5/22/2018 First Day at Zion
We drove into Zion this afternoon, you don’t even have to get out of the car to fall in love with it but of course to really appreciate it, you want to get out and into it. Today we did some easy trails Emerald Pools and the Grotto. Lisa was happy to see the cactuses blooming.
5/21/2018 Cathedral Wash – Drive to Carmel Junction
Snuck out early morning to do the other half of Cathedral Wash.
This was the better section of the hike but don’t tell Lisa and Alyssa.
On the drive to Mount Carmel Junction, we stopped at the “Cliff Dwellings”.
5/20/2018 Page/Lake Powell
Hanging Garden Hike.
5/19/2018 Balancing Rocks and Cathedral Wash
Balancing Rocks Pretty Cool!
We hiked part of Cathedral Rock Trail:
5/18/2018 Travel Day and Navajo Bridge
That speck on the rock is a Condor. There was a condor biologist there and Alyssa learned a lot about condors (this was condor 17 – they’re tagged)
5/17/2018 Trip to Flagstaff
Back to Flagstaff where we visited Bookman’s one of the better bookstores on this trip and Sprouts one of the better supermarkets!
5/15/16 – 5/16/2018 Grand Canyon
It’s the Grand Canyon. (It is Grand but not grand enough for Lisa who was underwhelmed – she’s getting spoiled.)
5/14/2018 – Arrive outside Grand Canyon
Camped at: Kaibab National Forest (Fireroad 688)
We haven’t boondocked that often – but if we can keep finding spots like this we’ll become regulars. 20 minutes from the Grand Canyon visitors center. Level space under a pine tree with plenty of space. We can see some other RVers and campers but there is plenty of space here if you wanted to be totally off by yourself.
Also took a trip into Grand Canyon for sunset – but wasn’t a good day for photos.
5/13/2018 Mother’s Day
Lisa wanted to buy get a plant for Mother’s Day so we bought a Amazon Sunset Lotus at Violas Flowers. For dinner we went to a vegan restaurant in Flagstaff – Red Curry, it was excellent and inexpensive.
5/12/2018 West Fork Hiking Trail /Red Rock
Red Rock near Sedona
We got to West Fork Late so only did part of this hike but it was easy to see why it is so popular.
5/11/2018 Devils Bridge / Sedona
Devils Bridge was well worth the hike, a fantastic view and fun to go out on the bridge, but my fear of heights made it really difficult to watch other people going up to the edge and doing stuns that really should not be done at that height.
Probably the best views from downtown of any town we’ve been in.
5/9/2018 Old Town Flagstaff
Flagstaff is a pretty happening town. Lots of traffic but other than that lots to like.
5/8/2018 Slide Rock State Park – What a Blast
There are a lot of great state parks out there – Slide Rock is one of them. If you are in Flagstaff – I advise you not to miss it. It was a great day to take a slide in a cold river.
5/7/2018 Travel day Petrified Forest to Flagstaff
5/6/2018 Petrified Forest NP
Another Gem of a National Park. We feel extremely thankful that there are so many magnificent places that have been set aside for our enjoyment. Thank you to all the conservationist of the past, present, and future.
5/5/2018 Long Driving Day
Drove From Santa Fe to the Petrified National Forest.
5/1 – 5/4/2018 Alyssa is Back
We picked up Alyssa on Wed – Yea! There were a few things we were anxious to show her: Meow Wolf, Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks, and Canyon Rd. in Santa Fe. It was also our last chance to spend some time with Dick and Sandy as we are leaving Santa Fe on the 5th.
4/30/2018 Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks
We’ve been to a lot of beautiful places over the past 15 months, this is one of our favorites. The hike was filled with jutting rocks, tight crevices, trees in unexpected places and a 360 view from the top that was stunning. We’ll be back soon – as it’s something we do not want Alyssa to miss. (These pictures don’t do the place justice – but double click to enlarge them and you’ll get a little better sense of the place.)
4/28 – 4/29/2018 Back in Santa Fe
We left Bottomless Lakes but we will return. We are not\w back at Santa Fe Skies RV Park. Dick and Sandy are here and it’s been great to spend time with them the last couple of days. Tonight we took a nice sunset moonrise walk.
4/27/2018 Not that Bright
Sometimes living with myself can be difficult. Today I went back to check if I could find my glasses. I lucked out – the lake gets deep very quickly but there is a short ledge and my glasses were resting on it – Yea! So I take off my shoes roll up my pants and walk in, reach down and grab my glasses, without bothering to take my phone out of my pocket – my phone is not waterproof.
