Good-bye Kansas, Hello Chattanooga!

It was not difficult to say good-bye to the Kansas heat but very hard to leave folks who feel like family after 6 days of hobnobbing, telling tall tales and exchanging travel stories.


One of the nights at the rally the sunset is so magnificent I can not stop taking pictures.


Going to work them all in…..as this is the official end of our once- in-a-lifetime Alaska trip.



Deciding that one more day of 101 temperatures would be one day too many, we are hitting the road early before the pancake breakfast send-off.   Picking a couple of destinations ranging from  300 miles to 400 miles down the road works best for us.  Nixing the idea of traveling off the interstate, deciding that we rely on the constant Wal-Marts and McDonalds for sustenance and shelter.  It’s an easy travel day until we try to cross the river in St Louis.  Traffic should be light as it is Sunday PM but the lane that we are in is not moving, taking us an hour or so to go a few miles.

Using the handy All Stays Camp app, we find a Cracker Barrel on exit 16.  Looks like we are not going to make it to Rend Lake….a COE where our friends are staying.  During the meal we ask permission to spend the night.  The manager says we are most welcome and very glad that we are asking permission as they do not like unauthorized visitors behind the store after closing.  He suggests that we might want to enjoy one of their breakfasts before we leave.

The interstate is close and it’s melody of traffic soothes us to sleep.  At 1:30 AM a noisy monster goes through the parking lot, eating the trash from the dumpster….loudest waste disposal truck ever!  Why 1:30?

At 6:10 we are eating breakfast and, after another easy 400 plus miles, we are entering Chattanooga!  Feels so strange to be returning after 102 days.  Our house is swallowed by vegetation!


But we are relieved that everything looks like it should….no one had carried off our TV’s.  Only glitch is the Sienna, parked in the middle of the driveway, will not start. 

Astonished at the weeds everywhere!   But it did rain most of July and we were gone a long time!


Overgrown flower beds.


Obedient plant, a TN native, apparently needs no care for 3 months.


May need to dig the whole bed up, use round-up, and start all over!


The path to the patio has disappeared!


My cleome is 4 feet tall!


Hubby trying to tame the wilderness!


The hardy begonia.


Wild ageratum and morning glory.

We are unpacked, clothes washed, cats retrieved, A/C repaired and settling back in to the boring humdrum of life at home.

No regrets!  And enough memories to last the rest of our lives!

Want to thank everyone for coming along with us.  You helped us get through some difficult times.  Love y’all!


  1. STL...oh dear! Kids were at Rams game while Cardinals game going on too! Glad CB opened their arms to you! Funny how nature booms despite no tending too! Welcome home...bet it feels strange but so cozy too!

    1. It feels strange! The first two mornings I thought I was in the Chatta-Egg.

      We do have an abundance of flowering plants that are low maintenance, unfortunately the weeks have taken over!
      Cracker Barrel will do in a pinch but prefer the W.M.

  2. Crazy to come home to so much work, isn't it? Really enjoyed reading your blog these last months

    1. Thank you so much....still insecure about the writing...love to hear that someone likes the blog.

      We were into bicycling before attaining our advanced ages...in 2004 we did a 7 day tour in the UP and started in Manistee. Loved the UP!

  3. Wow, am pooped after that long trip with you. Glad you two are tackling the yard and such - I'll just sit back and relax and wait for the next adventure! Ha.

    1. Did not feel tired until we got home....I promptly got sick so David has been tackling the yard.

      When is your departure date? Looking forward to hearing about the trip!

  4. Welcome home! Enjoy your transition back to your sticks & bricks.

    1. Survived the trip so I guess I'll survive the transition. Feel a little lost right now.

      Enjoyed your posts and have referred friends wanting AK info to your blog.

  5. I was in that st Louis traffic going west Sunday, wrote about it on my blog. I ALWAYS take I-270 but spaced it out that day. I loved reading about your trip to and from Alaska.

  6. I read your post and, yes, it was awful to just sit there!

    Everything happens for a reason....I guess you had to go through all of that in order to make a final decision. Don't give up your blog....too many people are enjoying it. Just make it about something else for the next year or so!

  7. I know you're glad to be home, even with all the work to be done catching up the yard and such. Bet you're glad you had the experience of Alaska, though.

    1. Very, very glad that we did it! I thought that it would be a life changing event and it was. Maybe I'll figure out the changes in a few months.

      Beginning to appreciate being home. Wonderful cool dry air blowing in the bedroom with one of the cats curled at my feet.

  8. Thanks for the magnificent sunset shots.....and made it home safe and sound.....I think some downtime is deserved before you Guys tackle the "Rain Forest".....and as Jerry said...the memories of Alaska.....wow....take care and thanks for letting me tag along...I really enjoyed reading journal.....Horst sends

  9. Glad you liked the sunsets.

    We feel very grateful to have traveled almost 13,000 miles and get home without a problem.

    I tried to tackle the chores head on and wound up getting sick. My body's revenge for pushing too hard!