SEARLS FAMILY ROAD TRIP STAGE 1
Originally, we were going to just drive up to Mt. Rushmore, but the more we talked about it, the more our trip kept growing. So much that we ended up driving through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and back to Texas.
We took 2 cars; mostly for comfort, but also to keep Maggie and Sophie from bickering the entire time. Seth had just got his learner's permit and we wanted him to get some road time in while we were traveling. I switched cars with Ron so we would have the cargo space his Jetta wagon offered, and Leslie took her "not a van" car. Scott came in to Temple, we loaded our cars, then drove over to Gatesville to pick up Seth. Rebecca snapped a shot of us in our first road trip shirts just before we took off.
|Mimi, Uncle Scott, Maggie, Sophie, Leslie, and Seth... ROAD TRIP!|
When we lived in El Paso, our family had visited Carlsbad Caverns. But, that was a long time ago and we really didn't remember much about it. The cavern tour we took was okay. I felt like we were being herded like cattle because there were a lot of people there. There were so many people stopping countless times to take pictures of the cave formations and that made our progress really slow. If I were to offer any advice, go during the week. Maybe the crowds wouldn't be as bad.
We had intentionally gone later in the day so we could watch the bats fly out. However, it started raining fairly heavily and we opted to leave early. We figured if we really wanted to see bats flying, we could go down to Austin and watch them fly out from under the Congress Street bridge.
|We got strange looks, smiles, and compliments on our shirts|
|Maggie filling out her Parks Pass application!|
|Leslie and the girls inside the caverns.|
|Seth and Scott|
|One of many beautiful road side stops near the caverns.|
|Uncle Scott impressing us with his fire fighter training by crawling through tight spots.|
|another road side stop for a little rock climbing|
|The Arteisa High School mascot is the bulldog.|
|The community has a history associated with the oil industry. The sculpture of the oil rig was pretty elaborate.|
|This one was outside the city library. Amazing art work.|
|Seth and the girls outside the "institute."|
|I think Leslie and Scott's expressions speak louder than words|
|Mimi and the grands|
|A kind stranger took our picture with this guy. Crazy!|
If I were to share my most vivid memory of Sante Fe, I would have to say it was the stench! There are many little alley ways between the old buildings and as you pass the entrances of the alleys, you get an overpowering smell of dirty bathrooms! It was horrible! They really need to do something about that!
|The gang in one of the plazas outside a little market area.|
|Lots of cute little garden areas all over town.|
|Less than impressive Mexican lunch. Seth ordered a Mexican hamburger: a hamburger patty on a tortilla. Strange!|