Texas

The first time we stopped for the state line sign in this state, it was on a trip to my brother’s for Thanksgiving.  The State line sign was pretty impossible to get so we happen to locate this rest stop with this cool Texas cut out.  This one is located on I-35 South coming from Oklahoma, just north of Gainsville.

img_8950

On our Spring Break National Park Trip, we again got some more Texas State line photos.  These were on Hwy 285 South heading from New Mexico into Texas.  These turned out great.

img_2881img_2884img_2883

National Park Season 3 (Spring Break Edition) stops in Texas were as follows:

(Please click on link to get to posts)

Guadalupe National Park

Chazimal National Memorial

Alibates Flint Quarries/Lake Meredith National Recreation Area

 

While passing through Texas on this trip we decided to stay a night right outside of Wichita Falls.  Coyote Ranch and Resort was our pick because we have a 10 year old that loves Yogi bear.  I was parent of the year when we rolled up here.

We rented a cabin but weren’t in it much.  There was loads of stuff to do here. Check it out.

IMG_6063IMG_6061IMG_6065IMG_6189IMG_6087IMG_6104

If you are in the area or just passing through I highly recommend staying here, you won’t be bored.  They have something for everyone, even campsites if you are in an RV or have a camper.

Have you been here?  What were your thoughts?

New Mexico (revisited)

You really just can’t beat New Mexico!  It is a gorgeous state.  We chose to do Spring Break here because we LOVE to visit National Parks every summer but I just don’t want to do it in 100 degree weather.  We headed down in March hoping for some warm but not sweltering temps.

img_2900-1

Our state line sign stop was on Hwy 285 coming back from Guadaloupe Mountains National Park, heading north. We had already gotten a New Mexico state line stop from National Park Trip Season 1 but we didn’t have one with dad in it. So we stopped. So glad we did. I love it!

Our National Park Itinerary in New Mexico includes the following stops

(please hover over each for a link to that particular blog post)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

White Sands National Monument

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument

Pecos National Historic Park

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Fort Union National Monument

Capulin Volcano National Monument

Traveling through New Mexico should always include a visit to Roswell, New Mexico!

Who doesn’t love being creeped out by the thought of alien encounters?

img_2855

We stopped in Roswell to stretch our legs and see if we would have any encounters?  We stopped at the Space Alien Museum and walked around. We watched a short film on interviews from people that witnessed the Roswell encounter.  We then headed out into the town to see what else we could find.

This town is great! Everything is alien themed, right down to the light posts.  1/2 block east of the museum is a little gift shop with a black light tour that the kids thought was pretty groovy, it was cheap enough and they enjoyed it so I would say do it.  We got some souvenirs and headed down the road.

A good place to get out and spend 1-2 hours if you are on your way to Carlsbad and need to take a short break.

Until the next encounter.

Oklahoma

OOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweepin down the plains.

….  Did I just age myself??

Well, we have checked yet another state line off of our list.  This Oklahoma sign is at the Rest Area/Visitor center on I-35 South heading into Oklahoma from Kansas.  What a great sign and a nice place to stop at.  I prefer these rest stops over a truck stop any day, unless I am looking to add to my magnet or shot glass collection. Very clean, free coffee (you’re going to need it if you are driving the whole way through this state, not much to look at) and friendly staff full of info.

img_8559img_8954

We spent 1 night and a day here in Oklahoma on our National Park Trip Season 3-Spring Break.  Check out our blog post.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Until the next stat line sign!  What state line sign is your favorite??

We are looking at getting all 50 🙂

 

Missouri

Missouri State Line sign.  One we have seen many many times.  It is only a few hours south of us.  When we stop to take our picture at this state it is usually in the same place. I-35 South at the Visitor Center.  Take the first exit after the state line sign and there is a perfectly safe place to get your Missouri State line sign picture taken. This is a really neat Rest Stop/Visitor Center. There are iron/steel cutouts of buffalo and wild west animals here. Very clean and the ladies are always friendly inside.

img_8554

This stop was from a trip to Texas for Thanksgiving, unfortunately it was not from a National Park trip.

img_2785

This time was from National Park Trip Season 3.1 Spring Break.

National Parks Sites we have visited in this area are as follows: (Click on link to view post on each site)

George Washington Carver National Monument

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

 

I will continue to add to this post as we visit more. Be patient 🙂

Wyoming

The 3rd state line signage stop on National Park Trip Season 2. This sign was right across the highway from our South Dakota sign. Hwy 16 headed west from Custer, SD. Big huge pull offs for both signs and little to no traffic! A great spot to cross off all those state line sign pictures you are collecting. 😜

Our Wyoming stops this year include:

Devils Tower National Monument

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Please check back on the blog for those, coming soon!


Another great stop for a Wyoming state line sign is on Hwy 22/Hwy 33 to the west of Jackson Hole (shown above). This was a huge pull off spot with plenty of people to take your photo! Either spot is great! Do you have any must do stops in Wyoming? We would love to know! We loved Jackson Hole and can’t wait to go back. ❤️❤️❤️

Until the next time!! Enjoy!!

