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The Voyage, Prologue

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For those who actually checked in over the last two weeks, you will no doubt have discovered that we picked up and headed out across the country on an end-of-summer road trip of epic proportions. We’re back now, and I’ll fill you in and share some of the pictures and events.


For you who did check in during the last two weeks, you’ll have read about the hostage situation in Casper, WY, where our luggage was held hostage for just over 12 hours. But I’ll recap that briefly later this week.


Our ultimate destination, thanks to Jenni and Evernote (more on that part of the trip later this week as well), was San Francisco. But when Jenni was invited out there, we decided that we would make this a family road trip to see things we haven’t seen before and show the kids some of the sights the country has to offer.


We’ve never really done this–either a family vacation or a big family road trip, and with Patrick just turning 16 a couple of days ago, it probably was one of the last chances to do this kind of thing.


In the end, we traveled 5,025 miles in 13 days, across 10 states including Minnesota. We spent as little as 4 hours driving in a day and as much as 15 hours on one make-up day’s rush to make it to Reno. The poor minivan slogged us up mountains as we climbed as high as 11,000 feet above sea level, but we also rode through a 1.7 mile long highway tunnel, rode several cable cars, went across the Golden Gate Bridge, hit three national parks, took the kids to more than one casino, and experienced the cuisine of three fast food joints that we don’t have back here in flyover land. We had only one day of any measurable rain, a few days of temperatures in the 60s, and a couple of days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees.


Now that we’re back home, we’re exhausted, thrilled to have made the trip, equally thrilled to be home and back to normal, and I’m happy to share the trip with you. It was a great trip. and while there are some regrets–some stops too short, some sights not seen–on the whole, it was exactly what I intended it to be: a chance to see so much of the different parts of the country. And I hope the kids got that out of the trip.


For the next two weeks, I’ll be posting stories, recollections, pictures, and perhaps a video or two from the voyage. But if you’d like to get a head start on the pictures, you can head over to our Tumblr blog, which we really only communicated with a few people before we left.




See you tomorrow.