Although we have been out of the States for only three years, it sometimes seems like much longer. To fully re-appreciate the vast spaces and scenery of the USA, we took a road trip this summer from Iowa out to Canada and the Pacific Coast. Ok, so we really did it because I had signed up for an Ironman Triathlon near Vancouver, Canada, and I needed to get to the race. But we were grateful for the excuse to be able to travel through the wonderful scenery of our National Parks and scenic roads, as we drove from Iowa through Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, and finally back to Iowa. While 7,000 miles of driving made it mostly a driving tour, we took time to enjoy some the hiking trails around Yellowstone, Mt. Ranier, Crater Lake, Yosemite, and the Rocky Mountains. Oh, and I finished the Ironman Triathlon (on a very rainy day) in 13 hours, 30 minutes. Along our way, we discovered that while Europe might have culture and cathedrals and the Eiffel Tower, there is nothing like the mountains, oceans, redwoods, rivers, and deserts of the USA. Wow.