Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The end of an amazing journey!

Well our adventure ends today :o(  Wally tried to get us to stay another night but we figured we better get back to our furry babies!  We both are not looking forward to returning back to the real world of work, school, etc…but we do miss our puppies to pieces!  


You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can never take Texas out of the girl!
I see you...
Mile 4,804: Texas State Line!
Back in the mighty state!

On our way home we stopped by the Cadillac Ranch and then went grab some grub at the Big Texan!  Brandon was up for the 72oz steak challenge - but I told him I did not want to be stuck with him in an enclosed moving vehicle for 3 hours after that!







 I thought this was funny!

 This man was taking on the 72oz challenge!
Maw & Paw Hawkins
 Yummy!
Mile 4,943: Big Texas in Amarillo
Getting our steak on!
Mile 5,000: The Milestone Mile
Brandon driving us home - Jess in her cave!

What an amazing trip this has been!  Although we are both worn out from being on the go – we both had the best time and had the opportunity to travel and see so many amazing things!  In our 13 days on the road we…. 
  • Traveled through 10 states
  • Clocked in a total of 5,181 miles
  • Filled up the truck with 274.8 gallons of gas
  • Collected 32 stickers for the beer fridge outside
  • Came home with a truck covered in bug guts, a nice big rock ding in the windshield and a ton of good memories!



A lot of bugs lost their lives during this journey...
All of our stickers!
Beer Fridge BEFORE
Beer Fridge AFTER!

TRIP SUMMARY
Day 13: Creede, CO to Midland, TX
Weather: Cool and then hot (boiling) as we got closer to Midland!

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles – some observations:  
  • As you travel up the west coast of the country they are very environmentally conscious!  It is so great! They recycle everything – maybe some areas should take some notes - like TEXAS!
  • Bathroom cleanliness also gets better as you travel the coast, but becomes not so good once you get into Colorado and start traveling back south.  
  • On the coast all bathrooms have toilet protectors and are very clean!
  • Dyson hand dryers in the bathroom are amazing – that thing can dry your hands in 2 seconds flat!  We only saw these along the west coast!
  • Wyoming came out on top with the cheapest gas!
  • Washington above all was our favorite state - I forgot I even had EPP!  But was very quickly reminded of it once we got back into Texas and got out at the Cadillac Ranch :o(
  • Worst state to drive in...NEW MEXICO!  Safety corridors..really!?!?!
Just a few pics that didn't make the blog HERE




Monday, July 4, 2011

FREEEEEEEEEEDOM!

Happy Independence Day!  We are so thankful for the men and women who fight to keep this country free!  Make sure you thank and hug a veteran today!  We were lucky enough to spend this 4th of July with the great people of Creede (along with 10,000 other visitors!)  We started the day with the 4th of July parade – it was great!  Best parade I have seen and it was actually a really big parade for a town whose population is 500!  
Everyone lining the streets of Creede for the parade!
These were some ornery old men!  I was just praying they wouldn't break anything!

This was a fun one!

Brandon's favorite one!
These boys looked fun!
At the parade with Wally!

After the parade we strolled the streets of Creede to check out the stores before we were to meet Wally at Kip’s Grill. What a crazy fun place!  We had the best time at Kip’s!  Drank some good margaritas, ate some elk burgers, listened to a great live band from Alabama, and made lots of new friends!  We were at Kip’s all day celebrating and didn’t leave until after the fireworks show at dark thirty!  The great thing about Creede is you can walk everywhere to get to where you are going…the Post house is just a few steps from Kip’s – which is handy dandy!  
Best margaritas - hands down!
Our new friends from Alamosa!
Jammin' to the band!

Mile 4524: Creede!
Our clan with Kip!  He's one crazy fun guy!

I will end this post with the words of our new friend Kip……FREEEEEEEDOM!  

TRIP SUMMARY
Day 12: Creede, CO
Weather: Warm – mid 70’s

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles:  
  • I’m not a playa I just crush a lot!
  • If this causes a divorce…..
  • I think we had too much fun...

Fun times were had in Creede!  Check out the rest of the pictures from our visit by clicking HERE

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Puttering into Colorado.....

We are pooped today!  Our tuck is getting pretty full of stuff and we have one more adventure to Creede, Colorado!  The Post's were nice enough to let us stay at their house while in Creede. We will travel across the entire state of Wyoming today before we enter into Colorado.  We got into Creede pretty late due to the never-ending construction in Wyoming with travel speeds of 45-50 miles per hour! 
Look Betsy!  You have your own store in Jackson Hole!
Mile 4000: The Snow Fence!
These my friends are what are known as "snow fences." You see them all along the highway in Wyoming and Colorado.  There purpose in life is to help block and keep the butt-load of snow this area gets off the highways!


