Monday, July 29, 2013

5,150 MILES - 12+ DAYS

(Above - Goodland, Kansas)
July 12, 2013 – After 12+ days, driving 5,150 miles thru 7 States, it was so nice to wake up in my own bed, drink coffee in my own kitchen and didn’t have to pack everything into the overnight bags, looking around the hotel room to make sure important items were not left behind, once again getting back on the road, driving 400+ miles to another city/state.

Our 2013 Westward Adventure began on Friday, June 28th.  We started driving from St. Louis at 2:30 p.m. (it was Ralphie’s turn to have Friday afternoon off during Summer schedule).  At 9:30 p.m. we arrived in Salina, Kansas.

Saturday, June 29th - We were on the road at 7:15 a.m. then stopped for breakfast in Hays, KS.  We got to Aurora, Colorado around 2:40 p.m.  We had a nice visit with Ralphie’s brother and his wife. (More about the visit in future posts)  The weather was so comfortable that we spent the whole evening in the patio.  We attended 8:45 Mass and had a nice, relaxing day on Sunday, June 30th.

Monday, July 1st – We started early leaving Colorado at 6:30 a.m. after coffee and muffins.  At 11:30 a.m. we stopped for lunch at Penny Dinner in Yompa, CO.  By 1:51 p.m.  we were ready for a break in Rock Springs, Wyoming.   We finally arrived in Wendover, Utah (take one step west and you would be in West Wendover, Nevada!).
Tuesday, July 2nd – On the road around 8:07 a.m. – filled up gas tank after seeing the sign “The next gas station is 130 miles”!  Lunch at Mitzpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada.  Arrived at the resort in Mammoth Lakes, California at 5:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, July 3rd – After breakfast, we drove to Yosemite National Park and spent the whole day there.  Overnight in Fresno, CA (Home of California State University Bulldogs).

Thursday, July 4th – Arrived at Sequoia National Park around 9:43 a.m. - saw General Sherman and all of his cousins.  Stopped in Three Rivers, CA for lunch and filled up the gas tank before getting into San Francisco.  Checked into Lombard Motor Inn at 7:30 p.m.  Found a good spot for the Mustang and left it there the next two days.  We rode the bus and the cable cars to get around town and a lot of walking (up and down the steep hills).

It was a perfect 4th of July celebration watching the fireworks from Fisherman Wharf.

Friday, July 5th – After breakfast, we walked to Fisherman Wharf, took a boat ride, lunch at Pier 39, walked around town and then to nice Italian dinner.

Saturday, July 6th – After a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge, we rode the Powell-Hyde line to Chinatown for Dim Sum.  We spent the afternoon in Union Square (since I hate shopping for clothes, we only walked around taking pictures).  We went back to Chinatown for 5:00 p.m. Mass at Old St. Mary’s Church.  For dinner, we decided on Vietnamese banh mi (sandwiches) and red bean (che dau do) drink for me.

Sunday, July 7th – It was time to say goodbye to San Francisco.  Big Sur (above photo), here we come!

Monday, July 8th – We were a bit behind on our schedule for a visit to President Ronald Reagan Library (photo below) but at the right time (11:00 a.m.) before a school bus and a bus load of tourists arrived.  After the Library, we began our eastward trip toward St. Louis thru Arizona.  We managed to see the new bridge at Hoover Dam (Nevada/Arizona).  We did not get to Kingman, AZ until almost 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 9th – After breakfast at the hotel, we were on our way to Monument Valley, UT (photo above).  We stopped for lunch in Cameron, AZ but did not realize that we were on Indian Reservation.

Wednesday, July 10th – Originally we planned to spend a day in Santa Fe, New Mexico on our way back but after 10 days on the road (we were running out of clean underwear – haa haa), we decided to see Arches National Park, UT instead.  After Arches N.P., we began the long drive home, stopping only for gas, cold drinks, bathroom breaks, and sandwiches to eat on the road.

(Above - Arches National Park, Utah)
Thursday, July 11th – I did most of the driving from Burlington, CO thru Kansas (it was easy driving on I-70 with corn/wheat fields on both sides).  Stopping for gas in Quinter, KS, then lunch in Junction City, KS and filled the tank up again in Paxico, KS, we finally got back in St. Louis at 7:30 p.m.  Whew!

Our original plan was for 14+ days from June 28th thru July 14th.  I was glad that we came home early so my husband could rest (since he did most of the driving, probably 4,000 miles) before he had to go back to work on Monday.

I took me two whole days to finish the laundry and another day to sort thru all the photos and put away all the items from the trip.  It was another wonderful adventure and we were blessed with good weather and did not experience any major problems.  I will be posting photos and share interesting stories from our 2013 Westward Adventure.   

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