Road Trip!

September 17th, 2018 – Safeway Route.

This morning’s walk started with a star-lit sky with Orion overhead.  We got a honk from Mr. Handyman and flung a small bird.  We also flung another toy back over the fence at the KinderCare facility.


We found a vodka bottle.


It was still half full of vodka.

We found someone’s Project Ideas.


What can you make with your feet?

We found a rubber glove.


And a half-pint sized 7-Up can.


More partying at the Safeway.


And on the hill.


And finally, the recognition I have been looking for.  I knew the hard work would pay off.


My name on the Trash-Walking Walk of Fame!

We left today for our semiannual road trip, this time to the Grand Canyon.  The rest of this blog is more of a travelogue.


September 18th, 2017 – Boise.

On our way to the Grand Canyon, we spent a day with Vance and Kandi in Boise.  We did some nice eating, beer sampling and sightseeing, including a weird stop at  Walter’s Ferry.  This place has grown over the years to a large collection of random statues, art, shrines and bird houses.  Yes, bird houses.

20180918-2Hundreds of birdhouses.  There were also hundreds of statues and figurines of different materials.


20180918-1The guys on the left and right of Einstein are usually not statues.


September 19th, 2018 – Beaver UT.

Our next planned stop, since it was a good drive from Boise, was Beaver, Utah.  Janet told me not to expect too much, so I didn’t.  And I was disappointed.

After a long drive, I wanted a beer.  There was a restaurant across the parking lot from the motel — No alcohol.  After cruising the three blocks of main street, we found the Renegade Lounge.


They had exactly one draft beer on tap.

20180919-2Bud Light, and it was empty.  I had my first Coors Banquet in many years.  They did have an interesting drink menu, though.


Add 50 cents if you want to mix anything with your alcohol of choice.


September 20th, 2018 – Travel to the Grand Canyon.

We ate a good breakfast at the El Bambi in Beaver and travelled south.  At about 11:00am, we crossed the Colorado River at the Navajo Bridge and stopped for a rest.  Janet bought some earrings from the local native vendors.  After a stop for gas in Cameron, AZ, we arrived at Grand Canyon National Park.  We stopped at an overlook at Lipan Point and got our first breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon.


Photos cannot show the immensity of the canyon.  We visited the Colca Canyon in Peru which is about twice as deep, but not nearly as, well, grand.

Our room wasn’t ready at the Yavapai lodge so we went to the tavern and had a beer. After checking in and getting settled we headed to the rim for a view and pictures of the sunset at about 6:30 pm.  Private cars were not allowed on the road to the suggested lookout point so we parked at The Village and took a shuttle.  We got off at Powell Point then hiked the 0.3 miles to Hopi Point, then to Mohave Point, an additional 1.1 miles.  Along with a large crowd we waited the half hour for an unimpressive sunset.  No clouds.  Back at the lodge we had a light dinner at the tavern.


September 21st, 2018 – Grand Canyon.

We had breakfast at the Yavapai Lodge then walked 1.1 miles to the Visitor’s Center.  At about 9:00 am we started walking along the south rim in the direction of Hermit’s Rest.

We saw lots of people doing crazy things.


One thing we noticed about the Grand Canyon was there were very few signs warning folks to stay away from the edge.  This is the only one we saw.


We were not going to pick up trash on this trip, and we saw relatively little in the park.  At certain high-density places, we couldn’t help ourselves and did pick up abandoned bottles and cans and dropped them in nearby receptacles.


It was moderately crowded in the park, and the foreign tourists outnumbered the American tourists by a significant margin.  Lots of Japanese, and Western and Eastern Europeans.



“Just a little farther back…”

We did see a lot of wildlife in the park including ground squirrels, elk, a coyote and a couple of tarantulas.


Along the rim, there are markers and samples of rock to represent the geologic history of the Grand Canyon.  Along the walk, each meter represents about a million years, and they have bronze markers to mark the years.


They continued the timeline to their estimate of the formation of the earth.


It was pretty exact, if you ask me.  We hesitated to proceed beyond this point since things appeared to be a bit hazy before the earth was formed.


We continued walking the rim about 5 more miles to Maricopa Point.  There, we had run ourselves out of energy and hopped the shuttle to Abyss Point where you can look straight down 3000 feet, then continued on the shuttle to Hermit’s Rest.

After a look-around, we boarded the shuttle for the ride back.  To our chagrin, as we boarded the bus, the driver forced a couple to vacate some old-people seats for us.  That’s the first time that has happened to us.  We rode back to the Village in silent embarrassment.  For atonement, we backtracked along the rim about a mile to Yavapai Lodge.  The Garmin tracker indicated that we walked 10 miles that day which was probably correct with all offshoots to view points.

We arrived back at the tavern about 4:00 pm for a well-deserved beer, then had a nap and back for dinner.


September 22, 2018 – Off to Sedona.

We checked out of the lodge at 7:00 am.  On the way out of the park a large elk walked across the road in front of us.


A nice farewell to the park.

Traveling toward Williams AZ, we saw a car run off the road into the desert in a cloud of dust.  As we approached, a woman came running to the highway waving her arms.  We stopped and started backing up but saw that someone else had stopped.  We didn’t have any phone signal, so noted the mile marker and called 911 when we had signal.  As we approached Williams, a police cruiser passed us with lights flashing heading toward the accident.

We went a little out of our way to go to Williams for breakfast at Anna’s Grand Canyon Café.  We had a little conversation with a local fellow at the table next to us.   Williams is the last town on Route 66 to be bypassed by Interstate 40.  We enjoyed walking the few blocks along the main street, Route 66, browsing the shops and acting like tourists.


At 9:30 am, we were back on the road to Sedona.  It was a slow and busy drive down the Oak Creek Canyon on Route 89A, but very scenic.  We arrived at the Andante Inn at 11:00, too early to check in, so drove the Upper Red Rock Loop Road to the Red Rock Crossing.  We couldn’t get into the park because the parking lot was full, so we stopped at a view point on the way back to the main road.  While getting ready to take the short hike up the hill, someone started waving his cell phone at me.  It had a Seahawks cover on it and his seats had Seahawks seat covers.  They saw our license plates and turned out to be transplants from Vancouver, WA and currently live in Mesa.  They gave us some advice about things to see in Sedona.

We went to the visitor’s center in town to check into jeep tours that provided opportunities for good photo ops.  The man that we talked to said “just drive around and take pictures.”  He was right.  He advised that the airport had great views.  On the way up we passed a hill with a path to the top but continued to our planned destination.

Once we got there we decided to take the 0.6-mile hike down to the hill below.  After we climbed the hill, Chuck left Janet with the camera bag in a shady spot and made good time back up to get the car.  This earned us a beer at the Di Vino Sedona, attached to the hotel.

We went back to the airport lookout at 6:00 to catch the 6:30 sunset.  Again, it was disappointing.  We met a young couple from San Diego toasting with wine in plastic cups.  They told us of another more secluded spot to capture the sunset.

We had dinner at Di Vino Sedona.

September 23rd, 2018 – Sedona and Vortexes.

We had breakfast at Jose’s which bills itself as the best valued breakfast.  We would agree with that.  It was OK.

At 8:00 am, we arrived at Red Rock Crossing, Crescent Moon Ranch to beat the crowd.  We were the first visitors in the park.  We hiked along Oak Creek with views of Cathedral Rock.


This meadow is a favorite place for marriage ceremonies.

We did pick up some trash along the way.


We also found an earring.


Along the creek, we stumbled on a Vortex location.


You can tell where the vortexes are by the stones piled up around the area.  It would be impressive if the stones are stacked by the force of the vortex, but they are stacked by the visitors to the vortex.  Vortexes are not measurable by any scientific methods, but they are a big deal around Sedona.  Some people believe they feel increased healing and creativity at vortexes.  I just felt hot and sweaty.

We spoke to a park ranger and he told us about a hike up a ridge with some more views.


At 11:00 am, we drove up Chavez Ranch Road to check out the viewing site recommended by the couple from the evening before.  Then we drove the Lower Red Rock Loop and to a spot recommended by a woman at the visitor’s center, Centennial Trail with views of Northern Sedona.  We also drove up Dry Creek Road to Boynton Canyon to see the Enchantment Resort nestled in the cliffs.  Nice photo ops along the way.


Back at the hotel, Chuck worked on pictures while Janet enjoyed the cool pool.  We took a trip to the very touristy Uptown Sedona – had to say we went there.  There were a lot of new-age shops.


