Reflections: This was the most amazing trip, it couldn't have been better if one tried to plan it. The places we visited, the things we saw, the tours we took, with all of us or on our own, always gave us something to talk about when we "mingled" at tea time in the late afternoon. I'll remember the maps on the table along with the camp books trying to figure out where to go (Larry was sure we weren't heading East for the longest time) and where to stay (had to be Dusty approved) and trying to make reservations. We learned so much about this country of ours from the little rural towns with beautiful flower and America Flags to the big industrial cities. Our traveling "family" was wonderful and it wouldn't have been the same with out them. Dusty would like to thank everyone for being so considerate about letting his owners pick out the Dusty approved campsites. He said that was purrrrfectly thoughtful.
We will always have our memories thanks to Larry and Diane for the terrific job they did on the travel journal. Thanks to Juliann and Tony for my religious instruction, learned a lot and never let it be said I won't take all the help I can get. Dick and Gail with the help of wonder dog Rocky always made sure we got together in the evening and Rocky provided great amusement for Dusty.
To all the Trekies, we raise our glass and say "Cheers" We did it and we did it very well!
Our Star Trek journey has ended after 4 months, 19 days. As we drove to the front of our home we saw many colorful balloons flying from the front porch and there was a WELCOME HOME sign in the dinette. We were truly welcomed home.
We were in 32 States traveling 9,021 miles from site to site with an overall 12,334 miles on the truck odometer when we pulled into our driveway on Tuesday, October 24. We filled up 57 times with the highest diesel price paid $3.70 in Truckee, California and the lowest $2.90 a gallon in Oak Grove, Missouri. Our visits to Wal Mart are too many to mention, but just know well worth every visit!
Our memories of all we saw will be enjoyed through our journals and pictures for years to come.
We were so delighted to join Larry & Diane Evans, Don & Bonnie Fine and Dick & Gail Pelligrini in June for this trip of a lifetime. And, we can't forget Dusty and Rocky, our entertainment at Tea Time.
We thank our family and friends who maintained our home and took care of any paper work (bills) and phone calls.
To sum up the success of the trip - yes, we all are still talking to each other!
This trip was so BIG and so SPECIAL we don't have the words to summarize. So the Pellegrini's decided to tell you how to eat your way across America. Starting in South Dakota we barbecued - in fact we barbecued almost daily. Thank you, Don, for setting up your grill and allowing all of us to use it! In Wisconsin we discovered cow pies (mmmmmm) and frozen custard. Have you ever had pretzels dipped in cherry mustard? In Michigan we tried pasties - nuff said. Don't forget all those brats, and oh yes Spam. We had a salad dinner - very CA. Had the real thing cheese steak sandwich in Philadelphia - don't call them Philly cheese steak! And lobster, lots of lobster in Maine (yum yum). New York meant pizza and wings. As we got closer to the east coast we were asked "sweet tea or regular?" and learned sweet tea is really, really sweet. The Amish introduced us to piccalilli, shoo fly pie and brown butter noodles. In DC we found Costco, and yes they have the same big hot dogs. Crab cakes in Maryland!
Tony made us the biggest hamburgers we have ever eaten - yes we finished it all. No, we can't get into our jeans, but it was worth every bite!
What a trip it was..." The Evans
That's what Diane and I said as we navigated down our driveway and around the house to the backyard where we would park the McKenzie for the next few days while unloading and cleaning before being put into its shelter.
We were happy to see that our house was still standing and that there were no big parts missing, although the lawn and yard were covered with this year's crop of maple, oak, and box elder leaves. It was a bittersweet moment. While it was great to be home, it was sad to have said goodbye to our traveling companions of over four months.
Due to the wonders of the internet, cell and regular phones, we have learned that our fellow Trekies have all arrived home safely. Dick, Gail, Rocky the wonder dog, Tony and Juliann, and ourselves touched down in the afternoon hours on Tuesday, Oct. 24th, while Don, Bonnie, and Dusty landed at home a couple of days later.
It is hard to imagine that it is over. Looking back to the time we all got together at the Fine residence to plan just where we wanted to go, how we wanted to get there, and what we wanted to see once we were there. Gail set the Star Trek theme from all of the gold stars that were pasted on the map to delineate points of interest.
The transition from Stars pasted on a map of the United States to actual routes and stops was not necessarily an easy one. In our case it involved many discussions of how far we wanted to travel in a day, where was our next park, how long would we stay before the process starts all over again. Then there is the fact that in a group of eight people, everyone does not want to do the same things, or certainly not in the same order.
Our routine became trying to figure out what we each wanted to see and how long we needed to stay to see it. Many hours were spent on the phone calling ahead for park reservations. Traveling with four rigs did not seem to pose a big problem. We always seemed to find a park that would take us. Reservations for various tours were usually made a day or so in advance.
We found ourselves all getting together and traveling in two vehicles when there was something all wanted to see. This was the case for most of the must see sights across the country. Once in a while, one couple would sit out, causing 6 of us to crowd into one of the Dodge Trucks. While this arrangement worked well, after a few hours it was nice to be back and out of the cramped conditions.
Occasionally we would split up. One of the group would want to see something the others had already, or did not care to see, perhaps wanting to go via another route. As an example, Diane and I did not want to go to Boston, having just been there a couple of years ago. We headed out on our own to spend a couple of extra days in Massachusetts, near Sturbridge Village Again when the group wanted to spend more time in New York than Diane and I cared about, we opted for a couple of extra days in Amish country . Dick and Gail left us a couple of times to have their rig serviced or repaired, and the ultimate separation, leaving us in Virginia for points South, as there were things they wanted to see and needed to do .Don and Bonnie wanted to go down the East Coast of Lake Michigan. It was a great way to travel, having the freedom to do what you wanted, but knowing that someone was close by to help if you had a problem.
The trip was awesome. Our country has beauty beyond imagination. We were constantly talking on the CB radios. "Did you see that", or "Wow that was quite a sight."
This was repeated many, many times along our meandering. From the Majestic Rockies, to the flat and rolling farmlands of the Midwest, the never ending cornfields with their accompanying silos, the absolute beauty of the upstate northeastern states, to the views of the Atlantic along the seaboard, it was truly a treat for the eyes. Then there was the hustle and bustle of the cities, overpowering to those of us who live in quieter places, such a contrast to the simple and serene life of the Amish in Pennsylvania. We can't leave out the biggies, Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, Statue of Liberty, Washington DC and its numerous monuments, and finally the St. Louis Arch as we headed west.
Heading home, we saw the endless grass lands of Virginia and Kentucky. Then there was Kansas, a never ending flat expanse that goes on forever. Sometimes one could see two or three farms in one glance, but most of the time only one was visible. In our final push the beautiful desolation of Utah, and Nevada, then on to our respective homes.
12,801 miles, and 145 days later for the Evans's all we can say to our traveling companions is, "what a trip it was, what a great time we had, what good friends you