Monday, November 16, 2020

Conclusion of the Arizona trip

Hey Gang,
When you do a blitz of a road trip as I did it all gets blurred and confusing. 4 days there, 3 days home so yes it is a blur.
Final numbers are: Fort Smith Arkansas to home is 15-hrs 30-mins, 987 miles. I traveled it in 19 hours, that was including gas, toilet, snacks and supper.

Stretches of the area I drove through are a pickers paradise. The covid blues have really done a number on so many of these towns that were in hardship before. Building after building is shuttered. Motels, restaurants, gas stations are spray painted or just left decaying.
As far as covid, nothing is making sense. Some of the motels I stayed at were not serving breakfast because of the covid. We were told go next door to Denny's or Waffle House. Why can these places serve meals but not the motel?
Anyway... I was excited to eat dinner with someone I met on Facebook. Driving through Amarillo stopped and ate with Michael S.. The section of the city we were in is swamped with corporate places. We eventually found a small independent Mexican restaurant. Very good dinner, excellent conversation.

After that I motored onward to Van Buren Arkansas and stopped there for the night. In the morning I started the long trek home, 19 hours. 

Hit the road around 11:30 am and arrived home about 6:30 am. Not bad timing considering I got lost, ate supper, stopped numerous times for gas and restroom breaks.

And wouldn't you know it, the whole week I was on the road was cool. Since I was heading north to home the last day I put on a sweatshirt. The day started cool, 57 but warmed up to 69 in Missouri. The last day of the trip and now the weather warmed!

My last stop was in James, Missouri for supper. I saw a faded sign for Country Bob's Diner that made me exit.  It turned out to be a fantastic dining experience. I felt more like I was at someones house eating with friends rather than a restaurant. The buffet was delicious. It was smoked meat night.  Country Bob's is definitely an oasis for the road weary traveler. 

4 days there and 3 days home. What a road trip
Enjoy the photos. 

Gotta Go-Go!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Day something Arizona trip

 Hey Gang,

I am still confused as to what day and time it is. Change of time zones, seasons, fall savings time, just confused. But I do believe it is Tuesday.

notes from day 4
cold 47 in phoenix
1 dollar map
free pioneer museum
free map
cold snow
people talk about trump

After we left Albuquerque it got colder and then bam, snow! SNOW! And in spots visibility was poor so had to ease up my speed and only did 80. Learning experience for me. I thought AZ and NM was always hot. But up in the mountains it gets very cold. There are plenty of ski areas. I was in a town called Snow Flake. 
And another learning experience was the cold in Phoenix. 47 degrees! When we left Cleveland I questioned why would the lady bring a space heater, leave it behind. So glad she brought it, I ran extension cords to the van and used it to so I could sleep in it. When I woke I was still chilly, it was around 57 at 9 am. 
I didn't bring any maps, have no GPS and there was no WiFi to use my laptop. I stopped at a few places to inquire where the welcome centers are but most were closed because of the covid blues.
I got off at the town of Pioneer, sign said tourist attraction. They have to have a map. I went to Pioneer village which is a restored western town and have things like gun fight shows. Unfortunately it was closed on Monday and Tuesday. The lady said go ahead and walk through it anyway. So I got to see most of the town for free.  
She directed me to Anthem's welcome center. Anthem is a town that has sprung up in the last 20 years

In Anthem I asked the sheriff hey where are the welcome centers, I need a map! He said go to Circle K, last night I saw a close out basket and they were one dollar.
I got lost and needed a map to find Circle K but eventually did locate it. The basket next to the maps were 1 buck items, maps were half priced. I said well the sheriff said 1 dollar. she said give it to me and rang it up at that price and said when you see the sheriff tell him I am going to punch him in the nose.
I took an indirect route to 40 the main west east route, the way home. 260 east and forgot the other. If I would have stopped at each pull off for the vistas and scenery this 75 mile stretch would have taken a 2 weeks to travel.
Elevation I think started at 4,000 then went up to over 6,000 
Tonto forest the fifth largest national forest in the United States, Apache-Sitgreaves and three others that escape me right now.
Unbelievable the beauty.
And there is no escaping politics. Almost every where I go people ask me, whats your thoughts? I have yet to meet a Biden supporter. Trump signs are all over. I do not see how Biden could have won Arizona.

 Off to Amirillo to meet Mike for coffee

Gotta Go-Go!

ay and time it is. Change of time zones, seasons, fall savings time, just confused. But I do believe it is Tues

