September 9 - 19, 2013
Sometimes you need to challenge yourself and that we did...let's see how fast we can travel to Arizona! A vacant house and beautiful pool beckons us. Quickest way is old Route 66. We will travel from Corydon IN to Nashville TN, jump on Route 66 (I-40W) and stay on it until Flagstaff AZ. Should be fun.
September 9 - Corydon to Memphis - 390 miles
Right of the bat, instead of turning right to Louisville (which any logical person would do...), the GPS says turn left and Ray thinks it is brilliant. Off we go on back roads of Indiana with mail boxes flying by too close for comfort from my seat on the right hand side of the truck. We literally forgot our rule about not traveling on roads with three digits.
Enough fussing! I did get to see my first tobacco farms and tobacco hanging in barns -- Ray helped his grandpa hang tobacco many years ago so he provided much information on how to hang tobacco. We passed century plus old farms and beautiful lakes. We saw villages and beautiful churches.
After an hour or so of seeing places in Indiana and checking the map every two minutes, we crossed the Ohio River several miles west of where we expected to cross.
Welcome to Graceland I was interested in Graceland and excited to see it. After a little of research on the web, we discovered the mansion is located across the street from the Heartbreak Hotel/RV Park and the only way to see it is to purchase a ticket. ($32 for basic up to $64) The articles said Graceland is was in a seedy part of Memphis but not to worry because there was a security guard. That statement causes me to worry.
By 4 p.m., we saw the sign for Graceland. There was a security guard and he welcomed us and directed us to the RV park located behind the hotel. All tours were completed for the day. We decided to get parked, drink, eat and rest. We checked the numerous brochures that we received when checking in and decided our trip to Memphis would be a short stop as we were not in a touristy mood. At least I could say I slept at Graceland - bye Elvis
We're up and on the road again. Only plan is to keep on I-40 for as long as we could drive. Highlight of the day will be crossing the Mississippi between Tennessee and Arkansas. I was waiting to see the mile-wide Mississippi - not that wide here.
Quick trip through Arkansas and was in Shawnee Oklahoma by 4 p.m.
We secured the last spot in the row of RVs camping at the casino. It was ladies' night so we splurged and ate at the casino ($5 off my meal). Ray had a fabulous meal of southern cooking. I'm sure my nephew is enjoying this very much.
This friendly shuttle driver took me anywhere I wanted.
September 12, 2013 - Shawnee to Santa Rosa New Mexico 455 miles YIKES
I loved driving through Oklahoma. There are signs about BBQs, Route 66 and other interests in the area. I enjoyed passing through the towns that advertised they were the hometown of Carrie Underwood and other famous artists.
And then there was miles and miles of Texas...
Santa Rosa New Mexico By three o'clock, Ray was talking about finding a place to stay for the night. We were thinking Albuquerque but changed our plans and stopped in Santa Rosa. For the past few miles we could see big storm clouds ahead of us. We arrived at the Santa Rosa RV Park on Old Hwy 66 and settled in for the night. The lady in the office informed us eight inches of rain had fallen there over the past two days. The evening news switched between the flash floods in Colorado and local flash floods in New Mexico. We were praying for a break in the weather at least on I-40W.
Friday the Thirteenth - Santa Rosa to Grand Canyon 524 miles
The weather became a big issue on Friday. We needed to travel through NW New Mexico and news stations were warning about flash flooding. We kept an eye on the weather and pushed forward. West of Albuquerque, we saw state troopers along the road. They had closed the left hand lanes. As we drove by, we saw a huge sink hole in the median. Oh Boy -
By mid-afternoon we arrived in Arizona. Ray looked at me and said Welcome Home. Its something he has said when returning to Oregon from our big trips...
Consequences of being drifters
We are truly drifters, we make plans week-to-week, day-to-day. It allows us to stop when we are tired or take a u-turn when we have the urge. Sometimes it makes us scramble. The idea for Grand Canyon was one of our "drifting" ideas. Time to stop and rest before hitting the heat of Phoenix and fixing up the house. I decided I better call the Trailer Village and make sure there is space - there wasn't.
SO we decided to drift to the White Mountains of Arizona for our quick rest. Luck was with us and we arrived at a lovely RV park in Pinetop, AZ Hon-Dah RV Park (Yes Erik, there is a casino across the street.) We were greeted by John and Ann, the campers next to our site. The weather held until we were settled and then a huge thunder/lightening storm. We settled in for the night which is turning into a week because we love it here so much.