Category Archives: Travels
Saturday morning July 21stwe jumped into Hi Ho Silver
and our chauffeur Steve Klem took us to the airport where got on a Delta A319 Airbus
and headed to SLC. While we were waiting to board Barbara got us breakfast. She wanted me to think we were headed to Hawaii to she got the Hawaii McDonald’s breakfast, white rice, fried Spam and scrambled eggs. Quite tasty. Since I was slow in getting our seat assignment we did not get two seats together nor did we get an aisle like Barbara likes. Here is where Delta scores the first of many good deeds. When we got to the gate, the agent call our name and when I went up there she gave us new boarding passes together and upgraded us to Economy Comfort seats including as aisle at no charge. (they are normally $29.00 each)
We had a 2.5 hour lay over before we got on the Delta Connection RCJ 200
headed for ABQ. While we were waiting a very nice gate agent told us they were overbooked (surprise, surprise, surprise) and if we wanted to give up our two seats we would get $200 Delta credit each and meal vouchers and confirmed on the next flight only 1.5 hours away. Since we did not have to be in ABQ at any particular time, we said yes. But when they were ready to board they only needed one so we did not get the offer. It does not take long to board 50 passengers so off we went to ABQ, traded our “baby jet” for a Mazda 6 (they call this a full size car),
had diner at a local truck stop and then on to our motel for a quick check-in.
The purpose of our trip was to watch Brooklyn ride in the Youth National Championship Horse Show
Next morning we were up at o’dark thirty (who rides at 8AM on a Sunday morning) so we could meet Brooklyn for breakfast at 7AM. We got exhibitor’s parking passes so into the show grounds we went. Then on to a side road with a lady guarding the way in. I asked if there was handicap parking down there and she says she did not know but we could go look. We drove straight to the Horse arena front door and parked. Brooklyn rode at 8AM and did well and went through to the next round.
We watched a couple more events then on to find church. On the way Barbara got VERY bad stomach cramps, so bad in fact that I took her to the University of New Mexico Medical Center ER. Readers Digest version. Checked in at 11AM, sat in the waiting room until 6PM (they did keep checking on her and the pain had eased), went into an exam room at 6PM and the Dr. saw her at 9PM and admitted her to the hospital at 5AM. They are very through there and they ran many tests and she was discharged about 5PM Tuesday. Love those beds that keep airing up and changing the support spots. Barbara is fine and all they could figure after MANY exams and at least 6 quarts of blood (well maybe not quite 6) was that she has some sort of intestinal virus that the antibiotics fixed in the 2+ days she was there.
On Monday while Barbara was being well looked after I went to watch Brooklyn ride again. Did not do well but that is only because the judges were BLIND.
After Brooklyn rode she went up to see grandma and made some friends for her from some PURPLE exam gloves
filled with water and faces drawn on them.
Monday evening the group from Melville stables
invited me to go to dinner with them to a local “hot spot” the “Le Pinto” in NW ABQ.
Nice looking place and though we had thunder storms and it was a Monday evening they were busy. I requested a table for 12 and in a timely manner we got to sit out in the covered patio. Nice old Spanish style building and the wait staff were great.
This is the end of the good story. When we go to our table they only had settings for 11 not the 12 we had requested. It took ages for the drinks to arrive. 2 of the 12 meals were sent back as they were not as ordered, we asked for extra salsa twice and none arrived. I had the “House Specialty” Chile con Carne Enchiladas and not only was it not tasty, it had set under the heat lamp way too long and the cheese was hard and crusted. The final decision is that none of us would probably go back.
On now to Tuesday and Barbara coming out of the hospital, we left about 5PM and went straight to get her something to eat as she had not eaten since 7AM Sunday. Back to the motel and she went to sleep at 7:30 PM and got up at 9:30 (AM) Wednesday.
We went to watch Brooklyn ride twice that afternoon. Once the horse played up
and then once again we had the blind judges.
We picked Brooklyn up from their hotel and we went to dinner, although she had found the in house bakery and some very good cake before we got there so she did not each much. Dropped her off and we went back to get some more sleep.
Thursday Brooklyn left for home and Barbara and I went exploring. We found more of the old Route 66
and found a Sonics and happy hour and a couple of HUGE LDS chapels. Back to the motel and some TV and laundry.
Friday we did some more exploring (that is code for garage saleing, flea markets and trading posts). More sightseeing enjoying more of the 95 degree very dry weather. And more of Route 66
We found a new and interesting High School in SW ABQ. The Atrisco Heritage High School. Ahahighschool.com Check it out.
