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Old 06-12-2005, 10:59 PM   #71
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Driver,

I saw on another post that you use the Dolorme Street Atlas for your GPS. I have the same unit, 2005 version. Do you lose your GPS on cloudy days? It seems that if it's overcast, I lose GPS until I get clear sky. Otherwise, it seems to work good, I have used it 1/2 way around the U.S. and was always able to pinpoint where we were. Whats your thoughts on it?

Thanks, Clark

P.S. I have enjoyed all your posts, we did a vert similar trip a few years ago.
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:18 PM   #72
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by C.CARNEY:
I have enjoyed all your posts, we did a very similar trip a few years ago. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Clark, You're very welcome, it's been my pleasure to provide an overview and picture essay of the places that we have traveled to. You know, not all folks are able to travel as much as we are as of lately and I just wanted to share my experiences and the places that we've visited over the past few months since we've been full timing.

About the DeL05 and over cast tracking I can say right now that I'm sitting under a pretty big stack of cumulus nimbus clouds and my DeL05 is showing a Green 3D tracking light.

Thanks for writting and say tuned because there's more stories coming for the "On The Road" topic.
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Old 08-02-2005, 06:12 AM   #73
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At this time we are sitting in the Palm Creek Golf and RV Golf Resort in Casa Grande, AZ however getting here "was" half the fun!

On our way out here we would have regretted missing the most favored attractions in this part of the country namely the Grand Canyon and Sedona had we not taken the time to stop and explore. Since we made good time getting here we were able to afford to spend a couple of days in Williams, AZ to see the sights.



The route we chose to get here took us through some really beautiful country. We even went as far as to make a point to stop and "stand on a corner in Winslow Arizona" at the Flying J however the girl in the flatbed Ford was nowhere to be seen. On our last day of travel to Williams we passed through Flagstaff with the 12,633 foot Humphrey's Peak dominating our view and the plateau surrounding it.

We arrived at Grand Canyon KOA taking Exit 165 onto Route 64 North. Route 64 takes you all the way across the Coconino Plateau and through portions of the Kiabab National Forest. The campground is located 4 miles up the road.



We set up camp and we found that it was a pretty comfortable location to base from. Check out the campground review that I wrote for more information. On the day after we arrived we set out for a quick jaunt up to the Grand Canyon. We left Roxy at home for this trip since this would motivate us to go, see, and get back and that's just what we did.

The park entrance was about 50 miles up the road and when we got there at about 10:30am or so we were one of several dozens of cars waiting at the 4 gates to be admitted. The park fee was $20.00, which gives you 7 days of re-entry. The wait we felt was pretty tedious since folks must have wanted to know everything about the park from the person that was selling the tickets. The first opportunity to see the canyon is another 5 miles up the road at Mather Point. There were cars parked just about everywhere and we were anxious to find a spot so we could go and see the canyon. Not finding anywhere to park an open spot presented itself on the opposite side of the road and we took it.



We walked across the road to a paved walkway that was flanked by numerous evergreen trees and shrubs and a very short masonry wall. Very carefully and cautiously we approached the wall and with the utmost in concern for not falling in, we both were taken with the panorama that played out in front of our eyes. The clouds plied shadowy spots on the floor of the canyon's structures as we strained to focus our eyes to make out some details in the canyon. One such detail is the Bright Angel trail winding across flat plateau below like a string as it goes off to the Phantom Ranch. We even saw a mule train of some 6 or so travelers making their way on a trail that were so infinitesimally small we compared them to ants.

From where we were we could not see the Colorado River however one could perceive the direction that it traveled from observing the erosion of the canyon walls and the sharp drop offs in the geology that we saw. To describe the colors of the canyon, you would have to be a professional artist however the natural colorings inter dispersed with the sun and clouds painted a reddish and earthen hue that is difficult to describe.



After this brief but captivating gaze into the millennia of earth's geologic history we continued our trip into the park. We arrived in Grand Canyon Village and decided to have lunch so we parked and went into the Canyon Café. We were both surprised to see real food. I had the hot open roast beef sandwich on wheat and Colleen had half of a grilled cheese. Finishing off our lunch we were off again.

We went westward into the park on the Greenway toward the El Tovar Hotel and the Hopi House. After some time we managed to park and we got out and looked over the wall again behind the El Tovar. Totally breath taking! I took many pictures in a panorama style while turning and shooting so I could capture the many different contours including as many canyon details as I could. From here the canyon is 7399 feet deep and short of flying, I have never looked down from anywhere and seen such as sight. It was not at all like looking off the WTC or Empire State buildings but to see this wonderment in front of our eyes was something that I now can relate to as opposed to seeing it on TV or in a book. One thing that did grab my attention were the warning signs that said 250 people a year have had some type of falling accident into the canyon and to be wary of the edges and to stay on the trails



Colleen walked back to the car to sit a spell and I continued briefly to the Kolb Studio. The Kolb Studio is now a gift shop but what are remarkable about this building are its cliff location and multi level terraces overlooking the canyon. You can also visit the canyon via the Grand Canyon Railroad. Its passengers are transported from the Williams station to directly across the street from the El Tovar hotel. Some of the best parts of the park are only accessible by tram so arrive early and find someplace to park your car and use the transportation in the park.

