Polar Blair's Den Menu Page
Dedicated to Quinn O'Hara,
my "special little California friend"!
In loving memory of Gayle Caldwell, my "sweet little songbird"!
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About The Trip
Day By Day
Casino Polar Bear
Coast Botanical Gardens
"Ahna Capri" Main Page
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"Lori Williams" Main Page
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O'Hara" Main Page
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About The Trip: I was in desperate need
of a vacation. From March 26 to April 8 of 2009 I traveled
cross-country from Iowa to California and back. Why didn't I
fly? I wasn't in a hurry. Part of the vacation, for me, was
seeing these different states. I never went to California
before. The only State we passed through that I had been in
before was Nebraska, and only as far as Lincoln. I enjoyed the
Before I went on vacation, life was getting too
hectic. I had too many irons in the fire. I still have too
many irons in the fire, but at that point, I had no release. My
last vacation was in 2002 and it was horrible. As a matter of
fact, I didn't have a good vacation since 1996. I figured I was
deserving of one.
I really wanted to meet my two long-time friends,
Gayle Caldwell and Quinn O'Hara, in person. We had never
before met face-to-face. I was a very close friend of the late
Gayle Caldwell, and Quinn O'Hara is my best friend. It was
time. What finally prompted me to come to California was the
March 8 concert that Gayle had planned to debut her CD.
Unfortunately, that concert was cancelled due to her growing
physical/mental health issues. But I still had it set in my mind
to come. Due to business and personal matters, my vacation was
delayed until March 26.
I'm fortunate to have been able to visit Gayle
Caldwell when I did. Only two weeks after our visit, Gayle was
found dead in her home. She was my very first "celebrity" friend,
and I miss her terrible. I lost one friend, but I gained many new
friends, through Gayle and through Quinn. Especially Quinn.
She was a blast from beginning to end, and the biggest reason I finally
decided to come to California. Although I wanted to support Gayle
for her concert, a concert alone would not have been enough of a reason
to come all the way to California. It really was a package
deal. Quinn was the cornerstone of the entire trip.
1. March 26, 2009
Ryan and I started heading down the road at 9:30
a.m. (Central) in his big, silver 2000 Ford Expedition. We
traveled from where I live in Eastern Iowa all the way to the western
border and into the State of Nebraska. For those who don't know,
Nebraska is a WIDE, boring state with nothing to look at...at least
from Interstate 80. We drove until about 6:30 p.m. and stayed at
a Motel 6 in Sidney. The weather went from warm and sunny to cold
and snowing due to a backlash of bad weather that dumped a ton of white
stuff on Denver, Colorado.
Motel 6 motels are nice places to stay at for one or
two night excursions. For longer stays you'd want a place with
more amenities. They're just clean and simple places; great for
hanging your hat for a night...and cheap!
2. March 27, 2009
At 6:00 a.m. in the morning (still Central), Ryan
and I left our Motel 6 room and headed down the road again. The
weather was still cold, but at least it was sunny and melting. We
had a lot of Nebraska left to go, then we came into Wyoming.
Wyoming's a prettier State, but we came across some scary traveling
conditions. The narrow, curvy mountain roads were icy and the
interstate was populated with semi trucks that lazily weaved between
two lanes. The constant elevation hikes and drops didn't help,
either. This continued into Utah, pretty much up to Salt Lake
City. Driving was fine in Salt Lake, but it's not the
cleanest-looking city. You have all these beautiful, majestic
mountains, and in the middle of all that it looks like someone started
growing tall smokestacks and factories for crops! Still, the
State of Utah was the prettiest of all the States in our travels until
we came into Northern California.
Our next State was Nevada. Nevada is about
like Nebraska, only with a lot more casinos. If it wasn't for
casinos, Nevada wouldn't have anything! What I think is funny is
that every business is also a casino. You'll see a
restaurant...and casino, a motel...and casino, a gas station...and
casino, and so on. You wouldn't think these days that people
would have enough money to throw away to keep all these places running,
but they must do alright.
