Arriving back in Southern California

Tuesday, October 14th ~ We are back home, (almost)


Last Friday we were up and on the road early, determined to make it back to Southern California before the end of the day. We traveled through southern Utah, cut the corner off of Arizona, counted the cactus across Nevada, waved at Las Vegas, and fought the traffic as we got closer and closer to Los Angeles.

Just after 5:00 p.m. we arrived at our business in Canoga Park. Actually, I should say “our son’s business”, since we turned it all over to him before we left seven months ago for our around-the-world adventure.

Thirty days ago we arrived back in the USA via cruise ship, landing in Boston. Picking up a brand new National Rent-a-car that had only 200 miles on it, we were set to drive cross-country on our way “home”.

The green line on the map above traces our journey from Boston, and up into Maine.  We passed through 17 states along the way, putting 5,290 miles on the car before turning it in at the Burbank Airport location.

I will soon have time to reflect on all the amazing things we saw and did. But for now, Tim and I are taking this week to spend time with our son, visit a few close friends, take care of some personal business and get ourselves put back together. That last part entails things like hair cuts (and color for me), dental appointments, chiropractic adjustments and a trip to the bank and safe deposit box to pick up my wedding ring.

This weekend we will leave the San Fernando Valley, and make our way back up the mountain to our little cabin at Arrowbear Lake. When we walk through that door, we will finally be HOME.

I want to most sincerely thank all of you that have followed along with us as we traveled around the world.

And for those that have just recently joined us, don’t despair – our traveling days are far from being over. We already have two international trips planned (more details coming soon), as well as a yacht cruise through the San Juan Islands, and a few more things in the works.

I also have some recaps to write up, past trips to tell you about, plus numerous pictures to share that I have never posted. I somehow don’t think I will run out of things to post for quite some time!

This week there is the large RV show in Pomona that we are hoping to check out. A small size motor home is on our wish list. We want to take some more road trips, especially to further explore our National Parks.

I kind of like this one…

School bus with a VW pop-top

School bus with a VW pop-top

Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for the familiar. It feels good to be able to get in the car and drive to a restaurant for a favorite meal where they know us by name, have my hair done by my hairdresser of 20+ years, and walk into the bank and not need to show my ID.

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Wyoming and Utah ~ Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway

Thursday, October 9th


Near the Wyoming/Utah border

Having crossed a big portion of Wyoming the day before, we had reached the southwest corner of the state. We stopped in at the Visitors Information Center in Green River to inquire about scenic drives going South. The lady behind the counter immediately recommended that we take 530 down to see the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway.

We were given a booklet and map with items highlighted in yellow that we “MUST SEE”.  Continue reading

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Wyoming ~ Grasslands, Independence Rock, Two-headed Car, Continental Divide

Wednesday, October 8th ~ Driving through Wyoming

Welcome to Wyoming

Welcome to Wyoming

Wyoming is the 10th largest, but the least populated of all 50 states. It is also one of only three states that have straight latitudinal and longitudinal lines instead of natural landscape to define the borders. (Just FYI, Colorado and Utah are the other two.)

Wide open range land

Wide open range land

With the low population density, that equates to miles and miles of nothing but grasslands, weeds, a smattering of trees, a few cows grazing, and some distant rock formations. We pass by the occasional small town, find deer in the front yard, or a two-headed car and not much more.  Continue reading

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Do you know who Gutzon Borglum is?

Tuesday, October 7th ~ Spent my birthday at Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Wind Cave

Joanne and Tim at Mt Rushmore National Park

Joanne and Tim at Mt Rushmore National Park

Side note: Back in 1991, Tim and I took two months and drove around the USA before we started our business. From California, we took the Southern route across to Florida, turned up north along the Eastern coast as far as Maine, and started back across the Northern states. Dropping down into central Illinois to see family, we ran out of time before we could get to Mt. Rushmore. So FINALLY my dream to see this monument has been fulfilled.  Continue reading

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Badlands National Park plus Wall Drug and a Minuteman Silo

Monday, October 6th ~ Badlands National Park (part 2 of a long day)

In case you did not see what we did in the first part of the day, you can click here to find out.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

National Parks are magical places to visit. I’m planning on taking a map of the states, researching the parks, making a big X on the map for each one and connecting the dots. What a fun way to plan our future travels around the USA!

Entrance to the park from the East side

Entrance to the Badlands from the East

Badlands National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota. Continue reading

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South Dakota ~ 1880 Town and Prairie Dogs

Monday, October 6th ~ Continuing our drive along Interstate 90 (part 1)

At 1880 Town

At 1880 Town

What a day, what a day, what a day. Between the two of us we took almost 500 pictures. You might think this was a record, but sadly it is not…

Entrance to 1880 Town

Entrance to 1880 Town

The first stop this morning was at the 1880 Town. Located on Interstate 90, 22 miles west of Murdo, SD. It makes a great place to stretch your legs, see some wonderfully furnished rooms/buildings, movie memorabilia, and historic photography. It was like stepping back into an authentic western town.

“South Dakota’s Original 1880 TOWN has more than 30 buildings from the 1880 to 1920 era, authentically furnished with thousands of relics, historical accounts and photographs, a Casey Tibbs exhibit and Dances with Wolves movie props…” ~

Continue reading

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South Dakota ~ Farmland, a Corn Palace, Memorial Highway, Americana

Sunday, October 5th ~ Driving from Iowa into South Dakota

Rolling hills in western Iowa

Rolling hills in western Iowa

There are sections of small rolling hills here compared to the flat farmlands of Illinois that I have become familiar with on frequent trips to visit Tim’s family. But the slight changes in elevation, are short-lived and we pass through miles and miles of corn and soy bean fields, broken up by cattle grazing on large open ranches.  Continue reading

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