California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico
Widen Wedding San Francisco
As reported in part one, we traveled over 10,000 miles in the 6+ months we were on the road. We came back from the Pacific Northwest early in order to attend our daughter's wedding in San Francisco the first week of September. We had fine weather and a lovely gathering of family and friends to help us celebrate Jeremy and Loretta's union & celebrate we did!
Soon after the wedding we had another reason to celebrate, Brad's 52nd birthday! We decided to make a "Grand Tour" of the Gold Country saloons since we were camped on the American River in Coloma, Ca. We also attended Oktoberfest and the Weiner Dog Races in Placerville, silly fun indeed!
We said our goodbyes to folks in California and headed east through the Sierra Nevada mountains. We had decided to no longer traverse Hwy 5 south from Sacramento anymore as that road is so hard on our rig. For 2 years in a row we've sustained damage as a result of driving Hwy 5 resulting in travel delays and expensive repairs. Besides, we had missed seeing family in Utah for the past two years and were overdue. We stopped a couple of days to visit good friends in the Reno area and to see the world renowned National Automobile Museum. Displaying historic automobiles from the late 19th century and from throughout the 20th, most of the vehicles are from the collection of the late casino owner William F. Harrah.
[b]Salt Lake City, Utah
We were excited to see our family in the Salt Lake area and were able to catch up to almost everyone during our stay. We explored the city, enjoyed an energetic (strenuous) hike up Big Cottonwood Canyon with Brad's cousins. We were rewarded with spectacular views of the fall foliage and climbed to an elevation of around 8500 feet to alpine Lake Blanche. Always a pleasure, we look forward to seeing our Utah family more on our new route.
Having never been to the National parks of southern Utah (Brad hadn't been in over 30 years) we were both entranced by the beauty of Arches National Park, located a short drive from Moab. We had decided to concentrate our explorations in Arches and see as many of the formations as we could hike to. Many beautiful arches are accessible by car and a short walk and there are varying degrees of hiking trails. We scrambled up narrow paths and down sheer sandstone cliffs, no jokes it was at times anxiety ridden but we overcame and felt elated to have endured! We also drove the LaSal Loop around the mountains of Moab. Next visit we'll concentrate on another of the 5 national parks; Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Brice, Zionsville and Arches.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
As a final treat, our itinerary included traveling to New Mexico which took us briefly through southwestern Colorado. We were so glad it did as we came upon the mesa verde town of Pagosa Springs for overnight. As you see the springs run right through the quaint town and we hope to spend more time in the future.
Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
We finally made it to our favorite resort in New Mexico, Ojo Caliente a natural hot spring spa that is situated among red rock cliffs in the area of Taos. We treated ourselves to 3 days of soaking in the many different pools and pampering by the spa staff (massage for me!). We left feeling completely relaxed and ready to make the trek back to our winter home in Peoria, Az.
We wish you all a happy 2017, a year of further exploration and friendly times! Cheers and safe travels!