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Al & Pat's 2011 Cross-country Adventure

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Al & Pat's 2011 Cross-country Adventure - Page Text Content


BC: God bless this great country of ours!!!!

FC: Al & Pat's Cross Country Adventure 2011

1: ' | A SHARED EXPERIENCE A year of planning and research that produced the trip of a lifetime!! Al & Pat's SOJURN around the great USA with our fondest hope that it may inspire family & friends to someday do the same thing!!

2: Friday, May 13 - Heading to Stone Mountain, GA We set out on our adventure, got about 20 miles and had to go home to get the camera charger!! We arrived at the Evergreen Marriot about 6PM: a beautiful and somewhat secluded hotel.

3: Saturday, May 14: Stone Mountain, GA. First stop the covered bridge, then on to the Sky ride to the top of the mountain. Next was the Antebellum Plantation, which was worth seeing. The plantation had everything from the large plantation house to smoke house, doctorÂ’s house, farmyard, and slave quarters to the necessary house which was actually a four- seater.

4: Sunday, May 15 - Heading to Memphis Traveling on Rt 78W, we saw some trees uprooted and blue tarps on some roofs in Alabama. We were not prepared for what we saw next! Near Forestdale, devastation of what looked to be a small neighborhood. As we continued on, we saw trees uprooted and road signs that appeared to be broken in half, not ripped apart. Needless to say, when we arrived in Memphis late in the day were glad to be settled.

5: Monday, May 16- Memphis, TN Our first stop today was the Civil Rights Museum which is housed at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. We saw exhibits about Ole Miss, the March from Selma to Montgomery and also the March on Washington, DC. We got on the bus with Rosa Parks and saw a burned out Freedom Riders' bus. We saw the balcony where MLK was shot and also his room. We drove to the waterfront and even though the Mississippi had flooded, the police officer keeping watch over the "do not enter" let us drive down to the muddy shoreline. From there, we took a walk on Beale Street.

6: Tuesday, May 17 - Memphis, TN | Today we decided to go to Graceland, but when we arrived changed our minds as neither of us had a burning desire to see Elvis artifacts. We then found our way to the Memphis zoo and enjoyed!! Had a great dinner at "Houston"s" and headed back to the hotel for an early evening.

7: Wednesday, May 18 - Heading to Ft. Smith, AK Today we were up at 7AM and got on the road about 10:15 as we just had a short trip. There were lots and lots of tractor trailers on the road. We saw flooding everywhere from the Mississippi to the Arkansas River!! We checked into the Marriot Courtyard about 4PM and are staying put! Tomorrow, we are off to the future US Marshals Museum!!

8: Thursday, May 19 - Fort Smith, AK We spent the morning at the US Marshals Museum office with Jim Dunn & Jessica Hayes. Al had several artifacts that he wanted to donate to the museum: the helmet and riot stick from Ole Miss,the armband he wore at both Ole Miss & New Orleans & the original SOG uniform. A reporter/photographer came from the Little Rock Times Record, took many pictures | Picture from the Ft. Smith Times Record

9: Friday, May 20 - Fort Smith, AK Today is going to be stormy with a tornado watch. When we arrived at the museum office, Jim gave us the newspaper with the picture of Al, myself and the artifacts! We went to Oak Cemetery where there are many Deputy US Marshals buried, then went to the Museums in town. We saw the gallows, Judge Parker's courtroom and learned a lot of history. Once back at the hotel, we stayed put as storms were on the way!

10: Saturday, May 21 - Oklahoma City, OK We had a short trip today and arrived early afternoon at the beautiful Rennaisance Marriot. We took a cab to the National Memorial & Museum. This was probably the most moving Memorial either of us have ever seen!! The Museum told the story of the bombing of the Murrah Federal building on 4/19/95 and the outside Memorial is a true tribute to include those who died and the survivors.

11: Sunday, May 22 - Heading to Amarillo, TX The drive was pretty with lots of farmland and rolling hills. We saw a motorcycle caravan that stretched about 3 miles and then a huge windmill farm. We stopped at Groom, TX as I had learned about it from Frank in an email. There was an amazing shrine: "The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ". The cross is 190 ft. tall!!There were also life-sized metal sculptures of the Last Supper and Stations of the Cross. It was beautiful!!

