Sudbury ON to Kokomo IN

Reminder : Click on the title to see the blog in its entirety. Then go forward with the tiny red arrow at the bottom 🙂    

Leaving today for a month. But, we will be flying home early December till the 2nd of January.

Roger has made arrangements to see Tom’s 69 Chevelle in the Sault. The car is a good driver and so he will be bringing it home.   Tom also rebuilt Roger’s daily driver for the last two years, a red and white 72 Chevy pick-up.


November, 1st: Ideal day to cross the border. The agent asks us one question only…Do you have fruits or vegetables on board? Less than a minute. Roger is amazed. The agent was not curious enough to ask what was in his trailer. Ha! This year, we are towing a 56 Chevy Belair. After all, it made it all the way to California and back last year.

At the bridge, the lady collecting the fee (25$) says : Oh my, there have been so many snowbirds driving through today! No wonder the agent seemed so uninterested…
On the first morning, quite the discovery. Roger forgot to fill the water tank and I forgot to remind him:)  So, trucker’s shower it is.
From Michigan to Indiana, we could have gone to Peru, Warsaw, Athens, Mexico, Palestine or Geneva (seriously, all towns in Indiana) but we choose Kokomo, of course!

IMG_4046Kokomo, known as the city of firsts, boasts America’s first commercially produced automobile, a Haynes. The Kokomo Automotive Museum is a “ a trip through America’s automotive history”. What a treat! The Haynes Apperson collection of cars is of course the highlight.

Interesting to know that today, Hayes international is one of the world’s largest producers of high performance nickel and cobalt alloys, for aerospace mostly.

But wait! There just happens to be an auction on November 4th. Of course we attend and Roger purchases 3 cars, a 1939 Plymouth pick-up, a 60 impala and a 54 chevrolet convertible. Here are of 2 of these.




Missouri to New Mexico-November 5th to November 10th

Reminder : Click on the title to see the blog in its entirety. Then go forward with the tiny red arrow at the bottom 🙂    

And then we drive to St Louis Missouri, well, St Charles more precisely.

Roger and I both enjoy walking historic downtown St Charles. Old buildings, quaint shops, superb restaurants and friendly people.


unday is a great day to travel through Indianapolis but still there is a lot of traffic. Where is peaceful Route 66?????



From Missouri, we drive Interstate 44 to Interstate 40. We have never travelled this way going west. Well, not on 40 all the way at least. Last year, we travelled mostly Route 66 which we spot here and there. Lots of memories as we pass signs for Meramec caverns in Missouri and Claremore in Oklahoma.

Weather is cooperating (above 0) and so we go through Texas and New Mexico on 40 as well.
We read road signs that we would not see in Canada ;
Guns for in-laws and out-laws ; Next exit
Marriage = Man + Woman. Confused? Ask me, God.
One sign is one we should have in Canada :
State Law : Do not impede left lane     Actually, we find out it is a new Oklahoma State law as of October 2017!

In Oklahoma as well, funny coincidence. We drive by the town of Clinton, named for the late Judge Clinton Irwin, just as I am reading Hillary’s new book What happened…(Thanks Dan and Jess for the good read)

Cotton fields? We never thought there were some this far north.
Windmills? Endless for 50 miles and more in Texas and New Mexico. Can you spot them behind Roger?



Actually, 45% of Texas’ electricity comes from wind power! Impressive!

When we get to New Mexico, we decide to go north to Santa Fe. Travelleing Route 66, we went through Albuquerque. Santa Fe is the pre 1937 route.


Santa Fe

Driving on, we stop at Holbrook, NM. Those of you who accompanied us on Route 66 would remember Bozzo’s garage! Especially Jim who went with Roger to look for parts. What memories!

We stop in Santa Rosa.


The gentleman receiving us, Chris, is the owner and the cook. We enjoy a great fish supper after he threatens Roger of not serving us unless Roger lets him drive his 57 Ha! Ha! 


The park is beautiful and offers a 360-degree mountain view.  What sunsets!



At an elevation of more than 7 000 ft. (cooler summers) and with more than 323 glorious days of sunshine a year, 250 + art galleries and 400 + restaurants, no wonder Santa Fe has been rated one of the greatest smallest city to visit in the U.S.A.

