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Vacation Travel Plans, Suggestions, Advice

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Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    And the car you're stuck with is a bright reddish orange 6 cylinder Biscayne with Powerglide and am radio. No other accessories, except a powerful heater with the dial stuck on max heat.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2010
    Taos is known for its light ... so naturally I waited until the glare of midday to snap this pic. :blush:

    That's the back of the house. The other side is the front door and the porch facing the mountains is where we mostly hang out.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Good shot...you managed to eliminate the magical light, purple-dusk mountains, and any 3-dimensional annoyances often associated with desert photography! :P
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    lol, what's funny is that the owner is a professional photog. None of his talents are wearing off on me. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Wouldn't that be great---you could walk into the house of a professional musician, pick up his guitar and rip off some beautiful riffs? Ah, well.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    Just got back from Panama City Beach. The water was as clear and beautiful as I've ever seen it. No seedweed, oil or tar balls. We went during the busy 4th of July week. Attendance at the hotel and on the beach seemed to be down around 20% to me. Still crowded... but down.

    They had workers patroling the beach during the day. I was told they are paid $175 a day to walk up and down the beach looking for oil. They spend less than half the day walking, and the other half resting from the heat. Sounds like a good job. With that nice breeze from the gulf, didn't seem hot to me. There was also a couple military people in a ATV driving up and down the beach. Not a bad assignment. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hmmm....I wonder. Mark Twain used to say that it was wonderful for him to hike up his favorite mountain trail, but if someone hired him to do it every day as a job he'd probably get to hate it.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    I'm willing to go down and walk that beach and test the theory!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    From what I understand you walk 2 hours and rest 6, get paid for a full 8 hour $175 a day. Only in America. :shades:
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    Sign me up!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sounds boring, day after day.

    Alarm clock 7 AM Monday---time to go to the beach!

    Alarm clock Tuesday 7 AM---time to go to the beach!

    alarm clock Wednesday 7 AM --etc etc.

    I suppose if you got drunk by noon it would be okay. :P
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    Sounds boring, day after day.

    Well I have to admit, they did look mighty bored... or highly fatigued. They didn't appear to be in the best of shape, and walking mile after mile in soft mushy sand isn't... what... a walk on the beach. :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I live right at the beach (Santa Cruz) and I love walking on it---but I wouldn't go EVERY day. Right now the porpoises and sea otters are out in force---it's great to watch them---they get in very close sometimes, perhaps 20 yards for the otters and maybe 50-100 yards for the porpoi. Harbor seals and sea lions, too. We have Great White shark here, too, but I have never seen one (nor do I care to, except from a cliff view). On occasion, with binox, you can see whale spouts, but I have yet to spot one this year. Most people take a boat out to do that. The pelicans are out in force, too, and will on occasion walk into the beachfront coffee shop.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2010
    Good to hear Jipster. Good to hear that people are still vacationing there.

    We just got back from a rugs to ruins tour - Chaco Canyon, Canyon De Chelly and Monument Valley, and about eight trading posts on or near the Navajo Reservation, including Hubble's and Toadlena to admire the weavings. Lots of dirt roads but I only dinged the oil pan a couple more times. It looks like hamburger when you put the van on the lift. :shades:
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,728
    Shifty, we usually see dolphins dorsal fins (hopefully not sharks) in the early morning at P.C.B. Though did not see this year. Sounds like you have a great spot to check out nature. Just sitting out looking and listening to the sounds of the ocean can't be beat... so relaxing. Looking to try somewhere different though next year.

    Steve, had a torrential downpour on the way home from P.C.B. Traffic on interstate was slowed to about 35 mph due to low visibility due to rain. Our Mazda MPV has ignition coils that are very tempermental in heavy rain. I've had to replace two. Hit a big ole puddle at 35mph, I cringed and crossed fingers. Luckily, they stayed dry.

    Saw two really bad accidents on the way home. Someone in south bound lane lost control of their U-haul truck... headed towards our north bound lane, then slammed into the concrete divider at about 50mph. Really freaked out my wife, who almost lost control of our van. I called 911. Hope everyone was okay.

