On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
We’re trying a new feature here, so let’s see how it goes for the next week or so before it’s fully automated.
This post is for Balloon Juicers who are on the road, travelling, etc. and wish to share notes, links, pictures, stories, etc. from their escapades. As the US mainland begins the end of the Earth day as we measure it, many of us rise to read about our friends and their transient locales.
So, please, speak up and share some of your adventures, observations, and sights as you explore, no matter where you are.
Have at ’em, and have a safe day of travels!
Should you have any pictures (tasteful, relevant, etc….) you can email them to [email protected] or just use this nifty link to start an email: Start an Email to send a Picture to Post on Balloon Juice
Alain the site fixer
Sorry no pics today, will see if I can update later. Trying to get some more sleep now, had bad headache last night so just collapsed early.
I’ve been on the road to a conference at the school where I worked 13 years ago. They have spent millions on road work on the notorious Hwy 316 and I seen zero difference from the time I made the drive very day. The good news is the conference ends at noon and Bass Pro is on the way home if I implement plan B!
Flying to Germany this evening, I will visit some friends near Dusseldorf for 24 hours then I’m heading to a conference in the Black Forrest. So happy to be leaving the U.S. for a week. I’ve got a series of politically themed t-shirts to wear so that the locals know where I stand. I’m starting with my “international traveler’s apology t-shirt” which says (in the 6 official UN languages): I’m sorry my president is an idiot. I did not vote for him. Last worn in February 2005 when I was in France.
@evap: You should tell us where you got that shirt, I bet others would like one.
@satby: Cafe Press has them:
@evap: cool, thanks. I need to order one before my volunteer vacation next November.
@evap: @evap: @evap: @evap:
Great shirt! Cafe Press does a good job. Enjoy your trip and conference. Never been to Germany. Update us if you can.
I got an email from Poco last night. It said, “Quinerly blows.”
Great drive from Marble Canyon Lodge/Glen Canyon area of AZ yesterday….AZ 89A. It follows the Vermillion Cliffs almost to where the road begins to wind up 8000 feet through the Kaibab National Forest and Indian Reservation. We stopped at several overlooks and read about the reintroduction of the CA Condor but still didn’t see a single one. A lot of snow and icy roads in the Jacobs Lake area, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (closed to mid April, always). Cruised into Kanab, UT in time for a late lunch and local beer at what looks to be the best restaurant in town (Rocking V’s)…early check in at the little dog friendly house (good sized yard, grass, dog toys). We will be comfortable here for a week using it as a base for exploration and….sniffing.
I know Rusty of the band and he would never say that.
@Quinerly: You are not far from the Navajo National Monument, our favorite road trip serendipity campsite ever, and we’ve been trying to get other people there on purpose ever since. The campsite is up at the top of a huge mesa, right at the edge. The views of the stars and a storm going on a few hundred miles away at night were spectacular. There is also a first peoples’ cliff dwelling there, though the trail to get to it was washed out when we camped. Great facilities, extremely affordable, and gorgeous. Highway 160 & AZ-564, near Shonto. Dogs welcome in campground, but apparently not on trails :(
First attempt at linking. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for the personal insight. I had it in my notes as a stop when I head back east. I plotted a course from here in Kanab north through Torrey and Capitol Reef NP, eventually down to Bluff, Utah as a base for Monument Valley, etc. Then I was going to head back north for Canyonlands and Arches and jump on I 70 for the 1400 mile drive back to St. Louis. I might bale on that part and stay longer in the Bluff area and back track a bit towards those Hopi Mesas and Canyon de Chelly. I was rather close to Shonto when I was up there a little over a week ago. Didn’t have time for the extra 32 miles each way.
@Argiope: That sounds fantastic. Thanks much!
@Quinerly: Taking notes from you cause I hope to visit that area next year around this time. I love how thoroughly you’re doing it. Haven’t been in the SW in many years and you’re bringing it to life for me again.
@Alain the site fixer:
Again, thanks for all you do around here. Hope these “On the Road” threads generate interest and comments..folks sharing travel ideas (doggie travel tips/places???). I know I would check in everyday to see what others are doing, especially as spring and summer hit. Sent you several pics of one of my favorite stops so far. Working off of the smarty pants phone with a spotty WIFI connection at this rental, so pick and choose if you want to use any of them. The beautyof the area just took my breath away Wednesday. Highly recommend Lees Ferry and its history (off season…a zoo when the rafters start). There’s a great campground there that I would have loved to taken advantage of but was already committed to the funky, little $45 a night Marble Canyon Lodge which is also right there. Poco loved the sand on Paria Beach, right on the CO River. He has been to my family place on the coast of NC..so he knows sand and waves. He was truly puzzled when he found out he could drink the water at Paria Beach. The mighty Atlantic fooled him three years back?
