Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Home Again

We are delighted to be back at home in Richmond Hill, Georgia. We traveled 8,355 miles and consumed 404.92 gallons of gas at an average price of $5.00 per gallon (premium). Gas prices fell in July as we traveled but were much higher in mountain areas like Sun Valley where delivery prices are higher. The highest price we saw was $6.15 per gallon in Hailey, Idaho and the lowest was $4.00 per gallon as we got into Alabama on the trip home. We had one flat tire that needed to be replaced at a cost of some $400 and we have two cracks in the windshield that will require replacing it. Insurance is TBD. Everything else was minor wear and tear on the car, our dogs, and ourselves.

After Oklahoma City we were on a roll toward home. We spent single nights in Russellville, Arkansas and Memphis, and a couple of nights in Birmingham to see family and a few friends. Today we sprinted from Birmingham back to home, and we are glad to be finished with packing and unpacking for one-night-stands in hotels.

Our dogs were troopers throughout, and good sports over miles in the back of the car. They were easiest in our rental home in Idaho for four weeks and somewhat more of an effort traveling, but we couldn't have asked more of them and they came through every time. We have certainly bonded and they are as confused as we are to suddenly be back in our home.

The highlights of the trip were all in the west where the scenery and climate were incredible. A few things are worth mentioning. Once we got to St. Louis and everywhere west of there virtually every hotel was pet-friendly. We found that not to be the case as we returned to the south where finding a room that we liked and that accepted our dogs was not so easy. Speed limits were higher the further west we went and we found ourselves on interstates where the limit was 80 mph and on deserted two-lane roads with speed limits of 75 mph. These speed limits were somewhat incompatible with very bad roads in areas that experience freezing weather. It is not fun to hit huge potholes and expansion seams at 80 mph. People were uniformly nice every place we went, but the problems of finding good employees in the service industries were very evident. Many roadside hotels showed a clear lack of maintenance as a result. While we loved the dry climate, sun exposure at higher altitudes can be wicked. I read that going up 5,000 feet increases your UV exposure by 50%. Hats and sunscreen are imperative. While many say they go west to avoid bad allergies, I found the opposite to be true. I went through many boxes of tissues in the Sun Valley area. There are no Chick Filet locations out west and we had our first chicken sandwich today on I-20 near Atlanta. Roads out west go through areas of no civilization at all for hundreds of miles. After getting a lucky "temporary" repair of our tire we had to drive 500 miles before we could get it replaced in Albuquerque. The pending effects of climate change are clear in the western rivers. The ability to supply water and electricity are going away, and it does not appear that anyone has a plan to deal with it.

So all we can say is Wow! This is not a trip we will likely repeat but we are so glad we got to see the sights and experience the west. And we are also happy to be back home. And after all of this my wife and I are still on speaking terms. 


  1. Glad you are back safe and sound. I so enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing. Let’s get together soon. I want to hear all the goodies.

  2. Wow-what a trip! Enjoyed reading all about it and glad you made it back home safely.

  3. Hope you have lots of photos!
    What an amazing journey and Liz and I were delighted to be an early stop.


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