Lets Recap

 

   What have we learned from all this?

The list is endless and if I were more articulate you’d all have learned even more. I hoped that since pictures are worth a thousand words you all understand what I could not say. I can say that if you put 4 people in the belly of a whale anything can happen. We argued, we laughed, but mostly we saw things.

   In the deserts we saw enough road kill to feed Ethiopia. Mostly jack rabbits! Hasenpfeffer anyone? For one stretch of road we counted the number of whole rabbits (at least recognizable parts) and oily splats that used to be a rabbit on the scenic route out of Bryce Canyon. It was only a short distance before we ran out of fingers and toes for counting so we stopped at 20, and we had gone about a quarter mile. Unbelievable!  we didn’t even count the one that impaled itself on our tow dolly ratchet. In Yellowstone we didn’t see that much, even when accounting for “total mass” I say the desolate stretches of the South West were the worst. So many crows dinning along the road, but strangely few vultures? In Yellow stone they posted the number of dead animal and the cost of property damage for the last year. But no such concern for the jack rabbit- or the insects of Kansas. One night in Kansas, as we were outrunning an enormous storm that had been following us from Denver, we thought it had finally caught up to us! But no, it was the splat of bugs on the window, kind of a bonk-splat-dink dink kadink sound, yah know, like a cool rain on a tin roof on a hot summer night…it almost put me to sleep. The wildness of all the areas we visited was what made it the most fun. It’s great to know you can still really lose yourself in the west. We saw many people cycling their way east, full packs loaded on the bikes. We even got mooned by a whole cycling team on our way thru Wyoming we laughed about that for a long time.  

   But really what have we learned?

I asked the kids this and in their infinite wisdom they said “we didn’t learn nothing.” I have over a thousand pictures, so if one is worth a thousand words then I have several stories I could write, but they learned nothing.

Here’s what I learned;

  1. If you’re going down the road and you yell “look!” you better say which direction the exact longitude and latitude along with detailed information about what surrounds the object or you’ll get yelled at by everyone that didn’t see the object.

 2. When you use the bathroom always announce it to the whole group. (We don’t have a lock  for the door).

3. The dogs never pee or poo on command and they definitely only poo at the worst possible time when you walk them.

4. Bruce can not sing!

5. Don’t talk to the kids till at least 11am

6. Bears are rare but mountain lions are even more rare.

7. Kansas has a real bad smell.

8. Every RV park is different and some smell like Kansas    

9. The mountains are fabulous but the lack of oxygen makes you see them and feel

     them, and in the south west the creek beds are there just as a tease for the locals.

10. The trip is never long enough but the ride home takes for ever!!

 

I loved the trip, there’s not much I would change. The weather was incredible it rained only 1 evening. We never paid more than 2.95 a gallon for gas the whole trip. The Whale survived without any damage. Which is good cause Erin said she’s borrowing it so that her and two friends can do the trip again after high school. (Ok I don’t even want to think about that now) We made it back in one piece, but don’t ask me what my favorite part was because I can’t tell you. I have so many favorites. The kids saw things from a different perspective so their stories differ from mine. They said they had fun, and hopefully they learned something along the way.

   We want to thank everyone that followed our trip.We read all your comments along the way and it was nice hearing from everyone.  We wish you could have been with us but then again we only had 1 bathroom. So instead, go on, go see it for yourself. I’m sure you’d see things a little different. Maybe you’ll see that stinkin bear everyone said was out there. You don’t have to have a whale to go and see it, sometimes a guppy will do just fine.

  

   

Independence Day!!!

 

   What can I say other than wow!!

