Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the better-late-than-never summary

On the Great National Vacation...
  • 5,280 miles driven
  • 18 states visited
  • 1,141 photos taken on 3 cameras
  • 48 license plates seen from the United States. (We never saw one from Deleware or Rhode Island, but Hawaii was represented.)
  • 7 license plates from Canada
  • best road names: Buttermilk Road, in Alabama, and Rattlesnake Gulch in CO
  • worst road names: O 1/2 and B 3/10 and others of that ilk around Grand Junction CO
  • smallest town: Emblem, WY, population 10
  • worst observation: Bug, who was trying to read his book too often, and missing scenery
             me: "There's a giant pink dinosaur on Bug's side (of the car)."
             Bug: "Where?"
  • best observation: Pook, "I saw a mirage but it turned out to be real." 
  • best redemption from having poor observation skills earlier:  Bug, "I recognize that tree."  (And he did.  We'd accidentally  reversed direction on our long hike after stopping at the observation point.)
  • best food: local place in New Mexico, although the salsa ("sauce") was hotter than my good eaters were prepared to consume. 
  • most common question:  "What state are we in?" 
  • most common statement: "I guess I have to go to the bathroom after all." 
  • best idea: to include Mesa Verde in our route 
  • worst idea: to get to Fort Worth and Dallas at rush hour on a Friday 
  • oddest encounter: a family from our church, visiting the same paint pots area of Yellowstone at the same time as our family
What would I do differently?  Not much.  I would have liked to spend more time on our way and way home.  We did all our exploring by car or by foot and I'd have liked to have time for a bike ride, day of tubing, canoeing or horseback riding or a train ride. I'd have found time to visit Devil's Tower.  I'd have driven less in Texas and added Arkansas to our list of states visited instead. 

We were gone for 17 days, and I think just three more would have perfected it.  It was a wonderful trip and I wish every family could do something similar.


  1. Welcome back! Your trip sounds fabulous.

  2. Wow! What a trip! My favourite line in there is the "most common statement". A whole story revealed in what isn't said there, a story which anyone who's ever travelled with young children knows by heart. :)

  3. I love this summary! And I so understand about the Dallas/Fort Worth rush hour traffic. One of the reasons we were happy to move out of Ft. Worth and back to Lincoln! ;)