Tuesday, March 31, 2009

High Winds-Lakewood, NM

Monday proved the weather prediction was correct as we had very, very high winds. Jim said weatherbug showed we had gusts up to 51 MPH. Not a good day to be on the road, so we sat still....well, not really still as we were battered around pretty good. Did get the laundry done though.

We all had dinner at Pizza Hut in Artesia last night - our last meal together. We spent our last evening watching The Librarian II.

This will be our departure point with Bill and Lesle as they go to Albuquerque and then to Trinidad, CO on Lesle's sister's property. We will drive this morning to Magdalena then Santa Fe. We have been together and traveled together since last October, so it will be very difficult to leave them and not have our daily visits. We have shared so many things together...it really is like leaving family.

Thank you so much Bill and Lesle for your companionship, friendship and adventure. We learned more card games from you, shared recipes, computer insights and so much laughter. You will be missed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lazy Day-Lakewood, NM

Yesterday was just a stay-at-home, lazy day for us. I continued to knit on the jacket I am making. I want to get done as much as I can before visiting my friend, Emily, in Magdalena this week, so she can teach me how to block and put it together.

It was a pretty nice day and we had the door opened all day. We finished the day with a great barbequed steak dinner and then going to the clubhouse for their monthly birthday/anniversary party of ice cream and desserts.....more food!!!

We were going to leave today, but there are high winds predicted for today, with winds anticipated to be up to 50 MPH. No thanks, we'll sit still for another day and see what tomorrow brings.

Can't have a posting without a photo of some kind, so here is a sunset at the Great Sand Dunes National Park near our hometown, Alamosa, Colorado. Remember, you are loved.

Portales, New Mexico

Saturday, March 28, 2009, Jim and I took a trip to Portales, NM about three hours drive from Lakewood. We went to see Jim's ex-brother-in-law, David, and his family. They have remained "family" throughout the years and have visited us many, many times in Colorado. Since we were so close we wanted to reciprocate.

We stopped in Artesia for fuel and right there in the parking lot of the Shell station was this beautiful bronze statue. It is massive and so detailed, built at 125% life size. The Trail Boss us the first in a series of three sculptures called The Cattle Drive. The series is designed to represent and honor the development of the ranching industry in southeastern New Mexico in the late 1800s.

Further down the road in Roswell, I did get a photo of the International UFO Museum as we drove by. We were really surprised by Roswell. It is much bigger than we envisioned. Quite a large town.

On to Portales, we arrived about 10 am and were welcomed by David until his wife, Mary, finished teaching a nursing class. Since eating seems to be the theme of our travels :) we went to a local restaurant we have visited many times in years past, La Hacienda. We were joined there by their daughter, Katherine, and her husband, Keith. Katherine teaches third

grade and Keith is the band teacher at a middle school/junior high in nearby Clovis. We missed seeing David's and Mary's son, Sean, who is a nurse in Dallas.

It is always nice to be able to visit family and is one of the true benefits of this traveling lifestyle.

Remember, you are loved!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Friday, Mar 27, 2009, we drove south to Carlsbad Caverns. I was here 50 years ago as part of a tour when I was a teen cadet of the Civil Air Patrol. I wanted Jim to have the awesome experience I had had.

It was a cold, windy day so we figured we might as well be underground today instead of pn a nice day. I put on my long johns, hat, gloves, and scarf as it was extremely windy. Unfortunately the guided tours were already full, so we took the self-guided tour of the Big Room using a rented audio. It was a 1.5 mile walk around....we did take the elevator done the 800 feet.

It was a very interesting tour...very impressive. Glad we decided to come to this area of New Mexico so we could see it.

Remember, you are loved.

The Ranch-Lakewood, New Mexico

We arrived at The Ranch on Thursday, March 26, 2009. It is a pretty isolated area 22 miles north of Carlsbad and 16 miles south of Artesia.

They do indeed ring the bell when you arrive. Folks do come out of their rigs or ride their bikes to come greet you. One big hug fest as seen in the collage below at the bottom right. The office is a cute, small buildiing. At registration you are handed a bag of treats for either a dog or cat - reminder to pick up after your pet but a cute idea non the less.

The porch in front of the club house is full of comfortable looking rocking chairs.

I think The Ranch wins over Hondo as being the friendliest. They sure make you feel they want you here in no uncertain terms. They even have a Welcoming Committee to visit every new arrival to welcome you and invite you to the social hour and make sure you have their calendar of events.

If we were to buy a lot somewhere this would probably our first pick of parks.

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Amazon.com reunion

Wednesday, March 25th while still in Pecos, Texas, we got to have another reunion with amazon.com workampers. Greg and Bree Witter drove their Harley over from Big Springs to see us, a two hour drive one way. But that is how fulltimers are - we'll drive long distances to reunite with a friend when they are traveling in the area.

