Posts Tagged With: vacation

The Long Way

I traveled to Arizona last week and was loathe to zip over there via the mind numbingly dull (though almost an hour quicker) Interstate 10.

Last Thursday morning broke sunny and Spring-like in Southern California, perfect driving weather. I traversed the Cajon Pass before turning East onto I-40 in Barstow.

The original Route 66 was covered by I-40 over much of it’s path although a few drivable sections remain. They are mostly on the Arizona side of the state line but portions can be seen resting in the California desert sun here and there along the way. This route took me first to Needles CA then through Kingman AZ and Ash Fork where I turned South toward Prescott.

Original 1970s 7up sign in Needles

Original 1970s 7up sign in Needles


Since I was without any time constraint this trip and the temperature was still cool and Springy I stopped in Needles to explore a bit farther from the highway for the first time in my life.  I have been here many times but it is either far too cold in the wee hours of a desert morning or blistering hot on a Summer afternoon to want to stay any longer than it takes to fill the gas tank and hurry away.

Nice little Studebaker Truck

Nice little Studebaker Truck

Colorful tagged cattle cars rolling East

Colorful tagged cattle cars rolling East

Vintage Motel still welcoming guests

Vintage Motel still welcoming guests

Kingman has a modern thriving town accessible via the second and third exits from the Interstate, it is always a nice stop along the way but I didn’t go there this time. I took the first exit onto old RTE 66/business 40 taking me through old Kingman which is full of antique shops, tasty BBQ lunch and friendly locals. The requisite small town water tower looms over still busy railroad tracks while a western theme permeates  vintage motels and eateries for a couple miles until the old road hooks up to the interstate once more. I was so focused on the BBQ lunch that I didn’t take many pictures here but you can bet I will return to this road on a future trip.


Building being restored in Kingman

Building being restored in Kingman

Late afternoon found me in Ash Fork which has been one of my favorite places in the entire state of Arizona for many years.

The reason? Oh, the little old Mobil Gas station!

Ash Fork station lot

Ash Fork station lot

I darted in this station one very cold afternoon about 15 years ago to find myself in a warm, cozy hang out for the local old guys to spend the day telling tales and drinking (ahem!) coffee. The walls were covered with old license plates, junk parts and taxidermy…I wanted to stay forever!

A beautiful Jeep @ Ash Fork Mobil

A beautiful Jeep @ Ash Fork Mobil

After I paid for the gas I was graciously allowed to join the conversation so while Bob filled the gas tank outside we talked about Jeeps, Javelina and the value of Gold Toe socks in the glow of a pellet stove. I make a point to stop here just to check in anytime I am nearby.

When I walked in the station last week the conversation was ongoing and the guys were all still in place. After topping off the tank I grabbed my camera and went back to ask if I could take a picture…of the Javelina…they seemed disappointed so I told them to crowd around the wall pig and smile…only the Javelina complied at that point.

I think she winked at us!

I think she winked at us!

Special places that welcome you as a kindred soul are few and far between, when you find yours enjoy it for all it is worth!

I will post the road home to So Cal next week!

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Rand McNally Sign

Rand McNally where would we be without you?  Before there was mapquest, googlemaps, bing or VZnavigator Rand McNally was there for us.


Folded maps that never really went back to their original shape and giant Map Books and a yearly Atlas took us all over the world in person or from our kitchen tables while dreaming of future travel.

Very few of these signs remain today, they were issued in this hotel format and also in a garage format to identify quality auto repair shops.

May all your travels be frequent as you wish and safe!

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Vintage Las Vegas

The letter “V” is brought to you today by: Vintage Las Vegas!


Vintage 1950s and 60s paper coin cups are much smaller than the big plastic ones of today!

Still when you hit the jackpot you could shout “Viva Las Vegas!!!” no, wait that was Elvis or ZZ Top!

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ABC Wednesday S is for So Cal

So cal,S’cali,The Southland any way you say it Southern California is Special and we who live here are for the most part Spoiled.

Not in the ungrateful way of not appreciating what we have but in the “gosh aren’t we lucky to be here and now wallowing in this life ” sort of way.

The Sea,the Sun,the Slopes of the San Gabriel mountains,the Sand dunes of the deserts,Sidewalks in the city,Slides in the playgrounds,heck this is all a playground if you let yourself See.

Bridge Spanning South bound I-15 on the way to San Diego.

Safe travels if you are off to a Thanksgiving day visit or anywhere you choose to roam this week!

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ABC Wednesday F is for Fishy Fish Fish

F is for Fish and a whole lot of them!

This photograph was taken in the late 1930s perhaps as late as Summer of 1941. The couple on the left is Bea and Lewy K. Miller,my great aunt and uncle.

They were always avid outdoors people. Bea loved to drive automobiles (very likely too fast!)they went hunting and fishing together,traveled the world,competed in Archery and skeet shooting,they were really fun people.

I know this was before 1942 because they moved from Minnesota to Bremerton Island,Washington  early in WWII because Lewy was needed to train plumbers and pipefitters for the Navy yards. Bea joined the Red Cross. They also took my mother,their 12 year old  niece into their home around this time after her own parents died.

Now everyone can see where I get my love of stripy shirts!

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Skywatch Friday Hot Seasonal Gifts

Yes folks we have the Hot Seasonal Gifts for July, nothing to buy at all!

Just make it through another  day in the high 90s with enough light cloud cover to feel close,still and uncomfortable outdoors and just tolerable indoors and you can be rewarded with these kinds of sunsets as a gift!

Summer has arrived in Southern California this week in it’s true form. We all go outside as little as possible during the peak heat hours (Noon-Six p.m.) scurrying from shade to shadow if we must go out. A close parking space to the store is not as valuable as a shady one these days so cars cruise the lots searching for the few spaces graced by spindly planter bound trees. There is no danger of birds dropping by as they have sought deeper shade hours ago themselves.

When the twilight arrives people come out to water their crispy lawns,kids still play in sprinklers and neighbors chat about the day just gone by while they catch a cool breeze.

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Skywatch Friday Happy Birthday (ish) USA

There were many dates that could have been the “Birthday” of the United States of America. The date of July Fourth was finally settled upon and this was how it looked from my front porch in 2012.

A sherbet colored sunset closed an oddly cool day in Southern California (upper 70s).

The evening was filled with Civic fireworks from a nearby park  with first a burst! then the afterglow of the big finale.

All under the watchful eye of a full man in the Moon.

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Skywatch Friday at the Mission Inn Riverside CA

Since I have been sharing photos of a real California Mission the last two weeks I thought this week I would share one closer to home,with a different purpose and just as historic.

The Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside California under hazy late spring skies.

Built as a Guest House in 1876 the Mission Inn has sprawled and thrived under the original builder,Frank Miller and his family as well as the current owner Duane Roberts. The hotel has played host to host to 10 United States Presidents from a stop over by Theodore Roosevelt to Richard and Pat Nixon’s wedding.

Mr. Miller was famous for going to great lengths to make his guests comfortable and had a special,hand carved, over-sized chair made just for the visit and dining room seating of President Taft. Mr Taft was rotund at near 350 lbs and had recently endured whispers of being stuck in the White House bathtub. He was both pleased and angry at the special chair.

On a personal note I remember touring the Mission Inn as a kid when the Catacombs were still open and no restoration work had been done. These “catacombs” were really storage and cooling tunnels that kept workers  and staff of the few large main buildings downtown out of the dust of the roads,Santa Ana winds and heat of the Summer days. They ran all over under the Inn,across the street to the Fox theater building (They had the West Coast Premier of Gone With The Wind!) and had many,many rooms off the the sides of their dark cool halls. Of course it was rumored to be haunted.

My little photos do not do any justice to the old hotel. Please do go bookmark the Mission Inn site and explore it at your leisure and perhaps someday you will come visit the Mission too!

The pictures are lovely and be sure to click on the History of the hotel links once there, enjoy.

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Sky Watch Friday A little more Mission

This week I have a couple more photos of our trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The Courtyard with the Mission Bells from inside and the same bell wall on the exterior.  The third photo is of a very inquisitive Crow who caught my interest by following us for a portion of our walk.


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Winter Sunset Skywatch Friday

Tuesday afternoon brought another swift change in weather to Southern California. The late morning and afternoon were Vacation postcard perfect,low 80s very slight breeze from the West. The neighborhood was full of activity like a bee hive warming up from Winter dormancy. People were mowing lawns,painting house trim,working on cars,walking their dogs and just enjoying the lovely day. I was helping a neighbor prune the waggley branches on their Lemon tree and potting some Geranium cuttings.

As we were drinking fresh lemonade from said tree at sunset the temperature dropped quickly and all these windblown clouds streaked in from over the Pacific making for this pretty picture.

After a couple days of chilly,cloudy skies we have turned the page forward to Spring once more with a warm weekend ahead.

This is the weekend we who live under the Daylight Saving Time plan must move our clocks ahead an hour and Spring Forward!

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