Sunday, April 15, 2012

Next Trip: Slice of America 2

We have just opened up our new blog for Slice America 2!  The address is:

This time we will be traveling completely across the USA and back!  We are a tad bit concerned about things like tornados, hurricanes and such things in the East Coast that we don't really have here in California.  After watching all the weather stuff on the news, we don't want to experience them either!!

  Since we have 2 months before take off we have to get serious about the essential things, like fixing the van window so it rolls all the way down, and actually installing the rear/side camera system on Lucy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guess What!!!! We are planning "Slice of America Trip 2"!!

We've been working up an itinerary.  We are planning to leave in June of 2012.  The plan is to leave California taking a southern route across the US, hit the East Coast and head north up to Boston then head back to California along a more northern route.

This time we plan to caravan in a van and an rv.  Last time we had 2 vans.  The rv should be an added interesting part to the advernture.  Our new trip will be journaled on "".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Luke's Totally Awesome Rupert Goldberg

What are we doing now that we have been home for awhile??

Well, I have been spending lots of time in the garden, Cathy has been home schooling and planning the next trip, the kids are all back to school.....

And Luke has been working on this project!...

Luke's Totally Awesome Rupert Goldberg

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A review on the KOA cabins

We stayed in several KOA campgrounds, usually in a cabin. The cabins were either one room or two. They all must be made by the same company.They were all clean, had air conditioning, a couple had cable tv, most important they had electricity to charge all our electronics! The photos are of a 2-room cabin.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Trip Tips

Thoughts on cell phones and travel.
My daughter had Sprint service, my sister had AT&T service and I had the cheapest pre-paid Verizon phone on this trip. I seemed to have the best signal, even in Grand Canyon and Yellowstone where there was supposed to be no service on the AT&T and Verizon service maps (I didn't check if Sprint said they had service. My daughter had service almost all the time, except in Yellowstone. She was able to get it in the Old Faithful area though. My poor sister had service only in one place the whole trip. Possibly she did not check much after so long without it.

Well worth it on a trip for sure. No problem the 2 times we needed it. They didn't call the closest AAA tow place though for the flat tire. The closest was just across the street from us. But there was no problem in having the 2nd place taking care of us after the 1st found out the tire would hold air long enough to get over there. And he had to take the tire somewhere to find that out! It was just faster and easier for us to use the closer place...playground and all for the kids at the KOA.

The KOAs were all nice places, just a few negative details with one. They were well worth the money. The cabins were all clean and nice with heat and air conditioning (no bathrooms) and electricity for recharging everything.
It just turned out that everytime we stayed in a cabin was perfect timing that we needed a break from tenting. It would have been nicer for the family if they had gotten a cabin at Mt. Rushmore, but who would have known a minor hurricane would blow in!!!! Any how, I was very thankful I had booked the lodge that night. (I had figured I might need a real bed by that time!)

State Parks
A real bargain. All the ones we stayed at were especially nice. Some even had electricity for the tenters! Perfect for charging up all the electronics!

Air Mattress Pump - Coleman has a wonderful electric pump that you don't need the car to run it. It can be recharged and it can pump the air mattresses AND suck the air out really fast for easy getting the mattresses put away!

As the kids found out, Yellowstone is not the greatest place for some kids. Lots of NO, NOs. It can also be a very dangerous place for kids, and older for that matter!! We saw a guy, very old enough to know better, put his hand in one of the pools! He tried to hide it but he looked like he had gotten burned a bit. Not only that, he went next to the edge of the pool (because the railing had a bit of an area open) and we, on the path opposite where he was, could see that the edge of the pool was just a ledge and it could have broken off where he was standing!! Anyhow, very dangerous!

Grand Canyon
Same stupid people that stick their hands into thermal hot water also show up at the Grand Canyon! There are not rails all along the edges of the canyon. People test their luck by standing on the very edges or jump to an outcrop to get their picture taken. Needless to say some have not been lucky. They are certainly not a good example for children at the park.

Anyhow, you can look up on Google : Yellowstone fatalities or Grand Canyon fatalities to just see how stupid people can be!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

We are HOME!

We arrived home this afternoon after a 6 1/2 hour drive (not counting stops) from Humbolt's Burlington Campground. That was a perfect last camp since it is like home to my family after all the years of camping there. It brought back many memories.

We had so many adventures and wonderful times. The kids really grew on the trip and expanded their horizons, as we all did. So glad we did the trip and would do it again......though I am happy to be back with my hubby and be able to sleep in my own bed and not on an air mattress. It will be much easier to get out of bed tomorrow morn........and easier to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night!

I will start cleaning up the blog tomorrow and putting things in order. There were very few places where I could get internet well enough to post.

Days 29-31 Video

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 29 July 7th continued...

Coletta works hard to get a really good picture! Have YOU ever gotten stuck in a tree trunk?

But the photo was worth it! Bullard Beach Lighthouse

Lots of driftwood!

And wildflowers

Coletta wanted to PROVE she CAN park PERFECTLY!!
But I think the goal is to get the WHOLE car between the marks, not just the tires!

Day 29 July 7 Beverly Beach, OR to Bullard Beach, OR

We gather for our daily photo before leaving Beverly Beach Park.

It was a challenge to push the button on the camera and to get into the picture in time without falling into the stream! Amanda managed it!

Then we started our drive down the coast. Such a beautiful drive!

Timmy, so happy to give grandma a smile at lunch stop.

