Monday, December 28, 2009

Yes we are still out here...

Sorry about the long delay in posting, not sure why except we have just been busy and enjoying ourselves.

The last posting we were getting ready to leave Deming New Mexico and head back to Arizona, trying to find some warmth. We made it to Saint David Arizona and spent only 2 nights there. Did some of the tourist things in the area and then packed it up and moved again. This time we went to Mesa Arizona for the first time. We spent 3 nights there and enjoyed watching everyone setting up their decorations for Christmas. It was a little warmer with lots of sunshine.

This was the first time we had a chance to wash the rig and truck, and let us tell you it was time. We hired a firm to come in and clean the carpets and do they ever look good now. We found a new runner at a swap meet and it looks great in the rig.

Took a walk around the park and had to get this shot of the beautiful clouds and a lone palm tree. And this is "what it's all about".

I guess when you sit around all day long you can come up with ideas of what to use your old pop and beer cans for. We thought this was quite an original design and the maker did a great job with it.

Deb, check out what you can do with an old bicycle and put it in your front yard.

Dick got out one night and got several pictures of some of the Christmas lights.

Jackie made Dick take her out to dinner and we had a great meal at one of Toby Keith's restaurants. The food was good but the music was not scheduled to start for two hours so we did a little shopping and headed back home.

Off again to Cornville Arizona near Sedona at Page Springs campground where we backed up to the river and next to good friends Robbie and Alice. It was good to see them and also Steve who was camped in another area of the park.

We spent some time out in the desert around the Sedona area that we had not seen before. Another beautiful day to get out and enjoy the sights.

Then back home to have another fire in Jackie's new portable fire pit next to the river. Good time was had by all so we did this for 3 nights. Good food, good friends and a relaxing time but it all had to come to an end when they all headed east and we went southwest.

We went to Verde Valley, only about 20 miles to a Thousand Trails park for 4 nights and spent most of our time relaxing and doing a little geocaching. Also took a hike down to the river and a trip to the local winery.
It was then time to head further west to Ehrenberg Arizona just across the boarder from California and about 15 miles west of Quartzsite. We were met at the gate by Dick's brother and sister-in-law, Guy & Joan; it was great to see them again. The last time was in September.
They are camping about 50 miles north of us for the winter and they invited us up for Christmas dinner. It was great to spend the holiday with family. Thanks you guys for a great afternoon.

We spent part of one day at Quartzsite and this is a picture for our Montana Owners of Rice Ranch. In another two weeks this area will be packed full of RVs and sales booths. This is looking southeast from the graphics sales trailer.

And in another two weeks this area will be filled with close to 50 Montana 5th wheels and friends. This is the area where we dry camped for three weeks last January. If you look close you can see our truck is parked in the middle of the area next to the fire pit.

On one of the trips to visit Dick's brother we came across the town of Poston Arizona where during WWII 17,867 Japanese Americans were moved to 3 camps for 3 1/2 years.

This monument stands as a sad reminder of those times. An interesting fact is that our government decided to put this camp in the middle of the desert on Indian land.

We will be here for another 2 weeks and then off to the Montana Owners Rally (MOC) at Quartzsite. While here we will be teaching line dancing 3 times a week, and really enjoying the opportunity to find a place to dance.
Might as well try and do a little selling here while we have the chance.
Anyone want to purchase one of Dick's wire wrapped arrowheads for only $15.00 each plus postage?.

A little late but we want to wish all of our readers a merry Christmas and a very, very Happy New Year.
To be continued...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We are out of Texas

We slowly found our way out of Texas after arriving on October 12. So we did spend nearly 2 months in that great state, but wanted to get back to the southwest so we could share Christmas with family.

We departed Lakehills and headed for the small town of Bracketville where we spent two nights. The weather was cold so after meeting with the sister of a close friend and getting a tour of the park (Ft. Clark Springs), which is really very interesting, we spent most of the time doing laundry and a little cleaning. We did get out to see some of the countryside but not much to see so won't even try and post any pictures of this area.

We moved to Marfa for one of our one-night stands. We did get to look around the town and they had some very nice old buildings in the downtown area, but next to the RV park used to be the Stardust Motel. This is all that remains of the facility.

