Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, November 30, 2009

The storm caught up to me

Well, last night, the storm front caught up with me. The winds were rocking the rig during the night, and had not abated by morning. So, I'm sure you can guess what I did....paid for another night. The temps never got above 50 today, and it rained off and on. There is supposed to be more rain tomorrow.

If the winds are fairly calm in the morning, I will head out after stopping next to the office to get the propane tank filled. Looks like I'm going to need the heat for the rest of the week.

The cooler temps fill Emma with more exuberance than normal (as if she needed any more energy...LOL). Taking her for a walk is kind of like trying to control the wind!

Other than those walks (?), it was an inside day today filled with TV and messing on the computer. I actually enjoyed the down time after covering 700 miles in two days. ;) Oh yes, one of my readers asked if I would increase the font size on the blog. I have done that, I think. Hope bigger letters helps.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oil Wells, Wind Farms, and Roadkill Heaven

When you drive your rig 386 miles in a day with no one to talk to, it gives you plenty of time to talk to yourself. ;) What a road trip it was today! I started out from Fort Stockton, TX, and headed east on I-10. I've been trying to find a good word to describe western Texas...desolate?, seemingly uninhabited by humans?, starkly scenic with buttes and mesas?. Probably, all of those things apply. It seems that man has found a way to take advantage of this landscape by drilling below for oil and grasping the power of the wind above ground. I saw lots of oil wells pumping away and numerous wind farms with turbines plying the air.

As I got closer to San Antonio, I entered the "Texas Hill Country". Some steep grades, marvelous fall colors from atop the hills, and increased traffic were surrounding me. Since Emma was in her traveling crate, she didn't seem to appreciate my comments on the passing scenery.

A common factor to the changing terrains was the abundance of roadkill. Mangled deer were abundant enough throughout the trip to remind me of I-90 in Wisconsin. There were also raccoons, a few skunks, and an armadillo (now I really know I'm in Texas). It wasn't until my second trip to Texas that I saw a live armadillo.

The passing traffic, that left me in their dust, seemed to be dominated by deer hunters. I saw many buck racks in the backs of pickups going by. Each pickup also had several coolers on board. I'm sure these were packed with the butchered deer. That was quite unlike driving the roads in Minnesota and Wisconsin at this time of year. Hunters there just drape the deer over their pickups as they motor on down the road. Because of the warm temps in Texas, hunters must butcher their kills right away and transport the parts in coolers.

As I merged back onto I-10 after a stretch break for both Emma and me, I ended up right in the middle of the other four ladies (Maxine, Connie, Jo, and the fourth lady) from LoW-Hi. I waved and tooted as I moved around them, but don't know if they recognized me.

Eventually, I ended up at River Bend RV Park in Luling, TX, about 50 miles east of San Antonio. I had put the park's address in my GPS and it led me right to a cow pasture! Luckily, I had studied the map and knew that my destination was about five miles down the road. The cost for this Passport America Park is $12.50/night. I have full hookups and even ran into the resident goat, Sam, who has figured out how to get out of his pen to partake of the greener grass on the other side of the fence. ;)

Rain is forecast for tonight, but as long as it's not severe, I'll head out in the morning. I think it's under 250 miles to Anahuac NWR from here, so I should be able to get through Houston and settle in tomorrow. Since it will be my third time volunteering there, it should feel like arriving home.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A perfect travel day

I was on the road by 7:30 this morning and heading east. It was mostly cloudy with no wind. The clouds helped keep the bright sun out of my eyes all morning. Having no wind made the 337 mile drive comfortable and the traffic through El Paso was pretty light. I wish I could be that lucky when I go through San Antonio and Houston.

I'm trying to keep ahead of an approaching storm from the west. I'm glad I left today and didn't wait until tomorrow.

Four other ladies from the LoW-Hi RV Ranch left today also. They are traveling together in their four rigs to the Rio Grande Valley. They were more ambitious this morning than I, and left almost an hour before me. When I stopped for lunch just past Van Horn, TX, at one of the few rest areas, lo and behold I found them all having a picnic lunch as I took Emma for a walk. Emma was excited to see her two canine friends from the park. They will be staying at the local Walmart tonight. I don't do Walmarts, so I am set up in a Passport America Park (Parkview RV Park) with full hookups and cable for $12.

This park is pretty much like camping in a fairground lot, but I don't need any more than that for my overnight stay. There was some excitement a little earlier as a large group of young people invaded the bathroom/shower building. My guess is that they are not staying at the park, as two police patrol cars showed up a short time later. The group had already left, but the police spent quite a bit of time speaking with the owner and inspecting the building.

