Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winner Feedback

Here’s the email we sent informing the winners of their Thel-ise award:


Dear Sir/Madam:

In the fall of 2012, we went on a 6-week cross-country trek, driving some 8,500 miles from New Jersey to California and back (think middle-aged Thelma and Louise without the dreadful ending). We blogged about our adventure all along the way.

As a happy recap of our journey, we have created our own awards to acknowledge the good, the bad and the ugly of the trip (mostly all good!). We are writing to let you know that you/your company/organization/state/location are a winner!!!To check it out, please go to our blog – – to the post entitled “And the Award Goes to…”.

We hope you enjoy reading it; we certainly had fun putting it together. Have fun!

Here are the responses:

Bourbon Trail People
An honor for sure! Thanks so much!
We can only hope Bourbon beat out Elk Poop

Dr. Red’s (i.e., Dr. Firestone’s) Practice Manager

Glenda,What a trip! Thanks for sharing your blog. And I’m glad that you found your way to Oklahoma Joe’s. Regards, Jim

From the Mayor Sam Kooiker of Rapid City, SD
Glenda, We are honored. Thank you! One of our council members is from Paterson, NJ. I am including Ron Sasso on this message. Also including Michelle Lintz from our Visitors Bureau. Best wishes to you. Sam

From Council Member Ron Sasso of Rapid City, SD
Hi! Yes, I moved out here over 20 years ago. Many years ago I took a solo trip cross country, taking back roads and camping along the way. I covered a lot of the areas you did. I fell in love with the beautiful Black Hills and the surrounding area. My wife (who was my fiancee then) is also from NJ. We took a trip out together and then made the move right after we got married. We have absolutely no regrets on the move as it has been wonderful!

We still have family in NJ and get back once a year. Usually we’d stay at the Jersey shore for a week in little beach houses in Lavallette (Ocean Beach). Most of the houses we stayed in the past few years were destroyed by hurricane Sandy.

Please come out and visit again. Did you get a chance to see the Badlands at night with a full moon? That is one of the most spectacular sights to behold.

Best regards,

Ron Sasso

From Rapid City Mayor’s Office
Hello and thank you for the email informing us of your blog and trip. It was so fun to read – what an amazing experience you had 🙂
Mayor Sam Kooiker was wondering if you could supply us with an address so he could send you both a card.
Thanks so much,
Sarah Diaz
Office of the Mayor
Rapid City, SD

We each got a pin that we can sport on our winter wear!

We each got a pin that we can sport on our winter wear!

Letter from Rapid City's mayor

Letter from Rapid City’s mayor

From Clinton’s Sweet Shop in Independence, MO
I wanted to thank you for the award to Clinton’s Soda Fountain.  We truly appreciate the time you spent at Clinton’s.  It was a very interesting Blog post.  I was hoping we would be able to post it to our facebook to promote your blog as well as our award you bestowed.  Please let me know.  Once again thank you.

Austin M. Ré
McClain Companies
Director of Operations

From Jiffy Lube
Dear Susan,

Thanks for taking precious time out your busy schedule to send such a lovely feedback response. It really makes our day to hear that you had a good experience at one of the Jiffy Lube locations. We are glad that your visit was such a positive experience, and I know when we send this compliment to our marketing department, this will definitely put a smile on their faces. This will really let them know that the services they provide and all the hard work they do makes a difference to the customer and is appreciated. We look forward to serving you in the future. We think you are one awesome customer, so please have a great day.

Thanks Again
JLI Customer Service

From Hewlett Packard
Subj: RE: Feedback to CEO and President Meg Whitman from Susan Johnson
Hello Susan,

Good afternoon and happy Monday. I wanted to take a moment to send you a personal “Thank you” for the wonderful Email and also the mention on your trip blog. Your message and your website/blog have been shared broadly inside HP and you have made the day for our entire HP Calculator team world-wide!

Thank you again and I hope for many more years of happiness with both HP 12c’s and be sure to take them on your next adventure and let us know how it goes!

Best Regards,

Charles Radman
HP Calculators

Have it all: HP Accessories & Services.

From the Grand Canyon

From: GRCA Information, NPS <>

Date: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: From


Thanks for the link!
Grand Canyon National Park

From Leroux Creek Innkeepers
Hi Glenda and Sue,

So great to hear from you. WOW–what a trip–awesome. I guess we did not realize you were on such an adventure–looks like you had a lot of fun! Thanks so much for mentioning us-
we loved having you at the Inn. Glenda how is your wrist–I guess it was part of the adventure–hope it is all healed!

I can tell you are from the East–2 great hot dogs stands along the way! We did not read everything–but we will. Thanks so much and much success & fun with your blog!

A bientot,
Joanna & Yvon

Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards
12388 3100 Road/ PO Box 910
Hotchkiss, CO 81419

Subaru Thread

Sent: 1/3/2013 2:33:48 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: RE: Owner Story – Dear Subaru
Dear Susan Johnson:

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and sharing your owner’s story with us.

I am SO jealous of you and Glenda, Susan. If I could go back to my early 20’s, that is the trip I would take. Oh well, I guess I can wait until retirement. Best part, is it was you and your girlfriend. I would leave the wife at home and go on the road trip with my best friend too. Now my road trip to Disney seems like nothing. But, it is Disney still. (If you could see the smile that is on my face, you would be so happy, Susan. I love stories like yours!)

It is always nice to hear from our owners about their positive ownership experiences with our vehicles. As you can imagine, many people tend to contact a company only when they are unhappy about a particular situation. We find that it takes a very special person to take the time to send a compliment about a product that has given such great satisfaction.

Thanks again for sharing your story, photo and blog. I wish you all the best on your next adventure!


John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
Service Request #1-2952600642




Sent: 1/3/2013 2:55:12 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

Subj: Re: Owner Story – Dear Subaru

Hi John:

The Tribeca was great and of course we appreciated that as we didn’t want to have to cope with car trouble. We had enough trouble with pretty much everything else technology-wise on the trip 🙂

We are finalizing the post script to our blog which will have more Subaru mentions I’m sure. I’ll send another post when we are done.

Thanks and even if you have to wait until retirement…go for it!!!


P.S. Glenda and I are so ready for our close-ups in the next great Subaru commercial :)))

—–Original Message—–
From: “Subaru of America, Inc.” <>
Sent: Fri, 04 Jan 2013 8:18 AM
Subject: RE: Fwd: Owner Story – Dear Subaru

Hello Susan:

Thank you for your messages.

