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Entering Tennessee.
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Statue of Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl, two famous Ryman performers, in the main entrance to the Mother Church of Country Music, the famous Ryman Theater in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Acuff died in 1992 and Minnie Pearl in 1996.
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Bicentennial park ampitheater with the state capitol building in the center background, Nashville, Tennessee.
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Eddie Stubbs, Grand Ole Opry radio announcer, exhorts the audience to applaud after the station (and show) break at the famous Ryman Theater.
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Larry Gatlin, host and singer, of the Gatlin Brothers at the Grand Ole Opry show in the Ryman Theater on 8 May 2014 when your grandparents were there.
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Grandma Bert at the Grand Ole Opry new theater, several miles from the Ryman, which is in downtown Nashville.
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Tomb of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, and his wife at Jackson's home, the Hermitage, not far from Nashville, Tennessee.
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The monorail to Mud Island River Park, Memphis, Tennessee.
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In addition to a good museum, Mud Island River Park has a scale model of the full length of the Mississippi River.
Your grandparents at Graceland, the home of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, who died in 1977.
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Dining room in the Graceland mansion.
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Graceland Meditation Gardens, graves of Elvis, his parents and others in the family.
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Grandma Bert's photo of the mansion at Graceland.
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Entering Arkansas.
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The national park consists of the land and bathhouses extending down one side of the main street in Hot Springs.
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The water in the spring is very hot. A fountain with cooled water is further up the street where people often fill jugs that are available to purchase in shops lining the other side of the street. It is delicious water!
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One of the many bathhouses now a part of the National Park. This one serves as a cultural center. There was a display of art by local artists when your grandparents were there.
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Entering Texas
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Dallas, mostly a business city, though there is a good air museum at the airport.
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Pioneer Plaza in downtown Dallas had a large, marvelous collection of statues representing a cattle drive. It was worth the stop.
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Drilling for oil along the interstate highway through Texas.
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Another scene along the interstate in Texas was hundreds of windmills used for the production of electricity. Grandpa Roy calls these windmills "bird killers" because, according to press reports, they kill thousands of birds each year who fly into them.
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At this speed, Grandpa Roy actually saw the gas guage needle in the Chrysler moving down toward the empty mark.
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Your grandparents had a couple steaks at the Barn Door in Odessa, Texas. The restaurant was AAA rated, but their idea of medium and Grandpa's idea of medium are the difference between breathing and hot pink in the center. Service, however, was excellent.
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Entering New Mexico.
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Carlsbad Caverns was an unscheduled stop. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the whole trip for both of your grandparents. They made several unscheduled stops during their trip, but that had been part of the plan.
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The entrance to the caverns. From here it took about 2 hours to reach the bottom along a circuitous winding trail, some of it in near total darkness.
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Limestone deposits photographed by Grandma Bert.
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Called the "Whale's Mouth," this formation in the cave consists of draperies and flowstone.
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The "Chinese Theater" formations.
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Along the road just outside of Roswell, New Mexico, the UFO capital of the world!
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There are signs of aliens all over downtown Roswell.
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No trip to Roswell is complete without a visit to the International UFO Museum where they have "proof" that a flying saucer did crash outside of Roswell.
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The aliens after the crash.
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Grandma Bert poses in Roswell with a friendly alien.
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They plow the drifting sand the same way snow is plowed. This sand is so white, it even looks dirty like snow when plowed.
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Grandma Bert playing in the snow, er, ah, the SAND.
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Mesilla is within the Los Cruces, New Mexico, metropolitan area.
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Main entrance to the Basilica of San Albino. It was closed for repairs.
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Items for sale and decorations inside a bookstore in Mesilla Plaza. It was located in one of the historic buildings.
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Grandma Bert appears to be a giant looking into a home at the bookstore.
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Entering Arizona.
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Fort Huachuca, Arizona, is very near where Grandma Bert's sister, Great Aunt Mary, lives.
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A waste of time, a Border Patrol check point slows all Arizona traffic heading north near the border with Mexico. Seems worthless as so many come across the border in other ways.
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Grandma Bert with her sister, Great Aunt Mary, at her sister's kennel in Huachuca, Arizona.
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Two of Great Aunt Mary's dogs dive into the pool at her kennel.
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Tombstone, Arizona, home of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
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The Boothill Graveyard is, as the sign says, on the National Register of Historic Places.
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All of the graves are real and visitors are asked to respect them.
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Downtown Tombstone. Grandma and Grandpa took a ride in the green stagecoach seen coming around the corner in the left background of this photo.
