Oct 16, 2018

Heading West on I 40

Just after turning right as we left the fiesta RV grounds Friday morning, we saw three balloons that had landed in an empty lot.

They were also landing along I 25.

Flying directly over the freeway.  That green boot balloon is from Edinburgh, Scotland and is 120′ tall and 90′ wide.

Some even landing right next to I 25.  Now I understand why many of the balloons would not fly when the winds were heading East towards the freeway.  There simply is no safe place for them to land.

Just as we approached the exit to I 40 we were slowed by a major accident.  Fortunately the Westbound lane was good to go.

A semi had flipped on its side ( top right of photo ), in fact a part of it was hanging off the rail on the other side of the semi.  Can you see the yellow sign ( mid shot to the left ) ?  It indicates an exit speed of 35 mph due to a possible tip over.  Guess that is what happened.  Those are birds sitting on the electrical line.

All new territory for us again.

We found I 40 to be very fast with many trucks.  The speed limit for any vehicle is 75mph but we kept to our 60mph which must have frustrated many drivers.

We traveled many miles on the famous Route 66.

There were dozens of these Indian markets along the highway.  We stopped here as this was the continental divide.  Colin bought me a nice T-shirt here ( $$ ) but I will enjoy wearing it, if it warms up.

Where the water flows either East or West.

Yet another state.

Eventually the terrain began to change.

The highest point in Arizona at an elevation of 12,633 feet, Humphreys Peak complete with snow.

We were tired and happy to pull into Williams.

367.8 miles from Albuquerque, a long drive but we did gain an extra hour.  We left at 8.25AM in one time zone and arrived at 4:15PM ( yet it really did feel like 5:15PM ) in another time zone.  Nine hours on the road with just a few small stops.

We are staying in Williams, AZ at the Grand Railway RV Park for six nights ( it was supposed to have been for seven nights  ) but we stole an extra night to stay at the Balloon Fiesta so we could see the Special Shapes Glow Thursday night, which was cancelled.   This is a Passport America Park and we are only paying 50% at $24.50 per night.  Good deal, well laid out park and within walking distance to the historic district.

It was coolish and rained off and on most of Saturday.  We didn’t mind and stayed inside working on completing the Fiesta posts.  Finally we headed out late afternoon to check out the town.

So many fun signs along this stretch of Route 66.  This hotel is still taking guests but I’m certain that the nightly fee is much higher than $3.50.

Every few feet there is some nostalgia to photograph.

Lots of rain and wind and then a break in the clouds.

We had hoped to eat dinner here  ( the music was great ) but they only had meat entrees on the menu.  In fact most of the menus in town were meat focused.  We finally settled for Fettuccine Alfredo at the Italian Bistro @ $17.00 each.  Good but not somewhere we would return to.  Wine by the glass was $10.00 but happy hour prices brought that down to an affordable $4.00/5.15CAD per glass.  I can’t imagine paying $17.00/22.00 CAD  for a tasty but not great plate of pasta plus $10.00/13.00 CAD for a glass of wine.  A tourist town with the expected increased prices.

Still we enjoyed the ambiance of the town and were getting 50% off our nightly RV rate.

There is a very expensive train ( in my opinion ) that goes from here to the Grand Canyon Village.  The train leaves about 9AM and gets back to Williams as you can see, after sunset.  Yet they only have 3.5 hours at the Grand Canyon!  Why even bother?



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13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Heading West on I 40”

  1. Carol says:

    we usually stay at that RV park, clean and nice. if you are still there at about 6:00 in the evening they have a wild west show on the street. it is worth going to – free and really funny. it is in different areas every night.

    • contessa says:

      Is a lovely park and at 50% off with Passport America a great deal. It was really too cold to do the gunfight and too dark. Maybe they start it earlier at this time of year. Perhaps next visit.

  2. George Yates says:

    We stayed at that park the first year it opened, loved Williams, the gunfight and enjoyed the train ride to the Grand Canyon. Have fun there.

  3. Marie says:

    Hi guys we are headed for White Sands New Mexico for several days. Hope to meet you on the west cost this summer. Love ya

    • contessa says:

      Lucky you. Please stay in touch and we can make this happen next year. FYI I can get you a super discount to stay in our RV Park which is on your route etween Seattle and Banff. Love you both also.

  4. Dee Tillotson says:

    Yes, Williams is ridulously high priced for the quality food you receive–sort of compared it to cafeteria food. So, we ate a lot of sandwiches. However, in August of 2015 (I think that was the year) we were there to see the Grand Canyon at its best and made reservations with Maverick Helicopters flying out of the local Canyon National Park Airport. Maverick gives you about 45 minutes flying from the rim and dropping down into the canyon; it takes about 10 minutes of flying over scrub pine before reaching the rim. After seeing Colin’s photos, I know he could do a lot better justice than Beach and I did at the photography work inside the canyon. The experience was surreal. Glad I made the helicopter reservations (not inexpensive) because I did not know if we would ever return and because the next day in the park itself it was full of fog and the fog filled the canyon as I stood on the rim.

    • contessa says:

      How fun that must have been for your both and what perfect timing considering the weather. You have created a forever special memory. Sometimes we have to make our dreams come true.

  5. Rosie Bailey says:

    Really interesting to read your blog and Route 66 as it has always been on our Bucket List and would love to see the Grand Canyon. Would be great to do a helicopter ride too. The photos of the balloons were amazing and looking forward to seeing more. Thanks.

    • contessa says:

      Welcome to the blog Rosie and thank you for taking the time to comment. So glad that you have enjoyed the Balloon Fiesta and now Route 66 and the Grand Canyon. I agree, a helicopter ride onver the canyon would be wonderful. I hope that you are able yo start checking things off your bucket list sooner than later.

  6. Joyce says:

    Have been looking at your wonderful balloon pictures. I’m so glad you were able to have this unique experience. From here do the balloonist go to other places to ‘fly’? Where in the world do they store those huge balloons. It just seems mind boggling!! …AND expensive hobby!!

  7. Contessa says:

    No idea where they go. But I do think that they head to as many balloon events as they can as they all love to fly so much.

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