We are not sure if they call this "grass land" or just "flat land". We wanted to get in and out of town ASAP because they were predicting lots of snow. Talking to a gentleman in the park he said this was usually the coldest area of Texas.

It got cold as the sun was setting but not too cold to get out and get some pictures of the setting sun. You can really see how flat the area is, but most of what we saw of Texas was like this.

We said goodnight to the cold and headed back inside to enjoy a hot drink and a board game that Jackie finally won.

Up early the next morning with plans to do about 300 miles and get out of Texas and into New Mexico. We traveled northwest on US 90 where the road was great with very little traffic. Very easy drive sitting back listening to a book on tape.
We hit I-10 and headed northwest through El Paso where the clouds looked like they were flowing over the top of the mountains to the north. We continued another few miles and did a big high-five when we crossed the boarder into New Mexico.
We did stop 3 places in El Paso so had a long break in that long drive. This is only the second time in the last 19 months that we have traveled over 300 miles in one day.

Five miles to go to our destination up in the hills south east of Deming New Mexico.

We arrived at Rock Hound State Park, set up and relaxed for about an hour and then the wind hit us coming down the side of the mountain. The slide toppers flapped and banged and the furnace came on and off all night long. It got down to about 19 degrees that night and yes we got a little snow.
The next day it warmed up to about 32 degrees and then back down into the low 20s that night. The sun came out but still cold.

This is what we woke up to in the morning with the mountain behind us.

And the view looking out into the valley and Deming in the distance, about 15 miles away.

We did get the bird feeder out and hung it so it was only about 5' from our side window and enjoyed watching all the activities. It took about 24 hours for the feeder to be emptied.

We must say this area is really flat, looking out toward Deming there are scattered homes in the desert but few and far between until you get closer to town.

Just an interesting shot looking at the hills behind us.

Another evening and another sunset. Caught this one just as the sun dropped behind the small hill in the distance. See if you can find the Border Patrol blimp that sits in the sky day and night.

We did hook up with the great couple who live here we met last March; this is the couple that gave us their 1000 Trails membership after meeting them Sunday at church. We took them out to dinner last night and had a very lovely evening with them, sharing favorite camping experiences.
We are off again in the morning heading to Arizona without getting up in the hills to do any rock hounding. Maybe next time when it's not so blasted cold.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Mess with Blanco

We are still camping at the Thousand Trails campground about 35 miles west of San Antonio Texas and finally decided to make the trip into town to see the sights. We went on Monday before Thanksgiving with a lot of people off work down here so the traffic was not bad in town.

We headed straight to the Alamo, paid our $5.00 parking and walked across the street to the site. We figured it out (hard math) that we were here 30 years ago. I guess there have been lots of changes in all those years but who remembers what it looked like that long ago? Not us.

We did all the tourist stuff, listened to a speaker, walked the grounds and the buildings, read all the history and spent about 2 hours there. It was all very interesting this big piece of Texas history. Sad but interesting.

Just a few pictures to share of the buildings that Dick took

We then walked across the street to the visitors center and got a map of the river walk. Left the building took a hard right down the stairs and there we were. It was just like we remembered it with lots of people enjoying the warm day, the sunshine.
We walked most of the river then took a barge trip that took about an hour and only cost us a total of about $6.00; love those senior discounts. The skipper did a great job with the history of the town and the river.

We headed to Dick's Place for lunch but because of all the smokers we moved to another restaurant.

Along the river was a stage and dancers performing in costume. We sat across the river on the lawn where the music was and enjoyed the show and watched the barge with tourists go by.

These three young girls did a very good job and it was fun to watch.

Bright colors, great music, warm sun what more could we ask for. Oh yes, and it was free. We like free.

On the barge trip in one corner of the river we circled this little island with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. It's hard to think that it's that time of the year again.

Being this close to Luckenbach Texas and having danced to the song we decided we had better head up there and see the town. Except for an open dance hall across the street, this is the town. There was a post office here until about 1971 but now it's a gift shop and bar. But we can now say we have been to Luckenbach Texas.

And we can also say we have been to Blanco Texas. Before you ask what is significant about this town, well our son inlaw's last name is Blanco. So Rich, this is for you. Debbie you may want to click on the picture to enlarge it then print it and frame it for the basement.

