Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hello? Is there anybody out there?

No one has left a comment on this blog in so long I’m wondering if anyone is even reading it. 

As we visit with friends in Alamosa almost everyone say “I read your blog all the time”. Huh???  Sure enough they tell me about something they read or somewhere we went and wrote about….so I know they are reading our blog….but how do I know they do when they never leave a comment or let me know? 

I phone RV friends on the road and they make comment about our blog posts, but again they never leave comments.

So, come on folks, how about letting me know you are reading this blog and leave a comment.   (If you don’t have a Google Account you can leave it anonymously but please type your name at the end of the comment so I’ll know who left the comment.)

I’ll wait………….

Remember, you are loved.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Meadows Campground

Jim and I took a drive up to South Fork to check out our campgrounds for downed trees, snow and general campsite condition.  We were very happy to see everything came through the winter in very good shape. There wasn’t any snow in the campsites and we were able to get into all the campgrounds. We will have minimum pre-season cleanup to do. We’re looking at buying a pressure washer to make cleaning the picnic tables faster and easier.

Next we drove into Big Meadows to see what had been done after we left in early September.  OMG, they came in and cut down all the spruce trees infected with the Bark Beetle disease.  For all our yearly campers - you will no longer be in a heavily wooded area.  Most of the large spruce within the campsites are all gone. They left trees 15-20 foot tall for new growth. But please remember this was very necessary to control the spread of the Bark Beetle disease.

This is looking from the picnic area towards the first loop. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can easily see the storage shed left of center; it would be around site #11. Then right dab in the middle you can see the restrooms across from site #8.  You never could have seen those before they cut down all the trees. Sad, it is just plain sad!!!

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Click on any photo to enlarge the view

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View from fishing pier
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Tree shredder makes mulch
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Was site #40 next to us
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Site #41-first one on right side
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Left Site #17 on right #18
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Site #18 looking towards water-
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Note water station on left across from Site #18 on second loop
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Looking from #40 & 41 with new restroom near #1
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Open space somewhere
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Don’t remember where

I know it is sad to see the sparse tree cover but hopefully the aspen will fill in the open space.

Remember, you are loved.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alamosa, Colorado

We arrived back in Alamosa Thursday, April 12th and parked on Jim’s brother’s property by the airport.  Thank you, Ron.

Friday we went to the 9 News Health Fair.  This is a wonderful health benefit to the state sponsored by channel 9 in Denver. The blood draw is worth about $600-700 and only costs $30. I also had my hearing checked, confirmed the dark spots on my neck are good old “age spots”, checked my height (didn’t shrink any) and learned about local health sources. 

The health fair is also a great place to see the folks of the community all at one time.  During the two hour wait in line till you advance to the blood draw you see folks we haven’t seen since last year.  You turn a corner and there was 3 people I worked with at K-Mart 14 years ago, met former students who took my computer class at the library, saw a gal from the book club I belonged to, etc. 

Friday we also learned that Terri Deacon’s mother had passed and the funeral would be Saturday. (Many of you remember Terri and Rich Deacon who worked with us at in Campbellsville and also were at Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville, LA with us and the Mossman’s last spring.)  Then we heard former firefighter and city building inspector, Jeff Rilling had suddenly died at age 53 and his memorial service would be Monday.

So many of us fulltime RVers don’t carry dressy church clothes with us so I needed to go shopping.      I went to Rainbow’s End Thrift Store and found a black dress for $5 that was appropriate to wear for a Mormon church funeral for Terri’s mother and then went to JC Penny’s and found a brown and black blouse I could wear with black slacks for Jeff’s memorial service.

The funeral and memorial service gathered together more people we knew and hadn’t seen in a while, so we were able to see and talk to many people we knew.

As in many small towns everywhere you go you see folks you know.  It makes for some exceptionally long trips to the grocery store LOL.  You go in for a couple of items for dinner and meet someone at the meat department and tell them where you’ve traveled since last summer; then you go to pick up some tomatoes and there is another person you know.  By the time I add a gallon of milk to my cart 45 minutes have gone by.  We go for breakfast and I see two former computer class students a couple of tables away. Go to buy some stamps and I run into a couple more library patrons who recognize me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing folks I know again.  But just how many times in a day can you explain to people how you get your mail, once they remember you are a fulltime RVer now? Or “I almost didn’t recognize you because you were in a car with South Dakota plates”. Other fulltimers know the routine we all go through.In love

But it has been nice to go to our favorite restaurants again and eat what we know as “green chili” which is a sauce you put over eggs, burritos or enchiladas that contains pork meat, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and Hatch green chiles.

