Keeper of the Family
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25-Sep We left home about 9am stopping at McGraths in Medford for lunch. Just after leaving the Lassen National Forest we hit dense smoke and charred earth at road level with visible flames up on the hills.
We pulled into Susanville around 7pm to find our motel quite a bit less than the photo on their internet site. It was 3 floors of mostly permanent residents, low life and junk cars. The neighborhood wasnt too bad with the Veterans Hall right next door and police just a short ways down the street. It was too late to cancel without being charged so we made the best of it by taking a walk and enjoying the nice evening.
26-Sep Up early and at the local Starbucks by 8:30. Talked with a group of local hunter/fishermen types who knew Bob Hilderbrand but didnt know where he was buried. We got to Bishop by 2:30, had some Mexican food and took a longer than anticipated walk due to taking short cuts to avoid the intense sunshine to walk in shade. Motel was nice enough though their advertised free breakfast was in tiny office with no place to sit, so we opted for Starbucks again and headed south.
27-Sep Driving through the Riverside area was fast and scary a 16 wheeler carrying large spiked pipes had it load shift very loudly as we were passing him Rick swerved into the other lane without looking luckily there was no one in it and the pipes stayed on the truck! We got into Indian Wells around 4pm and called Todd who picked us up for dinner with Kellys family.
We forgot she was an identical twin so was caught off guard seeing her sister staying in front at the restaurant. We met her brother and his wife, sister and her boyfriend and mom. It was really nice even though her mom didnt speak English and needed everything translated for her.
28-Sep We met everyone at La Quinta Resort for breakfast, took a short walk around the grounds and then went over to see their house.
We loved their house and the views all around La Quinta! The rock outcroppings and mountains were spectacular!!
We had planned on running up to Joshua Tree to see Jennies shop and visit with Yazzy, but she turned out to be sick so we decided to wait and see them the next day. We took a long walk and then lounged around our pool sipping wine. They had a great impersonator to entertain that night singing lots of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobbie Darin and even some Beatles songs. It was fun listening and just people watching.
29-Sep The day of the wedding was HOT 107 degrees! The restaurant was beautiful, with lots of shade trees and awnings so it was really quite pleasant out.
30-Sep After breakfast we headed out to Needles. I was surprised Id forgotten how many mountains, canyons, gullies and neat views there were on the way in. We of course stopped at The Wagon for a photo shoot, and then on to the air conditioned room it was 112 that day! Ricky was content to relax inside while I drove around to see all the familiar places. I called my friend Bernadette and left a message with her husband that I was in town and very excited to see her after 47 years.
1-Oct I never heard back from Bernadette but we got to meet Nannette and Denise McCorkle for breakfast who brought me up to date on anyone I wanted to know about. That evening I was stir crazy so went out to the cemetery to shot some pictures for Findagrave. I found two McCorkle tombstones so took those and posted for Denise.
2-Oct Up early saying good-by (probably for the last time) to my home town and got into Williams around 2:30. It was wonderful out warm breezy with a hint of Fall. The hotel was great, gift shops fun to browse and the buffet dinner good.
3-Oct Breakfast was good we indulged ourselves with bacon and eggs along with French toast!! We were able to get in a short walk before boarding the train. We sat right in the first seats of the dome car so we had a terrific view.
We were entertained by Clarence Clearwater (the guitarist) along with listening to a fellow passenger sing a tribute song to the Navajo people.
We had a quick tour of several high light spots of the canyon then back to the lodge for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent on leisure walks along the rim with LOTS of
photo shoots. The canyon is of course was spectacular and beyond what words can describe. It is incredible awesome!
We found our room and settled in to not only watch Survivor (!!) but the first of the Presidential debates a pretty magnificent spot for a pure Americana event!!
4-Oct The next morning while having coffee on the deck3 deer came by to say good morning. We went to talk about Granddad to the park rangers and take photos with the pack mules and relive a grandpa moment. The last couple of hours we just relaxed with a glass of wine on the veranda swing and gazed out over the view
At 3:00 we boarded the train for the ride back to Williams and was served champaing and snacks plus we were treated to outlaws riding up and boarding the train for an old west hold up. The Sheriff came by to take control of the situation bringing a cowboy to strum us a song a to settle us down and restore order.
00005-Oct We headed out about 9a.m. going through Las Vegas and up I15. It was still very
smoky and hard to see the beautiful mountains. In Vegas it was like a very dense fog. We stopped at Mesquite thinking we could get a cheaper room in one of the casinoboy were we wrong! There was a Bunko tournament going on and the town was booked. We were also surprised to find 3 huge casinos boarded up and closed due to bankruptcies!! So we drove on.
We stopped in St. George and got another surprise there was a seniors walkathon that weekend and most motels were booked there also! After being turned away at two medium motels we went back to the Motel 6 and counted our blessing to find a roomat $91 for the night the most expensive room other than the resorts!!
6-Oct Off to find a Starbucks and head north by 9a.m. The drive through the desert and across the new Boulder Dam bridge was incredible! Every time I wanted to stop for pictures, the traffic wouldnt co operate so we got very few.
Going through Utahs canyon land was beautiful but still smoky we could hardly see the autumn reds up in the mountains.
The Salt Lake area seems to go on forever and reminded us of Los Angeles with its traffic. One thing we notices about Utah were the 80mph zones!! They only slowed a little in the construction zone where it lowered to 75 quite a difference from Oregons 55 and 50 in work zones.
Driving through the wheat lands we saw a pair of dogs crossing the highway but one didnt make it and its mate was looking quite lonesome as he had to continue on. We stopped in a little place near the Idaho border for dinner and continued on to American Falls where we spent the night.
7-Oct Idahos farmlands were beautiful but Cold! Lots of ice on the pumpkins. Crossing the Snake River and seeing the Oregon sign was pretty welcoming.
As we were driving through Baker City we thought about spending a night but it was earlyonly around 3:00. So we stopped for dinner at the Geiser Grand Hotel and just relaxed for a bit. Beings it was Sunday the town was closed up tight, so we couldnt mozy through the shop or even walk comfortably since it was so cold.
Getting back in the car we were both very antsy and saddle sore so we only drove to Pendleton and stopped for the night.
8-Oct On the road for home by 8:30 and very hard for me to sit still. I drove Rick crazy Im sure with all my tossing and turning feet up on the dash, legs crossed, knees pumping to the my chest trying to exercise just a little! We wanted to stop and stretch our legs but wanted to keep going at the same time.
We finally pulled in at 12:30ish after having to stop for groceries and fill up the tank one last time. We commented on how much color we were seeing right here at home after looking high and low for Fall on our trip.
After driving 2950 miles through 6 states with all the what ifs or near misses, we were pretty grateful to be safely back home. Ryan warnings kept running through my head of Mom! Dont keep posting where you are and how long youre going to be there and away from home on Facebook!! Youre just advertising the welcome mat for the bad guys!!.
So when we unlocked the door and stepped inside it, it was sure a relief and good to see our home was safe and sound with everything still in tact! To drive all those miles and see so many people we were thankful to have no accidents, mishaps, misunderstanding or trouble.
Unpacking and laundry done plus getting to sleep in our own bed was sweet delight. It truly wasgood to be home!