Well, we’re movin’ on up!!

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As indicated in my previous blog post, we are selling our Serro Scotty HiLander travel trailer. We are having growing pains (or at least, the beginning of them), and it’s a good time for us to move on up…to a bigger travel trailer!

We started out with our first travel trailer being a small T@B, which was good for a couple, but yet we actually quickly outgrew that, even without additional family!

Camping at Little Farm on the River - Rising Sun, Indiana

Just switching the bed back and forth to a dinette, orchestrating who would get dressed first, leave the trailer, so the other person could make the bed back into a dinette and get dressed…

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

And not to mention: no bathroom! But we made “do”…

Our "outhouse" with Thetford Porta-Potti

After buying the T@B in September 2009 and camping throughout the fall and winter into 2010, we realized that while we loved camping and the T@B, it was too small to be comfortable (yeah, I know it’s not roughing it compared to tent camping, but in the RVing spectrum, it is!).

After researching options that would suit us (roomy, with a separate bed and dinette, bath/shower, etc.), we settled upon the 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander, which fit all the criteria we wanted and was retro and very unique! It was (and still is) a great little trailer, but there is a certain irony about buying a small camper and within a few weeks discovering that there will be a grandchild coming (our first!). We knew the Scotty would have some room for him or her because of the two dinettes, both converting into beds, so no matter.

Indian Lakes - Batesville, Indiana

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Our Scotty's new custom Route 66 shades

Sure enough, a year later, in June 2011, we took our 4-month old grandson on his first camping trip. Being a happy baby, he loved everything…so of course, we didn’t know whether he’d grow to love camping. We hoped he would, and his enthusiasm for our little Scotty grew as we continued to take him camping (or even sleeping in it at home too – come on, RVers…we know you do too…). As he became mobile throughout 2012 and started getting into everything, we decided to hold off camping with him for a while. Obviously, kids don’t always “settle down” for a while, but he was at an in between time where it was hard to keep him from getting into everything, so he was relegated to driveway camping (subsequently referred to as garage camping when we built a garage suited to house the Scotty).

Fast forward to 2015. Much better weather than 2014 – so far, not as much snow or subzero temps afforded us the ability to get the Scotty out a couple of times. Still a bit chilly to take a young child (he’s almost 4 now), so it was just Pat and me. And as we found out last summer, we are expecting grandson number 2 in March! So our thoughts this trip revolved around envisioning us and two little guys in the trailer. Pat and I were feeling a bit crowded ourselves…not to mention adding my grandson (this is going to be the year he finally gets to resume camping with us!). But now, to add a baby to the tiny trailer too? I just couldn’t imagine how we were all going to fit, plus our stuff…and we don’t even bring that much! But kids and babies just necessitate so much stuff of their own.

As an aside, since becoming RVers, we have also thought much more about our future retirement plans, and whether we would spend them fulltiming or part time/snowbirding / extended traveling. Either way, we want the flexibility to see more of the country than we can now and some sort of RV will be a part of that experience. Most of our visits to RV shows involve looking for the rig of the future, and ironically, we just made several visits to the January RV show looking mainly at rigs for that purpose.

On the way home, I had the idea of updating to a larger travel trailer now…not as large as the one we’d think about in the future, but large enough to comfortably accommodate us, the grandsons, and even my daughter if she’d like to join us. Too bad, we hadn’t looked at too many in that size range at the shows. I didn’t say anything to Pat about it, and then he suddenly posed the very question to me! I laughed and told him I was thinking the same thing!

As we talked about it, we knew that because we’re debt free, and in a fairly frugal mode, we’d not spend alot of money or incur too much debt. Debt makes me really bristle!! So we needed something fairly inexpensive and even more so, that we would sell our Serro Scotty HiLander. We absolutely adore that trailer (and I’m sure many RVers know this feeling of attachment well). We had it customized to suit our imagination, and even built a garage with dimensions that allowed it to fit inside, protected from the elements. But to justify the upsize, I need to sell it to reduce the new loan, and to minimize maintenance, insurance, etc. Just can’t see having two trailers. So here’s hoping that there’s a buyer out there to LOVE our Scotty as much as we do.

So on to the new trailer. We really struggled with the idea of a generic box, but when it comes down to it, it’s going to be the memories and experiences – the family time together – that are most important. We still love the cool factor of our Scotty and always will, but we need to move up and be comfortable. We looked at many brands, dealers, styles, etc. and found a layout that we liked and will work for us.

As to brand, the Shasta is an iconic brand, though the trailer itself is modern in style and design, as well as standard RV materials. We settled upon the Shasta Oasis 25BH model, which we ordered from Mt. Comfort RV – great working with them and negotiating on a good price.

2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH

2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH


2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH

Shasta 25BH Floorplan

2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH

This is the same interior fabric, countertop and floor materials as we selected. The only differences from this model and the one we ordered, are that we added the following options: a full top bunk, instead of the single; oven, exterior shower, and aluminum wheels. 2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH
2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH

2015 Shasta Oasis 25BH

Our new Shasta Oasis should arrive in late March or early April, so for now we’re not camping (yeah, we do camp in winter and enjoy it!). And the irony is that the weather this winter isn’t as bad as last year’s Polar Vortex and constant snow, which scarcely enabled us to camp.

Change can be tough in some ways, but great in others. We’re sad to see the Scotty go, but know its new owners will enjoy her very much. We’ll enjoy fun times with our grandsons in the Shasta Oasis…and it’s always best to enjoy life, no matter what!

Pat & Jennifer

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*SOLD* 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander Travel Trailer

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***WE HAVE NOW SOLD OUR SERRO SCOTTY HILANDER TRAVEL TRAILER***

Due to a growing family tree (one grandson now and his little brother is coming soon), we are selling our beloved Serro Scotty HiLander and upgrading to a larger trailer with a bunkhouse, etc. We just ordered a 2015 Shasta Oasis and are very excited to get it.

That said, if I could keep and maintain two trailers, we’d keep the Scotty…but we’re working toward early retirement, so it makes more financial sense to sell. So, we are looking for a good home for our Scotty.

Indian Lakes - Batesville, Indiana

At the bottom of this post is the standard information from Serro Scotty’s website with regard to the HiLander. Even though this model is currently listed on their site, the Serro Scotty HiLander has not been manufactured since 2012.

We ordered our 2010 Serro Scotty from Kerola Campers in April 2010 and picked it up in June 2010 from the factory, Sierra Interiors in Bristol, Indiana. Here is a link to photos we took that day during a tour with the warranty manager, John. These photos will give you some insight as to the construction.

When we ordered it, we requested a few changes to the interior materials to make it look as retro on the inside as the outside. We selected a neutral fabric for the seat cushions, because we swapped the standard beige curtains for ones we had custom made with a Route 66 theme (fabric called Historic Highway by Alexander Henry). We also had the curtains made with room darkening / blackout fabric to prevent fading from UVs, as well as to allow us to sleep in late if we want to!

We requested black & white checkered floor, as can be seen in the photo of the front dinette below.

Our Scotty's new custom Route 66 shades

Here is a closeup of the fabric, Historic Highway, used for the curtains and pillows.

Historic Highway Fabric - Alexander Henry

We also requested aqua “boomerang” by Formica and aluminum trim for the sink and dinette countertops.

Formica Sample: Aqua Boomerang

Our Serro Scotty is the floor plan on the right, which is the model that has a large U-shaped dinette in the back (rather than a bed). Of course, the dinette converts into a FULL bed, and we have actually primarily kept it in that configuration, rather than switching back and forth. for two of us, we have used the front dinette to eat. Depending upon your needs, you can switch it back and forth, however you want.

Serro Scotty HiLander - Floorplan

Here is the rear dinette configuration (which was taken with the original beige curtains).
2010 Serro Scotty HiLander
And here in bed configuration.

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander

The front dinette also converts into a single bed, and there is storage underneath the booth closest to the door (which is shown in the photo toward the beginning of this post).

There is also a shelf and storage behind the other side of the front dinette, as shown in the photo below, and behind the dinette cushion.

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander

In addition to the custom interior materials, our HiLander differs from other new models, in that we had the factory add a 110 outlet underneath the front dinette – in the photo above, taken when ours was brand new, it’s not there, but we had it installed just to the right of the converter box. Much more convenient for charging devices, using a laptop, a fan, or small appliance – we have cooked using our Griddler (grill/griddle/panini) or a crock pot, or using our Keurig. Nice addition!!

