Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hitting the road again......

Well it's about time I hit the road again. Enough of this staying at home stuff…. This week I'm heading up to Delaware for the 4th of July to visit with family and friends. This will include some fabulous time at the beach I’m sure. You can never have enough beach time! On July 5th I will be flying from Philadelphia to Denver Colorado. The next day I will embark on a road trip checking out national parks and fabulous scenery around the northern and western states. From Denver I will first check out Devils Tower National Monument. Ever since I saw the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind", I wanted to see Devils Tower. From there I will head towards Rapid City South Dakota stopping for a visit to Deadwood South Dakota, specifically Boot Hill, made famous in the days of the Wild West. In the Rapid City area I will visit Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and the Badlands National Park. There will also be some scenic drives along the way, the Black Hills National Forest and the Needles Highway scenic drives. Another highlight will be a stop at Bear Country USA where I hope to get lots of good photos of some bears.
From Rapid City South Dakota I will head toward Glendive Montana. On this journey I will be checking out the Petrified Forest of the Black Hills, the Painted Canyon, the Little Missouri National Grassland and finally the highlight of the day that Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
From Glendive, I will be traveling to Red Lodge Montana. On this trek I will be checking out the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. This will also include a scenic drive on the Bear Tooth Highway.
Leaving Red Lodge Montana, I will head to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It's been a number of years since I've been to Yellowstone and I'm very excited about returning.
After getting my fill of Yellowstone, I will head to Missoula Montana. On the way I will see the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park and the St. Francis Xavier Church.
From Missoula it's on to Hells Canyon in Clarkston Washington. On the way, I will be visiting the Kooskia National Fish hatchery and the Dworshak Dam visitor center. Of course the highlight will be Hells Canyon which should be just spectacular.
Leaving Hells Canyon it's off to Boise Idaho. On the way I'll be checking out the Wolf Education and Research Center in Winchester Idaho. Nothing like an opportunity to take photos of a pack of wolves bearing down on you…. Then I'll be heading to the Ponderosa State Park, the Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic site the Idaho Botanical Gardens and the scenic Payette River Drive.
Departing Boise, I will head to Idaho Falls Idaho. Along the way I will check out the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and the Craters of the Moon National Monument.
From Idaho Falls it's on to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This should be fabulous, the Grand Teton's are so beautiful. From Grand Teton National Park I will head to Death Canyon trail and then continue on to Cascade Canyon trail and end up at Signal Mountain in Moran Wyoming.
From the Grand Teton National Park I will head to Rock Springs Wyoming. On the way I will visit Fossil Butte National Monument.
Leaving Rock Springs Wyoming I'll head to Steamboat Springs Colorado. One of the major highlights will be the Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic byway….
The trip starts winding down as I leave Steamboat Springs. On the way back to Denver I will drive to the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park Colorado. I plan on taking the aerial tramway at Estes Park scenic views. Then it's back to Denver to wind up the National Park scenic view Road trip.
Having said all this, of course everything is subject to change, if I find something interesting or different than originally planned I will probably go that direction, you never know…. This will be the first of two road trips I'll take before getting back on ship. The next road trip begins the beginning of September and will go for about 45 days with the last big stop at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I will provide you an update on that probably in August.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Leaving Orlando... :-(

I had a great, albeit, brief visit with my Orlando friends….  Brad & I got a lot done on our fall trip.  I enjoyed looking out at the back pond everyday as the wildlife came in.    Very cool….  Unfortunately, a very close friend of mines' Mother died so I returned home.  Perhaps another time I may have a little longer in central Florida….  I am really sorry that I missed seeing Ed, Becky and Barbara.  I’ll just need to come back.  The 12 hour drive back today wasn’t too bad.  I must admit that 780 miles in a day is a pretty good drive for one person.  Now, the important stuff…..  I hope the sun is out tomorrow.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Orlando Florida....

Had a very good day...  I first took care of my tire problem with my car so I could complete my journey to Orlando.  I arrived safely at my friend Brad's house in the morning and we pretty much started into our trip planning.  Then it was time for a break so we went to lunch and then headed to the pool.  It was just the perfect place to be on such a hot day.  Brad gave me a local tour and then we had a great dinner....  Nice day.  This evening we did some more trip planning... looking good!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Florida Adventure....

This morning I got up at 3:30 and headed for Florida around 4:45.  My plan was to drive 650 miles and stop for the day in St. Augustine Florida. I made great time and arrived in St. Augustine around four o'clock in the afternoon. I decided to take a few hours and explore St. Augustine to come up with a few photos for you bloggers. Much to my dismay, I found a nail in my tire at the end of the day. Now I have to deal with that little problem tomorrow before I leave for Orlando. In Orlando I will get together with my friend Brad and we will plan our trip to the southwestern and western United States in the fall. I'm also hoping to see my friends Ed and Becky while I'm here and Brad and I are also trying get to Melbourne Florida and see our friend Barbara at the same time.  Should be a good trip....