Wednesday, April 23, 2014


   April 22--   Boy, Atlanta takes the cake. Everybody's speeding on expresso & the expressway, zipping lane-to-lane, doing 80, forgetting Wal-Mart is open 24 hrs.--maybe they've got to pee.  Whatever--they're nuts! Drug the EGG through The Big Easy, Dallas several times, Houston, Pheonix--hell and the other half of Georgia, but Atlanta is hopeless. Garmin, 2 IPhones,road atlas & above normal IQ's didn't matter. We screamed a good bit, finally found I-85 North, and checked into a Holiday Inn Express.
   Arrived home to waist-high grass, 25 lbs. of junk mail, various, perpetual medical bills I've already paid but they send you a duplicate bill in hopes you pay twice; etc. Most importantly, it was green; it was lush; it was the crib.
    Thirty-six nights in the EGG; way too much sensory input; many laughs; a busted knuckle, a good bit of discomfort; some fear--all-in-all, we're real glad we did it.  But, I ain't going no where for a while.
   Reflecting on how this trek got started, two things come to mind:  (1) Ann & I were looking through the living room window at a cold and gloomy day, when Ann says, "What are we going to do, just sit around here being old people?" (2) A little bit later, I stumbled upon a favorite quote: "Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, Before we too into Dust descend; Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie Sans Wine; sans Song; sans Singer, and---sands End!"
       --The Rubaiyat, Omar Khayyam


Friday, April 18, 2014

Sentimental at Foghorn Leghorn

  April 18th, Foghorn Leghorn (Lake Claiborne) St. Pk., La.--Final entry before arriving home (BACK IN THE GREEN GROOVE). Where the Foghorn Leghorn came from remains a mystery. (A twisted mind is a dangerous thing.) Ironically, we stayed here Fall, a year ago, en route to Big Bend Nat. Pk. Gorgeous, huge, undeveloped lake skirts the park; kids everywhere, laughing, chasing, being happy. A lot we old farts can learn from this child behavior--the acting like you feel; the screaming and laughing. 
    The park is way back in the woods, 10-15 miles from Louisiana's piece of I-20 It's Good Friday. Lots of campers--big rigs and pup tents--all local folks. One fellow has a big propane tank with a roaring burner and a rolling pot of oil you could cook a turkey in--maybe two at once. He's happy. I'll have to see what he's going to cook. Like I say, we've been here before. Funny how you sometimes end up at the same sites when you move east to west/west to east across the country  
   Why do they call it Good Friday & not bad Friday? Isn't this when Jesus was nailed to the cross? And I like the robbers on adjacent crosses--one repentant--the other saying, "If Jesus is so special how come he's hanging  up here on a cross like us ?" And the other robber asking Jesus for forgiveness, which Jesus does, and then gives him a pass to heaven. What do you reckon became of the non- repentant robber? Went to the fiery pit. Given Bible litigation, there wasn't any option, right? 
   Ann and I are feeling tired of trailering, for now. And I repeat, for now. I suppose we're feeling a little sentimental, too. It's always  this way for us at the end of a journey. ETA, Charlotte is Sunday PM or Monday AM. No photos from today. Just glad it's green, green, green; there's humidity; it's warm and the constant, desert wind ain't blowing.  I'll do a wrap-up in the next few days & I'll try not to be schmaltzy. Later....  

Bryce, Zion redux

Thursday, April 17, 2014


   Having inadvertently dumped sewage in Hurricane, UT., next to the Mormon mink farmer's big rig, then dumping high test at the Valaro gas station in Clyde, Tx.            I was beginning to wonder about EGG neurosis.  Be that as it may, I'm flipping back in the travel chronology to fill in three events:  Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome Basin & Tucumcari KOA, the dust storm, snow, and the nifty shower stall notice.
   Like the Grand Canyon, you look down into Bryce from its rim--a good bit higher than the GC, with elevations in excess of 9000'. You'll note the snow remnants, an  arch or two; etc. Kodachrome Basin is a noted, v. remote campground & the spot  the former film & camera corp. came to test the accuracy of their color film. And then there was the sand storm on I-40--a blinding event forcing all but a few wacky truckers to bail off. We landed  at the Tucumcari, NM KOA--lost in time, run down, a remnant from the 50's.
An ancient walkie-talky on the front door was how you roused the owner. There were few campers--most arriving due to the sand and horrid wind. The notice on the shower stall wall is self-explanatory. This KOA would be a choice spot for a David Lynch movie.  The next AM the ground was covered with snow & all connections frozen.  I filled my trusty 5 gal. bucked with hot h20 from the men's room, flushed it down the EGG's sink & toilet, got out my trusty pliers & we broke camp & blasted off, East, on I-40.  Later...

Monday, April 14, 2014


   April 14,2014, Clyde Texas, Valero gas station:  I set the  squeeze trigger on the high test gas filler & start filling her up. I'm cleaning my windshield, hear this gushing noise & gas is running all under my truck , around the island---maybe 1.5-2 gals. I step in the pond of petrol, click the trigger &, cut off the flood. Knowing I need to get the hell outta there, I hop in, but my gasoline-laden, rubber boot sole was so slick I can't keep it on the clutch so I can push it in & start the engine. I'm GD'n like a stevedore. Ann's eyes are like saucers (not knowing what's going on); I get her cranked, move beyond the blast zone but here comes a Minicooper & a dude in a painter van pulling into the zone, right amongst the high test. I warn them off; the cute Texas lass in the Cooper thanks me profusely--her eyes blinking like a debutante in lust & says "...yeah, this station has had a problem with this before."  Humm... She's now directing newcomers to stay the hell away, so I sprint inside & tell the clerk--- who turned out to have a genetically predetermined blank look on her face--- that there's gas all over the damn place & get the gasoline-absorption grit muy pronto!!!! Her blank look got seemingly blanker, then she shuffles, nonchalantly into the cooler. I'm thinking, I need to get the hell outta this place. Me smelling like gas & Ann still wondering what the hell's going on, we bust off through pot holes in the adjacent, vacant lot---the EGG bouncing like a rubber duck in a baby's bath. In the rear mirror I see the debutante directing traffic like a crossing guard & the "blank" humanoid clerk watching with her hands on her mighty hips.   Later...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Zion Redux, Kolob Canyons, Rt. 14 Bryce Canyon

   April 8th--Didn't do yesterday's Zion Nat. Pk. blog justice. For perspective, note photos and imagine yourself maybe a 16th of an inch tall, standing at the foot of one of these enormous cliffs with their biblical names:  G. White Throne, Court of Patriarch, etc, Canyons of Zion are all steep, steep masterpieces sculpted from raw rock by the Virgin River.
   Today, found us en route to Bryce Canyon Nat. Pk.,with today's trek beginning with the Kolob Canyons Nt. Pk. 8 mi. steep, steep loop up to +8k' with countless spires poking another 1k-1500' into the sky.  What can I say? More and more sensory overloading. The wild turkey was leery, but we suspected that it hankered a Ritz Cracker. From Kolob we tore off cross-country toward Bryce C. on Rt. 14--switchback upon switchback with adjacent snow and surprisingly, basalt  lava rocks in the meadows.  This black rock suggests recent (maybe the past million or two yrs.) volcanic activity.
   Lunch at the Railroad Cafe ("Eat a Carrot not a Steak") and we had beef BBQ. wasn't a steak. Deer or Elk  head loomed over my shoulder. Tonight, at remote trailer pk. not far from Bryce Canyon,which we'll do tomorrow. Note
 photos of Zion (yesterday's blog) + today's photos per the above "rap."
I'm bushed. Later.....

Monday, April 7, 2014


  April 7th, Monday---   I ain't making this up:  Yesterday we pulled in the Hurricane KOA (they've got more & better Maytags), and our slot was rt. next to a Big Rig trailer ($400+K) operated by husband & wife mink farmers (Mormons?) from here in Utah."Does anyone wear mink these days?" I ask. "Of course, of course--you're not with PETA are you?"the wife answers 
--her eyes narrow and mean. "Is the mink business very lucrative? I ask. "Oh yes--yes, it can be. But with the recession and all, we had to manage a bar to pay the feed bill. But we're doing good now." (Evidentially, given the size of their Big Rig.) Things turned sour when we accidentally dumped 3 days worth of stored sewage on the ground. Shortly, they moved to another slot. Alas.....
   Went to Zion Canyon Nat. Pk. today. Tons of people---tons of sensory overload. Squirrels were so tame they'd hop in your lap for a handout.  Oriental woman with an ostentatious Nikon on a tripod moved close to photo one of these tourist squirrels and said, " rat have bushy tail."
      (note photos of Zion.)


