Sunday, September 16, 2018

Heading Home

What a trip.
2 months, 14 states and the District of Columbia, 6000 miles
Lots of friends and family. Lots of exploring.

We started in Raleigh, NC, where my mother lives. Down to Charleston South Carolina to visit Bob's brother and his wife. This is where we bought the van that we would drive across the country. A 2010 Dodge Caravan, specifically because the seats could fold flat and we could sleep in the van.

Back to Raleigh to pick up my mother and drive to an Airbnb in DC, joined by my brother,  his son, Pascal, and our son and his wife. Four days of wearing it out in museums.

On to West Virginia and another rental house. We were join by my two sisters and their spouses and children. 14 people in all.

Lots of games and hikes and art and laughter. Too short of a time, but enjoyable and memorable.

Then the gang dispersed and Bob and I continued across the country on our own. Three days in Yellow Springs, Ohio, visiting old friends, wonderful hospitality, old haunts and reliving old memories.

Across Indiana,and Illinois.

Lots of corn,

and drooling buffalo.

Next was Iowa (you can read that here), South Dakota (click here), Devil's Tower in Wyoming (here), Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks (you know the drill)

 Sometime as we are traveling an interesting spot will pop up. Craters of the Moon in Idaho was one of those spots. I had heard of it before, but just barely.
Huge lava fields, so far away from any cities that it is designated an International Dark Sky Park. We did not stay until dark, places to go, people to see, but it would be an amazing place to watch the stars, kind of like being out on the ocean!

I was most impressed with the caves. They are fairly open caves and visitors are free to explore them on their own.

Beautiful lava flows. The red is iron, rusting because it is exposed to air when the thin crust above it is broken, usually by humans.

Then we were on to Oregon.

Traveling along the Oregon Trail

With the skies grey from the forest fires, completely hiding the mountains in the background.

The Blue Basin

is part of the John Day Fossil Beds. We arrived here late in the day and were the only visitors. We hiked the trail to the end, a large bowl surrounded by tier wddeing cake-like rock formations. We sat on the bench and watched the sun disappear behind the rocks and the bats beginning to fly out. Getting to experience places like this without crowds is what we crave.

Another section of the Fossil Beds is the Painted Hills.

I am sure these would photograph beautifully at sunrise or sunset, bringing out the wonderful shades of reds.

Once we reached Central Oregon we were in familiar stomping grounds, or so we thought...

This was the campground we had planned to stay in. A little different from last time we stayed there.

Fortunately we were able to find a pretty place to stay a little further down the mountain.

Rounding out our trip with visits to Portland, Eugene and Florence. Cramming in visits to as many people as we could. It was wonderful to see people again, to catch up with what they have been doing, and to share our adventures with anyone that wanted to hear.

It was a wonderful trip. Many amazing sights and experiences. I am very glad we did it, and I am quite ready to return to Rhapsody. She is waiting for us in Grenada. 

Time for more adventures. This time of the aquatic type.

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