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Reenactment of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. These are the Earp Brothers and Doc Halliday (back to camera).
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Zering's Mercantile was one of the interesting buildings in Benson, Arizona, where your grandparents spent three nights while touring southern Arizona.
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Grandma Bert attended mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson, Arizona.
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Grandma Bert poses while she and Grandpa visited the very interesting Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
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Grandpa Roy catches some shade beneath a ramada at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
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The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum .
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Garden eels at the museum's aquarium. They have a special plate that makes the back of their tail hard, which they use as a shovel. It was interesting to watch them bob up and down when fish swam past. Notice that there are green shaded and dotted eels as well as striped eels.
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Prehistoric ruins at the Casa Grande National Monument.
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Grandpa Roy poses in front of the main structure of the Casa Grande ruins. The protective cover was built in 1933 to protect the ruins from deteriorating further.
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A typical view along the highway heading toward Utah.
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Forest fires and fires along the Interstate meant your grandparents had to detour in order to get to Utah. Here smoke can be seen in the distance from the Slide fire near Sedona.
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Grandpa Roy poses with a guitarist outside the excellent Gold Nugget restaurant in Wickenburg, Arizona, a wonderful little town they were forced to go through because of a fire blocking the Interstate to Flagstaff.
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A lady arrived in period costume while your grandparents were dining at the Gold Nugget who was to lead a ghost tour of the town. Before she and her group left, she told ghost stories about the restaurant for about 20 minmutes.
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After leaving Wickenburg the following morning, the back roads around the Slate fire took your grandparents through a very small town with the unusual name of Skull Valley. This is their cemetery on the outskirts of town.
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Smoke was billowing from the Slate fire as your grandparents continued trying to reach Flagstaff.
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Next stop on the itinerary was Montezuma Castle National Monument.
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This is Montezuma Castle. Of course, Montezuma never ventured this far north, but the early European explorers didn't know that at the time.
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Wupatki National Monument, on the way toward Utah.
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The main ruins at Wupatki consisted of a large structure that once housed numerous rooms.
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Grandpa Roy was constantly on the look-out for critters to photograph. Here a possible Western Whiptail Lizard poses for him.
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The western limit of the Painted Desert extends several hundred miles from the part associated with the Petrified Forest in eastern Arizona.
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A typical marvelous view approaching the Kaibab National Forest and Utah.
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The North Rim of the Grand Canyon was your grandparents' goal. They finally made it on 23 May 2014, a day behind schedule because of the Slide fire. Even the morning drive was fraught with danger, as it snowed and sleeted on the winding drive to the park.
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As if by a miracle, however, the clouds parted and your grandparents had good weather while they visited the North Rim.
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Grandpa Roy believes that perhaps the North Rim is more beautiful than the South Rim, which your grandparents visited in February 2000.
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Because heights don't bother Grandma Bert, she got some amazing photos.
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Grandpa Roy used his telephoto lens to get Grandma Bert out on the edge. Although she was looking toward him, she could't actually see him.
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Grandma Bert's photo of the lodge where your grandparents later had lunch.
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Helicopter drops fire suppresant on fire near the Grand Canyon's North Rim that started because of a lightning strike.
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Entering Utah.
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Your grandparents spent three nights in Kanab, Utah, also known as Little Hollywood because of all the cowboy movies and television shows filmed around the town.
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Even the late, great John Wayne was in Kanab.
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Grandma Bert is too small for this chair at Denny's Wigwam in Kanab.
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Spurs Grill in Kanab, Utah, where Grandma and Grandpa had a couple delicious, but expensive steaks.
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Levi Stewart was the founder of Kanab. Tragically, his wife and five children died in a fire on a windy night in December, 1870.
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Statue of Levi Stewart at the memorial.
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Scenic Byway 12 takes travelers to Bryce Canyon.
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Interesting, very short tunnels, on the way to Bryce Canyon.
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Bryce Canyon City, founded in only 2007, had all the requisite motels and restaurants for tourists.
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Welcome to Bryce Canyon, the furthest point on your grandparents' journey. They began the trip eastward toward North Carolina the next day.
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Bryce Canyon was another unscheduled stop for your grandparents. All of their unplanned stops were well worth the visit.
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Bryce Canyon is made up of soft sandstone colums called hoodoos. They are easily reshaped by wind and rain. Returning to the canyon after several years would reveal many differences in the hoodoos from the previous visit.
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Hoodoos and caves carved by the elements.