Saturday, July 27, 2013

Forever West: Our 2013 Cross Country Trip ~ By the Numbers!

Hello there and welcome!

How is everyone?
Enjoying summer and hopefully, 
a much needed and well deserved break?
I certainly hope so, friends!

And though I left my heart in San Francisco, there's no place like home!

Well, since returning from our two and a half week cross country camping trip...
coast to coast...
New York to California, with 
stops in between for
natural, historic, literary and, 
of course, generally f-u-n sights,
there's so much to record here and share with you!
Thought I'd start with a basic run-down 'by-the-numbers.'
I'm kind of a list person, as you know, and so to journal about
the adventure, initially, checklist-ish, is a  pretty good way
 for me to keep a handle on the  details for myself
 as well as sharing some of the moments
big AND little,
with you all!

Oh, there are blog posts aplenty to come!
Pictures, reviews of places and sites,
commentary of the journey!
I think I've "enough"  blogging posts stored up for 
some time!

So here goes~~
Our trip, which we're calling our "Forever West"  adventure,
 by the numbers:

States  visited
( Westbound: NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO, KS, CO, UT, NV, CA,
Eastbound:  WY, SD, WI, MN )

National parks, monuments

miles driven
As we cross into CA from NV!

days~ duration of the trip


sign pictures
Some goofy, some instructional!

Roadside geology lessons

In Colorado

campfires built!
Fires were restricted throughout most of the West,
 as would be expected,
 due to the horrible and tragic wildfires

bowls of sourdough clam chowder 
You can get the recipe here!

escapes from Alcatraz

drives down Lombard Street
(left, taken from the car.
Right, after I jumped out and ran down the street 
to get a shot of the van ON Lombard)


crossings on the Golden Gate Bridge

National Parks/monuments visited

 times my younger son 
  taught street performers in San Francisco how to play
"Wild Thing" on guitar
(And boy, were they gracious and kind!)

Mark Twains spotted in Hannibal, Missouri

times  Timmy asked the legendary writer for 
  advice on his own 'novel!'

pictures taken!
So many faves!
So many....

 minutes of video captured

630 feet
height of Gateway Arch in St Louis, MO
(which is the same distance, by the way, as the arch's width!)

minutes we were "trapped" at the top of The Arch due to crowds waiting to get back down!

s'mores roasted and enjoyed

number of family squabbles
Hey, that's a lot of family togetherness and one small tent.

loads of laundry to dig out from under the camping, dirty clothes mess
(and I'm just about there!)

pro life billboards on interstates in the mid west,
where they are apparently not shy about speaking up for the
the dignity of pre born life 
and the destruction that abortion causes to women and to society
A Gallery of Weird Anti-Abortion Billboards

A Gallery of Weird Anti-Abortion Billboards
Have some time?
Want to read about our January 2013 trip to DC for The March for Life?
Click here

wildlife sightings in the national parks
(antelope, wolf, deer, elk)
Pictured below, a wolf on the road to Glacier Point in Yosemite

number of times that someone actually asked us if we are homeschoolers
because our children are "so polite and outgoing!"
( I kid you not!
And only 1 of these 5 were homeschoolers themselves)
Now isn't that pretty much the best testimony of homeschooling one could get?
How kind.

times we were told we surprised people being from New York because
we are "nice."
(Again, I kid you not!)
And we're not that nice.
 emails/phone numbers exchanged 
with other eager and personable travelers whose paths crossed ours!

This is Dee, whom we met on the shore of The Great Salt Lake.
She was heading back home to CA.
Hi Dee!
Hope you get a chance to stop over to the blog!

7 1/2
hours spent at the California Academy of Sciences 
in Golden Gate Park

kind soul who returned our camera bag 
to the ranger station!
We must have left it  at a scenic overlook on the drive up Pike's Peak! 
The bag had my extra tapes as well as the charging cord!

14, 4000 
feet above sea level
Highest point of our trip
Reached on our  drive to the top of 
Pike's Peak

1,000 feet below sea level
Lowest  point of our trip
 Reached  during the Mollie Kathleen God Mine Tour 
in Cripple Creek Colorado

about to get into the <small> elevator!
At the bottom, with our excellent tour guide, Tim

songs burst into as we toured certain locations
The kids don't need any encouragement to belt out
"I Left My Heart in San Francisco,"
"It's a Treat to Beat your Feet in the Mississippi Mud"
(and yes, they did)
"Get Your Kicks on Route 66,"
"Home on the Range,"
"Don't Fence Me In,"

song sung,
 as we left our campground each morning:
"On the Road Again"
(Thanks Willie)

But sometimes, 
"Highway to Hell," 
depending on how everyone was getting along.
See, I told you we weren't that nice.
 gunfights witnessed on the streets of Deadwood, SD

Wild Bill Hickok's assassination reenactments in saloon #10
Deadwood, SD
(And my Timmy got to play Charlie, the card player
 who would not give up his seat at the poker table,
 causing Wild Bill to have to sit with his back to the door,
 which he never ever did!
Good going, Timmy!
Stubborn kid)
You DO know the story of Wild Bill's assassination, don't you?
Click here  to "Dead Man's Hand"
for more legendary stuff of the west and Hickok's killing.

climbs/jumps down into a volcano's crater
That'd be the 4 of us minus me!
 I did this once with my hubby, back in summer of 1994.... 
And really, I was done.
Cinder Cone,
Lassen Volcano National Park, CA

roadside plaques read and discussed.
Yep, we seriously wound up keeping track!
Not a plaque went unread.


