View Full Version : Some Pictures

06-20-2014, 03:20 PM
of nature and things I saw along my move to AZ:

Saying goodbye is not easy, some of the 'girls,' the little ones live in a different home, their family teacher also quit. We worked hard to get my older girls to be able to work with her little ones:




06-20-2014, 03:25 PM

Going away party above. It was great fun, but too many tears.

Here's my own kids and their others. My daughter-in-law is also now pregnant, due in February. The darling daughter is due at the end of August:


We went to Maggiano's, always a good place for celebrations!

IL topography isn't as interesting as AZ, but there are pretty places:


06-20-2014, 03:27 PM
A few more of the old state:




06-20-2014, 03:35 PM
So I did the 'road trip' from IL to AZ. Traversed through IL, MO, OK, TX, NM, and finally AZ:

Goodbye, IL. Hello, MO:


Seems MO didn't really grab my attention all that much either, (rather more pics were deleted to make room for new. ;) )


All along the route kept finding locations to 'Historic Route 66..."



Spent night one in Tulsa:


06-20-2014, 03:42 PM
I'm pretty sure this was still OK:


This would be either leaving OK or just entering TX:


There were several hundreds of miles of this really desolate plains from southern OK through a good chunk of TX, but got to say, TX had awesome rest stops:





Of course, the rest stop was followed by:


06-20-2014, 03:46 PM
Moving closer to NM:


Closer yet.


Got caught in horrible hail storm in NM mountains. When the hail stopped, I moved it for gas. Took this pic, the damn thing started heading for me again! My car looks like a real bad teen with acne:


06-20-2014, 04:10 PM
Beautiful stuff Lady.

I often wondered why they didn't call Texas..."Big Sky Country". You can drive forever in Texas, and still be in Texas:lol:

Good luck with your move, and travels.

06-20-2014, 04:33 PM
Spent the 2nd night in Albuquerque.



Ignore the trucks, look at the looming mountains. I took this when leaving the hotel:


The hotel, you'll notice the flowers if you saw the other pics:



Really getting into NM:


06-20-2014, 04:38 PM
I'm a flatlander, born and lived my entire life in IL, only IN could hope to be as flat. Needless to say, my heart was pounding in OK, by NM I was wishing for depends:



It seems I lost my AZ early photos, the following is 'Red Rock' aka as Sedona:


This was taken at the Continental Divide in NM:


06-20-2014, 04:39 PM
This is the Northern View from my patio:


06-20-2014, 04:46 PM
Kathianne. Reminds me of my first CROSS-COUNTRY bus trip from San Diego, to Philadelphia Pa.

I remember being amazed at all the beauty of N.M. and how..at the time, it looked like GOD had a huge dump truck, and dumped Piles of huge boulders, and rocks across all of the dry desert area.

This entire nation is one HUGE Portrait of Amazing Beauty everywhere you happen to look.

Thanks for sharing those with us.

06-20-2014, 05:46 PM
Nice pics, Kath, thanks for sharing!!

06-20-2014, 07:47 PM
Beautiful Kat , thank you for sharing.

I especially like the route 66 pics, I want to take that trip some day, it is on the bucket list.

Good Luck to you Ms. Kat, I will keep you in my prayers.

06-20-2014, 10:06 PM
Didn't know you were moving Kat. I take it you had a good position line up. Great pics of your travels. You will be very busy taking in the new scenery for quite a while. Good luck with your new life, whatever it is, and keep us up to date. Maybe you will have more time for posting now. :salute:

06-20-2014, 10:34 PM
Having just spent three years in Albuquerque I can say beyond a doubt, it's a great place to be from...

But I do miss the food...

06-21-2014, 05:23 AM
I like the picture of rest stop in Amarillo. My birthplace. High desert.

Did you travel alone? If so, it really must have been exciting and adventuresome!

06-21-2014, 11:21 AM
I like the picture of rest stop in Amarillo. My birthplace. High desert.

Did you travel alone? If so, it really must have been exciting and adventuresome!

I did the trip alone. Everyone but my own family seemed to think that was 'very brave' or stupid. LOL! I guess I was raised to do such, never thought about it twice. I was shocked when people acted like it was 'different.' I'm not addressing the choice to leave where I'd always been and moved over 1600 miles to where I only knew 1 person, that was a decision I worked on for a few years actually. I'm just looking at the drive itself. ;)

I gave two weeks notice on a Thursday. I had to work my scheduled times for the two weeks, with my last day being 8 am Friday. I paid a friend to work that Friday 6-8 am bit, took off at 4:30 am towards Southern IL. I like driving out of congested areas before or after rush hour, so if I'd worked until 8, I wouldn't have left until 10 or so. That would have added another night in hotel. I can't drive for long periods in the dark anymore, the stupid eyes.

During the two weeks, I took my car to a great mechanic who got the car ready for a road trip in mountains-he found a hairline crack in axle, that cost a bit and also was the cause of needing two new tires-it wasn't the alignment. $1500 well spent, the car he said was good for another 100k miles.

I went to U-Haul place and scheduled a 4 X 11 trailer. They looked at the back of my car-Mazda 6 wagon and said, "You know, you better go to the larger U-Haul in Aurora, getting a hitch on this car isn't that easy. Panic! I went to the suggested place, 'not an issue, just got to get the hitch that will work.' Normally the rental time for one-way cross country is 6 days. They installed the hitch and put on the trailer 3 days early. I thought I was cutting it close. When I got to Sedona they told me I had three days left-so the place comped the additional days! Mind you, I wanted that trailer off my car, story on that to come later!

While my brother knew some of the issues that I had serious reservations about and agreed that the 'model' used couldn't be justified on psychological or educational grounds, he initially was concerned about the distance from family. He wanted me to consider FL or somewhere southeast, as they planned to move to the Gulf at some point, they own property there. They also own property near Mesa, which his wife brought up. I knew about FL, not AZ. LOL! It seems she loves Sedona, they've been here quite a bit. They will be coming in the fall. :laugh2: I'm not so sure she won't win in retiring in this area.

My children were all fine with the change, with the possible exception of the youngest, though he came on board after talking to me, his uncle and siblings. Truth is that he is very likely to end up in St. Louis or Minneapolis within the next couple of years due to his position at work. Now the other two are both expecting their first children. My daughter at the end of August, the DIL in February. Daughter will be in England for a year or more, the others are currently staying put, but son is going on 3rd interview with Federal Reserve, so who knows? That I wouldn't make any of them feel bad about doing what they had to or wanted to dawned on them, the older two right away, took the younger a bit of time.

As for the trip, my oldest and best friend gets buddy passes from her mom, retired from United. She offered to drive with me and then fly home. We talked about it for a couple days, I decided it would be better to use the car time to decompress and have some quiet time. She got that. She's coming to visit in a few weeks.

My friend here had just finished her 747 training in April, she was assigned a trip just after we had finalized our plans. I would get here June 9th, her trip was from June 1-June 17. LOL! She found the rental and had to leave. I moved in before her! Once installed in our place, I was fine. The last day of my trip though? Sheesh!

Basically I went from northern IL south to MO, then to OK. No problems but that first day was long. Left around 4:30, got to Tulsa around 6. My brother and son kept texting to 'slow down' as I updated them at rest stops and gas ups. LOL! Few problems that first day, made a wrong turn about an hour into the trip, took me 15 minutes to get back on track, still in IL. In Tulsa got off at the wrong ramp, nice guy in gas station got me straight and only took another 20 minutes to get to the hotel.

The next morning left around 6:30 am. Both in OK and MO I'd run into 'hills' to a flatlander they are mountains, that was the day before. Beginning the long drive of over 800 miles on one highway, appeared that the hills were going to continue. That was wrong. Once I was seeing signs for Amarillo, the ground flattened out, like IL, except sandy instead of green. Started seeing buttes in the distance and tumbleweeds blowing around. Boring, but not a problem going 80-85, even with trailer. That went on for hours, then suddenly changed, NM was looming and I was pretty sure what I saw in the distance qualified as mountains, even to the locals!

