Category Archives: Truck Camping,

Truck Camping,

Bisbee ~ The Artist Town

Nov 21, 2017

Even The Sanitary Sewer Covers Have an Artistic Flare!

Getting back to the Bisbee story. After the mine tour, we walked a short walk to downtown Bisbee. You can tell, in its “Glory Days”, this place must have been booming. It still is in the tourist sense. There seems to be an abundance of “hippies and free spirits” living in the core of the community. There are many historical buildings to checkout, both inside and out. We enjoyed walking, taking pictures and finding a good place to eat. It turned out to be a Mexican restaurant. Now, I am not usually fond of Mexican food, but I can attest that this place called Santiago’s was excellent! Helen & I split a chicken fajita plate. Actually it came on two plates. Super good! I’ve change my opinion on Mexican food!

 

The local hotel was full of history. John Wayne was a regular and had his own room, when he was in town to film a movie. The hotel has a second floor outdoor pool. This was because the town sits on a hillside. We had a  good time for our visit in the town of Bisbee.

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Now That’s Art!

Key West ~ Refugee Reunion!

On this Fam Camp bus excursion, we met a couple who have played Bocce in Key West with us. They were Sigsbee Shuflers. So here in Tucson, Arizona, we have encountered Lisa and Rob, Sally and her lab Angel, Ernie & Bert, Mary, Tom, not forgetting Michael and Stephanie and us for a total of eleven KW refugees! How cool is that! We might miss KW, but we are surviving in the dry desert of the southwest!

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Tom, Mary and Helen ~ Sabino Canyon

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Key West Friends

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Jazz in the Shade!

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The Emporium Hotel

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Isn’t That A Gem?

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What is He Looking At?

Lowell, Arizona

The very next town, Lowell is just three or so miles down the road. There is one huge open-pit mine next to the Queen Mine. This not the main attraction. The Main Street can’t be more than 500 feet long, but the attraction is all of the old vintage cars and trucks parked along the Main Street. It is not a deserted town, just a town that lives in the past. It was a 5 minute drive by tour, but an interesting one.

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Sturgis Patrol ~ Looking in the Rear View Mirror!

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1940’s Plymouth?

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1940’s Gas Pump!

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19?? Dodge

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1956 Dodge

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1956 Ford Country Squire

Warren, Arizona

The last town on our $5 bus tour was Warren. It’s claim to fame is that it has the oldest multi sport ball field in the country. Babe Ruth is said to have played base-ball in this park.

On the way home Glenn said we had enough time to stop in Tombstone, AZ. We had been there just a week or so ago, but it was good to again see “The Town to Tough to Die”

That is what we saw and did!

 

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The Lighthouses and Shipwrecks

The Pioneers

I couldn’t forget to write about the many lighthouses along the Northwest Coast! I can’t help thinking of the pioneers, such as William V. Langlois, in the mid eighteen hundreds coming by sailing ships to the treacherous coast. Fog, strong tides, very rocky shores made for a rough landing. The lighthouses, the high tech of the day, helped save many a ship, but many were lost as evident at the lighthouse museum that we visited. Yaquina Lighthouse, being the tallest, was 93 feet tall. It was built with 400,000 bricks brought in, by ship, from San Fransisco, California. Just getting the bricks to the site, on a primitive road was a monumental accomplishment!

If I remember there’s around sixteen of these lighthouses in Oregon. Each one was subject to inspection, that is, with a white glove, inspected on unannounced visits. Even the light keeper’s wife had to have everything whistle clean and orderly. The lighthouses were of prime importance!

Boomers On The Move! Every turn is an Adventure!

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The Lance and the Ford enjoying the view!

The Decision

Heading North, near Newport, the traffic was starting to get heavy. It seems that people in the interior were heading to the coast to cool off from the high 90’s to the mid 60’s. It was time to make a decision! Keep moving North along the coast or head inland to high terrain. I made the latter. A little north of Lincoln City, I took route 18 towards Portland and into Washington. What I didn’t figure on was going through Portland around rush hour! This was a 61 min traffic jam, but making the best of this meant that we could enjoy viewing the Portland City scape from the high bridges we were on.