At 5:30, we drove to the view point on Chavez Ranch Road for the sunset.  There were a few other cars there, but we were the only people taking pictures.  There was a better view of the sunset on the rocks due to some reflective clouds.


We’re sure that this location, being a vortex, also helped the photos.


We again had dinner at Di Vino Sedona – good hot wings.


September 24th, 2018 – Route 66.

We left Sedona at 6:45 am in search of  breakfast.  We made one stop at Oak Creek Vista point.  Williams was on our route so we stopped at Anna’s for breakfast again.  The same man who we sat next to two days before was there next to us again.  He gave us some pointers on taking Route 66.  After breakfast, we continued on I-40 and turned onto Route 66 at Seligman Arizona and counted 8 large tour busses and tourists swarming the two block area.  We stopped at the SnoCap for pictures – after all we are tourists too.  We also stopped at Westside Lilo’s for some large pieces of carrot cake that were recommended by the fellow at Anna’s.  We took the cake to Tom and Karen’s which is like carrying coals to Newcastle.


From Seligman, we stayed on Route 66 while the tour busses went back to the Interstate.  We drove slow and enjoyed the scenery and nostalgia.  As a kid, I made several trips between California and Mississippi along Route 66.

We stayed on Route 66 making a stop in Oatman Arizona that didn’t impress us.  We left Oatman around 3:00 pm and drove to Needles, California.  As we drove, we watched the outside temperature gauge on the dash climb to 106 degrees before dropping down to the 90’s in Needles.


We arrived in Barstow, a stopping point on our way to San Jose, at 5:30 pm.  Oggi’s Brew Pub was across the parking lot so we had dinner there.


September 25th, 2018 – On to San Jose.

We had breakfast at the hotel (Ayers) and left for San Jose at 8:00 am.  Met cousins Stan and Sharon for lunch in Gilroy and arrived at brother Tom and Karen’s in San Jose at 2:45, relaxed and had dinner there.


September 26th, 2018 – Shopping in San Jose.

Shopped for spirits orders and met with cousins Sandra and Peter for lunch.  Again, Tom cooked us a wonderful dinner.


September 27th, 2018 – Off to Santa Rosa.

We left San Jose at 9:40 and arrived at Sonoma State College to pick up nephew Greg for lunch at the Bear Republic.   After a tour of his place we left for Santa Rosa stopping at the Russian River Brewery for some Pliny the Elder.  Good beer.  We checked in at the Hillside Inn and headed to Barrell Brothers Brewery.  We then picked up our college buddy, Tom, to go to dinner at the Hansel Wine Bistro to visit and catch up on old times.


September 28th, 2018 – Heading to Points north.

We had breakfast at Jeffrey’s Hillside Café, always good.  We drove through the Avenue of the Giants which was very impressive.


This is Janet at the base of one of the trees.  The tallest tree in the world is here, but not advertised to protect it.  It measures 380 feet in height.

Back on the highway, we visited the Eel River Brewery and bought a few more cases of beer.  The car was getting heavy with beer purchases.  I suggested that Janet get out and walk.  I could have fit four more cases in her seat, but she didn’t agree.  We did find Gunther’s dog tag in the parking lot.


We arrived at our planned stop at Jot’s Resort in Gold Beach at 5:00 pm and checked in.  We walked a mile out the Rogue River jetty then went to dinner at the Barnacle Bistro.


September 29th, 2018 – On to Eugene.

We had a good breakfast at the Indian Creek Café in Gold Beach.  Before leaving town, we took a walk across the historic bridge over the Rogue River.  We found a fork pointing our way across the bridge.


We must have made the right choice.   We left Gold Beach at 9:10. Driving along the coast we stopped at Sisters Rock State Park.  We found a snake skin that looked like it had rattles.


This is probably a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

We arrived in Eugene and visited with Auntie Sis for a couple hours then had dinner with cousins Jerry and Dana at the Hop Valley Brewery.


September 30th, 2018 – Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig.

After two weeks on the road, we were eager to get home.  We left Eugene and stopped in Salem for breakfast – Sybil’s Omelets.  Leaving there, we saw several police pulling people over and one disguised in a mustang aiming his radar gun.  They must have needed to meet their monthly quota.

We arrived home at 12:05 pm after thirteen days, two hours and 3,375 miles.  We also have a collection of insects from six states plastered to the front of the car.

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