Tumbleweeds and Shiny Braids: RV Travel Journal out West

Tumbleweeds and Shiny Braids: RV Travel Journal out West

by Kelly Weddle


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Tumbleweeds and Shiny Braids is a travel journal ideal for RVers and others planning a trip out west.

Tumbleweeds and Shiny Braids ...

Provides you with a guide to your trip with little research on your part
Enables you to do the exact trip just by following along
Provides you with must see attractions along with extra attractions for each state
Tells you which cities to visit in that state
Informs you of mountainous winding roads that large RV's should avoid
Tells you which campgrounds to visit to centralize your location in order to see all the area's attractions without moving your home base constantly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504914871
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 08/07/2015
Pages: 864
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.71(d)

Read an Excerpt

Tumbleweeds and Shiny Braids

RV Travel Journal out West

By Kelly Weddle


Copyright © 2015 Kelly Weddle
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5049-1487-1


May 2013

Hittin' the road!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bloomington, Indiana to Morton, Illinois:

Today is the first day to venture out on our new adventure. I am excited, but worried, because I sprained a ligament in my left knee about four days ago. I am moving slower than normal and being very careful. I have pain and swelling in my knee. I hope it will improve soon. I have never done that before. We are leaving our house around noon today after we get the house in order and prepare to leave for ten months. What a strange feeling, leaving our house for that long, knowing that we will not see it again for a while. Almost feels like moving ...

I have packed so much stuff in the motorhome, I'm not sure if it will be able to move, LOL. At 12:53 PM we were finally rolling out of the driveway. It was gorgeous weather, in the 60s, sunny and crisp. We are traveling to Wal-Mart in Morton, Illinois to spend the night and stock up on last minute food and items. We drove two hours, stopped at a rest stop for a late lunch and then drove another two hours to Wal-Mart. I was really sleepy after lunch.

After arriving at the Wal-Mart parking lot, we saw a sign that was posted saying that no overnight parking was allowed. I was shocked because I had called ahead several weeks ago to get permission. I called the manager at Wal-Mart and informed her of our story and she decided to give us permission for an overnight stay this one time. We lucked out, yea! We went shopping at Wal-Mart and then fixed dinner in the RV; grilled chicken, rice and edamame pods. We went for a short walk with the dogs around the parking lot and then read and relaxed in the RV. When we leave tomorrow, we are headed for LeClaire/Davenport, Iowa. This is where the American Pickers are located, the 'antique archeology' show from TV. The original building is here. We may or may not see Danielle, Frank or Mike. We watch the show a lot, so it would be kind of neat to see them.

Upon going to bed tonight, we tried to sleep without the air conditioners running or the windows open, but it was too hot and noisy. A semi-trailer parked next to us with his generator on, which is very noisy. I decided to turn our generator on and the air conditioners and then I slept like a baby until ...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Morton, Illinois to Davenport/LeClaire, Iowa:

Webster is whining from his kennel. I looked at the clock and it says it's only 6:00 AM. The time zone is different here. So really it's 7:00 AM at home, but still 6:00 AM here. Way too early for me, but I guess Webster had to go outside really bad. So I reluctantly got out of bed. After taking the dogs out and having breakfast, I have decided to start writing about our adventure today.

We will get ready this morning and head to Davenport, Iowa. We have taken showers and are hanging out in the RV at Wal-Mart, waiting to head to Davenport. Check in time at the campground is not until 1:00 PM, so if we leave now it will be too early when we arrive. We have decided to leave Wal-Mart about an hour later. Our car battery is dead because the auxiliary brake drained the battery. Rich flagged downed some guy in the parking lot to jump start us. After getting the car started, we left for Davenport LeClaire, Iowa. We drove about 1.5 hours to the Interstate RV Park. The check-in lady Sandy was very nice. It is a nice RV park, nothing fancy, but clean and well kept. Our battery was dead again in the CRV, so we had to get someone to jump our car again.

After setting up the RV, we had lunch and took off to explore. We drove by the PJ and Mabel Palmer residence in Davenport. The mansion is located on Palmer university campus. PJ Palmer was a chiropractor and the mansion is on the national register of historic places because of the uniqueness of the porch (a showplace of the Palmer collections). The Palmers would travel a lot and had many collections from around the world. The university is for chiropractory. We did not tour the mansion because the guided tours are only on Friday and we are here Tuesday and Wednesday.

