By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/16/2019
Occurred: 8/17/2004
Topics/Keywords: #Cross-Country #NationalParks #Travel #WesternStates Page Views: 2136
All about the trip on which Michael and I took Mom to the last of the'48 states' she hadn't yet visited, by way of National Parks.

Mom Completes The "Lower 48"

Mom Visits the Last of the 48 States

It's hard to hit a moving target, but Mom decided years ago to visit "all 48 states". Now, at 92, she found she was missing just three: South Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. Michael and I decided to take her to visit them for this year's trip. But of course, there's no point in "going just to go." So I mapped out a route that would, in addition to moving us through each of the three states, would allow us to visit National Parks all along the way.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The plan was to leave when I got off work at 2pm. I work at home; so we should have been able to hop in the rental car and leave, right?

However, there was a bug in the program I was trying to find; and wound up taking an extra hour to try and fix it before we left (which I wasn't able to do).

Then it turned out there were things we absolutely needed to buy before leaving. So, we didn't actually manage to reach the highway until 4:30 pm, which is rush hour. Once we left the Phoenix area behind, though, we made good time. Nevertheless, we did not reach our reserved motel room in Albuquerque until 1:30 am Phoenix time—2:30 am, Albuquerque time.

Overview

Western Parks: Day 2

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/18/2004
Topics: #Albuquerque #NewMexico #Sundance #Travel #WesternParks #Wyoming Page Views: 1849
All about the second day of the trip Michael and I took Mom on to the last of the'48 states' she hadn't yet visited.

By the time we crossed the Wyoming border, Mom was convinced it would rain throughout our entire trip, which would therefore be "ruined". Brought up in the Northeast, she's never quite gotten that rain isn't always a disaster.

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Western Parks: Day 3

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/19/2004
Topics: #BlackHills #Cheyenne #MountRushmore #Sundance #Wyoming Page Views: 1807
All about the third day of the trip Michael and I took Mom on to the last of the'48 states' she hadn't yet visited.

Although it is a National Monument, and our Parks Pass should have gotten us in at no additional charge, Mount Rushmore has turned the parking franchise over to a private concern, which charges $8 per car for the privilege of spending time at the Presidential Memorial and visiting the museums. I did not see any evidence of a Park Service shuttle; so Mount Rushmore is now effectively a private tourist attraction.

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Western Parks: Day 4

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/20/2004
Topics: #Devil'sTower #Sundance #Wyoming Page Views: 1887
All about the fourth day of the trip Michael and I took Mom on to the last of the'48 states' she hadn't yet visited.

According to the legend, there were seven sisters who were playing in the meadow one day, when they were attacked by a giant bear. They prayed to the Great Spirit, who rescued them by causing a column of stone to rise into the air, carrying them beyond the reach of the bear, even when it scored the sides of the column with its great claws. However, once the girls were beyond the reach of the bear, they also could not get down. So the Great Spirit transformed them into stars. Which ones? The Pleiades, of course, known to Europeans as the Seven Sisters.

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Western Parks: Day 5

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/21/2004
Topics: #GrandTetons #Ogden #Utah #YellowstoneNationalPark Page Views: 2014
All about the fifth day of the trip Michael and I took Mom on to the last of the'48 states' she hadn't yet visited.

Old Faithful isn't quite as "faithful" as we'd been led to believe; you can't set your watch by it. It erupts anywhere from 34 minutes to 94 minutes after the previous one. But once an hour is the average, and, in fact, it was almost exactly 60 minutes after we'd arrived that it erupted again.

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Western Parks: Day 6

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/22/2004
Topics: #BryceCanyon #Ogden #Utah Page Views: 1736
All about the last day of the trip Michael and I took Mom on to the last of the'48 states' she hadn't yet visited.

However, once we came near Bryce Canyon, the fit started hitting us again. We'd never successfully seen Bryce Canyon; the first time we were here, it was raining and foggy and we couldn't see anything. So we decided to make that 30-mile round trip to see it, now that the weather was so nice.

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