Chasing the Weather….

Touring the West over the past three months seeing our country’s landscapes, wildlife, and cultures has been a magical and memorable journey to date.  On-the-go most days, whether to a national park, or cruising a scenic byway, or hiking a lake or mountain, or spending a day in a town or at an event, or just meeting new people, by the time we got back to our RV, most times I was too exhausted to flip open the laptop.  The slow internet access at times really didn’t help!

I should have known I’d have a hard time keeping up with my blog to share our journey. What was I thinking??

So to diminish being overwhelmed with all my photos (there are so many!), I thought I’d start by sharing a quick summary to date of where we’ve been and what we’ve seen.  I’ll do individual posts later on my favorites.

So……Since the beginning of June, we’ve been through:

15 states

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5 National Parks

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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

 

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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

 

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Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming
(yes, that’s snow on the mountains in July!)

 

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Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

 

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

 

4 National Monuments

 

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El Morro National Monument, New Mexico

 

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument, New Mexico

 

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Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

 

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Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona

 

As well as Lake Powell, Navajo Bridge, Horseshoe Bend, several dams & lakes, numerous National Forests and Memorials, every scenic byway we could cruise, numerous ‘famous’ towns (Sturgis, Deadwood, Cody, Jackson), couple rodeos, motocross pro-series (had never been to one before!), and even a concert to see comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias at the Montana State Fair.

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Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah

 

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Lake Powell Boat Tour through Navajo Canyon, Arizona

 

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Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

 

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Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

 

Oh, the places we’ve been!  At the altitudes we stayed, the weather just as great.  Temps never exceeding 80-85 degrees (except Lake Powell).  Even had to turn on the RV heat some mornings to take off the chill inside.  We felt for all our east coast family and friends suffering in the extreme heat and humidity.  But we didn’t miss it!

And then there’s the wildlife we’ve seen!  I’ve had an awesome time looking for and trying to capture a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat.  I think I am more excited to share those photos than the landscapes and destinations.

So you can expect a bird post next!  🙂

47 thoughts on “Chasing the Weather….

  1. Beautiful Postcard shots Donna. You guys have certainly been having a ball travelling and exploring your great land. Love your pics, your canyon shots are magnificent. Always great to see how you are going, and yes it is exhausting touring about, trying to get the most out of a day, but it is only for a time. Thanks for sharing Donna, and may you continue to enjoy with the weather in your favor as your winter approaches:-)

    • Thanks so much, Ashley! It has been an amazing journey and we have had such great weather all summer. It’s great to collapse at night too. lol We have been thankful for everything we’ve seen and our safety on the road. We’re working on winter plans now, but I have the need to see the grandkids and family so we’re going to head back to the East Coast to catch up with them. 🙂

  2. Great images, one and all! It may be out of place for me to say this, but I would think that with no schedule to keep, that you’d slow down and spend more time in each location before moving on. I’m sure that part of it is the novelty of seeing so many wonderful locations though, and that it’s difficult to adjust to the new lifestyle that you’re living.

    • Thanks so much Jerry! And, I hear ya on slowing down to savor a location. We had wanted this to be a road trip and made destination decisions on the fly. With our 45′ motorhome length plus tow, securing a reservation for a week or longer wasn’t easy. We knew this would be a challenge but wanted to chase the weather. Did we wish we didn’t have to move on at any one point? You betcha. Sometimes we were able to extend a couple more days, sometimes not. We discovered places we do want to return and other places we don’t. I think it’d be right to say that this road trip wasn’t about the destination, but the journey that got us there. And so far, we are enjoying the ride! 🙂

  3. I’m so glad you’re enjoying your travels! Can’t wait to see the critter shots! It’s a marvelous land for sure. So many wonderful places to go and see. Probably why I haven’t been tempted to go anywhere that I’d have to fly! O_o

    • Thanks so much, Gunta! Wow, I just loved the wildlife. And so many places indeed! As much as we’ve done, there were other things we missed or didn’t have time to do. I’d say, it sounds like another road trip for some repeat visits. 🙂

  4. Careful…. if you don’t slow down, you’ll burn out. This is a new lifestyle, not a vacation, and oh such fun. I look forward to upcoming posts. P.S. we loved our short stay at Lake Kaibab. Thanks for the heads up and your wonderful post on Williams.

