The Loop- Tennessee and Kentucky

We officially found fall! Even though we saw the trees in Guntersville change before our eyes the drive to Chattanooga, Tennessee and the rain that came with it confirmed that it was indeed October.

We also entered a new time zone: Eastern Standard Time! Now three hours ahead of home. Our first destination in Chattanooga was Ruby Falls, an underground water fall. Although it was by far one of the most dramatic, cheesy, and touristy things we’ve done so far it was thoroughly entertaining. Our tour guide was hilarious which made the trip through the caves fly by.

After Ruby Falls we had dinner in town at Trinity Brewing which we really enjoyed. However, the storm that had been looming all day made its grand debut sending us in from the deck and putting an end to our plans to camp. Motel 6 here we come!

Wednesday morning we headed up Lookout Mountain again to Rock City. The drive there took us through a neighborhood where all the streets are named after fairytale characters. It certainly set the mood although I don’t know how I would feel living on Little Red Riding Hood Lane. What a mouthful.

Without a doubt, Rock City wins the cheesiest, most touristy place I’ve ever been to award. That being said it was pretty cool (I liked Ruby Falls better though). The meandering paths take you on a fun walk through crazy rock formations (not as crazy as in a cave though), cringe-worthy gnome villages, and wonderful viewpoints. The selling points were definitely the Swing-A-Long Bridge (it didn’t swing enough for us so we made it swing a little extra!) and the view from Lover’s Leap where you can see 7 states at once. It is already such a novelty for us West Coasters to be in more than one state in a day, seeing seven at once, oh my!

We had lunch in town and detoured from some sipping chocolate, delicious and totally worth it! It was feeling very fall-y after all. We continued north on towards the Cumberland Gap and the weather followed suit.

We arrived some time after dark at our campground in Cumberland Gap. Despite having gotten lost more than once, being unsure what state we were in, and the fact that it was pouring rain we were in great spirits! Rachel took the car to pay for our sigh while I speed pitched the tent in my NW finest: Patagonia sweater, raincoat, leggings and gore-tex hiking boots.

Once the tent was pitched we made it more than cozy! Foam, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, extra clothes all got tossed in to make a pretty nice nest. We snuggled in and watched Erin Brockovich with a bottle of wine and confessed our love for Julia Roberts. By morning a few corners were wet but we remained wonderfully dry and so was the sky! (Thank you again Lisa for the tent!!! REI did right by us) (Also, we had in fact spent the night in Virginia! Who knew).

The next morning we loaded everything in the car and stopped by the Visitor Center. Unfortunately, all the really cool sounding hikes were longer than we had time for and despite the rain stopping the weather was still less than ideal. Instead we drove up to Pinnacle View Point. To say the colors were stunning would be an understatement. It was breathtaking at every turn, each tree and every single leaf a different color but nonetheless vibrant. Once at the viewpoint we could look down on the actual Cumberland Gap which provided a route for many a traveler such as ourselves back in the day. We certainly have it a bit easier nowadays!

Still in awe of the landscape we chose to take some backroads as we journeyed to Bardstown, KY, the capital of all things bourbon. We set up our tent once more and wandered through town. After letting our appetites catch up with us we had an early dinner of Kentucky hot browns and whiskey cocktails! The hotbrown was definitely a treat, the perfect comfort food. After dinner we resorted to McDonald’s for internet, go figure! The best way to sum up our evening: Bardstown 1 Intrepid Travelers 0. While I enjoyed learning more about Bourbon, my heart still lies with Scotch!

We got a slow start the next morning but managed to say our farewells to Bardstown before making the short hop to Louisville where Rachel’s aunt and uncle live. Even though our visit with her family was short they were incredibly welcoming and showed us such a good time! Friday night we experienced the home theater and watched Galaxy Quest, way funnier than I remembered! Saturday we had fun at the house, jumping on the trampoline and grooming the horses. One of my road trip dreams came true!! I so badly wanted to ride a horse at some point and I got to! I road Honey barebacked, she was so sweet! We wrapped up our visit with a tasty stop at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. Thanks Tom and Anne!

