One of the reasons we stayed in PA for the whole summer was so that Damian could finally get his braces off. He has had them on for 2 1/2 years, and since we have been traveling we have had to come back every 8 weeks so that he could have them worked on. Finally at the end of August he got them off. Since it was his birthday over the summer also, he got his permit and has started driving too. Even though he has to drive with us right now, he still takes the opportunity every chance he gets. A few more months and he will have his license, we are so proud of him. We didn’t have a lot of adventures over the summer, but David tattooed at Golden Hammer Tattoo Studios again, and participated in the Wood Festival at Grey Towers with Sequoia Tree Service. I also got to see my sister and had some great times with our friends. We definitely had a great time visiting with friends and family, leaving them is always the hardest part of traveling, but I was looking forward to getting back to the warm weather just in time for fall.
Our drive back across the country was fairly uneventful. We enjoyed the amazing mountain scenery in Wyoming, and then we reached Nebraska and it all disappeared. It was back to the flat plains for the entire state and most of Iowa and Illinois too. We did pas through a few intense storms, but most of the drive flew by pretty quickly. After traveling the country and seeing so many amazing places, and doing so many fun things, I was having a little trouble being in one spot for so long. We were in PA from the beginning of July until the middle of September, which truthfully was longer than I had wanted to stay. Even though it was only 2 1/2 months, it seemed like such a long time, especially since it’ s not a new place to explore. Truthfully we have done just about everything there is to do around there and were having to revisit the same places just to get out and do things. We are usually very busy people and sitting around relaxing, although in theory sounds good, is not really our style. So we decided to revisit some fun places. Point Peter is at the top of Port Jervis, you can drive up to the flag and then walk around. There is actually a great view of the city as well as Matamoras and even High Point Monument. Even though we have been before, it’s always nice to get some perspective and see the view from above. If your in the area I highly recommend it.
After leaving Washington it was only a short couple hour drive to Oregon. The reason we started the cross county trip was because my cousin was getting married in Portland on June 25th, and it was now June 23rd. We decided to stay out on the coast in Oregon, and it was a great choice. It was an absolutely amazing drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, and we wished we could have travelled the whole way down to California, (that’s now on our list of things to do in the future). We stopped in a small fishing town called Garibaldi for a couple of nights and it was really perfect. It was an hour drive to Portland, through the mountains so, even better. We got to see so many amazing sights in just the short 3 days we were there. The rehearsal dinner was held at Seven Bridges Winery, and was a fantastic place where we drank great wine and met a lot of new people. On the Wedding day, we went to The International test Rose garden, it was just beautiful, so many roses of all different varieties, not only did it look amazing but also smelled amazing, all with the backdrop of Mt. Hood. As if the day couldn’t get better, we had time to see some of the actual city of Portland, including lunch at the Fathead Brewery before the wedding reception. We had a really great time at the wedding, I loved seeing family that I haven’t seen in awhile and making new friends to stop and see as we continue to travel the country. It was a city I would love to visit more in the future and Oregon was so wonderful I think living there for a time would be a great idea.
The drive from Mount Rushmore on, was absolutely amazing. The scenery just seemed to get better and better the further we went. We drove out of South Dakota, briefly into Wyoming and then onto Montana, that has to be the prettiest state I have ever seen. The terrain changed so much from one end of the state to the other, it was incredible. I was horribly bad at taking pictures and video through there so I don’t have much to show until we got to Yellowstone, but trust me when I say the views were spectacular. Even though there are campgrounds in Yellowstone, most book up far in advance, and the other ones are on a first come first serve basis daily, and so many people are always there waiting early in the morning it’s hard to get a spot, so we opted to stay in a park that was about an hour away and drive in. There are actually a few different entrances into Yellowstone, we took the North entrance, right on the border of Montana and Wyoming. We only had one day to explore, which is not really enough time to see much of anything. It is so vast I think you would really need at least a week to see all of the amazing and unique things. We decided with the amount of time we had, just to take the small driving loop, and we still didn’t get to see that much. We walked to the top of the Mammoth Hot Springs, then drove to Norris Geyser Basin, making some stops along the way, for a quick couple of hikes. While we were exploring the incredible Geyser basin, a storm came through and we got hailed on. I have only been in a hail storm a couple of times, and I have never been in one while I was walking. There really was no shelter and we got pelted with hail over and over for about a half hour, by the time we made it back we were soaked and freezing. It did teach us to be more prepared when we go out exploring though. Have you guys been to Yellowstone? What did you see?