09.21.17 Musical Highway, Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, NM

Thursday, September 21, 2017 – Tuesday we set out to experience the Musical Highway, ride the Sandia Peak Tramway and enjoy dinner at the 66 Diner, all in Albuquerque NM which is just a few miles west of where we are staying in Tijera, NM!

The idea of a “Musical Highway” was something we’d never heard of.  Then to have it so close to us that we could actually ride along it and hear “America the Beautiful” was so super cool we had to do it.   It’s a small stretch of road on a part of Route 66.  There are three signs that let you know where it starts.  

This is what the road looks like that you go over to make the music play.

This video explains it and lets you hear it!  Check it out!

From there we headed to the Sandia Peak Tramway.  A trip on the tramway transports you above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles.  From the observation deck atop 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest affords an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment.  The cost is $20 per person and it was well worth it.

The photos below are in order of how we saw each part of the mountain on our way up, at the top, and on our way down.

When we reached the top the winds were blowing sooooo hard it sounded pretty scary.  They have to shut down the tram when winds reach 45 mph.  It was at 40 mph so it was very close.  I took a video so you could hear the sound the winds made at the top.

Looking down into one of the canyons

Going up the mountain was very quiet.  The strong winds started as we got nearer the top.  I took this video to give you some idea of what it was like!

We learned that in order to do emergency maintenance while the tram is either going up or down a maintenance person has to ride on top (outside) the tram to get there.  In addition to the maintenance people, the tour people who are on the tram with you had to pass being able to get on top and ride up and down.  Oh my goodness, they had best be paid well!

I was pretty out of breath and couldn’t do some of the adventuring Roy did so here I am waiting for him at the top of the steps which lead to the ski area.

The ski lift area is of course closed when there is no snow.

Drinking a lot of water or gatorade when at high elevations helps a lot to not have altitude sickness.

 

Going back down the mountain.  These photos were taken from the opposite side of the tram and from the rear. We’ve ridden on trams before but they were not this high and a lot less rocks/mountains were seen.  This was very special and I got to leave two of my rocks there!

This was such an odd sign and all I can think is that it’s from many years ago and still there since it’s on Route 66.

We went to eat at the 66 Diner on Route 66 in Albuquerque for dinner after this but adding that experience to all this might have you on photo overload so it’s going to be in the next blog post!

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09.20.17 From Arizona to Tijera, New Mexico

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – Here we are arriving in New Mexico.

Dora and Boots like New Mexico!

Another odd Rest Area.  It’s surrounded by mountains!

We’ve seen more railway cars in Arizona and New Mexico’s dessert than we have in our entire lives!

We stayed overnight at Walmart in Gallup, NM.  Here we brought our groceries back to our RV!

The next few photos are of lava beds along the interstate.  They were everywhere.  They are the black holes in the ground and the black piles of lava.

I enjoy seeing the different sound walls and overpass decorations we get to see in big towns.  

We filled Dora up at this cool gas station on Route 66, then headed up the mountain to Hidden Valley Resort in Tijera, New Mexico!

The scene below is what we see from very near our RV spot.  I got lots of rocks on a walk we took and had to pull my pants up so they didn’t make my pants fall off.  Roy was behind me and got the funny photo!

Tuesday we went to the Sandia Peak Tramway where we rode the Tram from ground level up 2.7 miles up the Mountain.  We’ve ridden trams before but this one was very different!

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09.19.17 Petrified Forest and Painted Desert on Route 66 in Arizona

On first impression, the Petrified Forest may not sound very appealing as it comprises stone log fragments scattered over a rather remote and otherwise featureless section of Arizona desert. Apparently it comes as a little disappointment to some, like us, who expect the trees still to be standing in thick rocky groves instead of lying flat in sections as they are. But the petrified logs are extremely beautiful with most unexpectedly bright colors, and the park contains a section of the scenic Painted Desert. 

Petrified Forest covers 146,930 acres.  We stopped to look up close at a couple of places along the trip.  We skipped getting out to walk a distance to see things.  I’m having a lot of problems with breathing while walking any distance.  I know we missed a lot but what we saw was beautiful. 

Petrified Wood

Dora and Boots in the Petrified Forest.

Many miles of going through the forest was just desert.

Petroglyphs are carvings made directly into rocks. Newspaper Rock boasts over 650 petroglyphs from a variety of tribes that frequented the area, such as the Anasazi, Navajo, and Pueblo.

Many of the petroglyphs are crescents, small human figures, animals, swirls, and a few other patterns. While many of the glyphs came from the Pueblo people, there have been many authors over a long stretch of time, extending from the prehistoric era to the historic periods of more modern times.

