Two sisters, each with two kids, road trippin’ along with our mother (all in the same vehicle) who had never been to the Grand Canyon.  First, a Family Reunion followed by a Southwest journey followed by a Route 66 tour back to St. Louis. Then my kids and I headed to a second Family Reunion in Dale Hollow – Burkesville, KY & a visit to my hometown – Bardstown, KY, recently named Most Beautiful Small Town in America by Rand McNally.

Here are the stats and the highlights:

Miles traveled: 4861,  States traversed: KS, CO, UT, AZ, NM, TX, OK, MO, IN, IL, KY, TN

Hottest air temp: 112 degrees at bottom of Grand Canyon (and over 100 everyday from Phoenix to St Louis).

Coldest water temp:  48 degrees in Colorado River

Class 5+ rapids conquered on Colorado River:  3

Continental Divide crossings: 3 x over, 1 x under.

Highest elevation: 11,539 ft ( Hoosier Pass, CO)

National Forests driven through:  lost count

Most overcrowded state park: Slide Rock, Sedona, AZ

Most scenic view from hotel room: YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO

Best balcony: Overlooking the Animas River at Durango Doubletree, CO

Best missed sunset: Mather Point, Grand Canyon

Favorite song:  “Old Matt Palmer’s Misfit Farm” – Bar D Chuck Wagon Singers

Drive that will make you go vegetarian:  Rte 60 between Bovina and Hereford, TX

Best upgrade: the premier car on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train

Favorite meals/restaurants: Brunch – L’Auberge, Sedona, AZ; Lunch – Nini’s Taqueria, Durango, CO; Late lunch – Pops, Arcadia, OK; Dinner – Plaza Bonita, Tusayan, AZ

Best beers:  Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX

Cheapest treat: Sno-cones at Four Corners Monument

Most random, multi-tasting stop: Eagle Ranch Pistachio Farm, NM – wine, pistachios and ice cream all before 11am

Most UFO sightings: Roswell, NM

Best dunes – White Sands National Monument, NM

Longest and most unnerving drive into a national park:  Mesa Verde, AZ

Favorite pool: Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, AZ

Arizona towns laying claim to inspiration for the animated movie “Cars”: 3 – Peach Springs, Seligman, and Holbrook

Most wacky or random signs:”Knives and donuts” – NM; & “Toot n Totum”  – TX

Where graffiti is encouraged: Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX

Nicest Welcome rest stop:  Oklahoma between Texola and Erick

Most Ironic – Having a Family Reunion in a dry county

Most Fun on a Lake – Pontoons with slides in Dale Hollow, KY

We had a great trip and if you are ever considering this journey to the Southwest , along this portion of Route 66, or Bardstown, KY let me know and I’d be happy to help.

To the right my sister and I are “just standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ…”