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Friday, July 1, 2011

Around the Country in 19 Days

Well---we did it!!!!!   We just returned from the best trip I have ever taken in my entire life... We spent almost 3 weeks driving our wonderful Toyota Prius (which incidentally got about 53 MPG) across the country and back.  We put 5,414 miles on "Mrs. P",   drove through 13 different states PLUS Tennessee coming and going,  and managed to stop and visit gorgeous places ALL along the way.

We basically followed I-40 on the way out and I-70 on the way home (with several  exceptions along the way).  We had wonderful weather (rained only once for part of the day),  no construction or tie-ups on the roads,  and we paced ourselves so that we had enough time to see as much as we could.  We had temperatures above 100 degrees at times ---and temperatures in the 30's (with snow flurries) at other times... That made things interesting --as you can imagine!!!

Even though we saw some waterfalls along the way,  this was mostly a photographers' dream trip... I've never seen so much BEAUTY in my life. Believe it or not, George and I EACH took about 2500 pictures!!! (Thank God for digital photography these days!!!! ha)...  I think we will have blog posts for the next several years!!!!!

It's hard to know where to start ---and we are both still trying to get things organized, in addition to 'jumping' back into life here at home...  SO----I just picked out some pictures for you to see today.... Hopefully,  this first set will just be a sample of things to come.  Sit back and enjoy!!!!!





PAINTED DESERT





Our first view of the GRAND CANYON was breath-taking.  We started on the 'eastern' end --so that we could get a good picture of the Colorado River below.






This one was taken from ZION NATIONAL PARK.  There were huge boulders on both sides of the road --as we took the shuttle bus from place to place.








Since CEDAR BREAKS is at an elevation of about 10,400 feet,  we loved seeing the left-over winter snow while there.  I loved seeing the snow in this picture above.






BRYCE CANYON is one place which needs to be seen in person.  The 'hoodoos' are AWESOME.   They look like lots and lots of people standing side by side.  Bryce was definitely our favorite place on this entire trip.  We were there twice during this trip--and want to go back again and again.





What I liked most about the ARCHES NATIONAL PARK was all of the strange looking rock formations.  The picture above shows some of the "Parade of the Elephants"... Can you see the elephants in the middle and on the right????




At the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK in Colorado,  we felt like we were in Switzerland.  At an elevation of 12,183 feet,  we saw LOTS and LOTS of snow ---even though the temperature was in the 50's on the mountain when we were there. This place was awesome ---and our 2nd favorite place (after Bryce).

Glad to be home.. We have missed you!!! Hope your June was a great one also!  Happy 4th of July Weekend!!!!! 

Hugs,

97 comments:

Ms. A said...

OH.MY.GOODNESS! These photos are amazing! Glad to have you back and can't wait to find out more about the trip.

Twilight Man said...

Welcome back Betsy and George! The canyon's photos are very good and brought back so much happy memories since my visit in 1992. The canyons still looked pretty the same, of course!
13 states and 5,414 miles is incredible! No wonder you both enjoyed this as the best trip in your lives.
From your display of 15 travel books, I have only visited Illinois, Nevada and Arizona.

Sandra said...

you are truly blessed to have taken this mind boggling trip. we watched the movie Geronmio last night and it looks like Bryce Canyon so i am wondering if they filmed it there. these are wonderful and to magnificent for words. there is nothing like God's Creation.

Out on the prairie said...

You have been missed! What a lovely time, you really packed in the scenery while gone.Utah is a state i would like to explore more.I am headed out today for a week of trout fishing.

rharper said...

I left a comment on George's blog but it went all kafooey or something. Anyway, I mentioned to him that I was in Bryce Canyon one day either before or after you were. Can't remember. I had stayed in Panguitch coming home about noon in order to go there and take some photos. What an incredible place. I'd been there before a few times but never with a camera. This country (USA) is just magnificent with all of it's diverse scenery.

Darla said...

Your header photo is very impressive!! Welcome home, it appears that you had a big time and I can't wait to see more of your beautiful photos!! And snow, how cool.

rharper said...

Oh! And you know what the best part of a trip like that is?

Getting in all those national parks free with a neat little 62 and over card.

There's perks to getting old! :)

Mamma has spoken said...

Welcome Back! Those are some wonderful pictures!

Snap said...

