Saturday, June 30, 2007
I am sitting here typing away with my bath sheet wrapped tightly around me, feet dancing to the softly playing music I have going--just because I can. The idea that I must leave the house in 30 minutes, that I have to dress and end this moment of post-camping ecstasy is, well, kind of a bummer. Not that I'm looking to be a near nudist or anything close to it...but, showering in campground bathrooms for three weeks leaves little room to linger after a bathe.
I suppose I should go lather myself in melon lotion, dress and continue on with the Saturday chores.
Life is good with no shoes in the shower!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
4 National Forests
3 National Parks
2 National Monuments
More mountain ranges than we can name
77 miles of hiking
3 collectable snow globes
8 souvenir t-shirts
1 souvenir hoodie
1 Christmas ornament
1 oil change
3 car washes
$40 in quarters for the laundry mat
3 Greatest Hits CD’s
2 Classic Rock CD’s
iPod tunes enough to choke a horse
More dollars than I want to admit we spent--mostly on gas (most expensive $3.49 a gallon; cheapest $2.79 a gallon)
2000 plus snap shots
1 mountain that kicked my *^%
4251 miles traveled
WE ARE HOME!
Increasing our living space by more at least 3000%
Now I just have to…
Move the house back in from the camper
Do 15 loads of laundry
Restock the house with groceries
Take whirlpool baths three times a day while eating Advil like M & M candies
Sort through a pile of mail as tall as Pikes Peak
Watch King Ralph shave the beard
And life…well, it should resume to normal in no time at all!
(Uli was so darn happy to see us all she nearly wet the grass doing flips at the sight of us)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
King Ralph wanted to try to take on a straight through drive from Colorado Springs to St.Louis--crazy foolish idea. The girls devised a plan (while in the gas station rest room) to play Patsy Cline's greatest hits (not his favorite CD) and sing every word (which they do know) till he agreed to stop at a hotel for the night. They popped in the CD. King Ralph thought they were so funny that he danced to the tunes, even repeating a song or two. The plan either worked or the king finally admitted to himself (not us) that he was tired and crazy to try a 14 hour drive in one day. Here I (we) sit at the Days Inn -Topeka Kansas.
The Days Inn...aaaahhhhh! A hot tub...double aaaaahhhh! I took a shower without my flip flops on...triple aaaaahhhh! A TV with a screen larger than 14 inches in a room which more than quadrupled our recent living space...ah, ah, ah.
I'm so close to home I can almost smell home sweet home.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The first 2 miles were the most difficult-- snowy. Maddi lost her footing on the snow and went for a body surf down the mountain for about, we guesstimated 50-100 ft. When she finally came to a stop we called out to make sure she was okay...she cried because her "hands were cold". Then we felt it okay to laugh a little. Honestly it was rather spooky!
It took us 7 hours (with a 30 minute lunch break at Barr Camp) to hike the 13 miles from Pikes Peak Summit down to Manitou by way of Barr Trail.
(here we are at the end, 13 miles and totally exhausted)
To be honest, as I sip my cocktail, I feel a bit crippled in the feet, legs, hips...hell I feel it from head to toe. I am without a doubt proud of our final adventure on this, Vacation 2007!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Me: M you are totally crazy
M: I know I am
Me: you need to chill, calm down...you're losing your mind
M: I am crazy... I have lost my mind... wouldn't you think I have reason after being in a camper this long and not talking to anyone but you four people...
Truth is M has a good point! We are all crazy--in a good way--from this trip, this experience. We have laughed so hard we have all wet our pants (well not the king, he laughs but has total bladder control, still). We have gotten on a few of our nerves but, still laugh and still love. Good memories are being made.
With that said trip continues...tomorrow's adventure Royal Gorge Bridge.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Camper Sweet Camper
(This photo was taken @ the Bridge Bay campground in Yellowstone National Park)
(The Kitchen--at work as you can see)
(A little more kitchen; when you turn your back. Wow a microwave--not used in Yellowstone or Grand Tetons, no electric there)
(The tri-feca of camping space--dining room, couch and D's bedroom)
(Behind the dining room is Princess A & M's bedroom)
(The master bedroom--on a cold night in Yellowstone can sleep three girls)
Final on the tour...
(The bathroom--complete with Tidy Bowl blue water when flushed)
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Little Camper on the Highway and the mini-van has now logged 2618 miles, reached elevation of over 9600 feet, on travel day 14 with 10 to go. I am happy to report we have not left [on purpose] any member of family behind. But have had a moment or two of constant togetherness--that is when vodka and rum comes in handy.