The overhead cabinet (above the rear dinette) also coverts into a single bed, if that works for you. It wasn’t necessary for us, and I used the cabinet space instead. I currently keep my items in “Thirty-one” bags that fit very well inside the cabinets. We will have the mattresses back in the Scotty for its new owner.

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander
Kitchen features a microwave, two burner cooktop and sink. There’s an overhead cabinet and one below the sink, as well as a bank of drawers, and a fold-up counter top on the side. There’s a GFCI outlet, spice rack, and range hood fan which vents to the outside. We also have a cover that fits over the stovetop to use that space better.

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander

The thermostat, hot water heater switch, and tank / battery monitor panel is located here too.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

There is also a drawer underneath the 3.0 cu ft fridge. Speaking of the fridge, I requested that the fridge be a 3-way model, so this one runs on battery, electric and propane. I have not used it in propane mode, only battery and electric. There is a freezer compartment inside. The air conditioner is located there, and below that is an access panel which has a small storage area (I put an RV broom and brush/dustpan there).

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander

It is equipped with a boomerang antenna and cable TV hookup; however, we did not add a TV ourselves – but there is space for one, along with cable input on the inside and a 12 V outlet.

The HiLander features a wet bath (shower & toilet combo). See the specs below for the tank capacities. However, I see that the specs do not reference the hot water heater, which is a standard feature on the HiLander. It’s a standard 6 gallon, DSI gas water heater, and configured to be able to be bypassed during winterization (no antifreeze should ever go into the hot water heater!).

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander

We ordered the deluxe package, which includes 5,000 BTU air conditioner (shown above), Fantastic Fan, and 12,000 BTU furnace. Other than testing it, we actually haven’t used the furnace. Instead, we use a small electric space heater when we winter camp.

In keeping with the aqua/turquoise color scheme, we coordinated our new Keurig Mini in turquoise with the Scotty…someone even commented that we’re “glamping.” LOL I never thought of it that way, but if you think this retro cool Scotty is glamping, go for it! :)

The little model Scotty (balsa wood) will be included with the trailer. The turquoise Keurig is negotiable. :)

Serro Scotty and our matching Keurig Mini

Exterior features a diamond plate rock guard, front window cover, storage (accessible also from the rear dinette). Bumper storage for the sewer hoses.

2010 Serro Scotty HiLander

We purchased the coordinating aqua striped 3-pole awning to go with the trailer as well.

Salamonie Reservoir - Lost Bridge SRA - Campsite 239

 Here is a video we made of the Serro Scotty HiLander:

Here is a slideshow of more photos.
If you are on an iOS device or the slide show isn’t visible, click here to view all of the photos on my Flickr site.

FROM THE SERRO SCOTTY WEBSITE

Here is a link to the Serro Scotty brochure.

HiLander

Legendary style meets everyday life. Stand apart from the crowd with this timeless classic.

All the features of home are found in your HiLander. A shower/toilet combination saves those late night hikes. It is designed to comfortably sleep four with a single front and full sized rear bed with an overhead bunk.

Safety is always first with a full frame underneath, fire extinguisher, escape hatch and a deadbolt door lock.

Perfect for family adventures! Standards include; sink, stove, furnace, refrigerator, hot water heater and spare tire.

Add even more creature comforts with optional A/C, microwave, awning and TV/DVD.

HiLander Specs Interior Plan Choices Appliances
Total Length …………….15’9”
Width ………………………85”
Exterior Height ………….92”
Interior Height ………….73”
Hitch Weight …………….280lbs
Dry Weight ………………2490lbs
GVWR …………………….3500lbs
Option 1:
Standard (u-shaped dinette) (OUR MODEL!)
Option 2:
Rear Bed (inner spring mattress)
  • 3.0 cu ft refrigerator
  • 2 burner stove
  • 2.0 gpm water pump
  • *12,000 btu furnace
    *not standard in basic
Exterior  Interior Options
  • Aluminum Exterior
  • Aluminum sidewall frame
  • Full steel frame
  • 4 stabilizer jacks
  • Baggage door
  • Rock Guard front
  • Electric Brakes w/breakaway switch
  • Exterior 110v receptacle
  • 7-way plug
  • Safety chains
  • 20’ 30amp detachable power cord
  • City water hook up
  • 20lb propane bottle
  • Spare tire
  • 22 gal fresh water
  • 12 gal grey water
  • 8 gal black water
  • Premium Vinyl Flooring
  • Shower & toilet combo
  • Power vent hood
  • 30 Amp fuse panel and converter
  • Window curtains
  • Cable TV connection
  • TV antenna
  • Oak Cabinetry
  • 14” x 14” Exhaust fan
  • Monitor panel
  • Bathroom mirror
  • Spice rack
  • Overhead bunk bed
  • 15” TV-DVD w/swivel mount
  • Window shades (standard w/curtains)
  • Awning 8’ retro type
  • Continental tire cover

Deluxe Pkg Standards (WE HAVE THIS OPTION)

  • 5,000 btu air conditioner
  • Microwave oven
  • Fantastic fan

My Cousin Vinny Filming Locations

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My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny: A Very Brief Summary

The 1992 comedy hit, My Cousin Vinny, stars Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Fred Gwynne, Ralph Macchio, and Mitchell Whitfield. The movie is about two friends from New York traveling to California to attend college. Billy Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield) head south to take advantage of warmer weather in January, and while in rural Alabama, they stop at a convenience store to stock up on food for the trip. After Billy inadvertently shoplifts a can of tuna fish, they are stopped by local law enforcement, armed with a shotgun, who orders them out of the car with their hands up. And for only shoplifting a cheap can of tuna fish!

A series of mixups about the stolen tuna fish leads them to unknowingly “confess” to the murder of the store clerk, which occurred after they left. Luckily (?), Billy finds that there is a lawyer in the family, his very inexperienced cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci), who arrives in Alabama with his flamboyant, foul-mouthed girlfriend, Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei). Crime, drama, comedy, fish out of water story…My Cousin Vinny has it all. Great movie, loads of laughs. If you haven’t seen it, watch it!! Here is the original trailer from the film. I remember seeing it on TV and was pretty excited to see it when it came out.

Locations

I’ll be presenting these grouped by location and not necessarily as a progression or storyboard of the film.

Georgia State Road 83 at Nolan Store Road – South of Bostwick, Georgia

The opening is a montage of various locations and scenery around rural Georgia around Monticello, Eatonton, etc. The two locations below were very close to each other, but depicted as being in a different order…pretty much like the whole thing, how various pieces are edited together into one seamless scene…but when you’re driving around and photographing it, attempting to figure it all out, it’s funny how you piece it all together as the filmmakers did.

My Cousin Vinny Filming Location

This location with the “FREE MANURE” sign in the movie is just north of the house above.My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Sac-O-Suds Convenience Store, State Road 16, Monticello, Georgia

Here, Billy and Stan are approaching the Sac-O-Suds Convenience Store to stop and get more snacks for the road trip.

The Sac-O-Suds is located along Georgia State Road 16, at the Ocmulgee River. In this movie, I liked how the filmmakers changed the state road signs, retaining all of the correct state road numbers, but changing the shape to Alabama instead of Georgia.

Funny enough, when I first researched the filming locations for My Cousin Vinny back in the fall of 2008, I read the Sac-O-Suds was opened, so I was excited to visit it. It was actually closed and had been for at least a couple of years. In the eight years that have passed, the store remained closed, was in disrepair, but happily – has since been rebuilt and is now operating again.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

The entrance to the Sac-O-Suds Convenience Store, located along Georgia State Road 16, at the Ocmulgee River.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Another exterior view of the Sac-O-Suds.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Billy and Stan debating brand vs. generic canned goods as well as the best source of protein…beans vs. tuna fish.

On the bottom, half of the Road Trip Memories duo, Pat, checks out the canned goods at the Sac-O-Suds.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Billy picking up some items from the Sac-O-Suds, inadvertently placing a can of tuna fish in his pocket, which he forgets to pay for…a simple act which causes a huge misunderstanding and results in his accidental confession to murder and sets the entire plot of the movie in motion.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Carrying too much in your hands at the store. I do it all the time. I go in, thinking I’m going to get one or two items and don’t need a cart and end up with my arms full of stuff. Be careful if you put anything in your pockets that you might forget to pay for!

