We traveled 4,481 miles across Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and back down through east Texas. Along the way we also touched Arizona, Colorado, and stayed 3 nights in Montana. We played on the plaza in Santa Fe, camped by mountains in Moab, Utah and saw Bear Lake from a mountain top. We saw almost everything along the Grand Route through Yellowstone and even dropped down to get a better look at the Grand Tetons. We drove along the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming and spent the night in Caspar. We camped on the mountain by Mt. Rushmore and drove through part of the Badlands. We saw miles and miles of cornfields in Nebraska and spent the night in Ogallala. We saw more corn in Kansas and even got close to a thunderstorm that had us clicking our heels and saying there is no place like home. We went through Injun country, that is now called Oklahoma, and saw all the fine casinos that seem to be the only productive thing in the state. We had a wonderful evening in Mt. Pleasant where we just glad to be back in Texas. All I can say is that the pictures can't do justice to the sights we saw and if you have never been to any of these places, then you should find a way because we didn't see anything or place we regretted going to.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
We have made it to Mt. Pleasant without needing to buy any new tires. Tammy did a fine job of guiding us here until at the last minute she tried to get us to go down a side road to a private residence. I don't know if she does that on purpose as some sort of a sick AI joke or if she truly gets the swimmy-head after being on the road for 8 hours. We will be home this afternoon and Tammy will not get the opportunity to steer us wrong because I'm sure the truck knows the way to Granny's. That is unless they close the deal on the new motorhome.
Friday, July 16, 2010
We took no pictures in Kansas because we couldn't see the difference between it and Nebraska. Lots of cornfields for as far as the eye can see. Just outside North Platte, Nebraska, we had another blowout on the trailer, but at least it was on a different wheel. We managed to get Tammy, our GPS navigator, to find a tire store in Cozad, Nebraska. Cozad, we learned, was founded because a man saw that this location was on the 100th meridian. I guess it was a pretty handy place for a tire store. Anyway, we replaced the last tire on the trailer that started this journey just for good measure. We walked across the street to the Dairy Queen for lunch and the tires were ready before our food was. After almost 12 hours on the road, we arrived in Wellington, Kansas and we are now only 637 miles from home. Total mileage so far is 3850.
We will be in Texas today, because I don't want to stay a night in Oklahoma.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tonight we are staying in Ogallala, Nebraska at a family farm converted into an RV park. It is not quite as nice as the other parks we have visited, but it will do fine for an overnight stay.
There has been some concern voiced over recent news about Granny & Pawpaw's plans for a new RV lifestyle. All I can say is that you have to be here to witness the excitement first hand to truly understand. The full hook-ups at Bear's need to include cable tv and wifi. We have that much in this corn field in Ogallala.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Mt. Rushmore was very impressive, but I thought it was going to be this big huge mountain that you could drive by and see without having to go to the top.
Granny and Pawpaw have really enjoyed this trip and all they can talk about is how big their next RV will be. They have been looking over all the big fancy RV's in all the parks trying to decide what features the new one must have. They are torn between getting a bigger new truck with a fifth wheel trailer or just go for one of the big bus type units. I think they are leaning toward the bus type because they are talking about how they could just spend all of their summers just cruising around the country. This would mean selling the house and they could just park the bus at Bear's house in the winter since she has that fine new pull-through. She just needs to get Rut to put in hook-ups. Granny says she would even get her driver's license to help Pawpaw with the driving. I tell you its just getting crazy out here on the road and we are still 1300 miles from home.
Monday, July 12, 2010
We took the south loop of the Grand Tour to Lake Yellowstone on our way out. The pass on the way out the East Entrance had snow on the side of the mountain just a few feet above the truck. I promised Granny that this would be the last high mountain road we would take on this trip. As a result we had to drive south to Casper and tomorrow we drive back north to Mt. Rushmore.