We stopped at around 6:30 p.m. in the gambling town
of Elko, Nevada. This is a nice place for a gambling town.
I'd recommend going there if you're into casinos. Even with the
creepy incident we came across at a Taco Time restaurant near our
motel. I had just ordered and paid for food to go when a bum came
up behind me and started talking to one of the workers. When I
say "bum", I don't mean "homeless person"; I mean BUM. This guy
was dirty, greasy, and nasty...kind of reminds me of the guy on Jethro
Tull's "Aqualung" cover. I also think he was either drunk or on
drugs or both. He and his bum buddies wanted to sell something on
the property. The manager lady came up and politely told him that
there is no soliciting anywhere in the square. He then said that
if they couldn't sell their wares, that he and his group would kill all
the workers in the Taco Time. Then he left. In less than
two minutes, two police cars arrived and busted the spokesman of the
group. Some of the bums got away, but I know the "leader" was
caught for sure. I really give the police department of Elko,
Nevada a lot of credit. They did a good job.
Ryan and I stayed at a Motel 6 in Elko just across
the street from the Taco Time. Needless to say we ate our tacos
in our room with the door locked. It's still a nice town, though,
and we felt safe for the most part...despite that episode. We saw
the movie "Fun With Dick and Jane" on cable which would have been cool
if it wasn't for all the editing and commercials. I like that
movie, but basic cable only proved once again how much it sucks.
Cable used to be so cool up until around 1996. Now it's all like
One thing I noticed about Elko is that it has a very
nostalgic feel to it. Everything looks like it was made in the
1950s and 60s. Even the Motel 6. It's all very cool because
I like the looks of the 50s and 60s better than anything else.
The town does a great job of keeping everything up so it doesn't look
run down. It's just a really pretty place.
3. March 28, 2009
Before leaving Elko, Nevada we came across a really
cool-looking casino with a giant polar bear sign above both
entrances. The place is called Commercial Casino. I don't
endorse gambling, but I love the polar bears! I had never seen
anything like it, so I had to take pictures! After all, polar
bears are my favorite wild animals.
We drove through the rest of Nevada into
California. Northern California is really something else.
If I had to move to any other place in the world (and believe me, I
don't want to), it would be somewhere in Northern California. You
have the mountains and redwood trees and ocean and all sorts of neat
visuals. Most of the coastal towns are just long strips, tucked
neatly between mountains and ocean. They look cool, and have all
kinds of unique stores that carry things you just can't find at
Wal-Mart, Target, etc. As a matter of fact, those towns DON'T
have Wal-Marts, and they'd be foolish to have one.
On the Northern California coast, all towns kind of
blend together. Where one ends, another begins. Most
interesting, people in Northern California are pleasant...kind of like
most people were in the 1950s and 60s. Everyone is so easy-going
it's incredible. You hear all these things about California like
people are so crass and prone to violence. That is really just
Southern California...basically the inner city areas of Los
Angeles. It's too bad that L.A. is the stereotype for all of
California. Life is different between the Northern and Southern
areas of the State. As a matter of fact, a lot of people that
live in the North want the State to become two. I really think it
should become two States, due to the incredible differences in
topography and lifestyles.
We arrived in Fort Bragg, California at around 4:00
p.m. (Pacific). This was a bit earlier than we anticipated.
We originally thought our arrival wouldn't be until the 29th. I
gave us four days to get to California. It was hard to tell how
far we could make it in a day. Had we been traveling in the
middle of Winter, it might have taken us longer. Since we
traveled in the early stages of Spring, we were able to make great time!
In Fort Bragg, we stayed at a wonderful motel called
Surf Motel & Gardens (Room 122). It had been around for years
Surf Motel, but in recent years they added the "& Gardens".
