Category Archives: The Journey Not the Destination

Lemmon Eye Candy: Sunset Photo Gallery, Mt. Lemmon, Tucson, AZ

Valentine’s Day 2016. Desert cactus. Snow skiing. Stunning sunset after hiking. Prepare yourself for eye candy a.k.a. a photo gallery of our day trip to Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, AZ.

We started with desert cactus at the base . . .

and wound up in snow at the peak . . .

followed by hiking and spectacular Lemmon candy at sunset . . .

and perhaps my favorite photo of the day . . .

LemmonMtn_DSC02028_UR‘Nuf said!



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Happy trails, y’all!

Hope your Valentine’s Day was just as special.

XOXO

Sue J signature

Got Gas? Utah Offers an Old-Time Fix

Confession: Sometimes the smell of gas makes me weak in the knees–in a good way. That, and the smell of used motor oil and Gunk.

These three things–gas, used motor oil, and Gunk–in combination transport me back to a significant portion of my youth where I spent a lot of time helping Dad in our garage. Gunk was a product my dad used to clean his hands at the end of a day fixing one of several Volkswagen engines or their interchangeable-parts-cousins, one of several lawnmower engines.

I’m pretty sure Gunk, a cleaning product with the fine aroma of gasoline, was meant for cleaning car engines, but Dad kept jars of it in the garage and the house for soaking his fingers like he was soaking in Palmolive. (Palmolive was a dishwashing liquid, peddled for other purposes on their TV commercials, such as skin beautification–I can still remember Madge, Palmolive’s TV-commercial mascot, saying, “So gentle, you can soak your hands in it.”)  No insult to Dad (God rest his soul.), but I seriously doubt  Gunk’s inventors envisioned their product being used as part of my father’s beauty regimen.

Odd as it seems, altogether or individually, gasoline, motor oil, and Gunk transport me back to a happy childhood. Grease-soaked rags. Bolts. Workbenches. And Dad.

So, it should not have been a surprise to me (nor now, to you!) that I found myself snapping pictures of gas pumps on our recent lengthy road trip to eight national parks in the west and northwest United States.

The initial rush might have hit me back at this eclectic barn/garage in Oregon on the way north to Olympic National Park in Washington State:

eclectic garage, vintage tools

In Wyoming, somewhere near Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park, I snapped this photo of a well-kept (or well-refurbished), old-school Texaco pump:

vintage gas pump, antique gas pump, Texaco, fire-chief

Then, I got a rush of nostalgia when we stopped for gas at this Sinclair gas station shortly after entering the state of Utah (I’ll bet I haven’t seen a Sinclair dinosaur since I was a kid.):

nostalgia, Sinclair gas stations, Sinclair dinosaur

We hit the mother load outside of Lake Utah State Park in Provo, Utah, with this great display alongside a storage facility. Fabulous! I love the antique visible (a.k.a. see-through) gas pumps.

Here’s a great article about these antique visible gas pumps from a fella who pumped them when they weren’t antiques . . .

Vintage Visible Gas Pumps

and then check out this great video showing a working vintage gas pump in Glendale, Utah. I love it!



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This was just one experience of many on our three-week Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip to eight national parks in the western United States. To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks

or check out any of our posts along the way . . .

Day 1, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Travel Log: Willits, CA, KOA Campground

Early Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Toilet Bowls, Vintage New Yorkers, and the Eclectic

Later Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Drive-Thru Redwoods, Giants, and Castles

Day 3, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Gigantic Marshmallows of Oregon

Day 4, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Captivating Washington Coastline

Day 5, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Olympiad Deer, Bald Eagles, and Chica Birds

Early Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Port Townsend, WA, See It All and Sea Otters Too!

