed a stone ti pi with a pipe to create a fountain at the top, diverted from a hot spring. Mineral deposits quickly grew on the ti pi and the picture above is what developed over a hundred years.

Only my fellow "300" enthusiasts will appreciate the connection between Thermopolis & the Battle of Thermopylae-hence the bicep pic. I appreciate my wife humoring me-we didn't stop at Sparta, WI, however, for the same shot.

On to the Black Hills and Custer, SD for fireworks over Mt. Rushmore. The drive across rural Wyoming and into South Dakota was enjoyable. We stopped at the Powder River Pass summit and took a brisk and windy hike to the top. At Rushmore we joined over 30,000 other people to watch the fireworks. It was a mad house and our view of the fireworks due to the crowd was less than spectacular (half of George's head only). Also less than spectacular was the 5+ mile round trip hike to our car from Rushmore due to traffic and parking. Daughter on shoulders up the mountain and carrying her down the mountain on the way back at midnight our time. Ugghh!