Published: September 22nd 2011
September 21st 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 Lincoln Trail State Park outside of Marshall, Illinois. Sunny and 73 degrees outside already this morning. 17029 is our starting mileage.
VM summary note regarding photos:
All photos were taken in whatever light or situation that presented itself and then edited on my mini-laptop. Thus, the pictures are often a reflection of the conditions, for example, I called Alaska, the "land of the disappearing mountains," because while the eye could see them, the camera couldn't. The photos in this section are like a visual index to the entire set of blogs.
If you want to learn more, find the blog related to the date in the caption, and you will be able to see the detailed narrative that Sharon wrote to capture our adventure. Some of these pictures are duplicates of those in the blog, others are new.
SW's Notes on the Last Day of Our Trip
Drove along the border of Illinois and Indiana on highway 1 to the town of Vincennes and took highway 41 to Evansville and crossed the Ohio River into Henderson, Kentucky. The Welcome Center for Kentucky is located in a CCC built
building on the grounds of the Audubon State Park. We stopped and walked into the museum that is also in a rock CCC built building and looked around the gift shop. I am not particularly fond of Audubon's art work so didn't want to pay to tour, but it provided a nice break. The park looks like it would be a good place to camp if we came this way again.
Picked up the Audubon Parkway outside of town and drove it to where it connected to the William Natcher Parkway and on around the city of Bowling Green. Somewhere before there we stopped at a Mickey D's for lunch in a town Valerie and I have both forgotten the name of. Ate at Mickey D's because that or a Sonic were our only choices. Memorable is wasn't.
Tired of the parkway/freeway travel, we decided to try US 231 to US 31E and then south into Tennessee and dropping onto Interstate 40 southeast of Nashville. Before hitting 40 we filled up on gas at the town of Lebanon, TN paying $3.399 a gal for 15.7 gals for a total of $51.56 and mileage at 17320.
our trip south we both had tried to figure a way to avoid the steep, windy mountain descent from Nashville to Chattanooga. We just didn't like it!!! As we started down on this piece of road, we both noticed the sign that said the grade was a 6% grade and we both started laughing. Our trip had included roads that were two-lane at a 10% grade with no guardrails nor run-away truck ramps. 6%? a piece of cake!! That fear is completely gone, as we sailed down this section of Interstate like the pros we now were!!
Had dinner at a all-you-can-eat old time restaurant in Chattanooga, TN that we will skip the next time through this way.
Rosie is obviously not a horse and we don't own a barn, but the analogy fits. Valerie felt she was ok to make it on home, which we did by10:30 that night. She has driven a total of 15, 772.60 miles as I navigated from the passenger seat, in the 19 weeks that we have been gone. Valerie thought we were on 21st week—maybe it just seemed that way to her.
We have driven on most of the paved
highways in Alaska and the Yukon and several like, the Dalton and Dempster Highways, that were not paved. We have been as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far west as you can drive and still be in the USA. We have seen all the animals on our wish list except for seeing a whale breach and a grizzly hunt for/eat salmon, but beyond our list, we saw a wild wolf, a lynx, marmots, and foxes. We have seen more kinds and numbers of wildflowers in a multitude of brilliant colors than you can ever imagine. We have seen too numerous to count, bald eagles, elusive harlequin ducks, several yellow legs, varied thrushes, tufted puffins, northern harriers and many other birds not seen in the Eastern US.
We have seen with our own eyes the effects of global warming on glaciers in Alaska, Canada and the in the lower 48. The retreat of ice is very apparent when you compare old pictures of where various glaciers used to be and where they cover now in Stewart, Hyder, Jasper, Banff, and other places along our route. It is so bad in Glacier National Park, that they predict that
all the Glaciers will be gone by 2030.
We have learned a great deal about and have a greater understanding of many historical happenings, such as Western Expansion along the Oregon and, Mormon Trails; the short lived Pony Express, the Klondike gold rush and the building the Al-can highway and the tremendous effort it took for people to accomplish these endeavors. We have seen incredible, indescribable scenery of mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. We have learned what new phrases mean like; “chip-sealed,” “perma-frost heaves,” and “braided rivers.” Made some new friends and shared some good times together. Driven the Al-can highway that was on both of our bucket lists and had been since we were kids---in all, it was one hell of an adventure!!!
VM note regarding photos:
All photos were taken in whatever light or situation that presented itself and then edited on my mini-laptop. Thus, the pictures are often a reflection of the conditions, for example, I called Alaska, the "land of the disappearing mountains," because while the eye could see them, the camera couldn't. The photos in this section are like a visual index to the entire set of blogs. If you want to
learn more, find the blog related to the date in the caption, and you will be able to see the detailed narrative that Sharon wrote to capture our adventure. Some of these pictures are duplicates of those in the blog, others are new.
There are more photos below