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  1. #1
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default Heading out, one lap around the USA!

    No way I can top some of the really cool threads you've put up and we've enjoyed.

    We'll spare everyone the family pix, but if something that might be of interest pops up in route, we'll certainly post it with a picture or two.

    First stop will be the inner tube float down the Colorado River.
    It's an organized event near Lake Havasu, South down the river in innertubes to the CRIT reservations.
    Hoaky, goofy perhaps, but the little ones and college students love it, and we'll try and get some pix, if any of interest pop up.

    The driving part of the trip will take us from Simi Valley Calif, just north of Los Angeles, to the east coast.

    Sloppy Joes Bar in Key West, Disney World,, Carlsbad Caverns and 40 other stops of historical sites and railroads and waterparks ect ect. on the USA loop.

    Be back if something of unique interest pops up.

    First day - first repair is a crankshaft position sensor in our truck.
    Dealer wanted $350 for the repair, I did it for $58 and about 45 minutes.

    Good to go,,,, and away we go,,,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Good to go... and away we go...

    Ross and Alice,

    We look forward to reading your periodic reports here!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default And family photos are OK by me!

    Really! I can't wait to hear about your adventures.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Longest 100 Miles

    I think you'll find the hundred mile drive from Key Largo to Key West one of the hardest of your trip. There is so much to see and then there's the traffic. That beautiful hued blue water and palm trees!! But it is all worth it.

    Our first stop in the Keys is traditionally at the Caribbean Bar, with a great view and the site where the movie Key Largo was filmed. I think they serve alcohol 24 hours a day. Generally, we meet lots of local characters here. You might even get to see the "African Queen" at the Holiday Inn if its in port.

    Stop in Islamorada around MM 80. Quite beautiful and great places to visit. Try the Sunset Celebration at the Lorelai and the one on top of the seven story motel. One other thing, you've got to try a Rumrunner at the Original Tiki Bar. Shrimp omelets at Whale Harbor.

    If you can find it, No Name Pub on No Name Key (by Big Pine Key) is worth a trip. That's some serious rustic. And don't forget to look for the Key Deer. Just don't hit one or you're in big-time trouble.

    Once in Key West, visit Captain Tony's and Rick's as well as the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Then there's Duvall Street. Do the Duvall Crawl.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. RoadDog

  5. #5


    Awesome trip. Please share your thoughts as you travel along.

  6. #6
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default Hy 10 thru Blythe: Farming the Desert, All We Raised were kids"

    "Farming in the desert? All we Raised Were kids"

    As you approach Blythe driving East on Hy 10,, we noticed the farming is starting to get back into gear.
    Looks like produce stores/stands of some sort are starting to develop once again after many decades of neglect.
    The desert perhaps is under cultivation again too.
    Ya always see the long abandon farm equipment for miles thru the Az and Cali desert along the 10 as well.

    As one drives the long desert stretches thoughts pass through your mind.
    I remember being on the Grand Jury with Marion Knott, the daughter of Walter Knott of Knotts Berry Farm amusement Park, in Buena Park Calif.

    She told me her parents would always say: "We tried farming in the desert, but all we raised were children."

    They gave up desert farming then moved to Buena Park Calif, and the rest is history.

    Walter Knott was well known way, way before the amusement park and the Boysenberry.
    He was a major booster of bringing frozen/refrigerated storage and transportation of produce West of the Rockies. Knott was the first farmer in the west to ship frozen, non-canned summer produce East and Northeast in the winter if ya get what I mean.

    If you're planing a roadtrip to Southern Calif, you can still visit Knotts Berry Farm.
    The growing of produce is long gone, but the park is still there.
    Their jams and jellies are found on grocery shelves around America.

    During Grand Jury breaks Marion and I would sometimes chat, and since I knew worthless Knott trivia, and was in the Air Conditioning and refrigeration business, she invited me to see the original refer plant still on the farm.

    Long since abandon, out of service in favor of more modern systems.
    It was located in an old adobe style building,, pretty cool set up for it's day.
    It was low pressure ammonia, which was a big improvement over the earlier obnoxious Sulfer dioxide fart gas systems. Cheap and easy to run, very reliable,, but it still stunk, and could be dangerous if a big leak developed.