Yes, please do send me a message when your post script is completed. A copy of all Owner Stories is received by our Marketing Department. We receive a copy too in order to reply to the customer’s email.

Oh, I am sure that I am going to do it when I retire. Hope I have a Subaru to do it in too. Not sure what other vehicle I would be in to be honest! Have a great weekend, Susan.


John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
Service Request #1-2952600642




From Dr. Ing Texas A & M Dept of Animal Science
(OK she was not technically a winner at the time but now she is with such great to-the-point answers to our cow questions!)

Thanks for your interest….
1. Cows can live in the wild….there are feral cows in Florida where the land is swampy and not fenced.
2. Don’t know, probably not. But few cows are kept to very old age (30 years…)
3. Grass fed beef is leaner and doesn’t taste as good because fat gives the meat a lot of its flavor. So health experts would tell us to eat grass fed beef as would environmentalists because cows naturally eat grass and there are many other uses for corn, soy beans, and other things that go into grain-feeding at the feed lot.
Nancy H. Ing, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Animal Science
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-2471
Fax (979)862-3399
Office: Kleberg 410E

From Yellowstone
From: YELL Web coordinator, NPS <>
Date: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: From Travel Blog

Thank you for the link to your blog. I really enjoyed the comments and will pass them on to our management. Looks like an amazing trip!

Peggy Olliff
Web Tech
Yellowstone National Park

From Woodford Reserve Distillery
Hello Susan,
Thank you for your interest in Woodford Reserve and for sharing your website with us.
This. Trip. Looked. Epic! What a wonderful idea to travel the country AND keep an online record of your journey. We’re honored we made the list, and that you took the time to visit our historic Distillery. You’re welcome back any time!

From NJ Division of Travel and Tourism
From: “Karr, Colleen” <>
Date: Jan 30, 2013 12:12 PM
Subject: NJ Division of Travel and Tourism
To: “” <>

Thank you for contacting New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism and thank you for sharing your blog with us. I have forwarded your email around to the staff here at Tourism.
Colleen M. Karr
Grant Administrator
NJ Department of State
Division of Travel and Tourism
225 West State Street
PO Box 460
Trenton, NJ 08625-0460
609-633-7418 (fax)

From South Dakota Department of Tourism

Dear Glenda and Sue (Thelma and Louise)!

My staff and had a blast reading your blog!!  We even posted it on our Facebook account.  THANK YOU for making South Dakota one of your stops on your amazing journey!  And THANK YOU for the awards you gave us!  Come back and see us again!

Wishing the both of you all the best in 2013,


James D. Hagen


South Dakota Department of Tourism

711 E. Wells Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501

605-773-3301  |  |  |

Follow me on Twitter @SecJimHagen

From Keeneland


T-shirts, hitching posts, totes, books and beautiful Keeneland frames!

T-shirts, hitching posts, totes, books and beautiful Keeneland frames!

Thank you, Keeneland!

Tortured By Technology: Warning!! Warning!! Error!! Error!!

A Litany of our Technology-Induced Agony

Although we consider ourselves to be moderately ok with and slightly aware of most modern technology and gadgets, we mostly found ourselves confounded, completely frustrated and battered into submission by it all.  Even proper Glenda was reduced most days to swearing like a  sailor as she and Sue had to manage many devices. Here begins the litany:


This is a big one.  The blog entries involved basically all the technologies and technological knowledge we had.

-1 laptop

– 3 digital cameras

-1 flip video camera

– 2 cell phones

-1 IPad

-2 IPods

-1 GPS

-1 Coleman car fridge

-17 chargers/plugs

-1 Subaru Tribeca (seems like cars are ruled by computer these days)

-2 HP12C financial calculators

  • Blog updating: with low bandwidth, unstable wifi connections and random other hazards sometimes this took HOURS to do.  And then there were the few cases of the disappearing blog entry.  After typing and crossing all platforms, adding pictures and captions and stuff, the entry would on occasion simply disappear into the cyber black hole.  This would elicit screams of unmentionable swearing, cursing and sometimes stomping and even throwing things (ok, not really, but it was frustrating with a capital F!).
  • Loading pictures onto the blog.  Sometimes the pictures would simply resize themselves so that they would either be micro dots we could barely see or giant space hogs taking up pages of the blog post.
  • Editing the blog.  If we tried to sort the blog in some other way to make it easier for our many readers 🙂 the blog would take over and do whatever it wanted to do which, of course, wasn’t what we wanted it to do.
  • A minute about the blog and its bullet points.  A most frustrating situation most of the time.  Those bullet points just kept on coming whether you wanted them there or not.
  • Come to think of it, it’s amazing we were able to put one decent, creative post on the blog given the ISSUES!!


  • GPS or as we fondly referred to her: Myrtle(naturally spoken with a hard core Jersey accent…think separating the 2 syllables in a choppy way and not pronouncing the “t”.  Say it with me – “Myr – ul”. You got it!!)
  • Myrtle seemed to have some trouble when she was plugged into the car.  For some reason she preferred to be independent of the plug and functioned only when freed from her connective umbilical cord.  This was fine and dandy and nice to have another independent female on board, but it did present issues with running out of battery charge,  possibly in crucial moments.
  • The GPS would also randomly take us weird ways.  We would head north to go south and east to go west and sometimes literally drive in circles following her direction.
  • As navigatrix, Glenda learned early how to work with Myrtle’s viapoints.  But this was no easy task really.  If we wanted to find a place to go or stop en route to our destination we would have to insert a viapoint .  But if we were too far from the viapoint Myrtle simply wouldn’t be able to find it.  She was geographically nearsighted and could only find locations within a set distance maybe 50 miles or so.  And we’re not talking small insignificant viapoints.  We even had the issue with The Grand Canyon!
  • The viapoint issue carried onto our time and mileage determination.  Myrtle seemed to be unable to calculate the trip by viapoints; she couldn’t break it down for us – just the big picture from the start to finish no interim calculation available.  Thus we were faced with having to perform mathematical operations in our heads…more horrors!!  Egad.
  • There was an awful lot of rebooting.  Whenever the car was turned off, even for a gas fill up, when we turned it back on Myrtle would have to reboot and start the day anew awaiting new instructions from Glenda.  How annoying!!
  • There was random rebooting sometimes in the middle of a trip and not just the momentary lost satellites type of rebooting…total breakdown in communication!
  • And the best Myrtle action was traveling from Death Valley CA to Las Vegas, NV  on a straight road in the middle of NOWHERE, Myrtle starts screaming “turn right! turn right! turn right!” but there was not a road on the right for miles.  Her insistent nagging was getting to us so we actually pulled over and had a moment of panic that maybe the whole course of directions that day had been wrong and where were we going?  A giant bus heading to Vegas came by so we got back on the road and followed it and gave Myrtle an apparently much needed rest and a reboot.


