Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Ever since we got married (36 years ago next month), we’ve been driving the same route to Wyoming, whether from Cleveland’s east side or Chicago’s southwest side. This year, except for the last 30 miles or so, it was new territory. I’d planned to get up at 4 am, but woke earlier, heading out in the dark to cover just under 700 miles, a trip that would take over 10 hours. I don’t stop much with a goal of gas/bathroom stops coinciding. I had food packed, tea in my Contigo thermal cups, plenty of snacks, and the wonderful BBC radio “Lord of the Rings” production for the CD player. Incidentally, that recording has made the trip with us for almost all those years, first on tape, now on CD.

I didn’t see much scenery the first several hours, the sky only lightening around 5:30 am. I saw where a wildfire had devastated acres and acres and then it was through the White Mountains, onto I-40 (paralleling or overlapping with historic Rt. 66 in many place, and to Albuquerque, where my route turned north towards Raton, New Mexico just south of the Colorado border where I’d stay overnight.

Rain in this part of the country and at this time of year is scarce. We’ve been in Arizona since the end of March and have experienced only a couple “showers”, in quotes because there often not enough to measure. But past Santa Fe near Wagon Mound, there was more than the promise of rain, although most of it was to the west of me. It looked wonderful!

I could see the rain coming down in the distance. All these shots were taken with my iPhone while driving BUT with one hand firmly on the wheel and eyes on the road. It gives point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and also means lots of deleted shots when I finally stop, but I often get some good ones, too.

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Sedona, Arizona is known for many things, including a variety of outdoor activities and its art community. But the first things that come to mind (and to the eyes) are its iconic red rocks and you can’t miss them. Here are a few formations we saw on our visit there a week and a half ago. No need to lace up your hiking boots, wear a mask, or social distance. Just sit back and enjoy the view.

Bell Rock just north of The Village of Oak Creek

A view with its own weathered wood frame

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Started from Springfield, Missouri at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs of spring were everywhere: green grass, trees in bud or even with leaves, cattle grazing in green fields, even a long stretch of yellow forsythia.

Gas prices kept dropping, to as low as $1.43. Made filling up an absolute joy. Much of our drive takes us near or next to the iconic Route 66. I saw this gem on my first trip but couldn’t get a photo. I thought this frame gave a feel of an old time postcard.

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Nothing like good friends when you have no beds or furniture on general.

Note to self: clean fridge more often! General note: cleaning a fridge isn’t fun at the best of times. Cleaning one when you want to just get done and on the road is excruciating!!

Having lots and lots of things you need to have someone pick up when there’s a shelter-in-place order is impossible. Garbage men will only take things in bags. (Ever tried bagging a hammock? Didn’t think so. Just know it does NOT work!) and the junk-picking-up companies aren’t now. Dear owner: things in the garage aren’t as bad as they appear. Really!

Bit of COVID-19 humor. My husband got this prize in the local grocery store Monopoly game. I challenged him to go back and try to redeem it.

Gas prices are amazing right now. Filling up for $1.79 a gallon doesn’t even hurt at all. 😊. There are a lot less cars on the road, even in St. Louis during rush hour, although it was still hectic enough. And the virus hasn’t had an impact on construction.

The sunset tonight was beautiful, an enormous orange ball. Unfortunately, it was right on the middle of the road for at least three days…or seemed like it. Eventually we went in a different direction, literally, but there was still beauty as you can see from this (very carefully taken) shot. Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for the smushed bugs on the windshield. Well, maybe I am in a way, but Hey, I didn’t force them to fly into the glass..

That’s it for tonight from Springfield, Missouri. After the last few days and six hours of cleaning this morning, the 7 1/2 hours on the road was pretty much just fun. 🤪. Bed is going to seem so good tonight and that’s where I’m headed. TTFN. More tomorrow.

I didn’t stop much any of the three days, but on the last day, in Arizona, I did take a few shots out of the window. These shots give point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and quite a few get deleted. But here are a few I thought you might enjoy. Yes, I keep my eyes firmly on the road throughout!

By the way, I signed the lease for our rental house Thursday and it’s a beauty. I’m so excited. More on that when I get back and have internet all the time. Yesterday’s post was done on my phone, which is an experience I’d rather not have often. Today’s comes from the library via my iPad, easier but not the ease of a laptop.

This one might have still been in New Mexico.

There are some strange critters in the desert! Spotted these while waiting at a train crossing.

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Albuquerque sunset

Posted: March 6, 2020 in Travel
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From my hotel window several nights ago.

Rest stop

Posted: March 5, 2020 in Travel
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Long-distance driving requires periodic breaks so many highways have rest areas to make it easy and free. On the first day, I drove eleven and a half hours with two breaks for gas/bathroom. That made day two much shorter and easier.

About three hours along, I stopped at a Texas rest stop to switch from glasses to contacts. The stone building was built into a hill.

Inside was a presentation on the use of wind, although windmills looked quite different in the early days, like those on my grandparents’ farm in Nebraska.

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Wet Wednesday

Posted: October 16, 2019 in Travel
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We weren’t able to sit on the patio enjoying the view much this year as there was rain almost every day. The base of the furled patio umbrella formed the perfect birdbath, giving us a close view of the birds’ ablutions. However, as the area was moving towards water rationing, we welcomed each day of rain and enjoyed to the fullest the few hours and few days where the sun shone brightly…or even the times we saw some patches of blue sky. 🙂

Luxeuil-les-Bains is a city with lots of history, although the city’s been destroyed many times since its inception. But among the wonderful old, you’ll find bits of interesting new as well, including these two pieces of window art and some street art of flowers and plants from a high quality flower shop. Enjoy!

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Taking flight

Posted: September 16, 2019 in Personal, Travel
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Tomorrow I’m taking flight to France, although by plane, not by my own wings. God willing, I’ll be back in October with lots of photos and stories to share. BTW, we celebrated our 35th anniversary yesterday. Bless my husband for not minding that I’ll be vacationing when he can’t go! He’s a keeper (obviously). 🙂

I was finally able to get all my photos off my phone so I’d be ready for all the vacation shots, but it took hours and hours. I’d try one thing and it would work, but the next time it wouldn’t (or I’d forgotten how I’d done it.) Or I’d find empty files while my phone was filled with photos. Ah, for the days when I’d plug my phone into my laptop, the photos would show up, I’d copy, then delete. Sigh. Such is life in the virtual world.

Be safe and happy while I’m gone!

copyright janet m. webb