Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back on the Hill

As we were reminded just today, all good things must come to an end - and so has our journey westward. We arrived home Friday evening, just before dark, and you can tell at least Hitch was anxious...he's right up in the windshield watching and waving as we pulled into the drive. And by the way, we know it's not safe to ride in the car without seat belts, but they just don't make miniature ones, so we were forced to make exceptions for him.

We've had a great time - and sharing it with all of you through this blog has been such fun. Many times we would think, let's take a picture of Hitch here so the folks checking in can see. And THANK YOU to all who have kept up with us - and sent messages, prayers and thoughts. It's our final blog for this trip - but who knows, there's probably more to come - - AFTER we recover from this one.

We've racked up the memories, the laughs, the tender hellos and goodbyes to friends we don't get to see often enough, and the miles. That's the other thing Hitch was amazed at - the final number driven...9,608.3. WOW!!

Thanks to God for the time, ability, and safety to make the trip.

And thanks to everyone who's been,
Traveling with Hitch

Blessings one and all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

From Poolside to Tableside

For more than three days, we relaxed around the pool (Hitch LOVED the slide and we LOVED the peaceful setting) and caught up with friends. It was a taste of what life is like back on the hill in NC - and we suppose it's time to get back there. more stop in Savannah has found us busy - very busy. In the last two days, we've enjoyed everything from eating a fantastic 27 item "home-cooked" lunch at Mrs. Wilkes and an outstanding dinner including charcoaled (yep, you read that right) oysters at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House (who happens to be the brother of Paula "ya'll" Dean) to a tour of Fort Polaski, a long walk on the beach at Tybee Island, and a trolley ghost ride late into the night yesterday. Today included some time for shopping, a long tour through the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum, more delicious food and ending the day with a carriage history tour of downtown.

We can honestly say we have packed as much into two days as we could - what fun!! Our feet are sore, we're a little sunburned, and as momma used to say, our eyes are full (not to mention our bellies).

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cowboys and Kings

Thursday we arrived in Oklahoma City early enough to spend some time exploring the Cowboy and Western Museum. It is a wonderful museum and well worth the time spent there - in fact, there was too little time to do it justice. Tributes to "cowboys" like John Wayne and Will Rogers are included, but so are the real mccoys (pardon the pun) - the actual cowboys and cowgirls who really wrangled the west. And the traveling art shows were unbelievable. Like I said, not enough time, but an afternoon well spent. (By the way, Hitch had to stop for a photo opp as we were leaving.)

Tonight we are staying in West Memphis in Arkansas. But...who could resist the quick trip over the Mississippi River into Memphis, TN, to eat at Marlowe's Ribs and Restaurant on...

Elvis Presley Blvd. Yep, fantastic food and the chance to see Graceland from the street all in less than a mile stretch - what more could you ask for??!!

Tomorrow we are headed to Alabama for a couple of days to visit friends and then back on the road to be in NC soon. We'll catch you up next week.

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Making Our Way East

Tonight we are in Amarillo, TX - making our way east on I-40. Last night we were in Albuquerque, NM. Between the two is lots and lots of land - and not a whole lot else to see. BUT...between Flagstaff on Monday evening and Albuquerque last night we made three great stops.
First was not too far oustide Flagstaff - Meteor Crater. It is the "first proven and best preserved impact site on earth." "The floor of the crater is 550 feet deep, equivalent to a 50 story over 4,000 feet across and 2.4 miles in circumference." Okay - the picture makes it hard to tell, but it's HUGE. About the middle of the picture are two black dots - they are actually people down a set of stairs about 1/8 the way into the crater. Don't they look little?

Next,'s a clue - Hitch is 'on a corner' on a 'Flatbed Ford' - in AZ. Got it?
Yep - we had to stop in Winslow, AZ and take a picture "Standin' on a Corner". The Flatbed is there just for photo opps. And...the song keeps running through our heads - it's such a fine sight to see!

Our last stop was the Petrified Forest National Park. Hitch is at the Agate Bridge - which is actually a petrified tree. It's quite a place - and next to the Painted Desert. Now...there's too many pictures to chose from for a Blog, so it'll have to wait until we're back.

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Monday, July 14, 2008

Headed Back East

Well, we have said goodbye to California and begun our trek eastward toward home. We still have some fun things planned, but we realize time is winding down. We must say, though, we were ready to leave California - the smoke had begun to get to us and then as we headed south, it was the rain (seems we are here during monsoon season?!). On our way Sunday from Lee Vining to Barstow, we encountered a THREE HOUR delay near Independence due to mudslides. Now, far be it from us to think all this was only about our inconvenience - poor Independence suffered last year from a fire that left little ground cover to keep the erosion from happening during the mudslide (it was three feet deep in some places and Highway 395 was where the delay came) that affected them this year. California has its challenges, that's for sure.

After a night in Barstow (and some decent Mexican food), we headed today to Flagstaff where we are tonight. I mention food because, for the most part, we had difficulty finding really yummy food in California. Not to worry - we were rewarded tonight. We found Horsemen Lodge, just outside the city limits. Great food and true cowboy decor. We all, including Hitch, enjoyed it tremendously. In fact, husband drove the majority of the day and somehow I didn't get lunch. I told him the meal tonight was punishment for not letting me eat lunch and he said, "If that's the case, you won't eat lunch tomorrow either" because dinner was that good. Too much food, though, and an after dinner walk was in store.

