Mt Whitney – Part 6

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Last night I met a fellow traveler. He was from Finland and we never exchanged names but we talked for quite awhile. His time on the road was coming to an end and he was going to turn in his rented travel trailer tomorrow and catch a flight in New York for home. We shared some common ideas about work, play and how there wasn’t enough of the latter. Later in the evening, someone pounded on my window and I went to the door; Finland was standing there. He had an armful of groceries: water, tomatoes, soft drinks and can goods. He said he couldn’t take them on the plane and wondered if I wanted them. I took them and thanked him profusely. This morning I was dead asleep and thought I might have heard a knock on the door but it wasn’t loud enough to wake me. When I went out later, there was more water, soft drinks, and five Belgium style ales. Finland and the motor home were gone. Throughout this odyssey I have met people like this: friendly, generous, helpful, and very caring. I hope I am that way to others.

Even more reaffirming about this campground: This morning I went to the office for quarters to do a wash and the clerk called me by name when I walked in.

Las Vegas is hot but I didn’t break a sweat until noon. Today is going to be a rest day. Work on this blog and maybe later I’ll go have a nice dinner. I deserve it.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Let me finish up Saturday before I start Sunday. I ended up going to Sam’s Town, casino down the street from the campground. Sam’s Town, like most big casinos, has everything: Subway, T.G.I. Fridays, house restaurants, ice cream shop, a movie theater, a hotel and gambling. I ate a half rack of ribs, shrimp and onion rings at T.G.I. Fridays. The food was good.

Considering that I hadn’t had a whole lot of luck lately with the weather, I figured it was time for a turn. First, I tried my hand at a penny slot machine. I took a $.60 ticket and quit when I lost $.40. Then I tried a $1.00 slot machine and quit when I lost $5.00. As you can see, I’m a high roller. I’m surprised they didn’t comp my meal. Finally, I took my $.60 ticket and went to the penny poker machines. I’d like to tell you that I got my $5.40 back but I can’t. On the $.60 ticket, I played for over an hour and a half. I doubled my money and then lost it all. I guess $6.00 for an hour and a half of entertainment is not bad.

When I got back to the campground, the weather decided to show me who’s boss. Winds started gusting and Snoopy started bouncing around enough that I set the stabilizer down. I checked the weather report on TV (good reception here—about 30 stations) and they assured me that they wouldn’t get above 50 mph. About an hour later they stopped.

This may have been the best departure I have ever done. Everything was emptied and packed up according to Hoyle. Nothing was left on the ground or unchecked.

I’m off to Zion National Park. The landscape in Nevada and Utah looked much like what I had seen in California.

But, Zion was a whole new animal. First of all, in Zion most of the trails are short, less than a mile. You are encouraged to park your car in Springdale and take the shuttle to the visitor center. There are nine stops on the Springdale loop and this covers several miles along the main highway. Most park along this road and I had to transverse the entire highway and come back to where I started before I found a spot for Richthofen and Snoopy beyond stop 9.

This loop takes you to the Visitor Center. Once there, you can take the Park Loop to stops inside the park. Each stop is special in some way and the trails lead off most stops.

When you get to be a certain age, be sure you have a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. On this trip I have not had to pay for a single admission or use fee to any federally managed land. This includes National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forestry, etc.

The part of Zion that you see is Zion Canyon. It was worth the trip.

My next stop was to be the Grand Canyon. I started moving in that direction and by the end of the day I found myself at the Wal-Mart in Hurricane, Utah. For re positioning moves it’s hard to beat Wal-Mart. I have read several articles about the safety of camping in Wal-Mart and for the most part I was never uneasy but on two occasions I took precautions.

Sunday, 4 September 2017

The Grand Canyon was grand indeed. The photos are no way to convey the grandeur of this natural wonder. You have to see it. This is also true of all the photos I have posted so far. You have to see it. I hope what I have done is make you want to see it for yourself.

The road:

In the National Forest:

The Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon became the crescendo of this trip. I was beginning to feel a desire to go home. I was only in my new condo a few days before leaving on this trip and I wanted to go back and put my mark on it. Road weary? Perhaps.

I spent the night at Wal-Mart in Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico gets my award as the worst roads in all the states I visited.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Another re positioning day: Albuquerque to Fort Smith, Arkansas. I hadn’t seen a cow in so many days I wasn’t sure I would recognize one. Finally, in Texas, I saw cows again. Until then, there was not enough vegetation to support a cow.

I went through a number of Native American Reservations throughout the states I visited. One that I was anxious to see was the Navajo. As I neared the Arizona border, I came upon a community called Cliff Builders. Then I came upon roadside stand selling native crafts. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The drive from Fort Smith to Nashville was uneventful. I was focused on completing the journey and gave up making photographs. I planned stops to dump Snoopy’s tanks and prepare for storage.

But this blog is not complete. Charles will be back soon. He was also making photos and I want to post some of those here as well. You will want to see me fall off the stones in the creek crossing.

Finally, I want to make some observations about the trip. Stay tuned and start making plans for your own trip. I know I’m already planning my next one. -Carter

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