(we drove to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado)We spent 8 1/2 weeks on the roads of northern America in our 40' RV, towing our jeep, on our trip of a lifetime (the first of several such trips).
Last year we bought our USA map (those of you who camp have seen the USA maps on the sides of RV's). On it, we put the states' stickers for the states we traveled to in 2013 in our RV: California, of course, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Now our USA map has 19 states' stickers, only 29 more states to go, 30 if we take our RV to Alaska!
Here's a look at our trip by the numbers:
We traveled 17 states: (18 states if you count driving 20 miles through Arizona!).
We visited and or/traveled to:
*** 38+ American cities/towns
*** 6 cities visited friends
*** 8 National Parks:
Yellowstone National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Badlands National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Arches National Park
Bryce National Park
Zion National Park
*** 26+ Points of Interest and National Historic Sites, including:
National Bison Range, MT
John D. Rockefeller Memorial Pkwy (the road between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons)
Little Missouri National Grasslands, ND
Mt Rushmore National Memorial, SD
Custer State Park in the Black Hills, SD
Crazy Horse Memorial, SD
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, SD
"Wall Drug," SD
Jefferson Expansion, St Louis Arch Gateway to the West, MO
Anheuser Busch Brewery and Budweiser Tour, MO
Air Force Strategic Air Command and Museum, NE
Holy Family Shrine Chapel, NE
The Mall of America, MN
Minnehaha Falls, MN
Harley-Davidson Museum, WI
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Vesterheim - Norwegian-American Museum, IO (both Sue and I are Norwegian!)
Covered Bridges of Madison County, IO
United States Air Force Academy and AF Cadet Chapel, CO
Pike's Peak, (14, 115') CO
Garden of the Gods, CO - National Natural Landmark
Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, CO
Grand Mesa outside of Grand Junction, CO
Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, NV
*** 4 baseball parks: Minnesota Twins, Target Field; Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park;
St Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium; and Kansas City Royals, Kaufman Stadium
*** 33 RV parks, including 3 state park campgrounds and 2 city RV parks
*** 28 days/nights of rainstorms with thunder and lightning, like we've never seen in southern California! Everywhere, along our trip, locals told us it was the "wettest" summer in years, which we can attest!
***12 audiobooks listened to along the way
*** 2,000+ pictures taken
*** and 8,600 miles put on our RV and 1,500 miles on our jeep.
America is so much larger than we imagined, with the most amazing beauty, vastness and diversity of the terrain. We saw green rolling hills, lush foliage and forests;
We drove on two lane highways, interstates, back roads, and dirt roads; throughout National Parks; through small towns and large cities; in the middle of what seemed like nowhere, alone on an interstate and stuck in traffic (YES! there is traffic outside of California, although shocking, I know!); used 4 GPS's and a good old-fashioned Atlas, at one time, to guide us along our way, sometimes finding a "different" way to get to our destination. We drove on sunny clear days and through some torrential thunderstorms; had warm weather and some really cold weather in the fall (woke up to 27 degrees in Bryce Canyon National Park); through the plains, over the continental divide several times, and over the Rocky Mountains via the Independence Pass, 12,096 ft.