Being Deaf & Almost Getting Hit In A Mall Parking Lot In Las Vegas.

Watching Bryce Play Baseball In Henderson, NV. 06/22

It was very nice to be at a big city and pick up some needed things that aren’t available in smaller towns. We came to Las Vegas to watch our friend play baseball and to visit with my aunt and uncle. First stop was to Williams-Sonoma where I got a vegetable peeler. (My Pampered Chef one is in storage.) The cheap one I had from Walmart broke the other day. Then to Lens Crafters for glass cleaning cloths. It is at an outdoor mall. Really nice! We couldn’t find the store. Kevin called them and they are inside Macy’s, the first store we walked through. HA We got what we needed. In the parking lot, a younger lady in a truck was stopped in the middle of the road. I thought she was waiting for someone to pull out so she could get their spot but Kevin said she was dropping someone off. We walked past her staying close to the parked cars when suddenly Kevin grabbed my arm hard and pulled me far left to the other side of him. It turns out that lady wasn’t watching when she started driving and almost hit me!!! Scary. I am deaf and couldn’t hear the motor. I am so thankful Kevin is hearing and upon hearing the motor saved me! My hero. 🙂

This Lady Was Heading To Walmart And No One Was To Get In Her Way. 🙂

I don’t know this lady but her “drive” (pun intended) to get to where she was going was strong. Good for her!

By the time we were hungry. We found L&L Hawaiian, which I knew Kevin liked where we used to live. The food was fine, rated it “Once A Year.” Then to Costco. Oh how I miss Costco!!!! There isn’t one within 2 1/2 hours of Flagstaff. It was crowded but we weren’t in a hurry and just took our time. I got 2 packages of hamburger & some pork roasts, both of which I used my Food Saver with after we got home. Food Saver is a vacuum system that takes out all the air from the package. It makes food last a long time. Got some other things as well, but not toilet paper…not enough room in HOWE. 🙂 On the way home, we stopped at a new Maverick gas station – it even has RV lanes! Very nice. Maverick is Kevin’s favorite convenience store. We didn’t need the RV lanes but needed drinks. HAHA

Adding To The Door. Las Vegas. 06/22

The window in this door was clear glass. It made it hot when the sun would shine through. We bought this window film and Kevin installed it. We like it as it makes it so someone on the steps can’t see in but we can see the silhouette. Also, not so hot.

I have been doing a lot of reading. I am reading “The President’s Man” by President Nixon’s Aide. Very interesting and I like it. I made Tater Tot Casserole in my smallest Pampered Chef baking dish. It was perfect size. By then the sun had set and we went to the pool and hot tub. We were very surprised that we were the only ones in the pool and only 1 guy sitting in the recliners. The pool was colder than the other day. Again, surprised, since the day had been 97 degrees. We quickly ended up in the hot tub. Another couple came in. We had a nice visit with them. They are full time, too, and here helping their son convert a van for camping. 

Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort – A True Resort. One Of Our Favorite Campgrounds. 06/22

We met my aunt and uncle outside their place here in Las Vegas and then rode with them to Bahama Breeze. We all shared an appetizer and then each couple shared the coconut dinner. Everything was perfection. Even the broccoli was perfectly cooked with a nice buttery flavor. The yellow rice was scrumptious. I also liked the tall ceilings and decor of the building. I liked it so much that I put the address in my phone book so we can go there again. Back to aunt and uncle’s place to place to play the card game “Golf” with them. It was a lot of fun. We love visiting with them.

Bryce Hits The Ball. Henderson, NV 06/22

Up early to be at the ballgame across town in Henderson by 8:00 am. The weather was perfect and always a thrill to watch our friend, Bryce. He is a senior in high school now. The first game, the other team didn’t have enough players because the coach said they thought they played at 9:00. They are from Vegas so there wasn’t even the time zone excuse. The coach was very angry at the game-recorder and said the F-bomb. Not good! He finally told the umpire they would forfeit. The teams decided to play a scrimmage game, which I thought was nice, for the boys to be able to play. Later the coach changed it to not be a forfeit game. What? Anyway, we won. The second game started right afterward and we lost. Later we met Bryce and his parents, Brian and Heather, at Sunset Casino for visiting and dinner. We ate at the kind of fancy Italian place at the casino. It was good and we were all full afterward.

Sunday, got up even earlier to get going and to get HOWE (the name of our 5th wheel Alliance Avenue, Home On WhEels) all packed up for travel day. Got to the baseball park right as the game started. The game was a good one and very close. This was the last game for us to see Bryce play while in high school. He is a young man who has always been a joy to watch. Not only is he a great baseball player but he has the attitude you want to see. He is very encouraging to his teammates and the players on the other team. For example, one time when the play was extremely close, he got thrown out at first base. He got up, looked at the first baseman and said, “good play.” We have known him since he was two years old. Our dear friends walked us over and had a look inside HOWE. They were very impressed. Then we closed it up and headed to J&H RV Park in Flagstaff.

Tater Tot Casserole
1 lb hamburger
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream (or you can substitute 1 cup of milk)
1 pkg (16 oz) tater tots
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Brown onion and hamburger. Drain.
Line bottom of 9×13-inch pan with hamburger and onion.
Mix soup and sour cream (or milk) together. Mix well and pour over meat mixture. Top with partially thawed tater tots.
Bake at 450° for 35 minutes.
Remove and add grated cheese. Bake again for 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
Who is hungry now? 🙂

An “Experience” That Made Us Want To Leave. ;)

Setting Up Before Slides Out On Our 5th Wheel at Fort Tuthill, AZ. Look At All The Trees.

Funny story…When we were camping in Needles, California, I started looking for places to camp over Memorial Day weekend. I didn’t know this area (Flagstaff), having only driven here and back to Phoenix with Kevin in January 2021. I wasn’t sure about “boondocking” around here so didn’t even look into that. Plus, at that time, Kevin thought he would need cell service to stay in touch for work. (We didn’t have Starlink yet.) I looked up and down I-17 and no place had openings. Finally, finally, found Fort Tuthill Campground. Wahoo!  Booked it. Then the other day we were driving around exploring the area and we see “Fort Tuthill” exit…it is literally 15 minutes away from the campground we are at in Flagstaff!  HAHAHAHA Such a “big” travel trip. 🙂

Kevin In Line To Check In At Fort Tuthill Campground, AZ.

Today we went the “long” drive to the Fort Tuthill. This campground is a mess! There are trees everywhere not just around a campsite. All the ground is red dirt. You can’t tell where the “roads” are vs the campsites. They meander around. Online and the printed map they gave us, the roads with well defined but they aren’t in real life and they don’t match.  There was a line waiting to check in with the host but that is understandable, this being Memorial Day weekend. Kevin asked them if a 36 ft 5th wheel would fit getting to the site. The hosts just pointed and gave him a map. A guy in line behind Kevin chuckled and said, “Good luck!” Kevin was smart and actually walked the roads/paths to see which way was the best to take HOWE. We are glad he did because looking at the map was totally different than what really would work. We went around and then backed into the “pull through” spot, E-13, because there was a huge log blocking the end of the site. I helped guide him back using the walkie-talkie, like we normally do. It was quite funny, the two host guys got in a golf cart, drove to our site, and actually sat and watched us back in. They were surprised we got in! We made it.

