Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Gallup to Kingman with a side trip

We did 330 miles today and even stopped by the Painted Desert for a few pix. We also stopped for a late lunch and a driver change. I drove from Winslow, AZ. Dan relinquished the wheel I guess because for the past two days he's been greasy and dirty and frustrated, he just needed a rest. I did fine, he even slept.

We are staying in a Holiday Inn, nice and we arrived in time for happy hour, downed one, and slept for an hour. Because we ate such a late lunch dinner is out. That's ok, I don't see anything other than a Sonic nearby. Now tomorrow a orange cream slush would taste pretty good since it will be a pretty toasty ride through Needles.

Tales from the teardrop: a sad good bye to the teardrop

Well, good bye for a while. No trailer in town to carry it home so we are leaving it at owe angel's shop until Dan can deal with whatever he needs to do. We will be heading west in about an hour and not doing any site seeing on the way home unless it's from the truck window. Oh well, I'm sure we'll get back this way again.

We both feel we are extremely lucky. One can imagine the horrible scenarios like an accident or this happening in the middle of the desert and don't forget our angel NSRA member here in Gallup who will store the little trailer for us and was so much help to Dan yesterday. You gotta love whomever had the idea for the "Fellow Pages".

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: it started out a good day

Dan did a little shade tree/parking lot mechanics this morning and changed the solenoid in the truck. Down the road we went towards Holbrook, AZ and just this side of Gallup, NM, poof, we blow a tire in the teardrop.Trooper stops to make sure Dan doesn't get killed changing the tire, which took an hour. Of course, the truck won't start so another twenty minutes or so fussing. I guess what he changed in Santa Fe wasn't it. 

Limping off the freeway into Gallup and something isn't right. Dan takes off the newly mounted spare and find that the axel, she's a broke, and the truck won't start. We drop the trailer, get the truck running, and go find a motel, in Gallup, by the train yard. Dan checks the NSRA directory and there is one member in town, turns out he's an angel because they get the teardrop over to his shop and they might have solved the truck problem, maybe. We will know tomorrow. 

If Dan can get a trailer tomorrow we will take the teardrop home, if not, it will get left here and get repaired and then another trip up to bring it home. This was not such a good day but we did take the angel and his wife to dinner at a pretty decent restaurant and there is hope that things will be better tomorrow. One can only hope at this point. 

I'm tired and going to bed. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Were thirty- eight miles from Las Vegas? Yes, Las Vegas, New Mexico. We are making good time and stopped in Raton, NM for breakfast. Dan has been lifting the hood to cool off the starter when we stop. It seems to work. After breakfast walking back to the car a truck pulled up to see if we needed help. Nice people in Raton.

We stopped at this motel/ restaurant because there were lots of trucks and on a Monday morning that should have meant it was either cheap or great. It was neither, it wasn't too expensive and just average. I'm still looking for some great food. Of all places, I had a good green chili snack at the fairgrounds. Ray told me Pueblo green chilies are pretty hot so I tried chilies and melted cheese rolled up like a burrito. Great flavor and heat.

After registration for the car show on Friday we stopped for lunch at a small cafe across the street from the convention center, the Plaza Cafe. It was only about 10:30 so we opted for breakfast. Everything came smothered in a green chili sauce so I had sausage, hash browns and scrambled eggs with the sauce. Not as spicy as I would have liked but, almost.

The thing about the cafe was there were a few local elderly folks and as they got up to pay their bill the guy behind the counter would say, "oh, let me get that today." When I paid my check I asked how many he he paid for and he looked a bit embarrassed and admitted to just a few telling me he worried if they got enough to eat. You meet nice people all over the place.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: cool in Pueblo?

The weather, after a rain storm outside the city, has cooled down considerably. I couldn't be happier. We are spending Sunday evening in the almost deserted campground and will leave tomorrow at first light heading to Santa Fe and our first hotel. I don't mind sleeping in the teardrop but when you only stay one night, it's so much work unloading then loading up again. It wouldn't be bad but we need storage inside the sleeping area. I feel like the pioneers traveling across the country in a covered wagon and tossing out what they thought we needed but for those of you that know Dan know he'd never throw out something useful. Dang.

Tales from the teardrop: last day of the car show

After a very hot and busy date at the car show we all met at a local restaurant, the Hen House. Our friends daughter works there and it is one of their favorites. When we got back to the teardrop it was too early, and still too hot, to go to bed so we walked back to the fairgrounds to see some cars and it was pretty raucous, must be some fuzzy heads this morning. Back in the trailer to sleep with the windows open because when the wind stopped it really got much warmer. Point to remember, don't camp down wind of the fairgrounds. We could smell the grease from the fry-o-lator until way past 10:00.

