Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home, Sweet Home...

We made it home safe and sound! We dropped my parents off around 5pm and then headed out to fill-up the propane and then unload at our place. Then, off to the car wash in Sun City. Scrubbed, vacuumed, wiped, and cleaned the RV. Got home around 8:30 and just washing clothes, relaxing, putting stuff away, and checking some messages. I hope that you enjoyed our journey! I will put more pictures from the rest of the day and also some sort of greatest hits from the pictures in a slide show later this week. Take care everyone!

Oh yeah...

I tried a couple different things that I have never ate or many never eat again! In Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park I ate an elk brawt for lunch - not too bad, less greasy than the normal brawt. Then, at Crazy Horse, I ate a buffalo burger, again much less fat and grease than beef, but pretty good. !On the road back home as we speak, in AZ and its hot! Shelley is driving like a champ while I blog away.

Shawn's Typical Day on the RV Trip...

  1. Wake-up about 5:30 - 6:00

  2. Take Dallas out to T.C.B. (Take Care of Business)

  3. Feed Dallas

  4. Grab stuff to take a shower

  5. Walk to the shower and also TCB myself!

  6. Walk back to the RV, and the parents are up and getting ready for the day.
  7. Eat breakfast - Honey Nut Cheerios, oatmeal, Eggo Waffles, egg beaters, turkey sausage, bananas, apples, cantaloupe, hot pockets, etc.

  8. We drain the RV of the black/grey water, electrical, and water hook-ups.

  9. Lock all the side storage bins and hop into the RV.

  10. Double check we are ready to take off for the day or to our next destination.

  11. Start driving....

  12. I like to snack while I am driving, so we've bought many snacks for me to munch on. Here is a list of some: sunflower seeds, beef jerky, various snack size chips, fruit snacks, Life Savers, Jolly Ranchers, red & black licorice, salt water taffy, Bit'o Honey, Idaho Spud, Good & Plenty, etc....
  13. Now I need something to drink - Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, water, water w/crystal light packets added, Monster, orange juice, etc. No coffee for me, thank goodness I don't have that addiction!
  14. Drive....
  15. Stop off for a bathroom break, Dallas bathroom break, and/or gas fill-up.
  16. Back on the road...
  17. Lunch time - my mom pretty much was in charge of lunch. We had turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, mustard sandwiches/wraps almost everyday. They were delicious!
  18. Get to our destination and try to find a place to park the RV!
  19. Check out the visitor centers, walk around, drive through the park/area, take way too many pictures, soak up the scenery, gift shops, get National Park Cancellation Stamp for our passport(we got about 30 different stamps from all the locations we visited), and back to the RV to go on to the next stop.
  20. Drive...
  21. Stop at next destination or check into our RV camp for the evening.
  22. Parents go into to check on reservations and campsite location, bathrooms, showers, and other things.
  23. Pull or back into site and connect the hook-ups again.
  24. Get stuff ready for dinner - BBQ'd chicken breast, turkey burgers, veggies, etc. Sushi, chili, spinach lasagna, hot pockets, hot dogs, etc.
  25. Clean-up and take Dallas out to TCB.
  26. Parents get their shower things ready and head to the showers about 9-10PM.
  27. Shelley and I change into sleepwear and get our sleep bags out for the night.
  28. Maybe turn the laptop on to see if there is a connection (most places weren't to great!) and update blog and Facebook.
  29. Starting to get tired, putting stuff away to lay down.
  30. Sleep...
  31. Wake-up early and it all starts again...

Last Day!!!

