Sunday, March 6, 2022

Google Maps Overestimates our Abilities

Leaving Nashville Sunday morning. 865 miles to home. Google Maps lets us know it will take us 12 days to walk. That comes out to 72 miles a day.

Thanks for thinking we are in such great shape, Google, but I don’t think you took into account how much we carry on our hikes - water, trail mix, other snacks, lunches, cameras, phones, etc. Not to mention pushing or pulling Our V the whole way. We figure it would take at least 15 days.

We were in Nashville Thursday through Shabbos.

Full scale model of the Parthenon in Nashville. We never know what weirdness we will encounter on our travels. The rational for this Parthenon is that Nashville is the “Athens of the South”. No need for us to visit Greece now!

Nashville State Capitol Building

Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

Historic Fordyce Baths - One of the creepiest places we have ever been. In addition to the therapeutic hot spring water baths - “Mercury Treatments”, “Electric Baths”, and other state of the art medical treatments were offered back in the day.

Quapaw Baths and Spa. The baths we went to. Amazing therapeutic water. Cured my eczema, arthritis, acid reflux, and hangnail. And I am now 2 inches taller.

Little Rock Arkansas - We collect another state capital building

Rep. David Hillman stopped by to say Hi. Tour guide Nancy was excellent.

Statue of the Little Rock Nine. Tried to get a photo of the High School, but classes were letting out and the street was blocked off for the school buses

We are still walking...

Hope to be home tomorrow, Monday.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Continuing Home - New Mexico to Oklahoma to Arkansas - 1,260 Miles to Go

Shabbos we were at Santa Rosa Lake State Park in NM. Its main recommendations - it was conveniently located on the route home, and our campsite provided an electric connection. Electricity was necessary over Shabbos to run the water tank heaters so our pipes wouldn’t freeze during the unusual cold spell. As an extra precaution, we poured antifreeze down the drains. Temps got as low as 13 degrees Friday night. B”H, our pipes survived.

As a bonus, I was able to use our crockpot and we had hot soup for Shabbos lunch.

We took a walk to the lake Shabbos morning. The lake was more of a pond. Formed by a dam, the water level is very low due to the extreme drought the Southwest has been experiencing the past few years. The story of the drought was one we heard over and over on our trip.

Unsightly bleached skeletons of trees that drowned when the water covered them and were left high and dry when the water receded

Sunday was a long boring slog from New Mexico through Texas to Oklahoma City on Route 40 (covering the same ground as Route 66, another repeating theme on our trips).

One bright spot (literally) on the drive, just off the highway before Amarillo, was Cadillac Ranch.

Cadillac Ranch is “public art installation and sculpture,” or looked at from a different angle, a bunch of heavily graffitied old Cadillacs buried nose deep in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere, unpleasantly downwind from a stockyard.

Last time we were there, with Yoni and Aryeh almost 20 years ago, it was a weird, lonely place. Now it is still weird, but overrun with hordes wielding spray paint who are determined to leave their mark. However, the paint never even gets a chance to dry before the next horde adds another layer.

Some enterprising person has even set up a truck selling cans of spray paint. On a good day, they can sell up to 150. I asked.

Everything in the area is a canvas, not just the cars. The garbage cans were highly decorated as were some of the stalks of whatever had been growing in the fields. When we got back to Our V, we were relieved that it was still the same shade of unmarred silver as when we left.

Sunday night we boondocked at a Walmart, otherwise know as Wallydocking, just outside of Oklahoma City.

Monday, we saw the site of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing and stopped for a tour of the State Capital Building. We have been “collecting” state capitals.


Onward through the rest of Oklahoma to Arkansas. The scenery changed from endless flat  fields to scenery similar to Appalachia. We pass lakes and rivers. We are not used to seeing so much open water.

Somewhere in the past two days we lost an hour. I am jetlagged. 

We are currently in Hot Springs National Park till Wednesday morning.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Thurs Feb 23 - On Our Way Back!

After over 4 months on the road, and almost 3 months just in Arizona, today we started on our way back East. 

We drove from Page, AZ to Santa Rosa Lake St Park. NM where we will be through Shabbos.

Photos from today:

On the Road Temps got down to 6 degrees on this leg of the drive. Much of the central US is having an unusual cold spell. We need to take steps so our pipes don't freeze and get to where it is warmer. 
Canyon de Chelly (pronounced "Shay"). The Visitor Center was closed. We didn't go far because we weren't comfortable with the road conditions.
Hubbel Trading Post
Window Rock
On the Road Again
Santa Rosa Lake St Park

550 miles today. 1,950 to go... Shooting to be back March 7th! Have a few stops planned for along the way.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Thursday, Feb 24th - The Past Two Weeks...

I have had no time to blog! Between doing, planning, food shopping, food prep, eating the food, locating the brochure or map that we currently need in the ever growing collection of travel info we are amassing, downloading photos from my camera, phone, and Bob’s camera to my laptop (and rarely even looking at them!), keeping a log of everything we do, throwing in an occasional trip to a laundromat - if there is a minute to spare, I like to unwind with my Kindle.

We dawdled in the Tucson area for almost 2 months and were in the Phoenix area for about 2 1/2 weeks (kosher restaurants, kosher frozen yogurt!)

Then with less than a month to go before we needed to be back in Jersey, we were trying to cram everything else we would like to do into the remaining short time.

Here are some pictures of what we did in the last two weeks:

Sedona

A hot air balloon almost landed on us at our campsite

Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff

The Grand Canyon


Marble Canyon and Lee’s Ferry
The day we left the Grand Canyon for Lee’s Ferry the wind picked up and there was a rare sandstorm. Tumbleweeds and garbage gusted across the road, and I was expecting cows or houses to follow at any moment. We had to struggle to open or close the van doors against the wind. Visibility was poor and the light was weirdly dim. We got a fine coating of sand on our skin and on everything in Our V, and grit in our teeth.

On the drive
A patch of clear sky
The Vermillion Cliffs and Marble Canyon
Condors! circling above Marble Canyon

Condor #3 coming in for a landing

Lee’s Ferry. Pioneers and their wagons were ferried across the Colorado River here. Impossible to imagine how the wagons made it down the cliffs on one side and up the cliffs on the other.  Sand is still suspended in the air.
A private group loading up for a 30 day trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. They are bringing everything they need for the full 30 days. Between the remnants of the sandstorm, the high winds, the rain coming later this evening, the freezing temps forecasted for the rest of the week, and the lateness of the day in getting going, they are not off to an auspicious start. I hope they are OK.

Page

Lower Antelope Canyon
Horseshoe Bend
What remains of Lake Powell. All the bleached rock used to be underwater.
The Beehive Loop Trail

Today we started on our way home, and after almost 3 months, have left Arizona.

My next post will be what we did today on our drive from Page to where we are now and will be through Shabbos - Santa Rosa Lake St Park. NM.