    The second accident was when a semi-trailer (carrying new cars) overturned, skidded, and looked like it impaled a midsize SUV on it's front bumper. They both had slid over into the grassy median. We had stopped at McDonalds about 15 minutes before entering the entrance ramp to North I-65. Traffic was at a standstill. Took about an hour and a half to clean that mess up.

    So, be safe out there everyone. :shades:
  • bryanbryan Northern VAPosts: 228
    edited July 2010
    I travelled DC to Gulf Shores via I-95, I85 and I65--7/8 to 7/18. Travelling south on I85 about 50 miles north of Atlanta the traffic just stopped--no reason. Crawled about five miles in 30 minutes to Buford, got a room and dinner with a cold beer.

    Travelling north the next week, I sat for 3 hours mid-afternoon on I85, again at Buford of all places, while a tractor trailer with 35 tons of steel that had overturned and dumped its load was cleared. It was HOT! Several of us were passing out bottled water to folks in overheated vehicles.

    My brother manages recreation for the Pensacola NAS, including their "beaches". Like Gulf Shores, they've had some tar balls and some oil. Gulf Shores beaches were flying red flags each day. He tells me that the beaches were closed to swimming; saw a few cars in the parking lots. Some folks were on the beach, just not getting wet.

    There was a huge amount of staging for the clean up efforts--tents, portapotties, etc. at the state park beach parking lot. Saw similar staging areas up and down the shore as we travelled around. Also saw lots of booms and skimmers underway in the bay and inland waterways. Very proactive efforts. Also very sad to see.

    As hot and humid as it was, I would not want to be a "beach cleaner". My brother has them on the navy base, and he's had several go down due to the heat. Hence all the "rest time" and hydration requirements he tells me. I played golf one morning with family and it was an effort to stay hydrated. We quit after 9 holes--too hot.

    Jimmy Buffett gave a free concert on the west end of Gulf Shores beach on Sunday the 10th. Tickets went mostly to rental agencies as enticement to get folks to come to that area. We stayed in the State Park cabins, and three of my family members won tickets and were part of the estimated 35,000 people in attendance.

    Otherwise, it very easy to get around. Traffic was light. Restaurants seemed to be somewhat busy, but we noticed that the food store customers seemed reduced compared to last year. However, the waterparks and such were slammed with business. All in all, a very enjoyable vacation, except for some of my relatives. ;)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,385
    I saw video of the Buffett concert the other day... pretty cool!

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    We watched most of it too - my SO always says that's who he wants to be when he grows up. Very cool that he put on a free show!

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2010
    Sure feels odd to be back home after house-sitting for 5 weeks. Now I have to catch on a bunch of deferred chores.

    Lots of vacationers on the road yesterday. Moab was hopping as always and there was a big line of cars creeping up the side road to the entrance of Arches National Park. Just missed my brother and his wife by a couple of days - they're in Bryce Canyon today on their 2 month road trip.

    We were able to bomb through Salt Lake City at 4 pm, mostly missing the rush crush, and even though there was lots of construction, everyone in the HOV lane was going 75+ mph, so we actually made great time through there.

    17 hour roads trips are no longer my forte though. Going to have to train the two cats to camp out next time.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    We were able to bomb through Salt Lake City

    I get to make that trip starting this Saturday. Heading east to Kennewick, WA for the night and then the drive to New Mexico. I'll honk when we pass through Boise. ;)

    On another note, I took my daughter and a friend to visit a couple of Montana colleges last week. We stayed with my sister in Lewiston, ID and drove highway 12 along the Clearwater river to Missoula. Beautiful drive... and fun too. Light traffic and lots of twisties. :shades: Not exactly close to you but it is the same state.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Highway 12 is great although I've only done it one time. There's a fight on right now to keep tandem and triple semi rigs off of it - they want to haul mining equipment that way from WA to MT. It's a well know motorcycle ride too - curvy and just so scenic.

