Do you see the ghost?

The photo was taken through the window of an abandoned and collapsed building in McLean, Texas. Some have seen a ghost in the photo. Others have not seen anything out of the ordinary.

What about you? Do you see a ghostly apparition in the photo???

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McLean Texas on historic Route 66

IMG_3971McLean, Texas is one of the many towns on Historic Route 66 that harken back to the pre-interstate days of cross country travel. On our way from Tucson back to Indiana we stopped at McLean. Without knowing what to expect, we just drove around this small community.

The old Avalon Theatre front caught our eye. When we stopped and looked in the chained and locked front doors we could see that the entire roof had collpased. It was easy to imagine crowds waiting to buy tickets and see a movie back in the days.

 

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There is a really cool restored Phillips 66 gas station in town. The Devils Rope Museum celebrates the history of barbed wire. Unfortunatley it was closed the day we drove by.

According to the 2010 census the current population of McLean is 778. The town is on Business 40 at mile marker 142 on I-40 east of Amarillo.

We could visit Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone

IMG_3915After being disappointed with the town of Tombstone (see article here) I decided to see if we could park at the lot next to the Boothill Graveyard. Boothill is now on the National Register of Historic places. According to a plaque the graveyard was restored by Tombstone residents in the 1920’s.

The final resting place of some of Tombstone’s most colorful people is well maintained now. All of the graves look pretty much the same: a pile of rocks and simple wood markers. A few graves have fencing. The entrance to the graveyard is through a souvenir shop. They request a $3 “donation” for a flyer with the grave locations marked.

This was an interesting attraction. The graveyard is portrayed as being authentic, however you have to wonder about the spacing of the graves. The spacing is almost too perfect. The sayings on some of the graves are pretty humorous.

We were able to park in the lot, however any rig over 25′ will not be able to park here. I was able to find a spot and back in ok.IMG_3928

           

Tombstone: Too tough to die but hard to visit in an RV

Main street blocked off

Main street blocked off

Sher and I had planned on a visit to the ‘historic’ town of Tombstone since we were in Tucson. We decided to drive there on our way back east.

Well, we were disappointed. There was literally no parking available anywhere close to the main street. Signage directed us to an RV and trailer parking lot that was at the bottom of a very steep hill. This was too steep of a climb. The main street was blocked off to traffic so we could not get a chance to even drive by ‘the sights’.

All of the sites either charged admission or were simply a place to spend your money, either food, drinks, or merchandise. The famed OK Corral was actually walled in with bleachers for the audience. Again admission charged. The town we felt has morphed into a tourist trap.

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The antique store

We did find some street parking (free) across from an antique store a few blocks away from the main street area. It had some interesting things that were priced pretty high, as you would expect.

Perhaps on an off day you can find parking. However with any RV or trailer combo of any length parking will be a problem unless you park in the lower level at the bottom of the hill. Tombstone may be fun for some, but for us the lack of close parking and the commercialism just turned us off.

Talk about embarrassed…

20160223_111053 (2)It was time to head to Arizona for some warm weather. Sher and I hit the road a few days before New Year’s Day. Fast forward a couple of days and we stopped at a casino in Mississippi south of Memphis.

As the weather was above freezing it was time to “de-winterize” the RV. You know the drill: put some water in the fresh water tank and run the water through until all that pink anti-freeze is flushed out of the lines.

I turned the hot water heater on but we could only get a bit of luke warm water. Rats! That’s all we needed, a problem with the hot water heater. Electric or LP neither provided anything but lukewarm at best water temperature.

By the time we got to Tucson Sher and I were both getting a little tired of luke warm water. A couple of days after we settled in at the Whispering Palms RV Park we went to an RV service center to see about the hot water heater. The service manager opened the access door on the outside. He then came inside and took the access panel off revealing the lines and valves.

He looked up at me and then glanced at Sher with a big grin on his face. He then reached down and opened the valve that allows the hot water to flow. Yep, I had the valve closed. He was polite and did not laugh out loud. Sher, however, did. I deserved it.

At least I could wash the egg off my face with hot water.

Sunset over the Sonoran desert

We took a drive to the Tucson Mountain District of the Saguaro National Park one evening. It was a visual delight to watch the desert turn from the bright sunlight of the day into the subdued lighting of dusk followed by yet another night.

One by one the cacti lose the sun's warmth

One by one the cacti lose the sun’s warmth

Shadows begin to lengthen

Shadows begin to lengthen

A beautiful blaze of the day's last light

A beautiful blaze of the day’s last light

Dusk arrives

Dusk arrives

Tucson’s fabulous Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show

Cut and polished, packed and ready to go

Cut and polished, packed and ready to go

Every year the city of Tucson hosts the premier showcase for dealers displaying and selling gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry. The 2016 show has 43 different locations around town. Over 4000 different vendors ship in specimens from literally every continent on earth. You will find acres of huge temporary buildings, tents, canopies and awnings set up in set areas around town. Free shuttles provide transportation from park and go lots.

If it has to do with minerals, gems, fossils or jewelry you will find it. Towering six foot tall amethyst filled geodes are found everywhere. Slabs of limestone the size of sheets of plywood are seen filled with amazing trilobite fossils. Any mineral crystal known to man is available for purchase.

Sher and I have been out several times this past week.We have not yet seen a quarter of the vendors or sites. While some dealers only sell wholesale to other businesses, most of the vendors will sell retail to the public. Bring some cash because you will find something you can’t live without!

Tons of jewelry, beads and other neat stuff

Tons of jewelry, beads and other neat stuff

From India, solid naturally shaped river rocks

From India, solid naturally shaped river rocks

Discovering the Coronado National Forest

Sher and I were driving in our motorhome on the far east side of Tucson, following Tanque Verde Road, one of the main east-west routes. As we approached the foothills of the Rincon Montains the road became Reddington Road. We kept on driving enjoying looking at the houses, horse ranches and the scenery.

The dirt road at its widest

The dirt road at its widest

The road narrowed but I kept on, and soon there was a sign for curves, one of which was a 5MPH curve warning. This curve led to a steep, steep climb. At this point turning around was not an option.

The next thing we saw was a sign for the Coronado National Forest and the change from paved road to dirt/gravel road. No way to turn around, and no idea what was ahead. When a small truck came down the road towards us I flagged the vehicle down. The lady inside informed me that less than a mile up the road was a parking area where we could trun around. Whew!

We got turned around and stopped to get out and admire the view. Hundreds of Saguaro cacti covered the landscape. What an impressive sight they were! We were in but a small portion of the 1.78 million acres of the Coronado National Forest which covers portions of Arizona and New Mexico.

Oh, and by the way, I won’t head out on a road leading into the mountains again without doing some research!

Lots of Saguaro

Lots of Saguaro

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I met Duke today

Today I was pleased to meet Duke as he walked his owner around the Whispering Palms RV park here in Tucson. Duke is a pure bred Chihuahua and is a rescue dog. We had a nice chat. It is fun meeting fellow RV travelers and their traveling companions.

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Scenes from our Yellowstone adventure

We really enjoyed our trip to Yellowstone National Park. The scenery is magnificent, the geothermal features are powerful, exciting to view and have a beauty all their own. Of course seeing the wildlife at Yellowstone is one of the most sought after attractions in the park.

The geysers cover the walkways with steam

The geysers cover the walkways with steam

This bull bison strolled right by us on the road.

This bull bison strolled right by us on the road.

Geothermal hot springs pool

Geothermal hot springs pool