They have many little garden areas with brilliant flowers and other
plants that really lively up the place. It's a great gimmick, but
what really impressed me was the motel itself. Motels, by most
anyone's opinion, aren't known to be really nice places. This
motel is so nice that it's not like a motel at all! I really
loved it. The rooms are so big and pretty. The entire
building and office area is pretty, and all of the staff seemed like
nice people. To top it all, it's not even expensive! It
cost me $69 a night, and there was a deal through March 31 that said if
you stayed at least three nights, you'd get one night for free (we
stayed four). This was certainly the nicest motel I've ever
stayed in and I recommend it highly.
My friend Gayle Caldwell, who lives in Fort Bragg,
was as surprised as we were when I called from the motel and told her
that Ryan and I arrived a day early. I wasn't supposed to see her
until the 30th, so we met a day earlier, on the 29th.
4. March 29, 2009
At about 10:00 a.m. (Pacific), I met Gayle Caldwell
face-to-face at her cozy little home in Fort Bragg. We had been
close friends since February of 2005 (over four years) and never met in
person! As a matter of fact, she was the first close friend I
made in show business. Quinn O'Hara came on July 27 of 2005, and
since then I've been fortunate to become friends with many entertainers.
Gayle was told about my height of 6' 7", but I think
I still baffled the shapely 5' 2" singer. It seemed to take a
while for her to get over the initial shock, but she was very good
company and we had a nice visit. Later in the day, she took Ryan
and me to meet her lovely sister Carole and friendly brother-in-law
James Sibbet in Comptche. The five of us then went to Montgomery
Woods near Ukiah for a hike amongst the famous California redwood
trees. Until you've seen these trees for real, you don't really
know what they're like. They're incredibly tall and wide.
The hike is also very steep and rugged terrain. If you're going
to walk it, TAKE WATER! I can't express that enough. You
can still hike without it, but it's not pleasant. I think water
is a must. Carole forgot to bring our drinks, but I forgive her
because she's cool :)
5. March 30, 2009
Gayle was busy until 5:00 p.m. so Ryan and I kept
ourselves occupied with a tour of the beautiful Northern California
coastline. We checked out the ocean in Westport, first, which is
north of Fort Bragg. I took a great many photos and movies with
my Kodak digital camera. The winds were heavy, and so were the
waves. If you really like to see water crashing against the
rocks, this was perfect weather for it. It wasn't too cold, but
people in California think temperatures in the sixties are
freezing. I enjoyed it. In Iowa, a forty-degree day in
Winter is like heaven; the snow and ice melts, and roads are good for
traveling again. Heck, a forty-degree day in Iowa is light jacket
The annual gray whale migration was taking place at
the time (until April), but we didn't see any due to the high
waves. The next area we went to to see the ocean was Fort Bragg.
When Ryan and I visited Gayle that night, she
treated us with a homemade dinner and a private performance of five of
her songs. A lot of people think you need a studio or a stage to
sound excellent. Ryan and I were delighted that she sounded so
excellent with a simple piano and microphone setup. I then had
her sign an LP of her "Celebration of Life" album, sheet music to her
song "Cycles", and Tom Lisanti's book "Hollywood Beach Party Movies"
that covered Gayle's 1965 film "Wild on the Beach". I have many
more Gayle Caldwell items, including the New Christy Minstrels LPs, but
time was tight before my vacation and I only brought what I could
6. March 31, 2009
I was supposed to see Gayle this day, but she was
"under the weather". Before Ryan and I took off for sight-seeing,
I took the opportunity to photograph the wonderful Surf Motel &
Gardens. We then spent a good part of the day at
the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. This is a great
place! Everyone should go there at least once! It's 47
acres of flowers and other beautiful plants set near the ocean.
It's impossible to see everything there in one visit unless you spend
the whole day. Even then it might be a challenge. I took
pictures of some of the highlights, but don't think this is everything
the place has to offer; I simply couldn't take pictures of everything.
