Sunday, August 12, 2012

I just can't help myself

This will be the last post for this trip I promise. So we got up at what we thought would be the right time and headed toward Chattanooga for church. We knew it was a branch, but we were expecting to see a phase one building what we found was much cooler. Since the numbers in that area are not great enough for a building the church is renting a house, not that uncommon, but this house dates back to the civil war! It was amazing and beautiful and everything you expect a civil war plantation house to be. Just curious how many of you can say that you attended church in a civil war generals headquarters?

Apparently we missed a time change on the way to church so we walked in thinking we were a few minutes early when in fact we had missed Relief Society. We still got to attend Sunday School and Sacrament though, thank you Heavenly Father for reverse scheduling.

We headed out straight out from church and stopped a little down the road to make a sandwich for Deb and a wrap for me. Then back in the car. We stopped somewhere in Ga. for gas and made it back to My house about 8:15pm a head of schedule:) Bonus was since we came into Florida a different way I got to see a new welcome sign. Glad to be home even if the cat is mad at me for leaving and won't come near me. See ya next time.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ta Ta for Now Sat August 11, 2012

We drove 794 miles today, well maybe a few more but this is all the closer to Jacksonville we got. We started the day in Salina, KS and ended in Manchester, TN ( about an hour south of Nashville, TN).

We didn't take a single picture today and only ate one meal out. We started and ended the day at the gas station. It will be close, but Deb may only need to buy gas one more time to make it home. We know we can get to my house with only one more fill up but she lives about 65 miles from me and we are still about 500 miles from my house. We also got groceries tonight so we won't need to stop to eat. We plan to attend the Chattanooga Branch at 9 am tomorrow and will probably make it to my house about 10:30 pm. So, this will be my last post for this trip. I doubt we will take many pictures tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed the adventure and that you'll come along for the ride next time. Until then stay safe and remember roadtrippin is always best with a friend.

Mostly Driving - Friday 8/10/12

We had car snacks for breakfast this morning in lieu of stopping for breakfast. We decided that before leaving the park there was one more hike we wanted to take. The problem was we couldn’t figure out how to get to it. So back to the Visitors Center we went and with directions in hand we drove to the trail head. Adams Falls was really nice. Unfortunately the best view required a little bit of climbing and I was not in the climbing mood, so you can thank Deb for her shots of the falls from farther down the path. The waterfall was in the rock and so it had many points where the view was hidden and then appeared again making photographing it as a whole quite difficult.

Once we were done with the falls we headed for Kansas. We stopped for lunch just outside of Denver at a place I found on my VeganSteven App. We drove for a total of 531 miles today, which isn’t bad since once we got lunch we also stopped at Sam’s club for water and I bought a box of Larabars. We ended up stopping for the night in Salina, KS at a Motel 6. As we drove up Deb said, I think I stayed somewhere with Wendy and the kids that looks similar to this. When she came out she said it wasn’t someplace similar, it was here.  The internet is down. So I am once again typing this on the computer to upload at a later date. Tomorrow will be lots more driving. We need to get in about 800 miles so I am not sure that there will be much else happening.

Rocky Mountain National Park Thursday August 9th

We left our hotel at 7:30 to get some information at the Visitors Center to help us decide what in the park to see. The problem was the Visitors Center didn’t open until 8 am. So we went in search of food. For some strange reason the Market didn’t open until 9 am, so we stopped at a restaurant called the Bear Den where I severely over paid for oatmeal and hash browns. Deb had eggs, toast and hash browns with bacon. We made it back to the Visitor’s Center and this time it was open, so we were able to get recommendations from the park rangers along with more information about the respective hikes. Let me say this RMNP is a hiker’s paradise and if you don’t want to hike more than 3 miles round trip there isn’t a whole lot to do. Deb was adamant that she walk around Bear Lake. The problem with this plan is the road was closed due to construction and the first parking lot for a shuttle was full. Up the road to the next closest lot the ranger said it would take 2 hours to get there by shuttle. We had decided to not stop at much on the side of the park we were staying on, in an effort to get to Bear Lake. We did learn that we could drive ourselves to Bear Lake after 4 pm, so now we just had some time to kill. We drove down to the Wild Basin Area trails and did the .6 mile hike to Copeland Falls. By this time it was around noon and we were hungry so we decided to drive into Estes Park.  We decided that since we had several hours to kill a movie might be nice. We found a theater in town, they only had 3 showings and Total Recall had just started. We paid the admission $7 each and found a seat in the theater just as the last preview was ending. I was thrilled not to have missed the beginning of the movie as I hate to watch a movie , even if it is one I have seen, unless I can see it from the beginning. I must say that the beginning of this movie is crucial to the understanding of the events of the movie, so we were truly blessed. Once the movie was over we got gas and decided a meal would be a good idea so we stopped for dinner. Deb had a BBQ combo and I had really bland spaghetti with overcooked noodles. The best part of the dinner, for me, was that it came with Salad Bar.

