Bill & Sandra Wayne's Travel Pages
Our 35th Anniversary Trip Southwest, April-May 2012
Tidbit Observations of Hiway Travels – 2012
Howdy. Left at 6:20AM, April 24, returned 2PM, May 11.
We later went to Las Vegas, New Mex., where my Uncle Murray once resided. I visited quickly the Las Vegas museum to search info about a 1800s outlaw, Hoodoo Brown, who was the only outlaw (bad sheep of the family) in the Miles family of Clinton, Mo. Mr. Brown is buried with some of Kay Miles relatives in Lexington, Mo. Day 3 - Las Vegas to Albuquerque, NM via Pecos & Santa Fe Our first stop Thursday was Pecos National Monument to walk around the settlement (Catholic influence) of a large church plus those Indians who lived at the site and obeyed the church. Finally, the Spanish priests permitted kivas by those native Americans who resided in that one area. Bill took one of his best kiva pictures there - a kiva is a large hand-dug below ground facility for religious rites, families, traditions, and maybe to get out of the heat. Also, remember those in New Mexico date back to 1400s as the Spanish explored and invaded the native Americans there, so ruins are what one sees. The desert weather preserves. Oh yes, as we were going into Santa Fe, we saw two five foot lizards painted on the sides of a building. Why, I don't know. As soon as we arrived in Santa Fe, we walked around some on the plaza, watched the pigeon lady feed about 50 pigeons on the plaza, and then went to lunch at The Shed restaurant just off the Plaza. Of course we call Sandy Irle every year from the Shed as we have lunch of blue tacos and tell her, "We're here, and you're not" - she's been known to return the favor. In Santa Fe saw the super train going south to Belen from Santa Fe and then returning for business travelers to Albuquerque. Fast train, not Amtrak. It has a road runner painted large entire length of train. While in Santa Fe we went to the Museum of Folk Art, which is one of our favorites there, and at the Museum, South American art was also depicted through religion and customs. Always windy and hot on the hill where three Museums are together, the folk art, Spanish, and Native American. Highlight of our trip to Albuquerque was the Gathering of the Nations, over 3,000 participants from over 300 Native American cultures. We had advance tickets, but lines to attend the Gathering went for a long time along sidewalks. We spent the day at the Nations event and then supper with Larry Harrah, whose wife, Madge, recently passed away. She was the outstanding children's author in three states plus she wrote the Blind Boone book. She was in Warrensburg many times. Larry, in his 80's, is very lonely without Madge, but their son may be moving back home, so feel better that someone is with Larry. We stayed at Adobe Nido B&B in Albuquerque, very southwestern, breakfasts wonderful, and the couple who own the B&B were like family. We also attended Apache singing and dancing at the Pueblo Center near the B&B as well as where the Gathering was. We had lunch, big lunch at the Frontier Restaurant near the University of New Mexico, very famous in New Mex. Oh yes, Route 66 is very popular and goes right through the main area of Albuquerque. Need to tell everyone we were playing a contest the New Mexico Division of Tourism created to celebrate 100 years of the state. The contest is for $10,000 for a drawing of those participating find up to 100 locations, photograph the locations, and then submit them by Oct. However, one is required to take the photos based on photos of how the locations really looked 50 years or more ago. For those who have internet access here is the site: www.nmcentennial.com. We have about 22 of the 100 photo locations and the contest was fun to play. End of contest is October. We were told that only 3 contestants had reached the 100 thus far. Along Route 66 near downtown Albuquerque saw a pink dinosaur painted on side of building. Day 6 - Albuquerque to Gallup, NM via Jemez, Cuba & Pueblo Pintado Off early on Sunday for more places we'd never been - Jemez & Valle Caldera. Near Jemez, NM, we saw that someone really owned an electric company - Little Joe's Electric Co. Jemez ruins were another old pueblo, but the Jemez people still live in the area. Had a green chile burger in Cuba – NM. Always something unusual along the hiways: Three horses were grazing out of their fence along the road - a little dachshund was herding them all by himself. Also, out in the middle of no where along