Saturday evening we had one mission: Make it out in Nashville! Mission accomplished! We arrived at the Music City Hostel around 7:30-8:00, we got our room assignment and scoped it out. I truly credit the layout of our room(s) to how much fun we had. The dorm was obviously designed to be a two bedroom apartment. When you walked in there was a hanging divider just to the left, on the other side, the Boy’s Dorm. A little kitchen opened up towards the back and the hallway continued left with a bathroom and two rooms, one of which was our (The Girls) dorm. We dropped our bags, changed our clothes, and made a beeline for the kitchen to eat some leftovers. There (mostly because it was basically in the boys room) we met Brian from Vancouver, Oscar originally from Barcelona and more recently from San Francisco, and once he arrived, Danny from the Bay (so many West Coasters on the road!). We headed to downtown Nashville and made the rounds, visited quite a few of the bars all of which had live music! It was great fun. The night of course ended later than we planned but the bunch of us stuck together and it was great!

More to come on Nashville 🙂

With love from the road,


Straight Across Mississippi to Lake Guntersville

Hardly anything could stand in our way last Friday, we were on a mission! To drive from Arkansas to my Uncle Keith and Aunt Bev’s house in Guntersville, Alabama. What lay between us? The state of Mississippi. No biggie.

Entering Mississippi October 14th, 2011

We arrived in Guntersville in the evening and were welcomed to the Lake! After a delicious dinner we called it a night early since we we would be getting up early in the morning for SAILING!

I didn’t realize until I got on board that I was going through a sailing withdrawl! It started out overcast, light, and shift but turned into a beautiful day with a nice breeze (still shifty though!). Everyone at the Sailing Club was very friendly to Rachel and myself. We had fun out on the water, Rachel had never been sailing before! Uncle Keith was brave enough to let me steer 🙂 and we enjoyed out fair share of chex mix.

That evening we stayed at the Club for dinner and awards, Velma is now sporting a 1st place sailboat trophy, woot woot!

Sunday we took it easy, got our dose of grease at the Huddle House then headed to see the view from the state park. It was beautiful but we could still see the destruction from the tornado that gave Guntersville a shake up last April. On the way back we may have gotten a wee bit lost be we certainly saw the countryside!

Monday we “did” Guntersville, checked out the shops, went to Wintzell’s for lunch and had catfish for dinner! All you could ask for in a day! We also taught Rachel the family card game 3-13 during our visit, she beat both Bev and I! Beginners luck! We will see if that luck sticks around while we travel on.

Tuesday morning, we meant to leave by 10:00am. Of course we didn’t. However when we left we were well fed, Velma was clean, and we had clean laundry! Not much more two traveling girls could ask for! Thank you SO MUCH for your hospitality Keith and Bev, you were our home in Alabama! We will never forget it.

A video of our sailing adventure to come!

With love from the road,


Monticello, Arkansas

Disclaimer: This post will be more personal than most. Bear with my sentimentality 🙂

About 95 miles south of Little Rock lies Monticello, Arkansas a town of about 10,000 people and home to the University of Arkansas at Monticello. If you haven’t heard of it don’t worry one bit.

My family has long had ties to Monticello. My father lived there for a time when he was younger, my great-aunt lived there until recently, and for many many years my paternal grandmother, Kittye Mae lived there. When Kittye Mae left Monticello she lived mostly with us in California and spent time with our family in Houston, Texas as well.

Kittye Mae was a wonderful person. She was patient, caring, and above all a people person. My father always says that not everyone gets to experience the unconditional love that Kittye Mae gave to those in her live. I was fortunate enough to be one recipient.

In the summer of 2008, after more than ninety years of a well-lived life Kittye Mae left us. I believe that she chose her timing very deliberately. I was scheduled to leave for a study abroad program in Mexico for six weeks just a week after her passing. To this day I am so grateful I got to be there with my family.

One of the most memorable trips of my life was the weekend I took off from my program and traveled from Queretaro, Mexico to Monticello, Arkansas. I traveled by bus to Mexico City, caught a flight to Little Rock through Dallas and arrived not long after my family from California.

