August 2008 Trip to Flagstaff, AZ / Albuquerque and Dawson, New Mexico and return to San Diego  

To attend the 2008 Dawson (New Mexico) reunion, Sally and I headed east for a week. This web page shows what we did on the way to Dawson and on the way back to San Diego.

We left on Monday morning, the 25th of August. We ran in to real heavy showers between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Not the kind of thing ones expects in the desert. Our first overnight stay was in Flagstaff, AZ at the Super 8. The next morning, Sally and I drove around Flagstaff. It is among the places we are considering for our retirement. I used my GPS to plot a course around town and the surrounding areas. We found that much of Flagstaff is covered in pine trees and the other half is open grasslands.

After our exploration, we drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Again, around Gallup, we encountered heavy rain showers. We stayed at a Days Inn in the western end of the town.

On Wednesday morning, we did a short hike at the Petroglyph National Monument.

Here's Sally in her early morning hiking garb.

Thousands of these Millipedes were crawing around.

We almost walked right over this rattlesnake sunning itself in the middle of the trail.
We saw two more rattlesnakes at the Dawson townsite.

Then we drove to visit, Dick and Barbara Davis, friends of Sally who live in Pecos, New Mexico.  Sally has known Dick and Barbara since she was 12 years old, when Dick was minister of Vista La Mesa Christian Church where Sally grew up.  They remained friends at the Unitarian Universalist Church where Sally and Dick sang in the choir and along with Barbara and 30 other members of the church and choir, toured Romania and Hungary in 1995.

Dick took us a short tour of the Pecos National Historical Park.

Dick Davis and Sally

Dick climbing out of a Kiva.

The remains of a large church.

Then on Thursday, we drove to the Raton, for the 2008 Dawson Reunion. In Raton we met up with Giuliano Colajanni and his wife, Rosalba.
Giuliano is Mark's second cousin.  He and his wife Rosalba live in Rome, Italy.  They have a seond home in San Pietro Avellana.  We were very graciously hosted by them in Rome and San Pietro Avellana in August 2004.  (See Italy 2004 trip.)  Though Giuliano has been to the Eastern part of the US on business in the past, this was his first trip West and Rosalba's first trip ever to the US.  Giuliano and Rosalba came to honor Giuliano's grandfather (Mark's great grand uncle) who lived most of his adult life in Dawson and is buried in Raton.

We stayed in Raton at this Super 8.
Photo by Giuliano

Saturday morning we went to tour another nearby coal mining town that is now a State Park, called Sugarite State Park.
We were treated to a guided tour by a very knowledgable volunteer ranger.
Above, visitor's center at Sugarite State Park.
Photo by Giuliano

Listening to the Ranger on a tour of the town site of Sugarite.
Like Dawson, Surgarite was completly torn down and salvaged after the mines closed in 1941.

This is what Sugarite used to look like. All these buildings are gone.
Photo by Giuliano

Mark and Sally (Mark has a cap from the PRO-LOCO organization in Italy)
Photo by Giuliano

Photo by Mark with Giuliano's camera

Gob Pile (undergoing restoration)

An entrance to one of the mines. The entrance was destroyed so no one can enter.

These reels held steel cables which were part of the mechanism whereby coal cars were lowered in the valley to the tipple where the mined coal was sorted and loaded onto railroad cars.
Photo by Giuliano

Saturday night and all day Sunday we were at the Dawson Reunion.  (See 2008 Dawson Reunion page.)

We left Raton Monday morning the 1st of September. We drove to Flagstaff.

On Tuesday morning, we arranged with real estate agent to look at a house there - our first look at possible retirement homes.

We left Flagstaff about noon and returned to San Diego.

As we were returning to San Diego, Giuliano and Rosalba visited Williams, AZ, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. They flew to San Diego on Friday the 5th to stay with us for a few days.

On their arrival in San Diego, Giuliano presented me with a video containing greetings from San Pietro Avellana. On Friday, we took them on a short tour of San Diego starting with Mt Soledad and then along the beaches of the city.

La Jolla Shores Beach
Photo by Mark with Giuliano's camera

On the Children's Pool breakwater in La Jolla.
Photo by Mark with Giuliano's camera

Crystal Pier
Photo by Giuliano

Sunset from Crystal Pier
Photo by Giuliano

Giuliano noted that every light pole had one and only one seagull upon it.
Photo by Giuliano

On Saturday, we drove to the home of a cousin we have in common, Nino Carlini, who lives in Mission Viejo, CA.

Rosalba, Giuliano e Nino Carlini

Marisa Carlini (Nino's daughter) and cousin, Valentina.
Valentina is the granddaughter of Nino's uncle, Enzio Carlini.

Nino and his grandson, Matteo.

Silvia and Nino.
Silvia is the granddaughter of Nino's uncle, Enzio Carlini.
Photo by Giuliano

Silva, Nino e Rosalba.
Photo by Giuliano

Sally and Rosalia, Nino's wife.
Photo by Giuliano

Marisa, Rosalba, e Valentina
Photo by Giuliano

We had lunch at a restaurant owned by Virgilio Gentile.
Virgilio was born in San Pietro Avellana, Italy which is where Giuliano's and Mark's ancestors are from.
Photo by Rosalba with Giuliano's camera.

On Sunday, we took a drive up to Palomar Observatory and the mountain town of Julian. We had apple pie in Julian.

This is the only photo that I took on Sunday.
It is Lake Henshaw taken from a new (for me) overlook that was built along the east grade route to the Observatory.

On Monday, Giuliano and Rosalba took a bus tour to Ensenada, Mexico.

On Tuesday, the four of us took a tour of San Diego Harbor and made a short visit to the Little Italy section of San Diego.

Here are the four of us getting our photo taken just before the Harbor Tour. I've got my PRO-LOCO hat on.

This is the ship for the harbor tour.

USS Midway Carrier Museum

San Diego skyline

Coronado Bridge

Ships in drydock at the shipyard facilities in the southern end of the harbor.

Captain Bill, aka tour guide

Military ship at dock

New Hilton - not open yet.

Giuliano and Rosalba taking photos


Live bait barges in the bay. This is where fishing boats stop to pick up live bait before going to sea to fish.
(The barges were covered with sea lions, pelicans and other water fowl.)

Rosalba e Giuliano (The Midway naval aircraft carrier is in the background.)

Statue along the harbor.

Tribute to Bob Hope

Rosalba just bought a T-shirt for Adriano, one of her sons, at a shop in Seaport Village.

Taking a rest.

New hats (Wow!)  (Compliments of Giuliano.)

Our first stop in Little Italy was Filippi's - an old style Italian deli.

We met some people who spoke Italian.

Near the end of the visit.

On Wednesday, Giuliano and Rosabla left for three days in San Francisco before their return to Italy.


This site prepared and maintained by Mark DiVecchio

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