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Welcome to my travel blog! I'll share adventures I've had, some I'd love to have, and some I'm writing about in my first murder mystery, The Body at Battle Mountain. The idea for the book sprang from a trip with my sister, towing her 30-foot travel trailer across several states. Luckily, we didn't find any dead bodies! My most recent adventure was a month-long USA road trip with my husband, so let's start with the joys and frustrations of the road.

Blog Archive

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving babies.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. For me, Thanksgiving is a day for reflection. It seems like we spend so much time trying to get what we don't have, that we forget to appreciate what we DO have. Something I'm thankful for is the younger generation.  I have eight grandchildren, and, after all, they are our future!  One of the young men I work with is expecting to be a daddy for the first time very soon.  We should hear anytime now that little Nozomi has come into the world.  I like to crochet, knit or quilt a baby blanket for newcomers when I have the opportunity.  Here is Nozomi's blanket.

Well, I guess I can't show you Nozomi's blanket. Google says I'm out of space, even though I eliminated some earlier pictures from my Picassa site. I thank Google for the free space and the opportunity to flex my blogging muscles. I could buy more space, but maybe it's time for me to sign off from my travel blog.  At least we made it all the way across the USA. Thanks for joining me. It's been fun!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mizzou -- University of Missouri at Columbia

Hello, readers! We finished our road trip across the USA last week, and I've been thinking about what to do next. I've decided to do some "snapshots" of short trips or trips to a single place. This week, we travel to Columbia, Missouri, where I attended a meeting at the University a couple of years ago. This is a truly beautiful campus. It's been designated a botanic garden, and you will soon see why. Wonderful plantings all throughout the 1,250-acre grounds make it a pleasure just to get from class to class.

Francis Quadrangle and Jesse Hall in the background

According to the University website, "the University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Mo., as the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first state university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory."  Read more here. A fire destroyed the main building in 1892. Only the six ionic pillars seen in this picture survived.

The pillars up close

Click for slide show

Jesse Hall, named for the school president at the time of the fire

Beer Buddies

What a fun sculpture!

Approaching the tower of Memorial Union

We saw lots of these cute little guys

A tribute to the Mizzou Tigers. This is Tiger Plaza, far on the other side of Jesse Hall (seen in background).

Tiger Plaza -- celebrating the Mizzou Tigers

Me with Thomas Jefferson

Go Tigers!

This picture came out
sideways (??), but the
flower was so gorgeous
I left it in anyway!

It can be miserably hot in Missouri, as it was when I was there in June of 2010, but it's still well worth the stop for a tour of the campus if you are in the area.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The San Rafael Reef, Utah to camping in Nevada

Day 30: We left Arches National Park behind, but not spectacular land formations. Interstate 70 cuts through the San Rafael Reef and the San Rafael Swell.  I had never traveled through this part of Utah, so it was a nice surprise.

Click to enlarge or for slide show

Prompted by the Cold War, several uranium mines popped up in this area between 1950 and 1956.  The highway we traveled wasn't put in until the '70's and 80's.

Black Dragon Canyon was a great stopping place for taking pictures and for buying a souvenier. Native Americans often set up stands alongside the road to sell their hand made jewelry.

I have a frog collection, so I bought a necklace with jade frogs from this lady. There's Greg, getting out the cash to pay her (canyon is in the background).

Seems like many regions have "Badlands" where travel is next to impossible. Outlaws with colorful names like Butch Cassidy, Flat-nosed George and Kid Curry hid from lawmen here. Around 1800, the Spanish forged a trail through this area. It was later used by slave traders who sold Native Americans for up to $200 each in Mexico City.

This area made the long trip across Utah entertaining. We found a rainbow of colors in the rock layers...

...fantastic rock formations

 ...and, of course, more salt flats.

 We finally made it back to Nevada--only one state away from home--and had our last campout at the Ely KOA, a very nice campground.

