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Road Trip - May, 2014

Back to Las Vegas for this year's spring trip. Our pool team, Broadstrokes, decided - win or lose - to head for Vegas for the International Tournament. Everyone is flying except me. Who needs an excuse for a road trip? I'll be hauling all the cues with me so they don't have to be checked into baggage on the flights. We met for one last practice on Wednesday. Everyone is revved. Now that the time is actually upon us, we're all pretty excited. Deanna keeps talking about activities that involve wearing a bathing suit. YIKES! I might have to find a store along the way. The last time I was in a bathing suit was 25 lbs ago.

Plans are Great Falls on Friday, Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, and Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sandpoint on Sunday. I don't have to be in Vegas until Thursday so I definitely have plenty of time to stop and tour along the way.

2014 - Vegas Photo Album

Friday, May 16, 2014 - Calgary to Great Falls, Montana

I took Snoopy to the Kennel on Thursday night so I was able to get on the road first thing this morning and make a beeline for the border. My concerns about traffic and border lineups because of the long weekend were ill founded. There was very little traffic (most was local) and there were only 3 cars ahead of me at the border. Google Map

After checking into the hotel (Best Western Heritage Inn) I went to The Quilt-A-Way, the Charlie Russell Museum, and finally Walmart to look for that damn bathing suit. I didn't get a bathing suit (didn't even look for one) but walked out with several shorts, tops & shirts. So much for my resolve not to buy any clothes. 300 miles and my will power has already flown out the window.

Charlie Russell Museum

Charles Marion Russell (March 19, 1864 – October 24, 1926) was an artist of the Old American West. Russell created more than 4,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada, in addition to bronze sculptures.

Some time early in his career, Russell began to add a buffalo skull to his paintings as his mark or as a part of his signature. He would work the buffalo skull into the foreground, and it was later copyrighted as his logo.

Russell's mural titled Lewis and Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians hangs in the state capitol building in Helena, Montana. Russell's 1918 painting Piegans sold for $5.6 million at a 2005 auction.

Buckaroos 1902
Known as 'the cowboy artist', Russell was also a storyteller and author. The C. M. Russell Museum Complex located in Great Falls, Montana houses more than 2,000 Russell artworks, personal objects, and artifacts. Charlie Russell Museum

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - Great Falls to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Highways today were I-15 south to Helena, west of Hwy 12 (12/90 & 12/93 for a short time) then Hwy 95 north to Coeur d'Alene. Once again, there was no traffic. It was easy driving.

I had plenty of time so decided to stay on Hwy 12 when it split from I-90 at Missoula. I'm always amazed when I find a scenic route that I haven't driven on. This added about 180 extra miles and 4 hours driving time but was well worth it. It was absolutely beautiful. Google Map

Lolo, Montana
The trees on the west side of the mountains were in full leaf. From the little buds in Great Falls to the green wonderland of Helena, it's hard to believe only 80 miles separates them. In addition, the temperature rose 20°. They are 6 weeks ahead of us. Lilacs are in bloom and the ditches are already full of wild flowers.

Highway 12 - Nez Perce Trail

The Nez Perce National Historic Trail follows the route taken by a large band of the Nez Perce Indian tribe in 1877 during their attempt to flee the U.S. Cavalry and get to Canada. The 1,170-mile trail was created in 1986 as part of the National Trails System Act. The trail traverses through portions of the states of Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and connects 38 separate sites across these four states. The sites are part of the National Park Service - Nez Perce National Historical Park.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Highway 12 is also part of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail established on March 21, 1978. It is administered by the National Park Service - Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail commemorates the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. The trail is the second longest of the 23 National Scenic and National Historic Trails. It extends for 3,700 miles from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon passing through portions of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Lolo Creek Complex Wildfire

Approximately 8 miles west of Lolo, Montana, I drove through a large burn area. Both sides of the highway were burned out. The fire started by lightning on Sunday, August 18, 2013 and burned over 10,800 acres. Residents along Hwy 12 were evacuated and five homes were destroyed.

Lolo Pass

It was back to winter at the top of the summit. The pass is 5,233 feet but temperature was quite warm (70°) and the snow was melting rapidly.

The Lewis and Clark party crossed this pass Sept. 13, 1805, westbound for the Pacific after a long detour to the south. From the headwaters of the Missouri they had crossed the mountains to the Salmon. Finding that river impassable, they traded for packhorses, hired an Indian guide, and came north to an Indian trail across the mountains here. Tired and ill-fed, the men were to have a hard struggle in early snow along the steep ridges which the trail followed for most of its 125 mile course west to the Clearwater River. Lolo Summit Historical Marker

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - Coeur d'Alene to Sandpoint, Idaho
Only two highways today - Hwy 95 north and Hwy 200 for a short jaunt east, then north to Upper Gold Creek Road to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. I knew I didn't have far to go today (a whole 62 miles total) so took my time this morning. I wanted to visit Bear Paw Quilting before leaving Coeur d'Alene and they didn't open until noon. So, of course, off to the Walmart again to kill more time. What a novel idea. On a positive note, I found a bathing suit but whether or not I'll wear it in public remains to be seen. It was 2:30 pm before I got out of town. Google Map

Bear Paw Quilting

It didn't take long to blow my budget. I still have the Buggy Barn to go to tomorrow so I can see paying some duty in my future. After the Buggy Barn, I think I had better steer clear of quilt shops for the rest of this trip. Bear Paw Quilting & Bernina

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

The Ranch is located about 16 miles north east of Sandpoint, Idaho off Hwy 200. The sun was shining in Coeur d'Alene but I could see that I was driving into heavy rain clouds. By the time I reached the Ranch, it was pouring. I was greeted by Buster, a border collie cross. I'm not sure if he was truly happy to see me or just used me as a means to get into the lodge and out of the rain.

What a beautiful place. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is a family owned 1,100 acre ranch. It is open year round with lodging for up to 40 people. In addition to rooms in the Lodge there are 5 secluded cabins. I'm in the Settler cabin. It has a separate bedroom on the main floor and a loft with two single beds and a queen size bed. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

When I checked in there were two ladies, Mari & Kathy, in the great room winding down from a "quilt retreat". They were here all weekend so I was able to see the results of their labours. They are from the Eastside Quilters in Coeur d'Alene. It was fun to "talk the talk" with them. I wish I had my sewing machine with me so I could join them tonight. After hitting the shops in Great Falls and Coeur d'Alene, I certainly have enough material to make a quilt!

Mari is making a batik Bento Box. Very colourful. Kathy is making a keepsake quilt from the shirts of a friend's father that had passed away. She is using Town Square pattern and it is very effective.