  • First up – the challenge of charging 2 cellphones in the car.  Consider all the other gadgets we had in the car competing for charge up time and add in that Sue lost her charger and you have a challenge.  Remember, the phone is ever so important on the road for planning our destination, food and fun we had to be vigilant charger uppers.
  • Coming under the hellish cell phone category we include using the phone to make reservations at hotels along the way and experiencing the CUSTOMER CALL CENTER!!  Usually these call centers are located in a foreign country.  We found the most frequent customer service representatives were in India or the Phillipines – far, far away from Bumbleroot, South Dakota where we were. Glenda bore the brunt of the CUSTOMER CALL CENTER interactions.  The agony litany here includes: calls dropped before completing the reservation; David’s or Mary’s accent so thick and confusing we weren’t sure what we were booking; David or Mary insisting on staying on script so we couldn’t get a word in edgewise.  Glenda just about lost it on several occasions after which we had to pull over and and take deep cleansing breaths and a swig of something.
  • Our smart phones also presented our emails and texts.  So you can imagine what it felt like when those would all of a sudden disappear from Sue’s phone.  If we were traveling in an area with sketchy service the emails might show up on the phone but the content would be blank, never to be retrieved again.  After a month of this Sue bit the bullet and ventured into a Verizon store to find no help there.  But an hour and a half call to Verizon tech support ended up with a new program and icon on the phone for checking email.  This was on day 33 or three quarters of the way through the trip. Oy.
  • Also lumped in under this category was the general lack of good cell phone coverage throughout the areas we traveled.  Do those short little telephone poles have anything to do with this?
  • A small positive note from Debbie and Donna Downer here.  The mobile hotspot wifi connection on Sue’s phone was pretty cool and worked!


  • So the Ipod was meant to provide some entertainment on the rare occasion we could not entertain ourselves.  We had books on tape and NPR podcasts and music on the 2 Ipods we brought.  Sue had no clue how to use one so again this fell on our Chief Technical Officer, Glenda.  Here were the problems we had with this gadget: volume control, the first time we used it we could barely hear it over the din of the car driving.  Try and try again to adjust the volume to suit our 50-something ears and no success.  This magically corrected itself somehow.  The chapters of some of the books on the Ipod were not sequential.  Now this was a challenge and a half!!  Not only did we have to remember what chapter we might be on we had to figure out how to scroll around and find the next chapter.  Brain exercises and a bit of swearing thrown in.  After we listened to a few chapters we would take a break and maybe start up again the next day.  The Ipod would not open up to the last page we listened to.  This, of course, meant we had to remember the chapter, which we did not; remember something that happened at the end of the previous day’s chapter, which we did not initially; but after we relistened to whole chapters and realized it sounded familiar we caught on and tried again to find our startup spot.  Perhaps this is why we only made it through half of 2 books.  In fact, we listened to the 2 halves twice!


  • Yes we had several cameras with us as we expected lots of photo ops.  Each of our cell phones had a camera.  Sue had an Olympus digital camera with a big zoom lens and a point and shoot Canon and a Flip video camera.  Glenda had a point and shoot Canon.  6 cameras in total.
  • First up each of these cameras used a different type of charger.  Please see cell phone category involving charging up.
  • Similarly, each camera required a different way to download the pictures onto the laptop.  How crazy is that?  One would only work using the card reader; one would only work connecting the camera to the laptop directly even though the reader had a space for the appropropriate card; and one would do what it wanted at any given time.
  • Sue’s big camera started off with all the wrong date stamps.  This presented a problem  in the downloading when they would automatically download to the laptop by date: 2004 which meant although we had actually downloaded them we didn’t see them in the folder we thought they should be in.  Searching…searching….searching…
  • Then there was the random button pushed by accident on the big camera resulting in all of the pictures having a blue tint.  We refer to this as the Blue Period (like Picasso’s Periodico Azule…we know you see a lot of similarities here).  This is why Niagara Falls and some of Pennsylvania seem to have a blue cast over them.  We managed to fix this somehow after hours of trying to push the other buttons.  Only to have it act up again ironically in Blue Earth, Minnesota.
  • There was also another incorrect button push leading to the black or dark period over Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan.  At that point, before fixing it, we bailed on the big camera and focused on the point and shoots.
  • Glenda’s Canon finally decided to break down about halfway through the trip in Utah.  The lens would not retract or emerge; it pretty much just sat there.  So Glenda goes off to Walmart and buys a new camera, a Nikon with yet a different charger and card reader preference and a whole new set of user instructions. OY!
  • The Nikon performed admirably for about a week until one day its lens remained a slit.  No prodding or pushing would get that damn slit to open.  So another trip to a Walmart, no replacement camera to be found so we returned that poor sucker and ventured to Best Buy to find yet another camera.  This time a Canon again with, yes, another charger and card reader preference and a new set of operating instructions.  Glenda, to her credit, kept calm and carried on during all this photographic upheaval.


  • Hotel key cards.  It is hit or miss with these swiping key cards.  Sometimes they don’t work if you swipe too fast, or too slow, or the strip is facing the wrong way, or any combination of the above.  There is also the card that was never activated by the desk clerk.  Any of these failures most often occurred when we had chosen to lug all of our bags and extras into our hotel room for the night.  Thus we were bogged down with bags in every hand and on our shoulders and backs and stood at the door of our room swiping and swearing followed by one of us going all the way back down to the lobby to get new cards.  Exhausting!
  • Computers at retail locations.  Yes this happened too.  Checking into a hotel or buying something or visiting a location, you just never know when “the computer is down” will result in postponing your check in, purchase or entry.  Happily, again, we both kept calm and carried on and we weren’t really in a rush anyway.
  • Car.  Our car had some good features we would like to have used.  Namely the overdrive feature for driving up or down mountains.  We are sure this would have saved the brakes but we had not learned how to use that feature and were not ready to try it for the first time in the middle of a climb up or down in Yosemite.
  • Shower.  When we had traveled together in Europe in 2010 we found ourselves in a B&B  in Salzburg with a confounding shower arrangement.  Yes we had to call maintenance to come up and turn on the shower.  In Vegas we were similarly stymied with the shower but we stayed with it and figured it out ourselves!  We overcame past problem technology. Yay for us!
  • Lastly, our HP12C financial calculators worked, as expected, perfectly.  Sue’s is over 30 years old and Glenda’s is just shy of 30 and while we did not have to calculate any present value or mortgage calculation, we had no trouble with all of our financial calculations.

