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Legends of America - A Travel Site for the Nostalgic & Historic Minded
Legends Letter January, 2015


Route 66 Shield in the Painted Desert. Greetings from Golden Valley, Arizona!  We're just outside of Kingman after retracing our steps from 10 years ago along Route 66. I started to write this newsletter in Grants, New Mexico, but things kind of got messy and it's been a non stop ride since. Usually when we make plans for a trip in the winter, the primary goal is to get out of the cold weather. Things didn't work out that way this year, and it was warmer back home in Warsaw, Missouri than it was for us on the road since January 10. Until now that is.


Kathy on the Corner in Winslow Arizona - Such a fine sight to seeWe ended 2014 on a fun note with Kathy traveling to Dodge City, Kansas for an interview with a production company who is working on the show "Gunslingers" for the American Hero's Channel (formerly the Military Channel). They interviewed her about Bat Masterson and the Dalton Brothers. I was supposed to drive her there, but as luck would have it, I wound up with the nastiest case of the flu I've had in years. So props go out to Tim Cattelino of Roundabout Publications, who, the night before, agreed to drive Kathy out to Dodge to free her up for studying and taking pictures along the way. We'll let you know if and when they include her in an upcoming episode. Kathy's becoming quite the "cable gal", and I enjoyed seeing the re-run of her on Investigation Discovery's "Evil Kin" episode about the Bloody Benders back on New Years Day.


We had a bitter sweet start to 2015 with the passing of my father in Pampa, Texas. I know he would love what we are exploring, especially the parts of Arizona, Nevada and California during this adventure. Be watching our Photo Blog for additions coming soon. We started with bits of Route 66 we haven't done since 2004 from Santa Rosa, New Mexico west. Plan to keep updating our photos and stories about the Mother Road up to the Kingman, area.  Hope to catch up with our author friend Jim Hinckley while here, who just returned from an exciting adventure in the Netherlands, promoting his works on the Mother Road, which you can read about in his Blog - Route 66 Chronicles. We also had the chance to visit today with one of our long time Facebook friends, Diana Beatty. Always great to meet someone you interact with on a regular basis in person.


In the meantime, our traveling companions Ms. Kaydee Dog and Mr. Riley Dog were wondering why we even left home, as it was nothing but stickers or cold, or snow for most of the journey thus far. We had a great stop in Amarillo, Texas catching up with some of Kathy's family and a brief visit to Bob Lile's Art Gallery on Old Route 66 (6th Street). Didn't spend the time we should have there, and wound up not being able to get back to visit more, but if you get a chance be sure to visit Bob if you're in the area. Well worth the trip as he has some incredible Mother Road art.


The Aztec Motel Sign still stands next to an empty lot.From Amarillo we barreled on down I-40 past Santa Rosa, New Mexico. We had already done the stretch of Route 66 from there East within the past couple of years, so we wanted to concentrate our efforts on those parts last visited in 2004. Spent a couple of nights just off Route 66 in Tijeras, near Albuquerque, at the Leisure Mountain RV Park. Would have stayed longer as it was a nice place, but the forecast called for up to 8 inches of snow in the mountains we were in, so we got our exploring done and pushed on to what we thought would be a little warmer and better conditions in Grants.