St Louis can party!! We went to their fair for the 4th, mostly to see the Arch but secondly to hear Hootie and the Blowfish. What we ended up getting into was the biggest gathering I’ve ever been at. There must have been close to a million people there. For those of you not familiar with St Louis the place is, I think the size of Atlanta, but it’s on the river. If you cross the river you end up in Illinois. It all started innocently enough, a few people gathering for an outdoor concert under the arch with food and fireworks. We got there at 5pm; Hootie was going to play at 8pm. We thought that there wasn’t a very good turn out because we just didn’t see a lot of people coming in, and the lawn area was virtually empty when we walked through down to the river edge with the Arch behind us. But by concert time it turn out it was packed- like all of the sudden. It was a sea of people. We had a great seat facing the stage and the river. Hootie was great, they played for an hour and a half as we danced and hollered. This was Erin’s first concert, so when it was dark and people started lighting their lighters and opening their cells phone (like lighters) to rock to the music she ate it all up. I think I’ve created a monster. Then came the Fire works and they went on forever. This town can spend the money, they said it’d be better than the space shuttle liftoff and they weren’t kidding. I was really impressed, they were so huge it had a 3d effect like they were close enough to grab out of the air. When they were done we had the long walk to the car with the other million people. We walked thru the streets surrounded by a mob the same streets that were empty when we came in. We looked like those crowds in the streets after they win the World Series, Justin said it looked like a mob ready to riot and at the clip everyone was walking it reminded me of a seen in War of the Worlds. We got some great video of the crowds, I want to add some Godzilla video to it, it could be funny. Well were back in one piece and were off to Six Flags to ride the roller coasters today.  

 

 

 

The Long Way Home

   We left Estes Park knowing that this was the beginning of the end. The mountains have been great; you just can’t beat 75 degrees and no humidity. The reality of 96 degrees and 90% humidity is coming closer and closer. Colorado is a great state, it’s got it all. When we left the mountains we headed toward Denver to see Red Rocks Amphitheater. We got there to find they have Sunday night concerts in the summer. I wanted to stay and listen but this time I was out voted. For the evenings entertainment the String Cheese Incident was going to be playing hmmmmm never heard of them. We decided to go ahead and walk around to see the amphitheater anyway, especially since the concert didn’t start for another 3 hours. We got to see another type of show, turns out the String Cheese Incident was very popular with the hippie crowd. They were everywhere, hanging around their cars drinking, sleeping on the ground under tarps, playing bongos in the parking lot, selling things from laid out blankets on the ground. If I didn’t know any better I’d have guessed it was the Grateful Dead playing that night (if you get my meaning). We walked around with the smells of….. lets just say Woodstock in the air. People watching was at an all time high, there was every type of hippie, from what Erin called posers, to the real deal, unbathed dred locked hippies. All this was just getting started, who knows what we could have seen if we had stayed longer. There was even a huge stretch escalade limo that pulled up with a wedding party. Oh well the party will have to go on without us. Off we went back to the open road.

 Peace man 😉    

Estes Park, Colorado

We did it, we managed to get a camp site for the night. We had to move to a new spot in the same park with no hook ups, but they ran an extension cord for us. Here we are in Estes park for 1 more day. We did a little hiking thru the Bear Lake trails, we made it up to Emerald Lake. I remember it being bluer last time I was there. I’ll have to wait till I get home to compare pictures from 18 years ago. One thing I know for sure, there was definitely more oxygen and it wasn’t as steep a climb. When we finally made it to the top we sat on the rocks for a snack, the kids loved the chipmunk that kept climbing all over Erin. It was trying to steal our trail mix, Little beggar would not leave. We started our hike down just as it began to rain, so when we reached the bottom, that was our chance to do what we do best….. nap. I think naps are the best when it’s raining and quiet, especially after a 4 mile hike.

We don’t sit still for to long, after the nap we needed to go do something, anything. We found a cool mountain climbing store in the visitors guide book that had rock climbing walls. Rock climbing is easy when your 10 and weigh 60 pounds, but when your (lets just say older) it turns into a challenge. Now I had two kids circling me and staring at 30 foot high walls, daring me to beat them. I’m not one to turn down a challenge, no dumb kid is going to show me up no matter how stupid an idea it was. The place had a nice set up, soft spongy floor to cushion my fall, real thick ropes and a skinny little kid holding the end that’s supposed to save me from death. I think my one thigh weighed more than him. Now I can’t lose to the kid, I’ll never hear the end of it. We climbed 3 times and each climb got harder. By the last one every muscle in my body was trembling. Bruce and I showed them kids we can keep up, we got the video to prove it. Of course tomorrow when we can’t move they’ll show us who really won.

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