    • Thanks Ingrid, we’re figuring that out. I’m all for taking breathers and chilling. I think it’d be right to say that this summer’s road trip wasn’t about the destination, but the journey that got us there. 🙂 We’re loving the lifestyle so far. Kids still think we’re crazy for not wanting to come ‘home’ and buy a house. lol

      • Our plan was to full-time 1-2 years and we just started year 4. We scheduled 2 months in Prescott so we could look at real estate but realized, we aren’t interested LOL. Our journey shall continue 🙂

      • Our thinking is becoming the same. We’ve been doing the online house search for back east around the family, but we’re not seeing anything exciting…..and we think we want to keep going too! 🙂

  5. What an absolutely incredible experience for you guys! Having been to a few of these national parks ourselves, and capturing the incredible beauty of the western US,with my camera, photos sometimes cannot do full justice to being immersed in the personal experience. However, when I go back to look at my photos they help to recreate that experience as I’m sure your wonderful photos and travelogue will do the same for you and your family. And for those of us that have not had the opportunity to visit some of these places, your wonderful blog and photographs allow us to share in your experience and appreciate the magnificent landscapes to be discovered across this country. .

    • Thanks so much, Steve! We are so thankful for all that we’ve seen and experienced, it has truly been an amazing ‘road trip’. I’m already going back & reviewing my photos thinking, wow, I was there! And my senses get overwhelmed all over again. What a feeling! 🙂

  6. I made a similar trip last year, but only for 33 days. Now reading your blog, and with hindsight, I think the way you did this one is better. More time, more activities, more beautiful photos!

    • Thanks so much, Hien! I know your on-the-go for 33 days had to be amazing as well. I tried to research where to stay for decent pivot points for sightseeing and thought we did alright on the fly. But I do want to improve on working further in advance to make it easier to get reservations for exactly where we want and take that stress out of the picture. 🙂

  7. Great to see the map at first, as it shows the distance you have travelled. I got a kick out of seeing that tree at the top of El Morrow National Monument. and nice to see a different perspective of Lake Powell-almost made it there once but alas, the plans got changed. Maybe someday but I am running out of somedays. Those kind of journeys are life-changing and so fulfilling.Enjoyed seeing the Crazy Horse monument and Mount Rushmore-amazing feats but truly nothing more amazing than the Creator’s natural work.We need to protect our parks and preserve our wilderness areas -your photos are a testament to that.

    • Thanks so much, Jane! Although on the move every week or so and we missed seeing ‘everything’ at each location, it’s been the journey that has been so awesome. And so true, our Creator’s natural work is more than amazing, the beauty has been overwhelming, even at times, my eyes filled with emotion just to be there at the moment.

  8. Excellent journey! I see Crazy Horse Monument hasn’t progressed much since my last visit through there. 😦 I first saw in 1983, then again in the late 80’s or could have been early 90’s. I’ll have to go find my negatives to be sure. Anyway progress has been slow all along.

    The images are fantastic. I’m looking forward to the future blog posts about each place.

    • Thanks so much, Deborah! A year or so before my Mom passed, she mentioned several times that I’ve got to promise I’d go see the Crazy Horse Memorial for her whenever we did get the chance to travel out west. She had wanted to see it but never got to. Sooooo….that was to be part of our journey, to go see Crazy Horse for Mom. It was an emotional time for me; I felt Mom was there, and we saw it together. 😢 Wow, they still do have a long ways to go to complete it seems. The creator passed away years ago and his wife died in 2014. Their children continue the work. I can’t find my brochure right now but I’ll post on CHorse and it’s info and update! 🙂

  9. Good to hear from you Donna! You have already seen so much natural beauty on your journey. Thanks for the magnificent views and the map. Looking forward to seeing some of the birds 🙂

    • Thanks so much Helen! It has been a road trip for sure, and we feel very lucky to have been able to do it. What an awesome time we’ve had and what we’ve seen, it’s just has blown our minds away. Wow, what spectacular work our Artist has created. I’ve said more ooh’s and aah’s in the last three months than in my whole past life! 🙂

      • I am very happy for you! It is wonderful you can see so much more of our Artist’s wonderful work.

  10. Oh Donna, the beauties you have seen! Thanks so much for this lovely overview of where you have all been. I enjoyed the map too. It is one amazing country that you can see all this diversity and vastness and splendor.

    • Thanks so much, Jet! I don’t know if I’ll ever have enough time to review all my photos! lol Seriously, our road trip to date has been truly amazing. Having not had time before to travel our country in our 37 years married, this has been extra-special, and I think we appreciate the sights even more! 🙂

  11. Stunning shots – brings back memories of touring Colorado and New Mexico some years back. Did you visit the Garden of the Gods in Colo Springs?

    • Unfortunately, no! With us being on the fly at the end of summer & booking a week or two in advance, I had a hard time booking campgrounds for a 5-7 day spread in Colorado. 😦 We plan on returning to Colorado for several destinations areas, and Garden of the Gods was one of them. 🙂

  12. What a trip!!! I’ve been to some, but not all, of your places. I definitely need to add Canyon de Chelly to my list. What an incredible experience. Absolutely gorgeous pictures!

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