Western Road Trip Epilogue

Let me share with you the many souvenirs I obtained along my travels. First up, these enormous pine cones, as large as my enormous hand. They’re from Lake Tahoe in Nevada.

South of Lake Tahoe, my campground was in a small tourist and brewing town called June Lake. I had some beer at June Lake Brewing, and also bought this bottle from a similar brewery to the south at the general store. I’ve successfully turned it into a beer bottle glass. The first one I tried today exploded (a little too much tension in the cutting tool), the second one got a vertical crack, but by some miracle this souvenir bottle is the most perfect cut I’ve ever made.

This is my haul of fireworks from Nevada. 400 of those really loud snaps, 640 firecrackers, 8 rockets, 12 mortars, and a 21 shot finale. Come to my July 4th barbecue on July 2nd, it’ll be great.

There are four main things I now collect as souvenirs: shot glasses, smashed pennies, pins, and rocks.

The pennies go back to my road trip origin story, when my family suddenly moved to Green Bay, WI for several months. I got several smashed pennies at places we visited on the way home in May 2005, but was sad not to find any at the Grand Canyon. This year I returned and found them, and I also got a new book from the Grand Canyon because I’ve already filled up the second one that I bought at Yellowstone in 2011. Another thing I got in Arizona is a packet of mixed cactus seeds.

I’m a little picky about shot glasses. My favorite has an artistic rendering of a rainy day in Seattle, with the Space Needle. Here are the six I gained last week:

When I decorated my room several months ago, I put a bandanna folded into a triangle on my wall to hold a few pins. Then I started buying souvenir pins, and now I have a nice little collection. This trip added seven.

Finally, I got a few fossils and rocks and stuff of that nature. In the pictures you can see the meteorite piece from the Arizona crater, fossils of fish, coral, a fern, and a shark tooth, an agate slice, and crystals of lepidolite, chalcopyrite, garnet, and citrine quartz. Not pictured are several handfuls of rocks from beaches and beyond. I’ll probably use those for my little cactus garden.

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