When I went to check in with Delta on Friday evening they again became heroes. In the middle of the things you need to click on to get checked in was a banner that asked if we wanted to upgrade to First Class from SLC to SEA as there are no first class on the RCJ 200’s. The cost was $75.00 per person. Now it cost us $25.00 per bag to check the two bags coming down and we bought another bag there to bring home the extra goodies (See Friday activity) So that was $150.00 – $85.00 for checking 3 bags in economy and then if we upgraded to Economy Comfort for another $58.00 for two that makes it $3.50 each to go to first class. This was a no brain er and when you figure the cost of the free booze in first class (oh wait we don’t drink). Anyway it was a very nice upgrade. Delta rules!!!
Saturday was filled with last minute details. While I went to check in the car, Barbara checked the bags. As we had not been assigned seats together (because of my slow actions before we left) the very nice agent changed our seats and gave us 1 A & B,
leg room on the bulkhead. Delta strikes again!!!
As we went through security the gloves the TSA agents were using was a brand named “Better Feel”. I don’t care who you are that is funny.
The only thing that would have made this flight any better was if our friend and Captain for Sky West had been our pilot.
SLC was a quick connection and we got from terminal E last gate to C 07 just as they called first class. Great seats and comfort home on a local built 757
When we got to SEA our son Stephen and his family met us and hauled us home. Stephen even carried the VERY heavy bags up stairs so we could unpack in the morning.
On February 8thwe jumped into Hi Ho Silver
but only took a short trip to the body shop to have the repairs done on the car while we were away. Came home and jumped into Black Beauty
and headed for parts East & South. We had brunch with my sister Jill in Sand Hollow Idaho
on the 9th and headed for Utah. Barbara got an ear infection that night and we found a new BFF in “Instacare” in North Ogden, UT.
27 minutes after walking into the office, seeing a doctor, getting a prescription filled we walked out all ready to continue the trip. A stop by Deseret Industries in West Jordon to meet up with our niece to get some canning supplies, and finished products, to take to AZ for my brother and his wife.
We stayed in Provo at our son’s house and off on Saturday night to “Love on Broadway”
a musical review of favorite Broadway songs about love. Our granddaughter Brooklyn was part of the cast.
Another day of rest and lots of snow and we headed south again. Those stretches if I-15 that are 80 MPH are great. If anyone ever asks, buy your gas in St George UT not Mesquite NV. 40 cents a gallon more in NV. More driving and we arrived in Scottsdale for the Arabian horse show.
Our main reason for the trip. This is Brooklyn’s 5th year showing there and we have been each year.
Then after the first show (in which Brooklyn won a ribbon)
we headed off to my brothers home. In the following days we did more shows,
and visits with Albert and DJ Wilson, dinner with the Manginos and church with Dan and Melissa McAfee.
Jerry picked fresh oranges, tangelos, and grapefruit from his back yard and we took them to the stables with us for the crowd there.
Monday the 20thwe headed west on I-10 and stopped to visit Norville and Leoyce Broadbent at their “winter” home in Palm Desert. We went to dinner at a posh Southern CA restaurant
. A couple of more relaxed driving days and we stopped to visit an old missionary companion of mine Justin
(had not seen him in 42 years) He was actually my first “greenie”.
They are in Folsom, not the prison the town. He works at the Sacramento Temple one day a week.
Got to meet his wife Lori
and their youngest son Andrew. Great visit then we hit the road again and went north on I-5.
Last stop before home was our daughter Rundi’s home (and of course we saw Frankie the cat).
Home late Sunday evening after driving through sleet, snow, hail, and some sunshine. Great trip now we just need time to recover from vacation.
Thursday morning we jump into HHS (Hi Ho Silver)Programed Earl and headed south for Rundi’s. We went to Portland where I ordered a new suit and then had dinner with a friend.
Friday morning the 3 of us again jumped in to HHS and with the aid of Earl headed towards the Oregon Coast and the town of Newport. Our goal was to watch the Coastal Act Production of “TITANIC The Musical”
Each year the local community theater group put on a musical in January (See last year’s “Wonderland! The Musical Misadventures of a Girl Named Alice”) at the Performing Arts Center (the PAC as our granddaughters informed us)
Again our son Harlyn was the musical director of the live orchestra and Reegan played a 3rd class passenger. Ella was also involved as the aux percussion. She played the ship’s bell, the wooden blocks, and the cymbal.
It was a great performance although Reegan died again this year. Last year she played a clam that was eaten by a walrus. I told her she need a better agent.
One of the neat things they did was to hand each theater goer a “boarding pass” with the name of a real passenger or crew member.
Then they had a list of all the names and whether they lived or died, 711 lived and over 1500 died. Barbara and Rundi died, I was a crew member and lived as he rowed one of the lifeboats. It was neat when we got home for me to go online and read about this crew member and how he testified at the Senate hearing. I got to read the whole transcript of his testimony.
Saturday morning we got up and met the kids at the Pig N Pancake (this was a request of both the granddaughters).
Newport’s historic city hall was renovated and reopened in January of 2009 as the newest Pig ‘N Pancake restaurant. The city hall was originally built in the 1920′s and is now part of Newport’s Deco District with Pig ‘N Pancake carrying on the tradition. Come check it out for yourself and see our Deco Pig – “The Professor.”
After breakfast we headed to Rundi’s for a short break then Barbara and I headed home through a snow storm. Good ole HHS made the trip fine.
Can’t wait until next year to see what play they are doing.
On Saturday July 23rdwe again jumped in to HI Ho Silver
but just a short trip to SeaTac Airport with our neighbor Steve being our chauffeur. We traded our car for a Delta 767
to MSP (Minneapolis/St Paul) where we had a 2 hour layover then onto an A320
to ABQ (Albuquerque, NM). The only nice thing I can say about the A320 is we got a live crew safety presentation as the A320 does not have video or audio for the passengers.
Once on the ground we traded the Airbus for a Camry
, and we became honorary Texans
for a week.
The reason for the trip was the “19thAnnual Youth National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show”
Our granddaughter Brooklyn
had qualified for the event and so we went to support her. Kay dawn made sure we had good parking.
She rode in two events. Class 740 “Half Arabian/Anglo Arabian Hunter Pleasure JOTR (junior owner to ride) 13 & Under Championship” and class 745 “Half Arabian/Anglo Arabian Hunter Pleasure JTR (junior to ride) 13 & Under Championship”. They were both BIG classes so they divided them into sections. In the 740 class she made it to the championship round
where they pick the final top 10 then choose a Reserve Grand Champion and then a Grand Champion. She was chosen in the top 10
but not one of the final two. She claims she was number 3
but that is not official. She did not make the championship round for the other class.
We got to do lots of tourist things also. On Sunday after Brooklyn’s ride we met her, her mother, and her sister Sydney in Old Townhad a great Mexican lunch, then while the 4 ladies wandered through the shops, I visited with a couple of the locals in the town square across from the local church
Monday morning we were at the arena very early (before 9 AM) to watch Brooklyn ride. Not successful in going on (even though we all felt the ride was as good as, if not better, than the one the day before where she advanced) Barbara and I toured ABQ (The Flying J truck stop there does NOT have gizzards) while the girls swam and rested. We picked them up for dinner at the Route 66 Diner.
Very noisy, did not get all our food, some was wrong and some wrongly charged for. Talked to the manger and she was gracious enough to take 2/3 the cost off the bill. After we dropped them off Barbara and I went to see the ABQ Temple.
Very lovely at night, and not far from our hotel.
Tuesday morning Brooklyn rode in the championship round and got her “Top Ten” ribbon (this is top 10 in the nation, and this was her first year there, we were very proud of her.) Then off to Old Town again where the ladies went to the Rattle Snake museum (I have seen enough of them growing up in Idaho) and I watched a Native American and his wife
put on a great show. Barbara and I had Popeye’s chicken
and watched some beach valley ball. When we got back to the hotel I checked for messages on our home machine. B of A
had called and said they noticed some strange activity on our debit card. A charge in Kent, WA on Friday, another charge in Minneapolis on Saturday and another in ABQ on Sunday. So they had put a hold on our card until I talked to them. Good service and thanks B of A
Wednesday we went to the Rio Grande Zoo
Rode a couple of neat trains,
saw many animals,
the girls played in the water,
Then goodbyes and hugs as we left them. We had dinner at the “Texas Land and Cattle Company”. Very good and highly recommended.
Thursday we drove to Santa Fe along the way we saw a “Mormon Battalion”
monument then to the heart of Santa Fe
lunch at a local chain of Lotsaburger, you can skip this one. On the way home we took a back road through some neat little places and we found Waldo
Thunder storms and lots of water over the road.
Drove up to the top of Sandia ski resort
and back down. Dinner at Lin’s Chinese buffet.
