Saturday, October 31, 2015

Back in New Mexico

When we left Livingston, TX and headed west to out run a couple of storms that were on their way, I drove faster than ever.  I normally drive around 55mph but for the two days it took us to get out of TX I drove mostly 60-65mph.  Some of that was on small state highways and some on Interstate 20. We turned a three day drive into a two day trip.  Along the way we drove through Sweetwater TX the wind power center of Texas, and yes the wind was blowing.  There must be about 5000 wind turbines that can be seen for miles.  Cotton, wind, wind turbines and oil yup that's west Texas for you. We were able to stay one of those nights in a free rv park in the town of Andrews, TX.  It rained that night but not to much.  We were on the road at first light about 8am and drove two hours to Lakewood, NM near Carlsbad.

Rain doesn't come cheap for the RVer.
This isn't just ordinary dirt mind you.  This is TX dirt from oil country. 

Heading due west.

We have more that doubled the mileage on the RV.
Bought it with around 27,000.

That's White Sands National Monument, New Mexico with
the town of Alamogordo at the base of the mountains.

We spent friday, Oct. 30th at the Escapee rv park in Lakewood NM.  Because the RV and car were so dirty I didn't want to unhook the car and all their parking spots are "back-in" spots, so they found us a nice level place to for us to park out of the way of everything and didn't charge us either.  How very nice of them.  That Escapee park is one of the friendliest parks we've ever been to.  This was our second time there and if we're ever back that way will definitely stay again.  

Tonight, Sat. Oct. 31 we are the Alamogordo KOA, Alamogordo, New Mexico.  We will be here two nights, so we can go grocery shopping tomorrow and other errands.  We already have been to the car wash twice, once for the RV and then went back with the car.  Uggg That oily dirt isn't really washing off very easy.  At least I can now see out the windows but need to have both vehicles hand washed with super soapy water.  Don't know when or where that's going to happen.

When we leave here we will continue our trek west to Arizona.  

See you in a few days.

Evie and Joy

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Finally Leaving Livingston, TX

After spending more than a week here we've learned something about ourselves.  Green is overrated. What helps things stay green here is the rain and humidity.  The humidity is bothering moms arthritis.  So we are leaving tomorrow headed back to the southwest.  We miss the dry desert and mountains.  

We sat here for two reasons. The first was to get some things done to the rv, a few got done others didn't get taken care of.  The back-up camera wasn't an easy fix so that has been moved farther down the list.  We also stayed here so some weather could move on past.  The remnants of hurricane Patricia came through this area.  Lucky for us we only got about 2-3" of rain where we were so it wasn't a problem for us but the rest of south Texas got pounded.  I'm happy to say that the sun is shining once again and tomorrow, Wednesday, we will be back on the road.  

Pretty flowering bush and banana tree with baby bananas.

See you later.

Evie and Joy

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Livingston, Texas

We've made it to Livingston, TX.  The main reason for coming here was so we could see the headquarters of The Escapees RV Club which we belong to.  While here we're having some things done to the rv.  As I write this we are sitting in the shop of a local rv repair place and they have already changed the oil, I carry my own oil and filter, they are now checking my electrical system to make sure all is working as it should.  They are going to pull the front tires to do an inspection and flip-flop them with each other.  They will check the air pressure in all six tires.  And they are going to figure out why my back-up camera isn't working and fix it if they can.

On our way down to Livingston we stayed at Arrowhead Lake State Park outside of Wichita Falls, TX.  What a pretty place.

In this area of Texas there are hundreds of lakes and ponds 
and they're are all full of water as it has been a wet year.

We're going to hang out in this area until a big storm blows ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, we want to be in a safe place for that.  It was going to arrive here thursday but now they say not until saturday or sunday.  We will see if we can sit still that long.  When we do leave here we will go to the Texas gulf shore area.  

Be back soon.


Friday, October 16, 2015

We Have Landed in Texas

We're on the move.  We left the Sandia Casino parking lot in Albuquerque on monday morning after waking up to a notice on our windshield telling us to GET OUT.  Everyone who hadn't left by sunday night got a notice.  A few days before that we had thought we'd stay there a bit longer and wait for some mail to catch up with us but by sunday morning we had decided that we didn't need that mail and we were wanting to start on our eastern trek so getting that note was the motivation we needed to get in gear and go.  We drove on i40 east for 4 hours.  Ugg we hate freeways but it helped us get to Texas faster.  We spent a night in Tucumari, NM and then took a secondary highway south east to Palo Duro Canyon state park, TX.  We paid for two nights at Palo Duro but the bugs were so bad that we left the next day and went to another state park, Copper Breaks where the bugs weren't as bad. We spent one night there and the next day went to a small city rv park in Wichita Falls, Texas, which was very noisy and bright, lots of street lights and that park backed up to a freeway.  So when we got up we drove to Arrowhead Lake State Park, where we will stay put for a couple of days.

When you leave one state and enter another one on a 
secondary highway this is all the welcome you get.

The land of cotton.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro

Palo Duro
The Red River which marks the border between 
Oklahoma and Texas.

We took a short detour to see the Red River.  Many songs have been written about the Red River(there are several Red Rivers) so wanted to see this one.  Then continued driving in Oklahoma for about an hour parallel to the river and to an interstate highway down to Wichita Falls, TX.  