Shoplifting a can of tuna fish at the Sac-O-Suds

It’s never a good idea to shortchange someone on their Slush Puppy. Fill it up, please.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

We had a really nice conversation with Cary, one of the new owners of the Sac-O-Suds. She was very excited to have had the opportunity to purchase and essentially rebuild the store. It was in a fairly deplorable condition and had to be rebuilt. They did a great job and locals and tourists alike are excited to visit the Sac-O-Suds again.

We purchased a number of items somewhat matching Billy & Stan’s, including carmel popcorn and potato chips. I passed on the cookies and Dinty Moore beef stew this time. We bought bought Powerade and bottled water to drink, but very soon, she said they will be putting in a Slush Puppy machine!

Cary - Owner of the Sac-O-Suds Convenience Store, Monticello, Georgia

Leaving the Sac-O-Suds.
My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Pay no attention to that can of tuna fish. OK…we confess…we didn’t pay for the can of tuna fish! But we didn’t shoot the clerk. Honestly, we didn’t.

My Cousin Vinny Filming Location

Across the street from the Sac-O-Suds were the trailers two of the prosecution witnesses, Mrs. Riley (needs thicker glasses) and Mr. Tipton (whose trailer sat on a mystical spot on earth where the laws of physics ceased to exist, thereby allowing boiling water to soak into a grit faster).

The trailers are no longer there.
My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

A view of Georgia State Road 16 from the Sac-O-Suds. The parking lot is basically the same, but has a few changes. The gas pumps are gone and the landscaped area at the front is different. That was an important location in the movie, as this is where tire marks were shown, having been made by the murderers’ car. Mona Lisa Vito’s photo of the tire marks was the key piece of evidence that proved, with out a doubt, that Billy and Stan’s 1964 metallic mint green Buick Skylark could have never made those marks without Positraction and an independent rear suspension, which were only available on the 1963 Pontiac Tempest.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Vinny interviews Mrs. Riley at her trailer across the street from the Sac-O-Suds. She’s not wearing her glasses!

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Monticello, Georgia (Town Square)

The following scenes were all filmed in and around the town square in Monticello, Georgia.

When Vinny Gambini and fiance Mona Lisa Vito arrive in Wahzoo City, and Vinny checks out what could be causing the problem with their car.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Vinny teases Lisa for “sticking out like a sore thumb” in the south, while he fits in much better with his cowboy boots. Her classic retort: “Yeah, you blend.”  LOL

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

As Vinny looks to see what the problem is with the car, a local explains that he has mud in the tires, causing the wheels to be out of balance. “Let me ax you a question. How do you get mud into the tires?”

We know…Vinny’s Caddy is much cooler than our Nissan Sentra.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

The Jasper County Courthouse, all exterior scenes were actually filmed here. Many interior scenes were filmed inside this courthouse; however, the courtroom scenes were filmed at a set in Covington.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Mitchell’s Department Store was the only store in town that had a suit that was made of cloth and was suitably “lawerly” for the leather-clad Vinny Gambini to wear to court.

In the film, the store is larger than it is today. In the bottom photo, the storefront on the right side is Mitchell’s Department Store.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Here is a photo of the sign over the door of Mitchell’s Department Store.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

After Vinny’s one and only suit gets accidentally thrown into the mud, they find there is no 1 hour dry cleaner and the department store is closed “with the flu.” Vinny desperately needs a suit; he cannot wear his leather pants and jacket to court or else he’ll get thrown back into jail by the judge who views such dress as an insult to both him and the integrity of his court.

Lisa spots this secondhand shop and buys Vinny a new suit. It IS made of cloth and it’s hilarious. Unfortunately, the judge is not amused. A nail salon is now in the location.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Look at that ridiculous thing!

vinnysuit

Here is another scene of Vinny and Lisa driving, this time they are on their way to prison to visit Billy and Stan. Again, note how the filmmakers cleverly changed the state road signs to depict Alabama instead of Georgia. However, the signs below it still point to Georgia towns, Macon and Eatonton, etc. This is again the town square in Monticello, Georgia.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

This was taken from the same location above, as the camera pans while they are driving on Forsyth Street (GA 83).

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Lisa and Vinny are discussing how to continue to hold off Judge Haller from finding out that there are no records for Vinny Gambini in the court system, and that the prestigious lawyer’s name he provided, Jerry Gallo, is dead.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

On the courthouse steps, Stan thanks Vinny for defending them and apologizes for doubting his abilities based on his total lack of litigation experience.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

After all charges are dismissed for Billy and Stan, Vinny is trying to leave as quickly as possible before the judge reveals his lack of court experience in New York. To Vinny’s surprise, the judge praises him for his great trial work, as well as his humility, after receiving a glowing commendation from Vinny’s mentor, Judge Molloy.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Dave’s Bar-B-Q and Seafood is now Dave’s Bar-B-Que and Soul Food, located not far from the courthouse square in Monticello, Georgia. This is the location where Vinny and Lisa took a break to eat while Vinny is trying to think of anything to help Billy and Stan, because things are not looking good by this time. Lisa is desperate to help, and they argue after Vinny yells at her that she can’t help.

The thing I like best about this movie is that not only she does help, she is the pivotal person in doing so. She took the critical photo of the tire marks at the Sac-O-Suds, which Vinny then looked at, realizing he could prove Billy and Stan’s innocence. He puts Lisa on the witness stand, testifying as an expert witness in general automotive knowledge, as to how Billy & Stan’s Skylark could never have made the tire marks. She also got in touch with Vinny’s Brooklyn mentor, Judge Molloy, who spoke to Judge Haller about Vinny.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Maddox Street & 7 Island Road, Jasper County, Georgia

This photo was unplanned, and I had no screen capture with me when I took it. We were intently searching for a scene we DID have a screenshot for, but couldn’t find. As we drove all over the area, I spotted this area of trees and since I have seen the movie countless times, I knew it looked familiar, from the scene where District Attorney Trotter and Vinny go hunting together.

After returning home and watching the movie, I was happy to verify that I found another location…score! Good thing too, since we never did find the one we were actually looking for!

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Lee Arrendale State Prison, Alto, Georgia

The prison where Billy and Stan are taken while they await trial is the Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Georgia. For maximum authenticity, scenes were actually filmed around and inside the prison.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

No Rest for the Weary – Vinny and Lisa’s Various Lodging

General Putnam Motel

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Susie Agnes Hotel / Town Hall – Bostwick, Georgia

This location served as the second hotel where Lisa and Vinny stayed, and yet again, they are unable to get a decent night’s sleep; this time, due to a pig slaughterhouse across the street.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

A different view of the Susie Agnes Hotel / Bostwick City Hall.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

And another view…

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

State Road 11, Mansfield, Georgia

Along State Road 11 in Mansfield is a business called AirPower (along the left side), which served as the location for the Wahzoo City Hotel, the third and final hotel where Lisa and Vinny stayed. Yet again plagued with sound issues, this hotel was nearby a train track with a train that went by very early every morning, rattling the hotel and all of its contents, including the drinking glasses in the room, which amusingly shattered as they crashed to the floor each morning. Maybe it’s just me, but I would have removed them from the room and used plastic or wrapped them up in towels or something.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

At the same location, across the street, is a building which in the movie was the bar / pool hall “Pool and Chicken”.

My Cousin Vinny - Filming Location

Here is a map of our complete road trip, including all of the locations for My Cousin Vinny and The Fugitive:

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

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The Fugitive Filming Locations

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The Fugitive

The Plot

The Fugitive is an excellent movie starring Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, a prominent Chicago vascular surgeon, who comes home one evening to find his wife brutally beaten and shot. Still in his apartment is the killer, a one-armed man, who fights with Dr. Kimble and then flees.

Asserting that they are unable to locate the alleged one-armed man, the Chicago Police Dept. builds a solid case against Dr. Kimble; he is brought to trial and convicted. As he is transported to prison, the Menard Correctional Center in southern Illinois, another prisoner attacks a guard and the ensuing disruption causes the bus driver to get shot. This in turn, causes the bus to crash, landing on train tracks. Of course, the track is active, a train is coming and crashes into the bus. Kimble’s escape from the bus wreckage is of course, what starts the action of the film in motion, and serves as the entire basis for the film’s title, as Kimble becomes a fugitive, being sought by U.S. Marshals led by Tommy Lee Jones as Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard.

