4 x the Fun September 2016

Our trip started with the arrival of Sally and Helen in Yakima on September 2. The girls drove in from Tillamook in the afternoon and we spent time preparing for our three week adventure. We left Yakima on the 3rd and drove to Boise to pick up Vicki as she was the missing link to the trip. All was well until we decided to stop in Baker City and visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The car misled us and yes before we even left Oregon we managed to get lost. We did however find the center and really enjoyed the exhibits; it's an amazing experience. Then came the real problem. We followed the gps in the car even though we thought it was odd. When we saw the signs to the Snake River Scenic Byway, we did some backtracking and finally got to the I-84. We all had a good laugh and that was a really good sign. We arrived in Boise to great food, music, Lola and the Kerr's. We enjoyed the warmth of their beautiful home and left for Ely, Nevada. It was the official start of a three week road trip.

Ely, Nevada - Renaissance Village
The "good old days"

After arriving in Ely the girls walked down to an old cemetery and enjoyed the historical headstones. We had dinner at "The Rack" brew pub. This old town was fun to explore, though even with a map it was hard to find correct addresses. We were looking for an advertised Renaissance Village and we eventually found it. It was well worth the find. It was closed for the day but that was a plus too, as we had the place to ourselves. It was the highlight of Ely.

Cliffrose at Springdale, Utah -- Zion National Park
The resident buck

The Cliffrose was a wonderful place to stay. Location, location, location! We could take a path along the river to the entrance to Zion National Park. The bad news? It was hotter than hell and we had a faulty air conditioner. The good news? We got a huge discount on our stay!

We left early the next morning to hike to the bottom of Bryce Canyon. It is the third time I've hiked this trail and each time it's more thrilling.

Bryce Canyon: notice there are no photos of Sal. She got to the starting point and took off like a rabbit, leaving the tortoises far behind. This was my favorite hike of the trip . Helen stayed back with me to make sure I made it out. It was thrilling.
If you ever want to stay in an old lodge, El Tovar in the Grand Canyon is a must. We stayed in a suite and had our meals in the dining room. We loved the bus system. We were able to get on and off as often as we wanted and the buses came along about every ten minutes. The small trails to the lookouts were great most of the time. There was only one where Vicki freaked out with the drop offs. It was very relaxing and the ice cream shop was a daily stop.

Next stop was Surprise, AZ, our last stop before the trek into Mexico. We had a beautiful drive through the desert, filled the tank and headed for the border. Our crossing was uneventful and we soon were at the Mayan Palace in Puerto PeƱasco.

At last we were somewhere we could unpack for a week! Yahoo. We played cards, had before-breakfast walks, wonderful two-hour breakfasts, headed to the pool to watch the ocean, played more cards and enjoyed the festive drinks!

A week later we left the resort and enjoyed a beautiful drive to Tucson.

Donkeys being assisted with their crossing by the DEA! What a sight to see.
A few of our discoveries at the Botanical Gardens in Tucson. We enjoyed meandering throughout the gardens for hours until we had to get out of the sun and heat. We Stayed at the Arizona Inn in the middle of town close to the University. It was absolutely wonderful. Every day at the pool lounge we had free sundaes and sat and played cards. Heaven!

We left after two days driving through the hills and wonderful rock formations and visited Globe, an ore mining community. We stopped and stretched along the roadway. Alongside the roadway we found gourds growing. I brought two along for the ride. We arrived in Winslow and checked into La Posada, an historic inn from the thirties. I could have stayed for several days but was thankful for the one night we had.

La Pasada

Left the next morning for Moab. Along the way we had beautiful views of four different Indian reservations. The landscapes were amazing.

Front porch of the Cow Canyon Trading Post. Rob and I have been going there for 25 years. It is a very authentic post in an old adobe hacienda. We arrived in Moab and checked into our hotel and headed out for our first hike.
Delicate Arch
Devil's Garden hike.

The weather was great for hiking and perfect for photographing. In town we enjoyed lots of laughs at our dinners. When ordering a beer Vicki asked the waitress if she needed to see her ID. I don't know who laughed more, the waitress, Helen, Sally, or me! A storm was approaching so we decided to leave a day early. We arrived in Boise and stayed the night at Vicki's. We made our way to Yakima the next day and Sally and Helen spent the last night at our house. We washed and detailed our road-weary but trusty ride, then enjoyed a great dinner. The girls left the next morning to return to their beautiful home in Bay City.

I will always remember this amazing trip of four cousins / two sets of sisters-in-law. Thanks for the memories.

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