After driving by the mansion and taking a photograph, we decided to go to the villages of East Davenport. This is a quaint historic shopping district located on the banks of the Mississippi River and also on the national register of historic places. It was established in 1851 as a logging town. Logs from the northern forests were rafted to the saw mills of the village and carried as far west as Denver on the railroad. Depleted forests and a disastrous fire ended the logging era for the village. We walked around the town for a few minutes but we were not impressed with this quaint town. It was built up to sound better than it is. There was not much to do or many shops to see. We did take a picture of the log trestle railroad bridge from the early 1900s. This was the first bridge to span the Mississippi River and was struck by a steamboat. The bridge burned but was soon repaired. The steamboat company sued the railroad, which was successfully defended by a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln.

We decided after this to head to LeClaire to visit the Antique Archeology site (American Pickers TV show location.) This was the main reason we decided to stop here on our way out West. LeClaire is a quaint town with small shops, the river front and a few museums and restaurants. The downtown area had outdoor speakers on the light posts with Dixieland jazz playing throughout the streets. The Antique Archeology site was neat. It was small and located right behind a gas station, one block off the main road. Mike, Frank and Danielle were not there because they are getting ready for a big picking session in Europe. I asked the girl at the desk if she had been on TV and what her name was. Her name is Emily and she has not been on TV and she said there are five other girls that work here that haven't been on TV yet either. Maybe someday stardom will be for her. There were lots of old motorcycles, black leather jackets, an Abbot and Costello head and a Majestic sign. A lot of stuff was only for display and not for sale. They had a lot of souvenirs for sale (touristy stuff, like T-shirts, patches, key chains, etc.) We could hear the answering machine upstairs where people were leaving messages saying what kind of stuff they had available to pick through. There was a girl upstairs listening to messages and the upstairs was blocked off to visitors. There were many other visitors stopping to look at the site. We took some pictures, had a soda and snack at the nearby gas station outside overlooking the Mississippi River and moved on to the Buffalo Bill Museum.

The Buffalo Bill Museum is a small museum on the river banks, charging $5 admission. They had a small amount of Buffalo Bill information, and lots of other general community history stuff. This was not really a big deal. After the museum, we walked downtown and stopped at a restaurant for a drink. We went to the Blue Iguana and set outside overlooking the river. We had a drink and some chips and salsa. We decided to head back to the RV and rescue our doggies, but not before stopping at a bookstore for Rich to find a book. Back at the RV we fed the doggies. Webster didn't tear up anything this time. Thank you! It was 93 degrees F today, kind of hot, but not really humid.

We are not sure what we will do tomorrow on Wednesday. The Putnam Science and History Museum is something Rich would enjoy. We might visit the Davenport sky bridge. Rich may want to metal detect at Lindsay Park at the villages of East Davenport. There is a restaurant on the water that looks like fun for lunch called The Boathouse. We'll just decide tomorrow. For now we are relaxing at the RV with the doggies. We went for a walk around the campground and met some guy that said he went to high school and college in Bloomington, IN. He doesn't live there now, but he knew a lot of people in Bloomington, go figure. That is all for now.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Davenport/LeClaire Iowa:

Webster woke us up whining again! We are not sure why. This time it was about 6:20 AM. It's another sunny day, yeah. We just had breakfast and are going to take showers and venture out somewhere today. We went to the Putnam Science and History Museum today. There were tons of school age children on field trips, they were very noisy. We walked around for about two hours. The museum was ok for its size. We watched The Flight of the Butterflies 3D on a large movie screen similar to IMAX. It was pretty good. The story described a man who was curious about where the monarch butterflies migrated to in the winter. His entire life was about researching the monarchs. He finally discovered that they migrated to Mexico during the winter months and migrated back northeast during the warmer months. They somehow knew where to go generation after generation. I felt like I was in a classroom full of 5th graders, LOL.