At the outlook, there are three sets of binoculars.  With the naked eye you would never know the markings were there. Looking to the right wall shows swirls and men while looking almost straight downward from the children’s binocular set yields a different set entirely. It was a good view and interesting to be so close to them. I wish we could have gone closer to them to see the markings without the binoculars, but I understand the need to preserve the carvings.

  This is from the internet showing a lot of the shapes clearer.  We saw them through the binoculars. This rock was left at Newspaper Rock!

The rocks we saw when heading to the exit of the park.  I think it was the prettiest!

From here we drove to our home for 7 nights which is Hidden Valley Resort in Tijera, New Mexico.

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09.18.17 Route 66 on the way to the Petrified Forest, Arizona

Monday, September 18, 2017 – When we left Williams, Arizona we drove down Route 66, when we could, on our way to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.  I say “when we could” because it doesn’t exist everywhere it use to.   In some places Route 66 has simply been replaced with I-40.  In some places both exist with Route 66 buildings  being just shells of the originals.  Some stretches of Route 66 have been well kept up.  Even though I bought 4 books and several maps about Route 66, it is very difficult to know what you want to see.  Plus there is a lot of jumping on and off Interstate 40.

I’m basically saying this is not a get on a highway and go for many miles and see lots of stuff.  We’re going to be happy we get to see what we get to see.

Here are some photos we took on Saturday between Williams, Arizona and the Petrified Forest in Arizona.

We have seen more mountains than I ever thought we would.  This was one place where there were no mountains, just desert for many miles.  I’m starting to miss the lush greenness and real grass of our home state, Louisiana. 

A lot of states have unique rest areas.  Its taken us a bit to get use to having to park with the Big Riggers but we do.  This rest stop in Arizona was in the middle of lots of Arizona rocks.

Here we are at Jack Rabbit Trading Post on Route 66.

Here’s Dora and Boots waiting for mom and dad to come back to them!

This is Holbrook, Arizona where the Wigwam Motel, also known as the “Wigwam Villages”, was a motel chain in the United States built during the 1930s and 1940s. The rooms are built in the form of tipis, mistakenly referred to as wigwams. The first photo below is just an old Battery company that still exists but is not in operation.

  The License plate says “Doc Hudson”.

41 Packard

Look at this “Tow Maters” Grand Pappy!!!   

Check out this old RV!!!

Before we got to the Petrified Forest we came across a massive business Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Company.  We had a great time shopping there picking out somethings for all the grand children, their parents, my sister and us.  Outside we saw a couple of cool things.  In this next photo the the Petrified Wood Company created a small pond out of petrified wood.

Look at this petrified alligator and dinosaur egg clusters. 

Finally on our way to the Petrified Forest! 

Route 66 somewhere!  I forget where we were but this is about average road condition when you are on Route 66.

Next time I’ll share several pictures of the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.

Today is Monday and we arrived yesterday at Hidden Valley Resort in Tijera, New Mexico.  Its an odd RV park.  Most parks out west have cleared all the desert away and built a park.  This one cleared a little away but left a lot of the yellow weeds and sage bushes usually seen in the desert.  We are way up on a mountain on the third level up from Route 66.  One cool thing is that there’s tons of rocks just waiting to be painted.

We’re going out tomorrow to see several Route 66 sites around us.  Thursday we’re going to ride up to Sante Fe and see what we can see along the way.

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09.16.17 Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona

Saturday, September 16, 2017 – Two years ago we visited both the North and the South Rims of the Grand Canyon. It was amazing then and is still an amazing creation of God’s to see. This year we skipped the North Rim, pulled Dora over to the side of the road in the Marble Canyon and got a great night sleep before visiting the South Rim. First are our photos of our time in the Marble Canyon and the drive from there to the Grand Canyon

Because the North Rim is so totally different from the South Rim if you want to learn about the North Rim check out the two North Rim blogs. The links are near the end of today’s blog. The North and South Rim are only about 20 miles apart (you can see that on the map below), but the actual drive from the North to get to the South Rim is 220 miles because it goes way outside the north rim around the canyon and then back up to the South Rim.

Below our photos from this year are links to our blog post from 2015.

This year’s photos of the Grand Canyon. We met a really nice family from Italy at the Grand Canyon entry sign. We took their family’s photo and they took this one of us. They asked if they could see inside our RV because they had never seen one so big before. When we are traveling and the RV slides are closed up it looks like a hurricane came through the RV because everything has to be put on the sofas or the bed to secure them while traveling. Oh well! They were really sweet and we saw them a couple of more times while we were in the Grand Canyon.

