Hey everyone!!! After our delightful stay at the Tiffin factory in Red Bay, AL we made a beeline to the southwest via Route 66. We traveled pretty quickly through Mississippi, Louisiana into Texas. In Dallas we turned north to Oklahoma City where we picked up Route 66 and then west through Amarillo, TX.
Our first stay on Rt. 66 was in Tucumcari, NM. It was just an overnight at the local KOA but finally we were doing something else other than having Waldo fixed. Not much to see (being we didn’t venture from the campground).
On our walk with “The Kids” around the campground we did run into one of these . . . a Horned lizard . . . affectionately called a “horny toad”, or “horned frog”. As I may have already mentioned to some . . . Lisa had never seen a “Horny Toad” before . . . but I think I know better 🙂 .
From Tucumcari we followed along Rt. 66 to Albuquerque, NM. We stayed at a nice RV park . . . American RV Park right on old Rt. 66.
The park was on the west side of Albuquerque. There was a great view from the road looking back down into the valley overlooking the city.
We ended up staying here for almost two weeks. There was a La Mesa RV dealer across the freeway from us (a La Mesa dealer in FL was where we ordered Waldo from) and we still had a few little things to fix on Waldo plus his first oil change. We also needed to get a new tow braking system for the Silver Bullet (our Ford Focus). Also, hadn’t got any mail for almost a month so we had our mail service send it to us there. To pass some of the time while in Albuquerque we checked out some of the local attractions. One day we drove to the top of Sandia Peak which overlooks Albuquerque from the east.
We also went into “Old Town” Albuquerque many times for sightseeing, lunch/dinner and shopping. Old Town is a historic district of Albuquerque dating back to the founding of the city by the Spanish in 1706. Old Town comprises about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings grouped around a central plaza (a common feature of Spanish colonial towns). Many of the buildings in Old Town are houses that have been converted into restaurants and small art and souvenir shops.
On the north side of the Plaza is San Felipe de Neri Church, which was built in 1793.
In one of the shops around the Plaza we found something Lisa had been looking for since we left Florida . . . Blow up Aliens to put in the Silver Bullet when we were traveling 🙂 .
Almost on a daily basis one could see storms appear all around the valley in the evening. Usually the rain would never hit the ground . . . as Lisa would tell you “Virga” 🙂 . It would make for some very pretty sunsets.
Finally, after the last fixes for Waldo were complete, our new brake system installed and we received all our mail we headed further west along Rt. 66.
Our next stop was Holbrook, AZ. Holbrook isn’t far from the Petrified Forest. Being we didn’t have a lot of time to spend here we found a local petrified wood shop . . . Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. A very cool place with countless displays of petrified wood and a museum. Jim Gray’s has sold wood to the Smithsonian, the White House, and museums all over the world. The pictures below are of specimens of petrified wood displayed outside the museum and shop.
The museum had many displays of fossils and rare pieces of petrified wood.
The below picture is one of the museums “Main Attractions” advertised on billboards outside of Holbrook . . . Wild Bill — a fossilized alligator skeleton is said to be 2.9 million years old.
Here is a specimen of a very rare Green petrified wood.
Many of the fossils and rare petrified wood were for sale. Check out the prices for this fossil and a Amethyst log (you may have to click on the picture to enlarge it to see the price sticker).
The prices on the “slices” of petrified in the below display ranged from $250 for the small pieces to over $2500 for the larger pieces.
To be able to collect and sell petrified wood the Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co has purchased a type of mineral rights for a section of the land outside the Petrified National Forest Park. . . we were told that there is more petrified wood outside of the park than inside. After touring the outside yard and the museum we probably spent another hour browsing the store. We did end up with a few “small” pieces of petrified wood for souvenirs 🙂 .
Another fun place we went to while staying in Holbrook was Winslow, AZ. It was only about 30 miles up Rt. 66 so off we went. Winslow, AZ is not a very big town . . . less then 10,000 people live there. Winslow became famous back in 1972 from a song you may have heard of by The Eagles “Take it Easy”. I guess it must have been the one line in the song “Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona . . . Such a fine sight to see” that put it on the map 🙂 . Supposedly, the line refers to the time when Jackson Browne’s car broke down in Winslow, Arizona on one of his trips to Sedona and he had to spend a long day in Winslow. I had passed through Winslow many years ago (1974) while hitchhiking through the Southwest and had the chance to say . . .”Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona . . . Such a fine sight to see” 🙂 . Lisa had never been there so she wanted her chance to . . . well, you know :-). When I was there in’74 there weren’t any signs, landmarks or touristy shops for “Take it Easy”. Today there are a number of shops and things all about “Standin’ on a Corner”. Here is Lisa with her chance to say . . .”Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona . . . Such a fine sight to see” 🙂 .
When I was here in ’74 I didn’t have a camera so no pics. Well, I had to have some of me “a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona”.
Can’t forget the “Flat-bed Ford” 🙂
“Slowin’ down to take a look at me” . . . 42 years later . . . still hitchhiking?? . . . Not!!
