Thursday, January 27, 2011

Traveling with Mrs. Magoo - SEA to PHX

Sorry for the long absence, but we've been very busy driving through the wild west and getting settled here in Phoenix. Lady is darn glad to be out of the car and in familiar surroundings. The first day out of Seattle was a little treacherous, as we just missed a pretty good storm. I90-Snoqualmie Pass and the Blue Mountains of Oregon were freshly blessed with plenty of snow. Our route took us to Caldwell, ID for the first night. We didn't  get any pictures the first day out. We were just too worn out.

We stayed at dog friendly hotels during our trip; LaQuinta in Caldwell and The historic Hotel Nevada in Ely. Lady does her Magoo dance in every hotel room before she settles in. It's almost indescribable, but I will do my best. Many dogs circle a spot to lay down, but Lady brings a unique performance art to this ritual. Starts with pawing the floor then arching her back with her nose extended towards the floor, pawing and turning in a clockwise direction all the while bouncing up and down (but never leaving the floor). This continues for several revolutions until:
A. She plops down with a groan, staying in that spot for an hour or 30 seconds, we never know.
B. She sees someone watching her, then she stops (this is why I have no video)!
C. For some reason that spot isn't acceptable, so she wanders over for loves or off to her water bowl.
That's why one of her many nicknames is Mrs. Magoo. Andi calls it her VooDoo dance, which is pretty descriptive in itself.

Caldwell to Ely....Day two dawned clear and very cold. We traveled to Twin Falls then south on US93 through some of the most desolate country in the U.S. It's been 8 years since the first time I've travel this highway. The road itself has been (surprisingly) repaved. It was great! We pick up our photo tale at the Idaho-Nevada border:


My paws are freezing!!
The first quick stop was on a farm road in southern Idaho to stretch our legs. There is not much between Twin Falls and Vegas. Wells, NV is a  small crossroads town on US93 and I80. This was our second stop. Boy, this place has seen better days (pictures below).

Old downtown Wells, NV - only the building to the right is occupied.

I'll bet this was one very cool sign in it's day.

This handsome brick building is completely abandoned.
On to Ely. It is the only town of any substance in the Great Basin of northeast Nevada. Mining founded the town and is still part of their economy. Nevada built a maximum security prison there and that has given a renewed life to this town. It is a very fun and interesting town. Influence today more by Salt Lake City than Las Vegas! SLC TV stations and many Utah plates.

Oh boy, a hike

Just a few of the gravel piles

View from the foothills, west across the valley
Needing a stop between Wells and Ely, I passed a dirt road that ran up to the foothills where there were large piles of gravel scattered like a giant child had been playing with his pail and shovel. A U turn on US93 in Nevada was easy, because as far as the eye could vehicles!! The pictures above are from that stop. It was chilly, but the sun was welcome and bright. Lady had a great time exploring.

Built in 1929, it was the tallest building in Nevada

Rooms were nice, a little noisy compared with
modern standards, but no big deal

Very cool mural - click to enlarge
The wonderful, quirky, friendly Hotel Nevada in Ely. We had a blast. Lady is allowed everywhere in the hotel and casino except the eating areas. She hung out with me while I sat at the bar playing video poker, having a beer and chatting with the locals. She single handedly sucked every ounce of affection out of every human she encountered, then went back for more. This time of year the bar and casino are very local oriented. A more friendly group I have never encountered. There is a plaque in the lobby that says (my version, can't take pictures in a casino): "Dogs are welcome here because we've never had a dog get drunk and trash a room or insult the help". The public areas are a little smokey, but other than that, HIGHLY recommended.

As the sun came up and the moon set on the beginning of the third day, Lady was still recovering from her big night in the casino! Never thought I would ever write those words. Mr. Fuzzy Bone is always a comforting pillow. Ely to Phoenix......

Rest stop, junction of US93 and NV318
There was some critter squawking in the bushes 
In Vegas we stopped for a stretch and to get something to eat. Had a lousy, expensive breakfast at Marie Calendars, gassed up and headed for Phoenix. Stayed on US93, the bridge over the Colorado river is done. Divided highway now from Boulder City all the way to Kingman. Wow, what a difference.

Lake Mead just before Hoover Dam and the new bridge.
Our next stretch stop was in a tiny town in Arizona call Wikieup. Finally the sun was warm enough to know you were in the southwest. The little roadside business was certainly colorful, but like so many gaudy things these days, disappointing. They sold bumper stickers proudly proclaiming that Wikieup has more assholes per capita than anywhere else in the world. Really, I'm not making this up. I declined to purchase one.

Uhhh, well, OK

Geez Dad, are we almost there?
One final stop in one of the nicest formal rest areas you have ever seen. It is located just south of Wickenburg, AZ along the Hassayampa River. It is a perfect Sonoran Desert setting, welcoming all to the beauty of this special place.

Three days, 1500 miles - thank god for XM radio. More pictures soon of Lady in the desert.


Kari in WeHo said...

Sounds like the travels have been interesting so far. I hope you make it safely


JackDaddy said...

Oh that reminded me of when I would do 1600 miles in 2 days with my dog. Such fun!! :)

Mogley G. Retriever said...

Boy does that sound like a wonderful trip. Our family thinks Ely is a great place to use as a base to explore from. Glad you got off of the pavement and got to see some back country.

Mogley G. Retriever

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip! We love the pictures! We have never been to that part of the country and always have wanted to go there! Thanks for taking us along!! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Samantha said...

Wow! Super trip/super LONG trip, but you made it wonderfully fun! We did part of that route just a year ago from SF to Sun Valley, ID, and... stopped for the night in Wells! Enjoyed looking at and reading about where you stayed far more than experiencing our dumb motel! But we were in a terrific hurry and didn't have Sammie on that journey. But you're right on about the boring landscape! Lonely road and it seemed like there were lots of prisons off of 80 in NV! Look forward to the desert pix! That pillow looks so comfy!
Sammie, Avalon and Ozzie

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...


It makes us long for The Return of Trek to The Tundra!

Great sky shots AND of khourse GREAT Lady pikhs!


The Bumpass Hounds said...

When dad was in the Navy he had to move cross-country about 6 times. None of us were around then. Mom took Rusty and penny cross country from Fredericksburg to Kings Beach, CA on Lake Tahoe. The daad flew out and drove back with them down to Reno and the Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, ABQ, OKC MEM (Graceland) and then home.

Meeka said...

Enjoyed seeing the pictures, feels like I was taking a road trip too.

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Someday I would like to go on a road trip. Great photos. You're back to sunny n warm PHX ... I am a bit jealous. I am wishing for more sunshine n warm weather. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Karawang Traveling said...

interesting article .. in accordance with my studies .. thanks
best regards

retriever said...

Lovely fotos in your blog of yours golden, greeting from Belgium, Louisette + Cerise and Zitablue golden

Louisette said...

Best regard from Belgium to you

Remington said...

Awesome pics! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. Sounds like a fun trip. And yes, thank God for XM radio is right!!! BOL!


Jill and Gary said...

Wow enjoyed hearing about your trip! Thats a long way to go!!! Whew! Hugs Joey and Kealani
Please be careful!!

Stinky Princess said...

Howdy KT!

I'm Penelope, a native Angelena! I love your blog and reading about all your adventures!

Please follow my blog! Hope to see more updates from you!


1000 Goldens said...

What a great adventure you had Lady, and we enjoyed the architecture shots too. Old neon signs are so cool :)

Ms. ~K said...

Hi Lady,
Sending you lots of licks and sniffs on Valentine's Day! Hope your dad will make a new post soon!
I miss seeing your lovely furface!

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