Oh well, now we're rambling. Look out, though, we're headed home now.

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More to see

After two FULL days of sightseeing - we're chilling out here in Lee Vining. And resting up for being in the car again - many days headed back east, starting tomorrow. Must say - it will be good to be back, but boy are we seeing the sights!!

Thursday we spent most of the day in Bodie, CA. It's claim is being the most authentic Ghost Town in America. Bodie was a gold-mining town, in its heyday in 1879. Due to many factors, fire being one, the town declined and officially became a designated state historical park in 1962. What you see is only a small portion - and, in case you miss him, Hitch was hanging out at the old post office and saloon. Hard to pull him away. It's something, though, things are pretty much like they must have been left - clothes still hanging in closets and such. And...a fun "fact" were copies of letters written to the park returning items "taken" by visitors and how they must be responsible for the "bad luck" the "thiefs" were having. Seems taking things from the site is more than just wrong - it's flirting with danger.

Then, yesterday, we spent the day in Yosemite again. One of the things we discovered quickly, is Yosemite is more a hiking/camping place than a driving place - but we did our best to see what we could by car and short walks. And...the smoke makes things so hazy, too.
But Yosemite isn't just El Capitan and Half Dome - there is Mariposa Grove of the giant Sequoias. The one Hitch is in front of is called Bachelor and there are three beside it called the Three Graces. The trees are amazing - and almost immortal - except for this shallow root system they have. Hard to imagine such a huge, old tree has a shallow root system. Hmm...there's probably a sermon in there somewhere. In fact, this trip may find its way into many sermons some day.

Goodbye for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another Park - More Unbelievable Mountains

We arrived in Lee Vining, California, Tuesday evening. Lee Vining is a small (VERY small) town just outside Yosemite near the Tioga Pass entrance.

However, another claim to fame is the town is on the side of Mono Lake, an interesting salt water lake (supposedly twice as salty as the ocean). Know it's hard to see from this picture (although Hitch IS on the sign), but it's a nice body of water. Notice, too, how hazy the picture is - it's the smoke. Wish California could get some rain and help out with these wildfires!!

Today we took our first trip into Yosemite, over Tioga Pass and nearing 10,000 feet above sea level. Quite a ride! We stopped at the Olmsted Point Overlook and took this photo of Half Dome in the far distance. From where we were you could actually see people climbing the side facing us headed to the very top. They looked like ants through the binoculars!! Nope, that is NOT for us!!

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Monday, July 7, 2008

Time to Move On

With much sadness, we said goodbye today to our home away from home in Island Park, Idaho. The Lakeside Lodge was a great place to park it for the last two weeks - near Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and the fishing we enjoyed again on Saturday (another day-long float trip with MUCH fishing success for both fisherpeople on the Madison River in Montana). None of us really wanted to leave, but it's probably good we left when we did - before we fell completely in love with the place and decided to never leave.

Tonight we are in Elko, Nevada. We just had a Basque meal at the Star Hotel here in Elko (a local favorite, we understand). The dinner was homestyle including soup, salad, Halibut, beans (two types), spaghetti, and homemade bread - yes, all in one meal. Needless to say, we're stuffed and satisfied.

But, on the way to here, we stopped in Idaho and found a portion of the Oregon Trail. What you see behind Hitch is actually old wagon-wheel ruts of the original trail. The highway (I-86) is in the background. Quite a piece of history just off (or on) the beaten path.

It's good to be back to internet, too - the last few days have been without!

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Very Happy Fisherman

Well, our time here in Island Park, Idaho (about 25 miles west of Yellowstone Park) is about over. But, as time goes quickly by, there's still time for fishing. And there was a very happy fisherman last night.

He fished the Firehole River in Yellowstone and caught some really pretty trout (don't worry, he released them safe and sound). It was possibly the best fishing he's had since our day long trip a few days ago. As for Hitch, he's not a fisherman and I'm finding these mosquitoes are just too much for a GIRL!!

But, he wasn't alone. Take a look at the GIRL who decided to visit him while he was fishing. In fact, took a drink of water out of the river just below him. Quite awesome. Then she came by the car so I could get a photo opp. If you blow up the photo and look over her, toward the downed tree to the left, you can just barely see the top of the fisherman's hat. Unreal!!

Everyone have a safe and fun Fourth!

Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On the Other Hand

Those pesky mosquitoes we talked about earlier are still here and still affecting not only the fishing, but basically all outdoor activities in general. Remember, it's the abundant rain and snow this year that has made them so plentiful. But there is an upside - the same rain and snow has made something else abundant in this area. The wildflowers are simply gorgeous. As far as you can see in some places are flowers. Hitch found this particularly lovely spot and we stopped for a photo opp. The picture isn't nearly as beautiful as the real thing, but you get the idea.

And, since fishing isn't really too feasible until later in the day, there's plenty of sightseeing time. Today we found Upper Mesa Falls - not far from where we are staying. Hitch had me pose with him - he seems a little nervous about heights and didn't really want to be out there on that railing by himself. I personally don't blame him. But the falls are simply gorgeous (ok, so after about a zillion tries to get this to upload in the right direction, it just WILL NOT. Other than the mosquitoes being in the computer, any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong. Honestly, it's in the right direction saved on the computer in "my photos". I tell you, microsoft word is soooo much easier!)
Goodnight for now,
Traveling with Hitch