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Category Archives: utah

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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Day 13, Sunday…110 Degrees…Close Call

We left Pocatello, Idaho at 630 a.m. and arrived in St. George, Utah at 3 p.m.  From 55 degrees to 110 degrees.  Big change.

We had the only close call on the whole trip today.  A pickup truck doing quite a bit over the 80 mph limit decided to merge into me from the fast lane.  To survive I shot over into the shoulder and the “stoner” missed me.  Did the same thing to someone else about 1/2 mile up the road too.  Wasn’t our time yet. 

We took a nap after we arrived and then headed off to the Cracker Barrel and had their Chicken Sunday Supper.  Oh my goodness was it good!

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Home tomorrow by mid-afternoon.  Great trip.  Glad to get home.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in idaho, utah

 

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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.

 

Salt Lake City, March 25, 2015, Day 4

Better late than never.  The last full day on our trip to the Salt Lake City area was spent touring the best known area; Temple Square.

20150325_124135When we toured the Vatican in Rome we knew we would never visit another place like it. We still haven’t but the Mormon religion has built a place in Salt Lake City that is spectacular, full of love and pride.

 
20150325_112137Spring is an outstanding time to visit Temple Square. You are surrounded at every turn with masses of flowers. Your view from the top floors the buildings are spectacular and the history of the religion since the Mormons arrived in Utah is there for you to see. Add to that an organ recital and great food. Worth every hour you spend there.

Headed back to the hotel and packed for trip home. 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in utah

 

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Spring in Salt Lake City, Day 3, 3/24/2014

 A very busy day.  Up at 7 am and had a good breakfast at the 20150324_111057hotel and then we headed off to Park City.  Park City is supposed to be the best place around of skiing this time of the year.  Not this year.  Without snow machines skiing would have been done.  The restaurant’s and stores are still going strong and it was a great visit.  Unless 20150324_095057there is a very big change of the weather very soon, I expect skiing will not make it to mid-April.

The drive to Park City to Provo is spectacular.  The Provo Canyon is wonderful.

We made it home to the motel by 2 pm and took a very short nap at they were working on a fixing a busted water pipe with lots of noise.  Oh well.

20150324_185921Last night was our wild night for dinner.  Hot pot Chinese food.  First time for Libby and me.  The hole in the wall is just down the street for Brigham Young University who sports a large Chinese student population and the restaurant was full of hungry students. 

The dinner took us one and half hours as we cooked our own food at our table.  Seafood, beef, pork, eggs, vegetables, spam, noodles and rice.  So unique and delicious. 

Definitely will eat there again. 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in utah

 

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Salt Lake City, Day 2, 3/23/2015

20150323_174322Back on the road again.  A very short day for20150323_173530 us…225 miles from Cedar City to Provo Utah.  80 mph speed limit in Utah Interstate 15.  We rolled along about 74 mph instead and we crossed over 4 mountain passes highest 6600 feet.

The closer we got closer to Provo, the darker it got.  30 miles from our destination it was raining.  Snow covering the mountains and here is a photo of our hotel.  Right behind our hotel is a great walking path along the Provo River.  Wonder why we want to stay here?

We took a nap and then headed off for a walk and found a pizza joint.  Mmmm.  The city is filled with early spring blooming trees and bushes.  Great day two.20150323_173617

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Driving, utah

 

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