As Abouttime stated, TX sky goes on forever, I saw the mountains long before I hit them, though I was white knuckled in anticipation. Indeed, as I kept going straight towards them, dark clouds were heading over those mountains in my direction. Nowhere to go but straight into it. The clouds kept getting darker, the mountains closer, my breathing more labored. I began up the first mountain, hit the apex, the sky opened up with golf ball sized hail and blinding rain. After about 2 minutes of that, I pulled to the side of the road and put blinkers on. The car was getting pounded and seemed to go on forever. I was stuck in mountain pass, looking down! My brother and pilot friend kept talking to me through texts. My friend was currently in Anchorage and checked radar, "The storm is big, but hail should stop within 20 minutes or so." She was right, 20 minutes later I was able to go down the mountain, up another, and so on. Got to hotel around 5:30, even after the storm. Seems to be common in NM mountains.

Needless to say, I was more than happy to have some rest. I wanted to get some dinner, I hadn't eaten that day. I checked in, changed clothes and looked for a place to eat. Alas, parking in that area did not allow for wagon with trailer. I went back to hotel and found that there was no where to park the car and trailer! I went to front desk and explained the problem. I'd already been stuck once in the parking lot, earlier, when trying to go find a place to eat. Luckily another guest helped me get out of the jam I'd gotten into, though it took nearly 30 minutes. The manager came outside, took me around the back and said I could park in front of a gate, "When you are ready to leave in the morning, have the desk call maintenance to open the back gate." Saved! He also told me to walk a block to Applebee's! Again, saved!

Having some food and drink, I was feeling good! Went back to the room and called everyone. Again was told to 'slow down.' LOL! My friend had reassured me that with the exception of bigger mountains, the ride from Albuquerque to Sedona was easy-6 hours tops, more likely 5. I was feeling great! Went right to sleep, planned on enjoying the morning in hotel.

I did just that. Slept until 7, went for breakfast. Stopped at front desk and asked about the gate, letting them know I was going swimming and taking my time. I swam, did the hot tub, and laid in the sun. Took a shower and had more coffee. Left around 11, figuring I'd get to Sedona before 8 pm. I knew I'd be going slower than my friend would, I have mountain driving phobia, or did. ;) Basically I was staying on the same road as the day before, with about 350 miles to go before leaving it. Indeed the mountains kept coming, I was getting used to them. NM is beautiful and it had a calming effect. After a few hours, signs for AZ started to appear, especially for 'Fry bread.' Really tasty. No sooner did 'AZ Welcome Me,' than the biggest mountain yet, loomed! White knuckles returned.

I had been stopping for gas regularly, at this point had 3/4 of tank. I got it into my head though that I needed to put premium in the car to deal with mountain and buy me a respite. Mistake of major proportions!

Every exit had 'food' and 'accommodations' but no gas. This went on for over 30 miles, mountain looming, gas being used. Anxiety mounting. Finally, I'm in the 'foothills' and there is a Shell sign! Saved again! Wrong!!! I go up the ramp, I can see the station to my right-downwards. There's no sign saying right or left. Logic said, right. So the wagon, trailer and I go right-to a gravel road that doesn't lead to station-with no where to turn around. Takes me 10 minutes before there's enough room to do a wide turn, with just a bit of reverse making it 3 point. Go back up to top where ramp is. Still see the station from there, figure now I need to go to the 'left, somehow it must wind around.' Bad choice, though there were only two, right or left and right didn't work.

The road isn't gravel, it's dirt. Rutted, badly. Steep decline and not even really one lane. After 5 miles of jostling in the car, with the trailer bouncing up and down, I hear gunfire! Lots of it. It seems this road led to gun club, which had parking so I turned around and bounced back up the hill. I'm now down to 1/2 a tank, the mountain is still to be dealt with. I'm at the top of the ramp again, WTF? I notice that to the right there was a turn off to 'Angel Road.' The gods are speaking to me, I give thanks and curse the Shell station.

