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By: joealaska , 1:25 AM GMT on October 31, 2012

Sitting in Kingman, Arizona watching The World Series having extra innings. A great way to spend a Sunday night in America.

This cruise is not about the mileage. But right now I am around 3400 for the trip so far. I am now going into coasting mode... 2.5 days to make a one day trip. Planning on checking out Jerome for lodging possibly for two nights.

QUICK NOTE. The CHOLLAS are in Chile by now I assume. While I visited we took a few pictures in their garden. But it was just a few. My long proven self photo method has also proven fruitful in taking self portraits with friends. Except on this trip. I got a couple pictures assumed good and was clearly wrong. Maggie was THE SHADOW in two pictures. Hardly visible in someone’s shadow, like mine. Twice. Two for two. So please, check out Chollas avatar. Maggie is right there. She is the good looking one!

Sorry Maggie. Hope all is great in Chile. What a REAL Cruise!

The day after I saw Dave and Muriel I headed southwest on RT 84 in the rush hour traffic. There was NO rush to it. Beautiful as it is, THIS is one reason I left the area years ago. TRAFFIC. It took most of the morning to get to SUNOL VALLEY golf club, near Fremont. My old stomping grounds, almost 30 years ago, have not been back since.

I almost did not play. It was raining lightly, and I watched as several groups teed off. But suddenly the tees were open, and I was off. Even the rain stopped after a couple holes.

I had forgotten many of the holes. It was a nice course, not great. But it was fun to re-live some of those memories. Then I was hitting the road. From Fremont I crossed the bay on The San Mateo Bridge. Nice long bridge with great views of San Fran waterfront from several miles away. Then north into San Francisco. There was a detour and suddenly I was on city surface streets. Then I hopped on The Golden Gate Bridge going north again. Got some interesting film as I crossed it.

I cut across north of all the water heading east again, eventually catching I-80. I slept in Fairleigh.

I-80 to Reno, actually Wadsworth, where I turned north on 447. Can you say STOLPA? Things got real remote real quick. I wanted to catch a gravel road near GERLACH that headed 100 miles east to Winnemucca. But I missed the turn off. I just kept going on the route I had already taken years ago. Eventually I came to an intersection about 2 miles west of VYA, NEV. I had 2 hours of light left. Only 30 miles west to Cedar City, but I wanted to go east. The bad news was Winnemucca was 191 miles away. Next gas was about 170 miles away. I took the easy way out and drove almost 60 miles west and stayed in Alturas. Beautiful and quiet setting.

Next morning on the road again. East to just south of Denio, then south to Winnemucca.. Got on the interstate again and went East to Battle Mountain. Now it was south on a REMOTE road to Austen. I was ready to stop somewhere, but the few hotels there were a bit seedy looking. I still had light left, so I headed south another 100 miles to TONOPAH. That was a long day.

Next morning I continued the Nevada portion of this cruise. East to Warm Springs, then south on The Extraterrestrial Highway, which eventually hit Route 93, one of my favorite roads in the USA.
My first goal was to reach Rachel, home of the ALE-E-INN (spelling?). I needed gas. This is an area of the USA where you need to plan ahead for gas. I was cutting it a bit close. When I pulled in there was no gas. They would sell 5 gallon containers full of gas, but only for emergencies. The nice lady there said it would be 45 miles to next gas. I thought I was good. And I was.

Back to the interstate, heading southwest to Vegas. But I went through it and never stopped. And I stayed on 93 headed to Arizona. Instead of going over Hoover Dam, now I would bypass on the new bridge. I did so, but you would never know where you were. There was no view, purposely hidden by a high wall. Next time I will be going OVER that dam again.

Back to where I was just a week or so ago, KINGMAN. I got a decent room on Andy Devine. I had pulled in early to load a bunch of photos. Later on, too late, I found out they were having internet issues. Just like the night before at another hotel.

The room I had was PRIME for watching trains go by. Every 10 minutes or so. Sometimes two at once. I liked it.

This morning I headed out on US 66, a fairly long stretch missed by I-40. First I checked a golf course out in the middle of nowhere, VALLE VISTA, but it looked like a number of groups were headed out. Onward through Peach Springs and Seligman. Take a step back and enjoy.

I almost hit a wolf while driving along RT 66. He came out of brush right by the road and he was suddenly in front of me. All I could do was slow down slightly, very little notice. But I did what I had to do. Lay on the horn. The INTER-SPECIAL LANGUAGE.

