Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Fifteen – Back to Kanab

We get up and have breakfast at Ruby’s Inn. Rick buys some gloves so his hands don’t get so cold and we are off. We head to Cedar Breaks National Monument. John and Nancy go with us. We both are still in our Model A’s. One of the few, most have transferred to their modern trucks. We first go through red rock area.

We continue on, going up and up. The snow gets deeper and it gets colder. The wind chill is mean. Taking my gloves off to take pictures and my fingers turn numb in no time at all. It is very pretty scenery. We run into Marcus in his Suburban at the top. We finish the loop and come back to Kanab. We start the motorhome up to make sure the battery hasn’t gone dead. It starts right up. We will be back in two days to head for home. We go to Houston’s and have an early dinner/late lunch. I top it off with a big piece of banana cream pie. We go back and check into the motel. I try one last time to add pictures to the blog but am a failure. Maybe when I get home I can figure out what all of a sudden changed so the pictures won’t add. If not this maybe my last blog.

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Fourteen – Bryce Canyon

We got up at 5:30 so we could have breakfast at 6 and be on the road by 7. We make it by 7:15. It is cold and there is a fresh covering of snow, but the storm is past and the wind is not blowing! We are very grateful that we spent the night and didn’t forge ahead when it was so miserable. Today turned into a nice drive even though we did yesterday’s drive along with today’s. Everything is pretty with a covering of snow on the contrasting red rocks and cliffs.

We stop in Kanab for lunch and gas and then head on to today’s planned trip to Bryce Canyon. We get into the park about 3. We drive to Sunrise Point and get out and walk to Sunset Point and then back to the cars. We don’t walk down into the hoodoos this time because it is either super muddy or icy. But the views from the top are still spectacular with the snow covering.

We go back to Ruby’s Inn and check into the Inn. We go to the Country Western Show and Dinner. We walked over and back. To say the least it was a BRISK WALK. Tonight it is suppose to get down to 22*.

Once again I can’t figure out how to add pictures even with calling and bothering Nick so pictures will have to come once I am home if I can figure it out then.

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Thirteen-Kanab

Thought for the Day:

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.

This saying was posted at the check in desk at the hotel, by Anthony J. D’Angelo. How appropriate for today.

OOPS – Well we didn’t make it to Kanab today as planned. We got up to it spitting snow and the wind blowing yet still! Snow dusting the cars and cold! Marcus comes out to a flat tire on his car, so a group change his tire after finding his spare flat also. Danny headed out first, followed by Nixons at 8. Clausens, Jorgensen’s and us head out at 8:30. It is snowing harder and building up on the windshield and the wind is unrelenting. We stop in Kayenta to get gas and go on. Then about 5 miles out of town Jim’s pickup stops. We were leading so stop at the first little road. John helps him and they get it going, but by then a group of about 6 Model A’s and the trouble truck go by back to Kayenta. The decision is we will stay in Kayenta tonight and head out tomorrow, hoping the storm has passed. We are able to get 10 rooms at a Hampton Inn. Marcus and others are staying at another hotel. Danny made it through to Kanab. Last we heard Nixons made it to Page.

It is a nice stop. The Navajo Code Readers have a museum next door and they open it up for an hour for us to go through. I find it very interesting and buy a book about one of the Code Readers.

Once again internet is so slow I can’t post pictures, so will do it later.

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Twelve – Monument Valley

Today’s Thought: Awesome Arches – Wicked Winds!

Addendum: The internet connection is too slow – so will add pictures later to this.

We get up early to get in Arches National Park. Breakfast was a joke at the hotel – couldn’t even sit in dining area. In fact today eating was not a highlight. Everywhere we tried for lunch was closed so ate at a gas station/Port of Subs and for dinner The View’s restaurant is closed so think we will eat our oatmeal cookie from lunch!

We leave at 7 and get into the park. It is cold at Arches, but we see the sights. We then head on but do not stop at Canyonlands. The wind is never ending and very strong. At one point a gust pushed Lizzie clear into the on coming lane. Not fun and takes all Rick’s concentration to keep it going straight ahead. No time to look at the sights. We end up at the “View” in Monument Valley to stay for the night, but clouds and no spectacular sunset.