So, I turn down Angel Road, which winds down a series of S curves to a badly rutted, less than one lane road, heading back the opposite direction of the highway, into the desert! There is no where to turn the car, steep declines on both sides of this rutted road! I'm doing off road driving with a wagon with sport wheels, pulling a U-Haul trailer. I have to drive over 30 miles, imagining it will never end, I'll be bleached bones stuck in wagon with trailer! I go over a 'cattle crossing' bridge, finally there is a railroad track, that's been leveled off. I'm able to turn around in about 15 minutes and head back, alongside the highway I'd already traversed. I get back up to where the ramp started, near tears. Decide that now down to a quarter tank, with dust coming off myself, the car, and lord knows the trailer and contents, I'd rather be stuck in the mountains on a highway! I go down the ramp, there's the f'ing station! One pump, about 100 feet off ramp. I'm shaking. I wait my turn, 20 minutes, pump gas. Go inside, buy a bottle of wine to open when I get to Sedona. Ask the cashier why the f there wasn't a sign to indicate the station was 'straight ahead?'

She replies that she doesn't know why people wouldn't figure it out, 'there's no right or left signs, you should just go straight.' When I ask if others had same problem as myself? She replied, "Constantly, one fool even punched me once!" I know how he felt.

Now gassed and looking forward to getting blitzed in an hour or so, I tackle to mountain. Find the off ramp. Follow my mapquest directions into the National Forest. See signs that say, 'road closed,' but I'd been seeing signs like that and 'road construction ahead' signs since MO, yet no roads were closed, nor construction evident. 30 miles in, a flashing sign says, "Road closed ahead." That looks real. Not only that, but then pass sign saying, "Fry's Canyon," where the fire out here began or ended a few weeks before. Sure enough, start seeing signs of fire. Luckily for the first time that day, easily am able to turn around. Problem is, I don't have GPS, nor alternative directions. I know I'm less than 70 miles from Sedona, haven't a clue how to get there.

Go back to where I got off. Called brother, he says it looks like I need to get to I17. Pilot friend texts and says she's having her friend, Gwenn call and talk me in. So she does. I get to I17, but instead of the 40 minutes it would take if that road was open, going to take an hour or so. No one mentions that there will be 8%-9% declines on the way. I finally get to 89A, exhausted. Though it's only 7:30, the sun is going down behind the mountains, it's getting dark. I spend the next two hours going up and down 89A, can't find the street that leads to our complex. Brother takes the address I'm at, gas station-puts in my address, I'm 2 minutes away.

Finally, right? Nope, I find my street, but can't find my address. Most units have a garage and a covered carport. Twice I see numbers close to mine and go into the 'drive' that separates the buildings from the road. Both times, my unit not there and I have to get out. Problem is, there's only about 30 ft to do so. Each 'miss' takes 1/2 hour or 45 minutes to get car and trailer out. I keep looking, go to turn around a 'court'. Problem is, the court is not, it's just a dead end, with about 20 feet to turn around. 3 point turns don't bother me in car, but are a problem with a trailer.

I pull into last carport, hoping I can pull it off. Nope, trailer ends up at 45% angle to car. Hits car. I"m going nowhere. I start to cry, it's after 10pm. Friend calls to see it 'there.' I cry, I just want a hotel, but can't leave my car in someone's carport. She calls Gwenn. Gwenn calls her son, a Sedona policeman. He comes and looks and calls for help. LOL! The police end up being 4, they detach the trailer, I turn car around and Ty, her son, walks me down to the apt. They reattach the trailer and back we go. Finally, I'm in at 11:45 pm, I slept on the floor.

Since then, all has been great. That last day on the road though? Never again!

06-21-2014, 05:40 PM
Wow, when I said it was like jumping off a cliff I didn't realize just how big a cliff you jumped off of. Lots of adventures and the best thing is that you had people who had solutions and you made it!!!!

And, you'll have a great story to tell your grandchildren ... that you are never too old to go on an adventure!

Looking forward to hearing more about the new place!