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Old 10-05-2011, 04:03 PM   #197
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Maggie, they will be glad to have you. It is a buddy rally which means you don't have to be a member of the WBCCI to go. It is sponsored by the 4CU. All you need it an Airstream and money. We were there for the first days of the Fiesta and the best time is during a weekend when more events take place. Next year it starts on Oct. 6 and you can watch for an announcement. There are no guarantees about the weather. Maybe we were lucky, but the weather held all the 4 nights we were there. The first winter styled storm has arrived and north of us there may be snow. There was a lot of rain in Santa Fe overnight, although I don't know about Alb.

When the 4CU started this 5 years ago they had around 15 Airstreams and it has grown to 103 this year. This group has become so large they are now given VIP status and front rows. This doesn't mean you are right next to the field—the corporate tents and a small building are in the way, but the field is maybe a 100 yards away. You do a lot of walking because the field is so big and the food concession stands stretch out along the whole length of it. The best breakfast burritos we found were at Pro's. You could stay in a lawn chair in front of your trailer and see a lot of balloons, but the excitement on the field is well worth experiencing. Ken J, who headed the 4CU committee that organized this, set a goal of 150 or 200 Airstreams next year.

There were people from as far away as Cape Cod and Florida. We met a lot of them and in some cases I could put Forum names and real names together. I wish I could remember all the names. After a while I couldn't remember who I met and who I didn't. Maybe we will go next year, maybe not. I don't even know what I'm doing next week.

We had a great time. The energy on the field in the dark was not only surreal, but fun. Watching the balloons light up every time they burned propane was transfixing. When it got light we could see how these things work and see hundreds of balloons taking off, in the sky and some landing. Without wifi (unless you want to pay a lot for it) and no TV (unless you want to run a generator and not too many did), we were in a temporary time warp—all we knew were balloons and meeting more Airstreamers. Everyday there was some sort of get together in the late afternoon and most people attended one or more. Not everyone had grey hair, but it was hard to remember names anyway. Some I recognized from the Forum, but it was hard to put real and Forum names together.

We went our for dinner last night at Mudu Noodles (on Cerillos on the way into town) and it was very good. Barb brought some birthday cake and it was really good. We had breakfast with our SF realtor this morning and then went to some food stores to stock up on things we can't get where we live. The skies have cleared and it is pleasantly cool today. I am watching the weather ahead of us and we may run into a little snow on Friday.

I posted 44 photos and could post another 44, but will refrain. You can have too many balloons.

Gene
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #198
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More and more:

1. This one is for Bob Cross—looks like his Ford. It was at the car show at the Fiesta.
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Gene,

Looks like you had a great time.

Told Sandra that you guys had gone to an Airstream balloon rally...

She asked what that was, told her it was a lot of Airstreams at a rally where they fly those balloons full of hot air...she said "whats holding you down?".


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Old 10-05-2011, 08:16 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS

1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner....

Gene,

Looks like you had a great time.

Told Sandra that you guys had gone to an Airstream balloon rally...

She asked what that was, told her it was a lot of Airstreams at a rally where they fly those balloons full of hot air...she said "whats holding you down?".


Bob
Pictures look great. We are headed there tomorrow. Hope to get there fro the glowdeo.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:49 PM   #200
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After leaving SF, we went to Alamosa, Colorado. Just as we were getting there, a cold front with gusts of more than 50 mph did too. The truck and trailer did fine, but when we stopped at the KOA, I could hardly open the truck door. The temp plummeted and was in the 20's in the morning. We saw our friend in Monte Vista and his antique shop is doing great. If you like antiques, stop at the 2 houses at the east side of Monte Vista—there are rainbows painted on both including the chimneys. Lots of cool stuff there.

The snow threatened to the north wasn't much—some dusting on the passes, nothing on the roads. We take two beautiful highways going home. Colo. 114 west of Saguache crosses the Cochetopa Hills, North Pass (a/k/a North Cochetopa Pass) and down through a canyon before you get to US 50 east of Gunnison. There are some winding parts on the west side of the pass, but I've driven this road so many times, it doesn't matter to me. You'll see one or two big trucks on it most times.

The other is Colo. 92 between Blue Mesa Res. (west of Gunnison off US 50). It follows the north side of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and after 27 miles of winding road, goes north to Crawford across the Onion Valley, the almost nonexistent town of Maher, and the Crawford Res. This last 14 miles is through a broad valley with Mendicant Ridge on the east. This is a road I drive 10-20 times each year, often with the trailer. Lots of curves, not too wide, well paved, big drop offs. Spectacular views.

Both of these roads are not well known, have little traffic and are beautiful drives. The leaves were past their prime, but still a lot of gold, reds and yellows. Peak was when we drove to NM. This time the mountains has some snow on top.

I took some photos, but haven't downloaded them yet.

Today we serviced the truck, did a little on the Airstream and are thoroughly tired. The plumbing issues we had before we left have resolved themselves. The leaky faucet was fixed with a new cartridge. The lack of water pressure has not returned and maybe my confused efforts before we left loosened some blockage in the pressure switch—my best guess anyway. But the front brakes on the Tundra are grabbing again at 60 mph—I had new rotors and pads installed a couple of months ago. Tomorrow I call the mechanic. We are talking about going to NM again in about a month instead of Utah. So far, just vague talk.

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Old 10-09-2011, 08:57 PM   #201
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I just remembered this strange fact. As we entered Alamosa from the east on US 160, there was a small black office building on the right. On the top of this dark building was a sign which said "CIA". Another sign out front advertised an insurance agent.