Luckily I happen to have a spare phone – so I can still be reached.
Other than my misadventures – today we went to Roswell Museum and Art Center. A nice mix of art and history at a great price – FREE.
Lisa happily added chives to her portable herb garden.
She doesn’t think bunnies eat chives, we’ll see.
4/26/2018 Sink Holes and Aliens
Lisa and I decided to bike around the park this morning, glad we did the lakes are beautiful. They were mostly formed when the water wore away the ground under the surface and the surface collapsed.
When we got back we decided to go swimming, I’m less glad we decided to do that. Look at the two pictures of me in the water – there is something missing from the second picture.
My glasses are now at the bottom of the very deep lake.
Lisa decided that we would visit the UFO Museum in Roswll. I was abducted on the way so I missed the museum. (The aliens decided I was not a good specimen as the pictures above make evident.)
4/25/2018 Drove to Roswell
When we woke up this morning it was 45 out, after yesterdays 90-degree heat it made it hard to get out of bed. After getting off to a late start we headed to Bottomless Lakes State Park near Roswell. We don’t stay in state parks as often as we’d like to because they can be hard to get into unless you reserve well in advance, especially on weekends. We managed to reserve two days mid-week here and glad we did it’s a beautiful park with nice sites.
Pretty lazy day, I read and lounged (slept) and then we went to Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge to do some bird watching. Two things we need to do to make bird watching more enjoyable – greatly increase our ability to identify birds and buy a good telephoto lens.
4/24/2018 Did Nothing Today
We just hung out at the SKP Ranch today, I took a walk and did some reading and coding (I like to keep at it a little – in case I have to go back to work). Lisa did the laundry and some trip planning. Also took some pictures of the bunnies hanging out near the RV. Getting warm here – it hit 92 today.
4/23/2018 More Guadalupe Hiking and Bats at Carlsbad
Today we went back to Guadalupe Mountains NP to hike out to Pratt Lodge. The hike was an opportunity to try out my new hat (Lisa’s old gardening hat) – it looks goofy, but does a good job protecting my head and neck from the sun. The lodge itself was pretty cool – all stone including the roof and Pratt picked a beautiful location with nice views of the mountains.
On our way back we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns to watch the bats come out of the cave to feed. During the height of bat season, they come out in waves – as approximately a 1/2 of a million bats roost in the cave, but that is later in the year. This time of year there are not nearly that many, but it’s still fun to see. The Ranger was great and we learned a lot about Brazilian Freetail bats:
- They weight about the same as three nickels
- They migrate they don’t hibernate (most bats hibernate in the winter)
- They fly at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
- They need to be able to drop about 4 feet before they can fly, so they can’t take off from the ground.
Sorry, no bat pictures – camera’s and cell-phones were not allowed.
Lisa and I watch a lot of Movies. Usually, we just watch them in the motorhome but after hanging out at the RV park all day today we decided to go to the Fiesta Drive-In. Over the last three days we’ve watched four movies:
- The Magnificent Seven (the 1960 version) – The original with Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Steve McQueen etc.
- Paul – The alien not the saint – we’re right near Roswell.
- Tammy – Not a great movie but Melissa McCarthy makes me laugh.
- Blockers – At the Drive-ins tonight – we took advantage of the senior discount and saved 3 bucks a ticket – it’s a dumb movie – which some nights is just our speed. Plus it had cartoons before the main feature.
4/21/2018 Guadalupe Mountains NP, Texas
Today we took a trip to Guadalupe Mountains NP. It was a beautiful day for a hike on the Devils Hall Trail.
4/20/2018 Just Hanging Out at the Ranch
Today really was a down day. I finished up a book, worked on a puzzle in the clubhouse and had a few conversations with some folks here at The Ranch (SKP RV Park). Lisa did some food shopping. We ate, we filled out postcards and we’re about to put a movie on.
4/19/2018 A Down Day
Today was going to be a down day. I was going to go out to breakfast with guys from the campground and then Lisa and I were just going to hang out. However, just before I was about to leave I got a call from Tiffin – our RV manufacturer. There was an issue getting some warranty work covered (you see it’s not all fun and games out here on the road). Anyway, I missed my breakfast and we decided we would go into Carlsbad Caverns.
Wow! It’s just a wonderful beautiful fantasy land of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, popcorn, bacon…
As it turns out it was a down day as we had to walk down into the cave – elevation change of over 800 ft, the elevators are not working. Then an up day as we had to turn around and go back. The caverns were great and the warranty issue was resolved.
4/18/2018 Good Bye White Sands
We enjoyed White Sands so much last night we decided to go back for more. Was not as windy today and we really enjoyed our short hike in the dunes. It is such a surreal place. We again tried to sled – which is worth trying, but the real attraction of the place is just its otherworldliness.
We drove from White Sands east on 82 from an elevation of 4300 ft to 8600+ ft in Cloudcroft and back down to Lakewood. It was a pretty drive. We are now at the SKP Ranch, we went to happy hours seems like a real friendly crowd.
4/17/2018 Lisa gets up Early
Lisa was up at 5:35 am! She had trouble sleeping. To prove it she took a picture of the sunrise – practically her first.
After breakfast, we headed to Walmart for sleds and wax, then onto white sands for some sledding. It’s a surreal environment. Climbing up the dunes is an effort made more so by the sandblasting effect from high winds.
We spent the afternoon in Cloudcroft, interesting drive to get there and nice hiking nearby.
After so much time in the desert, it’s was nice to hike in the trees.
We went back to White Sands for sunset, great fun running around on the dunes with the wind blowing and the sun fading in the Mars-like atmosphere.
4/16/2018 Driving Day
We drove from Santa Fe to Hollomon Lake outside the White Sands National Monument. We will boondock here for a couple of days and head into White Sands tomorrow.
I also picked up our “works of art” from Liquid Light Glass.
When we pulled into our boondocking site we met Bob and Barbara and enjoyed a few drinks and conversation with them. Bob grew up in Brooklyn and Barbara in Lindenhurst Long Island.
Sunset pictures of the day.
4/15/2018 Our Day with Dick and Sandy
It was great fun spending today with Dick and Sandy. We took a trip to La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site to, guess what, see the petroglyphs.
We then headed out to lunch, with Lisa driving the lead car and Dick and Sandie following. Lisa apparently having worked in espionage in a previous life decided to take evasive action and after a couple of U-Turns managed to lose our tail. Fortunately, after a few cell phone conversations, we were able to reconvene at The Pantry in Santa Fe, where we enjoyed our meals and as always some laughs.
After a quick stop at the Jackalope, it was time to say farewell, thanks Dick and Sandie – it was great as always and we look forward to seeing you again.
We all thought these tables made from Alligator Juniper were pretty cool.
4/14/2018 Making Paperweights and visiting with friends
We took a class at Liquid Light Glass and made glass paperweights, always a good thing to have knocking-about while driving down the road.
Can’t wait to get a glass melting furnace for the RV.
We were psyched to have Dick and Sandy, our friends from SKP Saguaro, over for dynamites, Baileys’ and cheesecake (we also took a 5-minute walk, so there should be no ill effects from the desert)
4/13/2018 Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is really cool and it was great fun to climb into the cliff dwellings.
We then set out to find food and music which lead us to the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid and Cow Girls in Santa Fe. We enjoyed our food and drink and the Mine Shaft and it was a great place to people watch and Madrid is a neat old mining town, the live music, however, was not as good. So, we left and headed for Cow Girls for a drink and to hear another band but again the band didn’t thrill us. We still had a good time and for us, it was a late night don’t think we left Cow Girls until 10:10 🙂
I stopped to take a picture of this sign on the way back from Madrid.
A 1/2 mile later we passed a hitchhiker. The sign and the orange jumpsuit convinced us not to pick him up.
4/12/2018 Art & Staircases
More museums (MoCNA), arts and crafts today.
Also, Loretto Chapel and it’s famous spiral staircase.
The staircase was originally built with no railing (left). It also has no center pole to anchor the stairs, so the stairs tended to be springy, it supposedly was so scary to walk on that some nuns would crawl up and down the stairs.
4/11/2018 Georgia O’Keefe Museum
We went to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum today, being in New Mexico adds to the appreciation of her art.
We stopped at a couple of Galleries on Canyon Road. The buildings housing all the galleries we visited are owned by one family and have been in the family since they were built 200 years ago (Thanks for the history Alexandra Stevens).
We discussed the music business with Gallery owner Brad Smith, he had a drum set in the middle of his gallery, he was a professional drummer before becoming a professional painter. I’m always impressed by anyone who can make a living as an artist or musician so I’m doubly amazed by someone who has done both. (For those interested he found the music business more difficult than the Fine Art business.)
4/10/2018 First Look at Santa Fe
I want to give a shoutout to Rudy and Susan at Santa Fe Auto Repair, they provided friendly, professional service and dropped us off at a great restaurant for breakfast, while we waited for the repairs (plus they are RVers)! Rudy directed us to Discount Tires to get a leak in our tire fixed and they fixed it for free! Ok, that’s all the advertising I’ll do for today.