Night Stay

Where to stay after leaving the hustle and bustle of the cities? The Allstays app didn’t provide many options. After gassing the truck, I located, yes, a Wal-Mart a few miles away, in Battle Ground, Washington. This would be our first Walmart since 2012 trip to Alaska. Allstays reviews said that this Walmart permitted overnight parking for one night. I asked the store manager and he said, “Ok, for one night as long as you park over by the garden section.”

A few teenagers were hanging around in the parking lot, but they weren’t interested in us and they disappeared in the night as we disappeared into sleep. Around 12:30 am, a refrigerated box truck parked next to us. This was annoying as the refrigerator compressor runs nearly continuously. I noticed no one in the cab. I got up and moved our TC about 300 feet and all was fine for the rest of the night. That’s the price for a Wal-Mart night!

That what we saw and did!

Aug 9, 2017 ~ Walmart ~ Battle Ground, WA

190 miles traveled today

Home on the Range

Second day in Salt Lake City area and its was a full day of sightseeing. First, we started with a ride over to Antelope Island State Park and then downtown Salt Lake City to the Mormon Tabernacle and the LDS Convention Center.

History

Let me start with the State Park:

Artifacts reveal prehistoric people inhabited the island 6,000 years ago. John Fremont and Kit Carson made the first known Anglo exploration in 1845 and named it after observing several pronghorn antelope grazing on the rangelands.

Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. The lake is a remnant of pre-historic Lake Bonneville, which covered more than 20,000 square miles during the last ice Age. On average Great Salt Lake is 75 miles long by 28 miles wide. the average deepest depth is about 33 feet.

The island has several freshwater springs found primarily on the east side supporting island wildlife. Bison are the island’s most famous residents. Twelve animals were introduced to the island by Kit Carson in 1893. Today the herd is around 700 animals. Many bird species also inhabit the island. The above info came from Utah State Parks.

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Causeway to Antelope Island

Our exploration of the island started fairly early to beat the heat and also to view the Bison while they were active. The causeway is several miles long and gave us insight into this island geology. The park attendant directed us toward Fielding Garr Ranch for the best view of the Bison. With one or two cars on this road it wasn’t long before we spotted our first Bison walking about 200 feet offshore. The salt crust is strong enough for his weight. I took pictures and drove on until another small group were grazing down by the water. Just before arriving at the ranch, large herds were observed. I got many photos!

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Not a bad scene…just Bison in the wild!

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Geology

 

Garr Ranch

Rock Salt ~ Antelope Island State Park

Rock Salt ~ Antelope Island

At the Fielding Garr Ranch, we were the first to arrive and the volunteer guide was very informative. He had lived in this area all his life and boy did I ask him questions. I was especially interested in Promontory, a place that the East and the West railroads meet. It was 61 miles from Hill AFB. That meant that would be 122 miles round trip. I asked him if I continued on the way out of town and circled around Salk Lake and picked up I-80W in Nevada. He told me I could do that, but earlier this spring some of the county road had been washed out. There went that idea. The best two tips he gave me was to take the “Legacy Highway” eliminating the I-15S traffic. The second and absolute best tip was how to visit the Bonneville Speed Way going South and than West on I-80W. I’ve been waiting 52 years to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats! In 1965 Craig Breedlove held the honor of being the first man to go faster than 400, 500, and 600 miles per hour. His record of 600.601 miles per hour, set on November 15, 1965. I was a teenager at the time and that was of great interest to me then.

Driving back towards the Visitor Center, a different type of terrain was encountered. Down closer to the shore, the rock formations were very different from what I’ve seen before. It was explained, later at the Visitor Center. Frankly, it was a little complicated in terminology, but interesting to view the samples. Helen and I both enjoyed our visit to Antelope Island!

Salt Lake Tabernacle

Next came a forty mile ride into Salt Lake City to visit the Mormon Tabernacle Convention Center (LDS) and the Mormon Square across the street. Non members are not allowed into the church. We were allowed into the LDS Convention Center. Wow, what a massively large convention hall! It is the largest in the world and holds 21,000 people! A tour guide took us around the four-story building ending on the roof, with a waterfall cascading down over the four stories. On the interior, massive atriums with paintings of their religious beliefs are displayed. Naturally, they gave us their religious views.

