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Topic: Land Travel

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From the Mountains to the Prairies to the Ocean
Posted by Tina on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 02:46 AM
(794 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes " Our last summer trip took us out west and on July 12th after a 2 hour delay in Atlanta due to summer storms we arrived in Denver late in the evening. We spent our first weekend with Dave and Lori and cutie Jack. Saturday afternoon we attended the Irish Festival in Littleton - just love Celtic music - and dined out later in the evening. Nancy joined us for Sunday brunch the next morning but could not join us for our visit up to South Dakota.
Hot Springs, South Dakota is about 350 miles from Denver and much of that distance is prairie. There are prairie dogs and pronghorn antelope to capture your attention here and there but the scenery cannot compete with mountain roads. On the way back to Denver we stayed off of interstate and found the road sides more interesting....
In the Hot Springs location of the Black Hills we visited the Mammoth Site which is an indoor dig site that has produced over 60 mammoths since the
1970's . We also visited Wind Cave National Park and traveled one and a half miles underground in the 4th largest cave in the world! The next 2 nights we stayed in Hill City, South Dakota and we traveled throughout Custer State Park and had up close encounters with literally hundreds of bisons as well as wild burros. These burros will poke their head in your open car window to receive treats if you are offering! We just petted them as we walked among these lovable animals! We traveled through the Needles Mountains and I got to travel through several tunnels that would only allow one vehicle to pass through at a time. Honk before you enter was the name of the game!
Our visit to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial completed our sightseeing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When you first arrive the president's heads seemed smaller than what you imagined ,however as you walk the Presidential Trail and get much closer the enormity of these magnificent sculptures is evident!
We headed south back into Wyoming, stopping at Ft. Laramie National Historic Site and drove where pioneers traveled on the Oregon Trail. We stayed 3 nights in Estes Park, Colorado and hiked some new trails in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Dave and Lori joined us and we wrapped up our hiking with a lovely dinner at the historic Stanley Hotel where the TV version of the "Shining" was filmed.
Our visit to Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota was wonderful in many ways. Our travels took us to such varied landscapes and historical places. We met
many very interesting fellow travelers as well as westerners. And best of all we visited with Dave and Lori...."

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South Tahoe- A Winter Wonderland
Posted by Tina on Saturday, January 09, 2010 - 01:40 AM
(447 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes " We began our trip heading to Sarasota to pick up Dave and Lori. Lori and her mom Edna served a delicious Christmas meal when we arrived and afterwards we enjoyed a nice visit at her parents lovely home which is situated in a quiet area with plenty of trees and nature. My kind of place! We still had about 50 or so miles to the Tampa Airport - hoping for no traffic issues- and to our delight everything went well.
Flying on Christmas Day you would think would be quiet but surprisingly the US Airways flights we booked were full in Tampa and Phoenix! We stayed at a very nice Best Western by the airport in Reno and on Dec. 26th we shuttled by bus to South Lake at Stateline, Nevada. Our condo on Kingbury Grade was about 5 miles from the casinos and Lake Tahoe. The location on Quaking Aspen Rd. was just over a thousand feet above the lake ( elevation at Lake Tahoe is 6500ft.)and provided a scenic view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Carson Valley. Every morning at sunrise I would open my eyes and feast on the glorious beauty of the distant mountains as well as the majestic pines that stood beyond our balcony. Each day it flurried -one morning the pines were like a picture post card - dusted with snow like a sugar coated donut.
Dan literally skiied the entire Heavenly Mountain- his skill level is a high level blue.
Dave has advanced as well and is now skiing blue runs. Lori ,unlike me in Beckenridge, hung in there and made it through the difficult fist timer skiing experience. After the 3 days of skiing was completed we then took the Gondola at Heavenly Village up to the Adventure Park and snowtubed. The next day we headed to the Humboldt- Toyaibe National Forest and snowmobiled through the beautiful snowy countryside.
Lori taught me how to play Craps and we had fun winning( some of the time) both in the Tahoe casinos and the beautiful Peppermill Casino in Reno. We had perfect weather during our trip and no travel issues. However, since we have been back home we have had 2 nights below 35 degrees and in the next 3 nights we are expecting 2 nights at 31 degrees. Looks like I brought home some of that winter wonderland- all except the snow!!!"