My mother, father, and brother met me at the airport, they had Kittye Mae too of course (she had to be checked). Together we made the two hour drive to Monticello in the sticky August heat. The trip went well. We remembered Kittye Mae with a service at her church and several gatherings. Flowers were abound because, as fleeting as they are, Kittye Mae loved fresh flowers the most. We also made many memories on that trip; Chris running into a display case at Walgreens with the motorized scooter, my struggle to resist fried chicken despite being a vegetarian for months, and importing wine for the wake in the first “dry county” I’d ever been too.

Over three years later Rachel and I drove into Monticello in the dark of Thursday evening. Our first stop was for food, a burger joint, and then to find my grandmother’s old residence. Kittye Mae’s landlord, Gloria was extremely generous and put Rachel and I up for a night in an unoccupied apartment.

We moved our things in and were happy to find a HUGE king size bed waiting for us. The room we stayed in was General Robert E. Lee themed. That included a few confederate flags, some epic paintings of military men, Scottish tartan, and other Scottish references. The best touch? A bathtub, old school, with clawed feet.

Friday morning we woke up, Rachel headed out for a run and I set out a little bit after her. While I made my way to the Piggly Wiggly for some flowers I though of something else I should bring. I checked out with two single roses and a Diet Coke, cash back? No, I’m good thanks.

Ironically the main cemetery in Monticello is called the Oakland Cemetery–I can remember that! It was only a short walk from the house, the Pink House as it is known. I took my time, Monticello really is beautiful and peaceful.

I was worried I might not be able to find Kittye Mae’s marker, last time I was there it was the center of attention, but I remembered the family had planted a bush next to my great-grandmother. There! I saw it from far away, a tree that wasn’t quite a tree and more a well-pruned bush, deliberately placed just a bit away from the road.

At around ten o’clock in the morning I sat down in the Oakland Cemetery, Monticello, Arkansas, USA, Planet Earth and had a Diet Coke with my grandma. I left a perfect pink rose with her and a lovely red rose with my great-grandmother Stella Baker. I also spent a moment at my Uncle Phil’s grave marker, I was very glad to see he was there too. I love the thought that no matter how many different ways we may go in life, we can always come back home.

After my visit I walked back to the Pink House and swung on the porch swing, just like I had so long ago when I visited Kittye Mae, just like so many other people who visited her and received her unconditional love had.

It may bring tears to your eyes, it may be painful, but I do believe that the best way to honor someone it to remember them, to speak of them, and to share what you learned from them. I will do my best to share all that Kittye Mae taught me, kind acts too numerous to mention.

I have many more stories to share, travels to write about, but for now I will stop and enjoy the moment as I know she would 🙂

With love from the road,

Kittye Mae Catterton 1914-2008 with love

The Culmination of All Things Texan

In Dallas we visited the Fried Food Capital of Texas (aka the World) we really had no clue what we were getting in to!

After leaving Houston we found our homey, if dilapidated, Motel 6 in Dallas (it did not replicate San Antonio’s jazzy accommodations unfortunately) and well, made ourselves at home!

The drive between Houston and Dallas was about four hours long and unfortunately, we did not find our passion in country music to distract us, haha. We spent Monday evening hanging out in our hotel room, watching movies.

Recently I have begun to miss my friends desperately. Some people get homesick, I think I get friend sick! Luckily plenty of friends responded to me call of relative loneliness; Thank You Burke, Alan, Courtney, Adrian, Laura, Lisa, Liz, Dakota, Elliot, Phil, Bryan, Nick, Stephanie, Brittany, Gina, Matt, and Jake. One of the most ironic things about being on the road is whether I am in great company (coughRACHELcough) or flying solo, I miss people oh so much!

So, that fried food, oof. We slept in on Tuesday and geared up for the State Fair of Texas (add a twang, every time you say it!). When we arrived at the Fair we came across a good bit of luck! We got one ticket for free, along with a discount on the other. We also bought some “coupons” which are used as currency at the fair for cheap from people leaving the fair. All in all it was a grand and affordable time 🙂

Also, again it had to do with food, go figure! We toured the fair but really, we were ready to try some of this famed food. First, we sampled the fried beer, yes, FRIED BEER. It was like ravioli, fried, with warm beer in the middle, oh, and with nacho cheese. Ultimately it is not tasty, at all. BUT it is quite the experience and you get to say you tried it!

