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Route 66

2018-10-03 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 46 – Traveling from Gallup to Cubero, New Mexico

Another travel day… These days are my favorite – driving down the highway, watching the scenery, going places that we’ve never been before… Today we took the long way around, choosing to drive the back roads for three hours instead of the interstate for two hours…

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We drove south from Gallup, towards El Morro National Monument, then through El Marpais National Monument.  This area is very volcanic, yet the mesas still exhibit interesting rock formations…

We stopped at a few historic markers…

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The road eventually turned east, then northeast, where it intersected with the 40; about 20 miles later we were at Cubero, site of the Sky City Casino, Hotel, and RV Park.  Sky City is the name for the Pueblo at Acoma, where we will go tour tomorrow…

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We had an easy time setting up in a very modern, but very bleak RV park.  Naps, then Happy Hours, and dinner ensued…

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As Happy Hours were transitioning to Dinner we were hit by a sudden thunderstorm, followed by a rainbow…

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News flash!  This morning it dropped below 70 degrees in Los Angeles, and rain MIGHT happen.  Erin quickly dressed Evelyn in all her winter clothes:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-08-19 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 1 – Albuquerque

Today we begin the Southwest Adventure Caravan.  Our itinerary is roughly this:

New Mexico:  Albuquerque, Santa Fe

Colorado:  Durango, Silverton, Mesa Verde

Utah:  Bluff (Natural Bridges, Monument Valley), Moab, Torrey, Bryce Canyon

Arizona:  Fredonia (Zion), Grand Canyon North Rim, Page (Lake Powell)

New Mexico:  Gallop, Acoma, Zuni, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

 

But first we have a free day.  We have met some of the other caravaners, and we took several walks arounf the RV park.  I checked out the generators to make sure they were still in good order, and I shifted a bit of out cargo in the back of the truck.

By noon we were ready for a little adventure… We drove down the original Route 66 and made our way to “Old Town” Albuquerque and strolled around the plaza.  There is a 200 year old church, a band playing in the band stand in the plaza, and hundreds of trinket shops that spread around the plaza and throughout the blocks all around.  While we have no use for trinket shops, we did admire the architecture – most buildings have deep verandas facing the streets, providing much needed shade.  Most building have courtyards, again with the shaded areas that made walking around and “shopping” very pleasant, despite the 90+ degrees heat.

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We stopped for a small lunch at the Back Street Grill…

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And we returned to The Villa, ready for a nap…

We had our first orientation meeting where we reviewed the “rules and traditions” of the caravan and went over the drivers manual.  We took a break for happy hours with some of our neighbor caravaners.  At 7:30 we reconvened for dinner and a celebratory cake for dessert…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

2018-08-18 – Traveling East – Day 3 – Gallop and Albuquerque

We pulled out of Williams, AZ, this morning at about 7:30.  We are headed to Albuquerque today to meet up with other Airstreamers.  The caravan officially starts tomorrow, but we wanted to arrive one day early. (Many caravaners arrive several days ahead of the official start…)

The drive was uneventful across the rest of Arizona.  We are in the mountains of Flagstaff, Winslow, and Winona, with elevations from 5,000 ft. to a maximum of 7,275 ft.  The countryside was beautiful – so much more green than it was last year when we came through here in June…

The good news!  Many of the worst roads that we experienced last year have been repaired, or were being repaired as we detoured past the construction zones.

As we approached Gallop, NM, we saw billboard after billboard advertising the El Rancho Hotel .  Since we wanted to stop for lunch, we pulled off onto another remnant of Route 66 and drove through Downtown Gallop.  Our GPS led us to the hotel; it has obviously seen better days…

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We soon realized that we had come in through the rear… The front looks a little better…

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The hotel was built in the 1930s, and for the next 20 years was heavily used by the Hollywood film industry as headquarters for various movies being filmed in the rugged areas around here.  The lobby was very “old west”…

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We had lunch in the restaurant… Not quite the same scenic view as yesterday…

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It was a fascinating place.  We peeked into the bar and also the “49er Room” – a night club type of space that must have been really  hopping in the olden days of the 1950s.

After lunch, as we walked back towards The Villa, it started to rain.  For the next 2 hours or so it continued to rain, with some extremely heavy thunder and lightning showers and amazing cross-winds blowing across the freeway.  A trailer traveling ahead of us was being blown all over the road, but The Villa held firm – sort of like an anchor.

The rain stopped, the skies cleared, and we pulled into American RV Park in Albuquerque.  We beheld a wondrous sight:

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We parked The Villa and set up – we are here for 4 nights…

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We had a little Happy Hours and met a few of the other caravaners.  We also received our Drivers Manual, so we now know where we are going to be for the next 51 days.  We watched the sun set…

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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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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