Here are some photos of the day:

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Eleven – Moab

We get up, breakfast, get gas and on the road by 8. We take the scenic route as always. Today was the most diversified, beautiful terrain of the trip so far. It rained last night and was cold enough to have ice crystals on things this morning. We travel up mountains, across flat plateaus, down off mountains, around hairpin curves, through pasture lands, through red rock areas, through canyon bottoms by the river, seeing Fall colors and snow on the mountain tops and continue to have blue skies with big fluffy clouds. This is America the Beautiful!

I will try to put some of what we saw today on this blog, here goes:

Fall colors and mountain tops covered in snow

We make it into Moab, however we can’t check into motel until 4, so we eat a snack and go out for a little drive by our selves

We come back and check in the motel and go with the group for dinner and the night light show on the boat trip on the Colorado River.

Colorado River boat trip
ET or maybe Yoda??
Old Man
Moon coming up over the cliffs on Colorado River

The end to a wonderful day!

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Ten – Montrose, Colorado

We get up earlier today at 5, because we have to be at the Royal Gorge by 8:15 to go across the bridge in the Model A’s. We get breakfast and find out we made the paper.

It must be going to be a good day – because when we go out to the car Jay had taken a picture of Lizzie with the rainbow ending at her!

Rainbow and Lizzie

We head out to the bridge. It was the largest suspension bridge in the world, now surpassed by one in China. It is now open only to pedestrians, but Marcus got a special permit to allow our group to cross in the Model A’s.

Rick actually got out of the car on the bridge, just didn’t look down!
View of the gorge from the bridge, it is a long way down!
A view of the river way down there through the planks on the bridge!

We go on ahead on our way to Montrose. The Fall colors are at their peak.

We hit some rain, but not bad as we go along the canyon next to the Arkansas River. The head waters of the Arkansas River are here but end in Arkansas and end up a tributary to the Mississippi River!

With Fall colors, snow on the top of the peaks and big clouds, made for a very pretty drive today!!!

We stop in Gunnison for gas and lunch. It was a very enjoyable lunch ending with homemade cherry cobbler! Then it is on to Montrose for the night.

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Nine – Canon City, Colorado

As per our usual we get up at 6, however we are not going to go up Pikes Peak with Lizzie. We have done it before in my van and went up the cog railway yesterday. We have breakfast and start out about 8:30. We get about three blocks from the hotel and Lizzie stops dead in the middle of traffic! Rick is able to get her into a left hand turn lane with traffic zooming by on either side. Rick tries restarting her to no avail. He lifts the hood and can’t see anything right off. But with patience and persistence he discovers the wire from the coil to the ignition has broken. He is able to fix it and we are on our way – yeah!

We say good-by to Pikes Peak as others are climbing it.

Pikes Peak

We travel a short distance back on Hwy 24 and turn off on CR1. Boy their road signs are small and you had to figure out that County Road 1 was CR1 and by the time you see the little sign you should have turned, no warning. Anyway we made the turn and stop at The Hornbek Homestead. We didn’t stop the other day when we went to see the petrified sequoias.

We head on down the road that is a country road up and down rolling hills and around curves. The “modern” homesteads don’t look that much different from the old one.

Next stop is the Colorado Prisons Museum:

We take the hour long tour. Glad we stopped and had lunch first, our guide hadn’t had lunch and was rather grouchy.

We tour a room of some really beautiful art pieces done by prisoners. We finish the tour and go to check in the motel. We go to dinner with John and Nancy at a Cajun place and then back to motel and to bed.

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Eight – Pikes Peak

We get up and have breakfast but don’t have to leave so early today. First on the agenda is to go to the Olympic/Paralympic Museum.

Our group at the Olympic Museum
The Olympics in the beginning

We try out some of the interactive events : skiing, archery, and goal ball.

