That time already? Yes! Here’s the Best and Worst of September. Lots of noteworthy stuff this month, therefore, lots of ties. We just couldn’t decide which bumper sticker, day hike, and celebrity sighting we liked best. One thing’s for sure, luck was with us this month as we scored tickets for the Best Sporting Event and found our Most Pleasant Surprise at the Grand Canyon. If there are other categories you’d like to see, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions!
Best Long Hike To the Kolob Arch, Northern section of Zion NP. 14 miles round trip.
Miles Traveled (in Altima) 3,729 miles in September. 25,396 total miles.
First Snow September 20th Park City, Utah. Big white flakes. It was beautiful.
Best Day Hike The Narrows, Zion NP, Utah. The route is very simple. Stick your feet in the river and follow it between the cliffs. When you get tired, turn around and come back. Although we had only planned to walk the boardwalk along the river, the siren call of the water was too much to resist. We grabbed one of the walking sticks, cringed once at the 52 degree water and headed into the Narrows. Hours and hours later, we returned to dry land, but not before a fellow Brown alum spotted Gab’s hat and shook her hand. This is the first time on the trip anyone has recognized and accurately placed the “B” on Gab’s head. She was overjoyed. This is also in the running for Gab’s favorite hike ever.
Funniest Bumper Sticker Tie * No Roads Lead to Pullman. Seen across the street from the Boise State Stadium, Boise, Idaho. Funny since we had just been to Pullman, home of Washington State, a few days earlier and could verify that statement.
* If God didn’t want us to eat animals, then why are they made of meat? Seen at the Bulldog Saloon, Whitefish, Mont.
Most Interesting Sign Welcome to Milton-Freewater: Home of Low Cost Utilities, Milton-Freewater, Ore. Get it? Free water.
Most Unusual Place to Upload to www.usa-c2c.com Women’s bathroom outside the Visitor Center, Zion NP. Hey, it was the only place we could find with an outlet. As quaint and convenient as Springdale, Utah is, there are no internet cafes and the one coffee shop where we asked to use an outlet totally shocked us by saying yes, but only for 15 minutes. Gab snuck into the busy ladies’ room down the road and uploaded to her heart’s content. Thank you, Zion.
The “Fancy Meeting You Here” Award Mr. and Mrs. Hill, Michael’s parents’ former neighbors. While at the Desert View Overlook on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Ariz. Michael meekly inquired, “Mrs. Hill? It’s me Michael from Harrisburg.” He was greeted by hugs, shrieks and a guest appearance on his old neighbor’s vacation videotape.
The “We Got Robbed!” Award Getting fifth place in the live trivia contest at Sean Kelly’s, Missoula, Mont. Some might have been pleased with our showing, especially as first timers. But first through fourth places got cash and prizes and we swear that the points racked up by the combined brains of Michael, Gab, Amy and Adam should have placed us in the top 4. Michael contested the adding skills of the judge but to no avail.
Liveliest City Center (Towns) Boise, Idaho
Dullest City Center (Towns) Tie Pocatello, Idaho and Idaho Falls, Idaho. Thank goodness for the Applebee’s Gift Card from Gab’s brother’s girlfriend, or else we would have been bored senseless. At least a free meal in Idaho Falls gave us something to be excited about. Thanks, Brandi!
Friendliest People Boise, Idaho. Especially Aaron, and fellow Rams fans Matt and Erin. Dinner was delicious!!!
Biggest Disappointment Jackson Hole, Wyo. We can’t afford anything here!! And it’s the off season.
Most Pleasant Surprise Getting a backcountry permit to hike into and camp at the bottom of the Grand Canyon NP. This is a big deal. All we have ever heard about the Grand Canyon is how you have to plan your trip early, make reservations months in advance and then pray that your itinerary is accepted. Not so! If you are willing to risk it, you can get up early and sit outside the Backcountry Permit office and wait for it to open at 8 am. If you’re lucky, you can grab one of the permits set aside for first come, first serve hikers. All of us that waited in the frosty chill came away happy. Gab asked the Ranger handing out the prized permits if she ever felt like a fairy godmother.
Most Unpleasant Surprise Tie * Gabby getting a bad cold somewhere in between Boise and Hagerman, Idaho. It was awful enough to keep us from camping and in hotel rooms for the next few nights. Oh wait, that’s no so unpleasant. * Finding out that getting to Rainbow Bridge NM, Utah will be near impossible. Options: a.) $110 per person boat ride or b.) a 34 mile round trip hike. That’s not so bad, but to get to the trailhead, you must travel over 30 miles down a dirt road. A 4x4 is strongly recommended. Poor little ‘Tima. We couldn’t do that to her.
Cheapest Ticket Free for a Missoula Osprey v. Great Falls White Sox Rookie League baseball game, Missoula, Mont. We tried to go in during the sixth inning but an usher insisted that we still had to pay. Instead we sat with about twenty other on a lawn in centerfield. Great seats and great entertainment from two playful retrievers and a set of infield sprinklers that accidentally went off in the middle of the seventh inning.