It's about 500 miles to get to Houston from here, so I'll be busy tonight figuring out one more place to stay before I get to Anahuac NWR. I need to find a park that sells propane so I can fill up the tank and be ready for my stay at Anahuac. I hope the wind Gods are with me again tomorrow.... ;)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Friday, November 27, 2009

A busy preparation day

I had a long list of things to take care of today (I am definitely a list maker). It always seems like packing up is a lot more work than setting up for an extended stay. :)

One of the things on my list was to do the laundry.

I have seen this needlepoint in the laundry room for the last month, and really think it represents the beauty of fulltime rving. I'd sure like to have this hanging in my rig.

I have checked off most of the outside chores on my list...pack outside furniture, take the DISH apart and pack it, check the pressure in all tires and inflate where necessary, dump the tanks, partially fill the fresh water tank, stow the water hose and dump hose, pack the bird feeder and stand, shake out and stow the 8X16 outside rug, remove and pack the windshield sun shades, and hook up the toad. About all I have left to do outside is take down and pack the trucker's antenna (which I'll do right after this post) and unhook the electric in the morning.

This evening, I'll start on the inside pack up routine. I'm hoping to be on the road by about 7:30 tomorrow. I was able to pay the electricity bill for the month this afternoon, rather than waiting until the office opens at 9:00 in the morning. The bill for the month was $65, so between the rent and electric, it cost $220 (which comes out to $7.33/day) to stay here. That is very reasonable! I can't imagine being able to stay in a sticks & bricks for that price anywhere.

Since I packed up the DISH and there doesn't seem to be much on local TV, it looks like it is going to be a "Waltons" DVD night tonight. ;) I don't know what kind of reception I'll have on my way to Anahuac, so I'll probably get my fix of the Waltons for the next few days and may not be able to post.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving Day. There was an impressive array of food for our dinner in the RV park. My guess is that over fifty people were in attendance. Sorry to say, I was seated with three men who wanted to talk about gambling and casinos. Not anything that holds much interest for me. :( Oh well, at least the food was good.

I have been watching the forecast closely, and so far it looks like I'll head out on Saturday morning. I'm ready to move on. Tomorrow will be a busy day getting everything packed up and the laundry done one more time. Not much else going on today.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The challenge of the relish tray

Tomorrow, many of the folks camped at the LoW-Hi RV Ranch will be participating in a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone will bring something to the table, which is reminiscent of the first Thanksgiving dinner. How apropos is that? I don't think there will be any venison (thank goodness) though.

I signed up to bring a relish tray since there will be plenty of savory and sweet items brought be others. To me, a relish tray should include the following: green and black olives, pickles (Claussen's of course), scallions, celery strips, marinated mushrooms, and cinnamon apple slices. So, today, I headed for the Peppers grocery store to purchase the ingredients. Here's where the challenge part comes in. Apparently, no one eats marinated mushrooms or spicy cinnamon apple slices in Deming, New Mexico. I checked both Peppers and Walmart with no success. I decided to substitute pickled beets for the apples (same color), but that left the shrooms. What's a girl to do?

About five years ago, my friend, Susan, from Minnesota, gave me a recipe for marinated mushrooms. Of course, I didn't have the recipe with me, but at least I bought some fresh mushrooms. When I got back to the rig, I dug out the recipe, and started preparations. They are now marinating in the frig, and boy do they smell good! If they turn out as I hope, I'll surely be making them regularly as I do love marinated mushrooms and the recipe is quite easy.

I want to thank one of my readers for leaving a comment on yesterday's post about where to stop for the night as I head into Texas. I have stopped at the park in Van Horn in the past, but have never stayed in Fort Stockton. Looks like I'll try to make it to Ft. Stockton if the winds behave themselves. :)

Enjoy your turkey tomorrow!!!

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being planful

When I'm getting ready to travel, I'm pretty planful. I spent a portion of this afternoon mapping out possible campgrounds for my first night heading toward Houston. I've chosen one in Van Horn, and one in Fort Stockton, Texas. They are both Passport America parks.

Van Horn is about 226 miles away and Fort Stockton is about 350. Normally, I'd choose the closer park, but all but about five miles of the trip will be on I-10, which usually means easier driving. 350 miles is a long day for me, so I'm keeping my options open.

There are several other rigs heading that direction from here. When I went to the social hour today, I spoke with some of them. They have decided to pull out on Saturday instead of Sunday, as they think the forecast for Sunday has 40 mph winds. Well, I'll have to watch the forecast because you won't find me driving in those kind of winds! Only time will tell if it will be Saturday or Sunday. I'm up for either.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hitch Itch!

It's been almost a month that I've been parked at the LoW-Hi RV Ranch, and I'm ready to move on. I've about exhausted things to see in the area, and it's getting a little chilly for my old bones. It's also been about two and a half months since I've had a volunteer assignment, and I'm getting bored.

So, today I began my preparations for hitting the road. Mainly, that consisted of defrosting the freezer. I think the last time I did that was in August or September, so it was about time. RV refrigerators are not frost free. Being in a very low humidity area like New Mexico, it hasn't been necessary until now. I always like to get this chore done before I get back on the road.

Since I'm paid up here through Saturday night, I've decided to head out on Sunday morning. I was thinking of leaving on Friday, but I've decided to avoid most of the holiday traffic by waiting until Sunday. That means I should arrive at Anahuac NWR on Wednesday or Thursday. It's close to 1000 miles, but almost all of the travel will be on I-10, so I'll probably average a little more than my normal 200 miles per day.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sunday Blast from the Past

It's a short trip from Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park. I checked in at Ruby's Inn Campground, and prepared to tour Bryce the next morning.
I left early in the morning to avoid all of the crowds.

It was an uphill drive all the way to Rainbow Point, but what scenery along the way.

The air is certainly a lot thinner at this altitude. :)

The hoodoos of Bryce are some of the most spectacular natural formations I have ever seen!
This raven was at one of the overlooks. He would wait until folks got out of their cars, and then he'd glide down to pick the bugs off of the front of the vehicles. How's that for learned behavior? Since it was May, there were plenty of bugs stuck to the front of the cars and trucks.
Of course, I took tons of pictures of this magnificent national park, so it was hard to choose just a few for today's "blast."

In my opinion, Bryce Canyon National Park only ranks behind the Grand Canyon National Park as the most awesome national park that I have visited. Yellowstone would probably be a close third for me. Your opinion may vary. ;)
Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What's the weather?

When I left Minnesota in September, I neglected to peel off the outside thermometer from my window. I'm sure it's located along US 14 somewhere near Claremont. :) So, when I got down here to New Mexico, I decided to purchase another thermometer. I do like to know how cold it gets at night.

I bought the first new thermometer at a hardware store, suctioned it on the outside and waited. It didn't work. I took it back, and none of the similar thermometers worked either. Later, I went to Walmart and bought a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer. It worked for about a week. Yesterday, I took it back and put out a few more bucks for a different digital indoor/outdoor thermometer.
So far, it's working fine with both temps, but this is not all it is supposed to do. The bells and whistles on this model include inside humidity, date, time, sunset/sunrise, predicted weather, and a figure that indicates what kind of clothes to wear outside! The figure is a male, and is clothed in different layers depending on the outside temp. He carries an umbrella if rain is in the forecast, and gloves and a hat if it's cold outside. I'm just curious to see what happens if it gets over 100*!!! What will they think of next?

Anyway, setting up all these additional features is my latest challenge. Just trying to change the time zone has me stumped. Sometimes I wonder who writes the directions for these electronic wonders. So far, the directions say that the appropriate light will be blinking so you can change it. Well, guess what? They don't tell you how to get the appropriate light to blink. I've pushed all the available buttons and don't seem to be getting anywhere. Considering that all I originally wanted was to know the outside temperature, I'm going to let it be until I get to Texas. I think I can still figure out what to wear outside just by knowing the temp and seeing if the trees are swaying in the wind. ;)

Sometimes, more isn't always better.........

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

As I headed out this morning to go to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, I took US 180 heading northwest out of Deming. It's about a 56 mile drive to Silver City, and then you take NM 15 for 44 miles to the monument. During the first ten miles north of Deming, I decided this should be called the Chili Pepper Highway. Both sides of the road were strewn with red chili peppers. Many 18 wheelers come north from Mexico with truckloads of peppers. Apparently, one of these trucks had a little problem with his load. Can you imagine how surprised the trucker will be when he discovers that a good share of his load has mysteriously disappeared when he gets to his destination?

The drive on NM15 was a surprise for me. It is barely a two lane road through the Gila National Forest with many twists, turns, and steep grades up and down. That 44 miles took two hours to navigate!
The scenery through the National Forest and mountains was spectacular, but slow going.

