Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, 11/30

We arrived home this evening. Safely. Yea!

This trip put 7,428 miles on the Prius, with an average gas mileage of 47.4 mpg. I wish that number was higher, but probably 47.4 is reasonable, with the weight of the trunk and back seat full, and driving at the speed limit (80 mph in Texas), even up mountain grades.

We traveled in twenty-three states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, 11/29

Today we traveled in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Photos were taken in the Smoky Mountain National Park. The bear was quite a ways from the road. The road was jammed with cars stopping so people could take pictures.

Saturday, 11/28

Last day with Carol. We have had a good visit.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday, 11/27

Working on items on the "help" list.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, 11/25

Lunch at Yoder's Restaurant (terrific food). Installed a new kitchen faucet and a new flapper and seal in a toilet tank. Beautiful sunset.

Tuesday, 11/24

Drove from Columbus, MS, to Warner Robins, GA. Had supper with Carol at Georgia Bob's BBQ (pulled pork).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, 11/23

Drove to Columbus, MS, to see David, and have supper with him. He is in the air force, in pilot training.

Monday, 11/23

Pearl (Jackson), Mississippi.
Breakfast with Stephanie and Jo. Marty had a phone interview.
Saw Jo and Jason's trailer.
Their wedding picture.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday, 11/21

Patty gave us an excellent tour of New Orleans today. We are now in Jackson, MS.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday, 11/20

We drove to Metairie, LA, this morning. We took my aunt Marcella to lunch, then we went north of Lake Pontchartrain to see my cousin Janny. A great day. We are staying in a tall Marriott Hotel on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Thursday, 11/19

We left Segovia, TX, and drove toward Houston. As we passed Boerne, TX, Mary saw a Toyota dealer. Our car needed an oil change, so we stopped there and the oil was changed in 30 minutes.  :-)

We continued driving towards Houston, and took a beltway to avoid construction on I-10 through Houston. Three-fourths (3/4) of the way around Houston we ran over debris in the road. Then I heard a flap-flap-flap-flap at the right-front of the car. I pulled onto the shoulder and checked the tire and underside of the car, but didn't find anything. Between Houston and Beaumont, TX, I took an exit road and parked in a restaurant parking lot so we could change drivers. It was than that I saw that the right-front tire was flat. A AAA service truck arrived in ten minutes and that driver put on the spare tire. We went two miles on a local road and had the flat tire repaired and put back onto the car. We are so grateful that we weren't on the Interstate Highway, and that a tire-service store was open!

We are in Lafayette, LA tonight.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, Nov 18

We spent four hours in the Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns, taking many pictures using a tripod. This room is 750 feet beneath the surface.
The speed limit on this section of I-10 is 80 MPH !
We are now in Central Time. Segovia, Texas.

Tuesday, 11/17

Drove 637 miles
Highest elevation was 5,800 ft.
We passed over the Continental Divide.
At one place we were right across the river from Mexico.
The large wild pig we almost hit was a male, with tusks and whiskers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday, 11/17

Today was a long day. We left Sun City at 8:30am, and arrived in Carlsbad, NM, at 8:30pm. We traveled in the dark from El Paso, TX, to Carlsbad. On that route, a large wild pig ran in front of our car. We avoided hitting this large pig by fast braking and avoidance steering. We were the only car on the road, so traffic was not an issue.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, 11/15

Family photos, plus the golf cart that is now at a dealer for a consignment sale.

Almost all items now have found a home in the new apartment. Hanging pictures may be next.

The Christmas letter has been printed and envelopes are being addressed.

Sunday, 11/15

Photos of the cabinet purchased from Home Depot, to provide much more storage of kitchen items.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday, 11/11

Move went well. The movers were surprised that so much of the smaller items were moved. The move was completed at 10:15am. The principal reason is that almost no packing was needed.

Most items are put away; only a couple of boxes are yet to be emptied. We are very pleased that the apartment looks so well; almost perfect. During the move Mom and Dad had breakfast in the dining room (at my recommendation), then Mom slept in our motel room; Dad was in the old apartment (cleaning the drip shields on the stove); Mary was carrying bathroom and kitchen items to the new apartment; and I was directing the location of items in the new apartment, and unpacking boxes.

The new cabinet in the kitchen made a HUGE difference. It provided so much space that everything was put away, with space to spare.

The phone was connected at about 4pm, in the new apartment.

Sunday, 11-08 to Tuesday, 11/10

Long, fatiguing, days. Moving many small items. Preparation is going well, but is strenuous. We bought and assembled a large white cabinet for kitchen storage.