Very good and good pricing.
Friday we tried to ride the trolly in Old Town again, but it was not running again. The second best part of the trip took place instead though. There was a book signing by a group of Navajo Code Talkers. We bought one of the multi-signed books,
and talked to Kee Etsicitty one of the “code talkers”. He loved what he did and loved to talk about it.
Then we rode the Sandia Peak aerial tramway, “The World’s Longest Tramway”,
had lunch at the bottom of the ride in a New Mexico food restaurant.
Again very good and great service.
Saturday we decided to ride their “Rail Runner” train system.
So we drove to the south end of the line, Belen,
boarded the train
for Santa Fe,
almost 100 miles away rode up there with about 900 other people. We stayed on the train for the return as more than 1000 people got on in Santa Fe to go back to ABQ. They were having their annual Spanish Market and it is a well attended activity. Neat train lots of good scenery and the best part was it was only $7.00 each (for us seniors) round trip.
Sunday was get up, take the car back then to the airport for another A320
to MSP, another 2 hour layover then on to a 757
for the trip home where our good neighbor Dee was waiting to bring us home. Great trip but great to be home in our own beds again.
On Thursday Barbara and I jumped into our trusty Tribeca and headed for Spokane, WA (it was actually Medical Lake) to attend the graduation of our long time friend Daniel O McAffee, pronounced Mac a fee.
He received his BS in biology and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Now he is off to Glendale AZ to attend Podiatry school to become Doctor Dan.
When we called a couple of weeks ago to book a room, the price was 50% higher than the same room from the same chain we had used two weeks before. The lady making the reservations said, this is graduation and we have one room left. You’ve got to love capitalism.
It rained all the way over and most of the night. We picked up Dan from their home and he showed us around EWU campus, where the graduation was to be held, the football field, where to park, and the science building where most of his classes were. Then we went to meet Melissa after her work and went to dinner. They went home and we went to the motel to bed.
and found a seat.
The sky was dark, very overcast and very threatening when we got there at 8:15 for a 9AM start. End of that story is not a drop of rain during the whole thing which lasted until noon.
We got to watch the faculty march in,
lots of students, one was especially ready for the rain,
and here comes Dan.
He is the BIG kid with the robe on. They arrived according to the College they were in. Dan’s was College of Science, Health, & Engineering.
They took their seats
and listen to the speakers. Governor Christine Gregoire was the commencement speaker and I hate to say this but she did a great job. Fairly short, humorous, inspiring, but not too political. She listed many contributions former graduates have made to society and listed some of the unique aspects of industry in the state.
Then they lined up,
and lined up,
and lined up (about 1500 of them)
to march across the platform
Video of Dan getting diploma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ckq5OCNS-s
and receive their diploma,
then off the platform to the receiving line to shake hands with the dignitaries,
then back to their seats to wait until all had received their diploma. After all had received them, a short talk, the moving of the tassels, then the mortar boards into the air. And as Dan put it “It is finally over”.
A few pictures more
and we were off headed for home. On the way we discovered my latest birthday present. A rock had come up and cracked our windshield.
It goes in on Monday for a new one. Windshield that is not rock.
Home safe and we had a great time. Thanks again for Dan and Melissa inviting us to share this special time with them.
Friday May 14th we loaded up the Tribeca and hit the road at 0 dark 30 headed for Boise Idaho, (Meridian really). We arrived in time to check into our favorite motel and met two of our granddaughters, Brooklyn & Sydney.
Then to Firebird raceway in Eagle to watch my brother, his wife and their daughter race in the Friday night high school drags. Parents and alumni have their own races. Rachel (our niece) races for Middleton high and after two races they lead 459 points to the next closest of 172 points. Rachel won her first round
but red lighted on the second.
Brooklyn & Sydney had never been to drag races before and they learned much, we ate BBQ, and saw many of the native ground squirrels.
After taking to girls back to Nampa, Barbara and I got some needed sleep.
Saturday morning I went to the Boise airport to pick up our daughter Rundi and her friend Sandy. Then back to visit my uncle and his wife, and then visit a cousin and her husband. We had not seen my cousin Sandy (different from Rundi’s friend) for over 20 years.
Saturday evening we went to the Idaho Horse Park to watch Brooklyn ride her Arabian horse (this is the real reason for the trip).
She took second place in the first event while her stable mate took first place.
She took first place in the second event while her stable mate took third.
My brother, sister in law, niece, and my sister, Jill, joined us. After the show we went to dinner with the family.
