Monday, October 05, 2009

Update on the Travelers

Hello Everyone, the weary travelers here at last with with an update on our "Last Hurrah Trip." I finally have a slow morning, so I can take a few minutes to bring everyone up to date. Whew, what an adventure we have been having. My gosh there is so much to tell, and so little time right now, so where do I begin.

How do I condense all the parts of a long trip? Well lets start with a few of the questions I have received in recent emails from friends and family. Then I will add a few of my own. Kind of ah la the Mastercard commercials.

How would you measure a long trip?

Days on the road so far? This is day twenty-one.
Number of miles traveled? 4112
Tanks of gas used? 7.2
Average price per gallon of gas ? $3.11
Average miles per gallon of gas? 35.3 mpg
For the record we are driving a 2008 Chevy HHR. The lowest price gas was $2.36 a gallon in Salina Kansas and the highest was $3.79 a gallon in Tuckee California.

Lets skip over the best and worst hotels, motels and restaurants for now. I will give you that report when we get home.

Number of flat tires? Knocking on wood! Zero
Number of rock dings in the windshield? Four. One so bad we had to stop and have it repaired.

Number of states crossed? Eight. Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona (twice north and South) California and New Mexico.

Current Location? Albuquerque, New Mexico

Number of medical emergencies? One. I had to call an ambulance for the Old Salt in San Diego. Turned out to be a bad attack of a Kidney stone. He ended up having three attacks before the stone finally passed. He was one sick puppy for several days but he has been fine since the stone passed. We learned he does have another stone higher up and we are hoping it will wait until we get home to make its move.

Bouts of Sunburn? The Old Salt has tanned like a good sailor should. I, on the other hand, have been in a constant state of red since the second day. Seems the sun likes to stay on my side of the car (regardless which side I’m on) so I have taken to wearing a long sleeve shirt in the car. I have had to purchase a second bottle of sunblock lotion for my face and I still look like a lobster fresh out of the cooker.

Number of photos taken? I have no idea, but, the number kept after downloading to my laptop and deleting the bad ones is currently 5,036 and I still have not downloaded yesterday’s from the cameras. The Old Salt and I are carrying two identical Cannon EOS Rebel XSIs and sharing between three lenses. But by the time we get home and start to post the photos we will no longer be able to identify who took what because we trade off so much. I am thinking about just pulling rank and claiming them all since I am the one who totes them around the most.

We have seen such a variety of landscapes and breath taking scenery that it is a wonder we don’t have more than a measly 5000 plus photos. From the Continental Divide to the Great Salt Lake to the Golden Gate Bridge we have been awed by the reach and majesty of this great land. The scenery has only been surpassed by all the wonderful and unique people we have met along the way. From the two senior Harley riders we met in in Wyoming, who gave me a medallion commemorating their ride tracing the old Pony Express Route, to the entertaining tour guide in San Francisco, to the eighty something surfer on the beach in Del Mar to our waitress at a posh restaurant in Arizona who had my favorite name (Betty), we have been blessed with generosity and kindness throughout our trip.

What has been the highlight of our trip? Without a doubt that would be getting the chance to meet Mevely 317 of the blog Respice, Prospice in Phoenix. Besides being a fellow blogger she is a delightful and charming lady whose wit, warmth and generosity made that part of our journey so much better than anything we could have hoped for. I do encourage you to visit her blog at for a delightful time.
Have there been any surprises on your trip? Oh my gosh yes. To many to recount now but the best of them was from the Old Salt. On Saturday morning while visiting with his grandchildren in San Diego the Old Salt told me to get packed we were leaving that afternoon, I started to protest that we had promised to complete a honey do list for his daughter in law and the list was not finished. He said that list or no list we had to go. By two o'clock that afternoon we were checking into a motel right on the beach in Del Mar. What a surprise that was. I was actually going to be staying in a room only a few feet from the ocean.

We walked on the beach and I got to get my feet wet. Actually, the tide almost knocked me off my feet and I got my slacks wet above my knees dispite having rolled them up.

Frank tried to get me to go hang gliding but I settled for this shot of some that did.

Next we went to the Botanical Gardens and I took over five hundred photos of the plants and flowers. Then we returned to the motel and sat on the beach taking photos of the sun setting. Who knew that California could get so cold at night on the beach?

Then Frank took me to a very nice seafood restaurant for dinner. Our dinner was almost as much as our weekly grocery bill when we are home. The seafood plates were garnished with small orchids and the following is the one that was on Frank's plate.
the waitress said the orchids could be eaten but, he gave it to me for a keepsake. I did not order the seafood. Darn, I would have if I had known it came with an orchid. What a surprise that was.

Are you having fun yet? My goodness, YES! More then I have time to tell about. For now I will just give you a couple of shot from our stay in San Francisco, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge twice and went near or under it several more times and never got to see the entire bridge for the fog. I did get to see the "Seven Sisters" or painted ladies though,

I have a date with the balloons at the Fiesta here in Albuquerque so I have got to run. Will do my best to get back soon. We do not expect to be home for another two weeks.

Miss all of you. Boy do I have some Shadow shots and more to share then.


  1. Hey Rita, it looks like you are having a whale of a time! Don't take any wooden nickels, they make them out west someplace. :-)

  2. Oh my goodness ... I'm crazy flattered, flabergasted and plain ole' laughing aloud over here!

    After ya'all left, I had to run wipe away the tears and blow my "honker." There are no words to express what meeting you "up close n' personal" meant!

    Hope to update my own site this weekend ... we're in overdrive right now.

    Stay safe!

  3. Wow! What a fun time! Can't wait to see more pictures.
    Drive safely.
    Sunny :)

  4. Keep on...keepin on;) Enjoy the rest of your trip!


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