Thursday, June 26, 2008

The End...

* Kobe: “I love you more than you will ever know, plus infinity
* Shae: “You're turning 37 right dad?” “That's correct son”.... pause... “You're about half-done aren't you dad?”
* “Don't pass gas anymore in the camper – take it outside” - Mom while contemplating trying soy milk to reduce methane emission in the camper.

* Over 10,000 pictures taken, (about 3 good ones)
* $829 spent for trains, tolls, and parking fees
* 224 Blog Entries
* 31,946 miles traveled, no flat tires, 4 new tires on camper, 4 tire rotations
* 0 Broken bones, 0 Amber alerts

Thanks for traveling with us. In summary, if you are to have a brain hemorrhage and have enough disability insurance money to go on a long trip as a family, we highly recommend it!

The End...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gas prices...'s actually fuel prices, not gas that we were tracking. Anyway, here's a couple factoids:
Most miles on a tank of fuel – 1080 miles throughout Utah
Average fuel economy on the trip 13.91 mi/gal
Most spent on a fill-up was $327 in Gillette, Wyoming

Well everyone loves to talk about gas prices – here's the graph of the diesel prices this past year.

When we started the trip in June 07 – we were paying around $2.70/gal for fuel. But being a man of great insight I knew prices were going to increase and so budgeted for as high as $3.20/gal. Well, our high watermark was $4.69/gal in Gardiner, Montana

You don't ever go back...

We're all trying to get our land legs back and adjust to not being on the road.

Kobe cried going to bed and vowed to buy the same camper and truck when he was older and never sell them!

Why can't we sell the van instead of the truck, why can't we sell our Edmund house instead of the camper. Kobe said through the tears, “When you do something and you jump to something else you don't ever go back”

Pretty deep thought for our little guy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Home, St. Paul, MN (Tue.6/3)

The plan was to swing in to Frogtown--St. Paul, unload all the stuff into the house and drive down to the farm in Racine. A couple things could go wrong (at least a couple). 1) There often is no space on our street to park. Not a 20 foot truck and definitely not a 56 foot truck/camper/bike rack combo. 2) Rain is predicted 3) Can we unload things quick enough as we will have to slide out the slide-outs to unload and will protrude greatly into the street?

The Trifecta of answered prayer; it didn't rain, there was parking on our street and Lorelei called as we entered the Cities, offering to bring some Arby's sandwiches and help move the stuff out of the camper into our house. After unloading we trecked, for one last time, to Racine (100 miles south) to clean the truck and camper to get them ready to sell.

That's 42 of the 50 states, which is 84% and that's not bad (of course since Sen. Obama counts 57 states then we only hit 74%). We apologize to North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Indiana, and West Virginia – as your reputation as fly-over states is not deserving (we already apologized to Alaska and Hawaii before we started the trip)

The plan from the beginning was to go clockwise to avoid fighting the coriolis effect, but we had to zig-zag a bit out west to see more stuff.

The trip is done, sigh.... (Kim and I are in need of counseling... seriously) I will keep a few fun facts flowing for a couple days, but don't worry, I won't drag it on too much.

Monday, June 9, 2008

the Heads, Mount Rushmore, SD (Mon.6/2)

Amy, this is your last chance. Try to guess my favorite president.

Hint, did you know Lincoln is part of the fab four?

The last time, on this trip, we have to do gift shops – they are all the same, with all the same basic junk – little pocket knives with your name engraved, little shot glasses, little spoons, and of course lots of T-shirts... and everyone so very excited to spend their spending money (I guess that's what it's for). It's the answer to the trivia question – what was Graham's least favorite part of the RV trip? (That tells how great of a trip it has been)

Shae, picking his favorite president

Just hanging around the trail... we probably wouldn't have even noticed them if it wasn't for the lady with the large camera shushing us as we walked by.

Leavng Yellowstone, WY (Sun.6/1)

Driving out of Yellowstone, our last few picks...

Loosing their winter coats

This truck and RV will soon be for sale...

Yellowstone National Park, WY (Sat.5/31)

Our last full day in Yellowstone was a bit more mellow.

The boys had plenty of time to play in the still-very-snowy woods.

They even got Grandma and Grandpaw out there (and mom and dad)

Our last Junior Ranger program. Ask Kobe about the Bison. Ask him how the native Americans used the Buffalo chips.

There was ice breaking up from Lake Yellowstone coming down the river. “Would you jump in after me if I fell in, dad?”... “you won't fall in--you mean if you jumped in, yes I would, don't do it and stop thinking about it...”

It was crashing together, crunching up and making a lot of cool noises.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yellowstone National Park, WY, MT (Fri.5/30)

It's a lot of driving getting around in this park of 2.2 million acres. We made it into Montana to see the sights, but mainly to check off state #41.

the North entrance in Montana

We search for wildlife – bears and wolves where a ranger said we were most likely to see them, but came up a bit short.

Shae likes his hood, we suggest a hat. The result...

another unique “flow” formation

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is the grand finale of the park. After seeing plenty of great scenery, this is still really impressive.

Of course, there's no great scenery that we can't totally disrupt.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yellowstone National Park, WY (Thur.5/29)

A picture of how accidents happen... the Nelson version of “accidents”

Old Faithful was going as we came up

We know Old Faithful, but there's plenty of Young Irresponsible geysers to watch as well.

The science kit (used for the Junior Ranger program) included a temperature sensor and a stop watch for making observations of the geo-thermal activity.

When wildlife is spotted, they come from all around with their big-gun cameras trying to get the perfect shot

My humble collection

This is my favorite wildlife shot

It was a cold day, but not too cold for Ice Cream eaten by the radiator

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yellowstone National Park, WY (Wed.5/28)

The Buffalo Bill scenic highway, the drive west from Cody to Yellowstone, was fantastic! I think it was Teddy Roosevelt that said this was the most scenic 50 mile drive in America. I don't know that I'd put it number one, but it's up there.

The Visitor center video, showing bison attacking people and elk ramming vehicles, is a great place to start. It should keep some of the overly ambitious in check.

Beautifully icy Lake Yellowstone

~8000 feet above sea level at Yellowstone, driving through the park you cross the continental divide several times.

Old Faithful – Entering the area looks like the entrance to Disney World (they are setup for mass numbers of people), but it's still pre-season so it wasn't too crowded.

The water spouting out started seeping in the ground hundreds of years ago – maybe that's what puts the “old” in Old Faithful?