Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back Home

We got back home to McHenry at about 6:30 pm today. We stayed in St. Louis area last night. This am we visited our old neighbors from when we lived in St. Louis (actually Florissant, Mo.) Agnes and her son Jim are still living in the house next to the one we lived in for about 3 years. The surrounding area has changed so much due to people, business, and highway polution that it is very hard to remember how to navigate the area. As we drove around we often asked each other if this is the same town we used to live in? Of course it was 39 years ago when we left so things do change. We tried to find the Hospital where Scott was born, but could not find it. Agnes told us that it was torn down a few years ago and replaced with a different medical center. Guess it was just worn out as buildings go these days.
We will add a few more final items on the trip, but first have to see what TiVo has recorded and get caught up on a few tv reality programs.

This is the house we lived in some 39 years ago. It really does not look much different from when we lived there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tulsa Ok

Tonight we are settled in Tulsa Oklahoma.

The trip was uneventful except for an auto malfunction. The right rear blinker bulb burned out. Guess I had been changing lanes too often. Anyway we asked Garmin to take us to a Wal-Mart for a new bulb and she took us to a Sam's club. That did not help us as we have no Sam's membership. Looked down the street and saw one of those auto parts stores. Got the bulb. The temp was about 40 with a very hard wind blowing so we parked on the down wind side of the auto parts store to change the bulb. To remove the tail light/bulb assembly the instructions say use a large screwdriver to pry out two clips. Well, a spoon served the purpose and I got the plugs out and the new bulb installed. Working fine now.
We had a very nice tail wind all day. It looks like our luck is running out tomorrow as we drive to St. Louis we may have a head wind and possibly a cold one at that.
Garmin log is 5970 miles traveled. Did not take a single picture today.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Last night we drove into Albuquerque just as it was getting dark. It was so pretty coming into the city at dusk. It was also nice to finally get to our destination and get out of the wind and it was 28 degrees out. That felt pretty darn cold to us after the warmer weather we have been in on this trip. We had plans to spend the morning here visiting the Old Town area, having coffee at one of the little cafes and then wandering around and checking out some of the neat shops. Instead, we woke up to pouring rain. 72 days without rain here and it decides to rain today. So, we had our coffee at the motel and then drove to Old Town and drove around until the stores opened. The rain did let up to an annoying drizzle by then, so we were able to walk around and see the place and do a bit of shopping. Even in the rain, it was still fun. There was an awesome scene done in bronze (I think) on the lawn by The Albuquerque Museum. Rich took some pictures of it, but at this time, do not know if they turned out or not. If so, he may include one on this blog. By then, it was time for us to head out to Amarillo. It was still drizzling, but as we got out of town, it turned into snow flurries. We came all this way to get out of snow! It did not last too long and soon we had driven out of it. After that, the temperature climbed up as far as 70 as we got closer to Texas. The landscape really changed, too, from mountains to flatlands. Even with another time change, we got to Amarillo in late afternoon. We had time to drive around a little and have a nice dinner at The Texas Roadhouse and then get back to see most of Dancing With The Stars. Hey, I have my priorities. This is Dancing With the Stars we are talking about. Tomorrow we will be on our way to Tulsa, OK.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Petrified Forest and Painted Desert

Today we headed east from Flagstaff and drove through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert located about 100 miles east of Flagstaff. We entered the National Park from the south and drive through it to the north. Seeing all the petrified logs all over the place is quite interesting to think that at one time there out on the high plains desert there was once a forest and swamp land area. The painted desert at the North end of the park is very colorful and pretty to observe.
After the park we continued east on I-40. Most of the view from before the Az/NM state line all the way to Albuquerque is very scenic. There are large bluffs of various colors and shapes lining the valley that the road follows. You can imagine about any place you look as a back drop for a scene out of one of the old (or new) western movies.
We are now located in a motel in Albuquerque after driving into the early evening darkness. The plan for tomorrow is to drive 285 miles to Amarillo Tx so it will be an easy day and hope to explore Albuquerque a little before heading east again.
The Garmin log now shows 5289 miles traveled.

A scene at the Painted Desert area in the northern end of the park

A group of petrified logs. Nancy is a little petrified also as it was very very windy while in the high 50's. The wind chill was making it feel cool.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grand Canyon tour

Today we left Las Vegas at about 9am local. We had been staying in the CircusCircus hotel and had to have some breakfast and check out before we could roll. The night before we were wondering around CircusCircus and noted a McDonalds near the circus ring and I was building up an appetite for a McDonalds breakfast so we spent some time re-finding that McDonalds. It has apparently been moved from one end of the complex to the other in the night, but we found it anyway. What a large maze of stuff they have there within several buildings.

We got to the Grand Canyon area about 2:30 and wondered around the viewing area for several minutes trying to understand their dumb map. It is not drawn to scale and for someone used to normal maps it was very confusing. We finally found a place to park the car and jumped aboard their interpark bus system. We made a few stops and then got on the line that covers the West ridge viewing area. I took a large number of pictures but they are still in my camera. By the end of the tour of the west ridge it was right at sunset time. The sun did set as we rode the bus back to the starting point. Then another bus to get to where we left the car. It was dark by the time we got going. Got to Flagstaff Az and our motel at about 9:30 local. That is where I am sending this message from at this time. Look in later as I may put in a few pictures. It was about 28 degrees when we got here and that is the lowest temp we have been since we left home about a month ago. Heading east during the change to daylight savings time means that we will have to go through 3 hours of time change before we get home. I am not looking forward to losing those 3 hours. Arizona is the only place that does not change, but we are still 1 hour off from them coming in from California.
Garmin report: We have traveled 4937 miles since we left home. It says we have to travel 1704 more miles to get home. We plan to be home this coming Thur. (pm).

Las Vegas

Well you know what they say, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".

Especially when the cost to get internet connection is $11.95 per day.

Death Valley Report

Info to follow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heading back East

Yesterday we drove from Fremont to Barstow Ca. We drove down hwy 99 for a different route. Not a very exciting drive, but did see more Calif. farm country. The drive between Bakersfield and Barstow was very nice scenery. Started into the mountains and then down into a valley where we went on the edge of the Mojave Desert. Went past where Edwards Air Force Base is located, but did not see the Base at all as it is apparently way of to the south of where we drove on hwy 58.
It looks like we are having a heat wave back home. Here is is reported to be 39 this am. I expect to see 60 before the day is over. We are heading up through Death Valley and then in to Las Vegas for the night.
The sun is shinning very bright and no clouds in sky so we need to get rolling now.
Garmin says we have traveled 4199 miles since we left.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Udate completed

Please scan down to the section titled "Catch Up for Several Days" as we finally got the update completed. A rainy day in San Francisco helped with the update.