Crescent City, California II  

Posted by Stan Harrington

A few of the pictures we took today, the verbose narrative follows on the previous posting under almost the same title but not the same which is posted down page from here but on the same blog site as you are looking at so you have two blogs to look at from Crescent City except one is Crescent City and the other Crescent City II - both of them are in California.

As the morning fog lifted, this was he first of these small canyons that we would pass through today.

Dutch taking a little breather after a work out with his dummies, me and the rubber one. This is Lake Almanor, just north of Quincy, California. We were the only people in sight on this big, beautiful lake.

This is only of vent holes at Lassen Volcanic National Park, although she is still venting, it erupted a long, long, long, time ago - but the debris area and rocks that it spewed out are still visible today, it was a big blow!

Another vent hole, but if you look in the upper left corner, you can see our road going along the mountain - we have just started up the mountain at this point.

This is just part of the mountain that was blown away when the big one hit!

This is summit Lake, almost to the top of the pass which was created by one of many craters that were created.

This is the confluence of the North Fork of the Trinity River with the Trinity River, if you want to get a fisherman excited, click on it to enlarge!

Although, it looks like a major forest fire, this is the last ridge we will have to go over before we hit the Pacific beach. That is fog rolling in and over the ridge, within 30 minutes we were navigating by Suzie.

Crescent City, California  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Wish all of you a Happy Halloween! We treated ourselves to a big dinner and some great dessert - Dutch got extra treats! We did pass a farmer this afternoon who just happened to be harvesting his pumpkins on Halloween. A little late for the Halloween market, but his five acre field was literally covered with pumpkins so I assume they were on their way to the pumpkin pie mix factory. Since this morning, we have only traveled 364 miles and 8,926.9 for the trip but we had a great drive. We are back to the Pacific Ocean and just happened to stop in the community that lost a number of lives during the 1964 Alaskan earthquake from the tidal wave generated in Alaska.

If you learn nothing else from this trip, if you ever have to cross California from east to west or west to east, follow the route that we took today. We have made this trip several times, but this is the first time we took this route and it was spectacular. We were in constant beautiful scenery, heavily treed with a variety of trees but predominantly Ponderosa Pine, Sugar Pine and Oak trees. It was mountainous most of the way which only added to the trip. To keep Brother Bill out of trouble, I would not recommend it for 18 wheelers.

Pulling out of Quincy this morning it was foggy and 40 degrees but within an hour we lost the fog and the high temperature of the day was 75 degrees until we hit the coast, then it was fogged in all the way to Crescent City. On Highway 101, in a fog with visibility of about fifty feet is not a fun drive, however, I discovered a new use for Suzie! I drove the last one hundred miles on instruments! Just watch Suzie's screen and she would let us know when the corners were coming up, it was very useful. However, we did discover a place for a top secret military base, hide it in the Redwoods - the forest canopy is so thick a satellite image can not get through. We lost contact with Suzie several times, the first time it has happened this trip except when we were in a mile long tunnel in Zion National Park.

We entered Lassen Volcanic National Park under sunny skies, did not get to use my lifetime pass as all the rangers had quit for the winter. We entered the park from the south end and exited out the west side, a total of 34 miles of driving a narrow, cliff hanging highway. The drive was great, it was the first time that I have had a National Park to myself! We saw a total of five cars on our entire trip through the park. Topping the divide, the elevation of the pass was the highest point we will hit on this trip, the highway is at about 10,200 level. It was great that we had the road to ourselves, coming around a corner, Terry saw a bear on a little slope just a few feet from the road. It was a good size grizzly, not to concerned about us so we stopped in the middle of the road, rolled down the window and took videos of him. Since he was on my side of the road, I had to run the video camera so we did not get any still shots of him. It made Terry's day, she finally got to see her bear.

Leaving the park, we continued through the mountains and under Interstate 5 at Redding, California knowing that we could make Portland yet today or continue exploring and take the slow road. It was not a decision that was difficult to make. Leaving it behind us, we continued through the mountains, the fall colors are past their prime but still very colorful. As we got closer to the coast, we dropped into the Trinity River Valley, my heart leaped with the first sight of it. Just a touch wider than the Anchor River, crystal clear with nice runs and some deep holes. Great looking river and there were a good number of fishermen on the river, fishing fall Steelhead! The highway paralleled the Trinity River through the canyon for about 35 miles, so many spots to fish and a good number of federal, state, and private campgrounds. Getting back into the truck after checking out one likely "hole", I noticed the temperature was 58 degrees! Fishing Steelhead at 58 degrees? I may have to get a new rod, my rods are not use to temperatures like that. I will return to the Trinity to spend a few days and fish it, after I do a little research but I am sure it is also a tributary of the Klamath River, a world class Steelhead River. The next couple of days, we will passing a large numbers of rivers that are known for their Steelhead fishing. I may fall in love again!

The plan for tomorrow is to back track about 30 miles and pick up some of the things that we missed traveling in the fog that we wanted to see, if it is still foggy - we will head north after snooping around Cresent City. Looks like an interesting place to live. Our friends, Mat and Cindy that have a summer home in Anchor Point lives just a few miles from here in Branden, Oregon so we will stop by to see them sometime tomorrow. A great day, saw some beautiful country, a bear, a deer and got instrument rated on my driving, life gets no better. See you up the road as we creep north.

Quincy, California  

Posted by Stan Harrington

If you were expecting to see my daily posting, you are looking on the wrong site! O.K., so I goofed up, I have accidentally posted it to the Hole In The Site, to view it, all you will need to do is click on the link that is underlined or highlighted. Hence forth,I will endeavor to insure that I post on the right site, let's blame it on "road fatigue", see you on down the road.

Tonopah, Nevada  

Posted by Stan Harrington

For the first time this trip, both Suzie and the truck compass is pointing us going N for a sustained time, so I guess we must be headed towards home. We are now in a very small town about 309.7 miles north of Laughlin, Nevada. Passing through Las Vegas without a stop and Suzie did her typical outstanding job directing us through the interstates and traffic, I really do love her!