Then onto the Pikes Peak Cog Railway:

The trip up:

Arriving at the top:

Eating our doughnuts – which is sort of a right of passage that you made it to the top!

After we come back down to Manitou Springs, we try some of the “springs” of drinking water. Each from deep seated limestone aquifers and each with its own distinctive natural flavor.

We end the day by having dinner together at a place called The Keg – recommended by some locals. It was good and we had a relaxing time to end the day.


Adventure Seven – Manitou Springs

We again get up at 6 and have breakfast. Pack and leave by 8:15. Two of our group left at 8, so it is John and Nancy, Jim and Dorothea and us. Off we go. Mount Princeton and the area is very pretty.

Mount Princeton

We start seeing more fall colors – the aspen turning pretty yellow.

Fall is here in the high country.

We go on until we make a brief break at Lake George to stretch our legs.

Our next stop is after climbing over Wilkerson Pass – over 9500 feet – no problems. We stop at the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument.

Fossils and native plants
Note the saw blade , where they tried to cut pieces out for the world’s fair!

Next we are onto the Garden of the Gods:

Next stop is the Cliff Dwellings:

From here we go check into the motel. We skipped lunch today, but are having a big pizza dinner in the park with the local Model A Club at 5. Well by 6:35 the pizza finally shows up. It is getting dark and cold, so we just eat and head back to the motel for the night.

Day six – Buena Vista, Colorado

We get up at 6 and go down by 7 and have breakfast. Rick goes out to help Jim with his car. They are going to try to blow out the gas line as a last try. Brad has a compressor and Rick goes and gets a nozzle. On the way back we stop to get gas and run into Brad. His car has stopped dead at the gas station, don’t know why, but it finally just starts. Back at the hotel they blow out the gas line. Others have left so Jim and Dorothea and us take off.

The car seems to run fine on the long flat stretch, but then the test is going up Poncha Pass at 9010 feet. It makes it with flying colors!

We start seeing the fall colors.

We also starting seeing the first snow in the “Rockies”, on Mt. Antero at 14,000+ feet. As well as Mount Princeton.

We make it into Buena Vista in good time, actually to soon to check into the hotel. So have lunch from a food truck , with Alaskan Cod. It was really good.

Next we go to Mount Princeton Hot Springs. It was a very relaxing afternoon.

The water was so warm and relaxing!

Then John and Nancy and Larry and Jerri meet us there and we join them in the large swimming pools.

We come back to the hotel on a back road and are able to get into our room now.

We end up skipping dinner and have happy hour in Dan’s room.

More fun to come tomorrow.

Day five

Today we get up and have breakfast and are ready to leave by 8. Nixons and Dan left before us. We start out with high hopes that things are fixed on Jim and Dorothea’s pickup. However it ended up a very long day driving 250 miles – most at 35 miles an hour. Through out the day Rick helped change out the coil – that wasn’t it. Changed to two different carburetors that wasn’t the answer. Disconnected the wolf whistle – that didn’t fix it. Tried changing the gas cap with a one with a vent -no such luck. Cleaned out the sediment bowl -no change still. Turned down the gas adjusting value – no go. About out of ideas to fix the truck. It still acts as if it isn’t getting fuel and goes at 35 miles an hour.

To add to the day we hit road construction and miss the turn off to Hwy. 285. We go about 15 miles and stop and ask a local where we are and how to get to 285. He was super nice and was able to tell us exactly how far back and where to turn in the construction to get on 285. We also never found any of the National Monuments along the way even though I was looking for them. Oh well, at this point we just want to get there.

First stop of the day, others with us.
Another stop, others stop but go on, no answers!
Another stop – not counting any more.

This was the little settlement where we turned around and back tracked. A nice high light of the day we get a call from Bob and Marilynn to see how the trip is going. We miss them not being on the tour.

We get into Alamosa at 6:10 and drive to the restaurant without even checking in at the hotel. Jim’s truck actually stops completely a couple of times. Tomorrow’s plan is to try and drain the gas tank as a last ditch effort. Here’s hoping all of Rick’s work will pay off with a solution for them. We were the last into dinner but ended up being the first served dinner – yeah, we were hungry since lunch was some snacking on the road.

