Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You know it has been a long vacation when...

We have spent the past three days in the truck singing along as a family to the song
"Puff The Magic Dragon".

I'm not quite sure how we have settled on this as our vacation theme song, but I'm sure it is symbolic on many levels. 

Yes.  It is time to be home.  Three hours to go.

Life doesn't slow down though.  High school registration is at one o'clock this afternoon. Our sophomores will get their class schedules and locker assignments.  Next week Grace and Grant will get their class assignments.  Two short weeks and school starts.  Wow.  Where did summer go?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One last stop

Fish with Grandma at Kampsville Inn on the river. Headed for home tomorrow. 

Guess where we've been!!

After two and a half weeks away from their own cats, grace and grant were overjoyed to have ANY cat to terrorize. 

Thank you Zula for putting up with their antics this evening. You made their day. 

Thanks Elli for the entertainment. Thanks John and Christy for letting us monopolize your evening.  

We are getting closer to home. Illinois tomorrow. Kentucky on Wednesday. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This is it?

Upon arriving at the site of a rare petrified tree in Yellowstone, Grant summed it up best by saying "We came all this way to see a tree?  We have trees at home!"
We explained this was a special tree preserved as it had been hundreds of years ago. We explained how volcanic ash made this tree different than our trees at home. We then explained how there are no volcanos in Kentucky, therefore yes, it WAS. necessary to drive all that way to see a tree. 

Grant's suggestion?

We need to take home a volcano seed so we can make our own petrified trees.

That's my boy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

East Bound And Down

What goes up...

Gets to have a lot of fun going down. 

Yesterday we rode the Alpine Slide in Jackson. We also made the short trip to Idaho. We didn't spend much time there before heading back to the campground for the night. We enjoyed watching the sunset behind the Tetons before bed. 

Today we are off to Laramie. We are officially headed home. Get ready Cale!  The peace and quiet in the house will soon abruptly end!

Friday, July 25, 2014

This One's For You, Grandpa!

This N That

Entering Grand Teton 

Our chariot. Six door truck plus four kids equals one happy dad!

Grace is loving the spurs. As we stare out the truck window in amazement at the mountains, we hear Grace say "These spurs are the best thing ever!"

I'm so glad we drove two thousand miles to make my daughter's day by buying a five dollar pair of plastic spurs!


There is no other word to describe the scenery here. Each time we reach a new destination I am amazed once again at the many different and equally amazing sights. 

Today we left Cody and exited the southern end of Yellowstone. I expected Grand Teton National Park to be "just another mountain". Wrong.  The mountains and lakes are beautiful and very different from Yellowstone. 

We are headed home tomorrow. It has been a wonderful trip.  I think we have left the West mostly intact for those who come behind us. That is an accomplishment if you know our crew.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Say what?

A quote from Grant as we walked through Cody to see a gunfight...

And I quote....

"I'm only wearing my hat to attract the girls."

I'm not sure who he's been talking to. I hope it was john and not David!

Highs and Lows and Some Amazing Things

Are you kidding me? At this point Saturday I was really hoping the map on the sign was not drawn to scale!  They aren't very reassuring to a mom as you prepare to careen down the side of a mountain!

I have learned a 10% grade is not to be scoffed at.

But it made for some amazing views. 

We had a few more highs and lows yesterday. They all involved a path, a LOT of steps (382 approximately)(we lost count) and a little bit of wheezing....okay maybe a lot. I'm not ashamed. 

The descent and resulting ascent rewarded us with a beautiful view of one of the many falls in Yellowstone. 

Well worth the trip. 

I made another amazing discovery while in Yellowstone. I discovered a dinosaur.  It wasn't a fossil though. I discovered the full dinosaur. 


Do you think this discovery will lead to any kind of scientific recognition for our family?

Yeah.  Me neither. 

I hope some little hiker isn't heartbroken because he left his favorite dinosaur behind in Yellowstone. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blue skies and white knuckles

We are one week into our western odyssey and have survived with few mishaps and many memories.  We are headed from Buffalo, wyoming, to Cody. While I am enjoying the blue skies and white clouds, I am a bit unsure about crossing the Rockies in a 64 foot rig.  That sounds like a death wish not an adventure. Call me crazy.  

So until we make it to Cody later today I will sit quietly gripping tightly onto my seat and thinking happy thoughts.  


In happier travel news, we took a detour this morning into Montana to Little Bighorn battlefield national memorial. What a story.  It was well worth the hour drive to see it in person.  

Pictures tonight when we get to Cody.

If we survive!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Black Hills

Wall Drug Store

Crazy Horse Memorial....crazy big!!!

KOA waterslide at Mount Rushmore

Custer State Park

Guess who has the right of way!

All is good. We have been at the Mount Rushmore KOA since Monday. We are in South Dakota one more night before pushing on to Wyoming. Our camp is in a valley so there is no cell signal unless we leave camp. 

The kids have enjoyed the sights and the down time to play and swim. Lots more to post, but I have to go put our laundry in the dryer before some impatient soul tosses it aside to have the washing machines. Oh the memories of doing laundry durin college days!

Monday, July 14, 2014

We Are Kentucky Proud!


Shupe Farm has released their second product to the public for sale. Emily helped me label three gallons of our maple syrup this week. 

The syrup is now for sale at a local farmer's store near our farm. I don't plan to retire on the income this produces, but maybe we can make enough to justify our hobby at the very least. 

Grandma arrived at the zoo Monday morning just in time to help me deliver the syrup. We also picked way too many green beans from the garden. The official count was well over fifty pints that she canned after returning home. That total doesn't include the two big bags left in my refrigerator. Beans, anyone?

Though I celebrate our success at growing beans, I'm much more excited about the prospect of our farm bearing the Kentucky Proud logo as a local producer selling our maple syrup. hasn't occurred to David yet that there is money to be made selling garden produce.

Give him time. He will think of it soon enough. 

Grace made it home from camp safely. More on that tomorrow if time allows. 

Doctor visit today for me.  All good news to report. My doctor has declared I am travel worthy, so now we head west. 

If ever there was a need for prayer for our family, it is now.  Not for physical well being. We fear for our mental health as we set out across the country with four very chatty kids in the cab of a truck. Now THAT is a situation to worry about. 


Pictures of people and places and puddles

I bought each one of the kids a journal for the trip. 

Much to my delight all four kids voluntarily sat down this morning and filled in their books. 

This morning we shivered in the cold to take a picture at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Pictures from the Sioux Falls KOA we stayed at last night...

The kids swam in spite of temperatures hovering in the seventies.  I'm not dipping my big toe in a pool unless temperatures have been above ninety for a week!  Kids don't care about being cold.  They were all blue lipped ice cubes when they quit.

The entrance to the campground was painted to look like a fairy tale castle. A sword was firmly stuck in a stone at the front gate challenging all who dared to pull the sword free.

Grant tried.  He couldn't do it.  No royalty in our lineage. Surprised?

Awesome slide at the campground....the kind you could fall from and break an arm....and have lots of fun on!

Grant's favorite thing the entire trip thus far has been a mass of little catfish he found near a lake at the campground.   They were stuck in a mud puddle due to flooding in the area.

Yes, we drove to South Dakota to stand in awe over a mud puddle.  Sigh.😉

Happy trails!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trip Pics

Quaker meeting house in the historic preservation area in West Branch where Hoover was born. 

Lunch after the library. 

Massive windmills....