Home in Bloomington, Illinois

Sunday, March 20, 2016

We left Olathe, Kansas around 9:15 this morning with cloudy skies, but no rain.  Went right past Kansas City.  Glad it was a Sunday morning.  Traffic was not bad at all.

Kansas City

We drove up I-35 and over the Missouri River till we hit hwy 36 at Cameron, Missouri. 

I-35 bridge over Missouri River

We drove through North Kansas City, where I went to high school.  Of course, after 50 years, the only thing I could remember were a few of the street names.  I doubt if I could find my old neighborhood.  Things have grown quite a bit.

Drove straight across Missouri on hwy 36, a four lane highway with no traffic until it connected to I-72 at the Ilinois border.  I must say that was a nice highway.  Beats going I-70 to I-55 by a long shot.

Storm clouds were brewing as we crossed into Missouri, but it never rained.

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We connected with I-55 at Springfield, sixty miles south of Bloomington.  After seven hours of driving we are home.  It feels so good to be home in a large house and hot water. 

Springfield, Missouri

We left home on December 30, 2015 and returned home on March 20, 2016 for a total of 82 days.  We traveled 4,345 miles in the motorhome during that time and our total costs for the journey was $3,535.  That averages to $43.11 a day or $1,178.33 a month for three months.

I have enjoyed doing this blog and I hope I have brought some enjoyment to those that read my blog over the past three months.  I will not be doing a daily blog while at home.

See you later.

We’re still in Kansas

Saturday, March 19, 2016

After a full day of driving, we are still in Kansas.

We left Liberal, Kansas around 9:15 this morning, continuing our drive northeast on hwy 54.  When we reached Newton, we turned onto hwy 50 to Emporia.  Unfortunatley, there were winds today and I had to hold on tight as we made our way across the open Kansas prairie.

Kansas

Train in Kansas

Farm in Kansas

Barn in Kansas

Silo in Kansas

We had planned to spend the night in Emporia, but it was about 3 PM, too early to call it a day.  Instead, we bought gas and studied our Microsoft Streets and Maps software again.

It looked like we could drive on to Olathe, just outside Kansas City and spend the night there.  This would make it a 385 mile drive today.  But, then we would be about 390 miles from home, so we could complete our journey a day early and be home Sunday afternoon.

That’s what we decided to do.  Drove the 80 miles to Olathe on I-35 and called it a night at about 4:30 at the Olathe, Kansas Walmart parking lot.

The roads were great and we had no traffic problems at all. I am sure we will take this route again, if we take another road trip to the southwest.

We are tired tonight, but we had to watch the local Kansas City TV channels tonight.  Both Dolly and I grew up in the Kansas City area and channels like KCMO and KMBC were still a memory to both of us.  I still remember the radio station, WHB (World’s Happiest Broadcasters) I listend to as a teenager.

See you later.

We ended up in Kansas

Friday, March 18, 2016

This morning I looked over our travel plans on my Microsoft Streets and Trips software.  My normal path is to just follow I-40 all the way to St. Louis. 

But, I hate paying the tollway fees going from Oklahoma City to Joplin, Missouri.  They just irritate me.  I think over the years, I have paid enough tollway fees on those roads to pay for them.  So, looking over the map, I decided to go northeast on hwy 54 at Tucumcari, New Mexico to Liberal, Kansas.

We started out in New Mexico this morning around 9:30 to Tucumcari and then drove northeast on hwy 54 through the Texas panhandle and then the Oklahoma panhandle and just over the state line we stopped around 5:00 PM for the night in Liberal, Kansas at the Walmart parking lot.  Four states for the day. 

I must say, the flat plains of Texas and Oklahoma are pretty drab.  Just as we hit Texas, it clouded up and by the time we got to our destination, it was 32 degrees and spitting snow. 

Hwy 54, Texas panhandle

Hwy 54, Texas panhandle

Racing a train towards the town of Hooker, Oklahoma.

Hooker, Oklahoma

It is going down to 22 degrees for the night, so definitely be burning the propane tonight.  I am sure now, our southwestern trip is definitely over.

