Life takes strange twists and turns, and the past three weeks have been twistier than usual.Looking at my situation from the outside, things look pretty dire. Being basically homeless at my age is no fun at all.
What does that title mean?
Just that I am planning a trip along part of Route 66, something that I have wanted to do for eons. And that I will have just turned 65 the week before I leave. I am not doing the entire route, just part of California, Arizona and a section of New Mexico, before I turn north through Santa Fe to Colorado.
Originally, I had intended to go north from Los Angeles, through Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and over the top through Wyoming and down to Eaton, Colorado where I am headed to visit my BFF Susan. But when Ryan suggested going the southern route, and I discovered that US40 runs right along the old Mother Road, it didn't take much to persuade me to go that way. Obviously, it will take longer, but I don't have to be in CO any particular day, so can take my time, pottering along, taking pix, and enjoying the ride.
I went to AAA this morning, got real maps (nothing like real paper maps for planning), the tour books and the Route 66 book. I will also download one of the Route 66 apps for my iPhone.
There isn't a lot of time for preparation but my car will be serviced tomorrow, tires rotated etc. And I will have just about everything I own in the car with me as I head out on an epic road trip.
Another adventure! I hope you come along for the ride.
I've been very remiss in posting my travels recently.
I am in New Zealand, on the trip that inspired me to start this blog back in February. So the posts about some of the places I've been and the things I've been doing may be a bit out of order until I catch up.
So... With my house leased out, kitties taken care of, "stuff" discarded and donated, I loaded up my car and headed south to Southern California, yet again, taking the get-there-quick route down I5. I was very lucky - the day after I left, the first winter storm came in and apparently, it has been frigid since then. I am very happy to be here, and not there where weather is a balmy 70-75 each day.
Spending time with my son, Ryan is always a pleasure and we went off the California Science Center to see the Endeavour. It was my first visit to the Museum and I was wonderfully impressed. What a great place to take young children, or any age child, and show them the wonders of science. Although we went specifically to see the Shuttle, we peeked into some of the other exhibits. The innovative, interactive exhibits that cover ecosystems, science innovation and so much more. Just walking into the exhibits is fascinating, with floor-to-ceiling screens of giant bugs, birds and Ryan's least favorite - maggots!
The Endeavour is awe-inspiring, situated in its own hanger, suspended not too high above our heads! Exhibits surround the Shuttle - you can see and touch a huge set of the landing wheels and, in answer to the question most asked astronauts, a fully-operational shuttle toilet and instructions how the astronauts, both men and women, have to use it. But of course there is the scientific information too.
Entry to the main exhibits is free but as we were there, we bought IMAX tickets and we chose to see The Flight of the Butterflies. I was completely enthralled with the Monarchs, seeing their life cycle before my 3-D eyes, experiencing them almost colliding with me and sensing the breathe of air as they flew by. Absolutely wonderful, and I added their final destination in Reserva de la Biosfera Mariposa Monarca (Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve) in Mexico to my bucket list!
The California Science Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission to the Science Center's permanent exhibition galleries is FREE. IMAX admission prices vary depending on age.
California Science Center 700 Exposition Park Drive Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) SCIENCE (323-724-3623)
What a good drive down to Southern California.
I avoided the freeways as long as I could, getting off the I-5 just north of Vancouver, WA and crossed the Columbia River into Oregon close to Gresham and then followed the Mt. Hood Highway south. The scenery was spectacular, ranging from vast cattle ranches to lava beds to forest and desert. It would be a wonderful trip to take without a destination in mind. So many photo ops! But if I has stopped and climbed out of the car every time I saw something breathtaking or fun or unusual, I would still be driving! Lots of farming - and the a lot of the farmers are quite considerate as they put signs up alongside the road which label what is growing! There was one area in Oregon where the fields looked like they were full of weeds but then I saw a sign that indicated that what was growing was a hybrid carrot and they are being grown for the seeds! And potatoes! I had no idea Oregon and Northern California were in potato country. Actually, I thought maybe it was McDonald country as on one side of the road were cattle and the other potatoes! Hamburgers and French Fries!
The lava area was amazing too. Rocks strewn everywhere but in some areas, industrious farmers have cleared the land of the rocks and planted crops. I just cannot imagine the back-breaking work it must have been. In other areas, what looked like wild horses were grazing. And there were rivers and lakes and mighty peaks, still snow-capped.
My first night was in Klamath Falls, Oregon, after a 505 mile day. Cute town hosting the county fair! Which meant I had a hard time finding a room - and snagged the last one at the Comfort Inn! The lake was beautiful and it is a place a would like to spend more time.
The next day was a long one, 700 miles, and I ended up in Ridgecrest, California - a nowhere place but rooms available. I had tried several towns before and all sold out! So I had to keep driving but I had visions of myself sleeping in my car!
And hot! I love the heat but this was too much for me - it was in the 100s coming through Reno and Carson City. I didn't even stop to play any one-armed bandits! And thank goodness for my air-conditioning!
It was just a short 1.5 hour drive to Apple Valley with nothing but desert for miles and miles and miles.
Seems like I haven't done anything or been anywhere for ages!
But tomorrow I head out on a road trip south to California to see Ryan, Cody, Mel and the grandboys, Oliver and Everett. It's been far too long since I saw them, so I decided to bite the bullet (financially) and head down there. It's not a long trip, just 10 days, as I have to rely on others to take care of the kitties while I am away.
The drive itself is about 1300 miles each way so I am planning two nights on the road.
First stop should be Klamath Falls in Oregon, then Bishop in California. I am taking a different route than normal as I am going to Cody first. It will be fun driving these secondary highways instead of Interstate 5, which is a very uninteresting highway through Central California. My "new" way goes down through the mountains, and according to google maps will only take maybe an hour more! So that is going to be very exciting.
And because I am traveling on my own, I can stop for pictures wherever or how often I want.
Today I am getting the car ready, checking tire pressure, oil is good and I just had it serviced.