2016 – The First Half of the Year

Below is our route from January 1 through June 30, 2016.  Each stop on the map is an overnight (one or many nights) stop for us.

We began the year in Toad, our Subaru, driving from Chicago where we saw friends and family members for the holidays back down to San Antonio where we left Charley, our motorhome.  En route back to parts warmer in the Southwest, we drove through Arkansas and visited Hot Springs NP, a park we had missed visiting last year because of an ice storm.  At the end of January we flew across the country from L.A. to Vermont to spend a little bit of time in our dear friends, the Butlers’, winter wonderland.  From the end of January through the beginning of March we visited the four parks in California we had yet to see —  Pinnacles NP, Channel Islands NP, Joshua Tree NP, and Death Valley NP.  While in southern California we also enjoyed nearly three weeks in and around the Palm Springs area with brother Tom Jolly and several Chicago friends — a fabulous Spring Break for all of us!  In mid-March we started a 5,000+ mile round trip journey back to the Midwest in Toad, leaving Charley once again, this time for six weeks.  As we drove through Colorado we visited the first of four parks in that state — Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.  Back in the Midwest we visited family and friends in Wisconsin and Illinois and attended two bridal showers for daughter Claire.  In early April we hopped a quick flight from Chicago down to the beach in North Carolina to visit my dad and his wife.  After that we returned back to Salt Lake City where we had left Charley this time, and finished out the first half of the year visiting Great Basin NP at the end of May and Mesa Verde NP, the second of four in Colorado, in the middle of June.  We wrapped up the month by flying out to L.A. on the last day of the month to take in Garrison Keillor’s last Prairie Home Companion show.

In all we tallied up visits to eight more national parks bringing our total 50 of the 59 (we’re almost there!) and lots more park units.