Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We had planned on going to Mesa Verde in Colorado to visit the Indian ruins, but, our "kids", actually, our nephew, his wife and kids, are coming for a visit in two weeks. We call them our kids because we took care of him and his brother during the summers, so they are "our kids" now. Anyway, they decided to take a road trip to San Diego to see the parents, brother and friends and will be stopping by on their way back home to see us. We are excited that they will be here and we can share the Canyon with them. We still plan to go to Mesa Verde, but, it probably won't be until sometime in Sept. Instead, we've made reservations to stay at the Grand Canyon Lodge on the north rim in late August for one night. We've never been up in that area before, so we'll be taking our time getting there, seeing the sights as we go along.

Tomorrow is another work day, so probably won't be posting anything until our next days off next week...IF, we do anything exciting to take pictures of...
I'm sure that back in the late 60's, when Easy Rider was filmed, Rte 66 went from Santa Monica all the way to Chicago, with no interstates to get in the way, now, parts of it are just forgotten old roadways that are slowly but surely going back to natural dirt, which is really too bad...

They really ought to fix up that caboose and then there's the "muffler tree"

Ron took a lot of pictures in that diner, but, what we didn't realize is that the "no vacancy" sign that we'd been looking for and didn't find, was hanging up in that diner. We found that out later from our friends at the campground. Oh well, maybe next time...

These were actual tables being used for the customers to eat on. Cool, huh?

As you can see, Ron really likes taking pictures of old gas pumps

After we left there, we drove back up to the Rte 66 Diner that was right across the parking lot from the Harley dealer. Inside were some really neat memorabilia from bygone days, as well as a few old cars..

The building that housed the motel shown in Easy Rider in the opening scenes

After we left there, we drove up to Bellemont, which is just a spot on the freeway with a truck stop. Camp Navajo Army base is also up there, so of course, Ron wanted to stop in and see what there was to see. Their exchange consisted of two tractor trailers put together, so of course, we had to walk in and check it out. There was also a Huey helicopter and Army jeep on display, so I took a couple of picture of the helo, but, will post them later as they are on my phone. I was so surprised to see how little that helo actually was, I thought they were so much larger.

We had heard from one of the couples here at the park that the motel that appears in the opening shots of "Easy Rider", was nearby, on a portion of Rte 66. We didn't quite know where the building was and so we stopped at the Harley dealer on the same road to ask. All they told us was that it was down near the end of the road, they weren't very helpful at all. So, down the road we went. We had also heard something about the "no vacancy" sign that was used in the movie, so we just assumed we'd see it in this old motel....ha, ha! Well, the only building we saw on the way down the road was an old abandoned gas station, but, when we got out of the car, there was an old movie poster in the window about Easy Rider. So, we figured this must have been the old motel, and looking at the old cabins in back of it, those probably were part of it, too. We never did see the "no vacancy" sign, but, we took pictures of the station and cabins.

A few days after they left, some more good friends, Gene & Kathy, also came up to stay a couple of days. They also live in Yuma, and were on their way to Des Moines, IA, to visit family and friends and to attend a wedding. It's always nice when friends come to visit us, we love it!

Last week, we took a drive to some places close by that we'd heard about. The first place is called the Double Eagle Trading Post. This is, by far, is the most authentic trading post I've seen, by that I mean, one that most closely resembles what the old original ones used to look like. But, darn it, I didn't take a picture of the inside, but, I can describe it to you. It had hides of all sorts of the big animals, stuffed heads on the walls of moose, bison, elk and deer of all kinds, stuffed animals such as fox, coyote, wolf, squirrel, rattle snakes and birds. There were also fox tails for sale, as well as other hides of rabbit, coyote, wolf, and other ones I can't even guess at. There were also authentic rawhide or deerhide beaded jackets made by some of the Indians of the area, beautiful work went into some of them. The only other one I'd like to visit is the Hubbell Trading Post up on the Navajo Nation near Window Rock. I did manage to take pictures of the outside...

Me, Mary & Bob, with their dog, Noah, walking around Kaibab Lake, which is only a couple of miles away from the KOA

A couple of weeks after our visit to Lake Powell, our good friends Bob & Mary escaped from the heat of Yuma, to stay with us at the campground for two days. We drove them to some sights around the area, including some lakes in the area, as well as showing them quite a few areas of dispersed free camping in the national forest.
We had a great time visiting with Jack & Jeanne at the lake. The campsite they stayed at the Wahwheap Marina actually cost less than our nightly rate here at the KOA for a full hookup site and they had a great view of the lake! After eating one last dinner together, we finally departed towards home. One interesting thing is, we followed Hwy 64 towards the Grand Canyon, then, took the East rim drive towards Cameron & Hwy 89, then headed north towards Page. On the way home, we drove 89 all the way into Flagstaff to I-40, then west to Williams and got off at Hwy 64 towards the KOA. Believe it or not, it was only 10 miles closer the way we came home, versus the way we went up there....strange...

This last picture is looking towards the dam & the bridge with Page in the background

Looking out at the bridge, with the lake beyond and the bridge from the visitor's center

Getting ready to put a brand new one in

The turbines

Looking straight up at the bridge & the visitor center. Looking closer, it looks like a space ship, doesn't it?

A lot of water seeps into the dam and this pipe is draining it back out...have you figured out what the green stuff is yet?

This is down towards the bottom of the dam, heading to where the turbines are housed.

On one side of the dam, Lake Powell, on the other side, the Colorado River flowing towards the Grand Canyon

Looking straight down at the bottom of the dam...hmmm...wonder what that green stuff is....

Standing on the dam looking up at the visitor center

If you look back at the picture of the glass doors going into the mountain and click for a larger picture, you can see some dark squares in the rock, those are the rock bolts.

The rock bolt

Since Navajo sandstone tends to fracture vertically, they installed rock bolts which lock rock slabs together, which minimizes rock falls in the canyon. The bolts extend from 45 to 75 ft into the rock walls. The following picture shows what one of these looks like.

A core sample of the materials that make up the dam

Listening to the guide tell us how they built the dam

Looking back from where we came from

and out onto the dam...this is one of the turbines on display

In the tunnel on the way to the elevator

Wednesday, July 27th

Those two nights we spent at the Motel 6 in Page, were the worst stay we've ever had in any motel. We could hear the pipes of anyone who took a shower and the noise in the hallways seemed like it was amplified. We were glad to be out of there, come Wed morning. We had arranged to meet Jack & Jeanne at the Visitor Center at the dam. Only thing was, they were doing road work on the other side of the bridge, so there we sat for about 20 minutes or so, until they finally allowed us to move.

The tour was very nice and inexpensive, sort of like the tours they used to charge for at the Hoover Dam. It was $5 per person, or for a senior, $4....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The almost birthday boy smiling and blowing out his candles.

It was early afternoon by the time we got back to camp, so we played a few hands of Pegs 'n Jokers and variants of Hand and Foot. The girls did a good job of winning some of the games! Jeanne fed us all dinner and for dessert, Jeanne had gotten some eclairs. She put candles on some of them to celebrate Ron's birthday early, since they won't be around when it comes. So, here's Ron with his birthday eclairs...

What do you think...can you see them? You may have to click on it to see it a bit larger...