Sunday afternoon we met Jill and she took Rundi and Sandy to the airport while Barbara and I took off for Utah. We stopped in Mtn. Home and scoped out the park for our Jenkins family reunion in August. We had a car load of bridal shower gifts for a friend so we dropped them off in Salt Lake City and then on to Provo before dark.
Monday early afternoon we visited with some cousins we had never met and discussed family history and the family reunion. Then visited with some friends who moved back to Utah from Kent. Monday evening we got to go to Brooklyn’s piano recital.
all did well and the program was just over an hour with goodies to follow.
Tuesday we dropped by uninvited to visit a long time friend, Denise, and their new baby boy. We got two twofers. Not only did we get to see the new baby Austin, but Denise’s sister was there with her 12 day old baby and as an extra bonus we saw another long time friend Hilary. Then to top it all off we went to Brooklyn’s end of the year choir concert. It was held in the same great facility as the one we attended the end of last year.
Wednesday we packed up and decided to “wander” home. As we were wandering towards Logan Utah we came upon Wellsville Utah. Barbara said “The missionary who baptized me 50 years ago came from this town”. We stopped at City Hall and asked if they knew Boyd Cooper. The lady behind the counter said “He is my brother in law” and gave us his address and phone number. You gotta love small town USA. A quick phone call and we were invited to his home. They did not recognize each other right away. But a lot has happened in 50 years. We got to meet his wife and after sharing about each other’s families we headed down the road. Spent the night in Blackfoot Idaho so we could wander through the rugged Idaho Mountains the next day. By this time we have developed a liking for “Flying J’s” wings and gizzards so that was dinner.
Thursday we drove through Arco Idaho, the first town powered by Atomic Energy.
Then on to Challis, Salmon,
Lolo and finally stopped in Missoula MT. Snow, hail, rain and lots of wind. It is “spring time in the Rockies”.
Friday morning we took off and headed west on I-90. As we were passing Alberton MT we saw a billboard advertising “100,000” used books so we stopped. Great shop called Montana Valley Book Store. We spent some time there and visited with the lady owner but she did not have the book we were looking for. It is a privately published book on family history. But you never know. Then on into Idaho again and we stopped in Rathdrum to see a cousin we had not seen for over 25 years. We had just recently reconnected. Nice visit but too short then we headed for home. It is always great to get away but greater to get back to your own bed.
We left home about 9AM Saturday morning heading for Rundi’s. Got there swapped cars and headed south in I-5. After a brief stop at the Wilsonville Sonics Drive Inn we continued south on I-5 through green rolling hills and lush country side. We waved at Colleen as we pasted Salem. We stopped in Ashland for the night. Stayed in a quaint “English style” motel. (Quaint means small, neat and tidy and not cheap). It was very clean, had WIFI and a good shower and no bed bugs.
Up in the morning and over the mountains in to California where we were made welcomed by an inspection station. Then past “the lake”, mountains, and valleys. Stopped in Corning to get fresh olives. Past many rice paddies, lots of other crops and then on to Hwy 99 at Stockton. Made Merced in time to watch the last half of the Super Bowl.
Monday morning on to Bakersfield then Hwy 58 through Mojave stopped at the Airplane “bone Yard” Also called the Mojave Spaceport saw the “Stargazer” a modified Lockheed L-1011 used to launch rockets. Into the desert and past where the Borax comes from. Then on to Barstow. Some neat murals there. Then we found route 66. Spent the night in Barstow so we could “get our kicks on route 66” the next day. It was a nice detour and many interesting sites and lots of road.
Although “Arine” could do a better job of keeping the road maintained. After meeting up with I-40 again, had lunch in Needles, then turned south on Hwy 95. GREAT roller coaster road. Got on I-10 at Blyte and headed towards Phoenix. I-10 is a great road and fast. Arrived at Jerry’s home after dark.
Great visit with my brother and his wife, Albert and Donna Jean (very long time friends), Brooklyn , Sydney, Kay dawn and others.
On Saturday after the ladies went garage selling, we drove into the country to visit and open cut copper mine. Since the next day was Valentines’ day Jerry and I ordered a Barbershop quartet to come and sing to the ladies, complete with card and red rose. We had a mix up and so instead of arriving at 8:30PM they got there a little past 10PM. Still they were there and it was a good thing as Jerry and I did not have a plan “B”.
Put Rundi and Willy on the plane Sunday night and we left Monday morning for Utah.
