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2019 Quilt Away

Destination Las Vegas - Spring 2019

I managed to leave work in time to pick up Snoopy and take her to the kennel. It was a bit iffy. She knew something was up and hid behind the couch as soon as I came through the door. After about a half hour, I managed to coax her out of hiding and get her into her carrier. I don't know how but she just knows!

The weatherman is forecasting a blizzard, so it was hard to decide whether or not to take her to the kennel yet. In the end, I opted to drop her off now so I can leave as soon as I can.

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he
has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
Mark Twain
2019 Quilt Away Photo Album

Saturday, April 27 - Calgary

This is the first time I've been unable to leave because of a blizzard. Over the years I've left when there was still snow on the ground and hit a few blizzards along the way, but today I had to say put. I don't have to be in Logan until Thursday and Vegas on Saturday, so a couple days is not going to change much. A major blizzard is spreading across the western Provinces and States. The storm ground Calgary to a halt about 6:00 pm today and is expected to continue overnight. The Weather Network sealed my decision to delay leaving for a couple of days. Shelby and Great Falls are under extreme blizzard warnings and Helena has a winter weather advisory.

Shelby, Montana
Blizzard Warning
Saturday 27 April 2019
  • Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 6 inches at lower elevations and 6 to 12 inches in the mountains. Wind gusts around 60 mph.
  • Portions of north central Montana.
  • Until noon MDT Sunday.
  • Travel could be very difficult. Widespread blowing snow will create whiteout conditions for several hours.
Great Falls, Montana
Blizzard Warning
Saturday 27 April 2019
  • Blizzard conditions expected.
  • Total snow accumulations of 2 to 8 inches at lower elevations and 8 to 14 inches in the mountains. Wind gusts around 60 mph.
  • Portions of central and north central Montana.
  • From 3 AM to 6 PM MDT Sunday.
  • Travel could be very difficult. Widespread blowing snow will create whiteout conditions for several hours.
OK, so I'm here for two extra days. What better things do I have to do but clean my house and watch the Grand Slam of Curling? All indication is that the storms will have passed by Monday.

Sunday, April 28 - Calgary
I woke up to bright and sunny weather with the snow melting. Today the magicians finished vacuuming the rugs, laundry is all done, car is filled, and I've just about packed the car. The blizzard warning for Shelby has been lifted. Great Falls blizzard warning and the Helena winter weather advisory both end at 6:00 pm today so I've booked a hotel in Helena for tomorrow night.

My Sewing Room, Calgary, Alberta

I went to My Sewing Room to pick up some fusible fleece and since I've missed two days on the road, I decided to buy my first two fat quarters for my travel quilt. I did bright and happy colours for both 2017 and 2018, so this year I decided to go with a warm and cozy feel. Have not decided what pattern I'm going to use yet. My Sewing Room

Monday April 29 - Calgary to Helena, Montana

Highways today were Hwy 2 south, Hwy 3 west to Lethbridge, Hwy 4 south to the border and I-15 to Helena. Google Map

The road was clear and dry all the way today. It was hard but believe that there was such a terrible storm only two days ago. But with the threat of more blizzards coming, I decided to take the most direct route south. Unfortunately, I'm still dodging bad weather. Helena is cold tonight and they are forecasting snow overnight and between here and Butte tomorrow. And - then I still need to get over the Monida pass!

Helena, Montana
Winter Weather Advisory
Monday 29 April 2019
  • Snow expected above 6000 feet. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 4 inches.
  • Central and Southern Lewis and Clark and Jefferson Counties.
  • From 9 pm this evening to noon MDT Tuesday.
  • Plan on slippery road conditions and reduced visibility.
Butte and Monida both have the same Winter Weather advisories. The good news, there are no "blizzard" warnings - yet! I'm staying at the Holiday Inn and they do have room for me to stay another night if necessary. This is getting ridiculous!

Willow Creek Quilts, Claresholm, Alberta

I did manage to get to one shop today. I've never been to Willow Creek Quilts so I decided to stop and check it out. What a great store. Definitely worth a day trip to Claresholm. I bought a Kansas Troubles fat quarter (like I don't have enough KT at home). Willow Creek Quilts

JoAnn, Helena, Montana

I went to JoAnn and picked up a bag for the retreat in June. I also bought a fat quarter but subsequently decided I didn't want it. This store really isn't as nice as some that we've visited. I was looking for fabric sheets and couldn't even find them. I probably will not go to this one again.