Filming Locations

Dillsboro, North Carolina

In the film, the bus / train wreck scene is depicted taking place “20 miles from Menard” where the prisoners were being transported to the correctional facility. Subsequently, the U.S. Marshals reference area locations, such as the nearby town of Chester, as well as I-55, I-57, I-24, and State Route 13, where US Marshal Sam Gerard recommends checkpoints. However, the train crash actually took place in Dillsboro, North Carolina and is still there, deteriorating. It is often noted how the area of the Smoky Mountains scarcely resembles southern Illinois. The article I posted below gives more insight as to the filming of the crash and also why North Carolina was selected.

Here is a video of the the entire bus/train wreck scene.

Here is an interesting article from the L.A. Times, published in August 1993, the summer the film was released: A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : How Did They Do That Train Wreck?

The location of the bus leaving the jail is actually a school in Chicago. However, I am adding the screenshot to compare the bus to the one in North Carolina at the bus/train crash scene.
The Fugitive - Filming Location

Here are several screenshots along with my photos of the location.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

The Fugitive - Filming Location

One of my favorite lines from the movie.

Untitled photo

Once it is determined that the prisoners are not all dead (one of the Marshals discovered sets of leg irons with no legs in them), Gerard immediately orders a search. One of my favorite scenes from the movie, and the best line from Gerard (the doughnut with sprinkles is probably my second favorite).

Alright, listen up, ladies and gentlemen. Our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injury is 4 miles an hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want out of each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive’s name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him.

Sylva, North Carolina

Several scenes (all in relative sequence) were filmed in Sylva.

After escaping from the train wreck, and wading through a creek, Dr. Richard Kimble spots someone leaving a mechanic’s uniform in an open, unlocked truck and takes it to change from his IDOC (Illinois Dept. of Corrections) jumpsuit. This location is along Business US 23 in Sylva, at a bridge over Scott Creek. At the time of the movie, the location was a Carquest auto parts store called Taylor Auto Parts. It is now a Hispanic market.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Looking down into Scott Creek from the parking lot of the market.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

This view of Sylva was a split-second scene in the film, just before Dr. Kimble is seen walking toward a hospital. We drove around quite a bit trying to pin this one down. While I don’t think we were in the exact location, we were very, very close…or as we often said this trip…”close enough!”

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Harris Regional Hospital, Sylva, North Carolina

Dr. Richard Kimble sneaks into the hospital by unloading boxes from a loading dock.

Filmed at the Emergency Room entrance.

The Fugitive - Filming LocationBelow, Dr. Kimble accesses a treatment room at the hospital to treat his injuries from the bus crash.

The top image is from the movie, the lower photo is a partial photo of a door in Harris Regional Hospital (I guess the director of food service), where the lettering is the same as it was in the film.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

A State Police Officer arrives at the hospital to notify staff to be on the lookout for Dr. Richard Kimble, who they believe may go to the hospital seeking treatment for injuries in the bus/train wreck.

As with most buildings, there have been some additions and renovations since the time of the movie. If you look closely enough, differences in the emergency room entrance are obvious (we were there and it was confusing!). There is an addition where the state trooper’s car is parked; you can see where the old “EMERGENCY” sign was along the canopy on the right side. The loading dock area (just slightly visible to the left) is the same today, and the Emergency Room entrance and rail is the same.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

After treating his injuries, Dr. Kimble shaves his beard and is trying to leave the hospital. Area law enforcement has been notified of his escape from the prison bus, and all area hospitals have been alerted to be on the lookout for him.

These scenes were filmed in the hospital’s interior. Prior to the trip, I hadn’t actually planned on photographing these scenes (nor did I with the emergency room either, for that matter). I had no screen captures, but as we stood in the corridor, knowing the scene from having seen it a million times, I knew I was in the right place. We (barely) managed to watch a video of the scene to assist us.

The double door was closed in the movie, but we were in the correct corridor.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Kimble encounters the State Trooper, who asks him if he’s seen the fugitive from the train crash.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

From the interior of the emergency room area looking outside, where the loading dock is on the right and the ambulance area is on the left.
The Fugitive Filming Location
Dr. Kimble sees an ambulance arrive, and assists the EMTs, who are transporting an injured correctional officer who was on the bus and was stabbed by one of the inmates, which caused the fracas leading to the bus crash. Kimble and the officer recognize each other as the officer is whisked into the hospital by the EMTs.

Kimble immediately goes into his next method of escape, stealing an ambulance. Here he is leaving the emergency room area at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Bryson City, North Carolina

Dr. Richard Kimble drives the stolen ambulance to escape the U.S. Marshals. This scene was filmed along Everett Street in Bryson City, North Carolina.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

The caboose is located along Everett Street in Bryson City. It is mainly the same, but probably the most notable difference is back in 1993 they didn’t have hashtags (note #Bryson City). Well, they did, but back then they were called pound signs then and didn’t describe and aggregate various topics. #sarcasm #lame #SorryIdigress #backontopic

The Fugitive - Filming Location Along Everett Street in Bryson City.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

The Bryson City train depot is on the left.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Cheoa Dam – US 129, near Robbinsville, North Carolina

Dr. Kimble drives the stolen ambulance into a tunnel nearby a dam to escape the pursuit of the U.S. Marshals. The screen shot from the movie above is actually a composite – the road next to the dam does not lead to a tunnel. I have read that the tunnel is located somewhere along the Blue Ridge Parkway, so I might have to look into that sometime. The chase scenes were supposed to be along the BRP as well. We didn’t do a lot of research on those locations this time, but may modify this post in the future if we can find some of them and take a trip there.

The exterior scenes of the dam were all filmed along US 129 in North Carolina, at the Cheoah Dam.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

After being chased to the top edge of the dam by the U.S. Marshals, Dr. Richard Kimble leaps from the dam.

Several composites were done for the film. The tunnels where they chased Kimble were all done in Chicago. In the screenshot below, showing Kimble in the mouth of the dam, the area behind Dr. Kimble shows US 129 just west of the dam. The dam has no wide mouth openings like the one where Dr. Kimble is standing, but if it did, the scene looks very accurate!

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Yet another classic line by Tommy Lee Jones, most of which was ad-libbed.

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Honorable mention goes to Joe Pantoliano as Cosmo Renro, whose retort is equally funny: “Alright…can we go home now?”

The Fugitive - Filming Location

The Fugitive - Filming Location

US 129, just west of the dam, visible in the background. It more prominent in the film, because the gates were open for plot purposes.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

Chicago, Illinois

James R. Thompson Center – Clark & Randolph Streets

Chicago, Illinois – the U.S. Marshals leaving their parking garage.

The Fugitive - Filming Location

I hope you enjoyed what I have so far. I hope to get to Chicago and take some photos up there.

Here is a map of our complete road trip (January 2015), including all of the North Carolina locations for The Fugitive as well as Georgia for My Cousin Vinny:

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

My Cannonball Fugitive – A Trip 8 Years in the Making

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For those couple of you who follow my blog, we sometimes incorporate photographing movie filming locations into our road trips.

We first researched the filming locations for My Cousin Vinny in the fall of 2008. We had decided (as we regularly do), that it was a great movie to watch for some laughs. But of course, instead of watching the movie like normal people, on this evening, our curiosity was piqued and we ended up breaking out the laptops to start researching filming locations and continually pausing the movie. At the time, there wasn’t alot of info on the Internet, but we did have satellite images and maps available, as well as the newest research tool that was in its infancy, Google Street View, launched the year before.

I was very excited to photograph the filming locations and had them all plotted out on a DeLorme map (along with some from The Fugitive, which we also researched). Over Thanksgiving in November 2008, we planned on doing this trip, and rain was looking to douse the south for days, so as we left town, we made a right turn and went west and took a trip on 66 instead. Yes, we switched gears immediately…that’s how we roll. Impulse! But we really didn’t want the trip to be a literal washout, so we decided to wait for another time.

Unfortunately, life didn’t work out to afford us the opportunity to get down there in the spring or summer. By the fall 2009, after purchasing a T@B travel trailer and getting hooked on camping, road trips took a back seat to camping trips. Since then, for one reason or another, if we took a road trip, we always went somewhere else and just never got around to this trip. Fast forward to the end of December 2014. Pat had 5 days off he needed to use or lose, and we debated on camping vs. a road trip. I thought about the My Cousin Vinny locations I’d always wanted to see, sent Pat my map and the decision was made…we’d go “Way Down South!” Finally!

