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America on it’s Birthday

Just returned from a glorious road trip. Reminded again how much beauty we have right here at home. Few “big” sights on this one but hours of open air scenery, many great people and small places where we dined and enjoyed mingling with folks from all over the US and the world. We drove from Sacramento to Denver. Our route took us over the Sierra’s, through Reno. Our lunch stop on day 1 was in Fernley, NV at the unlikely Gourmet Deli at 76. Yes, a gas station, where an enterprising Pakistani (I think) woman runs a place that turns out great middle eastern and Indian food. You sit on little chairs and tables in the convenience store mopping up the sauces with naan freshly made. We continued to Elko, NV where we were too exhausted to do much but dinner at the Hilton Gardens Hotel where we bedded down. Besides, it was Sunday and few choices for dinner. The next day we drove across the rest of NV into Utah enjoying the salt flats and desert scenery. Our lunch stop was Spitz for Mediterranean food (see a theme here?) in the upscale Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City where we enjoyed a break in the park. Then cross the mountains into beautiful Wyoming. We saw cowboys herding cattle, glorious scenery. Our next stop was Rock Springs WY at the Holiday Inn Express. Clean place very friendly people. We enjoyed a steak dinner topped off by baked Alaska at the Coyote Creek Steakhouse. The next day we drove to Denver stopping for some pictures at the visitors center. Two weeks in Denver with family then back on the road. This time through the Rockies, a beautiful ride, stopping in the small town of Rifle, CO for lunch at The Whistle Pig, a family owned place with great sandwiches and salads. Not too much later the urge hit and we lucked out with great espresso atThe Octopus Coffee shop in Grand Junction. We then drove into southern Utah. We had not been here in many years and the red rocks and miles of gorgeous vista were something else. We stopped at Moab where we spent two nights. Encountered many visitors from NZ and Australia. Our hotel was the Comfort Suites and we could have done better for the price. But dinner that night at The Desert Bistro made up for it, so much that we returned the next night. Very upscale dining with (unbelievable) great fish dishes, fresh fish flown in daily. The next day we were at the entrance to Arches National Park at 7:30 for opening, trying to beat the crowds and heat. We were moderately successful. After filing up our water jugs at the visitors center we headed tor the three hour round trip hike to Delicate Arch. You can do it in two but we went slow and savored the views. The arch is magnificent and we spent the rest of a long morning on smaller hikes to see others. When the thermometer hit 95F we quit and headed tor burgers and beer at The Broken Oar in Moab. The next day off to Elko once again, But we had to stop for lunch at Feldmans’ Deli in Salt Lake City-yes a Jewish Deli in Salt Lake! Huge corned beef sandwiches, borscht, chopped liver-all yummy! We recovered enough to enjoy a late dinner that night in Elko. Dinner in Elko was at Luciano’s a very good Italian place. This was the time of the Basque Festival and we were entertained by crowds of youngsters in full costume accompanied by accordion, dancing, weaving a line through the tables while the patrons clapped along, and having a great time! The next day driving from Elko to Sacramento we stopped for a terrific lunch at Great Full Gardens, Midtown in Reno. Then back over the Sierra’s to home. America is beautiful! Take some time to see it, there is so much. Happy travels and Happy Birthday USA!

Posted by
2398 posts

Thanks for this Alan! Yes, we do have some beautiful places right here in the good ol’ USA!

I love our national parks, thank you Teddy Roosevelt! We just signed up for a 7 day Grand Canyon river rafting trip next year!

Posted by
2764 posts

Wow, what a great trip. Yes, living in the city we don't see enough of the countryside, especially out west. We have been up and down the east coast numerous times and always enjoy ourselves. We have been talking about driving cross-country for a few years now but feel it is one of those retirement trips, when we can leave here in May and take our time, about 4-6 weeks. I have family in Dodge City KS but we always fly when visiting. Our retirement date is December 2019 and it will come very fast.

Posted by
14021 posts

Many thanks from me too, Alan.

Another shout-out for our National Parks. We've met visitors from all over the world during our hikes in America's jewels - mostly in the the Southwest - and all of them wonderstruck at some of our stunningly beautiful and unique landscapes. LOL, we also have heard many times from European visitors how overwhelmingly VAST they've found our landscapes!

They are places where, no matter one's citizenship, race, religion, lifestyle or politics, we all find common ground in the appreciation of Mother Nature's glorious handiwork. :O)

Happy Independence Day, all, and be safe out there!

Posted by
5305 posts

Thanks, Alan. Our National Parks Passes are among our treasured possessions.

Too bad you couldn't find any place to eat on your jaunt.

Happy birthday, America, and Happy Fourth, everyone!

Posted by
3714 posts

Yes, thanks Alan for reminding us of the beauty we have in "our own back yard!" What an inspiration for all to enjoy the amazing scenery, great food and mingle with a multitude of cultures. This is what I call a meaningful 4th of July. Grateful. Happy Birthday America!

Posted by
1431 posts

America has quite a diverse landscape which strikes me when traveling to California to see my family. From the forested coast and fields of the east to the dry arid landscape of California, the diversity in history, culture and landscape can't be beat.

Happy Fourth!