After the museum, we visited the sky bridge by the river. The sky bridge is 600 feet long and 50 feet wide, and all glass. It wasn't that big of deal. We then went to The Boathouse on River Drive for a late lunch. We sat outside on the river's edge. It was sunny, warm and a little humid. Our food was just okay. After lunch we went to upper Lindsay Park (which is located at the villages of Davenport East.) Rich wanted to metal detect for about an hour. The park was pretty, overlooking the river, but noisy because of the road below. The road was out of sight, but loud. The park was used as a parade ground for training Union soldiers stationed at Camp McClellan. Union soldiers and Native American prisoners were very much a part of the village in the 1860s.

After the park, we drove back to the RV for dinner, rest and relaxation. Tomorrow we are leaving to head to Monticello, Iowa for one night. The campground is Walnut Acres. We are going to visit the Field of Dreams movie site and maybe the world's largest frying pan if we have time, then move on after that. Tonight we will relax in the RV.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Davenport/LeClaire, Iowa to Monticello, Iowa:

Webster didn't wake us up this morning. I awoke around 6:30 AM but went back to sleep until 7:30 AM. We had breakfast at the RV and decided to move on to Monticello, Iowa. Our departure wasn't very smooth. After Rich pulled the RV forward, I saw we had left the jack blocks down. Some guy stopped me on the way out to let me know that the door awning on the RV was still out. When trying to hook up the CRV, we realized we needed to disconnect the radio fuse to avoid the auxiliary brake draining the car battery. But I had already been through half the steps to put the CRV transmission in neutral gear. So we had to start over and then remove the fuse. However after removing the fuse and trying to put it back in, it got dropped, never to be found. We tried another fuse and it got dropped and lost also. Some guy at the park helped us with another fuse, because we didn't have any more and that one got dropped and lost. The radio fuse was in a very difficult location and could only be put in place at a certain angle. When they dropped they would go behind a panel that we couldn't remove. By this time Rich decided to walk about a block away to a store to see if they had any fuses. The other guy checked and had another one. I was able to get the fuse in and get the car ready to tow. Rich came back with more fuses and tools. I guess we can use those next time. I also realized that one of the slides wasn't all the way in. Wow, kind of a rough start. Oh well, no harm, just frustration.

We finally arrived at Walnut Acres in Monticello, Iowa and checked in for one night. We had lunch at the RV and ventured out to explore. Our first stop was the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. This is where the movie was filmed in 1988, with Kevin Costner and Ray Liotta. Ray played 'shoeless' Joe Jackson. The movie site is out in the middle of nowhere in a farm field. The farm was chosen by Hollywood because it met all their criteria and the local chamber of commerce helped to find the farm for them. They wanted a traditional all American farm. It had to be surrounded by corn fields, set in gently rolling hills. The farm had to look like a one man operation. The house had to be white two-story with a long driveway. It took four days to construct the ball field. When we visited the site today it was very peaceful and quiet. Only about four people were there, however it gets about 65,000 visitors per year from all over the world. Rich ran the bases; we sat on the bleachers and had a short break in the shade under the pine trees. There is a carving in the bleachers that says 'Ray loves Annie' with a heart around it. Kevin Costner carved that himself. People live in the house currently. We have both seen the movie, we bought the movie there today and we are going to watch it again later. We were told by someone there that the cornfields surrounding the farm were going to be divided into several different areas with ball fields being built for teams to actually play. The Field of Dreams ball field is not used for teams to play ball or other events. It is only a tourist destination and remains the original movie site. The movie should be even better this time around.

After leaving the movie site, we decided to visit the St. Francis Xavier basilica in downtown Dyersville. It was impressive from the outside; with red brick and limestone, twin spires, a fine example of gothic architecture. We decided to go in and it was breathtaking, what a site in such a small town. This is one of only 53 basilicas in the US. It has 64 stain glass windows. As we proceeded down the center aisle, the main body of the basilica was 66 feet wide and 140 feet long. All the decorative paintings in the church were done between 1904 and 1905. Above the altar is an 1873 wood-carved crucifix. We only stayed a short time. They were having 'adoration.' There were several older ladies sitting and praying quietly. We didn't want to disturb them too much with our oohs and ahhs and camera shutters.