We did pull out of Laughlin a day ahead of schedule, not due to heavy gaming losses, quite the contrary. Prior to our arrival in Luaghlin, I called my favorite hotel, the Colorado Belle. I have stayed there a half dozen times, even with my youngest daughter. Wanting to make reservations but discovering that they do not accept pets which I thought would be the case. However, they recommended a kennel in Boulder City which is just across the Colorado River from Laughlin. Wanting first to checkout the kennel, I did not make reservations at $22.00 per night despite the fact that they are advertised on the Internet at $19.00 per night.

Found that the "spa" for Dutch was very nice, he had a lot of company and I am sure he did not get much sleep last night even tho he had his own pent house, but it appeared to me that there was a good number of "ladies" just hanging around looking for a little companionship, so he was in heaven with lots of friends. Leaving Dutch in Arizona, we headed to Laughlin, Nevada and to check into the Colorado Belle. Upon checking in, we discover the room rate is $30.00 per night, when questioned why the difference from the time I called, her attitude comment was "oh, those are reservation prices", I know I should have taken out the cell phone and called for reservations in front of her. Behaving myself, I went to our room. After settling in, I pull out the old laptop to see what kind of reception I had since they advertised "wireless". Surprise, I had great reception but first I had to register and pay $6.95 per hour! After enjoying wireless connection free of charge from the motels since we left Alaska, it upset me just a touch that a hotel this size and a casino, would charge for wireless.

Freshening up, we left for the casino floor. My next surprise since my last trip to Laughlin and Vegas, "what in the hell are all these penny machines"? Hundreds of them, the nickels and quarter machines were a minority! But, I did find my favorite dollar machines. After Terry lost $10.00, she gave up to go sit in the sun by the pool. My biggest surprise and it took awhile to adjust is that there are not more silver dollars crashing into the tray! It is all automated and programed noise of money falling. You feed any denominational bill into the slot and it gives you credits to play. When you quit, you hit the "cash out" button and it prints out a receipt showing your winnings or money you have left to play. You can use this later to feed into another machine or cash it in for the real stuff. By the time, that Terry found me for dinner I had accumulated a tidy profit for my time and enjoyment.
Following dinner and a refresher nap while watching the last game of the World Series, I returned to the floor to play until 1 a.m., this time almost tripling my earlier winnings. Over breakfast, I added my totals up and made the decision that I would leave Laughlin and the Colorado Belle a winner. This morning while Terry was checking out, I did have to invest $20.00 in my favorite machine from the night before, by the time she returned, I cashed out my $41.00 and gave it to her for packing out all the luggage and I walked away with a nice chunk of their money. The Colorado Belle's final surprise came when Terry was checking out, she had made two long distant calls from our room using her phone card. The check out bill included $1.00 for each of the times that she used their phone. I really do not mind the extra charges - but don't nickel and dime me to death - raise your room rates!

Making the drive from Las Vegas to here, if anyone ever offers you 1,000 acres of free land in this area - run! It is desolate, sage brush, desert, no water and small mountains on the horizon, however, we did add one more specie of game to our animal list today. These are wild burros that roam this area in large numbers. This was the largest herd that we saw but we saw several other small herds. You can find out more about these animals by visiting the HITW. Talking with the motel owner tonight, he also said there are a lot of wild horses as well and they have an annual round up on them each year to keep the herd in check.
Tomorrow, we will arrive in Reno early so most likely, we will stop for a little casino entertainment before continuing home. From Reno, we have no idea which way we go but it will be in some northerly route. Got to go, Bronco game is over, they did better than I thought against Green Bay. See you down (up) the road.

Parker, Arizona  

Posted by Stan Harrington

We are on the road again. Sorry, I was remiss in my nightly blogging, however,I do have a good excuse, I did not have access to the Internet! I also tried to post some pictures tonight, but the download time was taking so long, I canceled it before I even got the first one loaded. Had an easy drive today, just covered 257.8 miles, bringing the total trip mileage to 7,774.7 miles. We have now reached our most southerly point of the trip and come first light, we will be riding out 0n the northward bound part of our trip.

Have spent the past two days visiting family and good friends, however, I was really slack on taking photos and I kick myself for that. Spent the next day after arriving in Wickenberg, AZ back tracking the previous day route for about 30 miles to a small town by the name of Wilhoit, AZ. My mothers brother, my Uncle Ted and his lovely wife Virgie live there after he retied from the copper mines in Baghdad, Az. We had not seen them in 40 years (October 1967) but it was just like we had seen them on a regular basis - it was so neat to see them and they both look so good. Uncle Ted reminds me a lot of Don, but you can also see the reassemblance of Larry and myself, tall and slender. We had a great time visiting with them.

We returned to Wickenberg to continue our visit with John and Ann, they have such a neat home and John does one good barbecue. Bob James's daughter,George, came up from Phoenix to have dinner with us, it was good seeing her once again. She has a second home that is vacant in Phoenix and offered it to us for the night, so we coded in the address in Suzie and in the dead of night headed down the highway. Freeways, traffic, 6th largest city in the U.S. and Suzie takes us to the front door without a hitch! I know I love her! Her second house is huge, sits within just a few miles of downtown Phoenix yet the lot is 2.5 acres, completely fenced in with chain link fencing as one time it was a riding academy. The adjoining properties are the same size and predominantly horse related, although, I was awakened this morning to the crowing of a rooster, just before daylight. Dutch had a great time, he was able to run free!

By coming in on Friday night, it put us just a short distance by freeway to Donnie's and Thida's home - freeway being the operative word. Once again, Suzie directed us through all the traffic and lane changes without a hitch, I know I love her, to their front door. If fact we were so stealth that we caught Donnie cleaning the house with an apron on! The have a beautiful home in a very nice neighborhood. After seeing John and Ann's home and now Donnies and Thida's home, I am so envious of their access to landscaping material - I could go wild down here! Their backyard is to die for, landscaped very nicely with a pool and cascading water fall, it is great. We had such a great time seeing them, even tho we saw them in Alaska just a few months ago. Dee Dee came over as well as their mother, we had not seen Patty since Don and she had separated. Had a real good visit with her and enjoyed seeing her again. Something else to keep in mind is that Donnie is a very good chef when it comes to barbecue, he may be useful at the HITW on his next visit. Got to see Nikki very briefly, this was their homecoming weekend and she was very involved in the school projects. They did give us a tour of several landscaping businesses looking for some items that your mother was wanting, Donnie is now on the look out for a weather vane and brass bell! For some reason, I do not think he has any discipline as to how they may come into his possession - the acorn does not fall far from the tree.