? Thanks for the kind words. I think you have my email (from the beadboard discussion and what I did with it at the beach place). Feel free to email me again anytime about a trip to the SW…I can give you some resources and wonderful hook ups with shopkeepers and restaurant folks in Santa Fe, if you have an interest. Learning these other areas on my own but have NM down pretty good (especially Santa Fe) after 7 Februarys there. It’s a city like no other….”City Different.”
@Argiope: Navajo National Monument! This was also our favorite serendipitous campsite. We left Canyon de Chelly early and figured we’d hit a motel overnight on the way to the Grand Canyon. Everything was full and parking lots were full of frustrated tourists. We found the NNM in the campsite guide and pulled in to a nearly empty campground. My fondest memory is looking at the stars from the bed of the popup and being glad we carried our “house” with us while all those other poor folks were still scrambling.
Stars: I stopped on the road to the campsite, told our kids (9 and 13) to cover their eyes, get out of the van, look up, and uncover. It was the most spectacular night sky we saw anywhere in the West.
@Quinerly: My recommendation for Canyon de Chelly is to take one of the jeep tours. We and the boys all enjoyed it. The boys especially enjoyed watching the dogs who chased us the whole way into the canyon and back out again.
Canyon de Chelly has proved to be problematic for me in planning. It’s the Poco issue. He can’t go on the jeep tours (at least the ones I looked into), can’t leave him in the car that long (plus I have been warned about the feral dogs that just run wild in one of those campgrounds…and in the area and just run up to people with dogs on leashes, or jump and scratch at cars with dogs in them.) The closest motels adamantly don’t accept dogs. I’m open to anything to solve the problems. Could have missed something in planning. Think if I do Canyon de Chelly on this trip, it will have to be just a drive around with some careful stops.
Alain the site fixer
@Quinerly: screw 70. Bluff to Durango to Salida then Breckenridge into 70. Much more interesting!
@Alain the site fixer:
Possibly. If I’m at the leaving the Motel 6 in Green River, Utah it will be around St. Patrick’s Day. Gone from my home, kitties, work for 6 weeks. Probably will need the quickest route back, with the luxury of Motel 6s along the way. And, yes, I picked that Green River Motel 6 as a base for Arches and Moab. Started trying to make the Moab leg work for me budget wise back in August. Cost prohibitive. Even the Moab Motel 6 is over a $100 on the weekend…and car camping in Arches is out…the campground is under construction. Open to suggestions. I was warned that Moab is outrageously expensive and I’m hitting it just when its season starts.
@Quinerly: I wondered how it would work with Poco. You’re right about the feral dogs though. Maybe just do the drive around the rim. If it’s any consolation it wasn’t in my top 10 list of places we went to on that trip.
We are trekking with cat from Seattle to Los Angeles and right now are in Yreka, CA. Why-reek-uh, in case you were wondering how to pronounce that. Old Yreka
We made pretty good time yesterday, 9 1/2 hours to get here from Seattle. Walked around Old Yreka for about an hour, deciding where to eat.
Yreka was a boomtown, founded in 1852 after gold was discovered nearby. All but one 1856 brick building with iron shutters burned in the Great Conflagration of July 4, 1871.The date is suggestive of a mishap with fireworks. 13 blocks in the business district burned to the ground.
We ate at the Etna Brewing Co. last night and while the menu is mostly sandwiches it was very good. A nice change from the somewhat stodgy fare at Black Bear cafe.
We stay in Yreka because it’s roughly halfway to our destination, and because there are a couple of decent hotels on the south end of town that will allow our cat to stay with us.
@Quinerly: Well hi! I had forgotten this is your nym, though I think of you often. (The bathroom has stalled 1/2 way through, sigh, long story.) I will do that; it will be very helpful. I’ve loved your mentions of the little places you’ve stayed, the roads and views, (and the food!). And hearing about what Poco likes too.
It’s interesting how an animal friend can shape a housing choice or a trip in a way that is good for a human, too.