We also knew that the trip would be done with certain filming locations for The Fugitive, which were filmed in North Carolina. Primarily the bus-train wreck scene, hospital, ambulance chase, and leap from the dam were all filmed in North Carolina (despite that it’s supposed to be in southern Illinois and bears no resemblance to that area). After that, the action switches to Chicago.

Lastly, I was watching The Cannonball Run this past year, which has a ton of locations across the country. I didn’t look for many, just a few, but one notable location was when Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise landed an airplane in a street in a town to get more beer, and then took off again. That would also be along this route.

Other than photographing the locations, the trip was uneventful. It was all about the filming locations! It was a very pleasant drive and temperatures were much warmer. Light jackets were all that were needed. We did get to The Varsity in Atlanta for dinner on the first day (New Year’s Eve). What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?

The Varsity - Atlanta, Georgia

New Year’s Day, we set off for The Cannonball Run and My Cousin Vinny locations.

The hotel from The Cannonball Run was, to say the least, a major disappointment. What was a thriving hotel at one time (looked very cool in the movie) is now a very run down cheap motel, with a seedy clientele. We didn’t stick around long enough to get a decent photo, particularly as not one – but two – police cars arrived to patrol the property. No thanks, moving on…

Next up was Covington, Georgia – home to the airplane landing scene, which I will post on my Movie Filming Locations page at some point when I have good screen captures.

Then, it was on to Monticello and Eatonton, and the surrounding area, to do all of the scenes from My Cousin Vinny.

The next day we headed up to North Carolina, where we went to Sylva and Bryson City, as well as near Robbinsville, to work on The Fugitive.

On the second to last day, we did make a quick stop in Gatlinburg to walk around and check out the shops – it was in the 70’s! The final was a bit colder, and we only drove back home and didn’t do much. All together, it was a fun trip, and we enjoyed the filming locations!

So, here are the results of our journey!

My Cousin Vinny Filming Locations

The Fugitive Filming Locations

Here is a map of our complete road trip, including all of the locations for My Cousin Vinny and The Fugitive:

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

July 9, 2014: Route 66 – Seligman – Needles – Williams

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Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Last Day Westbound

Today would be our last day westbound, and we would turn around in Needles and return east, taking 66 most of the way (when possible) and in particular, some areas of 66 that we missed on the way out. Due to time constraints, in a few areas where we did take 66 west, we might skip them east….depends on how our timing goes.

I woke up before sunrise, which was odd considering how little sleep I’d had on this trip. But it was fortunate, because I was treated to a very beautiful and peaceful sunrise in Seligman.

Good morning, Seligman!

Good morning, Seligman!

Good morning, Seligman!

KOA Kampground next to the Stagecoach 66 Motel

KOA Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Love the old motel keychains!

Stagecoach 66 Motel Key, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Once my grandson was up, fairly early – we began the ritual of getting him ready and packing up. He was very helpful today, since the motel was on one level. He was able to carry his own belongings out to the car, which made the process easier!

Sadly, we were not in Seligman during anytime that the Snow Cap was open, but here is a photo this morning. We had been here before when Juan Delgadillo was alive; my first visit was on my trip in August 2000 with my daughter and the next time was on my honeymoon in June 2002.

As always, I required coffee. I was very happy with the VERY good coffee (and half and half – yeah!) at Historic Seligman Sundries.

Snow Cap Drive-in, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

There are several sets of Burma Shave signs around Seligman. Pat is not into them, but I am, and I was driving, so I subjected him to a complete reading of each…and…every…set…of…signs.

Burma Shave signs on westbound Route 66, Arizona

Route 66 west, Peach Springs, Arizona

Pat asked me to turn around and stop in this area. Off to the right, there appears to be a small dirt track of some sort. It has fairly high banked curves and Pat’s thought was that it might have provided some inspiration for the dirt track in Cars.

Track along Route 66,  near Peach Springs, Arizona

In Truxton, we passed by the Frontier Motel, which is currently undergoing restoration of the motel and cafe.

Frontier Motel - Route 66, Truxton, Arizona

Heading west toward Kingman.

Route 66 west of Truxton, Arizona

Entering Kingman, we are nearing the end of our westward journey.

Here is the Route 66 Motel.

Route 66 Motel, Kingman, Arizona

The Orchard Inn

Orchard Inn Motel, Route 66

Hill Top Motel

Hill Top Motel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Hill Top Motel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Arcadia Lodge

Arcadia Lodge, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Welcome to Kingman!

Welcome to Kingman, Arizona

Here is the turn under I-40 outside of Kingman to take Route 66 (Oatman Road), the older alignment of 66 that goes through the mountains and through the town of Oatman, home to the burros!

Route 66 near Exit 44 (I-40), Kingman, Arizona

Historic 66 sign on Oatman Road, Kingman, Arizona

Historic 66 sign on Oatman Road, Kingman, Arizona

Looking back east on 66 from Shaffer Springs Fishbowl

Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

Shaffer Springs Fishbowl

Shaffer Spring Fishbowl, Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

What a climb…we did it!! But looking back down, the little man then got scared and wanted to come back down.

Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

Oatman Road (Route 66), Arizona

Arriving in Oatman!

Oatman’s most famous inhabitants are currently the burros, which come down from the mountains every day during business hours (like clockwork) to visit the tourists, who will gladly feed them.
Route 66 - Oatman, Arizona

We prepared our grandson for the excitement of the burros by watching YouTube videos. We bought some burro food from a shop, but all the videos in the world weren’t going to help him adjust to a frightening sense of overwhelm at being surrounded by these giant creatures (to his little 3 year old self, they were). I also felt a bit panicky at having them surround him, so I quickly grabbed the burro food and tossed it away and pulled our grandson out of the circle of burros he’d been surrounded. They gave us slight chase, but when they realized we had no food, they moved on to other tourists who did, and who helped lure them away.

We bought him a stuffed animal burro, which he enjoys and happily isn’t too emotionally scarred from the experience. He did say afterward, that he doesn’t want to see the real burros again, so I think there is a little scarring. Hopefully, he’ll change his mind when he gets older.

We had some ice cream to cool down before we left town.
Route 66 - Oatman, Arizona

West of Oatman, heading toward Topock.

Oatman-Topock Highway (Route 66), Between Oatman and Topock, Arizona

Oatman-Topock Highway (Route 66), Between Oatman and Topock, Arizona

We had read on one of the Route 66 Facebook pages that the road near Topock was closed due to rains earlier in the week. I was unable to check on that or ask anyone if that was still the case, because we had very little Internet signal. Sure enough, in Topock, the road was closed so we went to Needles on Route 1, and then 95 and crossing down into Needles, California.

We saw the 66 Motel, with its recently (2012) restored sign, with fundraising led by Ed Klein of Route 66 World.

66 Motel - Route 66, Needles, California

66 Motel - Route 66, Needles, California

After Needles, we proceeded to head east on I-40 toward the Park Moabi Road exit (153), where we would be taking more photos of locations used in the opening credits of Easy Rider between here and Exit 1 on the Arizona side. Click here for my post of the Easy Rider Filming Locations, with photos and description of this area, as well as screen captures from the movie.

Old Stone billboard - Route 66 Welcome sign

 

After finishing with all of the movie locations around the Arizona – California border, we headed back east to Kingman on the Interstate, which was a later alignment of Route 66, starting in 1953, bypassing the Oatman Road alignment. It’s a longer way around (really, it feels long!) and far less interesting and fun than Oatman Road. But we’d already taken Oatman Road on the way out, so we took this way back until we got to Kingman, where we exited back onto Route 66.

By this time, the little man needed a playground break and we wanted to eat, so we killed two birds with one stone by stopping in Kingman by Locomotive Park, home to this 1927 steam locomotive. Click the link for more info on the steam train. Jameson had fun running around and letting off some steam (pun intended!).

Locomotive Park, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Once we felt we could take a break from the train, we headed next door to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner to eat, followed by a little more play time at the train.

Mr. D'z - Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Moving on, this sign for the Kingman Club is on Beale Street.

Kingman Club Sign, Beale Street, Kingman, Arizona

We continued east on 66 through Kingman, and took a few photos we didn’t get on the way west.

The El Trovatore Motel

El Trovatore Morel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

El Trovatore Morel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

El Trovatore Morel, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

Uptown Drug

Uptown Drug & Medical Supply, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

ABC Chinese Buffet

ABC Buffet, Route 66, Kingman, Arizona

We continued to take 66 east from Kingman. East of Seligman, I noticed the sunset in the rear view mirror and thought it was beautiful enough to stop for a photo!

