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Old 05-30-2009, 03:04 PM   #71
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We have an exterior temp monitor that came with a sleeve to slide the monitor into. I think my wife got it at Camping World a few years ago just before getting the Airstream. We used self adhering Velcro to attach the sleeve to the side of the Airstream just to the right of the door. That way we wouldn't forget to remove it before we hit the road. Anyway, that way it is covered by the awning during the day and we can grab it to remove it before pulling out for a journey and we attach it just inside the door while in transit so that we won't forget to mount it outside the door when we arrive at the camp site. The interior monitor is mounted with Velcro just inside the door also.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:22 PM   #72
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Days 22-23

Day 22 was a happy day, as we put Vegas in our rearview mirror……without someone’s hand in our pocket. We had made this same drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon about three years ago, and construction was quite heavy in the Hoover Dam area……a lot has changed, but the heavy-duty construction is still ongoing requiring big trucks to detour. Every vehicle is stopped for inspection by the Homeland Defense guys…..the one that inspected the Airstream mentioned that “he really liked looking inside these things.” When we got to Seligman, AZ I decided to get off the Interstate and drive old Route 66 for awhile…..just so I could say I did. It was probably 30-40 miles, of some not-so-smooth road…..but, it did instill a feeling of nostalgia…..trying to envision who/what had traveled this road many years ago. Vegas had given us temps around 100….when we arrived at the campground in Williams it was around 51 degrees, windy, and rainy. After getting set up, Jenn and I decided to take advantage of the Railway hotel’s hot tub (available to campground guests) before everyone returned from their railroad trip to the Grand Canyon…..it sure felt good. The Grand Canyon Railway campground is very new…..lots of sites…..but, it is very close to an active rail line. I only heard one train last night…..probably the hot tub knocked me out.

Day 23 had us touring downtown Williams…..love this little place. Spent some time talking to the friendly shop owners and going through all the souvenirs…..they actually have some neat stuff that is not over-priced. We then decided to take a side trip over to Sedona, AZ (about 80 miles one-way) because we had heard how nice it was. The drive over, on a secondary road through the canyons, was beautiful. And, the town is neat….undergoing some major road surgery with more roundabouts than I have seen anywhere since Europe. The beauty of the place was ruined for me when we discovered what a “tourist trap” it was…..only a few restaurants to choose from……all over-priced. We decided, rather than contribute to this madness, we would delay lunch until we were back around Flagstaff……ole Ron was ready for that Big Mac by 2:30

Tomorrow we begin a journey to Carlsbad Caverns, with an overnite stop in Albuquerque.

Chief

Pic #1: New bridge being built over Hoover Dam
Pic #2: Burma Shave sign on Route 66
Pic #3: Cruisers drive-in, Williams, AZ
Pic #4: The drive to Sedona, AZ
Pic #5: Sedona, AZ parking lot
Pic #6: GC Railway Campground site
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:30 PM   #73
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A trip of a lifetime! Great pictures too. Did you notice who made the shuttles used at Zion? Thanks for sharing
Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, I didn't see who made the Zion shuttles......most of the time we were looking up. I just know that they were very comfortable, ran on-time, and were propane powered.

Chief
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:49 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, I didn't see who made the Zion shuttles......most of the time we were looking up. I just know that they were very comfortable, ran on-time, and were propane powered.

Chief
They are nice arent they? If my memory is correct, I saw a Thor badge on them last year when I was out there with my mom and her husband. The south west is great touring, but I am like you, Vegas looks good in the rear view.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:17 AM   #75
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Unfortunately, your photos from post #72 are missing. Could you repost? I'd like to see the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon Railway Campground site.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:36 PM   #76
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Missing Pics from previous post (I hope)

Repost of pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
Day 22 was a happy day, as we put Vegas in our rearview mirror……without someone’s hand in our pocket. We had made this same drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon about three years ago, and construction was quite heavy in the Hoover Dam area……a lot has changed, but the heavy-duty construction is still ongoing requiring big trucks to detour. Every vehicle is stopped for inspection by the Homeland Defense guys…..the one that inspected the Airstream mentioned that “he really liked looking inside these things.” When we got to Seligman, AZ I decided to get off the Interstate and drive old Route 66 for awhile…..just so I could say I did. It was probably 30-40 miles, of some not-so-smooth road…..but, it did instill a feeling of nostalgia…..trying to envision who/what had traveled this road many years ago. Vegas had given us temps around 100….when we arrived at the campground in Williams it was around 51 degrees, windy, and rainy. After getting set up, Jenn and I decided to take advantage of the Railway hotel’s hot tub (available to campground guests) before everyone returned from their railroad trip to the Grand Canyon…..it sure felt good. The Grand Canyon Railway campground is very new…..lots of sites…..but, it is very close to an active rail line. I only heard one train last night…..probably the hot tub knocked me out.