And the Award Goes to…

Movies have the Oscars, Broadway has the Tonys, music has the Grammys and now we are proud to present the first cross-country trip awards, in honor of Thelma and Louise, the “Thel-ises”.

As you know, Glenda is a member of SAG-AFTRA and that union is giving its awards on Sunday, January 27. We know you join us in hoping that Glenda walks away with the trophy for “Best Performance by an Elbow in a Television Series”. Fingers crossed!!!

We’d love to have you create awards for our blog! For example, “Funniest Line in the Blog” or “Most Clever Comment by a Reader”. Please feel free to post your award here on the blog or if you are technologically challenged (please see our post “Tortured by Technology”) you can email it to us and we’ll post it for you. We love your feedback!

And the Thel-ise goes to…


  • Scariest/Hardest Drive
    • Yosemite National Park, CA – Lots of switchbacks, perilous drops and limited visibility at night. Yikes!
    • Monarch Pass, CO – Not sure which was worse, climbing or descending…
    • the flooded desert of Las Vegas, NV – We decided they don’t know how to build roads for rain in the arid desert that is Vegas; one downpour and the place is treacherous!


  • Loneliest Road
    • Yep, you guessed it, Route 50 – also known as “The Loneliest Road in America”


  • Most Expensive Gas
    • Death Valley, CA Regular: $5.99 per gallon


  • Least Expensive Gas
    • Liberty Corner, NJ Regular: $3.95 per gallon Go Jersey!!


  • Most Perilous Empty Gas Tank Situation
    • Day 1 en route to Niagara Falls, NY – We were so enthralled with actually being on the road, starting our adventure, that we utterly forgot about the gas tank and got down to fumes. Good grief!!!


  • Best Vehicle Feature of our Subaru Tribeca
    • Our personal temperature controls (very handy for non-synchronized hot flashes)
    • Down-shifting (if we had ever learned how to use it)

Food and Drink

  • Best Meal (home-cooked excluded)
    • Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in Kansas City, KS – This eatery started as an adjunct to a gas station and still serves up fabulous ribs with a side of regular or premium gas.


  • Most Creative Use of a Fruit
    • National Lakeshore of Michigan’s everything cherry. Who knew there was such a thing as cherry salsa or cherry coffee? All at their own everything cherry store, Cherry Republic.


  • Most Surprisingly Tasty Local Delicacy
    • Fish sausage from Carlson’s of Leelanau, MI
    • Elk mignon
    • Bison burger
    • Burgoo in Lexington, KY


  • Best Use of a Vegetable
    • Corn Palace – Mitchell, SD – We were introduced to the glories of corn as a primary decorating tool by Doris Gerlach, local corn volunteer.



  • Best Local Beer
    • Elk Poop – Custer, WY
    • Colorado Red Ale – Paonia, CO



  • Best Sweet Stop


  • Best Car Snack
    • Fresh Cheese Curds – We also enjoyed the battered and deep-fried cheese curd version but, do note, they are not available as a car snack
    • Chocolate–Covered Nuts (provided by Lee, Sheron and Margie) – We ate way too many of these!


  • Most Raucous and Fun Meal
    • Joe’s Supper Club in Hotchkiss, CO – It was really Joe’s garage converted into a one-room bar/restaurant that serves homemade brick-oven pizza to one group per night. Our rowdy, happy friends alone would have made for a really fun meal but Joe’s stories and crazy antics definitely contributed to making this a raucous, memorable night!


  • Most Fun Fellow Inn-Mates
    • Hags on Nags from MN and WI at the Flying W Ranch for their friendliness and, frankly, their self-given group name
    • Pat and Jim of Denver, CO by way of TX at LeRoux Creek B&B. Pat, especially, was very friendly but insisted she really didn’t like people or talking to them.


  • Friendliest Bar Patrons
    • Charlie and Joe – dirt biker buddies we met at a bar in Death Valley. Not only did they buy us drinks but they introduced us to reader-glasses with built-in flashlights on the side. Available at your local Walgreens!


  • Cutest Couple
    • Salsa-dancing Jerseyans we met at Niagara Falls


  • Best Doctor
    • Dr. Firestone (aka Dr. Red) of Kansas City, MO – because he initiated a photo re-enactment of Glenda’s x-ray review for the blog


  • Best Waitress
    • Melissa – of Pufferbelly Restaurant in Erie, PA for her prompt service, tourist suggestions and educational tour of old fire equipment (especially the round target to jump into from a window)
    • Linda – nose-ringed breakfast waitress at Badlands National Park who was friendly even before we had coffee


  • Most Dedicated Park Ranger
    • Betty (not her real name) – at one of Yellowstone’s entrances who craned her neck to ensure the park pass photo matched the car passenger (Glenda) and interrogated her as to address information. Betty had zero tolerance for park pass fraud!!! This stood in stark contrast to Jason, a young dude Ranger, who waved us through without even a glimpse, apparently wildly unconcerned about park pass fraud.
    • Mike – a Ranger at Truman’s home was a study in contrasts. He vigorously protected the floors of the home by insisting that our feet not stray from the designated pathways yet graciously removed his hat for Glenda to have a photo opp. Surely, appearing in public without the Ranger headwear (and/or letting someone else wear said headwear) is an infraction of some section of the Ranger code!


  • Most helpful hotel/motel clerk
    • Tom (we think this was his name) – at Holiday Inn Express in Custer, SD who rang our room to let us know that a light was on inside the car we had parked in the lot. Definitely saved us a call to AAA. Thank you, Tom!!!
    • Martha (not her real name) – worked the front desk at the Hampton Inn in Fairmont, MN. She went above and beyond, giving us restaurant recommendations, menu suggestions, directions to walking paths. Just very nice.


  • Surliest hotel/motel clerk
    • Holly (n h r n) – at El Colorado in Manitou Springs, CO fit in with her surroundings – unfriendly, cold, creepy. We loved the town but the motel gets a definite 2 thumbs down.
    • Jim (n h r n) – in Jackson, WY was an aloof, uninterested, unhelpful front desk manager. Don’t think he should be in the hospitality industry!


  • Best performance in a service industry
    • Our wine hostess/retired flight attendant at Picchetti’s Winery in South Lake Tahoe, CA. She carried on even with a computer glitch and deftly conversed about politics without offending anyone. Very well done!
    • Our Jiffy Lube technician in Las Vegas, NV. He was knowledgeable about Subarus, gave great directions and was generally a pleasant guy.


