Introduction

January 1st, 2008

Welcome to our blog detailing the best year of our lives. We had an opportunity to take a year off from adult responsibilities and travel with our 2 adventure motorcycles and 2 kayaks in our toyhauler fifth wheel. Unlike most sane people, we went from tent camping out of a Toyota Corrola to towing a 35 ft fifth wheel with a one ton dually. This post was added well after the end of the trip, but all others were written near real time. Because the blog is a few years old now, you will notice some format issues. Text that once aligned with pictures is a bit off and some of the panorama pics are no longer properly sized. But hey…you get what you pay for ūüôā

If you are viewing this through the links on our current blog, unlike most blogs, you will be reading forward in time. The link at the bottom of the page says ‘older entries’ but it will move you forward.

Below is a Google map of our trip. You can click on the place-marks to get some more detail.¬† To view in a full size window, click the ‘View Larger Map’ link in the bottom left.


View Larger Map

Favorite Pictures

January 2nd, 2008
Falls Creek Falls

Falls Creek Falls

Unamed Falls in Falls Creek Falls SP

Unknown falls in Falls Creek Falls SP

Bird on a post on Padre Island

Bird on a post on Padre Island.

Birds in the surf at Padre Island

Birds in the surf at Padre Island

Roads around Big Bend

Roads around Big Bend

View of Casa Grande from the top of the Lost Mine hike.

View of Casa Grande from the top of the Lost Mine hike.

Ansel Adams we are not but we liked the shot.

Ansel Adams we are not but we liked the shot.

City of Rocks Vista

City of Rocks Vista

Hummingbird in flight

Hummingbird in flight

Palm Springs after the rain.

Palm Springs after the rain.

Surf at Hawaii Kai.

Surf at Hawaii Kai.

The sea was angry that day....

The sea was angry that day….

Bamboo stand on the hike to Hanakapi'ai Falls.

Bamboo stand on the hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls.

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Tawny Dunes at sunset

Tawny Dunes at sunset

Balancing rocks

Balancing rocks

Kim in a Kiva

Kim in a Kiva

Navajo Arch

Navajo Arch

Deer feed near our campsite at Capitol Reef NP

Deer feed near our campsite at Capitol Reef NP

View from inside Bryce Ampitheater

View from inside Bryce Ampitheater

Almost there…..

November 1st, 2008
Hmmm, where am I going to put all my stuff?????

Hmmm, where am I going to put all my stuff?????

Well, the time is fast approaching when we will be pulling out to start our adventure.  Each day the reality of compacting a 2000 square foot house into a 35 foot fifth wheel becomes more real.  As each of the services are turned off I am reminded that a simpler time is ahead.  First it was the newspaper, but we figured out quickly that it is easily accessible online.  Next the phone and internet… Thank goodness for a wireless world.  Yesterday it was the cable, much to my father’s chagrin, as he will be visiting this weekend and who is a self professed sports junkie.  Next Friday will be the water and garbage, wow did we forget anything? 

 

Although the idea for this trip has been long coming, it was always an anticipated way of life in retirement… Sometimes you just have to take advantage of what life deals you.  The planets have aligned, the contracts are signed, and goodbyes are under way.  

 

We are looking forward to sharing some stories, pictures, and travel destinations that top our list.  Hopefully you will communicate through our blog(s) or you can email each of us at chris@wherearekimandchris.com or kim@wherearekimandchris.com.

 

Can’t wait to hear from you…

 

And for those of you who said you were going to visit us on the road… well talk is cheaper than travel so pay upJ

 

 

 

A special hello to Mrs. Wolgast’s class…  

 

I’m looking forward to hearing from you with stories of your successful school year and questions about the trip.  

The journey begins

November 2nd, 2008

It’s seemed like forever away when we started talking about this but it is really here.  As we pulled out of the driveway I was faced with a multitude of emotions ranging from excitement and joy to sadness and wonder.  This will truly be an adventure of a lifetime; I hope we do it justice!  As I wiped the tears away and our house grew smaller in the rearview mirror, a smile started to come over my face thinking about the future and possibilities.

 

Chris on the other hand was also faced with a multitude of emotions; most of them were related to nervousness about remembering everything that needed to be done as we left and towing the behemoth that is now our home.

 

Here we are leaving our driveway. Julie and Chris, Thanks for the pix

On our way out the driveway

On our way out the driveway

 

 

First campsite: Cumberland Lake State Park

November 3rd, 2008

 

First campsite, Cumberland Lake SP
First campsite, Cumberland Lake SP

We made it safe to KY. We have a ridiculously slow internet connection, so not much for updates. Here is our current campsite:

First Full Day

November 4th, 2008

 

Chris on a point in Lake Cumberland

Chris on a point in Lake Cumberland

We took the first of, hopefully, many hikes this morning. Started at 7 am local time. 2 hours in, here is Chris on a point in the reservoir we are camping on.
Bad hair breakfast

Bad hair breakfast

45 minutes later, here we are having breakfast in a lodge overlooking this same point. Ignore Kim’s ‘bad hair’ ūüôā

Motorcycles and Mammoth Cave

November 5th, 2008
 
Mammoth Cave NP entrance
Mammoth Cave NP entrance

Left at 10 am. Sunny, 75 and blue skies. Had a great long ride (you can’t get there from here…at least not in a straight line in KY). Hit Mammoth Cave National Park at 12:15. Hooked up with a 2 hour cave tour at 1:30. Cut it a little too close when we decided we had time for a quick ride and snack before the tour started. Pulled back in the parking lot just as they were calling last call on to the bus.¬†

One of the few stalagmite/stalagtites on Mammoth Cave.