Sunset on 66, east of Seligman, Arizona

Once 66 leads into I-40 near Ash Fork, we took the Interstate east to Williams, where we took 66. Since it was getting late, we had already decided to stay in Williams for the night.

Slideshow of All Photos (July 9, 2014)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. 
If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

July 8, 2014: Route 66 – Holbrook to Seligman, Arizona

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Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Even though we had a perfectly acceptable stay at the Magnuson, it would have been nice to sleep in a Wigwam (we have at the Cave City, KY location). But here’s a morning photo on our way out of town.

Wigwam Motel - Route 66, Holbrook, Arizona

Next, we stopped at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Glad we went and checked the door, because it looked closed, it seemed dark inside and there were no cars visible. But happily, they were open. Sadly, though, they no longer sold that cloyingly sweet cider we enjoyed on our honeymoon. We picked up a few souvenirs, including a HERE IT IS shirt for our grandson.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

And here he is, posing on the Jack Rabbit! A rite of passage for all good Route 66 roadies.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

Continuing to motor west, our next stop was Winslow, Arizona.

Welcome to Winslow

There is a 9/11 Memorial on the east end of Winslow on 66, which contains pieces from the World Trade Center.

9-11 Memorial, Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

We went over to Standin’ on the Corner Park, which has a mural, statue, and Flatbed Ford, all depicting a scene from The Eagles’ song “Take It Easy.”

There’s a man with a guitar standing on the corner, and the reflection in the window of a girl in a Flatbed Ford. I decided to take it easy and sip a Route 66 root beer. Very peaceful and relaxing.

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Closeup of the statue…I still think he looks like Jackson Browne, despite the fact that there is no “official” word on who this is (I asked)!

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

I browsed in two of the shops there and picked up some t-shirts and postcards, while Pat took our grandson for a walk (a 3 year old and breakables is not a good combination!!).

Continuing west, we stopped for a photo at the old Twin Arrows Trading Post. It was barricaded and not as easily accessible as it used to be. There was also a casino nearby, of course, called the Twin Arrows Casino.

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Route 66, Arizona

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Route 66, Arizona

This old bridge is located on Route 66 at the Winona exit (exit 211 from I-40).

Bridge - Route 66, Winona. Arizona

Heading toward Flagstaff.

West on 66 near Flagstaff, Arizona

In Flagstaff, is this former Howard Johnson’s Restaurant (the hotel is still that brand), now the Crown Railroad Cafe.

Crown Railroad Cafe (Howard Johnson's), Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

Western Hills Motel sign

Western Hills Motel & Restaurant, Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

Sierra Vista Motel sign

Motel Sierra Vista sign - Flagstaff, Arizona

Old scaffold style signs in Flagstaff – Downtowner Motel and Motel DuBeau

Downtowner Motel sign, Flagstaff, Arizona

Motel Du Beau sign (Du Beau Hostel), Flagstaff, Arizona

We stopped in Flagstaff for a while to walk around and take photos of various Easy Rider filming locations, from the opening credits, which was filmed in part along Route 66 in Flagstaff. Click here for my post on Easy Rider Filming Locations to see more photos from Flagstaff along with screen shots from Easy Rider.

We stopped at the 66 Visitors Center and picked up a couple of Route 66 / Cars shirts for our grandson. One was a 66 t-shirt and the other was a really cute hand made Hawaiian type shirt made from Cars fabric with a map and Cars characters Mater and Lightning McQueen.

There was a bakery called Sugar Mamas that we wanted to visit, but it had already closed.

The Galaxy Diner is on 66 on the west side of town.

Galaxy Diner - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

West of Flagstaff, Route 66 takes you on a scenic drive through the Kaibab National Forest. This is another location that was well-depicted in the Pixar film Cars, as Sally & Lightning take a drive through the forest (see video below the photo).

Route 66 west - between Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona

We told our grandson this was where Lightning and Sally went for a drive too!

Next, we arrived in Williams, a really nice Route 66 town with alot of great shops and restaurants. Again, we no longer buy alot of knick knacks, since we’re not in “acquisition” mode, but rather on a long, slow path to decluttering and eliminating stuff for a future of “fulltiming” in an RV someday, but that’s another story. We do buy a few things that we can use like t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, etc. So I bought a cool Route 66 ceramic coffee mug at Cruisers and a couple small other things.

Cruiser's Gifts sign - Route 66, Williams, Arizona

I was disappointed to see the Route 66 Inn closed. I stayed here during my first trip on Route 66 in August 2000.

Route 66 Inn - Williams, Arizona

Turquoise Tepee

Turquoise Tepee - Route 66, Williams. Arizona

Addicted to Deals

Addicted to Route 66 Deals - Route 66, Williams. Arizona

Rod’s Steak House

Rod's Steak House, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

We stopped to get some ice cream at Twisters Soda Fountain…the chocolate met with our grandson’s approval! Here he is wearing the Cars shirt we had bought him in Flagstaff.

Twister's Soda Fountain, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

Twister's Soda Fountain, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

We managed to walk around Williams without any rainfall, which was looming. Moving west, we took the Crookton Road exit, which leads travelers onto a beautiful stretch of Route 66 away from the Interstate, and through Ash Fork, Seligman, Hackberry, Truxton, and on into Kingman.

Here are two photos at the Crookton Road exit.

Route 66, Crookton Road Exit, Arizona

Route 66 - East of Seligman, Arizona

Near Seligman, another BNSF train was approaching!

Untitled

Next, we arrived in Seligman as it was nearing dusk; however, as we had never stayed in Kingman, that was our intended destination for this evening.

Looking west on 66 in Seligman.

Route 66, Seligman, Arizona at Dusk

The Copper Cart

Copper Cart - Route 66, Seligman. Arizona

Fillmore from Cars!

Fillmore - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Historic Route 66 Motel on the west side of Seligman

Historic 66 Motel - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

The Supai Motel

Supai Motel - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

We needed to get gas, so we stopped on the west side of Seligman. Once we did, we realized we really didn’t want to continue for this evening. It was getting dark, and we wouldn’t see much between here and Kingman. We decided to stay at the Stagecoach 66 Motel, where we’d stayed on our honeymoon. Double bonus, there was a restaurant / bar on the premises, so we could get some takeout and eat in our room (we would have eaten at the Snow Cap, but it was already closed by the time we arrived in town).

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

 They had vacancy, and Pat even managed a surprise…a Cars-themed room. Jameson was very excited to see all of the decor with Mater, Lightning McQueen, and other Cars characters, just like his room at home. He was literally bouncing all over the place in excitement.

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

As Pat went over to the bar & restaurant to get a pizza, Jameson and I had a nice walk all around the grounds of the motel (about 5 laps, no less). It was a nice, peaceful time – I’m not sure what’s in the air in Seligman that calmed my grandson down, but it was just about the most quiet time I’d had with him so far during the trip (and in retrospect it would turn out to be the most quiet time of the entire trip…).

 The office area of the motel.

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Dinner!

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Then it was time for some shuteye and the nightly ritual of trying to get our grandson to calm down and go to sleep. Mercifully, he fell asleep fairly easily today!

Until tomorrow…

Slideshow of All Photos (July 8, 2014)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. 
If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

October 17 – 19, 2014: CubaFest

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October 17, 2014

Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Road Trip!

When deciding on a route to Cuba, we realized there aren’t alot of options that we haven’t taken, at least for state or US routes.  Nonetheless, Pat decided upon SR 37 south to SR 450, then US 50 to St. Louis, at which point we took Route 66 to Cuba.

We arrived right around dinner time, so we first had dinner at Missouri Hick Bar B Que. Definitely a place to have a great meal when in Cuba! Here’s a photo from last year:

Missouri Hick BBQ - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

After dinner, we headed next door to the bonfire / party at the Wagon Wheel Motel where we met up with Route 66 friends Mike and Sharon. We had a nice conversation visiting with them, then as things wound down, we headed over to our motel (we were staying at the Super 8).

Not a bad place, but for me, the overwhelming chemicals used to hide the smoke smell from our so-called “non-smoking” room necessitated ventilating the room with the windows open on this very chilly evening. My entire respiratory system was irritated and mild nausea was setting in. Ahhh, the joys of having chemical sensitivities and asthma!!

