Thursday, March 24, 2011

FROM THE COTTONWOOD CAMPGROUND TO THE ROUTE 66 CASINO

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PASTORAL SCENE AT THE HUBBELL TRADING POST

Wind came up about 5 this morning & shifted our temporary picnic top satellite dish slightly & that was the end of that for the morning news.  Didn’t feel like getting out there in the chilly winds, in the dark & in my pajamas to wrestle with that dish anymore.  Had enough of that Wednesday!!

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SUNRISE THROUGH THE COTTONWOOD TREES

This was a traveling day for us so we busied ourselves at first light packing things up & stowing things away.  Took on some water & dumped our tanks.  I was glad we were moving on because the weather deteriorated rapidly as the temperature dropped & the winds picked up.  Felt very fortunate that we had such a great warm sunny day for our Whitehouse Ruins hike on Wednesday.

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ALONG THE WHITEHOUSE RUINS TRAIL

Winds were heavier than we thought as we rolled out of the campground around 8.  Skies looked very dark north of Chinle.  Luckily we were headed south & away from that.  Bucked a ferocious head wind with a touch of rain & snow all the way south but once we turned east we had the wind on our rear quarter & it just kinda worked in our favor.  Still had to hang on with both hands today though.

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NOT MUCH CHANCE OF ME PUTTING ON MY HAT THIS MORNING

Stopped in at the historic HUBBELL TRADING POST in Ganado.  Lots of Navajo arts & crafts here but I kinda liked the old dusty barn with all it’s great animal smells:))

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THE HISTORIC HUBBELL TRADING POST IN GANADO ARIZONA

On our way to Gallup NM we drove through a pine forest & how nice it was again to see tall green trees.  I think it was around noon while motoring through a little place called Window Rock that we sadly crossed the State line out of Arizona.  Thank you Arizona for all the great memories this past winter again.  You are truly our home in the Southwest.

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Gallup New Mexico saw us climb aboard I-40 under sunny skies heading East.  The wind was at our backs & we sailed right along.  A Walmart stop in Grants filled up our larder & it was nice to feel some warmer air again.

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Moved our clocks ahead to mountain time shortly after pulling into the large Route 66 Casino just west of Albuquerque New Mexico.  I think this is a first for us in staying at a Casino parking lot.  This place is huge with acres & acres of pavement.  Decided to walk over to the ROUTE 66 CASINO & see if we could track us down some cheap eats.  Well, we did find some eats.

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This may surprise some readers but I happen to really like Casinos.  But I like them for a different reason than most folks.  Ever since walking into my first Casino while at Photo Convention in Las Vegas back in the mid 80’s I’ve been like a kid in a candy store when around them.  I love the lights & all the vibrant neon colors.  Love the wildly designed carpeting & décor.   I am a very visual person so all the twinkling strobe lights, glass ceiling balls, & just masses of colored lights everywhere appeal to me.  Each slot machine has it’s own profusion of neon lights & with rows upon rows of slots my eyes are just dazzled by the motion of striking colors. 

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I would love to take my cameras into a Casino sometime just to photograph the lights.  And then there is the sound.  And then there is the people.  And, and, and…..Kelly & I once flew to Vegas for 4 days in the early 90’s just to see all the razzle dazzle Casinos by night & tour the surrounding desert by day.  But, that’s another whole blog & in case anyone is wondering, neither Kelly or I have any interest whatsoever in any of that gambling stuff.   Oh, & we did grab a bite to eat in the Thunder Road Steak House & Cantina.  Loved the old car décor but we ate too much:((  Noticed that 80% of the people in there were Indian folks.

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And, before I forget, I have a few parting thoughts about the Cottonwood Campground in Chinle Arizona.  The campground is situated perfectly for day trips into Canyon de Chelly which is right outside the campground.  The park is free by the way.  Nice paved roads & lots.  There is a dump station here but no electric & no water except at the camp host site.  Nice big Cottonwood trees as well.  Also like the fact that there is reasonable room between the staggered sites & RV’s are not all lined up in crowded regimented rows.   There are a couple pull through sites as well.  However, there are a few things about this campground people should know.

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OUR OVERNIGHT SPOT AT THE ROUTE 66 CASINO WEST OF ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO

First & foremost is the fact that this whole area up here in northeast Arizona is Navajo land so there are some differences.  At the moment this campground is run by the National Parks board & is free.  The Navajo people are wanting to gain control of this campground & if that happens I don’t imagine it will be a free campground anymore. 

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While at the Cottonwood campground don’t be surprised if when you look outside your window you see a horse looking back at you.  This is free range land so horses & cattle are on the roadways.  Be very careful while driving in the park because you could very easily encounter horses on the road.  We did.  Beware the large rocks in the campground they have put all over the place along the roads & around the campsites.  I watched a 5ver driver tangle his rig up on a couple rocks.  Impatient driver’s fault & not the rocks fault.  Dogs roam through the park at will & the barking of dogs through the night will for sure keep lite sleepers awake.  

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GROANER’S CORNER:((

Q: What do you get if you cross a sheepdog with a rose?
A: A collie-flower!

Q: How can you if you have a stupid dog?
A: It chases parked cars!

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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

14 comments:

  1. We'll MISS you!!!!!!!!

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  2. That casino looks interesting. Thanks for the tips on the campground. Hope you had a safe travel day.

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  3. When I read where you are parked I thought of Al singing "Luck be a Lady Tonight". It is no doubt a luckier song than "Ghost Riders in the Sky"!

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  4. Good to see you made it to Albaturkey, we are like you we like the sights and sounds and entertainment at Casino's but are not gamblers,Also it appears the day of the free or cheap buffets is over at most casino's. when I drove the bus they would give the driver a meal but that was about it.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna....

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  5. Very interesting that you like casinos considering there are usually so many people there...

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  6. Soooo..Al..you are a closet Casino guy!! Never would have guessed it! All that civilization and glitz..Nope, you sure are a man of many visuals...A casino is a great place for that...AND the ka-chink of the coins dropping..Now there's a sound I love to hear!!
    Thanks for the heads up on Cottonwood CG...

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  7. First off...I ADORE the photo of the sheep...way too cute!! Bill and I were in a casino just last night. We were invited by Rick and Paulette..to dine in style at the buffet. It was fab! We don't gamble...but, like you, all those flashing lights and bright colors...make for a feast for the eyes! Safe travels!

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  8. Guess you're headed home now. You won't miss much without your TV satellite. Our present government will probably cease to exist today and Parliament will most likely be dissolved tomorrow to prepare for a May 2 or 9 election AGAIN! So, prepare to vote again and get another minority so this can happen again next year or the year after!

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  9. Are you coming through Oklahoma City? We are south of the city in Norman, would love to meet you and Kelly.

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  10. I look forward to reading you blog and your photos everyday and especially enjoyed the sheep and llama photos. We hope to get to Canyon de Chelly especially after all the great info and photos you posted about it. Was so glad to read about the hiking there so I will be prepared not overwhelmed like I was at Sabino Canyon. Be safe! Martha

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  11. Glad you had a safe trip. Driving in strong winds makes the knuckles white.
    Another good thing about casinos are sometimes a free breakfast.
    Takle care and travel safely.

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  12. I live in Nevada and hate going into casinos - for all the reasons you mentioned liking them, LOL!

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  13. Casino looks pretty good. But first impression was like "omg, what it is?". I think I will be there a little time later and maybe will visit this place to try my new roulette skills https://casinority.com/15-winning-roulette-strategies/ Good luck!

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