One of the few stalagmite/stalagtites in Mammoth Cave.

Tour was great, pictures just don’t do justice to the beauty and immensity of the cave. If we got anything out of Ranger Joel, Mammoth cave is a dry cave,¬†meaning very few stalagmite/stalagtite formations.¬†It also means a very stable cave, which allowed it to grow to 349 miles. This makes it, by far, the largest cave in the world. To the left is one of the few areas where water is present.

Historical entrance to Mammoth cave

Historical entrance to Mammoth cave

We had to check out the Historical Entrance before we left the park. Lots of stairs and old legs:)¬† Great day so far.¬† Left the park a little later than planned and haven’t gotten used to how early it gets dark…¬† Made for a very long, dark, and cold trip home but well worth it!
 
 
 

South to TN for a day of riding

November 6th, 2008
Yummy breakfast and view

Yummy breakfast and view

While Chris gathered and chopped firewood, Kim made a great breakfast. Here is my view while eating, notice the lack of neighbors.

Leftover from Halloween?

Leftover from Halloween?

That is, unless you count this guy, who is¬†just outside our door. We almost have this beautiful¬†campground to ourselves.¬†¬†When we arrived here¬†we weren’t sure how long we would be staying¬† and were supposed to leave here today.¬† We stopped by the camp store to let the park people know we wanted to keep our site until Monday.¬† The lady at the store was very accommodating and assured us she would let the ranger know we would be staying and that we would be back in the evening to sign up and pay for the weekend.¬† We headed out on the bikes once again, sunny and 75.¬†

Natural bridge in Pickett SP in TN

Natural bridge in Pickett SP in TN

The ride to Pickett State Park was great.  The scenery was beautiful, temperature temperate, and the roads twisty.  Upon arrival we sought out the highlights of the park to explore.  First stop was one of several natural bridges.

  
View from inside Hazard cave in Pickett SP

View from inside Hazard cave in Pickett SP

 
The second stop, which was pretty impressive, was Hazard Cave.¬† It’s hard to tell how large the cave is from the picture, but it was huge.
Kim and Chris, deep inside Hazard Cave.

Kim and Chris, deep inside Hazard Cave.

 
Here is one of many timer shots, a favorite hobby of ours.  We left Pickett and rode through Big South Fork, Bandy Lake, and Daniel Boone National Forest.  We made one stop at the East Rim for a quick look and snack.  Had a nice conversation with another couple who were lunching as well.  The ride home was good but timing could have been better ,as once again we had to ride in the cold and dark at the end. 
 
Upon arrival at the campgroud, the ranger met us with a sigh of relief when he heard we were the couple from site 25.¬† Apparently he did not get the message from the store about our extended stay and they had been checking our site for signs of us all day (they didn’t know we had motorcycles and our truck was there all day).¬† He had just called the police for a “welfare check” thinking somthing was terribly wrong.¬† Good thing we got back and avoided having our door broken into…
 

Rainy Day at Home

November 7th, 2008

We knew today would be a relative washout so our plan was to do some housekeeping.¬† We started out early again.¬† By 8 AM the chili was cooking, coffee was finished, and breakfast was underway.¬† Chris’s¬†goal was to get the blog up and running and we are excited to say that, even with slow service, we¬†have our blog site started (as you may have noticed).¬† It was fun working together uploading pictures and thinking about what to say.¬† The sun is trying to make a break so I think we are going to take a stroll around the campground to stretch our legs.¬† Tomorrow is another day and will hopefully bring¬†some sun…

Another day of Kentucky Caves and Arches

November 8th, 2008
Deep in Cindy Cave, see Kim at the entrance?

Deep in Cindy Cave, see Kim at the entrance?

Started the day early (about 6:30).¬† After some coffee and a breakfast snack we headed out in the truck about 9 for Dale Hollow State Park.¬† We weren’t sure what to expect but it sounded nice and was a reasonable distance away.¬† A little chilly, 50’s, but partially sunny.¬† Found this really cool cave (Cindy Cave),¬†which went back crazy far.¬† As it turns out we could have walked straight through the hill according to the ranger we spoke with after.¬† After hearing that we considered going back with flashlights but Kim’s claustrophobia won over.

 

Mouth of Cindy Cave, only slightly larger than Kim's :)

Mouth of Cindy Cave, only slightly larger than Kim

This is where we entered after a walk through the woods.¬† Amazing how many caves, arches, and/or natural bridges there are here.¬†¬† As we cased the park for other hikes we happened upon the Mary Ray Oaken Lodge much to Chris’s glee as he was very hungry.¬† Apparently¬†the breakfast snack wasn’t enough… Had a great buffet lunch at the Lodge looking over Dale Hollow Lake.

 

Creelsboro Arch, notice Kim in the lower left corner for scale

Creelsboro Arch, notice Kim in the lower left corner for scale

Creelsboro Arch or Creelsboro Natural Bridge also known as the Rockhouse¬†has been advertised in several different brochures, you would think it was easy to find…¬† After a nice drive, a few wrong turns, a little grocery shopping, and a chat for directions with a local hunter along the way, we finally¬†found it.¬† This is a natural limestone formation that has been used¬†as a gathering place for¬†hundreds of¬†years.¬† There is even an Indian burial ground on the top, which we didn’t visit as I did not want to disturb those resting.

 

Our 'security guard'

Our campsite sentry, watching our toys

We may be missing neighbors in this campground more than we think. We are starting to see more faces in the trees…..