Monday, May 19, 2014 - Sandpoint to Ontario, Oregon

A lot of highways today. South from Upper Gold Creek road to Hwy 200 West, then Hwy 2 into Washington, and north on Tramm Road to the Buggy Barn. Leaving the Buggy Barn, I crossed over Hwy 2 and followed Waukon Road until it connected with Hwy 231, then south of Hwy 231, Hwy 23, Hwy 95, Hwy 26, Hwy 127, west on Hwy 12, south on Hwy 125 and Hwy 11 Oregon and finally east on I-84 to Ontario. Once again, with the exception of driving through the heart of Spokane, there was no traffic to speak of. Even I-84 was light. Google Map

It was still raining this morning at the Ranch. I was up and on the road by 9:00. The weather started to clear by the time I reached the Buggy Barn. I bought a couple of Buggy Barn books and some material. This is absolutely my favourite quilt shop to visit. I was there for the festival last August and have been back twice since. The shop is so unique. Just going there is a fun experience.

"The Buggy Barn™ sits on a farm where Janet Nesbitt and husband Tom live and are down the road from the wheat farm operated by Pam Soliday and husband Ron where the sisters grew up. In 1996 when Pam's youngest daughter headed to college and Janet's youngest son went to kindergarten, the sisters decided to open the doors of Buggy Barn™.
We're located three miles northeast of Reardan, in the heart of Washington's wheat country, 22 miles west of Spokane. Our shop resides in a century old carriage house dubbed The Buggy Barn™ by the 96 year old daughter of the man who homesteaded here."
Spokane to I-84 was miles and miles of crop land covering the steep hills and deep valleys. It was green as far as you could see. We are used to seeing wheat fields but not on hills like these. The last time I travelled through this area, it was September and all the fields were gold. I arrived in Ontario just before 9:00 pm and booked into the Holiday Inn for the night.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - Ontario to Tooele, Utah
Highways today were east on I-84, south on Hwys 51 Oregon and 225 Nevada, east on I-80 and south on Hwy 36 UT to Tooele, Utah. I'm staying at the Holiday Inn. Google Map
Grasmere, Idaho

Grasmere, Idaho

I found another Ghost Town along Hwy 51 to add to my collection. Grasmere is in Owyhee County and is still marked on the map. There is even a sign that says "Entering Grasmere". It's a good thing, I wasn't looking for a gas station or a room for the night.

"Grasmere used to be the only gas station and cafe on the road between Bruneau and Owyhee, NV. A couple of years ago, however, the owners, deciding it was unprofitable to maintain their desert oasis, decided to place the town up for sale. As of Feb. 2005 it remains closed and is rapidly disintegrating into the desert. It remains for sale, but with no buyers in sight, I imagine it will soon be completely gone." Submitted by: Tina DuBois - Ghost Towns
Bonneville Salt Flats

Newfoundland Evaporation Basin

I originally wanted to stay at Ely tonight but when I called for a reservation, they didn't have a room available. I ended up booking at the Holiday Inn in Tooele, Utah. At that point I had to change my route to I-80. I've never driven this part of I-80 before so was quite amazed to see nearly 40 miles of salt flats.

West Desert Pumping Project

Record high water levels in the in the 1980s caused a large amount of property damage for owners on the eastern side of the Great Salt Lake, and the water started to erode the base of Interstate Highway 80. In response, the State of Utah built the West Desert Pumping Project on the western side of the lake.

This pumping project was designed to increase the surface area of the Great Salt Lake, and thus increase the rate of water evaporation. The pumps drove some of the water of the Great Salt Lake into the 320,000 acre Newfoundland Evaporation Basin in the desert west of the lake. A weir in the dike at the southern end of the Newfoundland Mountains regulated the level of water in the basin.

The project was shut down in June 1989 when the level of the lake had dropped by nearly six feet. Although the pumps are no longer in use, they have been kept in place in case the level of the Great Salt Lake ever rises that high again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - Tooele to Hurricane, Utah
Lots of highways today. I continued south on Hwy 36 from Tooele, then west on Hwy 6, east on Hwy 50, south on I-15, east on I-70, south on Hwy 89 and west on Hwy 9. I'm staying at Hurricane, Utah tonight. Google Map
Faust Pony Express

Pony Express

The approximately 1,900-mile route roughly followed the Oregon and California Trails to Fort Bridger in Wyoming, and then the Mormon Trail (known as the Hastings Cutoff) to Salt Lake City, Utah. From there it followed the Central Nevada Route to Carson City, Nevada before passing over the Sierras into Sacramento, California.

Highways 36 and 6 follow the route of the Pony Express. There is a marker where the Faust Stop used to be. It was Station 111 known as Rush Valley, Faust's Station. Faust Station was operated by Henry J. Faust, who was a native of Germany. He went to California from Missouri with the 1849 Gold Rush. He wasn’t too successful with his endeavor and, since he had joined the Mormon Church, came to Utah in 1851. In 1860 he accepted a position as a station manager and part-time rider with the Pony Express.


There were 184 stations along the long and arduous route used by the Pony Express. The stations and station keepers were essential to the successful, timely and smooth operation of the Pony Express mail system. The stations were often fashioned out of existing structures, several of them located in military forts, while others were built anew in remote areas where living conditions were very basic. To maintain the rigid schedule, 157 relay stations were located from 5 to 25 miles apart as the terrain would allow for. At each swing station, riders would exchange their tired mounts for fresh ones, while "home stations" provided room and board for the riders between runs. This technique allowed the mail to be whisked across the continent in record time. Each rider rode about 75 miles per day. Pony Express - Wikipedia

Sand Mountain

Little Sahara Recreation Area

The park is about 30 miles north of Delta, Utah. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. We've driven by this area many times. Today I drove into the area and toured. The sand dunes are huge. Dune Buggy enthusiasts were camped in the open sand areas. The whole area is criss-crossed with dune buggy trails.

Riders can enjoy riding on 60,000 acres of sand dunes, trails and sagebrush flats. Sand Mountain's 700–800 foot wall of sand challenges experienced riders and the most capable machines. I watched a couple of riders going up and down Sand Mountain. It looked like a lot of fun, but I'm not sure if I would be brave enough to ride it. The dot in the bottom of the sand mountain is a dune buggy.

Ancient Lake Bonneville

The Little Sahara sand dunes are remnants of a large river delta formed by the Sevier River from about 12,500 to 20,000 years ago. The river emptied into ancient Lake Bonneville near the present day mouth of Leamington Canyon. After Lake Bonneville receded, winds transported the sand from the river delta to the current location. The dunes are still moving 5 to 9 feet per year.

Lake Bonneville was a prehistoric pluvial lake that covered much of the eastern part of North America's Great Basin region. Most of the territory it covered was in present-day Utah, though parts of the lake extended into present-day Idaho and Nevada. Formed about 32,000 years ago, Lake Bonneville existed until about 14,500 years ago, when a large portion of the lake was released through the Red Rock Pass in Idaho. The lake began drying up, leaving Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Sevier Lake, Rush Lake, and Little Salt Lake as remnants.