Although, we would have liked to stay longer, we thought it best to at least clear the city for the night so we could get a fresh start in the morning. We cleared it out right, come first light we will be within just a few miles of the London Bridge! Tonight, arriving in Parker, we also went to California, but it was by mistake and not Suzie's fault, she tried to talk us out of it but we knew we were right, until we saw the sign welcoming us to California. She brought us out of Phoenix today with a half dozen changes on the freeway, the setting sun in the west and in our eyes, without a hitch. Terry even complimented me on well I had handled all the traffic and lane changes - but it was Suzie that did all the work - I really do love her! Tomorrow, we have an easy day, tour the area here at Lake Havasu (sic) and then just a short drive into Laughlin, Nevada. I am hoping to hit the bank there and make some rather large withdrawals with out a large deposit. Probably spend a couple of days there handling the banking transactions.

As for temperatures, on Friday we were hitting 92 degrees and even warmer today, the highest I saw was 97 degrees. It really surprises me how people withstand the heat down here. It was hot so I drove around with my windows down to keep cool - almost every car I saw had their windows rolled up, I do not understand how they were keeping cool under conditions of this type. Blogging may be a little light over the next couple of days, unless I hit the big one and then you will know. No word from me, I am loosing!

Wickenburg, Arizona  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Had a leisurely drive today, left Flagstaff and took a secondary highway down the Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, Arizona. We had been here once before, but it was a beautiful drive to experience again. The fall colors were past their prime, but still so much color and the crystal clear, Oak Creek and the highway is nestled in the bottom of the canyon with the maple and a variety of other trees. Narrow road,so much traffic but very enjoyable. Arriving in Sedona, as one of our relatives would describe it as "artsy",which it is but also a magnet for tourist. The town is very well designed and vast number of shops to roam through. Very neat and clean but crowded. You don't even want to know the price of homes in this area. I wandered into one very "yuppy" western clothing store to look at shirts. They had one in my size and taste, $127.95! Didn't want to see the price of their Tony Lama Cowboy boots. The next shop I visited was a Doggy Store, catering to your best friend with fresh homemade "goodie's". Thinking that Dutch was having to sit in the truck and miss the shopping spree, I would treat him. I love my dog but I thought $6.95 for a freshly baked treat was a little excessive and he would like a visit to McDonald's just as much.
From Sedona, we stayed on the secondary highway to once again visit Jerome, Arizona. Been there as well, but I wanted to conquer the mountain and road just one more time. It is built on the side of a mountain, very closely resembling a cliff. It is an old mining community and just a neat place to visit, if you drive anything larger than a Ford F150, you should be barred from driving the road. Trucks are prohibited and I did not see anyone crazy enough to drive a motor home. To busy driving, no pictures but Terry has it all captured on her video camera in which all of you have to set through and marvel at 20 miles of twisting roads.
The heat of the day caught up with us, tried to visit a state park so Dutch could get out and exercise and find a little water to play in, pulled up to the fee station to pay my $5.00 entrance fee to the state of Arizona and then noticed a big sign "Dogs Prohibited". I questioned the "guardian of the state property" if this applied if the dogs were on a leash. It applied to all dogs. Seeing that the was not humored when I asked why cats were not also on the "profile list", I pulled a U-Turn and continued on my journey. Arriving in Cottonwood, we decided it was time for the truck to get a bath, not really exciting, the only reason I mention it, it will play a role as the story develops. A few more miles on twisting roads we come to another State Park Sign, One Mile. Slowing down, we see the park and the fee station is closed, so we will take a look. The state park is three miles off the road but one of it's attractions is a lake, of which I do not remember the name. This would be a great place for Dutch to cool down, so we thought. Around the next corner, we confront a second sign, "Road Under Construction". There was never any sign of asphalt so there is no way the average tourist is going to drive the road. This area must not have had rain for the past two years, the road was a dust bowl and the only construction we saw was one road grader making it real dusty since it was so dry. But, if we make it to the lake, it will be worth the effort and the waste of the money I spent on a "robot wash and wax" job on the truck. Reaching our destination a sign is posted that the Lake is utilized as a "trout enhancement site" by the Arizona Department of Fish and Game. The two pictures can better describe this pristine lake than I.
Dutch did go look at the lake, but did not get within three feet of the muddy water. However, we were the only ones in the park and a great grassy meadow for some ball playing, even if it was 75 degrees. As an enhancement site for fish, I do not think the project was successful as it appeared even the beaver that had built a den in the middle of the "lake" had vacated.

Arriving in Wickenburg, spent the evening visiting with John and Ann in the coolness of their back lanai, very tastefully landscaped with a variety of rocks, trees and bushes. I am so envious of the variety of landscaping material they have here in the U.S. Tomorrow, we will do a little exploring in this area, visit my uncle just a few miles from here and continue our shopping for the two antique items that is on our list, a bell and a weather vane! See, all of you thought I had forgot. On Saturday, we will visit the largest city of our trip, the 6th largest city in the U.S., I mean this city is so big they had to borrow land from Mexico to complete it. I only mention this because I was brought to task for saying that Oklahoma City was going to be the largest city we drove through on the trip. It seems we have a reader that just happens to live in Phoenix who has been following the daily journal. We look forward to visiting all of the kin in Phoenix on Saturday, then on Saturday evening we head west to see the London Bridge and then a few miles north to the bank in Laughlin. See you down the road a piece. P.S. In reviewing this posting and looking at the pictures of he lake, I kick myself in the butt - would not those two signs look good on either Upper or Lower "Krok Pond" at the HITW.