Jim had a wonderful breakfast skillet with green chili at Ef’s , I had my guacamole tostado with green chili at El Charro, Salai and I had buffet lunch at Hunan’s, with Jim and I sharing chicken chow mein at May Wa’s with Spanish omelets at The Campus, sharing a pizza from San Luis Valley Pizza Company with Heinz and Angela Bergann and I had Chili’s Southwest Chicken Chili Soup and Cobb Salad with my BFF, Lory Sanchez.  It was all topped off with buffet lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant at Baldo’s in Monte Vista today.

Yes, we’ve eaten out a lot since we’ve returned to Alamosa, but we hadn’t gone out to eat for two months when we were in south Texas….yes, I’ve made up for it now.  Back to cooking at home from now on.

More tomorrow to catch everyone up on our goings on…. remember, you are loved, mucho!!!!!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Espanola, New Mexico

From Santa Fe we drove a short distance up to Espanola to visit our friends, Teddy and Birdie, who are parents to Tim, whom we had dinner with our first night in Santa Fe. 


We met Teddy and Birdie back in 2009 when they were campers in Big Meadows and they invited us to dinner. They camp with us two to three times each summer.  Teddy is a dutch oven and disk cooking master and sets up a huge cook tent when he camps with us. Luckily we are asked to dinner often.

Teddy parked us around the corner of their house by the local livestock arena.  And surprisingly there was a family of buffalo penned up there.


We sat outside and enjoyed the cool evening and caught up on our lives since last summer.

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Wednesday Teddy drove us to Los Alamos where Birdie works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. the drive up was so pretty.

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It sure was interesting to see this town all based on where the atomic bomb was invented/created.

This is said to have been one of the ponds where waste water was held during the Manhattan Project. Now a clean water feature in a pretty city park.
Green glass building in back is called The Green Castle by locals and is where “the big wigs” have their offices.
Guard shacks only manned when security levels are high
The Lab covers 45 square miles of lovely country.

After driving through the town of Los Alamos we headed toward Jemez Mountains. There have been two forest fires in the last 12 years.  The char remains are still visible today.

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But then we drove through this enchanted area. This large area was up to recently a private ranch, but sold and is now Valles Caldera National Preserve. It is a huge 89,000 acres with this panoramic view .  Teddy use to transport cattle to graze there.  Happily, the preserve is still open to the public on weekends.

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Further up the road we encountered more beautiful scenery.

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It was a great day of sightseeing and even the drive by home brought us beautiful sights.



Back home we enjoyed a great dinner of homemade beans and chili that provided us a great Frito Pie



We said our goodbyes that night as Teddy and Birdie had to go to work early the next morning. We sooooo enjoyed our visit with them and look forward to seeing them in South Fork this summer.

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Santa Fe, New Mexico

After leaving Roswell, NM, we drove up to San Felipe and spent the night at Casino Hollywood.  Jim needed a some “coin” relaxation.  He made enough to pay for our RV stay and dinner for us both at their buffet….works for me!

Next morning we drove up to Santa Fe and arrived at Santa Fe Skies RV Park.  It was easy to find, was very quiet and we had a beautiful view of the Santa Fe skyline.  We were about 10 miles from our daughters neighborhood but the parks in town were waaaay too expensive.

Friday night both our daughters had to work so we took advantage of the free time to have dinner with our friends Tim and Paulo.

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Tim is the son of our friends, Teddy and Roberta Abeyta, who camp with us several times each summer.  This picture was taken last September when they came up to camp with us.


Tim put on a grand spread for us with grilled steak and chicken…I remember the bottle of Pendleton he bought for me…oh, my, it is some mighty fine whisky.  Thank you, guys, your hospitality was wonderful.

Saturday we went to our daughter Christine’s house.  It was so good to see our daughters and grands.  We were especially happy to be reacquainted with our great-granddaughter, Amity.  What a doll!!! 

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Jim beamed the first time Amity called him “great grand-dad”.  We tried to get her to call him something simpler like “pop” or something, but no she wouldn’t have any of that it was the full “great grand-dad”.


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Jim playing “dollies”
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“You hold her now”
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Granddaughter Alyssa helping Amity dye eggs

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Four generations Christine, Jim and Amity with her dad, grandson Max

Sunday was our day with daughter, Beth, and her sweetie Tom.  We went out to lunch at Soup n Salad and then spent the afternoon together enjoying a shopping trip to Trader Joes.