Sundays are always a bit quieter at the car show. A lot of folks don't stay for the awards and the big prize give-away and add the number of late night party goers you have a quite a subdued crowd. Since we aren't leaving until Monday morning we might check out down Pueblo tonight. My sister says they've a " river walk" that sounds fun.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Gunnison

We spent a nice day in Crested Butte on Wednesday. It's an old mining town turned ski resort and in the summer mountain biking paradise. Barb and Norm took us to lunch at the Steep Bar for some really good food. After walking through a few of the touristy shops we headed back to the campground through a lovely a valley dotted with cattle ranches. Everything is still beautifully green and lush. 

Back through the town of Gunnison Dan a made a stop at the local NAPA store for a starter; just in case. He likes to be prepared for any situation. He also likes to putter so Thursday morning, after Barb and I got back from our walk, I found him rebuilding a space heater someone had thrown away. He fixed it and is leaving it for someone who needs it. If it keeps him happy ...   

Tales from the teardrop: seeing the love of your life happy, priceless.

Good night, cooled down dramatically. It's gonna be hot today but my old guy is having such a good time I don't even care. I can find a shady, somewhat cooler spot and my iPad is fully charged. Plus, I'm gonna have a funnel cake for breakfast, ummmm funnel cake Life is good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: friends, old and new

After an almost unbearable day, well few hours, we headed to the outskirts of Pueblo to have dinner with old friends. They'd moved away almost thirty years ago and ended up in Pueblo.

Staying at their house are three friends from our car club so dinner was very pleasant. They have a lovely house in the country and the wife fed us all. We sat outside after dinner and talked until well after dark but had no problem getting back to the fairgrounds with the help of the iPad. Even though I've had many sparse AT$T spots on this trip when I could get connected it was great. Just the Google Maps with the GPS is worth the cost of admission.

We've used the iPad to plan this trip, check on gas stations, and eateries. The AAA site suggested a great Mexican restaurant in Delta, Co, and we'd go back there if we weren't heading down to New Mexico on our way home. We'd gotten some great suggestions from my sister as to where to stay. Can't wait and after three nights in this parking lot ill be glad to see something different.

Tales from the teardrop: HOT!

104 at the fairgrounds. Not pleased. Two degrees cooler tomorrow, yippee.

Tales from the teardrop: back to civilization

We are heading to Pueblo this morning, early 6:30am. Dan is working this afternoon and wants to get registered. He would have preferred to arrive yesterday but we should be fine, we do have a reservation at the fairgrounds.

It was fun to stop and see where Barb and Norm spend their summers. It is a lovely area and I can see what draws them back. We took a boat trip through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the guide was very good. How I would love to have that job. Maybe I'll apply for a summer job next year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: our favorite campground so far

We arrived at Gunnison Lakeside Resort on Tuesday afternoon after a fantastic drive along the Colorado River that runs just East of Arches National Park and a quick, albeit expensive, trip to Cabela's. It felt good to know we were spending more than one night. My darling sister had a great space for us right across from the bathrooms, a relief since the past three days we had to walk a fair piece in the middle of the night. We also have a great view of the lake.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Moab

Monday evening, after a great day at Arches National Park, we camped at the nearby town of Moab which, evidently, is the Indian name for mosquito. Both Dan and I were blood donors to a large needy group; glad we could help.

Our campsite is down by the banks of the Colorado and across the river, and not out of earshot, of a settlement of chickens with a very vocal rooster. It seems his job is to not only wake his chickens but all the other roosters in the area, as well. Yes, it is early but then I needed to get up and donate more blood.

Tales from the teardrop: Bryce day two

Sunday we celebrated Fathers Day with a little drama. After spending three or so hours in a fantastic bus tour, thanks Spike, we came back to camp, had lunch and headed back to the visitor's center for some info on the evening's Ranger talk. 

After that we decided to take the shuttle back to camp and enjoy a nap.  When I  woke up I realized my purse was missing. I'd been carrying a shoulder bag and had stuffed my purse in that. We headed back to the visitor's center to check their lost and found and nope, no one had turned it in. I was ready to come home I was so upset until the Ranger called the shuttle bus company and yes, they found a purse and were trying to find me. They had tried the hotel and then found us registered at the camp ground. I was the happiest camper in Bryce Canyon that night. 

