I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
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.
MY DREAM DAY.
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.
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