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Wish We Were There Wednesday: Feathers and Fur

Bighorn Sheep, Badlands National Park

Part of the reason we travel to parks is to see wildlife. We even keep lists of the animals we see on trips because we can’t always get a picture of them – like the badger that ran in front of us on a road in South Dakota. Hey, it was exciting! (Here in West Texas you don’t see too many badgers, although a couple of coyotes ran across the road in front of us near our Walmart one time!) Anyway, all wildlife sightings are a thrill to us. Today we’re sharing some of our faves.

Cute prairie dog at Badlands National Park. Okay, these animals make their homes in nearly every vacant lot where we live – they’re literally everywhere – but we don’t go around taking pictures of them. Besides, this is a South Dakota prairie dog.
We have no idea what kind of bird this is, but it was a beggar. We were at the end of our hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, and as soon as we sat down to have a snack, this guy showed up, like, “Y’all gonna share?”
This is a javelina that we saw in a dry creek bed near Big Bend National Park. We’re sure they serve some purpose, but we don’t know what. Wouldn’t want to snuggle with one.
Petrified Forest raven – not the species, we just took the picture there. Another shameless beggar. He sat right down next to us, and every time we would move over, he would move over too. Pretty sure he was checking out our jewelry. Never trust a raven, they are super sneaky. Trivia: ravens can imitate human voices better than a parrot, and if they like you, they might bring you a gift – probably something they stole out of someone’s purse, but it’s the thought that counts.
We have squirrels in our yard, but these little (Colorado chipmunk) dudes are way cuter… and they don’t eat our fence.
We captured (not literally) this mad mother cactus wren at Big Bend National Park. We’d be mad if we had to live in a cactus, too.
Rocky Mountain National Park bull elk. No lie, this macho man had at least 20 wives and a bunch of kids that he was watching over, but he was so pretty we wanted a shot of him alone.
We didn’t have to go far to find this little hummingbird because he was in our own back yard. Thrilling for us because we only see them if we’re lucky enough to catch them during migration. Trivia: a group of hummingbirds is called a charm.
Here’s a little North Dakota gal that we would like to snuggle.
Boston harbor gull. Undoubtedly, he is waiting for an unsuspecting tourist to walk by with food. These guys aren’t beggars, they’re thieves. Trivia: gulls can smell food up to three miles away, and they can see for up to two miles. A group of gulls is called a colony. PSA: never go near a harbor with a Big Mac.

We’re going to close this post with a bison we saw at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We wouldn’t want to get too close to him, not only because he weighs a ton and could probably kill us with a little head butt, but because we think he would smell terrible – like really terrible. We will keep our distance, thank you.

We hope you enjoyed our post and will come back again for more exciting road trip destinations, a Quick Stop, some tips and tricks, or another Wish We Were There Wednesday. Better yet, come back for all of our posts, and join our family of followers so you never miss one! We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Happy hump day, everyone!

Mike and Kellye

As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.

©2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Happy Anniversary To Us!

 

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In celebration of One for the Money Two for the Road’s first anniversary, we want to share some shots from some of our favorite national park posts over the last year. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate each of you for following us on the blog site and on Facebook. You are the reason we post our adventures! Enjoy the recap…

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From our very first post: Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park
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Zion National Park
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Inspiration Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
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Bear Lake with Hallett Peak reflection, Rocky Mountain National Park
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Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim at Imperial Point
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The Three Gossips, Arches National Park
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
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Canyonlands National Park
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Death Valley National Park
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Carlsbad Caverns National Park
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Bison grazing at Wind Cave National Park
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Badlands National Park
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Monument Valley Tribal Park (Navajo Nation)
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Gifford Barn, Capitol Reef National Park
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The Tepees, Petrified Forest National Park
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Great Sand Dunes National Park
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Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park
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Grand Teton National Park

Thank you for joining us over the past year. We hope that you will keep coming back for more fun adventures, tips, and tricks. Oh, and there are sixty-one “national parks” now, and we’ve only covered eighteen of them so far! We will be covering more national parks, national monuments, national historic sites, state parks, awesome camping sites, and some great cities during year two. We’re also going to give you some helpful tips on RVing and road tripping. You won’t want to miss a post, so sign up, buckle up, and let’s go. Until the next trip…

Travel safe, travel smart, and we will see you down the road (or at a national park!) 

Mike and Kellye

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As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.

