2010 Jim and Sandra Schmid travel out West to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary

Sandra and drove from Tallahassee, FL at the end of July out West for a two week trip to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary (July 27). I had bought a new Dodge Grand Caravan. Made for a comfortable drive.

Was a long drive across the country to our first destination – Tucson, AZ. We had lived there years ago and wanted to check it out.

We camped at Catalina State Park a couple of nights. We hiked the 3/4 mile Romero Ruins Interpretive Trail while there. Was just to hot to camp so we got a motel room for the rest of our stay.

In Tucson we biked on Santa Cruz River Park paved trail that runs along the river.

We also visited the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun located in the foothills of Tucson. It’s were I got the idea to make tin can flowers. Back in Tallahassee I made a couple hundred tin can flowers and sold them at an art gallery. www.jimstincanflowers.wordpress.com

We drove to El Cajon, CA to visit my mother and sister.  While there we hiked at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and did some bicycling at Lake Murray and San Diego River Trail.

We said our goodbyes and headed north to the Giant Sequoia National Monument. We camped there. The next day we drove to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and hiked in to see the the largest tree on earth – The General Sherman.

We continued on and drove into the Yosemite Valley (Yosemite National Park) to look around and take a few pictures. We drove the loop and stopped a couple of times. Took photos of El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall. Then we headed east to Tuolumene Meadows and hiked a short segment of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Yosemite National Park was so crowded we couldn’t find a place to camp so we drove on and found a motel further east. Next day we stopped to walk the Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden Nature Trail in Independence, CA.

We also stopped at The Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine, CA. Over 400 westerns have been filmed in the area. We spent a couple of hours inside. Really informative exhibits. We liked the murals on the outside walls so took a few pictures. I’ve become a late in life fan of Hopalong Cassiday. I was born in 1951 with club feet. I learned to walk wearing casts with rubber heels. Dr. Coots was my doctor so the nurses called them Hopalong Coots Boots after Hopalong Cassiday. I don’t remember watching any of his movies when I was growing up. With the advent of the internet and DVDs I’ve watched quite a few of his movies and TV programs and even listened to many of the radio broadcasts. So, I wanted to get my picture taken next to him.

On our way to get on Historic Route 66 we stopped for a hike at Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark near Needles, CA.

First stop for us on Historic Route 66 as we headed east was Oatman, AZ. We wanted to see the donkeys that roam the town.

We drove on to Albuquerque, NM to spend the night. Next day we hiked the Tramway Trail.

We drove north to Santa Fe, NW were we went to a farmer’s market and Sandra got to hold a goat.


We hiked a trail in the Santa Fe National Forest. We found a pile of rocks that looked like a throne so naturally I had to sit and get my picture taken.

Outside of Taos, NM we got out our mtn bikes and biked on the West Rim Trail along the Rio Grande Gorge.

Nearby was the Earthship Biotecture community. We had watched a Earthsip documentary a few months back and I wanted to see the place since we were so close. We took the tour.

We started the long drive to get back home. We took a break in Hattiesburg, MS. This is when I first learned of the 41-mile Longleaf Trace rail-trail. I came back in 2015 to ride my Bacchetta Giro recumbent out and back.

A whirlwind of a trip. We made it home safe and sound.