Sunday, May 21, 2017

2,667 miles

 We had an opportunity to rent a condo in Williamsburg, Virginia for a week in May and June. This also gave us an opportunity to see my brothers Doug and Wendell after many years. We decided to drive the southern route which took us 2,667 miles.

Apr 24, 2017 (Mon)
            We took the southern route to Virginia, passing through Orem, Price, Moab, Monticello, and Blanding. We decided to see Hovenweep National Monument, since we had never before seen it. We took back roads to get there (that's the only way to get there) passing by Hatch Trading Post.
Back roads of Southeast Utah
Hatch Trading Post
We arrived after the visitor center had closed, but we were still able to walk the 2-mile loop trail. and see the ruins left by the ancestors of today's Pueblo Indians  It is a very nice monument and the Indian ruins were very interesting.

Hovenweep National Monument
Ancient Pueblo Indian ruins 
Trail into the canyon
And back out
We continued on to Cortez, Colorado where we found a hotel and a small family restaurant (Jack and Janelle's) that served a good gluten-free dinner. 

Apr 25, 2017 (Tue)
            It was raining when we left Cortez at about 8:30am. It was a rainy day, but we could still enjoy the scenery of southwest Colorado.
Butte outside of Cortez, CO
 We went south through Shiprock and on to Farmington, New Mexico. We then continued on to Albuquerque, stopping in Cuba for shake and fries.
The Ship Rock through the rain
 We visited Old Town Albuquerque. It had stopped raining and it felt good to walk around and it was fun to look at the shops. We got back in the car after an hour and as we started to leave it started to rain. It rained hard and it was hard to see in front of us.

Old Town Albuquerque
Old Town gift shop
Old Town garden
Old timer in Old Town
  We finally got ahead of the storm. We then continued on to Amarillo, Texas. We stopped at Cadillac Ranch, which is an art sculpture in a field of 10 Cadillacs half buried in a field and then painted.
Entering Cadillac Ranch
This is where the Texans raise Cadillacs
You can spray paint to your hearts delight
We stayed the night in Amarillo, Texas

Apr 26, 2017 (Wed)
            This morning was cold and windy when we left about 9am. We stopped in Elk City and went to the Route 66 museum. It was a very nice museum. 
Route 66 Museum
My Katina doll
 For years I have known about Whited Mill in Elk City, Oklahoma, but thought I would never see it. It was in a park across the street from the museum.
Whited Mill
 The museum is a set of buildings representing old Route 66, which was famous before the freeway system.
Some of the museum buildings
 They had a transportation museum with old cars and motorcycles, including an old fire engine.
Where's the fire? The GPS hasn't been invented yet
 Another area took you through different states along the route with scenes representing different stops.
Let's stop at the trading post
 The Old Town Museum had a lot of Oklahoma memorabilia.
Welcome to dinner
Resting time
 They had a large windmill collection.
 The Farm and Ranch Museum had a barn and blacksmith shop.
Old time tools
We continued on through Oklahoma eating lunch in the car. 

We got to Fort Smith, Arkansas and stopped at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. We arrived at 4:40pm, which gave us about 20 minutes to look around before it closed.
Fort Smith NMS visitor center
 It was first built to help keep peace with the Indians then it became a supply depot for the Mexican War and the Civil War. It became a courthouse and jail for Judge Isaac C. Parker, aka "the hanging judge".
Sleeping quarters awaiting trial
Judge Parker's courtroom
Jail cells
What is a fort without cannons
A lot of hangings took place there (86 men were hanged in 39 separate executions). The gallows could accommodate 12, but the most executed at one time was 6.

The gallows
 The fort was built on an ideal location, the confluence of the Poteau River into the Arkansas River.
Where the rivers meet
We then went on to North Little Rock, Arkansas to spend the night. 

Apr 27, 2017 (Thu)
            We found that the hotel where we stayed was very close to Pugh Mill. This is a picturesque mill that was used in the movie "Gone With The Wind." People were there planting flowers and cleaning the park. It's a pretty area. 
Pugh Mill
Bridge over the Old Mill Stream
What a grind!
Good luck in getting water out of this pump
Old Mill Park in North Little Rock, AR
 We then headed out of Little Rock. We drove through the rest of Arkansas and then through all of Tennessee, stopping at two rest stops and stopping once for gas and something to eat.
Yes, we went through Tennessee
We drove more than 600 miles today. It was a long day, but the weather was good and the green trees and rolling hills were beautiful. We stayed the night in Bristol, Virginia.

Apr 28, 2017 (Fri)
            This morning we left about 9am, heading toward Williamsburg, VA. We called Kyle Wheeler (Doug's son) from a rest stop and made arrangements to visit his family. We stopped for lunch in Lexington and then we went to Buena Vista where Kyle lives. We met Kyle's wife Mel and sons Dillon and James. Mel sang a couple of songs for us. She is a professional folk singer.
Kyle & Mel's house
Serenaded by Mel
Kyle & Mel's family
 We then drove to Southern Virginia University (a private college based on LDS standards) and took some pictures.They were getting ready for graduation the next day. 
Southern Virginia University
Main university building
We then called Julie (Doug's daughter) and Chris Shaw. No one answered, but we left a message and Chris called back. We stopped by their home in Charlottesville. They have a nice home with a nice porch in the woods. We were able to go for a walk in the woods.
Julie and Chris's home
Their family
Back yard and woods
 We then left and continued on our way, arriving in Williamsburg about 7pm. We checked into a very nice two-bedroom, two-bath condo on the top floor of the building. We took everything in then went to buy some groceries for a week-long stay.
Our apartment is on the top, righthand side of this building
The dining area and living area of the condo
It took us five days to travel the 2,667 miles to get here from Utah. We now have a week to learn about early American history.

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