We will hang around this area for a few days and then keep going east for a few more hours, then south for several hours(not all on the same day).  Our goal is Livingston, TX, where the Escapee RV club has their headquarters.  We plan on staying there a few days to have some work done on the rv. My back-up camera hasn't been working for months and I hope to get it fixed or replaced.  Without the camera working, when driving, I don't know what the Honda is doing.  I have to rely on shadows to see if it is still behind us.  Not always a reliable system.  Also it is easier to back up when I can see behind the rv.

See you all soon.

Evie and Joy 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Angels Peak

After our trek to Chaco Canyon we went to Angels Peak.  It is off NM highway 550 south of Bloomfield.  From the highway you really can't see much and we wondered whether it was worth the effort as we were kind of tired from the 22 miles of dirt road we drove to get to Chaco.  But we thought yes we may as well take this turn off and go see Angels Peak.  Wow.  First of all this dirt road had just been graded as the oil companies use it to get to some wells out there.  I think we only drove about 5 miles to get to the end of this road where there is a BLM(Bureau of Land Management) campground with about 10 camping sites.  

This is Angel's Peak

Angel's Peak is to the right of this shot, at the end of this great canyon. 
 This canyon is really long.

If this had been a night time photo you could see the lights of Bloomfield 
way out there in the distance.

In the campground there are a couple of spaces where an rv could fit and get level and with the road being in really good condition it would be doable. And did I mention that it is a free cg.  We didn't stay there as were camping at Navajo Lake at the time but maybe some other time.  

Here our sweet little Honda waits for us to get back from taking some pictures.

All the pictures I've posted lately have been taken with my iPhone.  Last week I bought myself a Kindle Fire and have taken some great sunset pictures.  I must say the Fire takes better pictures than the iPhone so will start using the Fire for awhile, maybe.

Two sunsets over Abiquiu Lake

See you in a few days.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Chaco Canyon Day Trip

Two weeks ago we took a day trip in the Honda to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.  

We had heard that the road going into the canyon isn't for the faint of heart, no kidding.  For the first 4 miles of the 22 miles from NM highway 550 there is pavement, ok good.  The rest is dirt, the first 10 miles of that are the best dirt road ever, drove that at about 40mph, then around a corner you go and the road conditions turn into the worst we've been on.  Our speed dropped to below idling, don't forget we're in the car, riding the brake to keep our speed slow enough.  The last 2 miles is pavement again.  But in spite of the bad roads the trip is so worth the effort.  This trip is best done in a car or truck but I do know someone who did it in their motorhome.  Just hearing them talk about it we knew we didn't want to drive the rv in even though there is a campground there and we wouldn't have minded camping there ourselves.  Lucky for us the campground was full as it was the friday before the lunar eclipse.

Fajada Butte, where on the summer solstice the sun lines up with the ruins.

I did a little hiking but mostly we just drove the loop road so mom could see what we could from the car.  

There is a nice visitors center where we bought a video about the canyon and ruins that has run on PBS.  Here's a link to a video on Youtube about Chaco Canyon, click here.  This isn't the video we bought but it is very interesting all the same.

See you in a few days.

Location update.

We have left the Albuquerque area after six days of balloon watching and visiting and are heading east.  Tomorrow we will cross into Texas. Florida here we come.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Balloon Fiesta Saturday Morning

One of the reasons that Albuquerque hosts a balloon fiesta is because of the wind patterns here.  On most days there is what they call a box wind pattern.  The balloons take off and go up to catch the northbound wind and in a few miles they drop down a bit and catch the southbound wind.  So they can go back and forth without much trouble.  Today was a very good day.  Most of the balloons were able to find 'the box' and ride the winds back and forth all morning.  For us the spectator it's like watching a ballet in the air.  So very pretty.  

There were three helicopters flying around, don't know what they were doing,
keeping track of the balloons or just up there looking.

View from the hill beside our home.

Moms chair.

Ghost Girl with casino in background.
 Note shade cloth on back window.  I have two command hooks, one at each corner.  
If I need shade I can use both hooks if it's not sunny and hot
 I drop one corner to let the sunshine in. 

I'm so glad we decided to come back to ABQ for the Fiesta.  It has been fun meeting up with friends and just the general party like atmosphere.  Early this morning, before dawn, I could hear people out and about drinking their coffee and watching the 'mass ascension'.  I didn't get up till 7:30 and by then the sky was filled with blobs of color.  Tomorrow, sunday, will be the last day and I expect by the end of the day there won't be very many rvs left here in the casino parking lot.  We hope to be able to stay here for another week or as long as they will let us as we are waiting for our mail to catch up to us. 

This will be the last balloon post, I promise.  

See you later.

Evie and Joy

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

We got up at dawn to go see the balloons lift off.  We were on our way to the Sandia Casino to park in their lot to watch but stopped to get coffee at a gas station on the way and found that behind the station was a really good place to park and watch the goings on.  Clear view across the open field to the launch area.

This is just one little area, picture this repeated about a dozen times to the left and right.  

View of launch area from about a mile away.

We hadn't intended to go see the balloons, our plan was to sit outside our rv, 10 miles away from the launch area and wait for them to float towards us.  But last night I drove into the casino to have dinner with some friends and the energy and excitement there was so strong that I decided that today we should go on down.

Here's Camp Annie, in the Sandia Casino rv parking area(free).  
That's Lisa bbqing chicken and potatoes. 
Annette sitting on the left Annie in the middle and Connie on right. 

View of casino parking lot area D13.  I think there are about 100 rvs parked in here.  
The casino has a shuttle service running down to the launch area 
and security driving around too.  
Note storm raging in the background.  
And Annette checking the salmon and rice by her rv.

Even the big boys come out to play during the fiesta.

Be back soon.

Evie and Joy