We have two days in Santa Fe so we leave early and head for downtown. To our surprise, there is a lot of traffic and it is very difficult to find a parking space. Roger is not sure he will like this city! 
Today we discover why Santa Fe is amongst the top historic cities in the U.S and why it is referred to as The City Different. Besides being the oldest capital city in the U.S.A., it boasts the oldest church structure,

and the oldest house in the U.S.A.

We visit St.Francis Cathedral and admire the Pueblo style architecture.


Of course, we have to enter a few art galleries and museums. Imagine, our first stop is at the Touchstone’s gallery where ‘nature`s art is etched in stone’. This beautiful table top of petrified wood with quartz is only 37 000$! It weighs 300 lbs! Obviously, no picture will ever do it justice.


We have time to visit 2 museums : The New Mexico History Museum and Palace of Governors  (a must)  and the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Of course the first is very informative. In the second we find an exceptional collection of Reza’s prints.
Reza Deghati is an Iranian-French photojournalist who has won many world awards. His photographs have appeared in National Geographic and Times magazines.
Along with his work as a photographer, since 1983 Reza has been a volunteer committed to the training of youths and women from conflict-ridden societies in the language of images, to help them strive for a better world. Our favorite photograph in the present collection was A breath of Life.

A Breath of Life

You may visit this website for more info.

The idea of going to a specific restaurant El Farol is mine, but Roger goes along. By then, the pedometer says we have walked 5 miles and we are o.k. to walk to the restaurant and take a taxi back to the car. The food is excellent. The skate wing fish tapas are tasty. All I have to do is close my eyes to forget I am eating raw fish lol
The grilled green chile cheese bread is to die for and the main course is delicious. 
The problem arises when the waitress informs us there is no taxi service in Santa Fe, only Uber. Well, we do not have Uber in Sudbury, we do not have the app and so, we eventually walk back. At the end of the day, we have walked seven miles, one step at a time 🙂  Tomorrow is market day and we will be there.

Saturday morning, we head out to find parking at the market, luckily, without too much trouble. As soon as we park, a mother walks by with her 3 year old son. She is in awe of our 56 Chevy and asks her son: Isn’t this car beautiful? And the son to answer…I like that white pickup (pointing at a very ordinary ½ ton Ford pickup) Ha! Ha! The beauty is all in the eyes of the beholder!

At the market, we pick up a good supply of fresh vegetables, especially arugula for Roger 🙂 Mel, I know you would like to see all this wool. Pure wool however and not too many of us can wear it, can we? 😦 


We’ve put on our walking shoes again and so walk the Plaza and downtown, visit more galleries, mostly from the outside…


By 4 p.m. we are back at the motorhome. Tomorrow, we are on the road again! 
However, we will visit again. We now know where the parking lots are…and there is still LOTS2SEE… 
We have to travel the historic Turquoise trail from Santa Fe to I-40
We have to do the Food tour or attend the Santa Fe School of cooking like we did in New Orleans 
We have to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and more art galleries.
We have to visit the Loretto Chapel with its miraculous staircase…built with no nails or visible support…
We might even have to visit a spa!



Arizona-Camp Verde and area (1)

Arizona, here we come! We are booked in Phoenix the 1st of December and so Roger finds this campsite in Camp Verde, 90 miles north of Phoenix.  From our campsite, we view the Verde Valley and the Mingus Mountain. The sunsets are incredible.


We will spend the U.S. Thanksgiving here and we have much to be thankful for.

This campsite is close to Jerome (the kaleidoscope unique store), scenic Sedona, Cottonwood and Clarkdale.

In Clarkdale, the Arizona Copper Museum is housed in the former high school. When the school was first built in 1915 it cost 100 000$ and at the time it was the daily revenue of the United Verde Copper Co. who paid for the construction.  The company was mining copper in Jerome and refining it in Clarkdale.

What a museum! It combines the story of copper with stunning artifacts, 5 000 in all.


The kitchen room, fit for a castle…


The drinking room (100’s of beer steins and wine jugs dating to the 1400s).


