The Trip 2002
Can you imagine loading up a van with 3 teenagers, 1 baby, 2 dogs and a husband and wife to travel halfway across the country? Do they survive? One of the teenagers has studied the Donner Party trip and she packed bbq sauce in her suitcase. One of the dogs is a ridgeback, to those who don't know, they are their own methane greenhouse gas ozone destroying machine.

Day 1: Home (Stockton Ca. to Mt. Hualapai County Park Az. (South of Kingman)We left Stockton at 6:00 am.



These kids are way too awake for getting up that early


The dogs have the right idea

We listen to the Lord of the Rings book on CD. We should be on the road long enough to finish it.

It seemed like it took forever to get out of California, to celebrate, we had to stop for local eats.

We're sure glad Arizona has Dairy Queen's

We arrived at Hualapai Mountain just south of Kingman Az. It was about 20 degrees cooler than the desert floor. The night after we left it snowed.

Day 2: Hualapai Mountain AZ. To Albuquerque NM.

In the morning we got back on the 40 heading east to 180 south to the south entrance to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. Once we got back to the desert floor the wind was extreme.

This is a picture of some indian graffiti from about 1300, I wonder what made them draw a stork eating a baby.

It started to rain as we headed into New Mexico. So as you can see from the picture below, we decided to rough it at a Howard Johnson's in Albuquerque. 


Day 3: Albuquerque NM. to Palo Duro Canyon Tx.

We got up real early and headed on the 40 towards Texas. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon. The web pictures can not do it justice. When we go again, we will rent some horses and tour the canyon.


Nicole tried to do some stunt work. It took about 4 days for her to heal.

This is Nicole before her stunt accident.

This is post accident. I think she watches too many Jackie Chan movies. She thinks she can do her own stunts.

Hey Dad, I just messed Texas



The view from our campsite

This is some of the wild-life we had to be careful of. Yosemite has it's bears and Palo Duro has it's wild turkeys.

Day 4-7: Palo Duro Canyon Tx. to Godley Tx. (just south of Fort Worth)

Leaving the canyon on I-27 south towards Lubbock. It must have been a real slow news day in Lubbock because when we pulled into a rest stop to eat lunch a news crew from KCBD channel 11 came in to interview us.

We must have looked real bad because the wind was blowing about 50 mph. We didn't get to see the interview because that evening we made it to Fort Worth area. I as the news lady about the wind and she said "of course it is windy honey, we don't have any trees"

they are setting up the video camera to watch us pull out.

This picture is from the KCBD web site

the sprawling metropolis of Lubbock, who recently got gilted by Britney Spears. At least we stayed for our interview.

After Lubbock we headed south east on 84 to I-20. About half way to I-20 we finished the books on cd Lord of the Rings. We finally made it to the out-skirts of Fort Worth.

This is what Fort Worth looks like from about 15 miles and 500 miles of bug guts.

This is my sister house and one of her many pets in Godley Tx.

We went to Dinosaur Valley Park about 30 miles south of Fort Worth.

at least they think of safety first at this park. This jug is about 500 yards up the hill from the river.

don't stand too close, we don't want anyone to know we are family.

don't eat me, eat the baby.

Back at Robin's place.

Below the burro has a small growth on it's back and in the second picture it's removing the growth!

The next day we went to Fort Worth Stockyards to shop and check out the cattle drive


oops who left the camera on?

The next day we had to leave, nobody was happy about that, but we said our tearful good-byes...

bye Cissy :'S


Day 7-10: Godley Tx. to Roswell NM.

Now we headed back west towards Roswell N.M. Because of the extreme fire danger a lot of the New Mexico state parks were closed. Bottemless Lakes was one of the only parks open for camping. No charcoal fires were allowed. That was really bad since we bought ribs, chicken, steaks for bbq before we left Texas.

Here is Nicole working with our fried chicken batter. Now we weren't planning on having fried chicken, but since we couldn't have bbq chicken we adapted. We also didn't have any flour, but we had some kickin' spices and some Krusteaz pancake mix. It turned out really good.

Can you believe Bonnie's dish washing outfit. I guess Texas really rubbed off on her.


Since we were in the area, we decided to visit some ufo places.

Nicole trying to do home school instruction. She said it was her sister.

After all that UFO stuff we had to relax.

The trailer came with a jacuzzi. Too bad it only fit Hunter


Day 10: Roswell NM. to Benson Az. (just east of Tucson Az.)


Leaving Roswell we headed west on 380. We planned on taking 70 through Ruidoso, but because of severe forest fires in the area we stayed on 380 to I-25 to I-10, which brought us to Capitan (birthplace of Smokey Bear), Valley of Fires (a valley full of lava flows),Whitesands Missle Base, and the Trinity site. Home of the first atomic test in the United States

this one of the lava flows in the Valley of Fire

Whitesands Missile Base

Trinity Now on to I-10

Of course we had to stop and see the thing

Day 11: Benson Az. to Barstow Ca 


This was the start of a bad day. When we got out to the van we found the emergency break-away switch had been activated during the night and drained the battery and damaged the trailer brakes. Later on in the day as we crossed into California the speed limit changes from 75mph to 55mph for vehicles with trailers and I didn't change the cruise control from 70 to 55 mph and Mr. Highway Patrol reminded us. We did however get to go through the Colorado River Indian Territory on our way to see the London Bridge and we did get to try some fried Indian Bread.

this is the London Bridge.

  welcome to California

After talking it over, decided not to end the trip and camp in Barstow and take highway 395 home. When we got to Barstow it was over 100 degrees with a low of 83 degrees during the night. So we decided to stay at a hotel. Nicole wanted to see Gilmore Girls so we pulled in early. After getting to the hotel we found that they didn't get the WB. Poor Nicole. See I told you it was a bad day.

Hunter's breakfast


Day 12: Barstow Ca. to Home (Stockton Ca.)

We got up before 6:00 to make the final and longest leg of the trip. It's a good thing we got up early because Navigator Bonnie, got us onto the 15 heading south. We took 15 to Hesperia and got onto 395 there. at least we got to see Victorville

this was Owens Lake, the white powder is alkalines which blows into the Owens Valley towns when the wind picks up.

The Owens Valley Radio Observatory is the largest university-operated radio observatory in the world. The Observatory is located near Bishop, California.

this is in Bishop, everyone thought is was cool to see snow capped mountains behind a grocery store and Kmart.

the water temperature in the creek is perfect for raising trout year round.

the next stop was the Hot Springs in the Long Valley Caldera.
It is awesome to see and touch water that was heated by magma.

our dog was curious with the bubbling mud away from the creek

The next stop on our whirlwind tour was Mono Lake, the water level seemed higher than it was a few years ago. There also was a lot less brine shrimp and flies. Maybe we were to early in the season for them

after Mono Lake we climbed the volcano Panum Crater

Next stop Yosemite. 395 to 120 Isn't California the greatest, we woke up on the 90 degree desert floor at Barstow and that afternoon we are standing in snow.

as you can see, we were dressed for the snow ;-)

Last stop home, a ton of laundry, a lot of sad faces, and a dirty van

Well, we survived the trip. everyone was sad for the trip to end. We, ("we" actually means everybody),are already planning the next long road trip, we are going to Washington State, B.C. Canada, Alaska, Edmonton (the mall), and we will come home through Yellowstone. We have to do the Texas thing again. I miss my sister, and I am out of Big Red soda.