Saturday, April 20, 2024

Day 5 Home at last

 Had a nice quiet night and slept well.  We got up early and on the road by 8 o'clock with home as our destination.  It was a 430-mile drive and we did it in 7 hours.  

We were home at 3 o'clock and there was not a hitch the whole day.  A little windy driving north on I-55 the last 120 miles from St. Louis to home.

Our neighbors gave Dolly a lighted sign with letters, numbers and emojis.  Dolly made a sign for our homecoming.

Yuma is happy to be in the chair with his dad and Teddy has already fell in love with Dolly.

When I arrived home, I told Dolly I wasn't tired, but the 5 days of driving finally hit me.  I am happy to be home and ready to have a long rest in my own bed. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Day 4 on the road and pictures of the Natural Bridges National Monument

Got a quiet night's sleep last night and we slept in till 8 o'clock Central Time.  It was a cool sunny 46 degrees with a pretty good 20 mph breeze out of the north making it feel downright cold.

We were on our way at 9 o'clock and as the day went along it became warmer and there were no gusts like yesterday, so it was a much better drive day.

Didn't know where I was going to end up for the night, but time told the tail.  We reached the Missouri Welcome Center at 4:30 and called it a night or so I thought!

I was parked way out in the corner hoping the trucks would stay away.  I had just fed the doggies and put the grill out to cook some potato slices and a steak when a big black semi pulled right next to my grill.  He shut off his engine, but of course it was a refrigerated truck so there was a very noisy engine sound right next to my bedroom.

As I was stepping out to put the potatoes on the grill, he was coming out of the rig.  He had the most humongous male Pitbull on a leash.  I stopped immediately on the step and the dogs started barking at him.  As he tried to contain his dog, he yelled "Don't let your dog out!"  I immediately shut my door till he walked of with the dog.

With all the parking places he could have selected next to his semi buddies he parked right next to my rig.  I went ahead and cooked and ate my dinner, but he wasn't leaving.  Two can play this game; I left!

There was a Walmart 17 miles further down the road I had stayed at before and that's where we ended up, hopefully for the night.  Security pointed out where to park and we're good with them.  Of course, this is Friday night, so there will be some noise, I'm sure.

We drove 406 miles and Google said in 6 hours.  We made it in 12 hours.  Next, I will provide pictures of the Natural Bridges National Monument we visited on the 15th.

April 15, 2024

I learned that the Natural Bridges National Monument is only 45 miles from here and because they are calling for a very cool, windy and cloudy day, I decided this was an addition to the agenda.

The kids had me up at 7, but after a quick walk we nestled back in till 8 o'clock.  Those last minutes of rest are crucial.  We got up and had breakfast and I even made a pot of coffee for the first time in days. The mornings haven't been too leisurely for me lately.

My plan was to go there and see what there was to see and get back.  Got everything ready and threw the dogs and stuff in the Jeep and we were off at 10:30. As we reached hwy 261, I realized my hot cup of coffee was on the counter, so I guess there won't be a morning coffee.

The drive is approximately 45 miles north, so not more than an hour's drive.  As I drove north, I noticed there is a very long plateau ahead of us and I wondered how it was going to be 45 minutes when that monster went for miles in both directions.

Guess what, no going around.  We went straight up!  Not exactly! It was a dirt road that zigzagged to the top.

I'm at the top and it doesn't look good!

Guess what greeted us as we reached the top of the plateau?  A snow showers!

It was another 25 miles, and we were at the entrance.

There are three natural bridges along a 7-mile loop.  I stopped at the first one and tried to hike to the bottom to get a better picture than at the viewpoint, but it was almost a mile straight down the gorge to the river bottom and I pooped out quickly and returned.  

A couple pictures below of the drive.

The second one I couldn't really see, but I took a couple of pictures from the viewpoint.

I think it is in the center of the picture.

and moved on to the third and last one.

Now this one had a great view from the viewpoint, and it was only a quarter of a mile down to it.  I can do that!  It was the best of the three and I was the only person down there.  I laid on the dry riverbed and took pictures looking straight up.

Couple of pictures of the path I took.

Time to head home.

We're flying like the birds.

We made it home at 3 o'clock.  It turned out to be partly cloudy and I was able to get great pictures.  I really enjoyed the Jeep climb to the top of the plateau.  It was an unexpected surprise.  The hike down to the last bridge was great too.  There was hardly anyone on the Monument Loop, so I practically had the place to myself.  For a younger person, the hiking in this area would be a lot of fun.

After resting for a while and eating 12 Ritz crackers with peanut butter and a cheese topping, I was ready to get the Jeep hooked up and be ready for a much longer loop tomorrow.  Lots more pictures to come.  It is just unfortunate that there is not a strong internet service anywhere around here, but there will be a catch-up soon.

Thanks for stopping by.