Petrified Forest National Park, Painted Desert, Hot-Air Balloons, and Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, NM

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This place had beautiful pieces of petrified wood and an amazing collection of minerals and fossils on display. We bought a gorgeous set of book-ends, it was so hard to choose!

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The Petrified Forest was beautiful but there isn’t much to do. I would recommend driving through like we did. It’s hot and all the trails are fully exposed to the sun. There is zero shade, hello, it’s a desert! This is definitely something I wouldn’t pass without seeing though, it is stunning!

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Our campground was a good place to stay in the city. They have wonderful showers, I really love a good pressure shower! If you have long locks like me you know it’s hard to get shampoo out with a trickle, and don’t even bother with conditioner cuz that’s never coming out!

For our 2nd Anniversary Jacob bought us a ride in a hot-air balloon. I had to wait over a month to get my gift but it was totally worth the wait.

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This was a group effort to pick everything up. This thing was massive. The balloon weighs about 650 lbs. and the basket weighs about 1,500 lbs.

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After ballooning around town we went to the Museum of Nuclear Science and History. New Mexico, especially Albuquerque, has a lot to do with the invention of the atomic bomb. Our next stop, Alamogordo, houses the site of the first atomic bomb detenation. This museum takes you behind the scenes of the discovery of the atoms. Then how scientist developed the atomic bomb with the drive of stopping WWII. We watched a film about the effort put into making the uranium and plutonium and ultimately the creation of the bombs. This was a every interesting museum, but their is a ton of reading so it takes a good part of the day.

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Our west coast trip is planned and we’re leaving soon!

Once a again we are going on a long vacation.  Our planning is complete, all the campsites are booked, and I’m getting everything ready to hit the road again!  We are so fortunate to be able to take off and get out of town for 6 WEEKS, that’s crazy, right?

dr-seuss oh the places you'll go

Let me tell ya, planning a trip of this magnitude takes a lot of organized planning and budgeting.  We have a beautiful spreadsheet that includes, but is not limited to; dates, cities, states, campground, websites, travel time, distance, things to do, rates, accommodations, budget, and fuel cost.

Here is a list of all of our stops.

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There are so many things to see and do in all of these places.  I want to make a separate trip to each, ahhh one day…. maybe with some kids 😀

Why would we be wasting time in Robert?  I actually messed up on the image, Tickfaw State Park is in Springfield, LA and I was too lazy to correct it.

rachel-dratch

This is pretty much the face I made when I typed that.

 

Jacob has some work to do in Robert and we are leaving as soon as he is finished. Sooooo to avoid him having to drive home after work we decided to just camp near by.  It’s a beautiful campground with boardwalk trails through the swampy forest.

Back to our journey west, I cannot describe to you how excited I am to see this side of the country.  I know the landscape will BLOW my mind!  I am going to take a ridiculous amount of pictures and savor every inch of scenery!   I have been pinning things to do like crazy on Pinterest, I know we won’t have time for most of it.  Of all the places on this list I have only been to Colorado, basically just Boulder.  I am so excited to be able to spend time with Jacob there because I absolutely adored being there.

When I was in college I decided to take a field course in Boulder.  It was such a wonderful experience and great adventure for me on my own.  My mom thought I was either crazy or really brave.  I flew, not only for the first time ever but also completely alone, to a place I had never been to meet people I had never met.  Honestly, looking back, it was a little bit crazy.  After arriving in the Denver airport, which is beautiful by the way, I had to take public transportation to Boulder.  This was a little scary, being from New Orleans I tender stay away from city buses.  I do enjoy streetcars though maybe because they have multiple exit points, but the buses freak me out!  Public Transportation is TOTALLY different in Denver/Boulder everything is clean and tons of people ride their bikes to work and use the bus system to travel long distances…it’s awesome!  There is a completely different lifestyle in Boulder and you can feel it.  There air is cleaner, more people walk or bike, and there is an appreciation for nature that is lost in so many places.  Not once did I feel like I needed a gun or clench my pepper-spray ready to take action.  I even stayed in a Hostel for a night, and even after seeing several movies that make you never want to come close to one of those I never felt like my life was in jeopardy.  Overall I cannot find one negative thing to say about Boulder it was a welcoming, beautifully scenic, place perfect for a wandering traveler looking a fun and adventurous destination.  This a place that is in tune with nature and the people at least try to minimize their global foot-print, I can really appreciate that way of life and wouldn’t mind living there….but I don’t do cold weather, so I’ll just stay put.

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Me in Colorado holding the biggest dandelion I have ever seen.

I know there are not many people that see this blog, but if you have any ideas on “must-do activities” in one of our stops please give us a shout out!  I know even with all the pins on Pinterest I’ve probably missed a great deal of awesome things to do.  Also if you know of a blogger that is taking or has been on the same trip we would love to follow them too.

In closing, as I think about the wonderful things and people that have come into my life this song appeared in my thoughts.  And of course I can’t stop myself from singing it repeated!

oh the lord

Johnny Appleseed