White Sands Sunset - and trip report. / by Dave Hileman

None of the lists of places, no photographs, nothing is better than the memory and the atmosphere of being there. You just need to go where and when you can. 

Here are the details of the Southwestern trip from this spring. 

We traveled 9425 miles across 19 states in six weeks. We visited 34 National Park Sites:

Washita National Battlefield, OK
White Sands National Monument, NM
Fort Bowie National Historic Site, AZ
Coronado National Memorial, AZ
Tumacacori National Historical Park, AZ
Saguaro National Park, AZ
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ
Cabrillo National Monument, CA
Channel Islands National Park, CA
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
César E. Chávez National Monument, CA
Sand to Snow National Monument, CA
Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Sequoia National Park, CA
Yosemite National Park, CA
Pinnacles National Park, CA
Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, CA
Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Muir Woods National Monument, CA
John Muir National Historic Site, CA
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, CA
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, CA
Great Basin National Park, NV
Colorado National Monument, CO
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO
Curecanti National Recreation Area, CO
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, CO
Fort Larned National Historic, KS
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, KS
Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site, KS
Harry S Truman National Historic Site, MO
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, IN
River Raisin National Battlefield Park, MI

We also visited 5 National Historic Trails:

Pony Express NHT
Santa Fe NHT
El Camino Real De Tierra Adentro NHT
Juan Bautista De Anza NHT
Old Spanish NHT

We managed two days at Disneyland (Cars Land was excellent), Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Lansing MI, Peterson Automotive Museum in LA, Point Loma, Old Town San Diego, Big Sur, the Monterey Aquarium, missions, some wonderful restaurants, and a couple of state parks. 

We missed three parks that were initially planned. One in S/E New Mexico was difficult to reach because one road was washed out and the distance around was too far for the time we had, Fort Point in San Francisco was closed and road construction meant the walk was way too far and Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is on an active military base and they required two weeks written notice and then you still may not get on. However we went to three we had not planned so, break even!

We stayed in our trailer except for Disneyland all but one night - 46th Anniversary we were in the lodge at Yosemite. Overnights were a mix, some Walmarts, church parking lot, KOA’s, National Parks, State Parks and one commercial independent campground. We had only a couple of trailer issues - still unresolved but we are working on them. Truck worked very well, with two oil changes en route. I ran out of gas one time just before Yuma, AZ. AAA is nice to have as they delivered 3 gallons of gas in about an hour. 

CJH and I walked 171.6 miles in the six weeks with the most on week four, 44.2 miles

I also added about 35 new birds species - several with nice photos - so there will be a Bird Week III soon. I can sense the excitement. 

Oh, and over 4000 photos.