We’ve come a long way, baby.
We flew across the Atlantic Ocean from Stuttgart, Germany, to Baltimore, Md., on Aug. 18. In the almost seven months since we’ve driven up through New England, down to Pennsylvania, over to Indiana, down to Florida, out to Las Vegas, up to Colorado (where we took a flight back to Florida for a couple of weeks and then drove back to Colorado), and over to California.
We saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time on this trip on Thursday, meaning we have officially gone coast to coast.
We’ve traversed 31 states, some of them multiple times. Three times through New Mexico and Arizona. Twice across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
We’ve stayed in 38 campgrounds.
The odometer on our 2016 Ford F350, purchased new in August, passed 20,000 miles last week. And that doesn’t include the 2,000 miles we trekked back in a rental car from Florida to Colorado last month. About 8,400 of the truck’s miles were racked up towing the trailer, while the rest were from daily driving and side trips we took to national parks and other attractions.
About a month into the trip, we decided to start collecting refrigerator magnets from museums, parks and other interesting sites we visited. So far our collection includes:
- The giant flea market in Shipshewana, Ind.
- The National New York Central Railroad Museum in Elkhart, Ind.
- Cowpens National Battlefield in Gaffney, S.C.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tn.
- Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Folkston, Ga.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Busch Gardens in Tampa.
- Desoto National Memorial in Bradenton, Fla
- Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla.
- The National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Fla.
- Fort Morgan, Ala.
- Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
- The Hard Rock Café in Biloxi, Miss.
- Johnson Space Center in Houston.
- The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico
- The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, N.M.
- The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, in Albuquerque.
- Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
- Hoover Dam in Nevada.
- Monument Valley in Utah.
- Las Vegas.
- Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Co.
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs
- Breckenridge, Co.
- Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, Co.
- Route 66 in Santa Rosa, N.M.
- Tombstone, Arizona
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tuscon, Arizona.
- The aircraft boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson.
- Sequoia National Park in California.
- Hollywood, Ca.
- Yosemite National Park in California
- Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.
And that list doesn’t include countless other attractions, small towns, big cities and off-the beaten-path places we’ve experienced.
In California, in the past two weeks, we’ve been to Twenty-Nine Palms, Bakersfield, Mariposa (where we camped at a county fairgrounds) and Monterey. Now we’re at Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco, where we plan to sit for a week or two so the kids can catch up on school work after three weeks of fast and furious traveling since we left Colorado.
Our next goal? Catch a military hop from here to Hawaii. The flights are free but are space-available, and retirees are the last priority to get on. We’ll keep you posted!