Greg and Bree worked as Pickers at amazon.com, and were also parked in Walter Johnson. Being multi-talented Greg is also an RV tech and he and Bree are both massage therapists.

We enjoyed a fine visit and lunched on Opy's beef sausages and hot dogs a la Chapman :)

Then we went over to view the West of the Pecos Museum. The world's first rodeo took place in Pecos in 1883, and the museum records a lot of that history. Built of red sandstone in 1896 it was a saloon down stairs and bedrooms upstairs. In 1904 a third floor was added. Later a two story hotel was added to the side. The hotel's many rooms now houses a very interesting array of articles.

Each room of the hotel is a mini-museum of sorts. One room is dedicated to the history of the volunteer fire department, one room for the Masons, another for Eastern Star, then there was the medical profession, school room, lawyers office, Buffalo soldiers, hispanic culture,etc.
There was even a 1920's beauty shop complete with electric perm machine - looked like a form of torture! It was very well done and was immensely interesting.

After returning back to the campground we visited some more with the Witters, reminiscing about the days at amazon.com and all the mini-reunions we have had with amazon alumni since Coffeyville.

We said goodbye with hopes to see them on the road some time or maybe back in Coffeyville come October.
We ate again at Alfredo's Restaurant as we were leaving the next day.
Remember, you are loved

Friday, March 27, 2009

Joe wouldn't like this - SNOW

No, Joe wouldn't like what we saw as we woke up this morning. That is snow in Lakewood, New Mexico, at The Ranch. There was only a sciff of snow on the ground but the vehicles were covered. This is after an evening of howling winds reaching 45-50 MPH. I slept little because I was afraid the rig would topple over.

Here is Bill and Lesle's truck with our vehicles in the background. Also the chairs Bill and Jim sat in while they barbequed chicken and ribs that we had for dinner last night.

But we do have memories of our cruise to the Bahamas and we are warmed!

Since the weather is predicted to be only in the high 30s today, we figure we'll go underground and go on a tour of the Carlsbad Caverns. Probably will be warmer down there!

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alfredo's Restaurant-Pecos, Texas

The camphost at Tra Park recommended we eat at Alfredo's Restaurant and since Alfredo's also advertises in the park's booklet we figured we'd give it a try. Oh, boy, are we ever glad we did. I got to say it is probably one of the top 3 Mexican restaurants I've ever eaten in...yes, that good!

The outside is humble looking, but it is clean.

The chunky salsa had medium heat and was homemade with the chips served nice and warm. The menu had great combination selections, more expensive specialities like fajitas, but also American foods like hamburgers and shrimp. A little bit for everyone's taste.

We all ordered pretty much the same thing - 2B - which contained 2 cheese enchilada with a terrific red sauce, 1 beef taco and 1 chile rellano, along with rice and beans. All that for only $6.95. Oh, my goodness, was it wonderful. I usually don't like red sauce because it is bitter to my taste. But this red sauce was mild and full of tangy flavor. The chile rellano were perfect with a traditional meringue coating. Even the rice had good flavor, which you don't usually find. All in all it was an excellent meal. For dessert we had two orders of sopapillas which are kind of like a square donut without a hole. They were served with cinnamon sugar and honey and butter you could add. Our server named Easter (because she was born on Easter day) was friendly and attentive and had a great smile.

The food was so good we came back again tonight. Art was again on duty behind the register and remember us, so pretty soon we were delivered a plate of refried beans appetizers. Yummo-o-o.

So if you are ever in Pecos, Texas, definitely stop by Alfredo's Restaurant, at 1002 South Cedar Street. You will be happy you did!

Pecos, Texas

We had an easy, although seven hours long drive from Hondo to Pecos, Texas. We decided to take I-10 instead of Highway 90 because it took half the time.

As if 75 MPH speed limits aren't bad enough in Texas everything is bigger...so here the speed limit is 80 MPH. I wonder how much lower your mileage goes done at 80 MPH.
In these economic times people have to use ingenious ways to run a business. This fellow converted a school bus into Roadrunner Fabrics and parked on the side of the road by the railroad tracks.

Along the way we had a few Kodak moments to share. At our first rest stop Lesle found this butterfly on the road with a split wing. We placed it by a bush when we left.
We saw a lot of windmill farms in this area of western Texas as you can see in the background. That's Bill and Lesle's rig ahead of us.

Here is a funny looking hill - Lesle called it a boob hill...well it looks like it from a distance.

Escapees' Tra Park is not much, God bless them. It IS just a parking lot on the side of the street out in the open. They have metal-topped covered patios with a picnic table between every two spaces. Those are really needed with the heat in this part of Texas. The club house is an old single-wide trailer with 4 chairs, kitchen area and one of the back bedrooms is set up for puzzles and games. But the $14.50 daily fee comes with electricity and there isn't any taxes

We ate at a swell Mexican restaurant.....but that's another posting. Remember, you are loved.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Windy Hondo

We were suppose to head out yesterday for Pecos, Texas, but Weatherbug predicted high winds with gusts of 50 MPH, so we decided to stay put for the day.