~pounds of rocks the hubby brought home for his classroom
( and his own kids!)
But not from the national parks, of course, whose slogan is,
"Take only pictures; leave only footprints."

~amount of brine flies gathered around the shore of The Great Salt Lake

~number of times someone said,"This is cool, but gross,"
about swimming in The Great Salt Lake!

Unscheduled, unhurried, unplugged memories

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

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Until next time,



  1. AHHhh, I just LOVE IT. ALL OF IT. What an awesome trip! It reminds me of our traveling adventures with my family as a kid. So many great memories. We'd be gone for 2 months in the summer!..non-stop. Coast to coast. What great times. And that comment about if you're a home schooling family?!? How great is that?? Wow. You have chalked up some excellent memories for yourselves there and LOTS OF LEARNING!!! Brine flies?? ewww...I'm not sure I remember those...I remember the brine eggs and shrimp...(dead bodies of them in masses...on the floor of the Great Salt Lake...yuk! You can see valleys and hills of them deep in the water from above in an airplane.... LOL) Thanks for sharing with us :) xoxoxo

    1. Denise
      Thanks so much!
      Wow, love your comment. What memories.
      Thank you for visiting!!

  2. Hi Chris!

    What fun times and a great adventure! I learned some things or two from reading this numbers post. Love it! I don't know if our family will ever come close to such a vacation for such a long time, but it's fun to learn from others who have the means to explore our country in such memorable ways! Glad you are back safe and sound and are enjoying posting about all your memories that will certainly last a lifetime! God bless!

    1. Thank you so much, Tra, for stopping over and for your kid words!
      Well, you are blessed to have a different kind of "adventure" happening in your family! I can;t wit to hear the news about Baby #5 and see the beautiful, happy pictures!

  3. Great pictures! Looks like you all had a wonderful trip. :)

    1. Thanks, Carol..we're picture-crazy... :)
      And yes, it was memorable!

      Thank you for visiting!

  4. What an exciting trip! Looks like so much fun and educational! Isn't it cool that homeschoolers have such a great reputation now? Used to not be so. Many years ago we were considered freaks! I would have loved to see that wolf! I'm in love with them and tigers! We have a wolf sanctuary near here. We keep planning to go but never seem to get around to it!

    1. Wow, Sylvia, a wolf sanctuary! That sounds intriguing! We'd never seen a wolf before ( ever) So this was truly a treat! he was beautiful!

      And, yes, the reputation of Hsers is pretty awesome!

      Thank you for stopping over!


  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, RAnn, for visiting!!

      Be well

  6. What a wonderful journey! I am stopping by from Inspire Me Monday Blog Hop! I look forward to your visit at . Happy creating!

    1. Susie
      Thank you for stopping in and for your kind words...heading over to your blog now....thanks for inc the link!!

      God bless!!

  7. Stopping back by to say thank you for visiting my blog today! I also voted for you at the fence! Keep up the amazing work at your blog. You made us readers feel like we went on a journey with you as well in your post!!!

    1. Oh, you're so welcome, Susie! It was a lovely break in a busy day, visiting your spot on the web!
      Thank you for your kind words~

  8. This all sounds amazing! I hope someday we'll be able to do this with my own kiddos. What a great way to keep learning through the summer while still enjoying family time away from home! Next time you'll have to stop in my home state of Arizona, however... Lots of cool things to see here! ;)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

    1. Alesha,
      SO nice of you to stop by and say 'hello!"
      Yes, next summer, AZ is on our itinerary! We'll focus on the SW of the USA next July, if all goes according to plan!

      Looking fwd to seeing you around the blogosphere!

      Be well and God bless!

  9. By the numbers ... what a fun way to reflect on a wonderful vacation! NY to CA in only 19 days!!! Wow! We recently enjoyed a road trip ourselves but only covered four states. We love SF and Lassen is nearly our backyard! :)

    1. Wow, Eva, how neat that we were so close to you!
      The Lassen area is quite rural...I'd love to live out there!

      Thank you for stopping in!

  10. Love this post Chris. What a fabulous way to travel with the kids. What part of NY are you in? We are Southern NY (orange county)....that is a great way to educate the children!

    1. Thanks Melissa!
      Heading to your blog to "chat" with you there!
      I appreciate your visit!

  11. Oh, love this blog and the pictures, the ones I can see. Is there a way to look at the pictures like a slideshow? Want to see them all! :) Love hearing about your adventures and love seeing the pictures and love you guys! xoxo

    1. Denice,
      You're a doll!
      Can't wait to see YOUR trip pics! (I just re to you on G+...hope that helps!!)

  12. First of all you're not paranoid! ;) I don't tell anyone on-line (social media or blog) that we're going to be away either. LOL Better safe than sorry, right? What a super awesome road trip, and I love how you've been keeping track of everything by numbering it. I think I'll do that in our next road trip. :) Thank you for linking up at Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #7.

    1. Frances~

      well, I'm happy not to be alone on that!

      Thanks for the kind words, friend and for stopping in to visit!

      Take care


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