New Mexico

IMG_1626.JPGThe Land of Enchantment. This state line sign was easy to get. It is at the entrance to The Four Corners Monument. We stopped here on our way from Grand Canyon National Park to our Cave hotel nestled in the mountains/rocks of Farmington, New Mexico.

The Four Corners was a great mid point. It had food vendor trucks and lots of booths with handmade jewelry and collectibles. Fun to at least look at all there is to offer. Make sure to stand in line to get your picture at all 4 of the states at one time. Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

The whole family!

IMG_7122.JPGJust Gunnar.

IMG_7125Just Hunter.

IMG_7124And of course Mom (me).

IMG_7123You will have plenty of time to choose your pose. The line goes at a steady pace because you are technically only allowed 3 photos per family (we snuck in 4, shhhh).  People are pretty clever with their poses, fun to watch and it keeps you entertained on your wait.

Next up was the high light of my children’s vacation, Kokopellis Cave B&B. This place was AMAZING!!! Don’t believe me?  Check it out!

IMG_7135

The Master Bedroom.

IMG_7136

Complete with its own balcony ❤️❤️

IMG_7138

Leaving Master Bedroom and walking into living room

IMG_7140

The dining area

IMG_7141

The Kitchen from the dining area

IMG_7143

The entry way from the front door

IMG_7144

Waterfall shower in the bathroom.

IMG_7145

The dining room from the front entryway

IMG_7131

Last but not least enjoying a cocktail on the patio.

This place was so much fun that I had a hard time getting the kids out of there the next morning to go to Mesa Verde National Park.  The whole time at Mesa Verde was “when are we going back to the cave”.  We did get back after sunset which I don’t recommend, it’s hard to find in the day light.  We had an origami lesson from Hunter which was very memorable.  We left our origami designs there with a collection of them.  Great times.

I hope you have enjoyed this part of our adventure.

Until next time 🙂

 

Minnesota 

First stop on National Park Trip Season 2!! The Minnesota State line sign!! This is one of my favorite state line signs, this one found on I-35 North heading into Minnesota from Iowa. There is a tiny spot to pull off to park, but make it quick, tons of traffic and they are very friendly! Just about everyone was honking and waving!! Lol!!

Next stop was for a picnic lunch, we decided it should be in Blue Earth, Minnesota heading west on I-90. Home of the Jolly Green Giant! Kids had fun with this but looked at every adult like they were an alien as we all sang “Ho Ho Ho, Green Giant” as we walked around. Plenty of picnic tables, statue of the green giant, and a cute little gift shop/visitor center.


Picture of the kids with Mr. Jolly Green!


The Stats about the giant! Kids loved his shoe size!


Short little stop and on the road again. Next stop Pipestone National Monument, check out a separate post on that stop!!

Thanks for stopping!

Arizona

IMG_9537

Woot woot!! State line sign stop #3 of 50 was Arizona!! We just spent 3 wonderful days hiking in Zion National park and we’re on the way to Page, Arizona for a Colorado Rafting Tour and Antelope Canyon Tour. This sign was located at the Utah/Arizona border on Hwy 89 South. An elderly couple was at the sign taking pictures when we pulled up and they offered to take ours. It turned out great, don’t you think? Arizona was really pretty. The Lake Powell area and all the way to Antelope Canyon was amazing. Colors and landscapes I have never seen before. Lots of boats were out on the water, what a great place to explore. We might have to come back here for another vacation. Lots to do!

First stop was Antelope Canyon. We did it through a tour company called Ken’s Tours. I purchased tickets online so we didn’t need to wait in line. I will warn you though, to get on the Native American Land you have to pay a Navajo entrance fee of $32 that isn’t included in the cost of the Canyon tour. Luckily we knew this ahead of time and had the cash.  The tour company also only took cash as well.

IMG_9544.JPG

A short wait and we were off on the tour. Very slippery and you had to be very careful walking down to get on the steps to go into the canyon. Lots of steps to get down, this is not for the faint of heart, see picture above. Once you are down in the canyon it is hard to take a bad picture. This place was gorgeous, and a must see! I will admit they herd you through like cattle but they do give you plenty of time to get pictures. Don’t plan on having lots of pictures without people in the background, this will happen unless you take the special photography tour.

Here are a few pictures of what to expect on the tour. It was very pretty, my pictures don’t do it justice. What really helped is our tour guide knew the settings to get the best pictures for my camera, he just set them for me before the tour started. How awesome!!!

