Saturday, October 23, 2010

On The Road: Part 4...

With trying to catch up from the last month of craziness, I'm going to try and recap the rest of our road trip. This is waaaay past due, but here goes...

Our stop in Lake Tahoe was a bittersweet one at best. It was absolutely beautiful watching the sunset with the hubby and basset, but sad as we looked at all the names that we had written -- so many angels being missed! As we left, it made me wonder what the next visitor would think when they walked past the beach where we were at. The waters were so calm that I doubt the names were going to be washed away that quickly. What would they think when they saw all of those names bordering the shoreline?

When we finished up at Lake Tahoe, we headed back onto the freeway and on into Nevada. There really wasn't much to see after that. I guess we weren't prepared for such a boring drive just yet! Driving through WA, OR and CA allowed for some scenic tours, but going through northern Nevada? Not so much...About halfway through the state, we decided to call it a night. Luckily, it wasn't nearly as hard finding a decent hotel as compared to our night in San Francisco! As always, Oba got his own queen-sized bed -- he always waits for us to take off the top blanket then dives right in...spoiled...yes, I know.

Anyways...After a good night's rest, we got back on the road and headed east. Even though it was quite desolate, it was very beautiful...


Unfortunately, that's about the only picture we have from our tour of Nevada. Before we knew it, we were in Utah -- observing the Bonneville Salt Flats race track off in the distance. For those unfamiliar with it, that's where they race those super fast cars that break the land speed records and if I'm not mistaken, the sound barrier. Pretty wild! We only saw it from a distance, but it was still interesting to see...

I guess from this picture, if you didn't know any better, you'd think I was making it up. It just looks like some random barren land, but there's the race track in the distance...

We were always amused by the various road signs -- I guess that happens when you're bored...

Until we hit Salt Lake City, we pretty much just stuck to the comedy stations on XM and observed the landscape. Once we got there, we made our way to the LDS Temple Square. Even though we're not Mormon, we definitely wanted to check it out regardless! It's something we've always heard about, and knew this was our chance to see firsthand...

The Temple Square takes up an entire city block and is absolutely beautiful! When we got there, we noticed that it is gated all along the outside walls. With it being so hot outside, there was no way we could leave Obadiah in the car, so he came along. Before we entered, James stayed outside the gates with our pup while I went in and asked a tour guide if dogs were allowed. I didn't want to break any rules or disrespect them in any way, but if Oba was allowed on the grounds, we'd definitely have him by our side. The tour guide politely said that they normally don't allow dogs on the grounds, but if he's well-behaved and quiet, he can come on in. Immediately after she told me that, I waved James in and he met me in the gardens. So as to not disturb any of the tourists, James hung out on the side with Oba under a tree while I walked around taking pictures.

Before long, I was on the other end of the grounds and realized my phone was ringing. It was James. He called to let me know that he and Oba were kicked out! Apparently, another tour guide saw Oba and nicely told James that he wasn't allowed. We totally understood and felt bad for even bringing Oba in. Oh well. There was no harm in trying -- especially after the first tour guide ok'ed it. With Oba getting kicked out, James and Oba hung out on a bench outside the Temple gates while I quickly toured. Once I was done, we switched places and James ran in and looked around. While we don't personally follow the Mormon faith, it was definitely an experience touring the grounds. The gardens, memorial buildings, the temple itself...all so beautiful!


Right before our little rebel got kicked out...



Clearly a terrible job setting up the focus on this shot!

Loved this particular tree...

As I finished the circle around the grounds, I grabbed this shot, then headed out to trade places with James...

Poor Oba...he cried when we traded places. I guess I know who he favors, ha.

After James took his turn touring the grounds, we walked around downtown Salt Lake City for a few, then decided to get back on the road. With it being the late afternoon, we knew traffic would only get worse the longer we waited and we had no interest in sitting in that kind of mess! As we headed out of town, we noticed that Oba resorted back to his "comfortable" sleeping position. I don't know about you, but I think I would wake up with a terrible neck ache if I slept like this!


Ah well. He was happy and snoring, and our radio faded out the snoring, so all was good. We continued on and stared at the beautiful Utah landscape around us. Neither of us had been to Utah before, so this scenery was definitely new to us!


Somewhere in eastern Utah...

If there's one thing I love about these cross-country road trips, it's the beautiful sunsets when you're in the middle of nowhere...

While I love the sunsets in those desolate lands, I can't stand the drive once it's completely dark. There's nothing -- absolutely nothing. As a result, I tend to get very bored. While toying around with my camera -- I'm still learning the ins and outs of this thing! -- I started taking various odd shots in the dark.