After this, we went to the Mendocino Headlands State
Park (in Mendocino, of course), and grabbed some photos of a cool rock
tunnel in the ocean and a friendly seagull.
7. April 1, 2009
Ryan and I left at 4:00 a.m. for Los Angeles.
Why so early? I had called my friend Quinn O'Hara the night
before, who lives in Los Angeles, and asked her what time we should
arrive in the city to avoid the infamous heavy traffic. She said
that the real heavy traffic didn't start until 3:30 p.m. and lasted
through 7:00 p.m. To allow us plenty of time, we left Fort Bragg
at 4:00 a.m. and arrived in Los Angeles a little after 1:00 p.m.
No matter what time you go to L.A., the traffic is always going to be
somewhat thick, but we got off light. Every time Ryan and I went
somewhere in Los Angeles, we were fortunate to always be moving, even
though it wasn't very fast. We very simply picked the best times
to travel anywhere.
There's a very common misconception that all of Los
Angeles is a pit. This is not true. We went to the more
"cleaned up" part of L.A. Quinn lives between Santa Monica and
Beverly Hills. All of this area is pretty safe. And not
once did we see smog. The sky was always blue. This is
really a very pretty area because trees and flowers are abundant, and
grow all year long. You'll also see thick vines growing on sides
of buildings and walls.
What people say about L.A. residents has some truth
to it. People here, as a general rule, are not outgoing and
friendly. They pretty much stick to their own. By the same
token, they are not so quick to violence. We never had a gun
pulled on us once. I also never heard anyone shouting at
me. Los Angeles is filled with crazy, grumpy people, but they're
mostly alright. I prefer the people of North California.
Then again, that's an entirely different environment. I think
when you cram four million people into one city you're naturally going
to have problems. Especially since there are so many illegal
immigrants and other people where English is a second language.
I find it amazing that there are so few white people
in Los Angeles. Everywhere I went, white people were a
minority. The areas I ventured into were mostly Mexican and
Eastern Indian. There were some Asians, but nothing like the
Mexican and Indian populations.
The motel Ryan and I stayed at was Paradise Inn
& Suites (Room 109). The address is Los Angeles, although
it's really located in Culver City. That's a little
confusing. It was a nice enough place in outside appearance, but
not well maintained. For one thing, the lights in the room were
too dang dim! You couldn't see anything! The brightest
light in the room was in the bathroom. You also had to battle the
shower for hot water. The water was either ice cold or searingly
hot; never a compromise. If other people in the building were
taking showers, we were in trouble. Hot water was a treat.
You could make it tolerable if you turned on the cold water just
slightly; too much and the water is ice cold again. We also found
the beds hard and uncomfortable. Every night I slept there, I had
a stiff neck until late into the next afternoon. Housekeeping was
also disappointing. Some days you'd get towels, some days
not. Taking out trash also seemed to be a problem. There
were several things like that. I did find the great size of the
room nice. We also had a refrigerator and microwave that worked
pretty well. The TV was huge and got good channels. I
thought the couch, chair, and coffee table was nice, too. For the
most part, it was an okay place. I'd still recommend it.
At around 7:00 p.m., Quinn O'Hara drove into the
motel parking lot and we met face-to-face for the first time.
We're best friends to each other and had been for almost four years,
but we never before met in person! All our contact up to that
point had been through e-mail, letters, and phone. It was
wonderful for me to meet my "special little California friend"!
We went to her favorite Starbuck's in L.A. Her coffee of choice
is the Caramel Mocchiata Decaf (Grande size). I don't like
coffee, so I got the Caramel Apple Spice drink. It's
outstanding! I like it that Starbuck's offers more than just
I took some photos of Quinn before we left
Starbuck's. She is an outstanding photo subject! I don't
know how she does it, but she has an instant flair that turns on with
the camera. She seems like a regular person, but whenever she's
in front of a camera she morphs into this beautiful butterfly of a
persona that's as real as it is intriguing. I find her
We later made the rounds at a number of stores and
it was sometime after 11:00 p.m. when she dropped me off at the
motel. I could tell she didn't want our visit to end, and neither
did I, but we had people to meet the next day. Also, Ryan was
tired from all the driving on our vacation and hungry, so I wanted to
bring him some McDonald's burgers and fries.
