Nine days. Five states. 2,887 miles. 828 photos. One mountaintop. Fourteen stops for gas. Innumerable sights and memories. Nine consecutive entries for journals written on location. Forty entries for photos, additional commentary, and hindsight. My wife and I have taken a road trip in some fashion each year since 1999 — before we were married or even dating, back when we were best friends. Our week-plus excursion to Colorado via Kansas was one of our most ambitious, successful, and draining road trips to date. Thanks sincerely to those lovable readers who followed along with us and offered encouragement throughout the process, whether in ways great or small, conscious or unwitting.
As my way of concluding the “2012 Road Trip Photos” series and holding the blogging equivalent of a post-production wrap party, please enjoy this assortment of previously unshared photos from the journey. Some are alternate viewpoints of sights you’ve seen; some are little moments bypassed till now. For the complete itinerary, check out the 2012 Road Trip checklist for the ultimate reading guide, with links to all the notes and photos, day by day. They’re a fun way to kill an afternoon or help decide how your own future trips to these locales will be even better.
Let the montage begin!
DAY TWO: my wife peeks out from underneath the F-14 Tomcat in WaKeeney, Kansas.
DAY THREE: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the joggers who spend their mornings there, and the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
DAY THREE: driving over Lake Estes on our way back from Rocky Mountain National Park.
DAY FOUR: Children’s mural at the Denver Art Museum, featuring cartoon avatars of several exhibits such as the radioactive Godzilla.
DAY FOUR: We ate at Smashburger three times while on vacation because their sumptuous offerings aren’t available back home. My Denver Smashburger meal was the only one of the three left on the cutting room floor.
DAY FIVE: The gap in the Garden of the Gods allows a glimpse of the grayer, duller Rockies amid which these bright orange formations inexplicably stand.
DAY FIVE: Also at the Garden of the Gods: a Mennonite photographer with a professional DSLR camera, surely superior to my old Canon PowerShot. I’m convinced this is unfair.
DAY FIVE: Standing atop Pikes Peak at 14,000 feet above sea level allowed us to look down on punier clouds and their shadows.
DAY FIVE: One of the mountains neighboring Pikes Peak. This mountain is mighty, but still smaller.
DAY SIX: Signs on the Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City insist that you are NOT allowed to dangle a 956-foot fishing line into the Arkansas River below. Don’t even THINK about it.
DAY SIX: Another view of the Arkansas River flowing nearly ten stories beneath us.
DAY SIX: Fortune-telling Elvis at a gas station between Canon City and Pueblo. None of us was enough of a fan to spare him a quarter.
DAY SIX: Ducks on the Arkansas Riverwalk in Pueblo. Yay duckies!
DAY SEVEN: The attention to detail at the Boot Hill Museum grounds in Dodge City, Kansas, includes a nod to outhouses of the Old West.
DAY EIGHT: The Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS, created itself a fancy Cosmospheremobile and Cosmospheretrailer, possibly part of an arsenal belonging to local super-hero Cosmosphereman.
DAY NINE: The very last photo we took, after which we put away the cameras and sped the last seventy miles home.
…and then we arrived home and collapsed.
Thanks for reading. Lord willing, we’ll see you next year.
[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date.
Today was also Day Six of the seven-day WordPress.com Daily Post’s “Just Do It!” Weekly Writing Challenge, in which WordPress bloggers were dared to post-a-day for seven consecutive days. The grand finale to our long-running epic is post Number Six. Thanks for stopping by!]