FACT: From driveway to driveway, we drove 7,054 miles. The Suburban served us well. No flat tires, no mechanical issues. A mysterious switch to warm air by the air conditioner in Utah was concerning, but after trying it again after our stop, it went back to working. It may have just been rebelling.
Captain: River Terrance Inn, Green River, Utah
LeMoN: Circus Circus, Las Vegas, Nevada
SJ: Hyatt Deerfield, north of Chicago
Hummingbird: Circus Circus
FEELING: In South Dakota's western mountains, and in Colorado's Rockies, and in northwestern Nevada's skiing twists and turns, they warn you about what's coming on the roads ahead. Steep declines? Multiple warnings. Switchbacks? Beware! Miles of slow curves? Heads-up! But if you turn north on Hwy 1 in California at Cambria, GOOD LUCK. No notice that you are now stuck on 130 miles of inescapable conditions like those listed. Not a drive to take when you have a destination, folks.
FACT: 0 people threw up on this vacation. Not once. That's a record.
MP: New Mexico
L: New Mexico
FACT: Our average was about 18.4 mpg. Lowest gas price was $3.21 (Arkansas) and highest was $4.23 (California).
FEELING: We're still thinking we've got it pretty good here with our four relatively-same-length seasons. It started to feel very groundhog-day-ish on the beach in CA after just a week - today, 67 and sunny. Tomorrow, 68 and sunny. I can't imagine that nearly same temp all year.
FAVORITE: Rest Area
Captain: Mohave Desert, CA
MP: Edwards, CO (trail to a rushing creek, SUPER clean, friendly people)
FF: still deciding
GPS: South Dakota
SJ: Salt Flats
H: the one when I really had to pee
FACT: Lost - one water bottle, one shampoo, one body scrub, countless pens, one pair of sunglasses which were later found after being replaced; Broken - 2 pair of sunglasses, the tablet charger, one cooler which we know now was probably fine but we gave up on.
FAVORITE: Park (choices - Carlsbad Caverns, NM; Grand Canyon; Henry Cowell State Redwoods Park, CA; Arches, Moab, UT; Mt. Rushmore, SD; Badlands, SD)
Captain: Grand Canyon
MP: Henry Cowell
FF: Grand Canyon
H: Grand Canyon
FACT: 21 days, 17 states, and only 6 times at chain fast food/restaurant. Not too bad!
FEELING: We'll never forget the visits and conversations with familiar and new faces along the journey: the Wesbecher's and Schell's in Ark; the Kelbaugh's in TX; the friendly people of Lincoln, NM; the great-grandparents (of course he was an engineer!) in La Selva, CA; the Montoya's in CA; the people from Louisville/southern Ind. that were at the Salt flats with us; the Lookers in SD; Anthony from the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago.
C: Compagno's Market and Deli, Monterey, CA
MP: Chihuahua's, Winnemucca, NV
L: tie: the Deli/Davis Street Fishmarket, Evanston, IL/Las Vegas buffet
FF: The Tea Steakhouse, Tea, SD
GPS: Henrietta's, Albuquerque, NM
SJ: Randy's Diner, Palisade, CO
H: The Tea Steakhouse
FEELING: Blessed. What an experience - we will treasure this trip always! Thanks to the Captain for working so hard so we could do this.
One of our favorite pictures: