Page 9 of Trabern Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Nevada » Boulder City June 26th 2012

Today we headed in the wrong direction (again!) so that we could visit the Mojave Desert and then head on up to Las Vegas for a few days before concluding our journey through middle America on Route 66. After taking a few photos this morning in downtown Barstow, we drove east along I-40 back to the entrance to the Mojave Desert National Preserve. We drove in the Kelbaker Road towards the Kelso Depot Visitor Centre making a stop at the Kelso Dunes along the way. These are huge sand dunes in the middle of the desert that are made by the wind blowing sand from Soda Lake, a dry lake, near Zzyzx. The sand laden winds hit the Granite Mountains and dump the sand in front of them thereby creating the massive sand dunes. You can ... read more
Route 66 Motel, Barstow
Heading for the Mojave
Faces in the Rocks, Mojave Desert National Preserve

North America » United States » California » Barstow June 25th 2012

We started out this morning with the top down - there's no point having the convertible if we don't feel the wind in our hair (or, in Bernie's case, over the scalp!) sometimes. It has been so very, very hot though that we have been wimping out and driving with the top up and the A/C on HIGH. We drove all the way back through Kingman and then headed for McConnico on Historic Route 66. From there we picked up the Oatman Highway and drove through Cool Springs across the drainage of Sacramento Wash, which is bone dry at the moment, before starting to climb the Black Mountains up to Sitgreave's Pass. We didn't see any wild burros or bighorn sheep, but we did find Shaffer's Fish Bowl Springs, a man-made basin that collects water from ... read more
On the way up the Black Mountains
View from Shaffer's Fish Bowl
Shaffer's Fish Bowl

North America » United States » Arizona » Kingman June 24th 2012

We don't know if we have slight colds, hay fever of if our nasal passages and sinuses are just completely desiccated due to the very low humidity here?? Not to worry, apart from having sore noses and sinuses, we feel OK. Yay, this morning we had the Mustang's nose heading west right from the get go - no doubling back to catch up on what we missed yesterday today! We set off on the I-40 for a short while until we reached the exit for Bellemont and headed off on a very scenic stretch through Brannigan Park and and over Fortynine Hill, the highest point of Historic Route 66 in Arizona. We were quite excited to see some more prairie dogs along the Wagonwheel Road/Old 66 section of the drive. There were several prairie dogs scampering ... read more
Spot the Prairie Dog
Rod's Steakhouse

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff June 23rd 2012

Ho, hum ... another day, another crater, but this morning we set out to visit a volcanic crater at Sunset Crater National Monument which is located within the Coconino National Forest just 15 miles from Flagstaff. Our annual passes saved us the US$5.00/person entry fee. You used to be able to hike to the rim of Sunset Crater, but that path has been closed to protect the fragile environment of the cone. However, you are able to hike to the rim of nearby Lennox Crater so, once again, undeterred by the extreme heat, altitude, etc we set off. It was a steep and difficult climb over loose, volcanic ash. Very much a case of two steps forward, half a step back! I don't know how I found the breath to talk as I climbed but, as ... read more
San Francisco Peaks from Coconino Forest
Lennox Crater Conquered
View from Lennox Crater

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff June 22nd 2012

This morning we started off heading east, doubling back to the south end of Petrified Forest so that we could walk the Giant Logs Trail and the Long Logs Trail. Would you believe it, the ranger that we encountered twice yesterday at the Painted Desert entrance station was on the Petrified Forest entrance station this morning. She must really think we are obsessed now??! We don't know how early you need to start to take advantage of the cool of the morning because it was already stinking hot again by 9.00am. So we sweated our way around the Giant Logs Trail, which features some of the largest and most colourful logs in the park. 'Old Faithful', at the top of the trail, is almost ten feet across the base. Impressive. The Long Logs Trail has one ... read more
Petrified Stump
Shy Lizard
Petrified Jumble

North America » United States » Arizona » Holbrook June 21st 2012

After our big day yesterday we started a bit later this morning not venturing down to breakfast until 9.00am. Once we did head off it was east into town to photograph the giant muffler-man cowboy at John's Used Cars at the corner of Coal and 5th Streets!! As we left Gallup we zigzagged to the north and south of Interstate 40 as we made our way through Defiance and Manuelito where the road climbs and clings to the sheer side of Devil's Cliff. As we rounded the cliff where boulders balanced precariously above us (with just a mesh fence to hold back any potential rockslide) we were treated to a grand panorama towards Arizona that took in Route 66, the railroad and the dry bed of the Rio Puerco squeezed between the rugged mesas. After the ... read more
Yellowhorse Trading Post
Fort Courage
Querino Canyon Bridge

North America » United States » New Mexico » Gallup June 20th 2012

We decided yesterday afternoon to make an early start today so that we could visit Petroglyph National Monument, just west of Albuquerque on Interstate 40, before it got too hot. It was a good plan and we were at Rinconada Canyon by just after 9.00am but ... it was already stinking hot!! Not to be deterred, we made sure our water bottles were full and set off on the 21/2-mile round trip on an unpaved trail. The outward bound trail along the base of the escarpment was pretty heavy going in loose sand. There were petroglyphs (Native American and Spanish) all the way along the escarpment with an impressive concentration of petroglyphs at the furthest point of the walk. On our outward bound walk we talked to a couple who advised us that we could have ... read more
Petroglyph National Monument
Petroglyph National Monument (2)
Giant Roadrunner, Albuquerque

After three very pleasant days in and around Santa Fe and three lovely nights at the El Rey Inn it was time to get back on the road and head for Albuquerque. Since we arrived in Santa Fe I have been saying to Bernie that I read something about an Emerald Trail that we should do in/around Santa Fe or Albuquerque, but I couldn't find the references in our guide books again and searching for 'Emerald Trail' on Google was unsuccessful. The El Rey was on Cerrillos Road (Historic Route 66) which became NM Highway 14 as it headed out of town. Well, it turns out that NM Highway 14 is the 'Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway'!! D'oh - I had remembered it as more green than greenish-blue. So we drove to Albuquerque by way of the ... read more
Cruisin' The Plaza, Old Town, Albuquerque
View over Old Town Plaza
Native American Dancing, Old Town

North America » United States » New Mexico » Santa Fe June 18th 2012

This morning we woke to news from home that an earthquake had rocked Victoria. Meanwhile, here in New Mexico, a wildfire rages out of control in the south-eastern part of the state. Route 66 cuts across NM much further to the north so our travel plans have not been disrupted, but with a fire in Colorado too (north of NM) the air quality is very poor. With the heat and the altitude as well it is hard to breathe! After breakfast we drove out of Santa Fe north on Highway 285/84 for our day trip to Bandelier and Los Alamos. As we headed west on 502 there were signs up saying that we would have to take a shuttle from White Rock into Bandelier National Monument. At this stage we weren't even sure what there was ... read more
Caves at Bandelier National Monument
Solstice Marker at Bandelier National Monument

North America » United States » New Mexico » Santa Fe June 17th 2012

Since we are not moving on today we slept in a little bit this morning before going over for our complimentary breakfast. We have been doing pretty well this trip for complimentary breakfasts most of which have offered a reasonable selection of food to choose from. On earlier trips to the US a complimentary breakfast has consisted of a glazed donut and coffee!! After breakfast, we drove in to the old railway station area of the city. With it being Sunday it was very quiet down there, despite there being an artisan's market in one of the buildings behind the old station. We wandered around looking at all of the beautiful art and jewelry, managing to get out of the building having only purchased some honey, calendula and passion cream for dry skin and three cards ... read more
Santa Fe Station
Hard at Work
Santa Fe Plaza

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