Our family is taking a road trip! I took this trip with my grandparents when I was just a bit younger than A and Z are now.
Even though I expect they are going to hate the long hours on the road, I think the girls are going to be awed by the canyon. I can’t wait to see their faces at the first mountain view on the horizon. I can’t wait to hear their sigh’s, exclamations, and laughs. I hope they take many amazing memories of the trip.
Travel dates and locations through JULY.
16- depart Dallas around 6:00 pm
17- Start the day in Tucumcari and Captulin Volcano then into Denver and maybe on to Cheyenne time permitting. Night in or near Denver/Cheyenne.
18-Should be in Jackson Hole and the foot of the Grand Tetons (GT) by the end of this day.
22- Flat head lake
23- We will head into Glacier National Park (GNP) staying at the Glacier Park Lodge.
24- GNP Camping/Hiking
25- GNP Camping/Hiking
26- GNP Lake McDonald Cabin
27- GNP Canada side
28-GNP Canada side
29- GNP Lake McDonald cabin
30- Return Trip
31- Return Trip
July 17, 2004
We left Dallas by 7:30 last night. By my estimates, we reached the NM border in just over nine hours. I drove until about 1:30 this morning and then turned over the driving in Lubbock.
4:30 am – NM border.
We stopped at the visitor center and were treated to the coldest steel seat on the planet. Instead of taking 40 all the way in to Tucumcari, We took a more direct route toward Captulin.
Our first “gliche” happened when we stopped for gas but no one actually put gas into the car. A miss communication about whose turn it was I guess. We held our breath Praying not to run out of gas as we passed one small town after another. Most with old gas stations no longer in use as indicated by the sideways sign advertising .34 cents a gallon. I think we were really on our last fumes and last prayers as we approached the town of Roy. It was perfect as the town appeared on the horizon just as the sun was rising. It was such a small town I was sure it wouldn’t have a station and if it did I figured it wouldn’t even be open yet since it was barely six am. Fortunately, I was wrong on both counts. It did have one with a single pump and a station saying it was open Mon., Wed., and Fri. Luckily for Roy citizens and us, it was pay at the pump.
The morning was cold and only stayed that way. From Roy, I took us down another small highway, Hwy 193 cutting across to reach the road to the volcano. This was a find. We were rewarded when pavement gave way to 20 miles of gravel and single lane dirt road that snaked through several good sized ranches. Somewhere along the way, we changed time zones so when we reached the volcano at 10:00 am our time it was really 9:00 am.
9:00 to 10:30 – Hiked the volcano. Cold and grey the entire time. We explored the mile and a half of the rim and trekked into the cavity.
10:30 to 11:00 I slept the 20 miles to Raton NM were we stopped for breakfast at a very crowded Denny’s.
12:00 – 1:00 – I slept again the next 45 miles to Colorado Springs, We got gas there. I took over as navigator and Melissa drove us through CO and into Cheyenne. We made that leg faster than expected arriving before 5:00.
Tomorrow, the TETONS.
July 18, 2004 – Sunday
We picked a Best Western in Cheyenne to stay the night. Dinner was just ok. We went to this place that was supposed to be honoring Ben Franklin.
This morning, we ate at a great diner though. The Luxury Diner was built out of an old rail car and was probably added onto several times. It was great eclectic food. The waitress and I have the same name.
Our chosen route took us west to Laramie, the third largest city by the guide book. Today’s detour took us south through the Medicine Bow mountains and national forest lands by way of scenic route 130. We passed plenty of small towns, not that they were really towns. Mostly clusters of homes. Our goal was the town of Saratoga and the Saratoga hot springs. Melissa was eager to try the Hobo pool, a main feature of the town. We stopped often for pictures and other sight seeing opportunities so it took us quite a few hours to travel the short 60 mile detour. Once in Saratoga, we shopped for our first souvenirs.
This store was neat. I was more taken by the logo and name than of the items in the store. Melissa chatted up the guy. I guess he was the owner. He was from Texas and had lived in just about every town we were able to mention a personal connection.
He directed us to a place to eat. But first we went to Hobo Pool.