  • Worst performance in a service industry
    • Our waiter, Kenneth, at the Old Faithful Inn. He was not only inefficient (we waited eons for our food and he totally forgot our wine) but was just flat-out strange.


  • Cutest Animal
    • Prairie dogs – in the Badlands – standing, jumping and squeaking


  • Location with the Best Animal Noises
    • Yellowstone – elk calls. The buck bugled away with his mating calls and the cows ignored him and talked amongst themselves.



  • Location with Best Animal Sightings
    • Grand Teton National Park – saw moose, bison, bear and evidence of beavers


  • Best All-Around Animal
    • Bison – What can we say? They were just spectacular.


  • Best Fishing Hole
    • Dan’s ranch in Hotchkiss, CO. It’s kind of hard to not catch a fish since there are ponds on the property that are fed by the neighboring trout hatchery.


  • Best Tour Experience
    • We took a tour with Monument Valley Safari and our Navajo guide was Brian. It’s a special place and Brian was fantastic! He was knowledgeable, interesting, funny and, on top of that, he drummed and sang.  Only downside was Glenda and Sue simply could not chime in and join the Navajo singing! Wow!
    • Maid of the Mist – in Niagara Falls was hokey but still the best way to get a sense of the power of the Falls. Amazing.


  • Best Accommodations
    • Our cabin at Badlands National Park, SD. It was new, designed well, fully-equipped, clean and in a beautiful place. What more could you ask for?


  • Worst Accommodations
    • El Colorado Motel in Manitou Springs, CO. It looked interesting from the outside but inside it was just skeevy. Dingy, print sheets (thread count? Maybe 5) that didn’t fit right. A scary bathroom. And even scarier fellow motel guests. We won’t go into details… Suffice it to say – avoid at all costs.


  • Best Bowling Lanes
    • The Corner Alley in Cleveland, OH. Glenda wore proper bowling attire but, regrettably, it did not help her score. Sue, sporting a dress, might have cracked 100. Who bowls in a dress?


  • Best Museum
    • Red Light Museum in Virginia City, NV. The “museum”, located in the basement of a Chinese restaurant, included displays of turn-of-the-century sex toys, condoms and brothel paraphernalia. Surprisingly entertaining and interesting!
    • Museum of Westward Expansion in St. Louis, MO located under the Arch. Anything and everything you’d want to know about Lewis & Clark’s expedition and the world events that prompted it. We didn’t have enough time here and would go back if we could!


  • Best Tourist Trap
    • Virginia City, NV. In some ways, this is an anti-Disney Disneyesque town. Home of the Bucket o’ Blood saloon, Red Light Museum, and annual Outhouse Races. It was a last minute addition to our route but well worth the stop.


  • Place Visited with the Smallest Population
    • Emblem, WY – population 10. How does a town with population 10 even get a government-provided sign on the road?


  • Place Visited with the Largest Population
    • Las Vegas, NV (city) – population 583, 756


  • Best Spa
    • Ceasar’s Palace (BTW, also the only spa!)


  • Kitschiest State
    • South Dakota – SD had so many kitschy aspects that it was an easy winner. Corn Palace, Wall Drug, many giant animal statues, billboards everywhere, bronze presidents, granite presidents, plastic dinosaurs, and more.
    • Minnesota – We loved seeing the Jolly Green Giant and Little Green Sprout and hated to miss one of the world’s largest balls of twine.


  • Best Stamportunity
    • The Badlands – Our first public stamping elicited howls of uncontrolled laughter. Who knew stamping could be so much fun?
    • Grand Canyon – We got 7, count’em 7, stamps at different locations throughout park. It was challenging but we were up to it!
    • The Bourbon Trail – Drinking and stamping are condoned and, in fact, encouraged. Yay!


  • Best Performance by a State Tourism Bureau
    • Nevada – The Welcome Center provided us with a CD with music and fun facts to amuse us as we drove through the stark Silver State. It so surpassed the typical tri-fold paper brochure. Just thinking about the jaunty music has us hitchin’ up our britches and callin’ for our ponies!


  • Best Tacky Outdoor Art
    • Steer Head – This giant head elicited gasps from both of us as we saw it in a tacky sculpture garden directly on Highway 90. Who is the artist? Why??? We figure it was for our driving pleasure. We were visually pleased.


  • Most Beautiful Outdoor Sculpture
    • The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO – The sun gleaming on this exquisitely simple structure is absolutely lovely. We were lucky enough to be there on a bright day. It’s mesmerizing.


  • Best Betting Results / Luckiest Venue
    • Keeneland, KY – We are happy to announce that we won enough from our betting on the horses to pay for our shots of bourbon.


  • Best Presidential Interaction
    • Glenda back-to-back with Harry S. Truman – This interaction beat out the bronze presidential statues of Rapid City, SD (2nd place), the carved faces on Mount Rushmore, the boyhood home of Abe Lincoln (which was closed), and Thomas Jefferson who was a footnote at the Museum of Westward Expansion.


  • Best Stranger Photo Shoot
    • Glenda’s portrait of “Fake Bono” at Las Vegas sushi bar over Sue’s left shoulder
    • Glenda’s portrait of “Mountain Man” at the Ritzy luncheonette over Sue’s left shoulder
    • Honorable Mention goes to the professional photographers (total strangers to us) at the Truman Presidential Library who approached and asked if they could photograph us for pictures to update their brochures and website. Of course we happily complied!


  • Best Giant Nose
    • Thomas Jefferson’s at Mount Rushmore – We both easily agreed that his were the best nostrils, too.


This was a very close race and the winner eked past the others by a giant nose.


  • Most Unusual Sign
    • The Urine Palette – A picture is worth a thousand words. See photo from Death Valley below.
Urine Palette

Urine Palette


Where does a woman check her firearm upon entering the rest room?



By the Numbers

SInce we both brought our old HP12C financial calculators on the road (you never know when you might need to do a quick present value calculation when driving across America), we felt the need to calculate something.  So for you number cruncher people, here is our trip quantified:

Number of Days on the Road: 43

Number Miles Driven:  8,590

Number of Fill-Ups: 53

Number of States Traveled In/Through: 22

Number of Hotels/B&Bs Stayed In: 27

–       11 chain hotels

–        7 non-brand hotels

–       5 National Park lodges

–       3 B&Bs

–       1 ranch

Number of Homes Stayed In: 4

Number of Medical Professionals Consulted on the Road: 4

Number of Animal Species Seen/Noted: 37 plus 2 dead horses

Number of Waking Hours Spent in Silence: 0

Number of Books on Tape Completed: 0 (but we got through 2 separate halves)

Number of State Tourism Bureau-Provided CDs: 1 but it was a good one!!!

