S: ROAD TRIP 2008
FC: Road Trip 2008
2: On the first day of our trip, we drove from Port Lavaca to Carlsbad, New Mexico. We took a break from driving at a rest stop on I-10 and enjoyed sandwiches and stretched our legs for a bit. | Day 1 - Drive to Carlsbad, New Mexico
4: Bat Flight
5: We got to Carlsbad in time to go to the caverns and see the bats take flight out of the cave for their evening meal. Taking photographs while the bats are flying is not allowed, so we don't have any pictures of them. Getting to watch the bats was a nice surprise, we had changed time zones during the drive and had plenty of extra time, even after driving for 9 hours.
6: Day 2 - Carlsbad to Albuquerque While we toured the caverns, which were really cool, we listened to a phone system that described the formations in the cave.
8: UFO Museum in Roswell, NM
9: The girls didn't care much for the alien autopsy.
10: We spent the second night of our trip in Albuquerque. After dinner at La Hacienda Restaurant & Cantina, we hung out at the Old Town Plaza and the girls had fun dancing in the gazebo and taking pictures with and on the cannons. Abby called this town "Have-a-cookie!"
11: Albuquerque, New Mexico
14: Emily Ann
15: Abby & Mercedez
16: Day 3 - Albuquerque, New Mexico to Monument Valley | Four Corners Monument It was very hot at the monument, so we tried to keep this visit short. We took pictures standing in the four states at one time. We walked through the shops and the girls bought hair clips and necklaces, then we got back on the road.
17: Monument Valley We arrived at Goulding's Lodge in time to relax for a while and have dinner. We had the most spectacular view of Monument Valley from our balcony in our hotel rooms. We ate dinner at the lodge's restaurant. We had to try a Navajo Taco (Navajo Fry Bread) which is so well known in these parts. It tasted okay. It was kind of like funnel cake bread with wolf-brand chili, lettuce & tomatoes on top.
20: Day 4 - Monument Valley to Moab, Utah
21: Driving through Monument Valley in our little van was a slow and bumpy process. When Susan drove, the bottom of the car kept hitting the bumps, with awful sounding scrapes. After a few times, there was a polite request that Daddy please drive. Here we all are in front the of the monument called "The Three Sisters."
22: Dinosaur Museum, Blanding, Utah
23: After too long in the car, we found a dinosaur museum to be a good place to get rid of some of that extra energy. This was the fourth of July and we had trouble finding a restaurant that was open. We finally found one and were happy to have anything to eat.
24: Newspaper Rock
26: Canyonlands National Park "Did you say candyland?"
32: Day 5 - Moab, Utah Arches National Park
33: We spent all day in Moab and took a day off from driving. It is a beautiful area. The girls loved swimming in the hotel pool and John found rock shops for getting fossils. We ate dinner at the Sunset Grill which has a great view overlooking the area.
34: This day was nothing but driving and a stop at a rest area. The rest area was on Highway 6 at the old town site of Tucker, Utah. The kids spent a long time feeding the potguts, the local name for a ground squirrel. | Day 6 - Moab to Salt Lake City
36: Day 7 - Yellowstone National Park We were so excited to get to the park. We spent three days here and could have spent many more.
37: Bison We had read about the animals we might see in the park. Right away as we got into the park, we saw these bison. It was so amazing to see such strong animals this close with no fences between us and them. We saw several calves, a couple of bulls fighting, and one blocking traffic. We saw many bison during our three days here.
38: Old Faithful We got to the geyser just in time to see it go off. It is so much more amazing in person than any picture can show. It was difficult to get pictures with us and the geyser together without also getting a lot of other folks.
39: Grand Prismatic Spring
42: Dinner in West Yellowstone, MT | Yellowstone River
43: Gift shop at Old Faithful | Telephone game at dinner
46: Day 8 - More Yellowstone We had to slow down each morning to pass the no-stop area where a juvenile bald eagle was nested. It looked like mama eagle was not far. We stopped at Gibbons Falls for a few great pictures. Emily and Susan had to stay in the car because the traffic and parking was so bad, but they could hear it roaring.
48: Elk The few elk we saw were very majestic looking. The most interesting were the elk that hung around the buildings at the visitor center in Mammoth Hot Springs. We thought it was hilarious when one of the females crossed the road using the marked crosswalk.
49: Lower Falls
50: Mt. Washburn Oh boy, we had to stop immediately when the girls saw the snow. They had a blast. They continue to say that their favorite part of the trip was playing in the snow.
51: While we were playing in the snow at Mt. Washburn, someone coming down the mountain said that there was a bear nearby, so we went up to see it. John got these pictures. This was the first of several bear sightings that we enjoyed.
52: Another bear sighting | We had company during lunch | Visitor center at Mammoth Hot Springs | Chilling out before dinner | Northern Entrance at Gardiner | Waiting in the car during a photo-op
53: Recap of our route on day 8.
54: Fountain Paint Pot | Day 9 - Last day at Yellowstone | This was one busy day. We circled the entire park by the end of it and got to the hotel late, but it was so much fun.
55: Norris Geyser Basin
57: River Rafting down the Yellowstone River Here we are after our adventure rafting down the Yellowstone River. Actually, the float was very tame. The river guide was very entertaining and played games trying to get someone to fall off the raft. John, Mercedez and Abby played along, standing on the edge of the raft while he made it go in circles, but no one fell in. A few minutes later, we looked over and it appeared that Abby just jumped in. John grabbed her so quickly, it's surprising that she got wet, but she got completely soaked. She sat on Susan's lap covered in blankets, shivering for most of the remainder of the float. Later in the ride, Mercedez tried to push John in the water, but Abby got very protective and tried to stop her. Emily, Priscilla and Susan enjoyed everyone's antics, but stayed dry with a firm grip on the boat. In the pictures on the next page, you can see that Mercedez even got to have a turn as the captain. This float was definitely one of the trip highlights. (If you look closely, you can see that someone is doing their "country face" in the picture to the left.)
61: We just had to go back to Mt. Washburn for some more playing in the snow. In two of these pictures, you can see Priscilla about to get hit while she is not looking.
63: We wrapped up our last day with a drive to the southern section along Lake Yellowstone. We stopped for a while and looked at the lake. As the sun went down, it got really cold. Other than the driver, everyone fell asleep for the ride back to the hotel. It had been a long day of river rafting and snowball fights.
67: Day 11 - South Dakota to Nebraska We spent all of day ten driving from Montana to South Dakota, so we don't have any pictures from that day. The next day we toured Mount Rushmore and then planned to take an easy drive to Nebraska. We found Bear Country USA and the Mammoth dig along the way, both of which were a lot of fun.
68: Bear Country U.S.A.
71: Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota
72: Swimming Days 12, 13, & 14 were all driving. On the last night, we stayed in Dallas and visited with Priscilla's cousin Beth.
74: More Roadtrip Fun