Flagstaff, Arizona I  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Pictures From Top to Bottom = Left To Right
Better Detail By Enlarging = Click On Picture
(1) Zion National Park, Utah - Terry Enjoying The Sun
(2) "Checkerboard Plateau" - Zion
(3) Old Cedar Tree and Unusual Rock Formation - Zion
(4) Rock Bridge over the Virgin River, Valley of Zion National Park
(This small river, smaller than the Anchor River carved out this canyon)
(5) The "Cathedral" - Zion
(6) Highway Tunnel - Zion
(Tunnel is at base of cliff and is over one mile long,constructed 1927)
(7) Cathedral Amphitheatre
(8) An Old Cedar Tree
(9) Colorado River Where It Flows into the Grand Canyon
(Lee's Ferry, World Famous Trout Fishing Area)
(10) Coral Pink Sand Dunes In Arizona
(Smaller than the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado)
Had a leisurely day today, enjoyed Zion National Park so much that we drove through it twice, when reaching the western entrance, we turned around and drove back through the park a second time. Just 386.5 miles today, bringing the trip total up to 7,169.8 miles.
Had not planned on spending the night in Flagstaff, however, when we got to Yuba City after driving ten miles out of our way to find a motel, here was none in town! So, we did get in here after dark but that is o.k., we have a 50 mile head start on our adventure tomorrow. When you read "Flagstaff II" which follows this posting, you will know why our mileage was down today.
For those not in the know, Brigham Young sent some of his followers into the area we know as Zion to settle it as a Moron colony. It was they who named this rugged area "Zion" taken from
the bible. Many of the prominent peaks are also given religious names by the early Mormons. It was magnificent, so rugged, so many colors of sandstone stacked by layers over the past 60 million years and you think I am old at 62!
See You Down The Road A Little Further South

Flagstaff, Arizona II  

Posted by Stan Harrington

We have enjoyed the rock formations throughout Utah and northern Arizona so much that we have decided against having a motor home in the future and in it's place have a winter home in the area. We found the ideal place today, just 40 miles north of Flagstaff and at the entrance to the Grand Canyon. The little "ranch" house comes with seven acres bordered by federal land on one side and the Hopi Indian reservation on the remaining three sides. We met with a Realtor today and have made an offer on the property which was promptly accepted. We can close on it after we get back to Alaska via mail. It is a "fixer upper" but we figure we can work on the HITW in the summer and retreat to Arizona to work on the "ranch" during the winter months. It will take some work and time but there is so much potential for improvements and landscaping. I will have a great choice of rocks to work with in the landscaping. We are excited.

Cedar City,Utah  

Posted by Stan Harrington

From Top To Bottom:
(1) Capital Reef National Park
(2) Cedar Tree At Capital Reef
(3) Capital Reef National Park
(4) Bryce Canyon National Park
(5) Rock Bridge at Bryce Canyon
(6) Bryce Canyon, Note Cedar Tree On Top
(7) A Very Small Portion of Bryce Canyon National Park.
I thought tonight that I would post only pictures, no amount of "prattle" nor colorful adjectives could fully describe what we experienced today. Only the all mighty could paint the pictures that we saw today, a digital camera in the hands of a novice does not capture his ability to create beauty. I wish all of you could have been with us to experience what we witnessed. I have seen beauty all over the world, but the rugged natural beauty that I witnessed today is unmatched.
We left Richfield right after daylight this morning in order to see some wildlife, we only saw a few deer all day but when we visited our first stop, the wildlife were forgotten as we were so awe struck over the scenery. We did not cover many miles today, but we did visit Capital Reef National Park (our favorite), Escalante National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park. Leaving Bryce Canyon, we had to cut back east out of our way a few miles to Cedar City to get a motel for the night, unfortunately we passed through the Cedar Breaks National Monument in partial darkness so we missed allot of it - but we will return. Perhaps tomorrow! The Cedar Breaks is located with a pass over it that is 9,600 feet in altitude, breath taking scenery. Just after dusk, we came to a turn out and did not see it in time to stop and get pictures, but Butch Cassidy Gully is also located in the Cedar Breaks. Tomorrow, we may back track so we can get a daylight look at the Cedar Breaks then move down just a few miles south of us and go through Zion National Park before we go into Arizona. We have both agreed, that we are going to pass on visiting the big canyon (Grand Canyon) in Arizona, after seeing what we saw today and since we have seen it in the past, it would be a disappointment. I only wish now that I was a better photographer. We have also agreed, that we will come back here to visit these same areas again and camp out. I can picture myself sitting around a campfire next to motor home and listening to the night sounds . I was awesome, just wish all of you could have been with us to enjoy it.
Did encounter a small problem this morning, a lady passed me right outside of Loa, Utah and was pointing at the truck, so I slowed down and pulled over thinking my tailgate was open or something. She went down the road, turned around and came back about the time I was getting back to the front to get in the truck, she pointed down and said you have a flat tire. Sure enough, I did. We never felt a thing wrong with the truck but it was pretty flat and even flatter when I did a u-turn in the road and dove back into a garage a half mile down the road in Loa and had two new rear tires mounted on the rear. I guess the old studs did not like the hot pavement and high speeds. Tomorrow brings another beautiful day, I have been through Zion National Park once by myself, it is also breathtaking. See you down the road.

