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Road Trip!

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    edited February 2013
    2012 Jeep Wrangler: The Big Loop

    Los Angeles, Sacramento, Reno, Virginia City, Bishop, Panamint Springs, Death Valley and back.

    image

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    I'd add one thing. Since you're in Reno, if you haven't been there before take a day and check out nearby Lake Tahoe area. Virginia City, Death Valley -sounds like some Cowboy TV shows and movies. I wonder if the old Ponderosa ranch is still open. If you had more time, you could also side trip to Yosemite.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    The in-laws used to live in Carson City. Why they moved back to the UP I don't know. :shades:

    (Don't ask why we decided to move a couple of blocks from them LOL. But the snow was firm enough this evening to actually get to the Lake Superior beach and enjoy a nice sunset).

    I miss the high desert country and our occasional Sierra trips.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    The Ponderosa (Bonanza) ranch is up by lake Tahoe. Tourist trap complete with petting zoo and pony rides.

    http://ponderosascenery.homestead.com/ponderosab.html
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    I could and may move to Carson City or Gardnerville area. Better tax structure and close to Lake Tahoe which I never tire of looking at.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    edited February 2013
    Let's be honest, you used to be a hard [non-permissible content removed] up in Alaska, but now after all this time in the San Diego are you are probably too much of a wimp to go back to winters. Nothing to be ashamed of - you just get wiser with age :shades: If you want tax savings something like Henderson or Summerlin near Vegas will probably better fit these days.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    The real buys are in Pahrump. Though you may get lonely out there. I don't need to sell my place here in San Diego. I can keep it as a winter getaway. I mainly need a residence where income taxes are less. Hawaii is still my favorite. And they do not tax pension income.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    And they do not tax pension income.

    At least not yet. Seems like states are backing away from that these days. Love Hawaii, but it takes BIG mullah over there!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    There are places that are not that expensive on the Big Island. I would not consider Oahu or Maui. Maybe Kauai. Still buy close to the water on the Big Island for a reasonable amount. You cannot even think about a lot in CA with ocean view for this kind of money.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/15-892-Paradise-Ala-Kai-Dr-Keaau-HI-96749/2118- 979667_zpid/

    A POC fixer down the street from me just sold for $350k. I have spent time on every major island and fell in love with this area. If you are a high roller this would be my current idea of a good buy.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/15-977-Paradise-Ala-Kai-Dr-Keaau-HI-96749/2117- 991008_zpid/
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    I was looking at National's last minute rentals page today and was amazed at how much a rental car goes for in Hawaii these days. I know it's high season, but yikes.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    This is right next door to the house we rent when we are in Hawaii. We snorkel in that lagoon with big sea turtles. Great gated location. I shouldn't do this as it gets me fired up about selling out here and moving.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/14-4708-Alapaki-Ln-Pahoa-HI-96778/2114498789_z- pid/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    Wait till April May. If you want a very quiet peaceful non touristy vacation. I highly recommend this place. Stayed there several times. The pond stays at 90 degrees year round. The Sea Turtles are in the cove most of the year.

    http://www.vrbo.com/5124
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    edited February 2013
    We're planning Bethel in April. Shouldn't be touristy. :shades:

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    You are a brute for punishment. My buddy almost got killed in a bar in Bethel back in the 1970s. Many would consider Bethel the armpit of Alaska. I say it is a tossup with Kotzebue and the 9 Arctic villages I worked in. Here is the mentality of Bethel.

    In what has been described as an evil hoax, the town of Bethel, Alaska, has learned it is not getting a Taco Bell. Not now. Not ever.


    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/14/nation/la-na-nn-taco-bell-alaska-2012061- 4
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    Must have been why they went damp in '77. They're wet again as of 2010 but I don't think they have allowed bars or alcohol in the restaurants. Always wanted to see Kotz, but never managed that one.

    For alcohol related problems, the police blotter out of Dutch Harbor is becoming world famous.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    Bethel was the wild west in the early 1970s. Our Alascom people were out there a lot as it was jump-off to all those villages. It was the time when a sat phone system was being installed in every AK village. You had to be tough going to the villages back then. Most installers packed a 357 with them. The whole thing of booze in the villages is kind of a joke and very sad. Most of our 9 villages were either damp or dry. About 10-12 years ago the PSOs started to check everyone's luggage getting off the plane in the real bad places. We had to stop taking a bottle for our own use or get into trouble.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    And this one caught my eye. :-)

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    The first leg was brutal. We traveled across AZ and NM at night to see the meteor showers. They were a "NO SHOW". Filled in El Paso Costco for $3.11 per gallon. By then it was 7 AM and did not want to stop so early and get a room. So the plan was Odessa. No rooms available at 4 PM. Mostly yucky places. Checked in Midland, same junky motels booked up. One really sleazy place had a room I would not stay in for $269 per night. We called ahead to the Best Western in Big Springs and they had one room for $180 per night. By then we were so beat we took it. It was clean though the Internet was out due to the wind???? 1040 miles in 22 hours with only a couple rest breaks. Speed limit on I20 is 80 MPH. We did not let many pass us and got 16.05 MPG. Not much different than cruising 65 MPH.

    Our next leg got us out of TX to Hope Arkansas. Had a nicer room at the Best western for $71 per night. Also had the best BBQ of the trip at Jake's. Drove by Bill Clinton birthplace and had nice weather. Filled Chevron West Memphis AR for $3.11.

    We drove from Hope AR to Paris Landing State Park Inn, TN. Nice room overlooking the lake for $70 per night. We hit Paris during the annual catfish festival. The hotel had all you could eat catfish and hushpuppies. Very good meal and stay. Next day on to Ohio via Bowling Green, KY. Went to the Shaker Museum. Tried to visit Mammoth Caves and the waits were too long for the tours. We did get Shell gas in KY for $3.29. We spent the last two days here in Ohio. Plan to leave in the morning for Indiana. 2595 miles so far at $509 or 19.6 cents a mile

    to be continued.......
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    Durn you, it'll be at least two months until I visit family in Chattanooga, and I'll be jonesing for hush puppies from now until then.

    On the bright side, the fumes around Midland from all the stripper wells probably would have gotten to you if you had found a room there.

    Next time, try stopping at McDonalds a couple of hours before your destination, get on their free wifi, and scope out some places on Travelocity or Expedia. You could even Priceline one that looks okay.

    Surprised the lines are long at Mammoth so early in the season. Maybe because of the sequestration?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    I was going to say, pricey hotels! I use priceline or hotwire almost every time I travel. Everything has been OK.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    edited April 2013
    For Seattle, we looked at reviews and prepaid direct for one "off-site" to SeaTac over in Des Moines. I was concerned about not being able to eyeball it. But it worked great and the Mexican restaurant next door was excellent to boot. My wife is about to get a 4G refurb iPad so maybe we'll be better at researching restaurants on the road too, assuming we actually break down and buy some air time. Only really got burnt once on food on the last trip though.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    Steve, from your response to Gary's message I assume you've been to Mammoth Cave. I've been tempted to include a tour of it if I should pass near it. The name alone intrigues me. If you've visited other caves how does Mammoth rate, in your opinion?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    Ah, the part I visited was more of a "historic" tour and was a bit of a let down. That was decades ago, and now I'd simply take some of the more "wild" tours that are available.

    I'm not a big cave fan but Carlsbad was more impressive, but a bit further away for many people.

    The other US cave I'd be interested in is Kartchner Caverns in Arizona. It sounds like a neat one; reservations used to be hard to get but I'm not sure if that's true now.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    I use a Verizon Jetpack so finding hotels was easy on the Wifi tablet. The Google NAV works very well finding places as well. Last time I used Travelocity it was not up to the minute. So making hotel reservations on the fly was not possible. I would rather call the hotel and get a name. Too many Expedia horror stories and don't want them having my CC #. Speaking of Midland Odessa. The economy is booming thus the over priced rooms. Dive hotels are full at $200 per night. I looked at about 6 rooms I would not risk staying in and none under $200 per night. The decent places like Hamptons were sold out. I will try to avoid that route ever again. I prefer I40. Just wanted to avoid the late snows.

    On the Road Again......
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    We usually book direct too, but get info from Travelocity or Expedia. Actually my wife usually tracks this stuff down and she uses TravelZoo and Orbitz too. For Seattle she just searched "Seattle airport hotels".

    Got a cousin in Midland in the oil patch biz; don't keep up with her frequently but glad to hear business is booming.

    Good to hear the Jetpack is working well for you. The reviews for it are lousy.

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    edited April 2013
    >Went to the Shaker Museum.

    Was that the one at Pleasant Hill? Near Lexington/Versailles?
    http://www.shakervillageky.org/

    Are you hitting the Air Force Museum near Dayton, OH.
    http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    We went to the Shaker Museum at Union City, KY. Close to Bowling Green.

    http://www.shakermuseum.com/

    We did not get up to Dayton. Kind of skirted around Columbus and Cincy and headed on the back roads across IN. I did like that area around Versailles, KY. I could live there on one of those gentleman farms.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    We will probably head home this week from Indiana. I have avoided all large cities and wil not go through any of them on the return home. I have it mapped across the USA without hitting any city of major size except Albuquerque. Continuing our trip on the Roads Less Traveled. Less than 300 miles of Interstate on the 2100 mile return trip. Also plan to avoid TX and their over priced hotel rooms.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/04/worst-traffic-cities/2127661- /
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    edited May 2013
    Blue highways, sweet. I took a wrong turn years ago (my co-pilot was napping) and wound up in Albuquerque. No biggie, it was in the general direction of travel. Really like the town, and it's still on our list as a place to live perhaps.

    Sad to read that the marginal motel/hot springs in Jacuma has closed in SD County; sounded like they ran it into the ground the last decade. It was a fun stop the one time we went there; probably too far south for getting to your house and you'll be heading for the barn by then anyway.

    I have an inch high stack of trip lists that I've kept since 1980. Finally got around to photographing each one so I can throw the hard copies away. After a trip I usually make a note or two about the trip on the list and they are fun to revisit and jog our memory of where we've been. Thus the urge to look up the Jacuma motel. Looks like we were there in '99.

    Head north of Santa Fe and hit Chimayo. Buy a rug. Or three. :D

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    Head north of Santa Fe and hit Chimayo. Buy a rug. Or three.

    We may do that. A good friend of ours moved there last year. She has been after us to come visit. I remember the rug factories from the 1970s when we spent a lot of time in NM. Albuquerque is not a bad city to get around in. I still have a bunch of nieces and nephews there along with my sister. They live 45 miles SE of the city. A person could do worse than living in NM. I would like to take 412 out of Woodward, OK to Taos via Cimarron canyon and Eagle's lake. Then down to Chimayo and SF. Depends on the weather. Colorado is still in the grips of winter snow. My Sequoia is a 4x4 with good all weather Michelins. Just not real interested in seeing snow up close and personal.
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