Crossed over Hoover dam. They are building a new bridge that will be great when they get it done. Past Las Vegas into Utah and spent the night in Cedar City. IHOP has a senior special, buy one entrée and get the second one free.
On to Mapleton to drop off stuff for Brooklyn and Sydney (they could not carry their entire Valentines’ day loot on the plane). Ran other errands, saw another long time friend Beth, ordered the Roses to be delivered for Stephen’s birthday. We were planning on staying at Stephen’s in Provo but got done early and since I had to be home a couple of days earlier than we had planned, off we drove towards Idaho.
Visited my uncle Lee and his wife Chris. I had a bunch of old photos from my grandmother’s home that I did not know who they were. (make sure you label and date the back of ALL photos). Chris and Lee were a great help. Visited Jill and she looked at the photos also. Spent the night in Meridian. I still have a bunch that we have no idea who they are. Maybe people at the family reunion can help.
On to Vancouver, WA, spent the night and changed cars with Rundi again. Barbara stayed with Rundi and I drove home.
We went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City to see the Christmas lights and the nativity.
We met Gloria and Barry Johnson at the Trax station near their home, paid $1.00 (old people’s pricing) and rode it for 30 minutes into downtown SLC. Nice system and pleasant ride looking at the decorations along the way.
We then met my brother Jerry, his wife Jane and their daughter Stephanie (her husband Roger had to work, glad he is paying into SS) at the South Visitor’s center. We listen to a high school choir then went outside to see the lights. It was COLD. We went into the Assembly Hall to hear another choir, then into the Tabernacle. No choir here just a great building.
After we were all frozen we went up to “The Roof” gourmet buffet. Great view, great food and great service.
After a pleasant meal (Cream Brule dessert each trip to the buffet table) and more pleasant conversation we parted ways with family, paid another $1.00 each and jumped on Trax to head home.
Temperature was, well let’s just say the first number was a 1. Got into the car and headed back to Provo. When we got up this morning the first number was 0.
Pre road trip activities
Jack meets Tyler late of the night of January 1, 2006 in Darwin.
During the next week we toured some old WW II war memorials, stop in Adelaide River to visit “Charlie” the water buffalo star in Crocodile Dundee. When he died they had him stuffed and put on the bar. Visit a national war cemetery and eat fish and chips at the local pub.
We spent to first week based in Katherine NT. Nice little town +- 5,000
We went hunting and the score was something like 30+ kangaroos, at least 6 donkeys, two water buffalo (we brought the horns home, see more about that in the following days) and a wild pig. We have photos of us jump starting the helicopter so we could take it hunting.
We also had some great road trips with Douglas to the deep bush and meet some very interesting people. One of the properties we went on is 2,100,000 + acres. Other smaller places were only 1 – 1.5 million. We meet one couple who’s “town house” is on 5,000 acres.
They have two seasons in the NT, the wet October to April and the dry, May to September. Guess which one we had. Temperatures ranged from 30 – 50 C (80 – 120F)
Road Trip Summary
Monday January 9th 2006
We (Jack, Tyler, and Ryan) left Katherine, NT about 1:00 PM headed south. Our first stop was Mataranga (104KM) for lunch at the Shell Roadhouse. We bought food from the front counter and then went and sat at the tables inside where the air conditioner was on. We were told that those tables were for dining in only.
On to Larrimah. We visited an old pub where General McArthur had his headquarters for a while during WWII on the front veranda.
We made it as far as Daly Waters and checked into the Highway Inn. They told us they would take our credit card imprint in the morning when we got ready to check out. Very trusting, but as the owner Al said (we met him later in the pool), where can you run if you don’t pay, the road only goes north and south and it is a long way to the next town and the police are very friendly to the local merchants.
We went to the Daly Waters Pub. It is a very old pub with lots of history and it is a “once a” (you need to do it once, but that is enough). There was a group of young people, 5 girls and 1 guy playing a card drinking game. I ask if my mate Ryan could join them and they said yes. Ryan lost the game, but said the loser is really a winner. Tyler and I went to look at the old Qantas hanger and Ryan stayed. I asked one of the girls if they would look after him and she said “I’ll take him home if you don’t come back” Tyler and Ryan had expensive $6.00 beers and we had dinner there. Tyler started playing pool with 3 of the local gals. One of them asked Tyler “what you guys doing with the old bloke?” He told her that I was an eccentric billionaire that did not like to fly and that Tyler was my security guy and Ryan my “gofer”. She then asked Tyler where he was staying and could she come over. No was the answer. When we were in the pool at the motel, we met the owner who with his brother was among the first to develop jet sprint boats in New Zealand. He has been to Boise & Marsing Idaho to race them. He said to say hi to Doug.