We did find a bell for Pawpaw, but we haven't had time to put it on him. The most exciting challenges navigating around Yellowstone have been trying to avoid the city folks that stop in the middle of the road if they see an animal near the road. We did see one fool try to get up close to a bull elk. The elk charged him, but unfortunately the guy was able to run back to the road. We were hoping for some elk goring footage for youtube. We have seen buffalo, elk, and a bear. We will pass through Yellowstone one more time on our way to Casper and then to Mt. Rushmore.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
First let me just say we've been running hard and the wifi here is limited to 2 consecutive hours a day. We began day 1 at Yellowstone trying to get the grey water line repaired. The friendly folks at the RV park recommended OB's RV repair. We called OB and they said they could have someone out by the end of the week. (We should be back home by then.) When we told them we could not wait that long, they said we could come by for the parts and if they didn't have them, there was a hardware store next door. Pawpaw and I set off to find OB's, but could not locate them in this little town. Pawpaw called OB and got further instructions, but we still could not find them. We did find the hardware store next door to the RV park. It was within walking distance from our trailer. The sewer is repaired.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Idaho was quite lovely and the highways were in good shape. Our troubles began after a "quick" trip to the Blackfoot Walmart. Just outside Sugar City the left rear trailer tire blew-out. We managed to limp along to a truck stop and a kind gentleman from Liberty, Texas stopped to help us. We got Pawpaws 1995 Goodyear trailer put on the ground for the first time. The gentleman from Texas refused any compensation and said that's what friends are for. Then just 60 miles from our destination, that fine spare tire blew-out. After a call to 911 and another kind gentleman's aid, we were rescued by a tire repairman with a deputy to redirect traffic. Our five hour drive took 10 hours. To top it off when the tire blew-out, it took out the grey water drain line.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
We had a treacherous drive up I 15 to Salt Lake City. We avoided the mountains to make better time, but had to brave the 18-wheelers on the freeway. After we got off the freeway, we had a beautiful drive through a mountain valley up to Bear Lake. We came out on top of a mountain overlooking the lake. It was gorgeous, but I don't think Granny opened her eyes. The drive down to the lake probably took a few years of brake-life off Pawpaw's truck. There are at least 24 kids with the couple next door and they are staying in a trailer smaller than ours. Granny is just laid back with all those kids running up and down the streets.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today we traveled about 450 miles in 11 and 1/2 hours. The trip would have been shorter, but we ran into a sandstorm at Shiprock. The storm prevented me from seeing the sign for the side road that we were supposed to take to the four corners. Tammy, our TomTom navigator, had never heard of the four corners and refused to cooperate at all. Not seeing the sign led us on a 50 mile detour. Once we realized we were headed way off course, we chose an alternate route. After much delay we finally made it to the four corners, but it was closed for remodeling. We felt like the Griswold's on summer vacation to wally world.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We had a lot of fun today, but we did have a brief scare. Pawpaw wandered off in search of a men's room and didn't show back up for over an hour. Granny, Donna, and Joyce waited on the plaza while I searched the hotel where he had headed. Nobody at the hotel remembered seeing a swimmy-headed elderly gentleman looking for a restroom, but they said see a lot of those. I circled around the downtown area until I finally got a call that he had showed back up from the opposite direction from where he had left. He thought he had left his cell phone at the trailer, but it was in his pocket turned off. He will not be allowed to wander off alone again on this trip.
Monday, July 5, 2010
We have arrived at Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just shy of 1000 miles from home. Temperature is 90 degrees with 6 percent humidity. Highlight of the day was blizzards from Dairy Queen at Flying C Ranch on Route 66. We got our kicks on Route 66, you should have been there.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
We stayed the first night at Mother Neff State Park, the first state park in Texas. It is just outside Temple. We spent 7 hours on the road and drove through several showers. We did have a nice lunch break in the Walmart parking lot at Lake Conroe. I did take I-10 from Bridge City to Beaumont and Granny was not happy. She's better now.
You can the pictures at:
You can the pictures at:
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
We are planning a camping trip for June 11, 12, & 13. We plan to celebrate Linda June's Birthday and get ready for the big Yellowstone trip. We thought about going to Red Hill, but it is closed for the season while it undergoes some major renovations. We can either go to Huntsville State Park, Livingston State Park, or some other destination not yet named. If you are interested in this camp out, please let me know or better yet just show up at Granny's on Sunday and we'll talk about it.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The police report came out today and the SUV driver was cited for failure to maintain a single lane. The other two drivers were both cited for failure to control speed. I did not receive a citation. The estimate to repair the Tacoma came in at $12,000. Hopefully the insurance companies won't take too long to pay up.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
After telling my mother just the other day that I-10 was much improved and much safer than it used to be, I was involved in yet another bizarre accident. Going home on Monday as I crossed over the Cow Bayou Bridge, I saw a green SUV that was drifting out of their lane towards the outside edge of the road. I was in the inside lane and I started slowing down to see what this vehicle was going to do. I thought they might take the exit or maybe jump back into their lane. The SUV never slowed down and did not apply their brakes as it plowed into the barricade protecting the concrete divider between the highway lanes and the exit ramp. The SUV was launched into the air and did a 90 degree turn and landed crossways on both lanes in front of me. Since the lanes have barricades on both sides, a collision could not be avoided. I braked as hard as possible and was looking straight at the lady driving the SUV as I slid towards her. I was almost stopped by the time my vehicle made contact with hers. At this point in time I was rear-ended by a Tahoe, which lifted the rear of my truck and shoved it sideways. Before we could all come to a complete stop, an 18-wheeler hit the Tahoe. Fortunately nobody was injured, but my Tacoma will be spending some time in the shop. The front-end to the Tahoe was completely destroyed and the rear was crushed as well.