Zion National Park

The final leg of my journey today was through the beautiful Zion National Park. I didn't take the shuttle part of the tour, just drove through and stopped at all the pullouts. I had to drive through the tunnel. I didn't like it one bit better this time and I had to keep telling myself to breath or rather let out my breath!

Checkerboard Mesa

Checkerboard Mesa

The large-scale, horizontal crossbedding in the sandstone, arises from the way the sediments were laid down. A set of beds was partially eroded, then filled by the next overlying set. Each set differs slightly in its orientation. The vertical grooves come from jointing—cracking related to the slowly changing pressures on the rock as it was buried and exhumed. Weathering by rainwash and freeze-and-thaw cycles brings these grooves out in relief.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 - Hurricane to Las Vegas, Nevada
Testing the New Camera

Only one highway today. I-1.5 to Las Vegas. Google Map

I arrived just after noon. We are staying at the Tahiti Village for the next 3 days. Deana and Alex arrived on Sunday. We went to Target so I could buy a new camera. I broke mine yesterday in Zion Park. I tripped over a root at a lookout and fell - smashing my camera against a rock on the way down. I'm glad my camera was the only thing I broke.
After Target, we went grocery shopping, then back to a hotel for a barbeque. We picked up Glenda at the airport at 8:30. It wasn't long before lights out. We were all pretty tired.

May 23-30, 2014 - Las Vegas
Today would be our last day of free time to mess around before the singles tournament. The early risers down the hall jolted me out of bed at 9:00 for coffee on the Lanai. We then headed to Bally's for a couple of hours to check out the Tournament venue and practice some pool. We dropped our cues off to get new tips. The matches are all computerized now.

Glenda's New Best Friend - Terrible Herbst

The highlight of Glenda's day wasn't necessarily buying beer - but being asked for ID in order to do it. When the clerk said "can I see your ID please" I looked behind me in the line to see if someone younger had butt in. Nope. No one was there. Glenda did a happy dance and I piddled my pants laughing. Unfortunately for me, the laughing continued when Glenda insisted we were on the 5th floor and couldn't figure out what alien had taken her room. Apparently 5451 means: Building 5 - 4th Floor - Room 51.

Lazy River

We then embarked on our great adventure of the afternoon - tubing down the Lazy River. Remember the bathing suit? They got me into it. Everything went smoothly until it was time to actually mount the tube. As Glenda and Deana drifted merrily on their way I was left behind virtually upside down, gasping for air, stuck in the tube with one leg up and one leg down - a 65 year old's version of the splits. My pleas for help landed on deaf ears and it two rounds before we were able to get me stopped and back to the loading zone. With the assistance of Deana and two good samaritans we managed to get me unstuck and in the proper to position to hop on the tube. It's amazing just how easy it was with a bit of know-how.

The Tahiti Village pool area has a 1/8 mile long Lazy River. It encompasses over 18,000 square feet of pool decking with numerous thatch umbrellas and lounge chairs. The Lazy River is heated to over 80 degrees in the winter and a cooling mid 70's during the summer. There are four waterfalls along the passage.
The Cirque du Soleil website describes "O" as "An aquatic masterpiece of surrealism and theatrical romance. World-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and characters perform in, on, and above water to create a breathtaking experience." Cirque du Soleil

We ended our day with Cirque du Soleil presentation of "O" at the Bellagio. The choreography and amazing special effects were beyond imagination. It is an aquatic theme and so well synchronized that it passed from one scene to next effortlessly. The entertainment was continual and the 2 1/2 hours passed very quickly.

"O" premiered on October 15th, 1998. The name was derived from the phonetic spelling of the French word eau, meaning water. Water-resistant materials had to be used in the construction of the theater as well as all the props, costumes and makeup. The costumes used by the performers were nearly $10,000 each and needed to be made of material that resisted the effects of the chlorine and bromide in the water. The makeup that had been used in past shows was unsuitable for submerged performers, requiring a new waterproof formulation.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

The first thing you notice when you enter the Bellagio is the fragrance coming from the flowers. The current exhibit is Summer Garden Party. Bellagio Conservatory. In total, there are five seasonal themes that the Conservatory undergoes:

  • Chinese New Year. From January to mid-March, the Conservatory celebrates the Chinese New Year including the animal of that particular year.
  • Spring. The theme then changes over to the Spring display, which lasts until May, and usually features a butterfly house.
  • Summer. During Memorial Day weekend, Bellagio then switches over to its All-American Summer display, featuring a large re-creation of the Liberty Bell, as well as several American flags throughout the Conservatory.
  • Fall. From late September until Thanksgiving weekend, the Fall display features several varieties of chrysanthemum and large pumpkins.
  • Winter. Finally, after Thanksgiving, the winter display is dominated by its large centerpiece Christmas Tree and several varieties of poinsettia.
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
After the Show

Saturday, May 24th - Singles

Alex started at 9:00, Deana and I started at 10:30 and Glenda started at 1:30. When all was said and done for the day, Alex ended at 385-512, Deana at 65-96. Doreen at 49-64, and hotshot Glenda landed a spot in 33-48. She won $100.00. By the time Glenda and I finished the night - we couldn't care less about winning any more. Just get us to bed - now!!

It was 1:30 am when we finally got back to the hotel. Glenda actually made me stop at Terrible's to buy some beer for Gina. I'm sure it was just an excuse to be asked for her ID again. I think she's addicted to the high it gives her.

Gina arrived tonight - just in time to give Glenda a foot massage before heading off to bed.

Sunday, May 25th - Singles Continues

We had to check out of Tahiti Village this morning and move to Cancun Resort Villas where we will be staying for the balance of the Tournament. Deana and Alex have a penthouse suite and Lucille and I have a two bedroom unit.

Glenda's Win - $100.00

Singles continued at Bally's. Deana and Alex registered in the Sports Division. Glenda, Gina and I were in cheerleader mode. Alex finished in 41-44. Deana finished in 65 to 96.

We ended our day with dinner at Chili's, a quick stop at Target so I could buy a Keurig Mini, then Albertsons to stock up on groceries for the week. We now have a couple of days off before the Team Tournament starts.

Monday, May 26th

My morning was spent doing some laundry and relaxing. Lucille arrived today at noon. Once we got her settled in we headed to the pool for a cool dip. We had an appointment at 3:00 for a group pedicure. Temperature was 108°.

The Group Pedicure

Who would have thought that getting a pedicure could be so much fun. Glenda wanted to paint her nails the colour of pool balls 1-8. In the end the two extra toes were painted white for the cue ball and brown for the cue stick.