Day 23 had us touring downtown Williams…..love this little place. Spent some time talking to the friendly shop owners and going through all the souvenirs…..they actually have some neat stuff that is not over-priced. We then decided to take a side trip over to Sedona, AZ (about 80 miles one-way) because we had heard how nice it was. The drive over, on a secondary road through the canyons, was beautiful. And, the town is neat….undergoing some major road surgery with more roundabouts than I have seen anywhere since Europe. The beauty of the place was ruined for me when we discovered what a “tourist trap” it was…..only a few restaurants to choose from……all over-priced. We decided, rather than contribute to this madness, we would delay lunch until we were back around Flagstaff……ole Ron was ready for that Big Mac by 2:30

Tomorrow we begin a journey to Carlsbad Caverns, with an overnite stop in Albuquerque.

Chief

Pic #1: New bridge being built over Hoover Dam
Pic #2: Burma Shave sign on Route 66
Pic #3: Cruisers drive-in, Williams, AZ
Pic #4: The drive to Sedona, AZ
Pic #5: Sedona, AZ parking lot
Pic #6: GC Railway Campground site
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:48 PM   #77
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The GC Railway Campground looks nice and new, but did they forget to plant trees and provide pic-nic tables?

We are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon either next year or the next and I'm on the look out for full hook-up campgrounds near and on the way to the Grand Canyon. Hope to discuss with you at the Can Opener in January and get some recommendations along the way.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:59 AM   #78
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Days 24 & 25

Day 24 was a nice drive from Williams, AZ to Albuquerque, NM. We turned off the Interstate at Holbrooke, AZ to enter the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park from the Western end. Holbrooke is an interesting town….located on Route 66, and apparently a major player back-in-the-day. It has some really interesting old garages, restaurants, motels (including the teepee lodges). A lot of it is falling into disrepair, but it really looks like an interesting place to explore…..if we had more time. Jenn and I had visited the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert about 27 years ago…..she noted that the rocks had not changed much, but that the pictures (of ourselves) would probably look different. We really enjoyed taking more time this visit to view the petro graphs, ruins (how could anyone ever survive in this harsh climate), and old Painted Desert Inn. We had splendid weather, with skies so clear that the high cirrus clouds appeared close enough to touch. Once we got on the road and drew closer to Albuquerque, our luck began to change. Dinner time was fast approaching, and we had been noticing all the billboards for the cheap steaks at the Indian Casinos. Yes, we got snookered….paid $ 10 for the toughest t-bone I have ever had….with the added bonus of smelling like an ashtray when we left…..lesson learned. We pulled into the Flying J in Albuquerque for our first, and maybe only, night-on-the-road without a campsite. Parked in an RV slot, and listened to the diesel motor home next door idle for about 45 mins…..he was replaced by another loud whatever. I managed about 20 mins of fitful sleep, listening to everything from trucks to planes to motorcycles, before I told Jenn…..we gotta move….I would rather be driving than trying to sleep in this racket. We relocated to a peaceful Wal-Mart parking lot (our first ever) and finished the night snoring away.

Day 25…..I knew it was going to be weird day from the moment we awoke at Wal-Mart. There was a nearby Cracker Barrel, and we were the first customers at 6:00 AM…..and, we were the only customers when we left at 6:40 AM…..really strange to have a whole Cracker Barrel Restaurant to yourself. The early load of greasy food, combined with a less-than-restful night really hit me after about two hours on the road…..had to pull into a Rest Area for a nap. Another weird thing…..the sign at the entrance to the Rest Area…..”Watch Out for Rattlesnakes.” When we turned South on 285, I knew we had entered the Twilight Zone. I apologize for previously maligning Kansas…..I have now found a more desolate, and boring, highway than anything you could find in Kansas. BTW, ever notice how gas prices really jump when you drive through an area that processes petroleum products? The day’s weirdness culminated in Roswell, NM…..where else? They have really commercialized their claimed “close encounters.” But, I have to tell you…..I worked in the same building that supposedly housed the “Little Green Men” at Wright-Patterson AFB…..and, these people must have been smoking some of the local “Loco-Weed.”

Tomorrow is Carlsbad Caverns.

Chief

Pic #1: The teepee motel in Holbrooke, AZ
Pic #2: Entrance to Petrified Forest/Painted Desert Park
Pic #3: Painted Desert Inn….welcome stop for early Rt 66 travelers
Pic #4: Painted Desert
Pic #5: NM 285…..”The” most boring road in the U.S.
Pic #6: Roswell, NM….where aliens reside (well, some have green cards)
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:15 AM   #79
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Looks like we are just missing crossing paths, I am headed toward Roswell later today. Happy travels.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:22 AM   #80
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Chief, if you want boring, try Roswell to Tucumcari. Driving across the Staked Plains feels like you're driving the same mile over and over. There was one tree along the way and we stopped to eat lunch at it. We were also buzzed by a couple of AF jets—when they come up from behind, you just about need a diaper!

