Monday, April 29, 2013

Now In Moab

Sunday, April 21 - We finally exited Texas and crossed into New Mexico. Now don't get us wrong, we love Texas. It just takes so long to cross the state. We over nighted at Sumner Lake State Park. It's a decent park and better than Santa Rosa SP up the road. Like most lakes out here, it’s going away. We have a Ramada at our site and sat outside for a while. I had a bad day with my arm. I took a pain pill at lunch and then another one at dinner and then had to take a pill to combat the nausea.

Monday, April 22 - We stopped in Santa Fe to have lunch at Mucho Gusto. Yes, Martha, we still had your recommendation from 2010. You are correct that it is very good place. We were the only touristas. If I had known where the place was, I would have passed on it. A block from the Spanish Plaza is not a great area for an RV towing. But for an $8 parking charge we enjoyed a marvelous lunch.

We had chips and salsa first and the tomatillo sauce was fantastic. We could have drunk it. I had grilled shrimp and mushroom tacos with guacamole and Don had shredded lamb in sweet red barbecue sauce. They were served with very good Spanish rice, refried black beans and pico de gallo. Muy flavors!

We have been to Santa Fe a few times day tripping. This time it hit me, if you lived there you would need to somewhat proficient in Spanish as most of the road names are Spanish.

A beat up LD was turning into parking lot right in front of us. We saw it was a single woman with a German Shepard. Something told us she would not want to speak with us. By the time, we parked and got over to pay she was gone, walking fast towards the church. But, before we could stuff all our bills into the machine, she was back. No eye contact. She had put $20 in the machine for a $4 parking ticket despite the fact that a sign says No Change. Now, she feels that she made a mistake in her haste to escape us. The attendant advised her that she would need to see someone “upstairs”. And she was off again. No eye contact.

While eating, we decided to go Jemez Springs rather than Abiquiu. There is a small FS CG up a canyon that we like and our favorite site was open. We sat outside for Happy Hour and watched the sun paint the bluff, the trees and listened to the babbling Jemez River. A very good day.

Tuesday-Wednesday, April 23/24 – Back on US550, we headed north to Colorado and got our first view of the snow covered San Juan’s. We will drive the Jeep all over them in August, but for now it is like seeing old friends. I asked Dorothy if she knew where US550 went. She did not know. I said Ouray and I think I saw her grab her arm rest.

All along 550 we saw work trucks flying colored flags that indicate what energy company they belong to. It seemed every fourth south bound was flying colors. If Obama finds out, he will want to shut em down. Drilling bad, giving tax dollars to friends good.

We had not talked about it prior to the trip, but opted to go to Mesa Verde National Park. We have passed it a few times in last few years, but had not been there since 1984. We went to the new Visitor's Center first and I asked a ranger about ruins that I might get to. Most have ladders to climb and my feet will not allow me to climb ladders, but then my arm won't allow me to pull myself up either. It's disappointing. But there is a positive side - the CG is open, but doesn't officially open until mid-May. Therefore, it's free to camp. One must see thing here is the museum. We spent 1 1/2 hours, but could have spent more.

We toured Spruce House, which is accessible by a paved path. We learned that the natives desire the ruins to decay, while the Park Service maintains them in a state of arrested decay.

While the ruins are interesting what I most like about Mesa Verde are the long views you get in all directions. It’s an island in the sky, but unlike that like named place in Canyonland’s or Dead Horse Point, you see several other mountain islands from her.

02 - Mesa Verde 02 02 - Mesa Verde 22 02 - Mesa Verde 30

The San Juan’s 25 miles away         Spruce Tree House                   I like the four level square house


Thursday, April 25 – We should have left at 6, but we messed around until 8, which put us into Moab after musical campsites happens each morning at the BLM CG’s along the Colorado. Dorothy’s handicapped placard allowed us to get a good site at Big Bend CG which is seven miles north of our favored CG. That said, BB is quieter than Goose Island as the canyon is wider so road noise has a place to go and a bit more scenic. OTOH, it is crowded and camp host is a bit of a Nazi.

Friday, April 26 – We are happy campers in Moab, UT. After a quick breakfast, we went to see if we could find a campsite in a CG closer to Moab. It had to be one that was better than we one we have. Every site was occupied. After getting gas, I told Don that we needed to go somewhere, but it had to be after I did my shoulder and foot exercises. The exercises take about 30 minutes and then I had to make lunch just in case we were gone at lunchtime.