Last year we were traveling with Mike and Sandy Bubar for a month in March-April 08. One day we put out from Flagstaff to Page, Arizona, and encountered a horrible wind storm. We had only driven a little way when we called it quits, as it was just too dangerous to drive in high winds....we're a little high profile if you know what I mean.

We pulled into Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument outside of Flagstaff to get away from the wind. The park is result of volcanic blasts back in 1060-1184 A.D. that left this cinder cone. The terrain looks today like it did then with lava flow trails and hillsides of black rock. We pulled into a side road to weather out the storm. Sandy and I started drinking Bloody Marys (it was already 11 am so it was OK) and we all started playing cards to take our minds off the blowing winds. It sure battered us around and I really thought the rigs would be pushed over by the wind. But we survived and took off for Page the next morning.

Yesterday in Hondo wasn't that bad, but Pecos did experience 50 MPH winds so it was good we didn't drive today. I had fried up some chicken to eat on the road for lunch, so we took all the food down to the clubhouse and had an indoor picnic. Bill, Lesle and Trish all brought food and we had a good old time. Even played "May I" card game till 3 pm.

We borrowed the DVD of Bucket List from Bill and Lesle and watched it last night. Pretty good movie....I'd see it again.

Well, it's early Tuesday and we will be hitting the road soon. Next is Pecos, Texas!

Remember - you are loved!

Class of 07 photos-then and now

When the Class of 07 met in Quartzsite, Arizona last year we had a photo taken by an ultra-light aircraft that flew over the area we staked out. We formed a human "07" to commemorate the occasion. Many of the rigs circled around the campfire to try and block out the wind at night. So here we are in January, 2008 in Quartzsite.....

And here we are in Boerne, Texas, March 2009. We figured we'd do the "human 07" every reunion as a tradition. We all gave the "Molly wave" in honor of Molly Pinner who had shoulder surgery just before Quartzsite and had to extend her arm in the air several times a day for therapy. We all just got in the habit of raising our arms at the same time, so she didn't stand out by herself. It became the "Molly wave".

Nice memories!

Remember, you are loved!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bill & Rosa's Steakhouse-D'Hanis, Texas

Classmates together again...can't get enough of each other.

Last night we went to Bill & Rosa's Steakhouse in nearby D'Hanis which is only 1.5 miles west of the park. This place is full of animal heads on the walls including a mounted snake skin complete with rattlers. There were old rusted gas and soda signs as well as and old movie posters on the walls as well. Very eclectic.

Folks in the park warned us the meals were huge, so Jim and I decided we would share a meal. We got the chicken fried steak...look at the size of the full order. I told Jim to put his hand along side so you could get a prospective of the size of this monster.
That one order is 16 oz of meat all in one piece and costs $13.99 and it came with salad, mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli and a roll. Needless to say, we took home 3/4 of the serving.

Here Trish shows how big her half order was.

And here is Bill's Billy Country Friend Steak with cheese and bacon - no gravy comes with this one.

Lesle was sensible and ordered the chicken schnizel which was heavenly thin and delicately breaded with a squirt of lemon juice. Very nice.

We rolled back to the park and spent the evening playing Hand and Foot in the club house. Very, very enjoyable evening with friends.

Class Rally-Thursday

We found out Lone Star Corral Escapees Park has free wifi, so we are now able to catch up on our blog.
We started the day with an Omelet in a Bag breakfast. You are given a ziplock bag with two eggs cracked in it and you add all the goodies you want.
Then you went outside and added your bag to the pot of boiling water.

You boil the bags for 13 minutes

and out rolls a perfect omelet

For whatever reason I didn't take any more photos that night. We had great happy hour snack Thursday night with a cerviche the first place winner with a hot crab dip coming in second. Then we had to eat dinner!!! We had wonderful deep fried turkey we had for dinner Thursday night. The guys fried two whole ten pound turkeys and five turkey breasts. Everyone else brought appropriate side dishes like dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes, salads and veggies. Oh, just roll me to my rig!!!!!

After dinner we had a Chinese gift exchange that was hilarious as usual. The biggest laughs went to a copy of RV Vacations for Dummies like full time rvers need that. Jim and I actually got a great item - Readers' Digest The Most Scenic Drives in America. Good for when we go into a new area to find the nice places to see.

Friday morning we all bid each other good-bye and filled out surveys of where to meet next year and when. Hope we can make it to the next one. These classmates are very precious to us and arranging to see each other again is important to us. They are our family on the road and we love and support each other like a family. We read each other's blogs and post each other on discussion forums, but being in each other presence a few times a year is a must do for us. God speed, dear friends, see you down the road!!!

Remember, you are loved.