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Our 2-Week Road Trip

We visited friends and took in the sites in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico!

From Yosemite to Yellowstone and to see Bub's Mom in Chadron, we searched out old cars, hot springs, buffalo, deer (we did miss the deer, but only by inches!) and old railroad hotels!

We also found we still liked each other's company!

Here is the travelogue:

June 20

We got out of town at about 4:30 on Sunday! We drove across I-8, the turnoff south of Casa Grande and headed west. We got to Yuma about sunset and stopped to get gas because it was about a quarter cheaper in AZ! Pretty dry across that stretch. We continues on 8 past some amazing sand dunes outside of Yuma-just big rolling dunes as far as the eye could see in either direction. We turned north at El Centro onto a lesser highway that was still 4 lane most of the way and then became 2 lane but still separated. We made pretty good time and ended up in Indio, right outside of Palm Springs about 9:30. There was a Holiday Inn Express that seemed a good and economical choice so we stayed there.

June 21

Had some great cinnamon rolls as part of their breakfast spread and then hit the road about 9:30. I had a coaching client in the morining before we left and then did two more calls in the car with Bub driving.

From Indio, we headed west towards LA and you could see the smog blowing out from the city. We passed truck after truck loaded with garlic.

We turned north again in San Bernadino onto a lesser highway towards Bakersfield, where we had lunch at an In-N-Out Burger. Bub got a T-shirt. We continued to head north towards Visalia. The land was pretty dry out there, but there began to be a lot of fruit and other crops and lots of cows. We learned that the county around Visalia is #1 in cattle, citrus and cotton producers in the country.

We went through Visalia towards the Sequoia Forest and found the Wicky-Up Ranch Bed and Breakfast that we had reservations for. We got there about 4...

Monica and John were our hosts and she welcomed us and gave us some history of her family and the house. They had a PT Cruiser Wood they had just bought that was silver! Her great uncle Fred had comer out with his brother in the early 1900"s and built the house in 1902. The walls and ceilings were cedar and just beautiful. We stayed in a bedroom with a lovely old bed and lots of comfy pillows. We pickniced in the evening under there tall old trees in a really beautifulk garder. A pair of oleanders was the entree into the front garden. A couple of fountains were running continuously and it was very tranquil. The front of the house had a screened porch that ran the length of the house and was a comfortable place to read and hang out. Bub found a couch with a reading light and was right at home. I took a nice hot bath in the old tub and then we went to bed fairly early.

June 22

I had an early morning coaching call (7)and then we enjoyed a candlelit breakfast with our hosts. Fresh orange juice, Blueberry bread and sweet grapefruit began the meal and then we had French Toast that was nut encrusted with a wonderful maple syrup and lots of coffee. I had another coaching call and then we packed and hit the road at 10:30.
We drove east to the Sequoia National Forest and spent the next 4 hours winding through the Mountains from an almost sea level elevation up to over 5000 feet.

Most of the driving was slow mountainy, curvy roads. We stopped at the Sequoia Museum and at the General Sherman Sequoia which is supposed to be the biggest tree in the world. Some of these trees are 2200 years old. The trees were really really tall and wide and driving through them was an awesome site. We took a few pictures along the way but mostly just enjoyed the ride.

Then we headed back west towards Fresno and then up the road to Yosemite. It was 4:30 by the time we made it to Yosemite's south entrance and we had about 35 miles to Yosemite Village. Again we went from sea level to about 5000 ft., slow, windy roads through mountains with views that stretched for miles. There was an old hotel we passed with the golf course, which looked like it probably got overrun with deer. As we progressed through the Park, the granite cliffs rose thousands of feet up and we saw 2 waterfalls that were incredibly big and beautiful. One of these, Yosemite Falls is the tallest Falls in the Northern Hemisphere-over 2200 feet high!

We checked into the Awahnee Hotel at about 5 PM. We missed high tea but had a nice glass of wine in the bar and walked around the hotel. It was built in 1927 and is beautiful. We got a little cabin behind the hiotel set in the woods and have been cautioned to be careful of the bears but haven't seen any yet.

June 23

We left Yosemite mid morning after enjoying the sunrise and morning fresh air. We drove the back roads of California to Sacramento through rolling hills, gold and wine country. We got on Interstate 80 and then to 5 for a bit and then took the west road 20 through the mountains to CA 101. For the rest of the day, we saw giant Redwoods along the 101 and the Pacific Ocean. I wanted to stop to put my feet in, but Bub wasn't game...so we just looked.

These first days seemed to be all about the trees....The Redwoods continued in groves up through the Oregon part of the drive.

We stopped at Holiday Inn Express, north of Eureka for the night and got a hot tub in the room! It felt good after driving all day.

24-25 Portland Embassy Suites

On the 24th, I did a couple of coaching calls and then we hit the road about 11. We traveled up the Oregon 101 for several hours, enjoying the ocean view and the forests and rivers. Coos Bay was a neat little town and the Rogue River flowed into the sea. We stopped and ought blueberries and there were wildflowers in bloom all along the sides of the road.
We headed inland at Florence to Eugene, through hills and forests and got on a faster road (Hwy 5) to get into Portland in time for the opening reception.

The Hotel we staying in in Portland was built in the 1920's and was really cool. Now an Embassy Suites, they gave us a HUGE suite with a living and dining room (with a table set for 8) and great views. Bub walked around town and got oysters while I went to the Reception.

