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Journey For St Louis BBQ ~ Road Trip

Journey For St Louis BBQ ~ Road Trip

Today is our journey to St. Louis for BBQ. Waking in the morning on our road trip there is a fresh coat of spring snow and 27 degrees in Eagle River Colorado. The morning birds are still happy and enjoying a little winter fun. Cherie and I get ready for the day and make our plans for the shortage from the snow closing I-70 in the Colorado Rockies.

Journey Denver to St Louis 4Chion Lifestyle Tammy Forchion and Cherie
Road Trip Cherie and Tammy Forchion

Vail Colorado Road Trip 

This was a real eye-opener in the morning. We had planned to try to go up further north towards Yellowstone, but as the week got closer the weather indicated snow. It has been a beautiful journey so far.  We get ready for the day. Grateful for Burt’s Bees Foot Creme, Coconut this is perfect for my feet to stay soft and non-drying. We are looking forward to some Medical Ball Tea at Starbucks for our drive to Vail and Denver.

The snow is slowly melting and roads are clearing up. The traffic is heavy as drivers try to get to their destination after an overnight road closure (thank you Expedia for all your assistance with the many reservations changes) We get to Vail Colorado just in time to hear the melting snow, capture a few photos, and watch as skiers get ready for a day of skiing.

The town brings a sense of a European Mountain town. The town was explored by Irishman George Gore, known as Lord Gore, and American frontiersman Jim Bridger was among the first explorers to venture into the mountainous region. There are little shops, skiing, and wonderful architecture.  Many buildings have high A-frame roofs and beautifully set into the landscape of the Rocky Mountains.

The town is perfect for winter sports and fun, but spring and summer are wonderful for travel. Vail Colorado offers:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Fly fishing
  • Hiking recommended
    • Vail Recreation Path
    • Piney River Trail
    • Minute Mile Trail
  • Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
  • Spa Services
  • River Rafting
  • Tubing

Continental Divide Journey

We head down the highway to one of the most impressive engineering creation Eisenhower Tunnel. This tunnel is 1.7 miles going under Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. This tunnel is staffed with employees monitoring carbon levels and traffic. They walk the sidewalks inside, there are fire exits in the tunnel, and old booths where employees sat to watch traffic. The tunnel has a downgrade from the 11,000′ elevation. This section of I-70 through the Rocky Mountains is a wonderful journey of beauty and engineering.

Entering Denver, you quickly realize that the Rocky Mountains are behind the city to the West. Everything to the East is flat and you can see for miles. We stop for lunch at Zeppelin Station. This is a great place with a vast variety of healthy restaurants and a local bar.  Many locals gather here on Saturday afternoon to share stories and enjoy a great meal.

Journey Denver to St Louis 4Chion Lifestyle
Road Trip Denver to St. Louis

Aloha Poké Co. provides a light refreshing meal with a wide choice of vegetables and rice. This is a perfect meal for this long day of road travel. Cherie and I sit outside enjoying lunch in the spring sun and looking back at the Rocky Mountains thinking a strong contrast from the last two days to the journey that lays in front of us.

Kansas Journey

Heading back on our journey again the landscape becomes flat and almost desolate. It seems at times there is nothing but land here. The road seems to go forever and the earth seems flat. The journey begins to become endless. We begin counting water towers for entertainment. We counted 68 total from Kansas to Champaign IL. I am sure we missed a few here and there.

Missouri Journey

Rolling into Kansas City, MO. the city is beautiful. This is not on our scheduled stops, but one to return to for visiting. We see our first baseball stadium, The Kansas City Royals.  We make our way into Independence MO. Our ancestors were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We stopped by the Independence Visitors Center.

This center represents a time in the lives of the members of loss and contention with the government. They built homes and had plans for a temple for worship. The Saints entered the area in 1831 and by 1833 twelve hundred members in the area. This was a slave state and members did not support slavery. The voting power became a concern. The members were driven out of Independence in December 1833. The area is strong in religions started in the 1800s in the USA. The Community of Christ has a temple across the street. It is a great place to explore early American religion. As we make our way towards St. Louis there is a strong religious influence seen alone the freeway.

