Saturday, May 17, 2014

California to Iowa & Illinois

(Jan) We are on Day 11 of our cross country trip from California to Kansas. Rolling along through this incredible country of ours has given us time to reflect, rest and rejuvenate (lots of sleeping in late & napping) instead of making the ‘mad dash’ as we had hoped to do. Our original plan was to be in Illinois May 9th to see our grandson’s final H.S. Musical but due to circumstances and timing beyond our control, we missed it along with getting to see our youngest son and family who had flown out for the occasion. That was disappointing P5100133but we are happy that we were with Ron in his last days and with Scarlett and family for his Celebration of Life. If only one could be in more than one place at a time!

The first night of our trip east was spent in Fernley, Nevada where we were able to get the Motor Home Serviced at a Speedco. The next stop was three nights in Salt Lake City, Utah where we met up with our friends Judie & Mark. We brought Mamma Molino’s Ravioli (Judie’s childhood favorite) from California for our shared dinner one night and another night Mark made meatloaf with all of the fixings. It was incredibly comforting being with these good friends! P5130049

 

Next stop; Moab, Utah where we picked up our mail and spent some time in Canyonlands and Arches NPs. We stayed at the Elks Club and were tickled to discover that Boomers George and Diana were parked there!  We had some great visits plus breakfast and a walk downtown Moab the last morning. We have wanted to do the Delicate Arch hike in Arches NP for years and finally got a chance to do it. It’s a 3+ mile round trip, gaining altitude all the way up to the arch. This is the rewarding view at the top! P5140079

 

 

Day 9 found us leaving Moab and traveling through Colorado. Since Chuck has started making Sour Dough bread he has found a flour that he really enjoys using; Blue Bird Flour. We stopped at the Mill where it was made and purchased two twenty pound bags. It was a fun stop for us. We drove over beautiful Wolf Creek Pass and spent the night in Salida, Colorado along the banks of the Arkansas River.

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The following morning we decided to see some more of Colorado’s beautiful mountains. We drove north through Buena Vista to I70. We were able to drive through the two mile long Eisenhower/Johnston tunnel at 11,158 feet elevation surrounded by snowy mountain peaks all around us. Our drive took us through Denver and eastern Colorado. That evening we stopped at a lovely Rest Stop with a separate ring for RVs near Colby, Kansas.

Our last stop before we drive to Iowa is at Cabela’s in Kansas City which is just 15 minutes from my sister’s house. We got to have a nice visit with Linda and Richard this evening. Chuck shared Sour Dough starter with them and we came P5150060home with rhubarb, radishes and spinach fresh from the garden. Yum! We will go back for Richard’s Birthday Party tomorrow with their family. It will be good to see everyone.

Our 2,000+ mile trip has taken us from seashore, through deserts and high mesas, by the great Salt Lake, two National Parks, the Colorado Rockies and across the Great Plains in eastern Colorado and Kansas. Monday will take us to the Agricultural Heartland of America of which our home state, Iowa, is a part. In a couple of weeks we will go on to Illinois to celebrate our grandson Ryan’s H.S. Graduation and party.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Leaving California

(Jan) We spent most of our time in California at the Walnut Creek Elks, with a break for a 4 day retreat to the Napa Valley.  We enjoyed drives through the vineyards and walking & biking along the Riverside Trail in Napa plus a little shopping at the Outlet Mall and enjoyed a lovely Sunday Morning Brunch. One of the days we took a driving tour to the P4290103coast. Our first stop was the Muir Woods National Monument. This old growth forest of Coastal Redwoods is on the edge of a very populated area but once you’re walking among the trees it is serene and peaceful. P4290104

The views along the ocean on Hwy 1 were breath taking; Looking down at the waves crashing ashore was amazing. We did stop at Stinson Beach to walk along side the water. Communing with nature was balm for the soul!

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HydrangeasIMG_7600My brother Ron’s Celebration of Life was held at home on Saturday. My brother Glen and sister Linda flew in from the Midwest and many of Ron & Scarlett’s friends joined us for a day of remembering Ron. It was very special to meet their friends and work mates and also many friends of our nephews John, Ryan & Brenden. We will all miss him!

After lunch and a good visit at a Korean place with Scarlett on Wednesday, we said our good-byes and packed the MH for our trek east. Our route will take us along I80 through CA & Nevada.

 
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