Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Home

I got home last night. We rolled into Union Bridge around 8PM, with Pat coming in with the spaz dog about five minutes later. After ten minutes of looking for my keys to the Camaro, I was finally able to start transferring two-and-a-half weeks of stuff from the RV to make the last fifty miles.

There's nearly 800 photos to go through from my phone and camera, plus the 800 or so that mom took. I also have a ton of postcards to put in albums.

After Cascade Locks, we went to Crater Lake, then the John Day Fossil Beds (Clarno and Sheep Rock units). We drove down to Crescent City and saw the Pacific Ocean, then drove through part of the Redwoods National Park and made a quick stop along the Rogue River. We decided not to drive as far south as Yosemite, but instead went to the Lassen Volcanic Monument, where we saw extremely active fumaroles.

As we crossed into Reno, the RV had developed a nasty vibration above 55mph. Thinking it was a lost wheel weight, we stopped at a Les Schwab Tire in Sparks (a suburb of Reno). Turned out that a chunk of tire was missing, so we replaced all four (they needed it anyway), and continued on to Lovelock for the night.

On the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, we saw the hangar where the Enola Gay "lived" before being deployed to the Philippines (and, from there, Japan), and despite Speed Week being cancelled, the salt was dry enough that day for me to venture out to take some photos.

After stopping outside of Salt Lake City for the night, we drove to Promontory to see Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, then stopped at the Golden Spike National Historic Site. Then, it was across backroads to Kemmerer, Wyoming for the ghost town of Sage and Fossil Butte, then on to Granger to see the pioneer cemetery and Oregon Trail/Pony Express station.

We stayed in Rawlins that night and went to the Frontier Prison in the morning. Fort Caspar, then Fort Laramie were next, and we got to Chimney Rock too later to get to the visitor center. Along the way, we stopped at a site to see some ruts cut into the limestone from thousands of carts making the trip from Missouri to Oregon along the Oregon Trail.

We spent a good deal of time in the Scottsbluff area, as we drove to the Agate Fossil Beds the next morning, then back to Gehring to see the actual Scott's Bluff National Monument. Later in the day, we stopped briefly in Gothenburg and Cozad to see original (but moved) Pony Express stations.

The last two days of the trip we didn't make many stops at all, since I needed to be home no later than Wednesday, and so we couldn't deviate much from I-80 if that was to happen. So, Monday morning, we made a stop at the Nebraska Museum of Natural History, which is housed at Morrill Hall on the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln. They have an incredible display of fossils there, most of which are from Nebraska.

Yesterday, we made two quick stops in Toledo, one at a fish market to get fresh walleye for Pat, and then the second at the Toledo Museum of Art (and the Glass Pavilion). After that, it was just seven hours home.

I'll work on posting the photos and fleshing out the "story" later. At some point, I need to look at my work email and start to come back to reality.

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