Sunday, December 9, 2012


It was just two weeks ago that we piled six adults and one two-year-old into the Flex and headed off for Texas. We headed south, toured Garden of the Gods, visited Linda and Chuck’s mom’s hometown, and ate at the same restaurant that their dad had taken their mom. We then continued down the interstate to Raton. There we split off onto US 287 and angled our way to Amarillo for the evening.

The next day, after breakfast at the doughnut shop, we were off for Dallas. In the next week we stayed in Dallas — Macaroni Grill, Austin — Salt Lick and Sixth Street, San Antonio — the river walk and Alamo, Houston and beach combing in Galveston. There we spent delicious time at Fisherman’s Wharf with their aunt Carol. Then back to Dallas for four more days of worship, graduation, eating, and water parks.

Then Linda and I headed back home. We drove north through Oklahoma City and into Kansas. In Texas the gas was $3.55, Kansas was higher. Soon we were back in Colorado and paying $3.65. Three thousand miles and over a hundred gallons of gas later, the first part of our trip was over.

We spent two days at home packing and visiting with our grandchildren. An oil change and two new tires and the Flex is ready to hit the road again. We stuffed it full of goodies addressed to Alaska and headed north. Now we’re in Wyoming and paying $3.55 a gallon again. Tomorrow we’ll go through Ogden and then north to Idaho on our journey west. We’ll drive through the Columbia Gorge and on to Portland where I’ll do my best to keep it weird. I’m guessing the gas prices go up from here!

After a couple of weeks we’ll drive up to Bellingham and catch the ferry North to Haines, Alaska. The three day ocean voyage should be very restful. From Haines we’ll drive through Canada to Fairbanks. Should arrive just in time to catch a small plane up the Yukon river, hundreds of miles from the nearest road. After a week in the bush, it’s back to Fairbanks

Then Linda’s dad, his lady friend, and Mark will fly up and spend two weeks with us up there. Planning some road trips to Homer and Valdez. At some point we’ll wear out our welcome and continue the odyssey down the Alaska Hi-way. You old timers would call it the Alcan. That will lead us to Montana just in time to head back to Oregon for our annual family meeting on the coast with my dad, brother, and sister. Then we will head home to pack for our trip east to Virginia Beach for more reunions and visiting friends. We should be back home by October.

Being retired means the vacations never end … at least as long as the money lasts.

Originally written June 4, 2011.

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