Vintage Volkswagens Set Up Throughout The Campground.

As we drove onto Fort Tuthill grounds, we saw a sign that said “Grateful Festival this weekend.” Wow, I said. That is neat to be having a festival of thankfulness for the men and women who died serving their country, this being Memorial Weekend. In the campground, we saw a lot of Hippies in tie-die clothes and blankets around their tents and canopies. Even saw some vintage Volkswagen Buses. There were also a lot of family groups camping together. We looked up online and saw the “Grateful Festival”is cover bands of Grateful Dead Band all day Saturday and Sunday. Not what I thought when I saw the sign! 🙂

First Recorded Use Of Metal Plates In A Surgical Procedure In The United States.

On Saturday we went to Fort Tuthill Museum. Fort Tuthill is named for General Alexander Tuthill. He is considered the father of the Arizona National Guard. Construction of the National Guard training ground was started in 1929 and was considered one of the finest training facilities in the United States. It covered 10 acres and had access to 8000 more acres in the national forest to use for training. The Fort was turned over to Coconino County in 1955. All the buildings are still in use today with picnic areas, horseback trails, hiking trails, large campground, archery range, rifle range, amphitheater, as well as horse track for races.

Saw This Warning On Our Hike Around Fort Tuthill.

At midnight, Kevin woke up to hearing a beating of a drum, like a drum circle. He heard loud singing and even an upright bass guitar. He was surprised the campground hosts didn’t call the police. At 3:00 am, I woke up to flashing police lights. I woke up Kevin. There was a police car but only at the edge of the campground and didn’t go in to tell them to be quiet. Grrr! At 4:00 am, we woke up again with them talking so loud. Kevin said they were even swearing. We felt so bad for all the families with children in tents around them. Good grief! Sometimes it is nice to be deaf! 🙂

Look At The Windy Road Down The Side Of The Mountain. Oak Creek Canyon.

We slept in because of the crazy night we had. Oh, the loud noise, chanting, singing and music? Right across from our campsite! After biscuits and homemade sausage gravy, we drove to Sedona on Hwy 89A. This road is two lane and goes through Oak Creek Canyon. It is beautiful! The road has several switchbacks and then goes deep into the canyon with tall walls on the sides. There were some stops at construction stop lights but we didn’t mind because it was just more time to look around at the beauty. The drive took under an hour. We were surprised that every pull off was full, every “entrance fee” place had a sign out it was full, and people everywhere. We wonder if that is normal for a Sunday or is it this is a holiday weekend.

Slide Rock State Park, AZ

We want to come back and visit the sites, especially one that I read about in the 10 Women of Arizona booklet I got in Winslow. It is Slide Rock State Park. When we got to Sedona even the roundabouts had lines. We weren’t planning on stopping in Sedona, as we have been here several times before. So we went a little ways and then just turned around and headed back. We really enjoyed this drive and can’t wait to explore it more. Back at campground, we walked over and chatted with the campground hosts (2 guys and 1 gal there). They said they knew about the loud noises at night and said they even had to help some of them find their campsites because they were so out of it and were just wandering around trying to remember where to go. Yikes! The paper of rules says quiet time hours and says you may be removed. I can’t imagine how bad it has to get for them to do that! Thankfully, Kevin heard no noise tonight. (Some of the group across the campsite from us left in the evening.)

Memorial Day. We were definitely ready to leave this campground. We got up at 7:30 and got ready to go. I had everything put away the night before. Just grabbed some snacks for the road trip. We didn’t have hook ups so getting ready didn’t take too long. We both sighed relief as we pulled out. We drove to Las Vegas and had a great drive. We got to the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort (a true resort!) at 1:00 pm. Got checked in fine; asked for a sunny site and so she changed it for us. We need the open sky for Starlink. Later we went to the adult pool and hot tub. Both were nice temperatures. Got hungry for supper so came back and fixed Thanksgiving Casserole. We ate outside on the picnic table. Had an enjoyable evening sitting outside, reading, and watching planes overhead.

Thanksgiving Casserole
(recipe from Barbara Kester)
4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 cans of cream of chicken soup, don’t add water
1 cup sour cream
2 cups wide egg noodles, cooked
1 regular Stove Top Chicken Stuffing Mix
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup butter
Mix chicken, soup, sour cream, and noodles. Put in 9×13 casserole dish.
Sprinkle dry stuffing on top.
Melt butter together with broth. Pour over top of stuffing.
Bake, uncovered, 350° for 30 minutes.

NOW I am hungry for this!!!! HA

How Big Is This? Also,The Sign That Makes Us Laugh When We Think About It.

Meteor Crater National Landmark, AZ 05/22

So glad we made the decision to not drive HOWE (this is the name we gave our 36 ft 5th wheel: Home On WhEels) east yesterday. The wind finally calmed down a little but still is blowing all day. The campground owner says this is normal for Flagstaff through mid-June. Yikes! We slept in and then drove our car to Maverik gas station for gas and donuts.

This Is Huge!

We went to Meteor Crater National Landmark. Kevin thought it would be just a tourist trap but I was very excited. Growing up I had always thought the crater was the size of a car. In researching it, I found out it is huge. We got there and it wasn’t crowded. $24.00 a person, includes everything, even a guided tour that takes 1.5 hours. We watched the film first. It was done very professionally, I thought, and had captions! This is great because I am completely deaf. Every screen in the museum had captions! I was so happy. We walked out and looked at the crater.  It can hold 20 football fields and 2 million people in the stands! Now that is big! I was impressed with all the information…it would say, “We think it was (50,000 years ago),” for example. They would tell of different theories and such that people had over time. That impressed me. The estimated speed the meteor was traveling is 26,000 miles an hour. It is a mile across and 550 ft. deep.

Photo By Charles Lindbergh In July 1929.

“From 1963 through 1970, astronauts scheduled for Apollo missions to the moon were trained at Meteor Crater because of the similarity to the craters on the lunar surface.” One person got his suit caught on a rock and NASA learned they needed to make some changes with a thicker material to resist tears. I was very impressed with the place. Nice facilities and the bathrooms were clean and lots of stalls. It turned out to be much better than what Kevin had envisioned.

We STILL Laugh About This Sign Whenever We Think About It!

On our way to Homolovi Ruins State Park, I saw a place with signs “Authentic Indian Crafts”. What caught my attention was this: PP by the TP. I laughed soooo hard! In other words, the pee-pee is by the tipi.

