Monday, October 7, 2013


Our 32- day road trip came to an end on Wednesday, October 2.  We struggled out of the car to take this final welcome sign photo.

Below is a map that shows our route from Akron west and then back home.  The northern path is the westward line, and the southern line is our trip east.

I promised a few statistics from this trip, and here they are:

We visited 16 different states.

We saw 8 state capitol buildings.

We went inside 5 state capitol buildings.

We drove 7,094 miles.

We visited 3 National Parks.

We stayed in 29 different motels or hotels.

We stayed 2 nights in the home of Bill and Renee Voss, in Port Townsend, Washington.

My suitcase never left the back of the van, but acted as a dresser.

We each took 3 pairs of shoes that never saw the light of day and an outfit for "dressing up" that never left the car hook.

We visited 3 Catholic basilicas and 1 cathedral.

I took 1,400 -some photos, and Randy took 1,350-ish.  That's close to 2,800 shots!

Our packing included AAA Tour Books for every state west of the Mississippi River, just in case we ended up wherever................because we really only had a vague "plan."

We got in and out of the car 8,321 times in Glacier National Park to take least it felt like it.

We yelled, "Oh My God!" 500 times going up the Road to the Sun, and screamed like banshees on the way back down.

Our wills were on our desk tops, back home, just in case...........

Our favorite hotels were The Grand Hotel in Kalispell, Montana, The Castaways, in Port Orford, Oregon, and the 22nd floor of The Silver Legacy, in Reno, Nevada.

We saw the homes of two authors and the rotting boat of another.

We "read" 3 audio books along the way.

We visited 2 art museums and 3 'other' museums.

We saw 3 separate displays of the glass of Dale Chihuly.

I wrote 31 blog entries during the trip.  If I hadn't written my journal, I would forget when we were wherever we've been!

We went into 2 restored, vintage train depots.

We saw 4 major statues of Abraham Lincoln on the trip.  He is loved.

We visited 2 food museums and a cheese maker.

We went to 8 historical sites or museums.

We rode one ferry and one merry-go-round.

We ate Chester's Chicken three times.

We wore our Western hats home, and maybe you will see us wearing our house, in the dark.

We survived many dangers along the way, usually announced by road signs to warn us of the threats:

                               This buffalo's baby is under the bush. She let us know not to come any closer.

We see waves of tennis shoes rushing to shore, in our minds.

 O J Simpson is in this one, in Nevada! We waved.

Do YOU see one anywhere?

One of the most interesting things we avoided was the Federal Shutdown, which happened the day we got home.  Imagine Glacier National Park, The Redwood National Park or Theodore Roosevelt National Park shut up like Wally World when we arrived, had we been there earlier!
We also left Oregon and Washington just before a monsoon arrived, drove through Wyoming before the blizzard hit, and finished seeing Iowa before the tornado sirens began.  (A bit reminiscent of our October, 2012 trip to the beach and running from Hurricane Sandy.............we thrive on danger!)
A good time was had by all both of us.   Thanks for traveling with us! 
I will end with a few out-takes..........after all, we have 2,800 pictures, and you've only seen several hundred of those.............

We asked the guy to get us in front of the Space Needle.  Hello, did he look UP?

                                                                       "The Shadow"


                      Thelma told us to turn right..........I think this is when we turned her into a man.

                                             You notice that the photo was taken by the driver...........

                                                                  Fog Eyes!


Copyright: KP Gillenwater 2013