May tomorrow be a better day.

Ole Southwest Tour

Adventure Day Four – Hot Air Balloons in Albuquerque

We get up at 4 AM to get ready to go to the Dawn Patrol and then the Mass Ascension at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We leave at 5:30 after having some breakfast. The traffic on the freeway in the dark isn’t much fun in the Model A’s, but we make it to the field in perfect timing.

Balloons inflating at dawn.
A pretty morning with balloons going up

A few shots of some of our group:

“The Twosome”
Lori, Jay and Rose in front – Rick, Tim, Pat and Terri in the back
Some of the balloons are very big! Some can hold as many as 15 people in their baskets.

Some shots of the balloons:

Some Parting Shots:

We head back to the hotel. Rick, John and Dan go down to help Jim try to figure out his car’s problem. I finally go down to see how things are going and find the whole gang down there Larry, Jay and John Hulstrom are there also.

After working on the cars, we decide to do some exploring. Our first stop is to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It is very extensive and informative. Besides the museum they had cultural music and dancing by native people.

After the cultural center we had planned on going out to the petroglyphs, but simply ran out of time. We gather together and go to the Sawmill Market for dinner. It was a high end food market with a lot of the top restaurants from town, plus brewery, wine bar, ice cream and a dessert shop. Then we ate outside together after each picking their own choices for dinner. It was more like places in Spain with topa bars. Larry and Jerri were to join us and blocks away their car quit again, however when we got back to the hotel their car was there, so hopefully everything is ok. Tomorrow is another long 200+ day so it is to bed for me.

Day Three Adventure – “What Good Are We as Humans if We Can’t Help Our Fellow Man”

We got up and Rick went out to help Jim with his car. They finished and when Rick came in the rest of our group had already left. So we told Jim and Dorothea we could travel together. We ended up hooking up with Jay as the leader. We got a late start today and didn’t leave until 9:30. We head straight to the first stop – The Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Jim and Dorothea and Rick and I eat snacks as we wait for the others. They decided to go to a restaurant for some lunch so we decide to start out heading towards Albuquerque. Jim’s car started out running fine so we think the problem was solved by changing the ignition module, but then it started going only 30-35 mph with no acceleration. So we chug along again until about half way to Cuba, NM and they call the trouble truck to come get them. We wait until the trouble truck arrives and head onto Albuquerque. There are some pretty formations again, but a long drive.

The contrast of the deep blue sky and the big fluffy clouds adds to the scenery today.

We pull into the hotel at 5:50, check in and leave with our group at 6 for dinner! That is cutting it too short. We had a barbecue dinner joining some of the local club. We leave by 8 because tomorrow is an EARLY day to go to the balloon festival, getting up at 5. So more tomorrow.

Day two adventure

We get up early to see the sunrise at Monument Valley, but it rained last night and it is cloudy and no spectacular sunrise like last time.

So we choose not to do the 17 mile tour at Monument Valley and instead go see the sights heading North: “Forest Gump Hill”, Mexican Hat, and “The Valley of the Gods”. Everywhere you look is another beautiful sight so now my biggest job is to try and pick some of the sights to share and not post them all!

Starting at sunrise at Monument Valley
Things lighten up and the clouds add contrast
This is my kind of Model A road!

Then I decide we should do a “GROUP” shot of those who took this Adventurous route today, through this fantastic place. People obliged me and we took a moment together.

All ten of us together in the Valley of the Gods

We finish the loop and head on to more places for the day. each choosing their own places of choice to finish out the day. Some to Four Corners, some to Mesa Verde, and some onto Durango, Colorado where we are spending the night. We have been to all of these places before, so we stay behind Jim and Dorothea because their car is having issues and goes only 30-35 miles an hour while back firing. We follow them to Cortez where the trouble truck meets them and we go onto Durango.

We end up with a few rain showers, but the end of a great day.