Thursday, April 22, 2010

Travelin' Highway 10 - Day 1

Travelin' East on Hwy 10 ... blue skies ... fair weather!

Absolutely will NOT miss seeing BILLBOARDS everywhere!

This San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm is really quite beautiful. It sits near Palm Springs, atop the San Bernadino Mountains of California. There are more than 4000 of these Wind Turbine Generators, enough to power up all of Palm Springs and all of Coachella Valley! These make smart use of pure, natural, constantly replenishing, and FREE energy resources!
California's wildflowers decorated her dry desert floor.

Click on the pictures to enlarge and enjoy the flowers.
Bright yellow, pale yellow, white, greens, and greys.

Corals, touches of purple and lavender ...

Ocotillo blossoms were like graceful red flames...

First Stop: Chiriaco Summit, CA: Aproximately 1,700 feet elevation. This Post Office (above) is made of cactus skeletons. We made our obligatory tour of the restaurant's gift shop and visited the new "Chiriaco Summit Southwest Travel Information Center." "The center can provide comprehensive travel and tourist information for attractions in the Southwest." Well, maybe it could, but the person working that day, knew absolutely nothing about the Southwest nor traveling ... however, as always, it was a fun ... a kitchy, cool little stop. Gas, food, General Patton Museum, West Coast Viet Nam Veterans' Remembrance Wall.

The Chocolate Mountains ... close to the CA/AZ border. Yee haaw!
Finally ... ARIZONA!!!! We're home!!!! Have you missed us?

Photo Radar Enforcement, day and night, virtually everywhere, especially highways!
Buckle Up.
Pay close attention to Speed Limits.
Seriously ... Arizonians say that police will cut you no slack.
Read this important information: Arizona Driving: click here.

Signs in Quartzsite, AZ are unique - couldn't resist sharing this one.

We enjoyed a short, but sweet, time of fellowship with one of my BFFs. Then we proceeded West to Hwy 60 North.

We made our obligatory stop to pick up some lunch at the Brenda Country Store in Brenda, AZ. Always interesting locals around and a nice place to stretch, take a deep breath of AZ air and look around at the wide open spaces!

Then on to our favorite stop in Salome,AZ, the T Bar B Feed store. (Which, btw, is much more than just a feed store) A must stop, if you are passing through this cute rural little town. Besides feed, grain, tack, horse and pet supplies ... they have some quite nice silver jewelry, unique western gift and decor items ... some locally crafted. Down to earth, good ol' western hospitality, they always make a visitor feel welcome! My g'daughters' favorite attractions are the store kitties, always have a purr and a pet waiting there!
The T Bar B Arena, just North on Hwy 60 @ Hope St, hosts team sortings every Wednesday and the annual T Bar B Rodeo in October.
VERY sad to hear that the powers-that-be are trying to pass ordinances against horses in Salome ... under the guise of protecting the land or some such nonsense.
The truth is that the Mc Mullen Chamber of Commerce is promoting off road vehicle activity in place of equestrian activity. Talk about trashing the environment!!! They advertise: "Quads, Jeeps, Dirt Bikes, Buggies, Trucks - Off Roading at it's best!" Says a lot, doesn't it???!!
Oh my goodness ... the world is all backwards and upside down! Bob Dylan was right ... the times they are a changin' ...!
Bottom line: Locals: speak up and support the horse population in Salome! The rest of us need to see what's left of the old West, while it is still here!

Our next mandatory stop was at Double D Western World in Wickenburg. 24,000 square feet of Western delights. No kidding! Nothing I couldn't live without this time though ... which is a FIRST for me! It is always fun to go and drool, and get decor ideas, at the very least ... the folks there are super nice! A few years ago, I called my neighbor in CA to come out and take a my new couch and chair home for me! AWESOME! Never regretted it, not even for a minute!

We were anxious to see "our" town. But we had traveled quite a few miles and were pretty road-worn by now. We could hear a hot shower, hearty dinner and soft beds somewhere calling our names!
So, we headed straight to our usual resting stop at the Best Western Rancho Grande in Wickenburg; figured we would walk to dinner from there. Well, guess we had forgotten that we can make all the plans we want, but only God can direct our steps. Next time, we need to let Him confirm our itinerary before we go. Duh ....
"Bad" news: a very unusual and unpleasant experience with a very unpleasant clerk. Evidently, the rooms range from wonderful to ... well ... unacceptable. This clerk placed us in an outer wing of the motel in a dark corner room that was not, at all, acceptable. I have since read a few other negative reviews, thus ... our best advice: always check out your room before taking it, no matter how tired you are!

Disclaimer: The accomodations and staff have been great in the past. They are kid and pet friendly, even provide a couple of surprises for your pets! Located right in downtown Wickenburg; it is only a short walk to almost everything. As for special needs, ask for a ground floor. The ramps are quite steep and long for anyone with mobility issues.
Good news: the Lord led us to a an even more excellent new discovery!

The Wickenburg Inn (above); a delightful little hotel ... just a hop and a skip from town. Merv Griffin used to own it; it was then a fancy dude ranch on the West end of town. Our concierge told us that it was sold after Merv died and the same company aquired and renovated this hotel. Very nicely done!
Complimentary breakfasts are cooked up personally by a local gourmet chef! Beat that! Room service will deliver fresh meals to you right from the Cafe Azure in Wickenburg. The hotel is child and pet friendly and has a nice pool, spa, horse facilities, horseback riding in the Hassayampa River Preserve available from there. Clean room, comfy cozy beds, great shower, free wi-fi and high speed internet, nicely appointed.

Seeing double? Twins are SO much fun! Even more so with mirrors!

We drove into town for a hearty Mexican dinner at El Ranchero Restaurant: the hosts were quite friendly, but the food was not as much to our taste as our favorite:
Anita's Cocina (pictured below) in downtown Wickenburg. time ... back to Anita's!
Watched the sunset from our hotel window, as turkey vultures soared on the cool evening air currents. Beautiful ... relaxing ... ahhhhhh ... thank You Lord, for bringing us here ...
We have had a long day and are ready to snuggle in for the night.
More about our Wickenburg adventures soon!
Sayonara ... zzzzzzzzzzzzz


turquoisemoon said...

I've been waiting for this and it was worth waiting! Great post! I, too, have a certain place, a certain feel of when I'm finally out of the city. Chiriaco Summit looks so fun, as well as some of the other places you described. And, I can just close my eyes and see the Bar B Feed store. fun!!! It breaks my heart to hear of the goings on at Salome. It's all about $$$'s and not the inviornment. I wish people would wake up!!! Your grand kids are wonderful...don't we love them???
A thing I've noticed about bad experiences on vacations...sometimes all the good times simply blur into one. The bad experiences stand out, get noticed and get remembered. Great post!!!! luv'd it!!!

MyShilohRanch said...

Yes, TM, unfortunately the "great sell-out" is happening all over our country. The land, the animals, the people are the very last considerations.

The T Bar B is one of the last vestiges of the western lifestyle there in Salome ... it is delightful!

I am hoping that public outrage will make people-of-sense speak up! If we don't make our voices heard, we will lose much of our national heritage to political greed.

The g'kids and I
are finding that when we hit a bump in the road ... there is always a new and exciting adventure, opportunity or discovery ahead. Good life lessons for all of us!

Thanks for visiting!