On The Road

In the early morning hours of January 11th, we said goodbye to Portland. By nightfall, we were in Salt Lake City, Utah, at our friends Tom and Gretchen’s house.  We got to meet four new additions to their household: 3 cats and newborn baby, Andrew. After a brief visit, we were on the road again.

After 18 hours of driving over 2 days, we made it to Torrington, Wyoming, Cooper’s new home for the next year. With Denise and Michael we had great home cooked meals and some mini adventures including to Scott’s Bluff National Monument in Nebraska. We also met Cooper’s new brother, Wrinkles, and his new cat sister, Pandora. All of the animals are getting along great!

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Cooper (right) and his new brother Wrinkles (left)

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Kate and Denise at Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska

After some tearful goodbyes in Wyoming, we hit the road to Fort Collins, Colorado. Here we met up with the great Jon Stack and went hiking around Horsetooth Reservoir, followed by dinner and a walk around town with his girlfriend, Bonnie.  After dinner, we set out on the last leg of our journey with the car, destined for Golden, Colorado.

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Hey everyone it’s Jon Stack! Jon Stack! Jon Stack! @jonstackgreatjob on a hike in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins

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Entering Colorado from the north, on the way to Fort Collins and Golden.

In Golden, we toured the Coors Brewery, saw beautiful sunrises, and took a trip to the National Western Stock Show.  We also shared many laughs and meals with Jeff, Anne, Leah, and Mara Coe.  We left our – hopefully 🙂 – rodent-proofed car, and headed to Ohio after a week in Golden.

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Sunrise at the McCafferty-Coe house in the Front Range near Golden

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Texas Longhorn at the National Western Stock Show

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Cute little piggly wiggly at the National Western Stock Show -future bacon for Carol 🙂

In Ohio, we walked the frozen shores of Lake Erie, visited the famous covered bridges of Ashtabula County, and rocked out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Dan showed Kate around where he grew up – Thompson, Ohio, and they spent lots of time with Dan’s family.

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Kate and Dan soaking in a rare moment in the sun at Mentor Headlands, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie

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Kate photographing an ice-encased tree at Mentor Headlands State Park

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An Amish horse and buggy exiting the Windsor Mills covered bridge in Ashtabula County, Ohio

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3 of the 18 covered bridges in Ashtabula County, Ohio

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio – the museum was designed by I.M. Pei (same architect that designed the Louvre Pyramid in Paris)

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Cleveland’s historic West Side Market – this building was completed in 1912 and the public market dates back to 1840. Dan’s grandmother used to go to the market in the 1920’s when she was growing up in Cleveland.

We took a 2 day side trip to Pittsburgh, PA to visit friends Jim and Molly.  We arrived to a snowstorm that produced over 8 inches of snow.  That’s a lot to a Portlander!  To warm up, we took a trip to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  The flowers, especially the ones in the orchid exhibit, were incredible!

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Molly, Jim, and Kate hiking in a snowy Frick Park – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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A sampling of the orchids at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – the perfect winter destination in Pittsburgh!

The last leg of our US tour ended in Denver, CO. Here we ate many incredible meals with Kate’s dad and visited Colorado’s oldest operating cemetery (1876), Riverside Cemetery. We made last minute preparations for our trip, filled up on beer and Mexican food, and crammed everything we think we will need for one year into our backpacks.

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International travel packing 101: Exhibits A. B. and C.

As we write, we are sitting at LAX getting ready to board our flight to New Zealand!!!  Thanks for following our adventures – more to come soon!

For more photos of our trip check out our Instagram feeds:

http://instagram.com/desertwanderer83 and http://instagram.com/dancoephoto

7 thoughts on “On The Road

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