We've arrived at Bullard Beach Park!
Bullard Beach is a very nice campground. We stayed in Yurts at this park. There is a decommisioned lighthouse that has volunteers that give tours to the top of the tower.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Days 27-29 Video

Day 28 July 6 continued To Beverly Beach

OUT TAKES! When we gathered for our daily Tree Hugger photo there was a lot behind the scenes! Usually it was pretty funny! I caught this one as Timmy gave me a raspberry!

Beverly Beach was a real pretty place to camp. Note the big leafed plants at the base of the tree. These grew in the boggy areas that were all around and they grow really big!

We got down to the beach as soon as possible. Nice sandy beach, pretty view and lots of driftwood heading down the stream to the ocean. The "arch" is an overpass for the road above.

Beautiful Day!
And a bridge to climb on the way back to camp.

Day 28 July 6 Seaquest Park, WA to Beverly Beach, OR

We went on a little hike at Seaquest before leaving. This big slug was one of the inhabitants of the forest that we came across.

I didn't get a picture of the deer we saw but this snail was awfully pretty!

And wild columbine!

We left Seaquest for the coast of Oregon, Beverly Beach will be home tonight!
Unfortunately someone was having a very bad day. This house was fully engulfed with flames as we passsed by.

We reached the coast!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 27 July 5 Mamaloose Park, OR to Seaquest, WA

Today we will be following the Columbia River west crossing into Washington to see Mt. St. Helen.

We started out this morning by visiting the Columbia River. There were hundreds of wild bachelor buttons, blue, white and pink along the shore. This is a beautiful area and a nice campground.

Ben and Luke
One of the waterfalls along the Columbia River

A wonderful cabin near the Seaquest State Park in Washington near Mt. St. Helen's.

We drove up to the Interpretive Center at Mt. St. Helen's. Very pretty ride and very interesting Center. This place went along with all the other volcanic places we have seen on this trip! Power of the Mother Earth!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Days 25-26 Video

Day 26th July 4th Emigrant Springs, Oregon to Mamoloose Park, Or

July 4! Happy Birthday, America

We are back on the road heading for Hermiston, Oregon to visit relatives!

Amber has lots of animals, some of them she shows. The kids loved seeing them.

Ben with the pigeon.
Amanda with the bunny
Grandma with Amber's bunny

Tim gets to play on a trampoline! It has been awhile since he has been on his at home!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Days 23-25 Video

Day 25 Saturday July 3 Oregon!

We have come a long ways!

Day 25 July 3 Bruneau Dunes, ID to Emmigrant Springs Camp, ID

The morning ritual of taking down the campsite! You can see the sand dunes in the background. We were told the sand dunes were a leftover from a prehistoric lake/ocean that once covered the area. Last night the winds were blowing the sand on the top of the dunes and it looked like snow blowing off snowdrifts in a blizzard.

Can you guess who is sleeping in ? It is Luke in there. He survived the wind last night!

Leaving Bruneau Dunes Park, Idaho

This was taken on the border of Oregon and Idaho. We are in Cowboy Country!

This was at a pretty little park in Oregon.

...where we had lunch overlooking the river.
We then traveled up along the eastern border of Oregon. We stopped at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It is very interesting and well worth your time to stop. You can still see the trail of the covered wagons headed for Oregon after a long trip. As they came over the mountains and saw this view they must have been overwhelmed after coming across lava rock areas, high mountains, dry barren lands to see this view.
If I was one of those in a covered wagon so long ago I would have stopped right here in this beautiful valley. But they kept going west. ....There were some rough times with Indians here at the time.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 24 July 2 Bruneau Dunes Wind! Video

Did I say WIND!!!!

Day 24 Friday July 2 Arco, ID to Bruneau Dunes, ID

We left the KOA, got groceries, visited the submarine in the desert and headed for the Craters of the Moon Information Center. Again we were lucky enough to see the spring wild flowers in the desolate volcanic acres. I think the flowers here were the prettiest we've seen. They really show off against the black lava flows.

We explored the Crater of the Moon a bit and decided to go on a tour of some lava tubes, caves made by volcanic bubbles. The ranger started out by telling us that if we were going to fall on the trail it would be in the first 25 feet. Reassuring!.... Well, I lasted to the half mile mark, right at the end of the path before going into the caves, then fell flat on my face! Ouch, my knee took the brunt right on some lava rock.

Well, I wasn't going to let that stop me from going in the cave! Although I have to admit the bumpy ground in there and darkness did make me worry I may fall again. When we finally got back to the car my knee was pretty swollen but Cathy doctored me up. George got ice from the cooler to put on it, I got to sit back with the teens with my leg up with Coletta as driver. And off we went heading to Bruneau Dunes State Park near Mountain Home, Idaho.

Idaho Sand Dunes
Another WINDY place! Just looking at the camp areas with the little "L" shapped shelters should give everyone an idea they are into a heavy wind scene!!

Well, Coletta sleeps in the van so she will have no problems, Cathy and George have their new "SUPER" tent that only moves in an earthquake so they will be ok. Luke and Amanda have experienced their tent "going 2-dimensional" so they are really staking their tent down. Then there is me in my little tent. My tent pole to the rain top was lost back in Yellowstone so I don't know how my tent is going to hold up. It didn't have to go through the "dreaded Hot Dog" storm, so this may be very interesting. With my poor knee I am not moving all that fast. I choose some heavy duty stakes and go to work pounding them in. Too easy, the ground is grass in sandy dirt. Oh, Oh!

All was well and I slept through everything.

Day 24 Friday July 2 Arco, ID to Brunneau Dunes State Park

Mom got a boo boo

What is really amazing about this place is how many miles are covered with lava, at Calico, Devils Tower and other places too!

The wildflowers were so varied and beautiful!