    I met her sisters Virgina and Toni.
    Virginia was really bizzare, but nice.
    Dressed in a sharkskin potato sack dress, purple beehive hair,, I didn't know what to think. This was in the 70's,, probably would work fine today.
    Toni Knott, the other sister, primm and very easy going, old school Grandmother type at age 40.

    The brother Russell, well, if ya watch Mr Crab on Spongebob, you'd figure he's a take off of brother Russell.

    I got to meet Walter ,, the old man himself.
    He lived within the farms parks maintenance buildings in a mobil home with a live-in nurse.
    His body was worn out, but his brain still was active.
    A truly genuine, really nice old guy.

    Older people are cool, they most always have a curiosity and a sense of humor.

    He still wore the wicked-witch-of-the-west lace up to the knee old fashioned boots.
    Marion said she could still order them from a shoe biz in Nebraska.

    We talked about early refrigeration, and he mentioned Birdseye was the first.

    "All the quality fruits and vegetables in the U.S. carried the farmers name from year to year", he said by the way.
    Birdseye, Hadley (we all know Hadley if you visit Palm Desert) and Knotts.
    "They used their name every year because they had quality produce and weren't ashamed of it."

    Then Walter added:
    "That's why you'd have different orange and fruit crate labels & names from year to year" he said.

    Some growers would change their name every year because they would ship sub-standard products.
    "The good produce carried the farmers name every year."

    My old Aunt Laura used to say they'd stop off at the early Knotts stand on Beach Blvd before WW2, and the fruit was alway top shelf,, with a tissue paper in the split wood basket too.
    A nice touch I recon. She'd buy rhubarb and Elderberries,, Knott hadn't yet perfected the Boysenberry.

    As we drove across the desert with everyone in the truck asleep, more thoughts pass through my pea brain.

    The Grand Jury we were on was investigating the illegal bribes Lockheed was greasing the market with to get their excellent L1011 airliner sold.
    They were being investigated for all kinds of shenanigans.

    Lockheed signed some pay-or take deals on different grades and types Aluminum and Titanium and they were going down fast because of it.
    Pay or take means you bought the product and will pay that price for all of it whether you use it or not, and no matter where the market value goes.

    A crazy deal, Lockheed commercial aircraft business was sinking fast, so they hired a thug named "Jonny Hotlink" to get some planes sold,, and the graft then flowed too.

    FBI agents then had to either have a law degree or accounting degree, and it was a complicated eye opener as they presented what took place, mostly in Japan and Korea, but Taiwan and Indonesia we're in the mess too.

    Marion Knott, on the strength of that grand jury service experience, change the entire way Knotts Berry Farm, their retail, and their huge, incredably big worldwide commercial food business did their accounting.
    If ya remember, often you'd buy something at Knotts, and the employee made change outta a cigar box.

    Jonny Hotlink changed all that.

    The amusement park & farm was a very small part of the family business.
    Since sold to the boring Valley Fair company.

    We hated to hang Lockheed,, foreign competitors didn't have the restraints on them like Lockheed did with US laws,, but we swore to just figure "if they did it or they didn't".
    Not if it was right or wrong.

    The 747, DC10's introduction & and lot's of other Lockheed scams way bigger than what we were hearing, finally finished the company.

    OK, on to Zion, then the Durango and Silverton RR.

    At a restaurant stop, I couldn't resist snapping this pic of behind the Cash Register
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-14-2007 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Navigation

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Interesting Report!

    I love the random things that float through your head while driving. Things you haven't thought of in years suddenly come back with such clarity that you'd think they had happened yesterday. I really enjoyed hearing about your interesting experience with the Knotts Family and Lockheed.

    Can't wait to hear more from your trip.


  8. #8
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default Arizona & Calif Railway Crossing,

    Our latest leg of our trip took us over three Arizona & Calif RR crossings.
    lhuff posted a really good thread about railroad safety in this section.

    The thread and passing over the three lonely crossings opened up my weak memories once again.

    I'll get back to the RR crossings.

    My daughter was 11 years old and begged me to take her to an audition for a movie.
    I was so against that non-sense, if you've grown up around it, ya don't want your kids involved in it.
    But I finally took her.