Homolovi Ruins State Park, AZ 05/22

Homolovi Ruins State Park serves as a research center for the late migration period of the Hopi from the 1200s to the late 1300s. While archaeologists study the sites and confer with the Hopi to unravel the history of Homolovi, Arizona State Parks provides the opportunity for visitors to visit the sites.

Pieces Of Broken Pottery All Over The Ground.

This is built on top of a bluff where you can see below for miles. It was fascinating place. Well done with paved roads and cement sidewalks. Along the way, we saw cows and burros. For dinner, I made hash out of the meat and baked potato leftover from Texas Roadhouse. Yum.

The dirt here in Flagstaff, AZ is crazy! The strong winds are always blowing it everywhere; you can see it in the air. I am constantly having to wipe down all surfaces. We haven’t seen wind and dirt blowing like this before. We are told this is normal until Monsoon Rain Season starts in mid-June.

What Pet Is He Walking? J&H RV Park, Flagstaff, AZ 05/22

At one point, I looked outside and literally, I kid you not, saw a guy walking his turtle here in the campground. Laughed out loud! For dinner we had crockpot Roast with a side of mashed potatoes and crescent rolls. Yum.

I Have This Precious Moments Figurine. It Is Us, Without The White Hair…Yet. 🙂

The best words a person can hear…when your spouse/love of your life says to you “Every minute with you as like a date.” Swooonnn! Oh my heart. I went to Bashas grocery store and the post office and he missed me when I was gone. I missed him too and kept wanting to show him what I was seeing. True Love.

Recipe: Three Packet Slow Cooker Roast
by Allrecipes.com
1 cup water
1 (.7 oz) packet dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (.75 oz) packet ranch dressing mix
1 (.75 oz) packet dry brown gravy mix
1 (3 pound) boneless beef chuck roast
1. Whisk together everything but the roast until smooth. Place beef chuck roast in the slow cooker. Pour the mixture over the top.
2. Cook on Low until the roast is easily pierced with a fork, about 6-8 hours.
Note: I make a gravy out of the juices when done cooking and pour over mashed potatoes.

NOW I am hungry! 🙂

A Day, Or Week, In The Life Of Us.

Ponderosa Campground

Insurance!! Don’t get me started! In about 2 months, I will need a refill for a prescription. It is to help with the ear nerve pain that I have. I was scheduled for an appointment with my neurologist from the University of Utah Health but of course we have moved and have new insurance. Kevin contacted our new insurance through the chat on their website to see if we needed a referral to see a neurologist. The guy told Kevin he would emailed a list of neurologist in the Flagstaff area that is covered in our plan. Thank you, that is helpful. However, when Kevin called the doctors most on the list weren’t in practice anymore! Finally we tried Neurology Group, or something like that name, and yes, they could get me in next week but wouldn’t make an appointment until they had a referral. I contacted my previous neurologist through My Chart app and asked them to fax the referral and notes. They did. Kevin called for an appointment and they said they would call after 48 hours of getting the referral. Friday Kevin called and left a message as we were heading to the forest. Monday Kevin called and got an appointment for next week. He got the address and found out they are in Phoenix! The paper we printed from the insurance “expert helper” said they were in Flagstaff. Nope. Oh my gosh, I about lost it. Kevin said we would just have to drive the 2 1/2 hours each way to get there. Kevin told the person at the office that I am deaf and will need and ASL interpreter. The person said she would “check the insurance policy” and he said, it is the law that you “provide reasonable accommodation.” Then I got to thinking, we should just find a regular primary doctor because I know they can prescribe the pain medication (a lot of people tell me they are on it for nerve pain). Kevin calls several on the list on the insurance website and they either weren’t practicing anymore, had moved, or couldn’t take appointments until August. I cried, I was so frustrated. I can’t even find a primary doctor! We went through this for Kevin in Bullhead City! I feel so bad that Kevin has to always make our phone calls. Another call and a lady named Kate said the doctor we were calling about wasn’t there anymore. With desperation, “Is there ANYONE there who is taking new patients?” She said the names of some. She was so extremely nice and helpful. We have an appointment for me for next Monday. And when Kevin asked if they had dealt with deaf before Kate said yes and they knew how to get an interpreter. Wahoo! Kevin canceled the appointment in Phoenix. 

Daniel Summit

I spent most of the day trying to find a Memorial Day service or ceremony around Flagstaff. I am not finding much, which surprises me. I worked on menu planning, too. My Pampered Chef order was suppose to come today by FedEx. But at 3:49, they said on the tracking that the office was closed. What? They close at 5:00. Better come tomorrow!

Cococay, Bahamas

An older couple who were camping next to us in a van had talked to Kevin when we got back here from boondocking. They were interested in where we went. I wrote out the directions and Kevin gave it to them. This afternoon there was a knock at our door and it was them. She said someone told them boondocking is illegal in Coconino National Forest. Not true. We even had the Forest Service guy wave at us, where we were set up camping! Kevin said he was hungry for Mexican for dinner and so we went to LaFonda. We got right in, even though there were a lot of vehicles around. Kevin had the steak fajitas and I had enchilada and taco. Sooo good. Kevin brought about 3/4 of his home for lunch tomorrow.

Horse Barn

We went to the campground office for several things this morning. Angie asked where we had camped last week and we told her. She said they used to camp there all the time when she was growing up. I asked when the office closes and she said around 5:00. I told her FedEx said they tried to drop my Pampered Chef off yesterday at 3:49 but the office was closed. She rolled her eyes and said it must be someone new or a sub. The regular people knows she lives here and will drop off packages to her upstairs. Harvey was in and telling us his fun stories and jokes.

Ruins

Today I made cookies. I made Pampered Chef Cake Mix Cookies and picked fudge. I wasn’t sure if I needed to adjust the ingredients for high elevation, since here in Flagstaff we are at 7000 ft. I decided not to change anything. The only thing that I had to adjust was the time of cooking. Normal time is 8-10 minutes but here they needed almost 20 minutes. But not burned at all! I love this oven. Of course, I had to include that I don’t like chocolate so Kevin knew I was feeling extra love for him. 🙂 

Fence Along A Bridge

In the afternoon, I saw on the email that my Pampered Chef package was here. Wahooo! I got the 3 set stoneware baking set, whisk (which I was thrilled to see it has rubber around it!), free spatula, and a cookie scoop (could have used that this morning.HA) So exciting. For dinner I used the whisk. I made Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken. So delicious! NOTE: I have all of these items in storage waiting for our home base to be built. I didn’t think I would use them in our first HOWE (24 ft 2020 Shadow Cruiser). But now with this nice new HOWE (36 ft 2022 Alliance Avenue) and with a great oven/stove, yes, I need them. 🙂

Olden Times

The wind last night was the worst we have had. The weather app said wind gusty up to 50 mph! It kind of made me feel dizzy when we were laying in bed. Kevin wasn’t worried about HOWE flipping over but about a tree or something blowing into HOWE and doing damage. Thankfully nothing like that happened.