Welcome home! I love this first set of images from your trip. There is nothing like *Indian* country (where I grew up). The majesty and color!

Big Dude said...

Sounds like you had a magnificent trip and I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing about it. I was over your way yesterday and wondered if you were back yet as I passed the Fairfield Glade exit.

Larry said...

It's been many years since we made a similar trip but the good memories live on! Larry

Neal said...

All are very beautiful but I'll always prefer the mountains. I've been to Rocky Mountain National Park many times but always get excited when going back. Hopefully, the one way road will be open when we are there.

Janice K said...

I am amazed you could narrow it down to just a few of 2500 pictures.

On our trip last fall Bryce Canyon was the place my husband was most surprised with. I had been there before, but he was so amazed. Look forward to seeing more of your pictures, and I really need to sort through some of mine from last fall and get them posted. I took lots of pictures too and it seemed so overwhelming to narrow it down to just a few.

Glad your back safe and sound...Janice

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Seeing all this beauty makes me want to travel.I am so glad you had a safe and fun time.What a variety of scenes you saw!Looking forward to seeing many more pictures in the days to come.

Harriet said...

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pictures. Glad you had a wonderful trip.

Catherine said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound! What a terrific trip you had!
Happy Weekend!
xo Catherine

Linda said...

We missed you, too, Betsy. Glad you're back. These photos are beautiful and really whet my appetite for photos of the rest of the trip.

linda m said...

Welcome back, we missed you. What a wonderful trip. Can't wait to see more of your photos.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow--those are amazing shots. What a marvelous trip you two took and thank goodness you are both camera ready. Most people take in one or two of the parks and you did them all. What a great way to celebrate your marriage. When it gets cooler, I may do some traveling also. There is so much of this country that NEEDS to be seen.
Thank you.

LV said...

So glad you were able to take this once in a lifetime trip. Thankful it all went well. Missed you and glad you are home. All the sights today were breathtaking.

texwisgirl said...

those are so beautiful! glad you're back safe and sound and had a fantastic trip.

Diane AZ said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you and George had such a great time. Your pictures are beautiful. I love the "Parade of the Elephants" at Arches and snow at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Dorothy said...

Wonderful pictures, Betsy!!! These bring back memories of our trip out west. We missed Bryce and want to go back to see it and other places we missed. Happy for you getting to make that trip! Wish our Chrysler Sto n Go got that kind of MPG!

Tricia ♥Barn Charmer♥ said...

53 mpg? Isn't a Prius a plug-in car? I'll have to look-up that one! LoL!

Now, that's a wide range in temps... Awesome, tho! =)

Never been to the Painted Desert, passed thru the Grand Canyon at night, so we didn't see the beauty, but what a view at 10,400 ft at Cedar Breaks... beautiful! =)

Bryce was really your fav? That's so cool. I've never been there, but I've sure heard about it! =)

I've been out west & thru the Rockies & I always LOVED it there... I'm in love w/ the Grand Tetons! I remember when I went there w/ my grandparent's in July 1984... there was snow on the ground & we were walking around comfortably in shorts & short sleeves & I couldn't help taking a pic of a guy walking over a bridge w/ snow & ice in the background, I just thought that was sooo funny & amazing! LoL!

Glad ya'll had such a wonderful time & THANK GOD you had a safe trip! =)))

Happyone : ) said...

Fabulous photos. That is a wonderful trip. I've taken one like it back in the 90's.
Glad you had such a great time.
Welcome back!!

Daisy said...

Fantastic pictures, Betsy! 2500 each! haha! You two were really clicking away weren't you. :D Glad to hear you had such a nice trip and that you are safely back home again. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Happy 4th of July weekend to you!

Lynda said...

We have missed you, too - - - a LOT! BEAUTIFUL pictures. Question - - when you were at the elevation of 12,00 feet - - - could you tell the difference in the air - - or that it was more difficult to breathe? If so, please comment on it when you post more of those pictures - - - because I know you have more pics of the area than just the one!! Thanks and welcome home!!!

The Incredible Woody said...

I am so excited to hear ALL about this trip!!

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

What a wonderfully gorgeous country we have...
So glad you're back safe and sound!!!
That eagle photo on your header took my breath away...
Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy some rest!!! Having fun is exhausting!

CottonLady said...