The Line Up
8 Ball Toes

Tuesday & Wednesday, May 27-28 - Team Play

Our games began at 11:30 am on Tuesday. We were back on the tables at at 9:00 am Wednesday for our final game in the regular division. It was a long exhausting road but we won all our B Side matches and landed a spot on the on the Big Board. Although we were knocked out, we have to take pride in the fact that we made it to the Big Board. We ended up placing 25-32. When all was said and done, we won $200.00.

Main Board Matches
  1. 11:30 am Miller Lite Girls (Illinois) - Loss
  2. 7:00 pm Victorious Secret (Edmonton) - Win
  3. 9:30 pm Tableshakers (Thunder Bay) - Win
  4. 9:00 am Madison Street (Ohio) - Win
Big Board Matches
  1. 2:00 pm No Balls @ All (Regina) - Loss
  2. 5:00 pm Hotel Security (Winnipeg) - Loss
Between Matches
Gina sees the 8 Ball Toes

Thursday, May 29th

For some reason our "sleep in day" started at 8:00 am. Coffee was on the Lanai at 9:00. Topic of discussion was "the good old days". Alex was still playing through the B Side so he was long gone. Glenda, Deana and Lucille wanted to spend some time at the pool. Getting me into a bathing suit again was not going to happen. I went to Kohl's to buy a Fiesta Water Jug.

Deana and Glenda tried to get Lucille to ride with them in the water tube but throwing herself down a hole into the bowels of the earth and exiting at 30 mph into parts unknown was not Lucille's idea of adventure. Besides, someone needed to take the pictures!!
Shortly after 3:00 pm we headed to Bally's to watch Alex's match and cash our whopping $200.00 cheque. Alex's game was already over. They had won their match and would be playing back to back until midnight or until eliminated so we left Alex to his playing and headed to the Peppermill for supper.

Brass Asses

Glenda wanted to get her annual picture at the brass asses (Crazy Girls) so that was first on the agenda. This was a "virgin brass ass" for Lucille and I and, as it turned out, also a first for the random white shirted tourist. Notice though, he wanted to sample (butt) was much afraid of getting too close. Brass Asses finished, we headed to the Peppermill for dinner.

The Peppermill

The Peppermill has been a "must" stop for us every time we go to Vegas. It never fails to deliver. Portions are huge, atmosphere is fabulous, wait staff always go above and beyond. Anyone who is disappointed simply cannot be satisfied and missing out of a great down to earth experience.

Fremont Street Experience

We made our way to Fremont to experience "Old Las Vegas". The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall and attraction in downtown Las Vegas. It occupies the westernmost 5 blocks of Fremont Street, including the area known for years as "Glitter Gulch". The main attraction is a barrel vault canopy, 90 feet high and four blocks long.

What Happens in Vegas - Gets Put in Jumpy's Blog

WOW. Our senses were bombarded with a variety of musical genres, ranging from electric cello to saxophone to classic rock, and visually from cookie monster (Glenda's latest squeeze), Vegas show girls, Michael Jackson and Elvis impersonators to village people, the gladiator and some bizarre outfits that left us completely bewildered. Even our noses were overloaded by aerosol spray works of art and a variety of excessive perfume application and food vendors.

Gina, Glenda, Deana and Lucille, danced, laughed and drank the night away. By 11:00 pm I had finished my "been there done that" Fremont Street Experience so being the considerate chauffeur that I am, I left my precious cargo to their own devices - namely the local cab company. Rumor has it, they couldn't figure out how to get a cab until nearly 3:00 am.

Carl (Safe-Sax) Ferris

Carl Ferris has played in many lounges in Las Vegas. For over 10 years, he has been a featured performer at the Fremont Street Experience. We watched Carl serenade this lady. I'm not sure who was happier - the lady or her husband. They were both beaming. Carl Safe-Sax Ferris

Gina's Squeezes
OMG - Ménage à Trois?

Friday May 30, 2014 - Las Vegas to Bullhead City, AZ
I'm sure I couldn't find my way to the outhouse without taking a wrong turn - even with a map and a flashlight. True to form, I managed to miss the turn onto I-215 from Las Vegas Blvd taking instead the scenic route through the airport. I then just kept driving until I found a street I recognized. Yippie! Tropicana. Finally, I managed to get myself on I-15 so I could connect with I-215 and I was on my way. Highways today (not counting my scenic circle route) were I-215 East and Hwys 95 and 163 south to Bullhead City. Google Map 1 Also added to today's highways were Hwy 153 (Oatman Highway) and Hwy 10 (Route 66) to Oatman and back to Bullhead City. Google Map 2
Baby Millie (Tornado)
Oatman - Day 1

It was 3:00 pm when I arrived in Bullhead City so I decided to continue on to Oatman and register at the hotel later. Temperature was 105°. There were still a few tourists left in Town so we were able to visit for an hour or so before Brenda started to close up for the day. We met for dinner at the China Buffet in Bullhead City.

Czechoslovakian Bikers

Three hot and tired bikers came to get some cool drinks. I talked them into trying Route 66 Beer but we had to explain that there was no alcohol in it first. They had never tasted Route Beer before and were quite impressed. They flew into Chicago and for 16 days will be travelling the whole Route 66 to Los Angeles before flying home.


Saturday, May 31, 2014 - Bullhead City to Williams, Arizona
Highways today were Hwy 95 south, Hwy 153 (Oatman Highway) and Hwy 10 (Route 66) to Ash Fork and I-40 to Williams. Google Map

Oatman - Day 2

I didn't have far to go today so spent the morning relaxing. I had breakfast, gassed up and stopped at the Walmart on the way out of town to pick up some fruit and juice. Brenda and I visited for quite a while. There were not many tourists today. It was after 2:00 by the time I headed on my way. I stopped at Cool Springs to say hello to George and pick up some Route Beer for the road.

Summer & Miss Kitty
Brenda loving up Millie
National Register of Historic Places - Oatman
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
Bighorn Cave Sept 28,
Prehistoric Domestic, Single Dwelling,
Durlin Hotel
Also known as Oatman Hotel
Aug 25,
1900-1924 Domestic, Hotel
Oatman Drug Company Building Apr 6,

Commerce/Trade, Health Care,
Business, Department Store, Financial Institution,
Medical Business/Office,
Professional, Restaurant

Route 66 - Kingman to Ash Fork

Route 66 brought large numbers of cross-country travelers through the towns along it's route until Interstate 40 opened on September 22, 1978 turning villages like Hackberry, Valentine, Truxton and Peach Springs into overnight ghost towns. Interstate 40 diverges from Route 66 at Kingman and the two roads do not meet again until Seligman 75 miles to the east.

Hackberry, AZ

Hackberry is a living ghost town located 28 miles east of Kingman. It has a post office which serves 68 residential mailboxes. A former mining town, the name "Hackberry" was from the pellets or mattings that gathered on the cattle's long hair, probably caused from burrs picked up from bushes in the area. Silver mining developed the town, but when the ore began to yield less Hackberry became a ghost town.

Various service stations in Hackberry served Route 66 travelers but all were shut down after Interstate 40 bypassed the town leaving Hackberry stranded sixteen miles from the new highway. Hackberry Road would not even be given an off-ramp. Once again, Hackberry became a ghost town.

Hackberry General Store

In 1992, artist Bob Waldmire re-opened the Hackberry General Store as a Route 66 tourism information post and souvenir shop on the former Northside Grocery site. The store remains in operation with a collection of vintage cars from the heyday of Route 66 in Arizona. I stopped at the General Store where I bought the book "Ghost Towns of Route 66" by Jim Kinckley with photography by Kerrick James.

Valentine, AZ

Valentine is a living ghost town 32 miles east of Kingman. In 2000, the population was 36. It is still the headquarters for the Truxton Canyon Agency of the B.I.A. The name Valentine was chosen in honor of Robert G. Valentine, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1908-1910.

Valentine Post Office

It was also during Valentine's better days that thousands of Valentine cards and messages would flood into the tiny contract post office for its heart shaped postmark. That too ended when tragedy occurred on the afternoon of August 15, 1990. Unfortunately, even in the smallest of towns, murder and mayhem can be found. On that day, 44 year old Jacqueline Ann Grigg was working when a short stocky white man robbed the post office of its cash and left poor Jacqueline dying on the floor from a gunshot wound. Before long, Jacqueline’s husband bulldozed the building and left the area. The Valentine postmark was retired to the Kingman post office, where you can still get your special cards postmarked with the heart shaped cancellation.

Truxton Canyon Indian School (Valentine)

Valentine Indian School

In 1901, the two story red brick Truxton Canyon Indian School was built. The Native American children were removed from their homes and kept at the boarding school to teach them how to be "white". Between 1870 and 1930, education was central to United States Indian policy. This policy required mandatory attendance at boarding schools.

Forced to work hard and separated from their families, many students found life at Truxton Canyon traumatic. The regimented lifestyle afforded little free time. Diseases such as measles, influenza, and tuberculosis were common. Some of the older female students adopted younger ones, forming impromptu “families” that helped ease adjustment to the school. NPS - Schoolhouse at Truxton Canyon
National Register of Historic Places - Valentine
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
Schoolhouse at Truxton Canyon Training School Nov 21, 2003 1900-1924
Education, School

Truxton, AZ

Truxton is a ghost town 45 miles east of Kingman. Lieutenant Edward Beale stopped at the spring in 1857 and named it Truxton in honor of his mother, Emily Truxton Beale. The town of Truxton sprang up in response to the needs of travelers along Route 66. Donald Dilts built a cafe and service station in October, 1951 and was quickly followed by other competing businesses. I-40 burst Truxton's bubble.

Peach Springs

Peach Springs is located 50 miles east of Kingman on the Hualapai Reservation and serves as the administrative headquarters of the Hualapai (People of the Tall Pine). When I-40 opened, Peach Springs survived as the administrative base of the Hualapai tribe but suffered irreparable economic damage.

John Osterman Gas Station

The John Osterman Shell Station, built by a Swedish immigrant in 1929, closed soon after the turn of the millennium. In 2007, the Hualapai Tribe received a $28,000 federal matching grant to rehabilitate the building. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 15, 2012.

John Osterman Gas Station
Historical Marker


This property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on March 15, 2012. The John Osterman Gas Station was one of several privately-owned and operated businesses in the town of Peach Springs during the 1920's through the 1950's. The building, constructed by Osterman in 1923 was a vernacular design of poured concrete block and built in the tradition of the "House with Bays" form. It featured an office resembling a small house and a series of attached garage bays. The design, in addition to allowing the sale of gasoline and other automotive products, is indicative of the large amount of repair work undertook over the years. Erected 2012 by Hualapai Tribe. Historical Market Database

National Register of Historic Places - Peach Springs
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
John Osterman Gas Station Mar 15, 2012 1925-1949
Specialty Store
Peach Springs Trading Post
(Boundary Increase - 2009)
Nov 21, 2003 1925-1949
Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Government,
Department Store, Post Office,
Single Dwelling

Williams, AZ

I arrived in Williams about 6:30 pm, registered in the Best Western and headed to Pancho McGillicuddy's for supper. Pancho McGillicuddy's has the best Mexican Food I've every tasted. For 15 years I've been stopping there for Fajitas.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 - Williams to Ridgecrest, California
Highways today were I-40 to Barstow, then Hwy 58 west and Hwy 395 north to Ridgecrest. I did a very small part of Route 66. Seligman's main street is Route 66. By the time I reached Barstow where I-40 and I-15 merge, I was pretty glad to be getting off the Interstate. I saw two bad accidents today. A camper trailer was laying on it's side on the east bound side and a small red car was upside down on the west bound. Google Map
Main Street Seligman


It was 10:30 before I got on the road - just in time to have lunch at Seligman. Perfect timing. Did I plan that? I think so. Seligman escaped the instant ghost town status when I-40 opened. Although bypassed, it is only a half mile off the highway and there are two easy access on/off ramps.

Seligman was certainly given an economic blow when traffic was not travelling down it's main street so instead of the usual services Seligman switched to being a "tourist trap" town. It provides a welcome respite for travelers. There are lots of restaurants, pubs, and shop after shop of Route 66 paraphernalia. Many of the original Route 66 motels have been well maintained and updated. Tour busses swing through Seligman letting their passengers out to enjoy Seligman's hospitality. It is definitely one of my favourite stops along this route.
Seligman Sundries
Roadkill Cafe

Delgadillo's Snow Cap Cafe

The best hamburgers & roadside entertainment can be found at Delgadillo's Snow Cap Cafe. For those who have been there before, part of the entertainment at the Snow Cap Cafe is watching the expressions on the faces of first-timers when they order an ice cream cone, and the man behind the counter asks, “Do you want mustard with that?” And before the befuddled customer can answer, the server aims a yellow plastic bottle and delivers a direct squirt. The customer shrieks, and the onlookers chuckle because the squirt is actually a piece of yellow string, so no shirts or blouses ever get stained. Arizona Oddities

This historic eatery and roadside attraction was built in 1953 by local resident Juan Delgadillo (May 17, 1916 - June 2, 2004). The atmosphere at Delgadillo's is welcoming and comfortable. There are lots of tables, benches and picnic tables all under the canopy, umbrellas or shady trees. Delgadillo's is a "happy" place.

The rest of my day was spent on I-40 fighting traffic and trucks and wishing I was on a two lane road to anywhere else. I debated going to Bakersfield for the night and heading north from there, but opted for the less travelled Hwy 395 on the east side of the mountains to Ridgecrest instead. I'm staying at the Marriott Springhill Suites.;
Ridgecrest is a unique, modern City of nearly 30,000 virtually out in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by four mountain ranges and about 85 miles from the west entrance to Death Valley National Park, it is nestled in the Indian Wells Valley adjacent to the Naval Air Warfare Center - China Lake. Previously a farming community known as Crumville, Ridgecrest was incorporated as a city in 1963.