It was noon before I arrived at the monument, which meant I was about a half hour too late to go on the ranger led hike of the dwellings....dang! I had packed a sandwich, so I ate lunch in the parking lot at the trail head before heading up to the ruins.
The trail is a one mile loop, and begins with a rather steep climb up to the caves.
The trail is not paved and includes many steps, but is a very peaceful hike criss-crossing one of the forks of the Gila River.

There are six caves that were used by the Mogollon (pronounced Muggy-own) culture over 700 years ago.

The Tularoa Mogollon built inside these caves with rock, mortar, and timbers. These people combined hunting and gathering with farming.

What a view these people had out of the caves. While I missed the ranger led tour, it turned out that I had a private tour of the dwellings by the volunteer stationed at the caves. How nice that was! I'm sure she knew as much as the ranger and we took our time exploring the area. What a difference from the tour at Casa Grande.

This was the exit out of the caves, which I navigated without disaster. The biggest problem was how hot the ladder was to the touch. It is made of pine and was really hard to hold onto as it sits out in the afternoon sun.
From there, it was a half mile walk down to the parking area. I'm thinking it's really harder to go down than up! My legs were a little stressed from all of the steps down.
Then it was the twisty, windy, slow going drive back to Deming. I didn't get back until 4:30. Emma was more than happy to get out of her crate. We have done several walks around the park since then to help burn off her energy. ;)
All in all, this was a fantastic day. The monument is well worth the visit, even though it is way off the beaten path.
Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Taking care of business

When I checked the weather forecast this morning, I decided that I would make the trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings on Friday instead of today. The weather for today wasn't bad, but tomorrow looks even better.

I was running low on food for Emma, so I made a trip to Walmart and picked up that and several other food items for myself. The New York cheesecake was calling my name, and I had to listen. ;) It's also been rather chilly at night here and I decided to get a new pair of flannel pj pants. The pair I have been wearing has several big bleach stains on them...not sure how that happened. Anyway, you can never tell when you might meet someone after dark (while walking Emma), so it's essential that I have acceptable attire. It's kind of like what my mother used to say "make sure you are wearing clean underwear in case you end up in the hospital."

This afternoon, I did a couple of loads of laundry, walked Emma several times, took care of some bills online, and checked my propane level. I think I'll call the propane company next week for a fill up. I want to arrive in Texas with a full tank so I won't have to unhook and drive somewhere to get it filled. Because I'm in an RV park here, they will deliver the propane, which is so much easier.

Many folks in the park are going out to dinner tonight. I will pass. Eating out at night always results in indigestion for me. I also like my own cooking, so not going was a no brainer for me. Not a very exciting day, but I got a lot accomplished. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's trip.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

City of Rocks State Park

About 35 miles from Deming, is the City of Rocks State Park.
These rocks were formed by a violent eruption of volcanic pumice, ash, and hot gas that occurred 34.9 million years ago. This eruption was 1000 times greater than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, if you can imagine that. That's the visitor's center in the middle of the picture to give you an idea of the size of the rocks.

Because the volcanic material was very hot when it was deposited, the volcanic fragments compacted to form this dense rock.
Freeze-thaw action, wind, and the effects of vegetation continue to erode the rocks. If you come back here in several million years, the City of Rocks may just be a plain!
As I walked through these rocks, I got a nice view out onto the desert with mountains in the distance.

If you can live without hookups, the campsites are located amongst the rocks, and are spectacular. Notice the picnic table under the tree for this campsite.
What a great state park this was. So far, I've been favorably impressed with the state parks in New Mexico. I'm thinking I'll have to come back to this state and take advantage of a couple of months camping in the state park system.
I'm going to check the weather forecast for tomorrow and Friday. I'll pick the best day to journey to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It seems to be warming a little. I was able to hook up the water connection again today since the low overnight should remain above freezing.
Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Turkey for your day

Well, my plans were to upload an excellent picture of a turkey that I found at the Texas State Parks site and am presently using for a seasonal twist to the background of my laptop. But you know that Robert Burns saying: the best laid plans of mice and men.....

So, instead, I'll just provide you with the website where you can see three excellent turkey pictures. You can use them as a computer background, but apparently you can't send them to anyone.