We finally made it to Bear Lake about 5:30; driving anywhere in the park takes forever. We hiked around the lake and then up to Alberta Falls. Alberta Falls was pretty and there we met a family with three little girls. The mother took our picture by the sign, as she did so, she explained that they live in Nebraska and come every year and take a picture by the sign. Both Deb and I thought this was a pretty cool tradition. We split up on the way back to the car as my knee was really hurting me and Deb was insistent that I take the shorter path back to the Glacier Basin Parking Lot to wait on her to bring the car around. I was grateful for the shorter walk but even more so excited to see a different path. Just off the path was a batch of blue flowers. I had seen them in other places in the park and thought they were quite pretty, but had never seen more than one or two growing together, so I strayed from the path just a little bit to get this photo. I only had to wait 15 minutes for her, which gave me some time to take in the mountains and contemplate on their creation.
The drive back from this area to where we had stayed for the night took almost 2 hours. The roads are narrow and winding and in some places the speed limit drops down to 15 mph. It was full dark by the time we got back to some of the areas that we had bypassed earlier and so we pressed on towards the motel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday August 8 th

We started out the day with a bike ride into Pinedale with Deborah's nieces. Destination was an organic/ health food store. I was surprised when we got there to see the same Blue Planet logo as in St. Augustine, FL. It turns out they are in the same co op how cool is that. I got a package of sunshine burgers a Twilight and a Joker bar and some dried mango. Yum! Then we rode back to Wendy's house to shower and change and hit the road. I cooked one of the sunshine bars while Deb was in the shower and it was pretty good. We stopped for dinner along the way at a moose themed cafe I ended up with rainbow trout and Deb had steak. There was a pizza/antique shop across the street so we went in. Deb got a milkshake and I found a small Pyrex dish with a cracked lid, but they were only asking $2 so I bought it. We made it to the Bluebird Motel before dark, but they have no wifi so I am typing this out on my phone. Sorry I didn't take any photos today. I will make up for it tomorrow in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

750 miles

The title should be pretty self explanatory. Yes that IS the amount of ground we covered today. we did stop at a Wal-Mart to get water. Deb bought several bottles of fry sauce and I found a few things not available in Florida as well. When we stopped that the Wal-Mart there was this van parked in the parking lot and it made us smile, so I took a picture for others to enjoy as well.

We didn't see or do much, in fact most stops were to get get gas or use the bathroom and twice we did both in the same stop. We started out in Oregon but drove through Idaho and part of Utah to end up at Deborah's Sisters house in Wyoming. There aren't a lot of photos cause Deb was busy driving and I kept falling asleep, something about being warm with not much variance in scenery just puts me to sleep. Pinedale, WY was not where we planned to stay, but it wasn't too far out of the way and it was cheaper in gas than a hotel would have been. Plus I have been missing my sister like crazy today and it may be the last time she sees this part of her family for a while, so how could I deny her that. Plus I love her family too and haven't seen them in a while, so bonus.

 Here is some of the scenery along the way.

 Most of these are taken about an hour south of Pinedale, WY there aren't many towns so forgive me for not knowing an exact location.

More driving tomorrow. I will try to find something interesting to stop at along the way. Come back tomorrow for more adventure, if we can find it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Doughnut's and Waterfalls - what could be better?

Vegan Voodoo Dozen
We started out today in Portland. Yesterday we saw tons of people lined up outside of Voodoo Doughnuts. We were both a little curious as to why people would stand in long lines in 90 degree weather, imagine our excitement to notice that there was one almost across the street from where we were staying. With NO line! We went in and to my surprise and delight they had vegan doughnuts. They were really good. I got aVegan Voodoo Dozen, which if you are counting is a baker's dozen (13).

Almost my favorite kind of donut. This one tasted kind of like a Boston Creme. I like the ones with the frosting in the middle best, or at least I used to.

Deb with her Baker's Dozen, not vegan

After downing 3 doughnuts (me) and 2 (Deb), we headed off to Powell's City of Books. They have over a million books. The store is 4 stories tall and encompasses an entire city block. It was a writers/book lover's paradise.

Heading into the city!
Browsing in the city

My haul, I also had a few postcards making 10 items for $54.
I couldn't wait to see the quirkeys that I bought. So cute.

After saying goodbye to Powell's we headed for the land of the waterfalls. We first stopped at Multnomah Falls to see this often photographed waterfall.

Up next was Horsetail Falls. From the road you can see the bottom half of Horsetail Falls, it was a little less than a mile hike (round trip) to the upper part of the falls. Deb was willing to walk to that part with me.

Upper Horsetail falls
Lower Horsetail falls
Amie behind the falls.

 From here I was on my own. I hiked another 4.5 miles (round trip) almost directly up the hill, but what goes up must come down. Shortly after leaving Deb to strike out on my own, I came across a marker a little off the trail indicating that it was in memory of a hiker stating "He fell from a cliff east of Horsetail Falls".

I will admit I was more cautious being on my own after seeing this sign.  I came across a downed tree in the trail, and considered turning back, but I soldiered on. There was a bridge at one point in the trail that caused me to stop and ponder the effort that it must have taken to build it. I was especially grateful that I was not one of the first people to journey this particular trail. I came across another smaller waterfall at the bridge, but it wasn't marked. I am not positive, but it looks like it might be the lower portion of the Oneonta Falls.

From there it was another 1.2 miles( one way) to the Triple Falls. It was pretty awesome to see. Here is a picture below to save you the 6 mile hike.

Since I ran out of water on the way back, I would recommend that you take more than a single bottle of water with you. I don't know what I was thinking trying to hike 4.5 miles with less than a full bottle of water. I did notice a small stream, so I filled my bottle part of the way. The water looked clear and tasted good, so I drank it. Best of all it was cold.

 We stopped at a Thai Restaurant for dinner, but the food was terrible. The only thing we ordered that was any good was the vegetable spring rolls. It took them almost an hour to bring us our food and when mine came it was swimming in a peanut sauce that tasted like melted peanut butter. and  It is a good thing we don't live closer, because I won't be back. We stopped for the night at a Relax Inn in Pendelton, OR. We are officially headed east. It will be a lot of driving tomorrow. I will try to find a few interesting things/places to stop and see. Come back tomorrow for more of the adventure.