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Monday, August 23, 2010

My Summer Sojourn

My Summer Sojourn
It seems as if everyone else is writing about their summer vacations (See the posts from John Halamka [Geek Doctor] and John Moore [Chillmark Research]).  Since I'm now back in the office now after 8 weeks, I thought I'd write about my summer travels as well.  I spent most of that 8 weeks working from the back of an RV [with days off at significant stops], while the rest of my family toured the country.  This trip started over a conversation about sushi.  I told my wife that the next time we all were in Phoenix, there was a sushi restaurant I needed to take the family to.  Her reply was that we should drive there this summer.  So we did in a 35' RV.

My mother joined us for this trip; she being the owner-operator of the RV and the Jeep we towed behind it. She and my wife Meg did all the RV driving, since I was working from the back. I connected to the office and interwebs using a Verizon USB 760 Wireless modem. I found that to use it while driving it worked better with an attenna (~$40). I still think the software sucks but at least I could be connected. My cell phone can also be tethered and I have service from AT & T so there were very few places wher I couldn't be connected to the web via one or the other personal device. On one occasion though I had no coverage on either device, but local wireless was available and we weren't moving, so it didn't put to much of a crimp in my work (Skype was very helpful).
The trip included stops at:
  • Niagra Falls, ON;
  • Toronto, ON;
  • Indianapolis, IN;
  • Wisconsin Dells, WI;
  • Wall, SD;
  • Mt. Rushmore, SD;
  • Custer State Park, SD;
  • Crazy Horse Monument, SD;
  • Cody, WY;
  • Yellowstone National Park, WY;
  • Mt. Ranier, WA;
  • Mt. St. Helens, WA,
  • Portland, OR;
  • Ilwaco, WA;
  • Columbia River and the  Pacific Ocean, WA;
  • Salt Lake City; UT;
  • Red Canyon, UT;
  • Bryce Canyon; UT;
  • Grand Canyon, AZ;
  • Phoenix, AZ;
  • The Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, AZ;
  • Broken Arrow, OK;
  • Casey, IL;
All told, we spent 8 weeks, visited 7 national parks [Mt. Rushmore, Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest], ate sushi in 6 states, took pictures with 5 cameras, visited family in 4 states, had 3 breakdowns, visited 2 museums, and had 1 amazing helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.

We drove over 10,000 miles and took an average of one picture about every 3.5 miles.

We all want to do this again, but my girls (ages 12 and 8) said emphatically... NOT NEXT YEAR! I have to agree, I need a vacation from their vacation.
   Meg, Keith, Abigail and Gretta in Bryce Canyon

P.S.  We visited 21 States and Canada on this trek.


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