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Travels with Tapatai
Mesa Verde National Park

The steak at Black Bart's was pretty good. Plus, they have singing waiters to boot. All the waiters get up and sing with the piano player, our waitress excused herself after taking drink order and said she had to sing. She was pretty good as we're all of them.

I noticed one of my tires had a bubble on the sidewall so started calling tire shops in the morning and found one with my size tires in stock. So an hour later and 300 bucks poorer we were on our way to Mesa Verde. Arrived there in the late afternoon and checked in. The lady said that we were in the Hopi loop and to find one we liked and take it. Wow, I thought it would be packed but we had our pick as there were only a few other RV's in the camp.

We had an 8am tour set up so we got up early and drove to the pick up point and got coffee before boarding the bus for the 700 year tour. Had a great tour guide who knew his stuff and we stopped at several sites that hat the early pit houses. Then we got to the main attraction, a ranger led tour of Cliff Palace that was built in a huge alcove in the cliff. The Ancestral Puebloens, as they are now called as the former name of Anasazi was not correct. Anasazi is a Navajo term meaning " not our ancestors".

We hiked down about 200 steps to the cliff dwellings and heard the remarkable story of hoe they lived for several hundred years. They farmed they Mesa above them be gaining access via hand and toe holds chipped out of the rocks. They had no metal tools, only stone and bone. Meanwhile the women were weaving pots and later making pottery to bring water from lower area that they would find seeping out of the rock. They would carry the water on their head while packing a child on their back as well as possibly being pregnant. It's no wonder the average age at death was 35.

After the 4 hour we went to the museum and hiked down to Spruce Tree house for a self guided tour of another cliff dwelling. Some of the dwellings may have had as many as 100 inhabitants. There are more than 600 such places that they have found in the park and over several thousand pit houses on the mesa.

It was a long day so back to showers and dinner and listening to the rain on the roof while reading. Rain in an Airstream sounds like you are in a tin can. Onward tomorrow morning.

On to Flagstaff
Fred/sunny and cooler

Got up early and got a cup of coffee and hooked up and departed Phoenix headed for Flagstaff and Black Bart's saloon, steakhouse and RV park. We went through a new Del Webb development called Anthem which was very well done and it had a Starbucks.

After breakfast we headed North and decided to go to Prescott as we have some friends there, but after calling them we discovered they were in Colorado. Had a nice drive through Prescott and decided to go to Sedona as it was on our way on SR89a. But guess what! The bloody road is closed to Sedona and our GPS lady kept telling us to make a u-turn until I finally cancelled her, obviously my map disc is old. We wondered why we didn't see any directional signs to Cottonwood and Sedona. So we went out of our way to Williams and checked out an RV park next to the train station. We think we will stop there on the way home and take the all day train to the Grand Canyon. Penny has been wanting a train ride so she just may get it. Stay tuned.

We got to Black Bart's and guess what? It is Rustic but at $24.00 per night what did I expect. Hope the steak is good.

Drove to the historic district and walked around. Quite nice and I was able to find a mustache that I need for the Western catered dinner at the rally. Pics later. In fact I am doing this blog on the iPad and have to figure out how to upload pictures.

Time for a nap, shower and 8 pm dinner reservations.

Windy, Windy,Windy
Fred/111 degrees/blowing dogs off chains!
07/21/2012, Glendale, AZ

Taking a nap until 4 and then getting up when the trailer started shaking. Thinking it was an earthquake I looked out the window to see strong winds and dust blowing everywhere. It was blowing at least 20 knots with higher gusts. It was also getting dark as in dark clouds and was probably going to rain. It had been predicted so no surprise other than the wind and dust or sand.

We found our favorite Japanese restaurant only 5 miles away so we went and had a great dinner of Phlidelphia roll, edamame, Goyza, and tempura shrimp and veggies. While enjoying the delicious meal at our window table, it started to rain and rain it did for the next 4 hours or so. I guess it is the monsoon season in this part of the world.