We drove north on UT126 and turned onto Onion Creek Road and drove and drove and drove. We forded Onion Creek 23 times and crossed it once on a bridge. The landscape had unexpected intrusions of beauty.  We don't know how they do it, but campers find all kinds of places to camp along with road. We got to Taylor Ranch in Fisher Valley (a dead end) or we could continue east. Glenda, our GPS, told us that continuing would be the shortest way to return. We believed her and continued on Hideout Road. She lied! We aren't sorry that we believed her because we got to see more gorgeous scenery and also got in some 4-wheeling adventure climbing up 2,700 feet. We finally turned around and headed home. The trip was four hours and 23 miles of gorgeous Utah scenery.

Moab is a unique town. In the 1930's and 1940's, it was popular as a movie location, then uranium mining was big. After that closed, the town was dying. Someone had the foresight to promote the town as a tourist spot. Arches National Park is here. But that's not all. They hold all kinds of rallies here - bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, Miata, and Corvettes. This weekend is no exception - it's a Hot Rod Rally. Last night people lined the sidewalks with their chairs and watched the hot rods cruise up and down the street and we joined in until it was too dark to see the cars. They love to race their engines so that they roar.  The hotels are full and the campgrounds are full. The town is doing well.

03a Fisher Valley 02 03a Fisher Valley 05

Yes, we are happy campers in Moab with smiles on our faces and we get to stay here for two weeks.

The road goes on forever and the party never ends - Robert Earl Keen

Saturday, April 27 – Up and out early was our plan but it didn't happen.  We had a plan - we would drive to Klondike Bluff.  We had the map and off we went. It was an easy dirt road at first, then a four wheel drive and then there were steps.  We stopped, scoped out the situation and Don even built up the road bed.  It looked fine and I stayed on the road to watch.  "STOP" - the left front wheel was in the air and frame was on the rock. With three tires on rock we backed up and turned around.

Of course, the main reason for being in the Moab area is the scenery.  We avoided town because of the Hot Rod Rally.  Just too many people.  We returned to camp and spent a quiet day.

Sunday, April 28 – We played musical campsites. Moab cleared out today. Finding a good site proved to be no problem. We are now at Goose Island. The temp today and the next two days will be in the high 80’s, so we are staying in the shade. It will cool off on Wednesday.

There are dingbats everywhere. I read where a single woman that has owned a old RV for 12 years was asking for help getting her RV to start. She did not know the rig had a second starting battery located under the drivers seat. A 12+ year old battery!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Crossing The Country Again

(Note:  For those of you that are new to our blog, our motor home is manufactured by Lazy Daze in Montclair, CA.  Throughout the blog, you will see us talking about friends that we are with that have a Lazy Daze or LD.  The motor home is white and dark tan and we wanted a name referring to the color. We thought of cocoa. Since a friend knows we love the west, she suggested Kokopelli - a Navaho fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player.  Thus the motor home is named Koko and the Jeep is named Pelli.) PS, the rock art images of Kokopelli are anatomically amplified, not cleaned up like this one.


This is our eighth crossing of the country since we retired in 2006. Over 80,000 miles in the RV, plus another 30,000 in the Jeep. It takes us about 10 days to cross. Let’s see 8 round trips, so 16(10) is 160 days or almost six months of our lives that could have been better spent if our daughter had moved to any western state.

Sunday, April 14 - We left home in the rain. We thought of postponing for a day but it looked like we were going to drive in rain at some point so we left.  It rained until we got to Reform, AL which is about 40 miles west of Tuscaloosa. Then it was cloudy, but no rain.  We spent the night at the Jeff Busby Campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  The campground is paved and the sites are mostly level.  The restrooms are clean.  And it is free! 

Monday, April 15 - We drove to El Dorado, AR and spent the night at Wal*Mart.  I will whine a little here.  My arm is giving me a little trouble and I am having trouble sleeping.  I finally gave in around 6pm and took a pain pill.  I have lots of them. I don't like being drugged, but I don't like being in pain either. 

Tuesday, April 16 - A very early morning for us - we left at 6:00, stopping for breakfast along the way. We arrived at Juniper Point CG on Lake Texaoma just after noon. Our site has a nice concrete patio and water and electric. We get good television reception and internet.  We came here to met our friend, Nancy, that full-times in her LD.  We had a good time chatting and catching up.

01 - Crossing 01 01 - Crossing 04 01 - Crossing 05

Wednesday, April 17 - The three of us went to Sherman looking for a barbecue restaurant.  It wasn't where it was supposed to be so we went to the Visitor's Center, which is located in a very large antique store.  The place we were looking for has been closed for some time, but they recommended the Cackle & Oink Restaurant.  We all had ribs which were pretty good.  Our son-in-law’s sauce is better and I will have that on my leftovers.  It is mostly cloudy, warm and windy.  The breeze feels great.  And even though the sun isn't shinning brightly, you can still get a sunburn which I did yesterday sitting outside.  I will have to be more careful.