    I'll be damn'd,, she got the part on the spot, first audition,, and I was a horses butt for standing in the way of her for the previous 3 years.

    Anyway, later, her agent called one day and they needed: "a 10 month old baby, that looked 6 months old, and was happy and laughing all the time."
    That exact description, I kid you not.

    We thought about it for a mili second, then forgot about it.

    Then I remembered my friend Robbie and his wife have a 10 month old.
    No clue about how the child looks or acts,, but I gave him my daughters agents number,, they auditioned their 10 month old girl,, she was hired on the spot.

    The producers were crazy about her.

    OK,, back to the three Calif and Ariz RR crossings.

    Mitsubushi was filming a whole model year of car and truck commercials at these very Calif and Ariz RailRoad crossings I passed over.
    This is the no-where that everything is a million miles from.
    It is desolate out here, but beautiful.

    The scenes show the Mitsubishi vehicle approaching off the horizon, and then waiting at the crossings as the gates come down, flashing lites and the Calif and Ariz Green Locomotive passing slowly by,, the baby laughing in the back seat.

    You may see the ads today where the little girl is laughing in the backseat of Mitsubishi vehicles.
    They still cut those older bits in with the current model year Mitsubishis.

    The wife and I were at Chuy's restaurant one day and Robbie, his daughter and wife walked in.
    Their daughter made $2000 per 3 hr. day of shooting, a 3 day shoot, she was exempt from all taxes, union dues,, guild fees ect ect,, and she gets residuals to this day ONLY because her voice is on the commercials laughing.
    The parents got some $$ for expenses too.

    OK, speaking of RRs, onto the Durango and Silverton RR.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-14-2007 at 09:13 AM. Reason: added link to Laura's post

  9. #9
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default Early Fathers Day Gift:

    Woke up this morning my wife gave me an early fathers day gift:
    A Corvette Zo6 brochure.
    We'll order a new one when we get back.
    Considering Factory delivery,, we'll see.

    On fourth:
    Stopping off for fuel, their was a cigarettes and fireworks trailer next to the gas station on the indian reservation.
    I never buy fireworks, and we don't smoke, but I wanted to check and see the prices and kinds of Fireworks they had, and check the price of smokes for our nick-o-fit friends too.

    When we camp in the desert, some of the fireworks way off in distant campsites are the professional multi-stage type.
    Some people shoot them off all nite long, and I always wonder what kinda money they're spending.

    We walked in and we're greeted by an Indian child,, maybe 10 years old standing behind a long counter/display rack on a raised walkway.
    I asked him about the multi stage rockets, and do ya need a post hole digger or an 50 mike mike mortar tube to launch them?

    He said :"These are the best ones" and he pointed with a hand in a stainless wire loom with pins coming outta his bones in his wrist, hand and fingers, all connected with wire, and all colored with red-orange hospital emergency room Betadine painted all around the exit points of the pins.
    Looked scary.

    "Judging by the condition of his hand, he must really know, and you can for sure take his word about the super powerfull stuff from the duds, and learned the hardway" said my wife.

    They were 40 for 50. Or 40 mortars for 50 bux.
    We passed.

    The smokes were $1.50 a pack,, but never heard of the brands.
    No Old Gold, Chesterfield, Pall Malls, Raligh Filter Kings,, ect.
    But they had Burgermeister, Hamms and Lucky Lager Beer.

    Passed on all that stuff too.
    Last edited by RoadTrippers A & R; 06-14-2007 at 05:38 PM.

  10. #10
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by RoadDog View Post
    I think you'll find the hundred mile drive from Key Largo to Key West one of the hardest of your trip. There is so much to see and then there's the traffic. That beautiful hued blue water and palm trees!! But it is all worth it.

    If you can find it, No Name Pub on No Name Key (by Big Pine Key) is worth a trip. That's some serious rustic. And don't forget to look for the Key Deer. Just don't hit one or you're in big-time trouble.

    Once in Key West, visit Captain Tony's and Rick's as well as the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Then there's Duvall Street. Do the Duvall Crawl.
    Thanks RDog, we'll certainly check all that out, We appreciate the tips.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-15-2007 at 09:52 AM. Reason: removed some extra spacing

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