What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

IMG_6595.jpgIf you've been reading the past few posts, you'll know. I'm sorry they ended abruptly as we crossed the Colorado River, but around that time, our energy for driving kind of hit a low ebb. Other than working towards my deadlines, I didn't feel able to blog, though we took lots of pictures. But, as you cn guess, we havea returned.

We got back from our journey on Sunday, August 26. We spent 24 days abroad, with five nights at my father-in-law's place in Fresno, two nights on a tugboat in Sausalito, two nights in a hotel in Pueblo, Colorado, two nights in Salt Lake City, two nights with friends in Batavia, Illinois, and nights with friends and family in Omaha. We also spent quicker stops on the road in such places as a Rodeside Inn somewhere in southwestern Utah, a Days Inn at Flagstaff, and the Winnemucca Inn and Casino in Nevada. We also saw a massive thunderstorm over the Hoover Dam in Boulder City.

We took lots of photographs, and Erin wrote about our great road trip on her website. The journey was also fodder for Kitchener Post columns here, here, here, and here. In total, we drove for around 10,000 kilometers, or one quarter of the circumference of the planet. We saw the landscape of our continent change multiple times, and we probably road on the longest segment of single roadway in my lifetime, as we took the I-80 back from Oakland all the way to Davenport, Iowa. We kayaked in the Sierra Nevadas, squinted into the smoke at the Grand Canyon, and were charmed by otters in teh Monterey Bay aquarium. We saw how thoroughly gentrified Cannery Row had become. We played the soundtrack of the musical The Book of Mormon as we left Salt Lake City.

I'm pretty sure the kids won't ever forget this trip. They both admired the scenery, but both expressed a prefereence for future such trips either not being as long, or not being in a Prius. Still, I have to say that I was impressed by how well my mother-in-law's Prius handled the transcontinental trip, ascending to 12,000 feet and getting up to 80 MPH without complaint. And we definitely saved on gas compared to, say, a Grand Caravan.

Erin will probably not talk about this aspect of our trip, but she and the kids were kind enough to give me a day in Salt Lake City to explore its transit network, adding it to the list of cities whose LRTs I've ridden on. Overall, I was impressed with the operation, which was reliable, clean, reasonably frequent, and gave the sense that it took people where it needed to go, and was well used. There is a section where they've clearly built transit ahead of planned development, and I laud them for planning ahead, even if it did remind me of the preamble of the famous crop-duster scene in the movie North by Northwest.

It's good to be back, and it's good to get back to work on my writing. But I'm glad we took this trip.

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