Travel Diary
June 6, 2003
Redmond, WA

Here's a summary of our amazing journey. Let's start with some numbers.

We departed and returned from the same campground in Bothell, WA. In between we drove the house 12,150 miles. In addition to that, we drove our Jeep approximately 13,000 miles. Here's a map that shows the basic route we took.

Saguaro Bees

The house got just about 8 miles per gallon, and consumed 1,493 gallons of fuel. Although we have been gone for approximately 270 nights, we only moved the house 60 times. That's an average stay of 4.5 nights.

We saw 33 states, although we only parked the house in 27 of them. We took a day trip into Maine from our campground in New Hampshire, and we only drove through Minnesota, Rhode Island, Alabama, Louisiana, and Oregon.

Pete took over 6,600 photographs. Most of those were with a Canon D60 digital SLR that we purchased in Lancaster, PA. It was one of the best investments of the whole trip and we used it almost every day. You can see a selection of our favorite images in the Photo Gallery.

Before we left, we bought an annual pass to the National Parks. It paid for itself and then some. We used the pass for admission to these National Parks and Monuments: Yellowstone, the Badlands, the Jamestown Settlement, the Everglades, the fort at St. Augustine, the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, and Zion.

Beyond the National Parks, we saw some other wonderful things: the Corning Museum of Glass, the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory, the Banyan tree at Edison's winter estate, the E-One fire truck factory, and the incredible live oak-lined road at the Wormsloe Plantation, and the launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia.

We ate pretty well too, including many local delicacies. We had: pork tenderloin in Iowa, turkey legs in Indianapolis, lobster in Maine, pizza in New York City, shrimp in South Carolina, rock shrimp in Florida, grapefruit right off the tree in Florida, alligator in Key Largo, fried green tomatoes in Georgia, catfish in Mississippi, steak in Texas, and wonderful traditional mole' at the Red Iguana in Salt Lake City. We also had some curious foods including a pickle dog and fried Twinkie at a the Florida State Fair. The most unexpected great meal was a gourmet feast in Dubois, Wyoming at Café Wyoming.

Of course, there is also a list of things we didn't get to, or need to go back to. We didn't spend nearly enough time in Yellowstone National Park (4 nights), or in Maine (only a day trip). We drove past the Grand Tetons, but didn't make time to stop. We saw Zion National Park, but didn't stop at any of Utah's other amazing parks. We also didn't make it to Glacier National Park, Napa or Sonoma Valley, Austin, New Orleans, or Yosemite National Park. At least this leaves plenty of ideas for future vacations.

Perhaps most significantly, we learned a lot about each other. The RV doesn't offer much in the way of personal space. That took its toll, and drove us a little crazy. Fortunately we were able to persevere, and we gained a new respect for each other, and a better understanding what we each want from life. In part, that's why we're both excited to be settling back down to a more traditional lifestyle.

Finally, the best part of settling back down is that we really like the area that we called home before we left. We've got a number of great restaurants that we've missed, some of the best scenery in the country (yes, even with the rain), and lots of fun and interesting attractions that are within an easy day trip of Redmond. Mostly, this is where our friends are. Of all the things we missed while on the road, it was the people who were a part of our lives.

Thanks for reading We've enjoyed sharing our trip with you.

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