(Avon Park, FL) Hi 79 Lo 54 -- We had a wonderful summer traveling from Florida on April 1 and returning to Florida on November 5, 2014. Our path formed a circle of almost 9,000 miles, as we traveled along the Gulf Coast through the southwest, north to Seattle, and back along the northern tier of our country to the Midwest and back south. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)
We had very little rain all summer, and our temperatures ranged from a high of 106 in Redding, California, and a low in the high 20's in the Midwest during the fall. But overall the weather was great.
The highlight of the summer was Southern Utah, with Bryce Canyon National Park being the top of the list as far as scenery.
Our travels were split into two halves: the first covering the Southwest, with a one-month break when we stayed in Carson City, NV to be with our friends George and Linda, then the second half covering the Northwest and Midwest.Our least favorite area was the desert Southwest, with many sand storms and dust devils, one of which blew over our satellite dish over and cost us $110 to replace it. Overall, we enjoyed our travels out west for the scenery, but the desolation didn’t appeal to us. Until we got to the beautiful Northwest we missed the green grass, trees, and water. We were always nervous about breaking down out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell phone coverage and the nearest town 50 miles away. In fact we did have three flat tires (one on the car, one on the truck, and one on the rig), but we were lucky enough to be near towns, and Coach-Net provided great service in getting us back on the road.
We stayed in some great parks along the way, and a few that were not so great. The park list is on the right side of this page, with lots of info.
We did lots of sightseeing, with enough memories to last a lifetime. Here's a list of where we went and what we saw:
US Navy Seal Museum, Fort Pierce, FL (Just before we left Florida)
USS Texas Battleship, Houston, TX
San Jacinto Monument, Houston, TX
LBJ Presidential Library, Austin, TX
Circuit of the Americas (F1 track), Austin, TX
International UFO Museum & Research Center, Roswell, NM
Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Desert Life Zoo & Gardens, Carlsbad, NM
White sands National Monument, NM
Cattlemen's Steakhouse, El Paso, TX (According to Jim, the best steak in the world.)
USAF Aircraft Boneyard, Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ
San Xavier Mission, Tucson, AZ
Titan Missile Museum, Green Valley, AZ
Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ
Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Mead Museum of American Indian Culture, Phoenix, AZ
Pueblo Grande Archaeological Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball Game, Phoenix, AZ
Heard Museum Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Meteor Crater, AZ
Winslow, AZ (Standin' On the Corner Park)
Natural Bridges National Monument, UT
Goosenecks State Park, UT
Edge of the Cedars State Park and Museum, Blanding, UT
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT
Las Vegas, NV
Carson City, NV
Reno Rodeo, Reno, NV
Virginia City, NV
Lake Tahoe, NV
Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA
Crater Lake National Park, OR
Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Concert, Bend, OR
Haystack Rock, Seaside, OR
Lewis & Clark Museum, Astoria, OR
Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
Harbor Cruise, Seattle, WA
Seattle Mariners Major League Basebell Game, Seattle, WA
Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
Old Mission State Park, Catalda, ID
Garnett Ghost Town, MT
Missouri River Headwaters, Three Forks, MT
Little Big Horn Battlefield, MT
Range Rider Museum, Miles City, ND
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (Badlands), ND
Roger Maris Museum, Fargo, ND
Bonanzaville, Fargo, ND
Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball Game, Minneapolis, MN
Mille-Coors Brewery Tour, Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball Game, Milwaukee, WI
We celebrated when we arrived in North Dakota on August 29. It was our 48th state, which filled out the colorful U.S. Map we have on the side of our home. Many have asked us about going to Alaska, We don't have any desire to tow our home to Alaska, but we may do an Alaskan cruise someday.
Once we completed all 48 states our son created an infograph of our five years on the road. I think he did a great job. (Click on it to enlarge it.)
The fun of our travels was offset by the need for over $2,000 in repairs to Tumbleweed, which we had done in Elkhart, IN in September. We're keeping this post positive, so if you want more information about that you can check out our posts from late September.
It was a wonderful year of travels, but we’re glad to be in one place to rest up for awhile. The temperatures are quite cold up north, and we’re very happy staying warm here in Florida.
See you in a couple or three days.