Richfield, Utah  

Posted by Stan Harrington

On the road again today. A slow start out of Montrose with trying to see everyone and tell them goodbye. Finally got out of town at noon and headed to Grand Junction. Did find a Best Buy store in Grand Junction so we stopped in to check on our digital camera that we bought 17 days ago. After explaining the problem with the "geek", his reply was "oh, that happens frequently, all we can do is send it back to the factory". When confronted with a receipt that we bought it just 17 days ago in Anchorage, his reply was "oh, we only have a fourteen day return policy". Explaining to him that it was on the fourteenth day that it quit working and that it took us three days to find a store there should be an exception. Yea, right. But, your mother came to the rescue by simply saying, "can we speak to your supervisor". The supervisor appeared, within five minutes we had a new camera in hand and headed out the door.
Been through this part of Utah on many occasion, I believe the last time as with Heidi, however the rock formations never cease to amaze me. The top picture is of course of Dutch standing in front of a old cedar tree, directly behind him is a cliff that drops down about two hundred feet. The other rock formation is part of the Dragon's back. The bottom two pictures are down the road a piece, that is Terry walking across the Great Sand Dunes just 15 miles Northeast of Alamosa, Colorado. The second picture will show you how fast the mountains rise directly behind the sand dunes.
Tonight, I again sitting in my truck blogging. However, I am right outside my motel door. Inside the room, I was getting either no or a very low signal strength. Came outside with it and it picked up to full strength. A stairway sits in front of our window and evidently blocks the signal. That is all right, we are self sufficient. I now have a power converter in my truck where I can even plug in my hair dryer! Why operate on a battery when you got electricity! Tomorrow, we are going to visit the high country of Utah, we have four National Parks all adjoining one another so we are going to get a daylight start in order to see some game and then spend the entire day cruising these parks but on a southward course towards Arizona and the grand daddy of all canyons.
The boys did good hunting this year in Colorado. Steve Miller got a Royal Bull Elk, six points on each side earlier this fall. Deer season opened on Saturday, this is a permit drawing hunt in Colorado now. Jessie's daughter drew a permit and got a four point buck on opening morning. Steve Miller hunted dads old hunting grounds up on Soap Creek and got a 4 x 3 point buck.
Ranger Bill gave me a class on "Suzie", she has more tricks than I realized. She even tracks your current speed, your average speed,so when you a trooper pulls you over you can show him your GPS reading, the one problem it also shows the highest speed obtained, mine currently reads 90.1 mph. I think I remember, coming out of the Great Sand Dunes, a sixteen mile stretch of straight road, a secondary road leading back to the main highway, not a car in sight for twelve miles so I though it would be a good time to blow the carbon out since we had been idling along for the past 5,000 miles or so. Pre-dawn comes early and if we are going to be in the hunting area at daylight, best sign off. See you on down the road. By, the way if your are looking on a map where Richfield is, we are just a short drive northeast of Beaver, Utah! We could have went into Beaver for the night, but we did not want to intrude upon Ranger Bill's trapping territory. All take care.

Montrose II  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Spending our second day in Montrose, woke up to find some white stuff on the ground this morning! Glad we came over the passes yesterday as they got a lot of snow last night. With the white stuff on the ground this morning, it is time to push further south to get out of the slightest hint of winter. Will head out tomorrow, after half dozen errands so I doubt we will get to far, but we only have to get 184 miles and we can be in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado at the same time.

Montrose has changed so much, just in the 22 months since I was here last. The town has now spread as far south as the river. The swimming pool is gone for the home of a office building. The old home site on South ninth, the house is gone, the garage is in tact as is mothers rock flower beds and yes, the play house that mom made for you kids out of the old chicken coop is also gone. Had a good visit with Larry and then out to see MaryJane, Jess, Mike, and Coleman were all there watching football games. Come daylight, will see some other family members, replace one more inner tube, see why our new digital camera is not working, do some banking, say good bye to some family members, wash and wax the truck, will wait for an oil change until we get home. All is well, all is good, on the road again soon!

Montrose, Colorado  

Posted by Stan Harrington

An easy day drive today, covered just 268.5 miles which brought our total trip mileage up to 6,125.3 miles. Little cooler today, down to about 75 degrees. We did drive 32 miles out of our way to visit the Great Sand Dunes, just outside of Alamosa, Colorado. Well worth the effort, although we have been here before it is always interesting to see what nature can do. These giant, pure sand dunes with some as high as 300 feet, nestled at the foot of the mountain range with altitudes of 9,000+ feet.

Once we left the prairies of southeast Colorado and started into the mountains, it was quick to realize just how beautiful western Colorado is. Drove over Monarch Pass, which was bare of any snow except on the very highest peaks. Dropped down on the western slope of the mountains, stopping long enough at Blue Mesa Reservoir for Dutch to get a little exercise by retrieving, rewarded with a cold drink of water from the Gunnison River. Stopped long enough to see the small town of Sapinero where I lived prior to my school years, the town is gone now, sitting at the bottom of Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Cleared Blue Mesa Pass and Ciero Summit and dropped into the valley and Montrose. Spent the evening visiting my sister and brother in law Clifford. Brother Bill also drove in from Grand Junction and will be around for a few days so we are having a mini family reunion. The next couple of days will be rest days, then we will be back on the road again with a full schedule of places to see, people to see and places to go - getting closer to the casinos!

Alamosa, Colorado  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Pulled out of Elk City, Oklahoma this morning, by the time the sun was setting in Alamosa, Colorado we had completed our exit from Oklahoma, crossed Texas, New Mexico and into Colorado. I thought Texas was suppose to be the second largest state, we drove across it in one day! The good thing is that it was the first state that we did not spend a dime!

Just checked my Doppler radar, seems that everyone in LA is getting some type of moisture, I am assuming rain. Again, today we had to brave sunny sky's and temperatures up to 80 degrees - that is above zero! Texas was non-descript, at least the panhandle, just very small rolling plains primarily sage brush, but in the areas that are cultivated, they had some great looking fields of cotton, hay and grain.

Getting into New Mexico, we had a very beautiful drive, a part of New Mexico that I have never seen. We got off the interstate at Tucumcari and headed northwest on the secondary roads. Going through Taos and Las Vegas. At first it stated out typical New Mexico, rolling hills of sagebrush, then it turned into larger rolling hills of cedar and pinon trees. No sign of civilization except an occasional herd of cows. We then entered the Santa Fe National Forest, towering Ponderosa pine trees and great rock formations. I was very impressed and will make the trip through this area again. We had to go up one pass that gained elevation rapidly, but once on top it was a flat mesa. As far as the eye could see it was just slight slopes covered with grass and not a tree in sight, one would have expected to see herds of buffalo roaming the countryside. We never left the mesa and later gained a little more altitude into Colorado. Did cross the Royal Gorge of the Rio Grande, very impressive deep canyon but not nearly as deep as the Royal Gorge in Colorado. Beside the scenery in the National Forest, another reason I want to re-visit this area is the structural buildings. I have never seen as many "old" buildings in one particular area, some were run down old wooden homes, but most of them were either rock or handmade red clay bricks. By the looks of them, I would guess that they were built back in the days that the buffalo did range this area. At anytime, I expected to see "Blue Duck" come riding in, it would be a great place to shoot a western movie. The great thing about it, no population. A few, small, towns that definitely showed that they were at or below the poverty level. If you ever get a chance, make that drive. The third good thing about it, I never saw a truck!

