Pandemic: Road Trip Week 7-final

Pandemic: Road Trip Week Seven Summary


Home sweet home!

We left St. Louis June 30, arrived Anacortes, WA. July 4, departed Guemes Island/Anacortes August 7, spent 4 days in Mazama, WA., and then, arrived St. Louis, August 16. Forty-eight days away was just right for me but not long enough for Sandy.

We miss all of them—Brian, Emily, Fisher, Amaya, Mark, Kelly, Rumi, Teo, Kris, Kerry, Sienna, and Sebastian already.

We traveled 5,635 miles, 14 States traveled through, 5 State Capitol Cities visited. We were never bored but challenged by driving through Nebraska and Kansas. Most beautiful terrain is tied with Washington, Oregon, Utah. Idaho is cool. Montana is my favorite. Colorado is always magnificent.

Every city and every state visited is pandemic conscious except for Cheyenne, Wyoming. Of the nine hotels that we stayed only one did not have staff with masks. Every hotel room was spotless. Best breakfast was the Tru Hilton in Lawrence, Kansas. They offered a hot breakfast sandwich that we did not try. But, the paper bag to-go breakfast included a hard-boiled egg, blueberry muffin, and an orange. Coffee was pretty good. Most hotel coffee is awful.

Highway travel on the road is interesting. We saw highway speed limits from 55 to 80mph. At every speed many cars passed us bye like we were standing still. 90mph is a common speed in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah. The drives through mountains is always fun with lots of varied speeds from 70mph on straightaways to 15mph on hairpin turns.

When on the road we accepted the hotel breakfast in a bag which were not very good. We ate peanut and jelly sandwiches with grapes and protein bars for five lunches and fried chicken or homemade left-overs for the rest. We ate dinner at restaurants, six of which offered outdoor seating. We ate at ZERO fast food places. And, ZERO local diners (my favorite).   

Going west we had four overnights. Coming home we had five. Going out we listened to Spotify and other music. ZERO podcasts. On the way back home, we listened to nothing at all, ZERO. Until yesterday, when I listened to every inning of the Cardinal/White Sox double-header. E

So, we traveled to the west coast and back and witnessed the pandemic situation from many angles in multiple locations. We are fortunate to return in good heath (as far as we are aware).

We arrived home Sunday at noon. Had an awesome dinner with Todd, Jessica and Scarlet at 4pm. Then, Monday, I played golf with Tom and Gerry. Shot my best round of the year-78!          

Pandemic: Road Trip Week 7.4

From Washington to Oregon to Idaho to Utah to Colorado we have traveled some of the most beautiful parts of the country and no picture can capture what we have seen. We have sought out the back roads when possible moving through canyons, valley’s, foothills, and mountain elevations. We seen apple groves, peach groves, wineries, farm lands, ranches, small towns, ski resorts, mountain chalets and fly fishing sanctuaries.

We have crossed the Chief Joseph Bridge and the Columbia River, passed Sun Dry Lake, Dry Falls State Park and Dead Man Pass in Oregon. At or near North Powder, Oregon we crossed the 45th parallel which is half way between the North Pole and the Equator. From Idaho to Utah to Colorado we have passed through the Strawberry Reservoir, the Salvation Reservoir and the Stagecoach Reservoir. We went through Rabbit Ears Pass, Muddy Pass Lake and so many Canyons I won’t bother to name.

Thursday, we stopped in Salt Lake City, at a REI store to buy a Seniors National Parks pass (we have lost our $10 card bought years ago). Unfortunately, REI didn’t have the Senior pass. We did find a nice little park behind the store where we had lunch, i.e., peanut butter and jelly, grapes, a protein bar and water for the third day in a row. Then, we drove on until a weird stop in Duchesene, Utah where the visitors center women representative told us the time of 4:20 pm was correct even though it was only 2:20 pm. That town was so strange. We may have been in the twilight zone.

Today, Friday was a particularly interesting day. We started our day in Vernal, Utah with the intent to visit the Dinosaur National Monument which is a 200 acre park in Utah with portions in Colorado. We were on the road by 7:30 am. We unintentionally missed the turn to the main entrance in Utah. So, we drove on to find ourselves at the Colorado entrance by 8am. But, we had a problem. I needed to make a scheduled phone call to my client, L’Arche St. Louis, by 9:30am. If we drove 31 miles up the mountain to see the most interesting parts of the park I was afraid to loose telephone reception. So, we bypassed Dinosaur National Monument driving on to Maybel, Colorado a town of 2 gas pumps, a tiny convenience store, a grade school with eight students some of which drive 50 miles each way to get to school.

I stood under the only shade tree I could find to make my conference call. Madeline and I had a brief conversation before we were back behind the wheel.

After Maybel came Craig, Colorado which provided the photo opportunity above. We, then, arrived in Steamboat Springs in time for lunch on the Colorado River waterbed. We had more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc., etc.

We decided to continue our adventure by driving highway 40 headed to Idaho Springs, are so we thought. Along the mountain road drive we arrived in Winter Park, Colorado another magnificent popular Colorado Ski town, We had to stop there just to try a local beer and to buy my souvenir t-shirt. Oh, btw, we learned how to use our voice commands on the car GPS system for the very first time. It only took me 7 weeks to discover how to use this thing.

Then back on the road until we arrived in Idaho Springs. One look around at the available accommodations in this town and we headed for Golden, Colorado where we stayed for the night.

Pandemic: Road Trip Week 7.3

We jumped onto highway 84 headed east to Boise, Idaho looking for something new and different to do without a specific destination in mind. We stopped for brunch at a little park right in front of the Idaho State Capitol building where we enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grapes, and chocolate/almond bark. Then, after an unsuccessful attempt to find the Boise Information Center, we were back on the highway. At some point I decided to jump off the major highway to a smaller scenic highway 30 that took us to beautiful canyon lookouts and then, Miracle Springs, where we had a private hot minerals springs bath.

We had two spectacular moments this afternoon sightseeing in and around Twin Falls. The first was a visit to Shoshone Falls with waterfalls in greater length than Niagra Falls. The second great moment is where we ate an outdoor dinner. The restaurant name is Elevation 486 and it sits on the canyon rim above Snake River. This was a spectacular view, wonderful meal and the highlight of another great day on the road during this pandemic.