8. April 2, 2009
Quinn picked me up in the morning and we met beach
movie legend Aron Kincaid in Beverly Hills at a restaurant called The
Farm, around 11:30 a.m. He's a very likable guy and supremely
talented. He has acting talent and can do a variety of
voices. He's also a movie buff and an accomplished artist.
His artwork, under the name N.N. Williams II, has a strong focus on
classic Hollywood actors and actresses. He paints realistic and
caricature portraits. At the time we met, he was working on a
painting of screen legend Maureen O'Hara for a museum in Ireland.
This project was kind of spooking him out because he wasn't quite sure
how it was going to develop. He actually met Maureen O'Hara a few
times over the years and got along well with her.
Aron makes his disenchantment with show business
from the 1980s onward very plain. He did only voiceover work for
about the last decade of his career, and abandoned that in the late
1990s. He is predominately an artist now, and a great one at
that. I think he'd be interested in acting again; he just doesn't
want to be involved in trash projects. With his love for movies
and acting, I hope he returns to the big screen. I think he'd be
outstanding in funny ol' grandpa parts! I see him doing family
films more than anything else.
He's a private guy and doesn't like coming into the
city that much. Aron's no hermit, but he did say that this was
the first time he was away from his home in nine days. He's got a
nice place and he likes it...nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed
Aron Kincaid greatly and found him to be amusing and friendly. It
was his idea to take photos in front of a creepy-looking tree in
Beverly Hills to capture that "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini"
feel. I think fans of the movie will appreciate seeing Bobby and
Sinistra, together again!
It was around 3:30 p.m. when Quinn and I met 60s
movie bombshell Lori Williams at a Beverly Hills Starbuck's.
She's a bit of amazing! Lori looks like she's only 35 years old,
if that! Lori has expressed interest in acting again, but has
done very well for herself over the years in casting and, mostly,
realty. I like Lori because she's very frank about the movies she
did in the 60s. She doesn't try to hype them up like they're the
greatest things in the world. As a matter of fact, she's
described many of them as "hideous". But she's very sincere when
she says she likes performing. And she was great at it. She
did a lot more dancing onscreen that actual speaking parts. Lori
did, however, have a huge speaking part in the cult hit film "Faster
Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" from 1966. She played one of
the three bad beauties who end up getting killed near the end of the
9. April 3, 2009
At about 10:30 a.m. Quinn took me to her
favorite Starbuck's to meet William Wellman, Jr., her co-star in the
popular beach movie, "A Swingin' Summer". Time was a bit tight
for him as he had to get to a wedding AND a funeral. He really
planned to be with us for forty-five minutes tops. He must have
found me interesting to talk to, because he was with us for an hour and
twenty minutes! This guy is very savvy with the business end of
show business. On top of all that, he's worked pretty solid in
acting since the late 1950s. That's quite an accomplishment.
It was a real blast for me to hear his stories, and
he has some great ones! I'm glad I got to see him.
We went to check out Beverly Hills again at around
3:00 p.m. This time Ryan came with. Beverly Hills is an
interesting place. If I
had been in Beverly Hills forty years before, I would have been out of
place with my Hawaiian shirts and dress slacks. Back then,
everyone dressed in suits or furs. Nowadays, anything goes.
There was one guy, definitely a "fella", we saw walking around in a
Daisy Duke outfit! This guy was in his early forties, flabby, and
thought he was a diva! He carried himself like he was really
hot! I thought that was funny stuff. I almost thought we
were in San Francisco.