October 18, 2014

Today we spent time visiting CubaFest and catching up with more Route 66 friends. CubaFest was the quintessential small town festival and it was wonderful! It was so nice to be away from the city and relax and enjoy the friendly and festive atmosphere. We had a small bite to eat at the festival, then we decided to stop in a store along Route 66 in Cuba  called Route 66 Mercantile. The building used to have a restaurant, but it had been closed for some time. Route 66 mercantile sells a variety of quality household kitchen gadgets and equipment, such as Vitamix, KitchenAid, Cuisinart, All-Clad, etc. His prices are VERY good. I’ve wanted a VitaMix since I was a teenager (yeah, that’s a long time now!) and with the price he’s selling it, it won’t be long before I’m hitting the road to Cuba to pick one up! You can check out the Route 66 Mercantile Facebook page here.

Afterward, we went back to the motel to relax for a bit before heading over to Belmont Vineyards & Winery on Route 66 for the Road Crew show!!

Pat and I had first seen The Road Crew last year in Galena, Kansas during the 2014 International Route 66 Festival. During that trip, I picked up their CD “Songs from The Mother Road” and when I was home on Wifi, purchased their other album, Rock-a-Billy Road from Amazon in MP3 format. Here’s a link to their Amazon listing where you can sample their music! We were unable to attend the International Festival in Kingman, Arizona this year, so I was pretty excited to hear that they were going to play at CubaFest…that was definitely within a distance we could attend!

roadcrew

Since last year, their music has secured a permanent place in my Route 66 and Road Trip playlists on my iPhone…several songs have become anthems, if you will, for our future plans to fulltime and travel the US in an RV. In particular, “We’re Going West” describes the feeling of ditching city life perfectly (click the link to listen to the full song!):

We’re Going West” 

Honey pack up the bags we’re gonna blow this town today

We’re gonna wind up where the sunshine’s warm and free

Hey there’s a better life out there for you and me

We’re going west…we’re going west…

There’s a two lane blacktop we’re gonna take

A lotta city livin’ baby we gotta shake

There ain’t no stoppin’ us, we’re makin’ a break…

We’re going west!

The Belmont Vineyards & Winery wasn’t far from Cuba, just about 10 minutes east on 66, in Leasburg. It was a little chilly as the sun went down, but it was really pretty at the vineyard. We met up with even more 66 friends, who had a table reserved and invited us to site with them (which was great, since we didn’t know about reservations!). We tried some wine (as “unsophisticated” as many may think of sweet wine, it pleases our taste buds, and dry doesn’t!), so we selected a bottle of the sweetest wine they had, called Pink Dogwood. They had a limited menu, but still very good – we had a pizza, which we enjoyed!!

The band played from 5-8 with a couple of breaks and it was a great show!! If you have a chance to see The Road Crew, you will have a great time!

The Road Crew

Here’s a video The Road Crew just posted on their YouTube Channel, which they wrote all about fellow Route 66 roadie, Ron “Tattoo Man” Jones. Alot of the video was filmed at CubaFest!

 

After the show, Pat and I stopped at a frozen yogurt shop called Dessert Island in Cuba on our way back to our motel and the band came in shortly after us – we had a nice time visiting and chatting with all of them, and look forward to seeing them again soon!

Slideshow of Photos (from The Road Crew Show)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from The Road Crew show at the Belmont Vineyards and Winery.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. 
If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

October 19, 2014

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Heading Home

We planned on heading home on 66 to St. Louis. Cruising through Bourbon….

Route 66 east - approaching Bourbon, Missouri

Through Villa Ridge…

Sunset Motel Sign - Route 66, Villa Ridge, Missouri

We stopped in the Route 66 State Park in Eureka because we remembered that author Jim Hinckley would be giving a talk on Route 66. We met up with our roadie friends again (Mike and Sharon Ward), as well as several more from Missouri, including Roamin’ Rich, who we just met the day before. Check out Rich’s blog, Hooked on 66 or his You Tube channel!

66 Roadies hanging out at Route 66 State Park, Eureka, Missouri

Jim Hinckley during his presentationAuthor Jim Hinckley at Route 66 State Park, Eureka, Missouri

Then it was on to St. Louis, and then we picked up the Evil-I and headed back to Indiana.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

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July 7, 2014: Albuquerque, New Mexico to Holbrook, Arizona

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Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

We decided to try having breakfast at a place recommended by a coworker of mine – not on 66, but very cool, The Owl Cafe has a very cool structure!

Owl Cafe - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Afterward, we drove down to Central Avenue (Route 66) to take a few photos of some of the excellent signage still remaining. I only took a fraction of what was there – I would like to spend much more time in Albuquerque, and especially in the evening! The evening before, we had arrived late and we were all pretty tired and anxious to get to our motel. Without a 3 year old with us, I would have been cruising Central Avenue for neon shots, but the little man was in need of sleep (even though he was still really hyped up!); he didn’t nap, slept minimally and was really excited on our trip – too excited, actually. He hated leaving every place we went that he enjoyed, so there were some difficult moments.

Here are a couple more photos from Route 66 in Albuquerque:
Griff's Hamburgers - Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico

DeAnza Motor Lodge sign - Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico
In addition to driving on 66, today would be a “filming location” day! It’s been a while since we have done a filming locations post (our last were in 2011, we did all of “Mystic Pizza” and also filled in more of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“). We would be focusing a bit of attention in Albuquerque to photograph movie locations from the 2007 comedy “Wild Hogs,” starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy. That blog post is linked here and lists the locations (also can be seen on our trip map above).

After finishing all of the filming locations, we continued west on Central Avenue, which is the post-1937 alignment of Route 66 in this area. We continued up Nine Mile Hill, which offers a beautiful views from the top; eastbound, you will get a great view of Albuquerque. Westbound, is a nice view of the New Mexico prairie. By coincidence, on our honeymoon in 2002, I snapped a photo of the westbound view and as I was watching the 1940 film, “The Grapes of Wrath,” realized that once scene in the film was shot at the same location from my honeymoon photo! Check it out on my “Grapes of Wrath – Filming Locations” page.

Continuing westbound on the post-1937 alignment, approximately 19 miles west of Albuquerque is this Parker through truss bridge crossing the Rio Puerco.

Rio Puerco Bridge - Route 66, New Mexico Here is the same location back in June 2002. Shortly after (September 2003), a large casino called the Route 66 Casino opened up, and is now visible to the left of the bridge in the background. Was far more desolate before! Opening the photos on Flickr, will offer a larger view.
Rio Puerco Bridge - 19 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico

At this point, it is necessary to join the Interstate, which we did until Exit 126, where the pre- and post-1937 alignments converge. However, there’s a small portion of the pre-1937 alignment that continues west through Laguna Pueblo land, so we thought we’d try it. According to McJerry’s EZ 66 Guide, this portion is fairly rough (it was), so we didn’t take it after all. We did spot this bar out there on this alignment.

Bar on pre-1937 Route 66 alignment, Correo, New Mexico
Train by pre-1937 Route 66, Correo, New Mexico

Instead, we went back up to to the post-1937 alignment which still follows I-40, at this point, until Exit 117 at Mesita, where we exited and continued on Route 66 through Laguna Pueblo.

Between San Fidel and McCarty’s, there’s an old Whiting Bros. station in ruins. Would be nice to see it restored and in use like the one in Moriarty some day.

Whiting Bros. Filling station - Route 66 between McCartys & San Fidel, New Mexico
Whiting Bros. Filling station - Route 66 between McCartys & San Fidel, New Mexico

Whiting Bros. Filling station - Route 66 between McCartys & San Fidel, New Mexico

There are also such beautiful views in New Mexico too!

Route 66 - New Mexico

Next, we arrived in Grants, which has some neat old signage – I didn’t get them all, here are just a few.

The Grants Cafe

Grants Cafe sign - Route 66, Grants, New Mexico

West Theatre

West Theatre - Route 66, Grants, New Mexico

Sands Motel
Sands Motel sign - Route 66, Grants, New Mexico

The Roaring 20’s (lounge/package liquors, etc. – now closed)
The Roarin' 20's - Route 66, Grants, New Mexico

Grants was also a playground stop for our grandson, who is very adept at spotting playgrounds! There was a nice park along Route 66 with play equipment, so we made a stop.  Along the road in front of the park is a nice metal sculpture commemorating the City of Grants and its history, including Route 66, Native American culture, uranium mining, pioneers, and more. Very detailed! You can click on the photo below to go to my Flickr site, where you can view a larger size for more detailed viewing.

