August, 2007- Some friends recently visited us, and during conversation, my solo motor home trip to Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, California and Oregon in 1989 came up. After several days of searching for pictures (this was long before digital cameras were available), I finally found that I had actually organized 350+ photos into 2 photo albums. I have scanned them all, so now they are available for your viewing pleasure.

The next task was to recreate the route of this trip. I had several aids. First the pictures were placed in the albums in what I assume was a chronological order. Then, again after much searching, I found a treasure chest of information in a “junk drawer” where I had tossed maps, brochures, and even a few dated receipts of where I had traveled. Also I found a western United States map that had a route of the trip indicated with a magic marker. I suspect that this was a proposed route, rather than the actual route since I have pictures from several places that were not on the indicated route. Finally, I discovered as series of postcards that I had written to my two daughters, Ryann (age 8 at the time) and Kimber (age 4 then). Unfortunately, the cards stopped about ½ through the trip. But since I did not keep a journal, I will quote appropriately from these cards when I can. This will probably be a work in progress- I will write what I can now- and will update this narrative as time goes by with items that I may remember. Posting the route actually presented a problem. The map was a typical road map and obviously too big to scan. So I went to the AAA website and built a trip because on the info that I had. But I had no way to save this map. Sp I "took a snapshot" of the AAA webpage and used that. Not prefect, not interactive, but you get the idea on where I traveled. 

THE BEGINNING: My trip started in early June 1989. At that time, it had been about 1 ½ years since I left my stockbroker job- and about a year before I started my 14 years with GRADY’s GRILLHOUSE. I was 44 years old- some may say that this was the proverbial mid-life crisis- but I do not remember it that way. Rather, I had always wanted to do a trip to the southwest, and Gretchen was busy working supporting the family. Some friends (Jim Noffsinger and Mark Walsh) from my EF Hutton days lived in Greeley, Colorado- and most every year, Jim and Mark had hosted a boys only fishing weekend at the Noffsinger ranch outside of Walden, Colorado. In 1989, the trip was held in mid-June- and I decided that this would be a good time to take my trip. I planned about 2 months starting in Seattle, then Portland to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, followed by the Fishing trip at Walden and a visit to my sister, Kathy, in Colorado Springs. Then onto Dinosaur National Park, Mesa Verde Anasai ruins, and a visit in Albuquerque with my cousin, David Grady. Onward to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Then I headed west to Tombstone, AZ (OK Corral), and north to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion Canyons. Now west to my parent’s home in southern California via Las Vegas. On to Hearst Castle, San Francisco (and visit with friends Kathy and Gregory May outside of Sacramento), north to Big Sur. Finally, after about 6 weeks, I headed two weeks early to I-5 after Crescent City, CA and drove straight to Seattle.

grand map.png

(Sorry, this map is small, and hard to read- also it is not interactive. Too bad you simply can’t click on a “pin” and get more info).

My reconstructed time line with major stops is listed below. Most have links directly to pictures, in case you are in a hurry- otherwise, the narrative that follows also has the appropriate links.


 Text Box:  
June 5        DEPART SEATTLE            Seattle
Yellowstone                    Wyoming 
                    Teton Valley Ranch            Wyoming
                    Colorado Springs                Colorado
                    Fishing Trip                        Colorado
June 27th      Durango                            Colorado
June 28           Mesa Verde                        Colorado
                     Monument Valley
June 28 - July 1   Canyon de Chelly        Arizona
                    Carlsbad Caverns            New Mexico
                    Grand Canyon                    Arizona
                    Tombstone                        Arizona
                    Bryce Canyon                Utah
                    Zion                              Utah
                    Las Vegas
    July 26     Hearst Castle                    California
                 Stanford and San Francisco
                  May Family
                    Big Sur                        California
                    Home!                                Seattle




















First, I had to buy a motor home. I was on a tight budget- and the best I could do was to purchased a well-used 1976 PUMA model of somekind. I remember buying and having some maintenance done in Seattle before leaving. My first stop was Portland, OR. I remember traveling from Seattle to Portland with a temporary transport permit so that I could license the vehicle in Oregon and avoid the Washington state sales tax. Pictures of motor home, my departure from Seattle. are here.

My first night was spent near Multnomah Fall, east of Portland Oregon. My postcard to family dated June 9th states: “This was my first stop- a beautiful waterfall. There is an Indian legend tha5t goes with it: a terrible sickness overtook the Multnomah Indian tribe- the tribe’s witch doctor said that if a maiden threw herself over the falls and sacrificed her life, the sickness would end. The chief’s daughter did this, and the sickness did go away. Some people today say that they can see the face in the mist from the upper waterfall- can you see it?”








I proceeded along I-84stopping first at the Teton Valley Ranch. Cousin Dave Thomas and I attended a 6 week summer camp here when we were 16 years old. It was fun visiting the old camp. Pictures here. Then onto Yellowstone. From postcard to Ryann: “This is Old Faithful. Because it is the only geyser in Yellowstone that erupts on a regular basis- about every hour. Saw lots of black tree stumps from last year’s forest fire.”


LAST UPDATED: 09/02/2007 03:30 PM

THIS IS THE END OF TRIP DESCRIPTION- this will gradually updated until I get it done.