Later Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bison vs. Humans: You Can’t Fix Stupid

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park

Day 14, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Journey to the Center of Utah

Day 14, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Journey to the Center of Utah

I’m officially in the wild-animal Twilight Zone. It’s no joke that animals are literally in my face on this trip (remember my encounters from the last post? 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park). Even after leaving Wyoming’s wildlife-abundant national parks, we still happened upon large critters on the road to Utah . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Utah, Wyoming, wildlife

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Utah, Wyoming, wildlife

that brazenly stopped traffic and sauntered by my car window . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Utah, Wyoming, wildlife

When we left the “Yellowstone / Grand Teton / Jackson Hole” area on Day 15, we made our way to Utah.  Are you familiar with the saying “It’s the journey, not the destination?” Well, I can honestly say the best part of this trip for me has often been the drive to the next place. Most of the time, I’ve been hanging out the window with my camera, taking pictures on the fly, or reaching over Mark while he drives to take pictures out HIS window. At this point of the trip, just willy nilly holding the camera out the window and snapping  photos works, too.

By now, it should be clear that I remain obsessed with hay on this trip,

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

how hay is stored,

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

how hay ends up looking like this . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

when it started off looking like this . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

This New York suburbanite had no idea that lush green hay fields went through a cutting process that lumped the cuttings in neat rows and left them to dry, later to be rolled and bound. Whether drying hay chased itself in huge crop circles or raced along in straight lines with trains that helped define property lines, hay kept grabbing my attention. Maybe there’s a future for me in processing hay. Anything is possible.

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

We headed out of Wyoming via Route 89 South, despite the fact we planned on taking I-15 South. The trip via I-15 may have gotten us to Provo, Utah, faster, but it was so pleasurable to travel a very rural Route 89. If we hadn’t gone this way, besides missing in-your-face cattle and dozens of hay fields, we wouldn’t have been able to take this shot while passing through Afton . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery, Afton

or this shot of three dogs riding at 70 mph on the back of a fifth-wheel truck . . .

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, hay, scenery

You see that country dog there? He’s looking at our suburbanite dog, thinking either “You think YOUR life is tough?” or “That’s right. No biggie. I do this every day.” I can’t be sure which, but I was impressed.

The truck’s toothless, smiling driver gave us a thumbs up, no doubt for our teardrop trailer, at about the same time I was giving him a thumbs up for his bad-ass dogs. Our dog simply groaned, something to the effect of “Really? And what am I? Chopped liver?”

Shortly after, we crossed the Utah border. If the “Welcome to Utah” sign hadn’t announced the state line, the immediate change in terrain would’ve done the trick.

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A few hours later, we were settled in our resting place for the night, Lake Utah State Park in Provo, Utah, where we managed to hook up with my niece who just flew in that same day from the east coast to attend college at BYU.

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, scenery, Provo, Utah Lake State Park DAY_14_22 DAY_14_23

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, tiny trailer, national park road trip,, Utah, Wyoming, journey not the destination, landscape, scenery, Provo, Utah Lake State Park

All in all, this has been a great trip thus far . . . every . . .  last . . . bit of it!



 

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We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com


To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks

Or any of our stops so far on the way . . .

Day 1, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Travel Log: Willits, CA, KOA Campground

Early Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Toilet Bowls, Vintage New Yorkers, and the Eclectic

Later Day 2, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Drive-Thru Redwoods, Giants, and Castles

Day 3, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Gigantic Marshmallows of Oregon

Day 4, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Captivating Washington Coastline

Day 5, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Olympiad Deer, Bald Eagles, and Chica Birds

Early Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Port Townsend, WA, See It All and Sea Otters Too!

Later Day 6, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wild, Wicked Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bison vs. Humans: You Can’t Fix Stupid

3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Wildlife IN YOUR FACE in Grand Teton National Park

Midway on 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Just Stop; You’re Missing It!

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Did I mention this 3-week trip to the national parks of the western United States has been a life-long dream of mine? In this moment, I am living my dream. My initial thought was to capture and convey the trip to you as we mozy on from point to point, providing clever narrative and stunning photos as we go.

But I am here . . . living my dream . . . a dream of a lifetime.

