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  • Mark Smith


The first part of our trip was driving. And driving, then driving some more...

There are several good routes, but regardless of your preference, it is a minimum of nearly 1300 miles and 20+ hours by road to Phoenix from Portland. We chose to stay off of I-5 as much as possible. I still so much ap­preciate the United States’ commitment to good roads and highways — still the best in the world. I love being out there, seeing our vast country.

Nevada -

Do you see the road's vanishing point?

Now imagine seeing that at 70-80 MPH for about 8 hours and that is Nevada...

We stopped twice on the way - Susanville, CA (nice lit­tle town), and the Stagecoach Inn near Death Valley. Death Valley is an appropriate name.. Not much could live there, but we did see the sun and blue sky for the first time in weeks.

Check this out — Area 51 is alive and well!

Complete with restaurant and Cat House. No, I am not kidding. Nevada is very open to prostitution. Brothels are common on Nevada State Highway 95. We were also abducted by aliens, but that is another story...

The aliens set us down near these Nevada Mountains—snowless, but still beautiful.

We dropped into Phoenix from Due North, and hap­pened upon a Balloon takeoff. A very nice welcome to the city.

I don't have any pictures of Phoenix It is pretty big and like most popular places it suffers from traffic conditions and smog. The first thing Robin and I did was to high-tail it out of Phoenix Metro to a nearby town called Cave Creek. What a treat that turned out to be! Look at these Crystals at a gallery we found there...

The Quartz Crystal cluster below is about 6 feet in diameter….


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