Saturday, July 30, 2011

Donner Pass

Our covered wagon has made it! We are actually driving the pass. We were stopped at an inspection gate and had to give up our oranges - they were not California oranges.  The lady read every label. Apparently California is worried about orange bugs infecting their oranges. We bought our latest batch in Utah. The sign on the corner says, "Donner Pass Road" and our covered wagon is approaching it.


We're in California! Approaching the Donner Pass.  Mileage = 5299 miles from our beginning on July 8th - 22 days ago. OMG. Temp has dropped to 85 and the trees have come back.


We just ate lunch here from our red box. It is perhaps the remotest spot in the US where thousands of people and animals died in the mid 1860's. And I'm reading and sending this blog post.

90's and snow

We're in the middle of Nevada - it's 92 degrees middle of the day and I see snow on the mountain tops. And there's a bumper sticker on the stop sign at the rest stop we're at saying "Stop Shark Finning".
?? Trying to make sense of it all. But we may actually get to CA tonight. WOW.

Just thought of something

that happened when we arrived in Elko, Nevada, this afternoon.
Bert was inside the Motel office checking in and a man came up to me and asked, "How long does it take?". I thought for a moment about what he was asking, then said, "We left Massachusetts on July 8th, but we stayed about 4 in Miami, let's say 15 days." He was a truck driver waiting for his truck to get fixed and was looking at our license plate. I asked him where he was going in MA. While he was trying to remember the name of the town, he said, "It's a military family moving to a town outside Boston."
"Bedford!", I said.
"That's it!", he said.
Hey, BHS, new kid coming.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Salt Lake City

Last night we saw the Temple all lit up- the towers appeared to hang in the sky. This morning there are many young people visiting - ? A conference? The flowers and gardens are fresh and bright and provide an interesting comparison to the close hills surrounding the city that are dried and golden brown. I'm sure I saw snow on the peaks in the distance last night.

Mormon Tabernacle Organ

The noon concert is just beginning. The organist just dropped pins without the mic on and in the way back we could hear it perfectly. Now he's playing and the sound is HUGE. Sounds like the way all those canyons looked.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Roll-ing with the best

Some of us don't have a covered wagon.


As far as the eye can see - sign says 31 miles to the distant mts, the Rockies. Still in Utah outside Moab. Utah Rocks! Just bought a fridge magnet for the refridge I don't have. Love this livin on the edge so to speak.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Arches National Park - Moab Utah



More canyons today as we head for Arches National Park in Utah. Tomorrow Canyonlands just down the road on Thursday. We missed these in '08 when we did the OARS trip in Grand Canyon. The desert colors today are making me plan for our place to come. The desert is big on beige and grey and that sage green is still a favorite. Today also starts the last session for the online class. The temp is a pleasant 81.The motels have doubled in price as we go thru tourist territory. Even Priceline can't help.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black Rock Canyon-Who Knew

Just outside Montrose, CO, Gunnison River made a breath taking canyon. We got there late afternoon as a rain storm was moving off the canyon. As we stepped to the edge - it happened- that surprised surprise. It's why I love to travel - to uncover the next surprise. Today there were many.

Continental Divide

We twisted up through and down the Monarch Pass and passed invisibly over the Continental Divide. It was awesome enough but was enhanced by a thunder storm and downpour. Temp dipped to 54. Bert drives - I camera.

Westcliff CO

Had to pull some tumbleweed from the grill of our covered wagon - no sh....
Somehow I never really believed it could look like this. I think there's snow on the distant Rockies. SNOW! Yesterday it was 108.

We R In Westcliff- the West

Wanna house in this picture perfect Colorado town - much like Sandwich NH- ? $ 200,000 and that's with many acres and views and walk to a lake. 427 neighbors spaced a friendly distance apart.

Sangre De Christo Mts

OMG VIEWS! And buffalo too- actually a whole herd. Ranches with elaborate entry gates - western style - like an arch overhead. Majestic but not purple.

Rocky Mt High

We can just see the edge of the Rockies. The plan is to drive on the roads with the little dots west thru southeastern Colorado towards Grand Junction, CO. Temp is 91and very dry. Couldn't be finer.

Texas rest stop

Texas Panhandle rest stop was designed to reflect nearby canyons. The bricks are canyon soil colors. The cattle were "Standing Like Statures". 105 here in the shade.

Extinct Volcano

The pic in the last post was this volcano.

3 States and 430 miles

What a day. We started in Texas, quickly drove thru a corner of New Mexico and ended in Colorado. The scenery and weather were amazing. The temps went from 101 to 72 then into the 80's. We had hot winds, thunderstorms with lightning and downpours and even a rainbow. At a rest stop we looked at a dead volcano and a recently killed rattlesnake that an attendant had just killed with a shovel. We got the last room in a Super 8 and paid twice what we've been paying. Like I said - Quite a day !

Monday, July 25, 2011

Texas seen-s

The landscape changes from the flattest straw colored horizontal to hills with scrub bushes in shades of "southwest decor" to rocky outcrops with designer boulders jutting out in colors of rust and mustard and now some oil derricks that have always looked like giant tethered ant heads bobbing in place. Where giant watering rigs cross a field, sugar cane is growing, otherwise black cattle are clustered under occasional shade trees. There was a brief rain shower and the temp fell to 72 - now back to 100.
Bert thinks the green fields are sorghum. We'll check it out. 2 days one state- Texas is big.

Good listening from Minuteman

So, Bert, of course brought the Minuteman library along for the trip and we are listening with the help of Overdrive to Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose. Story of a young NY artist who marries an engineer and goes West in 1876 to San Francisco. She took the transcontinental railroad 7 years after it was built and one month after Custer's last stand. Fabulous writing. Crazy idea. :-)

'member Trains?

I bet the daily batch of iPads are loaded in those containers that had Chinese names on the sides. Texas panhandle mighty dry - no rain since October.

Texas breakfast

Quality Inn this morning is serving up a Texas waffle - it's all about the size and shape here. Wichita Falls is the hottest spot too. We're heading to Colorado and cooler roads. We've earned our 3rd free night @ Quality Inn, too, after staying 2 nights - they actually serve up a pretty good complimentary breakfast.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh my - it's getting hotter!

We're almost to Wichita Falls Texas. We'll give the poor Subaru a rest soon.

HOT outside Dallas

Poor car. No shade. It got a new tire yesterday but today our covered wagon could use a relief shower. Big state big map and long drive.