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Category Archives: colorado

Epilogue Part 1…Driving Across the United States 2017

We are home.  After 14 days of driving across 11 states…mostly western and mid-western states…we have many thoughts of who the United States is and changed in the past eight years when we took the same drive.  Our experiences are about simple things that we observed.. 

Infrastructure improvement is exploding across the West especially the upper mid-west.  Roads, hospitals, airports, colleges, and bridges.  North Dakota looks to using their windfall of taxes from their oil/gas bonanza to rebuild their state from scratch.  Montana seems to be right behind them.  The rest of the country should thank North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Texas and Oklahoma for all of the wealth they are providing the rest of the country.

The gas prices were an eye opener, $1.99 in Minnesota to $3.51 in California.  Looks like the far west state governments are taxing the heck out of their residents who use gasoline.

By the way, if you can, never drive through Denver or Las Vegas.  Horrible traffic any time of the day.  Matches Los Angeles or San Diego. 

The good news is that gas mileage on cars have improved dramatically in the past eight years.  We averaged over over 33 miles per gallon with the Honda CRV driving the speed limited.  One thing I noticed this trip was the impact driving into a 20 mph head wind has on your gas mileage.  Drops it from 33 to 25 mpg.  When are the car company engineers going to improve the aerodynamics of our vehicles?

Part 2 tomorrow on the food, service, hotels and family.

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Planning Two More Trips This Year(2017)

With our next trip fully planned, a 14 day driving jaunt of 4000 miles that covers thirteen states, I have been planning two more trips.  One a 9-day cross country visit to the Washington D.C. area and a four day 100th birthday party trip for my Dad in Minnesota. 

Washington D.C. Trip

Image result for photo washington mallWe decided to stay in the United States this year as the flights to Europe are such a pain.  If I could afford first class air fare, things wouldn’t be so painful but, the cost for this addition doubles the price of the trip.  What a pain. 

So instead, we decided to head to the center of our Federal Government, Washington D.C..  This will be our third trip there but we feel we have barely scratched the surface of the things to see. 

This trip will be very different from prior trips.  We will not have a car.  We will be using Uber, We rented a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs within walking distance of supermarkets, restaurants and the train system that will take us directly into Washington, D.C. within in 20 minutes.  The cost of of our apartment is 1/2 or less than a hotel in D.C., we will be saving a chunk of $$$$ on food with our own kitchen and no rental car or parking costs.  This is how we do it on our trips to Europe so we figured we might as well see how it works here the United States.

100th Birthday Party(Minnesota)

20170429_121009We will be making our third trip this year to Minnesota, this time for Dad’s 100th birthday.  Four days with our daughter, we traveled there with our son earlier this year,

The cost for airfare to Minnesota is more than to Washington D.C.. Plus, renting a car is key as we must drive 100+ miles to the small farm town where Dad lives. 

We are all looking forward to this trip as we are expected see a good part of the community who are always supportive to family and friends. 

More later. 

 

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Planning…Trip 4 of the Year 2017…Driving to Minnesota

I have often said, “Planning for a trip is at least as fun as taking the trip itself.”  That is what I have been doing the last few days for our two week driving trip to Minnesota.

2017 is the 100 year celebration for our family.  Dad will be 100 years old in November and he is really excited.  He was hoping he could celebrate it with Mom but she passed on  three years ago and will be celebrating in spirit with him and the family.

I am planning to visit Dad four times this year year if all goes well and the trip I am planning is a 14 day round trip from California to Minnesota.  Just got back two weeks ago from a four day turn around fly in visit to Dad with my son Jeff.  It was a great trip and even “enjoyed” the snow in May.  Dang that global warming.

Now about the planning for this trip.  Read an article about traveling in this year.  They recommended Europe as a good place as the dollar buys much more there than in the past.  Part of that reason is the ISIS terrorists are expected to be hitting Europe this year hard especially in tourist hotspots.  Americans will be staying home for vacation.

My planning, especially in hotels/motels, sure are showing that is true.  Our last driving trip cross country, October 2015, down highway 10 to New Orleans, had the cost of hotel rooms around $90 including tax per night for 2-3 star rooms.  This trip?  $120 per night.  At least a 25% increase.  I expect a 35% increase in the cost of food on the road as well.  The only thing that is less expensive will be gas.  Once you leave California, gas will be less than it was two years ago.  Plus, my gas powered Honda CRV gets and average of 35 MPG.

Getting my CRV oil changed and tires rotated next week.  Getting excited about this trip.

 

Day 2-14, Minnesota Trip 2014

No pictures as this trip ended up to be a working time with family.  Our 4000+ mile trip really was quite pleasant on the road except for the weather.  The Honda CRV gets great gas mileage…about 34 miles per gallon overall.  Comfortable vehicle for a small car.  No close calls.  Lots of bad weather including tornados and hail storms.  Add some of the heaviest rain I have ever driven in. 

The stay in Minnesota attempting to work with family was less comfortable and successful.  One must expect there are times that what is best for everyone not always works out no matter how logical it is. 

Even though I am nearly 70 I am still learning. This trip learning experience? When you have children who love and want the best for you.  When you have children who know about the resources and how to use them. Things do not workout due to lack of trust.   “Old Age ends up being a sad source of irony.” 

 

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Minnesota 2013, Day 15, Friday

2013-08-08 05.00.46Last full day on the road.  565 miles…Rifle, Colorado to Las Vegas, NV.  For some reason a very easy relaxing drive.  Not much traffic on Hiway 70 unlike Hiway  215.2013-08-09 13.25.05 

The picture is from our window in the motel in Rifle.  Sun coming up over the Rockies at 6 a.m..

We really had a great drive today.  Puffy clouds most of the day and Hiway 70 goes through some of the most beautiful country in the world in Utah.  Mesa’s, colorful rock formations, pine covered mountains.  Every time I drive it I thank God for giving me a chance to see it again. 

Stopped in Beaver, UT again to get a couple of rounds of Gouda cheese.  Here is a milk truck from a local dairy unloading the milk for the cheese.  Best Gouda we have ever tasted. 

Resting now in Vegas and home tomorrow. 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Arizona, colorado, Driving, Nevada, utah

 

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Minnesota 2013, Day 14, Thursday

Left Grand Island around 7 a.m. this morning.  A very fast road to a gas stop just before Colorado and a change in time.  A total of 575 miles today and the we arrived in Rifle, Colorado.  Gas mileage? 41.6 mpg.  Good grief.  Rain showers on and off all day.  Heavy highway repair.  Tiring driving.  Tired. 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in colorado, Nebraska

 

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