Yesterday on June 29th, we drove from Bringham City, UT to St. George, UT. Shelley drove this stretch. We stopped at Zion Nat'l Park and took the shuttle bus through the main canyon, it was hot, but beautiful. Next, we finally got to stop at a Cracker Barrel!!! I've been hearing about these for the past few months from my Twitter friends Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus!! Let me just say that I love that place - kinda like Claim Jumper, but better. I don't understand why we don't have these in California. I had the Cracker Barrel Sampler dinner - meatloaf, chicken dumplings, and country ham. With three sides - cole slaw, fried okra, and a baked potato! All were excellent - I also sampled some country fried steak, mashed potatoes, and roast beef from the family. For dessert I had to try Blue Bell Ice Cream, since I've heard online about this brand of ice cream, too! Its very good, almost like homemade ice cream. We are stopping off at Snow Canyon State Park (a suggestion from a old high friend - thanks John!) on the way of the state. We are heading down the I-15 the rest of the way home - its soooo hot now, we already miss the cool mountain weather! Its been an adventure and lots of scenery and fun. RVing is pretty cool and we would suggest that you try it, I know we will again!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 26th Pictures - Buffalo Bill Cody Museum and Yellowstone Day 1

June 26 - Cody Museum and Yellowstone Day 1:

Sunset in Yellowstone

Otter Creek

Fire-Damaged pines

River in Yellowstone

Waterfall in Yellowstone
Grizzly bear above us on the road

Grizzly bear looking up after Shelley accidentally hit the horn!!
Shelley loves waterfalls!

Yellowstone Waterfall


Mud Volcano

Great sign!

Steaming hot springs

Yellowstone traffic jam!

Sitting Bull's tomahawk

Buffalo Bill Cody Historical Center

My favorite painting there - Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody

June 25th and Devil's Mountain Pictures

Pictures from June 25th:

Prairie Dog - there are so many of these around these areas!

Here is a common greeting for prairie dog families!!

Self portrait of me at Devil's Mountain - I took the tower trail hike by myself!

Devil's Mountain from the base of it

Devil's Mountain from the Visitor's Center

Parents playing bean bag toss!

Rushmore, Rocky Mtns., Wind Cave, and Crazy Horse Pictures

Here are some pictures:

Wind Cave - Popcorn formations
Night laser light show at Crazy Horse Memorial - very good show!

Here is one of many light colors from the show!

Some buffalo crossing the road...

Wind Cave Nat'l Park - These caves aren't like your normal stalagmites and stalactites caves - they have boxwork, popcorn, and frost formations which is very rare globally!

Example of boxwork formations

More boxwork formations

Mountain goat on the side of the road!

Mount Rushmore

Group Photo!

Mount Dallasmore!

Mt. Rushmore from the parking lot

Crazy Horse replica (1:34 scale) and the mountain the background

Group shot at Crazy Horse Memorial

Close-up of Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial - FYI, the four faces of Rushmore can fit on the left side of Crazy Horse's face - so, Crazy Horse's head is much larger than Rushmore's heads!

No explanation needed!!!

Shelley and the Presidents!

Day 12 Update

We drove out of Yellowstone and through the Grand Tetons today! Tetons were beautiful! So, I drove through Wyoming, Idaho, and into Utah! Shelley had a sinus headache and was sick all day. My mom is making some sushi for us tonight!! Can't wait to eat dinner in a little bit. Can't wait to get home! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far, we are!

Sunday, June 28th Update

Hey everyone, we didn't updated the past couple days because of our lack wireless connections!

We are currently in Brigham City, Utah (just outside of Ogden). We're staying the night, then off to St. George, Utah, and finally get home on Tuesday evening. Here are some highlights from the past couple days:

  • Day 10 - 11 we were in Yellowstone Nat'l Park. We say many waterfalls and wildlife. Here are a few: bison, grizzly bear, black bear, marmots, elk, pelicans, geese, antelopes, picas, various squirrels & chipmunks, and birds! Also, we saw many thermal ground areas (geysers and hot springs). Shelley and I really preferred the hot springs and their wonderful colors. I also enjoyed the mud pots. Shelley and my mom were on a mission to get as many "stamps" from all the areas they are available in the park (Yellowstone had 8 different stamps) and we accomplished that barely.

  • Shelley and I hiked up to an observation point to watch Old Faithful from afar, while my parents stayed at the lower viewing area. We were supposed to meet them after the geyser spouting, but they were nowhere to be found. So, we looked for them and went to the gift shops and bought some things and hoped to find them there, but no luck. We had the keys to the RV, too. So, we decided to head back to RV and maybe they would be waiting there for us. Low and behold they are inside the RV???? You may ask yourself how did they get in (we asked ourselves, too!)? Since the windows were open for Dallas, they were able to slide the screens over. Then, my dad hoisted my mom up to climb through the sliding side window and into the RV and unlocking the door for my dad to get in!