12: Monday, May 23 - Amarillo TX Today we saw a prarie dog!! We spent the day at Palo Duro Canyon, which is a Texas state park and was closeby our hotel. We were actually able to drive from the top down to the bottom of the canyon and enjoyed. This is supposed to be one of the largest canyons in area after the Grand Canyon. We spent several hours and right before we left , we saw a Texas Longhorn!

13: Tuesday, May 24 - Heading to Santa Fe, NM During our drive, we saw lots of cattle, even a stockyard. We also saw a windmill farm that went for miles & miles. Shortly before we got to NM, the terrain changed completely! We went from completely flat to rolling hills and many mesas. We saw tumbleweeds first hand and it was so windy that one even hit our windshield. We arrived in Santa Fe about 3PM and checked into the timeshare.

14: Wednesday, May 25 - Santa Fe, NM This morning we took it easy, walked to a NY Deli for breakfast, then went back and did laundry for hours. Later took the shuttle to the Plaza and took a city tour on a tram. We learned that Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the US & has the highest elevation of all capitals. We enjoyed Canyon Drive with the galleries and many sculptures. After the tour we took a Pedi-cab to the San Francisco Bar & Grill for dinner.

15: Thursday, May 26 - Santa Fe, NM Today, we went to Pecos Nat'l Park. The area was originally inhabited by the Pecos tribe about 800. Coronado & his men took over the area in 1540. The site we visited was the ruins of a Mission built in the 1700s. Among the ruins, we saw a "Kiva" which was an underground place used for special ceremonies and dating back to Pueblo times. We took a short ride on Rte. 66 and later went back into town and visited the Cathedral Basicilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

16: Friday, May 27 - Heading to Sedona, AZ As we drove, we saw many freight trains, some seemed like they were at least a mile long. One train had 4 engines in front and one in the rear!! Once we arrived in AZ, we saw our first snow-capped mountain! Arriving at our exit on Rt 40, we had 29 miles to get to Sedona. This road took us through Oak Creek Canyon, which while the scenery was breath-taking, there were so many switch-back curves, I think there were permanent fingernail marks in my armrest!!

17: Saturday, May 28 - Sedona, AZ Today we had a slow start. About noon, we left to find the Chapel of the Holy Cross. What a beautiful place!! The Chapel was built in the mountain. It is very peaceful. At the center of the altar was a bronze face of Jesus. We then found Tlaquepaque which is a shopping and gallery area modeled after a Mexican village. We did a little shopping and then went to "Rene" restaurant for a late lunch on the patio. We ended the day going to Mass at St. John Vianney Church which had the most incredible views. The pastor, Rev. JC Ortiz was entertaining in his blue jeans, highlighted , spiked hair and cowboy boots!!

18: Sunday/Monday - May 29 & 30 - Sedona, AZ We spent relaxing days driving around Sedona taking lots of pictures: Bear Mt., Cockscomb,Thunder Mt. & Coffeepot Rock. Memorial day had the obligatory "timeshare mtg" (we did this for our tour to the Grand Canyon tomorrow) We both agreed NEVER AGAIN no matter what kind of gift is offered! Afterwards went touring again & finally saw Snoopy!!

20: Tuesday, May 31 - Grand Canyon NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE!!!

22: Wednesday, June 1 - Sedona, AZ Today, we spent getting ready to continue our road trip. We did a little more driving around Sedona, had my nails done, got the car washed and then had an early dinner at "Relics", the oldest restaurant in Sedona, which was great with beautiful views!!

23: Thursday, June 2 - Heading to Palm Desert, CA We started heading towards Phoenix and major highways! Outside of the city it became desolate with scattered Sequoia Cactus. We saw many dried riverbeds & washes. We went to the Joshua Tree Nat'l Forest, drove and drove, took many pictures, later to find that we did not go into the forest far enough!! | What we thought was the Joshua Tree & a really neat looking pipeline!

25: Friday,June 3 - Heading to LA - Jimmy & Ryan..Saturday/Sunday , June 4 & 5 with the boys!!! On the ride saw gigantic windmill park! Then R&R at Jimmy's enjoying, laughing, dancing, singing and a few drinks with family & friends!!

26: Monday, June 6 - Heading to San Luis Obispo, CA Pretty drive today with mountains on one side and the Pacific on the other!! Tuesday, June 7 - San Luis Obispo, CA & Hearst Castle Great scenery along the coast and the castle was breathtaking!!

