Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 20_Tuesday_November 9, 2010

Sun's up, sky still dark in places, we're packed up and heading out.  Might stop in Portland and visit with Jon for an hour or so, then.....home again, home again, jiggity jig.  The End. 

Day 19_Monday_November 8, 2010

Uncle Frank fixed up some linguisa, Ace made scrambled eggs and toast—breakfast was good.  We’re on the road now, headed north.  We’re not sure how far we’ll get, but somewhere in Oregon we think. 

Yes, up old I 5 freeway.  Haven't been on I 5 for 3 years or so.  Everything is green, the air is sweet, a little cool in the morniing, warm and enveloping mid-morning - afternoon.  Evenings pretty.  None of the passes had snow, the roads were dry. 

We stopped at Liquor Expo, a dot on the freeway and got several bottles of liquor.  We did save money on most everything, not so much on the tequilla, not sure why...

We stopped in Creswell, Oregon, about 7 miles south of Eugene.  Comfort Inn, it's new, really nice.  We took a hot tub and then back in our room, we poured ourselves a glass of Laphroaig, ordered pizza and salad, and ate.  (hm, we've not been eating very well on this trip...)....

Tomorrow: home.  :)

All right, Day what? Where am I now???....Day 18_Sunday_November 7, 2010

Cold.  Windy.  Dark.  We had woken up at 4:45am (clocks had fallen back in time…)…and after 15 minutes decided to get up and get on the road.  We were going to go over Tioga Pass in Yosemite Park but we wanted to get over it before the snow fell and they closed the road.  Tioga Pass is 9,945 feet.  Very high.  Very cold.  Very windy.  And yes, snowing.  We’d been checking the weather online and knew the pass was open, that the severe winter watch would start Sunday at 10am, but thought we could get over before the weather got too bad. 
We were travelling on Hwy 120.  Man.  Some really desolate country.  Saw one sign that said, “Dips Next 5 Miles”.  Have you ever been on a roller-coaster?  A really up and down roller-coaster?  Yeah, 5 miles of up and down.  Our stomachs were about where our throats were located.  Country was pretty.  We didn’t see any other living or non-living thing.  Just us, the road, and the wind.  The sun was out, the temperature was about 50, so we thought Tioga Pass might be ok.  As we got to Lee Vinning (the town just at the east entrance to Yosemite, the wind got more fierce, the sky was dark and forbidding, and we started to see little spatters of rain.  But, Tioga Pass was only 12 miles up this little windy highway.  We took it.  Our plan was to turn back to Lee Vinning and go north to Reno if we could not get over the pass.  We did.

It started snowing and we started climbing up.  Neither of us had been to Yosemite, my goodness!  It’s beautiful!  Big rugged dome-like rocks (heck, mountains), trees, lakes, lots of lakes!  Lots of hikes too, it was beautiful country.  There was blowing snow and heavy fog in places, or maybe that was just a wall of snow?  Whatever, we made it to the top and started heading down the other side of the pass.  Still snowing; we were travelling across the mountains at 8,000 feet for quite awhile.  We felt like we were on top of the world. 

Came through a little town, saw a cafĂ© so we stopped for breakfast.  Good.  The snow had turned to rain and it was coming down like nobody’s business.  We headed to Manteca; stopped to old friend from college, Pete Selmeczki.  Visited and then off to Aunt Ellen and Uncle Frank Pinto’s home also in Manteca. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 17_Saturday_November 6, 2010

Found a Starbuck’s, got some gas and headed north on some more desolate country.  I mean desolate (not knowing what the ‘morrow would bring)….we headed to the Hoover Dam and the new bridge over it.  WOW!  What a feat of construction!  Hoover Dam is one of the seven engineering feats of America as picked by American Civil Engineers.  We are certain the bridge would be the eighth. 

We then headed northwest to Las Vegas.  We had planned to park at Caesar’s Palace and walk through the Forum Shops to Bellagio Hotel, however, fate intervened.  Ace wiped his phone clean.  We had to find an Apple Store and get it restored.  Hey!  There’s one in the Forum Shops!  We drove down Las Vegas Blvd, taking pictures through the windshield like a couple of country bumpkins, finally turning into the parking at Caesar’s Palace.  Ace stayed in the Apple Store restoring his phone and some apps (we hauled our laptop along with us), whilst I looked around at the shops nearby.  After an hour and a half in the store, Ace was ready to get out of Dodge, er I mean Las Vegas.  He’d been wanting to eat at an In and Out Burger joint, so we gps’d it and found one heading out of LV. 

Now here’s where it gets interesting…..moon-scape is what we passed through on our way to (eventually) Tonapah, Nevada where we would stay the night.  The further we got on down the road, the more desolate it became.  Hwy 93 north out of Las Vegas, Ace had planned on spending the night in Goldfield, Nevada, (it’s a ghost town we discovered), we did see however, signs to various bordellos.  Hm, Nevada hasn’t progressed very far once off the main roads I’d say…..anyhow, we pulled into the Best Western in Tonapah, (not much bigger than Goldfield) but it had 3 actively operating motels in town.  It was quite nice I must say.  A surprise for one travelling around on the moon. 

Day 16_Friday_November 5, 2010

Found a Starbucks, then tried a few places buy fresh Hatch roasted peppers.  They had been frozen for transportation.  We’ve been keeping them on ice the whole way!  We’ll have to cook ‘em up right away when we get home. 
Drove through some desolate country, skirting the Painted Desert, and finally turned south along the Colorado River and into Lake Havasu City and Bill and Jeanne O’Banion.  Jeanne (aka “Kiowa Kai”) was sick, on antibiotics; however that didn’t stop her from having a drink with us by way of being friendly.  Ha ha ah aha !  As we were unloading the car, who should drive up but Brad!  We all visited for an hour or two, then Brad headed home, and we headed out for dinner, leaving Jeanne to take a little nap / rest.  It was good we were only staying one night because Jeanne really needed to have some rest and quiet. 

Day 15_Thursday_November 4, 2010

Saying farewell, we drove to Albuquerque and the Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course.  Beautiful course, just beautiful!  Tough too.  Greens were mighty tough.  There was no one in front of us (well, they were way up ahead), and no one behind us—great day of golf. 
We drove into Albuquerque to the hotel, went swimming and hot tubbing, then headed out to Nob Hill.  The university is out in that neighborhood – CUTE neighborhood.  Route 66 has all these neat little shops and restaurants…we found a great pizza place, had dinner, watched the night life and then headed back to the hotel.  Next stop: Lake Havasu City, AZ!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 14_Wednesday_November 3, 2010

Pilot light went out again, Gay and I went downstairs, well, the flames shot out with a big boom.  Gay burnt her hand, I burnt my new robe (not badly). this is what we get for trying to be handy!  The repair person is here now.

Ace and Buffe explore Taos.  Sun shinning, sky blue, we drove down Taos Canyon.  We stopped and checked out El Su….something or other; it’s a resort and spa.  Very nice.  Beautiful grounds, pleasant fountains, lovely.  We wandered around the square / shops and then drove to the Guadalajara Grill in the north end of town for lunch.  A shop keeper had recommended it to us and she was not wrong.  Good.

Back up in Angel Fire, we got the fire going, poured a glass of wine, and had dinner one last time with Gay, Glenn, and Dad.