First of all, I want to start out by saying that the wedding and honeymoon were a blast. We had a great day and a great couple-week vacation afterwords. Of course when we have a lot of fun it usually means that we took a lot of pictures. The honeymoon was no exception, since we took about 3000 photos in the 2 weeks that we traveled (including pictures of Stony Brook here in New York and Niagara Falls).
We started off our honeymoon by leaving Legacy Banquet Center in Grove City and travelling to an “unspecified location”. We left the “unspecified location” and drove through West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. That means that we travelled through Tom Raper country, around Indianapolis, and through way too many states for one day of driving. After a late-night stop at Steak ‘N Shake, on the border between Illinois and Missouri, we arrived at our destination for the night. Coincidentally, or not, we were only 15 minutes from the St. Louis Arch.
The next day was pretty uneventful. We meandered towards the elevators that go up the Arch, mingled at the top for a bit, took in the view, then decided to drive through Missouri and all 400+ miles of Kansas, just for S’s and G’s. The plains were cool, kinda flat, though. We saw a funky thunderstorm, but managed to escape golf ball sized hail by about 5 miles. So all was well when we arrived in Colorado, only a few short hours from our stop.
The third day, code-named “Destination Denver“, went according to plan. Kind of. We attempted to find an apartment…. well, we found quite a few, but one was bordering the ghetto. They rented Clubs so you could “protect” your car, and there was a way-too-drunk-for-1 pm guy by the corner liquor store. The next place looked institutional, which isn’t really a problem, but to exit the street you need to make a turn at a stop sign. No light, just a sign, onto one of the main 4 lane roads through one of the busiest Denver suburbs. The hospital nearby was no comfort, since we didn’t want to have to make use of it.
Undeterred, we found food and caffeine and wandered down to Littleton. Yes, the place made famous back in 1999 by a few wacko crack-pots. (Not to be confused with the desk/under the desk good times in the Clinton Whitehouse, or Waco, TX.) Anyway, we found a cool place called Vine Street. It’s a little small, but in a good area with a lot of stores around. So, that’s home for at least 6 months!
We also found a great mall to the north of Denver, called Flat Iron Crossing. And we discovered that Boulder has some great views of the Rockies.
Then we got the bright idea to enter Utah. That’s right, we braved the Land of Hot Sun, Bad Construction, and *dum dum dum dum* MORMONS ( ) to go to Arches National Park. (Okay, so the construction wasn’t THAT bad.) Arches was pretty neat, except that Louisa wanted to go on the first hike. At 2pm. On a very sunny day. Through red rock cliffs. And no shade. Hey, at least we had sunscreen! After that, we discovered two things. (1) We needed to go get more water. (2) Hiking in an oven is a bad idea. Despite these realizations, we still managed to go on another, shaded, hike, and see a bunch of cool rock formations, mountain views, and arches. We also saw a few lizards, who weren’t concerned about the triple digit temps.
We then drove north, through all of Utah, parts of Idaho, and into Wyoming, where we finally stopped at Jackson. After chilling in Jackson and eating at a small Chinese Buffet (hey, I wanted to go) that night, we hit up a day of hiking in the Tetons.
We decided to start the day with a nice, short 2 mile hike. First, we had to get to the trailhead. The road had a sign: High Clearance Vehicles Recommended. No problem, since we had the Taurus. Remarkably, the car didn’t scrape on the 4″ – 6″ high rocks sticking out of the road. After finally reaching the trailhead, we began the hike. The weather was great, and so were the views. We could see quite a few mountain peaks, a little waterfall, and some patches of snow. We even saw a funky squirrel and a prairie dog. What we weren’t expecting was to turn a corner and be about 50 yards from a nice, large, male cinnamon bear. We stopped, he stopped eating his leaves. After a short staring contest, he turned to wander farther up the trail. That’s when we took a picture. He heard the sound, since he whipped his head around to stare at us. Satisfied that we weren’t following him, he turned around again. So we took another picture. He ignored us this time, though. After 3.4 ns of thought, we chose to call it an early day and go find another trail.
In our next segment, we will cover everything from Yellowstone to the worst toll road in the country. To be continued…
Stony Brook State Park, NY (6/15/2006)
Cedar Point (6/12/2006)
Sears Tower (6/9/2006)
Wall Drug, Badlands National Park, and the Corn Palace (6/8/2006)
Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore National Parks (6/7/2006)
The Rodeo in Cody, WY (6/6/2006)
Yellowstone: Lake Area and Grizzly Encounter (6/6/2006)
Yellowstone: Canyon Area (6/5/2006)
Yellowstone: West Thumb and Old Faithful Geyser Areas (6/4/2006)
Driving Through the Tetons and Yellowstone (6/3/2006)
Grand Tetons: Bradley and Taggert Lake Trails (6/3/2006)
Grand Tetons: Death Canyon Bear Encounter (6/3/2006)
Driving from Arches to the Grand Tetons (6/2/2006)
Arches National Park (6/1/2006)
Driving from Denver to Arches National Park (6/1/2006)
Driving to Denver (5/31/2006)
Driving to St. Louis (5/28/2006)