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Another Portland- Maine!
Posted by Tina on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 02:47 AM
(424 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes " Just 10 days before heading back to school we began our next adventure - north to Maine! Daniel had visited us for a few days and drove us to the airport before heading back to Orlando . Flying again to Portland ( like last fall when we went to New Hampshire) we again rested up near the airport and took off in our rental car the next morning !
Though New England had mostly a cool rainy summer our visit was filled with sunny skies and 75-80 degree weather. So what did we do? We climbed the tiny 50 foot tall Pemaquid Lighthouse. Exploring many rocky beaches we found several colorful stones. Seafood and blueberry desserts were the mainstay of our diet. The splendor of Acadia National Park was everything we hoped and more! We walked around the West Quoddy Lighthouse as the fog rolled in and got to hear those somewhat eerie foghorns calling out to distant boats. In Houlton, Maine we ate in a historic bank now called The Vault Restaurant and at Hopewell Rocks we watched a 35 foot tidal range in 5 hours.
We tried blueberry wine in New Brunswick Canada and enjoyed Tim Horton's donuts in northern Maine. The drive through Baxter State Park did not reveal those elusive moose I still have not seen in New England! Our final day in Maine carried us into New Hampshire for a few miles - would have loved to visit our cabin we stayed in last fall! After our week in Maine my dear husband and I have no doubts that Maine is a great place to visit but many of the roads need repair. Could those Maine winters be at fault?

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Oregon Memories
Posted by Tina on Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:32 AM
(369 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes "
Oregon Memories

Soaring snow-topped mountains
Calming cascading streams
Chirping birds and chipmunks delight!

Willowy waterfalls
Fragrant flowery plants
Hidden hillside delights!

Streaming sunlit rays
Forest fragrance pervades
Mountain meadows so bright!

Rocky rivers give way
Wild waves pound away
Sensational sunsets to stay
in Memories I cannot forget...... What delights!"

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The Wilds of Wyoming and Montana
Posted by Tina on Monday, July 07, 2008 - 08:12 PM
(445 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes "Yes, my brother Bob was right . Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are UNBELIEVABLE!! Each time Gene and I have traveled out west- California, Washington State, Colorado, Utah... he politely mentioned that we still had not seen the "Best of the West". So we finally flew out in June to Sheridan, Wyoming and began our journey.... our original plan was to spend one night in Red Lodge, Montana and then travel on the much acclaimed Bear Tooth Highway to Yellowstone. An unexpected snowfall stopped all movement in and out of the park. Sylvan and Dunraven Passes in Yellowstone became unpassable due to all the accumulation of snow on these high elevations. So we stayed at the historic Pollard Hotel in Red Lodge a second night- which to say the least was a definite delight. The hotel was beautifuuly renovated and was wonderfully cheery and cozy. I can still envision the apple crisp with the tequilla blueberry ice cream for dessert... We spend the next day exploring the nearby Absarokee Mountains- the spectacular views made us wonder how could the Tetons surpass their majestic beauty. We discovered later that day the Bear Tooth Highway would be closed for several more days due to an avalanche the end of May that had taken out large sections of guardrails . Hmmm this place is definitely Wild!!
On June 13th the passes opened for all vehicles( no snow tires needed)and we were able to head to Yellowstone and spend 2 nights at the Old Faithful Inn as planned. We saw two young moose within 2 miles inside park boundaries and over the next 6 days we were not disappointed. Bison were everywhere with female elk and mule deer next in frequency. The pronghorn ( look like antelope) were often seen in the valleys were sagebrush dominates. Later in the trip we saw coyote, grey wolf, black bear, and finally a grizzley! At Tower Falls we saw Bighorn Mountain Sheep with babies- no male rams in sight. Many of these male mammals just take off for the summer and let the moms do all the work of raising the young! We later saw a beautiful Bighorn Ram feeding in a grassey field by himself and thought about those baby sheep standing on ledges over 250 feet up!!
We stayed in a historic room #46 in Old Faithful Inn - known as the honeyroom room- and even could watch Old Faithful Geyser from the windows in our room! All the thermal activity in Yellowstone is very interesting and HOT - 204 degrees plus!!
After leaving the cauldera (Yellowstone's underground volcano) we made our way to the Grand Tetons. These 11,000 plus mountains do not have any foothills and literally just rise up out of the Earth and literally cast a spell. You just keep looking at them and wonder if the view of these magnificent mountains is real. We stayed at Siignal Mountain Lodge located on Jackson Lake three nights and thoroughly enjoyed the cozy accomodations and delicious food!
The last leg of our trip included a half mile hike up to Hidden Falls, a float trip on the Snake River, a day trip to Jackson Hole, and a very interesting visit to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Yes, I can say without a doubt that Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are the Best of the West! There is so much more than what I have written here but I have to leave a few surprises .....

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