I can't say that I did anything very productive today. The wind finally died down some, the sun was shining, and the temps made it into the upper sixties. I think I'll go visit the City of Rocks State Park tomorrow. It's too easy to get into a rut of doing nothing. ;)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spring Valley State Park

Yesterday afternoon, after I had posted the Blast from the Past, I loaded Emma into the car and we headed for Spring Valley State Park. Spring Valley is really a day use part of Rockhound State Park. It is two miles further on from Rockhound. As I made the right hand turn to Spring Valley, I noticed this sign:

this was the first time I've seen a road with a 17% grade! Sure glad I had the car and not the motorhome.

It's hard to see, but the road is in the left 1/3 of the picture and goes right up into the Florida Mountains. As you go up the first grade, it is impossible to see where the road is going, so I had the car in second gear. As I topped the first hill, the view of the valley and Deming in the distance was cool.

I continued on up to the picnic area and trailhead. It would have been better to do this trip in the morning as far as pictures are concerned. Emma and I started out on the Lover's Leap trail, but it is a primitive trail, and I was not comfortable going very far without my walking stick. If I try this trail again, I think I'll leave Emma at home. I'll need to concentrate on my steps and Emma is a little too exuberant for that kind of a hike for me. I could just see myself taking a header as she went one way, and I slipped on the loose rocks another way. :)

When I got back, I filled the water tank and disconnected the water hose. Temps last night were below freezing and will be in the twenties for the next several nights. I don't mind doing that as I really get better water pressure with my pump than with the pressure in the park. Better pressure is especially nice for showers!

Tonight was the Monday evening potluck, as usual. Once again, the food was very satisfying. One change from previous weeks was that some thoughtful person had started a fire in the wood stove in the Rec Hall. It's really getting chilly and windy. I made sure to pick a spot not too far from the stove.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Sunday Blast from the Past

After I left Page, AZ, in May of 2008, I headed for Zion National Park in Utah. I camped at a Passport America Park about 40 miles from the Visitor's Center. I didn't want to camp inside the park since there is a one mile long tunnel that I didn't want to drive the rig through. With a rig the size of mine, it would have taken a special escort through the tunnel (with an appropriate fee). The drive into the park was interesting enough just with the car!
Once you are at the visitor's center, further travel in the park must be done by shuttle bus. I got there early in the morning and took the shuttle out to the ranch area near the Virgin River.

You will spend most of your time in Zion looking up at the magnificent mesas.

The views are astounding.

The second day I was there, I took a ranger led bus tour that was very informative about invasive species (plants) and the geology of the area. The tour began at 9:00, so I had to get up quite early to make the one hour drive there in time to find a parking space at the visitor's center.

That was the day I decided to live on the wild side....and not make my bed before I left. ;) It was the first time in about thirty years that I hadn't made my bed. I guess it's just the freedom of the road that took over my sensibilities that morning...LOL.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not much happening

If anything, the wind was stronger today than yesterday. There was a group of about nine of us that went to the breakfast at the Masonic Lodge this morning. Once a month they put on a breakfast buffet to raise money for their charities. I especially enjoyed the biscuits and gravy. :) On the way back to the rigs, we stopped at the Lutheran Church bazaar and I did find several baked items that I'll enjoy and a cross stitched table runner that I'll use on top of the set of drawers I have where the passenger's seat used to be. What a bargain that hand stitched item was...just $2.00!

I can't really say where the rest of the day went. Emma and I went on several walks, of course, and I did dump the black and grey tanks. Other than that, I just watched TV and played on the computer.

So, that's about it for today. A little bit of rain is beginning to fall, so I'd better fold up my rocker outside....

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Friday, November 13, 2009

The wind blows in...

I had planned to go visit another state park after doing the laundry this morning, but high winds and overcast skies moved in so I decided to just stay home today. So I'll show you some sights of things around the Ranch.

As I was getting the laundry ready to go, I went outside to put everything in the trunk of the car. As I moved around to the back of the car, I noticed a visitor....
There are at least two roadrunners that patrol the park, and one of them hung around my site long enough for me to get this picture. They especially like to pick off unsuspecting small birds from my feeder. My neighbor, Judy, on the west side of my rig hand feeds them hamburger some mornings, so they are not as skittish as usual. I really enjoy these birds...meep, meep! There are plenty of Wily Coyotes around too. Haven't seen any falling anvils, though. ;)

Emma and I visit the "bark park" a couple of times a day so she can get a little exercise off leash. The park aims to accommodate both city and country dogs. Her main exercise here consists of trotting around with a certain ball that she found in the enclosure. It usually takes her about a half hour to find the exact spot to bury this ball each day. Quite often, another dog digs up the ball later in the day, so she has a new mission each time we go there. Once she buries it and covers it up, she's ready to continue our constitutional around the park.