So, the trip updates are less frequent than intended, the narratives brief, the photos uncropped.

First, I attempted to write and post every morning, which stole from reflective early morning conversation with my partner.

Second, I tried to write and post from the car en route to the next point. Nice idea, but I was missing the show outside my window. On a trip like this, to places where I’ve never been, every bit of the journey is interesting. When not in national parks or campgrounds, I’m getting a feel for how another part of this country looks, smells, and even tastes.

Distractions involving organizing, resizing, and renaming photos, as well as writing narratives and dealing with an inconsistent internet connection completely detached me from my partner and the joy of the journey.

The third attempt was to post cumulatively after pairs of parks, possibly targeting one major update each for the remaining two weeks. No go. At Yellowstone alone, I snapped 250 photos.

Yesterday, I actually caught up to Day 14 in photos, but realized the challenge before me. We’ve now gone through four additional national parks–Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, and Canyonlands. The task of selecting a sampling of photos at any of these locations is as overwhelming as the great expanses of meadows and canyons we’ve recently traversed.

I may make an attempt to post some Yellowstone pictures soon, but I don’t want to rush it. There is much to say about the experience, and yet I suspect words won’t do it justice.

Just as words are limited, so, too, are photos in capturing the beauty of these places. Yellowstone was sensory overload. So, was Grant Teton. And Arches. And Canyonlands. We still have Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.

I haven’t even talked about the KOA campground experience, dog kennels, and dealing with the unexpected.

I felt pressured at the beginning of the trip to do it all–writing for pleasure, updating the Teardrop Adventures blog regularly, and enjoying the trip. I haven’t written for my own pleasure (nor will I attempt to on this trip.) and am officially slacking off from trying to update the blog in step with each length of the 3-week trip. At this point in the trip, I vow to ENJOY it.

 

Stay connected with Teardrop Adventures (by providing your email in the FOLLOW THIS BLOG option on this web page), and I promise to provide you with additional updates about this eye-opening, life-changing trip.

Happy Trails!

Sue J signature

 

 

 

 

 

To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks


If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Or if you want to get timely updates of the posts we’re sharing here on Teardrop Adventures, use the FOLLOW button(s) on this website to enter your email and you’ll get updates directly to your email box. It’s a safe and secure environment, and we promise not to sell your email address to the underground mob in exchange for the dark chocolate we crave. Really. Promise. No, really.

DAY_7_01Remember…

If you see us the road, HONK!
If you take a picture of us and want to share it, or if you just want to say hi, visit us on FACEBOOK at:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Day 9, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: It’s a Dog’s Life for Me

In a perfect existence, dogs would rule the world.

The road to Yellowstone National Park is paved with biscuits, or at least should be, according to our dog.

Hey, wait a second . . . what the heck?

And, plenty of this . . .

We’re on our way to Yellowstone today. Looking forward to the sights along the way. See you there!


We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks


If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Or if you want to get timely updates of the posts we’re sharing here on Teardrop Adventures, use the FOLLOW button(s) on this website to enter your email and you’ll get updates directly to your email box. It’s a safe and secure environment, and we promise not to sell your email address to the underground mob in exchange for the dark chocolate we crave. Really. Promise. No, really.

DAY_7_01Remember…

If you see us the road, HONK!
If you take a picture of us and want to share it, or if you just want to say hi, visit us on FACEBOOK at:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Day 8, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Hay, Washington! Spuds! Spokane!

Hay is my new obsession. I can’t stop photographing fields of hay.

The drive across Washington state featured tons of scenic views.

DAY_9_17 DAY_9_08 DAY_9_10

The weather remained chilly with some rain along the way. Our destination: Spokane, Washington. Of course, we had a few pit stops along the way and a few opportunities to sample the fine local cuisine, like this superb confection from the upcoming state of Idaho . . .

