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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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: