Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ben and Sue Day 58

Friday, November 2, 2007, Day 58

. . . We are nearly home . . . about 225 miles south of Portland, Oregon -- will be home on Saturday for sure.  Was a quiet, somewhat uneventful day today -- was good to begin to see places that were more familiar to us.  We travelled part of the way north on Highway 101 north -- oh the views of the Pacific ocean were spectacular -- giant waves crashing on the rocks.  Now that we are closer to home --  a trip back here along the coast seems very possible and we hope/plan to be able to return and spend some time here.

. . . We saw elk today with huge racks.  Two of the males were fighting -- locking horns and pushing each other back and forth -- was amazing to  watch!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ben and Sue Day 57

Thursday, November 1, 2007, Day 57

. . . We're on the home stretch -- yea!!  We stayed a second night in Eureka California and  spent the day today viewing/exploring the California Redwoods.  Oh my goodness they are tall -- I think I remember reading the tallest one was 360 feet.  To give you an idea of how large in diameter  they are:  Both Ben and I stretched out our arms and stood fingertip to fingertip around the base of the tree.  It took both of us three times  to go completely around.

It's getting cold these past couple of mornings -- only reached 53 degrees all day today. 

Very close to where we are camping -- in fact within walking distance is a thrift store with the sign reading:  50 percent off everything in the store.   So of course we went in to browse around a bit.  This man had some really really old stuff -- good thing we are needing to be home soon.  We did buy one table -- not a very big one and then one shelf with a heart carved into it.  Oh my goodness you should see our truck and our 5th wheel -- yikes -- it's going to take me a month of Sundays just to clean everything out and put everything away.  When you hear the new message I am going to put on our answering machine you will surely understand!        


Ben and Sue Day 56

Wednesday, Octoberv 31, 2007, Day 56

. . . Starting out this morning first thing we saw was a field with hundreds of sheep.  Was chilly this morning -- didn't check temperature but my guess was 40 -- 45 degrees.  A heavy fog blanketed the area -- burned of though as the sun came out and most of the day was sunny and warmer.  Travelled north on Interstate 5 to Redding, then took Highway 299 west to Eureka which is where we are this evening.

Highway 299 -- oh my goodness!  Our trip all day was only 160 miles but took us about 6 1/2 hours to drive because the mountain roads were so twisty and curvy.  One lane each direction -- only a few places to pass all the day long.  We did see the most gorgeous autumn leaves -- I think this might be the peak time for them -- very  bright golds and reds and yellows -- really beautiful.  All along route 299 were supposedly these "towns" -- or at least we kept seeing signs for towns -- wish I had written down some of the names but the populations were funny -- in one instance we passed a sign for a town which read:  population 0.  Other populations were almost always under 100.

So. . . that  was about it for today --  mountain roads with the river below and the bright clear blue sky above. 

Our daughter Kat called today to tell us it was snowing back in Sultan where we live  Oh for joy joy joy after almost eight weeks of uninterrupted sunshine.  Ben and I were both thinking the same thing -- maybe we will just drive back down south and stay there for the winter.  Kat went on and on describing  the cold, icy, snowy conditions -- and when she had us both thoroughly convinced she finally told us she was just joking!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ben and Sue Day 55

Tuesday, October 30, 2007, Day 55

. . . Brrr it was cold this morning -- 38 degrees!  I can finally start wearing some of the warmer clothes I packed -- haven't had any need for  them up till today.

.  . As we drove today -- more mountain, flat, sagebrush covered land -- we came upon underground bunkers -- perhaps thousands of them on either side of the road as far as I could see.  Then a sign -- Naval Undersea Warfare Command.  I have always heard that Nevada had a   general reputation for:  secret work, UFO sightings, area 51, storing America's nuclear resources --  that sort of thin.  I wonder . . . I wonder. . .   We did see rather sophisticated looking antennas high up on one hill.  Also several signs to tell us Nevada was the #1  best place in  America to star gaze -- evidentially the stars are clearer here than anywhere else in America.