Monday, June 2, 2014 - Ridgecrest to Sequoia National Park, California
Highways today were a mixture of backroads, backtracking, connectors & highways. I left Ridgecrest heading west on Hwy 178 to Isabella Lake and north on Hwy 155 to Glenville. I then spent time on the mountain backroads north on M-3 to Posey and Balance Rock, then backtracking to MT Road 109 (Old Stage Road) to Fountain Springs, north on country farm road 264 to Porterville where I connected with Hwy 65 to Exeter and east on Hwy 198 to Sequoia National Park. Google Map

Highway 178 California

It was an incredibly beautiful drive today. Once I headed into the mountains the twists and turns reduced the speed to 25 mph. There was very little traffic so I was able to stop and take all the pictures I wanted.

Freeman Junction
Inscription. In 1834 explorer Joseph R. Walker passed this junction of Indian trails after discovering nearby Walker Pass. Death Valley 49er parties here diverged west and south after their escape from Death Valley en route to the California gold fields. Later this became a junction point where the bandit Tiburcio Vasquez preyed on stages and freighters traveling between the Kern River mines and Los Angeles and the mines of Bodie and the Panamints. Historical Marker

Joshua Tree Forest

Once on Hwy 178, the Joshua Trees started and it wasn't long before I was driving through a very dense forest. This forest appears to be bigger and healthier than the trees I've seen in the Mojave Desert. Most of the trees had these nut looking clumps on them.

Walker's Pass

Inscription. Discovered by Joseph R. Walker, American trail-blazer who left the San Joaquin Valley through this pass in 1834. This area was traversed by topographer Edward M. Kern, after whom the Kern River was named, while accompanying the Fremont expedition of 1845. After 1860 it became a mining freight route to Owens Valley. Historical Marker


I stopped at Onyx Store to look around and get a cool drink. Onyx, located on Hwy 178, was originally called Scodie in honor of William Scodie, who opened a store in 1861. The first post office at Onyx opened in 1889. The sign says population 451 but I only saw one person. Apparently the actual Town is set back from the highway.

Highway 155 California

The road narrowed and the traffic disappeared once I turned north onto Hwy 155. Many of the turns were hairpin and speed was reduced to 10 mph. I figure at this rate I'll be home about the middle of August. Along the way I found a road called "Calgary Drive" so of course I had to stop and take a picture of it.

Isabella Lake

Isabella Lake is a reservoir in Kern County about 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield on Hwy 155. It is the main water supply for Bakersfield. The Lake was formed in 1953 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Kern River at the junction of its two forks at Whiskey Flat. The former towns of Isabella and Kernville were flooded by the newly created reservoir.

I noticed that the water was very low. Apparently, in 2006, Isabella Dam was found to be too unstable to hold a full amount of water. The level is being kept at 60% capacity until an estimated 10–15 years of studies and repairs are made. To further add to this problem the Isabella Dam bisects an active fault that could lead to a catastrophic failure if an earthquake occurs along it. This fault was considered inactive when the site was studied in the late 1940s.


Posey, population 10, is located in Tulare County 21 miles east-southeast of Ducor. Posey has a post office with ZIP code 93260, which opened in 1915. This store is for sale. The whole setting is quite pretty. It would make a really nice setting for a business although it is so far away from anything I'm not sure how profitable it would be.

Fountain Springs Ghost Town

Fountain Springs was established in Tulare County before 1855, at the junction of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road and the road to the Kern River gold mines. From 1858 to 1861, Fountain Springs was a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail route. The site of the settlement was on the Springville Stage Route.

Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks

This is my third visit to the Park. I plan to go down the Kings Canyon side this time. It was closed the first time I visited the Park and the second time we didn't have time for the 3 hour round trip.

Hazard Fuel Reduction Project

Fire Crews were burning along the Generals Highway. It was interesting to see the controlled burn in progress. There were several small fires burning at the same time. We were able to see the firefighters at work. There wasn't a lot of smoke in the immediate area but there is a haze hanging in the valley.

National Park Service fire crews are working on the hazard fuel reduction project in Sequoia National Park (between 1,700 and 3,000 feet in elevation). This project includes mechanical treatments (weed whacking), as well as prescribed fires. By reducing fuels the Parks hope to prevent the spread of any accidental fires that might threaten people and structures during hotter, drier conditions. Fire creates the ideal conditions for sequoia regeneration. It opens the cones to release the seeds, creates gaps in the canopy for this sun-loving species, and forms nutrient-rich soil for the seeds. NPS - Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia National Forest

I am staying at the Stony Creek Lodge about half way through the Park on the Generals Highway (Hwy 190) where Sequoia ends and Kings Canyon starts. It's a bit aged and could use some upgrading. The room was way overpriced. But that's to be expected in a National Park. Stony Creek Lodge

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - Sequoia National Park to Reno, Nevada
I decided to skip the trip down Kings Canyon. I didn't get on the road until 9:00 so didn't want to take the extra 3 hours to do the loop. Highways today were Generals Highway 198 and Hwy 180 out of the Park, Hwy 41 north, Golden Chain Highway 49 to Angels Camp, then Hwy 4, Hwy 89, Hwy 88 and Hwy 395 to Reno. Google Map

General Grant Grove

I went into General Grant Grove in the Kings Canyon portion of the Park. The Grove's most well-known tree is the General Grant Tree, which is 267 feet tall and the third largest tree in the world. The General Grant Tree is over 3,000 years old. I didn't hike into the tree this time as I'm pressed for time. This picture of Karen in front of the General Grant Tree was taken in June 2013.

Golden Chain Highway - California Hwy 49

State Route 49 is a north–south state highway in California that passes through many historic mining communities of the 1849 California gold rush. Highway 49 is numbered after the "49ers", the waves of immigrants who swept into the area looking for gold.

Oakhurst to Angels Camp

The Oakhurst to Angels Camp portion of Hwy 49 that I drove today takes you back in time as it twists, turns and weaves it's way for 90 miles linking small town after small town each bursting with history and it's own special story to tell. Some of the towns are thriving and some have joined the elite Society of Ghosts. I left the Highway at Angels Camp but it continues for another 225 miles ending at its northern terminus at State Route 70, in Vinton.


Oakhurst, population 2800, (formerly Fresno Flats) is at the Junction of Hwy 41 and the southern terminus of Hwy 49 in Madera County. It is 14 miles south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park. The Fresno Flats post office opened in 1873, moved and changed its name to Oakhurst in 1912.


Mariposa, population 2173, (formerly Aqua Fria) is located in Mariposa County at the Junction with Hwy 140 to Yosemite National Park. The population was 2,173 at the 2010 census. It's name is Spanish for "butterfly", after the flocks of Monarchs seen overwintering there by early explorers. The original town site was located about 6 miles to the west of present day Mariposa. After a flood during the winter of 1849-50, and fires, the town was moved to the location of today's Mariposa. The Mariposa Town Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

National Register of Historic Places - Mariposa
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
Mariposa County Courthouse Dec 7, 1977 1850-1874
Law, Architecture
Government, Courthouse
Mariposa County High School Auditorium May 2, 1991 1925-1949 Architecture
Educations, School
Mariposa Town Historic District May 15, 1991 1850-1874
Commerce/Trade, Domestic,
Government, Business,
Correctional Facility, Department Store,
Hotel, Single Dwelling
St. Joseph Catholic Church, Rectory and Cemetery Apr 16, 1991 1850-1874
Funerary, Religion, Cemetery,
Church Related Residence,
Religious Structure

Bear Valley (Mariposa County)

Bear Valley, population 125, (formerly Haydenville, Biddle's Camp, Biddleville, Simpsonville, and Johnsonville) is a living ghost town located in Mariposa County located 10.5 miles south-southeast of Coulterville. At its peak, Bear Valley had a population of 3,000. Bear Valley was designated California Historical Landmark #331. California Historical Site


Coulterville, population 200, (formerly, Maxwell's Creek) is a mining town located on Maxwell Creek in Mariposa County 20 miles northwest of Mariposa. Coulterville had a population of 201 at the 2010 census. The Maxwell's Creek post office opened in 1852 and changed its name to Coulterville in 1872. The Coulterville Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in March 12th, 1982.

National Register of Historic Places - Coulterville
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
Coulterville Main Street Historic District Mar 12, 1982 1900-1924
Architecture, Transportation,
Commerce-Trade, Domestic,
Department Store, Hotel,
Secondary Structure,
Single Dwelling, Warehouse

Chinese Camp

Chinese Camp, population 126, is a living Ghost Town in the grassy foothills of Tuolumne County. Some of the very first Chinese laborers arriving in California in 1849 were driven from neighboring Camp Salvado and resettled there, and the area started to become known as "Chinee" or "Chinese Camp" or "Chinese Diggings". At one point the town was home to an estimated 5,000 Chinese. The Chinese Camp post office was established in the general store on April 18, 1854. This building is currently vacant.

Chinese Camp
Inscription. Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail. Chinese Camp. Reportedly founded about 1849 by group of Englishmen who employed Chinese as miners. Much surface gold found on hills and flats. Headquarters for stage lines in early 1850’s, and for several California Chinese mining companies. First Chinese tong war in state fought near here between Sam Yap and Yan Woo tongs.
Present stone and brick post office built 1854, still standing. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church built 1855, restored 1949. First pastor, Father Henry Aleric. Historical Marker Database


I stopped in Sonora to take a break, visit Historic Main Street, get some pictures and wander through the stores. Main street is lined with specialty shops offering everything from kids clothes to restaurants & antique shops. It wasn't long before this 1912 Singer Sewing Machine found it's way to my car. Apparently, it still works!

Sonora is the county seat of Tuolumne County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,903. Sonora is the only incorporated community in Tuolumne County. Founded by Mexican miners from Sonora, Mexico during the California Gold Rush, Sonora was once a booming center of industry and trade in California's Mother Lode.
National Register of Historic Places - Sonora
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
Cady House Feb 25,
1850-1874 Single Dwelling, Domestic
City Hotel June 30,
Commerce/Trade, Domestic,
Business, Hotel, Restaurant,
Specialty Store
Columbia Historic District Oct 15,
1850-1874 Commerce/Trade, Domestic,
Business, Extractive Facility,
Single Dwelling
Sonora Youth Center Oct 8,
1925-1949 Social, Meeting Hall
Sugg House Sept 13,
Domestic, Single Dwelling
Tuolumne County Courthouse
(Boundary Increase - 2007)
Sept 17,


Government, Courthouse,
Landscape, Park
Tuolumne County Jail Nov 7,
Correctional Facility


Tuttletown, population 668, (formerly, Mormon Gulch and Tuttleville) is located in Tuolumne County about 7 miles west of Sonora. Tuttletown was originally known as Mormon Gulch, because of a company of Mormons who began mining gold there in 1848. Toward the end of the summer, however, Judge A. A. H. Tuttle settled at the place and built a log cabin. His tavern became the focal point of the village that became Tuttletown.

Inscription. Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail. Tuttletown. Early day stopping place for men and mounts. Named for Judge Anson A. H. Tuttle who built first log cabin here in 1848. Stones used in this base from old Swerer Store built in 1854, remains of which still exist, 1949. Mark Twain traded here. Tuttletown Hotel, built in 1852 and still standing in 1949, was last operated by John Edwards. Historical Marker Database

Angels Camp

Angels Camp, population 3,835, is the only incorporated city in Calaveras County. The first post office was established in 1851 (and called Carson's Creek). It was renamed along with the town in 1853. The city was incorporated in 1912.

Mark Twain based his short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" on a story he claimed he heard at the Angels Hotel in 1865. The event is commemorated with a Jumping Frog Jubilee each May. Because of this, Angels Camp is sometimes referred to as "Frogtown."

National Register of Historic Places - Angels Camp
Historic Place Date Added Period of Significance Historical Function
Angels Hotel Mar 24, 1972 1850-1874
Domestic, Hotel
Calaveras County Bank Aug 1, 1985 1900-1924 Commerce/Trade
Financial Institution

Sam Choy Brick Store
Also known as Angels Camp Jail

Sept 20, 1984 1850-1874
Specialty Store
Utica Mansion May 31, 1984


Domestic, Single Dwelling

California Hwy 4

At Angels Camp I turned east on Hwy 4 over the mountain to Lake Tahoe and Carson City. The 61 mile route runs through the 8,050 foot Pacific Grade Summit on its way up to the 8,730 foot Ebbetts Pass connecting the towns of Arnold in Calaveras County on the west side with Markleeville in Alpine County, California on the east side. "The driving experience on this narrow asphalt ribbon is like no other, providing an exceptional and intimate high country experience." Ebbetts Pass Website

Ebbetts Pass West Side

Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway

Through the mountains, Hwy 4 becomes very steep and narrow, with no center dividing line with tight switchbacks. I was thankful that the traffic was very light. There is no shoulder or guardrails and much of my side went straight down. I spent a lot of time driving down the wrong side of the road - heart pounding, holding my breath and praying that I wouldn't meet oncoming traffic and have to move closer to the edge.

Ebbetts Pass - Wikipedia. "Ebbetts Pass is one of the least traveled passes in the Sierra Nevada. An extensive section of highway over the pass is less than two lanes with no dividing line. It has very steep sections with hairpin corners. The eastern slope is particularly difficult, as many of the hairpin corners are blind, and steepen suddenly at the apex, making it necessary to shift to first gear in most vehicles. It is rarely used by commercial traffic and is not recommended for vehicles towing long trailers."
I stopped in Reno, Nevada for the night at the Holiday Inn. After dinner, I did laundry before crashing for the night.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - Reno to Klamath Falls, Oregon
Highways today were Hwy 395 north to Hallelujah Junction, west on Hwy 70, Hwy 89 through Lassen Volcanic National Park, I-15 to Weed and Hwy 97 to Klamath Falls. Google Map

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 and declared a National Park on August 9, 1916. The dominant feature of Volcanic National Park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southern-most volcano in the Cascade Range.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo Album

1915 - 1921

Starting on May 19th, 1915 and lasting until 1921, a series of eruptions occurred on Lassen Peak. These events created a new crater, and released lava and a great deal of ash. Fortunately, because of warnings, no one was killed, but several houses along area creeks were destroyed. National Park Service - Lassen Volcanic National Park

There are four shield volcanoes in the park - Mount Harkness, Red Mountain, Prospect Peak, and Raker Peak. All of these volcanoes are topped by a cinder cone volcano. Lassen Park Map

Hanging on the Edge

Highway 89 passes through the Park from north to south. If I thought Hwy 4 yesterday was heart stopping, I went right into cardiac arrest today. Fortunately for me the drop off was not on my side of the road. I even had a bit of a problem getting out of the car and standing on the edge to get the picture. I thought my knees would give out.

Reading Fire

A series of thunder storms produced a number of lightning strikes which ignited the Reading Fire on July 23, 2012 approximately one mile northeast of Paradise Meadows. After burning 28,079 acres the Reading Fire reached 100% containment on August 22, 2012. No structures were lost during this fire.

Hot Rocks

Following the 1915 eruptions, local residents discovered several massive hot rocks resting in the valley miles from the volcano. Careening down the mountainside, hot lava rocks touched off a snow avalanche. The avalanche carried this 300-ton rock five miles from Lassen Peak to this location, where it settled, sizzled, and cooled.

Old Station

After leaving Lassen Volcanic National Park, I stopped for a break at Old Station - population 51. It is about 13 miles north of the Park. The station was converted to a Bed and Breakfast but is currently not operating. I visited briefly with the lady who is still operating the store.

Inscription. The Hat Creek Station was established here in 1856 and operated by the California Stage Co. on the eastern branch of the California-Oregon Trail and the Nobles Trail. The intrusion of the whites through Indian lands led to many conflicts. On August 15, 1859, the station was attacked and burned, and both the proprietor John Callahan and the cook were killed.
The following month, Fort Crook established a military post commanded by Lt. Brewer, to protect the emigrants and settlers. The station was abandoned in 1861, and thereafter referred to as the “Old Station”. Historical Marker Database

Klamath Falls

I stopped at Klamath Falls at the Holiday Inn for the night as I want to go through Crater Lake National Park tomorrow. I did some housekeeping, washed the towels, and repacked the car to accommodate the sewing machine. I went to bed early. I have to be back in Canada by June 6th so need to put on a fair amount of miles in the next two days.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - Klamath Falls to Yakima, Washington
My intentions to hit the road early flew out the window when I reluctantly opened my eyes at 9:10 am. Highways today were Hwy 97, Hwy 62, Munson Valley Road, Rim Drive and Crater Lake Highway through Crater Lake National Park, Hwy 138 back to Hwy 97 then north to Yakima, Washington. Google Map

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom. National Park Service Crater Lake

The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot caldera that was formed around 7,700 (±150) years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. At 1,943 feet the lake is the deepest in the United States. The lake is 5 by 6 miles across, with a caldera rim ranging in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet.
The caldera was created in a massive volcanic eruption. Since that time, all eruptions on Mazama have been confined to the caldera. Eventually, the caldera cooled, allowing rain and snow to accumulate and form a lake. There are no streams or rivers flowing in to or out of the lake.

Purity from Violence

National Park Service pretty well describes the lake but how do you describe the feeling you get viewing it? I think of one word - pure. Crater Lake today was a photographers paradise and I saw several photographers with some pretty sophisticated equipment. Today there were no clouds in the sky and no wind.

Ribbon in the Sky

The water was extremely clear and calm - in fact so much so that it was hard to tell where land ended and reflection began. One of my pictures looked very strange because of this. I get the feeling that I could stand on the rim for weeks on end and never be able to recreate the same set of circumstances to get the same effect. The sky and water were almost the same colour contributing to the strange effect.

Fossilized Steam

Out of the Ashes. A specific series of events allowed nature to sculpt the rocky spires in this river valley. Over thousands of years, erosion has carved away the softer ash and pumice, exposing these mysterious formations.

Wizard Island
Plow Cuts

I stopped at Yakima tonight. It's sad to know that I can no longer take the time to tour at will. I have to be back in Canada tomorrow. The only positive thing is I know I'll be passing through Grand Forks and that means borscht!!

Friday, June 6, 2014 - Yakima to Fernie, B.C.
Highways today were Hwy 97 to Osoyoos and Hwy 3 east to Fernie. Traffic was heavy until Osoyoos then very light heading east. My first objective was to get back to Canada as my Health Insurance ends today. My second objective was to get to Grand Forks for borscht. It wasn't until I did the google map that I realized the route I took was 130 miles (and probably 3 hours) longer than going through Spokane. But then I would have missed having some borscht and I didn't miss having to deal with I-90 at all. Google Map
Borscht Bowl, Grand Forks, B.C.

Grand Forks, B.C.

I stopped at the Borscht Bowl in Grand Forks for (of course - what else) Doukhobor Borscht and bread. I also bought 4 litres to take home. I've made borscht three times now from a recipe I found. It's as close to the Grand Forks borscht that I've been able to find. I even had to buy a huge pot so I could make it.

I'm staying at the Best Western Fernie Mountain Lodge. I've driven by so many times, I decided to stay. It's a really beautiful hotel - pricey but well worth it. My room even has a fireplace in it.

I have to pick Snoopy up before noon tomorrow or I will have to wait until Sunday. They do not have an afternoon pick up on Saturdays. It will be an early night for me and hopefully I'll be home before noon.

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - Fernie, B.C. to Calgary

Hwys today were Hwy 3, Hwy 22, Hwy 7, Hwy 2A and Hwy 2 into Calgary. Total miles travelled - 5640. Google Map

I was up early and on the road before 8:00 am. I was home about 10:30 so I had plenty of time to pick up Snoopy. I spent the rest of the day unpacking and doing laundry.

Next - 2014 - Summer Sizzler


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