LOVE your header, Betsy! Glad you're home and had a great trip. I look forward to seeing all your pictures.
Have a great 4th of July.

Blessings!
CottonLady

imac said...

Look forward to seeing all Betsy.

Drive - Hope you were not too tired, after all that traveling.

Retired English Teacher said...

Welcome back! I've missed you. Your photos are awesome. I can hardly wait to hear more details and see more photos.

Peggy said...

Welcome home!!! The sample photos are breathtaking! I cannot wait to see all the photos and read about your perfect trip. I am still hoping you will do a book of photos one day. I would be the first in line to purchase!!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Betsy, glad to see you and George made it back safe and sound. We've missed you. I know you had a fabulous time and I can't wait to see all your photos. I can't wait until we go again in September! We will try to see a little more of Utah than we did last time. I want to drive down to Sedona, AZ too. There's so much to see and it will be fun to see the sights through your lens! Have a great weekend!

Ginny said...

Welcome back!!!! Your eagle is amazing!! I can't wait to read how you climbed that huge tree and got it's picture without an angry attack!!! Or maybe you made George do it! Har har har!!! Your blog is so festive looking today. I still can't remember why they make so much more of a big deal out of The Grand Canyon when Bryce is so much prettier! But I think my fav would be the Painted Desert!!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Fantastic photos, Betsy. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip, and glad that you are home again, safely.

I look forward to more, more, more photos and stories about the places you visited.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Fantastic photos, Betsy! I'm so glad you had a great time, and happy that you are home again, safely. I look forward to more, more, more photos and stories about the places you visited.

Glenda said...

Amazing beauty - and photography!! Reminds me of the song "America the Beautiful"! I'm glad you were blessed with a safe and wonderful trip! But home does look good, doesn't it?!

Jane said...

Breathtaking shots!

Jane

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

When people tell me they want to travel to Europe etc I always ask them what traveling they have done in their own country of the USA! Most say none. They are so missing out!!
Glad you had a wonderful and safe trip :) Gorgeous pics!
xo, misha

Pedaling said...

I've been to all those places.
It is pretty amazing, the different beauty from coast to coast and everything in between.
Isn't that red rock just something spectacular.
I would LOVE to take you to Lake Powell....you would die---it is unbelievably beautiful....like no other place on earth.
Glad you are home safe and sound and that things went so well.
Looking forward to your posts for the next few years of all those pics.

Loran said...

You were in my neighborhood and didn't stop by? What a fabulous trip! Isn't Utah amazing? And Colorado, and the Grand Canyon....so glad you got to see it all.

Karin said...

You do know how the Grand Canyon was formed? Someone miser dropped a nickel down a gopher hole and dug hard to retrieve it! That's what I was told when I was young!

So glad you're back safe and sound! You've been missed! What fabulous photos you have. Hubby and I have been at each of these places and the memories returned quite vividly! Glad you had a wonderful time!

Looking forward to the rest of your travelogue! We've visited 9 of those States you show in the first pic - in all I think our count of States visited is 28.

Have a fun week-end!

mudderbear said...

Hi Betsy...glad you're back safe and sound. The pictures are very promising indeed. But, Betsy, you posted this at 4:00 A M??!!!! You must really be excited still!!! Have a wonderful Fourth of July..love the new header and colors.
Rosalie

Chatty Crone said...

Well those were some gorgeous scenery and I see God's hand painting them - such a nice nice trip!

Pam said...

The beauty of the canyon is breathtaking. I forgot just how gorgeous it was with all the layers of different colors and rock formations.
Fantastic photos, Betsy.

You two must have had a wonderful time exploring the west.
Hugs,
Pam

Shug said...

I certainly have missed you lady...so glad you all made it home safe and so glad you had such a wonderful time...
I knew you would bring back lots of pictures for us all to enjoy...Can't wait!
Have a fabulous 4th weekend.
shug

Lola said...

Welcome home. From the pics you all had a wonderful time & saw lots of really nice places.
Missed you too.

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

What an amazing trip! It's one I'd love to take some day. I can't even imagine editing 2500 photos, though! Looking forward to reading all about all of it!

Janie said...

Wow, Betsy, you had a fantastic trip of a lifetime! Love all the photos. I'm glad you and George had lots of fun and returned home safely.
Happy 4th!