One of the ladies here takes care of all of the landscaping in the park, and what a great job she does. There are many native plantings throughout the park. Among them are many Yuccas. They bloom in the early spring and send up long flower shoots.
At this time of the year, the flowers have turned to seed pods and the winds help distribute the seeds.
The pods dry and open. See the seeds in the bottom right of the pod?

Here's what the seeds look like. They literally cover the ground around each Yucca. The seeds remind me of thousands of chips of flint lying on the ground. I bet plenty of seeds got dispersed with today's winds.

There will be a cold front blowing through over the next couple of days, and after tonight, it seems night time temps will fall below freezing for a few nights. Tomorrow will be time to fill the water tank and disconnect the hose at night.

I may go to a breakfast in town tomorrow put on by the Mason's. A bunch of us will meet at the office and travel to it together. It should be fun.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A quick trip to Mexico

When I was out walking Emma this morning, one of the folks from the office let me know that they had a package for me. After putting Emma back in the rig, I headed to the office and sure enough the shoes had arrived! The big box that they came in looked like it had been through the war, but the important thing is that they arrived....and they fit perfectly. That's a relief.

After lunch, Jack asked me if I'd like to go on a quick trip to Mexico. He wanted to check to make sure that the stove that he had worked on was performing well at the orphanage. I said "sure." While we were down there, I wanted to look for a store that sold pet meds. I'm just about out of heartworm medicine for Emma, and the cost of Heartguard in Mexico is about 1/4 the cost of in the US. One of the challenges of traveling with a pet is that I am not in the same place every six months, and that's the amount of medicine I have been able to get. To get more, it involves the cost of another examination onto of the cost of the meds. Since I have her on the heartguard all year, I don't think the extra examination is necessary.

It's about a twenty five mile drive to Palomas, Mexico, down NM11. It's a good thing Jack knew where he was going as I would have been lost. After maneuvering through the border guards, we took a paved road for a while, and then Jack turned off of the pavement down the dirt streets. I hesitate to call them streets. They were no where near the caliber of streets in the US. I'm guessing that our top speed was about 5 mph and it was a very zig-zaggy route around lumps, bumps, and holes in the dirt. Our approach to the intersections was to slowly creep up on them and then look all directions to see if it was clear. There are no stop signs. It seemed like we were driving forever, but I'm sure it was probably only about a mile at most.

When we got to the orphanage, we were told the stove was working just fine, so we began our return journey through the back streets. I didn't find any pet med store. Once back in the US, we headed for Deming, but decided to make a side trip to try to get close to the "eye in the sky." This is a white blimp-like balloon(?) that can be seen in the sky from the RV park. It is put up there by the Border Patrol to monitor the border. We didn't get very close, but enjoyed the ride on the back roads surrounding Deming. You really can't get lost out there since it is pretty flat and devoid of tall vegetation, and the Florida Mountains are always in view so you know which way to head home.

When we got back to the rigs, I had a call from the store in town stating that the wine I had ordered, when I first arrived, had finally come in. So, I hopped in the car to go pick it up and get a gallon of milk. As I was paying for my purchase, a smiling gentleman(?) came up and put his arm around me and asked my name. He said "my name is Dr. Feelgood...just read my tattoo." Whoa!!! As I backed off, the salesclerk hollered at him to stop accosting the customers. He then grabbed his bottle of whiskey, picked up his coat from the floor, and headed out the door. Hmmmm, don't think I'll go back there again.

That was about enough excitement for the day, so I headed home. At 4:00, I went to the daily social "hour", which usually lasts about twenty minutes, to see what the announcements for the day would be. There are a couple of church bazaars this weekend, so I may check them out. Church bazaars usually have great baked goods for sale. :-)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The saga of the shoes

When I was visiting my daughter, Robyn, in Indiana, I went looking for a couple of pairs of Saucony walking shoes. I was not successful in my quest, but did buy two pairs of Nike airmax shoes that felt fine when I tried them on. You can probably guess that they didn't turn out to be fine once I wore them for a day. I have issues with my ankles and after a short time in the Nikes, walking was very painful.

