On the road again. It’s mid-October, we are smack dab in the middle of the US, with plans to trick-or-treat in Los Angeles. So, you think we travel fast now? Haha. Saying goodbye to Kansas and speeding thru Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to get to California.
At the age of 2, Luka has been to a lot of states. 46 to be exact. Last time we came through Arkansas and Oklahoma, Luka was not yet born. We have been to all of the other contiguous states with him since so these next 2 states will make him just like the rest of us.
This is Pea Ridge National Military Park. A Civil War battle was fought here that turned out to be a crucial one for the Union. It preserved Missouri for the Union and turned out to be pivotal moment for the war.
Pea Ridge is just east of Bentonville, Arkansas. It is a part of Arkansas that we’ve never visited before but have always wanted to. But as I mentioned at the end of the last post, we need to hustle to get back to California. I think leaving places left to explore is actually good because it gives us a reason to come back later.
We made a pretty fast dash across Oklahoma after dipping down to I-40 from Arkansas passing Tulsa in the night. Before we knew it, we were in Texas. This is the vintage Route 66 Conoco gas station in Shamrock, Texas. If you’ve never been to Shamrock but find this familiar, it’s because Ramone’s Body Shop in Pixar’s Cars is a near exact replica of this building. Today this has been completely refurbished and serves as the visitor center and Chamber of Commerce for Shamrock.
We posed for a similar shot when we came through here on our first big cross country trip in 2010.
We spend the night at a nearby truck stop and came back in the morning to scope out some sweet Route 66 swag.
And to finally take pictures of this place during the day.
Heading west through Amarillo, we made the obligatory stop at the Cadillac Ranch. Created as an art installation in 1974, people are encouraged to spray paint on the cars and bottles of spray paint are often left on the premises by others to use.
The paint on these cars are so thick they are probably going to be preserved forever.
I am sure this Mali Mish tag is already buried under another inch of spray paint.
Passing Amarillo, Texas, it doesn’t take long before we got into New Mexico. From here we are only 2 states away from California. One of the gems of Route 66 is right along the way in Tucumcari, New Mexico. And one of the best examples of Route 66 hitory is The Blue Swallow Motel.
Here she is in all her glory. The Blue Swallow Motel is one of the longest continuously operated motels on old Route 66. Makes me want to ditch the Airstream for just one night.
After Tucumcari, we rolled into good ol’ ABQ! We missed the Balloon Fiesta this year but the friendships we made at the last one got us invited to spend the day with our friends Markus and Felicia.
Yeah that is another Airstream back there. We met up with our buddy Kyle as he is making his way to Phoenix. He will be storing his Airstream there for a few months while he rents a few houses in Hawaii for the winter. We’ve talk about the possibility of Airstreaming in Hawaii but it just doesn’t make sense financially and logistically. As a single guy, it doesn’t take much for him to make a trip like that happen. We’ll see how we will make Hawaii happen for the kids when that time comes.
Markus’ inlaws have been long time natives to the Albuquerque area. They just recently opened a restaurant in town and everything they serve grows from the piece of land directly behind the building.
They are having a little harvest festival here with activities for the kids and invited us to stop by.
Dia de los Muertos cookies.
The little one is Markus and Felicia’s baby girl Eva. Last time we saw her she was very pregnant.
This awesome vintage truck was on their property and would make a sweet tow vehicle for a vintage rig.
On our way into Arizona, we stopped for another visit at Petrified Forest National Park. This is another one of the NPS sites that we’ve visited but did not earn a badge at. We are fixing that today. Another Junior Ranger badge for this crew from our beloved National Park Services (NPS).
As we are headed around the loop into park, we had to figure out exactly where we wanted to go.
One side of the sky had some pretty gloomy looking clouds so we knew we had to decide fast.
We decided to drive right into the storm. We need a good wash anyways so this will be good enough.
We didn’t stay in Arizona for long and waved good bye to our friend Kyle as we finally made our way back into California. We know we will be spending a lot of time this winter in Arizona as usual as its deserts have been our winter home for the last several years.
More than 10,000 miles later and numerous states we are back on the California coast. We found ourselves at our old stomping grounds near Santa Barbara to meet up with fellow travelers Patrick and Ali Schulte of Bumfuzzle.
The Bumfuzzles have been on the road for more years than we have. They started without kids and have done some pretty epic adventures. They have been in Minnesota staying with family as they restored this vintage Travco motorhome and now they are on their way to Mexico.
They have 2 kids now, Ouest and Lowe. Lowe has this awesome dump truck that Luka fell in love with.
It’s always great to camp next to other full time families.
Hello Pacific Ocean! It’s lovely to see you again.
I hate to say it but it is true. West coast is the best coast.
Ouest and Ava happened to own the same bathing suit so they decided to dress like twins for a beach day.
Lowe giving Luka a lesson on loading a dump truck.
We spent a couple of days here and as usual, we extended our time here by taking advantage of the day use parking lot.
The day use areas are way better than the camp sites. We were right on the beach and got to spend the entire day here.
Welcome back, Yoda!
Not a bad office view for the day.
Who needs a house when we can live like this?
We are officially back to California from our loop to the northeast just in time to spend Halloween and Thanksgiving with family. We are thankful for friendships new and old and the life we have created for ourselves.
over and out,