They Used What They Had For A Fence Post

After work, we went to Target. It is by the FedEx store and we laughed because we had been there this morning to drop off work packages. I was able to find a nice garlic press, measuring cup (the one from Walmart started leaking out the bottom), socks, and some drying mats to use between the Pampered Chef stoneware baking dishes to protect them from breaking on travel days. Kevin saw them as we were looking for ideas to cushion them. It turned out great! Then Kevin decided we would eat at Texas Roadhouse. The parking lot is shared by Sportsman’s Warehouse. I kid you not, we drove around for more than 10 minutes and not one open spot in all of the lot, not even behind and to the side of Sportsman’s! Finally, we found one at the end and farthest away. It was crazy. We didn’t have to wait too long to get in. The rolls were delicious and the rest of the food was good. OH, we are suppose to go camp at Meteor Crater RV Campground Friday through Sunday. But the winds were so bad today. Lots of warnings on our phones. Winds around 30 mph + and gusts around 50 mph. We made the smart decision to not take HOWE out. Kevin called that campground to cancel. He said his name and he needed to cancel and the guy said ok and hung up. I think they were getting a lot of cancelations. We will just drive our car there for the day on Saturday.

Thank you for reading my travel journal. It is a delight for us to share it with you.

NOTE to reader: Why all the fence pictures? Well, I didn’t have any “in the week” pictures. HAHA I encourage you to look up the blog chambersontheroad.com. I have been reading about their adventures. Betty posted a picture of a fence the other day. Then we had a conversation about how we both, for some reason, like to take photos of fences. So I thought this would be a good week to post some of mine. I hope you enjoy.

How Do You Describe The Beauty Of Some Desert Mountains?

All Set Up For Boondocking In The Beautiful Mountains!

Friday 05/13/22 – Tuesday 07/17/22 Flagstaff, AZ @ Coconino National Forest, boondocking 

Off we go boondocking in Coconino National Forest, off service road 171 pull off 812. Boondocking is a term meaning “camping out in the boonies”. It also is called dispersement camping. It refers to a place where there are no hookups: no water, sewer, or electricity. What? Read below to see Kevin’s explanation on how you make this work. 🙂 I got some groceries this morning, making sure to plan meals around boondocking. This is the first time for new HOWE (our Home On WhEels). We aren’t sure how it will do with no hookups but we will see.

Top Of The Mountain, Every Direction Is Beauty!

We drove out of Flagstaff, AZ on Hwy 180. Kevin pulled off to wait for me as I took the car on the Forest Service dirt roads to see if the spots we wanted were available. There isn’t turn around spots so it will be horrible to have 36 ft HOWE (we measured!) plus  the truck for a combined total of 54 ft and not be able to turn around! The dirt road #245 had been graded since last weekend and it is horrible. Not kidding. A wash board. At times I was going 7 mph and was bouncing all over. Before the washboard, I could go 25 mph safely. I went to our first choice and no one was there. Wahoo! I texted Kevin and he started this way. I just knew that HOWE would be a total mess with everything fallen down from the washboard road. But surprise! Nothing was amiss, except for all my canned goods fell again. Sigh/laugh. Kevin and I were thrilled that nothing else was broken.

HOWE All Setting In.

We got HOWE backed in along some Ponderosa Pines but out enough from the trees so Dishy for Starlink will work 100%. And boy, it sure does. There is great AT&T service here as well and I was able to FaceTime Kevin to warn him about the washboard road. After supper of macaroni salad and chicken, we sat outside on our chairs. Enjoyed the evening. We are at 7640 ft elevation. Dark at 9:00 pm and we went to bed.

Gorgeous Pine Trees.

Coconino National Forest I love the blueness of the desert sky. It is deep blue and a color that a person would think it is photo-shopped. The Ponderosa Pines around us are anywhere from right next to each other to about 15 ft apart. Some of the trunks are  about 6 inches in diameter while others are bigger than we can get our arms around. There is shade from the needles and trunks that we chase around as the day goes along. Native grasses are starting to come alive, a big difference even from last weekend when we drove up here to take a look. There are lava rocks. To the west of where we are parked, it is the Kalib National Forest. Right there it a wide open field with just wild grass. It looks like the forest service has planted trees around.

Another View From Where We Are Camping.

There is a very steep hill where off road vehicles have climbed. Now it is closed with rocks blocking the start of the trail and a sign that says they are trying to rebuild from the damage. We walked up the hill to about 1/2 way one day. From there, as you look East, you see Humphreys Peak, the tallest mountain in Arizona, elevation 12, 635 ft. There are a few vehicles that go past us on the dirt road. Campfires are not allowed right now, due to the dryness around.

We Filled 2 Trash Bags From Things People Left Here Before Us.

Behind HOWE, there is a large campfire pit made out of lava rock. The pit is full of beer cans and bottles. We bought extra sturdy trash bags and cleaned it up. We also picked up bottle caps, cigarette butts and bullets. Why don’t people clean up after themselves, I will never understand! We took walks in every direction around HOWE. We are just in awe of this place.

The only injury we had was my big toe. You might think I stubbed it on one of our hikes or a big lava boulder rolled over it. No, not even close. I reached into the pantry to get some hamburger buns out. It was sitting on top of the cans (previously mentioned that had fallen during transit). As I pulled the buns, a large soup can came crashing down right on my toe. I said “ouch” and maybe, perhaps, another word and put it back on the shelf. I looked and saw a tiny bit of blood along the toe nail. Pretty soon it was dripping blood. I hollered for Kevin, who was sitting outside. Turns out HOWE must be built will solid walls because he couldn’t hear me holler. So I said to my watch, “Hey Siri, text Kevin, I cut my toe, please come help.” He immediately came in. I had him turn off the stove because I had just start heating up some Bush’s baked beans and I knew they would start boiling over too fast. I got the toe cleaned up as Kevin got the Emergency Kit and handed me a bandaid. There is so much red dirt around here and we are covered in it. Hope it doesn’t mess the toe up. HAHA The toe is fine.

Reading The Instruction Manuals For This New 5th Wheel 2022 Alliance Avenue. 🙂

In one day, I read Sue Thomas’ book, “Silent Night.” Kevin had bought it for me and came the day we left. So interesting and very much a story of perseverance while being deaf. Another day, well, it took just a few hours, I read through the manuals we were given for this Alliance Avenue.

Everything is working great! The solar panel charges up the battery and with Starlink and Kevin working with his computers, the battery charge never went below 3/4 and charged up to full every morning. We still have full water, even with each taking several showers. I am being careful with the water in the kitchen but turns out I don’t need to be. Black and grey tanks are nearly empty, too. So, 5 days of boondocking and everything is holding out great. The temperatures have been perfect. At night, the outside temps are in the low 50s/ high 40s and we don’t even need to turn on the heater. Our comforter keeps us nice and toasty. The daytime temps have been in the low 70s. And best of all…. No wind! A slight, barely feel breeze every once in awhile.

