Mike Jones

A quiet guy with lots to share....
  • Day5

    Grand Teton - Day 1

    July 21, 2016 in the United States

    After a quick bite for breakfast we got back in the car to head to Wyoming. Yesterday when we were touring the Rocky Mountains National Park we stopped at one of those scenic overlook and noticed a sign that documented the number of miles to particular points of interest. One sign pointed north and it proclaimed that it was only 38 to Wyoming. Well... to put things inton perspective... one must keep in mind a few points...
    Point 1: That mileage must be "...as the birds fly".
    Point 2:. I also forgot that my final destination for today was no where near the southern border of Wyoming.
    Point 3: My vehicle would not be traveling at 60 miles per hour with all of the switching back and fourth on the drive out of the park and so expect it to take a wee bit longer.

    Where we were at the Rocky Mountain National Park we learned that we we were close to the headwaters of the Colorado River. At the beginning of today's journey we passed over that mighty river in a "blink of an eye." I wondered if I might have been able to jump over that great river at this point like I was able to jump over the headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. Well.maybe I could have..."when I wore a year younger man's clothes."

    An hour into our drive we found out that the major road going to our final destination was closed due to an ongoing fire in the mountains. So we rerouted our trip and took a completely different route. The GPS was giving us headaches by asking us to turn at nonsensical the times. Afyer a few of these we just opted for using the Atlas we brought with us.

    An hour drive along this alternate route and we encountered a completely separate fire than the one from which we were detouring. From a distance it looked like the smoke might have been coming from a volcano. When we got closer to the fire we saw that it was less than 50 yards from the highway. We guessed that if we would have stopped for lunch they probably would have closed this detour too. As we passed could actually see the flames on the pines reaching high into the sky.

    We had received a message along the route that my mother (who had arrived in Wyoming only last night) was being admitted to the hospital. We made sure that we rerouted today's journey to make sure we went to the hospital for a visit before heading towards the site of the family reunion. The medical staff believes that my mother will only need to spend one night at the hospital for observation.

    After a short visit we left the hospital and proceeded to the site of the family reunion. Twelve hours of driving due to all of the detours and I was ready to take my hands off the wheel for a while.

    We were able to catch a few photos of the majestic mountains along the way but the smoke from the fires has clouded them. We anticipate that tomorrow will be a better day for capturing good photos. We also saw a herd of bison and lots of antelopes along the drive today.
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  • Day4

    Rocky Mountain Natl Park -Day 2

    July 20, 2016 in the United States

    Left Colorado Springs and established a new base in Grand Lake Colorado. This town is near the West entrance to the National Park. Yesterday we entered from the East side at Estes Park. We will only stay here one more day before we head to the family reunion in Wyoming.

    As we prepared to enter the park again from this side we stopped for a photo opportunity in front of the park entrance sign. After taking a couple of pictures of my wife a kind spirit stopped her car and got out to ask if we wanted her to take our photo (together) in front of the National Park sign. After she took several shots I asked if I could return the favor and she said, "No" then got back in the car and drove away. What a wonderful act of kindness!

    Today we did get a chance to see an elk in one of the meadows within the park but that animal was smart enough to stay far enough away from my lethal camera lens so that I could not get a decent photo of her. Maybe when I get to Grand Tetons I will have more photo opportunities with wildlife. I knew if I went back into the park around dusk I would probably see plenty more. The question is, "Would they still avoid my camera lens?" Pattie is sure she saw a black bear running back into the forest but the beast would not come out to pose for a few shots.

    After visiting the park for the day we went to the Visitor Center to learn more about the park and it's inhabitants. We capped off the day by going back in town where we were able to find something delicious for both of us to eat. A fitting conclusion for another great day of our road trip.
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  • Day3

    Rocky Mountain National Park

    July 19, 2016 in the United States

    On Day 1 of our visit to Rocky Mountain National Park we entered the park through the Estes Park entrance. We joyfully waved our paid lifetime pass at the ranger to gain entry. After a short time on the paved road inside the park ...the mountain beckoned us to get off the beaten path and begin a new adventure. We drove on a dirt road for hours to be rewarded with awesome views of mountains and streams along the way. We finally reached the summit and was greeted by snow on the ground. At this height, in this cold, we surely wished we wore thermals instead of shorts. Up here at 11,796 feet elevation the air is rare making it difficult to exert oneself. Somehow enough strength was mustered to go inside the Alpine center to procure a couple cups of hot coffee. Hopefully we will be able to capture moments like this on each day of our adventure.Read more

  • Day2

    Colorado Springs Colorado

    July 18, 2016 in the United States

    Arrived in Colorado Springs Colorado and took almost all of our energy to get back into the van to go out for dinner. Chose Mexican on this night because I knew I would be able to eat the Chili Rellenos. My wife said that the cheese enchiladas she bought were the best she ever had. After that delicious dining experience we gathered enough strength to get back in the van to make it back to the hotel in time to video chat with our children who are at home in Columbus. We wanted to say good night to each of them which is our tradition. Then it was off to bed for these weary travelers about four hours earlier than normal.Read more

  • Day1

    Lawrence Kansas - near Eudora Kansas

    July 17, 2016 in the United States

    Started first leg of our trip at zero-dark-thirty on Sunday morning from Columbus Ohio to a quaint little town that I have always considered as my second Hometown. This is Eudora Kansas. It was here in Eudora where I spent some of the most- cherished years of my childhood. Though the town has grown considerably and it has obviously matured after more than a half of a century ... it still felt like home. We only had time to stop for a photo opportunity of the old family homestead but I ended up chatting with the new owners of that house that I always considered to be a mansion. Our neighbor house actually was and is a mansion now known as the Pilla House. More wonderful memories just gazing upon that house and recalling dear Mrs. Pilla. I then took a quick stop at my dear ole Holy Family Church. Though the church building has been closed for many years to be replaced by two generations of subsequent church buildings ...the memories rushed upon me as I stood at its front door. The stories that I could tell about my fantastic time spent at this parish church and its school but the focus of this trip is a family reunion in Wyoming and stopping along the way to visit a few National Parks and Monuments. I regret not having the time or energy to actually visit old friends and classmates but we had to get to nearby Lawrence Kansas (home of KU - the Jayhawks) to get some much needed rest and nourishment before beginning the next important leg of the trip. Fantastic first day. Good number of miles traveled and good gasoline mileage which helps even though we have had good gasoline prices so far. These prices are much better than they have been in the recent pasy.Let's hope that it stays that way.Read more

  • Day1

    Home -Columbus, Ohio

    July 17, 2016 in the United States

    Started the trip a couple hours later than originally planned due to an alarm clock to that failed to "alarm". This malfunctioning was probably caused by my guardian angel so that I could get much- needed rest before beginning this monumental trip. Ate breakfast and filled the travel mug with hot caffeinated coffee and hit the road.

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