Started snowing on us at the Blue Spruce RV Park not long after our arrival, but only a couple of inches. Thinking we could use a "down day", we decided to stay a couple of nights. That second night was probably a mistake, but one we could learn from. For instance, how to keep our trailer water lines from freezing up in ZERO degree weather. When I got up around 1:30am the bathroom sink and toilet were already frozen up, so every 15 to 20 minutes I would run water through the rest of the lines to keep them going.  As the morning progressed, the tanks kept filling, and soon enough we had the grey water tank backing up in the bathtub. Then just before 6am we ran out of propane.  In a panic, worried about the hot water heater, I ran to the only place I thought would be open. Figuring if our Wal-Mart in po-dunk Warsaw, Missouri is open 24/7, surely one right off I-40 in Grants, New Mexico is. Wrong, didn't open until 7:00 a.m.  Back to the trailer... worry, fret, run just a little water through each faucet that wasn't frozen, then back to Wal-Mart to get the propane. Averted that issue as daylight was coming, so then turned my attention to thawing the frozen bathroom.  Ah-ha, I had forgot to close a small little plastic cap covering the hole where the electric line comes out, which is right behind the bathroom sink. Stuck a hair dryer in the hole and within just a few minutes (and a couple of thrown breakers), the bathroom was running again. Now to dump some of that grey water. Hey, that sewer dump cap at the RV Park freezes too.  Back to the hair dryer, another thrown breaker, a borrowed wrench, a few bangs on the cap, and finally I got it open.  Get the drain hose hooked up, open the valve on the RV...nothing.  And thus the rest of my morning was spent sitting on the ground, with the hair dryer in hand. We finally pushed out of Grants around 1:00 pm that afternoon, and yes, I did get the grey water to flow.


Painted Desert after a dusting of snowWe could have kept pushing into warmer weather, but the purpose here was to re-do this part of Route 66, so we only made it to Sun Valley and the "Root 66" RV Park, near Holbrook.  Was expected to get down to 17 degrees there, but that was 17 degrees warmer than it was the night before and I was fine with that.  Spent a full day exploring, including the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Both nights there I would automatically wake up around 2am and fret over the water lines. Had some great photo opportunities and good weather during the daytime though so it was worth it. I'll probably have that portion of the Photo Blog up by the end of the week.  Let's just say that the Painted Desert looks even more beautiful with a bit of white wash.


The "Root 66" RV Park in Sun Valley is for sale.  It's a bit run down, with the office building closed and the owners working out of their house on site. They were re-doing their roof while we were there, so they appear to be trying to get it up to snuff.  They told me that after 14 years of being tied down seven days a week they just wanted to do something different. That's becoming a common theme when I talk to small business owners (without staff or small staff).  I had met an owner of a Pet Sitter business in San Diego at the RV park in Grants who is selling her business after 24 years for much the same reason. It reminds me how fortunate Kathy and I are owning the type of business we do, which allows us much more flexibility (although less of the income) and the ability to see America.


Our next overnight was in Williams, Arizona at the Canyon Motel and RV Park.  Great stop, very professional outfit, clean and up to date with all the amenities, etc.  Might have even decided to stay an extra day or two, but despite having a great wi-fi signal, we could not get on the internet through them. That's all good though, as we were finally getting closer to warmer nights above freezing, so we pushed on to Kingman and our current location at the small, but tidy, Golden Valley RV Park about six miles out. Planning to spend a full week here, taking a couple of days to catch up on the business side, rest, and getting our furry friends settled down from their apparent mental issues from being cooped up in the SUV and trailer for the past two weeks. When you let your dog out of the car to do their business, and they sit by the side of the road, refusing to get back in, then "gruff" at you, it's time to take a break.  Besides, Kathy's gruffing too.  It was all worth it though as we had a great time along Route 66 on the way here.


We managed to bring most of our General Store with us on the road.  Some of our items like our historic CD's and personalized items ship direct from the manufacturer. But I crammed the rest, with the exception of some of our Old West books, magazines and tin signs, into every nook and cranny I could find in the trailer, brought our printer for posters and will be shipping at least twice a week while we are on the road.  Of course, anything from our Photo Print Shop will ship as usual since those are done by our print partner out of Kansas.  Although our vintage postcards couldn't make the trip, our own designs did. If you get a chance, check out some of our Kathy's new postcard designs that resulted from our trip to the Upper Midwest last summer which you can see here.


I better get busy on the Photo Blog, so I'll wrap up my dribble for now.  Here's to a wonderful year ahead and to the great memories made along the way.


Dave Alexander - RV water flow technician and keeper of the hair dryer.


In this Edition:


New Additions and Featured Stories


Featured Travel Destination - Albuquerque


Saying Goodbye


Featured Product


Feedback and Suggestions




More to See:


Legends General Store - Supporting our website since 2003


Legends Photo Prints - Our growing gallery of Vintage and Modern images available in various print sizes. Shop, or just enjoy browsing.


Legends Travel Blog - Follow us on our travels and catch special announcements.


Legends Photo Travel Blog - Follow our travels in pictures with interesting historic tidbits to boot.


Legends of Kansas - Our website dedicated to the state Legends was born in.


In Social Media:


Legends Facebook Page - Daily posts of all things American History.


Ghost Towns of the American West Facebook Page - Occasional posts of all things Ghost Towns.


Native American History Facebook Page - Occasional posts of all things Native American


Legends Photo Prints Facebook Page


Legends General Store Facebook Page


Legends on Twitter


Legends on Pinterest




4th & Central (Route 66), Albuquerque, New Mexico


An old bar in the ghost town of Correo, New Mexico.

Abandoned Bar near ghost town of Correo, New Mexico, on old Route 66 alignment.


Ella's Frontier, Joseph City, Arizona.

Ella's Frontier abandoned attraction, outside Joseph City, Arizona on old Route 66.


New Additions and Featured Stories  


Follow our travels via our Photo Blog as we explore parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California and Texas on the way home. New entry's coming soon!


Here's what else is new on Legends Of America:


On the Road - Oregon's Main Street: U.S. Highway 99 - In the early part of the 20th century, travel through and between the Pacific Coast states of Washington, Oregon and Californiawas cumbersome. Towns and developing cities were connected haphazardly and, for the most part, the roads were still dirt trails wending through all types of terrain. Authors Jo-Brew and Pat Edwards take us back to when the famed Pacific Highway that answered the problem, and became Oregon's Main Street, U.S. Highway 99.


Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox near St. Ignace, Michigan.Paul Bunyan, Hero Lumberjack - Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack in American folklore who has long been the hero of the American logging camps. His exploits, which revolved around the tall tales of his superhuman labors, were told by the fires of bunkhouses in the northern camps from Wisconsin to Maine, from Minnesota to Oregon, to Washington and California for decades.


Jean Nicolet arrives in WisconsinWhen Wisconsin Was Discovered - A Parisian mail carrier's son was the first white man to step upon Wisconsin soil. The year was 1634, and King Louis XIII reigned as monarch of France. Thus, by the law of nations relating to new discoveries, Wisconsin became part of New France.


Riddle Brothers Ranch National Historic Site, OregonRiddle Brothers Ranch - Pioneer Homestead - The old Riddle Brothers Ranch, located in Harney County, Oregon is part of the historic context of pioneer settlement in the American


More "What's New"



Old West Wisdom

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.

When a cowboy's too old to set a bad example, he hands out good advice.

Men are like Barbed Wire.... they have their good points.


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Albuquerque - 300 Year Old Duke City  


Greetings from Albuquerque Postcard

Greetings From Albuquerque Postcard


Albuquerque's history dates back 12,000 years when the Ancient Puebloan Indians settled in the area. Living here for two centuries between the years 1000 to 1300, this inspiring group planted corn, beans and squash and constructed adobe and brick pit homes along the banks of the Rio Grande. Further, they established several communities throughout northeastern New Mexico, connecting them with sophisticated roads.

Then, in 1540, Conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado came north in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola. Though Coronado left empty handed, it didnít stop even more Spanish settlers arriving in the area, looking for the elusive gold. The Pueblo Rebellion of 1680 discouraged further settlement until Spanish General Don Diego de Vargas arrived in 1692. By the end of the 16th century, several trading posts were established just north of the present day city.

By the beginning of the 17th century, the area that would one day become Albuquerque was called Bosque Grande de San Francisco Xavier. In 1706, the ambitious provisional governor of the territory, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, petitioned the Spanish government for permission to establish the bosque as a formal villa and call it Albuquerque, after Viceroy Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, the Duke of Albuquerque. Later the spelling was changed because some influential person couldn't pronounce the "R" in Albuquerque. The city is still nicknamed "Duke City."

Continue Reading HERE.



What our readers are saying about Legends Of America.

Sounds like your website could be a great resource for me. I'm a school teacher and also write and "try" to illustrate stories. - Eugene, Central Arizona.