When we got HOWE back to J & H Campground in Flagstaff, we were so thankful and relieved that nothing broke on the travel! Wahoo. I rearranged the canned goods in the pantry and they didn’t fall. I think we got this now! ROFL

Kevin: Boondocking

Boondocking is camping without a campground or hookups. Out west in United States especially, there are many public lands where this is allowed.  This is great, because in campgrounds you are very near your neighbor.  The last time we went boondocking, our nearest neighbor was at least a mile away.  

What does “no hookups” mean?  It means you have to be completely self sufficient.  The big three for RVing are power, water, and sewer.  

There are books written on how to be power independent.  It boils down to needing some way to store electricity, and some way to replenish that storage.  On our HOWE, I have four lead-acid batteries (my buddy Larry gave me two. Thanks Larry!) and a solar panel to help keep those batteries charged.  We boondocked over a week with this setup.  As a backup, I have a generator that I can plug in to get the batteries charged again.

Water is much simpler.  Almost all RV’s have a water storage tank.  There is an electric pump that keeps the pipes pressurized and running.  We just need to remember to fill the tank if we are going to be boondocking.  People that boondock for long periods will need to haul water to their RV.  

Sewer is pretty simple as well.  There are usually at least two tanks for sewer. Our 5th wheel has 3.  There is a black tank for everything that goes in the toilet.  Next there is a grey tank for sink and shower water.  As with water, if you boondock for a long period of time, you will need to haul the waste away and dispose of it at a dump station. Ask Charla about the poop trolly!

Also, for most RV’s boondocking is more of a challenge in more extreme weather.  Our HOWE has two air conditioners and that requires electric hookups.  So if it is hot out, boondocking would quickly become miserable.  The same goes for cold weather.  Most RVs have a propane furnace.  This brings down two resources – propane and electricity for the fan to push the warm air into the RV.  So, for most people, boondocking is best done in mild weather.

Boondocking is a blast!  You get to see remote areas without the crowded feeling of campgrounds.  It requires a bit more planning and monitoring of power water and sewer, but the tradeoff is awesome in my opinion.

Good Night From High A Top An Arizona Mountain.

Recipes, National Forest, Flat Tires, Winslow, And A Quilt.

“Wrap Ukraine With Quilts”

I almost cried! When I shop for fabric for quilts 99% of the time I don’t have a quilt in mind. I just pick the fabric because I like it. 🙂 When I had the blocks all made and sewn together for this quilt top, I didn’t know what I would do with the quilt, give it away or keep it. As soon as I finished the quilt top, literally the minute I finished, my sewing group said they were going to make quilts for Ukraine. Hellocottons.com in Lehi, UT, has a great story about knowing people in that country. People in Ukraine and those fleeing desperately need quilts. They need warmth and to be able to wrap something around them that feels like a big hug. I got teary eyed when I realized most of the fabrics I had used are the colors of the Ukraine flag!

Sunflowers, The National Flower Of Ukraine.

When I took it to the longarmer (a person who operates a large machine that puts the designs on quilts) we were looking for a design. We saw the sunflower design and she said she thought the sunflower had something to do with Ukraine. Kevin looked it up on his phone and it is Ukraine’s flower! So yes, that had to be the design.

Beautiful Ponderosa Pines at 8,000 Ft Elevation.

Friday 05/06/22 As soon as Kevin was done with work, we drove the car to “National Forest Road #171”. The funny thing about this is, on Campendium, the website about camping places and dump stations, as this place listed as the highest rated in the Flagstaff area. I thought we should check it out for Boondocking. Anyway, we drove west on Route 66, then I-40 and got off at the exit close to the road. We got on dirt road #171. There is a huge bump right there where they are adding a culvert right next to the road so the round about it is a mess. After that, the road is really nice! Dirt and some gravel but 100% better than a lot of I-40. We saw probably about 10-15 trailers/tents along the way. We found a place we think we can get HOWE (our 2022 Alliance Avenue, 36 ft, we named for Home On WhEels) into, just off the Forest Service road 171 C.

Kevin Checking Starlink App On HIs iPhone.

But, the app says Dishy (Starlink) wanted more clearance. Kevin said we had better reception there than at the campground in Flagstaff. We found Lava Caves and got out and read the signs. The sun was going down so we will come back another time. We are pretty excited to come back here and camp. We decided I will take the car up ahead and text Kevin if the place is available for us or if someone is there. There is 1 to 2 bars LTE on the phones. We tested them and they work good even for FaceTiming. We decided to eat out and looked for a diner. I found The Crown Railroad Diner but the address took us to the end of the train depot that is a visitor’s center. We kept driving. Found another diner but it was closing in 15 minutes. Went back a few blocks to a restaurant we passed that had some of the lights out in the sign. As we walked in, we saw that this is the place we had first looked for! It is part of an old hotel. There is a working model train going around the room. Kevin had the best Patty Melt – lots of cheese, onions, rye bread and it was toasted. He was thrilled! Rated “eat everyday”. I had chicken fried steak that was fine. I rate it as “once a month”. What a fun discovery. As we ate, the model train went above our heads at the same time we looked across the road and saw a long 5-engine train pass by.

Near Winslow, AZ.

Saturday 05/07/22 Flagstaff, AZ Today was drive and explore day. Kevin wanted to go to Winslow, AZ. It is famous for some song by the Eagles. Sounds fun, let’s go. Of course we wanted to stay off the freeways. We went on Hwy 15 to Leupp, AZ, which is on Navajo Nation reservation. There wasn’t a lot there and we didn’t stop. Took Hwy 99 south to just west of Winslow. We were in awe of the change in landscape! On Hwy 15, there is a lot of cedar trees and some big hills. After awhile, it is what you typically think of AZ desert, dry, more dirt than growth, with a few red rocks. We saw a few homes scattered along the way.

“Standing On The Corner In Winslow, AZ.” This Is From An Old Song.

We stopped in Winslow and I took Kevin’s picture at the corner where a statue is. He was pretty excited about it. 🙂 There were a lot of people there and you had to wait in line to stand next to the statue. I looked up and saw a museum. We walked over there. It is free, small, and had great information. Our favorite thing we learned was that there was a Harvey House in town, because the train runs past. One of the ladies there later rustled cattle! She even used Henna to paint a bull to look a different color. She put her own brand on it. The owner went past that bull for a year without knowing it was his and she had stolen it. HAHA I bought a book that has about 8 stories of AZ women because her story is it in it.  From there we drove south on Hwy 87. Awhile later we were back in the mountains and Ponderosa Pines. We turned north on Hwy 3. We passed a few campgrounds that look like we should check out. We now have to be carefully…we can’t have shade or trees because Dishy with Starlink needs a wide open space above us! Weird thinking! HAHAHA

Mormon Lake, AZ Not A Drop Of Lake Here.

