Dad's Retirement

Last week, we went out to Connecticut to celebrate Dad's retirement (March 29).

We arrived the night before in secret and spent the next day decorating. All the kids (and many of the grand kids) surprised Dad at his office in the afternoon. Erin, Mollie, and Megan sang a modified version of "For the Longest Time."

We spent the evening at the church building for a party. There was food and cake, the kids ran around like loons, and we played "Jobs Dad has had" Wheel of Fortune (minus the wheel).

Road Trip 2018: Craters of the Moon National Monument

After our science-y adventures we finally reached Craters of the Moon National Monument.  I can vaguely remember going here as a kid at some point.  And I think we recreated that trip almost in its entirety.

I can remember hiking up Inferno Cone and the deceptiveness of the climb.  When you think you're just about at the top you find out the trail just levels out for a moment and the angle hides the rest of the cone.  Heather and I went to the top....

While Jess and Corinne waited at the bottom:

We saw the snow at the bottom of Snow Cone:

And look, pictorial evidence that I was on this trip!

That evening we had dinner at another Culver's, this one in Twin Falls:

And we pushed on to Elko, NV and found a hotel with a pool for the girls to do some swimming.  The next day it was all the way home and the Great Road Trip of 2018 was finally over.

 

Road Trip 2018: EBR-I & Arco Science Park

As one drives west across Idaho from Idaho Falls on highway 20 there is a whole lot of nothing until, bam, EBR-I and Idaho National Laboratory.  EBR-I is open to the public and we decided, what the heck, we likely will never be by here again.  EBR-I is Experimental Breeding Reactor One and was able to power its own facilities as a nuclear power plant.

Here is the floor where fuel rods were stored:

We didn't spend much time there (Corinne and Heather were not exactly interested) so it was on to Arco for lunch at Pickle's Place.

Across the street from Pickle's Place is the Arco Science Park.  Might as well let the girls burn off some energy.  They have a torpedo and a submarine conning tower.

The conning tower from the USS Hawkbill, SSN-666:

Then we were ready for our main destination of the day, Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Road Trip 2018: Grand Teton National Park

After our Dinosaur Dig adventure we began our return trip west.  We drove out past the end of civilization into the wilderness until we came to The Hatchet which is pretty much entirely by itself along Highway 287.  We watched the sunset behind the mountains wreathed in smoke from the fires raging across the country and went to bed.

The next morning it was up and out to try to get into Grand Teton National Park while there was still parking available.  We made it, but not by much.  We stopped in a shop to pick up some snacks for our hike up to and around Moose Pond.  Sadly, we didn't see any moose.  But it was still quite pretty and calm.

This sign was suspiciously similar to the signs in Jurassic Park....including the arrow which looks like you could peel it off and point it in any direction.

Once we finished our hike we drove to Jackson Hole and rode the gondolas up the mountain.

Hey, when Heather insists I take a picture of her making a silly face, it's going to end up on the internet...

After Grand Teton we headed into Idaho.  I had originally hoped to get all the way to Arco, but it became clear that was not going to happen.  So we found somewhere to stay in Idaho Falls, ate some Culver's for dinner, and called it a night.