©2019

Three Get Ready and Four Let’s Go to Petrified Forest National Park

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  • Website link: Petrified Forest National Park
  • Cost: $20.00 per car (one week pass)
  • Hiking, biking (on paved roads), backpacking, horseback riding, backcountry camping with permit
  • Scenic drive
  • Historic Landmarks
  • Museums
  • Picnic areas
  • Restaurant in the park
  • Accommodations and restaurants in Holbrook, Arizona (30 miles west on I-40 or US Highway 180). Check out the Wigwam Motel for some Route 66 nostalgia. Here’s a link: Wigwam Motel. RV campgrounds also available in Holbrook.
  • When to go: anytime, but note that summer temperatures can be very high.

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The Teepees

Petrified Forest National Park is 208 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico, which has a major airport. This is our starting point, so gas up the car, drop the top, and turn on some golden oldies. We’re going to get some kicks on Route 66!

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From Albuquerque, take I-40 west toward Gallup, New Mexico via Grants. Cross the Arizona state line and continue on I-40 to Petrified Forest National Park. Drive time between Albuquerque and Petrified Forest: 3 hours.

*Recommended hotels in Albuquerque: Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express

Campgrounds and RV parks are also available in Albuquerque.

Bonus stop: El Malpais National Monument. Website link: El Malpais. Stop by the visitor center in Grants, New Mexico then head south on Highway 53 to the monument. Entrance is free. Drive time between Albuquerque and Grants: 1 hour. Drive time between Grants and El Malpais: 30 minutes.

Bonus stop: El Morro National Monument. Only 15 minutes from El Malpais on Highway 53. Entrance is free. Website link: El Morro.

*Recommended hotel in Grants: Holiday Inn Express

RV parks are also available in Grants.

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From El Morrow National Monument take Highway 53 west to Highway 602 north to Gallup, New Mexico. Drive time: 1 hour.

Continue west on I-40 to Petrified Forest National Park. Drive time between Gallup and Petrified Forest: 1 hour.

⇒Side Trip: Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Located 86 miles north of Grants via Highway 509. Cost: $25.00 per vehicle for a one week pass. Camping available, but no RV hook-ups. Closest hotels and restaurants are approximately 1.5 hours north of the park. Here’s the website link: Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Backtrack to Grants to resume your journey to Petrified Forest National Park. Drive time between Chaco Culure and Grants: 2 hours.

Destination: Petrified Forest National Park

This is a big park! The park road is 28 miles long and includes many pull outs and stops. Come for the scenery and the learning experience. (We also like the nostalgia of Route 66.) There are photo ops around every turn, and as you will see, the sights in the park are spectacular. Be sure to stop at the visitor centers, the Painted Desert Inn Museum, and the Rainbow Forest Museum. The park also features archaeological sites, including Puerco Pueblo, Newspaper Rock, and Agate House. Theodore Roosevelt did us all a favor when he made Petrified Forest a national monument in 1906. It became a national park 56 years later in 1962.

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Petrified Tree Trunk
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Wood turned to stone
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These logs appear to have been cut and purposely placed here by an ancient lumberjack.

Below are some up-close views of the beauty of the petrified wood. Just look at those colors!

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Where else can you see this?
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Or this?
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Painted Desert Vista
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Another view of Painted Desert
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Oh, the colors!

Much of the park can be seen from the car, but we highly recommend getting out, taking a hike on or off the trails (see website), and absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells this amazing place has to offer.

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⇒Side trip: Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Entrance is free. Website link: Canyon de Chelly.

Take I-40 east to Chambers, Arizona. At Chambers, take Highway 191 north toward Ganado, Arizona.

Bonus stopHubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. Website link: Hubbell Trading Post. Cost: $5.00 per person to tour the Hubbell Home. Kids 15 and under are admitted free.

Continue north to Chinle, Arizona and Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Drive time between Petrified Forest and Canyon de Chelly: 1.5 hours.

This concludes our trip to Petrified Forest National Park. Thank you for joining us, and we hope you enjoyed the journey. We would love to hear from you, so leave us a comment and tell us about your road trips. In closing, we are leaving you with one last photo because it reminds us of a vintage postcard that might have been found in a Route 66 curio shop back in the day!

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Hoodoos

Until the next trip…

Travel safe, travel smart, and we will see you down the road.

Mike and Kellye

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As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.

©2018

Three Get Ready and Four Let’s Go to Sedona, Arizona

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Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, Sedona, Arizona is truly one of the prettiest cities we have ever visited. Life there seems to move at a slower pace, and the city offers great places to relax, shop, and eat. Sedona is a dark sky community, which means there is an ordinance against light pollution. On clear nights, the Milky Way can be seen arching across the sky from horizon to horizon! By day, the red rock scenery is enchanting, and the weather is usually great.

