Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Road Home – Nebraska


That’s about it from the interstate side of Nebraska. We did see this rather interesting monument (yikes sorry it’s huge onclick — forgot to resize):

I could have paid attention to what it was…but I didn’t much care. *yawn*

We even changed our hotel reservations from Omaha to Council Bluffs — only excitement of yesterday was Binion’s Horseshoe. Heh heh. Fun times, and breaking even scores extremely low on the suck meter.

Today, we travel to the state of my youth — Wisconsin. Looking forward to some visit time with the Thriller’s mom and family.

Off we go. Yah hey dare M’waukee.

The Road Home – Colorado

For those of you who’ve done it, you know there’s nothing quite like driving through the Rocky Mountains.

Instead of taking the interstate and backtracking, the Thriller got out the atlas and mapped out a more interesting route, winding through the Four Corners area and into the Rockies. Home run on that decision.

One thing was painfully clear to us. After driving through two major Indian reservations, it is no secret that the United States Government, in their infinite benevolence 150 years ago, gave the Navajo tribe the shaft. The Utes, for some reason, lucked out. They got the lush beauty of the San Juan mountain range, while the Navajo got the desert desolation.

Don’t get me wrong; both areas are beautiful, but when your livelihood depended on grazing areas and tillable soil…

Anyway, it was an amazing journey yesterday. We stopped at several national monuments and looked at gorgeous lands.

A definite highlight was pulling over during a rainstorm to get a photo of a mountain stream, elevation 13,000 feet. This must be what the Coors guys were talking about:

Today is exciting! Well, this morning is, anyway. We’re off to Denver from Pueblo, where we’re having brunch with good pal Jan. I haven’t seen her since…oh, 1988 or so? Fun, fun. Then we hit the road for 9 hours of lovely nothingness across Nebraska. Maybe we’ll meet a tornado or two along the way. That’d spice things up.


The Road Home – Arizona

If ever an attraction lived up to its hype, it’s the Grand Canyon. It’s so amazing, photographs cannot do it justice — but I’ll give it a shot.

Before we get to that, though, there was another marvel — the Hoover Dam. While we didn’t stop and do the tour (which meant we were on the “wrong” side of the dam), we did get some great photos of the river and the other side of the structure:


But then, the Canyon. There were a lot of people there, as we expected. [The cool part about that? We bypassed the endless lines of folks giving up their $25 at the fee collection booth because the Thriller has a Golden Access Card from the Veterans Administration, which means free admission to any national park for the rest of his life. Heh heh. JUMP to the front of the line.]

We parked and walked a short trail. The Thriller said, “Here it is!” I said, “I don’t see anything.” We crested a small hill on the path, and this is what I saw:

The most unbelievable part of these vistas: no railings. No safety precautions of any kind. You step off the ledge, you fall a mile. Period. Each time I’d inch forward a bit to get a better photo, the Thriller would say, “Hey, hey, HEY. That’s close enough.” It’s exhilarating, yet completely terrifying.

Of course, that didn’t stop people from walking on outcroppings and even sitting on edge rocks and dangling their feet. I have a picture somewhere of a guy doing just that. I’ll upload it to Facebook. But this is generally what I mean:

The GC ranks as a real highlight of this trip. I’m so glad the Thriller suggested it! I have a ton of cool photos to upload to Facebook of our time here in historic Williams as well.

Back on the road we go. Actually, we’re going off-roading today, through Navajo country, ending up in Pueblo late tonight. Happy, um, whatever day it is.

Fink, still impressed

The Road Home – Nevada II

Not much to report this day, as I didn’t post to you until later last night, thanks to Finkweb pitching a fit.

After I posted, we went back down to the casino and yanked back some of our money. It was great fun. I learned from a lady in the elevator that not only does the Orleans have a bowling alley and thirteen theaters, but also a roller skating rink. Mind-blowing, I tell ya.

During the yanking-back session, we got up from playing and noticed that whoever had played beside us left $10 on his VP machine. So we printed out the voucher, took it to the cashier, and explained. He looked at us like we had three heads. We laughed.

We awoke around 5:45 this morning, as light crept over the strip:

Looking forward to the Grand Canyon today! I’ve never been, and the Thriller tells me it is a sight to behold. Definitely one of those things that pictures can’t accurately convey.

So today, we check out and make our way back into Arizona, where we’ll stay in Williams, at The Lodge on Route 66. Awesome.


The Road Home – Nevada

We haven’t been to Las Vegas in 13 years, and boy have some things changed.

We’re staying at the beautiful Orleans Hotel, off-strip. It might be a little different on the strip, say, at Caesar’s, but I doubt it. What I mean is, there are kids everywhere. Everywhere. In the casino, running through the lobby, in the restaurants.

Now you know me; I love kids. But in Vegas? At a casino? I told Mavis this morning that the hotels are apparently competing for shrinking gambling revenues, so why not offer a Disneyland type vacation, and bring the kids, too?

Still, we love the hotel (even though the casino has not been kind to our meager bank). Check out the amenities:

All this is great. The worst part? We’ve played all evening last night and all day today, and we’d take Detroit over Vegas any day. Maybe it’s just a stretch of bad luck, but these things have “sucker” written on them in bigger letters than usual. And we’re good poker players.

Still, we’re having a blast, and I think we’ll go see a movie tonight in one of them there thirteen theaters. Sheesh.

Hope you had a great Tunesday — off to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.