Things We’re Glad We Missed & Things We’re Glad We Didn’t

Our big adventure begins. To date, we have had the rig for just over a year but the longest we’ve gone on a trip is about 7 days. Our latest trip will be an exciting 50 days that takes us from Phoenix, AZ to Wisconsin and back around again.

We set out on Saturday for a short drive to Flagstaff, AZ where we stayed overnight to visit the ‘rents. While there, we were treated to a rare site.

While the area gets a lot of elk that come to visit, this young deer was quite a treat.

We left Flagstaff and headed to Bluewater Lake State Park in Prewett, NM. 
On the way, we stopped for lunch on the Najavo Indian Reservation near the Petrified Forest. We’ve both visited the Petrified Forest in our younger days so we didn’t take the time to stop but did appreciate seeing the amazing petrified trees at the local stop.

Upon arrival at Bluewater, a ranger stopped us to ask if we had reservations and waved us through when we said yes. Unfortunately, the park did not have a lot of signage to instruct us where to go and it was already starting to rain. Once we made a few loops around, we found our space which was, initially 13″ out of level! We managed to find a spot that was only 10″ out of level and could adjust from there. 

After a quick, one night stop, we were on  to Clayton Lake State Park.

Clayton Lake is a bit off the beaten path but offers a special treat, one of the most extensive dinosaur trackways in North America.

Whether Jurassic Park is your favorite Dinosaur/Human encounter or Land of the Lost is more your speed, these prints are a good reminder that humans wouldn’t have had a chance against these beasts.

The trackways weren’t discovered until the early 1980’s when a flood cleared away silt on the spillway of the damn that was erected to create Clayton Lake in the 1950’s.

We also enjoyed some kayaking and fishing while appreciating the beauty of this State Park.

Then it was on to Dodge City, Kansas. Tombstone, AZ and the OK Corral are normal parts of every Arizona child’s education. However, learning more about the history of Dodge City, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday connected some of the dots. 

The Boothill Museum was wonderfully done with interactive exhibits and the obligatory cheesy gun fight in the street. 

There are some things we were grateful to have missed.

And others that proved that SIZE MATTERS! Like the conastoga wagons that were 18′ long and 11′ high!

Along with some interesting facts learned. Like the fact that both a glass of whiskey and a cartidge (one shot) for a Winchester rifle cost 10cents so, if you were low on cash, you could trade one cartridge, aka a shot, for some whiskey.

Or that words like hammock, hurricane, barbecue, and chocolate all came from Native American languages.

Then we were on to Kansas City, Missouri. 

We had planned to catch a Kansas City Royals baseball game but the timing didn’t work out and, it turns out, we are glad it didn’t since the heat index at the game was well over 100 degrees!

One of the highlights for me was getting to photograph an abandoned “castle” I’d been looking forward to for some time. You can see more of those photos and read the story I wrote to go with it here.

After some bowling practice, Jeff and I headed to the Arabian Steamboat Museum.

This museum highlights one of the many sunken steamboats along the Missouri river. The recovery of this ship yielded the largest collection of pre-civil war era items anywhere in the world. 

Even the pickles were supposed to still be edible. Now that’s some great preservation!

This ship carried 200 tons of merchandise for towns and stores further up the Missouri river. The loss of the ship caused at least one town to close because they didn’t have the wears they would need to survive.

Next up is St. Louis, Missouri and our first MLB game of the trip.