Category Archives: Uncategorized

Day 52, Estes Park, CO to Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota via Wyoming, May 25th

402.3 RV miles today, 8,059.1 total

Drove to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to visit where we had taken our kids ~17 years ago. Then traveled up through Wyoming with Toby riding “shotgun” over to South Dakota to our Rafter J Bar Ranch RV campsite. After dinner, drove the short distance to Mt. Rushmore for the amazing light show of the 4 Presidents carved in the granite: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt. About 90% of the carving at the mountain was done by dynamite. Those blasts removed about 450,000 tons of fine-grained granite from the mountain. From the Black Hills of South Dakota, m, b & t

“A monument’s dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated…Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were.  Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.” –Gutzon Borglum (Mt. Rushmore sculptor who labored from 1927 through 1941)


Day 51, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, May 24nd

98 RV miles today, 7,656.3 total

Camped in Rocky Mountain National Park. Took the high road just opened up to the Alpine Center at 12,150 feet elevation. Amazing driving through 15 foot snow drifts. Temperature dropped from 74 degrees at campsite to 44 degrees at Alpine Center!?!?  Ended up at another local favorite restaurant/tavern for dinner. 

“Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.” –Jeffrey Rasley, Bringing Progress to Paradise: What I Got from Giving to a Mountain Village in Nepal

“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” –Anatoli Boukreev (1958-1997, Russian mountaineer)

“A snowdrift is a beautiful thing – if it doesn’t lie across the path you have to shovel or block the road that leads to your destination.”–Hal Borland


“Long, blue, spiky-edged shadows crept out across the snow-fields, while a rosy glow, at first scarce discernible, gradually deepened and suffused every mountain-top, flushing the glaciers and the harsh crags above them. This was the alpenglow, to me the most impressive of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.” ― John MuirThe Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures

Day 50, Boulder, Colorado, The Bellians, May 23rd

295 RV miles today, 7,853 total

Spent a glorious day in Boulder hiking up to Royal Arch at Flat Irons. Lunch & dinner in downtown Boulder. Cam is cycling competitively. Lindley is climbing/skiing. Toby joined Oliver, the cat, Daisy, the dog & seldom seen Emma, the cat, in the household. Here’s a pic of Oliver chillin in the fridge! From the Republic of Boulder, m, b & t

“Please, sir, I want some more.” –Charles Dickens, ‘Oliver Twist’



Day 49, Cimarron, NM to Boulder, Colorado, The Bellians, May 23rd

295 RV miles today, 7,853 total

 Overnight in Cimarron. We left New Mexico & headed up through Denver 4 & 1/2 hours to visit our friends, Christin, Ken, Lindley & Cam Bellian in Boulder, Colorado. They had lived in Fayetteville 13 years & have been here almost 2 years. They are the outdoor family biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, etc. Here’s a picture of their garage…15 bicycles!!! Ken did a cross-country biking trip ~ 6 years ago. Wonderful fellowship, food & fun this evening. Rocky Mountain high, m, b & t

“Colorado Rocky Mountain high, I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky. The shadow from the starlight Is softer than a lullaby, Rocky Mountain high, Rocky Mountain high…”–John Denver

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” ~ Albert Einstein


Day 48, Santa Fe, Taos, NM, May 21st

174.4 RV miles today, 7,558 total

Santa Fe is recognized as one of the most intriguing cities in the nation & earned the nickname “The City Different” due to its unique architecture, as well as for its long and varied history. The name Santa Fe means “holy faith” in Spanish. It was voted the fourth most popular travel destination in the U.S.  At 7000 feet above sea level, it is the highest state capital in the US. The meshing of many cultures have given Santa Fe a distinct and beautiful appearance, and much of Santa Fe’s attractiveness arises from its setting in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Thirteen years before Plymouth Colony was settled by the Mayflower Pilgrims, Santa Fe, New Mexico, was established in 1610, making it the oldest colonial city in the U.S. The San Miguel Mission is the nation’s oldest church, established in 1610, and the Palace of the Governors is the nation’s oldest public building continually in use, built in 1619. After lunch, we walked around the Plaza & found an inlaid stone necklace from Adam (aka “Six-Five”) to remember our adventure. We visited the Loretto Chapel famous for its “miraculous staircase.” We then headed up the winding road through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway passing through high desert, mountains, forests, small farms, and tiny Spanish Land Grant villages, Pueblo Indian villages & even a Family Dollar Store in the oblivious town of Panasco!?

Taos is nicknamed “Soul of the Southwest” & is a historic art colony and world-class recreational mecca. We visited Taos Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited community in the US tracing back thousands of years. The existing sacred village structures are well over 1000 years old.  We drove 10 miles north to walk the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. At 565 feet (172 m) above the Rio Grande, it is the second highest cantilever bridge in the U.S, the tenth highest bridge in the United States, & the 82nd highest bridge in the world. After picking up a mocha Frappe at McDonald’s, we drove past Eagle’s Nest to Cimarron for the evening. From New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, m, b & t

“In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico, one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly and the old world gave way to the new.” — D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist)

“We have lived upon this land from days beyond history’s records, far past any living memory, deep into the time of legend. The story of my people & the story of this place are one single story…”–Tribal Manifesto of Taos Pueblo

“You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” –Warren E. Buffett (American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century)




Day 47, Shelby Flies Home from Albuquerque, 9000 Mile RV check-up, Santa Fe, NM, May 20th