It may just be the lights on the dashboard with a slow shutter speed, but it kept me entertained! Ha.

After lasting until super late at night, we finally decided it'd be best to find a hotel and wait until the sun came back out to do anymore driving. By this point, we were in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Little did we know, there must've been another convention going on! (We ran into this problem in San Francisco.) It was next to impossible to find a hotel room in that town. Everything was booked! By the time we finally found something, we took it -- ignoring the fact that it wasn't exactly our idea of a nice hotel. We knew we would only be there for 8 hours, if that, so we made it work.

As we got on the road that next morning, we mapped out what we were going to do once we got to Denver. We knew we wanted to tour the city a little bit, but didn't know what exactly we would tour. I guess that's what happens when you don't research ahead of time! Oh well. After browsing the web through my Blackberry, I found that a majority of Denver hot spots didn't allow for basset hounds. With it being quite warm outside, we knew -- like Salt Lake City -- keeping him locked up wasn't going to work. By the time we got to the downtown area, we just decided to scratch previous plans and just continue on our way. We waved to Denver and headed on east.

It wasn't long after we passed the downtown area that we noticed something odd. The smell of the outside area had a very distinct odor -- dog food. Sure enough, we were passing the Purina dog food plant! James looked back and noticed that Obadiah's nose was going CRAZY!!! We laughed so hard as we watched Oba sniff around -- investigating where on earth that amazing aroma was coming from. I'm sure he thought he had hit a buffet of awesomeness. Forget the Yankee Candle "Midsummer's Night" air freshener...the smell of Purina dog food is way better! At least in Obadiah's opinion...


That pretty much sums up our experiences in Colorado. I never realized how much farmland covered eastern CO until this recent drive. Before long, we were in Kansas -- the most boring state to drive through...ever! Sorry to offend those from this beautiful state, but oh my gosh...driving straight across was nearly torture. We've done many cross-country drives thanks to the military and this was by far the longest -- or so it felt! I mean, it was beautiful to look at, but we felt like we weren't making any progress on the map. Every time I would get excited about making it to a certain mile marker (helps in times of boredom), James would ask that I don't show him...that it'll only make it worse, ha. It's just hard when you go hours on end without any signs of civilization!

A few shots of Kansas...



The moon was beautiful that night!

As we neared Kansas City, I got bored again...

This reminds me of the Sprint logo...

After celebrating as we crossed state lines again, we debated whether or not we should just drive all night and make it home to Indy or stop at another hotel. After so many nights in hotels, we were done. We longed for the guest bedroom at my parents house more than ever! The further we got though, the more we realized we should stop for the night. When we were about 6 hours away from Indy, we grabbed a hotel and called it a night.

Just before stopping, though, we noticed something...I don't know if anyone else was aware of this, but there was a Harvest Moon that night! In fact, after reading about it online, I guess they called it a "Super Harvest Moon." How cool! We noticed a bright light just below the moon, and soon realized it was actually Jupiter. This kind of stuff is very interesting to us, so we thoroughly enjoyed seeing that.

It may be hard to see in this picture, but here it is...(Okay, I guess Jupiter looks like a speck of dust in the picture, but it appeared to be much larger in person!)

Anyways...After settling in for the night at the hotel and getting a shower, I came back to see that Obadiah must've been freezing in the room. He was totally covered and cuddled up in his bed, ha. Sweet Oba...

When we crossed state lines into Indiana that next day, I think we both shouted out! We were so done with this drive. It was fun at first, but like every road trip...after a couple of days, we're DONE! By the early afternoon, we arrived at my parents house and settled in for a few days. We made our rounds with seeing both sets of parents and one of my four sisters that night -- making for another long, but enjoyable day. I can't even begin to tell you how good it felt to hit the bed that night -- knowing that the rest of our road trip would not start up again for at least a couple of days.

We had a lot of plans for our time in Indy -- most importantly, we were going to visit our daughter, Olivia. With it being James' first time back to Indy since her funeral, this was going to be a rough, but very important visit...

4 comments:

  1. I love all the sweet pics of Oba...too cute! Looks like a great trip. Even if Kansas was boring, the pictures are beautiful...;)

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  2. I agree with Rhiannon boring or not it made for some BEAUTIFUL photos!

    Check out my blog - I'm doing a giveaway (in case you want to enter it!) <3

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  3. I love reading about your trip! Although it was long, it sure looks like you saw some amazing sights...including Oba's reactions to his surroundings. I love the picture of him near the Purina Factory! Well, I love all of his pictures. I can only imagine the smiles he brings you both. You take beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  4. Glad you are enjoying your trip...the pictures are turning out amazing! :)

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