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Picture Perfect

Across the street, we visited the largest pipe organ in the world. Everything including the grounds outside were perfect! Everyone has their own beliefs and that is what makes this country great.

That is what we saw and did!

Aug 2, 2017 116 miles traveled (locally)

Trouble uploading this morning!

Utah ~ Most Scenic!

The Road Trip

Road trips are great, even though long days on the road can be strenuous. This journey is to do the Pacific Coast highway from Crescent City California to Olympic National Park in Washington State. Part of the real adventure is getting there. This country is so diverse and beautiful, it is nearly unbelievable. Take for instance, yesterday, at the first visitor information center in Utah, we stopped and as we were walking up to the building, we both noticed the lavender in bloom. This wasn’t so abnormal, but what really caught our eyes was the bees pollinating the lavender. They were huge, about an inch and a half long. It is these little wonders that make the road trip a learning adventure.  

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Inch and a half long Bee

Leaving Fruita, Colorado, a town that we visited back in 2013, left a second fine impression on this community. The Visitor Center has a large parking area even with an RV dump station and fresh water fill. (5 stars)

On The Road

Landscape dramatically changes leaving Colorado into Utah. Colors are golden wheat, brown, reds, creosol green clumps of darker greens high up on the Mesa. From flat land to high Mesas this land is different and very scenic. Some spots on the road have signs that say, “No services for 110 miles”. Speed limit is 80mph!

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Flying on I-70!………

I cruised around 65mph, a little higher than my usual 58mph. Following I-70W for part of the way, than US-6 to Provo, UT for the rest of the journey to Ogden, our stop here for a couple of days at Hill AFB, Famcamp. Let me say that once we reached Provo on I-15N, the traffic was heavy, four lanes, 70mph, for about 50 miles. All the way through Salt Lake City, it was heavy concentration!

Let me talk a little about temperature. The late afternoon has climbed to 115 degrees, but it is very true that it is very dry! Ok, this is how we deal with it. When we stop, all windows are open and four fans come on to evacuate the heat inside the camper. It literally takes three to five minutes to do that.

A restaurant takes care of dinner time and than back at the Famcamp, the community room has A/C with TV and high speed WiFi. By now it is after sunset and the temps are dropping fast. It is very comfortable to sleep with the windows open. Early morning finds us actually under the covers. That’s life in the sunbelt! Remember some people come from Phoenix, Arizona to Salt Lake area to escape the heat! That’s life in the sunbelt!

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Welcome to Utah

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Amazing Geology in them there hills!

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It took alot of Din-o-mite to put this road in!

That is what we saw and did!

Aug 1st, 2017 …..330 miles traveled today

 

2,667 Miles to say “Hello Neighbor”

Grand Lake to Colorado Springs

Instead of heading due west, I had a wonderful idea to travel south to Colorado Springs to visit Jerry Rouleau, my hometown neighbor and friend from New Hampshire. He was dog sitting. It was well worth the side trip to travel 186 miles south. Jerry and I, along with Helen and not mention Katie (the dog) had a good visit. Jenna and Scott (Jerry’s daughter and son-in-law have a beautiful home!)

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Jerry, Lucien and Katie 

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It did take long to make a new friend!

The trip down US 40 from Grand Lake was extremely scenic! It had extreme elevations, hair pin turns, forested mountains, ski areas, excellent paved roads! The Ford F-250 handled both the climb and the braking downhill.

We stayed in Jenna and Scott’s driveway, not that Jerry didn’t invite us in to sleep, but we have a policy of being “Light Footed” when we visit and are very comfortable in our truck camper. Thank you, Scott and Jenna, for the offer to do laundry and showers anyway. Oh, for the rest of the blog readers Scott and Jenna were gone down to do some of the National Parks in Arizona hence, Jerry was dog sitting. There is a big bond between Katie and Jerry. You see Jerry had the dog for three years while Scott was deployed.

The Continental Divide

Monday, we said our goodbyes to Jerry and headed towards the West. Another wonderful surprise was taking US 50. A super scenic ride all across Colorado. We reached Monarch Pass at noon and parked the Truck Camper right in the middle of the Continental Divide and at lunch in the camper. The elevation 11,312 feet above sea level. Now, I’m not sure if that was the Atlantic or the Pacific! Remember, the TC was parked in the middle, everything flows one way or the other.

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Driver”s side ~ Atlantic…Passenger’s side Pacific

It was a long day, as we drove 330 miles to Fruita, CO. Our campground on this night was a 5 star campground! Monument RV Campground had a site for us. We did a self-registration at a designated site, changed into our swimsuits and jumped into the pool! Oh, ha, I forgot to mention that in Colorado Springs, it was 54 degrees when we left and in Fruita it was 103 degrees!  This evening made the 12th night on the road! Loving every minute it of it!

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US Route 40 Grand Lake to Colorado Springs, CO

That is what we saw and did!

July 31, 2017 ~ Fruita, Colorado

Nebraska Pioneers ~ The Lincoln Highway

The Platte Rivers

We are on the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers tonight. Here they join and form the Platte River. Covered wagon pioneers of the 19 century liked to joke about Nebraska’s Platte River. This excerpt taken from National Trails System, National Park Service. Quote: “Too thick to drink, too thin to plow, too pale to paint. A mile wide and an inch deep. A stream flowing upside down”.

It goes on: “The river’s setting, too, seemed strange. Surrounding praise, frequently cleansed by wildfire, was burned bare of trees right up to the water’s edge, and a line of low sand hills, looking like a storm-sacked beach, rimmed much of the river valley.

Yet the yellow Platte, that treeless ‘Coast of Nebraska,’ was an emigrant’s lifeline—a water source that snaked 800 dusty miles between the Missouri River and the uplands of central Wyoming.

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This painting depicts how it must of been

As I drove on I-80 West for some 307 miles today from the Missouri River to North Platte River, I can’t tell you how much history we drove by from Pony Express, to the Walker family, first settlers using this path to Oregon, to the Mormons who were also headed to Oregon, but were shunned and instead headed to Utah.

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That must of hurt! “The Walker Family”?

Even though we are to be slowing down and smelling the roses, there isn’t enough time to really study the history of this region. What I will do is when I return home and have the time is do the research. Buffalo Bill Cody was from this region. Heck, John Wayne was born in Desoto, Nebraska right down the road from here.

Nebraska is flat as flat can be. The I-80 heads west and doesn’t seem to wander from the West compass reading one degree. The speed limit is 75mph, heck again, we came across a construction zone with usual signs, “Fines Double in Construction Zone,” but the speed limit at the sign said, 75mph!

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Fines double? What does that mean…going 100mph?

I-80 Lakeside Campground

Tonight we are at I-80 Lakeside Campground on the Platte River. We were entertained by a couple next door who were on their way to a dog show in Casper, WY. They have 15 National Champion Huskies in their toy hauler RV. Two dogs at a time came by for their evening walks. Each came over for a friendly pat around their ears. Paula, we were thinking of you as we learned a little of theses beautiful Huskies.

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National Champion

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Helen’s new Friend!

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Amazing how they can talk to you…This morning they were houling for their walk

That is what we saw and did!

July 26, 2017 ~ 307 miles today

First Ride Day Ended Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Leaving our hometown of Berlin, NH around 6:30 am was a perfect time to watch the sun shine on the neighboring Vermont hills. Our travels took us into Northern Vermont with an entry into Canada at Derby Line. By 10:30, the Montreal skyline was in our view. Also, the traffic was nearly at a stop when we reached the “Pont de Champlain” bridge. They are building a new bridge next to the existing and the chaos is nearly understandable considering the immense scope of this project. I was busy driving and I had Helen take a few photos of the bridge and Montreal.

Next direction was towards Ottawa. After these two metropolitan cities, it was pretty easy to drive on the Trans-Canadian highway, AUT 417. Around 4:30, I was getting tired and gased up the truck. I asked if there were any campgrounds around. This lady waiting in line, grabbed my arm and started to tell me of several nearby places to stay. The one that really, really grabbed my attention was CFB Petawawa. (Correct spelling). This stands for Canadian Force Base which just happened to have a, I’m told, wonderful RV campground which is open to the public. Well, the day is long and my stamina gone, we both decided to camp out at a Irving Truck Stop. After a good delicious dinner at their restaurant, we headed for McDonalds for good WiFi and the blog.

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The Construction Maze

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Big Project!

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The “Pont Champlain

That is what we saw and did!