Monuments

U.S. Travel

JUST A COUPLE OF ROADIES … Part 1

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It’s such a simple pleasure and it was so taken for granted until March, 2020.  So when the very first “dine-in” meal was enjoyed on the first day of this 2020 Road Trip, all the joys of going somewhere to sit and enjoy food and company were appreciated that much more.  The thought of dining at a restaurant wasn’t even considered when we made the quick decision to visit national parks — but no question a welcome bonus.  As for accommodations, it was Marriott brands except for Jackson Hole.  Easy bookings, inexpensive, pristine.  But those hot breakfasts included?  No more.  Coffee and cereal, etc., were available.  By the way, when you ask for a refill at a restaurant, it’s a fresh glass — no more passed pitchers of water or ice tea.  New realities.

First stop was Henderson, NV, to visit LA transplants (about a year ago) and see their new home.  Lovely neighborhood, gorgeous home, and under four hours door to door which is great time considering it was the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.  The group was positively giddy sitting together (outside) at their nearby club with an expansive view of Las Vegas below.  Overall, a great start to the trip.

Lunch with the Sherman family, and that view ..

From there it was a lengthy haul to Salt Lake City for the first overnight.  I’m always surprised when a random search yields a terrific restaurant find, as was the case with Osteria Amore near the campus of the University of Utah “Utes.”  How a family from Palermo, Sicily, ends up in this region cooking delicious and authentic food is fascinating.  Between the language barrier and face masks, we never got the whole story but were happy finding the place.

 

RIP to the beloved coach of the Jazz, Jerry Sloan.

After a brief drive through downtown SLC, it was off to the next stop, Jackson Hole, WY, for night two.  We drove north to Idaho and then headed east/north up along the gorgeous Snake River.  I hadn’t driven in snow for some time so that was “fun.”  Credit the hubby for providing great entertainment along with the aid of modern technology:  His FiiO music device has 19,000 songs and was hooked up to my car’s Bluetooth.  Amazing.

Jackson Hole is a beautiful town year-round.  Dinner at Local Restaurant & Bar was simply delicious!  A walk around the town square and chatting up other travelers (from the proper distance) made for a splendid evening.

Beneath an arch of antlers with the ski slope in the background.

 

Cheers at Local Restaurant!

Day three was simply a marvel.  We enjoyed driving through both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, which are basically next to each other.  Most park facilities remain closed for now — no camping, dining, etc., but that didn’t affect us.  We came to see the gorgeous scenery, Old Faithful, and some of the wildlife which had just begun emerging after the long winter months.  Check, check, and check.  More to follow from our next stop in Sheridan, WY.

Catching a glimpse of a moose

 

Lots of bison grazing near the Yellowstone east entrance

 

A brown bear foraging near Old Faithful

To-Do ListU.S. Travel

ON THE ROAD AGAIN … MAY 2020

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When news that our great National Parks are reopening May 18 — at least the outdoor parts if not all the Visitor Centers — it took about a nanosecond for us to decide to go.  We’ve had this road trip on our radar for a while.  Given that the baseball trip in late July is not likely (Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit & Chicago), then why not get the hell out of dodge?!

As for any COVID-19 concerns, the states where we are traveling have had among the fewest reported cases.  In fact, the combined total for Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, the Dakotas and Montana is less than what we’ve had in Los Angeles.  So, off we go ..

Below is our proposed map.  We’re really doing this “on the fly,” meaning arrival dates uncertain save for the first night in Salt Lake City.  That’s roughly 10 hours of driving, a compromise for the hubby wanting to “push it,” and me less so.  But it is certainly do-able.  Next we go to Yellowstone, then Sheridan, WY, to see a lifelong friend (with her Trader Joe’s wish list in the trunk), then on to Mt. Rushmore.  Bismarck is added because the hubby said practically no one goes to North Dakota and since we’ll be so close, why not?  The route home is to be determined pending seeing another friend in Montana.  That’s the basic outline, subject to adding more.

This trip contains many firsts — at least four states, parks and monuments, plus whatever unexpected experiences happen along the way.  Seeing the USA is always a gift.  We’ll be back with lots of stories and photos soon.