The very rare trench art collection comprised of over 500 shell casings decorated by soldiers of World War 1





The museum curator, Drake, points out this casing decorated by a Canadian soldier. So many! (We find out later : Drake is the owner who worked 15 years on getting everything ready before opening to the public!)

It is easy to understand why this museum has a 5 star rating. A must for anyone to visit.

On our drive back to our campsite, we stop at Bashas for groceries.  As usual, Roger parks away, far away. A gentleman approaches Roger and informs him he would like to buy the 56 on the spot. Imagine! Roger explains that the car cannot be sold till the spring and that proper exportation papers would have to be done. He leaves with a business card and a smile on his face 🙂  Only time will tell the end of that tale!IMG_4136

We only have a few Television channels lol We have more time to read 🙂 and play Dominoes ha! Roger is quite lucky but when I do manage to win, he is in for a surprise lol (We play for who decides to do what in the coming days )

The next day is spent washing the screens and windows of the motorhome! But it does look fantastic now. A mobile washing service also washed and waxed it. After driving from the north, it is quite the job 🙂



Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (2)

There are 129 National Monuments in the U.S.A. “The designation of a national monument is a recognition of the space’s contribution to America’s heritage, whether through its rich natural beauty or the role it’s played in our developing national story. Nearly every president since Theodore Roosevelt has made use of his Antiquities Act authority to create monuments. And together, they’ve woven a colorful fabric representing America. To remove any thread would be a travesty“.

We are fortunate to have visited a few in New Mexico and Arizona.  The White Sands Monument, the Carlsbad Cavern and the Gila Cliff Dwellings in NM; the Sonoran Desert,  the Grand Canyon, the Organ Pipe Cactus, the Saguaro and the Petrified Forest in Arizona.

In Camp Verde, we are vey close to 2 more, the Montezuma Castle and the Tuzigoot, a pueblo, home to Native Americans approximately 800 years ago.


Montezuma Castle National Monument is an ancient cliff dwelling dating back to 1150. The castle stands in a cliff recess 100 feet above the valley. It is one of the best preserved in North America. 




Some things in nature are for sure mindboggling!  We spot this single plant with delicate flours beside our motorhome. No way to know if the litterbug was trying to water the plant or if  the plant simply thrived because of the litterer’s beer ! 



Arizona-Camp Verde and area (3)

Today, we go on a wine tour. Sue, our guide from Sedona Delivers is very informative and easy going. But first things first, we sign a waver, basically informing us that we are at higher elevation and that if we do not keep hydrated and become intoxicated, it is not her problem 🙂 
So we visit 4 tasting rooms, tasting 5 different wines at each. By the 4th, Roger agrees. Our taste buds are a bit confused lol Good thing there is the dump bucket. All in all, most wines are excellent, some have won awards even internationally.
At the first tasting for example, Acantara vineyard, I taste a Pinot Grigio, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Reisling, a Viognier and a Malvasia. Roger has red wine: a Mourvèdre, a Sangiovese, a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Meritage.


At the Pillsbury Wine Co. tasting room, Sam, (a film maker turned wine maker and Gold award winner) serves Roger Petite Sirah. Luckily they have a bottle for him to bring home 🙂
The third tasting room, The Burning Tree Cellars has comfy sofas and we probably could stay here a while lol.
Finally, we have an excellent Duck and Greek pizza at the Page Spring Cellars. Wish it was earlier in the year so we could see the vineyards before the grapes are harvested.

All in all, the wine tour on bikes in Niagara Falls was probably more enjoyable. But in the mountains of northern Arizona, no chance we would have made it to the first winery ha!

Our walk in the park tonight feels good after a lot of sitting. People have gathered in this park from Quebec, Ontario, British Colombia, Alberta, Alaska, Michigan, Colorado, even Florida, Texas and California, and just about every other state! All are very neighbourly…


Arizona-Camp Verde and area (4)

Although we are in small living quarters, house cleaning and laundry still await.

This afternoon however, Roger wants to cruise.


