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2018-08-17 – Traveling East – Day 2 – The Grand Canyon

Exciting day ahead!  We are in Williams, AZ, and we are boarding the train bound for the Grand Canyon!  I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the Grand Canyon, or about the train trip…!  (Full disclosure:  I saw the Grand Canyon in 1961 when I was 10 years old… I was not impressed with a big hole in the ground…  On the other hand, Lynda has not seen it, so this will be a first for her…)

The day began with a corny “wild west” shootout…

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Then we boarded the train; we were seated in the full-length dome car.  We thoroughly enjoyed the panorama view of the beautiful countryside…

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What’s better than a train ride!

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We arrived at the Grand Canyon.  Yep – it’s still a big hole in the ground…

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We did enjoy the various rock formations…

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And the buildings are certainly worth looking at… Above is the El Tovar Hotel…

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And this (above) is one of the many gift shops, and it is also a great place to take photos…

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We even tool pictures of the picture takers…

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We had lunch at the El Tovar Hotel, with a lovely scenic view…

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After lunch we walked and looked at more rocks…

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And then, just like that, it was time for the return trip on the train…

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This time we were seated in the parlor car, at the very end of the train; it even had the outdoor viewing platform.

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Riding backwards was a great pleasure – watching 270 degrees or a panorama of the mountain landscape…

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Also, from the observation platform we could get a good shot of the entire train…

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As we approached the station in Williams the train made a “Y” turn so that we could back into the station.  Standing on the open air observation platform was a lot of fun – we could watch the conductor step off the train and throw the switch, then we proceeded to back into the station…

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So we returned to the Villa and enjoyed Happy Hours.  We turned in early, because tomorrow is another long travel day…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-08-16 – Traveling East – Day 1

Our departure to rendezvous with the 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan came early today – we rolled out of Redlands at 5:00 am. It has been a busy few months and we are looking forward to two months of un-interrupted Airstreaming.

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Since we moved to Redlands in early May we have been living in the constant chaos of construction and remodeling and rehabbing and repair.  We are finally able to put two cars in the garage, the wine is secure and protected against the ravages of 110 degree temperatures, John’s lift is installed and the automatic opening gate is automaticly opening just fine.  John has a raft of very nice and capable caretakers (more than he needs, according to him…).  But the deck isn’t finished, the construction clutter has not been hauled away, and the garage still needs to be reorganized.  And my workbench and tools need to be cleaned up, sorted through, and alphabetized, organized, and categorized…  But all that can either happen while we are gone or when we return.

We are heading to Albuquerque to meet up with other members of the Airstream Club for the Southwest Adventure Caravan. We will leave from Albuquerque, NM, travel for 6 weeks through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, until we reach our final destination of Albuquerque, NM.  In between, we will see Sante Fe, Moab, Mesa Verde, Zion, Bryce, and many other National Parks and historic and scenic Indian sites.  The grand finale will be the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.

So we are off…

Our first excitement of the day happened as we exited the 10 at Desert center, as we attempted to drive north on Hwy 177 towards Needles:

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Apparently Hwy 177 is closed.  The officer didn’t tell be why it was closed, only that it was going to closed for a long time… Our only choice was to continue east on the 10 to Blythe, where we turned north on Hwy 95.  After checking on the internet we found that Hwy 177 was closed to an accident – an overturned truck carrying many crushed cars…

Not that this area along Hwy 177 doesn’t have interesting features…

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And this convenience has all the essentials:

 

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So onward we go.  The 10 east towards Blythe.  Attention!  All people who think Bend and Eastern Oregon, or Spokane and Eastern Washington, are “deserts”… You are wrong…

THIS is a desert:

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At Blythe we turn north…  Hwy 95 parallels the Colorado River, and it runs through a watershed for the river. Thus the road has many ups and downs as the various washes allow water to make its way to the river.  It must have rained recently, because there was standing water alongside the road and there were road maintenance workers with heavy equipment clearing mud and debris off the road.  But the road was smooth and there was NO traffic, and we had a lovely drive through the Mojave dessert. And the scenery is beautiful…

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As we approached the 40, my GPS led us off Hwy 95 onto a very small road for about 1 1/2 miles.  Just before the on-ramp to the 40 we saw a roadside attraction that begged us to stop.

