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Category Archives: Wyoming

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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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 3, Monday

What a great day!  We took off from Rawlins, Wyoming after a great night of sleep and a breakfast at the Diner.  We drove through two states;  Wyoming and South Dakota over 530 miles.  The Honda out did itself today.  Nearly all of the 500+ miles were on 2 lane highways on cruise control at 65.  Are you ready?  41.4 mpg!  Crazy.  This is a full size Accord.  Who needs a battery powered car?

2013-07-28 20.17.33Wyoming and South Dakota are green.  Lots of rain and creeks and rivers are full.  There are so many deer and prong horned antelopes around that it is unbelievable.  Last night I was walking about a block from our hotel in Rawlins and what did I see?  A young doe deer.  Wasn’t a bit afraid of me and walked into a storage lot and started eating grass.  The prong horns are so fat that I am worried that prairie dogs might catch them. 

Had one of our best meals of our trip tonight in Pierre, SD.  We ate at a Italian Restaurant called “Redrossa.”  Great food.  Tomorrow, 5 hours to the folks in Minnesota. 

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in South Dakota, Wyoming

 

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Minnesota 2013, Day 2, Sunday

Up at 6 a.m. and had a light breakfast in Beaver, Utah and headed up the highway early on Sunday morning.  The sky was blue, the rain clouds had disappeared and highway 15 was nearly empty.  Even though we have traveled interstate 15 many times, this morning was something special.  The animals were grazing in the green pastures right up to the towering mountains.  Deer were mixing with the cattle and we know why the Mormon’s settled in the valley’s of Utah.  Truly God’s country.  The people keep their homes and property so clean and perfect.  Lots of pride in where they live and who they are. 

2013-07-28 18.58.27We cruised through Utah…by-passing Salt Lake City…and loped into Evansville, Wyoming to fill with gas and grab a bite at Wendy’s.  The Honda made 37 mpg again and is running like a top.  The 2012 Accord with the 4 cylinder seems just about a perfect vehicle for these road trips.

As we rolled  through Wyoming on highway 80, the empty high plains changed to a busy area of oil and gas wells.  Saw a bunch of prong horn antelope herds.  Add to that huge windmills and even some solar panels.  Thank goodness for Wyoming as states like California can act like they don’t have to drill oil shale or have electric production plants.  We just import it from Wyoming and say how wonderfully green we are.  Next, water from the Great Lakes to California! 

We arrived at Rawlins, Wyoming and checked into our hotel.  What a busy town!  Motels are very expensive as 2013-07-28 18.34.58the demand by “Rough Necks” working in the gas and oil fields drive up the prices.  They sleep in shifts…6 guys per room in 3 eight hour shifts.  They also serve healthy amounts of food.  For example, Penny’s Diner.

The hotel behind the diner is new, clean, and $185.00 a night.  Things booming here as Obama hasn’t been able to shut down energy production here in Wyoming. 

The food served here is about as hardy as the rough necks working the fields. 

Chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes.  People working here and are happy and productive.

Getting ready for a long walk.  Free breakfast included in the motel bill tomorrow morning.  Wonder what that will be like?

Great Day 2.    

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in utah, Wyoming

 

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Deeeeeeeeep Breath!

We are 5 days away from our second trip of the year.  Just got back from San Dimas, California following a two day summer JUCO basketball tournament.  Great fun even in a 105 degree temperature gyms. 

Now packing.  We have decided to travel with our new duffle bags as this is a laid back trip…no fancy restaurants or hotels…traveling on back roads of Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and fishing in northern in Northern Minnesota.  My kind of trip!  Short driving days of 500 miles a day of less.

Another nice thing, cheaper gas and food in every state.  Good ol’ Cali.

Stay tuned. 

 

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Minnesota Driving Day 15, Tuesday

Longest Day, Crash, 8640 feet

We left North Platte, NB at 0510 as we wanted to knock off the 575 miles and be in Evanston, Wyoming by 1630 but it was not too be.  We climbed all day and and hit the highest pass at 8640. All things were going well and we stopped in Rawlins, Wyoming for a noon meal.  We ran into a tiny restaurant, the Cloverleaf Café.  It had a mixture of Mexican food and Navaho tacos which we had.  Delicious! 

crash3We got on interstate 80 and about 20 milescrash2 out…in the middle of nowhere…all traffic stopped.  We found out from the truckers that there was a major accident with a brush fire.  Two hours minimum be for we would move.

It was about 83 degrees with a nice breeze so it wasn’t bad at all and after about an hour, off we went.  The traffic slowly stepped up and we finally got to Evanston, Wyoming at 1830.  Nearly two hours late but all in one piece. Lots of trucks.  Should be better tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in crash, Driving, Nebraska, Wyoming

 

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