. . . And then . . . WOW . . . we were driving around a curve when what did we see but a horse drawn buggy -- a very old horse drawn buggy with three horses -- travelling very slow on  this 60 mph road.  The driver pulled to the right to let us pass and as we were passing I saw some words on the side of the canvas "sowing native flowers".  Well of course I was very curious and convinced Ben to pull over to a very wide spot in the road and to wait for that horse and wagon to catch up so I could hopefully discover more fully.  Poor Ben.  He said he was not at all interested in "discovering more" about a rather old women dressed in Indian garb and sowing naive wildflowers.  But he is so good to me -- has been the whole trip -- stopping often along the way to investigate  things -- I love Ben so much!

. . . So anyway, after a few minutes we hear the clop clop of the horses feet and here she comes.  Seeing us parked there, she also pulled over and I had tons of time t ask her questions.  VERY interesting.  Long story short:  she was American (Irish she told me) not born Indian at all but through her adult years began adopting more and more of the old Indian ways of life and thinking.  She had been travelling and living in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada for many years.  She herself, wherever she lived, planted gardens with native flowers and roots and taught others how to do so also.  Mostly she planted edible flowers and medicinal roots.  She seemed distraught about highways and buildings destroying so much Native American land.  She invited us to sign the canvas wagon which I did.  So if you ever see her travelling along . . . look for our names!

All through Nevada we have passed what I call shanty towns -- homes and buildings where people used to live and business used to take place but now all are abandoned.  Sometimes it appeared to be fire that partially destroyed the tiny community.  Sometimes it looked like people just one by one picked up and left town and left the buildings/homes behind to deteriorate by the elements as the years went by.  There  was never any sign of life -- no people, animals, gardens -- no signs of life.  Lots of times there were old junk cars all around.  Somehow I would not be surprised if Ben makes an "old car hunting trip" down here in the not too distant future.

Saw some funny road signs today:  Rattlesnake Drive, Mary's Lane, Soda Lake Road, Bottom Road. 

Made it to Culoso California tonight.


Ben and Sue Day 54

Monday, october 29, 2007, Day 54

. . . Drove as far  as a little town called Mina,  Nevada today.  The entire day was an endless road that seemed to have the exact same scenery from morning till night.  We  drove perhaps 300 - 350 miles today and saw flat land, covered with sagebrush and mountains in the distance.  During the whole day there were only three tiny towns we passed.

 . . . We stoped for lunch at a restaurant near Creech Air Force Base.  Saw lots of young men and women in uniform talking and enjoying lunch.  At the table just next to us were 8 non-commissioned officers -- all of them talking about a young female airman who would not/could not decide whether she was going to reenlist or not and all the trouble that was causing them all.  Ben and I had a great deal of fun listening -- remembering our Air Force days and similar lunches/conversatins.  They all looked so young to have  the rank they did -- a couple of them were Master Sergeants/SeniorMaster Sergeants.  It's so funny how when we are young everyone looks old and we think people who are 40 are about ready to die.  Then when we get older we think people who are probably 35 to 40 years old look like they are about 20.

. . . We saw several trucks pulling 3 trailers today.  have only seen these a couple of times on our long trip.  I wonder if they are illegal in  most states?

. . . Weather was pretty and warm again today -- about 70 degrees most of the day.  Because there was absolutely nothing to block the wind -- when the big trucks did come by it was a huge gush of air -- whoomp!  Wondered if they were going to blow us right off  the road!

Ben and I laughed as we wondered if we were passing "Area 51" where supposedly secret work by  the government is going on and where supposedly UFO sightings are investigated -- the stuff late night talk radio is made up of! 

Tomorrow  -- California for sure!


Ben and Sue Day 53

Sunday, October 28, 2007, Day 53

. . . We started out the day today by attending Calvery Church in Williams, Arizona.  Was a small, country church -- way back on a dusty road -- but  despite its size and location  the people there were hugely friendly.  So many people came up to say hello and welcome.  And of course when we  say we are from Seattle they start asking questions about Seattle or telling us about a  family member or friend who lives there -- so conversation is very easy.  As we sang the praise songs at one point I just could not sit down and sing -- so I stood up.  I was the only one standing for a while but it felt so good and right to stand up and raise my hands  to the God of Heaven  and earth.  After a short while though other people stood and some raised their hands too and the worship service was pretty awesome.

