Sunday, May 30, 2010

How to read a book and see the country

Frommer's National Parks with Kids (Park Guides)This summer we will take our most ambitious road trip ever, traveling through nine states in three-and-a-half weeks -- California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, and Arizona!

Between trip planning and trying to get this house organized for our housesitters, these last weeks before summer are zipping by. In the meantime, I'm trying not to be terrified devouring travel guides and reading to the boys about all the places we'll visit.

We'll be staying near the end of the Oregon Trail for the weekend of my cousin's wedding, so I picked up a few books about the journey, and I'm looking at the video game. (Anyone played it?) We'll be so busy enjoying our family that weekend, I'm not sure how much sightseeing we'll get in, but I definitely want to take them to Multnomah Falls.

Larry Gets Lost in SeattleAfter Portland, we'll visit my old college buddies and their kiddos in Seattle and traipse around trying to find Larry. And then it's across the water to the San Juan Islands to visit more friends and just enjoy the green.

We'll hit several national parks on our journey, including Yellowstone. We've been reading about how the wolves disappeared from the park, and what happened when they returned. (Awesome example of the interconnectedness of ecosystems, and how every part of it is important.)

And because we'll be visiting my mother-in-law in South Dakota for the first time ever, we're also reading up on the presidents of Mount Rushmore:
I've also reserved spots for the boys at a paleontology dig simulation at the nearby Mammoth Site Museum, in Hot Springs, SD. That should be a filthy blast!

Then it's down to dinosaur country, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. Whew!

Even if you won't be selling your soul to the oil companies braving the highway this summer, you can still take a road trip to the library and enjoy the scenery of a good book! We also read How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A -- in case you need an excuse to bake.

The Home School Mom site has an awesome collection of facts and links for all 50 states. I especially like the Teachers First state pages.  We might use the maps and other graphics for scrapbooking our trip when we get home, or for printing and perusing while on the road.

And no, I haven't yet added up the hours we'll spend in the car...!!

What are your plans for the summer?


sarah in the woods said...

Oh it sounds so fun! And yes, scary. I remember the fabulous road trips my family went on to see the Grand Canyon, an island camp in Canada, up the east coast, etc. I want to take my kids on those kinds of road trips. On the other hand, being the mother, traveling with kids in the car for unending hours is daunting. The last couple of years, I've resisted any trip longer than the 6 hrs it takes us to get to the beach - and beg that we travel at night so the kids will sleep. This year, I'm getting braver, and we're planning an 8-hr trip to Jamestown, VA. I think we'll work our way up to the longer trips. Hope you have a great time, and looking forward to hearing how it goes.

mandi said...

YES!!! Don't be scared- it's going to be tons of fun! Thanks for the book ideas. We are going all the way up to Pennsylvania in August- 3 weeks for us too! We'll be hitting DC and I just cannot wait. Anyway, we're doing some major American history around here to get us geared up. A little Ben Franklin, Washington, Lincoln, a little govt....I even found this awesome paper model of the white house!
Last fall when we went to NC you had asked about car entertainment. I made a little box for each kid. Made our own car bingo game, wikki sticks (life saver), lacing cards, etc. Then every so often I like to pull something out of my bag of tricks under MY seat- like a sucker, a little bag of dinosaurs, stickers, window clings, etc. Our rule for the car is no movies until the sun goes down. Setting that rule first off really helped so they weren't asking the whole trip. Also- of course!- books on tape. Box car Children, Little House, etc.
I can't wait to see pics of your adventures!

one more thing- google NorthWest Trek. It is on the way to Seattle from the Portland area. It is an amazing zoo/ drive out safari type thing. All with animals native to the area. You hike down nature trails and then BOOM- you're at the bear exhibit, beaver exhibit, etc. So cool! Not to mention all the wild animals along the way- like tiny bunnies! It is a wonderful place to visit!

the good life mama said...

Thanks for all of the links! We'll be heading to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks and I'm busy with preparations. Three boys, almost half way across the country?? Many of our friends wonder if we've thought this through clearly. Happy to see we're not alone! Safe journey--

Rana said...

What a great adventure! We are going to Yellow stone next year. Thanks for all of your links. I will have to check them out for our trip. We just did a 9 hour trip to D.C. from Michigan and the kid did really well. It was a fun trip. I can't wait to hear about all of your experiences.

Lauren said...

Just before each new month, I scour the local events calendars to plan out all our local adventures!

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