  • Dallas doesn't like any wildlife that is in her view. So far, she has protected us from cows, horses, bison, elk, and a crazy lady trying to take up close & personal pictures of bears. The lady was afraid of Dallas' bark, but not afraid of bears?!?!?!?!

  • Shelley was waiting for dumb tourists to get gored by a buffalo while they pushed their children about 2 feet from it eating. There are signs everywhere about them goring and that they can run 35 MPH. She was waiting for her chance to win $10,000 or more from America's Funniest Home Videos!

  • I am really ready to come home now!

  • Pictures from the past couple of days to come tonight.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 9 & 10

Day 9 we left we left Custer, SD. We planned to stop at Jewel Caves National Park and take a tour, but the tours were sold out for most of the day, so no cave tours :( Then, we headed out to Devil's Tower. Devil's Tower is pretty amazing and huge! I went on a short tower trail hike and enjoyed seeing it up close. We left there to drive to Buffalo, WY (100 degrees) and stayed at a great RV Park - Deer Park RV Campgrounds - BBQing chicken breasts and corn, playing some bean bag toss, and relaxing. We woke up bright early and left town by 7AM and drove to Cody, WY to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum, which was pretty coo, also. Now Shelley is driving to Yellowstone Nat'l. Park. Can't wait to see wants coming! Yellowstone all day tomorrow, too! Updates to come...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 8 Update

Today was exhausting and long. We got ready and got to Crazy Horse Memorial at about 7AM and then headed to Mt. Rushmore. After Mt. Rushmore, we drove to Wind Caves National Park and finally back to Crazy Horse to watch a laser/light show. Everything was great! We saw many buffalo, deer, prairie dogs, antelopes, a mountain goat, and even some wild turkeys. Pictures of today's adventure will be posted soon. Tomorrow, we head out to Jewel Caves National Park, Devil's Tower and end up in Buffalo, Wyoming. Can't believe it is already over half over! Hope all is well and you can enjoy this blog...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 7 Update

Today was spent mostly driving from Colorado to Wyoming, then Wyoming to South Dakota. We stopped at Wal-Mart in Loveland, CO to buy my mom a new camera (she accidentally broke her LCD on her other one when getting out the car on Tuesday evening!), so now she's back in photo taking business. Then, we stopped at Fort Laramie National Monument, which was the main meeting point/link for the westward movement/expansion. The Mormon Trail, California Trail, Oregon Trail, and Pony Express went right through this fort - very historical site. Finally, we got into Custer, South Dakota. We are about 6 miles outside of Crazy Horse Memorial Monument and about 30 miles from Mount Rushmore. We will be heading to Crazy Horse, Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Monument tomorrow. More updates and pictures to come. Hope everyone is enjoying this blog! Take care....

Day 6 Pictures - Rocky Mtns. National Park

Many pictures were taken on this day at Rocky Mountains National Park, here are the top 20 pictures from me:
Panoramic picture from the hike up to the top of Rocky Mtns. National Park
EElk feeding near town in the evening

Elk that crossed the road right in front of us

Yellow Marmot - One of my new favorite animals!

Big Horn Sheep

Male Elk with nice rack!

Elk crossing the stream

Another Elk!

Shawn conquering the mountain!

Hatsue climbed to the top, too! - 2.3 miles above sea level! She's a trooper!

I made it to the top of Rocky Mountains National Park!!

The hike up to the top of the trail - was about a 400-500 foot elevation climb + the higher level air = harder breathing!

Snow warning!

Shelley standing next to the snow

Shelley and my mom pretending to fall over the edge - this makes my dad all flustered because that is when accidents could happen!!!

Shelley trying on an antler!

Water/Melting snow going down the mountain

Beaver Ponds

Shelley and I with Long's Peak in the background

Sign says it all...

Workers put a rock wall together in the park near a turn-off.