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sedona-Flagstaff-Grand Canyon

   Sedona to Flagstaff via 89 was another breath-taking event:  skinny road with patches of black ice from an overnight light snow; serious switchbacks, overhanging rocks on the right side, causing me to go left over the double yellow line so as not to crack the EGG ; steep, steep grades requiring second gear--a first in +-20K miles of EGGing.  There's only one photo of this trek. There  were no places to pull off. Had lunch in Flagstaff with Carlton Shepherd, pal & outstanding artist.
   April 3-6:  And then there was the exceedingly GRAND CANYON!!!  Took two  long hikes along the southern rim. Hopefully, the photos will speak for themselves. 
   Sensory overload is a bit of a cliche', but this is what this far-western trek has been all about.  You simply have to see it to understand.  e.g., every view of the Grand Canyon tops the one before it and the same vista is always in transition as the day passes, the light pales, clouds move before the sun and maybe tufts of fog move down a cut in the canyon maybe a couple of miles away. 
    I'm looking out the EGG's window and watching a flock of ravens devour an absent, fellow camper's loaf of bread and bag of corn chips. We're in a national pk. campground with no hookups (elec., h20, sewer),so we're running the Honda generator per an allotted, short time  AM & PM,only.  We're at 7500' ; it's v. cold at night & with no elec. hookup there's no heat other than the allotted time periods for the generator, but we've got the "hot Swede" alcohol heater!!!!  The "hot Swede"  requires constant vigilance--not due to her randy nature, but due to her fire hazard.  You fire up the Swede, make strong tea on the portable, butane burner & before you know it  you're almost comfortable,  Ann's recovering from a sinus infection requiring a visit to an urgent care. I'm wearing "antique" clothes in dire need of some Tide & a washing machine. We may hit a KOA--more cost but better Maytags.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tucson redux

Visited Sonoran desert museum.  Fantastic place.  Saguaro national monument.  Drove from Tucson to
Sedona.  Beautiful over the mt.


   April 1st---Cottonwood, AZ
   It ain't a dead horse, but something stinks in the cooler.  I'll ck it out later....
   Following Pancho Villa St. Pk., Perry, Bullet et al, we tore off to Tucson to stay with dear friends, Joyce & John.  John is a long time artist pal who's teaching special ed. in Tucson. Joyce, is his wonderful bride & a cool lady with one hell of a life story. Departing J&J's house when we arrived,  was the infamous Maxx, the performing artist. Note photo of him in orange, as well as some cool bumper stickers on his van. Maxx just bought a pink (for real) house trailer next to a huge, blank, billboard--both perched atop a tall bluff in Truth or Consequences, N.M. He and his buddy are tired of the cool, drippy Portland, OR. weather. Oh yeah, Maxx & co. also bought an ancient adobe saloon in need of a bit of repair, in that one wall has crumbled.  "It's a fixer-upper," he said. 
   Yesterday, we toured & hiked around Saguaro Nat.Pk. outside of Tucson. Note photos of gigantic Saguaro Cacti, etc. A dandy day with lots of other goobers shuffling around oohing & aahing. I'd seen these Saguaros in Nat. Geo. Mag. but the real deal was mind boggling.          Tucson---the entire West, is dying of thirst. I met the mayor of Tempe, AZ. in a recent trailer pk. mens' room and he said "...we're 18 yrs. into what's supposed to be a once every 7 yrs. drought."  I held a glass of Tucson tap water up to the sunlight and it looked like someone 
had left a 1/4 " of milk in the glass and then filled the glass with water. Folks take jugs to Safeway's H20 machine and put in quarters.
   Today, we're at Dead Horse Campground, an hour south-west of Flagstaff, AZ. We'll meet another pal there in a couple of days & she'll give us the "skinny" on the Grand Canyon, our next rubbernecking site. I saw it in'49 when the family went west in the Pontiac woodie, but I was undergoing sibling torture in the rear of the woodie & only remember seeing fog through the rear window.  I'll attempt a to display a hodge podge of photos--some, maybe from Pancho Villa, some from J&J's in Tucson (Max) & some from Saguaro Nat. Pk. This photo business via my 3G I-Phone that was dropped from my shirt pocket into the urinal (though quickly scooped up) at Pancho Villa, is on the fritz.  Later.....