The last day of our trip home started in Amarillo, Texas and end up in the driveway of our new home in Houston, Texas. It was a pretty long day, mostly uneventful; just lots of driving. Google’s recommended route was through Forth Worth, but we took that route back in May coming home from Colorado, and I didn’t want to go through Fort Worth on a Friday afternoon. So we took a different route which probably added some time to the trip, but took us through different countryside.

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And to wrap things up (since the only thing that I am remembering from that day is driving and gas stations), here are a couple of pictures taken right after we got home (in less than ideal lighting conditions.)

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Day four of the trip home saw us starting in Parachute, Colorado and ending in Amarillo, Texas. It felt like the longest day of driving, an impression bolstered by losing an hour as we crossed time zones.

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Breakfast at the hotel felt like it was the minimum that they could do while calling it a hot breakfast.
We drove through the mountains of Colorado, passing through the ski community of Vail. It was raining and in some places there was standing water on the road. This combined with a steep upgrade (and driving in a lower gear with more torque) and a heavily loaded vehicle resulted in a couple of cases where the wheels started to spin, but were quickly brought under control by the traction control system. I wouldn’t want to drive that highway in the snow, but apparently people do. There was also quite a lot of truck traffic. We went through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel under the Loveland Pass. At over 11,000 feet of altitude and being almost 1.7 miles in length, it was pretty impressive. Plus, I was happy that it was downhill from there.
We headed on through Denver in the mid-afternoon, trying to make it through the city before rush hour which we accomplished. We stopped in southern Colorado in the city of Trinidad. We had dinner at Habaneros Mexican Grill, as suggested by the Yelp application. It was a pretty small place, but the food was excellent and we enjoyed it. Here are Lori and Davison sitting at the counter in it.

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It was getting dark by that time, and we had quite a long trip ahead of us. We pulled into Amarillo pretty late, but made it there safely.

On the third day of our trip home, we travelled from Idaho Falls, Idaho, through the state of Utah, ending up at the town of Parachute, Colorado. (I had already posted about the hotel in Parachute).

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It was a bit of an uneventful day, with lots of miles covered with lots of rugged, barren scenery. Lori and I listened to most of the story “White Fang” by Jack London.
Here’s a couple of pictures from the Utah rest stop where we stopped to prepare our lunch and use the facilities.

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And here are some additional pictures taken on the road and at a rest stop further down the road.

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Supper was a forgettable stop at a MacDonalds near Grand Junction, Colorado.

Day two of our trek home saw us starting off in Helena, Montana and ending up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. On the way, we visited Yellowstone National Park to check out the geyser scene. Here is the route that we took.

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One of the staples of Huber family travels is stopping at rivers and throwing rocks into them, although truth be told this is not an hourly or daily occurrence. Nevertheless, here we are by Cardwell, Montana on an outhouse stop, throwing rocks into the river.

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From there it was on to Yellowstone National Park, situated primarily in the north west corner of Wyoming.
Yellowstone National Park turns out to be a pretty big place, consisting of more than one geyser. Nevertheless (whoops, I already used that word in the post, so how about “irregardless”), Dad decided that we needed to go first and see Old Faithful. We got to the large tourist complex that has grown up around it. By the time we parked, found and used the restrooms and got oriented, we missed the big blow-off.

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It turns out that Old Faithful is pretty regular in an ambiguous sort of way. It goes off every 90 minutes give or take 10 minutes. So, we had some time to experience new and wonderful things and headed off to the Visitor Center to learn about geology and steam. Here is Heidi and Brock checking out the exhibits.

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Having learned all that there was to learn at the VC, some of us begrudgingly (others of us joyfully, others not at all as they went to reserve seating at the Old Faithful viewing site). The next two pictures are from that short hole (0.7 miles if my memory serves me correctly).

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Here is what Old Faithful looks like when it is at rest.

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And here it is in all of its glory.

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After seeing Old Faithful, we took a look around some other parts of the park including some lesser known geysers and hot springs. I have some of that on video, but for the sake of getting this post done, will postpone posting those until some later (or never) date.
The day ended with a less than memorable meal at Denny’s in Idaho Falls, and an entirely forgettable stay at a Motel 6 (other than the quirky room furnishings).

Disclaimer: I’m planning on posting (a few days after the fact) trip reports on the 5 days of our trip home to our new home in Texas. No guarantees on how interesting it willbe.
We had breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa Huber, and got on the road later than planned (assisted by all of us sleeping in somewhat).
Here’s a map of the route that we followed. We had said our goodbyes to Layne, Elissa, and Rett on Sunday afternoon/evening so chose not to go through Calgary on the return trip.

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We left Castor and headed south on Highway 36.
The border crossing went well, not a whole lot of questions.
We ate dinner at a Wendy’s in Great Falls, Montana. We tried the family pack size of chili (plus some other stuff)’which we were told was the equivalent of 6 small chilis. It was probably equivalent to 5 small chilis, so it would have been cheaper to go that route (says Ben who sometimes obsesses over trivial things).
We stayed at a Holidays Inn Express hotel in Helena, Montana for the night. This was the best breakfast of the trip as they had gluten free bagels available as part of the free breakfast.
I’m not seeing that I took any pictures on this day of the trip, so here endeth this days trip report.