Culinary treats were the theme of the day. When we met with friends at the KOA campground in Spokane, we kicked back while Tim prepared dinner: gorgeous pork chops that’d been soaking in an apple-bourbon-maple marinade for close to a week. The sweet steam off our iron skillet taunted us ’til dinner was on the table. Amazing meal! Thanks, Tim and Vicki, for your fine company and generosity.


To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks


If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Of if you want to get timely updates of the posts we’re sharing here on Teardrop Adventures, use the FOLLOW button(s) on this website to enter your email and you’ll get updates directly to your email box. It’s a safe and secure environment, and we promise not to sell your email address to the underground mob in exchange for the dark chocolate we crave. Really. Promise. No, really.

DAY_7_01We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

Remember…

If you see us the road, HONK!
If you take a picture of us and want to share it, or if you just want to say hi, visit us on FACEBOOK at:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Day 7, 3-Week Teardrop Trailer Trip: Goodbye Olympic Peninsula; Hello Seattle!

Though we hated to part with our new friends in the Olympic Peninsula area of northern Washington state,

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we were more than ready for a ferry ride across to Seattle, WA. Our little teardrop trailer has never before traveled by boat but settled in like an old pro.

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Our 80-pound dog never quite acquired her sea legs and shivered her timbers until she found dry land again.

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The views were spectacular on a sunny, though cool, day. We took the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry. It was smooth sailing all the way.

Though the transition from water to land was easy for some,

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waterfront Seattle was difficult to navigate with our teardrop trailer. Parking was impossible down by the waterfront, so we instead took a scenic drive through the various hoods and vowed to revisit without trailer and dog someday.

By mid-afternoon, we arrived at Denny Creek campground in the Mt. Baker-Snowqualmie area of Washington, east of Seattle on I-90 about halfway to Ellensburg.

Though we had a stream in our backyard and gorgeous campsites all around us, it became unseasonably cold and cloudy and there was far too much highway noise throughout the night. Otherwise, it’s a lovely campground. Despite the highway noise (which seems like white noise after a while), we enjoyed our stay and would consider it again the next time around.

Mark caught a picture of me in a more reflective moment. You’ll notice I have a black-eye in this picture. I’ve been doing my best to hide it since I acquired it three weeks ago in New York, but it’s taking forever to fade away and is beginning to annoy me. C’mon, man! I’m ready to get back to normal!

I could tell you some tall stories about how I acquired that black eye, but truth is it was a five-year child that did me in–a tough, New York born-and-raised child, but still just a child. Mostly, I only pay attention to my black-n-blue face when I see my reflection in a mirror or in the multitude of pictures I’ve taken since but have tossed in the can.

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Maybe I should know this–being from New York and all–but how long is it supposed to take for a black eye to fade from black? Mark is sweet. He just says, “Baby, your face may be black and blue, but your hair looks gorgeous!” That’s my man.  He sees the bright side of everything.  Anyway, camping and vanity don’t mix, so on with the show!

Tomorrow we travel and rendezvous with old friends at a KOA campground in Spokane. Tim is a great cook and promises to make us dinner. Yeah, baby!



To see our original trip route map, click on the first post of this mini-series:

Teardrop Trailer Summer Road Trip: 9 NW States, 8 Nat’l Parks


If FACEBOOK is your thing, LIKE us on FACEBOOK and see all our latest posts:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com

Or if you want to get timely updates of the posts we’re sharing here on Teardrop Adventures, use the FOLLOW button(s) on this website to enter your email and you’ll get updates directly to your email box. It’s a safe and secure environment, and we promise not to sell your email address to the underground mob in exchange for the dark chocolate we crave. Really. Promise. No, really.

DAY_7_01We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about where we’ve been, any aspects of the experience we didn’t share here, please use our ‘Contact’ page to send us an email with your question(s). We’ll do our best to provide you the answer if we know it or will at least fabricate something entirely convincing.

Remember…

If you see us the road, HONK!
If you take a picture of us and want to share it, or if you just want to say hi, visit us on FACEBOOK at:

www.facebook.com/TeardropAdventures.com