A photo summary of our favorite times on the 9 week park-hopping journey. The memories we made on this trip are once in a lifetime and worth every moment of temporary joblessness and homelessness post-adventure. Like the designer Stefan Sagmeister, I highly recommend injecting a few years of retirement into your younger years. It completely reinvigorates creativity and appreciation for everything in our great big world.
Everything is seriously bigger in Texas. I never believed people when they said this, but really.
After accidentally passing Cadillac Ranch, we headed towards my cousin’s house—the Texas Lampes! Mark, my cousin, is the oldest of the 30ish grandkids and I’m the youngest! I love his family, but we never get to see them enough. Spending time with them in their natural habitat was so much fun! They treated us to authentic Tex Mex and they even had a birthday cake to celebrate when they found out it was my birthday.
We’re off to more Texas fun—updates to come! :)
Due to the shutdown, we reluctantly headed to the Rockies earlier than planned, but we were excited to spend time with family!
After a short hike on part of the Colorado Trail and quick tours of small ski towns, we went to Salida to see Aunt Betty. There was just one problem: she lives in Monte Vista, a smaller town 80 miles from Salida. Oops! Dad said, “Doesn’t everyone know Aunt Betty lives in Monte Vista?!” Not sure how I lost her full address, but the mix up made for a funny story. :)
Clyde and I so enjoyed the time we spent with my great Aunt Betty and her family! (Aunt Betty is my grandma’s younger sister.) Not only did we enjoy staying in her house (not a car or tent!), but she treated us like royalty with cake and ice cream snacks, and homemade breakfast and dinner! We even got to drink real cow’s milk, pork, and bacon straight from Vern’s farm! (A real treat for city folk.) :)
It was great catching up with extended family after 10 long years. Can’t wait to see them again when we get out to see the rest of the West in a few more years!
First of all, I made a major faux pas by not getting a picture with Uncle Paul and Jason. I just didn’t take many photos in general, but we had lots of fun relaxing in Southern California for a few days.
After a delicious Italian dinner with Uncle Paul, he let us stay in a gigantic Hollywood Hills house he and Jason are flipping. I’d love to know what the neighbors thought if they saw us dragging our sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and backpacks into the house late at night. :) After cruising around LA for a day, we got to enjoy one last beautiful ride on Suladan before she’s sold.
San Diego was the first big city we’ve hit that I’d be happy to call “home.” It has a small city feel with all-the-time gorgeous weather and ocean view! We found ourselves spending two days at the beach since we had to delay our arrival to Las Vegas in order to meet a friend. (San Diego also kicked off my daily temper tantrums about the government shutdown locking us out of parks. The first of many places we missed was Joshua Tree National Park just outside LA.) I pulled myself together at the beach — life still can’t get much better on our awesome adventure!
Taking an unexpected trip back to Cincinnati for a few days – my 16 year old cousin (and fellow McAuley Mohawk) was killed in a car accident last week. Rachel had many more adventures to enjoy in her life, which makes it hard to come to terms with this tragedy. But one thing’s for sure – I’ll never eat cake balls again without imagining her face lighting up over one of her and Sarah’s favorite sweet treats! We’re going to miss your smile, Rach. :(