BLM land, Navajo Rt. 9, was a laundromat called Chaco Wash Laundromat. A southwestern wash is really a dry creek bed until it rains and then there's flooding - Bill said someone had a sense of humor. The Pueblo Pintado is also a site of the famous Chaco civilization (ca 900-1300 AD). We walked through the ruins and thought we were all alone in the desert without in any one sight, but a fella drove up and started doing research and photos just like what we were doing. After all the hiking, we finally came to a Navajo grocery store in Crown Point, windy and hot, so went into store just to see if we needed anything. Of course, we got stared at. By the time we got to Gallup, we found that all the good restaurants were closed, and we had to eat at a Denny's. Day 7 - Gallup to Winslow, AZ via Ship Rock, Lukachukai and Canyon de Chelly Our anniversary was Monday, April 30th, so headed for Ship Rock, in northwest New Mex., took photos, and then went into Arizona, where we went on to the Totsoh Trading Post in Lukachukai where we knew the family. Visited for sometime, and Bill surprised me with a hand-made Navajo rug. Then we went to Chinle near Canyon De Chelly for a Navajo Taco lunch and took more photos of the Grand Canyon resemblance at Canyon de Chelly. At 2PM we were at the Spider Rock overlook in Canyon de Chelly to have a pause of remembrance of our wedding years. Busy day, but we still went to the famous Hubble Trading Post. During our trip in the area we saw a water preservation sign from Navajo - "Water Is Life," which is in response to water rights fights in that area. Some desert folks have water rights and others don’t. Our anniversary evening was at the La Posada Hotel, Winslow, AZ, a famous hotel restored to its original style and class. Movie stars and important others often stayed at the hotel. We were in the Dorothy Lamour room; other stars had rooms named after them. This is a fancy hotel. We did not dine there because the starting price was over $40 per person, but found a good Mexican restaurant and then had breakfast at McDonalds (we are so cheap at times). Of course, the main reason for going to Winslow was to "stand on the corner." That is the greatest tourism gimmick I have ever experienced. The Eagles band has a song called "Take It Easy," and in the song includes a reference to standing on the corner in Winslow. Winslow is about the size of Windsor, Mo. The attraction to go there is either a night at the La Posada or stand on a certain corner in town. The era of the hotel was around 1930s, and many took the train to the hotel from Calif. The Amtrak line still stops there. In the area of Winslow I remember Bill and I had stopped at an interstate rest stop. The ladies of the Winslow Chamber of Commerce stood out in the hot hard winds to make sure travelers stopping at the rest area had lemonade and cookies (that was 10 years ago, and I still remember Chamber members trying so hard to serve the travelers). What a good Chamber that town has. Day 8 - Winslow to Kanab, UT, via Tuba City AZ Along the I-40 route we were taking there are two exits one called Two Guns Exit and the Two Arrows Exit. We headed for Flagstaff, then we turned north to stop at a town on the Navajo reservation, called Tuba City, Ariz. We are in the middle of the "Big Rez" and thousand miles from Warrensburg. Here's what happened: We stopped in Tuba City to see the Navajo Cultural Center there, and there we walked right in front of Terry Simmons and his family from Warrensburg! Terry is the retired chair of the once tourism dept. at the university. What a surprise! We had lunch in Page Ariz., after saying goodbye to Terry and headed by Lake Powell into Utah where we spent the evening in Kanab. Lots of Japanese tour bus travelers we saw along the route, but in Kanab I talked to some. Just chit-chat, and they were all friendly and tried to figure where Missouri was. During our travels, there were many tourism tour bus groups, and that hurries us up to the dining room when it comes to breakfast at the Holiday Inn Expresses. Day 9 - Kanab to Cedar City, UT via Zion National Park On US 89 about 5 miles north of Kanab is a sign - "Peek A Boo Trail Head." We headed for Zion National Park, hiked some and admired the scenery. There are buses ready to take visitors to many parts of the park. We did some hiking, but it was getting hot for anything more than just easy trails. Couldn't believe there was a real shoe tree on Utah 9 hiway from Kanab to La Verken, Utah.