To be continued...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving & Dick's new hobby...

We want to wish all our family and friends a very happy Thanksgiving. We are sad being away from family but will still have a good meal with lots of other people that are in the same boat here at the RV park. We are watching the parade on live feed out of New York and then maybe a football game this afternoon.

If you are out there reading this, drop us a line or two and cheer us up.


No travel Blog today, just showing off what Dick has been doing in his spare time.

It's interesting what you can learn from a book. Dick started to wire wrap some stones that he purchased and then moved on to use some of the rocks that he has found and polished.

I think this piece was posted another time. It is the first one he made.

Again this is a purchased stone and wrapped with silver plated copper wire.

Showing the front of another.

And the back. Still trying to figure out what to do with the top wires to make it look good.

Dick's Dad and Mom spent time on the beach picking up pretty rocks and his Dad polished them. Dick found his collection and thought it would be fun to wire wrap some of his rocks and thereby have two generations working to create one piece of jewelry.

This is another beach rock that Dick's father polished and Dick wrapped. Notice the new style at the top. Dick is also tumbling some of the ones his Dad never got around to and hopes to use some some of them in the future.

We picked up this fossil sand dollar from the Port Aransas beach at Texas. It's over one million years old. If you look close you can see the center of the sand dollar.

Dick decided to try something new so using one of the chalcedony stones that he picked up from Quartzsite, Arizona polished and turned it into a bracelet to fit Jackie's wrist.

He plans to try a ring and earrings in the future.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Utopia in Central Texas

Last Monday we finally departed the Gulf of Mexico where the temperature was 69/80 and headed Northwest 200 miles to Lakehills Texas, about 40 miles Northwest of San Antonio where the temperature when we arrived was 30/70. Wow was it cold at night.

The road exiting the park was a little harry as we were not sure we would fit under the trees, but all went well.

We arrived at the Thousand Trails park and found a sight in the lower section near the lake with lots of light. Remember the word "lower".

After setting up we took a walk down to the lake and found that they had moved it. Notice that there is not any water around the sign.

Or any water around the dock. If you look closely you can see the light brown area at the top of the picture that was the beach on the other side.

We spent most of the week checking out the surrounding area. Jackie had her 6 month check-up (which went very well) and the weather forecast for Thursday was for heavy rain. Let us tell you that during the night the rain sounded like it was going to come through the roof. We finally got up around 7:00 in the morning to take the dog out for her morning walk. Dick put on his rain gear and boots, it was still raining hard. When he went out the rig was in the middle of a river and the water was up to the bottom step, and rising. I guess the "lower" area was the wrong one to pick. Dick took that first step out of the rig it was over the top of his boots and they filled to the top.

He found a spot for the dog to do her thing and then had to retrieve our shoes, mats and lawn chairs which were floating toward the lake. We spent the day reading, relaxing and making some jewelry. Saturday, when the swamp drained, we hooked up and moved to another location (in the upper part of the campground) and started to dry off.

Dick took the ladder off the back of the rig and the local deer thought he was getting feed and they came from all over the park. There are literally hundreds of deer running around here that all the campers feed.

C C wanted to play with them but I guess because of all the other dogs barking at them makes them a little shy of dogs. She was able to get about 2' away before the deer turned and walked away.

This is what it looks like when the deer corn comes out. Could not get all of them in the picture.

When talking to another camper we turned around to see a little dispute between two bucks going "head to head".

They pushed from one side of the road to the other until one pushed the other between two trees and got it off it's feet and just held it there for about a minute before releasing it to run off. Kind of exciting because this is the first time viewing something like this in person.

We drove to Lost Maples State Park for a hike in the hills today. The sun was out and it was in the high 60s so was a great day to hike. On the way up there we stopped to take a picture of the FALL colors. Yes it's late November, but the leaves are about finished changing color in this part of the world.

The maples were beautiful. This is a shot of one side of the tree.

On the return hike we stopped to take another picture of the same tree but from the other direction.

We crossed the creek several times and after this crossing turned around and got a shot of the reflections on the water.

One more stop on the way home, the only problem was that we felt the same when we left as when we arrived so we guess it's just a name and not a feeling.

To be continued...