Moab is beautiful too

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I can’t drive by Moab and not stop. I just can’t do it! Arches and canyonlands are incredible landscapes, and it made a nice background for our picnic on the way out. We didn’t have a whole lot of time, so I mostly gave Emily the quick tour, with a promise we would be back later to camp and explore. Maybe next summer we can pull off the trip I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, exploring Colorado and Utah over a couple week period. Maybe…

Colorado is a beautiful place

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While in Colorado we decided to take highway 50 through Canon City and over Monarch Pass to one of our only planned stops, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The park was quiet, and beautiful as ever, which is why it’s one of my favorite to parks to have visited. The canyon is a smaller version of the Grand Canyon, but it probably sees one tenth of the visitors.

Emily took this iPhone panorama picture, but due to the shade and lighting during our time there we didn’t do too well on taking anything too high quality. Once again, we played with the cameras a little, but we mostly just decided to soak it up and take some mental pictures.

Dodge City, Kansas

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Well… I’d love to show you some cool pictures from Dodge City, but unfortunately there aren’t any. The town wasn’t all so much, and luckily for us we just kind of happens to show up there for lunch. A place with quite a bit of historical significance, we thought it might be a little different than it was when we got out of the truck to look around. At least it’s not a wannabe Disneyland, but there isn’t hardly anything going on here.

My advice to those who are thinking of stopping in? I wouldn’t go out of my way, but it’s really just like any other town in Kansas. If you want to see some good stuff in Kansas, look out the window as you’re driving, there’s history all around!

On the road

We’ve been pushing pretty hard on our drive across country, making it into Kansas tonight. The plan is to make it to Colorado then slow down a little bit to take in some sights.

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So far, our trip has been mostly uneventful, since we haven’t taken much time to get off the beaten path just yet. Our route to this point has been mostly I-64 through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri , but we plan on running across I-70 through Kansas and then cutting down to US-50 to make our way through Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

So far, I’ve been fairly surprised by the beauty of all the places along our path, and I’ve wished a few times we could stop and hang out for a spell. Key places that I would really like to come back and explore include Charleston, WV, Harpers Ferry, WV, the New River Gorge in WV, the Indiana “Cave Trail”, and honestly, every cool old rusty barn with hay rolls stacked in front of it along the way.

After tomorrow I should be able to snap some decent pictures, but until then…

Palouse River, WA

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The Palouse Hills are a beautiful part of the countryside north of the Snake River. As you can tell by the picture above, the Palouse River has cut a picturesque swath through the hills that is definitely worth checking out. I made my way up to the falls the other day, and while I didn’t end up with the picture I was hoping to get, I managed to snap a couple pretty decent shots. This is one of my favorite places in the area, so I’m sure I’ll be back in an effort to finally capture the falls how I would like it.

Planning to not plan

It’s a funny thing how easy it is to get caught up in the maybes and what ifs of life. When considering things to do on a vacation, it’s really easy to get caught up in the wealth of information available on the Internet, and then feel the need to plan every second of a trip out. In the end, is your vacation better? I don’t think so.

The trip that I’m about to take with my girlfriend Emily could be planned very easily, but why? Why would I want to do that? In the days before the Internet folks would hop in the car and drive across country, only knowing where point a and point b was, and the rest they left up to a road atlas and something even more archaic. Wait. You had better sit down for this. People actually talked to other people! They asked directions, and for recommendations! Imagine that, right? I know it’s strange to think of, but it’s true.

So what are we going to do on our trip? Drive west. We might take 70 for a while, or not. We might take 50 for a while, or not. We will have to see how it goes, because when you live in the here and now things are way more interesting.

Let the adventure begin.

Food and Wine

My days of reading Food and Wine magazine have come and gone, but every now and then there’s one laying around, so I pick it up. It’s never a bad read, I guess.

In the latest issue we have a review of the ship here, from last year. It speaks highly of us (because we rock) and has a bunch of good things to say about the chef who was on at the time, Clayton Barton, who is a really good guy and a pretty good cook as well. Congrats to the other Clayton on the sea bird! You can read the article here.

My upcoming trip

In about a week I will be making a trip across country with my girlfriend Emily. We will be making our way from Maryland to California on a route chosen more for scenes than for being a straight line. The point of this trip is to move my girlfriend out to California so that we can live together, but it is also going to be a precursor for the many more adventures we will take.

We have a route in mind, 64 to 70 to 50 basically, but we want to stop and smell the roses along the way. We know that there’s plenty to see in Colorado, Utah and Nevada, but we could use a little help with the first half of the trip. Does anyone have a suggestion of cool things to see close to our intended route through West Virginia, Missouri, Illinois, or Kansas?