Daily-ish Blog 2022

I’m back! This year my travels begin with a road trip to Southwest US. Then I fly to Portugal to walk a camino to Santiago, Spain. And finally I will work in a gift shop in a national park in Maine. All of this will happen within a six-month period.

Wrapping up what happened from June through December:

As you can see that I am on my own schedule and accountable only to me. I appreciate you checking in on me. And Happy New Year!

November through December and into 2023: A stopover in Boston, then onto Death Valley

Once my job at Acadia National Park ended, I visited with my cousin in Arlington, Mass, just outside of Boston. They live near a bus stop, so each day I walked down the hill, caught a bus and explored Boston. I walked the Freedom Trail, rode some ferries and even went on a ghost tour. So much history and great canoles from the North End!

The Old North Church along the Freedom Trail.

I flew from Boston to Reno, celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my son and his fiancee, then drove down to Death Valley to start my next seasonal job at Stovepipe Wells.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are just two miles from my temporary home.

August: Cape Cod and Maine

I was lucky to have some free days to visit with my cousins in Falmouth, Mass. While there I got to explore Martha’s Vineyard, Woods Hole, and Falmouth.

The Kennedy Memorial in Hyannis was designed by my cousin’s father.

From there I rode four buses in two days — Falmouth to Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine. Once in Maine, I started work at Jordan Pond House Gift Shop in Acadia National Park. This was a temporary job that ended on October 30. During my short 10 weeks there I ate lobster and hiked many trails.

Jordan Pond and the Bubbles. Home for 10 weeks.
Sunset from Cadillac Mountain.

July: Buses and trains around Spain and Portugal

I visited some amazing and historic places such as San Sebastián, Bilbao, Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Lisbon. I saw crazy architecture by Gaudi, watched authentic Flamenco, viewed the Alhambra from afar at night, and much more. There was too much to see in 2-1/2 weeks and I guess I must return another time.

After watching a wonderful Flamenco dance performance, I saw the Alhambra all lit up on my way back to my hostel.

June 22 – July 25: Walked like a Pilgrim

This year I broke away from my usual trip to the British Isles and tried something different. I walked more than 200 miles from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. That includes a few wrong turns and local sightseeing. I followed the Porto Camino along the coastline and took the Spiritual Variant that included a boat ride on the Rio Ella. This was an amazing experience.

What others finished in 12 days, I did in 25 days. I was in no hurry.

Mid-June: I saw Miles and Miles of Texas, plus a bit of the Oklahoma Panhandle

Most of my siblings and their spouses made this reunion.

We had a small family reunion in Amarillo, Texas. While there we saw “Texas, the Musical”, walked along Route 66 in old Amarillo, and visited a 10,000+ acre cattle ranch in Guymon, Oklahoma. The Hitch Ranch is where my brother raises grass-fed beef.

A couple of real cowboys working on the Hitch Ranch

May: Driving through Nevada and Arizona to learn to milk goats

Okay, so I’m a little slow on the uptake. But this is who I am. I enjoy my adventures, then take my time sharing them with you. I do hope you enjoy reading about them. Also, please note that my most current entries are at the top of this blog.

Old Reno Arch
Original arch that spanned Virginia Street

This year’s adventure began the first week of May: my first stop was Reno, Nevada. Did you know that Reno got it’s nickname “The Biggest Little City in the World” from a contest in 1935? The winner got $100 for his contribution.

Oh, man! I am not good at keeping this current. Sorry. Just to recap what I have done since May 7:

May 8: Prescott to Chandler: Happy Mother’s Day!

I didn’t have time for sightseeing detours as I spent as much time with my Prescott hostess as I could. I arrived at Creme de la Baa Farm in Chandler just in time for my new hostess to show me my room and she left to have Mother’s Day dinner with her daughter. I had a quiet night in my new home.

He may look tough, but this tom turkey was a sweetheart.

May 9 – June 3: Life on Creme de la Baa Farm
I did many chores: 
• Milked goats
• Fed chickens & ducks
• Collected and sorted eggs
• Watered garden
• Picked apricots
• Pulled weeds
• Helped in the kitchen
• Helped at the farmers market
• Took dance lessons (yes, fun things happened)

This goat was so sweet. She stood quietly while I milled her.