We are less than 200 miles from Montrose, so we will be in there early tomorrow. We have decided to go the Monarch Pass route and through Gunnison instead of going west to Durango and over Red Mountain - maybe on our way out. If we get the time, we are going to look around Montrose or Grand Junction for a motor home. That way, if we get one we would just leave it at the Miller's and fly down next spring to retrieve it - just looking - nothing firm. Funny story that I forgot from last night, we got into Elk City, Oklahoma to find most of the hotels were full or would not accept Dutch so we drove into town to find accommodations. Stopped at this one place, decent looking but not a name brand type operation. Was greeted by a young desk clerk of Spanish decent, asked her all the typical questions, especially wireless Internet connection which she assured me that they had. For the first time, we asked to see the room which gladly produced us a key. As we walked across the dark parking lot, I could not help but notice a group of young men sitting on a car and talking loudly in a language I could not understand except Si! At first the key would not work in the door, after the third attempt the door opened, I reached in to flip on the light switch and nothing happened. Walked into the unit to the bath room, flip the light switch, nothing happened. It was at this point, we decided that perhaps we should find other accommodations. About the time we were crossing the lot to return to the office, the group of guys started walking the same way, but they went in the back door of the office, Terry got in the truck, I heard the locks snap shut as I went into the office to return the key. The young lady was smiling and asked if I liked the room, I told her that I probably would have liked it but it did not have any electricity, it was then that I knew for certain that she was of Spanish descent, as I slipped out the door she was still screaming at the guys that came in the back door in Spanish, I can only assume they were discussing the lack of electricity in their motel rooms. If we would have stayed, I feel certain that I would have found my truck sitting without tires this morning, if I even had a truck left. 534 miles today, 5,856.8 for the trip, talk to you on down the road.

Elk City, Oklahoma  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Slipped out of Arkansas in the heat of the day and headed west, a late start this morning but still manage to put on 504 miles and Elk City is just southeast of Anchor Point by 5,322.8 miles. Had a beautiful drive out of Arkansas, went down through the Ozarks, very beautiful country. High rolling highs with a great variety of heavy tree coverage. The oak trees are just now starting to turn color. Heading west into Oklahoma, not what I expected, up to Oklahoma City it was nice gentle rolling hills with dense forest, primarily walnut trees. Picked up a bunch of walnuts in the various stages of ripeness for the kids to see. West of Oklahoma, the hills flattened out and now we are into more of a prairie type country. Out timing was perfect coming out of Arkansas to put us into Oklahoma right at rush hour traffic - but Suzie took us right through the traffic without incident. Oklahoma City should be the largest city that we pass through on this trip. Made good time on the Interstate, especially when a bunch a "wild eyed" truckers are pushing you - but I surely do like the secondary roads better for sightseeing. Will pass through Texas and into New Mexico tomorrow, likely make the Colorado border but doubt we will go all the way into Montrose.
Everything is still going great, had a little tube problem today, blew out to inner tubes within just a few miles of each other - fortunately I bought two so I had a spare and was able to change it out on the spot.
Dutch has proven to be a great traveler, he is now use to it and when he gets to bored sitting up front, he crawls through his exit door and lays on his bed in the back of the truck so he can look out the rear window of the camper. He does enjoy the rest areas. When he was a puppy, he was a real chick magnet - now he is just a magnet - getting a little tired hearing, "Oh, what a great looking dog", I never get any compliments!
Checked out the weather in Anchor Point this evening, sounds a little nippy! Our high today was 86 degrees, now that I have discovered my Ford does not have air condition, I discovered a new way to keep cool. By taking a bag of ice and putting it in the drivers window and then raising the power window until it is held tight,the air blowing through the window over the ice provides a great cooling affect, something like a "swamp cooler". The other thing that has aided in keeping comfortable is that I have started driving in just my shorts. I just have to remember to get dressed again when we stopped at a rest area or to gas up - walked into Walmart today before I realized I had not put my pants on.
A couple of you have made a stab at trying to guess how my grandfather got the nickname of "Ten". Since I told Ranger Bill on the phone today, perhaps I had best tell all of you the rest of the story. The mystery was easy to solve, if I would have just thought the obvious instead of looking for something deeper. Henry Philo Harrington was called "Ten" because everywhere he went, he carried a Parker Brothers, double barrel 10 Guage Shotgun with him so they naturally just called him "Ten". Some of you may have guessed by now, others may not know the entire story, but this particular shotgun was given to my father by his father, Henry Philo. It was a family heirloom. My father passed the shotgun down to me and it remains in my gun collection today. I knew that the shotgun belonged to grandfather, I even had brass plates made for it with his name and a second tag with my fathers name on it, but after all these years, I did not know that this particular gun earned my grandfather the nickname of "Ten", it makes the gun even more special. Darkness is burning and daylight comes sooner down here than in Alaska, so I had best close her down for the night, see you on down the road a piece. Just noticed the date, 44 years ago today, I enlisted into the U.S. Navy - I should go have a rum and coke to celebrate!