We came upon Mormon Lake and I had seen online the campground there. We were in complete shock…there wasn’t a drop of lake left. Not kidding! It used to be huge, according to the map in the car. Crazy drought! The campground was full of people with ATVs and was very cramped sites. We won’t be camping there. What a gorgeous drive! We left home around 10:00 and got home around 4:30.

Sunday 05/08/22 The wind here in Flagstaff has been horrible! Steady speeds in 30s mph with gusts in 50s mph. It is awful and we are surprised! We both said we want to go back to Needles, CA! We hope the wind doesn’t last. We haven’t even been able to sit outside or eat outside. The dirt is everywhere, even inside HOWE.

Did We Go 4-Wheeling In The Car? Nope, Just National Forest Road. 🙂

Today we drove back to the National Forest to check if there was a different way to get to road 171. We went up Hwy 180, which is an excellent road, and turned off on National Forest road 245. We found nice spot a little ways down. Dishy would work “ok”there. We kept driving and found a really great spot. Dishy would be very happy there! This will be our first spot to try to get. We drove all around 171 and saw the beauty. Right as we got back on 180, the tire light came on. The tires looked fine. Went to the car wash and washed the car. It looked like we had been 4-wheeling! After we got home, the tire started going flat. Kevin said it was time for new tires anyway and ordered some through Discount Tires.  

Monday 05/09/22 Today we just were in the mood for snacking. It was funny. For supper I asked Kevin if he wanted homemade Cobb Salad or mini tacos from the freezer. Mini tacos with leftover homemade salsa was a great meal. 🙂  We went to OReiley and then AutoZone for parts to go with the battery box. Kevin found what he needed and installed it. (I, obviously, have no idea what that meant but it was something to do with the extra batteries our friend gave us to use for our solar…I think. HA)

Wednesday 05/11/22 All day today I read the entire 300 page book by Sue Thomas called, “Silent Night.” Sue is deaf and worked for a little while helping the FBI by reading lips. There was a TV series years ago based on her. What a great book. Kevin had secretly ordered it for me and it was fun to get a package in the mail today.

Readers: some of you asked me for the recipe from last week’s post. Here it is. I am also going to include the best Ranch Dressing recipe that I have found. We had it on top of the Cobb Salad this week.

The recipes:
ITALIAN CREAM SAUCE CHICKEN
4 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/3 cup water
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken
Rice or noodles
Lay chicken in bottom of slow cooker / crockpot.
Mix together the Italian salad dressing mix and water.
Pour this mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
Beat cream of chicken soup, NO water added, with the cream cheese.
Pour over the chicken.
Cook 1 hour more.
Serve over noodles or rice.

Ranch Salad Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp vinegar, white
2 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Mix everything together! 🙂 Chill in fridge until you are ready to eat. Store
leftovers in fridge; will last about 5 days.

Travel Day to Flagstaff, AZ.

All Ready For Travel Day.

Saturday 04/30/22 Travel Day. Today we go to Flagstaff, AZ. We got ready to go and pulled out of Needles, CA at 9:00 am. I followed Kevin in the car. We didn’t need fuel but decided to stop at Kingman to top off. Kevin wanted to use his new Fuel Discount Card so he found a place that had the cheapest diesel. He pulled in line and I went around to the car pumps. I couldn’t figure out the pump machine. It said my card had a chip and to do something different. I couldn’t find where to do anything different. Pulled out and parked. Kevin had 2 semi’s in line ahead of him. It took, I kid you not! over 50 minutes in line. My blood sugar was in the basement (we hadn’t eaten breakfast because we were in a hurry and wanted to get on the road.) I started getting dizzy and seeing stars. We went inside to find a fast food but they only had a sit down restaurant with a long wait. We didn’t want that. So we each got some crackers and cheese. I felt better after eating. I-40 is a horrible road – lots of deep holes, ruts, and bumps. We got to J & H RV Park in Flagstaff about 2:00 pm. The drive is usually 3 hours but we stopped for gas and Kevin drove slower due to the bad roads. Despite the bad roads, he said he liked driving the 5th wheel and it was very fun. 

Told Ya The Roads Were Bumpy! Poor Hamburger Buns! HAHA

J & H RV Park: went in to the office and met Joann and her daughter. Joann got us all checked in. She is very funny. There is a huge and steep volcano mountain to the west of us. We have Ponderosa Pines all around. Big bushes behind which makes a nice view for Kevin from his office windows in HOWE (our 36 ft 5th wheel we named for Home On WhEels). So very nice! Inside HOWE, ah, the food in the pantry crashed to the floor. I told you I-40 is very bumpy! The hamburger buns didn’t survive their shape. HAHA

All Set Up. Starlink’s Dishy Is Working Great!

Asked at the office their suggestion for dinner. They said LaFonda and Fat Olives. We went to LaFonda. There was a 30 minute wait. We just sat in the car and then they texted when our table was ready. The Mexican food was delicious. We agreed, better than the one in Mohave Valley. I had shredded beef taco and you could see and taste the not-hot peppers and onions. My chicken enchilada was the same. Kevin had chicken chimi and thought it was divine. Score! We rate this place as “eat every day”. When we got outside, it was chilly and I was a little cold. I said to Kevin as we got in, “I am going to turn on the seater heater.” He starts laughing, trying to hide it.  I said, “OH, I am going to turn on the heater seater.” At this point, he was crying laughing so hard. When I realized the words that came out of my mouth, I started laughing too. Being deaf for 2 years as made me forgot how to say the right words sometimes. 🙂 I texted this funny to a bunch of friends. Some said that is what they are now going to call it!! HAHA. One of our friends call it a “rear defroster”. We like that too.

The next day: I am in search of a good grocery store. I found there is a place called Bashas’. Their website has a great history section and it is fascinating. There are two stores here in Flagstaff. After checking the reviews, I will go to the one a little farther because it is the bigger of the two. It was about a 15 minute drive but easy. I was happy with the store. Good produce, much better prices than Safeway, a small but nice meat/cheese counter, and super nice people. I wanted some queso blanco cheese to try out a new recipe. They didn’t have it. The recipe says you can use white American cheese. So I wrote on my little notebook what I would like. The gal, Jocelynn, was great help. She signed with American Sign Language: thank you. I signed, “sign, you?” She said a little! Her aunt is deaf. I was thrilled to have a tiny conversation with her. At the customer service, I wrote asking how to get a Bashas’ loyalty card and she gave me the paper and pointed where to fill things out. Very nice. I have decided this will be my weekly grocery shopping store while in Flagstaff.

Before I left this morning, I put the ingredients in the crockpot for Italian Chicken w/ Cream Sauce. When I got home from the grocery store, I could smell it outside. Deliciousness! Dinner was delicious. I added a green salad, crusty bread, and fresh watermelon. After clean up, we played one round of Ticket To Ride. What a fun game!