That big wolf (sure was a big-ass coyote) suddenly paid attention. He went to my right at the last second. I just nudged it left and I barely missed him.

I did hit a bird, not sure of that next chapter. I missed two snakes, one in the car and one on the golf course.

I continued on 66 until it joined up with I-40. Now east to Williams. Golf. ELEPHANT ROCKS. A highly rated Arizona course. I played it many years ago. The only negative was that there were only nine holes.

Surprise! Now 18 holes. It HAD been many years since I played there.

There was nobody on the tee, nor in sight. It was bright and sunny, calm. The course looked in great shape.


I hit a couple good shots right away. The MOMENT hit me... It was MY golf course. I played OK but lost full muscle control while putting. Still, I was happy. It was a great afternoon.

THEN, I-40 to Flagstaff, 89A south from there. Eventually I got to JEROME. Truly unique. Houses on cliffs, everywhere. Boom town gone bust. But making a come back. I drove around then pulled into THE JEROME GRAND. The driveway was 2 blocks long of .8 lane wide. The hotel is at the top of the town, and I have an awesome view (as usual) from my room. Two windows, both wide open. The sun went down and I watched the changing colors, then suddenly the moon is up. The city lights way below, the moon above, I tried to get it on film. Digital.

Had dinner tonight at THE ASYLUM, the restaurant here. Shrimp on the barbie. Pretty good.

Tomorrow golf maybe at Santa Fe Station near CORNVILLE. Heading toward Albuquerque, but slowly. I fly out 1 PM WEDS.

Need one last round of golf.

Got it today at Grants, New Mexico. Second time I played this course this trip.

Flying out tomorrow.

And that was that.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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13. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:44 AM GMT on November 02, 2012
joealaska has created a new entry.
12. osdianna
3:32 PM GMT on November 01, 2012
After three days of rain in Sept, we were treated to 12.98 inches in my gauge in Oct...3.03 inches of that fell from 8am the 30th to 8am yesterday! Radar images showed a large firehose of clouds pointed right at the entrance to Grays Harbor. The weird part was the daily highs and lows stayed in the low 50's.

While Sandy churned up the east coast, Seattle news stations focused on cleaning the gutters of leaves; fall colors or no they clog the storm drains. They are lovely...especially the Big-leaf Maples. Some of their leaves can reach 18 inches across. Think about a whole neighborhood of them losing their leaves in one storm; heavy rain led to several condos with 3 inches of water in them.

It pales in comparison to the east coast. It's hard to wrap my brain around what has happened and continues to unfold back there. I just hope the bickering stops and everyone works together to fix it!

This is where what we so often call "the human spirit" is supposed to show what it is made of. My fingers are crossed.

As for the Kentucky train...better lving through chemistry, eh? How dare they endanger so many for their profit margin. Be careful Dotmom & JoeKy.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. Arbie
11:55 AM GMT on November 01, 2012
Joe, you sound much more relaxed than when you first started out on vacation. Happy travels today!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. DHaupt
7:24 AM GMT on November 01, 2012
Do Christmas trees last longer in Alaska? I sure hope so. Here in Livermore, any tree bought this early would be a Roman candle by Thanksgiving.

The first pale yellow leaf, our Fall Color, fluttered to the ground this afternoon. A good thing to see since my neighbor's poplar is shading my solar panels now that the sun is getting far south.

We are experiencing a predicted rain right now. It's one of those 80% POPs of 0.01" (0.25 mm looks more impressive). Maybe more by tomorrow afternoon. No storm surge to fear from this thing.

Joe, your visit was the highlight of our Autumn. Enjoyed it very much. A nice break from all the worrisome health crap that has messed up the past three months. Btw, there is still some pork fried rice in the fridge. But, it smells a little funny and we need to remember to throw it out before it turns into a science fair project. Maybe later today.

We got our new LG washer and drier Monday afternoon. I am astonished at how well it works. Muriel hasn't had a chance to use it yet. I've been experimenting.

Have a great flight to DH.

Late development, 7:00 AM: our poky little storm has spritzed us with a total of 0.31 since midnight. Seems to be winding down; drifting off the radar.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. joealaska
7:04 AM GMT on November 01, 2012
Dateline Anchorage.

Catch a 12:30 PM flight tomorrow to finalize the trek.

