Monday, August 24, 2015

Race to the end

After Colorado the original plan was to drive about 4 hours to Guernsey State Park in WY and stay overnight, then drive 5 hours to the badlands and stay overnight, and finally drive the last 5 hours home.  Well when we got to Guernsey everyone was done.  We went swimming of course but it was clear everyone was out of steam with nothing really to look forward to.  So from our stop over  in WY we just booked it home with one last long drive to the end.  Really a learning experience that it's probably how it should have been planned.  So the 33 day trip became a 32 day trip.  The extra day was needed before heading back to work, leaving the yard for the month of June without a maintenance plan proved to be a mistake it was an overgrown mess.

Pictures from our last stop:

How I spent my last evening on the road

Since I brought up that I was reading The Stand here's my vacation reading list for the trip:
Into Thin Air : About climbing and death on Mt. Everest.  Non-fiction so worked well that I could start it before vacation.  For some reason (that I'm starting to question) I only allow myself to read fiction while on vacation. This was the 2nd best book I read on the trip.
The Road : Was worried that it would be a too much of a downer for this vacation but it fit into my Apocalypse/Survivalist vacation reading and I've been wanting to read it so I gave it a chance.  Really good book, the best one I read from this group. 
Prey : Written by Michael Crichton, I wanted to read Jurassic Park but couldn't find it at Last Stop so I grabbed this one since some reviews compared it to Jurassic Park.  Well it was a mistake, not a very good book, worst one of the lot. 
The Stand : Unabridged later released version, extremely long.  Very good, close run for number two but reading it ran a couple weeks past the vacation causing me to break the fiction only on vacation rule.  Characters were great and really had me invested, if it wasn't for that damn ending.  How HBO or someone hasn't picked it up and made it a series is beyond me looks ripe for a long running tv show.

The Final Family Truckster update:
Total miles driven: 6431
Gallons of gas burned: 591

This really was a trip of a lifetime.  At the end it was great to be home but it didn't take long to wish we were back on the road living out more adventures.

Colorado pictures

Ahh the cool air of the Rocky Mountains.  It was glorious getting away from the heat.  We felt great and spirits were instantly rejuvenated  We made the right decision leaving the miserable desert behind us.  The temperatures were in the 80's and it felt great. We had thought we were closer to Estes Park by the Rocky Mountain National Park but we were actually on the other side by Steamboat Springs on the western slope.  An area of the country I didn't know existed but was a wonderful surprise.  Huge rolling green hills/mountains made me think more than once about the Sound of Music.  I don't remember much about the Sound of Music but I remember something about green hills.  Anyway we stayed at and Stagecoach State Park which is on a reservoir about 20 miles outside of Steamboat.  Of course one of the first things we did after making camp was walk down to the swimming beach and go for a swim.  Getting into a freezing cold mountain lake made us feel right at home, well not home home but our new on the road for a month home.  We filled our extra two days going horseback riding and swimming in the hot springs.  Everyone but me enjoyed the horseback riding... if I never get on a horse again it's all fine and good with me.  When we got to our originally planned 2 days the highlight was our planned white water rafting trip.  We did a half day tour with Mad Adventures, it was great we all wished we had done the full day instead of just the half day trip.  Lucas was a little frightened, we had told him it would be all class 1 and class 2 rapids but when the guide said it was class 2 and class 3 he wasn't all that happy with us.  But he had a great time and was probably the most bummed out when it was over.  Marcus and I took a swim in the Colorado and we all go to go cliff jumping, the kids was only about a 3 foot jump but ours was about 20 (We have rafting pictures just can't find them at the moment).

The hills are alive

Getting ready to ride

Steamboat Springs, they had a cool main street area didn't really get a good picture

They thought they were safe away from the ocean but boats would make some pretty big waves.

Areal view of our campsite

Brothers gotta hug

Campground ground view

Arches National Park

Well it's been awhile since I last posted, we've been home quite a while now and it's about time I got caught up on the end of the trip.  

After Zion we headed over to Moab and Arches National Park.  On the way we discussed calling an audible and getting out of the desert.  We were planning on staying 3 days in Moab but with the excessive heat we had to get out of there before we melted.  When we got to the RV park (the only commercial rv park we stayed at all trip) it sealed the deal.  It was still 108 degress and the RV park was a little cramped with campers right next to each other and sharing a sliver of green space.  They did have a pool so we stayed there most of the evening after having supper at Denny's and running into the national park to check it out and plan our sprint tour for the next morning.

The next morning we got up pretty early and checked out a couple of Arches before calling it good and breaking camp to head for cooler weather.  Colorado and the mountains were calling.

Here's some picture from Arches.

Balancing Rock

Lucas adding his own balancing rocks