    There is a bypass around Salt Lake but I don't think it's much better unless you get caught by a wreck or the construction gets worse. You may save some time by taking it, but I think the scenery is prettier closer near town, since you get to admire the skyline and the mountains behind.

    I'm around this weekend so post or email if you get stuck. Or if you just want to meet and load up on caffeine:)
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    Gee, I'll be on highway 12 in a couple of weeks - but not that one. The one that runs down the Outer Banks in NC. Always interesting to see what the island next where we live used to look like before they screwed it up....
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    We also have one of the best freak collections on the west coast.

    My freak show can beat up your freak show. Headed to Lost Wages for the first time in September. I've been all over the place, but oddly enough, have never visited this popular tourist site. I'm hoping to nab photos of some really bad Elvis impersonators at the very least.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Oh well NO FAIR----LV is where they send freaks who are too freaky for anywhere else---kinda like the equivalent of what they do to rogue bears at Yosemite.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I had no trouble in Boise, but where you yesterday in Los Lunas, NM when I had to buy new tires? Heh-heh... must have been the heat. Or maybe the old tires. I inherited a Pontiac Montana from my father-in-law but I was not expecting to have to buy new tires yet.

    The good news is that I found a tire place that is also in Washington state so I'll be set when I get home.

    I'm amazed at how green everything has been in Idaho, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. I guess everyone has had lots of rain in the west. On to Colorado Springs tomorrow.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2010
    Looks like a nice area to break down - only got as far south as Albuquerque on our recent trip.

    Hmm, I'm guessing Discount or Big O. I'm not too impressed with the Big O stores here; one of them left a weight inside a tire on my Subie. Enjoy the road!
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Yes, it was Discount Tire. I've dealt with them before and was satisfied. Sadly, my father-in-law bought the tires at Les Schwab and they still had some miles left on the warranty.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2010
    Heh, lots of Les Schwabs around here (one's about 2 miles from my house). Too bad the tires didn't cooperate while you were passing through.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Les Schwab tires work better on the boat trailer, but Michelins, purchased at Discount Tire, are still on the cars.
    Schwab wants $10 to install their batteries while Wallymart does that for free.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I seem to get a flat about once a year. In May of '09 I had a flat (slow leak) on a non-Les tire, drove the car down to Les's, and paid $12.50 to get it fixed.

    The next November I had another flat on the same car but had to use the space saver tire. So I just dropped the wheel off at the same shop and ran over to Ace to get some stuff. Came back in 15 minutes and it was fixed and there was no charge. Les fixed a riding mower tire for free a few years back but I managed to find the tech that time and tip him $5.

    Hmm, I'm overdue for another flat. And it's almost Labor Day - time for another road trip maybe? :)
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    The Les shop near me fixes any flat for free... even if you didn't buy it from them.

    Going back through Boise tomorrow. Let's hope the tires hold up. ;)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2010
    Hey, I have Starbucks card someone gave me. Let me know if you need a caffeine fix and I'll meet you at one for a breve. :shades:
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    edited August 2010
    Well, we're now back safe at home. Great trip. Two weeks and 8 western states. New tires but no caffeine stop in Boise. :) I do get a chuckle of how well the city is walled off from I-84. Someday I'll have to see what it really looks like.

    I was amazed at how green everything was. Seems like there was lots of rain in the desert this year. New Mexico was particularly "unbrown". My wife is from Silver City so we spent a few days there. Then it was up to Sante Fe (big arts fair going on in the plaza last weekend). We spent several days in Colorado Springs and just didn't have enough time to do everything we wanted to do. Great area but we had some rain.

    The Cog railway up Pike's Peak was spectacular, even though it ended up being pretty cloudy on top. Someday I'll take my car up... $10 per person or $40 max. I was surprised to see that it was paved near the top... I thought it was a dirt road.

    We came back through Wyoming, then Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It's nice to be back at sea level. :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Yeah, the interstate isn't a good introduction to Boise at all, and the walls don't help either. Nothing but strip malls and franchise joints over there. There's actually some neat old architecture downtown and a good trout stream within an easy walk of the capitol building. Could be worse I suppose - back in the 70's they tried to put the interstate right downtown and tore down a bunch of neat old buildings.

