First, my condolences for the loss of your step father. You've painted him as a great man loved by many. If all of us can be as lucky, we'll all be fine.
As a Denver-ite, I decided to read through your RR and just caught up. Congratulations on making this sort of trip happen!
You asked earlier for advice on a long trip. Since my Spanish ends with "No fumar espagnol," I can't help there. But, I made a two-week trip up the PCH three summers ago and experienced insufferable monkey butt. So, for my six-week trip to Alaska two summers ago I bought these:
It may be too late given your impending departure from the U.S.; but, if you can pick up two pair of those babies, your nether regions will thank you profusely!