Standin’ on the opposite corner . . . 🙂
On the Caddy-corner or Kitty-corner (depending on were you live) here is the owner of the “Standin’ on the Corner Gift” shop. He told us a couple of years ago Jackson Browne stopped in his store and bought dozens of “Standin’ on a Corner” T-shirts from him and a few weeks later he saw Jackson Browne on the “Tonight Show” wearing one of his shirts . . . Naturally, I had to buy one of those T-shirts to add to my collection 🙂 .
Well, from Holbrook and Winslow we continued west. Next stop was Kingman, AZ. This was only an overnight but we got there early enough so we could get setup and walk into town to sightsee and dinner. Here is a picture of the park we stayed at there . . . you can see Waldo about center in the picture.
The RV park was only a block off the original Rt. 66 (I-40 has replaced much of the original route) so we walked Rt. 66 into town only 4-5 blocks away.
Like many of the cities and towns in the southwest they are surrounded by mountains which makes for some great scenery. The below pictures are looking back to the east of Kingman, AZ.
Driving a motor home up, over, down and through these mountains can be a bit harrowing. But Waldo seems to do pretty good. First part of the drive for the next morning would be a 6% downgrade for a couple of miles . . . The only way to start the day 🙂 .
Anyway back on our walk into town from the sidewalk you could see these small buttes to the north.
The Historic Rt. 66 through downtown Kingman has been renamed for one of Kingman’s own . . . Andy Devine ( even though he was born in Flagstaff, AZ but he grew up in Kingman from the age of 1).
Many may be a bit young to remember Andy Devine . . . He appeared in more than 400 films. His notable roles included ten films as sidekick “Cookie” to Roy Rogers and several appearances in films with John Wayne, including Stagecoach, Island in the Sky, and as the frightened marshal in The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. He also was a regular on many radio and TV shows from the 30s through the 60s. Maybe this old picture of him I found on-line will remind some of you who don’t recognize him from his name.
I digress . . . back to our walk into town . . . of course we had to have our pictures taken with the Route 66 signs.
We found a great little restaurant on our walk and stopped for dinner. It was starting to get dark by the time we were through with dinner so picture taking was pretty much over . . . except this one . . . but it pretty much was a wash 🙂 .
The next day we were off west again. From Kingman we were only about 40 miles or so from California. We drove into California and after about 10-15 miles west of Needles, CA we took a slight departure from our Rockin’ Route 66 and headed north to Las Vegas, NV. My brother Fred, his wife Jenny and one of their daughters, Katie live in North Las Vegas. They had been in Bozeman, MT the week before visiting my other brother, Doug and his other daughters Sarah, Abby and Emily but would be back in Las Vegas by the time we arrived. We planned our stay in Vegas for over the 4th of July holiday thinking we would be able to see all the casino’s firework displays. We stayed at the Circus, Circus RV Park next to the Circus, Circus Hotel and Casino on “the Strip”. But alas, the only fireworks we saw were on the 3rd of July from the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino which was just a few blocks to the north of us. Thinking there would be more fireworks the next day we failed to get any pictures 🙁 .
The first day we were in Vegas another of our friends Stephanie who lives there came to visit. The three of us walked to the Circus, Circus Casino and had dinner at the Circus Buffet.
We had a fun time and the food was pretty good . . . But I think I like the Buffet at Hinckley’s Grand Casino Buffet better 🙂 It was a fun time to catch up on things with Stephanie. She came by the RV park a few times while we were there and Lisa had a chance to go over to her house for dinner one night.
The evening of the 4th Fred, Jenny and Katie came by and we all walked up the Strip for dinner at Gilley’s. Didn’t take any pics . . . it was only about 105º that evening 🙂 . We had a great time with them but alas . . . no 4th of July fireworks 🙁 .
We stayed in Vegas for a week and even though Lisa worked during the day we were able to take the late afternoons and evenings to wander the strip and see the sights. Here are some pictures taken in the afternoons.
The fountain and waterfall out front of the Wynn.
Boat ride anyone in the Venetian’s canal?
One of my favorites 🙂
It was about 105°-108° the afternoons we strolled “the Strip”, which for the middle of summer in Vegas wasn’t that bad . . . generally it would be 110°-115° or better. Most of the afternoon pics I took outside were us walking between the hotels and casinos. Here are pics taken inside. These I believe were taken in the Wynn Hotel.
AAAHuuUUH GUhGuhGuhGuh 🙂
One of the hallway floors in the Venetian has always just amazed me.
Nice leg 🙂
Another day my brother Fred and I drove up into Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for a hike. It was much cooler in the higher altitudes 🙂 . We first stopped at Red Rock Canyon Interpretive/ Visitor Center. There were many displays about the canyon and the plants and animals that lived there. Here are a few pictures of the canyon I took from the Visitor’s Center looking to the canyon.
Here is one of the native “critters” that live in the canyon . . . a Land Tortoise. This one was living at the Visitor’s Center and was about 20 years old . . . pretty young for a Land Tortoise.
