Whether it’s towing our fifth wheel to get to our next campground or taking a scenic drive after setting up camp, we spend a lot of time in our truck when we are wandering around the U.S. and Canada. While Henry drives, my time is often spent looking through the windshield of our truck at the lines in the middle of the road .
My father loved to take pictures with his Minolta 35 mm camera and through the years he accumulated thousands of slides. My younger brother became the curator of his slides and has been converting the good ones to digital format. His Christmas present to us this year was a DVD with many pictures from my childhood. In the photo at the top of this post you can see our Ford station wagon in Yosemite National Park.
In 1959, when I was eight years old, my father’s work required him to go to California for several weeks. Instead of going by himself, my parents decided to take the whole family on a cross country journey to see America.
I spent many hours crammed in the back seat of our station wagon, usually on the hump in the middle between my two brothers. I wonder how many times my mother had to turn around to tell us to be quiet?
I had so much fun looking at the old photos converted from my Dad’s slides. Each one brought back so many memories. As I was going through the photos I found a few that I unknowingly replicated as an adult during our RV travels. On the left is me in 1959 on the Big Tree in Redwood National Park and on the right that’s me in 2007 at the same tree.
That’s me when I was 8 years old sitting on the Big Tree in Redwood National Park
Redwoods National Park
Dad took a picture of Yosemite Valley that looks a lot like the one I took almost 50 years later. It looks like we were standing in the exact same spot.
My Dad’s slide of Yosemite Valley, 1959
Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View Overlook
Here’s our two pictures of the Yosemite tunnel at Tunnel View. I love the old cars in Dad’s picture.
Tunnel in Yosemite National Park, 1959
Yosemite Tunnel, 2007
Mount Rushmore in 1959 and 2006.
Mount Rushmore, 1959
Mount Rushmore National Monument
While we were in California we went somewhere almost every weekend. We visited national parks, theme parks, San Francisco, and even went panning for gold. I’ll never forget our trip to Disneyland. Where were the crowds back then?
Dad loved gathering the family together in the basement for slide shows. Thank you to my brother for putting these slides into digital form to be enjoyed over and over again.
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 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.
Pullen Creek RV Park, Skagway, Alaska
Waterfalls along the Klondike Highway
Arriving at the Haines ferry dock
Watching for whales in Haines, Alaska
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Haines boat harbor
The free George Black Ferry crosses the Yukon River from Dawson City to Top of the World Highway.
Poker Creek Alaska
The signposts show other towns named after chickens. Who knew there were so many?
The Pedro Dredge in Chicken is a National Historic Site.
Santa Claus House, North Pole, Alaska
Downtown Talkeetna. We ate at the West Rib Pub for dinner last night
We went really close to Mt. McKinley
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier
Home of author Mary Lovel in Sherman, Alaska
The Alaska Railroad runs right behind our campsite
Such an amazing sight to see their tail
Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Calving on Aialik Glacier one
A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
There were Puffins in the water
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
Wandering Dawgs at the Arctic Circle
A good look at the Alaska pipeline as it goes underground
Four of these fish are ours!
Mount Redoubt sunset in Ninilchik, Alaska
Anchor Point is the most westerly highway point on a continuous road system in North America
Our first moose sighting was this cow by a pond
Lukor liked it on top of his house
Polychrome Overlook, Denali National Park, Alaska
Caribou grazing in Denali National Park
Do you see the profile of a face on the right side of the rock?
Chunk of ice from the Columbia Glacier
Fireweed behind our campsite made the beautiful view even better
Mama bear looking for more fish near Valdez
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
What an amazing ten years! Each marker on this map represents a place where we camped in our RV.
Ten years ago, on July 1, 2006, we spent our first night in an RV park in Tampa, Florida. Two weeks later we left Georgia with no reservations anywhere and a bucket list of what we wanted to see. You can see highlights of that trip at Looking Back on our First RV Trip. Last year I posted a few of our most memorable experiences from our first nine years at Celebrating Nine Years of RVing.
Many of our trips revolved around either visiting family or attending a special event such as a wedding or Titanium Rally. Sometimes we traveled just for the fun of seeing new places. No matter where we were going, we always took the long way around to get there.
We discovered beauty in every state and province we visited. Sometimes the everyday things were the best.
I love watching the changing landscape and seeing the many farms and ranches.
We always enjoy seeing lighthouses.
Seeing wildlife is always a treat.
And of course we loved visiting many of our National Parks.
Sometimes we enjoyed watching the sunset from our campsite.
We did a few amazing hikes.
Chilling by a camp fire is always fun.
Now that we have ten years of RV’ing under our belt, our priorities have changed. Of course, we are ten years older and it is more difficult to make long trips. When we started our wandering, we only had two grandchildren. Now we have four and we want to spend as much time with them as we can. Going on long trips takes us away from them for too long.
Our wandering days are not over. There are still many places we haven’t seen in and near our home state of Georgia so from now on we will travel a little closer to home.