Blog Posts

WE WILL FIGURE IT OUT:
Having radical faith in yourself and the Universe

Mescalero Apache Reservation, New Mexico ~ November 9-12, 2014

Although now in southcentral New Mexico, we were still in Apache territory, the Mescalero Apache. (see Gila National Monument for info on the Chiricahua Apache.) The Mescalero Apache thrive in their native “heartland” on a 463,000 acre reservation that includes their four sacred mountains… Sierra Blanca, Guadalupe, Three Sisters, and Oscura Peak. The reservation, which … Continue reading Mescalero Apache Reservation, New Mexico ~ November 9-12, 2014

White Sands National Monument & Alamogordo, New Mexico ~ November 6 – 9, 2014

White Sands National Monument We fell in love with White Sands National Monument (now a national park). Best we could tell, we had the dunes to ourselves. Hiking the 2-mile Backcountry Camping Trail was great for gaining a sense of the parks’ magnitude and beauty. It also provided us with the surreal experience of exploring … Continue reading White Sands National Monument & Alamogordo, New Mexico ~ November 6 – 9, 2014

Tombstone, AZ & Gila National Monument, NM ~ November 4 – 5, 2014

Tombstone, Arizona Between I-10 and the Mexican border lies the infamous town of Tombstone, Arizona. It’s an easy drive from Tucson —about 75 miles—and the cutoff (Hwy 80) was on the way to New Mexico. Like Virginia City, Nevada, Tombstone’s classic western scape is preserved and attracts tourists now rather than cowboys, miners, and outlaws. … Continue reading Tombstone, AZ & Gila National Monument, NM ~ November 4 – 5, 2014

Saguaro National Park & Kitt Peak National Observatory ~ November 2 & 3, 2014

We were back among the stately saguaro cacti of the Sonoran Desert. Tucson, Arizona has a bit of a funky college town feel. That vibe and its 530k population reminded us of our home, Austin, from when we’d first moved there in the 1980’s. Austin’s population has since exploded and it’s small-town funkiness has faded … Continue reading Saguaro National Park & Kitt Peak National Observatory ~ November 2 & 3, 2014

Coachella Valley & Joshua Tree National Park, California ~ October 29 – November 1, 2014

Always looking to take advantage of good deals on accommodations, we were lured into Coachella Valley by an email received a month prior. The promotional offer was from a lavish golf resort in the town of Rancho Mirage:  four nights in a luxury villa at an on-budget rate if we listened to their one-hour sales … Continue reading Coachella Valley & Joshua Tree National Park, California ~ October 29 – November 1, 2014

Montezuma Castle National Monument & Sonoran Desert, Arizona ~ October 24 – 25, 2014

Leaving Tusayan before breakfast, we headed southeast toward Flagstaff. The Escape Mobile had traveled 5,037 miles since leaving Seattle, so it was time for her fourth servicing. Flagstaff was on the way to Phoenix, where we’d planned to spend the night, and it had a dealership that honored our maintenance purchase agreement. While waiting on … Continue reading Montezuma Castle National Monument & Sonoran Desert, Arizona ~ October 24 – 25, 2014

Utah / Arizona Border – October 20-21, 2014

Missteps: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument & The Wave I don’t remember what prevented us from researching our next steps, which were to explore Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and hopefully hike Coyote Buttes in the Vermillion Cliffs, also known as “The Wave.” It was either our full schedule and lack of regular cell service or laziness … Continue reading Utah / Arizona Border – October 20-21, 2014

Bryce Canyon National Park ~ October 19, 2014

The sun was setting when Highway 9 dead-ended into Highway 89. The intersection was labeled on the map as “Mount Carmel Junction.” We found the junction to be a quaint town with an awesome motel. The Thunderbird Lodge was a welcoming site after the previous night’s cheap Bates-like motel in Springdale. Even though the Thunderbird … Continue reading Bryce Canyon National Park ~ October 19, 2014

Mojave Desert: Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire State Park & Death Valley National Park ~ October 12 – 17, 2014

Upon exiting Sequoia National Park we’d entered the Mojave Desert and the portion of this “great looping quest” in which I was most apprehensive… the desert.  I had preconceived notions about desert existence, mostly negative because my perceptions weren’t based on actual experience. So, I’d anticipated a colorless, desolate environment… unfriendly and uninhabitable. After all, the … Continue reading Mojave Desert: Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire State Park & Death Valley National Park ~ October 12 – 17, 2014

Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks ~ October 11, 2014

With our bicycles snug on their sparkling new rack, we motored south, then east, to Kings Canyon National Park. Our ultimate destination was Las Vegas, and the plan was to wend through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks on the way… a tree-tour-detour. I’ve written previously, ad nauseam really, about the awe we’ve experienced walking … Continue reading Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks ~ October 11, 2014

Yosemite National Park, California ~ October 8 – 11, 2014

We’d left Carmel-by-the-Sea for Yosemite National Park without plans for where we’d sleep for the next three nights. Securing a campground reservation had proven impossible, so our shaky plan B was to show up, stand in line, and hope there’d been a last minute cancellation. As we detoured across California to avoid wildfires, the hours … Continue reading Yosemite National Park, California ~ October 8 – 11, 2014

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California ~ October 5 – 8, 2014

After four days of non-stop escapades in San Francisco, Carmel-by-the-Sea was the perfect travel oasis! Carmel, which it is commonly referred as, was ideal for rejuvenating while basking aside the Pacific…  resting through peaceful strolls (and daily naps)… and reconnecting to ourselves and the Universe through the surrounding beauty and serenity. After a murky, foggy, … Continue reading Carmel-by-the-Sea, California ~ October 5 – 8, 2014

Sonoma & Napa Counties, California ~ September 28 – October 1, 2014

Two years prior to this trip, Trey hated wine. So he said. Whenever our daughters and I coaxed him to try a sip he’d wrinkle up his nose and grimace well before the sampling touched his lips. Already deciding it would be awful, his auto-responses would include squirming coughs, a flailing tongue, gagging, and sometimes … Continue reading Sonoma & Napa Counties, California ~ September 28 – October 1, 2014

Lake Tahoe & Reno ~ September 24 – 28, 2014

Beginning in Red Lodge MT, and continuing for the preceding 45 days, we’d followed the first appearances of fall colors across the west and down the Washington and Oregon coastlines. Random wisps of cool air and pronounced temperature differentials had been nipping at our backsides, nudging us forward just ahead of autumn’s arrival. With the … Continue reading Lake Tahoe & Reno ~ September 24 – 28, 2014

Redwood National & State Parks ~ September 22 – 24, 2014

The “Redwood Forest” is a patchwork of federal and state parks along California’s northern coastline. Together, they’re a UNESCO World Heritage site with joint missions to manage and preserve the remaining old growth forests. Before effective efforts to protect the giant redwoods were established, logging had wiped out 70% of them. Yes, 70%! Arriving at … Continue reading Redwood National & State Parks ~ September 22 – 24, 2014

Portland, Oregon ~ September 18-21, 2014

Having heard of Portland’s similarities to Austin (music scene, laid back feel, open-minded residents, etc.), we were ready to experience a taste of home. Staying in downtown Portland wasn’t feasible, in either dollars or hotel points. Instead, we used points to stay near the Portland International Airport and used Portland’s MAX Light Rail system to … Continue reading Portland, Oregon ~ September 18-21, 2014

Astoria, Oregon & US Hwy 101 Coastline Drive, Part 2 ~ September 15-17, 2014

Quaint Astoria sits on a peninsula barely east of where the Columbia River clashes with the Pacific Ocean. Outlined by Young’s Bay and River on its southern shoreline, with the mighty Columbia River comprising its north border. Yes, water is the heart, soul, and breath of the community. Its sustenance, and existence. Accessing Astoria from … Continue reading Astoria, Oregon & US Hwy 101 Coastline Drive, Part 2 ~ September 15-17, 2014

Olympic National Park ~ August 13-15, 2014

The last morning of our Alaskan cruise, breakfast table-mates recommended hiking Hurricane Ridge, along the northern border of Olympic National Park. With our late departure from Seattle, we decided to spend the night in Port Angeles, a 160 mile drive from Bainbridge Island, and hike the nearby ridge the following morning. Located on the U.S. … Continue reading Olympic National Park ~ August 13-15, 2014

Seattle, Washington ~ September 2 – 6, 2014

Seattle was our Pacific Northwest outpost, a temporary base to recalibrate, rest, replenish, and repair before making the official third left turn of our trek around the U.S. Between arranging for storage of our gear, bike tune-ups and repairs, and servicing the Escape Mobile, we worked in some sightseeing, local bites, and what I looked … Continue reading Seattle, Washington ~ September 2 – 6, 2014