Number of Meals Missed: 0

Number of Days without an Alcoholic Beverage: 0

Number of Stamps in our National Park Passports: 42  woooo hoooo!!

Number of National Parks/Sites/Monuments Visited: 21

Number of Photos Taken: 4,558 (9.71 Gigabytes)

Number of Strangers Photographed: 111

Highest Elevation Reached: 11,312 Feet Above Sea Level – Monarch Pass, CO

Lowest Elevation Reached:  282 Feet Below Sea Level – Death Valley, CA

Highest Legal Speed Limit: 80 MPH, UT  (Sue never exceeded the speed limit!!)

Average Number of Miles Driven per Day: 200

Total Dollars Spent on Travel (Gifts Excluded):  $8,781.82

Average Cost per Person Per Day: $102.11

Number of New Taste Sensations: 51

Questions from the Road

We had an awful lot of questions surface while we were traveling and decided to document them. And yes, we are working hard to get the answers to them! We’re calling in the experts and we’ll post the answers as we get them. We encourage you, our loyal readers, to weigh in with the answers in areas of your expertise using the “Leave a reply” feature of the blog. Here goes!

Per JB – I have a one word answer for ALL your questions….. GOOGLE!

Per Bob – Good questions but where is the corn man?

  • When did Brigham Young arrive in Salt Lake City?

July 24, 1847

  • Does salt need to be cleaned after being “harvested” and before hitting the shaker?


Amazingly thorough answer from the Morton Salt people!

“Yes salt is cleaned after being harvested by heating salt to 230 – 250° after the salt is dissolved and the salt brine is pumped up into the salt plant.  Any solid impurities are settled out before the brine is pumped into vacuum pans, or evaporators, that heat the brine in the presence of a slight vacuum until the brine boils (which is at a slightly lower temperature than if the brine was at atmospheric pressure).  As the brine boils, the water evaporates away, and the steam is used to heat the next evaporator (energy conservation).  Salt crystals begin to crystallize and grow as the water is boiled off, resulting in table salt-sized crystals.  The salt slurry is then removed from the evaporator.  The remaining salt brine is removed, and the salt is subsequently dried.  Drying is necessary, or the salt would not flow and it would cake severely before reaching the consumer’s home.

Thank you for contacting Morton Salt.”

  • Why does Utah have mini telephone poles? (about half the height of normal poles)

Per JB – The residents make few LONG DISTANCE calls. Glenda, you should know this!

Here is the response from Chris Parker, Public Utility Division Director, Division of Public Utilities in Utah “Sorry, I’m afraid I can’t help you. You may try contacting the utility companies directly but I know pole heights do vary based on operational concerns, environment, etc. A list of utilities can be found on our website.” 

  • How many years ago did the Newfoundland Evaporation Basin evaporate?

Here’s an answer plucked from a U.S. Geological Survey paper about Utah:

“In order to help mitigate high lake levels in Great Salt Lake during the 1980s, the State of Utah undertook the West Desert pumping project. The project was designed to pump brine from Great Salt Lake into a topographic low portion of the Great Salt Lake Desert, evaporate the bulk of the water, and return the dissolved salts to Great Salt Lake via surface return flows. A series of dikes and weirs were constructed to restrict the size of the evaporation pond and to control the return to Great Salt Lake. The enclosed area became known as the Newfoundland Evaporation Basin or, more commonly, the West Pond. However, a series of climatic and technical factors resulted in the reduced effectiveness of planned surface returns and, as a result, about 600 million tons of salts were left in the evaporation basin at the end of active pumping in 1989.”

OK, so the story distills down to this. The government decided to shrink the Great Salt Lake by moving water, evaporating it, and then putting the remaining salt back into the Great Salt Lake. It didn’t work so now there are many tons of salt in the middle of nowhere. What??? Perhaps our readers can explain why this was done; we don’t get it…

  • Can cows live in the wild?

We had a number of bovine questions and contacted Nancy H. Ing, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University. She responded to all our queries, including this one. Her answer was, “Cows can live in the wild….there are feral cows in Florida where the land is swampy and not fenced.” Who knew? Thanks, Professor Ing!

  • From where does Nevada get its water?

Per JB – From faucets just like we do

Ok – the real answer, from an article in The Guardian from March 2012, is that most of Nevada’s water comes from the Lake Mead reservoir. “Nevada, which for years has been drawing more water from its Lake Mead reservoir than has been flowing in, could be at serious risk of going dry in 20 years, said Pat Mulroy, the manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is pursuing the pipeline project.” Yikes!

  • What is Nevada’s annual precipitation? What about California? Isn’t there a fight?

Nevada Annual Precipitation Average – 9.5 inches, driest state in the U.S.

California Annual Precipitation Average – 22.2 inches, 40th wettest state in the U.S.

There are definitely on-going water wars; we are remaining Switzerland.

  • Is “eureka” a Greek word?

Yep, it’s Greek. Per Wikipedia, the word comes from ancient Greek εὕρηκα heúrēka “I have found (it)”.

  • What did the pioneers feed their horses?
  • Is there a doctor in Ely, NV?

No.  We could not find a human medical doctor in Ely.  The closest ones seem to be located in Carson City and beyond.  We find 1 veterinarian located right in Ely.

  • Why is Route 50 called the Lincoln Highway?


Some info from Wikipedia about how part of the Lincoln Highway became Route 50…

‘The Lincoln Highway is the first road for the automobile across the United States of America. The highway turns 100 years old in 2013.

Conceived in 1912 and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway is America’s first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. by nine years. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way. The Lincoln Highway became affectionately known as “The Main Street Across America.”

Many … named highways were supplanted by the United States Numbered Highways system of 1926. Most of the Lincoln Highway became US Route 30, with portions becoming US Route 1 in the East and US Route 40 and US Route 50 in the West.’

  • Do cows go through menopause?

Another question for Professor Ing at Texas A&M. She’s a specialist in the Physiology of Reproduction and here’s her response. “Don’t know, probably not. But few cows are kept to very old age (30 years…)”. 

  • Why do so many East Indians visit Niagara Falls?
  • Why is there only one grasshopper pump on many acres of land? Why aren’t there more?
  • Who are “geyser gazers”? Is there a club?