Day 2 Tuesday 10th: this day we drove lots of k’s and this is where as the second dog in the dogsled team said “unless you are the leader the scenery never changes.” We saw lots of the same stuff. We did stop at the old Tennant Creek telegraph station, that was interesting and we also went to the “Pebbles”. A sacred Aboriginal site. It looked like a bunch of rocks to us. We did take pictures. The Barkley table lands is very flat and no trees in most parts. We spent night two in Tennant Creek NT.
Day 3 Wednesday 11th: More driving, more flat land and the most we paid for gas was at Barkley Homestead. $1.58 AUD per liter. We left the Northern Territory and the no speed limit roads and went into Queensland where the speed limit was 100KM. The first town we came to was Camooweal; it has the longest main street in the world. 175 KM. Mt Isa has annexed the town and they do provide garage service every Wednesday afternoon. Ryan got to see the back of a police Ute in Prairie Queensland, population 8 and that includes Constable Tim Walker. On to Mt Isa. Most of the tourist things were closed for the school holidays. More driving though Cloncurry, Julie Creek. We spent the night in Richmond Qld and saw a great storm and very pretty rainbow at sunset.
Oh yes the car. By this time the water buffalo horns were getting really “ripe”. We had treated them with lots of salt before we left Katherine and wrapped them in plastic garbage bags and lots of duct tape. Evidently not enough salt or enough wrapping and now the trunk was smelling very bad and had some “leakage” in it. They were not too bad when it was raining and the temperature was below 100. Above 100 and it was bad.
Day 4 Thursday 12th: We started off the day by passing Dunluce, were Doug and Jo used to live and had a great breakfast in Hughendon at the FJ Holden Café. It is a tribute to Holden cars and one the people who own it is really named FJ Holden. We went to the library and got online. I was sweet talking the librarian so we did not have to pay the $1.50 for the time checking our emails. On to Charters Towers, again some place Doug and his family used to live. Great “outback” meat pie with so much meat they have to brand it. They have really fixed up the center of town and did a great job in restoring one of the local hotels. A quick drive to Townsville and diner and a storm. This is where Tyler gets to go to the emergency room of the local hospital for an ear infection, and Ryan finds a Coyote Ugly bar. Jack finds a bed.
Day 5 Friday 13th Tyler has “Tropical Ear” infection and has to stay out of the water for 3 or 4 days. Jack & Tyler visit the local museum and Reef HQ. Both very interesting. Ryan spent the day in his room recovering from the night before (food poisoning J ) Tyler (keeping his head above the water) and Jack swim that night and while Ryan tries to keep water down.
Day 6 Saturday 14th: We put Ryan on a plane for Sydney and we take off driving down the Queensland coast. Nice coast line and great beaches, beautiful scenery. Stopped in Bowen for lunch from a Subway Sandwich shop. Airle beach is where all the “beautiful” people live. 2000+ boys and girls (mainly girls) party 22 hours a day. They told us the town is quiet between 5 and 7 AM. On to Rockhampton for the night.
Day 7 Sunday 15th: We drove from Rockhampton to Bundaberg to tour the rum factory but the tours had finished by the time we got there. We drove to Hervey Bay and waded in the Coral Sea. The plan was to visit Fraser Island the next day. We decided against that as the cost was $150 to rent a 4 x 4, $120 for the ferry ride and $30 for a permit to drive on the beach and if we got stuck and missed the last ferry back the rooms started at $200.00 for a minimum stay of 2 nights.
Day 8 Monday 16th: We drove back to Bundaberg to tour the Rum factory. We each had coupons for 2 free drinks with the tour. Tyler sampled and I drove. On down the coast highway towards Brisbane to Beerwah (this is another place Doug used to live. Noticing a pattern here?). We checked into the local motel, we got the last room. They told us the local hotel had the best dinners around so off we went. When we got there they were closed for a private function and we could not get an invite. Another of the locals said we could go 5 KM east or west to find a dinner, but they would not suggest east. We went west and found probably the best steak we had the whole trip.
Day 9 Tuesday 17th: Crikes we went to Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Well worth doing. $38.00 AUD well spent. That guy has great marketing people. Tyler got to hold the tail of an American alligator. We drove all that way for him to hold an American alligator. We stopped in Brisbane, side stepped the Cricket match and stopped at the Temple. On to Surfers Paradise and along the beach with some more of the “beautiful” people. Saw an apartment complex with the pent house for sale. Bids start at $10,000,000, of course that is in Australian dollars so really only about $7,500,000 US. Dinner at KFC and then more driving to Mullumbimby for the night. This was our longest day in the car.