Local Exploration:
• San Tan Mountain Regional Park
• Superstition Mountains Museum (Apacheland Film Set)
• Goldfield Ghost Town
• Saguaro National Park
• Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
• South Mountain Park/Preserve
• Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
• Casa Grande Neon Park

Goldfield Ghost Town was quite busy with tourists. Restaurant, museum, gold panning, gift shops make a very lively ghost town.

Overnight Road Trips

May 21-22: Quartzite-London Bridge-Kingman-Wikieup-Wickenburg

A bridge in London, built in the mid-1800’s was set for demolition. Instead a land developer bought it and had it reassemble in Lake Havasu City.

May 28-29: Superior-Globe-Show Low-Petrified Forest-Painted Desert

I drove through the Salt River Canyon on my way to Show Low.

June 3: Until We Meet Again
I milked the goats one more time, loaded up my car and said farewell to my gracious hostess for the last 3-1/2 weeks. I hurried off to Prescott to spend the night with my friend there again. It was extended an extra night as something I ate didn’t agree with me and I was incapacitated for 24 hours. 

My Wwoof hostess, Tara is an amazing woman. She sews, dances, bakes, makes yogurt, fudge, granola, sells her wares at a local farmers market. She also raised 7 children on her little farm.

June 5: Prescott to Tonopah

• Detour drive along a section of Route 66
• Burma Shave Signs galore
• Lunch at Grand Canyon Caverns
• Goldfield Hotel

Defunct mini golf at Grand Canyon Caverns can be found along Route 66.

June 6: Tonopah to Reno

• Wild burros in Beatty
• Buckland Station
• Wild horses in Silver Springs

Wild horses just lounging alongside the road.

June 7-13: Relaxing in Reno with family and friends.

May 7: Page to Prescott

Entrance to Code Talker Museum

Tuba City – I wanted to visit the Code Talker Museum. According to Google Maps it was open, but unfortunately the information was not current. The museum is closed on weekends.

Back lot of the Cameron Trading Post in Cameron.

Cameron – I stopped for an early lunch at the Cameron Trading Post. Wearing masks indoors is strictly enforced. The view from the restaurant was nice.

Lamaze Pueblo at the Wupatki National Monument

Before arriving in Flagstaff, I made a detour to visit the Wupatki National Monument. The monument features some pueblo ruins like this one – Lomaki Pueblo. Also a couple of cinder cones called Doney Mountain was a must visit. The Wupatki Pueblo was amazing and work the visit.

I continued driving to Flagstaff and on to my destination – Prescott. I had a wonderful visit with a family friend I hadn’t seen in roughly 40 years. We had dinner in town at The Palace Saloon and Restaurant.

May 6: Page

Masks required on Navajo Nation
Masks required on Navajo Nation

I signed up for a photo tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. Because covid 19 wrecked havoc on the Navajo people, they continue to require masks for any time you are on their land and in their businesses. But that did not take away from the stunning beauty of this canyon carved by wind and water.

Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope Canyon

Every turn in this canyon revealed another amazing formation.

Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend

After the tour I ate lunch then walked the .6 mile path to the Horseshoe Bend overlook. It’s an easy hike, but very brutal when walking during the hottest time of day. Fortunately I did wear my hydration pack.

Japanese Tourists
Japanese Tourists

Of course, I couldn’t resist stopping this couple and asking for permission to photograph them.

Sunset over Lake Powell
Sunset over Lake Powell

Before finishing my day with a dinner consisting of a cup of noodles, I drove out to a Lake Powell scenic overlook. Not much water in the lake.

May 5: Rachel to Page

Little A'le'Inn Cafe & Motel
Little A’le’Inn Cafe & Motel

I woke up and was ready to go before the cafe opened. I headed south on Highway 375. I didn’t see any UFOs last night or this morning.

First Joshua Tree sighting
First Joshua Tree sighting

Soon after leaving Rachel I started seeing Joshua Trees. These are from the Yucca family and grow only in the Mojave Desert Region of California, Nevada and Arizona.

