Cross Country Trip


We are finally home after our several week cross country excursion. It was jam packed with friends, family, events, and activities. Elizabeth took the wheel and I rode shotgun as we traveled to our first destination, East Lansing, Michigan. I was lucky to have my friend and former teammate Bob Lietzke present to me the jersey that’s been traveling around the world. Not only were my former teammates involved, but this ceremony took place in front of the entire current USAFA football team. I was given the opportunity to speak to the team before the big game, where I got to roll out onto the field and serve as the honorary captain. It was a once in a lifetime moment that’s hard to express in words, and luckily Air Force Athletics created an awesome video showcasing all of this. There are also articles in the Lansing State Journal, as well as the Detroit Free Press if you’d like to read more.

From there we headed southwest to see go see Gabby in Colorado Springs. It was our first time back at parents weekend since her freshman year, and it’s hard to tell who was more excited about the visit. We shuttled along through corn country and made it to the Springs just in time to catch the sunset behind Pikes Peak. We had a fantastic time at Colorado College and met Gabby’s advisor Mark Smith, and also spoke with the president of the college Jill Tiefenthaler who has been so helpful to us through Gabby’s time at CC. She is so supportive in fact, that she even participated in the ice bucket challenge with Gabby!


Later that evening we held a little gathering in Gabby’s yard with all of her best friends from CC. We had a great time meeting all the amazing people she has told us stories about. We had so much fun we temporarily considered getting a house in the Springs so we could party with them all the time!

We finished up our Colorado Springs visit by driving up Pikes Peak highway. We stopped and ate some authentic Mexican food along the way before making it to 14,115 feet. Not the way I would like to summit mountains, but I’m happy to still get up there.

From the Springs we headed up to Aspen for some much needed rest and relaxation. We enjoyed some spectacular views and a wonderful stay in the cool Limelight hotel. The aspen trees were in their peak and made Independence Pass and Maroon Bells more stunning than ever.

Our Colorado stint came to an end as we headed back east for five days. We stopped in Dayton to see Kyle and his new home. The scenery wasn’t as great as Colorado, but we managed to find some things to do around town. We visited the Wright Paterson air and space museum. It felt a bit odd for me, as some of the planes that I flew were in there as exhibits. Does this mean I’m old?

We’re happy to be home now after driving more than 5,000 miles around the country, and would like to thank everyone who came to see us along the way. We are truly blessed to have such good friends and family that are always willing to show us a good time!

2 thoughts on “Cross Country Trip

  1. Carol Horton

    Hi Kreg
    I have been thinking of you, so I checked into your family journal and really enjoyed reading about your cross country adventure. It is impressive to see how many wonderful friends you have and how much respect and love they have for you and your family. Your children have grown into such amazing adults, which is a great tribute to Elizabeth and yourself. I know she had a great co-pilot, but kudos to Elizabeth for taking on that cross country drive.
    It has been quite an adjustment for me, but life is good here in South Carolina.
    Love and Prayers to you and the family,
    PS: I like the scruffy beard!

  2. Shelly Bradley Stanton

    It’s Sheeeeeellllll,
    I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you all the time Kreg and reminiscing and laughing of all the memories. Most recently, remembering Christmas, and when I got you and Kevin long johns and pistachios for a christmas present-hilarious. And when you, Kevin and David left 41 christmas trees on our lawn! I told my Dad I truly had no idea who would have done that and he said “You better call those Palko boys”. Ha! Well I hope this finds you still fighting the fight with that wonderful spirit and loving family you have. It always makes me smile when I think of that laugh of yours! I did not know about your visit to dearborn this last year or absolutely would have been there. I think of your parents and family and the wonderful friendship we had back in the day. I will keep reminiscing and praying. Hugs and Kisses, Shelly


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