We got our first Glimpse of Santa Fe and as expected it has lots of great Architecture and Art.
The giant sculptures are at Meow Wolf.
Really interesting to watch the process at Liquid Light Glass and to talk to some of the artists.
4/9/2018 Arrived at Campground Near Santa Fe
We arrived at Santa Fe Skies RV resort today. Breaks on the car seemed soft, so we called a mechanic and are not leaving the RV park today. However, being that it’s Santa Fe we are surrounded by art even in the park. Lots of sculptures on the grounds and some neat old machinery.
4/8/2018 Pueblo Cultural Center
We were going to head to Santa Fe but we postponed a day because of high winds. It gave us a chance to enjoy the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It’s always interesting to learn about Native Americans but we always leave saddened by their plight.
4/7/2018 Albuquerque Celebrates a Birthday
Albuquerque celebrated it’s 312th birthday today with a Fiesta in Old Town. It was a little underwhelming, where was the Street Food? Only two food trucks – come on – you need street food for a Fiesta. Actually, there were some fun things and it was a beautiful day. We also drove into downtown Albuquerque and saw the Kimo Theatre, we’ll have to come back again to see more.
In the evening we drove down RT 66 and stopped for some dessert at Mac’s La Sierra Coffee Shop, it’s been around since 1952.
4/6/2018 Homecoming Socorro NM
When Lisa was two years old she spent a year in Socorro NM, while her dad worked on a nearby base. We decided we should see what her old hometown looked like.
It turned out to be a fun day. Socorro is the home of:
- The New Mexico Institue of Mining and Technology – which has a really nice Mineral Museum.
- The Capitol Bar and Grill – It opened in 1896 at the time Socorro had a population of 3,000 and 30 bars.
- San Miguel Church – built between 1615 and 1626
We don’t blog about the people we meet that often but they’re a big part of what makes traveling fun. Today we met Prescot, originally a system engineer from MA., at his art gallery in Socorrow. He gave us the low down on what to see in town.
We almost always stop when we see a dog, today we met Amber and his humans Leslie and Ken. They are from Taos and were staying is Socorro so they could visit the White Sands Missile Range– which is only open to the public two days a year. (The range is open tomorrow – but I don’t think we’re going.) They are RVers and were nice enough to tell us where they lived and invite us to visit.
4/5/2018 Alburqueque Biological Park
The plan today was to go Socorro NM, where Lisa and her folks lived for about a year when Lisa was very young, but we got off to a late start and decided to postpone and go to the Alburqueque Biological Park instead. The park has a garden, an aquarium and a zoo we visited the garden and the aquarium. We really enjoyed it especially the Children’s Fantasy Garden – really wish Alyssa was with us for this.
4/4/2018 Petroglyph Nation Monument
Without the need to get up early to bring the RV in for repairs Lisa slept in, so we got off to a late start. We did get in a short hike at Petroglyph National Monument.
4/3/2018 Albuquerque Museum
Back to Myers RV to get some more work done. While waiting went out to breakfast at Vick’s Vittles – if you like big breakfasts this is the place to go. Then it was time to brush up on our culture at the Albuquerque Museum a nice a mix of art and history.
We met John and Rosalie at the High Desert RV Park. They are young full-timers traveling with their three young children. I think it can be a great lifestyle choice for some families and it’s neat to run into people doing it.
4/2/2018 Old Town Albuquerque
Dropped the RV off for service at Myers RV in Albuquerque. We then headed into Old Town Albuquerque. It’s pretty neat, old adobe buildings including San Felipe de Neri Church – built in 1706. Lots of shops, galleries and street vendors selling art. Plus, it was a beautiful day so we really enjoyed it.
Drove from Elephant Butte to Alburqueque today. We are just outside of the city on RT 66. The RV park (High Desert RV Park) isn’t much more than a parking lot but it does have a cool sculpture.
No traditional Easter Dinner for us this year. We’ve been eating a lot of Mexican food that’s what 80% of the Restaurants round here server. Today we decided on a Chinese takeout place – “China Casa”.
We did not go to church but we did watch “Jesus Christ Super Star” on TV.
3/31/2018 Elephant Butte State Park
Went to Elephant Butte State Park today. We started out on a short hike – saw a neat Blue Bird Bus conversion and ended up talking to the owners Jack and Debbie for a few hours. Really nice people and very interesting, plus they gave us a lot of safety tips (scared the shit out of us) on avoiding getting bitten by rattlesnakes.