We only sampled on of the Big Tex Choice awards, the Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack, read more here, which was delicious and served with syrup! We rounded out our dinner with classic Corny Dogs and pear ciders. Somehow, don’t ask me how, we resisted the Fried Bubblegum and Butter. We did however witness a pig race, I rode on the tallest ferris wheel in North America, AND we saw the worst light show eva. I am sorry Dallas you can’t do trashy-trippy flower lights followed by pro-America jams, it just doesn’t work!

After throughly enjoying the fair we called it a night, the next morning we got up and headed downtown. We toured the 6th Floor Museum, quite accurately titled as it is a museum on the 6th floor of the building. Why is it important? Why it is where JFK was assassinated.

Although repetitive, the museum does a wonderful job of covering JFK’s rise to power (rather concisely) and then detailing the dangerous tour to Texas that lead to his untimely end (rather repetitively). In the concluding exhibits they teasingly mention multiple conspiracy theories which fascinate me but, they only mention them, god forbid they elaborate! It is a very well done museum and over all downtown Dallas surprised me,

We visited the official JFK memorial, and had lunch at a small grill which overlook a uniquely designed tower for which we could not find any purpose via our smart phones (a radio show, club, and restaurant use to be up there…). After lunch it was time, time to drive to Arkansas.

Thank you Texas, you were wonderful, unexpected in so many ways and larger than life, I will see you again someday!

With love from the road,


The Texas Triangle Part Three (3)


While I can’t remember the last time I visited Houston (I was two or three I think), I was excited to see my family that lives there. Our cousins Stella and Dan welcomed Rachel and I into their home late on Saturday. We hadn’t made the best time with all the rain in Austin but had navigated the looping freeways in Houston without too much trouble.

“The rain is coming” We insisted. Part superstition, I was traveling with an Oregonian after all, and part actual radar predictions, we were sure the rain would come. Boy, did it rain down.

Early Sunday morning I woke up to the sounds of the storm beginning and it did not blow over for nearly twenty-four hours. Snug in bed I could hear thunder and the pound of fat raindrops. Stella and Dan told us they hadn’t had rain since January, nearly nine months! On Sunday they got nearly five inches of rain.

Rachel and I attempted to go exploring and were semi-successful. We drove past the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts but most of it seemed to be outside, not where we wanted to be! Next we visited the Art Car Museum which showcase several cool “Art Cars” as well as an exhibit that was all art produced by women. Much of it had very powerful messages and unique presentation. We really enjoyed our visit there. One of the ladies who worked there started up a conversation with me and promoted owning an art car. Little did she know that Velma is well on her way.

Curious I asked, “Do you own an art car?”

“Oh yes, I’ve owned five or six.”

Whoa. It is such a stretch for me to even imagine owning one and she’s already cycled through five? Go figure.

Exiting past a ghoulish looking art car, (part Where the Wild Things Are and part your worst nightmare plus a dash of fur) we headed to the Beer Can House. That is right, a house entirely decorated by beer cans. And yes, all the beer was consumed. One man began the project of decorating his house with beer cans buying “Whatever’s on special” for the job. Unlike most college houses that attempt to decorate with alcohol paraphenila, the Beer Can house is very neat, the cans are cut up and placed precisely and the tabs dazzle as an outdoor curtain.

At this point we had been driving around the rain for quite a while. One more stop for some delicious Enchiladas de Mole and then home! Once safely inside and dry we spent a quite evening with Stella and Dan cracking up at America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Monday was the long-awaited trip to the Space Center Houston. Dan use to volunteer here so he and Stella were wonderful tour guides! We took the tram around Johnson Space Center, watched a video about the U.S.’s achievements in space, and touched a moon rock! Sadly this was also the last place my Oregon water bottle was sighted L

After learning all about space exploration to the present I had a lot of questions about what will come next, but alas the exhibit is not quite up to date as that. We gave our minds a rest while Stella and Dan took us on a lovely tour of the Kemah Boardwalk and out for a delicious seafood lunch at The Aquarium, so called because it has fish tanks everywhere!