Everton, Arkansas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Tonight, as I write, the night sky is lighted from the east to west horizon with sheet lighting and the loud sounds of thunder, it has been years since I have experienced these sounds. It is almost as much fun sitting outside watching this spectacular show as watching the northern lights at home. Again tonight we are in Lakeview, Arkansas. Tomorrow,the journey begins again as we leave Arkansas to travel across the badlands of Oklahoma, panhandle of Texas and New Mexico to the high country of Colorado.
Today, we spent the day exploring the area, it some places it is like going back in time to the days of civil war,the old houses and dirt roads. We did drive to Everton, Arkansas today which is just 30 miles down the road a piece and in the hollow. The last and only time that I have been here was in October 1967 to visit my grandfather on my way back to Alaska. The town,what there was of it is now closed. The old general store sitting on the corner is now silent and closed, the first time I saw it there were three old men sitting on the porch, with a coon hound laying beside them, I stop to ask them directions to my grandfathers home. Today,I sat on the porch by myself and wondered about the thousands of stories that had been told on these benches.
The old home site is also gone now, jut a memory of when my grandparents and aunt lived there. In 1967, my grandfather drove Terry and I up to the cemetery to visit my grandmothers site. He thought it best since he did not think my new 1967 Plymouth Barracuda would get through on the roads. He was right, the roads have improved but I still glad I had a pick-up and four wheel drive, a couple of hollows had no bridge and the small springs just run over the bedrock of the road. A beautiful place of rest, rolling hills, green grass and towering oak trees. The trip is complete,I have visited the sites of each of my grandparents for the first time.
This area is expanding rapidly, but remains a beautiful location to live and it appears the home prices remain lower than most locations. Tonight, all of us'ans went out to dinner, a very nice restaurant with a great menu selection. I could not resist, having never done so I dined on a very good dinner of deep fried cat fish and frog legs. Having never seen them on a menu, they are referred to as a "saddle of frog legs". The legs are left connected on the upper part, consequently when you look at them, they resemble a saddle with each of the legs being the stirrup. Would I eat them again, an alert goes out tonight to Devyn and Kymber, gather more frogs next spring and feed them well - they are good! The meat the legs is similar to that of chicken, however, it is snow white! By the time you are all stirring around, we will be down the road a piece, headed west towards the setting sun, ya'all have a good un and talken to ya down the line. I have been in Arkansas to long.
P.S. Oh, before I forget, on our trek this morning, we got a little turned around, even our GPS was off the map. Saw a sheriff's office down off the road a short distance and what better place to ask directions. As we pulled up, there were two officers standing along side the building, I did not see the third man until I was out of the truck, he was taking a smoke break and being very carefully monitored by the officers. I do not know if it is because it is getting close to Halloween or what but he was dressed very strange, he had on a suit that looked like pajamas, but it had alternating black and white stripes the full length, the stripes were about two inches thick - strangest thing I ever did see, a man dressed up likde a zebra.

Lakeview, Arkansas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Benedict, Nebraska October 15, 2007
How are ya'all doing? A new phrase I learned today. We sometimes take for granted the immensity of our great state of Alaska, this morning I woke up on the Nebraska and Kansas border. Drove half the width and length of Kansas, into Missouri and completed the trip at our destination in Lakeview, Arkansas. Although we drove 510 miles today, saw three states we still drove less distance than from Anchor Point to Fairbanks! Arkansas is beautiful, rolling hills with heavy tree coverage of a wide variety of trees and shrubs. By coincidence,we checked into a motel just three blocks from Lanny and Sharon's home. We called upon them without notice, we all went out to dinner and had a great visit. We did discover one thing today, have owned my truck for three years, it was not until today when the temperatures hit 75 degrees that we discovered we do not have an air conditioner in our rig! It was hot out today, but it was nice to sit on the porch tonight in just our shirt sleeves, listen to the crickets and visit. Today, coming into Arkansas, I realized that it is almost 40 years to the date the last time I was here, your mother and I stopped here to visit my grandfather on our transfer from Florida to Adak. Things have changed in this area so much since October 1967.
Regressing slightly by one day, it was a great day, full of surprises as well as satisfaction. The pictures above are the grave sites of my grand parents, Henry Philo and Ella Belle (Baker), both of them passing prior to my birth and the migration of my family to Colorado. This was my first trip into the area where my parents were raised and is was well worth the entire trip. I had only heard stories of these towns as a child. It was only until I was adult that I learned stories are not always true, in this case they were.
Our first stop was in Silver Creek, a town I had heard so much about. Wanting to increase my knowledge of the family history, we stopped at the city library. A very nice lady offered to assist our search after we explained to her what we were looking for. She doubted that they would have much in their history files as Benedict, Nebraska was so far away, almost 23 miles! The first book she showed us had a biography, not of my grandfather but of my Great Grandfather and Great, Great Grandfather! Each shared had the first name of Henry. I will go into further detail in the future, but the interesting fact is that my Great Grandfather, joined the 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in April 1861 and went through the Civil War, being wounded several times and held captive for forty days. He was in the engagement of the capture Fort Henry and Fort Donelson as well as the Battle of Shiloh. Following the war, he returned to Illinois and his farm. In 1880 he moved to Nebraska and homesteaded in Benedict. As a child, I heard a story from my parents that we owned a town in Nebraska by the name of Benedict. The good news is that the story was true, we do own the town of Benedict, the bad news is that I think the 230 residents of the community would tend to disagree. Great Great Grandfather Henry purchased a quarter section of railroad land which included one half of the town of Benedict. He later increased his holdings to 335 acres. He married Mary A. Worsley on December 5, 1868 and they had twelve children of which my grandfather, Henry Philo was one of them who took over the farm after his fathers death.
From Silver Creek, we went to Benedict. A small town with a population of 230 residents. There is one cafe, a gas station, post office, community center, and he smallest bank that I have ever seen. The lady at the library gave me the name of K. Harrington that lived in Benedict and her phone number. Not being able to locate a pay phone, I decided to try the post office to see if they knew her. A very nice postmistress by the name of Linda did know her but she had moved to Denver. Explaining to Linda that I was trying to get some information about my father and grandfather, she asked me what my last name was. She not only recognized the name, but she had heard stories about Henry Philo and my dad from her father who is 84 years old and still living in Benedict. I asked what his name was and it was Morris, a name that I have seen many times in my fathers personal diary. My father had worked for her dad's father, not only on his farm but breaking horses for them . She also directed us to the grave sites of my grand parents and I told her about a mystery that I was trying to solve! She assured me that her dad would probably know and gave me his address and telephone number. I returned to the truck and was taking a picture of the post office when she came out and started across the street in my direction. She had just talked to her dad on the phone and he told her the entire story that solved the mystery that has plagued me for the past tens years of so. My grandfather was born Henry Philo Harrington, but on all of his paperwork including his death certificate his name is listed as Henry Philo "Ten" Harrington. The evident name of "Ten" had to be a nickname, perhaps he was he 10th Henry in the lineage, however that concept has been ruled out. I questioned my oldest sister and brothers that knew their grandfather, they did not know where or why the name "Ten" originated. This mystery has been resolved, however, I do not know if I want to share it! We also visited the school in an attempt to see if they had any records dating back to those years, annuals, etc. Met a very nice secretary and very helpful, but unfortunately, the high school was consolidated with the high school in Silver Creek last year and all that type of stuff is still in limbo in boxes somewhere. That is o.k., one day I will return to the area and explore a little more to see what else awaits to be discovered. Solving the mystery was rewarding enough for this trip.
Long Blog, Long Day, Ya'all have a god day and I will see you down in the holler a piece.