Geyser Gazers are people who are interested or one might say obsessed with watching and tracking and observing geysers in Yellowstone National Park.  Yes there is a club for this fun bunch – the Geyser Observation and Study Association (GOSA).  GOSA boasts over 300 members who run around on bikes with walkie talkies observing geysers.  They enjoy sharing news and tips about Yellowstone’s many geothermal features.  And yes we saw them in action.

  • What is the Community of Christ? Are they affiliated with the Mormons? If so, how?

We never had heard of the CofC and were confused about their connection (or lack thereof) with the Church of Latter Day Saints. As we now understand it, Joseph Smith died and Brigham Young took the leadership position. Some folks, though, didn’t follow Brigham and felt the leader of the church should be a descendant of Joseph Smith. The CofC evolved from the splinter group that followed the Smith family. Descendants headed up the church from 1860 to 1996. There were a lot to choose from since estimates of the number of Smith progeny range from 11 (with wife Emma) to 199 (with other wives). In 1996, a non-family member was picked to head the church. They think.

  • What is biodynamics? Who is Rudolf Steiner?

Rudolf Steiner is an Austrian philosopher, social reformer and architect and esotericist.  His name came up from Joanna of our Hotchkiss B&B who had participated in a manure and cow horn burying ritual ceremony in the grape fields of her B&B all in the name of biodynamic organic farming.  Somehow the manure stuffed into the horns which were buried in a circle would magically harness cosmic forces in the soil and lead to a banner grape crop year.  A friend of Glenda’s, a German National also knows of the Waldorf Schools founded by Steiner with a specific educational philosophy.  Rudolf seems to have been an all-around Renaissance man.

  • Grass-fed cows vs. feed-lot cows: pros and cons, discuss


Our third and final question for Prof. Ing. Her thorough and politically neutral answer was, “Grass fed beef is leaner and doesn’t taste as good because fat gives the meat a lot of its flavor. So health experts would tell us to eat grass fed beef as would environmentalists because cows naturally eat grass and there are many other uses for corn, soy beans, and other things that go into grain-feeding at the feed lot.”

  • How high does prairie grass grow? Is there a record?

  • How was personal hygiene on the frontier? How often did they bathe? What did they use for soap? Buffalo tallow?
  • Why was Wallace removed as FDR’s running mate for his 4th term?
  • In which state are the most cranberries grown?

Wisconsin is the big winner with 56% of the cranberry crop. Next is Massachusetts with 26%, followed by New Jersey with 8%, then Oregon with 7% and finally Washington with 3%. The end.

  • Who won 1st place in ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI?

Adonna Khare, an artist from Burbank, Calif., won 2012’s $200,000 ArtPrize for her 8-foot tall, 35-foot wide drawing “Elephants”. Congrats!

  • Is Mac still friends with Nick?


  • Do Donnie and Marie live in Las Vegas?

We think we have it right but correct us if you know differently! Donnie lives in Provo, UT and Marie lives in Las Vegas, NV. 

  • Are prairie dogs related to gophers? What about squirrels?

So, prairie dogs, true gophers and grey squirrels all belong to the “order” Rodentia. After that, the gophers are off on their own but the grey squirrel and prairie dog stay in the same “family” Sciurdae. Whatever. The prairie dogs are still ridiculously cute, even if they are rodents.

  • What are the features of a maximum-security prison?
  • We saw a 1.8 mile-long freight train. What is the longest?

Per JB – “Long Train Runnin” by the Doobie Brothers 1973

  • How long can beavers stay underwater?

Apparently they have specially adapted lungs and can stay underwater for as long as 15 minutes. This explains why we never actually saw any beavers and only saw their dam handiwork!

  • What is the Continental Divide?


Per Lee – The continental divide has to do with the waterways and whether the water goes west into the Pacific or east into the Atlantic. I mean waters east of the CD go into the Atlantic and those west of it go in to the Pacific. I think.

I am exhausted reading the addendum. I hope I did not miss anything. But did you award the best Jersey Connection story?

How about the award for the latest dinner in the most southern state with the most charming daughter of a New Jerseyite?

Just suggesting…

  • What is the color of sulphur?

Sulfur, as a solid, is bright yellow. If you melt sulfur, you get a blood-red liquid. If you set it on fire, you get a blue flame. Nuf said.

  • What does an eagle nest look look like?
  • What does riparian mean?
  • All questions moose – habitat, eating, mating, antlers

  • What is life like in Eureka, Nevada? (or any other similar middle-of-nowhere place we visited) Work life? Social life? Dating life? Do they travel 50 miles to get groceries? Do they use a Coleman refrigerator to keep things cold on the way home from the store?
  • What is bentonite?

Per JB, The poorer second cousin of Kryptonite, Superman’s favorite.

The technical answer is that bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate, essentially impure clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. What is it used for, you might be asking? Well, it’s a substance found in cat litter and in Glenda’s facial scrub. That just seems so wrong!

  • Are the majority of the U.S. geologists from geology-glorious Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Arizona?

  • Do Fedex and UPS do one-day delivery on “the loneliest road”?
  • What does Newark mean? Why is there a Newark Valley in Nevada?

According to David Smith, one-time mayor of Newark, CA, the etymology of Newark is Dutch. He said the name came about after towns were pillaged and rebuilt, thus the Anglicized version of “new-work”. As to why there is a Newark Valley in NV, that requires more research!

  • What did the Pony Express riders feed their horses?

Per JB, That depended upon whether they were staying at Hilton or the Howard Johnson’s.

  • What is the unidentified corn leaf-like crop?

  • What are those giant, rusted, upside-down badminton shuttlecocks?

Day 43: Saturday, October 27 – Louisville, KY to NJ

  • Our final day on the road. Forty-three fantastic days. Every single day was amazing. Truly!!!
  • We left Louisville and hit the road early, hoping to outrun Hurricane Sandy and make it home with one long day in the car. We stopped in Clarksburg, WV for lunch at a restaurant serving up hot dogs since 1933.

Mr. Peanut as a hot dog?

Glenda at the Ritzy Lunch

Sue and hairy friend in background


  • On the road, we passed convoys of tree-trimming trucks heading north in anticipation of work from the hurricane. About 30 from Virginia, 10 from Texas and 3 from Florida.

Truck in a tree-trimming convoy heading to help

  • We finally returned to the land of full-service gas and happily filled up.

Yay! Full-service gas in NJ!

Sue and our full-service attendant

  • Finally, home sweet home.

View from home sweet Weehawken

Our pilot car arrived safe and sound back home at 29 Marion.