236.2 RV miles today, 7,383.6 total

We left the Newmans at Rehoboth for Albuquerque to drop Shelby off at the airport to fly back to Fayetteville, NC (She arrived safely this night). Then we went by the Mercedes Benz dealership to go ahead & get “Thumper’s” 10,000 mile check-up a little early.  We drove up I-25 to settle in Rancheros de Santa Fe RV Campground at the #1 site. Toby loves to travel as you can see in his perched photo!?!  We went into town around the Plaza for a cursory scouting report traveling on the original Old Santa Fe Trail, the 19th century roadway to the west that tamed the priarie, before having another delicious dinner at Harry’s Roadhouse Diner. From the “City Different,” m, b & t

“So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go
Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go.”–John Denver, Lyrics written 1966

The Santa Fe Trail
(James Grafton Rogers, 1911)

"Say, pard have ye sighted a schooner
A-hittin' the Santa Fe Trail?
They made it here Monday or sooner
With a water keg roped on the rail,
With Daddy and Ma on the mule-seat
And somewhere around on the way
A tow-headed gal on a pony
A-janglin' for old Santa Fe
   Oh -- Ah - Oh --
A-janglin' for old Santa Fe..."


Day 46, Mesa Verde National Park, CO, Rehoboth, NM with Newmans, May 19th

200 RV miles today, 7,147.4 total

We spent the day at Mesa Verde National Park. We took the Cliff Palace & Balcony guided tours & the Spruce Tree House hike. The park was created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world. The Spanish term Mesa Verde translates into English as “green table.” Scattered nomads began roaming about the Southwest about 7,000 B.C. Projectile points dating 5,000 years have been found on Mesa Verde.The Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde between 600 to 1300. In the late 1190s, they began to build the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is famous. We went down into a Kiva, the spiritual place of these ruinsthat celebrates Father Sky & Mother Earth. We headed south traversing an intense sandstorm & witnessing a small tornado enroute to visit Ana & Jonathan Newman & Ana’s brother, Tim.  Ana prepared a feast & we stayed at the mission compound RV campground.

“Far above me, a thousand feet or so, set in a great cavern in the face of the cliff, I saw a little city of stone asleep. It was as still as sculpture — and sometimes like that. It all hung together, seemed to have a kind of composition: pale little houses of stone nestling close to one another, perched on top of each other, with flat roofs, narrow windows, straight walls, and in the middle of the group, a round tower. . . . I had come upon the city of some extinct civilization, hidden away in this inaccessible mesa for centuries, preserved in the dry air and almost perpetual sunlight like a fly an amber, guarded by the cliffs and the river and the desert.—From “The Professor’s House,’’ by Willa Cather on the Anasazi civilization at Mesa Verde.

“Never stop being a kid. Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you. Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead.”— Richard Bach, ‘Nothing by Chance,’ 1963


Day 45, Drive from North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ to Mesa Verde, CO via Four Corners, May 18th

373.4 RV miles today, 6,947.4 total

Beth & I had breakfast at the Grand Canyon Lodge with magnificent canyon views. We left the north rim and traveled over 300 miles to the Mesa Verde RV Campground ~ 1 mile from the Mesa Verde National Park entrance. We stopped at Four Corners in Navajo land along the way where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah all come together in one point. It is the only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together & was first surveyed by the government in 1868. Below is a picture of Four Corners from 1956. We had dinner at Shiloh’s Steakhouse in Cortez, Colorado. From just outside Mesa Verde National Park, m, b, s & t

“It is not down in any map: true places never are.” – Herman Melville(1819-1891, novelist, poet, author of ‘Moby Dick’)





Day 44, Grand Canyon North Rim, May 17th

95 RV miles today, 6,574 total

Up early to head to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, elevation over 8,500 feet. Only 10% of the visitors to the Grand Canyon venture to the North Rim. We hiked the Bright Angel Point Trial & had lunch at the Grand Canyon Lodge. Sunset at Point Royal after hiking past Angel’s Window. This has been a memorable day!! Overnight lodging at the rim, m, b, s & t

“Its colors, though many and complex at any instant, change with the ascending and declining sun; lights and shadows appear and vanish with the passing clouds, and the changing seasons mark their passage in changing colors. You cannot see Grand Canyon in one view.”–John Wesley Powell 

“Every season has its peaks and valleys. What you have to try to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon.”– Andy Van Slyke(Former Major League Baseball outfielder)

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors
to live a life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours.” —Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American
Philosopher and Writer


Day 43, Bryce Canyon, Horses, ATV’s, Phenomenal Day, May 16th

125.3 RV miles today, 6,479 total

We got up early today to take our horses, “El Paso,” “Red River,” & “Rachel,” off the rim into the floor basin where erosion has shaped colorful limestones, sandstones, and mudstones into a spectacular array of spires, fins, and pinnacles known as “hoodoos.” These whimsically arranged hoodoos resemble church steeples, Gothic spires, castle walls, animals, and even people. Phenomenal ride! Back at the top, we headed over to get some Four wheeler ATV’s to travel the woods & along the rim. Another phenomenal ride! Then after a stop at Adobe Cafe in Hatch, Utah, we headed on to Jacob Lake, Arizona near the north rim of the Grand Canyon, where Shelby settled into her tree hammock. It was a phenomenal day, m,b, s & t  

“I’ve often said there’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.” –Ronald Reagan (40th President of the United States, 1911-2004)

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard