Road trip Ohio to Vegas 2008

Once again we had the webcam attached to the rear view mirror and aimed out the front windshield. Thanks to everyone who rode along with us from up to 80+ mph on the Highways to about 1 MPH on the dirt roads back in the Rocky Mountains to the red roads of Zion. All total it was just over 6500 miles through 16 states in about 3 weeks. Highest altitude (noticed on the GPS) was around 10,000 ft.
Off the Main Road in Rocky Mountains Red Roads of Zion
Black Hills of South Dakota - at end of tunnel is view of Mt Rushmore

Sept. 9, 2008 (Tuesday) – Started much later than we had planned, left home around 5pm. Drove to Cloverdale, Indiana (west of Indianapolis) and got a room at Motel 6. We really wanted to get a much earlier start than this, but the phone kept ringing, and we had to run a few errands before we left. At least we are on our way though.

Sept. 10, 2008 (Wednesday) – Had lunch beside the Mississippi River. (JohnnyV where are you?) Drove as far as Hayes, KS and got a room at the Super 8. Nothing eventful to write about at this point, anyone who has made this part of the drive knows that there is nothing but miles and miles corn to see so far.

September 11, 2008 (Thursday) – Drove to Denver and booked a room at The Guest House Stapleton for two nights. Went to eat at the Golden Corral for dinner tonight. I love buffets, especially Golden Corral. Most of the food is pretty good and no waiting, start eating as soon as you get inside. I love the all you can eat steak. The fountain soda tastes better than it does in most other dining establishments.

September 12, 2008 (Friday) – Woke up and got breakfast in the hotel. They have one of those self serve waffle stations. Today was rainy, so we stayed at the hotel and got some work done. For dinner we had a mountain pie at Beau Jo’s (recommended to us by Scott Kentfield, thank you!) with chicken, bacon, onion and tomato. An interesting spin on pizza. It had a really thick crust that you add honey to and eat as a dessert. We got a one pound mountain pie. It was delicious.

Sept. 13, 2008 – (Saturday)- Woke up and got no breakfast. The hotel ran out of breakfast food by the time we made it downstairs before 8:00am, and would not put out anything else for the guests even though we asked (breakfast was supposed to be from 7:30-9:30am). Today we visited the Rocky Mountain National Park. We went to Bear Lake (altitude is over 9500 ft.) We drove for miles down a dirt “road”.  We saw Elk up close, and I mean really close, at one point turned my head to see a very large female nearly put her head in our car window. At some point on the dirt road the front end of car started making an unpleasant sound. Think we may have busted a strut. The dirt road was probably not the best idea, but we were determined to see wildlife so we continued forward. It was just our little Saturn out there with all the jeeps, SUVs and 4x4s. After we left the park, we drove to Colorado Springs and got a room at the Crestwood Suites.

Colorado Rockies in background of Mark and Andrechelle Estes Park Colorado - near Rocky Mountain National Park Andrechelle and Elk at Rocky Mountain  National Park Bull elk at Rocky Mountain National Park
Path in Rocky Mountain Park - wildlife walks within a few feet Field of Elk way back down a dirt road in Rocky Mountain National Park

Sept. 14, 2008 – (Sunday)- Woke up and ate at the hotel. I just love those self serve waffle stations. Today we drove to Flagstaff, AZ. Somewhere on our route, there was a sign for ‘point of interest’. We wanted to see what was so interesting, but you have to drive miles down a dirt road. The cars front end is still making noise on bumps so we decided we were not very interested in seeing what was there. When you attempt to get back on the highway, someone has turned the road signs to point the wrong way and nearly sent us in the completely wrong direction.

Sept. 15, 2008 (Monday)- Today we went to The Grand Canyon. All I can say is, WOW. If you have not seen it, you should try to make the trip. I was not sure how much I would enjoy seeing a big hole in the ground, but I must say that it is truly something worth seeing. We got a room at the Days Inn in Hurricane, UT.

Grand Canyon Grand Canyon The WatchTower at Grand Canyon Indians selling wares at roadside stand - Grand Canyon AZ

Sept. 16, 2008 (Tuesday)- Woke up and made waffles at the hotel before heading out. Today we went to Zion National Park and then to Bryce Canyon. Zion was amazing, and I swear I would move there if they would let me. We stopped several times to take pictures, and once just to sit in the shade and enjoy the nice breeze. Bryce Canyon was nice, and partially on fire when we drove through. The smoke was starting to bother me, and at one point the fire was on both sides of the road. We decided we like Zion much better, so we will try camping there tomorrow. By the time we had seen both parks, it was too late to set up a campsite. For tonight we stay at the Days Inn in Hurricane, UT.

Sept. 17, 2008 (Wednesday)- Woke up and tried to catch breakfast, but the phone kept ringing so I returned to the room to conduct business instead. Today’s plan was to go camping in the desert (Zion area). But was predicting thunderstorms for 9 out of the next 12 hours, so we opted to stick with the hotels for now. We instead decided to drive to St. George, Utah and we stayed at the Coronada Inn. It is actually a really nice room for the price. The room has a full kitchen, I however have absolutely no energy to cook, so we ate at JimmyJohn’s.

Sept. 18, 2008 (Thursday)- Today we decided to get the car looked at, it turned out to be ball joints. $600 later, we are back on the road. So we then headed for Las Vegas and got a room at the Four Queens. Very nice room, we will probably stay a couple more days. We don’t check in to the Sahara till Sunday. We are on Fremont Street this time, we usually stay on the strip. The room is very nice, and the bed is very comfortable. Ran downstairs and grabbed a sandwich at Subway. Mark says it is less than 50 paces from our hotel room door to Subway, I will take his word for it.

Fremont Street Experience Fremont Street Experience Fremont Street Experience Fremont Street Experience
4 Queens hotel Band 1 on stage Band 2 on stage at Fremont Street Experience Eating at sidewalk cafe

Sept. 19, 2008 (Friday)- Finally got a decent nights sleep, woke up feeling much better. Tried to get some work done, ate at Magnolia’s Veranda (inside the Four Queens). Had the prime rib, it was pretty good. Walked around on Fremont St. for a few to see the bands playing.

Sept. 20, 2008 (Saturday)- Hung out, worked on the laptop, went for a nice long walk together. Got off the main road and walked around the town a little bit. Ate dinner at the Paradise buffet at the Fremont. Good steak, great pastries. Different bands playing at Fremont, so we listened for a bit then went to the room.

Sept. 21, 2008 (Sunday)- Got up, packed up our stuff and found a laundromat. Then we checked in at the Sahara, where we ate dinner at the buffet.

view from our room at Sahara The Sahara

Sept. 22, 2008 (Monday)- Ate a half pound hot dog at Slots of Fun, later ate Subway for dinner again (easy). Got some more work done waiting for everyone else to arrive here in Vegas for the convention / trade show / seminars / board meetings.

Sept 23, 2008 (Tuesday)- We ate the lunch buffet at The Riviera this afternoon. Then had dinner at Pizza Hut in Hilton before the LMCCA Board of Directors meeting from 6:00 to 10:00pm.

Sept 24, 2008 (Wednesday)- We ran the LMCCA booth at the tradeshow from 4-8, then off to the ProChem Reception, Rug Badger’s party, then Mikey’s Board Party at the House of Lords at the Sahara. Had lots of fun. Didnt get back to the room until after 3:30 am. Eeek.

Sept 25, 2008 (Thursday)- Had too much fun last night, felt horrible at the trade show while running the booth. Sprint cut us off again (mobile broadband) due to bandwidth limits. Gee, like cutting me off while out in the desert wasn’t funny enough. I am done with them, and will cancel service with them as soon as I get home. Mark tweaked his back this morning while emptying the water from the cooler. Trade show was open from 11-2. After that we ate dinner with Jeff and Lisa at the Sahara buffet before they left to head home. Too bad they had to leave, they are lots of fun to be around.

Sept 26, 2008 (Friday)- Last day of tradeshow. Packed up the booth and ended up eating dinner at the buffet at the Wynn (with Al, Chuck, Mikey, Jimbo, Scott, Sunny, Sticky, Geno, Bob and others). Great food, but I think the buffet at Fremont had better desserts. I ate way too much, like I always do in Vegas. After dinner we went out with Al, Chuck, Jimbo, Sticky and Geno to ‘Toby Keiths I love this bar’ located in Harra’s. I had a really great time. Country is not my first choice in music, but it’s not where you are it’s who you are with.