Day 42: Friday, October 26 – Lexington, KY

  • This morning we head to the home of Jane and Jimmy Shropshire (Jane is Sue’s college pal).  They live on a working cow and calf farm in Lexington.  The house was originally a log cabin dating back to the 1700’s.  We have breakfast at the farm – a beautiful place with all the double plank fences running along the fields of cows and horses.
  • Glenda, Sue and Jane went off to a bourbon distillery – Woodford Reserve – a part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  We take a tour of the the distillery.  Our guide is excellent and we learn a lot about making bourbon including: the law and rules; the ingredients, rye, corn, barley; the mash; the distilling and storing in toasted and charred barrels and the aging.  We learn about bung and the sour mash.  We end the tour with a shot of bourbon and a bourbon ball!

At the distillery

The mash

Distilling tanks


  • In the afternoon we went to the race meet at Keeneland Track (yes they are race meets).  It’s a beautiful old track that runs races in April and October.  We are here on the 2nd to last day of races this year.  The track reminds us of Saratoga.  We sit in a box that belongs to Jane and Jimmy’s friends with a great view of the finish line.  We pooled our money and bet the farm – trifecta, win, place, show, across the board.  At the end of the day we each lost about $5.  Not bad for a whole afternoon of entertainment!  We manage to down another shot of bourbon and we ate a special Kentucky concoction called burgoo, some kind of  tasty stew.  We are not discouraged by the story JImmy told us that historically the burgoo was rumored to have road kill as its primary ingredient.


Jersey Junction We think there was one but we are too busy tracking hurricane Sandy, watching Jim Cantore and his map…wait is JIm from Jersey?  Well if he’s not it seems to us that he is 🙂

Theme of the Day: My Old Kentucky Home

Up Next: Our Old New Jersey Homes


Day 41: Thursday, October 25 – St. Louis, MO to Lexington, KY

  • We can’t believe it’s winding down. What a trip. This morning we go to the Historic Old Courthouse – scene of the Dred Scott trial. This is also part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial which includes the Arch and the Museum of Western Expansion underneath the Arch. The courthouse is beautiful – the Arch is elegant, simple, soaring and beautiful, really. We  enjoyed the museum also. It lays out the Lewis & Clark expedition and a whole timeline organized around the westward exploration and expansion. We find that Lewis & Clark are the original travel bloggers – we read their journal in the museum and find a lot of similarities to this very blog.

The courthouse ceiling

The Gateway Arch

Glinting sun

Sue in the sun by the Arch

  • Time to get on the road, ultimately to Lexington, KY. We first hope to stop at the Abe Lincoln boyhood home near Evansville, Indiana. We arrive there at 4:30 only to find it closed at 4. Bummer. But all is not lost as we find we are 2 miles from Santa Claus, Indiana. So we still get some photo opps.

This is all we saw…

America’s Christmas Hometown?

  • Back on the road, we stop briefly in Louisville, KY – home of Frank’s late father, Malcolm Johnson. Malcolm was also a U. Louisville Law School grad. Louisville is, of course, known as the home of the Louisville Slugger, Churchill Downs – home of the Kentucky Derby – and Muhammad Ali, too.

Glenda and the world’s largest bat


The Muhammad Ali Center

  • All along the way today we decide to listen to Professor Allison’s Teaching Company CDs on Early American History (Professor Allison is Sue’s cousin Bob). Shout out to Bob – we are loving it and have many questions!
  • We arrive in Lexington. Glenda calls her good friend Lee’s daughter Olivia who is a senior at U Kentucky now. At the last minute Olivia is able to join us for dinner. We have a great meal and enjoy hearing some of Olivia’s stories about life in Lexington as a student at U.K. We also share some of our exploits. What a nice evening.

Glenda and Olivia

Jersey Junction

Olivia was born and raised in NJ. So she is a big time Junction. She loves NJ and is also enjoying her time in Kentucky. We may get her back to Jersey at some point.

Theme of the Day: We can’t think of one; can you?

Up Next: Lexington again




Day 40: Wednesday, October 24 – Overland Park, KS to St Louis, MO

  • 40 days and 40 nights. Who knew we would actually make it this far?  The morning starts out with our usual slow start but we are pressed as we have to make Glenda’s 4th doctor appointment of the trip.  As we have mentioned before, we are going to name all the docs with names of colors so this one, Dr. Firestone, is Dr. Red.  Nema takes the patient, Glenda, to the doc while Sue wanders around KC Plaza, a shopping center of southwestern architecture full of fountains and beautiful tile work.
Back to the doctor–yes the arm is broken–and now Glenda gets to pick out a cast–now called a clamshell splint made of Aquaplast (a low temperature plastic).  She selects Jayhawk blue. Why not?  When in Kansas…..

KC Plaza


Glenda and Dr. Red and her x-ray

Glenda and Carla the hand therapist

Making the cast

Do you recognize this arm sans cast from “Person of Interest”??

  • So once she is all fixed up, we say goodbye to Nema and head out east on Rte 70 to St. Louis.  Nothing to report on the way, just highway and we land at our hotel across from the Arch.  The Arch looks really cool, beautiful and huge!  We will explore it further tomorrow.

The Arch

  • Dinner tonight we decide to try the “Little Italy” of St. Louis — “the Hill”.  We take a cab which takes forever…through the city streets, highways, crossing rivers, on main avenues etc and we finally arrive at one restaurant.  No sign of a “village” like the little Italy we were expecting.  Oh well.  We eat at the restaurant and find out that Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola grew up across the street from each other on Elizabeth Street here.  We walk over to find the street now named Hall of Fame Street.  Wow!!  The cab ride home takes half the time, half the cost and such a pleasant driver.  He advises us against taking the rickety capsule ride up the Arch to the top describing the awful ride.  We agree wholeheartedly and thank him for his wise counsel.  No Arch ride for us.

At Cunetto’s

Toasted ravioli – a “Hill” special

Hydrant at the “hill”

Jersey Junket

Today we have 2 junctions.  First, Carla, of hand therapy fame, announced that she was so impressed with customs at EWR.  She loved it.  So much better that London, apparently.  Second, Yogi Berra, a long time Jersey resident, of Montclair and late maybe of Caldwell, an icon…was raised here in “the hill” in St Louis.  5447 Elizabeth St.  Here is his house:

Sue in front of Yogi’s house

#5447 Elizabeth

Theme of the Day: Arms.  Broken arms, great throwing arms, catching the great pitching arms etc.

Up next: Lexington, KY