For the most part I am all about taking lots of little trips and spending as few dollars as possible on each little trip. I have come to realize that wherever you find yourself there are so many things to do that do not consume weeks of vacation time, do not break the bank, and are often as breathtaking and fun as a trip through Yellowstone National Park. Quite honestly if my husband and I did not have the Senior Lifetime Passes to our National Parks and Monuments and I would have had to pay to go through Yellowstone I would have been disappointed. Here comes the hate mail! Sorry, that’s just me talking and I was really tired after two weeks on a motorcycle in Glacier National Park.

But here’s the thing… If you live in Montana or Wyoming Glacier National Park and Yellowstone are LITTLE trips for you. Unfortunately we just don’t consider it a trip when we live next door to a national or local treasure. I lived in San Diego for a number of years but I never went to Borrego Springs, yet two years ago during a winter hiatus to California I spent some time there and I fell in love with it. If you live in Southern California or winter there Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs is a little trip for you and all for the price of fuel and whatever food and drink you consume. The Sky Art consists of over 100 metal sculptures of prehistoric animals that once lived in the D’Anza Borrego Desert.


Back to 4 SITES, 9 HOURS, 17 DOLLARS + GAS   A couple weeks ago a friend and I took off for Southeastern Minnesota. We left at 9:30 in the morning and returned home at 6:30.

We stopped at the Hobgoblin (maker of Stoney End Harps and other string instruments) where we spent a couple hours


We then drove into Red Wing to see the World’s Largest Boot. We spent another hour and a half in the Red Wing Boot Store Museum.


We also had lunch at the Historic St. James Hotel. It was okay but I felt it was highly overrated.

On to Kellogg to Lark Toys we spent another two hours reminiscing about our old toys, admiring the carousel with its unusual and intricately carved birds and animals and devouring a great ice cream cone.


Heading home it was impossible to pass by the National Eagle Center in Wabasha without stopping. No Eagles this time of year, and the interpretive center had closed for the day, but it’s still a wonderful place to visit. The view of the river, the sculptures portraying the flight of the Eagle and the statue of Chief Wapahasha sculpted by one of his ancestors all make the stop worthwhile.


In nine hours we saw some beautiful scenery, checked in at four sites, visited our childhood, learned more about Minnesota — it’s past and present, and had a great ice cream cone. My total cost: Lunch: $13.00, Ice Cream Cone: $4.00.   I traveled 170 miles so gas cost me about twenty dollars. If the National Eagle Interpretive Center had been open I would have spent another $6 (Senior Discount).

I am not dissing vacations to Disney, Wisconsin Dells, Grand Canyon, etc. Those vacations are wonderful. My intent is to make more people aware of the many day trips and weekend trips that they can enjoy in their own backyard that are free or cost next to nothing.

Have fun on your next little trip and do write and tell me about it at littleusatrips@charter.net


2 Comments on “4 SITES, 9 HOURS, 17 DOLLARS + GAS

  1. This is wonderful, Heidi! I guess that sometimes we just don’t even think of the nearby places which might, if we go, would give us a real kick! Thanks so much!

    • It’s human nature. I think we become desensitized to what we grow up around because it’s “just there” and one – you can always go see it, and two – it’s not like it’s a REAL tourist attraction. People travel from all over the world to go to the Mall of America. It’s a holiday for them. It’s 20 minutes up the road from where I live and not a place I want to go spend the day. Maybe I should play traveler and hang out there and see what I’m missing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Milwaukee By Storm

Weekly adventures in Milwaukee, WI.

Becky Due - Author & Abstract Artist

Motivation to Love Your Life

Cool San Diego Sights!

Colorful photos of San Diego places and events.

Fractions of the world

Road trips & traveltips

Gustav Woelfl Verderber

Author, naturalist, nature photographer, professor, husband, son.

Tracy Lamperti


Luke Heikkila

a space for my photographs

Marissa Payne

Write, write, write, write and write some more.


Breaking news and updates from Time.com. News pictures, video, Twitter trends.


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: