"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Home Again!

Above, with the Noel Neill statue in Metropolis, Illinois.

After exactly three weeks since I left, I am back home from the longest roadtrip (or any kind of travel) ever for me. Sierra is happy to be back at home, I'm sure. She has become a good traveling cat.

I initially planned this as a two to two and a half week trip. But, the little problem in St. Louis that necessitated the purchase of two tires changed all that.

Above, with Kansas State Senator Greg Smith in the State Capitol.

Despite that, it was a great trip. I got to see and experience many things. I was able to meet Kansas State Senator Greg Smith in person at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. It almost seemed like we've known each other for years.

Above, Meteor Crater, Arizona. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The first attraction stop was Meteor Crater in Arizona. I've wanted to see it and this was a great opportunity to do so. I wasn't disappointed.

It was pretty much an entertainment and political trip. I went to attend the celebration of life services for Noel Neill in Metropolis, Illinois and a visit to the Super Museum. Then, a jaunt down to Memphis, Tennessee to visit Graceland (my second time) and the Sun Studio.

Above, Sun Studio in Memphis. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After Memphis, it was back up to Springfield, Illinois to see Lincoln's tomb, home and the Lincoln Museum. It was fun to catch the Election Night news coverage while at camp in Springfield.

Above, Lincoln's Tomb. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Then, I headed west to visit the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas. From there, I headed to Colorado. I stopped in Durango to ride the train, but they weren't running as they were switching to their winter schedule. At least I didn't go out of my way to go there. I was disappointed that Durango had grown three-fold since I was last there. It was almost like driving in Los Angeles. It is no longer the small town I remembered.

Above, Election Night coverage in The Beast. Photo by Armand Vaquer..

Then, I left Durango to go to Monument Valley in Utah, the location for many John Wayne movies. The drive got interesting as I stopped for fuel in Cortez, Colorado and was hit by a brief blizzard.

Monument Valley was enjoyable, even though it was windy and frigid. But the tour made it all worthwhile.

Above, "The Mittens" at Monument Valley. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Following Monument Valley, I drove into Arizona to see Grand Canyon National Park. I wasn't planning to stay long. Good thing I didn't, the place was getting crowded with people. It had been about 24 years since I was last there and there were many changes. One, was the Visitor Center, an the other was Tusayan, the town south of the national park. It has grown considerably and is crowded with people. A lot of hotels have sprung up there.

I was debating whether to stay in Williams, Arizona or Kingman, Arizona for the last night of the trip. I eventually decided on neither and pressed ahead to Needles, California to make today's drive much shorter.

I was surprised that it was so cold in many places I visited. It seemed like autumn was skipped over and we're already into winter. At one point, while in Topeka, I bought a ceramic heater at a local Walmart. I'm glad I did. Although The Beast has a house heater, it eats up propane quite a bit.

Above, the Grand Canyon. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Speaking of The Beast, it ran flawlessly. No problems with it. The tire matter was due to "pilot error".

All in all, it was a fun time and three weeks went by pretty fast. I visited some states for the first time. The states on this trip included Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Utah.

It was no surprise to me that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. I saw VERY few Clinton signs, but Trump signs were everywhere.

I stayed at several campgrounds/RV parks on this trip. The best one has to be the Deer Creek Valley RV Park in Topeka, Kansas. It has to be the most immaculate RV park I've ever seen.

I'm glad I made the trip.

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