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Member Travel Story-- (3rd of 4 part travelogue)

San Francisco or Bust!
Submitted by: Leonard/Marilyn Woelfel
Chapter MN-C

July 8: Fresno to Bishop. By the time we got to their motel, they already had Delman's muffler secured - talk about early risers! Highlight for today was Yosemite National Park. We stopped at a gas station prior to the Park and the attendant said to watch for bear cubs. Wanda was excited and hoping to see at least one, but once we entered the Park and drove a while looking at the vast acreage of woods, we decided it would be highly unlikely that we would see one, but we did see one deer. We stopped at the scenic Bridal Falls - 9,600 feet elevation, the mist that it creates does give you the sense of a delicate bridal veil. When leaving Yosemite the temp increased 3 degrees for every 1,000 ft decline. We ended at our destination, Bishop, 100 degrees. Relaxing, but a short day. We had set up the tent and it was so windy we had to tie it onto posts to make sure it would be there upon our return from the Pizza Factory.

July 9: Bishop to Henderson/Needles, NV. Started out the day at 66 degrees and climbed rapidly to 77 in 30 minutes. Leonard and I separated from the group today. Their destination was Needles and ours was Henderson to visit relatives by way of Death Valley. They were concerned in anticipation of the heat that we may have, but our temperature was 113 and at Needles it was 120. Going through Death Valley are small villages with names Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek - thought those were very appropriate. We did keep cool by drinking water every 15 minutes and sprinkled our long sleeve shirts with water to keep cool. We made it to Henderson and had a fantastic homemade meal - our fellow co-riders were jealous. We found out that the Delman's trailer hitch broke at a gas station--it could have happened on the road! He had it welded by a very interesting character.

July 10: Henderson-Needles to Williams AZ. We left Henderson early to meet the group at Needles. It was another scorcher day. 8:50 in the morning it was 104 - oh yeah, it's a dry heat!! We caught Route 66 and through the town of Oatman, noted for burrow town and they weren't lying. We saw a little burrow 2-3 days old and several expecting who looked miserable with the heat. It was suppose to hit 120 degrees again--good thing we headed north. We relaxed in a little town, Seligman, with a lot of route 66 memorabilia and of course ice cream treats. We made it to Williams and took in part of the "shoot out" entertainment. It is a relaxing town with evening music entertainment and tourist stores.

July 11: Williams to Cortez, CO. Today's highlight was the Grand Canyon National Park. If you want to take in a lot of stops and sites along the bus route, you should plan on most of the day. The highest sheer cliff was 3,000 feet - a long way down. Leaving the canyon was like the badlands, the terrain changes and then the cliffs reappeared. Enroute to 4 corners we encountered different weather. The sky was pink at 3:20, a dust/sand storm noted ahead, then became a heavy rain shower with some slushy hail all in a 4 minute span and temperature went from 88 to 66.

Going through Black Mesa there were signs alerting us to wild horses and we saw several groups, some up close. The scenery in that area went from rolling dry grassland to mountain/hill range and clay/red color with beautiful formations. We arrived at 4 corners and could see a storm north towards Cortez. The security officer said it had been hanging there for 4 hours. We did stop to put on our rain gear and ran into a nice steady rain only 10-15 minutes worth. It was dry in Cortez and we walked to the restaurant.

(Ed. note: Tune in next month for part three.)

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