Loading up the car once more Rachel and I said our goodbyes and headed to our final stop in Texas: Dallas and the State Fair of Texas.

With love from the Road,


The Texas Triangle Part 2


The UT Tower

We neglected to think about the rest of the 9-5 world when we left for Austin around 5:00pm last Friday and hit traffic, go figure. It wasn’t too bad and in a little less than two hours we reached our hostess’ house in Austin.

Rachel had a friend of the family who had family in Austin. Although not quite sure who I was about to meet I was very excited to see Austin, the famed liberal bubble in Texas. Our hostess Janice was gracious enough to serve up a late dinner after her son Nick had arrived as well. Luck for us Nick was our age and (with some persuasion) willing to give us a tour of the infamous 6th Street bar scene.

I would like to say there are no words, because there weren’t at first, but after the initial shock I had endless observations to make.

The street we parked along, got help me if I could ever find my way there again, reminded me of Barmuda in Eugene or Ballard in Seattle. Quite a few bars all together, larger music venues tossed in, etc. Here, the sound was distinctly different. The jumble of music being blasted through speakers or performed for a eager crowd drowned out the street noises with little difficulty. However, this was not 6th street.

Reaching the corner we turned right, into adult Disneyland. A good trial run for New Orleans I assume but little of my previous nights out had prepared me for this. Nearly every store front was a bar each with a different name, bouncer, drink special, image to sell. Where to begin?

Nick was patient as we wandered the row of bars. “They close of the street here on weekend nights” he explained. It created an odd blend of a hometown street fair/Main Street at Disneyland/and a night out in Isla Vista where sidewalks don’t exist.

There were street performers, preachers, girls dancing in windows, dear god so much people watching! Our first stop was a sleezy staple bar boasting the misleading name, “Shakespeare’s Pub.” The drink special there? $5 mini-pitchers of Long Island Ice Teas which was quite a deal for us travelers on a budget. The main draw however was the rooftop bar. From there we could look down on to 6th Street and across to the Austin skyline.

6th Street, Austin, Texas

We made a couple more stops on our tour of 6ht Street before calling it good. Overwhelming as it was I enjoyed hanging out with Rachel and Nick. Plus I don’t think I’ll find people-watching like that for a while.

Saturday morning we woke up, a little late as per usual, and gathered our things. Time to hit the road again. As much as we would have like to see more of Austin, Houston was the next stop on the agenda and it lay three hours away.

We visited Nick at Mimi’s Café where he works for some breakfast at noon before a speed tour of UT. More than anything Austin reminded me of a larger Eugene, in the sense that its culture is largely built around the University. The Longhorns certainly have an unmistakable presence in Austin, it would be a very fun place to go to school. The music is just everywhere. You can’t be that!

On campus we toured the LBJ Library, drove past the stadium and bell tower then popped in to see a Gutenberg Bible (Dakota and I went to Gutenberg while we were in Germany but the museum was closed and we saw no Bible, fail.)

Again, the rain had followed us east. A brief stop at a bookstore became an expensive wait as the rain POURED down. The other customers and employees seemed quite elated. It was a sign that the drought might be finally coming to an end.

Once the rains subsided we scurried to the car and set our course (via my map app) for Houston, Texas! The last piece in our Texan Trifecta.

Changing Planes In Denver

Hello from New Mexico! How did I get so behind?! Denver was a grand ol’ adventure not to be missed!

I arrived in the outskirts of Denver on Friday evening, shocked at the site of multi-lane highways and traffic! The mile high city was as daunting as the rest of Colorado had been elevation-wise but not much else seemed too intimidating.

My friend from Oregon, Taryn, and her boyfriend Cody were generous enough to host me for the short time I was in Denver. As it was a Friday night once I made it to their apartment I threw on a dress, curled my hairs, and prepared to go out!