Tuesday, April 30 - Helena

I've been on holidays for four days and managed to go 300 miles! It hasn't been very interesting. Not the year to be enjoying the mountains!

The weather from here to Idaho Falls is snow and more Weather Advisories. I'm staying in Helena one more night. The storm system is supposed to move east this afternoon and clear up overnight. I'll have to go right through to Logan on Wednesday but it's only 400 miles. If the roads are clear or at least only wet, then it wont be too difficult.

I debated unloading my sewing machine and just staying in the hotel room, but that seemed like a lot of effort for just one day. So, after all my years travelling through Helena, I'm actually going to visit the quilt shops.

Prickly Pear Quilts, Helena, Montana

What a wonderful shop! I found lots of fat quarters. It was hard to restrict myself. I bought two - one extra to make up for the lack of anything interesting from JoAnn last night. I also bought "The Quilting Answer Book" by Barbara Talbert. Prickly Pear Quilts

I picked up two little little mug rug patterns "Love Notes" and "Extravaganza" by a local designer Doodle Time Designs. They had such small pieces in them I actually made sure they were paper pieced before I bought them! The Love Notes pattern has a template for printing the little sayings.

The Sewing Palace, Helena, Montana

The next shop to visit was the Sewing Palace just a few miles west on Hwy 12. It is also a full service shop. They have Bernina sewing machines, a large classroom space and lots of fabric and notions and once again lots of fat quarters to choose from. The Sewing Palace

Creative Stitches, East Helena, Montana

This is a new shop in East Helena. They are holding a Grand Opening celebration on May 11. They feature and service Husqvarna Viking sewing/embroidery machines and Handi Quilter machine quilting systems. Creative Stitches

Hobby Lobby, Helena, Montana

I stopped at the Hobby Lobby and wandered through the store for an hour or so. They didn't have a big selection of quilting fabric but I did buy a half yard fabric. They don't cut fat quarters.

Wednesday, May 1 - Helena to Tremonton, Utah
Only one highway today - I-15 straight to Tremonton. I would have liked to take the side trip on hwy 69 to Whitehall but I wasn't sure what the road would be like from Boulder over the mountains. I didn't stray from I-15. The sun was shining and the highway was dry all the way. There was still a lot a snow on the mountains and in the fields and ditches but none left on the road. Google Map

The No. 1 Ladies Quilt Shop, Dillon, Montana

I reached Dillon just before 10:00. I gassed up then headed downtown to this shop. I've visited No 1 Ladies many times. It didn't seem to have as much happening as in other years, but maybe I landed on a slow day. It seemed that they don't have as much stock and I notice too that they don't have their website any more - just Facebook. I did buy two fat quarters and browsed and visited for a while before heading on my way.

Daydreams Quilt N Sew, Idaho Fall, Idaho

This is the second time I've been to this wonderful shop. They have a little bit of everything - lots of fabric, kits, precuts and notions to tempt every quilter. I left happy as a lark with two fat quarters from a civil war fabric line. Daydreams Quilt N Sew

Brady's, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Sharing space with pool tables, poker tables, hot tubs, vacuums, and gym equipment, one would not think that Brady's has a great quilt shop. But they also sell and service Janome machines and that portion of this huge store has a fabulous quilt shop.

I had a wonderful time browsing the entire shop - the books, the notions, the threads and all the fabric. It took two tries and three fat quarters before I managed to get safely out the door. Brady's

All-Star Sages Creek Quilt, Sewing & Embroider Center, Pocatello, Idaho

It took a few twists and turns to find this store but in the end it wasn't too far away from I-15. I don't know how I functioned without navigation! They sell and service Brother machines. They also have a good selection of fabric and I found my fat quarter quite easily. All-Star Sages Creek Quilt

Tremonton, Utah

Once I was on the west side of the mountains, the temperature hit 50°. It's amazing that the grass is green and leaves are out on the trees just 200 miles away from 15° weather in Helena. One of the ladies in the Pocatello store said that Sandy, Utah had snow last night. Oh boy - more snow! I'm staying in the Hampton Inn for two nights before heading to Sandy. Hopefully, all this bad weather will have gone somewhere else in the next two days.

Thursday, May 2 - Tremonton
I took some back roads today. state hwys 102, 38 and 30 to Logan, US 89 into Brigham City and back to Logan then state hwys 30, 13 and 102 to Tremonton. Google Map

I feel like I have been killing time forever. First the blizzards and now my machine repair. I left the hotel this morning about 9:30, drove to Logan, dropped off the robotics for repair, and then had to kill seven hours. Logan has two quilt shops and a JoAnn store. I did that by noon, ate lunch at Subway and still had three more hours. I headed to Brigham City to one more shop. Finally, I was back on Logan, stopped at McDonalds and went to Quilt Ez. In the end, my machine wasn't ready so I have to go back in the morning. Oh boy!

Bernina Stylish Fabrics and Quilts, Logan, Utah

Obviously by it's name, this shop sells Bernina machines but they do service others. It is located on Main Street in downtown Logan with easy parking. The shop is well established - opening it's doors in 1958. It has a wide selection of fabric. There are a lot of beautiful quilts on display. One thing I had not seen before was Moda Clocks. Since I'm killing time, maybe I should go back tomorrow and have another look at them. Bernina Stylish Fabrics

My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe, Logan, Utah

Walking though the door to this shop, you are taken back by the size. From the outside, it looks like a much smaller shop. I like the comments of the owner on the website. She says "anything is possible when you have friends by your side. There is nothing more important than a community of strong, creative women". As for her success, she has learned to ask herself “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe

JoAnn, Logan, Utah

I stopped quickly at this store to see if they have flannel on sale. The regular price is $6.99 and it was on sale to $3.49. With exchange it's still not much cheaper than at home. I'll keep checking. Last year it was down to $1.79. I didn't even bother to look at the fat quarters.

Village Dry Goods, Brigham City, Utah

I thought I was going to a variety store, but this is totally a quilt shop. They are on Main Street and parking was easy. They have a lot of fabric ranging from modern to reproductions, and a good selection of kits, patterns. thread and notions. Something for everyone. Village Dry Goods

Friday, May 3 - Tremonton to Sandy Utah
Highways today were State 102, 38 and 30 to Logan, US 89 and I-15 to Sandy. Google Map

Cutler Reservoir and Cutler Marsh Marina

A couple miles west of Logan there is a huge marsh area created by the shallow water at the head of the Cutler Reservoir. The road goes right through it. Cutler Marsh Marina is a pull out viewing area and boat launch. Yesterday, I saw an otter - today lots of ducks.

Bernina Stylish Fabrics and Quilts, Logan, Utah

As I planned, my first stop this morning was down Main Street to visit this shop again and buy a Moda Clock - a symbol of the year I had to "kill time". I'm not sure the baby blue really goes with my home decor - but in a sewing room anything goes - right? I did find another fat quarter to add to my collection. I don't know how I could have missed it yesterday! Bernina Stylish Fabrics

Quilt EZ, Logan, Utah

When I walked into the shop, my robotics was being tested and everything was working great. Apparently, it took at bit to get down to the exact problem, but once they found the glitch and replaced it - everything ran perfectly. Hopefully, when I get it home, I'll be up and running again without problems. At least I know that I can always bring it back to Logan if it breaks down again. Road Trip!

Later on this afternoon when I was at the quilt show, there was a booth for Quilt EZ and I was able to talk to the owner. He told me he knew there was a lady from Canada getting her robotics fixed. Well hello - that would be ME! I assured him they had made me very happy! He gave me his card and said to call if I ever have any problems. Quilt EZ

Utah Quilting & Sewing Marketplace, Sandy Utah

The highlight of my day (next to getting my robotics fixed, of course) was the Quilt Show. This is the second time I've been to this show. They had different categories than last year but some of the sections had a similar "feel". For example last year the Cherrywood Challenge was Van Gogh and this year was Prince. Last year was National Parks and this year was Western Views with many fabulous scenes of arches and canyons.

It seems that the Show has a category each year that exhibits controversial issues or social injustices. Last year there was an exhibit "70273 Project". The quilts displayed red X's signifying the murders of handicapped people by Hitler between 1940 and 1941.

Social Justice Sewing Academy

This year there is a deeply moving exhibit by the Social Justice Sewing Academy. The SJSA is a youth education program that bridges artistic expression with activism to advocate for social justice. The exhibits included a wide range of global issues including gender discrimination, race, gun violence, white supremacy and terrorism. The quilt blocks are then sent to volunteers to embellish and embroider before being sewn together into quilts.

The Prince Cherrywood Challenge

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics challenges artists to create a unique piece of art with a limited color palette. Given simple rules, they were encouraged to push themselves creatively to design an original quilt taking inspiration from the music, movies and legacy of the late Prince Rogers Nelson.

Three travelling exhibits were chosen from more than 380 submissions. There were no limits on technique. The collection is stunning.

The Promise in a Desert Sunrise
Sharon Jaeger, Mission Viego, CA


This was an interesting category. The quilts were so well done you could feel the heat. I especially liked this one with the saguaros.

This quilt was featured in the program booklet. There is a cute poem with it.

A study in contrast.
Are you getting hotter?
Feel the sweat on your brow?
Getting thirsty?
Need some ice?
It's not a hot flash...
It's Quilts on the Wall's Challenge: HEAT
Images, warm color pallet bring the artists' HOT HOT HOT inspirations to life.

Octopuses Garden - Baltimore Album

"Octopuses Garden is a whimsical underwater scene of colorful sea life, coral shell, and other objects found near the ocean or on the ocean floor. It is embellished with embroidery stitching and leaf ribbon using various specialty threads."

This quilt is probably my favourite individual quilt in the show. It had so much detail. It is such a happy quilt. It just made me smile.

Linda Brown/Sharon Rawlings
St. George, Utah

Quilt, Etc. Sandy, Utah

I stopped in at this shop before going to my hotel. The shop is in two corner buildings across the street from each other. It had a booth at the Show and everyone was arriving to visit. I had to park about a half block away. I wandered around and bought my fat quarters. My feet were killing me so it was time to head to the hotel. Quilt Etc.

At least today I felt like I was doing something and not just wasting time. I'm staying at the Holiday Inn on Auto Mall Drive. After getting checked in, I went to the Outback for dinner. Yeah! Bloomin' Onion - it's been a year since having one.

Saturday, May 4 - Sandy to Las Vegas, Nevada
Only one highway today - I-15 all the way to Las Vegas. I got off I-15 to go to the Christmas Goose and also to by-pass the construction on I-15. The bypass included US 95, Summerlin Parkway (State 613) and Durango Drive (State 159) to Warm Springs Road. Google Map

The Christmas Goose, Las Vegas, Nevada

I stopped in at the shop to check out their calendar for this week. I signed up for two classes - a Sew Day on Wednesday and a Twisted Batiks Bag by Melon Patch Designs on Thursday. I had to buy a ruler for making pinwheels "Lil' Twister". I also need a charm pack so I think I'll head to Quiltique tomorrow. A bag! I'm making a bag? I see another UFO coming! The Christmas Goose

I checked into the hotel about 5:00 pm, organized the kitchen, unpacked my clothes, did some laundry and them became totally lazy. I didn't even unload my sewing machine. Usually I go grocery shopping and through the car wash to get the bugs off. I never left the hotel. It will have to wait until tomorrow. I watched TV for a bit and went to bed at 9:30.

Sunday, May 5-11 - Las Vegas

Sunday, May 5

OK I'm relaxed. The first time I opened my eyes it was 8:30 am. I slept 11 hours. I think I was a bit too lazy last night. I certainly wasn't happy with myself when I realized this morning that I didn't have cream for my coffee. I had to use the "lightener" supplied by the hotel. Yuk!

I left the hotel just after lunch. First on the agenda, get the car washed and the bugs off. I then went to Quiltique and discovered they are closed on Sundays. I did my grocery shopping and headed back to the hotel.

Finally, I unloaded my sewing machine and all my sewing paraphernalia. I didn't have a very productive day. I did manage to sort my fat quarters into colours - then quilt four kiddy kat quilts and cut the binding. I'll square them on a large cutting board on Wednesday at the Christmas Goose. I cut the placemats and started to prepare the binding. Before shutting down, I cleaned and oiled my machine.

That was my day - 10:30 and I'm off to bed.

Monday, May 6

I was up and rolling by 9:00. I finished sewing the binding on six placemats and quilted four kiddy kat quilts - all before noon. I tried to stay an extra night here but the hotel is full on Saturday so I booked my hotels for Saturday in Williams and Sunday in Bluff. I'm looking forward to getting to Oatman and visiting Brenda and the donkeys.

Quiltique, Henderson, Nevada

I headed to Quiltique in the afternoon to pick up my supplies for the class on Thursday. Not surprising, I didn't want batiks to make the bag so ended up buying a black, grey and white charm pack and coordinating fabrics - Chalk and Charcoal by Jennifer Smpou. This is really outside my box!

I also picked up another machine oiler for my travel bag. When I oiled my machine last night, the tube had leaked. I have an oiler at home and it never leaks. Quiltique

I stopped at the Outback and picked up take out for my dinner and headed back to the hotel for the evening. I cut more kiddy kat quilts and binding and started to cut my fat quarters. I've decided to do Yellow Brick Road because it has six inch squares and three different blocks. I probably have enough fat quarters for a king size quilt - but more fabric than I need isn't something new! I'll use them all and maybe I'll have enough left over for a Victoria's quilt.

Tuesday, May 7

I spent the whole day binding the placemats and quilting the kiddy kat quilts in preparation for the Sew Day tomorrow at Christmas Goose. OK I'm officially sick of kiddy kat quilts and placemats and I still have to do the cutting and binding tomorrow - and then that's the end! I'm not going to do any more until I get home. It's hard to believe that I'm now half way through my time here and I haven't even started a quilt!

Yellow Brick Road

I checked the pattern and I was three fat quarters shy of a king size quilt. I did have fabric for the kiddy kat quilts with me that fit perfectly. The fabric I added was bought at Sewing Sensation in Calgary. So - now I'm cutting enough for a king size quilt. The next two days are filled with classes so I'll only have Friday to start making the blocks. There is so much sewing and cutting to be done before even starting to put the the blocks together I doubt I'll get anything on the wall!

Wednesday, May 8

Well, here's a first - it actually rained last night. My bright and shiny car had rain/dust spots all over it. More in the forecast. Temperature is in the low 80°' - 15° below normal. Thunder and lightning in the forecast for the weekend. Wow! Is it possible that I might see a flash flood? We know they exist but I have never seen one.

Sew Day, Christmas Goose

I arrived at 10:30 and sewed until 4:30. My back was starting to get sore so it was time to quit for a few hours. I did manage to cut and bind three kiddy kat quilts and finish the binding on half the placemats. I picked up take out from the Outback and headed to the hotel for the night.

I finished binding the placemats and cut the balance of my fat quarters for the Yellow Brick Road quilt. I'm off to bed early as I have another day at the Christmas Goose tomorrow for the bag class.

Thursday, May 9

I was at the Christmas Goose all day for the Twisted Batiks Bag by Melon Patch Designs. This pattern uses the Lil' Twister Tool by Twister Sisters. I opened the charm pack I bought for it and instantly said "no" and headed into the shop to pick up a Kansas Troubles charm pack. The only one they had was Harvest Hill - perfect. Why I thought I could go "modern" is beyond me.

I didn't finish the bag today but I do like it so I think I'll try to get it done and not let it join my other UFO's!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Flood Advisory and Flash Flood Warning
Thursday, May 9, 2019

This trip is certainly one all about weather. Strange things are happening in Las Vegas - it's raining, as in wet roads, windshields wipers and dirty cars. They are tracking the "storm" on the news and the areas it affects. There is no hail, not much wind and certainly no snow. But there is thunder, lightning, flood warnings and flash flood warnings for Death Valley National Park, Eastern Sierra Slopes, Las Vegas Valley, Clark County, Spring Mountains-Red Rock Canyon, and Nye County. Copious amounts of precipitation is in the forecast for the Southern Great Basin and parts of the Mojave Desert region through Friday.

Friday, May 10, 2019

My last day here. It has gone so fast. I slept until 10:30. It's so quiet in my room when I wake up I have no idea if it's 6:00 am or noon. Apparently, I slept through quite a lightning show last night. There was still water on my balcony this morning.

On the Wall

I did finally get something to put on the wall today - my two panels for my bag. I was going to continue but I don't like their instructions for sewing on the bottom. I want to wait until I get home and Carol can have a look at it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sewing the strips together for the Yellow Brick Road. I ended up having to pick out 16 strips. In my enthusiasm I sewed 48 instead of 32. Seems to me that's exactly what I did last time I made the pattern.

At 6:00 I started to pack up my sewing stuff and haul things out to the car in preparation for leaving in the morning. I have a parking stall right outside the main door so I don't want to go out for dinner. I used up some of the food left in the fridge.

Saturday, May 11 - Las Vegas to Williams, Arizona
Highways today were I-215, I-11 and US 95 south, Christmas Tree Pass, and NV State 163 to Laughlin, AZ State 95 to Boundary Cone Road/County 153, Route 66/County 10 to Kingman and I-40 to Williams. Google Map

Christmas Tree Pass

I stopped at Searchlight for an Egg McMuffin and coffee. I remembered that Christmas Tree Pass was along this route. Many times I've driven by the turn off to this road and always wondered what it was like. Today, I decided it was time to find out.

Christmas Tree Pass is part of the Piute/Eldorado Desert Management Area. It is partly contained by the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and is managed jointly by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. The wilderness is named for Spirit Mountain (also known as Avikwame) an impressive white granite peak topping out at 5,963 feet. It is sacred to tribes of the lower Colorado River as a spiritual birthplace. BLM Spirit Mountain Wilderness
The west side of Christmas Tree Pass takes you through the Spirit Mountain Wilderness and Bridge Canyon Wilderness and the south east portion is in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The Pass crosses the Newberry Mountains. The road is well maintained but there is evidence of washes. Since it rained the last couple of days, there were areas that had a few dips and ruts but nothing that was a problem.
Some of the mountains were rugged with deep valleys and high pointed peaks and then in contrast there were lower mountains with smooth rounded tops and cave like indentations. Very interesting differences in such a small area.

Christmas Trees

There is a variety of cactus, shrubs and flowers all along the road. Many had blooms. The pine like "christmas trees" were decorated with ornaments and garland. It was quite a strange sight out in the middle of nowhere. The 12 miles road took me about 1 1/2 hours - mostly because I kept stopping to take pictures.

Roxy's Quilt and Sew, Fort Mohave, Arizona

This wonderful shop is tucked in a small strip mall right on Hwy 95 and just before the Oatman turnoff. They have a large selection of fabric and lots of notions and thread and gifts. They also offer long arm services. Roxy's Quilt and Sew

Route 66

Route 66 or U.S. Highway 66 is also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road. It was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926 and became one of the most famous roads in the United States. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles.

The beginning of the decline for Route 66 came in 1956 with the signing of the Interstate Highway Act by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. By the late 1960s, most of the rural sections of US 66 had been replaced by I-40

Oatman, Arizona

I always get such a happy feeling when I arrive. There were a lot or tourists today. Brenda said it was just because it was Saturday. Right in the middle of our visit it poured rain. I had to take cover in Brenda's Chuckwagon. Apparently the burros don't like the rain and the two standing in front of the Chuckwagon looked just plain miserable!

There are 22 burros on the herd now - almost double the size from when we first visited Oatman. I don't know all the names like I used to. This little black one is a probably a gene of Splotches coming out. She is the only black one in the herd.
It stopped raining long enough for me to get to my car. I continued down the road toward Kingman. The storm was all around me but I didn't run into any more rain. This is really a nasty system that is going through the entire area from north of Las Vegas to southern Nevada. I wondered if the area just before Kingman would be passable, but it was fine.

Sitgreaves Pass

The summit along Route 66 was named Sitgreaves Pass after Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves. The Captain and a group of artists, topographers and naturalists along with fifty infantrymen went through the area during 1851 to explore the rivers.

When Route 66 first became a roadway, some cars lacked the ability to get up the mountain. The result was that they had to back up the Sitgreaves Pass to the top of the mountain. Cars today have no problem with the climb.

Kingman, Arizona

I stopped at the Visitors Center. There was a Market across the street in the Santa Fe Park. I wandered over - and left with a new purse. I actually needed a new so now I'm quite happy. They were starting to put up plastic around their tents because the storm was starting to blow in.

Connie's Quilters Hide-A-Way, Kingman, Arizona

Before leaving Kingman, I went to Connie's on Beale Street. I got there after 4:00 but she was still open. She said she was waiting for her husband who owns the Antiques Store next door. I bought a fat quarter and headed on my way. Connie's Hideaway

I decided to take I-40 to Williams. I was heading into another storm so decided not to go up through Peach Springs and Hackberry and just head straight to Williams. I arrived just before 6:00. I'm staying at the Best Western. I had supper at the hotel, then drove down main street to see if Quilts on 66 is open on Sunday. No quilt shop - it's closed and there is "for sale" sign on the building.

Sunday, May 12 - Williams to Bluff, Utah

Highways today included I-40 east to Flagstaff, US 89 north to Tuba City, US 160 east to Kayenta, US 163 to hwy 261, up and down hwy 261, through the Valley of the Gods, and then US 163 to Bluff. Google Map

Happy Mother's Day

It seems that I'm on the read every year on Mother's day. I got my travelling bug from my mom and dad, so I guess it seems appropriate that I might be travelling. Sometimes I wish I could just sit down with her and over coffee tell her all about my travels. I miss you Mom.

Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 feet above the valley floor. It is located on the Arizona–Utah border. The valley lies within the territory of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163.

Monument Valley has been featured in many forms of media since the 1930s. Director John Ford used the location for a number of his best-known western films. My first recollection of Monument Valley was car advertising.

US Highway 163

Highway 163 cuts through Monument Valley. The famous view of Monument Pass taken from the east has been in several films including Easy Rider and Forrest Gump. However, if you recognize the road and the view, Forrest Gump is not heading in the direction the film portrays.

The length of US 163 in Utah has been designated the Bluff to Monument Valley Scenic Byway by the Utah State Legislature and forms part of the Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway.

Mexican Hat

Mexican Hat is a small village along the San Juan River. The population was 31 at the 2010 census. The name "Mexican Hat" comes from a curiously sombrero-shaped rock outcropping on the northeast edge of town. The large flat rock measures 60 feet in diameter perched precariously on a much smaller base at the top of a small hill.

San Jan River, Mexican Hat
Mexican Hat

Highway 261 Utah

I drove up and down the Moki Dugway as I plan to go north to Moab tomorrow. I have never seen this road in such bad shape. There were huge areas where large chunks of the road had washed away. The ruts created by the water run-off were all the way up but the worst part was in the lower areas. It really felt like one more rain and the whole road would wash down. Our rock and tree half up are clinging to the edge by a thread!

Painted Desert

One of the most striking views of the Painted Desert is from Hwy 261. The Painted Desert is a desert of badlands in the Four Corners area running from near the east end of Grand Canyon National Park and southeast into Petrified Forest National Park. The Painted Desert is known for its brilliant and varied colors, that not only include the more common red rock, but even shades of lavender.

Valley of the Gods

With all the water run off, I was leery about heading into the Valley of the Gods but in the end, it was in very good condition - better than some years we've driven over it. There was a bit more traffic than usual and this is the second year I've seen photography groups. Also, there were many campers. Some years there have not been any.

Fort Bluff Historical Site

I had dinner at the Twin Rock Cafe then wandered through Fort Bluff Historical Site. Every year they add more displays and information. I've never been here during open hours but entry is free and you can still read the exhibits and look through the windows of the cabins. It is really well done.

The original Bluff Fort has been rebuilt restored through the efforts of the Hole in the Rock Foundation and is open to visitors free of charge. You can learn more about why the pioneers came to Bluff and their arduous journey over the Hole-in-the Rock trail.

Replicas of the original log cabins and the Meetinghouse have been constructed to give the visitor a glimpse of pioneer life on the San Juan in the 1880’s. Fort Bluff

Monday May 13 - Bluff to Rexburg, Idaho
I've done everything I wanted to do so now that I'm in home mode, I'm totally in home mode! No touring today just driving. I was tempted to stop in Moab but pushed on instead. Highways were US 191 north to Provo, I-15 to Idaho Falls and US 20 to Rexburg. There were no rooms in Idaho Falls so I had to take the side trip to Rexburg. I'm staying at the Springhill Suites - a really beautiful hotel and half the price of hotels on I-15. Will have to remember this hotel for future travels. Google Map

Tuesday May 14 - Rexburg to Calgary

I was up early and one the road in plenty of time to pick up Snoopy. It felt good to be home. The trip seemed to be plagued with setbacks but in the end I was well rested.

This year was a strange one - didn't go to far off the beaten trail and spent a lot of time "wasting time". Weather certainly didn't cooperate - even in Vegas.



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