Sept 27, 2008 (Saturday)- Ate lunch and hung around with Al as long as possible since he doesnt fly out until late. Got a late start out of Vegas, but only had to make it to Lehi, Utah. Cory asked us to stop by on our way through. Got a room at the Super 8.

Sept 28, 2008 (Sunday)- Got up and ate breakfast with Cory at IHOP. Stayed in Park City, Utah at a nice condo Cory set up for us. Got a much needed good night sleep before heading toward home (via Yellowstone).

lake jordanelle Park City UT Park City UT Park City UT Park City UT
on way to Yellowstone Jackson Hole WY on way to Yellowstone

Sept 29, 2008 (Monday)- Got up and headed to Yellow Stone National Park. What a beautiful drive. We came in the South entrance (through the Grand Tetons) and headed toward the Northwest entrance. Decided to get a room and get off the road after it got dark, because the bison and elk kept getting in the road. Found a room in West Yellowstone at the Alpine Inn. Really nice room (ski-lodge look), and the service is just great! They really go out of the way to make your stay a pleasant one. The Inn Keepers have grat knowledge of Yellowstone and can help you decide what parts of Yellowstone you want to visit. I highly recommend staying there. The whole town has an old west kinda feel to it. It was late by the time we got settled in, so we just picked up some lunch meat, buns, macaroni salad and potato salad at a local market and had sandwiches in the room.

Grand Tetons Leaves changing color at Yellowstone entering the Yellowstone National Park Geysers at Yellowstone

Sept 30, 2008 (Tuesday)- Got up and headed back in to Yellowstone, and headed toward the north entrance because everyone says you have to see the hot springs. Man does it smell really nasty near those things. The sulfur smell is very unpleasant. in my opinion, it’s not really worth putting up with the smell to see the hot springs. That is one thing I should have just seen pictures of online. lol. The park is absolutely beautiful with a very diverse landscape. Waterfalls, lakes, rivers, streams, geysers, hot springs, mountains, canyons, forests, meadows, etc. Bull elk, mule deer, bison, swan throughout the park. Yellowstone is huge, you really need more time than we had to stay here. Definitely hope to return. Left the park and drove to somewhere around Deadwood, South Dakota and will sleep in the car at a rest area for a few hours.

Mudslides @ Yellowstone Hot springs @ Yellowstone River view @ Yellowstone Close up of river view @ Yellowstone
Burnt trees @ Yellowstone River @ Yellowstone scenery @ Yellowstone scenery @ Yellowstone
canyon @ Yellowstone Yellowstone Lake Cliff face @ Yellowstone scenery @

Oct 1, 2008 (Wednesday)- Got up early and went to see Mt Rushmore. We got there before the crowds. It is quite impressive, and worth stopping to see. The trail you walk along is nice, but not as fun on the way back, since you now have to climb all those steps. Still worth doing though, if you are up to it. We saw some mountain goats while we were there, they will come right up to you. We left Mt Rushmore, then drove through part of Custer State Park and headed to the Badlands National Park. Custer was pretty nice, we saw herds of bison throughout the park. I absolutely loved the Badlands, plague ridden prairie dogs and all. After the badlands we started making a mad dash for home. Should be there tomorrow night. Drove as far as Rochester MN and plan to sleep in the car again at a rest area for a few hours then head home.

Wildlife @ Badlands Badlands Badlands Badlands

Oct 2, 2008 (Thursday)- Car was a little chilly again, but not as cold as Tuesday night. I used extra blankets last night. Woke up and started driving early, Mark was completely through Minnesota before I was really even awake. I woke up just inside of Wisconsin. Made it home around 9:30 pm, and just picked up some Wendy’s for dinner on the way in. I had a great time, but I am exhausted, and should sleep like a rock tonight.

Found some great places we’d like to spend a lot more time exploring, maybe an extended camping trip next year!


  1. I sure do love your pics, keep em coming!


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