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I have been friends with Janice for about 30 years!!! We met at Hampton Park Playgroup. My eldest is now 35 .......the youngest 32......and Janice's two boys are of a similar age. From the playgroup our friendship carried on to Hampton Dene Primary School.....through to Bishops School. We then lost touch (as you do) as the boys went on to Sixth Form/Tech college and varying universities. never really 'lose touch' with certain friends.......friends that you don't have to see every day/week/month.....but friends that you can pick up very easily where you left off last time!!! Janice is one of those friends.....

Anyhow.....Janice has been on to me for ages to put into writing some of our escapades/holidays/adventures since we retired about four years here goes!!

Sally Camper van

Our Adorned Camper Van! 

My husband, Geoff and I have always looked forward to retiring at the age of 55......downsizing to an apartment overlooking the sea......and travelling round France/Spain in our campervan.......and I am lucky enough to say that yes......we've done all of those things......and are still doing them. We are also very lucky in that our youngest son is living in we look forward each year to visiting him in Wisconsin for a couple of months and hiring a car for our road trip which often lasts for about three weeks.

Sally Hire Car

Our Hire Car For The Trip

It usually starts at about this time of year.......getting the map of USA out on the dining table and brainstorming ideas of where we'd like to visit........and, as you can well imagine.....the ideas are endless!!!

Sally Rockies

Over The Rockies From Ouray To Silverton

We have just returned from visiting him. We covered over 4,500 miles on this road trip, taking in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma!!! Fabulous straight roads meant that this was such an enjoyable and exciting journey for both of us. We used motels along the need to book as there are so many of them to choose from but what I can recommend is that you drop into one of the many many Welcome/Visitor Centers in each state to pick up a Motel Coupon book which can bring the nightly price down quite considerably.

sally steam train

Fabulous Views From The Steam Train Going To Durango And Back

This latest road trip included driving over the San Juan Mountains.....part of the Rockies along the Alpine Loop Backway from Ouray to Silverton and then on to Durango........spanning elevations from 6,200 feet to 11,008 feet!! As you can imagine, the views were absolutely breathtaking........spectacular snow capped peaks......glorious fall colours......and bright sunny skies!!! Those of you who are steam train enthusiasts will probably guess where our next stop was.........yep......the steam train from Durango to Silverton and back.

Another awesome journey winding our way up through breathtaking scenery with endless opportunities for the amateur photographers like us. This railroad line was originally constructed to haul silver and gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, so you can easily take yourself back in time to the late 1800's and imagine prospectors panning for silver and/or gold........

Go to Part 2 here.

Go to Part 3 here.

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