After all, I am told that is what a classic car is all about. It is 80 F. today, above average temperatures and so, a great idea. We pass by this little booth selling frybread, elk jerky and piñon. But wait, what exactly is piñon? We decided to stop and ask instead of using Siri lol. The vendor informs us that piñon pine trees grow wild in the southwestern United States. They taste like nothing we have tasted before, sweeter. So we buy jerky, nuts and raw honey. The frybread? No lol

pine nuts

We then travel smaller roads, exploring the area


We end up at the River Ranch Estate off Middle Verde Rd. We pass beautiful homes, many of them horse ranches. Coming back on the road after reaching a dead end, this man comes running from his house signaling he wants us to stop. Turns out he is rebuilding a 57 Chevy that has been in his family from word go. He asks Roger a lot of questions and when he realizes we are from Ontario, he says his wife is from Sarnia and that his family spends a month in Canada every year. Small world!

Great sunset again tonight…



Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (5)


As you can see by the line up of cars headed to Sedona, this town only 27 miles from Campe Verde is a popular destination. Also notice, we are headed in the opposite direction ha!


We leave early. Our goal is to be back from Sedona before darkness as always. All goes well, hardly no traffic. First stop: very informative visitor Centre at the Red Rock Ranger Station in Coconino National ForestIMG_4237

We stop at the village of Oak Creek, then at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built in the buttes of Sedona. This architectural landmark is designated a National Historic Place.


We see Mother Nature’s most beautiful artworks. 

Bell Rock +++




On Hwy 179 as you approach Sedona, there are 5 roundabouts, one every quarter mile to keep traffic moving. By that time of the day however, and because of the long weekend, the traffic is much heavier. We are about a mile from downtown when the 56 Chevy starts overheating. The cooling fan is obviously not functioning. (simple burnt fuse). Not good news when you are in stop and go traffic in high temperatures.  And so, we turn around to head back to the motorhome. Our visit to downtown Sedona, the trails, the yarn shop, Knit Wits will have to wait.
Our advice to visitors to Sedona :
1. Never visit on a long weekend.
2. Bring lots of water to hydrate.
3. Allow time for stops on the way there.
4. Always bring spare fuses if driving a classic car Ha!

On the way back, we see a sign for Bearizona Wild Life Park (Wiliams AZ). We find that funny because we have bears in our own backyard!

IMG_0786Wonder if the Arizona bears are as mischievous as ours… Like the one who tore Jacquie’s favorite pants to pieces when she put them out to dry, or the one who took Gaetan’s new water hose, brought the box to the edge of the forest, opened the box and left with the hose, or the cub I saw playing on our water barrel.
Either way, they do hibernate in Arizona and they hibernate in the park as well:)  You could see many other animals but it would be ‘beary’ unlikely to see bears at Bearizona in winter lol. 

Thankfully, the rattle snakes hibernate in Arizona as well!



Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (6)

In Cottonwood again, we visit the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. It has large pull through RV sites and a few camping cabins. The park is located next to a unique ecosystem, one of 20 such in the world! Bonus, 20 + miles of hiking trails. The park is booked and we will not be able to stay. Next time! For those travelling by car, we suggest the Tavern Hotel on Main St.
Just next to the park, we find Blazin’M Ranch. It boasts a chuckwagon supper and live entertainment. We decide to stay and experience the ‘authentic western experience’.




By chance, we are seated next to the family who is beside us in the RV park, the Pandori family. Don and Sara and children are from upstate New York. Gavin and Gabriella are being home schooled and the whole family is travelling for 6 months. How fantastic! 

What great food! What great guitar playing! The couple on the left are yodelling champions. Aurele and Blanche would have loved the show.


Love the message at the entrance…


Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (7)

The old mining town of Jerome, America’s most vertical city, is our next destination.  Located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet), the drive there is an experience in itself.


We decide to park the car far enough from the downtown area so we can walk and enjoy the scenery. Of course that means walking up a 30 degree incline…


Many come to Jerome for the museums and art shops. We did come to see if the unique Kaleidoscope store, Nellie Bly, is still there…And it is, just amazing as it was when we first visited many years ago.

IMG_4276Mostly, we came for the scenery,


the friendly atmosphere and the good food. We highly recommend Grapes on Main St. But the Haunted hamburger is another option lol


We walked up and we must walk down. Can you spot the 56 down below?


Other interesting picks from Jerome…