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To Phoenix - and BEYOND!

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Kayak Jack, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Two and a half weeks ago, Julie and I took off on our annual trek SW'ly. Other years, we've driven from Michigan, to and through: Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, New Mexico (trashiest state in the CONUS), Arizona, Colorado, California, Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, Utah, Oregon, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

    A good friend here, owns his Mom's condo in Sun City West, on the NW'ly corner of Phoenix. Even with the heat there this time of year, we decided to meander down there, spend some time, and meander homewards another route. On our jaunts, we've discovered a few things.
    1. We don't enjoy being away from. Home more than two weeks. We love to travel - both tightly scheduled and loosely scheduled. But, as Will Rogers once observed, "I like travelin. But, the best part of every trip is gettin home again. Home to Betty's beans." Will was seldom wrong.
    2. Though we both grew up as born and bred Midwesterners, where supper isn't supper unless you have roast beef, mashed potatoes, and string beans by god! We thoroughly enjoy Mexican food. Now here's the funny part. Here in central Michigan is a small chain (15-20 each) of Mexican restaurants: Los Tres Amigos. And, nowhere throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or Colorado have we ever found a Mexican restaurant that has better food than here in the corn belt. Usually, not as good! Now, I'm thankful for the wonderful, flavorful, and healthful food so nearby, but it just isn't normal for that to be so. But, I'm glad that it is.
    3. In Rawlins Wyoming - a western cow town straight out of Wagon Train and Death Valley Days, the number one rated restaurant is a Thai restaurant! And, Thai restaurants are being highly rated by customers in many locations where we've wandered. Hmmm, "We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto."
    4. Drury Inns has won us over as loyal customers. Priced similarly to other chains, they offer more to travelers than do others. Free, hot meals and drinks in the evening, free hot breakfasts, and many other little things. Wow, much more bang for our buck.

    On our way down to Phoenix, we traveled along old Route 66. A lot of that was good, "Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona, Barstow, Vegas, San Bernadino" etc. Part wasn't. Oklahoma has some toll roads. I don't have a problem with the idea of tolls. But Oklahoma needs to get their collective heads out of there collective as;)$$e$. The money collecting machines they used to replace people weren't working. Change collection baskets and bill changers were off on strike. With no way to correct the situation I'm now stuck with, I called the emergency telephone number stenciled on the coin box. "The number you have reached is out of order." Oklahoma failed to impress us positively.

    We stopped in Centennial CO to visit with friends. Every couple of years, we make it through here, and make it a point to see Scott & Andrea. Time with them flew by. Time flies when you're having fun.

    Another favorite stop on I-80 is Kearney Nebraska. If you're ever in that vicinity, do yourself a favor - have lunch or dinner at the Alley Rose Restaurant in the old part of town. You will be amazed, I gawwrunTEE. JARVIS good eatin.
  2. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Arizona , That is one state I have to stop and visit for a while when I get past Texas.

    Along the USA and Mexico border in Douglas Arizona the Dodge Dakota blew a radiator hose and I quickly found out that the whole town takes a siesta for 3 hours in the afternoon. After there siesta a new hose was installed and I was on my way.

    Entering from the south , for some reason I always manage to stop at Apache Junction and visit the laundromat. :lol: I almost moved to Arizona back in the late 70's but the wife did not want to leave the land of heat and humidity commonly known as Florida.

    Phoenix is a good town to spend some time in and the outskirts of it have some nice hills to climb and play in the cactus. I like Tuscon a lot better and even found a nice home on the side of one mountain that overlooked the town. Plus I had the promise of a job with the Sheriffs Dept. As you know neither panned out.

    Downtown Tuscon there is or I should say might still be , since I have not been there for a long time. A restaurant that serves western beef which is cooked over a mesquite fire and the steaks are out of this world. The fire ( grill ) pit is really long and wide and in the middle of the restaurant so the guys use long handled pitchforks to flip your steaks ( Yep the steaks were big ) they are deliver to you piping hot. You sit there and watch your steak being cooked.

    Flagstaff Arizona is something else all by itself , the area around it is a good place to get out in the woods and really enjoy seeing the locals and having a grand old time. Taking the interstate at Flagstaff there is a truck stop that dishes up one grand meal and plenty of it , only stop there if you are hungry. :D

    I haven't been out there for quite a while ( way to long ) but I do have some fond memories of the times when I was there. Heck it was just plain fun getting there and coming back one route threw the south and back threw the north.
  3. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good time was had by all.
  4. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Two years ago in April, we were in the Cactus Botanical Garden in western Phoenix. This is a worthwhile place for outdoorsmen to visit. We, who are not familiar with deserts, learn a lot. 104 in the shade, and no shade. So, we hied ourselves uphill to Flagstaff at 7,000 feet elevation. AHHH col.

    But, the next morning we found 2" of snow all over the car! WTH??!! It isn't snowing in Michigan, and we're in a mini blizzard. Driving from Flsgstaff, E'ly to Gallup, New Mexico the blizzard grew from mkni to normal blizzard-tyoe strength. Vizibility never over 100 yards, often only 100 feet. AARRGGHH!!
  5. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Be glad you did not fly. Density altitude is a beast at 120F. The other day an airliner turned around and came back th Hou. the other day because of the density altitude at120F. at his destination.
  6. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Most people have not been introduced to the conept of density altitude yet, Bob. Even pressure altitude is foreign to most. Fortunately, at my home field, there is plenty of runway. Where I have to watch it is on sod fields. That is wonderful tl land on, but it can be dicey to get up to takeoff speed on sod. Plus, most sod fields are short, and some have significant gradients in them. And downhill seldom seems to line up with upwind.

    But, for the first time in my life, I'm seriously considering flying commercially to vacation destinations, and renting a car there. I'm way behind many others on reaching that decision. sigh
  7. Kikki08

    Kikki08 New Member

    What a long description, but thank you

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