Sunday, October 17, 2010

Western Trek Recap

Well, we made it home safely after a thrilling six week adventure. We traveled through 17 states, visited 16 national parks, and logged 16,000 kilometers (9,600 miles.) It's home sweet home after living shoulder to shoulder in our stage coach.
(Begin with my post of September 5 and the eleven posts thereafter if you have missed my updates.)

Here are some conclusions from our trip:

- Purchasing the $80 U. S. National Parks Annual Pass is one of the greatest bargains available. Most parks charge $20-$25 for admission. The pass covers them all!
- Be prepared for surprises on a road trek: a steer in the middle of the road, no guard rails on perilous precipices, fog near mountain tops, breathtaking vistas.
- America is BIG. We were often amazed at the distances between some destinations. Even the parks themselves are large. Also the roads around mountains are never straight. I received a certificate in the daring switch back manoeuvre.
- Besides the national parks, often national forests and national monuments and state parks extend the reach of protected areas.
- America has kind, friendly people. Moreover, we were surprised by the number of tourists from Europe and the diversity of languages spoken.
- RV'ing is big, including the rental RV. Many people are arriving at a destination like San Francisco and renting their own RV for several weeks from rental places like Cruise America.
- Be ready to observe the wild life. We were thrilled to see wolves, buffalo, bears, elk...
- We were awed by the wisdom of the national parks initiative. How tragic if all these pristine areas were decimated and dominated by commercial interests today.

- Finally I have built my own log cabin of wonderful memories from this adventure.