Monday we celebrated Easter at our rig.  It was a beautiful day so we ate outside under the awning. 

It was different but very special since we haven’t had a holiday together in the five years since we became fulltime RVers.  I baked a bone-in ham, scalloped potatoes and yeast rolls.  Christine made her amazing Glorified Bean Casserole (asparagus, green beans, mushrooms and bacon in mushroom soup sauce) and Beth baked a superb pineapple upside down cake.

We left Tuesday morning after a very nice visit with the family.  We’ll come back again in early September and early October for our fall visit.  See you then family.

Remember, you are loved.

Blogger Labels: Santa Fe,New Mexico,Roswell,San Felipe,Casino Hollywood,Hollywood,Santa Fe Skies RV Park,friends,Paulo,Teddy,Roberta,Abeyta,Pendleton,daughters,Christine,Granddaughter,Alyssa,eggs,Beth,Trader,Joe,Easter,RVers,Bean,Casserole,upside,generations,daughters

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Roswell, New Mexico

We mapped out our way to Colorado through Roswell, NM to visit friends, Diane and Tom Wartman. 

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We first met The Wartman’s in church in Alamosa, Colorado, 20+ years ago. Tom works for the Fish and Wildlife Department. I remember visiting Diane on their farm where she raised goats and made her own goat cheese and goat milk soap.  She also ground her own flour and made wonderful baked goods!

Several years ago the Wartman’s moved to Roswell where Tom works at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. We went on the road and lost touch.  Last summer I got an email from Diane that they were going to be fulltime RVers and in looking up information she came across our blog; she hadn’t known we were also fulltime RVers.

The Wartman’s are into rocks and gems and came up for the rock show in Creede last summer.  They stayed at our campground the night before so we could be reacquainted….and answer 100 questions about fulltime RVing.

So on this trip of ours back to Colorado from south Texas we decided to stop in Roswell to visit them.  They figured they had two years before retirement, and not knowing how long it would take to sell their house in Roswell, they put it on the market in March.  It sold the next day!!!  So they moved into their travel trailer and moved it onto the refuge and became fulltime RVers.  Tom was offered an early retirement, so instead of waiting two years Tom will retire in September and they will hit the road.  They are very excited at the prospect of traveling and new adventures in their retirement years.

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Here is Diane welcoming us to the resident area of the refuge were we were allowed to stay overnight. 



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Diane brought us over to the refuge’s visitor center and what an awesome and beautiful place it is!  This  wetland oasis in the middle of the desert is a refuge for wintering migratory birds. It is also a habitat for 100 species of dragonflies and damselflies.

The displays inside the visitor center are amazing showing replicas of the wetland areas and sink hole wildlife.  Very fascinating.

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There’s a very large back window that overlooks  Bitter Lake (named by the local Indians because of the highly alkaline water as it evaporated).  There are picnic tables outside and very comfy chairs inside to rest and enjoy the scenery.

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We watched a very well done film on the refuge and another film on the dragonflies and damselflies living

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here.  Did you know dragonflies live only about one year and live above water only one month of that year?  The rest of the time is lived under the water as larvae, known as “nymphs” attached to reeds or grasses.  The refuge even has a  dragonfly festival every year in September.


When Tom got off work he showed us around his work shop (he’s a heavy equipment operator) that also houses the refuge’s fire department…Jim’s eyes lite up!

Tom showed us the table in the fire department that pulled apart and held sand and miniature trees, buildings and vehicles.  They use these to create fire scenarios and plan and plot out how they would fight the fire.  Very ingenious.  Tom and Jim had a good time playing with the sand pit.
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After our tour Diane prepared a delicious chicken pasta dinner with the first grilled asparagus of the season.  The rest of the evening was spent discussing next year’s traveling plans, what toilet paper to use and how many dish towels and shoes you really need.

We had a great visit with Diane and Tom and look forward to seeing them on the road in the years to come.

Remember, you are loved.

Blogger Labels: Roswell,Mexico,Colorado,friends,Diane,Wartman,church,Alamosa,Fish,Wildlife,Department,soap,Bitter,Lake,National,Refuge,RVers,gems,campground,Texas,retirement,March,trailer,September,area,visitor,wetland,oasis,birds,habitat,species,Indians,scenery,festival,equipment,operator,trees,dinner,plans,paper,dish,Remember,replicas,areas,larvae,grasses,vehicles,goat,summer,dragonflies,damselflies