Important note: When going out in a city that you do not know at all, even with terrific guides, you must have an extremely open mindset. Its very different than going out when you have set expectations/an idea of what may come. The uncertainty ends up being half the fun!

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant that features karaoke EVERY NIGHT haha! While we did not perform we definitely sang along and critiqued, oh and discussed all the new TV shows. That has become a mini obsession as I travel along.

My current top five new shows:

1. Revenge- I can’t stop wondering what comes next! I am as sucker punched as they probably hoped audiences would be.

2. The Playboy Club- guilty pleasure. Nuff said.

3. Pan Am- Ambitious, there are spies, and I’ve pretty much determined I should’ve been a stewardess back in the day. Get to travel AND look cute, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

4. The Sing Off- Not actually a new show, but a new season. I can never fail to be impressed by a capella

5. Hart of Dixie- I have not actually watched this show but I have seen the SAME ad for it FIVE BILLION times. There is this one moment when she says y’all in a total fail moment, cracks me up every time.

Part of experiencing America includes pop culture, right?

Back to my real life adventures…

Friday night was just too fun! Drinks, dancing, super cool people—Thanks Taryn! Needless to say we had a bit of a slow start the next day, some might say extremely slow. However, we rallied to the cause of me seeing Denver in the daylight.

Saturday afternoon we wandered around the 16tth street mall where I got Velma a dreamcatcher, she is looking quite stylish these days. And best of all I got to see Emily!


Emily and I were interns in Scotland together, so many great memories J She lives in Salt Lake City so I hadn’t seen her since our return stateside! Even better we were suppose to meet while I was in Moab but it didn’t work out. Lo and behold she was attending The Great American Beer Festival (which Taryn and I will definitely be volunteering at next year!) in Denver this weekend so our paths were just meant to cross!

Saturday night we stayed in, grabbed a late dinner and watched a couple of movies. This was in part due to the fact that I realized Albuquerque was about a 7 hour drive away from Denver rather than the 4 or 5 hours I had stuck in my head.

Why was it so important to get to Albuquerque? To pick up my new PIC (Partner in Crime) Rachel at the airport. Unfortunately her flight got in at 11:00 am. Not very fun when you do the math.

At about 5:00am on Sunday morning I got a text from Rachel who was at the Portland airport. She had just looked at her ticket and her connecting flight was in Denver.


Luckily, we both had the same idea, just get off the plane! So instead of waiting for me to zoom through Colorado and New Mexico I picked Rachel up in Denver! Her bag went on so we would have to find our way to Albuquerque eventually but for now we could enjoy the trip. Honestly, what are the chances?! It all worked out so well, made us even giddier than giddy.

Now that Rachel was in Colorado we stopped in Colorado Springs and visited the Garden of the Gods. After all the rocks I have seen, I have to admit it wasn’t as impressive as the name conveyed and believe it or not we got lost in the park that probably only takes about half and hour to circumference. Strugglessss.

Our first stop at the Garden of the Gods

Also in Colorado Springs we made the first of what would become several, brewery stops. This one was called Trinity Brewing.

Tangent: Back in Oregon my best friend Dakota and I decided that since we are beer inclined when it comes to a drink and we love trying new microbrews we were going to take a page out of the wino book and take notes on our tastings. Chuckle if you must but it can be tricky remembering beers you’ve tried let alone what they tasted like! Rachel and I have incorporated that practice into the trip, seeking out local beers as we go. There will be a special beer-centric post coming soon 🙂

From Colorado Spring we turned off onto some of Colorado’s back roads towards Taos, NM where we had decided to spend the night. Some of my favorite scenery has been along these routes, even if it takes a bit longer, its totally worth it.

We reached Taos after sunset and could already tell it was a cool place. First, we celebrated this unexpected stop on the trip with drinks at the Adobe Inn. It had live music and a solid following. Food was needed too though. This led us to Taos Pizza Out Back, so called because, it is “out back” of another business, nicely tucked away from the street.