10. April 4, 2009
Today was a free day because Quinn didn't
have anyone arranged for us to meet. We took Ryan with us to the
Los Angeles Zoo. Why the zoo? Quinn and I authored a
children's book, and meerkats serve an importance to the story.
She was especially excited about seeing the meerkats, and I like zoos,
anyway. The Los Angeles Zoo is a fine facility, and I would
return to see it, but there were two drawbacks this time around.
First of all, there was a lot of construction going on. They had
a fire about a year back. Animals needed to be moved, and
exhibits needed to be rebuilt. I got a little bored seeing things
closed off, or animals not where they were supposed to be
located. Second, and most important, was the fact that there were
too, too many people that day. I don't know if it was a special
occasion, but there had to be at least 3,000 Mexican-American people at
the zoo that day. What was worse is that they were all running
around aimlessly, and they were scaring the heck out of the
animals. All the animals either had their backs to the crowd, or
went into hiding. It was hard to get good photos, but I did
manage to snap a handful. The traffic didn't intimidate the
animals so much, it was the fact that they were all hanging over the
edge of the fences and yelling in Spanish. The mass confusion was
so annoying that we didn't stay as long as we would have.
Before we left, Quinn and I bought each other
stuffed animal meerkats from the souvenir store. The Los Angeles
Zoo has a really great gift store setup. There are actually many
stores, each one for a different continent. Depending on what
animal you were interested in finding a product, you could go to the
Africa store, the North America store, the Asia store, the Australia
store, and so on.
Since we were done with the zoo earlier than
anticipated, Quinn drove us to Venice Beach. Ryan waited the
whole vacation to see the ocean with sand! In Northern
California, the entire coast is pretty much high cliffs. Although
pretty, there aren't a lot of places to go into the ocean.
Southern California is where you find the sandy beaches. Venice
Beach is not quiet and secluded. There were a lot of people on
the beach, and parked on the side of the road. I really don't
know how anyone enjoys it when there are so many people. It's not
even remotely romantic.
11. April 5, 2009
Quinn and I started off the day by going to
Ralph's (the California equivalent to Kroger's) for groceries.
Hey, we both needed groceries. She was low and Ryan and I needed
provisions for the long trip home. It was a highlight for Ryan,
because it was the only place in Los Angeles we found that carried his
particular type of Swisher Sweets cigars. You wouldn't believe
how hard they were to find. The real amazing thing is that Diet
Mountain Dew, Ryan's favorite drink, is almost nonexistent in
California! At least in all the stores and gas stations we
stopped at. Ralph's had that, too.
Ahna Capri, actress of the legendary Bruce Lee
movie, "Enter the Dragon" was coming to Quinn's house at 3:00
p.m. So Quinn and I had some time to kill. One thing I
wanted to do was a very impromptu interview with Quinn on my new video
camera. I had a few ideas of things I wanted her to say and show
the audience, but generally it was very "on the fly". From the
very beginning, I planned to edit it into many short clips. Quinn
does not like to improvise, and was genuinely nervous before we
started. Once the camera went on, so did she, and she gave an
EXCELLENT interview. ATTENTION PEOPLE IN CASTING, READING THIS
FEATURE: Quinn may seem nervous at first, but once she's in front
of a photo camera or video camera, she instantly "turns on". I've
never encountered anyone in my whole life that could do this. She
can SO do any kind of role. If you're going to interview her or
have her do a script reading, do it in front of a camera. That is
what's going to count.
Besides the video interview, we did a bunch of
miscellaneous stuff. I had Quinn sign DVDs, photos, posters,
etc. She loaded me up with all kinds of treasures to take back to
Iowa. This was really the only day I spent with Quinn where we
just stayed around the house all day.