Grants, New Mexico - Welcome Sculpture

 Continuing west on Route 66 from Grants, we saw this old motel sign near Bluewater.

Train by Route 66, west of Grants, New Mexico

Then there’s the Continental Divide, elevation is 7,245 ft. at this location. Rainfall divides at this point; to the east, it drains to Atlantic and to the west, the Pacific.
Continental Divide - New Mexico

Most of our time in Gallup was spent at Bubany Park, a tiny residential neighborhood park with…you guessed it…a playground. I’m starting to think of this trip as the “Playground Trail.” LOL Of course, the Playground Trail is more commonly known as the National Park to Park Highway, a loop that connected National Parks. But on this trip, it was about us visiting playgrounds!

I did snap one photo on the west side of Gallup, though, of a place called Virgie’s Restaurant and Lounge.

Virgie's Restaurant & Lounge - Route 66, Gallup, New Mexico

It was lightly raining as we approached the Arizona border. We didn’t experience too much rain on this trip, so I wasn’t bothered by it. Just past the border along Route 66 is Lupton, which has several trading posts. Here is a photo of the Chief Yellowhorse Trading Post (closed). This area provided inspiration for Cars, where the old “Wagon Wheel Motel.”

Chief Yellowhorse Trading Post - Route 66, Lupton, Arizona

wheelwell

We continued on and decided to stay in Holbrook. Though we had gained another hour, our bodies didn’t feel it and we were very tired and hungry.

We stopped at the Wigwam Motel, but they were full (sad face).

Wigwam Motel - Route 66, Holbrook, Arizona

We didn’t make a reservation simply because we typically travel without a strict plan. I like to have all of my travel information (routes, points of interest, etc.) all meticulously gathered and organized for our trips using Trimble, where I create a digital guide map that syncs to my iPhone. When we travel, I use the guide for reference, but we like to just drive and only generally concern ourselves with where we’ll end up for the night, not adhere to strict schedules. Sometimes we do struggle to find acceptable lodging, but it’s always fun and mildly adventurous!

Anyway, we ended up at a hotel right by the Wigwam called the Magnuson, and stayed in a perfectly acceptable and comfortable, albeit nondescript room.

Slideshow of All Photos

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. 
If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

-Pat & Jennifer

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July 6, 2014: Amarillo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

We got started from our hotel in Amarillo and headed over to Route 66. First, we  spotted this now-closed shop called Spudnuts Coffee and Donuts. My grandson got a huge laugh out of “Spudnuts,” so for quite a while he amused himself by repeating “Spudnuts”…over and over and over…we felt alot like Charlie Babbitt in Rain Man, as Raymond repeated 97X, BAM – the future of rock and roll, 97X, BAM – the future of rock and roll…you get the idea.

Spudnuts Donuts & Coffee - Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

 Followed by a cool Sinclair Dinosaur at King Auto Sales

Sinclair Dinosaur - Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

Arrow Motel sign

Arrow Motel - Route 66, Amarillo, Texas

Next up was a newer addition to Route 66, but not Amarillo. This cowboy statue used to call his home a barbecue joint in Amarillo, but he was sold at auction earlier this year and now resides at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park on Route 66 in Amarillo…of course, not far from Cadillac Ranch.

2nd Amendment Cowboy - Cadillac Ranch RV Park, Amarillo, Texas

Then we motored on through Vega and Adrian. Just for my grandson, more water tower excitement, complete with a Route 66 shield, which he’s also fond of spotting. So, this was 2 for 1! Route 66 Midpoint Water Tower - Route 66, Adrian, Texas We stopped by the Sunflower Station gift shop, owned by Fran Houser, former owner of the adjacent Midpoint Cafe, and the inspiration for Flo, from the Route 66 themed Pixar film, Cars. Fran had an abundance of die cast Cars, and we picked up a Doc Hudson (in full Fabulous Hudson Hornet paint scheme and crew chief headset). We chatted with Fran for a bit and promised not to wait 12 years to come back, however, she currently has the Sunflower Station up for sale so she can retire (again) and spend more time visiting with family. More info on the sale can be found on Ron Warnick’s Route 66 News site, here.

At the Texas-New Mexico border, is the “ghost town” of Glenrio. The town sits on the border, so there is a Glenrio, Texas and a Glenrio, New Mexico.

Another inspiration for the Pixar team here in the former Little Juarez Diner…

Route 66 - Glenrio, Texas/New Mexico

…which Pixar made into “The Glenrio Motel.” Again, for more locations that inspired Cars, see this link. 

GlenrioMotel

After crossing into New Mexico, we took the pre-1950’s alignment from Glenrio to San Jon. It was paved, but is now dirt. It is very reasonably passable when dry.

Route 66 - New Mexico

We then arrived in Tucumcari, another town which provided alot of inspiration to Pixar for Radiator Springs. Tucumcari is a neon paradise, though it was very early, so we were not staying here (I had stayed here in in 2000 and 2002, though, and would love to again!).

Here’s a collage of some of the signs in Tucumcari (many are from the return trip too). For more from Tucumcari, see the slideshow at the bottom.

Route 66 - Tucumcari, New Mexico

Of course, another prominent – and natural – feature is Tucumcari Mountain, which inspired the mountain in Cars, shaped like a radiator cap.

Tucumcari Mountain - Tucumcari, New Mexico

We shopped at Tee Pee Curios and picked up some souvenirs, then left Tucumcari, continuing on 66 through Newkirk, and as we passed Cuervo, we took the pre-1950’s alignment of Route 66 known as the Cuervo Cutoff. If you look on my trip map above, you can follow along our path. We took the “dog leg” route, but didn’t take the diagonal section (we had taken part of that during our honeymoon in 2002). Cuervo Cutoff - Route 66, Cuervo, New Mexico

 Cuervo Cutoff - Route 66, Cuervo, New Mexico

Here’s a brief video from the Cuervo Cutoff:

The next major city along Route 66 in New Mexico is Santa Rosa. Many towns along Route 66 in various states are preserving – and restoring – their neon signs and buildings. Sometimes the building is long gone, but the signs remain, and they are being restored. But it sure appears New Mexico Route 66 is really working hard at restoring signs, because there are some beauties in this state! I wish I could have been in every town and city with neon during the golden hour. Ahhh, the dream of early retirement…back to reality! Here are few shots from Santa Rosa. Like most of this trip – I didn’t take all my photos westbound…we were also taking 66 eastbound, so I saved some photos for the return trip!

Sun n' Sand Motel - Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

La Mesa Motel - Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Tower Motel - Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Past Santa Rosa, we continued on I-40. There’s a fragment of post-1937 Route 66 at the westbound rest area at exit 252, just past the on ramp back onto I-40, which you can see on my map. We saw this in our friend Jerry McClanahan’s excellent book, EZ66 Guide for Travelers, which you can pick up at Amazon. We continued on I-40 until Clines Corners, a large travel center, which dates back to 1934 when it was started by Roy E. Cline as a filling station and cafe to the south of its current location. In 1937, it was relocated to its present location. It’s a very cool stop, with tons of souvenirs, curios, and other sundries. Quite a lot for a 3 year old to get (over)excited about, so we couldn’t spend as much time as we would have liked, and it was getting late. The sun was setting!

Clines Corners - Route 66, New Mexico

From Clines Corners, 66 continues to follow I-40 until Moriarty. By this time, however, it was dark and we were all pretty tired (did we say yet that traveling with an over excitable 3 year old is tiring? LOL). We wanted to stay in Albuquerque, so we continued on I-40. We were also taking 66 back, so if we needed to skip any parts of 66 on the way out, we would take them on the way back.

We decided to stay at a mom & pop motel in Albuquerque called the Monterey Motel. It’s a non-smoker’s motel and they mean it. From their neon sign to their website, they make it perfectly clear that’s how they want the air there – so NO smokers. Asthmatics like me do appreciate that.

Monterey Motel - Route 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico

It was a very nice place – clean, well decorated and comfortable. I would definitely stay there again and I’d like to. We rolled into Albuquerque far too late, and with a tired toddler in tow, we couldn’t take any nighttime neon shots (though of course, I’d prefer the golden hour anyway). Maybe next year. But until then, we hit the sheets, ready to seize the next day – taking some photos of Wild Hogs filming locations around Albuquerque…fun!!

Slideshow of All Photos (from July 3-5, 2014)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride! Pat & Jennifer

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