You should also try the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada and stop at the bar in Rachel; this is near Groom Lake and Area 51. Since you worked at one of the alien impoundment sites, you must be involved in the coverup. The space aliens are quite shy and some live near us as they are not bothered by the government here out in the boonies. When they go into town they put on their human suits so they won't scare people. I guess it shows that we just saw the new Star Trek movie.

Keep the pictures and narrative coming. I love seeing other people's, especially easterners, take on all these places near home (near in the west is 1,000 miles).

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:38 PM   #81
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Sneaky Jets

Gene,

You're right about those fast-movers coming up from behind....bad guys don't stand a chance!

I'm not sure that I could ever get aclimated to the dry high-desert.....we're actually missing humidity.....now, I might eat those words in a couple of months.

Just a few more days on the road....should be home by Sunday.

Chief
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:42 PM   #82
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Day 26

Day 26, and I wish that I could say something nice about Carlsbad, NM…….but, I can’t. Now, I understand what my brother-in-law meant when he said that “he spent a whole month here one day.” If you like dry, dusty, dirty and roads in terrible condition….this is the place for you. I had previously made reservations with the Carlsbad RV Park based on reviews….it had received the most favorable. When I get home, there will be at least one that is not favorable…..gravel/dirt dusty drive-thrus, wifi that can only be accessed at the office, questionable power, sewer caps that are a foot off the ground, etc., etc…..Wal-Mart from the previous night seems like a resort. They do have a row of tent campsites, and a group of four girls (most of the time in bikinis) from New York (camped directly behind us) have been most entertaining……especially last night when we had a wind/sand storm blow through. It appears that they have just about finished off their second 12-pack of Bud Light, so this evening should also be entertaining.

Today’s short trip to the Caverns was nice. I remember the Carlsbad Caverns from my grammar school studies, and they did live up to their billing…..spectacular….but, I wouldn’t plan a trip to this area just to view them. You have a choice of walking down the natural entrance, or riding an express elevator the 73 stories into the main cavern (which do you think we chose). The Big Room self-guided tour is 1.25 miles of paved trail with guard rails. The Big Room really is BIG…..supposedly you could fit 14 football fields inside. We really enjoyed the tour at a comfortable 56 degrees. Of course, as with most caves, pictures just don’t turn out very well.

I just remembered something nice I can say about Carlsbad…..we’re leaving tomorrow!
Woo-Hoo! Next stop is San Antonio, TX.

Chief

Pic #1: Carlsbad Caverns Entrance
Pic #2: Campsite in the dirt...but, we did have a tree
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:43 PM   #83
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We were in Santa Fe for several days in 2007 and contemplated a day trip to Carlsbad. Decided against it as it seemed a little far for a one day knowing we would be late coming back. I was there as a child and agree the caverns are beautiful. Sounds like you are glad to be heading home. What route are you taking back?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:50 PM   #84
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Days 27 & 28

Day 27 was somewhat tiring…….450 miles, and a workout at a do-it-yourself car wash to get all the dust and dirt off the vehicles. By the time we arrived in San Antonio (Alamo KOA), our rear ends were dragging and it was time to crash for the night.

Day 28, our last day of fun for this trip, was fantastic! We slept in a little late, and after a leisurely breakfast, caught the city bus for downtown (Riverwalk). The bus is a great deal…$1.10 for Jenn, and $.25 for us old people (free on weekends). The bus ride explained why the KOA has substantial fences, electronic gates, and visible night time security…..it’s located in the not-so-nice part of town…..we stood out like “sore thumbs” on the bus, but I figured “what-the-hell”…..we’re committed now. I will say the KOA is really a nice campground…..lots of big trees, large sites, and all the amenities…..I would stay here again, but might not venture out at night.

Riverwalk is a really great place to visit in San Antonio…..lush landscaping and many restaurants to choose from. We toured the Alamo (of course), did the river boat cruise (they pack too many people on the boats), and tried to see as many sites as possible. The highlight of the day was our meal at the Saltgrass Steak House…..best we have had this entire trip. Everything was perfect….location overlooking the river, the service, fresh bread, salads and steaks to die for! Normally, touristy places never live up to the hype and the food usually disappoints…..not this one….wish we had one of these close to home. We decided to take the bus back to the KOA….figured we didn’t get mugged on the trip out, and it was still daylight! We capped the day with a relaxing swim in the pool, and an adult beverage. This has truly been a fitting day to finish off our month-long trip.

Tomorrow, we start the 750 mile journey home on I-10…..with just a quick overnite stop along the way. I will admit that it will be nice to get home to a larger living room, sofa, bigger bed, etc., etc., etc. But, I must also admit that this has been a great adventure.

Chief

Pic #1: Our KOA camp site
Pic #2: A poor neglected AS two sites from us….pic does not show all the dents
Pic #3: The Riverwalk Cruise….packed like sardines
Pic #4: Restaurants along Riverwalk
Pic #5: The Alamo
Pic #6: “THE” place to eat at Riverwalk….Saltgrass Steak House
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