There was more to do on the last leg of our journey the next two days--window shopping for turquoise in Austin, Nevada, and another overnight in Reno--but I'm going to end this photo album with a shot of the sunset from our campground on the 30the day of our 32-day trip.

I hope you enjoyed our whirlwind tour of the United States. One day, I'd like to go back to all these places when we can stay as long as we like in each before moving on to the next great adventure!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Arches National Park, Utah

Day 29:  After leaving Grand Junction, Colorado, we were within 1000 miles of home. Greg's natural tendency would be to drive straight home and call it a day--well, maybe more than a day--but I wasn't game. In fact, I wanted to stop at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. It wasn't far off our intended path, and I had never been there before.

I was really taken with the green stone in the hills on the way into Moab.

Closer, you can see the nice stripey pattern!

The drive to Moab gave us a hint of the kinds of rock formations that make up Arches National Park on one side of the road, and Canyonlands on the other.

After getting a motel room, we drove the few miles back out to Arches for an afternoon of driving and hiking among the fantastic spires, columns and towering sheets of sandstone. Here, the Colorado River cuts through the rock.

The Organ
The Three Gossips in sillhouette
Balanced Rock (on the left)

Some formations towered over us, quite near the road...

...while others could be viewed as a panorama. This is a distant view of Windows Arch, with north and south "windows" just visible.

We hiked the one-mile loop trail, which also included Turret Arch.

Windows Arch from the trail

Turret Arch

By the time we finished our hike, the sun was setting. The view on our way back to the car was stunning.

I took so many photos of the beautiful sunset, that we didn't get to the most famous arch, Delicate Arch, until it was too late to make the hike up there.

We made a mad dash up a shorter trail in time to take a picture--still from a distance--in the dark.

But it's amazing what a computer can do. I was shocked to find that the camera picked up so much detail in such poor light, and also that I was able to hold the camera fairly still for the long exposure!

I had a terrible time getting things to work on my blog this week. I used three different browsers to get this much together. Hopefully, I will be able to finish this trip next week as we travel back across Nevada to our Home-Sweet-Home!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Colorado Rockies
Click for larger picture or for slideshow.
Day 29:  Colorado is a state with it's head in the clouds; 54 of its mountain peaks top out at over14,000 feet (4,268 meters). In fact, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains--Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet--lies in the Southern Rockies, in Colorado. I don't know which peaks I took pictures of, but it was tempting to snap one after another--they were all so beautiful.

Of course, it didn't take long for us to run into our old friend RAIN. Poor Greg drove through so many storms on this trip that I think he began to wonder if it was really summer.

The rain didn't last long, as you can see from this picture showing the same peaks ahead, but we managed to find another storm before getting all the way through the mountains.


At least we didn't have to deal with snow on the road. Just look at the height of that roadside marker in the foreground. The snowdrifts must get pretty high around here!

The sky lightened in between storms and we were treated to lovely views of freshly washed conifer forests with snow-melt (or rain overflow) waterfalls cascading down the steep hillsides.

Vail, Colorado is a famous ski
resort town.

Houses on the hill. Wonder how much these cost?                                                   These mysterious circles intrigued me.

Anyone have any idea what they are? If so, 
please leave a comment and enlighten us!

Talk about blending in with the environment.  Can you see the house on the top of this hill?

We had crossed the Continental Divide--the geological line that divides waters that flow to the Pacific from those that flow to the Atlantic--some miles back, but there had been ups and downs since. Apparently, we were in for a lot of downs for a while!

It was fascinating to see the changes in the color and composition of the rocks as we descended out of the highest mountains.


This was near a town called Gypsum. There is an old gypsum mine nearby. Perhaps the white rock is an indication of mineral deposits?

After coming out of the second storm, we passed this cloud-capped hill.

 Then we followed the Colorado River down out of the mountains. As with everywhere we traveled this summer, the river was full to near overflow levels

Eventually, we found blue skies, which stayed with us all the rest of the way home!

The Colorado flowing past a wonderful jagged hill.

Join us next week for a stop in Moab, Utah, and a trip through Arches National Park.