Last Updated 11/14/2006
Subject: Don and Mary's Vacation
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2001 21:44:38 -0700
After putting in 4 fun, hard days at the Heritage Festival, we finally got under way at 10:30 Tuesday morning. We made it as far as the rest stop just West of Kingman, AZ the first night. We are writing this our second night from Santa Rosa New Mexico. We have been keeping our (initial) goal of 600 miles a day, in 12 hours of driving. These are not hard days because the truck is handling the trailer Oh so nicely and the ride is comfortable.
We will be posting vacation pictures to our website and you can check every few days for new pictures. Give us a few days before you look.
Don and Mary Murray
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 18:15:49 -0700
We are having a good time. Anthony is really enjoying Yellowstone. I must keep this short as cell connection is shaky. We have had a hard time getting a good connection. Will update website as soon as I can.
See ya, Don, Mary, and Anthony
Subject: Don and Mary's Vacation II
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 21:28:42 -0700
We are way behind in keeping our email messages going. Not as easy as we expected. So anyway we made it to OK okay and met Nancy and Max, Don's sister and brother-in-law at Turner Falls. The morning of Sat 6/9 we all drove to Allen OK to the Reeves family reunion. Arrived just in time for a massive potluck lunch and chatted with all the relatives. Was beastly muggy and a brief afternoon rain felt refreshing.
I wish I could say that we took two uneventful days driving to Colorado Springs, but that would be a big whopping lie. Within those two days, all 4 of the new tires we had bought for the trailer went to tire heaven. Actually they are in the back of the truck, waiting for us to take them back to Winston Tires for a refund. Probably accompanied by much yelling. So we had to buy 2 tires in Wichita KS at a Pep Boys and prayed that the 2 spares would last til we got to Colorado Springs. We found a Pep Boys there and also got the oil changed on the truck at the local Ford dealer.
We toured the Garden of the Gods park, and shopped in Old Manitou Springs. One day we went on the short tour of the Cave of the Winds.
Another day of touring around and time out for a thorough trailer cleaning. We left on Sat 6/16, with Anthony and all his stuff. After another two day drive we arrived in Yellowstone. We went to the Hamilton Store for souvenir shopping and later to the Ranger Talk at the Campfire. Monday we drove over to Old Faithful and watched it go off. Had late lunch at the dining room in the Snow Lodge. Then more driving back to camp.
Tuesday started with major laundry while the boys hiked the Mud Volcano Trail. After lunch we drove out to the NE gate through the Lamar Valley where wolf activity has been reported. Didn't see any, but our overall luck at animal viewing has been great.
Wednesday the boys did the circle around to Mammoth Hot Springs and saw a grizzly bear. Mary stayed at trailer, not feeling well. Boys are at nightly Ranger Campfire now. We got Anthony signed up in the Jr. Ranger Program. It amounts to a self-guided learning experience tailored to youngsters. Also helps us plan what to see. He will get a patch if he successfully completes it.
We have had many animal sightings, beginning with a full day of pronghorn antelope and babies, on the trip from Casper to Yellowstone. Not too far into Yellowstone we saw a coyote so large that we mistook it for a wolf. The bison are every where, including on the roadways. We have seen herds of elk and some solitary bucks with large antlers. We have seen flocks of Canada geese and individual yellow-bellied marmots. Ravens make a noise approximately like a turkey gobble. We saw a small black bear, and a grizzly in a meadow far away. Anthony thinks he briefly saw an Otter, near to Otter Creek. We saw a few Mule deer, and a snowshoe hare. Lots of chipmunks and squirrels. No moose yet but we are on the lookout.
Love to all,
Don , Mary, Anthony, and Annie
Subject: Don and Mary's Vacation III
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 22:30:31 -0700
Well, we have left Yellowstone and the bears and eagles behind. We spent a night in West Yellowstone and then Missoula Mt. We whizzed through the panhandle of Idaho and are now in Spokane Wa. We arrived just in time to miss the earthquake. No sign of it at the KOA about 10 miles east of town. We will be heading toward the North Cascades National Park via Grand Coulee Dam tomorrow. After that, we plan on taking the Keystone-Port Townsend Auto Ferry, and stop in Port Angeles. We will be going around the Olympic Peninsula and then head to Oregon.
I finally got a fast phone connection and fixed what I broke on the website. I made the pics smaller so they will load a little faster. I will try to put up the pics from Colorado Springs again soon.
Mary and Don
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2001 08:56:45 -0700
Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm having a fun time. I also got you two both presents. I got Dad's in Yellowstone. And I got Mom's in Port Angeles, WA. Grandpa got me a present in Yellowstone, and it turned out to be binoculars. I got a Junior Ranger badge in Yellowstone from doing a 5 page packet. I also found out that wolverines live in Colorado. I was watching the news this morning and they said it is supposed to snow in Colorado Springs. I hope you have a happy Independence Day.
Subject: Don and Mary's Vacation
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2001 08:46:06 -0700
Having avoided the earthquake in Spokane, we moved North to the Grand Coulee Dam. Quite a nice view of it. We stopped in Winthrop WA just outside the North Cascades NP. Drove through the park and looked at many of the lovely natural cascades and power dams for Seattle. Had a little rain but not bad. We stopped for the night in Burlington. Next we drove to the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry, and rode across the water. Saved the long drive down through Seattle and had a fun ride. Stopped for two nights in Port Angeles. Toured the Olympic Peninsula . Went to the Hoh River Rainforest and to Sol Duc Hot springs. Saw some examples of record-size large trees. We drove down the Washington coast. Stopped at Bay Center, where we went to the beach and saw a beautiful sunset. The next morning we drove along the Columbia to Portland, it was a clear day and we could see Mt St Helens and as we crossed the river into Portland we had a great view of Mt Hood, with no clouds. Spent the afternoon at Grandpa Jerry's and Grandma Alice's house. Had a nice visit. Stayed the night in Lincoln City. Went to Outlet Stores in the morning and did some power shopping. Next night was at Bandon, Or. Saw some great coastline. Had lunch on the beach at Redwood NP, in Cal. Stayed in Eureka last night and driving the Avenue of the Giants today.
We will be stopping in Willits tonight. Might ride the Skunk train tomorrow. We will be home in a couple of days.
Love Don and Mary
We didn't have GPS in 1987, so I recreated the route we took on our Great Circle Route trip with the kids.