Text to friends: All my plastic bottles give a “pop” sound when I open them and squirt out. Example: mayo, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. We went from elevation of 300 to 7000. HAHA We are now in Flagstaff. The first one, the mayo, squirted all over the plate. I was making us sandwiches. Since then, I open rrrreeeaaaalllll ssssllllloooowwww. HAHA

We Rate This As “Eat Everyday!” El Rincon Restaurants Mexicano, Sedona, AZ.

We left home at 3:00 pm to go see my aunt and uncle who were staying the week in Sedona. Sedona is about an hour away. We got to where my uncle suggested we meet and the restaurant was the same as the one we liked so much in 01/21. After dinner, my uncle and aunt drove us around and showed us Sedona. Neat places to come back and explore. We had a wonderful evening.

Grand Canyon Rail & Hotel Package, Part 2.

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Saturday 04/16/22 GRAND CANYON RAILWAY & HOTEL At 9:00 AM there was a Wild West Shoot-Out that our train ticket said to watch. It looked cute and lot of fun for kids. After that, everyone was allowed to board the train.

Fred Harvey Luxury Coach

Let me tell you, our train car was incredible! It had an upper deck and we had the  two forward facing front seats. There were full windows everywhere and you could see 360 degrees plus the sky. A perfect way to see the countryside. We had complimentary snacks and drinks. The hostess was a former airline stewardess. She said she liked this a lot better. She was entertaining and fun. The train ride is 65 miles and takes 2 hrs and 15 min.

View From Back Of Train

The route goes from the ponderosa pines, down to pinion-juniper trees, desert with very few trees, then back up to ponderosa pines just before you get to Grand Canyon Depot. As we got off the train, we noticed the wind was blowing really hard. We walked across the street to see the Grand Canyon.

Our First View Of Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim

It was really unlike anything we had seen before. Very different from the north rim. The wind was so strong and blowing dirt like crazy. I literally had dirt that I could crunch in my teeth.

View Of People In The Strong, Biting Wind

After looking for a little bit, we went to the Arizona Steakhouse, which was included in the Grand Canyon & Train Package. There was a 45 minute wait so we went back outside and walked around. When it was our turn, they texted Kevin (great way to do it so we didn’t have to stay close). This restaurant is fine dining. The meal included an appetizer, entree, and dessert. We had tortilla soup which was different then what we have ever had. It had lots of beans and tomatoes. It was more of a broth than creamy. We liked it. Next we had the burger (I can’t remember the name) that had pepper jack cheese, aloha, and guacamole. It was so tall that I used a knife and fork to eat mine. The meat was very flavorful. For dessert we had cheesecake. Roll us out the door!

Our table was by the window so we could see the walking path on the rim right next our window. We noticed that no one was smiling as they walked! The wind was truly miserable. People would hustle to the edge, take a picture, and then hunker down, face down, and walk quickly away. After lunch, which was nice and slow and leisurely, we walked to our hotel.

Way Down Below You Can See Colorado River At Grand Canyon.

We had to be on the bus for our sunset tour at 5:00. But we had time to get back. Oh, I forgot to say, masks were required for the train and the shuttles and buses at Grand Canyon. The views were so pretty. The wind was incredibly strong. In fact, at some places, it would literally blow us back and we would have to take a step back to catch ourselves. That is strong wind! The last stop was to watch the sun set. She knew exactly the time it would set, 7:03. We were at that stop for about 15 minutes before.

Strong Winds Carried A Lot Of Dirt Into The Air At Grand Canyon National Park

It was a very powerful view. From when the tour started until the sun set, the cloud of dirt (and maybe smoke) got thicker and thicker. At the setting sun time, the dirt made incredible photography! I took a ton of pictures. It will be hard to whittle them down to just a few.

Sunset View Of Grand Canyon.

Sunday 04/17/22 GRAND CANYON RAILWAY & HOTEL We didn’t want breakfast this morning, so we jumped on the shuttle around 8:30. I thought the shuttles would be packed but there was only one other couple on. We took the shuttle to the Visitor’s Center. It didn’t open until 10:00 but it is limited in what you can see there due to covid restrictions anyway. We saw the bookstore was open so Kevin was able to get his National Park passport stamped.

Person Painting The Beautiful Grand Canyon.

Then we went to the rim. You can definitely see a lot more here than by the village. We took our time and walked the Rim Trail. Today? No a bit of wind! The few people we saw out and about all had smiles on. We continued our walk along the rim to the village. We ended up getting a box sandwich lunch from the lunchette there. We sat on a bench and Kevin said, “We don’t get much better view for lunch.”

El Favor Hotel At Grand Canyon.

We walked inside the El Tovar which was the first hotel there. It is very dark wood and dark inside. Some of President Theodore Roosevelt’s game that he caught are mounted there on the walls. We sat outside on the large porch in rockers and watched people for a little bit. Soon it was time to walk to the train for our 3:30 train ride back to Williams.

Looking Down The Train Rail. Another Train On Other Track.

Our tickets were for the same awesome seats as before. This hostess was great, too. She had plastic champagne glasses and offered champagne or cider to us once the train started. It went nicely with the complimentary food, including hummus, which I like. The train got “robbed” and any money given went to a charity. When we got off the train, our bags were there on a cart for us to grab. We were in the car by 6:00 pm. We drove home to Needles. We got hungry and so stopped at Kingman for supper. McDonalds was fine. As we got our food and were walking out, Kevin heard a worker yell, “bus!” There was the largest tour bus ever with people getting out and walking to McDonalds. This was at 8:00 at night on Sunday night. Looked like a lot of high school age kids. Glad we were there right before them. 🙂 The entire ride home was lovely and we had great time visiting. We got home at 9:00 pm. It was an amazing birthday gift.

Note to reader: There are several ways to see Grand Canyon, South Rim. You can drive your vehicle and park at Grand Canyon. There you can take the shuttles around. There are also packages you can purchase. One is a train ride from Williams to Grand Canyon and then back to Williams all in one day. The package Kevin got us included: dinner Friday night, hotel in Williams Friday night, Saturday breakfast, train ride on Luxury Dome to Grand Canyon, lunch at Arizona Steakhouse, Sunset Bus Tour of Grand Canyon, hotel at Grand Canyon, Sunday train ride on Luxury Dome to Williams. There are many options to pick from. See the options at thetrain.com

Grand Canyon Rail & Hotel Package, Part 1.

Williams, AZ

GRAND CANYON RAILWAY & HOTEL Kevin’s work is off on Good Friday so we had planned accordingly. 🙂 We left home (HOWE, our Home On WhEels) in Needles, CA around 8:00 and drove to Kingman to pick up our mail and a stamp. Before we were Full-Time, I had had a stamp made with my name and return address. It makes it nice when sending out notes and cards. I had one made up with the new mailing address.