. . . After church we walked around Williams -- totally cool Route 66 place and very 50's and 60's.  Lots of people were taking pictures of the very old Edsel automobile and in front of one store there was set up a very authentic mannequin of a rock star and a beautiful young lady and one could sit in the chair between them and have their picture taken.  Was fun to amble down the main street and it wasn't hard to imagine it was 1965 all over again.  We wanted to travel Route 66 all the way across country but only discovered a map that shows this route when we were in Arizona.  None of  the Rand McNally maps or  the AA  maps showed it.  But we had fun travelling on it for a while.  Maybe in our next trip. . .

So . . . we continued on to Kingston Arizona at which point we headed north on Route 95.   Weather today was 75 --80 degrees all day and even now at 8pm it is still 80 degrees.  We have been lavished with 51 days of warm/sunny weather.   So. . . how's the weather in Seattle dear friends?  PLEASE don't write and tell me!


Ben and Sue Day 51

Day 51, Saturday, October 27, 2007

. . . Drove today from Flagstaff to Seligman Arizona.  Ben has wanted very much to be able to drive along historic old Route 66 for a long time now.  Today we discovered that we were actually very close  to Route 66 -- so we asked some questions and were actually able to drive  thru one town on this Route, then continue on to Williams Arizona.  The entire tiny town looks similar to Radiator City in the movie Cars -- which inspired us in the first place to begin looking for Route 66.  The town was just about one main street filled with tourist shops and restaurants/garages to have your car fixed -- shops to buy new tires.  We did a  lot of shopping there because we kept seeing things for sale that we have not seen anywhere else on our trip -- lots of 50's and 60's memorabilia -- old replicas of cars -- Edsels -- I Love Lucy stuff -- candy from the  60's -- really brought us back in time.  Was fun.

. . . Ben found a gun shop but it actually turned out to be closed today.  The gun shop actually was an addition to a bigger main store which was open -- only  the gun shop part was closed.  So we went in and Ben asked lots of questins.  He was told that here in Arizona one does not need a permit at all to carry a weapon as long as it is in a holster and clearly visible.  Very liberal law compared to the rest of the country where many states are severely restricting gun use/carrying a gun.

So. . . weather was beautiful again today -- reached a high of 75 degrees.  I took some of the most beautiful pictures of our trip this evening at sunset.  Gorgeous cirrus clouds like quiet wispers of the day as it  was coming to an end.

. . . Found a Harold Bell Wright book -- written in 1916.  I think I have 6 of the 7 books he wrote now -- only missing one.  The one I bought "When A Man's a Man" was only $15.  I've been looking for it for many years.  So happy to have found it at an affordable price.  I'm sure Ben cringed when I suggested we go into the used book store "for just a few minutes" and actually my ploy was "Ben, maybe  they have some Route 66 books in here." 

Oh it was hard to spend 15 minutes in an old used book store.  There have been occasions when we have gone on a trip -- not this time but in years past -- when Ben has been willing  to drop me off at the used book store in town -- he has gone off to explore the whole rest of the town by himself -- and picked me up later.  Oh the joy of old book stores -- the smell, the old books, the atmosphere, the conversations with the shop keeper, the hope of finding that unique rare book ---mmmmm!

We left Williams and drove all the way to Seligman today -- 17 miles -- along Route 66.  Saw lots of Berma Shave signs.  Some day I'll discover why those signs have such a funny name.  One read:  Sign 1 :  If daisies are  2.  Your favorite flower  3.  Keep pushing up  4.  Those miles per hour.  Another funny  one was :  Sign 1:  Cattle crossing  2.  Means go slow  3.  That old cow  4.  is some bull's beau.  Kind of fun to read as we drove along.

. . . Tomorrow we are hoping to continue on Route 66 to Kingsman Arizona then 95 north to Las Vegas and finally west to California.  Hoping to make one final stop at the California Redwoods.  We are on the home stretch now -- miss everyone so much!