I thought the CIA was in Virginia.

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Old 10-09-2011, 09:27 PM   #202
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Could this be it, Gene?

CIA-Leavitt Insurance
465 Santa Fe Avenue, Alamosa, CO, United States
719-589-3611

They used to be called "TakeIt or Leavitt", I believe...:
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:22 AM   #203
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Gene,

Have heard a lot of talk about US 50 as a cross country route. Been on it a few times going thru Colorado but not really in any other State. How much have you travelled it elsewhere? We used the Trans-Canada years ago and that was like a time warp, a little like 66 must have been years ago.

Sounds like you had a great time at the 'Loon Fest, your pic's were sooper.
As for the antique shop, I'm afeared that might slow down any trip we were on by at least two daze, 'kinda like rocks and pine cones on other trips we been on.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:51 AM   #204
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Could this be it, Gene?

CIA-Leavitt Insurance
465 Santa Fe Avenue, Alamosa, CO, United States
719-589-3611

They used to be called "TakeIt or Leavitt", I believe...:
Maybe. Still, I'd be pretty careful about buying insurance there. If you are late on your premium payment they send you to Somalia for "questioning".

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Old 10-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #205
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Bob, we've taken US 50 through part of Kansas and through Utah, Nevada ("The Loneliest Road" and Colorado. It is 35 or 45 miles from our house depending which way we go.

Part of it runs with I-70 west of Grand Junction to Mid-Utah. I believe that a couple of years ago Tom Brokaw did a series on US 50 that was shown on NBC's evening news program.

The lonely part runs from Delta, Utah (no relation to Delta, Colorado) west across desert including Skull Valley or Skull Pass (all I remember is the Skull part), past nearly dry Sevier Lake (irrigation drained it) and into Nevada. It is close to Great Basin NP in Nevada. The Park has Lehman Cave and the cave is worth seeing. Traveling west you cross a number of north-south mountain ranges (nothing like the passes in Colorado) and broad valleys. Mostly there is ranching and few people. There are some old mining towns (Ely, Eureka and Austin) and a few campgrounds and gas stations. There is also the Loneliest phone booth but I'm not sure it is still there. It is a pretty drive and fast too. For us it is the easiest and best route west for most of Cal.

Usually we switch over to I-80 in western Nevada, but US 50 goes to Lake Tahoe and then across the Sierra. The route near Tahoe and then over the Sierra is busy and has very fast traffic. It is a test of your trailer driving skills. 50 continues to Sacramento and may end there.

In Colorado, east of Grand Junction the road is very bumpy until you get to Colorado's Delta. It was rebuilt not too many years ago and apparently they didn't know how to deal with expansive clay soils and the road is heaving in many places. Parts have been rebuilt, but aren't much better. It gets better east of Delta. The highway crosses the mountains—Monarch Pass is 11,312', but unlike Vail Pass (10,662'), with less traffic, it rarely closes in winter. East of Salida, it enters the Arkansas River canyon to Cañon City (lots of prisons there) and then goes across the plains. The artist Christo wants to cover part of this canyon in a few years with fabric and it appears it will happen and cause monumental traffic jams for several weeks.

We've been on it in Kansas and there's not much I remember except that there's no reason to go to Dodge City except that it used to have an all day breakfast restaurant which suited our needs one day. But Dodge is a place to get out of and has no resemblance to a frontier town, no Marshall Dillon and no Miss Kitty.

There is a book called Road Trips USA that follows a number of two lane US highways across the county and US 50 is one of them. We have used the book at times and it is good for planning those types of trips.

Gene
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:26 PM   #206
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We've travelled the eastern portion of RT 50 from Winchester VA to St Louis. The only part I would not do again, and recommend against, is the portion through the mountains from Winchester through eastern West Va. Too many 20mph hairpins at the bottom of steep grades. Not really dangerous, but you will be very busy.

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:07 PM   #207
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Hwy 50

I have done most of it at one time or another. Its a great road, if its what you are after. In the wrong mental frame, it would be a really long trip. If you do 50, take a couple days in Vincennes Ind- lots of great history there. The city has a dirt cheap campground on the Wabash that I stay at when I am there.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:45 AM   #208
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I've seen at least one travel article on US-50 in years past. And the Wikipedia entry makes for good reading, as it does for many, many roads.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:14 AM   #209
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I have many possible road trips floating around in my mind, but not being 25 anymore, time is limited to do them all. Money is also an issue—a 2 month road trip is very expensive and like so many, our income has dropped over the past years. The last 10 years have been a lost decade. And we like to be home too. This Airstream season has been weird with 2 funerals taking a couple of weeks of physical time and more of emotional time that would have been spent doing necessary things like cutting firewood.

I think about doing the Route 66 trip, the River Road trip, the New England/NY/Pa leaf peeping trip and so on. Then there's the TCH trip Bob Cross did, the Northwest trip, southern border trip. Newfoundland gets pushed back again and again. My wife wants to go to Hawaii, but no road. Nunavut has no roads either. How about the Pan American Highway to Tierra del Fuego or touring Brasil? Maybe there's a bit of Wally in us.

Trying to sell a house is also an issue. We should spend more time of that, but would rather travel. It is like "so many women, so little time".

The positive way to look at this is that we have so many options, so many opportunities, so many treats available that the negatives shouldn't get to me. The photos on the computer desktop stimulate me to travel—a photo of the Yukon R. just north of Dawson City makes me want to return there—how cool would it be to drive around northern Canada and Alaska in mid winter? It's a good thing to have so many possibilities.

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #210
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