Monday, September 20, 2010

The 5300 mile wedding trip

The newlyweds: our son and his wife -

Brendan & Megan Vinson
married September 11, 2010
Nevada City, California
Our daughter, Micaela, is the middle bridesmaid.

... and now for just a few of our trip photos!

We decided to drive to California for the wedding and see some of the national parks and sites that we've always wanted to see. We were also trying to transport 10 pounds of frozen BBQ Brisket for the rehearsal dinner. If anyone needs tips on how to keep meat frozen for 10 days on a road trip, I can help you!

Hint: dry ice and the right way to pack the meat.

Okay, so this isn't a national park but we stopped to see Carhenge out in the middle of a pasture near Alliance, Nebraska. We'd heard about this place and when we saw the sign for it, decided to stop in.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
We took an all day bus tour that included Mt. Rushmore and the area. I was so glad neither my husband nor I were driving the road through the Needles Eye Tunnel! I'd recommend the bus tour if you're planning a trip to the area.
We also saw the Crazy Horse Memorial on the tour.

Right before we left, we realized we'd need more dry ice to keep the brisket frozen. Its readily available in our area at grocery stores and Wal-Mart so after many phone calls and starting to panic, we were surprised to find that its only available at one grocery store in Rapid City, South Dakota. If you're going to use dry ice, make sure you know where to find it before you leave home!

We made a short stop to see the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, established in 1906.

Here's Old Faithful Geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park. We took the "Yellowstone in a Day" tour to get a good overview of the park and let someone else do the driving and parking. It was Labor Day weekend and the park was busy.

This is a beautiful waterfall at Yellowstone but unfortunately I can't remember if its the Lower Falls or the Upper Falls! Can anyone help me on this? I think its the Lower Falls.

This was the view from our Gardiner, Montana hotel room one morning - snow on the mountains! At 7 AM the morning we left Yellowstone, Sept. 7, our SUV's thermometer registered 16 degrees. Brrrr.

While we were at Yellowstone, we also took a short trip south to the Grand Teton National Park. Wish we could have explored more of this park but we ran out of time and began the final leg of the drive to California for the wedding. We stopped for a quick look at the Utah Salt Flats and were on our way again.

For those of you wondering, the BBQ brisket arrived in California frozen hard. I slowly thawed it, reheated it in a crockpot and it was enjoyed by the rehearsal dinner guests.

After the wedding, we drove to Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park in California. This is the General Grant tree, the third largest tree in the world.

This photo is about where we noticed the SUV's brakes were overheating! If any of you have driven through Sequoia National Park, you may agree with me that some of the roads twist and turn a bit, especially for someone used to driving flat straight roads! The road was under construction and traffic was only let through on the hour so we parked and let the brakes cool. This was the beautiful view from our car while we waited to be allowed to drive on.

The next day we drove on to the Las Vegas, Nevada area where we saw the Hoover Dam. As you drive in, cars are stopped for a security check and we were wondering what the officers would think of the blanket draped load of wedding presents in the cargo area of our rental SUV. Apparently we have honest faces because after a few questions, we were allowed in.

After staying at a "luxury hotel" for the night, our next national park was Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. By now, both my husband and I were tired so we just took a 2 hour driving/short walk tour of the park. This is a photo of the Delicate Arch.

We made it to the Colorado National Monument before my husband said, "I'm done travelling." Spent two more days in Denver before driving home, 18 days and about 5300 miles on the road.

I'm definitely looking forward to some quilting time soon but this week looks a little full so I may not get to blog or sew much. Check back again soon!


  1. HI Mayleen, Congratulations on your son's wedding and the bridesmaid dress looks fantastic, you did a great job.

    Love your holiday pics. Yellowstone must have been beautiful to see in real life. I have seen a doco on it and I think it is the most amazing place in the world.

    Hope you get to rest a bit this week after all that driving!

  2. Thank goodness - I was beginning to really worry about you. I'm so glad the wedding went well and you had such a great trip. Things to remember all associated with the wedding memories.

    Good to have you back - hugs - Marie

  3. What a fantastic road trip! Congratulations to the newlyweds!!

  4. I was starting to worry about you since I had not seen a recent blog from you. Looks like you had a great trip. Now back to your love of sewing/quilting.

  5. Wow, what a trip! Thanks for the descriptions and hints!

  6. Mayleen,
    The dresses turned out absolutely awesome. Beautiful jobby. Thanks for sharing your pics of your road trip. Love 'em.

  7. Thank you for sharing your trip - it was great! It is one of the fun things about blogs, you can travel 5300 miles and see all the nice sceneries without getting tired :) Congratulations about the wedding.
    Fall greeting from Norway