Off the Editor’s Desk – 3-4-2015

VACATION IS OVER!

Paula and I returned Sunday from our annual down south winter trip. We spent three weeks traveling to Little Rock, staying with our son and family for three days. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend a program featuring Mike Huckabee, which we enjoyed very much.

After leaving Little Rock we headed west on Interstate 80 to Arizona and spent a week at Pinetop, a resort town about three hours to the northeast of Phoenix. Pinetop is about seven thousand feet up in the mountains,  but the weather there was in the 60s. We had the opportunity to visit a couple of small towns that had old ruins that dated back over a thousand years, including one at Fort Apache.

We toured the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest and a monuments for the famous Route 66 highway that passed near the spot along Interstate 80 where a 1932 Studebaker is placed to commemorate that highway. (See picture below)

Leaving Pinetop we traveled highway 260 through the mountains. I must recommend this route to anyone traveling in Arizona as a must see area for its mountain views.

We spent several days at Cornville, AZ, which is just south of Sedona, site seeing and again visiting old Native American ruins near Clarkdale, and of course, one cannot pass by without visiting the old mining town of Jerome.

We traveled to Phoenix one day to visit an old high school buddy, Gary and Linda Jahn. After four days at Cornville we moved on to Las Vegas. The only thing that I can report is that everywhere you look, there is new construction. We were downtown one evening to take in the Fremont Street Experience and as the advertising for Las Vegas says; “What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.” I can, however, report that we ate lunch in one of the Casinos (MGM) on the strip, and a cup of coffee is five bucks.

We were planning to take Interstate 70 though the Rocky Mountain on our way home from Las Vegas. I watch the T.V. and a snow storm was forecast for Colorado and the Rocks for Saturday afternoon, we made sure that we got on the east side of the tunnel on highway 70 and into Denver. However, we did not encounter snow.

The Interstate through the Rocky Mountains is the most scenic road that I have ever traveled on and if you are looking for a great trip, take this one. From Denver to Glenwood Springs is about 170 miles of beauty. But my concern last week was that snow would be covering the road and we would be delayed, as we got to the top of the Vail Pass and to the Eisenhower-Johnson tunnel at Loveland Pass.

The tunnel is at 11,158 feet and is the highest vehicle tunnel on the Interstate system. It was the highest in the world until China built a railroad tunnel that is at a higher elevation. The two bores of the tunnel are named for President Eisenhower, father of the Interstate System and former Colorado Governor and Senator Edwin C. Johnson. The tunnel is almost one and three quarters of a mile long. The Eisenhower bore was opened in 1973 and the Johnson bore was open in 1979. Six men died during the construction.

After we made Denver, it was clear sailing through Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota and onto home Sunday afternoon. We logged some 5,300 miles in those 25 days, and had a wonderful time.

Thanks for reading! — Carlton