Saturday, 11/08

In Prescott with Jeannie & Eric.
Drove to Sun City and started moving items to the new apartment.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday, 11/05

We walked two trails in Zion National Park. Again, stunning and beautiful.
We are in Flagstaff tonight.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, 11/04

Zion National Park. Beautiful, magnificent. The tree colors really added to the beautiful sights.

Wednesday, 11/04

Bryce Canyon at sunrise. Beautiful, magnificent.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday, 11/03

Drove to Bryce Canyon. Amazing shapes and colors. Took pictures until after sunset. Great weather and no crowds.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, 11/02

Drove from Denver to Moab, UT. Saw several sights in Arches National Park.
It's amazing that our car got 50mpg even though we went up (then down) 6,000 feet in altitude when going through the Rocky Mountains.

Sunday, 11/01

Great day with Michelle and Jeremy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday 10/31

We are in Denver, with Michelle and Jeremy. The drive from North Platte, NE, to Denver was fine.

North Platte, NE, received 12.6 inches of snow while we were there. Their total snowfall for this season is 30.6 inches, which exceeds the 29.8 inch average TOTAL snowfall for the entire winter season.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I-80 and I-76 are closed

I-80 is closed both directions, and I-76 from I-80 to Denver is closed, so we are staying right here today. (North Platte, NE)

The brief weather news, on the TV in the breakfast room of the motel, said that there is 11 inches of snow on the ground. The truckers in the room said that four-foot drifts are on the west-bound highway.

The motel manager walked to work this morning because of too much snow in the roads.

Snow pictures were taken this morning.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday, 10/29

10/29 Thursday

We are now at a motel in North Platte, NE. We will stay here until the roads are open into Denver. Hopefully that will be tomorrow. I-80 is closed 50 miles west of here, but we don't go that far before we turn off to Denver.

The temperature was 52F when we left Lincoln, NE, this morning. It is now 36F and misting. The forecast is for 1-6 inches of snow this afternoon and evening. We will watch the internet information for highway conditions to Denver.

Our traveling in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska clearly show that this is corn country. We see black earth, super-long sprinkler irrigation systems, and many miles of cornfields. Today we are in the cornhusker state. Very appropriate. When we left Minneapolis yesterday and headed west on I-90, we heard about the snowstorm in Colorado that was headed north, towards Rapid City, SD, where we were headed, to see Mount Rushmore. It was foggy with light showers all day yesterday, so that weather plus the threat of significant snow caused us to change our travel plans. When we got to Sioux Falls, SD, (just over the border into South Dakota), we took I-29 south, through Sioux City, IA, to Omaha, NE. We then turned west, taking I-80 to Lincoln, NE. The temperature is much warmer here than in South Dakota, so it is raining here versus snowing in SD. We checked several motels and found a good value at $37.

This morning we had breakfast at Virginia's Travelers Café, on Cornhusker Highway, in Lincoln, NE. The woman running our motel yesterday recommended this café. Our experience eating at the café far exceeded the low cost of the breakfast we split. The parking lot was full of pickup trucks, so we knew this café was a favorite with the local residents. Jokingly I want to say that when we entered, the café fell silent as everyone looked at the strange easterners that entered this cornhusker's farmer's hangout. Most of the people in the café were older men wearing jeans and baseball-style caps. Many had flannel shirts and work boots. One man wore jeans overalls. We knew we were eating with the locals at a popular place. Neat! I asked the waitress if it was always this busy, and she told us it was because of the rain. Farmers don't pick corn in the rain.

We went into a rest area near York, NE, (west of Lincoln). The man cleaning the restrooms says it's the best job in the world. How's that for a positive attitude! He works three days a week, with very little effort required, and the money he makes pays for his Medicare payments for Part D (prescriptions). He is retired military and retired sheriff's office.

Near York we started seeing electronic signs with a message that I-80 was closed at Ogallala, NE, so that caused us to stop at North Platte, where there are more motels.

The outside temperature is dropping as we travel towards the snowstorm. It was 52F in Lincoln this morning. About 150 miles later, at noon, the temperature had fallen to 36F. The forecast for North Platte is 1-6 inches of snow this afternoon and night.

Wednesday, 10/28

Andy and Jess
Andy and Jess, Rick and Carolyn, Angel

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

change in route because of snow

We are in Lincoln, NE, tonight (too much show in Rapid City, SD). We hope to make it to North Platte, NE, tomorrow (in rain), then go to Denver Friday, hopefully after the roads are cleared.

Tuesday, 10/27

Mary, Joe (Pat's grandson), Pat
Children creating LEGO items
Mall of America

Tuesday, 10/27

Papa's grave stone
Mimi's grave stove (reverse side of Papa's)
Fort Snelling National Cemetary

Monday 10/26

Lama kiss
Bob and Norris