The evening was spent at Cedar City, Utah, a big city which surprised us. We had a good dinner, visited the farm implement museum there and talked with the Holiday Inn Express clerk who wanted to move her family to Missouri. However, she (she was Paiute Indian) was reluctant when I asked her if she liked ticks. She explained winters were tough there, often 20 below, and deep snow. There were ski sights in the town. But, sure a nice place to visit. Day 10 - Cedar City, UT to Las Vegas, via Rachel NV I am curious what Virgin Cactus jelly is. Also, the Bumble Bee Rd., is on UT 56 about 10 mi. from Cedar City. And along NV 319 west to Nev., was a real cowboy riding his horse and herding four cows and calves down the hiway slowly to put the cattle back in a pasture. We were the only drivers along the hiway, so we just watched the cowboy work. Must say before I write about the Little A'Le'Inn Bar, is that Caliente, Nev. has a green dinosaur at a gas station. The national trilobite (sealife fossil) site is at Oak Springs, Nev., US 93 south. Now comes the fun part of the trip in Little A'Le'Inn Bar/Restaurant/gift shop, Rachel Nev., on way to Las Vegas, Nev., so Bill could attend the national Libertarian Convention. The bar is actually known as Little A'Le'Inn on the Extraterrestrial (E.T.) Hiway with gigantic metal "alien" waving at passers-by. Great restaurant, very friendly folks, great lunch, and we bought Sandy Irle and George Ballman a shot glass from the Little A'Le'Inn. Also the bar has a space ship held up by a tow truck. So much fun there. Area 51 is about 60 mi., from the Bar as well as Groom Lake where so called "mysterious" things go on at the site. We had to drive 40 mi. out of our way to go to the A'Le'Inn, but hundreds, probably thousands have visited the area as a mecca of the Area 51 crash landing. Also, the area is known for geocaching. There is some lodging at Rachel, so families come and walk in the desert doing geocaching. When we were there, temperature was very hot, high winds, and couldn't imagine hiking around in the desert there. After Bill dragged me away from the Little A'Le'Inn, we headed for Las Vegas, Nev., and the Red Rock Hotel & Casino where we stayed. Stayed in Las Vegas 3 days Bill had to attend the national Libertarian Convention, and I would be left to entertain myself. As soon as the convention started, I headed for the Vegas Strip! I walked about 3 miles from casino to casino - I didn't have time to gamble, didn't want to, because I wanted to look at the glamor of the casinos, so just walking with the thousands of others along the Strip. Bill and I stayed at a very big hotel, but since Bill had to stay at the convention, I also went to my first and last fancy swimming pool and spa. A fancy pool area with loud music, life guards wearing thongs (some of you know what that means), and ice freezing pool water was enough for me. I still look good in my 1977 swimsuit, but others around me at pool side were fat, cooking themselves in the sun, and few went into the icy pool water except kids. I eventually laid on my fancy poolside chair with 3 towels and acted swanky like the others. I didn't really have much of adventures walking the Vegas Strip and gawking at the huge casinos, but I did take photos of 4 Elvis' and then occupied my time by taking casino building photos and gambling with a loss of $14. I enjoyed watching others walk the Strip, but it was really hot to walk the full length and see 4 more casinos, so that was my adventures. We stay three nights at the Red Rock casino where the convention - met a lot of Libertarians and learned how a convention works. The two-term former governor of New Mex., will be the presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket. He was very nice, and I did get to meet him. Lots of characters at the convention, but all very staunch Libertarians, but attendee got my attention. His name was Star Child. We had an excellent room at the Red Rock hotel. Did enjoy the glamor of the hotel, meeting everyone, but was looking forward to leaving. Day 13 - Las Vegas to Phoenix, AZ. We left Las Vegas for Phoenix at 3 PM, had car problems, and very scary going thru Phoenix with a car problem, and the traffic around the Lake Mead area was too exciting. The blue Malibu took a trip to Lotspeich for a new engine when we got back. The car problem was over-heating - turned out it had a cracked block. We were very lucky it didn't totally fail in the middle of nowhere (there's a lot of that out West). We don't have to pay for the car's problems (under warranty!). Oh yes, Kingman, AZ., has the Andy Devine Blvd. And, Shep's Miner's Inn is near Big Wash Rd., near Chloride, Nev. Day 14 - Phoenix AZ to Tombstone, AZ There is a hiway sign along I-10, about 35 miles north of Tucson - "zorroboards.com." We also saw the Rooster Cogburn (a John Wayne movie character) ostrich ranch near Tucson. For some reason someone in Sierra Vista had a big plastic horse on the person's roof. We also saw Drama Town near Tucson plus Twin Peaks (remember that tv show) Rd near Saguaro. Also, if you exit I-10, Ext. 302, you will see a large dinosaur at McDonalds. Before we got to Tombstone, which was following our route, we noticed a sign, and also some others like it, that read "Adopt a Ranch Project." That I wonder is for public to adopt and take care of desert area on a ranch?