We hiked up one of the trails found along the 13 mile long scenic drive through the canyon.
Here is Fred leading the way as always.
And as it always has been when it came to doing things with my older brother . . . Here’s me bringing up the rear 🙂 .
Along the trail we ran into a family of Chukar partridge. There was both the adults and about 4-5 chicks.
The trail ended at a dead-end canyon. There we found some ancient pictographs.
I had a fun time hiking with Fred and saw some great scenery but alas it was time to head back to town for it was Friday and our last day in Las Vegas and Lisa wanted to “Hit the Strip” one more time that evening.
Here are some pictures of “the Strip” from our last evening in Vegas . . . Of course we must start with a couple of pictures of one of the many “characters” you’ll find walking “the Strip” 🙂 .
Ok, Ok . . . Sorry ’bout that 🙂 . . . now for some of the other evening pics.
Here are some pictures of the fountain in front of the Wynn lit up at night.
We had a fun night carousing “the Strip”. We had dinner at Harrahs’s Oyster Bar and Grill and did a bit of gambling . . . not much . . . just enough to have a bit of fun, and no we didn’t win BIG but we didn’t lose . . . more or less broke even 🙂 .
It was fun seeing Fred, Jenny, Katie and Stephanie and spending some great time with them but alas . . . it was time to move on. The next day we headed south again back to Route 66. We back tracked for a few days and when we made Albuquerque we turned north to Santa Fe.
We stayed the week in Santa Fe at a small RV park close to the historic district. We took an evening trip into the historic district and walked around the old town plaza and did some shopping. Very cool old adobe style buildings.
At one end of the plaza is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The cathedral was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, La Parroquia built in 1714–1717. An older church on the same site, built in 1626, was destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt.
It was fun shopping in all the stores . . . didn’t get much . . . Lisa got a Santa Fe charm for her charm bracelet . . . I was going to get a T-shirt at the Original Trading Post but decided to keep looking and never went back to get it 🙁 .
At the edge of the plaza is a stone marker that marks the end of the Sante Fe Trail which was used from 1822-1879.
Another afternoon Lisa took a half day off work so we could take the “Kids” into the historic district and roam around. We stopped at local pub/eatery and had a beer and a cocktail in the garden. Walking back from there we passed the old “Governor’s Palace”.
All in all Sante Fe was an interesting place to visit. We intended to leave our Route 66 travels from here and head north into Colorado. Unfortunately, those plans didn’t pan out. I spent two days trying to find places to stay in Colorado from the New Mexico border to Denver but being mid-summer there was nowhere that had more than a one night stay for a coach our size. We didn’t want to spend the next two weeks moving every day so we headed back to Route 66 (I-40) and headed east back to Oklahoma City where we started.
We stayed in Oklahoma City for about a week. Lisa took another half day off and we rode the bus into downtown. We went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred R. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. It was a very sombering experience.
On the south side of what used to be the Alfred R. Murrah Federal Building the plaza is still there . . . the bomb exploded on the north side of the building where the Ryder truck was parked on NW 5t Street.
The grass area where the playground for the daycare that was in the building used to be is still there.
Here is the Reflection Pond. The Federal Building was to the right of the pond where the grass is. The Reflection Pond now occupies what used to be NW 5th St. . This first picture is from the west end of the pond looking east and the second picture I took from the same spot looking west down NW 5th St.
There are still parts of the Federal Buildings walls still standing.
Here is a plaque that is at the east end of the Memorial as you enter.
The grass where all the chairs are is where the building once stood. Each of the chairs has a name on it.
You will notice the large chairs and some small chairs . . . the small chairs are for the children from the daycare that were lost.
Some of the chairs had flowers on them.
In this picture below you can see the shadow of the tree on the stone walk . . . that is where the Ryder truck was parked when it exploded.
There was an old oak tree across NW 5th St from the building that had been there for more than 100 years. It somehow survived the blast and is now known as “The Survivor Tree”.
From the Memorial we walked over to the National Memorial Museum ( you can see the museum building in the background of the Survivor Tree picture above).
After our tour of the Oklahoma City National Memorial we walked about 8-10 blocks to Bricktown . . . an old historic warehouse district of Oklahoma City.
We wandered around stopping for lunch at Jazmo’z Bourbon Street Café . . . Excellent Lunch!!! . . .
Yes those are Oysters!!! 🙂 . . . Oysters Baton Rouge, Six charbroiled Gulf oysters with Parmesan cheese 🙂 🙂 . . . Yes, cheese!! They were delicious!!!!
After lunch we wandered the Bricktown river walk for awhile. It was about 103° so we decided to head back to the bus stop and head home . . . the “Kids” are a waiting.
Well, this pretty much wraps up our “Rockin’ Route 66”. All in all we spent almost 6 weeks in these travels . . . yup . . . and that’s why this blog is so damn long . . . Sorry!! From here we head north to Minnesota to see family, friends and the Minnesota State Fair . . . and oh yeah . . . SWEET CORN!!!!!!!