28: Wednesday, June 8 - drive up PCH to San Francisco, CA The road was beautiful, saw a glimpse of the Castle and a sign noting "road closed" 29 miles ahead. When we got there, no DETOUR so had to backtrack & go east, lost time, but got some great pics!! Passed a town named Gilroy, the "Garlic Capitol of the world" Arrived in San Francisco, rooms at the Parc 55, greeted with a wine & cheese tray! Met John for a great meal!

31: Thursday, June 9 - San Francisco, CA Today had breakfast with John. Views from our room are incredible! We then went to Fisherman's Wharf and took pictures. Liz came in for dinner, we enjoyed!

32: Friday, June 10 - heading to Crescent City, CA Another trip up the PCH. It was a gorgeous day! There was a lot of construction due to slides. Stopped at Point Reyes Station & Anchor Bay. Lots & lots of miles. We were on the road for over 12 hrs!!

34: Saturday June 11 -Heading to Bucky's in Williams OR, with a stop to see the Redwoods at Jedidiah Smith National Forest Sunday, June 12 - Bucky's: Williams OR Monday, June 13 - Heading to Art's house: Nine Mile Falls, WA

37: Tuesday, June 14 thru Thursday June 16 - Art's house, Nine Mile Falls, WA What a wonderful time with our two dear friends!! Lots of laughs, good food, country music, beautiful views and just FUN!!!!!

39: Friday - Saturday - June 17 - 18 - Heading to Yellowstone We left Art's and went through forests in Idaho, fast swollen rivers with beautiful rapids, then on to 'Big Sky Country" Montana, stayed overnight in Butte and then continued on. In Gardnier, WY, we stopped for a Rodeo Parade!!

40: Sunday, Monday - June 19 - 20 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK!!!!!

43: Tuesday,Wednesday: June 21,22 - We left Yellowstone Nat'l Park, heading on to Buffalo, WY and then Keystone, SD via Shoshone Nat'l Forest, Cody, WY, Emblem, WY (population - 10!!), Big Horn Nat'l Forest, Powder River Pass. Cloud Peak Skyway(top of a mountain!),Sundance, WY, Deadwood, SD and finally, MT. RUSHMORE!!

44: Thursday, June 23 - Mt. Rushmore!! Words cannot describe the beauty! After several hours with the Presidents, we went to Crazy Horse Monument which will never be completed in our lifetime and then to Bear Country (we had to see at least one bear!!) Our last planned day!

46: Friday, June 24 - heading home!! We saw rolling hills & lots of cattle. Our first stop was Wall Drug Store for ice cream sodas: they still offer free ice water! We saw highway memorials like no other state, stopped at the Corn Palace, lots & lots of construction & many farms with the houses just about hidden in groves of trees. Stopped for night in Fairmont, Minnesota

47: Saturday, June 25 Today we drove about 8 hrs, had a great lunch in Tomah, Wisconsin. We saw many farms that looked to have gone through hard times. Stopped for the night in Ottawa, Illinois

48: Sunday, June 26 - day three of drive: stopped long time due to tractor-trailer fire on Indiana Tpk. Paid a tri-state toll, saw lots of farms, signs for Notre Dame, then back in Eastern Time Zone. Spent the night in Streetsboro, Ohio..PS: Al had the biggest Bourbon & water we ever saw!!

49: Monday, June 27 - HELL Day on the PA Turnpike!! Nothing but delays & construction!! A $28.00 toll as we drove the whole turnpike! But there was light at the end of the tunnel! We made it to Haddon Heights, NJ & Kelly's house safely!!

50: Tuesday, June 28 - Saturday, July 2 - A short hiatus to visit with Kel and our family Down time for Al Laurel Rehab & work for Pat

52: Sunday, July 3 - Heading South!! An uneventful traffic day. We always enjoy the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Stopped for the night at Edenton, NC

53: Monday, July 4 - INDEPENDENCE DAY!! Our wonderful adventure has ended leaving us with many good memories, laughs & pictures. We were gone a total of 54 days and traveled 8,820 miles!!

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Pat Butler
  • By: Pat B.
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  • Title: Al & Pat's 2011 Cross-country Adventure
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  • Started: almost 7 years ago
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