Brad & Barb Wright - Southwest Trip 2009/2010 travel blog

"Sculpture" in downtown Phoenix

Transportation center in downtown Phoenix

Old bus on display at transportation center

US Airways Center where Diana Taurasi plays basketball for the Phoenix Comet

Chase Field home of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Sign for Pullman car that 4 Presidents used to travel.

The Roald Amundson Pullman Car - the Air Force 1 of it's...

Bill & Brad standing where Presidents have stood!

Train ride through park

Saguaro Cactii on Scottsdale Rd as seen from train park

Gratuity Train Car - one of 48 sent over from France after...

Barb & Lynne Maxwell

The Sugar Bowl - featured in Family Circus cartoons

Interior of the Sugar Bowl

Brad playing with Scout

Brad saying goodbye to Scout

We have been delayed in Tempe. We were supposed to leave today to head north. I don't know if you've heard any of the weather reports from the Southwest, but we have been having very heavy rain/wind storms the past few days. Last night we had wind gusts of up to 70 mph. There were two tornadoes that may have touched down - one in No. Scottsdale and one in Gilbert. There was also one that was confirmed in Blythe, CA right on the CA/AZ border. Many of the major highways in the northern part of Arizona have been closed due to heavy snow and rain. This afternoon there may be thunder showers and the possibility of hail. We have had no damage nor has the park we are in. There has been a lot of street flooding though. We have extended our stay here until Sunday. We will leave Sunday morning, hopefully for Camp Verde which is north of here. We will call up there tomorrow to see what the conditions are. We are still hoping to try for the Grand Canyon - we'll see. Jan called yesterday to see what we decided to do. She asked me if I thought I was just not meant to see the Grand Canyon! At least twice when I had come out to visit her we had planned to go and it fell through for one reason or another. When we do get there we'll just have to appreciate it more for all we went through to see it. One of the things that Bill, Jan, Brad & I did after getting back from California was to take a ride on the light rail into Phoenix. We walked around downtown for awhile and then rode back to the park. Jan had never ridden it. It's a great way to get around, especially for the ASU students as it goes right through their campus. Bill, Brad and I spent one afternoon at the Train Park in Scottsdale while Jan took Scout to obedience class. It's a large park that has several buildings, a large area with ramadas for picnics, two train rides, a playground for children, the Pullman Car Roald Amudson which in railroad times served as "Air Force One" to carry 4 Presidents (Herbert Hoover, FDR, Harry Truman & Dwight Eisenhower). Also on the grounds was the Arizona car from the Gratitude Train which was 49 Box Cars full of gifts sent from France after World War II. One car was sent to each state and to Washington DC. The gifts are on display at the museum at the Statehouse, which we didn't get to. We rode one of the trains around the park (a little bigger than the train at Look Park). One of the buildings was devoted to model train clubs. You couldn't go inside unless you were a member, but there were large windows you could look through to see their display and watch them running their trains around the track (They weren't as nice as Ralph's though). There were several Birthday parties going on in the park that day. What a great place for a kids party - too bad our grandchildren are so far away. A couple of days ago, I had lunch with my friend Lynne Maxwell. Lynne and her family lived in Easthampton back when we were in junior high school. Her Dad was in the Air Force stationed at Westover AFB in Chicopee at the time. I spent more time at their house than I did at my own during that time. We have stayed in touch ever since. Lynne and her husband Jim live in Littleton, CO but winter in Scottsdale. They have a beautiful home there. It was really nice getting to see her again and catch up - Brad decided to stay back at the coach so we could reminisce.

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