The paranormal section of the sight is very eye catching with interesting facts. The historical part is as well information filled. - Olivia, Massachusetts


On a More Personal Note - Saying Goodbye  


The first couple of weeks of this month are a blur of emotion and reflection. Kathy and I have witnessed the outpouring of memories on social media over the death of Gary Turner, proprietor of the recreated Gay Parita Sinclair Gas Station on Route 66 in Missouri. We also learned of the sudden death of Becky Hargett of Becky's Barn on Route 66 in Illinois. Both touched the lives of many over the years, and even though Gary Turner only had the Gay Parita for a relatively short time, the tributes to him have been tremendous and world wide. Talk about leaving an impact. His family I'm sure is proud of the legacy he left. From what I can tell, Becky's Barn is continuing on, with Becky's husband Rick still at the helm. Don't know what will happen to the Gay Parita, but we wish Gary's family all the best in their hard decisions moving ahead. It's almost impossible to replace his presence.


For me personally though, the hardest part about the last few weeks was saying goodbye to the most influential man in my life, Alvin Wayne "Fuzzy" Alexander, my father. When I didn't know for sure if I would make it to Texas before he passed, I wrote the following and my brother read it to him.  I told him again in person the night before he died.

Alvin Wayne Alexander, 2004"Thank you Dad. You did right... and life is wonderful.

Through loyalty and dedication to your career, I learned work ethics which have provided a path to happiness and fulfillment.

Your honesty and morals guide me through a world with less. Your big heart gives me hope for more.

Growing up, our stable home gave us power to excel. The values it brought give us strength to this day.

Though it took me longer than some to get it, I learned that respect for someone, 'and' earning respect, brings love and understanding. Your support through it all keeps me grounded in a strong partnership; a beautiful marriage.

Love in your eyes for mom, the same for over five decades, makes my heart swell with pride. Your smile, even through pain, humbles me.

You gave me the privilege of being your son... you did right by us...and Life is wonderful."

I appreciate you giving me this therapeutic indulgence in print. We all experience loss in our lives, and for each of us it is hard to say goodbye. I am no better, nor deserving than you when it comes to grieving, or anything else for that matter. But I just wanted our readers to know how "privileged" I am. Not because of the color of my skin, nor great monetary wealth, of which we had little. I am privileged because of my parents. Because of their hard work, the dedication to each other, and the love and guidance they provided my sister, brother and I. What some may call "old fashioned values" are for me the building blocks to success and happiness.


Thanks again Dad, I'll see you on the other side.



This is a wonderful, educational website and a true repository of facts and information regarding the American West. This site gives valuable insight in the days of the American Frontier, and the photographs are beautifully presented. - Rick, South Africa


My father was raised in Coffeyville, Kansas and when I was a youth we would go back to visit my great grandmother who as a child sat on Sitting Bulls lap. I found out everything I could on the Dalton Gang,and I fell in love with Old West history and can't get enough. Mark, Ohio


My great, great grandfather was James S Fancher of Bibb County Alabama. My great grand father Noah Haggard Fancher moved to Panola County Ms in mid or late 1800's. I was born in Memphis Tn in 1947. I appreciate all the info in this site. I learned something I didn't know. - Richard, Mississippi.




Did you know? That you can see daily stories, from the Old West to Route 66, on our Legends Facebook Page? We also have a page dedicated to Ghost Towns, and Native Americans, as well as our General Store and Photo Print Shop. it's a daily dose of Legends sure to please!



Feedback and Suggestions  


We always appreciate feedback about the website and our newsletter. Do you have a suggestion about content that you would like to see, or perhaps, would like to contribute a photograph or a story? We would love to hear about it! We also want to hear about suggestions for improvement. See a link that doesn't work or a picture that doesn't appear -- please let us know. Just drop us a line at our Email address and tell us what you think.


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Legends of America


A Travel Guide for the

Nostalgic & Historic Minded


28926 Cedar Hill Loop

Warsaw, MO 65355



Kathy Weiser-Alexander


Dave Alexander
Owner/Operations Mgr.


Email - Kathy
Email - Dave  

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