13th stop – Salida, California

We packed up from the Boulder Lodge in June Lake and drove back through Yosemite on our way to Salida.
Salida is a single stop as we head to San Francisco.

Our first stop in Yosemite was a granite mound that we all hiked.
The pics are below and I will be posting a podcast later.

blog_dome – click here to hear the sound behind the pics











Our next stop was a 1 mile hike to see the Tuolumne Grove of Sequioas.
What a flop!   We hiked a mile to see 1 tree that was smaller than all of the Sequioas in the Sequios National Park.
Ben – I do not like any of your and I hate hiking. ( He just hiked up a 1000 foot granite dome and loved it. )
Sam – I hate trees – can’t we go climb something.

Last stop – Yosemite village and the Merced river!
What an awesome river.  We plan to come back and do some rafting someday.

We arrived at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Salida, CA.
We are off to get some of that San Francisco treat in the morning.

The A-team!

12th stop – Yosemite National Park

Well, we pulled out of Sequoia National Park and headed north to Yosemite.
It was hard to say goodbye to the Giant trees, but we had to move on.

As we entered the park, we found a grove of Giant trees in Yosemite.
We also learned at 4pm that it took roughly 4 hours to drive across the park.
Our camp site was on the other side so we hit the gas.
The drive across the park was incredible, but it was slow.
We saw waterfalls, whitewater, giant granite walls, cliffs, domes, and snow on the mountain tops.



Once we made all the way across, we found our campsite which was supposed to be just on the edge of the park.
It was actually about 40 miles south of the park and it was a goat ranch.
With a name like Convict Lake, what should we have expected.
We decided to find other lodging due to the lackluster campground and the effervescence of goat in our car.

We found a wonderful place in June Lake called the Boulder Lodge.  It was on a lake, has soft beds, and hot showers.
Also, there are no goats!

Today, we went back to Yosemite and spent the day playing in Teyana lake.  The water was about 50 degrees, but the boys loved it and hot tons of fun.

Sam – I loved the lake, but it was ice cold.  Why does everyone keep calling me little pawpaw!
Ben – I was kicking sand on these little kids that were being mean to me.  I am a big bully according to my mama.

Tomorrow, we head back through Yosemite and will go hiking to the Redwoood grove near the middle of the park.
From there, we head to San Fransisco.


11th stop – Death Valley and Sequoia National Park

We drove all the way from Vegas to Death Valley.
We stopped to get some gas before we started the VERY LONG drive through Death Valley.
The billboard on the town stated that this was the last place to fill up before you drove to Area 51.
I checked on the map and sure enough we were spitting distance from Groom Lake.


The drive through Death Valley was VERY LONG and HOTTTER than you could imagine.
Kelley made us all get out for the scenic view.
Ben stated that he hated all of us and they we were all going to burn up and die.
Several of the other people at the stop did not think it was funny.
It was very funny if you know Ben and his wonderful temperament.
Sam – it was very hot, but not as hot as lightning.


Sequoia National Park is amazing.
Ben – these trees are huge and big and fat – Oh – my goodness miss golly miss molly
Sam – this is boring and I hate trees – I just want to climb something
Ben – dear gussy these trees are big – I cannot even see the top
Wow does not describe these trees!
Ben – can you climb uncle Sherman ( it is actually General Sherman! )
General Sherman is perhaps is the biggest thing I have ever seen!



We are off to Yosemite tommorrow!
More redwoods and rivers.

The A-team

10th stop – Las Vegas, Nevada – Luxor

We pulled out of the Grand Canyon Natinal Park on Monday morning.
The drive along the north rim to Zion National Park was really pretty.

We drove up into Utah and drove through Zion National Park to see Zion Canyon.
Sammy – I think this place is weird and very boring.
Ben – I liked all of the trees and some really cool tunnels.
The canyon was really cool as you can actually drive to the bottom and there are several tunnels that are cut right through the mountains of the canyon.


We stopped at the Dairy Queen in Hurricane, Utah for a burger and blizzard.
The fry sauce was really good – believe it or not.

Finally, we made it to Las Vegas, Nevada.
The boys thought the advertising trucks driving down the strip were funny.
We did not find the not-so-fully-clothed pictures as funny.
They though the Luxor and Excalibur were very cool indeed.

The boys loved the Buffet – Sam and Ben had to eat at all of the countries.
Sammy decided to skip Asia as he had to cut back somewhere.
Sam was so overwhelmed with joy at the mere site of the food that he ended up eating about 10 plates of food.
Ben looked as though he was about 7 months along after his 7 course dessert setup.
Both of them has asked to go back for the buffet at least 10 times.



We are off to Death Valley and Sequoia National Forest~!