At Tombstone, one of my favorite towns, talked with Doc Holiday before the OK corral show, then just walked around and visited all the stores. Finally, went to the Bird Cage, an 1880 saloon. The Bird Cage has not changed since the boom town of Tombstone. At the Bird Cage one learns all about gambling (just history), characters of time, and especially the stories of the hookers who flourished there. Our tour guide was great and dressed the part too. She had lots of spicy stories about the Bird Cage. We also went to Boot Hill, visited just like we were part of the town, and I purchased copies of the Tombstone paper full of real scandal. Those who wear 1880 clothes are many in Tombstone, and it's fun to watch how they stay in character. At supper in a Mexican restaurant, a big group of Freemasons came in for a get together, many (including "Doc Holiday") still still in period dress. The first door I photographed was at the rear entrance to the largest rose bush in US. The rose bush is doing fine (there is a fee to see it). This year the door has disappeared. Day 15 - Tombstone AZ to Las Cruces, NM After Tombstone we headed for Chiricahua National Monument. This is miles of rough terrain and small mountains. We tried to do some hiking, but tennis shoes just don't work on rocky terrain. Now, we know why the Apache had no problems hiding out from the U.S. Army who looked for them here. When we passed McNeal, Ariz., I noticed rows and rows of pistachio nuts and pecan trees. Lots of pecan groves can be seen at many of the places we traveled. That's usual, but what isn't was at the McNeal orchards: At the end of every row were things from toys, horse statues, teddy bears, to crosses, and odds and ends of items not related to agriculture. Never seen any one ever decorate rows of crops like I saw. In the high desert of Ariz. 181 saw sign that read Apache Lair Steak House on US191, the saw War Bonnet Rd and Desert Dawn Rd. I caught a glimpse of a cow along this area, and suddenly realized the cow was wearing something: The cloth sign the cow was wearing was, "No Hunting." Home of Rex Allen is in Wilcox, Ariz. And there is a Rex Allen Trading Post there. You are not going to believe this, but we saw two gigantic yellow lemons (as in fruit and size of a semi) tied to the top of a truck along I-10 near Lordsburg, New Mex. I-10. In Lordsburg, New Mex., is a great restaurant, Ramonas (they use only Hatch chiles), and also I saw a store that sells Spanish stirrups and rocks (unusual combination). We brought back some Hatch chiles; they are in a jar, but they taste good. Arrived to visit my Uncle Murray and his son Darrinn (who will be running on the Democratic ticket for judge in the Las Cruces area) in Las Cruces It was storming, heavy rain, thunder, lighting, and all in this Las Cruces desert area that gets no rain, but we managed to go to my favorite restaurant which has parrots. I went back trying to teach the parrots that were in large cages how to cluck like a chicken. One tried to mimic my clucking. Day 16 - Las Cruces to Santa Rosa, NM via Ft. Selden, Hatch, Truth or Consequences, El Camino Real Cultural Center, Ft. Craig & Carrizozo When we left Las Cruces we followed a rural road full of pecan orchards and other crops. We were going to Ft. Selden ruins, one of the outpost forts to protect travelers, etc. Several forts were constructed along the Santa Fe Trail as well as the El Camino Real trading trail from Santa Fe and area to Mexico. Saw a road named Billy the Kid road and the Lois Lane is about a mile from Ft. Selden. After stopping at Hatch,where we could only buy preserved green chilis, we visited Truth & Consequences, New Mex., and we really enjoyed the town and lunch at a great Mex. Restaurant (Maria's). We visited a Chamber staff member and learned more about T&C as most call the town. T&C is very popular for the artsy and those who want mineral baths. Also, we stopped at the El Camino Real monument to learn more about the trails and culture of those going back and forth from Mexico to Santa Fe beginning in the 1500s. The biggest fort to protect the area was Ft. Craig, built during the l840s and later deserted. The El Camino monument and museum really had great displays and a lot of reading. I learned who the Spanish were and why the trading trails were so important. One of the most unique, sad, and still alive town along the way home was Carrizozo, New Mex. A town with many vacant business buildings, but a town with plastic donkeys. These donkeys are every color and placed around the town to promote it. There is a blue donkey at the entrance, donkeys on building roofs, and donkeys that were blonde, painted with spots, and black. What a tourism hook to drive around and find the donkeys.
