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ARCHIVE- Guac Road Trip - California July 2006

The Guac Goes to California

July 14, 2006 - Day 1

Due to my mom`s health issues, I decided to come out to CA and spend a month staying with her. That means putting the Guac back to work lugging me, my son, and our stuff to California again.

The only preparation I gave the Guac was an oil change and a timing and dwell check. I wanted to replace the shift stop plate so get rid of the clunky shifter, and get my hands on some bottom tinwork (the tin under the pushrod tubes), but I couldn`t get either before my trip. I called Painter`s Grinding in Denver for the shift stop plate. The guy answering the phone said, "We don`t have anything for your bus." It was obvious he hadn`t even tried to look it up since the plate is shared with virtually ALL the bugs. I wish there was a parts place near me in Colorado worth a damn.

We left Friday, July 14, at about 1:30pm. I saw an orange bay westy on Arapahoe Blvd before getting on I-25. A good start!

Mileage at the start: 42709

Regular food, drink, stretch stops every hour or so. Then as we crossed Raton Pass I saw the "Welcome to New Mexico" sign and decided it was worth a pic:

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As we drove through New Mexico, we were treated to a wonderful light show. The clouds were firing off lightning every minute or two all the way to Albuquerque! Stunning!

We stayed in a Comfort Inn. Not bad. Not great but not bad. $75 per night.

July 15, 2006 - Day 2

We got kind of a late start, actually hit the road around 10am. There was a black bay with a white hard top that drove by while I was getting gas.

Stopped along I-40 at a rest stop that had some Indian crafts sellers. I shot mostly film but here are a couple shots from my digicam too:

We got to the Arizona Divide around 5pm. I quickly got us checked in the Route 66 Inn and made a bee-line for the Grand Canyon. We stopped at a gas station on the way and asked about hours and such since it was after 6pm. It seems you have to buy a pass at a machine, many of the gas stations and stores have these machines. Cost? $25.


This is a National Park. Public property. Why should I pay $25 to pop into the national park to take a look at the Grand Canyon? To make it worse, there are tons of sponsors: The visitor`s center is now the "National Geographic Visitor`s Center". And it has an IMAX theater. With these sponsorships, shouldn`t they be lowering prices not charging half what Disneyland costs?

I was so irritated I turned around and went back to the motel.

I really like Williams, AZ. It`s a cute small town with lots of Route 66 history. Check it out if you get a chance. But avoid the Route 66 Inn.

The rate was kind of high for what it was. $55 per night. I stayed there my last trip through Williams in February 05, and I remembered it being kind of skanky, but its history (built in the 30`s) made up for it. Or so I thought. Here`s a pic of the room taken the following morning:

My son found the unique way they level the mattresses:

The carpet was disgusting and lumpy, the walls in the bathroom were rotting, etc. I wanted this motel to work so badly. Sigh. Never again. There`s a place just up the street called "The Lodge" that I may try next time I go through there.

Most interesting bug splat:

July 16, 2006 - Day 3

We got out of the motel at 8am. Thinking we were ahead of the game, we stopped at Jack in the Box for breakfast. It took over an hour. They were busy, and only had 3 people working. And those 3 people were pretty clueless.

Back on the road at 9:30 we`re heading West, expecting to arrive in Placentia, CA, around 5 to drop my son off at his friend`s. Until we hit traffic in the Mojave Desert.

Temps were around 120. It was hot. Really brutally scorchingly hot. And ADOT is working on the bridges over the various washes along the way. Traffic got choked down to one lane in two separate places. Took over an hour to go 10 miles, finally clearing up a little while before Ludlow, CA.

Did I mention it was hot? And being in this traffic means no wind. It was hot.

We stopped in Ludlow for gas and lunch. Both gas stations were mobbed due to the traffic. I got gas and popped across the street to the Ludlow Coffee Shop. Walking to the door we saw the "B" rating from the health inspector. The infractions were poor utensil sterilization and incorrect food temperatures. Oh oh.

I had a BLT and a piece of Coconut Cream Pie. My son had chicken enchiladas. The food was good. No problems at all. It was nice and cold inside there too. I didn`t want to go back outside...

Back on the road, we made excellent time from there all the way to Placentia, arriving at my son`s friend`s house at a little after 6pm.