Ann said...

Welcome back. What a fabulous trip you had with so many awesome sights. Your pictures are gorgeous.

amelia said...

So nice to have you back!!

Stunning pictures but no less than what would be expected of two keen photographers!! You have seen places most of us will never see in a lifetime. Such beauty!!!! I love them all but I'm thinking the Painted Desert is my favourite!

Susie Swanson said...

If these are examples of what's to come I can't wait.So glad to have you back. Happy 4th..Susie

SquirrelQueen said...

Welcome Home!
Looks like you two had a busy but very exciting three weeks. Love the photos especially the Rockies.

Have a great 4TH!

Beth said...

Welcome back! Your photos are beautiful and I'm looking forward to more.
I've never been to any of those places--would love to see the Grand Canyon esp.
Glad the trip went well esp. considering all that happened before you left. I'm also glad you're back safe and sound. :)

Diane said...

Great shots Betsy. I think the hoodoos look eerie, too, and I like the parade of the elephants. You were only a state away from me there. Diane

Mr Lonely said...

first time visits.. =D

Small City Scenes said...

Welcome back travellers!!! Betsy, I was just going to check your blog to see if you all were home and lo and behold you had a comment on my blog. Thanks so much. Wow you guys really covered the country. I am so glad it was a fun fun trip. So recoup and recover and show us your fab pictures. MB

BTW: Happy anniversary. MB

Cicero Sings said...

Glad you had such a great trip and am glad you are home safely. D thought Bryce Canyon was pretty spectacular. I have never seen it.

Stephanie Suzanne ~ Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hi Betsy,

Welcome home!

Your photos are just fabulous. I look forward to seeing all the hundreds of photos you and George have.

Happy 4th,
Stephanie ♥

Mildred said...

Welcome back Betsy. I enjoyed your pretty photos and look forward to learning more about your trip. So glad that the weather was clear - the sky is gorgeous. Happy 4th.

Linda P said...

Welcome back! You are taking me to awesome new places and look forward to more very soon.

Sarah Knight said...

Wow! Those are some spectacular sites! Lovely shots!

eileeninmd said...

Welcome back Betsy and George. It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation and went to some beautiful places. Bryce is one of my favorite parks too. I've never been to Colorado, your photo look gorgeous. Awesome photos.

*Honest Abe said...

Beautiful trip photos.

Ann said...

wonderful that you and George are able to travel and enjoy your 19 days.

Next time you travel 19 months round the world and come to New Zealand.

The painted desert looks like the red continent Australia.

From the Kitchen said...

Here you are!! Can't wait to see all the places you were!! Welcome back! You've been missed but glad you and George had such a grand time.

Best,
Bonnie

Fred Alton said...

I'm so glad to read that you are home safe and that you've had a good trip! May the Lord's Blessings be on you as you rest up a bit. These pictures reminded me of the song, "God Bless America"!

Rose said...

You can say you saw the elephant! I do see them, but the second from the right also looks like a camel when it is resting....

Oh, my, Betsy, what a wonderful trip that has been. I really am looking forward to all your pictures...guess I need to go see if George has posted any...we just have so much beauty.

Valerie said...

So excited for you! I loved the driving trip from Buffalo NY to Yellowstone in Wyoming with my parents back in the 80's. I have been wishing to take my kids - but the summers always just get away from us.

I am so looking forward to both you and George - posting (for the next several years LOL) God surely has blessed us with a beautiful country.

Looking at your Grand Canyon shots - reminds me of the Ferde Grofe "Grand Canyon Suite" It is an orchestra suite of 5 movements. The second movement is call the Painted Desert. The Third (my favorite) is on the trail - complete with donkey clip clops. You might enjoy listening to it as you sort and edit your photos.

Glad you are back safe and sound - and God has blessed you with so many wonderful moments to treasure!!

*The Old Geezer said...

What a memorable trip that was!! Your photos are fantastic!

I hope you and George have a great 4th of July

~Ron

JDS said...

Sounds like a spectacular trip, and I'm glad you are blogging again! I can't wait to see more pictures. Isn't it amazing how different the land is out West?

Barbara said...