St. Louis City is a place that Cherie is excited to stop and explore. The first place we stop of course is the baseball stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals. It is a great place to explore the team and history. There are statues outside representing the best ballplayers. Looking behind the stadium, you see the Gateway Arch. This is the gateway to the West designed by architect Eero Saarinen. The St. Louis arch is the tallest arch in the western world. There are great things to do in St. Louis including:

  • Private beer lovers tour
  • Augusta wine tour
  • Lewis and Clark historic tour
  • Get a one-day adventure pass for admission to
    • Children’s Zoo,
    • Zooline Railroad
    • 4D Theater
    • Conservation Carousel
    • Stingrays at Caribbean Cove and Sea Lion Show

St. Louis is known for its arch and barbecue. This being a late Sunday afternoon we realize that many locations are not open, but find one near the ball field, SugarFire SmokeHouse BBQ! This is an award-winning restaurant under Chef Mike Johnson has studied with Myron Mixon, cooked under Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Trotter. It was a great experience of community, exceptional food (sweet potatoes the best) and BBQ pork and salmon. It was a great meal for the remaining day’s journey to Champaign IL.  We finally make it across the Mississippi River and enter Illinois.

To follow the road trip read here:

Discovering The Great Outdoors of Arizona ~ Road Trip

 

The Journey to Zions and Beyond ~ Road Trip

 

Over The Rocky Mountains We Go ~ Road Trip

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Exceptional for your traveling beauty needs.

Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion

Hydrating Sheet Mask

Moisturizing Lip Mask (road trip really made my lips dry this was fab)

Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract (perfect and saves fees for staining hotel towels)

Coconut Foot Creme

Skin Nourishment Night Cream

Tropical Pineapple Flavor Crystals Lip Balm (This is fantastic, but does not have SPF)

Connect with Esdiac Global here to stay connected with family and friends while traveling internationally:

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Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and More ~ Cameron Trading Post

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and More ~ Cameron Trading Post

Cameron Trading Post located directly off Highway 89 between Flagstaff and turn off for Tuba City is a mix of American, Mexican, and Native American food. The restaurant is located 21 miles from the Grand Canyon and overlooks the beautiful Colorado River Gorge.

Cameron Trading Post Highway 89 Arizona 4Chion Lifestyle copy
Cameron Trading Post
Cameron Arizona

The food is made from scratch daily and a fusion of the three food cultures. This place is perfect for travelers with their lodging, restaurant, art gallery, garden with fountains, and a massive gift shop. The trading post opened in 1916 and welcomes everyone like a guest in their homes. Prior to being a trading post, the place served as an apothecary.

Many who stop here will be hungry after the many outdoor adventures found near the trading post. The adventures include:

  • Grand Canyon exploring
    • hiking
    • river rafting
    • camping
  • Exploring Colorado River Gorge
  •  Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  • Wupatki National Monument
  • The Navajo experience
  • Antelope Canyon

The menu is filling for each meal of the day. Accommodating to many foodies, appetites, and diets. You can enjoy breakfast until 11 AM, but the rest of the menu is available until closing. There is no alcohol at this restaurant, but they do offer a wide choice of coffees, juices, teas, sodas, milkshakes including Prickly Pear (a must try if you have never had this great desert fruit), and non-alcoholic beer.

Cameron Trading Post Highway 89 Arizona 4Chion Lifestyle b
Cameron Trading Post Highway 89 Arizona
  • Breakfast:

    • Navajo pancake this is a blue corn pancake
    • Prickly pear stuffed french toast this is French toast served sandwich style with a prickly pear jam and cream cheese
    • Warrior Surprise is a mini-Navajo Taco topped with one egg
  • Lunch:

    • Southwest taco salad served with a prickly pear cactus fruit vinaigrette
    • Gunslinger ham and cheese with diced green chile to the classic ham and American cheese sandwich
    • Navajo burger A juicy burger patty served on Fry Bread with salsa and all the trimmings (this was a delicious choice)
  • Dinner:

    • Nakahee Becheeyeh ( means south of the border)  includes a pork tamale, a meaty beef taco, and one cheese enchilada
      • Served with tortilla chips, our spicy homemade salsa, refried beans, rice, and your choice of red or green chile
    • Trout dinner with lightly breaded fish that is grilled
    • Liver and Onions Beef liver grilled with onions and bacon
      • served with soup or salad, a fresh mini loaf and a choice of mashed potatoes, baked potato, French fries, sautéed vegetables or rice pilaf.
Navajo Taco Cameron Trading Post
Navajo Taco Cameron Trading Post

Each dish enjoyed this evening brought a new experience to something familiar. We enjoyed the Navajo burger (with a vegetarian patty), club sandwich (served gluten-free) and Navajo taco (made with Blue Bird flour). Ellie enjoyed a milkshake and nibbling off everyone’s plate. Miss “Foodie” (Ellie) really recommends their fantastic french fries.  The menu includes the Navajo language providing a fun conversation with the staff.  We enjoyed the local flavors and an expansion of cultures. The food to the ambiance provided a complete experience with cultural diversity.

Cameron Trading Post Highway 89 Arizona 4Chion Lifestyle d
Ellie at Cameron Trading Post

The dining room is a place that feels like a large welcoming dining room. It is decorated in traditional Native America artifacts and a large stone fireplace, it was a beautiful addition to the atmosphere and ties well with the menu. The ceiling a pressed tin is so intriguing.  The beauty outside the cathedral windows is breathtaking. You can see the gorge and the suspension bridge (built-in 1911 for highway 89 traffic) from this place. The sunsets here are magnificent with the gorge and bridge.

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Burt’s Bees For Road Trip Purchase Here

Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion

Hydrating Sheet Mask

Moisturizing Lip Mask (road trip really made my lips dry this was fab)

Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract (perfect and saves fees for staining hotel towels)

Coconut Foot Creme

Skin Nourishment Night Cream

Tropical Pineapple Flavor Crystals Lip Balm (This is fantastic, but does not have SPF)

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Discovering The Great Outdoors of Arizona ~ Road Trip

Discovering The Great Outdoors of Arizona ~ Road Trip

The beautiful state of Arizona is the Sonoran Desert,  Sedona red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls, and ponderosa pine-covered mountains, that is a major gateway to the Grand Canyon.  The beauty and natural formations are a great discovering journey.

Superstition Spring  Mountains Travel Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle a
Superstition Spring  Mountains

The journey begins on US 60 near the gorgeous Superstition Spring  Mountains. This mountain range is the most photographed and painted landmark behind the Grand Canyon in Arizona. These mountains east of Phoenix brings gorgeous sunrises and great light for sunsets. These mountains look different during the day as the lights play on the mountains. Many mountains in Arizona are volcanic. These mountains are near  Weavers Needle, a tall eroded volcanic remnant.

A large part of the superstition is from Jacob Waltz. He claimed on his deathbed to have discovered a mother lode of gold there. Apaches believe that the hole leading down into the lower world, or hell, is located in the Superstition Mountains. Another superstition tied to the mountains is that the winds blowing from the hole that is believed to cause of severe dust storms in the Phoenix metropolitan region. There are many stories of strange sounds and disappearance connected to the mountains. Many Apaches believe that the hole leading down into the lower world, or hell, is in the Superstition Mountains.

There is so much to see and do here! You can:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Explore the Lost Dutchman Museum
  • Apache Trail Tours
  • Goldfield Ghost Town
  • Superstition Zipline
  • Usery Mountain Regional Park

When exploring remember that this is a congressionally designated strict “leave no trace. This wilderness zone prohibits you from disturbing, leaving, or taking anything from the preserved areas.

V-Bar-V Heritage Lakea Montezuma Well Travel Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle a
V-Bar-V Heritage and Lake Montezuma Well

Heading north out of Phoenix you climb 3000 feet in elevation. You take exit 293 follow the signs to Lake Montezuma Well National Monument (there is also Montezuma’s castle you can visit in the nearby area). This is a free stop with an easy to follow a trail, there are 100 steps down into the well. This trail will take you through how the Southern Sinagua, cliff dwellers, figured how to use spring water to irrigate their crops. The water is about 55 feet deep and 74 degrees Fahrenheit with 1.5 million gallons daily. The rim leads to large pueblo ruins and an ancient pit house.

Leaving the national monument use forest road via Forest Service Rd 618. This will take you to V-Bar-V Heritage Site. Here you will see life by the stream over thousands of years. There is a $5 parking fee, no pets, and no public water at this place. You will follow a trail walking past a chimney in remnants and fences from old homesteads along the creek. The walk is easy and beautiful.  This trail will take you to the best-preserved and largest petroglyph site in the Verde Valley.  This rock art is beautiful and tells a different story each day. You can follow the planting of the crops by Southern Sinagua to the harvest by the way the light hits the wall at a specific time each day. There is a carved rock in the wall that follows the mountain range of San Francisco Peaks.  Save your pass for your ventures in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. You can see where the pass is good click here.

Sedona AZ family 4chion Lifestyle
Sedona AZ

Head east on N Forest Ranger Rd toward Forest Service Rd 618 to get to Sedona. The famous area rises above the desert land and brings beautiful hues of red color against the brown desert and green ponderosa pines. This prime community brings art, beautiful nature, vortex, and exceptional food and wine. The vortex is a swirling center of energy believed to help with healing and meditation.  The best art shop in the southwest (we believe) is Tlaquepaque (pronounced T-la-keh-pah-keh). This place of great art from the southwest and modern artists. There are beautiful places to catch a bit to eat or drink. There are often great gallery showings.

Sedona does host a yearly film festival and wine festival (featuring Arizona wines our favorite is Alcantara Vineyards close to Sedona). There is a wide diversity of food and fantastic. A great restaurant is the Mesa Grill at the Sedona Airport. The view on top of the hill is fantastic. Watching planes come and go is an added bonus. Enjoyed the shrimp ceviche as it was midday.

There is so much to do in Sedona:

  • Jeep tours
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Touring
  • Exploring
  • Golfing

Leaving Sedona take  89A through Oak Creek Canyon.  Highway 89 is the top tourist road trip. This road takes you from Mexico to Canada while passing through some of the most scenic areas of the west. You can visit seven National Parks, fourteen National Monuments and three Heritage Areas. 

Oak Creek Canyon provides a great stop if you have time to take a dip in slide rock. This gorge provides beautiful views of sheer rock, changes in the landscape from the beauty of the red rocks to the Ponderosa pines. This journey will have you climb the final 2500 feet into Flagstaff AZ.

Flagstaff AZ family 4chion Lifestyle
Flagstaff Arizona

Flagstaff the last big city in Northern Arizona. This town is home to Northern Arizona University, connection to the Grand Canyon, and the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona’s tallest mountain Humphreys Peak. This town is where we stayed the night. A visit with my grandchild, Ellie, she provided an exception breakfast of pancakes and eggs. She is a foodie at 2. Cooking and washing dishes she loves to be in the kitchen.

We enjoyed visiting with family and exploring this beautiful town. The downtown area includes some great food and shops with exquisite Native American art and jewelry. It is a gathering place for tourist and locals alike. There is a monthly art walk with the many galleries and movie night in the Square.  Dogs are welcomed in most areas of the town.

Our final evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal and drinks at Dara Thai with family and dear friends. The food was exceptional. The menu provided a vast variety for everyone including a nephew who is particular. The spring rolls are fresh and have a great dip with some heat. The seafood with fresh ginger was warm and light. The cocktails were unique. They do have a full-service bar. It was a perfect evening together hearing about plans for traveling and journeys.

San Francisco Peaks and Sunset Crater Travel Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle a
The San Francisco Peaks and Sunset Crater

We hit 89 early in the morning and stopped by Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. This is a loop you can take off highway 89. There is a $20 fee to complete the loop. You can stop and see the Sunset Crater area just off the road. This volcano erupted over 1000 years. This eruption created the crater and volcanic fields you can see today but destroyed homes, families, and farms of the native people who lived in there. They relocated to Wupatki, a national monument on the full loop.

The drive from the national monument is one that journeys through Native American land.  It is one of change and beauty. You can see the San Francisco Peaks disappear and the land become a painted desert. We can recommend Cameron Trading Post. This is a great place to get Navajo rugs, Hopi pottery, Hopi kachinas and silver and turquoise jewelry, Apache baskets and Plains beadwork to our Native American Art.  The meal was fantastically cooked from scratch meal. Enjoyed a homemade garden burger on Indian Fry Bread with fabulous fries.

The journey through Arizona ends in the beautiful town of Page AZ. Page is a great area to stage your next journey. It is connected to the following areas:

  • Lake Powell
  • The Wave
  • Antelope Canyon
  • North Rim of the Grand Canyon
  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Road stands with handcrafted Native American art
89 highway Page AZ 4chion Lifestyle
89 Highway and Page AZ

This was a great place to meet with a high school friend and his beautiful wife. We enjoyed breakfast at Ranch House Grille. It was a very local place. Many entering the grill knew other patrons and shared stories of their families and community. It was a wonderful meal. Large portions, good café coffee, and great hash browns.

This journey on the 89 through Arizona was a great journey of beauty, nature, family, and friends. The road trip was one of reflection and dedication to understanding the diversity in Arizona. What is your favorite Arizona site to see? Post your photos here #4ChionStyle

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Burt’s Bees For Road Trip Purchase Here

Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion

Hydrating Sheet Mask

Moisturizing Lip Mask (road trip really made my lips dry this was fab)

Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract (perfect and saves fees for staining hotel towels)

Coconut Foot Creme

Skin Nourishment Night Cream

Tropical Pineapple Flavor Crystals Lip Balm (This is fantastic, but does not have SPF)

Connect with Esdiac Global here to stay connected with family and friends while traveling internationally:

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