Sunday, October 1, 2023

A vacation over two years in the making Days 1-3

 Two years ago, Mark and I took our very first "grown up" vacation (meaning without kids) and his first vacation in five years.  We took an awesome vacation to North and South Dakota.   We loved our time at Theodore Roosevelt NP and Badlands NP. 

And I'm off!
Before we even left for that vacation, with the help of Susan I got to work planning our trip for 2022.  I knew it was going to be even more epic. This was a dream trip for me and Mark was quickly sold on the idea. As most of you know, Susan passed away at the end of October 2021, but most of the planning was done with help, even if the fine details had not been hammered out.

Fast forward to early summer of 2022 and we find out that Mark is going to have to have bypass surgery on his leg and there is no way he is going to be able to go on our epic West vacation.  So those plans go on hold, and we went to Myrtle Beach last summer for two weeks (that will never happen again).

SO, finally. This year. He has his surgery...he is all better. IT'S ON! The trip that started taking shape in the summer of 2021 is happening! Getting to take this trip was very emotional on several levels because it meant Mark was all healthy and ready to go, because Susan helped me plan it, and because I have dreamed of going these places for a very long time.  One of them since the 4th grade. Lots of tears will be shed!

Our itinerary is:

Bryce Canyon NP

Kodachrome Basin State Park (SP)

Zion NP

Monument Valley

Valley of the Gods

Mesa Verde NP

Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP

and on my way home after I drop him off, I'll go to Indiana Dunes NP

I left home on the 7th of September on my way to pick him up in Council Bluffs, IA where he would be leaving the truck.  I stayed in Davenport, IA overnight.  My first day of travel was fine.  Nothing exciting to report other than I didn't feel good all day and could not wait to get to the hotel and go to bed.

Friday the 8th I got up and was out of the hotel by 430am.  I made it to Council Bluffs by 9 and got Mark and we were out of there.  We rolled by WM to pick up some last-minute items and then hit the open road.  Our first stop was going to be a bucket list item for me.  

So long 1780!
Vacation starts now!

There is a museum that spans I-80 in Kearney, NE that I have wanted to go to since I started riding with Mark in 2018. Archway Museum We never had time to stop, or it never open when we did have time but today, nothing but time!  So, we made a quick pit stop through there.  It was a neat little museum that was about American History.  We spent about 90 minutes there before we got back on the road.  Our destination for the evening was Fort Morgan, CO.

Next morning, we were up and out of there by 6:30.  We had a 5-hour ride to our first stop of the day.  I chose this stop literally because we were "driving right past it" and I thought what the heck, let's see what it's about it.

The Colorado National Monument, despite its name, has no statues or monuments as most people think of them.  What it does have is some pretty sick views!  I did next to no research on this place so when we rolled up, we were completely shocked in the best possible way.  The size of it, and the beauty of it was a glorious surprise. Traveling along Rim Rock Drive allowed us tons of opportunities to view the layers of geologic wonders caused by hundreds and hundreds of years of wind, water and other processes.  Mark and I were both incredibly pleased that we decided to take the time to stop there.  We spent several hours driving and hiking around the park before finally making our way to our home for the next three nights, Green River, Utah.


I made it!!


Stay Tuned for the next stop...Canyonlands NP.

Thanks for reading.

Love to all.


  1. Awesome and intriguing as only you can spin it. LOVE your blogs so much!! 💕

  2. LOVE this!!!! Can't wait to be on the rest of the journey with you (even in retrospect). xo