Day 14: From Cabins to Canyons and the Center of the World

We made it!

We’re in Oceanside, California, at Jim’s parents’ for a week. This trip may be all about the journey, but this is certainly a delightful destination. I’m working in their backyard and tiny lizards are scampering, tinier hummingbirds are flitting, orchids are blooming, and the ripe oranges are calling me to pick them right off the tree. It’s a perfect place to reflect over the past two weeks and remember everywhere we’ve been.

Oh, my, have we been a lot of places. We’ve been in Mae about two and a half days of the past thirteen, have driven nearly 3,000 miles, and loved (nearly) every minute of it. Driving hairpin turns in the clouds got a little hairy, and navigating the detour around a massive rock-slide in the dark was tense, but even those experiences weren’t terrible. We had good company, a great vehicle, and the ability to keep the tension to the situation and not our communication.

When we first thought of taking this trip I knew it would be life-changing, and it already has been. The places we’ve seen and the people we’ve met have all left their marks, and we’ve only gone one way of this round-trip journey!

Here, in chronological order, are all the places we’ve been:

  • Cahokia Mounds, Collinsville, IL
  • Dixon, MO
    • Blue Jay Farm
    • Homeplate Bar & Grill
  • Route 66 Diner, St. Robert, MO
  • Waynesville, MO
    • Trail of Tears Memorial
    • 1903 Courthouse Museum
    • Old Stagecoach Stop
  • Roadhouse Bar & Grill, Laquey, MO
  • Eureka Springs, AK
    • 1886 Crescent Hotel
    • Mardi Gras Parade, Main St.
    • New Delhi
    • Mud Street Cafe 
    • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
  • Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AK
  • Cherokee Hills Byway
  • Pete’s Place Famous Italian Restaurant, McAlester, OK
  • Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center and BedrĂ© Fine Chocolates, Davis, OK
  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK
  • Palo Duro Canyon, TX
  • Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX
  • Halfway point of Route 66 in Adrian, TX
  • Santa Rosa, NM
    • Blue Hole of Santa Rosa
    • Santa Rosa State Park
    • Santa Rosa Lake & Dam
    • Sun & Sand Cafe
  • Albuquerque, NM
    • Old Town Albuquerque Visitors Center
    • Old Barrel Tea Company
    • Church Street Cafe
    • The Christmas Shop
    • Rattlesnake Museum
    • Bottger Mansion Bed & Breakfast
    • Marble Brewery
    • Backstreet Grill
    • Coronado Historic Site
    • Jemez Historic Site
    • Rio Bravo Brewery
    • Red Horse Bed & Breakfast
    • Petroglyph National Monument
  • El Malpais National Monument, Grants, NM (sort of)
  • El Morro National Monument, Ramah, NM
  • Winslow, AZ
  • Two Guns, AZ
  • Sedona, AZ
  • Cottonwood, AZ
    • Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale)
    • The Tavern Grille
    • The Tavern Hotel
    • Crema Craft Kitchen
    • Jail Trail
  • Jerome, AZ
  • Yuma, AZ
    • Castle Dome Mines Museum
    • Coronado Motor Hotel and Museum
    • Lutes Casino
    • Martha’s Gardens Date Farm Tour
    • The Garden Cafe
    • Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens
    • Yuma Territorial Prison Museum & Park
    • Prison Hill Brewing Company
    • Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
  • Museum of History in Granite and the Center of the World
  • Salvation Mountain
  • Ski Inn (lowest bar in Western Hemisphere)
  • Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea
  • Oceanside, CA

THAT’S A LOT OF PLACES!!!! As I write about each destination I’ll add a link. Bookmark this page if you want to read more about the places we’ve been.

But now, I’m going to have some of those Girl Scout Cookies we’ve carried with us for the last fourteen days and then I’m going to take a nap. (Because tonight we’re going to the Oceanside Night Market – apparently the concept of sitting still for a day is entirely foreign to me.)