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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > May 2009 Trip-part 2

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 06/18/09 02:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

May 2009 Trip
A Cross Country Journey
California to South Carolina and back
Part 2, Petrified Forest
Long report


Today is April 30,2009, I’m about to leave my parent home in Kingman and first make a stop at Radio Shack to buy a NOAA radio to keep than eye mother nature’s doings.
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Pulling out from my parent’s house and heading down Stockton Rd towards the I-40, the radio Shack was on the south side of I-40. My business was done in short order and east bound I went.
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Video Heading Out
I-40 was light of traffic and moving at top speed and the making of fuel economy was high on my list, making distance was. I wanted to make it to Petrified Forest by the end of the day. Somewhere east of Wickenburg turn off ( 93 south) I over took this American Dreamer on a Chevy truck. The wind had kicked up enough to push my TC around some and it looked like driver of this older Chevy her hands full (yes a woman driver).
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As I passed her I was lucky enough to get a photo in my side mirror.
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Video I-40 Eastward
I was making pretty good time and through the Williams area Mother Nature put the wind back into her bag and at least there were a number of miles of quiet air. A rest stop was coming up and it one that I’d been to before, by this time I needed to stretch my legs and use the bathroom. The air was moving again so Mother Nature must have opened her bag of tricks again.
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Heading east again after getting the kinks out of my legs with the wind at my back this time, getting to Petrified Forest turn off (exit 283) and going through Holbrook, AZ. I wasn’t prepared with my camera and ended up missing all of Holbrook.
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Continuing on SR180 toward Petrified Forest I starting to wonder if I’d made a wrong turn with all this open space the miles seem to go by slowly and with a low speed limit on this road. However a road sign come into view and assure me I was on the right road and not that far from my destination.
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Arriving at the south end of Petrified Forest and seeing it was about 05:30 pm much too late to wander around this nation park. Taking a hint from the gift shops signs of “buy 20 dollars and camp free”. Buying my piece of polished petrified wood I could pick a spot to park my TC for the nigh.
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Video South Entrance Campsite
Sunset was soon to be upon me, with my TC in its resting place for the night I grabbed my camera and headed for the opposite side of the area. With the sun going down I though the near by hills would make for some good shots.
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Taking several photos of the near by hills with the different shades of light reflecting upon them, seeing I didn’t have a lot of time left before the sun raced behind the horizon I started back for my TC. While crossing this campground a TC pulled in, so I wander over to be a bit social with a fellow Tcer. The guy and his wife were on the way back to Georgia from California, I told him he has a nice looking rig.
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Later I would learn that he is devildog1971 on RV.net
The sun was almost gone beyond the horizon and my plans for a steak dinner would have got under way, stomach was saying to me feed me.
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Now it’s really May 01,2009, morning light has woke me up and I rarely set an alarm clock on trips like this. A quick breakfast of cold cereal and hot coffee got me moving, watching from the steps of my TC a work crew was setting to tear up some asphalt at the entrance. This was cause of concern for me and I walked over to see if I could gain access through the gate to wonderland, it turned out OK.
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Video Entring Petrified Forest
The park kiosk was a few miles up the road. I pulled up to it, and a cheery smile ranger greeted me with a good morning. Asking a bit of information from her as I showed her my NP annual pass, she replied that the visitor center was a few miles more up the road.
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Rainbow Forest Museum and visitor center is open for business with people already heading in. The first thing one see upon entering is a display of several fossil creatures (replicas). The ranger on duty gave me some information on what to see with what time I had to spend here. There is a walking trail behind Rainbow Museum and that’s were I started my tour of seeing some stone logs.
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Video Rainbow Museum Trail
This was an enjoyable walking trail, but it was time for the next area to be pondering over. A few short miles down the road is the Crystal Forest (suggested by the ranger), one of the things you see as you approach Crystal Forest is a large hill right across the parking area/trailhead.
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Video Going to Crystal Forest
Crystal Forest trail is all asphalt nice and wide, wheelchair friendly with easy rolling mounts. The next few photos are what were seen along this trail.
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After an easy walk and fascinating viewing I had to get going to Blue Mesa, another ranger recommend place to see.
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Video Going to Blue Mesa
Blue Mesa area without a doubt has some wonderful structures that Mother Nature has craved out and is worth the drive out to it.
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The loop road out of Blue Mesa does narrow down a bit but still plenty of room for a TC. Almost back to the main road and what do I see, a Pronghorn coming across the road almost in front of me.
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Video Pronghorn on Blue Mesa
This was something I didn’t expect to see, a nice surprise to see one of nature’s critter. As much as I would like to stay here and watch this Pronghorn graze yond road was calling for me get going. On the way out a Route 66 display was just beyond the tour road overpass. I can only guess by this roadside display that Route 66 must have crossed here at one time.
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I made a short stop at the north visitor center before rejoining the I-40 east to continue on to Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet up with a buddy I haven’t seen in awhile.
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Crossing over into New Mexico traffic soon came to a crawl and the reason became clear, a simi-trailer torn in two
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Arriving in Grants, New Mexico at the local Wal-Mart to once again stretch my legs and make a call to Dave to see what his plans were for tonight. After contacting him he said he would see me in the morning at flying J on 98th in Albuquerque. While at Grants Wal Mart I spied this old slide in, no name on it.
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Off to Albuquerque, part 3 coming soon
All part 2 photos at Travelingman2 link.

* This post was edited 06/18/09 03:03pm by c.traveler2 *


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PapPappy

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Posted: 06/18/09 02:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful pictures.....thanks for sharing them with us!


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seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 06/18/09 03:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like fun - keep us posted (pun intended!)

Matho

New Mexico Texas

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Posted: 06/18/09 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the report.

Is that TC on the blue truck the one from "RV the Movie"? The one that helped with dumping the black tank!


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TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 06/18/09 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmmmm.... those petrified forests look like a place we would enjoy. Off to figure out where the route goes on Delorme Map software.


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 06/19/09 12:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice report. Great detail. Enjoy your trip.


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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 06/19/09 09:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're sure covering some ground there Alex. You must be the lonely c.traveler without Julie. Keep em comin there my friend...love those huge ol logs.





c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 06/19/09 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Matho wrote:

Is that TC on the blue truck the one from "RV the Movie"? The one that helped with dumping the black tank!

I was thinking about that when I took that photo, good thing I didn't stick around there long.Those two characters mit have shown up.

TwoMaineiacs wrote:

Hmmmmm.... those petrified forests look like a place we would enjoy. Off to figure out where the route goes on Delorme Map software.



Petrified Forest tour road is in good shape and has many turn outs along the road, too many for the amount of time I could spend on that day.

whazoo wrote:

You're sure covering some ground there Alex. You must be the lonely c.traveler without Julie. Keep em comin there my friend...love those huge ol logs.



Unfortunately covering a lot of road was necessary, not a choice, for I had to be in Louisville, KY by May 13th to pick up Julie at the airport. From that point on we were together for the rest of the trip.

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