Monday, November 9, 2020

2 On the Road to Arizona

Hey Gang
1 day, 2 days, 3 days what day is it? What time is it?
Day 2 
After leaving the nightmare motel It was fairly a quiet ride. The only excitement was truck with a boom that rolled. It looks like he drove to close to the edge of the road and boom over he went, This happened by Forrest City, OK if I remember.
As I said it was a quiet relaxing ride so you take note of things like the adult bar named the
Pink Hippo. I am sure with a name like that there is no pole dancing because the dancers would bring the house down. Think about that for a moment you'll get it.
I like this 2020 van for the speed and handling but hate it with all the tech junk. I was starting to call it Herbie but I think it is more like having mom in the car. The dash starts blinking after so many hours of driving with a warning that says Driver rest is advised. Do we really need a vehicle to remind us to rest? If I was nodding off do you think I would even notice it? I think the Italian version of this van starts blinking every 30 minutes - Did you eat yet? Stupid.
Super 8 the motel that reminds me of the old film projectors was clean and quiet.
Instead of ordering food out I went and bought steak and cooked in my room. Instant rice, can of beans thrown on top and steak cooked in olive oil. If you are going to try and cook in your motel room remember to disconnect the smoke detector.
I asked the lady at the desk where is there store. She directed me to Walmart. I forgot that quickly and found a nice local grocery store called Homeland. Why don't locals promote more of their local stores?
NO politics. I have tried my best to steer away from politics. I needed a break. But at the gas station I was talking to a lady and she said her American flag is flying upside down. That is a lady that is informed.
Then I wake again have not turned on the TV to take a break from all the politics so what happens?
I awake to a Southern black man with a deep Atlanta accent talking politics in the next room
He is so loud
I can't escape it But you know what, I may just knock on his door. Who knows he could be the next president. Well I didn't knock on his door but I did slip one of my postcards through his door. I got in my van and watched the card disappear. Then the door opened with a man peaking out. I said I put that in your car, wish I had more time talking to you. He said YES it is interesting while laughing and smiling. what did I write on the card? Sir, I found your talk about politics very interesting. I am an Italian American and we talk loud too. I wish you would have seen the man's smile, ear to ear.
Day 3
The drive to Albuquerque. Speed limit is 75 so in long stretches I hit 85 to 90. It does say Uhaul I for sure be hauling. The covid blues hit the small decaying towns so hard. Things were a time capsule in before now so many businesses are shuttered. A pickers and photographers dream. another are I need to return to.
We are staying in a much LaQuinta. Clean and quiet. went to Taco Cabana a really good 4 star sort of fast food style restaurant. They make much of the food from scratch. I almost ordered cow tongue and then cow cheek. Yes its on the menu, it looked good in the photos but um not that adventurous I guess.
OH what did the Mexican say? Still trying my best to stay away from politics during this trip, while standing there in Taco Cabana and man next to me stares and asks where I'm from. He was very hard to understand. He is from Mexico, been here 35 years but his accent says otherwise. Then out of the blue he asks. What you think of politics? Not sure what I was walking into. I threw it back at him and said you are Trump or Biden supporter? And what did the Mexican say? OH I like Trump, I am a business man in construction, Trump is a business man, every time Republicans get elected its good for business. And since he started it I will add this, you still believe in the media? Trump won the people over. media sold him out.
Day 4 has just started it is 9:19 am New Mexico time. need to hurry. Off to Phoenix and then after the 5 hour drive need to unload the moving van.

Gotta Go-Go!

Friday, November 6, 2020

1 On the road to Arizona

 Hey Gang,

So here I am about to give you the run down on my trip when it occurred to me it sounds like nothing but bad and complaints. But then I thought, well it is the truth so I will blog away as is.

I was two days early for take off then ran a hour late. How is that possible, I thought we were leaving Wednesday it was actually Friday and then I was late a hour, make sense now?

Everyone knows how I hate GPS and here is another example or trip why. I was following the lady who is moving to Arizona. We were on 271 that becomes 71 which was our route. For some reason her GPS said take 480 to 77 to some road then back on 271 then 71. WHAT!

Example 2. Driving through Columbus all she had to do was stay on 71 for some reason GPS directed her to 670. She got lost, I took the lead and got us back on 71 all the way through Cincinnati into Kentucky.

Example 3 At that point I called her cell and said I don't have a map but I believe we need 71. GPS told her 75 which took us the route to Knoxville, we had to back track on roads the GPS directed her and we lost a hour and a half. I hate GPS.

And this newfangled 2020 Ford van is just not for me. Sure it has pick up and speed galore and the radio is great but I hate gadgets and no CD player. I don't know how many times I accidentally turned the wipers on, had to blow the horn at someone and instead turned off the radio, and the radio why do you need so many buttons? It has to much glass. I felt like I was in a terrarium. The thing that was really confusing is they don't want you to drink and drive than why does this van have 10 drink holders in the cab? 

So now I am La Quinta. What is a quinta? I need to find out. It is one very dated motel painted yellow or did it turn yellow with age? The beds are worn. Sleeping in the spring during the fall. If one of these springs lets loose I will be impaled. 

Then there is our little conspiracy virus - covid. Free breakfast won't be served because of covid and rooms won't be made up until you leave. But next door is a 24 hour Waffle House, the covid doesn't go there so I guess thats where I am eating and its not free,

Lastly is the cicadas from hell sound. It sounds like a bad B movie, A nuclear blast turns normal cicadas into behemoth monsters. How does anyone sleep around here? I found out there is a train yard across the street. We called the desk and asked whats that nose? The clerk said what noise? And then said OH thats the train it will quiet down. WHEN? When our nerves and ears are shot.

Did I mention this non smoking room smells like smoke?

Gotta Go-Go!