Thursday, April 18 - Had a storm come through early this morning, but it didn't wake us.  It's much chillier today, so we are just lazing around and spending some time with Nancy.  Going to be colder tonight!

Friday, April 19 – We could not stop chatting with Nancy so we got away at 10:30 and proceeded to stop every few miles for something. The plan was to boon dock in Caprock Canyon, but by 3PM we had covered about two hours of the five hour distance. No way were we going to drive until 6PM. About that time one of the fine Texas rest stops appeared and we parked for the night.

Saturday, April 20 – Caprock Canyon or bust. This is part of the legendary Llano Estacado where the Comanche held off the pony soldiers for almost 100 years. One arroyo after another to hide in and wait for the cavalry. We read a book on Quanah Parker last year and wanted to see more of area than you can see from the main highways.  I had seen two great aerial pictures of the area and wanted to try to get one picture that would make the diversion worthwhile. However, the gods were not with me. The forecast clear skies were actually 98% overcast all day. Not sure I found the right place anyway. We did pause at some of the picnic areas. Ideal for views and over nighting. Every so often a ranch truck will go by.

01 - Crossing 06  01 - Crossing 07 01 - Crossing 08

On the way you pass through Turkey, Texas, home of Bob Wills. One fine year our crossing will time with the annual music festival held there. I had rather waltz than drive across Texas.

Sunday, April 21 – A two hour drive through some of the brownest country we have ever seen to an almost dry lake near Ft. Sumner. Ft. Sumner has two claims to fame. One, a place to herd plains Indians until they died. The second is Billy The Kid. Now on Mountain Time.

Next stops, Lake Abuquiu, Mesa Verde and Moab.

Monday, April 8, 2013


There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

We have a number of feral cats that patrol the fence line behind our home. They range for many blocks based on sightings from our neighbors. The Old Woman has taken to feeding them in the hopes that one of them allow her to touch them. The food trough is just out the door, but so far, they remain suspicious of humans and bolt if you touch the doorknob.


The gray is our favorite.

March 25: We are three weeks away from departure.  I continue to go to physical therapy, but now only twice a week.  I have washed and ironed the curtains that hang in the kitchen and bathroom and I am getting ready to stock up the kitchen.  For those that don't travel in a RV, it's like moving.  You have a new kitchen to supply with essentials.  But this is exciting for us.  If only the weather would cooperate. We have to get both vehicles in for maintenance. 

April 2: We have started packing - yea!  When we got home last August, we took everything out of Koko so that she could get a really good cleaning since a lot of the trip was where there was a red dirt blowing.  Since we downsized our house, we don't have extra storage space, so I put everything up someplace.  I keep finding things that needs to go in Koko.  I have lists of most everything, but I still keep finding stuff that is not on a list.   I wonder how much stuff I will leave at home.

We got new foam in our lounge/bed area.  We told the owner of the business, who happens to have a motor home, that we wanted firm.  He said he certainly understood.  Well, we picked up the cushions, put them in the rig, and they are firm.  No memory foam needed. They really gave us our money’s worth, somehow they were able to put more foam in than they took out. The cushions are an inch higher.

I will continue to do my shoulder therapy when we are on the road and take pain pills with me.  The therapist tells me that I have to do exercises as long as I have a problem, but no one knows how long that will be. 


We don’t plan on sending out notices when we update the blog this year. We update it about every week, so check when the mood strikes you. Another change, we may not be real specific about some of our boon dock locations. We have found that sharing secret locations is often one-way deal. So we will play along. We have another web site that lists the best ones and folks that have shared with us know about it.

Launch date is Sunday. All the vehicles are serviced. I did not get two items done. MaƱana.

Sun 14.................. Natchez Trace Jeff Busby CG.................. Ackerman, MS

Mon 15.................. Wally World.................. El Dorado, AR

Tues 16.................. COE Juniper Point.................. Denison, TX

Wed 17.................. Collingsworth County Pioneer Park.................. Wellington, TX

Thur 18.................. Palo Duro.................. Boondock

Fri 19.................. Sumner Lake SP.................. Ft Sumner, NM

Sun 20.................. Abiquiu Lake.................. Abiquiu, NM

Tues 22.................. San Juan NF Bradfield CG.................. Delores, CO

Wed 23.................. Goose Island.................. Moab, UT


.................. Hyrum SP.................. Hyrum, UT

.................. Crater’s of Moon NM.................. Arco, ID

Mon 20.................. Mt. View RV Park.................. Baker City, OR