The A-team

9th stop – Grand Canyon part II

We have now been here for 2 full days and it is really cool.
We have ventured to the Imperial Point and Cape Royal.
There are many nice spots to stop along the way to each view.
Sam and Ben did some power-lifting.


From Cape Royal, you can see the Colorado through Angel’s window.
You can see the triangular hole in the mountain in the pic.
Through this hole, you can see the Colorado rushing.
It is very cool.


The walk out on top of Angel’s window is very narrow and tricky.
Sammy, thinking he is a Mountain Goat, tried to jump up a rock and fell off on the way off the mountain.
Thank the lord for guard rails as he needed one.
Ben fell earlier and they had to compare wounds.


We hiked from our campground to the North Rim lodge.  The view is spectacular.
We hiked a different trail back.


We are heading back up to the North Rim for the sunset.
It should be very nice.

We head to Las Vegas, Nevada in the morning.
The boys think Elvis is playing at the Flamingo!

The A-Team

8th stop – The GRAND Canyon

We made it!
We arrived at the Grand Canyon and saw a herd of Buffalo as we were driving in.

We stopped off and made a picnic at the East Rim.
It is free to camp anywhere on the East Rim – this is not an advertised thing!
Park road 611 – 4 miles before the Grand Canyon National Park entrance.
We camped here about 11 years ago.

See the pic of the boys – view from the East Rim.
Sam – Man what happened to those trees.
Ben – We really worked that big log over and we did not fall in the Canyon behind us, but we almost did.


We are staying at the North Rim Camp Ground!
It was about 50 for a low and will reach 85 or so for a high.
We are hiking down into the Canyon today – about a mile.

This place is awesome!


7th stop – Kayenta, Arizona

Rio Grande Gorge – forgot to post about this earlier
We stopped and took a peak at the Rio Grande Gorge.
What a view.
Met a hunting guide named Andres and he gave the boys mule deer antlers.


Stopping here on the way to the Grand Canyon —
Boys got to play in a mud hut – see pic

Wrapped up our New Mexico visit after 5 days at the Plaza haunted hotel.
Had friends in room 310 of the Plaza and Byron T paid them a visit at least two times..
He kept turning on the lights in their bathroom!

We are on our way to the Grand Canyon.
Stopped in Tuba City and just short of Page.

We are currently across the street from the DeMotte Campground.
It is about 75 degrees.
Almost to the North Rim.ateam_north_rim_storeboys_in_mud_hut

6th stop – Bradbury Science Musuem

What a cool place!

This museum has all you ever wanted to know about Science and Computer Science.
Ben – I learned about Nuclear energy and how plutonium works.  I also learned how to fire a pellet and all about a tommy test.
Sam – I learned about Computer Science and how to control things with programs.  I also learned what a nuclear bomb can do.

Bradbury Museum

We went to the Jemez Mountains as well and had a great time!

We are still in Las Vegas, New Mexico until Friday.
We then head to Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

The A team


5th stop – Texas the Musical / 4th of July Celebration

Texas the Musical
Sam – It was really good.  I liked Calvin Armstrong – he was cool!
Ben – It was sweeeeet.  I liked all the singing, dancing, and horses.  I like umh umh umh it when the Colonel Henry umh uhm was talking / aguing with Calvin.
The fire on the side of the moutain was cool.
Kelley – I liked the historical aspect and pioneer spirit.
Stacey – I really liked watching the show with my boys and my pretty wife!

The fireworks show was awesome!  We were up close and it was really really loud and intimate / exciting.

After the show, it rained all night and our tent leaked.  Luckily, it only leaked on Kelley and the rest of us were cold and damp, but not soaked.   It was much cooler than the 107 the night before.

We are now in Las Vegas, New Mexico at the Historic Plaza Hotel.
The boys think it is haunted which is going to make our 5 days very fun.


4th stop – Palo Duro Canyon

Wow – hotter than haedes here!  It is roughly 119 degrees in the shade.
Trianchulas are everywhere and they are big, black, and hairy!
Sam and Ben – we almost caught us a Turkey – just like bowling!
Sam and Ben – the plan is to kill a Turkey tonight or a deer – we have weapons ( shovels and hammers ).

Kelley, Paw-Paw, and I went for a hike – Kelley and I turned back at mile 3 as it was 107 degrees.
Paw-paw decided it was time for a run at 12:00 – he gave us the last of his water and off he went
8 miles later – he dragged back up at camp and boy was he thirsty and swollen!
The joys of camping!

Next – we went to the Cadillac ranch – what a cool place to practice graffiti!

blog_triantulaSam, Ben, Paw-Paw,1/2 of Nana

Sam, Ben, Paw-Paw,1/2 of Nana

On the road again and telling about it as we go . . .