Dyersville, Iowa is a nice clean farming town. I really liked it there, it's kind of small. I guess the Hollywood director of the movie also liked Dyersville. There is a story where he and some other directors were looking for a movie site in Iowa. They had dinner in a local restaurant. After about 45 minutes, he had to go to his car. When he approached the car he realized he had left his trunk open with his filming equipment. He thought it was going to be gone, but to his surprise, nothing had been disturbed. This really made an impression on him, compared to what would have happened in Hollywood.

After leaving the basilica we decided to drive to Alamosa, Iowa to visit the National Museum of Motorcycles. Alamosa is about 30 minutes south of Dyersville, Iowa. This is a great museum. I told Rich on the way there that I bet Frank from American Pickers had been here, because he is so into motorcycles. While we were paying I saw a flyer of Frank and Mike from American Pickers. I ask the girl if they had ever been there. She said "yes, you just missed him. He just left about 45 minutes ago." Bummer, we missed the pickers again, oh well. The museum was full of so many amazing and unique motorcycles, many very rare or one of a kind.

After getting recommendations for restaurants, we decided to go to Daly's Winery and Bistro. Rich did some wine tasting then we sat outside in their courtyard for dinner. We bought a bottle of red dessert wine. Everyone knows that I don't usually like or drink alcohol or wine. But I do love dessert wine and this wine was wonderful. It was pomegranate flavor. I drank a glass and could really feel it until I had dinner. Dinner was wonderful and the waitress was very sweet and attentive.

After dinner, we headed back to the RV to be with the doggies. We are going for a walk soon around the campground. It is a beautiful evening, mild in the 70s. Overall, I really like Monticello, Dyersville and Alamosa. As we drove around in the country to the Field of Dreams movie site the surroundings reminded me of Washington, Indiana. Tomorrow we will head for Minneapolis, MN to visit with Rich's daughter Lauren and her husband Ronnie.