Love it. I would be tempted to wear it here at home though, perhaps I might put it on and venture across the bridge onto Staten Island, that would throw the cat among the pigeons. That would surly give me some good fodder for the On The Road feature.
Gin & Tonic
Was going to post once or twice in this thread while I was away, although not technically “on the road”, but that didn’t work out. Spent five days skiing in Big Sky, Montana, and just got back. It was *cold*. Cold. Not a lot of heavy snow, just a couple of inches each day most of the time, therefore cloudy most of the time, so we barely saw Lone Peak (the star of the place) but for one day when the sunrise was crystal clear and visibility was excellent. So we aimed to get up the tram as early as we could, but by the time avalanche control was done and the tram was open, clouds were starting to roll in again. So when we got to the summit the views were so-so, and skiing down was a little trickier than I’d hoped. Exposed rocks, windblown snow, and at 11,000 feet I get out of breath quickly. But glad I did it, because those were the best conditions of the week. Rest of the time we skied mostly below the tree line.
Anyway, no injuries, so that’s a good outcome.
@Quinerly: Only thing I can think of is finding a doggie daycare situation in Chinle, or wherever. Someplace well attended where Poco cannot break out in search of you.
Suspect you’ve thought of that — and you’re an excellent planner [I am of the “get in the car and just go” school], but wondering if Chinle (or somewhere else near CdChelly) offers dog care, because travelers are aware of the no dogs/feral dogs issue.
Let us know. FWIW, CdChelley was cool, but not life-altering, IMHO.
I read some horror stories on line about the feral dogs. Monument Valley is much better re the dog situation but still no places right there that take dogs in motel/hotel rooms. Using the tiny village of Bluff as a base for day trips out. Will be a bit of a drive to Canyon de Chelly. Like I say, I don’t pretend to know the area but when traveling on tribal lands (especially Navajo, it seems), it pays to know what you are getting into. One door of my old Subaru was ruined on just a gas station stop on tribal lands. A pack of dogs circled it with Leo in it, while I was paying inside. It was a mess…as nice as I am with the locals, always chatting and smiling, really no one to help me. Couldn’t even get to my own car.
When we get up at 7am* and get out of this posh establishment (all I care about is that the room is clean, and it is) we will pass this: Moo Donna on the far side of the road. Not the greatest photo of her, and now she has a calf, Moona Lisa. I might have to stop on our way home and get a better photo of her.
North of Yreka, again on the other side of the road, is a dragon by the same artist. I think it’s named Priscilla, queen of the Sierras but I could be wrong.
*I’m lying in bed so that David can sleep a little longer, trying to be quiet.
Forgot. Our travel companion is Annie
She usually rides in my lap but sometimes she decides that David needs some attention. Yesterday she groomed his hair just before she settled down to ride on his shoulders for a few minutes. Then she got disgusted with both of us and holed up in her travel carrier for a nap. I think we are both a bit too bony to be comfortable perches for her.
I just realized that this feature could be fantastic for picking up tips from people I trust about animal-friendly travel stops.
Loving these morning threads! We are off to sniff around Kanab..Coral Pink Sand Dunes..roads around that area, with a stop at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (schedule a tour next week)…the grocery store. “Blowing” my budget with all those prickly pear cheesecakes (with exotic coulis) and gin martinis. Now that we have a kitchen for a week, we play “normal” for awhile. Have a great day. Thanks for all your comments and interest. Love waking up to (most of?) you.
I’m hoping for that. Fits in with some aspects of the blog, dontcha think?
@Quinerly: you might try and see if anything in Blanding UT..is more affordable…. and the drive from Blanding into the national Park area around Moab is a damn sight prettier than the one from Green River imho but as always, ymmv. There may not be a national chain presence in Blanding but from your ongoing conversations in this thread, you don’t seem to mind the Mom and Pop experience.
I checked out Blanding and Monticello, UT…went with Bluff for that leg of the trip instead. Green River was to solve my Arches problem and also puts me on 70 for scooting… I am leaning towards not doing Moab and Arches and saving for another time. Perhaps picking up more nights in Bluff….at the doggie friendly, breakfast included “Recapture Lodge.” Will get to Blanding at some point in the area when I’m over in Canyonlands. Thanks.
Also, if I recall Blanding presented a problem for doggie friendly accommodations. I’m learning that NM is the most dog friendly of AZ, Utah and NM
Crossed the border into Montana — border guards were pleasant as always.