So, I decided last week to try shopping on line for the Saucony shoes that I can walk all day in. I went to onlineshoes.com and found exactly what I wanted, and they were on sale. ;) I ordered four pair so I'd be happy for a couple of years! I really felt good about it all until the next day. I got a message on my cell phone that they couldn't send the shoes to my present location in New Mexico. They could only send them to my billing address in South Dakota. What's up with that???? I called them back to find out the details, and sure enough, it was either send them to SD or cancel my order. I'm not even sure the mail service would accept a package that big, and then I'd have to pay the shipping to have them sent down here. I was a little hot under the collar and let them know how dissatisfied I felt. I was put on hold (with elevator music) for a time, and when the young lady came back on she said that after checking with her supervisor, they could send the shoes to NM if I used a different charge card. What the heck? What difference would that make? Anyway, I said I had another card and through her placed the order again. She said if I didn't get a call from them everything would be OK. Alrighty then........ Of course, about an hour later, the phone rang and you know who was calling. As it turned out, they just wanted to verify the shipping address and assured me that I would receive the order in 2-7 business days.

Fast forward one week, and I have yet to receive the shoes. Of course there was a weekend in there and today was Veteran's Day, so I'm hoping they arrive tomorrow or Friday. I will certainly heave a sigh of relief when they arrive.
Sometimes getting things while on the road can be challenging.

Not much else is happening that can be defined as very interesting. I did fix the wooden knife holder that shook apart in my travels today, but other than that it was just an ordinary day. For you folks up north, the weather has been sunny and in the 70's every day for the last 12 days. Really rough to deal with. :)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A phone call changes my plans

Many fulltimer's plans are etched in jell-o, which is one of the beauties of this lifestyle. This afternoon, I got a phone call from Stephanie Martinez, the volunteer coordinator at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. I was out walking Emma at the time, but she left an interesting message. I am scheduled to volunteer there come the first of the new year. She was wondering if I could come earlier. It seems that a couple of more volunteer sites have been put in working order after the devastation of hurricane Ike. That request got me thinking.

It was just a couple of days ago that I made reservations at an RV park in Rockport, TX, for the month of December. Before I called Stephanie back, I called Enchanted Oaks to see what their cancellation policy was. I had made a $60 down payment to secure my site there. As it turned out, they said they would make a full refund on my deposit, and hoped I would be able to visit them at some time in the future. WOW, that was a pleasant surprise! You can bet that I'll stay at that park some time when I go down to see the whooping cranes. :)

I called Stephanie, and she was thrilled that I could arrive sometime during the first week of December. She also promised that there would be warm weather for December and January...LOL. Because of the change in my arrival, I'll be able to help with the waterfowl counts amongst my other duties. You know that will make me happy! I'm also kind of getting bored with all this time on my hands.

The last few days have been taken up with errands, grocery shopping, and getting a hair cut; and I sure got my money's worth with this cut! This afternoon, my next door neighbor, Jack, helped me redo the duck tape fix on my awning. It's much better now. It needed two people working at the same time to get the fabric taut, and he was a willing volunteer to help me get that accomplished. I think it will hold just fine until I can get it replaced. I'll certainly have to be conscious of winds, as I always try to be, though.

Last night, we had about thirty people for the Monday night potluck, and what a nice variety of dishes we had to choose from. I do enjoy those gatherings!

I think I may head for the Florida Mountains tomorrow....

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sunday Blast from the Past

After last week's "Blast" about Antelope Canyon, I finally got to take a boat tour of Lake Powell the next day.
The reason, of course, that Lake Powell exists is because of the Glen Canyon Dam.
Approaching the dam is the Colorado River.

Lake Powell is huge, covers territory in Arizona and Utah, and is more than 500' deep in some places.

The water has filled many canyons and the views are fantastic.

The staining that runs down from the tops of the sandstone cliffs are called Navajo _______, I just can't remember what. Maybe one of you reader's can refresh my memory.

The three hour boat tour went into several of the multitude of side canyons on the lake. For me, it was a very enjoyable tour and well worth the money.

Next week will cover my time in Zion National Park. See you then.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A retiring couple of days

Since I retired in June of 2006, I've pretty much spent most of my time either volunteering, or moving from one assignment to another. This is the first time I've stayed in the same place for a month and not been working. So, I guess I'm learning how to be retired.