Ahna arrived on time, but this was the first time
she had come to see Quinn at her house. She was walking down the
street, looking over map printouts and trying to find Quinn's house
when I flagged her down. I've been a fan of Ahna's for years, and
when you're use to seeing her as the types of cool, composed characters
she plays on film, you don't expect to be as confused as the rest of
us! It was kind of funny. I LOVE AHNA CAPRI! Besides
having one of the coolest names ever, she's just a bright, brassy
personality. Not pushy, or sassy...just brassy, and with a great
sense of humor. She'll tell you, straight out, who was good to
work with, and who was a pain in the a**. In that regard, she's
very much like the characters she plays. There's certainly a bit
of Tania (her "Enter the Dragon" character) in Ahna Capri, and vice
What I find interesting is when entertainers find ME
interesting. I've communicated with a lot of show business
people, and there are only a few that really soured me...didn't care
about me at all. Ahna Capri, however, was EXTREMELY interested in
who I was and what I did with Polar Blair's Den. It's great for
my self-esteem when I get that kind of reaction out of people, but, in
over four years of working with celebrities, it still strikes me as
odd. Here I am, talking to bigshots who worked with other
bigshots, traveled the world, and did all these amazing things...and
they think I'm cool!
Far out! True, I am
pretty knowledgable, talented, and certainly a peculiar visual, but in
many ways I'm really just a regular guy.
Ahna, like Quinn, is another one who really "turns
on" for the camera. During my entire visit, only Quinn and Ahna
possessed that quality to entirely transform in front of the
camera. Everyone was good at posing, but Q&A really came
alive! They are fun, fun, FUN to capture on film! I think
Ahna should enter the acting arena again. I'd like to see her
doing a funny, Hungarian gypsy character. I can see her doing
comedic, oddball parts.
After Ahna left, and before Ryan and I returned to
the motel, Quinn and I had our picture taken with the meerkat
dolls. I thought this would be great to show on the jacket for
our book when it reached publication.
12. April 6, 2009
The original plan, days before, was for Ryan
and I to leave Los Angeles in the early morning so we could beat the
traffic going out of town. But Quinn and I both wanted to visit
in the morning, so we went to her house and talked for two hours.
It was hard for me to say goodbye to Quinn, and it was hard for Quinn
to say goodbye to me. We waved to each other and blew each other
kisses...then I was on the road, again.
We started leaving L.A. at 11:30 a.m. The
traffic was not bad, but it still took a while to get past the city
limits. Los Angeles traffic is one of two things: slow and
steady, or slow as a slug on valium...no in-between. This day we
made it out of California, through casino-riddled Nevada,
cactus-covered Arizona, and into Utah.
In Richfield, Utah we stayed at a Days Inn
motel. Days Inn motels are great! They're inexpensive, but
very nice facilities with spacious rooms. It's rare that motels
have great showers, but both of the Days Inns we stayed at were pretty
13. April 7, 2009
This was a very ambitious day for driving;
over 16 hours! We drove 1,003 miles! By the time we reached
Council Bluffs, Iowa, we thought it was a good idea to cool the wheels
at another Days Inn. We finished up Utah, went through Colorado,
Nebraska, and into Iowa. What's interesting is that Northeast
Colorado looks EXACTLY like Nebraska if not a little more barren.
After Denver, the state just stopped being interesting. For the
longest time you're driving through mountains and trees...then
tundra! When we made it to Council Bluffs, we realized that we'd
have only four hours of driving at the outset before we reached
home. However, that would have placed us at returning at 2:00
a.m., and that's just not a good time to unload the vehicle and crash
into bed. As a matter of fact, I thought we'd probably crash, in
another sense, if we didn't
stop at a motel. We were both weary.
14. April 8, 2009
We left our Days Inn room at Council Bluffs at about
6:30 a.m. and arrived home before 10:00 a.m. Although we didn't
have a long ways to go, we both agreed it was a good thing we stayed at
a motel the night before. We felt 1,003 miles in one day was
enough. We also realized that a person CAN drive from California
to Iowa in two days, but it's better (and safer) to do it in three.