Our trip of a lifetime comes to a conclusion at the end of summer. We started out in late Spring before most of our flowers started blooming and we return as the trees begin to pop with their Autumn color. We’ve seen everything and done everything a body could possibly do in 103 days. Well, all these bodies could do anyway!
The wildlife has been phenomenal – up close and personal! The views and plant life like none we’ve ever seen before. We’ve traveled through 14 states the majority of time in Alaska and four provinces – the Yukon Territory being the most interesting to us, that brought with it 6 border crossings. We’ve put over 12,000 miles on the coach and close to 3000 on the car. The bikes got a fair workout with close to 100 miles and the hiking had to be over 50 miles. But those are all just numbers.
Sitting on the Midnight Dome in Dawson City and contemplating life, watching the glacier calf on the Kenai Fjords tour, the graceful movement of big grizzly bears, hiking through backwoods where there are waterfalls just around the bend, just the fresh air and life all around! That’s what this trip has been about. We live in a magnificent country and it’s out there for all to enjoy.
Even as we started home and squeezed in a few bonus side trips, the Redwoods in CA are AMAZING!! And I’ve never seen anything like the Badlands in SD. As we traveled through MN and into WI I was beginning to long for home. We came across the Upper Peninsula of MI and I started to think about all the beauty that we have right here. Traveling along US2 bordering Lake Michigan is so beautiful and tranquil, yeah, we stopped there for a couple of hours of walking the beach. Crossing the Mackinaw Bridge started making it feel like we were just on a 2 week vacation. Our final week we sat at a campground on the Rifle River and just relaxed. Our daughter and peanut joined us mid week – what a reunion. Our son and DIL were able to join us on Sunday when we got home (did you hear? Our son and DIL will be having their first baby in March 2009 another grandbaby to spoil.). It was nice to get to reunite while still on vacation mode. I missed them all terribly. Can’t wait to see the rest of my family and friends.
These are a few of the pictures that I wasn’t able to share with you over the summer.
In the later pictures Peanut is sporting a camping mishap. Things just happen when you’re camping.
I don’t want to miss the opportunity to thank everyone at work – the bosses who approved this leave of absence and all the coworkers that covered my job. Without you all this would not have been possible. There are no words to express my gratitude, so I’ll just say a big “THANK YOU”! This trip has truly been “A trip of a lifetime”.