Sunday, August 12, 2012


As our trip winds down and I begin to reflect on the whole process I have some thoughts about this whole no particular order:

  1. Oklahoma is really windy. But as windy as it is, Oklahoma has nothing on Wyoming and South Dakota. I thought we were going to be blown right into Canada while driving through both Wyoming and South Dakota.
  2. I could write an entire book just on the goofy signs and billboards we've seen along the way. From ½ price divorce lawyers in Vegas, signs cautioning against allowing your children to eat wild animal feces while in the park (yes, we have seen more than one) to bathroom signs reminding you not to dye your hair (Vegas), wash your dog (California), wash your bike (Wyoming), or clean any rocks ( South Dakota), they have all been entertaining! We even saw a sign in South Dakota, in desperate need of some punctuation, advertising an “All you can eat biker breakfast.” I hope not too many bikers were devoured in the name of a healthy start to the day!
  3. People in the western part of the US take their jerky products very seriously. We went through grocery stores with entire isles devoted to the process of purchasing, enjoying and even making your own jerky. In fact at the grocery store in Tusayan, Arizona I could only buy milk in 1 pint bottles. I could, however, purchase beef jerky in obscene quantities. We also found packages of not just beef jerky, but also deer, bison, elk and antelope jerky.
  4. There are absolutely no straight or level roads in Oregon or Wyoming. We actually drove up the side of a mountain in Wyoming on a road that wasn't finished yet. That was a long day...
  5. 200 square feet is not a lot of room for 5 people and all their souvenirs.
  6. There are wineries in almost every state in the US.
  7. You can find helpful, friendly, interesting people everywhere!
  8. My kids go through a gallon of milk and a half gallon of orange juice a day. RV refrigerators will only hold 1 gallon of milk and ½ gallon of juice. Not every small town has its own grocery store.
  9. The National Park Service is an amazing organization.
  10. The earth is fragile. We have seen evidence of forest fires in almost every National Park we have visited. We watched grass fires start in New Mexico and witnessed the local fire department scramble to put them out. We've had our plans altered by active forest fires in Utah and danced on the sidewalk with park employees in the Grand Canyon when it rained for the first time in over 10 months. It has been an extremely dry summer everywhere and we have been reminded at every campground that no campfires or charcoal grills are allowed. There are signs along the side of the road from Oregon to Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota reminding drivers not to throw cigarette buts out their car windows as the grass is so dry it will go up in flames immediately. The National Park Service message is one of conservation and kindness to the earth and I hope that this trip has taught my children to honor the lessons the park rangers share with visitors every day.


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It has been very informative and entertaining! Next time stop in south TX, k? Beth

  2. I've really enjoyed reading all about your travels--can't wait to hear the live version when we meet up in PA! See you SOON!

  3. You must be feeling ambivalent about your trip coming to an end. I can imagine you look forward to your own bed and a hot shower in your own bathroom. But after all this planning it will be hard for you to see the trip end. Any ideas about where you want to go next? ;)