Trip Start Jun 12, 2005
Trip End Aug 2005

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Flag of United States  , Missouri
Sunday, August 14, 2005

Saturday, August 13 -

Well, here we are. Back home, and are we grateful. We got home at 5:15 pm after stopping at the Country Mart in St. James for some milk. We made one trip from the truck to the house, turned up the AC, and the heavens opened - it rained like crazy. It must have been the only rain since we left because everything was brown except the weeds - no garden, no grass, and the pond was down a foot from when we left back on June 11.

I made another trip to the trailer (with an umbrella) to get our pillows and tooth brushes and we settled in for the night. How great it was to be home!

Our visit to Omaha went well. Pat's mother was back home and her sister Jeanette, from the Washington, DC area, was there visiting. We had a good three nights in Omaha, thanks to Katie and Leo Ryan. For the first time since we left home nine weeks earlier, we did not sleep in the trailer. We were in the Ryan's guest room and it was most comfortable. We had a good visit with my brother Bill and Katie and Leo our first night in Omaha, thanks to the Ryan's hospitality. The next night, Thursday, we were at the Buttell's for a good dinner and a nice visit with them. Friday was a quiet evening with Pat's mother and Aunt Jeanette. We said our good bye's, went back to Katie and Leo's for a good night's rest, and left for home about 7:40 am Saturday morning. The early part of the drive was in rain, but by the Kansas City airport we drove out of the rain and didn't see it again until we were nearly home. We traveled a different route so that we could get peaches in central Missouri, at Peter's Orchard in Waverly. Unfortunately their peach crop was ruined by hail, but fortunately they had imported peaches - from Eckert's in Illinois!!! The peaches were excellent. Pat spent Monday and Tuesday canning peaches, making peach jam, and baking peach pies.

Our trip was truly a wonderful experience. We were gone from our home nine weeks and one day. We traveled 10,783 miles - SAFELY!!! We had no major problems, not even a significant disagreement, and we had the experience of seeing a small part of some of the most beautiful scenery on God's green earth. Thanks be to God, to our dependable five year old Chevrolet truck, and to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who may be interested, our total cost of fuel was just over $2,800, somewhat higher than our low estimate, but still less than our high estimate. I have not had the motivation to convert all of the liters to gallons so I do not know our miles per gallon for the trip. I do know that it was a bit one side or the other of 10 mpg, based on many tank fulls that I did check. The highest price we paid for gas was $1.125 per liter, Canadian currency (about $3.55 a gallon in US dollars) and the lowest was $1.959 a gallon. The highest cost per gallon in the US was about three hours before the end of our trip, $2.559, in central Missouri.

I also know that we were more than happy with our caravan, which was through the President's Club of Camping World. We feel that it was worth every penny we paid. We had no problems with accommodations (camp grounds), which were included, and we had many wonderful side trips, meals, and bonuses which were part of the package. We thought often how grateful we were that the many side trips were part of the package, and wondered if we would have taken them if we were on our own, and not in the caravan.

In summary... it was a fantastic trip. The mountains were beautiful. (I had to write that one more time.) We met many wonderful new friends who we hope to stay in contact with over the years. We missed our children, our grandchildren, and our friends, all of whom we appreciate all the more. Now, all of you will have to bear with us over the next few months as we bore you with our stories and our hundreds (if not thousands) of photos of our trip to Alaska, Canada, Washington and Wyoming, and yes, even Nebraska - a state we will always love and a state that continues to impress us with its simple beauty. If you don't believe me, just ask to see our new coffee table book of Nebraska photographs.

Finally, we hope all of you can enjoy a trip like the one we just completed.

Pat and Don

PS - Sorry I never did figure out how to put photos on my blog. I will look forward to showing them to you in person...
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