Made it back to the trailer for showers and some reading as we tried to fall asleep in the 100 degree heat. Not easy as the air conditioner is loud, so you were not able to sleep due to noise or heat, take your pick.

Anyway tomorrow we are off to Flagstaff.

Hot, Hot,Hot
Fred/111 degrees!
07/21/2012, Phoenix

Long day of driving but no traffic. Left home at 6:45 and headed out Hwy 8 towards Yuma. Couple of rest stops on the way and then the highlight- lunch in Gila Bend! I don't think much has changed in Gila Bend in a long,long time. Some new fast food joints and we opted for Dairy Queen which happened to be the last one before getting on the highway to Phoenix. Had a cheeseburger and strawberry shake and P had an apple bacon burger.

It was 108 there so we hit the road for Phoenix and arrived at oue rv park and it was 111! First hookup was the power and the ac on. Of course I printed out a trip tik for P to navigate with and our first stop was the Desert Sands rv park where their website said thT they wouldn't take any rv,s built before 1999. So screw that and I realized that I had made my reservation at the Desert Shadows rv park after I printed the trip tik, so after some consternation, we pulled out the phone and called for directions, or I should say P called. Men don't ask directions!

So we are here Nd taking a nap in the ac before we head for Scottsdale to a great Japanese Sushi restaurant that we kno about. After that a dip in the jacuzzi, shower and to bed. Getting up for an early departure to Flagstaff where we will get some altitude. Supposed to be in the 80's there. We will see so stay tuned!

Locked and Loaded
Fred/Beautiful summer day
07/20/2012, Point Loma

Well we are loaded and hitched up and ready to go tomorrow at 0:dark 30. We will head to Phoenix where 108 degrees is waiting for us but it is only for an overnight before heading up to higher elevations to Flagstaff.

So stay tuned to the adventures of Fred and Penny and our 1956 Airstream, Skippy.

Changing modes of transportation
07/14/2012, San Diego, CA

Well we have been hanging around San Diego for awhile as Penny heals from her rodeo accident and now it is time to get on the road again. That in itself is another story for another time. You may have noticed that the boat picture is now our 1956 Airstream Safari. It is 22' long and only 7.5' wide but is light weight and a ball to camp in. We have owned her for about 8 years now and love it when we get out. As Tapatai is in Catalina with our partner we are headed out to Colorado for about 3 weeks.

We will head to Gunnison, CO where we will participate in an Airstream rally with 85 other trailers for 3 days. We will leave SD this Saturday and stop in Phoenix for the night and then in Flagstaff the next night staying at Black Barts RV park, also known for its saloon, dance hall and steak house. Should be fun. Then the next morning we head to Mesa Verde National Park where we will stay for 3 days and nights and tour the cliff dwellings dating back some 700 years, so stay tuned for some photos.

Then on to Gunnison with some short stops in Durango, Silverton and Ouray but we need to arrive in Gunnison in the afternoon so we can wash the trailer and report in to the campground where we will circle the wagons. This should be lots of fun with old friends and meeting new ones. Much like cruising, its the people that you meet on the way.

There will be seminars on trailer restoration, swap meet, chili dump (more on that later) and general messing around in trailers and happy hour. Western dress is required for the dinner so I finally get to wear my boots, hat, and my new western shirt that I have had for over a year.

After Gunnison we will go up to Crested Butte which is only about 20 minutes away and visit our daughter Michelle, her husband John and our granddaughter Maile who is 13. We are looking forward to that visit.

Afterwards we will work our way back home leisurly with a stop at the Grand Canyon that neither Penny or I have ever seen. Again looking forward to that stop.

So stay tuned and follow our adventures with Skippy, our 1956 Airstream Safari which has been completly restored. In fact all day today and tommorow I am working on it to get it ready for the road.

Till then, see you down the road!

07/20/2012 | fletch
If you get a chance check out Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, where God practiced before making the Grand Canyon.
07/21/2012 | Fred Delaney
Will do Fletcher as we have several days there.
07/24/2012 | Tranquila
Skippy sure is looking bright and shiny and very handsome! Enjoy!

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