Travel

A day in Denver

At sunrise I wake up again. It’s five A.M. and I think I’ve slept about half a night. I woke up a few times and had to turn on the heating because it got too cold in the car, but other than that I slept quite well. I get myself a cappuccino and continue driving. After about half an hour I stop at my favorite grocery store to get food for breakfast. After having eaten something I drive further to Denver. I stop at a big outdoor store which looks a lot like the one in the tv show Last Man Standing. I’m super excited to go here. It opens at ten and it’s only nine o’clock, so I’ll come back later. I drive a little further to a Best Western hotel close to the airport and ask if I can check in early. They do that and I get a great room with a large bed and a nice desk. I place all my luggage in my room and drive back to the Outdoor Store.

The store absolutely exceeds the expectations. It’s huge! You can find here everything you need for camping, fishing and hunting. There is a big waterfall in the middle of the store and there are many stuffed animals like bears, mountain lions and elk.

Travel

A long lonely road

I went to sleep sad last night and so I’m surprised to wake up feeling quite ok. Maybe it’s because I slept well or that the sun is shining, but I’m feeling better than I would expect on a day of leaving. I’m also surprised to hear upstairs that my grandparents are already awake. It doesn’t happen often that they wake up before me. I take a shower and pack the last things. Then grandma makes breakfast for me one more time. While I’m having breakfast she has to leave for an appointment. I think she likes it better like this way, that she doesn’t have to wave me goodbye. I think I do too, it’s hard enough already. I say to grandma that the hardest thing is that I don’t know when we’ll see each other again. She tells me not to think like that, but to know that we’ll see each other again and that’s what is most important. I agree and give her a big hug.

I stay behind with grandpa and finish my breakfast. Before I leave we sit down at the front porch and talk for a while longer.

Travel

Packing my bags

It’s Friday morning and it’s the first of the month, the day on which I always have to do some work. Administration to do and bills to pay. I wake up five minutes before the alarm clock and start working straight away at six o’clock in the morning. I work for two hours and then my grandma comes into the living room and tells me we leave for garage sales in half an hour. I quickly finish my work and then jump into the car and we drive to town.

First we pick up her friend Sharon and then we drive to the houses that have sales. Grandma and Sharon seem to be professional garage sales buyers.

Travel

Driving in Montana

I don’t know if it was the excitement of the long road trip or the lack of physical activity today, but somehow I can’t sleep. It’s quite annoying when you’re tired and cannot sleep. Fortunately that doesn’t happen often to me, but I don’t sleep much this night. Fortunately Starbucks opens at 5.00AM here and I’m in the Colorado timezone again, so it’s one hour later than on the west coast which makes the night an hour shorter anyway. I get up and start the day with catching up on e-mails and doing some work. It feels nice to catch up with things and being up to date again.

At noon I drive to Downtown Missoula. I can feel that I didn’t sleep much last night and decide that I’ll take it slow today.

Travel

Seattle

It’s Saturday morning and I start the day with watching the highlights of the marriage of prince Harry and princess Meghan. I wish I had seen it live, but I didn’t think about it last night. Still it’s nice to see this real-life fairy tale. I check the ferry times to Seattle and update my blog. Angie makes a breakfast for me while I pack my bag. When the kids come out we play some more chess and watch television. I really don’t feel like leaving, but I know this time has to come. It reminds me of when I visit my family back home, I almost always take a train later than planned. So also now I check the ferry schedule, but then decide to forget about it and just hang out a bit longer. I plan to leave at ten thirty later this morning. I shouldn’t make it much later, because I still want to spend some time of the afternoon in Seattle. As I drive away, they yell at me “See you tonight!”. I laugh and wave goodbye. It’s really hard to leave again. I really wish I could come back tonight or just could stay longer, but this journey has to go on.

As I drive to the ferry I eat one of the cookies that Eva baked last night and they gave me for the drive. I think again about all the wonderful people I met during this journey and for a moment wish I could go back in time and do it all again. Then I remind myself that it’s not over yet and that I have one-third of the journey left in front of me.

Travel

Portland

I learned my lesson yesterday and don’t check my phone when I wake up. Instead I walk into the Walmart store and do some groceries. I’m out of clean socks and don’t know when I can do laundry yet, so I’ll get some new ones so that I’m covered for another week. When I’ve done my groceries Ana is sitting behind her laptop at a table by the food corner to upload some pictures. I get my laptop from the car and join her to update my blog. Then we drive to a campsite and have breakfast again at the backside of my car.

Starting the day by having breakfast with a friend is a great start of the day. We continue driving along the coast until the point where we planned to go east again in the direction of Portland. I decide to make one more stop at the ocean and we walk together at the beach for a moment.

Travel

San Francisco

In the morning I drive to Sausalito, a small town on the other side of the water across San Francisco. I remembered from years ago that there is a ferry over the water and that seems a much better idea than parking somewhere in the city. I park by the pier and see that the boat leaves in two hours, so I go to a coffee place and have breakfast and a cappuccino. Around eleven o’clock I go back to the pier and get a ticket for the ferry.

The ferry to San Francisco is very nice. It goes by the Golden Gate Bridge and slowly passes by Elcatraz, the prison island. It takes about an half hour to cross the water and gives a great view of the skyline of San Fran.

Travel

Yosemite

When the garage man arrives this morning he looks at my tire and says “This is not good”. Yeah, like that wasn’t obvious yet. But it isn’t good at all. He can’t fix the tire, so I have to get a new one. The nearest tire shop is about 45 minutes away, so what we’ll do is fill my broken tire with air and see how far I can go. Fortunately I find a mobile pump in the back of my car, so I can pump it up again on the way if I need to. I call the tire shop and they tell me they can have the right tire for me around noon. Then I can call the rental company and they have good news: they cover the costs of a new tire. That is the reason why I almost always rent with Hertz. Their service is great and I’m glad that also this time they’re here for me.

Since I still have a couple of hours to wait I drive to a restaurant next to a river and sit down to have a coffee, check my email and update my blog. Even though yesterday was beautiful, I’m a little less excited now about the pictures of Sequoia National Park. I think it’ll all come back when I got my car fixed and ready to continue on the road trip again.

Travel

Another day of train riding

The great thing about parking next to a hotel is that you can use the facilities like the restroom when you need them. I woke up a few times last night, maybe because it was snowing again and quite cold. When I wake up around 5.30AM it’s light outside and I decide it’s time start the day. I get dressed and walk to the hotel lobby where I sit down with a book next to the fireplace, a great start of the day.

I remember from yesterday that there was a wooden desk upstairs in the lobby, so I walk upstairs and sit down behind the desk to write in my journal for a moment. Around seven o’clock I walk to the restaurant. I liked the breakfast so much yesterday that I decided to have it one more time.

Travel

Riding the Grand Canyon train

It’s nice to sleep in a bed and have a shower again. I don’t sleep in though, because I’ve got some work to do this morning. I wake up early to work and hope I’ll have time to also hit the gym. Unfortunately when I’m finished with the things I had to do, it’s time for breakfast already. I pack my bags and walk to the same restaurant as last night. There is a big breakfast buffet with yoghurt, fruit, pancakes, eggs and bacon and a lot more. I eat it all in that order and talk with some people.

After breakfast it’s time to go outside where there is a cowboy show before we get on the train. It’s very funny and we laugh a lot. Just before I get on the train I run back to my car to exchange my shorts for my jeans, because it’s much colder today. I run back to the train and go aboard.