We left on this journey June 30th. Now that we’re over four months in…and on our way home…I think I would opt for a shorter trip next time. Not to say that we haven’t seen some incredible things…we have.
There have been some great genealogy finds for me. The quilt show in Houston was an unsurpassed pleasure for Donna. We saw all the nephews, niece and son. We’ve traveled along the shore of four of the great lakes. We saw a sheep dog trial. We ate pasties, butter burgers, Great Lakes whitefish, Chicago dogs, deep-fried cheese curds, rellenos in the Mesilla Valley (where they grow the chiles), buffalo enchiladas, beignets at Cafe du Monde, a great muffaleta from Central Market in NOLA, Chicago deep dish pizza at the original Uno, buffalo wings where they were invented, Indian pudding at a diner in Vermont, dumplings and cannoli in New York, bar-b-que at Obama’s favorite spot in Asheville (we actually ate that on the Blue Ridge Parkway which made it even better), pig-on-a-pole at a Havre, Montana farmer’s market and a bunch of crap in other places. But the culinary highlight of the trip was the Italian ice in Chicago. I think we went back five or six times.
Genealogically, we found a new clue to Donna’s tree in the backwoods of Minnesota. I visited repositories in Salt Lake City (Family History Library), Madison (Wisconsin Historical Society), Chicago (Newberry library), Fort Wayne (Allen County Library), New York City (NYC Public Library), Lancaster, PA County Historical Society, Culpeper and Madison county courthouses in Virginia, Spartanburg and Greenville Libraries in South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi State Archives and the Clayton Library in Houston.
National Park Service sites we visited include California Trail, Golden Spike, Yellowstone, Roosevelt, Voyageurs, Lewis and Clark Trail, Apostle Islands, Keweenaw, Pictured Rocks, Niagra Falls, Erie Canal, Women’s Rights, Saratoga, Sagamore Hill, Federal Hall, Fire Island, Grant’s Tomb, Roosevelt Birthplace, Gettysburg, Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, Monticello, C & O Canal, Kennesaw Mountain, Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, White Sands and Casa Grande.
State Capitals on this trip: Salt Lake City, Helena, Madison, Albany, Jackson and Montgomery.
I drove through the land of my ancestors in five places…Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. I sat in a pew in the church where my Great-great-great-great-great Grandfather worshiped.
And I spent time with my brother, sister and 89-year-old mother.
A great trip…I’m ready to be home.