We have logged nearly 60 miles of hiking.
King Ralph has a beard, and I am not sure if being in 12 sq ft with 4 women is the cause for the gray coloring or if it is just due to his age. He also has been in the company of we women long enough that he makes statement/questions in stores like; “tampons, do you need any?” Which is a bit on the scary side.
I have been on the road for so long enough now that I have taken to having my daily constitution in public places (something I have swore to never do). I have perfected the art of sandwich making while flying down the highway at 65 mph—ham & cheddar or turkey & mozzarella.
Princess A is an artist at makeup application while bumping and bouncing down the highway.
M has taken near permanent residence in the “way back” to ease the discomfort of wearing “Helga” (the back brace)—except at moments like now, when she gets car sick from watching a movie in the car, taking place in the navigator's seat.
D has spotted all but 2 state license plates (Rhode Island and Hawaii).
We are also wondering if Uli has forgotten she has a family or if our friends will give her back to us upon our return home.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Hiking was incredible. We chose short and medium hikes with a level of difficulty that was moderately strenuous—although Princess A says they were “difficult in her book”. The trails were mostly switchbacks, right up the side of a mountain of course, so it was a good workout. The views, once we reached the top were undoubtedly incredible!
The wildlife. We had bison at the campground that just hung out in front of our camper--it was like a dog in the yard.
The weather. One word for the night…brrrrrr! On Tuesday night I awoke to look at our traveling thermometer (we refer to now as our thermostat) to see not only my breath puffing white clouds inside the camper but a temperature read of 48* (20 degrees warmer than outside). Obviously this little propane heater was cutting it! I immediately prepared hot chocolate for all. But the day weather was fantastic. We had moments where we were rather chilly and then moments when we removed our layers and acquired nice backpacker’s tans.
(Tower Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, which I climbed Uncle Tom's trail, 328 steps down and then up again to see it from this view...exhausting!)
Next we took in a day at the Grand Tetons. Hiked and did gads of laundry.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
There was Mt. Rushmore
Then this greatness of fun today, Devils Tower--of which we took to climbing the boulder field to the highest point allowed without a permit. (I should probably mention the campground we are at is where Steven Spielberg filmed Close Encounter of a Third Kind--it is the nightly outdoor movie, which is shown while you peer up at Devils Tower...how cool is that?!)
A few other things I should mention...it has been rather cold at night lately, say in the 30's, prompting us to wear stocking caps to bed and also to seek out a sporting good store to purchase a propane fueled heater (preparing for our rather primitive digs when we get to Yellowstone with its 28* temperatures). Also today we saw a genuine cattle drive down the middle of US-24. Our camper's back end was sprayed with cow dung, as is the under side of our van...but you know we didn't care because, it was so awesome a sight-- complete with several handsome cowboys.
I am calling it a night early, King Ralph is entertaining the girls at the feature film...a bit of hard to find peace in our "close encounters".
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Then we picked up on the Medicine Loop to finish 11 miles of a day hike. Oh something I learned on the hike...I am still allergic to grass, even prairie grass...I got hives wickedly on both outer calves...thankfully King Ralph brought some Preparation H with him (yes the butt hole cream has many magical powers). It so soothed my legs I could not refrain from saying out loud "this is what a butt hole feels like when it gets an application, it feel good"
Then we did Notch Trail. This experience made me breathe hard and take hold of my fear of heights with out security boundaries; for when you got to the top you were at cliff edge.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Yesterday King Ralph and I went to Uncle Sam's, this hideous military/camp store, to get some clips to add to our backpacks. The store definitely could use a woman's touch--for organizational purposes. It is the kind of place that is so packed to the gills and disorganized beyond description that it almost makes you nervous to be in there. However, the thing that creeped me out more than the discombobulated nature of the inside was the sign on the front door, it read "please unload guns and remove your face mask before entering the store." That was such a promising welcome...not!
Today I began what equivalents to moving the house into 12 square feet. I can not refrain from singing this line sung by Beyonce... to the left to the left everything you own in the box to the left. Imagine everything you will need to survive for a month on the road and then packing it all in a box (for five). My head is spinning, my list is growing longer with each passing minute-- before I can get it checked off another addition has been added...like how about Tampons...and Ben Gay (after a long hike I may need the noxious rub cream). I am sure in the next 30 seconds I will think of another item I believe this family can't live without.
I promise to post along the way (as we chose several WiFi friendly campgrounds), I wouldn't want for you to wonder about us for to long. I shall not let you down in the humor department as I report from the road.
Until later...heading west.