Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Salt Lake & Medicine Bow

It's really difficult to find the Great Salt Lake. The only directions we could find were in a guide brochure at our hotel in Salt Lake City, and they were wrong. They said to get off at exit 335, when 332 is the correct exit. I just assumed that surely there would be signs telling us where to get off the highway—no directions needed. ...I thought.

Without signs, and carrying incorrect directions, we still managed to wind our way around neighborhoods till we came to the entrance. Phew. The park ranger who we paid to get in said it happens every day, and apologized. Strange.

Looking at these photos, would you say it was worth the effort though? Ohhh, yeaaa. Wow.

Fish can't live in the Great Salt Lake, but it's full of tiny brine shrimp that the birds love to eat. The girls spent half the day scooping brine shrimp up into their cupped hands, looking at them, and then scooping up more.

It was so shallow that we had to walk out very far to sit down in a foot of water. Perfect for little ones.

Since I already posted photos of our last day, at the awesome Salt Lake City Library, on The Spunky Coconut, I'll skip ahead now to day one of our drive home.

Shortly after passing Rawlins, Wyoming on I-80, we saw a sign for a scenic route and took it. Scenic route 130 took us to Saratoga, Wyoming—a really cute little place. Just past the town of Saratoga we saw these little cabins, and decided to spend the night there.

The cabins were on the edge of Medicine Bow National Forest. In the morning we had some Fiona's GF strawberry quinoa cereal and almond milk, then got back into the minivan.

Medicine Bow National Forest...

There was still lots of snow up there, even in the summer. It was beautiful. I've never seen light steel grey rock cliffs like that before. There were also several lakes and streams all along the road.

We drove through Medicine Bow on 130 E, which took us to Centennial and then Laramie, where we got onto 287 S.

287 S took us into Colorado to Fort Collins, where I took I-25 the rest of the way home to Longmont. From Fort Collins we were were home in no time, got the car unpacked, and had laundry in the washing machine before dinner. It was nice to be home in the afternoon rather than late in the evening.

Today was our first full day back, and although we love to travel, we are so happy to be home :-)

Love, Kelly

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gateway splash ground today

I'm going to put a bunch of photos here and on The Spunky Coconut, but first I wanted to get this little video clip up to show you :-) Here is Zoe prancing around the Gateway splash ground, here in Salt Lake City.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Colorodo through Wyoming

Yesterday we headed up 287 N. through Ft. Collins, CO and on into Wyoming. It was so green. Crazy blue skies, perfect clouds, bright sunshine.

I've never seen so many medical marijuana shops. We must have passed at least 4 before we reached Wyoming. And then there was nothing but wide open space when we got on to Route 80 in Wyoming.

American flags on hilltops, on billboards, at truck stops.

Tractors, 18 wheelers, not a lot of cars. The speed limit is 75 miles per hour.

Then we arrived at the park where we planned to camp... It was dangerously windy.

But incredibly beautiful.

We tried to decide if it was too risky to stay and camp. The wind was blowing so hard one of our tent poles snapped as we tried to put up the tent. Andy and I looked at the rain clouds and lightening in the distance... It was coming our way.

So we got in the van and drove back to the main road, Route 80. The rain was pouring down by then, and we had to drive below the speed limit because of the strong wind. We contemplated going straight to Salt Lake City, figuring it was only a few more hours, but were enticed by some Little America Hotel billboards.

The hotel was a great deal: 2 bedrooms, one king, one queen, fairly large, very clean, only $79 for the night. We did something we never do at home... watch TV. At home we don't even have TV. After a couple of Bobby Flay Throwdown's, it was time for us to throwdown and go to sleep.

This morning Ashley woke up early: 6:00 AM. We were on the road around 8:00. Wyoming is the perfect place for these wind turbines. They make my heart happy. We passed about a hundred of them on the way here, in Evanston, Wyoming, at Main Street Artisans Cafe and Gallery.

Time to publish this and get back on the road. Next stop, Salt Lake City. We've never been there and we're super excited. Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Little Rascals

Click to see it larger.

All of these kids live on our street, and play nearly every night :-)

Left to right: Ashley, Fatima, Zoe, Abi, Tanya, Kelsey, Madeline, Blaire

Off-camera to the left is Rose, Madeline's sister.

Believe it or not we are missing three kids from our block in this photo: Zion, Sage and Jacobi

So when they are all present that's 12 kids under age 9, just on our street. They are going to have some great memories I think :-)

A close-up from last week. They are so beautiful =)