Always a good sign as “adults” we received crayons and a placemat to color on. We dutifully record our day, with artistic interpretation of course. I tried their Green Chile Soup and Rachel had a very nice salad before we were presented with HUGE slices of specialty pizza. We were both rather adventurous while ordering and although our pizza’s didn’t quite live up to their descriptions the crust was so scrumptious it made up for it.

Full and content we drove a little ways out of town to the Abominable Snowmansion hostel. Quirky and homey they offered dorms, rooms, cabins, or tipis for the night. Can I tell you which we picked?


Tipi! We celebrated with warm clothes, wine, and a deck of cards. So much had happened in just one day! Welcome to the road Rachel!

With love from the road,


P.S. You can follow Rachel’s blog too!



Finally Feeling Fall

I have two apologies to make. First, I apologize for not taking advantage of the internet when I could and updating my blog as religiously as I should! Second, I apologize for my love of alliterations which will routinely appear in my titles. Allow me this guilty pleasure!

Fruita was a wonderful respite from my outdoor excursions! My first day with the McCoy’s (cousins on my Dad’s side) was incredibly relaxing. I slept in a wee bit, did laundry, learned about Mary Jane and my great-uncle Robert’s routine, uploaded photos, and lolled about in several key locations at the house.

I had a great time visiting with everyone! Considering I hadn’t seen them since I was very small it was wonderful to spend time and make memories with everyone. Thank you for everything Mary Jane, Bryan, Robert, Justin, and Jessica!

In addition to taking a breather from life on the road I checked out downtown Grand Junction with Mary Jane, had some wonderful gelato mmmmm, and learned some hilarious tales about my grandmother, Kittye Mae.

On Wednesday the 28th I woke up early and drove to the (absolutely stunning, super cool, have to go back) ski town of Telluride. The drive was stunning, as Velma chugged up hills gaining altitude the aspens grew in number and the color, absolutely indescribable! Look:

My friend Calla from sailing (sailors, sailors, everywhere!) has been living there for about a year now. After doing some wandering around of my own I meet Calla at her too cute green house just a few blocks from the main street.

In true traveling sailor fashion I simply hopped on the Telluride bandwagon as Calla graciously included me in her evening plans. We prepared for a potluck, braved a hangover and altitude sickness alike with a handy dandy can of oxygen, and caught up as if no time had passed. The potluck was very fun, it was cool to see such a close-knit group of young people not in college, it gives me hope! The fun is not over yet!

We called it a night relatively early. Calla, Pooner, and I settled in for some cribbage and a very necessary viewing of Moonstruck.

Image courtesy of

Oh Cher, and a young Nicholas Cage. And all that hair, dear god!

Thursday morning we made the full tour of Telluride. Breakfast at The Butcher and The Baker (cheese and ham croissant) fueled us for the quick walk around town. One of my many favorite stops was in Town Park where Calla explained, “I can’t pick which view is my favorite, they’re all good.”

My solution: 

We meandered across town to the gondola. Swoosh! Up the mountain for an even closer view of the electric yellow trees. This time of year the mountain is bare and Mountain Village is like a ghost town. Calla described her normal commute on the gondola and how rad the whole resort is in winter. I have to come back!!!

Once we completed our gondola tour we got one of the impulses, that tickles that back of your brain. First, one person makes the suggestion, half-joking, then the accomplice repeats the suggestion, pondering the possibility. Finally, a goofy grin appears on both fools faces and there can be only end result: Bloody Marys! And some cribbage of course. We capped off our tour of Telluride with a toast and a tie in our cribbage series. Until next time Calla… 🙂

After my grand time in Telluride I drove over the hills and through Grand Junction back to Fruita for one more night with the McCoys and their latest guest: My Dad! Our visits were so close to overlapping that I had to make it happen!

I had a lovely evening first hearing old family stories and then hanging out with Justin and his girlfriend Jessica. At least until I fell asleep while watching Family Guy, classic. The next morning was cleaning day in the house so the Roberts (my dad and great-uncle) stayed clear by sitting outside. It was great company before I got back on the road. Many thanks to the McCoys and I can’t wait to see you all again soon! (Justin you really do need to come see the ocean, its pretty swell…pun intended).

Next destination: Denver Baby!

With love from the road,