Salinas, Kansas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Short blog tonight since I am sitting in the cab of my truck working on battery power because Tom Boddett forgot to leave the damm light on and connect up to wireless. However, the hotel just down the street has wireless so I am in their parking lot - expect the Internet cops to come in and nab me at anytime. A great day, got to visit the grave sites of Henry Philo and Ella Harrington (my grandparents whom I never knew). Today was a reminder it is a small world, got additional research and documentation done on the family but best of all, I solved a mystery that I have been working on for the past ten years or so - no one in the family knew the answer, even my older siblings - but now I have the secret and the proof in my possession. You will just have to wait to find out. If all goes well, should be in Arkansas tomorrow night. See you on down the road.

Broken Bow, Nebraska  

Posted by Stan Harrington in

Top Left: This building is typical of those that you see in Hot Springs, SD. Built entirely of carved red sandstone blocks, note the ornate rock work at the top (there is an owl sitting up there). There is at last 50 buildings in this small town that is built this way.
Top Right: Wooden jail house built with 2x4's laid on top of each other in a log type construction. Inscription reads, "JAIL" 1888 HOT SPRINGS, DAKOTA TERRITORY
2nd Row Left: Words of Roosevelt that have as much meaning today as they did when he spoke them.
2nd Row Right: The meaning of Mt. Rushmore
3rd Row Left: The Mountain
3rd Row Right: Entrance to the Park and Mt. Rushmore
4th Row Left: Terry and the Presidents
Click to enlarge all the pictures for better detail.
We are now 421.5 miles from Belle Fourche and 3,852.8 miles from home, have entered the furthest time zone of the trip (Central). Tonight, we are in Broken Bow, Nebraska. Tomorrow after a short drive, we will be in the area that my dad and mom were raised. Again, we had a fabulous day even though it was a cloudy overcast. Passed through Deadwood City, a quaint little community with a lot of casino's and some fabulous old buildings. This area is in the Black Hills of South Dakota, forget the little valley I found in Montana as a choice to live. This is one of the most beautiful areas that I have seen in the lower forty eight. Of course, all of you know I love my rocks, this area has some of the neatest rock formations that I have ever seen combined with the heavy forestation of Ponderosa Pine. I have found a town that I could live in, Hot Springs, SD. All of the buildings are made of red sandstone sculptured rocks, some of them dating back to the 1800's. The more modern buildings are made of brick to blend in. Fences, terraces, bridges are all made of rock and it also is nestled in a little valley surrounded by the Black Hills.

The highlight of the trip today, was Mount Rushmore. The pictures that you see of it does not do it justice, it is inspiring to see it looming over you. The entire area is beautiful, the museum, outdoor theatre, and two inside theatres are all of natural rock and beautiful, but the four presidents on the mountain are spectacular. Another history lesson for my grandchildren.
Mt Rushmore is also in the Black Hills of South Dakota, there are sheer rock formations several hundred feet tall. Originally in 1923 Doane Robinson thought some of rock needles should be carved into statues, Buffalo Bill and War Chief Red Cloud were mentioned as good choices. He contacted Gutzon Borglum, who was carving a confederate memorial on Stone Mountain in Georgia.

Borglum scouted the area and looked at the rock needles but was reluctant to try to carve them because of the softness of the rock and in their place he chose the mountain to do his art work because of the dense granite that could be preserved forever. To start the project,he had to blast 50 tons away from the cliff to gain access to the granite that he wanted to carve. He also thought that art work of this size should tell the history of the U.S. and those men who were instrumental in holding it together as a young nation. He envisioned four presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the park in 1927 and the work commenced. The artist, Borglum was then age 57 when he commenced his work. To insure that things were proportionate in size, he made sculptured faces in small detail until they were perfect. Then on the mountain, a shaft was planted where of the center of head would be, a large protractor was then placed on the shaft hanging over the mountain with a weighted plumb line attached. The scale of the art work from the model was one inch on the model to twelve feet on the mountain. The carvings are in detail, down to the mustache of those presidents that ad one as well as the eyeglasses of Roosevelt including the rubber nose pads. Over four hundred men worked on the mountain, hanging from Bosn' chairs several hundred feet from the ground. The lead carver was the highest paid at $1.50 per day, the drillers that had to drill thousands of 2 inch holes received .65 cents per day. The majority of the sculpture was done by blasting, 90% was taken off with dynamite of various size charges dependent on how much rock they need to blow away. The drillers would drill 2 inch holes two inches apart in the area that needed blasting to a depth that need to be removed and then the proper size charge were placed. The blasts occurred twice a day, right before lunch break and again at quitting time. During the time it took to sculpture the mountain, not one single life was lost despite not having any type of safety gear. The head of Washington was dedicated in 1930, followed by Jefferson in 1936, Lincoln in 1937 and Roosevelt in 1939. Borglum died in March 1941. The final dedication was not held until 50 years later when President George Bush, SR dedicated the site. What most people do not know, is that behind Mt. Rushmore there is a break between the mountain and a second cliff, in this cliff Borglum started construction of a rock vault carved into the cliff that would house all of the artifacts of the project, drawings and hand tools. He passed away before this was accomplished and it has went onto remain unfinished. The park service now uses it to store tools and fireworks for the annual display that is held here each year on July 4th. History 101 is now completed and you will be tested on it around the firepit!

While at Mt. Rushmore, it was trying to spit a little snow, by the time we got off the mountain it was raining and as we crossed over into the badlands of Nebraska it was raining hard. I now know my father was a very wise man, when he decided to rip up his roots in Nebraska and move his family to Colorado! Rolling prairie for as far as the eye can see, the only trees you see are those planted around the farms or in the small communities. Several road signs made us laugh today as we entered some of these smaller towns, the smallest town we saw listed the populations as eight. One town had a post office but no commercial business of any kind. Anchor Point would be a metropolis to some that we have seen today. As for wildlife today, deer, antelope, and several large flocks of wild turkeys, Dutch and I tried to run them down so we could bring home fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, but they are a fast bird! We did get one feather! A great memorable day,
Tomorrow will be an interesting day to see if we can discover any additional information about our lineage and possibly run into some unknown cousins. See you on down the line.