Headed to Kansas

Leaving Picture Canyon, we traveled about 50 more miles of gravel roads to get into Kansas.  The gravel roads were actually smoother than the short distance of blacktop we were on.

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20141027_145902 (2)This washing machine was inside the house.

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Picture Canyon, Colorado

The sign said, “Picture Canyon, 23 miles.”  So off we head on gravel roads.

20141027_152333These are wonderful gravel roads, so smooth we can travel at 50 miles per hour.

About 2 miles before Picture Canyon we find a colony of prairie dogs.

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I always thought their mounds were close together, but these mounds are spread out over about 5 acres with at least 50 feet between them.

Reaching Picture Canyon, we decide to spend the night with three other campers of deer hunters.

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It was a great night for a crescent moon set and star gazing.

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20141027_095002 This is similar to other Kiowa calendars.

Here is the view looking out from the cave where the calendar was found.

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20141027_105031Returning to Sydney and the camper we collected some prickly pears.

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The red fruit is slightly sweet, but stain your fingers red.

We talked to one of the hunters and he told us about another “cabin” about 4 miles down a side trail, so we unhooked Cali and headed down the trail.

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20141027_125348(Sorry about the focus.  The camera focused on the bugs splattered on the windshield.)

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Comanche National Grasslands, Colorado

I am going to skip the two weeks that I am behind on and focus on this week.  I will post the other stuff later.

20141026_151010The Comanche National Grasslands are in southeast Colorado.  The National Grasslands are the result of an earlier form of government bailout.  During the dust bowl years (early 1930s) the government stepped in to help the farmers of Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska and repair the damaged land.  The federal government purchased almost 4 million acres of devastated farmland and the National Forest Service now administers this land as National Grasslands.

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It is miles and miles of flat grassland.

Occasionally there is an abandoned homestead that needs to be visited.

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It’s All Downhill From Here

Mary and crossed the Continental Divide, headed  east yesterday.

We went over Wolf Creek Pass on US 160 in southern Colorado.  It was only 10,550 feet elevation.

One week to get home.

The trip is all downhill from here, in multiple ways.

 

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Markleeville, California

We spent a night in Grover Hot Springs California State Park.  The hot springs were basically a swimming pool heated with hot (103 degrees F) water naturally flowing from the ground.  They charged a fee to use the pool so we skipped it.

The state park is near Markleeville, California.

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The local historic society had a small museum area around the original location of the school.

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Keeping on the International Harvester theme…they used an International truck transmission on this set-up.

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I think they forgot someone.

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Here is the general store in the “downtown” area.  Still in use.

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Carson Pass

We slowly climbed along California State Route 88.

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Eventually climbing to 8,652 feet elevation to go over Carson Pass and cross back over to the east-side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

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Up next… Markleeville, California.

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Fiddletown, California

We are staying in a hotel in Kayenta, Arizona tonight so I have internet and can post a few stops from last week.

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Traveling east from Sacramento, California (State Route 16 and 49 into Plymouth, east on County Road E16, Fiddletown Road, US 88, US 89) to get to US 395 we found a covered bridge

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and then drove into Fiddletown.

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We stopped and walked around the town for a while.

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Here is the building identification.

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The above plaque is on the Fiddletown Community Building (the white building in the photo below).  We could not find out what the community building originally was.  Notice the red Fire House next door.20141013_134144  20141013_133218

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20141013_133959The Bar & Saloon is for sale!

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About a quarter-mile up the hill was the old schoolhouse.

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We walked through the town cemetery and then continued the drive east.

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Small World Las Vegas Style

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We drove up the Las Vegas Strip this afternoon.   That was enough of Las Vegas for Mary and I.

However, there were two Scout moments as we sat in traffic.

1) We hear a “Hey!” And there on the street is Doc Sommers from northern Wisconsin.  We see Doc every year at the IH Light Truck & Scout Nationals.   Doc called Mary.  He was in Las Vegas for a conference.  He recognized Sydney and the teardrop confirmed who we were.

2) Further up the Strip, again while stopped in traffic.  “Hey like your Scout.  What year is it?”  Mary answers, “1980”.  “We have a ’72,” is the reply and then we move on with traffic.

 

 

 

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Still Alive and Starting East

Just a quick up date since I have not posted for a week.  We finally have cell service.

We are just outside Las Vegas.  We have had a wonderful time exploring the eastern Sierra Mountains.  We spent a day exploring Bodie, California and another day in Death Valley.  We have a lot of photos to post, just need time and an electronic connection to the world.

Carl

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Low Point of the Trip

Mary and I hit the low point of the trip.

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No, it was not an emotional low, but an altitude low (snicker, snicker).

We went to Bodega Bay, CA to get to the Pacific Ocean.  We left clear blue sky and drove towards the fog.

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Those are not clouds.

We drove out to Bodega Head to view the Pacific.

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We followed directions received from a friend via text message, “Best turn around…Forest Gump did when he ran into water.”  So we drove to the town of Bodega and saw the church used in the Hitchcock film, “The Birds.”

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