Of course, yesterday I had to do those things that are necessary like laundry and exercising the generator, but other than that I just walked Emma, read a book, and played on the computer. Today, I did go to the local VFW for a fish fry around noon with four other solos from the park. I was expecting cod or perch...something you might find at a fish fry in Minnesota or New York. (unless it's lute fisk at this time of the year in MN) Well, I forgot that I'm down south now...that means catfish. What was I thinking? The VFW did a great job of preparing the fish in a light batter along with fries, Texas toast, and cole slaw. Each person got three fillets of fish. That was way too much for me. I ate a comfortable amount and left the rest. (sorry poor starving children in China)

On the way back to the rigs, we stopped at a flea market. It met my expectations...plenty of junk for sale. I'm not a flea market person, but several of the others found treasures to purchase. That's about the extent of my activities for the last two days. I guess I better find something to tour tomorrow. I don't want to get too sedentary. ;)

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pancho Villa State Park, NM

This morning, I headed out to visit Pancho Villa State Park and to tour the museum there. It is located in Columbus, NM, just about two miles from the border of Mexico.

The museum was very interesting, and well worth the visit. Columbus was attacked in the early hours of March 9, 1916, by Mexican Revolutionaries under the leadership of General Francisco Pancho Villa. There is a twenty minute documentary that features remembrances from folks that were children when the attack occurred. A number of Americans were killed, and about 90 of the Revolutionaries.

As I walked around the museum, I learned that "Blackjack" Pershing led the US Army on a retaliation campaign into Mexico looking for Pancho Villa. This was the first time airplanes were used by the military and the tactics involved in an extended campaign were learning experiences that would soon be used by the US in World War I. I especially found it interesting since I had visited the childhood home and museum of General Pershing while I was volunteering this summer in Missouri. How many of you know that this was the last time that the continental US has been attacked?

What a gem of a museum this was for me. I also took a drive around the campground. There are many (30) different kinds of cacti planted throughout the campground. There were many sites available with water and electric for a cost of $14/night. If I weren't signed up for the month at LoW-Hi, I'd certainly spend some time here.

It's been a while since I've posted some bird pictures. Every morning, a covey (?) of Gambel's Quails visit two sites down from me.

The males are especially striking in appearance. Notice that top knot.

Both males and females travel together and make a wonderful chattering sound amongst themselves as they scutter around.

Other than laundry, I'm not sure what I'm doing tomorrow. Maybe I can get a shot of the roadrunners that hover around my birdfeeder waiting to pounce upon an unsuspecting house sparrow or house finch. They are meat eaters, after all.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A decision for December

I've been trying to decide where to go next after I leave LoW-Hi Ranch after Thanksgiving. I had tossed around going to Yuma, AZ, but I need to be near Houston, TX, by the first of the year. I finally decided to move towards Houston, rather than away from it.

I ended up picking out the Enchanted Oaks RV Park in Rockport, TX. I do like Texas in the winter, and Rockport is on the gulf coast a little north of Corpus Christi. I stopped near there a couple of years ago for a couple of days on my way south to the Rio Grande Valley. I briefly visited Aransas National Wildlife Refuge at that time, but was not able to see any whooping cranes. I really would like to see this endangered species, and Rockport is a short distance from Aransas NWR. I'm also looking forward to some of those yummy gulf shrimp. ;)

Since I am a rather planful person, having made this decision puts my mind at ease. I've made reservations for the month of December. I'll see if this was a good decision. I don't often make reservations, but there are a lot of arriving winter Texans at that time of the year.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rockhound State Park, NM

Rockhound State Park is located about six miles from where I'm camped at the LoW-HI Ranch, so I decided to make a brief visit there today. I had also hoped to see Spring Canyon State Park, but it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. So I'll make a return visit to both parks before I leave Deming.

The views at Rockhound are enjoyable. That's the Florida Mountains in the distance. The park, itself, is located on the western slope of the Little Florida Mountains which are behind me when I took this shot.

I stopped at the Visitor's Center and was duly educated about the wildlife and rocks that can be found in the area. This state park is unique in the country as it allows visitors to take fifteen pounds of rocks/visitor from the park. Folks come here to collect silica, quartz crystals, chalcedony, agate, common opal, jasper, and thundereggs and geodes. I really don't know one rock from another, but the displays in the visitor's center were very pretty.


Earlier on, when I was leaving Colorado, I had thought of spending a month in different New Mexico State Parks. After driving through the campground, I'm kind of happy I decided to plunk myself down at Low-HI. There really weren't any sites available to camp in with electric (because they were all taken). The views of the mountains from the campsites were spectacular. My suggestion would be to make reservations if you want to enjoy this scenic park, or plan on boondocking without electricity.


Dogs are allowed on the trails here, so Emma and I will return together to enjoy them. I'm also hoping to see the Persian Ibex that inhabit Spring Canyon SP.


Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy