By TJ Mellema

Week 1

On Thursday July 13th, we left from Yantis to Amarillo. On the way, we ate at a coffee house in Wichita Falls named 8th Street Coffee House. I had a Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich. It was okay. My tummy was in a bad mood and I didn’t really want sandwiches. The bathroom was upstairs and it was an old building and there was a window in the bathroom, which I thought was inappropriate.

We stayed four days in Amarillo. When we got there, we went to my dad’s friend Brian’s house. His dog, Benny, was crazy. First, we came in and his dog was at the other side of the room barking like he’s about to die. He also has his own chair. He went to his chair and I started to pet him and he stops barking. I stop petting him – he starts barking again. It was funny. Solely for this trip I had researched on and bought a new hoverboard by as we really did not spend much time in any concrete jungles thus I never got to use it; hopefully, this won’t happen on the next trip.

After that, we ate dinner at Golden Corral. My grandma works there. She has worked there for 23 years. She gave me a roll of quarters for the quarter machines. While we were eating, there was this lady trying to delete her pictures on her phone and my mom told her how. Then I went to my grandma’s house and went to bed.

The next day, I ate donuts for breakfast and then we went to trim trees at our rental houses – including me! That took about half of the day. Then we visited Doug and Marion, which are also my dad’s friends. They have a dog named Penny. She looks like a puppy, but she’s actually old.

After that we went to Sam’s for a few things that we needed, but we found some grapes that are called Cotton Candy Grapes. They taste like cotton candy. They were cheap and they only come around summer time so we bought like 3 of them. Then we went back to Doug and Marion’s, because Marion likes grapes. She had never heard about Cotton Candy Grapes, so then we gave one package to her and she liked them.

The next day, we picked up my cousin Nolan. Then my grandma took us to see the Cars 3 movie. It was super cool, but a little disappointing too. I spent the rest of the day with my grandma, her friend Turner and Nolan. We went to the park to feed the ducks, but it was really hot, so we went back to her house. We played with this weird Frisbee thing at a park too.

The next day, we went shopping. My dad bought a Cars 3 raceway for my cousin Nolan. I had to go clothes shopping at Old Navy and Kohl’s. My cousin Nolan got some clothes too. We went to a restaurant called Abuelos for lunch. We met my dad’s friend Damien and his girlfriend Sara.

After lunch, we went to see my dad’s friend Darrel. He has this Texas Longhorn puppet that I always play with, every since I was a baby I played with it. Then we went to see my dad’s friend John. It was John’s birthday. We went swimming there too. He was cooking on the grill chicken, hotdogs, and burgers. They had two dogs (Heidi and Raja). They had this weird stick thing that could hold a tennis ball and then you would sling and the dog would play fetch. We also ate cookie cake! They also had a salt gun that you could shoot flies with it was cool. I played with Nolan and Trenton, Trenton is John’s son.

The Cabin

On Thursday, the 13th. We went to my grandma’s cabin in Dolores, Colorado. At the cabin, I watched TV a bunch, but mostly in the mornings. One day, we went to Durango, and my parents bought a pop up camper. While we were looking at it, a deer comes, jumps their fence and drank out of there kid pool!! It was right in the middle of town! It was pretty cool and the lady eventually sprayed the deer with a water hose to run him off because she said he likes to eat on her garden.

My dad’s friend John and his family came to visit us in Dolores for a couple days after we got to the cabin. It was cool because he has 2 kids for me to play with, Trenton and Alison.  We went fishing at a lake called Summit Lake. It was super rocky, but it was super fun too! I played in the lake Allison. We kept trying to stand on the rocks, but I fell and got all wet and muddy. I also made a hobo stick with a grape soda can. We all went shopping in Dolores too.

We went to lunch in Rico the next day. I had delicious chicken tacos and watermelon juice.

That night, we all went to Durango to the Bar D Chuckwagon. There were these four super funny singers and they messed up a lot of songs to make it funny and they also sang a bunch of old cowboy songs. We had a chuck wagon dinner, chicken, beans, applesauce, and spice cake for dessert. It was DELICIOUS!

On Saturday, we went to the Four Corners and I got a tomahawk they used in war! We also saw a pow wow. They go BANGADA BOOM BANG POW BOOM BANGADA BOOMADA. It was cool because we were in 4 states at one time. We were in Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all at once.



Then we went back to the cabin. The next morning, we hung out and fished off a bridge that we have 20 steps away from the cabin. Trenton caught a big trout.

Week 2

After John’s family went home, the next day my family and I went to Telluride! We rode our bikes in Telluride on the paved bike path. It was super fun. A prairie dog went right up to me when I was riding my bike. We rode our bikes to lunch, but we had to wait 40 minutes for our food. But, it was worth it we got a BIG PIZZA!

On the way back to our truck, I almost died (bike smash/crash). I got 8 scrapes. Four on my knuckles and one on my elbow, one on my tricep and one on each of my knees. Then we went back to the cabin and hung out for a bit.

The next day, we rode our bikes all around Dolores and ate at a burger joint called The Depot for lunch. I had Frito Pie, but it had lettuce and tomato on it, which I thought was weird. But, I had a Dr. Pepper float and it was delicious! After riding our bikes, we went back to the cabin. It started raining for a while, but then we went hiking on Bear Creek Trail. It was really muddy and steep. We hiked about a mile straight up a mountain and it was my second favorite hike ever.

We painted the balcony floor on the house brown for my grandma. We could tear the old paint off it was so bad. My dad put a second layer on it after thirty minutes. We had no Internet at the time and we kept on calling the phone company for Internet, but they never came. They said we couldn’t get Internet here, but all our neighbors had Internet, but not us. They finally came today, but they really didn’t do anything. My mom just fixed it. On the door, out to the balcony that we painted, we got like a weird walk through screen door and there was magnets, so when you walk through it connects. It was cool. After that I just watched TV. Then we ate dinner, which was shrimp pasta.  Then I went to bed.

I woke up took a shower immediately then we packed a lunch. We rode along the west fork of the Dolores River. We stopped in the middle of the road to eat lunch. We HAD SMASHED SANDWICHES, STRAWBERRIES, AND CHIPS.



After that, we went back to the cabin and opened our camper! Nothing really cool to be honest.  Then we went and ate dinner with our neighbor at a Mexican restaurant named La Casita. I had a Beef Flautas, my mom had Carnitas Burrito, and my dad had Huevos Rancheros.

The next day we hung out for a little while. Then we went in the camper and ate lunch which was a homemade McRib sandwich and it was delish. After that we played dominos, then we played cards. I learned how to play Rummy too! After that we hung out for a while and my dad fell asleep. When he was asleep, I watched these videos:

This is a YouTube video about strange reasons kid’s toys were banned.

This is hidden messages in famous logos.

Then we ate dinner, which was pasta. Then I went to bed.

I played my game DriveAHead and then we ate lunch, which was left over McRibs Again. Then we hung out for a little. Then we went to this fair, but it was dead. The guide book said the races started at 5:00 PM but it really started at dusk. So, then we went to look at this pottery store which was cool. Then we ate dinner at this place called Stonefish Sushi And More. It was delicious.

Then we went back to the car races and when we got there they had just started. To start it off, they had kids go cart racing. It was cool. Then they started the real races. We bought nachos, Crunch and a pickle from the concession stand. There was supposed to be lawnmower races, but only one person signed up for it and they just got him to do a quick run on it. Then they raced more cars. It was really loud but really fun to watch. We went back to the cabin and I went to bed.

Week 3

We took a 3 mile walk by my grandma’s cabin. There was this dog there and every time he barked it echoed like 3 miles.

From our walk this morning.

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The rest of the day we packed for Salt Lake City. It took the whole day. I packed wood mostly since we were going camping. It started to RAIN on us and I had to work in the rain and by then I was working by myself. THEN MY MOMS TIRE ON HER BIKE HAD A FLAT. So my dad had to go to Wal-Mart for a tire tube and he came back with a new sleeping bag for me, I loved it! My mom and dad had to change the flat tire in the dark.

The next day, we left for Salt Lake City. We camped the first night Utah Lake State Park. We went to a campground and I rode my bike for a little. I came back to the site to help my mom and dad on dinner and my bike tire mysteriously went flat, so then we had to go to another place for a flat tire repair thing. Then we ate chicken kabobs for dinner. And I went too bed.


The next day my dad woke me up which made me mad. We ate breakfast, which was pancakes off a fire, they were DELICIOUS!!!!!!!  After that we went on a walk on the Provo walking path, it was a path that was right by our campsite and we walked that. There wasn’t a gate to get in to it from our campsite so we had to go in the woods and there was broken fence and you could get through there. It took about an hour and on the way, you could see mountains and one of the mountains had a Y on it for the college BYU I was told.  Eventually we lost my dad because he so fast and I had to go to the bathroom and we texted him and told him that we were going back to the campsite.

Next, we went to the Salt Lake City hotel. Then we went on the Jordan River Bike Trail. It was cool. We got to the point to where we would turn around at Gardner Village. When we turned around, we realized I got ANOTHER FLAT! So then my mom went back to our truck. My dad and I walked my bike back to Gardner Village. There was one giant restaurant/shop and bunch of other shops that were separate. One was called Sock City. They had about every sock you could think of, then we went back to the parking lot and about an hour later my mom came back with the truck and we loaded our bikes up. Then we ate dinner at a sandwich place called Jersey Mikes. I LOVED IT. It was WONERFUL – GREAT LIKE MAGIC!  We all got sandwiches. It was like Subway only better.

The next day we went to Wal-Mart to get a repair thing for my bike. Then we fixed it. After that we finished the Jordan River Bike Trail, it was beautiful. Then we went shopping at Gardner Village. I got some soda flavored jelly beans – Dr Pepper and Grape Crush. My parents got some toffee. We got all this from one of the stores called the Chocolate Covered Wagon. Then we went to Sock city again and bought some socks for our neighbors because they took care of our house when we were gone. Then we went to a yarn shop because my mom wanted to buy some, she always likes buying yarn on vacations. I think the weirdest yarn there was alpaca yarn. It was super soft. Then we went to the hotel and I went to bed.

The next day I woke up and we went to a campground in Ashton, Idaho. Once we got there, we set up our camper and stuff like that. Then we rode the Ashton bike trail. After awhile I crashed in the gravel and I got some bruises and a scratch. Then we went back to the campsite. We made a fire and I had to watch it for awhile and keep it how my dad wanted it because he had to go to the grocery store. When he got back he made steaks for dinner. Then we made smore cones kind of things that you would know about if you read my Grand Canyon report. They were smores cones and are wonderful.


The next day I woke up and went to Mesa Falls. Once we got there, we saw a beautiful waterfall with a  RAINBOW.  After that we went to eat lunch at the Frosted Mug. It was delish. My mom, dad and me got ROOTBEER FLOAT. I got a mushroom burger; my dad got a regular old unadventurous boring cheeseburger, and my mom got a bacon burger. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ is my rating. After that we went back to the bike trail and finished it and I crashed in the gravel AGAIN AND GOT ONE GIANT SCRATCH on my belly. After that we went back to the campsite and played some cards.

Week 4

We woke up before sunrise to get a campground at Yellowstone. Once we got there we had to wait forever. THERE WERE 36 PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE! Eventually, my mom and me went to take showers at the Canyon Village. My dad already did.  And then we came back and my dad was waiting for us and got a campsite. He was bored waiting for us so he built a sign thing out of rocks and flowers that said “Mellema’s”.  There was a river by our campsite called the Gibbon River. Lots of people fished in it and it was right by our campsite. We made smores, smore cones, pizza, chilidogs, rib eye, and egg sandwiches for breakfast. It was my first time ever to try a chili cheese dog.

We saw a lot of sights in the park. We went to something called the Grand Prismatic Pool. It’s like a rainbow pond of death. There was a cool road in the Lamar Valley. There were a whole lot of Buffalo there. It was awesome. Buffalo even went on the road! Once there was one right in front of the truck crossing the road. We also saw the Norris geyser basin. There were like 20 geysers and it smelled like rotten eggs.

We stopped to eat at this picnic area and when we were eating a ground squirrel came to say hi. My dad kept feeding him raisins and he ate Pringle crumbs off the ground. I named him Freddy. We ate watermelon that our campsite neighbor gave us too.

We went to the to the Artist Paint Spot of the Yellowstone River. It was gorgeous. We saw someone that hiked down to the river just to fish. We saw Undine Falls, Gibbons Falls, and Tower Falls. We saw a mud volcano. It was awesome. We saw Mammoth Hot Springs, Sulphur Caldron and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River.

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Old Faithful!

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We went to see this ranger named Rosa tell us the history of the park ranger. She talked about the history of the park and what’s its like to be one and all of the different jobs they do. I also learned how to play solitaire, rummy, spaids,and war on the trip and we played it a bunch every night.

The next day I woke up, we packed everything up and headed to our hotel in Salt Lake City. On the way there the only thing I did was work on my report {this}. For lunch I had Burger King. My mom and I got number 8, which is the Original Chicken Sandwich, and I think my dad got a number 12, a whopper. Once we got to the hotel my dad took a nap. I woke him up to eat dinner in the club lounge. After that we watched a movie. In the middle of it my dad and me wanted a snack, so my mom and I went to a shop that is inside the hotel for a snack. We got ice cream. After that I went to bed.

Week 5

The next day I woke up and ate breakfast. Then went swimming; the water was freezing. We got in the hot tub to warm up. After that we left to go to my grandma’s cabin in Colorado. We stopped at Sam’s for a couple things and we also bought some turkey rolls and chips for lunch. Then we got in the car and ate lunch. Then ate dinner at a Mexican place called Chavolito’s. I had taco salad.  My dad had Chicken Tortilla Soup and my mom had a Baracoa Torta. After that we went to the cabin and unloaded all of our stuff. Then we looked on TV for a movie and found Happy Gilmore. It was about halfway done but we still watched the rest.

The next day played on my 3DS for 4 hours. My dad took a 4-hour nap. After that we went on this hiking trail then we went biking on road 38. Eventually it was gravel and that’s hard on my mom’s bike and mine, but not by dads, he has big tires. After a little while on the gravel it smoothed out some. Then we went back to the cabin. For dinner we ate spaghetti carbonara.  After that we played a game of spades. Then I went to bed.

The next day, our morning walk got canceled because of rain :(. So we decided to go to Wal-Mart to buy me a new bike tire because I had no tread on mine. They only had 1 so we could only change the back one and we had to order the second one from Amazon. Next we changed my back tire only to see how it worked it helped a lot on the gravel. After that we watched Charlotte’s Web.

The next day, we went to Escalante Days in Dolores. I entered a watermelon-eating contest; this kid ate a watermelon in like 5 seconds and won. After that, we ate lunch at a Navajo fry bread food stand. I had a Navajo Fry Bread Burger, but it was like a burger taco. Then we got free cake for the 30th anniversary of the Dolores Historical Society. And we saw chainsaw contest; we saw an arm wrestling contest, and a rubber duck race and they raced down the Dolores River. . Then we went back home. My dad and I played dominos for a little bit. I ate Totinos Pizza for dinner. And then we watched Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.

The next day we did our morning walk. After that we made lunch, then my step-grandpa, Jerry, arrived. My dad and Jerry argued about politics forever.   Then we ate lunch, which was a bowl of beans, tostada, and a burrito. After that I went to our neighbors yard and chased off the cows. The second time I chased them my new phone fell out of my pocket. So then my mom and I went through their whole yard with a metal detector.

It took forever to find it. After that I watched TV for a little bit. Then we ate dinner, which was chicken, mashed potatoes and bread. Then we all just talked a lot. Then Jerry left and I went to bed.

The next day we went on a bike ride the first thing in the morning. It was super gravely and hilly but once you got used to it is was easier. But I did crash twice because of the gravel but eventually finally we made it to Dunton which was our goal for this trail, it took us 3 bike rides to get there. On our way back to the car I ran out of battery on my bike because it’s electric and it was super hard to pedal their because climbing the mountains but that’s what I was stuck with.   

Then we went fishing in this one spot about a mile away from the cabin. We stayed there about thirty minutes and we didn’t get one bite. So then we went to Summit Lake and stayed there for about a couple hours.  My dad kept on catching little baby fish. We left there at like 7:30. Then we went back to the cabin and ate dinner which was burritos. After that we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Then I went to bed.

The next day we drove for 8 hours. We ate Golden Corral for dinner so we could see Grandma. Then we went to my dads friends house John and we realized that we got a flat on our camper. After that we went to my grandma’s house talked and went to bed.

Our last day in Amarillo, my mom and dad went to their friend’s house for dinner. I stayed with Grandma and Nolan. Nolan had to go to school the next day, so he went to bed early. The next day we drove all the way home and stopped to eat at Rosa’s Cafe and get stuff at Costco.