This snow fence is a biggin'!

Mile 4175: Welcome to Colorado!
Watch out Colorado!  The Hawkins have arrived!



TRIP SUMMARY
Day 11: Jackson, WY to Creede, CO
Weather: Pleasant – in the 60’s

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles:  
  • The only radio stations that come in clearly and perfect are tejano stations – why is this?  What this means...Brandon got to listen to me sing for a long time on this leg of the trip! 
  • Cell phone service or internet does not exist in the Creede, Colorado area! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 10: Here Bear! Moooooooose!

After getting some rest we woke up to prepare for our 300-mile loop through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone!  We had a lot of ground to cover in a day! Before heading the National Parks we had breakfast in Jackson Hole at a great little restaurant and then made our way around this cute little town!  I loved it!

My first moose sighting!
Mile 3455: Jackson Hole Antlers
Welcome to Jackson Hole!

We then made our way down the road to see the Grand Tetons.  They are massive and awesome!  Pictures just don’t do it justice!
Mile 3463: Grand Tetons
And they are GRAND!







A view of the Tetons from the other side






Then into Yellowstone we went!  I was on a serious mission to takes some pictures of wildlife.  I especially wanted to see a moose and grizzly!  Brandon really wanted to see a grizzly too!  As we entered into the park I spotted the first animal -a little black bear just hanging out!  He was so cute!  We saw several animals during our trip:
  • Black Bear
  • Bison
  • Antelope
  • Elk
  • Yellow Belly Marmot
  • Fox
  • Buck



Mile 3500: Entering Yellowstone
Maybe we will see Yogi & Boo Boo!

I spotted the first wildlife!  This little black bear!

It is just amazing how big some of these animals are.  It is also equally amazing how stupid people are and how they get by with not getting killed by these wild creatures!  ATTENTION: BISON ARE NOT LIKE COWS!  THEY WILL CHARGE AT YOU AND CAN ACTUALLY RUN FAST!  It was incredible to see Yellowstone and all of the wildlife just doing their thing.  It was amazing to see what they call a “stream” (otherwise known as a raging river)!  There was also a ton of snow!  It was pretty chilly at the top :o) 

So pretty!
We crossed the divide a kazillion times!


It's gonna blow!



The geysers are everywhere!

If you didn't already know....Yellowstone National Park if a volcano!  If that isn't grand enough, Yellowstone is just the top/opening of the volcano!  Insane huh!  Scientists believe that this volcano will erupt again within the next 100 years! (Hope I'm not visiting!)  When it does erupt we will see ash from this volcano all the way in Midland, Texas!  Just some food for thought...

Brandon actually loved these fat little ground squirrels!
He came up to the restaurant while we were eating!


My Marmot friend I made...he was so cute!
There were baby bison...otherwise known as orange dogs

We also were able to go and see the famous Druid Wolf Pack area of the park and where their dens were.  The story of that wolf pack is amazing – if you do not know it you should definitely read about it.  Brandon actually had the opportunity of working with the biologist who studies this pack of wolves within the park.  So amazing at the power that one animal can have!

The wolves have dens located on the top of this hill (aka a mountain :o)

Although I was a little sad though that we never saw a Moose or Grizzly :o(  the experience of Yellowstone is remarkable, and almost overwhelming because of everything it encompasses!  You could never experience everything that Yellowstone offers in this lifetime…such a wonderful place!  We will definitely be going back!

Only someone as big as God can make something so beautiful!  
Can you see the fox!?!  He has his dinner in his mouth...
The skies were so blue!  You don't see this color in the crayon box!
Elk everywhere!
You feel so small in this big place!


Snow!




Time to play in this stuff they call snow!




He came up to our car to say hello!
Yellowstone River!  
Look at all the water in this river!
Goodnight Yellowstone!
Mile 3653: Bison Jam!

This my friends is what you call a bison jam....when you enter Yellowstone you are at the mercy of the animals!  At this time 20 bison thought they needed to cross the road!
Another jam!
The ground at this site is so hot and acidic that if you step on it it will melt the sole of your shoe!

Hey there buddy!
Mile 3696: Adios Yellowstone
Happy trails to you until we meet again....

TRIP SUMMARY
Day 10: Jackson, WY
Weather: Very pleasant!  In the 70's

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles :  
  • Upon entering Yellowstone there is a sign warning you not to "feed or molest the animals"….hmmmm
  • Here Bear! (our bear call)
  • Moooooose! (Jess' moose call!)
  • Standing in the middle of grizzly bear country is a little unsettling when it is dark outside...you can’t really see, and there are signs surrounding you warning you about the bears!
  • The rivers were full to the max! 
Soooo many more pictures you must see!  CLICK HERE!