One of the greatest joys as a grandparent is seeing our grand children’s excitement as they experience new adventures.
Our daughter is visiting us this week with her two children. At 12 and 10, they are our two oldest grandchildren. They live 400 miles away, surrounded by the Appalachian mountains, so coming to visit Nana and Papa near the beach is always an adventure for them.
On Memorial Day, we beached our boat on a deserted barrier island after a boat ride through rivers and narrow winding creeks surrounded by salt marsh. The adventure brought back fond memories for our daughter and made new memories for the grandkids. It is a ride we took on many weekends when our daughter was growing up and we are so happy we could share the experience with her children.
Nine years ago this summer we purchased our fifth wheel and set out on the first of our many RV journeys across the United States and Canada.
During these nine years we have traveled to the west coast and back, crossed the Rocky Mountains and Continental divide several times, wandered around Florida, enjoyed campgrounds in our beautiful home state of Georgia, and made the ultimate RV journey to Alaska. We’ve visited National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks, tourist traps, historic sites and museums. We’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, most of the Great Lakes, many rivers, creeks, streams and lakes. We’ve enjoyed birdwatching, wildlife viewing, wildflowers blooming in every season, sunsets and sunrises. We’ve attended RV rallies, met many friendly and interesting people, and made new friends.
In all, we’ve camped in 41 of our beautiful United States including Alaska. We discovered that there is something interesting to see and do no matter where you are. Here are a few of our most memorable experiences.
We learned not to head north in early April because you never know when it might snow!
One very hot day in August we made the hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah.
We enjoyed many magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean as we traveled south on the Pacific Coast Highway from Washington to California.
We felt small beside the Redwoods in California.
In Yosemite National Park, we took a drive on Glacier Point Road to the Washburn Overlook.
On the American side of Niagara Falls we took the Cave of the Winds tour and stood on the Hurricane Deck underneath Bridal Veil Falls.
We visited the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park, Minnesota twice and walked across it once.
We enjoyed walking around the bases at the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The highest point of the Blue Ridge Parkway was one of the highlights of our several visits to the parkway.
Being snowbirds in Florida is a great way to spend the winter.
You can’t beat the views from some of our campsites.
Watchman Campground, Zion National Park, Utah
Watching for whales in Haines, Alaska
Sagebrush Campground Palo Duro Canyon State Park
It’s been a wonderful nine years and we have so many great memories! Although our future trips will probably be closer to home we are looking forward to many more adventures.
We woke up to beautiful sunny skies. The weather forecast was sunny and warm all day. A perfect day for viewing Mt. McKinley.
We started the day by walking to beautiful downtown Talkeetna.
Welcome to beautiful downtown Talkeetna
Downtown Talkeetna. We ate at the West Rib Pub for dinner last night
House rules at the historic Fairview Inn
Stubbs, the Mayor of Talkeetna. He hangs around downtown.
I had a spinach bread for lunch. It’s kind of like a square pizza with spinach and cheese.
Next we stopped by Talkeetna Air Taxi at the airport to book a flight-seeing tour with a glacier landing. The first flight available was at 4:00 so we returned to the RV park to get the truck and drve to the Talkeetna overlook for a view of Mt. McKinley with no clouds.
Beth and Henry at the Talkeetna overlook
An Airplane flies over Mt. McKinley
At 3:30 a van picked us up to take us to the airport for our flight. There were six passengers on our plane – two guys and a gal from Norway, a man from Maryland, and us. Our pilot Alex was from Georgia.
The flight was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. Seeing the mountains from the air and flying so close to the south face of Mt. McKinley was awe inspiring. It’s a day I will never forget.
Waiting to board
Mt. McKinley is in the upper left beneath the clouds
Shadow of our plane over the mountains
The Ruth Glacier is in the gorge between the mountains
We went really close to Mt. McKinley
View of McKinley through the front window
We were really close to the mountains
Really, really close to the mountain!
We were headed straight to this mountain
Really, really, really close!
Ours was the only plane on the glacier and we had plenty of time to enjoy the jaw dropping beauty around us.
We landed on the Ruth Glacier. Hard to believe it was warm enough to wear short sleeves.
The high round snow covered peak is the south peak of Mt. McKinley
Henry taking videos
Beth with the plane
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier
We flew low over the glacier as we started our return trip to the airport.
Flying over the glacier
Beautiful scenery on our way back to the airport
What a glorious day it was! A day we will never forget. Perfect.