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Showing posts from 2017

That Mama of Mine

Back in early August, I turned in my notice at work and started planning an epic national park tour (a decision long in the making as you can see here and here). A few weeks after my life-altering decision, my mom invited herself along for the family portion of the trip (Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota). Well, she’d always wanted to see Yellowstone, and that would be my next stop after family, so of course she had to extend her time by another week. And Yellowstone is so close to Glacier NP and she’d heard of Glacier's beauty, and well, then, we’d be close to Washington and she could visit her Aunt. So, eventually, the jokes started that she’d just join me for the full two months. Haha Poor dad, stuck at home, working, while his two favorite girls road trip across the USA!

I had no problem with an additional person joining the trip (especially since (1) it was my mother and (2) she came with her spacious truck!). I looked forward to splitting the drive time and ga…

Solo Camping in the Wilds of Three Rivers

It's 9:47pm and I just entered my tent. I'm camping solo (for the first time!) at Three Rivers Hideaway (last campground/RV park before entering Sequoia National Park) and I'm towards the back of the grounds, away from the motor homes and double wides. I'm also the only tent in the park. Picture a large dirt field with a few picnic tables and fire pits, a white building at the end that houses two restrooms and a shower, and then me, in my 4-person tent, next to my parked Honda Ridgeline, rapidly one finger typing on my iPhone. 
I'm nervous. Anxious. Worried about the possibilities. This is a new experience; I've always camped with friends or family, surrounded by tents and motor homes of strangers. There's safety in numbers, right? I'm missing that here.  Every little sound makes my hearing sharpen as my brain tries to identify what I'm hearing and my increased heartbeat prays that it won't become a danger to me. 
Bears. Cougars. Two legged threat…

Ello Washington!

Ello Washington! We made it back to the US of A! and it felt good!

We only spent a few days in Canada, but uff-da to the continuous math (converting hotel room prices, speed limits, figuring out gas prices or the change if an establishment accepted the US dollar, etc.). Blegh. Regarding the gas prices: not only did we have to convert Canadian to USD, but also liters to gallons, because, you know, we wanted to know how much we were paying. Highest prices so far on the trip! The drive along Trans-Canada Hwy 1 was gorgeous. We traveled through three B.C. national parks and they were all stunning. Beautiful trees with so many bodies of water. If Sicamous, BC, Canada and Shuswap Lake were closer to Texas, a move would have been on the horizon. Unfortunately, 2,409 miles is too far from the nephews!

First stop in Washington: North Cascades National Park. We drove to the only open Visitor Center and asked the rangers what we should see, where to hike, and which campgrounds were open. I…

Exploration of the Rockies!!

Helllo Everyone, After camping in a tent, the executive decision was made to sleep in a hotel (or maybe it had something to do with the below freezing temps in Wyoming? hah). We drove across the open range with strong winds, over the continental divide (and our first sighting of snow and beautiful mountains!), to the town of Jackson, Wyoming. Arriving in the early afternoon allowed plenty of time to explore this quaint tourist town and enjoy a filling and delicious meal (because there’s only so many PB&J sandwiches, cheerios, and jerky you can eat before you need something made in a kitchen!). Our hotel check-in guy stated it’s tradition to eat at the Silver Dollar Bar & Grill then enjoy drinks at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. So we followed his suggestions. The MDCB’s bar seats were saddles! We hopped aboard, asked the bartender to switch to the USA soccer match (boo USMNT for not qualifying!) and drank local beer while conversing with bar patrons about sighted animals an…