Williams, AZ

Then on to Williams, AZ. We hadn’t been east of Kingman so the territory was new for us to see. The area has lots of pinion-juniper (cedar) trees. As you climb elevation it gets into Ponderosa Pines. Very pretty. There isn’t a lot of stops along the way on I-40. At Williams, we walked around the old downtown main street. There is a lot of history and it is along Route 66. A sign said, “ In 1926, the Old Trails Highway was officially designated US Highway 66,  and it became the “Main Street of America.” In 1984, Williams was the last route 66 town in America to be bypassed by the interstate highway system.” When we were ready for lunch, we went to Pine Country Restaurant. Kevin rated his patty melt as a once a week and a rated my hot roast beef open faced sandwich with mashed potatoes as every day. They say they are famous for their homemade pies. We saw some and they are piled high! But we were too full to try one. We would definitely recommend this restaurant.

This Stop Light Was In Williams, AZ.

Next we went to the Visitor’s Center for some history.  Inside is hanging the Last Stop Light on Route 66. We laughed that we also saw the last stop light before I-90 in Wallace, ID last July.

Beautiful Monument From Desert Storm, Williams, AZ.

Next we walked along a memorial park that is in between the both directions of the street. There we saw  “Desert Storm Monument. Constructed January 1991. To show community support for William’s servicemen and women involved in the Gulf War. Candles representing each individual burned inside continuously until their return.” WOW! What a beautiful thought and way of supporting those off to war. It is made of concrete bricks with glass windows to see the candles burn. Touching! Williams in named for William Sherley Williams 1787-1849. He was “a colorful mountaineer, guide and trapper who is generally credited with being the first American to explore Northern Arizona – 1830 or earlier. Williams lived at different times among the Osage and Ute Indians, and earlier had been a Baptist circuit rider in Missouri. He was killed by Indians in 1849.” After that, we went to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and checked in. Our room is very nice and….has a bathtub!!! I was so thrilled. I love love love taking a hot, bubble bath and that is all I miss about a stick and brick house. We walked to the train depot and got our tickets for the train. When Kevin asked the person about a script for the train, she went and checked with someone. A lady came out and said yes, she had received Kevin’s email about me being deaf and she would have a script put in our hotel room. So very nice. Kevin wanted to spoil me with The Grand Canyon Package. We got the luxury package of everything and it was so wonderful. It included: hotel at Williams, luxury train car ride to Grand Canyon, hotel at Grand Canyon, luxury train car ride back to Williams, all the meals included, plus Sunset guided bus tour of Grand Canyon. After we got the train tickets, we ate supper at the restaurant there. We had taken our swimming suits just in case but there were a lot of kids in the pool and it was crowded so we didn’t do it. We went back to our room and I had a wonderful 1.5 hour long bubble bath! Kevin set a chair next to the tub put my iPad on it so I could see it from the bathtub. I watched a movie. Doesn’t get better than that! HAHA Funny though, we slept horribly! The bed was too soft and we kept waking each other up as we rolled around. 

Next blog, train ride to Grand Canyon!

Route 66: Things We Never Knew.

Honoring US Military Along Route 66, Needles, CA.

Kevin and I never paid much attention to old Route 66. We knew of it, of course, but didn’t know much about it. That is, until we stayed in Needles, CA. Desert View RV, our first stop as Full-Time RVers, is literally on the side along Route 66. When you drive through the city of Needles, you see glimpses of the past on Route 66 most everywhere you look. Most of the buildings, gas stations, restaurants, and motels are empty now and sort of run down. But often, there is one that is open. Even at a hardware store you can see the history on the walls and floors. Wagon Wheel Restaurant is still going and is our go-to place for dinner while in Needles. (We wrote about this place in a past post.) We often say to each other, “Wow, if those buildings could talk!” You would hear all sorts of stories, both big and tall, and history.

Sun Setting On Rock Monuments Along Route 66, Needles, CA.

We like to take walks in the evenings after dinner. When in Needles, CA, we would head out of the campground and there is Route 66. We turned right and soon we saw along both sides of the 2-lane road, rocks that are piled up about a foot or so high. There is one with the name of Jan, who was the wife of the man who first put up the rocks, as the story goes. Her name is spelled out with rocks and then a curved border around it. Walking farther down we saw words written out with rocks for the US military: USAF (US Air Force), Navy, Army, POW (Prisoners of War), etc. Each rock border is a little different from the others. I read in the Needles paper that the city helps with setting out little flags. The flags only last about 3 weeks due to the desert winds. Each time we walk past, we stop, pause and remember those who have gone before us.

Heading east from Needles, CA, you find Route 66 leaves where Interstate 40 has covered it and veers to the north. At Boundary Cone, a very distinct mountain “cone”, the road turns east and heads up and over the Black Mountains.

Burros At Oatman, AZ.

Along the way you come upon a town named Oatman. It is an old mining town that has found a way to stay alive. It is all about the burros (donkeys). 🙂 The burros were brought to the area with prospectors. The burros would haul ore and rock in the mines and water and supplies outside. They can smell water 20 miles away! As the mines shut down, the burros were released in the hills around Oatman. Their average lifespan is 30 to 35 years.

Burros Come Right Up To You Looking For Food!

When we drove through Red Rock Canyon, outside of Las Vegas, we saw signs all over that were very much a warning…”Don’t feed the burros! $500.00 fine!” Every time we saw those signs we barreled over laughing because at Oatman, they sell you food to feed the burros! 🙂 What a difference.

The town is a fun place to visit. Lots of souvenirs and food can be purchased. I bought some preserves from the local area. Most of the short Main Street has shops open in the old stores.

Gun Fight At Oatman, AZ

Every day at noon and 2:15 Oatman has an old-fashion gun fight in the middle of the street. The entire Main Street (route 66) is blocked and people gather around on all sides to watch the fight. The “robbers” wanted to rob a bank, of course. At one point, they waddled over to a storefront that has an actual ATM machine. They shouted at the machine to give them money. It was funny and cute! 🙂 After the gun fight, they pass around a cowboy hat to collect money for children’s charities. A very nice way to end the show.

A Lovely Bench To Sit, See, Remember.

We continued on Route 66 up the road that goes over Black Mountain. The drive is fun with all the crazy turns. At almost the top of the mountain pass, we saw a large gravel parking spot. We pulled over and got out to look at the views. We stumbled upon quite a treasured area. Here there are markers of memories of people who have passed. There is even a bench to sit and take in the amazing views. Some markers have names, dates, and/or stories about the person. We looked it up and found The Graveyard at Sitgreaves Pass

Markers Of Loved Ones.

You can read more about the place called Sitegreaves Pass. From this point you can see three states, California, Nevada, and Arizona. Some people even get married here.

191 Turns With No Guardrails!

If you look at a map, you will see that Interstate 40 goes south and around the end of the mountain. Kevin and I just shake our heads and wish someone would tell us why Route 66 went up and over this steep mountain with all the twists and turns. Kevin wonders about the old cars in the heat with poor brakes. We know it follows the old mining path but still. 🙂 If you know, please write it in the comments!

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