Amazing trip my friend, I know you are happy to be home and in your own bed, I do love traveling also, but always so good to come home, we too were amazed at snow in the Rockies in August even, lol great places of beauty, and I know you have made memories for a lifetime, hugs and glad you are back safe, Barbara

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Welcome home! I'm so happy that you and George had a wonderful sightseeing trip atound the west, Betsy! I love it out there and hope to see so much more of it in the future. I have heard only wonderful things about Bryce Canyon from evereyone who has been there so it is high up on our list of places we hope to visit soon!

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

What a wonderfully amazing trip! A trip of a lifetime. Your photos are amazing. So glad you guys had a wonderful trip.

mint said...

This is so cool..I can take a trip & never leave the farm :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

So happy you both had such a lovely trip...these photos are just gorgeous. Postcards!!!!!
Enjoy your weekend...rest up.
xo

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

WOW, I enjoy seeing your beautiful pics!!! Thanks

Kirigalpoththa said...

Fantastic photos! Wow! I know the size of states in US. So it is like doing 13 countries in 19 days. Waiting for more :)

carolina nana said...

What beautiful photos of some beautiful places. I want to do that one of these days.
Glad you had good weather.
Happy 4th of July,stay safe.
Marilyn

Kirigalpoththa said...

5414 miles! You could have done 8 trips around my small country :D.
I love Toyota Prius too.

Tammie Lee said...

It sounds as though you had a wonderful trip and your photos show it beautifully. I am so happy for you.

I want that kind of gas mileage! wow.

Lady Di Tn said...

Glad your back safe and sound and so very happy with the trip. So far all the photos are great and thanks for sharing them with us. Peace

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Oh, wow! We just got back from a similar adventure--taking nearly the same route, but in the opposite directions! Bryce Canyon was my favorite of all. Looking forward to seeing all the rest of the photos to come! It is wonderful that you and George were able to experience this together!!!

Terry and Linda said...

Love your header, Betsy! You did a really good job capturing the west in your photos...we are a land of canyons that is for certain and sure.

Have a wonderful 4th!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Lana said...

Now I LOVE Colorado, but I think Utah impresses me as the state with the most different eco-systems. Brice and Zion are such beautiful parks, fairly close together, but WORLDS apart in their majesty. Then there is Arches and its magical rocks. SO glad you have a great time! Can't wait to see more.

Nance said...

Welcome back, Betsy and George! I've never been to any of these places, and so happy to see these magnificent pictures!
Happy 4th!

Lisa RedWillow said...

What an amazing trip you both had. Welcome back.
I love each photo. Just beautiful.
Happy 4th of July

Lisa RedWillow said...

Betsy your header is stunning.
Hugs

Kelly said...

Welcome back, girl! This is something I'd like to do one of these days, but I might have to do it in bits and pieces! Can't wait to see all the photos...
hugs, k

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Welcome home! I've missed your blog posts AND the comments that you leave on my blog! What a glorious taste of your vacation you have provided us in the pictures that you posted in today's blog! I hope one day that Bob and I can make a trip out west.

By the way, remember I mentioned Bob was motorcycling to the Ozarks later this year. I said I would be staying home. Well, plans have changed. I am going to! Bob will ride the motorcycle, and I will follow in the car. Once in the Ozarks we will ride two up, as we explore the countryside.

Loren said...

Welcome Home Betsy! I am soo glad to see your post :) These pics are just gorgeous and i can only imagine what it to come !! The Lord blessed you with such an amazing adventure and HIS protection too! Look forward to hearing and seeing all about it :0)

Love and Hugs!

Tabor said...

Glad you kept me up to date on your crazy adventures. This looks like a trip you will always look back on in amazement. I am familiar with much of that area having grown up there and also having visited. Only 2500 photos? Were you sleeping?

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

oh my gosh, those are absolutely amazing photos! love them all!

i really enjoyed looking at them!
so beautiful landscapes!

what a memorable trip you both had, dear Betsy!!

big hugs
betty xx

Becca's Dirt said...

Breathtaking Betsy. The pictures are awesome.

The Retired One said...

OMG...such beauty! You took my dream trip and if I ever get to see 1/10th of what you got to see I will be a happy woman! Can't wait to see all of your gorgeous photos....and glad you are back home safe and sound.

DeniseinVA said...

I thoroughly enjoyed these Betsy. It was great to see all the places we have just visited. Thank you so much for sending me the link. Love, Denise :)