Best Waiter/Waitress Megann (with 2 n’s) from breakfast at the Grand Canyon Lodge, North Rim, Grand Canyon NP. She somehow knew that the meal was a treat for us and allowed us to enjoy it with minimal interruption. She had the wonderful talent of talking just enough. Friendly, but not overbearing. Attentive, but not obsessive. Man, she was good.
Most Expensive Ticket $25 for a South end zone General Admission ticket to the Boise State v. Oregon State Football Game in Boise. The game was oversold and we didn’t really have seats, but who cares?
Highest Price for Gas $1.99 at the Maverik in Page, Ariz.
Lowest Price for Gas $1.73 at the Maverik in Thayne, Wyo.
Best Sporting Experience Boise State v. Oregon State. Best American Kabuki – the female Boise State Bronco. Decked out in a cheerleading uniform, she didn’t miss a step. Is there such a thing as a female bronco? A bronc-ette?
Most Out of the Way Site Tie * City of Rocks NM, Almo, Idaho * Golden Spike NHS, Promontory, Utah.
Best Local Cuisine Idaho potatoes. French fried, grilled with onions and peppers, you name it. Delicious. There is no way we could ever stay on the Atkins Diet.
Best Line Cook The beautiful woman running the place at the Dutch Goose, Boise, Idaho. We don’t know her name, but everyone else at the place did. Sunday afternoon football crowd – chowing down on both breakfast and lunch specials. All cooked before your eyes on the small grill behind the bar. She was the only cook and she made it seem effortless. She made a special batch of fried Idaho potatoes just for us. As if she didn’t have anything better to do. Oh yeah, and she was gorgeous. You go, girl.
Most Helpful Roadside Stop The AAA Office in Lewiston, Idaho. Not only did we pick up our usual stash of State Guides and maps, but we scored free sunglasses and postcards and got great advice – basically, keep driving. We left Lewiston, went to Moscow, Idaho and followed the guidance of our friends at AAA. Don’t miss the fishbowls at Gambino’s!
Best Smelling Factory The Ore/Ida Potato Factory, Ontario, Ore. Imagine the scent of tater tots, French fries and hash browns wafting into your car. A welcome change from all the paper mills, but torture nonetheless. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it.
Celebrity Sightings Tie * Lester Hayes, former Oakland Raider signing autographs while the Steelers/Raiders game was on the big screen at the Dutch Goose in Boise, Idaho. * Steve O, of MTV’s Jackass and Wild Boyz fame. Steve O was in Boise for a show/concert/whatever he does for $20 a ticket. He drove past in a limo pleading a young woman (not the term he used) to ask for his autograph. He would have been offensive had he not sounded so sincere. It was hilarious.
Most Excessive Use of Public Funds Five police cruisers, a fire truck and a phalanx of cops positioned outside of the Steve O show, just in case. The local paper had warned Boise residents that at the last Steve O appearance, cars were tipped and even set ablaze. Boise wasn’t taking any chances. But this still seemed like a bit much.
Best Campground Backcountry spot #12 inside the Kolob Canyon, Northern section, Zion NP. Far from anyone else, nestled in between the Beaver Creek and a spring which ran in a series of waterfalls to meet the larger body of water. Bright red cliffs rose on either side of us, giving us a stunning sunrise and sunset.
West Glacier, MT • Whitefish, MT • Kalispell, MT • Missoula, MT • Lolo, MT • Wisdom, MT • Deer Lodge, MT • Kamiah, ID • Spalding, ID • Lewiston, ID • Moscow, ID • Pullman, WA • Walla Walla, WA • Pendleton, OR • La Grande, OR • Boise, ID • Hagerman, ID • Twin Falls, ID • Jerome, ID • Almo, ID • Pocatello, ID • Arco, ID • Idaho Falls, ID • West Yellowstone, MT • Jackson, WY • Montpelier, ID • Logan, UT • Tremonton, UT • Promontory, UT • Salt Lake City, UT • Park City, UT • Lehi, UT • Panguitch, UT • Tropic, UT • Cedar City, UT • La Verkin, UT • Springdale, UT • Kanab, UT • Fredonia, AZ • Page, AZ • Lee’s Ferry, AZ • Jacob Lake, AZ • Desert View, AZ • Grand Canyon, AZ
Glacier NP • Big Hole NB • Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS • Nez Perce NHP • Whitman Mission NHS • Hagerman Fossil Beds NM • Minidoka Internment NM • City of Rocks N RES • Craters of the Moon NM and PRES • Yellowstone NP • John D. Rockefeller MEM PKWY • Grand Teton NP • Fossil Butte NM • Golden Spike NHS • Timpanogos Cave NM • Bryce Canyon NP • Cedar Breaks NM • Zion NP • Pipe Spring NM • Glen Canyon NRA • Grand Canyon NP
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