IMG_9545IMG_9604IMG_9629IMG_9588IMG_9590IMG_9632

When this tour ended the next one began. We did a Colorado River Rafting Tour through a company called Colorado River Discovery. Lunch was included in the rafting tour so we headed straight there. Rode in a bus to the river where we boarded the boats, lunch was actually really good I suggest getting it through this company if you are short on time. The place we were dropped off at was the picture on the front of my son’s math textbook that year, needless to say this made the trip all that more exciting!! LOL!! We did a 4 hour boat ride and got some pretty amazing pictures. What excited me the most is that we were on the river at Horseshoe Bend. Most people only get to see it from the top looking down, we saw it from the bottom up! Kids were also pretty brave and got in the 60 degree water at the halfway point, CRAZIES!!! What a fun trip! The driver of the boat let the kids sit on the side, this helped in cooling off, it was so hot out there!! We really enjoyed this trip, very relaxing with 360 degree beauty the whole way.  Highly recommend!  I hope you enjoy our pictures from that tour as well!!

IMG_9680IMG_9690IMG_9703IMG_9709IMG_9721IMG_9692IMG_9669

A stop for dinner and Wal-Mart for Origami paper and we are off to the Grand Canyon!  Check back for a blog on our visit to the Grand Canyon, I’m sure it will be Grand!!!

Grand Canyon National Park

Thanks for stopping and until next time, enjoy your travels!!

Update:

We revisited this great state in January 2018 for Gunnar’s Christmas Present, a hot air balloon ride!!!!

We have a Highschool classmate that flies hot air balloons over Arizona in the winter months. So when my 10 year old mentioned always wanting to ride in a hot air balloon one day we knew this would be the perfect gift!

We chose a sunset ride with Rainbow Ryders and requested Andy as our pilot. He did not disappoint! Fun to see him again and catch up, and the balloon ride was unforgettable!!

We arrived at the shop around 3 pm for our ride. We hopped in a van and the crew transported us to an open field north of Phoenix. We watched while the crew inflated the balloons with a fan and then filled with the “hot air”.

Before we knew it we were jumping in and in the air! It doesn’t take long to get elevated!

img_2687

img_2682

The views were gorgeous! He took us up and then down over some mountains and then back up again!! The highest we got was around 7000 feet!

img_2685

img_2680

The landing was not what I expected but I am up for an adventure anytime!!

Mimosas on the ground while the crew packs up the balloon!

img_2675img_2677img_2672

Andy let the kids play with the “hot air”, they were super stoked about this!!

img_2678img_2679

Back to the shop for some good eats!

What an amazing experience ❤️❤️❤️

img_2676

Thanks Andy and Santa!!!

Until we meet again Arizona!!!

Utah

IMG_8933

Utah was the next State Line sign to cross off on National Park Trip Season 1.

I didn’t know what to expect of Utah, I hadn’t heard much about the state other than how beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park was. We stopped and got our picture taken at Utah/Colorado border along I-70 West. Met some travelers from Switzerland, who graciously took this wonderful photo for us. They too were heading to Arches National Park. Utah was pretty boring the first 30-45 minutes. Then it was just jaw dropping. The colors, the contrast, the mountains in the background. What a beautiful state, how could I have not heard about this before?? It got even better on the trip from Arches to Bryce Canyon. Evergreens, mountains, streams, rivers, ranches, Red Canyon, does it get any better than this? Utah is a must do for everyone! More on Utah when I post our National Park visits. I have tons of photos to share, be patient.

Follow the links below to each post:

Arches National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Zion National Park

 

Until next time!

Enjoy your travels!

Colorado

IMG_6914

This is it, this is where it starts. The first state line sign in a list of all 50 to check off. This specific sign is located on I-76 heading into Colorado from Nebraska. It came up really fast so be prepared, I obviously wasn’t. The kids still tell the story that I tried to kill them by slamming on my breaks and backing up on the Interstate. LOL!! They are so dramatic.

This stop was on our National Park Trip Season 1, which you can read more about under the specific National Parks or at the links below. Colorado is a beautiful state, even the kids dropped their gadgets to look out the windows once the mountains were upon us.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

We drove through most of the state, on this trip, and stopped at Glenwood Springs. We stayed at Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. I thought it would be a great experience to swim in a hot springs pool and a great in between stop! Boy did we luck out in this town!! What a fantastic stop! Cute shops, great restaurants and all around wonderful. The lodge was nice, our room small but we weren’t in it much. Spent most of the time across the street at the hot springs pool! It was HUGE and the scenery around it was amazing! Going to bring the husband back in the winter to enjoy!

IMG_6918[1]

We did venture out in to town to enjoy an early supper. Just a short walk over to the quaint little town (which I love by the way, it reminded me of Europe), lots of outside seating and shops. We went to a restaurant that was recommended at the desk of our hotel and it did not disappoint us at all. The Brew Pub, they even brew their own root beer which was delicious and the kids meals were served on frisbees so this place was now top notch (according to the kids). Everything we ordered was just amazing, I can’t recommend how wonderful this place was!

IMG_6920[1]

Here are the kids enjoying the home brewed root beer. Even the adults were in love with it!!

IMG_6919[1]

Put this place on your list if you are traveling across Colorado on I-70! Great road trip stop!

Until the next stop!

Enjoy your travels!