We spent the night at a hotel in Parachute, Colorado. Apparently “parachute” is an Indian word meaning, well, we don’t know what it means because we couldn’t understand the other Indian words that were used to explain what it means. Anyway, it was one of those hotels that feels like it is in decline, and the minimum effort (including the food at the hot breakfast) is all that is happening.
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Only Dad and the boys went swimming, because, you know, we were all out of bath caps. None of us had slippers, so we ignored that rule

On August 23rd, 2014, we celebrated Dad & Mom Huber’s 50th wedding anniversary. (Technically, their anniversary was in late June, but was pushed back due to a couple of factors, one of which was our situation being totally up in the air.)

I’m hoping to post some video high-lights, but wanted together a post up with some pictures from the event.

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Each of the sibling families was to provide an item for the program. Having been on the road for five weeks, we were not organized and didn’t really have anything prepared, but Danaya stepped up to the plate and did a piano solo.

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There was a cake cutting ceremony. On the right are Marlin’s two oldest sons Kylan and Jaydon.

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Cam & Coralie (and family) came prepared and did a really funny skit about a memorable family vacation to Vernon, BC. During this trip Coralie and Marlin started the trip by riding their bikes, and made it more than 15 miles on their bikes before being picked up. Mom came prepared and we spent a big part of the vacation canning peaches (purchased from nearby orchards) over the camp fire in a big tub.

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The celebration evening was enjoyed by all.

For (Dad and Mom)’s (Ben: sorry, not sure how to correctly punctuate that) 50th anniversary party, I picked up a new, (cheap) video camera. There is the first video on it taken by Davison.

I’ve been taxing my brain for the last day or so for a really clever idea of how to write up this post. By the old grey matter has been stuck in a bit of a rut and just gone around in circles. So here goes with the lame idea that I came up with (and when you groan, I’ll just say “I toad you so”).

In the past I’ve seen signs on private swimming pools (possibly on public pools also, but with more clinical language) that say “Welcome to our ool. Please notice that there is no “P” in it. Please try and keep it that way.” So. Maybe we could say “there may be a frog in it” or something more clever.

Well, a couple of evenings ago, I went out for a quick swim, and as I approached the pool, something jumped from the edge of the hot tub (which isn’t hot right now) jumped into the pool and zipped away in a very big hurry to the far side of the pool. Upon closer review, it was a rather large frog (or possibly toad, I’m not sure which and I skipped high school biology so have no basis for knowing, but I’m going to call it a frog). I went swimming and he generally stayed as far away from me as possible. Near the end of my swim I noticed that he was out on the flagstones beside the pool, so evidently he (or she, see note above about high school biology) was able to jump out of the water a ways, at least six inches.

Yesterday, I saw him again and moved close enough to take the following pictures in the hot tub again. The second picture was him under the water hoping I wouldn’t notice him and would go away.

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I’ve also seen dragonflies dipping down and taking a quick drink. I guess that is one of the advantages of having a salt water pool; the local wildlife are okay with it. That being said, I’m not interested in too much of the local wildlife.

Ben

Most of our stuff was in a self storage facility near our old house. And by facility, I mean three self storage units with a total of 275 square feet. The monthly period would have renewed tomorrow, so I was motivated to get as much out of storage as possible before the renewal happened. I took the day off work on Friday and rented a UHaul truck, picking it up on Thursday evening for a 24 hour rental. Since the prices were all pretty much the same, I rented the largest truck (I think it was a 26′ unit). And here it is, at the self storage place ready for loading.

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Renting the hand cart (I was going to borrow one from work, but had forgotten, and there was no time to make that extra side trip, so I happily paid the $7 rental) was the best thing that I did. The other best thing was the guy (a friendly young chap named Christian) at Wendy’s gave me the largest cup they had when I got ice water with my meal.
In short, I was able to get everything out of the storage units and got the truck back with a whopping 9 minutes to spare before getting charged for an extra day. Between the rental and the gas charge it cost $160.00 for the day – so if you ever rent a UHaul understand that the mileage charge (69 cents per mile) and the gas it burns (I know it was the biggest truck, but it cost over 50 cents per mile with gas at $3.25) will far outstrip the daily rental charge. The worst mistake was that I had forgotten my work gloves at home (again not worth the extra trip at $1.20 per mile), so my hands were a little tender by the end.
I was very tired by the end of the day. This morning, some friends from work came by for a couple of hours and moved boxes with abandon. Here are some room pictures as things currently stand.

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Pretty much everything on the utility side has worked out and is in place. AT&T setup our phone and Internet service this afternoon. Now all I have to do is find the phones. The only exception is the natural gas company. Mi had filled out their start service form a couple of weeks back, only to get an email on Wednesday that they couldn’t find that address, so please get the meter number and resubmit. So, I came to the house Wednesday night, wrote down the meter number and resubmitted. The gas guy showed up this afternoon to turn off the gas. I resubmitted the form again (after he pointed out which of the three numbers on the meter it was, and behold I had submitted the wrong number), so I’m currently without use of the BBQ, gas stovetop, and hot water heater (which is going to make for short showers, I guess).