The weather started closing in and storm clouds were gathering over the plateau when we left. No sooner did we exit the park and the sky opened up. We've since found out that the area has been receiving more rain in the past month than they have seen in the past year and a half. This was evident when looking at the prickly pear cactus; they were in full bloom with the most brilliant red flowers.



Do make an effort to come and see your National Parks. The Grand Canyon will certainly not disappoint you, your kids or grand kids.

For more information see this website: NORTHERN : GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:14 AM   #74
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Awesome pictures! We've been, and just loved it. Hope you used binoculars..we couldn't believe the 3-d they provided.
Remind Colleen, we want to hear her "view" too!
Happy traveling, and see you in October (you planning on doing a commentary slide show of your travels?)!
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:22 AM   #75
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Ahhhh...I wanna go back!!! We were there in ... ummm... '93. (Things are different now, I know.) Someone I worked with told me to NOT go there without seeing the North Rim also. Takes a whole day to get there, but it is definitely worth the effort. But, there's a big difference between a small rental car and a MH!

And, Mike, you write beautifully. Even with your great pictures....it just can not compare to actually BEING there. {{{sigh}}} And at different times of the day, the colors are totally different. Takes your breath away... that's all!

Thanks for the update. I've still got the GC on my list of places to see again.

Happy travels!!

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Old 08-02-2005, 05:28 PM   #76
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Doris:
(you planning on doing a commentary slide show of your travels?)! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I think that I'm going to be able to create a "Blog" here shortly. We're waiting for the next software upgrade.

Colleen was actually holding on to my belt so I wouldn't fall in! You know me, I got get the story for the readers.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:08 PM   #77
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I got get the story for the readers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Mike, please keep up the great writing, blog or no blog! I'm hoping to be making some of those great pictures myself in Sept. ED
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:33 PM   #78
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Boy oh boy we are having what the weatherman on TV is saying the worst storm in recent history??

Earlier in the evening Colleen told me to roll up the awning which I did. I appointed her to be the awning manager. When she says to roll it up, it goes up. As I reached out with the miracle tool and the awning roller landed in its storage spot I noticed Colleen coming out of the door and I told her to come out and see this. Looking toward the south the clouds must have been 10s of thousands of feet high and they looked very ominous. The base of the clouds presented a bubbling low level layer which I know means high turbulence and a great amount of energy. The cloud was at that time 10 or more miles away but building by the moment and very impressive.

I came inside for a brief moment to check something on my computer when Roxie started her barking routine to be taken outside. Well there's no arguing with a young lady so leashed up out we went. We walked across the street and began talking to the neighbor and about 5 minutes later I turned to the south and made a plain statement that what we were looking at to the south didn't look good. What I saw was a dirty brown cloud and it was coming straight at us and it was only about a mile or less from where we were.

No sooner did I say that and the wind kicked up, dust-storm! Roxy and I walked hurriedly back to our motorhome and she went inside. You should know this but a few days earlier the driver's window was smashed on our Vue by a stone we think from a passing vehicle. It struck the window with such force that it made a loud crack and the glass crumbled with some of the shards winding up down my shirt. What a sensation that was, traveling down the road at 65 mph and having a window blown out and the wind blast pushing the glass toward you as you helplessly try to figure out what the heck happened. I was concerned about Roxy in the back seat but Colleen said that there wasn't any glass near her.

I stopped after some time since I didn't immediately see a clear area to stop off the roadway. Once stopped and I opened the door, there was glass everywhere. As I stood up the shards in my shirt came out of the bottom openings of my shorts. I went into the back of the car and found a rag so I could clean off the glass on the seat. I got the seating surface and the floor clear of most of the glass I thought but there was a ton of glass under the seat. I got back in the car and started driving back to Williams with the sky threatening to open up, which it did but that's another story.

I had fashioned a large black plastic garbage bag into a cover before we left Williams on the Saturday night before we left since I didn't want to get a soaked interior. Using the black leaf bag and a roll of 2 inch clear shipping tape I made a pretty good expedient to be able to get on the road. The bag held in place all the way here to Casa Grande.

I never thought that I could survive riding around in a car in 107 degree weather with the window open but it wasn't all that bad. Yea it was hot but the air conditioning in the Vue kept the right side of me freezing and the left side of me baking. I felt like an astronaut.

So here comes up the wind and my window is open. I went to the car and tried to place the bag I had taken off back on the door and secure the plastic bag as best I could in a 25 to 30 mph wind! I went around the back of the car and got the shipping tape dispenser I had and I began taping up the bag in place. Trouble was every time I cut a piece of tape the wind would blow it around and it would stick on itself. I changed my tactic and simply cut shorter pieces of tape and taped the bag to the door panel and side view mirror. The bag is held in place mostly by the door gasket so closing the door gingerly while holding the bag in place with the wind blowing a little stronger now was challenging.

With the door on the car closed I now felt the dirt beginning to cake up in the corner of my eyes and the sensation of breathing in dirt. Colleen opened the door and told me she lost the satellite signal. I looked over at the dish and sure enough it was tilted over. I though I could tie another bungee cord off the front of the dish to hold it so I tried a long stake and a short bungee cord. Well all this effort yielded poor to failing results because now the wind was blowing faster! Impossible to erect or resolve I gave up and simply laid the dish down on the ground and hurried inside.

The wind now increasing in velocity obscured the 6 o'clock sky. It looked so eerie outside as to describe it as an image straight out of downtown Mordor. Watching this event play out the wind ever increasing now began pelting rain drops on the roof and glass surfaces of the motorhome. Sparsely at first however it increased with such a vengeance that I couldn't even hear the weather radio unless I cranked it up really loud.

We lost our satellite service and then we lost the park's satellite feed through our cable connection and it was information blackout at that point. The weather radio now reported 3 weather warnings for Pinal County, Thunderstorms, High Wind and a Duststorm. Ya' think!

The wind was blowing the rain on the windows so hard it almost sounded like hail. The roof skin made a rumbling sound that was unsettling however it held very well. The motorhome seemed to do a little dance in the wind and this didn't feel good at all however it wasn't any big deal. Best part about the wind is that it came straight at us on our 6 o'clock. This event is still continuing however it's much diminished in force and it's simply raining outside.

I took Roxy outside a little while ago, she gave me the bow-wow treatment again and we had to go to the bathroom. Well she got a little wet and so did I but she had more fun drying off than I did. As soon as she hit the inside it was roll, push and roll some more, run back and forth and repeat step one. At least she dried herself off pretty well but I just simply went and changed my shirt without much fanfare.

Having now listened to the late evening News they said that this was the worst storm they had seen in a very long time! It rained 2.5 inches in just under 2 hours and although it was preceded by chocking dust storm in 100+ degree temperatures the temperature now reads a very comfortable 73 and the dust for the most part has been and continues to be washed away by the rain. The weather man here called this storm a "Monsoon" but he had no right to call it that since monsoons are only observed in the western pacific. The proper "western" name for the storm that he should have used was, "A Real Gully Washer". The reported wind velocity at its peak was 60 mph with sustained 40 mph speeds for about 3 hours. Finally, there was a measured 120 cloud to ground lightening strikes per hour.

Did you ever see that movie "Hidalgo" where they get swept up in the Duststorm as they enter an old structure? Well although not a killer storm as in the movie, that's almost what it was like.

Tomorrow Safelite Glass, a national auto glass contractor for my insurance company is coming here to our site and replacing the window on the Vue. I can't wait!
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:53 AM   #79
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Wow, Driver, what a moving account of your adventures in a dust/rain storm! I'm glad your Adventurer withstood the wind and rain. Your photos of the Grand Canyon reminded me of our trip a few years ago. At that time, however, the area was very dry and the North Rim was closed to visitors because of a forest fire. In fact, most all of my photos have a visible layer of smoke just above the horizon. I also was able to get a couple of photos of a helicopter carrying what appears to be water or some sort of fire retardant to the fire. It's amazing what Mother Nature can do - I'm sure the North Rim has recovered its vegetation now with all the rain you describe.
Take care and you, Coleen, and Doxie enjoy your new traveling adventures.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:11 AM   #80
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Hi Mike and Colleen,
Thanks for the travelogue. I can almost think that I'm there which is nice since it will be quite a few years before we will be able to do that kind of traveling. However I'm not sure I'd want to have been there for the storm of the century! You and Colleen keep that weather radio on and take care of yourselves.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:08 PM   #81
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Well although not a killer storm as in the movie, that's almost what it was like. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Mike, I guess your camera can't photograph the wind , but IF you have any of the dust/rain storm I'd love to see them. I hope your window got done today as you are just not the garbage bag type! ED
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:26 PM   #82
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Can sombody tell me why I can't see DriVer's pictures? I just have a red X in a box.

Thanks;
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:54 PM   #83
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Petro, sometimes a running virus checker will not allow pictures to load. Check your virus checker program to see if you can modify the settings for this web site only. Other times it can be a firewall security setting that well block pictures from loading.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:23 PM   #84
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Petro, sometimes you can double click on the red X; sometimes you can right click and the click open or view; other times you might want to try holding the control button down while clicking the red X. Good luck, Steve
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