Five Weekends in April

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From the rocky coast of Maine, through bare early spring hardwood forests, into the kitchens of great friends, across grassy plains to the rising mountains of Wyoming, we traversed more than 2,000 miles in April. Wonderful as our time has been exploring the East and Midwest, and as many hugs as we’ve been able to exchange with loved ones, high-fives were exchanged when we crossed into Mountain time zone. We’ve missed the West and it’s majestic, sparsely populated places.

Maine, Wolfe's Neck, Brunswick, ME

April 1: Wolfe's Neck State Park, Brunswick, Maine

April 7: Niagara Falls, NY, Niagara Falls, Canada, Rainbow Bridge

April 7: Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, New York to Canada

METRA train, Chicago, Illinois

April 14: METRA train, Chicago, Illinois

Triple Rock Social Club, Gastro Non Grata

April 20: Gastro Non Grata at the Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Spearfish Canyon, SD, Rod and Gun Campground

April 28: Rod & Gun Campground, Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota

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Trip Statistics: Nine Month Update

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It was still foggy in Sonoma on July 12th when the big PODS truck picked up our storage container. We stood in our empty living room with our landlord and watched as the truck hoisted up our possessions and hauled them off to a distant warehouse. That was nine months ago today. Nine months! Long enough to have forgotten most of what we put into that POD. Barring any major change of events, we’ll be back to the Bay Area in late June to unpack the contents of our old life and settle down again.

Propane Kitchen, RV Road trip

General Trip Statistics

  • 16,000 – miles driven
  • 37 – states (CA, OR, ID, MT, WA, NV, AZ, UT, CO, NM, NE, KS, MO, KY, TN, IN, IL, AR, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, CT, NY, MA, NH, ME, VT, OH, MI)
  • 1 – state intentionally avoided (TX, for moral and political reasons)
  • 2 – countries besides the US (Canada, Costa Rica)
  • 9 – number of nights camped in Wal Mart parking lots (Not the prettiest spot, but free and legal.)
  • 2 – number of times we been caught (and soaked) in unexpected thunderstorms while hiking
  • 1/ea – pairs of hiking shoes we’ve worn out and had to replace
  • 3 – average number of times we drive around a campground before choosing a spot
  • 1 – time we got pulled over on suspicion of drug trafficking (I44 in Missouri is apparently a big drug route; an RV with CA plates looked curious in December!)
  • 1 – celebrity who spilled a drink on Patrick’s shoe (Woody Harrelson, at the Spotted Cat in New Orleans. He was hanging out with Tim Robbins and Jesse Eisenberg. We played it cool.)

People Always Ask Us If We’re Visiting…

  1. Mt. Rushmore (maybe?)
  2. Giant Ball of Twine (missed it)
  3. Niagara Falls (yes)

Top Picks to Date

  • Best State Overall for Sights/Hiking – Utah
  • Best Burger – Diablo Burger, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Best Game to Play in the Minnie – Mexican Train Dominos
  • Best Road Trip Book – Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck
  • Best State Park Amenities – Lake Fausse Pointe, Louisiana (electric, water, WiFi, canoe rentals, showers, laundry, camp store, PLUS nesting Red Shoulder Hawks, armadillos and alligators.)
  • Best Brewery – Schlafly(besides the Russian River, of course)
  • Best Sunrise – Montezuma, CR
  • Most Adorable Bacon – Polyface Farm

Mexican Train, RV games

Where Were We Wednesdays (#8)

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Each week in WWWW I post a photo of somewhere we’ve visited during our trip. Guess where we were, and you could win a little prize! This week’s winner will receive a souvenir lobster-shaped lollypop from Maine, our latest stop. I believe the lolly is cherry-flavored, not lobster-flavored, though the winner shall be the judge of that.

Here’s this week’s picture.

Where Were We?

Rules/Hints/Etc.

Enter by posting in the “Comments” section. Guess as many times as you wish. Winner chosen at random from all correct answers. It might help to look back at our Itinerary or our Facebook albums.

Last Week’s Winner

This photo was taken at Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV. We had three correct guesses, and Random.org picked the winner…congrats to Daniel! Thanks everyone for playing.

Where Were We Wednesdays (#6)

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Each week in WWWW I post a photo of somewhere we’ve visited during our trip. Guess where we were, and you could win a little prize! This week’s winner will receive a souvenir from Washington, DC, where we’ve been hanging out this week.

Here’s this week’s picture.

Where Were We?

Rules/Hints/Etc.

Enter by posting in the “Comments” section. Guess as many times as you wish. Winner chosen at random from all correct answers. It might help to look back at our Itinerary or our Facebook albums.

Last Week’s Winner

This photo was taken at Cliff House Palace in Mesa Verde, CO. We had FOUR correct answers this week so I turned to Random.org to pick the winner. Congrats to Judy! And thanks to all who played.

Where Were We Wednesdays (#5)

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Each week in WWWW I post a photo of somewhere we’ve visited during our trip. Guess where we were, and you could win a little prize! This week’s winner will receive a few artsy Polaroid photos.

Here’s this week’s picture.

Where Were We?

Rules/Hints/Etc.

Enter by posting in the “Comments” section. Guess as many times as you wish. Winner chosen at random from all correct answers. It might help to look back at our Itinerary or our Facebook albums.

Last Week’s Winner

This photo was taken at Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park. Rose had the correct answer yet again! Luckily we still haven’t sent her prize from last week, so now she’ll get both a souvenir penny and some seashells. And, we’ll send Gus some goodies, too, for being a first-time player!

Ocean Springs, MS

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This little Carolina Anole put on quite a show yesterday at the Gulf Islands National Seashore. We watched, rapt, as he changed colors from bright green to brown. Then, with a flourish, he proceeded to pull the old skin off his tail and eat it. Perhaps not your idea of a tasty snack, but incredible to see nonetheless.

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Where Were We Wednesdays (#2)

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Last week, I introduced Where Were We Wednesdays. Each week I’ll post a new photo from some place we’ve visited on our journey. Guess where we were, and you could receive a little trinket we’ve found on our travels. This week’s prize is authentic Mardi Gras beads from a parade in New Roads, LA!

Here’s this week’s photo.

Where Were We?

Rules/Hints/Etc.

Enter by posting in the “Comments” section. Guess as many times as you wish. Winner chosen at random from all correct answers. It might help to look back at our Itinerary or our Facebook albums. This particular picture was from early in our trip, up north.

Last Week’s Winner(s)

The first photo was taken at Ancient Bristlecone Forest in the Eastern Sierras. Jack guessed correctly and wins a postcard! My mom guessed correctly on Facebook so she’ll get a postcard, too. And so will my brother, because he was the first to enter. When you make the game, you can choose a lot of winners. Thanks for playing!

Where Were We Wednesdays (#1)

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What better way to show off some of the zillions of additional photos we’ve taken than to introduce a new series, Where Were We Wednesdays. Each week, I’ll post a never-before-blogged photo and ask You, loyal blog reader to tell us Where We Were when the pic was taken. The winner will receive a postcard or other little prize. Fun, eh? Maybe? I hope so.

Here’s the first photo to kick things off!

Where were we?

Rules/Hints/Etc.

Enter by posting in the “Comments” section. Guess as many times as you wish. Winner chosen at random from all correct answers. It might help to look back at our Itinerary or our Facebook albums.