Excerpted from Tumbleweeds and Shiny Braids by Kelly Weddle. Copyright © 2015 Kelly Weddle. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction, xxv,
May 2013 Hittin' the road!, 1,
May 13: Bloomington, Indiana-Morton, Illinois, 3,
May 14-16: Morton, Illinois-Davenport/LeClaire, Iowa, 5,
May 16-17: Davenport/LeClaire, Iowa-Monticello, Iowa, 9,
May 17-19: Monticello, Iowa-Savage/Minneapolis, Minnesota, 13,
May 19-22: Savage, Minnesota-Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 17,
May 22-25: Sioux Falls, South Dakota-Mitchell, South Dakota, 25,
May 25-28: Mitchell, South Dakota-Wall, South Dakota, 31,
May 28-June 1: Wall, South Dakota-Rapid City/Hill City, South Dakota, 43,
June 2013 Livin' the dream, 59,
June 1-2: Rapid City/Hill City, South Dakota-Devil's Tower Wyoming, 61,
June 2-5: Devil's Tower, Wyoming-Medora, North Dakota, 65,
June 5-7: Medora, North Dakota-Mandan/Bismarck, North Dakota, 75,
June 7-10: Mandan/Bismarck, North Dakota-Fargo, North Dakota, 81,
June 10-11: Fargo, North Dakota-Jamestown, North Dakota, 91,
June 11-13: Jamestown, North Dakota-Medora, North Dakota, 97,
June 13-17: Medora, North Dakota-Cody, Wyoming, 103,
June 17-20: Cody, Wyoming-Billings, Montana, 119,
June 20-23: Billings, Montana-Red Lodge, Montana, 133,
June 23-27: Red Lodge, Montana-Bozeman, Montana, 145,
June 27-30: Bozeman, Montana-Butte, Montana, 159,
June/July 2013 Hot, Dry & Dusty, 175,
June 30-July 3: Butte, Montana-Alder/Virginia City, Montana, 177,
July 3-7: Alder City/Virginia City, Montana-West Yellowstone, Montana, 187,
July 7-11: West Yellowstone, Montana-Victor, Idaho, 211,
July 11-15: Victor, Idaho-Lander, Wyoming, 225,
July 15-17: Lander, Wyoming-Thermopolis, Wyoming, 241,
July 17-20: Thermopolis, Wyoming-Cody, Wyoming, 251,
July 20-22: Cody, Wyoming-Sheridan, Wyoming, 259,
July 22-24: Sheridan, Wyoming-Cheyenne, Wyoming, 271,
July 24-26: Cheyenne, Wyoming-Laramie, Wyoming, 281,
July 26-29: Laramie, Wyoming-Vernal, Utah, 289,
July 29-Aug 1: Vernal, Utah-Salt Lake City, Utah, 301,
August 2013 Are we there yet?, 317,
Aug 1-3: Salt Lake City, UT-Arco, Idaho, 319,
Aug 3-6: Arco, Idaho-Jerome, Idaho, 329,
Aug 6-8: Jerome, Idaho-Clarkston, Washington, 341,
Aug 8-11: Clarkston, Washington-Polson, Montana, 349,
Aug 11-16: Polson, Montana-West Glacier, Montana, 357,
Aug 16-21: West Glacier, Montana-Canmore/Banff, Alberta, Canada, 375,
Aug 21-26: Canmore/Banff, Alberta, Canada-Hinton/Jasper, Alberta, Canada, 395,
Aug 26-27: Hinton/Jasper, Alberta, Canada-McClure, British Columbia, Canada, 411,
Aug 27-31: McClure, British Columbia, Canada-Burnaby/Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 413,
September 2013 How'd we get this far?, 433,
Aug 31-Sept 6: Burnaby/Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-Orcas Island, Washington, 427,
Sept 6-9: Orcas Island, Washington-Port Angeles/Sequim, Washington, 455,
Sept 9-11: Port Angeles/Sequim, Washington-Silver Creek, Washington, 469,
Sept 11-12: Silver Creek, Washington-Castle Rock, Washington, 477,
Sept 12-14: Castle Rock, Washington-Prospect, Oregon, 481,
Sept 14-18: Prospect, Oregon-Crescent City, California, 489,
Sept 18-21: Crescent City, California-Chester, California, 507,
Sept 21-24: Chester, California-South Lake Tahoe, California/Zephyr Cove, Nevada, 519,
Sept 24-28: South Lake Tahoe, California/Zephyr Cove, Nevada-Groveland, California, 531,
Sept 28-Oct 1: Groveland, California-Three Rivers, California, 547,
October 2013 Still goin' strong, 563,
Oct 1-3: Three Rivers, California-Lake Havasu, Arizona, 565,
Oct 3-4: Lake Havasu, Arizona-Winslow, Arizona, 573,
Oct 4-7: Winslow, Arizona-Albuquerque, New Mexico, 579,
Oct 7-11: Albuquerque, New Mexico-Santa Fe, New Mexico, 591,
Oct 11-13: Santa Fe, New Mexico-Alamosa, Colorado, 605,
Oct 13-15: Alamosa, Colorado-Durango, Colorado, 609,
Oct 15-16: Durango, Colorado-Mancos, Colorado, 617,
Oct 16-22: Mancos, Colorado-Monument Valley, Utah, 621,
Oct 22-29: Monument Valley, Utah-Moab, Utah, 645,
Oct 29-31: Moab, Utah-Torrey, Utah, 659,
Oct/November 2013 Things are windin' down, 667,
Oct 31-Nov 3: Bicknell/Torrey, Utah-Hatch/Bryce, Utah, 669,
Nov 3-7: Hatch/Bryce, Utah-Springdale, Utah, 677,
Nov 7-11: Springdale, Utah-Page, Arizona, 689,
Nov 11-15: Page, Arizona-Sedona, Arizona, 705,
Nov 15-18: Sedona, Arizona-Needles, California, 721,
Nov 18-22: Needles, California-Las Vegas, Nevada, 733,
Nov 22-25: Las Vegas, Nevada-Beatty, Nevada, 747,
Nov 25-Dec 1: Beatty, Nevada-Malibu, California, 755,
Dec 2013 The end is near, 779,
Dec 1-3: Malibu, California-Twenty Nine Palms, California, 781,
Dec 3-7: Twenty Nine Palms, California-Tucson/Benson, Arizona, 785,
Dec 7-10: Tucson/Benson, Arizona-Las Cruces, New Mexico, 801,
Dec 10-13: Las Cruces, New Mexico-Carlsbad, New Mexico, 811,
Summary, 819,
About the Author, 823,
Index, 825,

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