    The place we stayed at near Taos had 42" of water in the cisterns when we got there. It went down two inches, and then went up to 50" the last week were there. The elevation does take some getting used to (we're at 2800' at my house, but that didn't help much when we went to 7,000 for our vacation.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I did well with the elevation changes but sure noticed it the short time we were on Pike's Peak at 14k+. Didn't get sick but had to take a few extra breaths at times.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Climate change seems definitely on the rise all over the world---hitting extremes of hot and cold, wet and dry, breaking all records wherever you look.

    Sometimes heavy rainfall is tricky to be optimistic about---we might get heavier rainfalls but a shorter rainy season, or heavier snowfall but for fewer months.

    Bay Area is experiencing near-record cool temperatures. Don't plan on California sunshine near the coast.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    You may not be having an ideal August, but the near record cool in the beautiful Bay area sure beats the recent record heat in Russia and the record floods in Pakistan.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,376
    Anyone with Outer Banks suggestions now is the time. We'll be in Nags Head but will be up and down during the week. We're leaving tomorrow morning but I'll be traveling with Internet for a change.

    Nice route - we drive an hour down the Garden State Parkway and catch the 80 minute ride Cape May Ferry which takes us down do southern Delaware. A couple of hours or so to the bridge-tunnel and then, unfortunately, hit Virginia Beach. From there it's only a couple of hours.

    Of course we're traveling with 8 year olds so time is relative.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We're taking off on the road again tomorrow morning to beat the Labor Day crush.

    Hitting the road is so much fun, we don't plan to even return to Boise. :shades:
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Driving a moving van, are we? ;)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Could be - the game is afoot. :)
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Perhaps New Mexico got in your blood while housesitting. :)
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    I think Steve will be seeing much more snow than they do in NM. :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Heh, we did have fresh snow on the road going over a pass outside of Taos in late June. :-
    )

    Now,where would a car guy go if he tired of the high desert?
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Now,where would a car guy go if he tired of the high desert?

    Is this a Where's Waldo Steve_ contest??

    If there is snow, the high mountains would be next. Not sure that is where a "car guy" would go though. I suppose there is always the low desert. ;)
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    And those "record" weather conditions are based on 100 years out of a few billion years of climate? All the lakes formed by flowing glaciers in my area, tell me the summers were a lot cooler here not too long ago. :P

    I just got back from Hawaii. If you want perfect weather day after day, go there. I went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay which used to be a volcanic crater, which was flooded when the sea-level rose. Some day that will be gone, and humans will be snorkeling where the active volcanoes now are.

    Anyway, learn to enjoy what you have, as the people, geology, and climate all change; some more slowly and some quicker. Enjoy the Present, and stop lamenting this isn't the Past, or that things will change in the Future.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    enjoy what you have

    We learned that only too well when Mt. St. Helens blew and destroyed 500 Summer/weekend cabins, several resorts, & Spirit Lake recreation area.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited August 2010
    are you saying we are all little gnats in a vast universe and a mere blink of an eye in geological time, and that cockroaches are way older than us anyway?

    you're probably right.....I need a beer..... :(

    All the more reason to take more vacations! :surprise:
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Speaking of which (beer) ... while in Waikiki I tried some Kona Red Rock. If you like Sam Adams, this stuff is better. Probably the best I've had. Check it out, they have distributors in many states.

    I hope there's not too many people who have reeservations this weekend along the East Coast. The unpredictable weather there makes my sure-bet-weather trip to Hawaii worth it.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Re: Kona Red Rock. I'll have to ask my beer connoisseur husband if he's tried that. He's fond of micro-brews from all over the states. Ever heard of Hopping Frog? He loves that, but it's a bit thick for my taste.

    I suppose the Gulf should be relieved that Earl isn't heading its way. They don't need another disaster. Unfortunately, hurricane season isn't done yet. :surprise:
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