See you later.

Canyon de Chelly–Day 2 continued

Thursday, March 17, 2016 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Today was a travel day.  We took hwy 12 down the Arizona/New Mexico border to Window Rock and then on to Gallup, New Mexico.  We were driving in high country among Ponderosa Pines and buttes.  The elevation on the drive was 6500 to 7500 feet.

High country

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From there we caught I-40 and drove east to Edgewood, N.M., just east of Albuquerque.  We are spending the night in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot.

I wasn’t able to finish with all the photos of our hike down to the White House ruins and our excursions after the hike . 

This is as close as I get to the drop-off.  I am afraid of heights.

Canyon de Chelly

This is what you see when you step out of the tunnel entering the floor of the canyon.  The hut you see is called a Hogan by the Navajo.

Canyon de Chelly

Here’s Dolly coming out of the tunnel.

Canyon de Chelly

This is the view looking away from the ruins across the creek into a grove of Cottonwood trees on the canyon floor.

Canyon de Chelly

After resting awhile, all four of us took a jeep ride to the north rim. 

Our first stop was to the Antelope Overlook.  We could see Antelope House ruin down in the cliff wall below left center.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

The last stop was the Mummy Cave.  There were ruins there also.  These are one of the largest ancesterial puebloan villages in the canyon.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Sadly, we are on our way home, so our southwest journey for this year is quickly coming to a close as the miles eastward start to stack up.  Won’t be long before we are home once more.

See you later.

Canyon de Chelly–Day 2

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This morning, Dolly and I headed to the White House Overlook to hike down to the canyon floor and see the White House ruins up close.  It is a 3 mile round-trip hike.  We left our babies in the MH.

The canyon belongs to the Najavo and they only allow hiking down to the canyon floor at this location.  To see the rest of the canyon floor, a paid Navajo guide is required along with a National Park permit.

Dolly looking out over the canyon as we begin our hike.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de ChellyCanyon de Chelly

You don’t want to stumble on this trail.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

There are several tunnels dug through the canyon walls.

Canyon de ChellyCanyon de Chelly

Made it to the floor of the canyon and crossed the creek.

Canyon de Chelly

Finally made it to the ruins.  There are ruins in the side of the cliff and ruins on the canyon floor.  We were not allowed to go into the ruins.  There is a fence keeping us at a distance to protect them.

White House ruins

White House ruins

Give you an idea of how high the cliff above the ruins really is.

Canyon de Chelly

It was a strenuous three mile hike, but well worth the effort.

Tomorrow, I will present more photos of the canyon.  There were just too many for one blog.

See you later.

Canyon de Chelly–Day 1

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 – Ides of March

Today, we visited the southern rim of the Canyon de Chelly. The views into the canyon were beautiful.

Canyon de Chelly   Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly    Canyon de Chelly

White House ruins

Canyon de Chelly

Tomorrow, we hope to walk down the canyon to the White House ruins.

See you later.

Travel to Chinle, Arizona

Monday, March 14, 2016

Today is a travel day.  Even though it is calling for cool days and chilly nights in the Arizona high country, we decided to visit Canyon de Chelly.

We left the nice warm Roosevelt Lake area this morning, heading for the Mogollon Rim country of northern Arizona.  It wasn’t long till we reached the beautiful town of Payson.  Turned east on highway 260 to the town of Heber. 

We reached an elevation of 7700 feet along the rim.  We could see snow along side the road.

Mogollon Rim

At the small town of Heber on the rim, we turned north on hwy 277 and then to hwy 377 ending up on I-40 at Holbrook.

I won’t be able to post all the photos taken on the trip because we only get 3G internet and it is very slow loading photos.

The drive north on hwy 77 from I-40 into the Navajo Indian Reservation was spectacular.  Not much traffic.

Navajo Country

Navajo Country

Navajo Country

Navajo Country

We made it to the Cottonwood Campground near Canyon de Chelly around 4:30 and setup camp.  Looking forward to exploring the canyon over the next few days.

See you later.