A lot of their expertise was based on their experience hunting rattlesnakes. Those are rattlesnake tails in the jar.
3/30/2018 Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte
We drove from Silver City to Elephant Butte today. We didn’t stop in Hatch but we know where to go if we want chilis:
We are right near:
We are staying at Elephant Butte Lake RV Resort:
We went out in Truth Or Consequences NM today (Yes – it’s named after the game show). First, we visited the Geronimo Springs Museum and eclectic mix of Indian Arrow Heads and pottery, town history and cowboy history.
Then we went to River Bend Hot Springs.
We finished off the evening with brews and music at the Truth Or Consequences Brewing and sliders from a food truck (It was a BYOF – Bring Your Own Food brewery).
3/29/2018 City of Rocks
We went to City of Rocks State Park, it was great fun to ramble through the rocks.
We definitely will return in the future to camp, they had some great sites.
We spent some in Silver City, we had a late lunch at Jalisco Cafe, checked out the Silver City Museum and had a great conversation with Pete at Finn’s Gallery.
3/28/2018 Gila Cliff Dwellings
We went to Gila Cliff Dwellings today. It was a long and winding road to get to the trailhead on the way we met Alex who needed some help with a flat. Don’t know who designed the Yukon – but it’s an awful design: tools and jack are hidden, the spare tire is hard to get at and hard to release, jack placement makes you crawl on your belly under the car. Took the three of us to figure it all out. Alex called to let us know she made it safely back to Albuquerque.
The cliff dwellings are fascinating. Makes me wish I took a few archaeology courses while I was in college.
3/27/2018 Silver City
Left Benson and drove to Silver City New Mexico. It was a nice drive.
We are staying at Manzano’s RV Park in Silver City it’s a small park with nice views. A little tough navigating into our site but Lisa managed. The hosts Virginia and Leko (sic) are very nice. They built this campground to have something to do in retirement and have been at it almost twenty years.
We went to downtown Silver City last night. It was created as a mining town and that is still a big part of the local economy but they also rely on tourism and there are a lot of artists. Most of the town closes up early so we didn’t go into any shops but it’s a pretty cool looking town. The economy must be suffering because there is lots of empty retail space.
Arizona offers some nice trails for running and riding. Today I did some trail riding behind the SKP Saguaro Campground:
Enjoyed a fish fry at the SKP Saguaro clubhouse for dinner, good food and good company.
3/25 – We came back to Benson in particular to see Kartchner Caverns
It was worth the trip. We’ve been to a number of caverns but these are the most well tended. They have made them available for public viewing but have done an excellent job of keeping them in Pristine condition (part of keeping them in pristine condition is not allowing photos)
3/24/2018 Casa Grande RoVers Roost
We had stayed at the SKP CO-OP RoVers Roost in Casa Grande for a week but it was time to say goodbye and head back to Benson and SKP Saguaro. On our way we hit some high winds passed a van that had burned recently and this burning bus:
We arrived in time to attend another Concert in the Clubhouse this time “Freddie and Sheila” a really entertaining guitar playing duo.
3/23/2018 Phoenix Scottsdale
Alyssa had a flight out of Phoenix and on the way to the airport we stopped in Scottsdale.
For Christmas, I had gotten Lisa gift certificates to some Ice Cream places, one of those places was the Sweet Republic. This place was rated as one of the best in AZ and it didn’t disappoint. The woman helping us was an ice cream Aficionado. She had very strong opinions on what flavors of ice cream and topping should and should not be mixed. She did not lead us wrong and we all enjoyed out sundaes.
We also stopped at Old Town Scottsdale a nice place to walk and look at art galleries. The first place we went into one of the staff asked us if we were collectors – I explained we had no room in the RV, but I think the Original Warhol’s, Picasso’s and Dali’s were probably a little out of our price range anyway.
Alyssa flight was on time and she headed off to Boston.
3/18/2018 Desert Botanical Garden Phoenix AZ
Really enjoyed the Desert Botanical Garden near Phoenix AZ.
3/12/2018 Bisbee AZ
We spent the day in Bisbee Arizona and old mining town, that now has a vibrant art community. A lot of the town is built into the hillside, so many of the homes can only be reached by stairs. According to a local some of these homes could have been bought for a couple of hundred bucks in the 1970s. Bizbee is known for its high-quality Tourquoise.
3/5/2018 Chiricahua National Monument, Willcox, United States
This was one of our favorite hikes amongst the boulders and pinnacles. I scrambled up a boulder here and almost couldn’t get down – I’m not as agile as I used to be.