Thanking their warriors
Thanking their warriors
Thanking their warriors
Thanking their warriors

Caliente, Nevada is a cute little remote village. It is a good place to top off your gas tank. This section of town proudly displayed banners on light posts

Utah State Line
Utah State Line

I turned left to Panaca, Nevada and drove down Highway 319, which became Highway 56 and onward to Kanab, Kaibab and the Arizona State Line.

Leaving Cedar City on Highway 14.
Leaving Cedar City on Highway 14.

I took a lunch break in Cedar City and topped off my gas tank again. Cedar City is set up against some amazing natural landscapes.

Moqui Cave - Museum & Gift Shop near Kanab
Moqui Cave – Museum & Gift Shop near Kanab

This was a nice stop along the way to Page. The cave reveals no signs of ancient occupancy, however, the previous owner collected lots of artifacts from around the world that included Indian artifacts, dinosaur tracks, and loads of rock samples.

Arizona State Line
Arizona State Line

When I left Cedar City I followed highway 14, then picked up US Highway 89 and followed it all the way into Page. The Arizona State Line is just a few miles north of Page.

Page Lake Powell Campground
Page Lake Powell Campground

This was a clever little campground. It is clean and very well organized. My tent site included an electrical outlet, which I used to recharge my phone. Also a water faucet next to the power. My shade tree was just a sapling, but I did get to benefit from the much larger trees in the adjacent tent sites.

May 4: Reno to Rachel

Silver Queen
The Silver Queen, a Virginia City icon.

Virginia City, Nevada. The most haunted city in Nevada. As a child I enjoyed reading the signs along the side of the road as we approached Virginia City. The Bucket of Blood Saloon. The Silver Queen made of over 2,000 silver dollars in the Silver Queen Saloon. And my favorite – The Delta Saloon with its “Suicide Table”. However, all I saw was several signs for “The Way it Was Museum.” I walked around town and it still is rustic, but many of the business and museums of my youth are no longer open.

Gold Hill Hotel
Gold Hill Hotel

I drove on down to the town of Gold Hill and the Gold Hill Hotel. According to legend, two ghosts reside in this hotel. One is a cigar smoking gentleman. One time he decided to take a ride with a family who had dined there. Their car filled with cigar smoke, but then it disappeared after a short distance. The other ghost is a woman who likes to linger outside the hotel rooms. You can tell when she is near because of the strong smell of roses, despite the fact that no roses were present.

Downtown Tonopah
Downtown Tonopah, featuring the Mizpah Hotel

My journey continued through central Nevada, passing through historic places like Dayton, Silver Springs, Yerington (Home of the historic landmark Sage Crest Drive-In), Schurz, Walker Lake, Hawthorne (Home of the World’s Largest Ammo Depot), Luning, Mina, and Tonopah. A great place to top off my gas tank. I considered stopping here for the night, but chose to drive on down to Rachel for dinner and a room.

Extraterrestrial Highway, State Highway 375
Extraterrestrial Highway, State Highway 375

May 1 – 4: Reno, Nevada
I visited with friends, my son and his fiancee.

New Reno Arch
Newest Reno Arch on Virginia Street

May 3: Downtown Walking Tour
While in Reno I did a walking tour on a very nice day. My first stop was the original Reno Arch outside the National Automobile Museum. That is the image at the top of this blog. The arch immediately above has been in place since 1968 and had a makeover in 2018. This arch is straddling Virginia Street. There have been a few versions of the arch between the first and current.

Mural in downtown Reno
Mural in downtown Reno

As I was walking up Virginia Street I saw this striking mural. Reno is one of many cities that have beautiful murals scattered around the city center.

Wild Horse sculpture, 4th Street, Reno
Wild Horse sculpture, 4th Street, Reno

I turned down 4th Street. Fun Fact: 4th Street was originally US Highway 40. There is an assortment of old timey motels still along the old highway the went through downtown Reno. But then Interstate 80 bypassed downtown. More recently, 4th Street has been decorated with original sculptures, like this wild horse sculpture.