Oklahoma Detour – Tahlequah & Tulsa: August 30-September 2, 2014

Reconnecting with family and friends was just one of the many purposes of our trek around the U.S.  So when the Martin side of my family scheduled a reunion, we parked the Escape Mobile in Seattle and hopped on a plane bound for Oklahoma.   Martin isn’t originally my family’s name, but rather the result … Continue reading Oklahoma Detour – Tahlequah & Tulsa: August 30-September 2, 2014

Whistler, British Columbia ~ August 25-29, 2014

Ferry Crossing to Vancouver While there was no gorgeous sunset to mesmerize us during this ferry crossing, we stayed entertained.   The drive took us into the center of Vancouver and across its harbor via the Lions Gate Bridge.     Sea-to-Sky Highway The Beartooth Highway, which crosses mountainous passes between Montana and Wyoming, was … Continue reading Whistler, British Columbia ~ August 25-29, 2014

Mount Rainier National Park ~ August 19-21, 2014

The immensity of Mt Rainier dominates the landscape from every approachable vantage point. After connecting up with US-12 in Yakima, we entered the park’s east border via state highway 410. The 14k+ mountain also dominates its national park. Within the park, it is not possible to traverse around the mountain by car. Getting from one … Continue reading Mount Rainier National Park ~ August 19-21, 2014

Drive Between Yellowstone & Mount Rainier National Parks ~ August 17-19, 2014

After grabbing dinner at the Old Town Café in West Yellowstone, we gassed up the “Escape Mobile” and headed north to connect with U.S. 287 — a highway we had traveled countless times across north Texas, but never across Montana. Hands down, the Montana portion is more interesting and beautifulwhile traversing the east bank of … Continue reading Drive Between Yellowstone & Mount Rainier National Parks ~ August 17-19, 2014

Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming ~ August 13-17, 2014

Upon entering Yellowstone National Park’s northeast entrance (located on the Montana-Wyoming border) we were greeted by Buffalo, and more buffalo escorted us throughout the 85 mile drive to the Grant Village Campground. First stop along the trek was an overlook view of Tower Fall, the famous 132 foot waterfall of the Yellowstone River. The overlook … Continue reading Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming ~ August 13-17, 2014

Devil’s Tower and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monuments ~ August 9, 2014

  We departed Black Hills National Forest with the sunrise and via the infamous community of Deadwood, South Dakota. Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming After breakfast wraps and coffee at Wild West Espresso in the also infamous ranching community of Sundance, Wyoming, we detoured 27 miles from Interstate 90 to Devil’s Tower, our nation’s first national … Continue reading Devil’s Tower and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monuments ~ August 9, 2014

Across the Mid-West and The Black Hills ~ August 4 – 9, 2014

ACROSS THE MID-WEST We actually took three days to drive the 1,000 miles across the remaining mid-west to its western edge in the Black Hills National Forest. Neither Trey nor I recall the exact reason, but agree that the difficulty booking accommodations in the Black Hills may have influenced that decision. As it was, we … Continue reading Across the Mid-West and The Black Hills ~ August 4 – 9, 2014

Ohio’s Halls of Fame – Canton & Cleveland: July 26-28, 2014

The second of four official direction changes we made on our circle around the U.S. technically took place on July 8th when we departed Maine. However, the left turn we made onto Interstate 76 just north of Pittsburgh felt more like a true shift in direction as we felt the vastness of the west laying … Continue reading Ohio’s Halls of Fame – Canton & Cleveland: July 26-28, 2014

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ~ July 22 – 26, 2014

The older of our two daughters, Lindsey, lived in Pittsburgh for six years – four while attending college and two after graduating. Despite our many visits during this period, we never had the opportunity to explore Pittsburgh properly because our visits were either planned around helping her move or coordinated with also visiting family in … Continue reading Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ~ July 22 – 26, 2014

Adirondacks and Lake Placid, New York ~ July 10 – July 13, 2014

Adirondacks Park, Northeastern New York State Adirondacks Park is large — 6 million acres, in fact, and although it is a designated protected area by the State of New York, it is not a state administered park.  Instead, the hundreds of campgrounds scattered across the park are individually run either privately or by various public … Continue reading Adirondacks and Lake Placid, New York ~ July 10 – July 13, 2014

New England ~ July 8 – 10

Jackson, New Hampshire Our first evening in New England was spent in the village of Jackson, New Hampshire.  We chose Jackson solely for its close proximity to Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the White Mountains and all of New England. However, Jackson also provided us with an idyllic small town New England experience. We … Continue reading New England ~ July 8 – 10

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