One of the dilemmas when it comes to retirement travel is how much time (if any) to travel or vacation, and how much time to be at home. This particular trip was exactly ten days, and I had a mainly wonderful time. I was also very happy to be home. Ten days is certainly not my travel limit, although I do prefer to limit being gone for a couple weeks, with the exception of my once a year longer road trip/vacation.
In this case, I was racing to be ahead of the storm on my way home so instead of exploring my last day and a half, I hit the proverbial gas, and headed straight down from Montana to Denver. Wyoming, for those unaware, have winds up to fifty miles an hour with their snowstorms and literally close down the freeways (with gates that force you to turn off to the town you are in). The thought of being in a hotel for three days did not appeal, so I skipped Little Bighorn and Devils Rock and hied my way home.
While I'll post more about this trip later, this was a destination vacation (to see family in Seattle) combined with a bit of a road trip. Day one took us from Denver to Moab via Glenwood Springs and the Colorado River Scenic route. Day two was divided between Arches National Park and driving to Idaho. Day three, I drove through Oregon, Washington (the Yakima Valley and the Cascades), and arrived in Seattle. The next four days were spent exploring Seattle a bit (in the morning), and spending the afternoons and evenings with my brother (a professional fisherman) and his family. Needless to say, much seafood was eaten (both cooked by my sibling and in restaurants). My return home was through Western Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
While all of these locations are worthy of their own blog post, for now I leave you with just a couple quick phone pictures and some general thoughts on this trip:
- People often ask me the downside of traveling alone (I drove home from Seattle on my own). In order to be honest with the readers I have to tell you about the most difficult part of driving cross country alone: When you see something beautiful and there is no turn off, you can no longer rely on sister, husband or friend to lean out and get the picture for you. Hence my photos on the first part of he trip are many more than the second (I promise I'll address other issues on traveling alone, soon)
- When you are driving across country, especially in a car, you can see the weather changes with clarity. This is more true in the wide open plains of say, Texas, but it is true anywhere. You don't need a weather man, you can see what is coming.
- If I were not a spontaneous person to begin with, cross country driving would have made me one. I cannot imagine seeing an intriguing sign (such as one that shows a historic Catholic mission in Idaho) and not pulling over and stopping. Even if the park itself is closed, and even if it means you are finishing your trip in the almost dark.
- I'm reminded of how much variance there is in weather and climate within small areas. In Washington, one goes from the lush green to what is almost desert scrub in just a few miles.