Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Colorado

State 6:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically and the next state is

Colorado

Colorado became the 38th state on August 1, 1876. Denver is the capital.

It’s easy to see why Colorado is such a popular destination. With it’s spectacular mountain scenery, ancient ruins to explore, breathtaking scenic drives, picturesque small towns, Pikes Peak, and wildlife there was beauty every where we went.

As we visited the ancient cliff dwellings in  Mesa Verde National Park I couldn’t help but wonder about the people that lived there so long ago.

Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park

The San Juan Skyway through the San Juan mountains was one of the most beautiful  scenic drives we’ve ever taken. Starting from Cortez, we took our time to enjoy the views from overlooks, stopped to stroll along the dog-friendly streets of Teluride and enjoyed lunch in Ouray before going by old mining camps around Silverton.

Waterfall beside the San Juan Skyway
Waterfall beside the San Juan Skyway
Ouray
Ouray
Old Gold Mine
Old Gold Mine along the San Juan Skyway
Another spectacular view along the San Juan Skyway
Spectacular views along the San Juan Skyway

Our campsite at San Luis Lakes State Park had spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and was a good home base to explore Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains from our camp site at San Luis Lakes State Park were amazing.
View of the Sangre de Cristo mountains from our camp site at San Luis Lakes State Park.
The people look tiny on the Great Sand Dunes
The people look tiny on the Great Sand Dunes
On the trail to Zapata Falls near the Great Sand Dunes
On the trail to Zapata Falls near the Great Sand Dunes

In the Colorado Springs area we visited Garden of the Gods and drove as far as we could go on the Pikes Peak Highway.

Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background
Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
At elevation 11,424 feet, we were as far as we could go on the Pikes Peak Highway
At elevation 11,424 feet, we were as far as we could go on the Pikes Peak Highway
The closest we could get to Pike's Peak was six miles away but the view was still amazing
The closest we could get to Pike’s Peak was six miles away but the view was still amazing

One of our favorite national parks is Rocky Mountain National Park. We love it so much we have been there twice. Our first visit was in the spring and even though there was a lot of snow we saw plenty of wildlife.

That's a lot of snow!
That’s a lot of snow!
At Rainbow Curve on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, about 11,000 feet
At Rainbow Curve on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, about 11,000 feet
A hike to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
A hike to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Our second visit was in August when the weather was perfect and again there was plenty of wildlife. We were finally able to drive to the Alpine Visitor’s Center on Trail Ridge Road.

Big Horn Sheep on Trail Ridge Road
Big Horn Sheep on Trail Ridge Road
The Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park
The Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park
Alpine Visitor's Center View in Rocky Mountain National Park
Alpine Visitor’s Center View in Rocky Mountain National Park

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – California

State 5:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alphabetically and next up is

California

California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The capital is Sacramento. California is the most populous state and the third largest in area.

In 2007 we spent three weeks exploring California. It wasn’t nearly enough time to see the whole state but the Pacific Ocean, giant trees, five national parks, San Diego  and everything else were all spectacular.

Our first views of California were along the Pacific Coast Highway as we drove south from Oregon. Gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, Redwood National Park, and the beautiful vineyards were a few of the things we enjoyed in northern California.

Our home base for exploring Yosemite National Park was the Wawona Campground inside the national park. We drove through Yosemite Valley, took a few short hikes, made the  the drive to Glacier Point, had a delicious lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel, and felt small as we walked through the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias.

There were many more of the magnificent giant trees in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We even spotted a bear in one of the meadows.

After all that sightseeing we decided to take a couple of days to relax in a resort near Palm Springs and spent a day wandering through Joshua Tree National Park.

Our final stop was San Diego where we toured Cabrillo National Monument and the USS Midway. Our Labrador Retriever Blondie was in heaven when we took her to the dog beach near Coronado. As we drove east from  San Diego we passed by the Imperial Sand Dunes and the Chocolate Mountains.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Arkansas

State 4:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alphabetically and next up is

Arkansas

Arkansas became the 28th state on June 15, 1836. The capital is Little Rock.

When I was in elementary school my family lived on an Air Force base in northeastern Arkansas for four years. I remember there were cotton fields as far as the eye could see outside of the base.

Henry and I have traveled through Arkansas on several of our cross country trips and we have have made it a destination more than once. The Ozark Mountains, Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock, and several places on or near the Mississippi River were some of the places we enjoyed visiting.

We strolled along Bath House Row and the Grand Promenade at Hot Springs National Park. A relaxing day in one of the original bath houses was a real treat for me.

At Fort Smith National Historic Site we toured the federal courthouse used by Judge Isaac C. Parker in the late 1800’s.

We loved watching the barges going by on the Mississippi River from our campsite at Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Maumelle Campground on the Arkansas River was a great home base for attending a Georgia – Arkansas football game in Little Rock and for taking a day trip to Petit Jean Sate Park.

We enjoyed the scenic drives around Mississippi River State Park and Lake Chicot State Park so much that we made two trips to each park.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Arizona

State 3:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alphabetically and next up is

Arizona

Arizona, nicknamed “The Grand Canyon State”, became the 48th state on February 14, 1912. Phoenix is the capital and the state’s largest city.

I first saw the Grand Canyon back in the 1960’s when I was in the third grade. I sat in the back seat of our Ford station wagon with my two brothers as our family went on a cross country trip seeing some of our National Parks and of course the Grand Canyon was one of the highlights of our trip.

Henry and I made our first trip together to the Grand Canyon in 1985 when we loaded up our mini van with our kids and tent camping gear and made the trek from Georgia to the Grand Canyon South Rim. Henry returned  the next year and backpacked into the canyon with three friends. Having done the South Rim, we decided to make the North Rim of the Grand Canyon our first major destination in our inaugural cross country RV trip in 2006.

Before we got to the North Rim we traveled across Arizona and took in the Meteor Crator, Petrified Forest National Park, Painted Desert and the Vermilion Cliffs .

Our home base for exploring the North Rim was in the Kaibab National Forest. We saw evidence of recent wildfires and beautiful meadows each day as we drove to and from the canyon.

Later travels through Arizona found us at Monument Valley, Lake Havasu , and the Four Corners.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska

Wandering Around America one state at a time – Alaska

State 2:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alphabetically and next up is

Alaska

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. The capital is Juneau and it is the only state capital that can only be reached by air, boat, or birth. The largest city is Anchorage.

We spent 50 glorious nights in Alaska in the summer of 2013.

I loved meeting so many wonderful Alaskans and hearing their stories. Wildlife, glaciers, boat trips, a flight seeing tour, eagles, halibut fishing, Denali National Park, taking the RV on the Alaska Ferry from Skagway to Haines, and a train ride on the Alaska Railroad are just a few of the amazing things we experienced while we were there. Our favorite place was Haines. The most exciting thing we did was take a flight-seeing tour from Talkeetna to see Mt. McKinley and land on Ruth Glacier. The farthest north we went was Coldfoot, north of the Arctic Circle.

Every day was memorable, every day was special, every day we saw something spectacular. Was it worth driving over 14,000 there and back? Absolutely!

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama