Our ride through the GRAND CANYON.. Simply breath taking.

The day was blue skies. The sun shining down on us with the temp in the low 90’s. The best part of the weather it was a dry heat. Loving every min of it. Both Jed and I were..

We drove off Interstate 40 (old rt 66) to rt 64 that brings you in to the Big Beautiful Grand Canyon. Along the way stopping to look at the stands the native Americans have set up to sell there home made jewelry. Just beautiful but not my style.

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At  the entrance of the park we find out you have to pay 25 dollars a car to drive through. The ranger didn’t charge us for the trailer though. First stop was the observatory (look out). It;s just a beautiful as I thought it would be. Just a bit of haze, just enough to make the colors pop.

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The afternoon was spent driving along the canyon range over looking one of the 7 most amazing natural wonders of the world. My mom had taken us kids to see this when I was 5 on our drive from California to Maine in 1980. I don’t remember much from that time but only a few things stood out like. The Easter bunny found us at a hotel. We didn’t have grass in California it was a funny looking plant almost like aloe.  All over the front and back yard. This plant is called ice plants. Oh I remember my step dad having a water fight with mom and us with the hose. Some one ran in the house to get away from him and he stuck the hose in the mail slought of the door… Oh my mom was mad.. LOL  those are good memories…One not so good was the day we left California I never saw my blankie again. My good old friend was gone. I still have pictures though…

Alone the way we saw Elk. Almost as big as a Moose. They were right there on the side of the road just hanging out and eating leaves. Seemed not to be bothered by all the people, cameras, and traffic. I guess they feel its their home you visit, so respect me I will respect you.

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We also learned what the pad locks was on the fences. A couple has it engraved usually during their honeymoon and lock it there for all the visitors to see.. One the date had  already passed by and the second one had 2 days till the date on it was to happen. Looked like a wedding date. Pretty cool. I hear it’s a big thing over in Paris France according to a man we met.

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The drive out to I40 was just as beautiful as the drive in. Really nice sun set with puffy white clouds, you could make pictures out of. Made it to Williams Arizona around 730 pm. As we were leaving on west bound rt 64 I put a few pic on face book. Right away had several response’s. One was from Beth Bray saying she wishes some day to see this. It was then I remembered a pic of both her and Trin were over the visor of my passenger seat. A picture Trisha had printed out for me before we left PA. Pretty cool they were their.   Found a place to stop for the night. Because morning will come fast and we need to continue on to the next stop HOOVER DAM. After all this just couldn’t wait for what tomorrow was going to bring.

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Nevada/California state line

Well we made it out of the grand canyon and push west about an hour to save $20 on a room. Smart phones have made traveling so much easier. We used apps to find cheap rooms along the way and reserve/pay for a room. Also finding the cheapest gas along the way is a breeze with the gasbuddy app. Life is good.

We stopped a couple hours away from Vegas so that we would have a couple hours to drive in the morning so that we didn’t fall prey to early Friday morning traffic.

I booked a room in the luxor hotel in vegas and got some sleep. Vegas here we come for a nice weekend in the crazy city in the desert.

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Those who know me know that I’ve worked for a Ford dealer for over ten years so I have a bias towards Ford.  Well I gotta give Ford a plug here. My truck although brand new, did everything it was supposed to do and more along the way. Comfortable,  strong and competent. All the best descriptive words you could come up with.

Anyway off we went to Vegas.  Found that we needed to take 93 north off of I40/rt66 to get to Vegas.  Anyone from NH would understand that its weird to find 93 north this far from NH. Kind of a small slice of home.

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After getting in trouble in the grand canyon for walking up to an elk and being made to feel like a child for it, I think I was in need of some good customer service and friendly smiles. Something that I’ve noticed along the way is the lack of it in general through out the country. I shoukd explain.
The lakes region of NH where I’ve called home for over 20 years is in general a customer service area. The lifeblood of the vicinity is hospitality and tourism for others. I’ve often referred to it as Bostons playground. In addition, life in NH is tough for the locals that have settled because of the long cold winters, hot humid summers, and the economy. The lakes region has three months a year to make money and live like the rest of the world. Its sort of like living in Alaska,  you have from memorial day to labor day to make money and live your life. Then people go back to school and work and the money stops flowing. Its survival mode fornthe next nine months.
People have to rely on each other to get through it. Neighbors don’t care what type or size your house is or if you have a nice car with an alarm system. They don’t even worry that they locked their doors. Hell if your around after labor day in the lakes region of NH then you are a survivor and aren’t there to be a bum. Well except those boomerang kids living with their parents.
So my point is that we learn in NH to get along with each other and be sincere because we are all broke, cold, and tired by January and just need a friend or two to get through the winter. People learn or should I say are conditioned to be somewhat nice to each other. Everyone knows everyone and even those tough guy wood boogers that crawl out of the woods (ie. Rumney) and try to mask their lack of proper grammar with a mix of Maine and Boston accent to add charm still know not to push their tough guy exteriors to much and to share a smile while complaining about the wind mills, the lack of snow for the ski areas, to much snow on their rooves, the fact that fair season is really exciting until you actually go to a fair and are reminded how laim they have become and which one has the lost wood or pellets stacked up for winter. :)in am

Anyway… back to the western side of the country. We pull into Vegas which is more like a city, any city in America.  Its long and filled with the usual sights. Driving through the city for a while we finally see a small section with the funny buildings that make up flamingo and las vegas blvd.

Crap. I forgot about the hoover dam. That was pretty cool, Tara seemed to really like it a lot. For some reason I was still focused on the lack of water throughout the sw. The Colorado river is a sad sight these days as is most natural waters. But the dam is still a marvel of engineering and structure.

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We spent a couple hours at the dam and got some exercise walking around and up the hills. Bought some tourist stuff and headed out. Ok now back tk Vegas. 

So we find the hotel and I’m stressing about where to park the truck and trailer. We meet a nice security guard who is very helpful when Tara asks for help. Its nice having a female along for those moments when you need a guy to be nice and extra helpful. 🙂

Free parking and plenty of it. That was a relief.

The room had two queen beds and a great view inside and out. Vegas does know how to give you a great deal on a really nice hotel room. Everything else is expensive.

We went to use our drink coupons down in the casino and that’s where Tara met the pink monkey. Oh yah it was a big fun and crazy pink monkey running around crazy through the casino on a bachelor partys adventure.

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I will let tara tell about vegas because she tends to have more of an excitement for things and a better awareness of the awe of life. But until then, I will share that I did get to do the buffet once which is just wonderful. Food of every kind and as much as your stomach can handle.

Also we took in two shows. We werent allowed to take picks. One was the tournament of the knights where we watched horseback knights jousting and sword fighting while eating a great dinner with our hands. The other was the dancing group the jabawaakes. Not sure how to spell it but it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. We wanted to see the Michael Jackson ONE show but I wasn’t going to pay $150 a piece for it so we opted to see it another time.

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OH boy!! We have done and seen so much were did we leave off…

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So I believe we were at the caverns in West Virgin when Jed last Blogged. So sorry we didn’t really keep up on the trip but we had so much fun and was beat by the time we got to the hotel’s we found along the way..

From West Virginia we traveled down rt 40 west to Nashville Tennessee. Arrived in early afternoon to a very busy city full of tall buildings, people every were and very narrow roads. We drove around a bit to see if we could find a place to park. Thinking we there must be a over sized place to park some were… Any were. Nope. So after just a few pictures and stopping in a dirt gravel pull off we said been there but only saw a little bit.. LOL

Stayed out side of Memphis in Knoxville that night. Got back on the road again around 11 and headed to our next stop Albuquerque NM.  Were one of my child hood friends now lives with her family. We drove all day to get there. 11 hrs on the road. Rolled in around 10:30 pm to find my dear friend Kelly a sleep and her husband Paul awake waiting on us. He asked if he should wake her. I said no let her sleep, we will catch up in the morning.  At last a home and a warm bed to crawl into for a good night sleep.

Morning came and like always I’m wide a wake at 700 am. Got my self out of bed and went down stairs to make a coffee.  Paul and Emily were up and cooking breakfast. I could smell potatoes in the frying pan and hash on the griddle. As I make my way to the coffee pot I look over at Emily. As she looks up at me and tilts her head. I thinks I know this lady she was just here a few months ago but I don’t remember her coming back. She kindly looks away and digs into her chocolate cake dad gave her to keep quiet so the house could sleep till breakfast was done…. Cool dad.. Yes she ate a good breakfast too..

So soon the rest of the family awoke to the smell of breakfast came down stairs to hugs and kisses. Had a great breakfast and laughs that day. Jed and Paul went off to see about getting the trailer tier looked at that was losing air and Kelly and I went to a work appointment she had. Then back to have dinner and enjoy a nice evening by the firer out back of there house. Thanks for the stay Paul and Kelly love you both. Till we see you again. Off to bed for a early morning to be able to get on the road to catch the Grand Canyon before sun down.

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Another quick update

Hello everyone. We are having way to much fun to stop and write about this amazing trip we are having. So much to see do and see while we are out on the open road. I have to say Jed and myself travel well together. The only thing that might drive him a little crazy is my passenger side driving.

Just have a little anxiety about the 18 ft trailer with the truck being 18 feet too zooming down the 5 to 8 % grade hills at 70 to 80. Jed is an awesome driver and has done a great job getting us here to Southern California safe and sound. I feel I’m a lot better today then the first part of the trip down to PA.

Guess some things just take time… So any way. Just wanted you to know the next 2 to 3 days will be spent on the beach of Big Sur…. WOOHOO.  Then seeing the sights of the Northern wine country.  Will post some pic later. Our love to all of you..

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Quick update

Been a wild and fun time. Its still going. One more day in vegas and then off to california. Lots of pics and adventures to share, when we find the time!

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Virginia

Spent most of labor day driving through Virginia. Made it to Knoxville Tennessee tonight. Tara was worn out from all the navigating and needed a bed so motel 6 accommodated us. Me, I was born to travel. I love the freedom and get excited so its hard to sleep.

Everything is going well although one tire on the trailer has a slow leak and needs attention about every five or six hours. I think I may swap it with the spair in the morning if I feel up to it.

I saw a sign for some cavern tour in Virginia and decided to stop. After checking it out I wasn’t going to pay the $46 to walk around underground but Tara insisted and bought us tickets. It was worth it. Well…. it was worth it since I didn’t have to pay!

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Turns out it takes 125 years for the stalagtites and stalagmites to frow one inch! So some of them we saw took millions of years to grow! Different colors and sheens.

Some rich guy owns the cavern and he also owns a company that builds floats for parades. He stores his favorite floats in a warehouse and charges admission. We went.

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So now its one in the morning. I’m wired on mountain dew and road excitement. Couldnt help but notice that this country is so similar everywhere I go. For a while there driving through virginia I could have sworn I was in Minnesota or the Dakota’s.  Farms, feilds, gas stations, flying j’s, walmart, McDonald’s and burger king, and ofcourse the billboards. You know your not in new england anymore and pretty much anywhere else when you see an “Adult Store” sign on the highway at every town you come to.

The wallets a bit thinner, the stomachs are full and we have a warm, well actually an air conditioned room 🙂 and made it to Tennessee.  Off to Nashville tomorrow to see what is so special about it. Maybe we will meet the next big country star and put a little change in his cup.

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Pics from 8-29-13 trip

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