Day 10 Wednesday 18th: We got slightly lost as we moved west and on to the New England Highway. We stopped in Glenn Innes and saw the Celtic stones (something like Stone Henge). Also there was a very well preserved old Church and School. Drove through horse raising country. While driving through some road works in the rain, the truck right in front of us started skidding and then side to side and then over on it’s side. Tyler jumps out in the rain to help. The truck driver climbed out of the now missing wind screen and Tyler helps him pick up his wallet and it’s contents which were scattered all over the road. The truck fit very nicely between the concrete barrier and the edge of the road to block the road completely. By this time some of the road workers had arrived and when they saw the full beer cans scattered all over said something like “you been into this stuff” the driver answered “no” and the road worker said “well let’s get rid of it anyway” and they all started throwing the cans over the embankment. We turned around and went back about 2KM to the roadhouse and they told us how to by past the blocked road. About 15K of back, dirt, wet country roads and we got passed the blocked highway. Arrived in Tamworth, the country music capital of Australia. Motel room was $45 for the night. When we got up the next morning the $45 sign had been replaced by one that said “Seasonal Rates Apply” Friday morning the 10 days of the Country Music Festival & Awards started, this is the biggest event of the year for this town. They have a great Italian restaurant in Tamworth.
Day 11 Thursday 19th: Got up and had breakfast at McDonalds. They were the only place open before 9AM. Their sign reads “Brekky 5AM. Went to the motorcycle museum, very nice and then to the Visitor’s center for maps and directions. We went to the 50’ Golden Guitar museum and gift shop. More gift shop than museum. Drove through some more very beautiful country and onto some back roads for “short cuts”. We had to back track about 10KM to get fuel as Tyler said he was not going to push the car. Drove to Lithgow. The owner of the motel had been to Seattle and Tacoma and to Salt Lake City, all snow skiing. Here we got more smelling stuff, garbage bags and tape and wrapped the horns even more.
Day 12 Friday 20th: Up and then off to the Small Arms Factory and museum. This is where they currently build the rifles the Australian forces use. Because of security reasons we could not see the plant but did get to spend time in the museum. Here they have a number of prototypes and lots of other pistols, rifles, and machine guns dating back to WW I. Spent lots of time there, very neat and very well done. Then off to Katoomba and the Scenic Sky tram, then the incline railway (the steepest rail road in the world). It was used to haul coal up from the mines. A short walk and then on to the Sceniscender another sky tram like thing that took us back up to the top of the mountain. Then off to Sydney and a motel room. Here we completely unpacked the boot (trunk) and pulled the carpeting from the boot and washed it as best we could. It was real ripe by now.
Day 13 Saturday 21st: We got up and met up with Barbara and Rundi. Off to breakfast (which turned out to be lunch) Drove to a ferry landing, got on one headed for downtown Sydney. You can buy a day tripper pass and for $15.00 you can ride any public transportation all you want for 24 hours. We went to Darling Harbour and then a bus to Paddy’s market. A huge multilevel tourist trap with all kinds of things for sale. Tyler was not in a shopping mood and he took off for the beach. Barbara, Rundi and I spent time at the market, then rode the monorail around the city 3 times (it was cool) Got off down town, then the train to Circular Quay and more ferry rides around the bay. It was a beautiful day, 26 C, blue skies and a slight breeze. We all meet up at the ferry to catch the last one back to the cars. Pizza that night and then to bed. By this time Tyler is really hurting from what we latter discovered to be kidney stones.
Day 14 Sunday 22nd: Tyler dropped me off where Barbara and Rundi were staying and we went to church while Tyler did some more sight seeing. We meet just after noon, and then we drove out to Oren Park, the big race track for Sydney. Then on to Bondi beach to visit with more “beautiful” people. Lots of people and more great weather.
Day 15 Monday January 23, 2006 : We spend this day getting packed, cars returned to where ever we got them and to the airport for our trips home. Tyler was on Qantas, Rundi on United through San Francisco and Barbara and Jack on United through Los Angles. Tyler left about 3:30 and Rundi the same, Barbara and Jack about 4:30. Rundi’s plane was out about 3 hours when it had trouble with its weather radar so they turned back. All the rest of us got home at least 24 hours before Rundi did
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