Cruising  ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~  August ~ November 2012

Our Circumnavigation of the Lower 48

Pt. 1 Arizona to Ohio




Last year, while in New York City for one day, we talked about making a trip to the east coast, to see more of NYC and other east coast places. Robin had never spent more than a few days on the east coast, and that was eons ago. So….the seed was planted, and a year later, we have done what we said we wanted to do…and more!


Since we saw so many places and people (some of whom you may know….or be!) we will break this into two parts, this first part taking us from Arizona, up through California, Idaho, and across the States to Ohio. There are a LOT of photos, so sit back, relax, and read on…….


       (ph of Squeak)


August 12th, we left Puerto Escondido with Squeak the cat in our ’98 Subaru for a two month road trip. The purrrpose of trip: to see the east coast of the USA. We had a general idea of the places we wanted to go, people we hoped to see, and a map.



It took us 2 ½ days to drive north in the Baja and to get across the border into the USofA.




Our first stop was in Phoenix, AZ, where we stayed with our good friend Diane. Diane always has lots going on, and it is easy to get into the party attitude while there.


 Phoenix: Diane & Pamela


Robin used to live in Sedona, AZ, and was the director of special programs in the Cottonwood school district. We took a short trip to that part of the state, saw some very good friends, and had a good time. We also visited friends who own a great jewelry store in Sedona!



Downtown Cottonwood                                                                                       Former Special Ed. Staff ~ Phyllis, Robin, Janice, Mike



       One of the many gorgeous Sedona views                                                                                                Shopping at Ramsey’s jewelry store



 It was GREAT to see ex-cruisers Bill & Steph in their new home near Prescott



                More ex-cruisers, Pat & Diane’s little place in the desert                                                                           Relaxing, catching-up with Pat & Diane


Our original plan was to head east from Phoenix, along the southern route, and see New Orleans….but hurricane Isaac decided to head there, as well. So…we changed our minds and our route. We headed northwest…..




We spent one night in Las Vegas, drove through the desert and into the Sierras, through some awesome passes, and eventually visited Dave & Merry of Air Ops in the Sacramento area.


            Part of the “strip” in Las Vegas 





If any of you have ever seen or heard of Mono Lake in California, you know it has been a dry lake, with some strange formations in the lake bed. Well, look at it now!!! Some things have definitely improved!


                                     Mono Lake with water!!!


After our Sacramento visit, we headed for Bear Valley, in the Sierra mountains, for some good times with good friends Bill & Cindy. But first…it was waaaay fun to surprise almost-ex-cruiser (Siempre Sabado) Billie, at the tea shop in Murphy’s!! 


Billie, after she recovered from the shock of seeing Robin in Murphy’s,  with the teas she produces and sells



                                          Cindy & Bill in Bear Valley area                                                                             Robin & Martin enjoying the beauty of the area


While in the same area, it was a sweet treat for Robin to spend some time with Jason and his family ~ Jason being a son of Robin’s ex-husband.


                                     Jason and ALL of his girls…..and Robin too




After driving through Lake Tahoe and Reno, we got to Boise ID, where we spent a few days with good friends Mike & his wife Charlie. While there, we relaxed, took in some of the local sights, and enjoyed our host’s fine hospitality and fresh food.



                                     Mike harvesting from his huge garden                                                                           Some of what he harvested…..yum!!




On a whim, we decided to go to Yellowstone Nat’l Park to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary!  Talk about awesome…..




                                                                 Of course, we saw Old Faithful (2x), drove all over the park, and saw some awesome, majestic sights.





We were fortunate to see lots of bison (some walking on the road, halting a line of autos), elk, , moose, and even a gray wolf. No bears, and     that was just fine!


Now we were on the long haul across the middle of the US. Smoke from fires in Oregon and Montana turned the skies brown. We drove through miles and miles of dried-up corn fields. A sad situation, due to the severe draught across the middle of the USofA.


 Brown, dry corn fields, miles and miles of them





On another whim, we decided it would be nice to stop and see St. Louis, MO. We remembered that good friends, Dave & Carolyn, formerly of Que Tal?, knew this city well. They agreed to meet us there for a couple days of exploring, and it was all fun! We went to the brewery tour, visited the famous Arch, went to Grant’s Farm and saw the very large Clydesdale horses, and we visited the really excellent Museum of the Western Expansion, located under the Arch.



                                Martin, Dave & Carolyn at the Anheuser Busch tour                                                          The Arch, alongside the Mississippi river




                                                                                           A dangerous job…..                                                               And you thought living on a boat could be cramped!





Our next planned stop was in Fostoria, Ohio, to visit a cousin of Robin’s. Sharla hosted more family who were passing through the area, and lots of neighborhood cats. By this time, we needed a few days to just stop. This was a great resting place. Robin even had a chance to get together with Carol and Helen, friends since 1957, when Robin moved to Fostoria as a kid.



                                    Robin with some of her family in Ohio…                                                                           …and with longtime girlfriends Helan & Carol


During this road trip, when we were not staying at the home of friends or family, since we were traveling with Squeak, our well-behaved cat, we booked into pet-friendly motels. Motel 6 and Red Roof Inns are both pet-friendly, well-priced and clean, with nice rooms that include cable TV, wifi, and often include some type of breakfast, at least free coffee. There were only two Motel 6 rooms that were not as nice as we would have liked, but they were still OK. Gasoline prices varied greatly by state ~ California won as the most expensive with New York close behind, and the Carolinas had the least expensive gas. Traveling in Texas, one must be sure the tank is full before heading out across the middle of the state!!


                                                             Squeak in one of the many motel rooms with us…in her special box


What a trip!! And this was only the beginning…..  Robin tried, but just could not leave out any of these visits or photos from Arizona to Ohio, so we hope you have enjoyed following along. There is a LOT more to come, including stops in Maine, New York, Washington DC,…..and more. We hope you will come right back for more……..Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style!