Snow on the ground.

Christmas trees for sale across the street.
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8. dotmom
10:09 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
UK: We are quite safe at a distance - I would guess - of about 30 - 40 miles away from the accident scene. 3 men were rushed to the hospital and several others have burns. It could be a real calamity. They (about 8 cars) overturned several days ago and it has been touch and go ever since although it seemed they were handling it well and there was not much leakage. Today, these fellows were using a blow torch and apparently ignited butadiene (sp?) vapors and that is what caused the fire. Now if more cars ignited - no telling what kind of catastrophe we would have. Thank you so much for the warning though. You are on top of things - to say the least!!!
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7. insideuk
7:49 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
214 PM EDT WED OCT 31 2012


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6. dotmom
7:05 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
UK: What worked for us many years ago was a baby basket on top of the clothes dryer - while running! (I mean the dryer running - not me.) Also, a trip in the car worked well too. Mothers have to have tricks and we tried them all.

Who knew that it would be trains today???
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. insideuk
3:29 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
Seedy looking hotels? Interesting. In which sense 'seedy'? Just squalid and down at heel looking or full on red lights at the steamy window? Hard times we live in.

Then onto Rachel. Fascinating. A motel with alien themed giftware and memorabilia. Sounds delightful, if you completely misunderstand my meaning. Did you indulge in an ABC? Alien burger with cheese? They have those on the menu all the time, visitors can make their own gas. Or move on 45 miles if they are GOOD.

Hope you kept your eyes shut all the way through Vegas - and out the other side. That was the deal we had, if you recall. We had to have our daft Harry decontaminated at Heathrow airport after his visit, he still had all that icky stuff clinging to him from those communal jacuzzi's. Dangerous icky stuff. Icky stuff with Facebook accounts, not to mention their breast enlargements with hidden JPEG file retention abilities.

They invent that stuff in Area 51 then move it out to local test beds.

Why would they build bridges like they were tunnels then? They don't want you to stop for a photo op on the exceptionally snappily titled 'Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge'? They were giving themselves a tough job right from the get go with their cheeseburger acronym – MOCPTMBBC, doesn't exactly roll off the tongue so much as hit a high wall. An opportunity lost. I'll bet the Golden Gate Bridge has inspired a burger or two. The Double G burger – so big it has underwired supports on its seedy bread BAPS.

It works in an Urban Dictionary/ VEGAS/ healthy Californian glow sort of a way. It will be on sale somewhere near there, guaranteed. By tomorrow probably.

Back to the road trippage.

So we learn here that when Mr Delicate Ears, Joseph of Alaska, found himself a bed that rumbled every 10 minutes next to the train track he was happy as Larry, and Larry is a famously light sleeper also. Weird that. Makes me wonder what tricks Dotmom used when he was a baby to get him to go to sleep? A baby basket strapped to an electric train set on the floor of the nursery perhaps?

Makes sense, he's still happiest travelling round in big circles today.

Safe trip home, no loop the loops.
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4. cybersuze
2:01 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
Be sure to double check that flight -- everything's probably still screwed up with Sandy!
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3. bearpaints
12:57 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
Sorry about the internet in Kingman. Seems to be the norm up there. My husband hates it, either he gets on or doesn't. I love Jerome. Love the history. We used to ride our quads from the back of Jerome all over that mtn range. Lots of mines and Indian Ruins to be found, along with ranches. I always thought I should of been born years ago.

Sounds like you really had a nice trip this time. Hope getting home is relaxing and not the norm. Hear anything on the house in Payson yet?
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2. cholla
12:40 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
As Joe mentioned, we departed to Chile just a couple days after he visited us. We did tours from Santiago and San Pedro de Atacama- and now we are in Putre. It's high up in the Andes at 11,675 feet. And yes, this high altitude is having some small effect on us. Can't move around very fast. Unlike Joe's WI-FI connections, we have had perfect connections at every hotel This little village is indigenous Aymara territory. Probably around a couple thousand inhabitants. There are lots of CHOLLAs around here, but most of the cacti are tall CARDONEs and Candelabra. We head back to southern Arizona in five days. It's been a great trip but we'll be glad to get back home.
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1. dotmom
3:08 AM GMT on October 31, 2012
This two weeks has gone quickly. Hope it has been great. I've been off line for several days with a sick computer - couldn't wait to read the blog and see where you were. Continued safe travels. xo
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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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