Facebook Running Narrative – Part 3

In addition to writing this blog, I post a steady stream of comments and photos on Facebook.  Since my Facebook posts are visible only to my family and friends, I’ve replicated them here for all to enjoy.  You can read Part 1 and Part 2, which chronicle the start of our trip January 26 through September 30.  The following posts are listed in chronological order from October 1 through the end of our trip on November 12.  These posts provide a nice running narrative of our trip.

  

Smith Rock State Park is a "climber’s park." We spent the afternoon watching people risk their lives hanging from a 1/4" rope. This photo shows climbers tightroping over to the Monkey Face, a 350-foot tall granite monolith.

  

Overnight lows in the 20s here starting tomorrow. Time to head south!

  

Despite some haze from nearby forest fires, Crater Lake was still the most intense blue I’ve ever seen. It’s the deepest lake in the USA at 1,943 feet. The water is more pure than what comes out of most faucets. It’s so pure that scientists discovered UV rays penetrate deeper in Crater Lake than was thought theoretically possible in water, so they had to reset a benchmark in physics!

  

18 degrees here this morning, 34 in the RV. Time to move south, brrrr!

  

Goodbye Oregon, you were very beautiful. Hello California, let’s hope we don’t get smashed by any more cops in high-speed chases!

  

Never seen this before: spider webs hanging from power lines

  

Snotty nose cold, boo!

  

Theresa getting ready to climb an 80-story cinder cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park

   

Shadow loves to play in the kiddie tubes

   

Cancer sucks!

   

Beauty is *on* the eye of the beholder.

  

We met a homeless man outside Outback restaurant. Theresa: "Why is your dog wearing a garbage bag?" Man: "Because it might rain." Theresa: "And why is your dog so fat?" Man: "Because I take such good care of him." Then the man says to the dog: "Take yourself for a walk." The dog hops off the bench, grabs his leash in his mouth, and prances around in circles with his tail wagging like crazy. The trick worked, we gave him 5 bucks. 😉

  

Looper is a great sci-fi time-travel B-movie. And nice little twist at the end.

  

Yosemite!

   

Of all the parks we’ve visited, Yosemite always has been and still is our favorite.

  

Tulare, California rivals Gary, Indiana as the stinkiest town in America. Seriously, why would someone choose to live here? 😛

  

Who? Who! Who… Owl-fest in Sequoia National Forest

  

RV generator repaired yesterday. Cable from solenoid to starter broke. $5 part, $250 labor. Covered under warranty, cha ching!

  

Hiking the Trail of 100 Giants, the largest concentration of giant Sequoia trees in the world

  

Yesterday we drove only 8 miles when we entered a new canyon in Sequoia Natl Forest and thought it was so beautiful that we stopped and setup camp. At this rate we’ll finish our trip by 2014. 😉

  

So apparently they broke our RV generator when they fixed it. Starts OK, but is only putting out 104 volts. Microwave and toaster take twice as long to cook. Have already left that area, so now we need to find another repair shop.

  

We’ve seen the Orionids three nights in a row, so cool!

  

If this RV’s a rockin’ … Super windy today, we must be back in the California desert

  

Met a guy who 3 days ago slipped in a river while fishing, landed on his face, broke his nose and knocked out 3 teeth. Then 2 days ago he got caught in a snowstorm, missed picking up his daughter at the airport (with no way to notify her) and missed returning to work. Then today he blew out his tire on the only stretch of Hwy 14 with no cell signal. Now that is a bad stretch of luck!

  

For the second time on our trip, we’re heading to Vegas, baby! And for the second time, we’re just passing through 😉

  

As we were driving north on I-15 through Mesquite, Nevada, we saw a giant billboard at the Oasis Casino advertising $19 RV full hookups and $6 prime rub dinner. Yes, their lure snagged us! Maybe we’ll even play a few slots, though fortunately neither of us are gamblers.

  

We both won a little money at the casino and two free drinks

  

The bad thing about casinos is the house always wins. The good thing is that because casinos are flush with all our money, everything is top notch: the food, drinks, service, facilities and amenities.

  

Been all over half the country. Who would’ve thought the best cell signal on AT&T would be in the middle of the Utah desert? 5 bars 3G, WTH?

   

Pack of coyotes yipping and howling nearby

  

In amazing Snow Canyon, Utah

  

Zion

  

One of the prettiest campgrounds we’ve visited. Theresa and Shadow, under the Watchman at Zion National Park.

  

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Today Theresa and I hiked our all-time favorite trail, Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. It’s a 1500-foot climb up a knife-blade of a mountain. The last half mile has a drop so sheer on both sides that they mounted chains into the rock to give you something to hold. An average of one person per year plunges to their death from this trail. If this trail doesn’t kill you, it will blow your mind!

   

All those calories I burned off hiking yesterday I ate back in the breakfast buffet this morning

  

We bought candy just in case there would be some trick-o-treaters at the campground. But come to think of it, we haven’t seen one kid here. Glad we bought candy that we like.

  

We must be getting older (and wiser?) because after a really tough hike yesterday, we just took it easy today. We just hiked a flat 5 mile trail through Zion Canyon with the dogs, who loved getting out for a change (most national park trails don’t allow dogs).

   

I figured it was inevitable on a cross country trip, and it was: we finally got hit by credit card fraud. Fortunately our card company Citi detected it immediately and blocked the fraudulent transactions.

  

Tomorrow we head to the final major park on our adventure. A fitting grand finale in the Grand Canyon.

  

On the edge above Zion Canyon

  

Even top-notch athletes can die in the Grand Canyon

  

I’ve had to say this too much lately, but CANCER SUCKS!

  

Yes, this Canyon is truly Grand. Hard to believe that relatively tiny Colorado River in the background carved this giant canyon. Wind, water & time… lots of time.

  

Thank you all for your wonderful birthday wishes! Theresa got me an amazing helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon this morning. Later we’ll hike along the south rim with our dogs. This is a birthday and a year I’ll never forget!

  

The switch back from Daylight Savings Time is confusing enough. But take the state of Arizona, where they do not observe DST, and throw in a bunch of tourists who set their clocks back anyway, and watch the confusion ensue. 😉

  

Saying goodbye to the Grand Canyon. Today was our last hike at our last park. What a great adventure this has been.

  

Heading to sunny Florida to see my wonderful family!

  

Rush hour in Dallas reminds me why I want to live out in the country.

  

Texas is a damn big state. I can only imagine what it was like for early explorers on horse & buggy.

  

63 degrees and sunny at 8am, and Theresa’s wearing a little dress. So glad we headed south!

  

Last day of free camping in a national forest 🙁 in Apalachicola, Florida

  

We’ve driven for 5 straight days across the country and were going stir-crazy from all the people, traffic and civilization. So we pulled off and camped in the national forest for the night. Crickets, stars, isolation and peace. Ahh, this is more like it.

  

Totally digging this Florida weather!

  

Our grand adventure is officially over! We were on the road for 292 days, drove 17794 miles in our RV and 8640 miles in our SUV (for a total of 26434 miles). We hiked for 836 miles with a total elevation gain of 135,940 feet, the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest a dozen times. We are sad to see it end, but so very glad that we took the time now while we are still relatively young and fit to embark on such an amazing adventure.

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