Thursday, November 5, 2015
Well, after some 3K miles of traveling through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, we have settled in Panama City Beach for a much needed break.
On our way to Longview, Washington we managed to take a quick detour through Flagstaff, Arizona and made a quick jog up to the Grand Canyon. My mother had never been there and my wife had only seen it from the west rim.
When you get to Flagstaff, you have several options on how you want to get to the south rim of the canyon. One would be to head west on I-40 about 30 miles and take Hwy 64 straight north. 64 will join Hwy 180 and take you straight to the south rim. But if you're looking for scenery you won't get much on this 60 mile drive.
The other option is to take Hwy 180 north out of the heart of Flagstaff. It will wind through the mountains and forests for about 40 miles then meet up with Hwy 64. It's a beautiful drive if you have the extra time. This route will add 15 to 20 miles to get to the Grand Canyon.
So enough about that. Here's a few pictures we took, but just for the record, the ONLY way to truly experience this true treasure of our planet is to go see it yourself. Stand at the edge in awe. I know we did.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
THE BEAST HAULING US ACROSS THE US
A few days ago, I began posting about our journey to leave Southeast Texas and travel the states. I’ve decided to change up the format a bit and give you a little information every post about our present location and weather conditions—after all, one of our major complaints with SE Texas was the hot humid conditions. Oh, and let’s not forget the smell of the local refineries and paper mills.
Oct. 7 2015 in Longview, WA
Current temp is 57 with rain
Now back to our trip getting here. When we finally made it across the HUGE state of Texas, we took the back roads of southwest Oklahoma to the town of Anadarko—self proclaimed Indian capitol of the nation. If you want to learn a little about Native American culture and heritage, this is a good place to start. There are museums, artistry, and artifacts. During the eighties oil boom, Anadarko went from a population of 5000 or so, to something double that, and that number may be low depending on when you took the census. But the oil boom is long gone so Anadarko is like a lot of small towns in this country; considered home for some, a pass through on the map for others. I graduated High School there and still have family members who reside there, including my mother who is joining us for a few weeks on the early part of our US journey.
I wish I could fill in another paragraph or two about the great things we saw on the road north towards Kansas, but I can’t. Maybe if we had gone farther east to Tulsa or at least to Lake Tenkiller I could have provided some nice pictures. Driving north through Oklahoma City straight up I-35 toward Wichita Kansas you see mainly farm land or grassy rolling hills. Oklahoma City has done a lot to revitalize its downtown area with lots of fun things to do, but driving through does little to keep your senses occupied. We were just making miles to get from one place to another.
If you’re wondering why we went north through Oklahoma and Kansas to get to Washington, stay tuned.
Thanks for traveling with us today. Watch that first step getting out of the truck.
Monday, October 5, 2015
MY VIEW IN LONGVIEW WASHINGTON
As I write this blog, I’m sitting next to a series of picture windows overlooking a tributary that dumps into the Columbia River in Longview, Washington. To my right I can almost throw a rock to the Oregon border. The foothills surrounding this area, and the sunny October sky, are enough to make an outdoors person want to go take a hike or a bike ride. To say this area is beautiful might be an understatement. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I left the southeast coast of Texas just nine days ago. My wife and I packed everything we own into a ten by fifteen storage unit and took off in search of adventure out on the open road (and many back roads, I’m sure). So how did we get to Washington? And what did we see along the way? Where will we go next? I’ll try to answer those questions as we go along. If you’d like, travel along with us through this blog. I’ll try to offer thorough descriptions, travel advice for when you decide to experience some of these places and I’ll include as many photos as necessary for you to get a feel for what we’re seeing.
Find you a seat close to a window and buckle up!
I’ve lived in Texas most of my adult life, as has my wife. Anyone who has experienced driving across the state east to west or north to south knows how Massive this state is. If you’re going through Texas you better pack a lunch, and dinner, and maybe a midnight snack-just to be safe. Here’s an example: El Paso, TX is closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas. Going East out of Houston, you can cross three states and be halfway through Florida before you would reach El Paso going west. You could visit TEN northeastern states in the distance it takes to go from Houston to Amarillo, TX (600 miles!)
There are lots of things to see and do in Texas, but on our journey from Beaumont to Oklahoma—by way of Hwy 287 that cuts diagonal across the state—things turned out to be fairly uneventful. We prefer the scenery of west Austin, Fredericksburg and the hill country. A trip to Big Bend, TX will be on our travel list at a later time.
A few more quick notes about Texas:
Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885.
More species of bats live in Texas than any other part of the United States.
THE BATS FLYING AT DUSK IN AUSTIN