Sedona is:

  • Perfect for a couples getaway.
  • Perfect for a long weekend or extended stay.
  • Perfect as a hub for several national parks and other attractions.
  • When to go: Anytime. We like October.

Sedona is located approximately:

275 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada117 miles from Phoenix, Arizona350 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico

This trip starts from the closest major airport city: Phoenix, Arizona. Drive time between Phoenix and Sedona: 2 hours.

*Recommended hotels in Phoenix: Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn. Also, there are many choices for camping in and around Phoenix.

Phoenix attractions include: a zoo, an aquarium, water parks, museums, hiking trails, golf courses, among others. Click here for more information: Visit Phoenix. But for now we’re anxious to get on the road to Sedona, so let’s go!

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Getting There

From Phoenix, take I-17 north toward Sedona. Bonus stop: Montezuma Castle National Monument. See ancient dwellings tucked high into the side of a mountain. Here’s a link: Montezuma Castle National Monument.

Continue on I-17 north to Highway 179 north to Sedona.

Destination: Sedona, Arizona

*Recommended hotels in Sedona: Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona – 1200 AZ-89A. Here’s a link: Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona, or Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express.

*Recommended restaurant in Sedona: Oak Creek Brewery and Grill – d201 336, AZ-17. Here’s a link: Oak Creek Brewery and Grill.

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Here’s a tour, featuring our favorite things to do in Sedona:

Sedona 2007 067 1. Hop on a trolley. Take a tour of the city and get some great information about the area. Travel tip: do this first to familiarize yourself  with the city.

2. Shop. Tlaquepaque (Tuh-lockee-pockee) is the can’t-miss venue. Here’s a link: Tlaquepaque.  We also recommend walking downtown Sedona. There are many shops worthy of a look.

Travel Tip: don’t be fooled by time share vendors who offer free tickets for tours or offer something else free for attending their program. These folks can be be pretty sly and are paid to be very persistent.

3. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross – 780 Chapel Rd. Gorgeous church with spectacular views.

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The Chapel of the Holy Cross

4. Red Rock State Park. If there really is something to that vortexes thing people talk about in Sedona, then this place might just have it! We experienced peaceful calm – an almost spiritual feeling – at this park. Hike one or all of the trails, or find solitude along the banks of Oak Creek. This park is an excellent picnic destination.

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Cathedral Rock from Red Rock State Park
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South Rim of the Grand Canyon

5. Take a Pink Jeep tour. This tour company, known for their signature pink jeeps, can arrange a variety of off-roading adventures, hiking tours, and trips to the Grand Canyon, among others. We highly recommend the Grand Canyon tour. Here’s a link to their website: Pink Adventure Tours.

6. Oak Creek Canyon. Scenic 14 mile drive between Sedona and Flagstaff. This is a slow road because of the corkscrew twists and turns, but the scenery will take your breath away!

7. Slide Rock State Park. Beautiful park in Oak Creek Canyon featuring a natural rock water slide. Go to play in the water, go to hike, or go for the scenery in this historic park.

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Slide Rock State Park

8. Gaze at the stars. There are several astronomy tours available in Sedona, and the state parks host them periodically, too. Learn about the constellations and take a peek into space through their telescopes. We recommend Sedona Star Gazing – Evening Sky Tours. Here’s a link: Evening Sky Tours.

9. Watch the sun set. We love a great sunset (or sunrise), and Airport Mesa is the place to be in Sedona just before the sun goes down. Here’s the one were lucky enough to catch.

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10. Take a side trip: 

  • Grand Canyon National Park is 2 hours north of Sedona via Flagstaff.
  • Petrified Forest National Park is 2.5 hours northeast of Sedona via Flagstaff.
  • Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Page, Arizona and Lake Powell are 2.75 hours north of Sedona via US Highway 89.
  • Tuzigoot National Monument is 30 minutes southwest of Sedona.
  • Walnut Canyon National Monument is 45 minutes northeast of Sedona via Flagstaff.
  • Saguaro National Park is 3.5 hours southwest of Sedona via Phoenix and Tucson.

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That was a whirlwind tour, but we sincerely hope that we have inspired your wanderlust. While we can’t guarantee anything, we are pretty sure that you will love Sedona as much as we did. Please leave us a comment below. We would love to hear about your favorite road trips. Until next time…

Travel save, travel smart, and we will see you down the road!

Mike and Kellye 

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As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.

©2018