Monday, September 1, 2014

homeward bound

Going home felt different from our travel westward.  I guess it partly felt like the adventure was behind us; we had less flexibility on the way back, with more pressure to get home for The Next Thing.  Even so, it was beautiful and so interesting, watching the land change as we drove by.  This is one big goldang country!! Nothing drives that home better than, well, driving it.

Eastern Oregon

Bruneau Dunes State Park
Common Nighthawk

the last tent spot in the Gros Ventre campground, Grand Tetons

can you see the pronghorns???
Thunder Basin National Grassland - also home to the largest surface mine in the country.

South Dakota
Crazy Horse monument

Badlands, SD

Minnesota - this was the day that we started at the far western edge of South Dakota and by the time we hit the Badlands we were thinking, hm, I bet we could drive aaaall the way to Wisconsin by midnight. And so we did!

The soundtrack for this particular leg of our trip was amusing: in a sanity-saving measure, the girls, with massive headphones, were "allowed" twenty minutes of singing at the top of their lungs before we moved into a more quiet driving mode for the last few hours.  What this sounded like was a mash-up of Taylor Swift and The Beatles.  If not the best combination, it was entertaining, and we still had enough sense of humor left to find it pretty funny...

I-90 and a sampling of the insects of eastern South Dakota
These were long driving days, but they were spent with the Snake River, dozens of osprey nests, miles of sagebrush, and wide, mesmerizing skies.  As we got closer to Wisconsin, I could feel Dan moving into work-mind, and I felt like I was mourning the passing of our vacation.  When was the last time I had a relaxed husband spending weeks of adventure with me?? (That should probably be rhetorical, but seriously - I have to think it was before our girls came along. Twelve years?)

Five weeks, 7,000-some miles, one new radiator, 13 nights camping, 2 nights in a hotel motor inn, and the rest on the floors, couches and spare beds of many kind friends and family...
I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

a day of vacation

August is usually when we visit our Wisconsin family, which means just about everyone, Dan's relatives and mine.  This year we saw some of my family at the wedding in Oregon, and we took advantage of the day after the ceremony to have a day together before we all headed home.

my beautiful sister and mama
My mom's idea of peaceful and rejuvinating is the ocean, so Seal Rock beach is where we went (twist my arm)...

...and then to Newport to check out the huge sea lion population.