My purse must have slid out when my shoulder bag was in the floor and I was so tired I didn't realize it was gone. The real luck was the driver found it right after we got out and took it to the office. Nothing missing we headed of to the Lodge to celebrate Father's Day with a fantastic meal. We ended the evening with a lecture from the Ranger and then, finally off to bed both tired from our second day at Bryce.    

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Bryce Canyon National Park

Editior's note: finally back to an Internet connection, YEAH!

Brcye Canyon National Park is more beautiful than I even imagined. We arrived here a little later than I planned but I did not factor in a cranky starter/neutral safety switch. Each time we shut off the truck, at rest stop or lunch, it then needed about 30minutes to cool down enough to start. So the work-around is not shut it off, well, except to get gas and because my beloved knows engines and their workings, he bypassed the switch and got us moving again. 

They campground is nice but we were at the far end which is a walk to the toilets and out of range for the wifi and evidently in the 3% of the country that AT&T doesn't serve, I have no 3G. I'm a bit behind in my posting. 

Even if I did have a connection last night I might not have posted as we discovered there was a 9:00 pm Ranger lead Astronomy event just down the road with five telescopes set up afterwards. We saw the rings of Saturn, a very good closeup of the moon and a star cluster a bajilion miles away. I was going to mention we saw the rings of Uranus but that is such an old joke.   

By the time we got back to the trailer it was 11pm and we were dead tired. We still had to make the bed, which is no easy chore in the teardrop and finally made it into bed about midnight. Quite the long day for these two campers. We needed to be up early and out to the tram stop as we signed up for a 9am three hour tour. Great driver/tour guide and he gave us a different direction to take on Monday morning.          

Tales from the teardrop: our first National Park

 Saturday afternoon we delayed setting up camp and took the shuttle into the Park. Before we did that we needed to get Dan's "National Park Senior Pass". It's for any American citizen 62 and over and after paying the one-time fee of ten bucks you and three friends can enter any National Park for free. It would have cost us $25 a piece to get into Bryce so this pass is a good thing. Well be using it a lot this trip.
We were talking to some Brits at the shuttle stop and they thought the fees charged were to expensive. They had rented a RV and were planning to be here for six weeks. That alone would be costly and he was complaining about 25 bucks for seven days?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Leaving Las Vegas

My beloved woke me this morning with a kiss and told me he'd take me to Bryce Canyon for my birthday. He was trying to prove he's spontaneous and it would have worked if I'd not planned this whole trip my self. His heart's in the right place. 

We'll be leaving Vegas in a few hours. Our short stopover with his cousins has been fun. The weather, quite mild for this time time of year, has been great. We didn't do any gambling but had breakfast in a casino yesterday. It was the Original Pancake House which was always a favorite of my Dad's and Dan had the Apple Pancake in his honor. It's a huge baked concoction with apples on top. He's looking forward to the leftovers this morning.

The weather report for Bryce called for Mosquitos. Never seen that before so our first stop is to the store for some Off since those pesky critters just love me. Somewhere there's a mosquito wife rolling out of bed this morning saying, "Oh, I know what I'm having for dinner tonight, there's a pasty-white woman coming, I can just feel it".     

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tales from the teardrop: Learning how to type in a bumpy truck

This started much earlier and a fair bit longer, too but going over a bumpy road some where west of Barstow I went up in the air and came down on something that deleted my note. The iPad has no "undo" button so, frustrated I put it away until after lunch. I should find a "word" type app somewhere that let's me save work. I believe Blogger must use Flash so I can't type directly into my blog. There is no such thing as failure. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big road trip in a tiny trailer

My beloved and I will be on the road for 14 days, yet again, in our teardrop trailer. We've done 11 days with our little doggie, in the desert, so what a few extra days. Maybe grounds for divorce. We've had a forty year run so far so I suspect not but, stay tuned.

Ever since Ken Burns made his wonderful documentary about the National Parks I've been jonesin' to get on the road and see a few for myself. This trip is a start to accomplish my goal starting with no less that five parks on the travel route.

Bryce Canyon
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Petrified Forest

We might see a few extras, if we have time, but we have a very tight schedule. We are also throwing in a NSRA car show in Pueblo, CO just to make sure we don't get bored.

Some might be wondering what about Buddy-dog? Well, he's ace a vacation from us, friends are stay at home with him. He's getting a bit long in the tooth for a long trip and there are too many places that are not dog-friendly. Don't worry about him he'll be spoiled by some of his favorite people.

Since I forgot to order my connector for the iPad, that would have enabled me to download pix, there will be no photos until we return but I will try to post from the road with wonderfully descriptive paragraphs making my readers feel as if they we actually there. Hope you're not afraid of heights.