And, in that area, it's always fun to ask "how much snow and blizzards" when one starts seeing snow fences and high fences (protection against over abundance of deer on road). We saw a real metal, bright glossy gray, diner in town of Vaughn, NM. It's the junction of 3 major hiways but not much else in that town, but customers in the diner. North off 54, on 225 Rd., were two very old railroad coach cars right in the front yard of someone's house. Looked like coaches dated about 1880s. Day 17 - Santa Rosa to Pratt, KS via Tucumcari NM, Mullinville & Greensburg KS We headed for Tucumcari to take one more photo for the New Mex. tourism contest. It was a cute 1950's motel, called the Blue Swallow. The motel was re-modeled some, but still look the same, about 4 units and 1950s cars around it. I would suggest going by the motel sometime or even spending the night there - breakfast at Del's Diner or McDonalds. Many businesses have closed along the Route 66, which is why go to that town to follow Rt. 66 across country. The town does have KMart, so found $3 New Mex. teeshirts there. In ending the journal here are some tidbits: An a oil well was "tagged" as one says of art on railroad cars in the Carrizozo, New Mex. area, the Paula’s Shoe Nail Ranch is located on US 54 five miles from Logan, New Mex., and the Petal Pushers Garden Club is in Dalhart, Tex. Also, near Dalhart is a Texas style sign, "Drive Friendly, The Texas Way."
Also, in Comlen, Tex., there is a 16 feet metal cowboy statue pointing his gun at those driving along US 54. There is a "No Man's Land" museum at the Panhandle State College in Guymon. There is a Goodwell, Okla., and on the south side of Guymon, Okla. is a really nice drive-in theater that seems to be open for business. Futhermore, the Hooker Toads, Hooker, Okla., are still playing sports. Had lunch at the Cattleman’s Cafe as usual in Liberal, Ks., and then headed for Mullinville. As I mentioned before, Mr. M.T. Liggett, is a very unique metal artist, and we got to his studio – temp hot with heavy winds. Not too much fun. Bill has pictures of some of his new work and me hugging Mr. Liggett. He put a metal sign at Greensburg, Ks., for some odd reason – As you are leaving Greensburg, "Turn Around And Go Back." He also has a metal portrait of a lawyer. He said the lawyer liked the "likeness" of him in metal. We didn't stay too long, because at end of our long trip, we weren't sure where we were. In Mullinville there is the Kiowa Supply Co., for those who need oil well parts.
The Iroquois Community Center in Greensburg honors the first Native American who became a Saint. Here is a link about Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.. Greensburg is a new town with a Dillons grocery store, library, courthouse, motel, restaurant, and other new buildings. Some parts of Greensburg were not affected by the tornado.
Back tracking some, but wanted to tell about a hook of tourism. In Meade, Ks., there is a sign that reads, "Dalton Boys Shouldn't Have Gone to Coffeeville." Meade residents have an "outlaw" museum and even a Dalton Boys Motel. It's so much fun finding tourism attractions in small towns. Who would have thought of standing on the corner in Winslow, Ariz., and just standing there, nothing else. And, those tourists standing on the corner and doing nothing bring big tourism dollars to Winslow.Day 18 - Pratt, Ks. to home Oh yes, forgot that the Crazy Horse Saloon in Arlington, Ks., is either opened or closed daily at 8AM. In Partridge, Ks., There is a big grain silo made into a house. Never seen a house with silo high ceilings. When we got home about 2PM that Friday, we were a little dazed that we weren't checking into a Holiday Inn Express. When we got the cats out of boarding at the vet's office, they went nuts running around, meowing constantly, and Cisco tried to sleep on my ear meowing in happiness, so I was quiet and let him serenade me. Ms. Topsy went back to her old ways of wanting us right where she wanted us and back to being servants to her. Let us know if you would like more detailed locations about any of the "tidbits of observations" along the highway.