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RV Arizona, 2006

The Grand Canyon Railway
September 22, 2006: Our first investment into our December, Arizona trip are dome observation car tickets on the Grand Canyon Railway. This train leaves Williams, Arizona at 10 am on December 13, arriving at the Grand Canyon a bit past noon. It reloads at 3:45pm for the return trip to Williams arriving at 5:45pm. Gwen chose the Dome Observation car obviously for the spectacular winter views. I certainly hope it is not a foggy day or rainy day on December 13. If it is, I guess we'll just have to sing train songs or play bingo on the trip to/from the canyon.
Cirque du Soleil
September 29, 2006: A couple of weeks ago, CSI featured the Cirque Du Soleil at the opening of the TV show. We were so interested we've ordered tickets for December 28, when we expect to be in southern Nevada. They are only $100 each for not-so-good seats so ... we have not been to Arizona yet, but already spent $500+ for two days worth of entertainment. I guess we will be doing lots of boondocking along the way.
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December 9, 2006: The first evening of our RV trip to Arizona began with a drive from
Applegate, Oregon to Redding, California.

  We left in the early evening to beat a storm approaching the Oregon-California border. We must pass of the Siskiyou Summit on Interstate 5 and did not want to deal with snow. We arrived in Redding at 9:40pm and parked in the Costco parking lot for the night. It rained all night which probably meant snow at the pass which we had already come over. This was our first time to boon-dock in a public area. The Costco parking lot was empty but the traffic nearby was bothersome. We will need to learn to pick our boon-dock space carefully.
For breakfast on Saturday morning, we ended up at the buffet at Rolling Hills Casino in Corning. This is a good breakfast buffet for only $8 per person. Our next stop is Lodi, California to visit family. The wind is blowing very strong to the north so we must fight a headwind while driving south on Interstate 5.
Parked in the family driveway
Looking toward the 4 lane road
December 10, 2006: We were able to visit family in Lodi, California. This was our first time to attempt to park in the family driveway ... a very tight fit for the RV. We set out the Internet dish to capture the weather and be able to upload Webpages. We were also concerned about the traffic noise but used new earplugs which did the trick. Note that we brought the rain from Oregon to California. It rained all night and all this day of travel to Bakersfield and beyond. I hope this is not an omen. We came to California and parts of Arizona for the sun.

Night camp near Tahachipi California
December 11, 2006: Another travel day. The night camp was in Tahachipi California in a space recommended by a fellow Escapee in the "Days End" directory. It was a good spot even with a road nearby and trains running all night. The tracks are just on the other side of the passing truck. We were here alone with a large field for Morgan to run.
Wind farm just west of Mojave California
Barstow is over the mountain ahead, Mojave is behind us

While passing through Mojave, we saw a giant wind farm to the west of the city. Mojave is where the plane launched that set the record for around the world flight with a single pilot. It is also a plane storage area since it is on the edge of the desert and dry.

We joined Interstate 40 which advertises only 2,500+ miles to North Carolina. Apparently I-40 crosses the US. Perhaps someday we'll have the time to find out.

As we approached Needles, California on the border with Arizona and Nevada, we stopped below for the view and lunch. Needles is about 60 miles from this location. This would be a very hot drive in the summer months.

About 60 miles west of Needles, lunch stop
December 12, 2006: We spent last night (Monday night) about five miles outside of Kingman, Arizona on a hill overlooking this valley northeast of Kingman. We found it in the dark and really didn't know where we were but not lights around us and a quiet night.

We decided we would treat ourselves to a good breakfast at one of the Route 66 cafes. Mr. D's is a diner recommended by the chamber of commerce located across the street. It was a great breakfast in a true Route 66 atmosphere.

I learned something else while visiting the Chamber the Commerce. The 75 MPH speed limit in Arizona also applies to me pulling my trailer. I was wondering why everyone in Arizona including all trucks and trailers were passing me. Take a look at those gauges ... this Dodge has no problem keeping up with Arizona traffic and the Arizona speed limit.


Historic Route 66 in Arizona

December 13, 2006: On the drive to Williams, Arizona we took a side trip on historic Route 66 just north of Kingman. There was virtually nothing happening along this 80+ mile stretch of 66. We stopped in Peach Springs for Gwen to get a cold drink. It is an American Indian town with one small grocery. The country side was interesting because of the miles of little but sage brush.

Gwen spends much of her time knitting while we travel. I think she has a special project she is working on. Note the reflection of the trailer in the rear view mirror.

The next photo is of our first RV site since we left Applegate. This is the Railside RV Ranch, named for the Grand Canyon

Historic Route 66 a Kingman sign
knitting and riding Railway located in Williams. This RV park was listing in the Escapees park directory as one of the parks in the town offering a 15% discount. This park has the most friendly management we have ever experienced, a free continental breakfast , high speed wireless Internet and a shuttle to the train. The train passes within 100 yards of the ranch, which might be a problem but it only passes at 10am and 5:45pm for the trip to the
Our first RV campsite at Railside

Grand Canyon. The Polar Express passes at 6:30, 7:45, 8:10 and 9:20pm. We will travel the train to the Grand Canyon. The management will also let Morgan out for a walk during our all day train ride. They also went way beyond courtesy by marking a map with directions once we arrive at the Grand Canyon and giving detailed instructions to pass through the train depot.

The first store we visited once we arrived in Williams was the ice cream store.

Twisters Soda Fountain
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