January 4, 2015

Bulletin Boards And Brown Signs

You know the ones I'm talking about.  The somewhat obnoxious ones scattered along the highways, byways and roads around town and throughout the country.

As we were driving home last week, I had a chance to notice more of them since I was a captive passenger for half of the time.

Turns out they're not ALL obnoxious.

I even began to take photos of some of them.  WHY on earth would she do that??, you might wonder.

Here's the simple truth:

1.  I want to remember what is on the drive.  In the years ahead, when we are living on the road, we may find ourselves in the area again.  I think some of the places sound very interesting and I would like to actually visit them.
2.  Perhaps some of my readers have been to these same places and have some insight as to whether it's worth stopping or not.
3.  Sometimes I have a bad memory and by taking a photo, I don't have to rely on my 'filing system' to be 100% accurate.

Here are a few of the photos I did remember to take a snapshot of during our drive:

Bearizona, located off I-40 near Williams, AZ is a drive-thru wildlife park.  It's open year round except for Christmas Day.  How exciting to be able to see bears, bison, big horn sheep and others from the safety of my car.  There are shows you can view, such as Birds of Prey, Live Animal Meet & Greet, Otter Feeding and Bear Aware Keeper Chat.  I imagine they are in a different area away from the car experience.  Admission is $20 for adults, less for children.  They say to allow 2 hours for the experience.  I think it would be worth it.

Meteor Crater, just off I-40 west of Winslow, AZ, is the breath-taking result of a collision between a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour and planet Earth approximately 50,000 years ago.  Just reading about it now makes me sad that we didn't have time to stop.  Next time!  Meteor Crater is open year round except for Christmas Day.  Admission price ($16 for adults, less for children) includes 3 lookout points on the rim of the crater, an Interactive Discovery Center, a theater showing the movie “Collisions and Impacts” as well as a guided tour on the rim of the crater.  FYI-pets are not allowed.

At first, I wasn't sure what Walnut Canyon, just off I-40 near Flagstaff, AZ, was all about but it's a brown sign so I took a photo.  According to the website, "you can imagine what life was like along and within Walnut Canyon while visiting actual pueblos and walking in the steps of those who came before us."  Admission prices are very reasonable at just $5 for a 7-day pass for age 16+ and free for those under 16.  There is also a visitor center, bookstore, picnic area and museum.  The park is open year round except for Christmas Day.  Pets are not allowed in buildings or on the trails.  This sounds like an interesting place to stop.  Plus, Flagstaff is nearby with many more places to explore.

I have read many bloggers talk about Lake Havasu City.  It is a resort town with a huge variety of indoor and outdoor activities to entertain people of all ages.  Activities offered include boating, cycling, hiking, shopping, golfing, gambling, shooting ranges, off road adventuring, birding plus so many more.  There are 23 replica lighthouses along the lake shore and the island.  Each one is a 1/3 scale fully functional replica of the original lighthouse.  Who thought that there would be lighthouses in a desert lake environment?!  Of course, the famous London Bridge is a huge draw to the area.  Lake Havasu is 30 miles south of I-40 just inside the western Arizona border.  If we had more time and daylight on our recent trip we would have considered stopping by for a visit.

There are some other attractions along I-40 that I think are worth visiting.  I was unable to get photos of their brown signs but I did remember a few places.  They include:
  • Ice Cave & Bandera Volcano.  Located 25 miles south west of Grants, NM.  Open March through October.  Where else can you see an ice cave AND a volcano in the same area?  Sounds quite interesting.
  •  Red Rock State Park near Gallup, NM is right near the I-40 freeway.  I did try to get a photo, but it came out blurry as we drove past.  New Mexico has 40 state parks, 8 national wildlife refuges, 5 national forests and many other state and national areas.  
  • Route 66 follows closely along with portions of the current Interstate 40.  We saw many markers for an exit to historical route 66 along our drive.  Some cities along our travels advertised museums, souvenir shops and vintage roadways.
  • Albuquerque, NM is a growing city with museums, a zoo, nearby hiking and of course the famous annual Balloon Festival held in October.  I'd like to park the RV local and spend 3 weeks just enjoying the town and all of it's attractions.                                          
I'd love to be able to write a blog report on each of these bulletin board/brown sign attractions.  In time, we will visit them and see them for ourselves.

Have you been to any of these places yourself?  What are they like and are they worth the admission price?  Is there a place you're dying to get to once you hit the road?  Is there a place local to Sacramento, CA that you'd like us to visit and blog about?  Let me know in the comments below.


  1. What a great idea - great post! Our travels on I-40 end at Needles as we turn to Laughlin for our annual reunion with high school pals, so all but one of these gems are new "finds" for me. And they all sound like worthy stops for the future! I've been to Lake Havasu numerous times - before and after the bridge. Still, I never knew about the lighthouses! It is a small town with big aspirations and the courage to try (usually with success) unique ideas to keep dollars coming to their community - while somewhat touristy by design, it's definitely worth a few days in your future travels. An area near you that I didn't get to spend much time in, and that I've never read about in any blog, is the delta. I know it has a lot of diversity and beauty and if you and Ron have the time, I'd love to see/read about it here :-)

    1. Thanks :-)
      I just started exploring the websites of the various places and when I came to the Lake Havasu one, it said something about lighthouses. It sounds like a pretty interesting place. I definitely want to spend some time near there exploring.
      Ron's brother and his wife live south of here and one way to get to their place is along the levee road next to the delta. Next time we visit (we're due to see them again) I'll take some photos and write about the drive. It's actually quite interesting with the small towns spread out and harbors and such. The delta is a huge area and there are so many different ways it can be viewed too. I'll have fun with that one. Thanks for the idea :-)


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