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We found that we had been travelling on a short portion of “The Mother Road”…

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The maps and descriptions of the area were very interesting.  I had traveled Route 66 along with my family in 1961, when I was 10 years old, from Arcadia to Oklahoma City…

We headed east on the 40.  My GPS tells us our exit, in Williams, AZ, in 156 miles away…  We stopped about halfway there to stretch our legs…

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It’s amazing how green this area is.  We are at about 4,000 feet elevation, and we are going higher.  It really is beautiful, despite the horrible condition of the Arizona roads.

And so we arrived in Williams, AZ, elevation 6,766 ft.  This is another remnant of Route 66, and I’m sure we drove through here in 1961.  Not much has changed,  except that what once was essential services for weary travelers is now very touristy and “nostalgic”.  But is is fun to see an historic place still being active and prosperous…

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We parked The Villa in the local RV park, and walked the town.  We stopped into the Red Raven for a quick and early dinner…

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We even enjoyed a nice bottle of Arizona wine…

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We returned to The Villa.  Despite the threatening skies, it did not rain.  And so an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-08-04 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Moving Day

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we began the arduous task of packing up.  Each year we vow to keep things simple, but we still bring so much stuff.  On the other had, we’re pretty organized, and we’ve done this a bazillion times, so it only took a little over an hour.

We headed off to drop the Airstream one last time at C&G in Bellflower for semi-annual maintenance and to have them give it a once-over before we depart for our caravan in a few weeks.  We learned this week that C&G is closing, so we will need to find a new fixit place…

So we arrived home again in Redlands in the afternoon, and settled into our usual chores of un-packing, doing laundry, and catching up with the mail…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-08-03 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 7

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we settled into our usual pattern.  Phil and Mark worked (or played) at the computer, Steve read in his Airstream, and Lynda, Jane, and Connie (with an occasional assist from Steve or Mark) worked on the jigsaw puzzles…

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Putting in the last piece…

About 4:00 or so we dispersed, then reassembled about one hour later at our campsite for Happy Hours.  We rarely cook dinner – hors d’oeuvres are usually plentiful, and we are well satisfied by the time the sun is setting…

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After dark we turned in… And an enjoyable time was had by all… Tomorrow we head home, and start to prepare for our two month Caravan through the Southwest…

2018-08-02 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 6

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we settled into our usual pattern.  Phil and Mark worked (or played) at the computer, Steve read in his Airstream, and Lynda, Jane, and Connie (with an occasional assist from Steve or Mark) worked on the jigsaw puzzles…

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About 4:00 or so we dispersed, then reassembled about one hour later at our campsite for Happy Hours.  We rarely cook dinner – hors d’oeuvres are usually plentiful, and we are well satisfied by the time the sun is setting…

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After dark we turned in… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-08-01 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 5

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we settled into our usual pattern.  Phil and Mark worked (or played) at the computer, Steve read in his Airstream, and Lynda, Jane, and Connie (with an occasional assist from Steve or Mark) worked on the jigsaw puzzles…

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Tonight we walked to our favorite pub in town – MRK Public – where we enjoyed some artisanal beer and great pub food…

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On our walk back, we watched the sun set…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-07-31 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 4

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we settled into our usual pattern.  Phil and Mark worked (or played) at the computer, Steve read in his Airstream, and Lynda, Jane, and Connie (with an occasional assist from Steve or Mark) worked on the jigsaw puzzles…

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About 4:00 or so we dispersed, then reassembled about one hour later at our campsite for Happy Hours.  We rarely cook dinner – hors d’oeuvres are usually plentiful, and we are well satisfied by the time the sun is setting…

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After dark we turned in… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-07-30 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 3

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we settled into our usual pattern.  Phil and Mark worked (or played) at the computer, Steve read in his Airstream, and Lynda, Jane, and Connie (with an occasional assist from Steve or Mark) worked on the jigsaw puzzles…

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About 4:00 or so we dispersed, then reassembled about one hour later at our campsite for Happy Hours.  We rarely cook dinner – hors d’oeuvres are usually plentiful, and we are well satisfied by the time the sun is setting…

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After dark we turn in… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-07-29 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 2

The day dawned beautifully!  We walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a fabulous breakfast burrito…

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

This afternoon we will be joined by our friends, the Carmichaels and the Millers.  Also visiting for the day will be our daughter, Erin, and her thundering herd…

Baby Evelyn is growing like a weed…:

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And the kids had a great time in the water; Roisin learned to use the boogie board, while Ian and George watched from the shore:

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Although a bit hectic, it was a fun day; we fed the kids early dinner, then put on a movie for them in The Villa, and we adults could enjoy a calm happy hour.

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

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