Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lot of miles today

We left earlier than usual this morning - 6:30! - so we could get to Salem, Illinois to see Lester's granddaughter.  We thought we could arrange to meet her and her mom Friday morning, but that didn't work for them so we needed to be there at 5:00 today.  Of course we got there early so I got to visit a quilt shop.

Ember is so cute.  She is 18 months and still looks so much like her daddy.  We met them at Appleby's and had a great dinner.  Ember was shy with us since we hadn't seen her since she was a few weeks old, but she warmed up after a little while.                                                                                                                                             We saw the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  It is amazing to drive cross country and see how the landscape changes.  Illinois and Indiania are beginning to look more like North Carolina.

We are in Evansville, Indiania tonight.  Heading to Berea, Kentucky tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the arts and crafts there. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Aspen, Colorado Springs and on to Kansas

Aspen is not at all what I expected!  Just a nice little tourist town.  I'm sure it is much different during ski season.  It was fun to see.  Lots of nice shops.

We drove from Aspen to Twin Lakes on Independence Pass.  What a road!  It is closed for much of the year.  The road is so narrow - some parts would be impossible to meet a car.  Most of the road has no guard rails.  Elevation at the top is over 12,000 ft.  I don't think I care to do it again even though the scenery is really beautiful.  The Aspen trees were so pretty.  There was a ghost town in one of the extremely deep valleys. 

We went to a really old town - Leadville. Lots of Victorian houses with colorful paint.  We went in several shops and bought some unusual things.  My VW Tiguan is packed pretty tight.  All the shops are in really old buildings.  Leadville has the highest elevation of any incorporated city in North America. 

From there we drove east and it is amazing how quickly everything changes.  In just a couple of hours we were in the plains.  No hills - thousands of acres of crops.  Lots of big farm equipment.  The road was so flat and straight for miles and miles.

 We had a couple of hours of rain - the rest of the day was beautiful.  Time zone changed again.  Losing that time we gained on the way out!

Tonight we are in WaKeeny, Kansas.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beautiful Utah

We left Las Vegas at 7:30 this morning. 
Our drive across Utah on Highway 70 is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen.  It seems surreal - I could almost believe I was on the moon or on another planet.  It also reminded us of old cowboy movies - they must have filmed some in these mountains.  Huge rocks in such unusual formations.

We went to Arches National Park.  It was great but really not much better than just driving on Highway 70.  There are some unusal rock arches and weird formations.  One of them reminds me of the Three Wise Men in a nativity scene.We drove on to Rifle, Colorado.  Ken would love it here - a real hunter's paradise.  I read that it is the 3rd best place in the country for Elk hunting. 

We're enjoying each day and seeing beautiful parts of our country.  I think I will be ready to stay home for a while when we get there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 12: Sunday, October 3, 2010

Las Vegas is ever changing.  Every time I come here it seems like a different place.  It is constantly being torn down and rebuilt.  Nothing is constant here.  Even the older hotels are forever being renovated.

We are enjoying being in one place for a few days.  A little shopping – mostly looking around in the unusual shops in town.  One named Lost Vegas is closed today – maybe we’ll check it out tomorrow.
I think it has vintage Vegas stuff. 

The weather is perfect again – low to mid 80’s with no humidity.

I went to a wonderful quilt shop this afternoon – Fabric Boutique.  Huge with hundreds of patterns and almost as many sample quilts hanging on the walls.  Lots of fun.

I’m limiting myself on the money I lose in the casino.  It is fun to play some of the games as long as you realize you’re going to lose.  I look at it as entertainment - $10 buys me a long time.  I played $5.00 and won up to $13.00 – Wow!  Of course you know what I did.  I cashed out – managed to wait a couple of hours before going back and losing it and a few more dollars.

Will gave Lester $40.00 and asked him to bet it on black on the Roulette wheel – one bet.  He put it on black and won – doubled his money.  I double if I would be that lucky.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 13 – September 30 – Reno and Lake Tahoe

 A nice, relaxing day in Reno.

When we checked in they gave us tickets for the breakfast buffet.  We ate there this morning and it was really unbelievable.  I’ve never seen a buffet to compare with this one.  Bacon, sausage, chicken, pork chops, steak, eggs benedict, omelets and all kinds of eggs, breads, pastries, waffles, pancakes, grits,  And a full fruit bar with wonderful fresh fruit of all kinds.  And to top it off – a dessert bar with all kinds of desserts – even cheesecake.  Quite a breakfast!  Everything we ate was really, really delicious.

After breakfast we drove to Lake Tahoe.  Absolutely beautiful.   There is only one island in the lake and it is very small.  There is a very small stone building on the very top of the island.  It is Mrs. Knight’s Tea House.  She had the stone hauled to the island and had it built just to use to entertain her friends a few times a year. 

We went by Squaw Valley - home of the 1960 Olympics.

We stopped at some Antiques/Collectibles shops.  Lester loves to collect things.  Of course the Tiguan is so full I don’t think we can buy much else.  The Elk antlers take up quite a bit of room!

Next stop was at a Walmart to buy underclothes!  Now we can put off doing laundry for a while.

The weather continues to be beautiful.  I think we picked a perfect time of year for this trip.  It is much hotter here than it has been since we left home – 90 today, but no humidity so it is comfortable.  Until yesterday the temperature had ranged from 55 to 75 since Day 2 of our trip.  Almost no rain anywhere.  Just the mist and clouds around Seattle – I think it stays that way in Seattle.

October 1 - Reno to Las Vegasw

We left Reno at 7:45 this morning.  Another really beautiful day.

Walker Lake - we have seen so many beautiful, huge lakes.

We stopped at a couple of places for Lester to look for "collectibles".  I found three small pieces of Opalescent Blue Hobnail depression glass to add to my collection.  Mom gave me pieces of this collection every time she found some so it is special to me. 

We passed by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Hawthorne Nevada - wonder what that's all about?

We also drove by Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot  - the largest ammunition storage depot in the country. There are 3,500 buildings on the 147,000 acre main facility,  includes 2,427 munitions storage igloos a $68 million, 13 building complex that processes and recycles outdated munitions; and a 700-acre bomb disposal site.

We arrived in Las Vegas about 4:00 this afternoon.  We're staying at the Stratosphere - really nice room - I think they're refurbished recently.  Nice to be settled in one place for a few days.

Lester went to see Zac and Eva tonight.  I decided to stay in and relax.  I'll see them in a day or two.

6600 miles is a lot of driving in 13 days!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 12: September 29 Lassen Volcanic National Park and Reno

Waffle for Breakfast before leaving Medford, Oregon at 7:45.

Mount Shasta is beautiful – covered in snow.  We could see it for a long time as we drove.

We stopped to see the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Oregon.  It is a beautiful bridge that works as a sundial.  The road of the bridge is made of glass.  A beautiful park.

Lassen Volcanic National Park – the most rugged terrain I have ever seen.  And the steepest mountain roads.  They don’t seem to like guard rails here – it was really scary in places.  This was the first time we were higher than the snow caps.  We were riding along beside them.

Reno.  We got here about 3:30 – checked in the Eldorado Hotel/Casino.  It is so beautiful.  I think it is an older building that has been well maintained and refurbished.  It has the most beautiful light fixtures, mirrors, statuary and water fountains.  I managed to lose $2.00 at Blackjack – I’m a real high roller.  Our room here is one of the nicest I’ve seen – with a great view of Reno.  We are planning to stay here for two nights. 
I’m really enjoying staying in one place for two nights.  We’ve driven 5700 miles.