We have a pink flamingo riding on a bicycle that we usually put near our RV wherever we stay. This time the flamingo got to ride inside our RV and when we got out we could see the flamingo in the window! That’s what Roy’s pointing at!

Here’s Boots and Dora patiently waiting for us in the parking lot at the Grand Canyon!

The first visit back in 2015 we together took several hundred photos. There are hundreds of photos in these blogs below. We have a lot of new followers of our blog so if you haven’t seen the 2015 photos, have fun!!

2015 Grand Canyon North Rim, Part 1

2015 Grand Canyon North Rim, Part 2

2015 Grand Canyon South Rim, Part 1

2015 Grand Canyon South Rim, Part 2

From the Grand Canyon we traveled about an hour to Williams, Arizona.

We are staying in Williams, Arizona the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park. It is a really nice park that takes Passport America so staying here didn’t wipe out the bank account. As their names says they do have a train that runs each day to the Grand Canyon. Since we’ve been to the Canyon twice already we are going to save that money to spend on Route 66.

Our RV spot is one block from Route 66. We went there today and walked along the sideways seeing all the shops, restaurants and other interesting old time things. Next blog will be about what we saw there today! From here on till we get to Oklahoma City we will be trying to see everything we can on Route 66. Next up The Petrified Forest and any other goofy places we can find!

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09.15.17 What a sight! Red Canyon, Utah

Friday, September 15, 2017 – Wow, wow! Here’s what we saw leaving Bryce Canyon, going through Red Canyon on our way back to Paradise View RV park in Panguitch, Utah. The change in what the scenery looks like around every turn just had to be shared! The first photo is one of four tunnels along the way. The rest of the photos are what we saw along the way.

Out in this part of the country it is not just a place you go to see something special, it’s also what you see along the way that makes it all so wonderful!

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09.17.17 Our first look at Route 66 in Williams, Arizona

Sunday, September 17, 2017 – Route 66 starts in California and goes all the way to Illinois.  We are driving the portion from Williams, Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Williams, Arizona is known as the last town to be bypassed by Interstate 40.  They held out until 1984 so here in Williams, Arizona there is now both an I-40 and a Route 66

The first Route 66 sign that we’ve seen!

v After seeing all of Route 66 that Williams had to offer we came back to our RV and rested till dinner.  We ate at the RV Resort’s Grand Depot Cafe where we enjoyed a very nice buffet for my birthday.  My sister called to wish me Happy Birthday.  Both our sons and their family called and sang Happy Birthday to their Grannie.  Lots and lots of birthday wishes on Facebook too.  Even if turning 63 is something I’m not thrilled about, all the love I felt helped make up for the sting of 63. 

Here’s Boots and Dora enjoying the nice cool weather here!

Saturday we are leaving here headed down Route 66 to see and experience what we can.  That drive will include seeing the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. We will then stay at a Walmart in Gallup, New Mexico  After that there will be no reservations, we will be stopping on Route 66 each day when we’re tired.

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09.14.17 Bryce Canyon in Utah

Bryce Canyon in the winter

Thursday, September 14, 2017 – Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. The park’s main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point.  We learned that parking outside the park at Ruby’s Inn to get picked up by a shuttle bus was the best way to get around in the National Park.   Since we are old folks we got in free to this National Park and to ride the Shuttle for free.

 

There were extraordinary people with the capability of hiking down to the bottom of the canyon.  You can see them in this photo.

This was a beautiful place to visit but even with the shuttle to take us from place to place within the park it was exhausting. Lots of walkways to walk up and then walk down.  Thank goodness for the shuttle!

As we left Bryce Canyon we rode through Red Canyon and lots of other beautiful scenery.  The next blog will contain those photos.

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09.13.17 Paradise View RV Park and Cowboy’s Smokehouse in Panguitch, Utah

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 –  We have loved the beauty of Utah, all of it.  This was a state we barely visited two years ago when we came out west.  We’re correcting that mistake this year!

We stayed at what first seemed to be an odd RV Park but it turned out to be very nice.  The view is indeed paradise like, the price was one of the cheapest we’ve ever paid and it’s one I’d certainly come back to again.  Its on Highway 89 and is only 15 miles from Bryce Canyon which we visited while we were there.

We went into town (Panguitch, Utah)  to eat dinner at Cowboy’s Smokehouse one evening. A couple of photos first of what Panguitch looks like.  We were at 6,630 feet elevation here.

One thing that we learned while in Utah is that the Federal Government owns about 2/3  of the land in Utah.   Next I’ll share our visit to Bryce Canyon which was the reason we came to this part of Utah!

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