On Friday, Bub drove out to see Karen and play golf while I went to meetings all day.

Lots of fun to connect with WCR friends from all over the west...

On Friday night we took a cruise up the River for a dinner. 140 Real estate agents made quite a din! There were many opulent homes on the Riverfront and dinner for me of Salmon was yummy.

Saturday morning was more meetings and connecting ending with a lunch with the National President Brenda Ghilbaudi
Bub and I hit the road again to get to Karen Freeburgs house in Bengin WA.

It took us along the Columbia River

East from Portland toward majestic Mt Hood.

26 With Karen Freeberg

Karen threw a party for us and invited several friends over and we drank wine and ate! Bub and Karen went out the next morning and played another 9 holes of golf while I cruised the Antique store and took a nice long walk up the hills behind her house. Wildflowers were everywhere and cherries were in season.

27 Some where between Spokane WA and Missoula MT

We hit the road about Noon and headed up through Washington to Spokane. One of Karen's friends had said the Washing side of the Columbia was the road less traveled and much prettier and it was---so we drove almost alone on the 2 lane road on the north side of the mighty Columbia for a couple of hours before heading north.

Lots of cows and rolling hills. Mid-afternoon we got on I 90 for the rest of the day until we hit Missoula about 8 PM
The drive through Idaho at Coeur de Lane was mountainous with a very large lake and lots of boating. Pretty area. Missoula had a downtown with a mixture of old buildings and new. We looked for an old hotel to stay in but couldn't find one, so settled for chocolate chip cookies at the Doubletree. It was right on the River.

We enjoyed a breakfast on the deck watching the flyfisherman below and watching the birds.

Bub was hunting for trout and eggs, but we didn't find any but I had a great breakfast of some fancy Eggs Benedict with crab and filet mignon with Hollandaise....

28 With Nancy Lee Brooks outside of Bozeman

On the way, we stopped at a car museum.

From Missoula, we drove east and Bub saw a car museum advertised in the town of ????
So we stopped and there were 120 beautifully restored cars.

Montana was absolutely beautiful. Wide valleys and high mountains and good roads.

We reached Nancy Lee's at about 4:30 and she waited for us at the main road to take us back to her house with was sited on 20 acres with a breathtaking view.

She has cows,geese and Jack Russels and Australian Shepherds and 3 cats and a Spring.

This is her backyard shot and here is Nancy and son Brandon...

...and a little better picture of Nancy.

We went out for a great dinner in her little town. Her dogs are trained and do an agility circuit that is set up in her backyard. She had scads of ribbons from them winning

29 Chico Springs MT

We woke and had a nice breakfast. Ted Turner's land is right over the hill and there was a helicopter coming from there.

Brandon came by to visit. He is working at the golf course this summer and is 18.

The we followed Nancy to Livingston and spent a couple of hours shopping and having lunch before bidding adieu. Bub found a buffalo skull in Livingston on the way out of town in a store that now is on the dining room wall!!! I thought we should have put it on the front of the car :>)

We drove another hour south to Pray, MT to Chico Hot Springs...Wow!!! What a cool place

We passed some longhorn bulls on the way in (Bub explained they were NOT cows!)

You can see the beautiful hills in the background

The Hot Springs were built in the early 1900's and had rooms in the main lodge with bathrooms in the hall. We opted instead for the more modern addition with a bathroom in our room. However there were no phones or TVs- much to my delight
Bub had the best Halibut since Alaska and we continued to celebrate his birthday with a key lime dessert
The pool had a very hot pool and a bigger, tepid pool-both were relaxing with a view of the mountains
We took a long walk after dinner and checked out the teepee.

Good sleeping with the window open and the cool mountain air!

30 Yellowstone Lake Hotel

A long dip in the Chico pool after coffee and then packed up to hit the road to Yellowstone.

Great drive through southern Montana to the North Entrance at Gardiner. We did a bit more shopping for western stuff(like we needed any more :>)Soon after we got into the park, we saw a couple of buffalo on the side of the road. This was just a tiny bit of what was to come...herds everywhere as we drove through the park.

This buffalo was on the front lawn of the Hotel after dinner. There was a full moon over the lake and it was awesome
The hotel was built in the late 1890's and has been restored beautifully. Still no TV in the room, but we did have a phone for Internet access.

1 Chadron, NE

Well, This changed....Bub woke up on his birthday and decided we should blast across Wyoming and go see his Mom in Chadron NE. So we called and warned her. Then set off to Idaho Falls to have lunch with friend Nancy Thorsen and her husband. From there we high tailed it all the way across Nebraska under a gorgeous full moon. On the two lane roads in Nebraska outside of Harrison, is where we missed the deer, but it was close.

2 Glenwood Springs, Colorado

With our change of plans, this night ended in Glenwood Springs CO at the the Hot Springs Lodge.

July 3 Holbrook AZ

From Glenwood Springs,to Carbondale. Stopped to see Sarge Whelan. Then drove over McClure's Pass into Paonia and Delta, the south to Ouray and Silverton and Durango. Over 3 10,000+ high passes....Really pretty. Drove through Cortez where we had a great Mexican Dinner to and then drove to Holbrook AZ. Since it was getting dark and I was tired, we got a hotel room for the night (finally).

4 Home

Back in Arizona, Bub wanted to stop to see friend, Marcus, in Pinetop, so we spent the morning there and got home mid-afternoon.

Joeann Fossland, Advantage Solutions Group, LLC
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