Thursday, November 16, 2017

A litlte productive, a quick visitor, and feeling welcome....

Our Location: Elephant Butte State Park, Elephant Butte, NM

This morning dawned wonderfully warm, since we had closed all the vents and left a couple of windows open just a bit. The amazing blue skies and fabulous sunshine certainly are the best way to start any day. 

Dryers, whole wall of 'em.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic, washers at the T or C laundry.

We had big plans for today, lots of things we wanted to get accomplished. We made an excellent start at least. ~laugh~ 

Not sure what these are but they are very abundant heading toward the lake.

The list went something like this: change of linens as we knew we were going to do laundry for certain. My list also included a good sprucing  up of the inside of the Igloo and the windows are looking more like films of dust than panes of glass. The beetles and flies have been hard on them as well, they definitely need attention. We also wanted to go to the bank in T or C to get some cash. On top of that was of course regular things such as cooking lunch, and getting a walk in as well. 

Walking down to the water of the Rio Grande.

So you see we had good intentions, good plans, and a long list. We did get the linen's changed and the laundry sorted. The Dogsled was eager to get going this morning and so off we went to T or C with me holding him back to keep him from getting us into trouble. Guess what? We managed to get the laundry washed, dried and sorted in just a bit over 2 hours. The nice little laundromat is connected to the U-Haul building, very clean, very reasonably priced and lots of front load washers and plenty of dryers. The big machines are $6.50 for a cold water wash. The medium size machines are $3.50 a load, and the smaller washers are $3.00 per load. Dryer costs are 7 minutes for $0.25, or if like us you use the bigger dryers, it's 40 minutes for $2.00. More than enough time to dry the entire load with no damp corners at all. 

A closer look at the Rio Grande.

From there we headed to the Walmart for a couple of little things that we needed, having forgotten them yesterday. We found the few things we wanted, paid and left the building. We headed home. Of course the bank is in T or C not at home. Hmm...oh well, we'll catch it another time. 

Pretty isn't it?

Unloaded the Dogsled, brought our groceries and laundry inside, put them all away and started to make lunch. Now as you know the kitchens in these rigs aren't very big so it's usually a one person job, while the other person sits around and watches. ~laugh~ Today I was head prep chef and Riley got to laze around.

Our green salad

A nice green salad, orange zest mixed veggies (mushroom, sweet white onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, peppers, green beans, asparagus, and spaghetti squash), garlic dill potatoes, and turkey burgers on English muffins. I'm still full. 

My potatoes always come from the bottom of the packet, and they almost always need to be pulled off the foil.

We enjoyed our salads while the rest of lunch was cooking. Sitting in the shade reading our books was an excellent way to pass the time. We were eating lunch just before 3 pm inside with a nice breeze coming in the window.  Time to clean up after lunch and one would think now would be the perfect time to get those other chores accomplished, right? Wrong. As of the writing of this post they still aren't even started. Instead we took a very long walk down to the water of the Rio Grande and made a circle by taking the other road back home. Very nice walk, not too hard walking as most of the way was packed well with just a little bit of loose sand closer to the beach. 

Rock art on the walking path

We didn't know you could dry camp down at the beach. I wouldn't do that because I'd worry about getting stuck in all that sand, but it would be an amazing spot to park. We noticed at least one tent, two vans, and one travel trailer  in various locations on the beach. No hook ups of course but some johnny's were evident for their use. 

A tree along the walking path

So after our walk I was too tired to work and decided it was time to start my blog. Now I know some of you would get to work when you finished writing and get those chores accomplished but I'm lazy. ~laugh~ I'm going outside in a few minutes to catch the sunset and then I'll work some more on this post. I will not be doing chores tonight, I assure you!!!

Taken tonight while watching the sun set off to the right of this tree.

So we've pushed our 'to do' list back a bit, but not to worry, we'll get them finished tomorrow. Really, we will. I see you aren't convinced but you will be. ~laugh~ And if we don't get them finished tomorrow, well there is always Saturday, right? ~laugh~ 

The temps reached about 80F /26.6C today. A nice cooling breeze kept things perfect. I'm telling ya folks, I could get used to this weather. ~laugh~ It wouldn't be hard at all. I'm already thinking...when I come back next year....~laugh~ 

We did talk to a fella (we were both looking at the RV goodies in Walmart) today that has a house in Albuquerque, and another here in Elephant Butte, only two hours between the two of them. He also has a motorhome, that he said they were taking to Tuscon tomorrow for some party with some friends. He gave us a few ideas of things to see, complimented us on our 'gutsy nerve' in doing this kind of adventure by ourselves, and told us to come back often! You just have to love folks, always helpful and interesting to talk to as well. 

  The sunset was less than spectacular but still nice. In a different part of the sky tonight as well. I can tell you I will never tire of the sunsets out here. 

Back inside I returned a call to my best friend Linda. We chatted for a half hour or so and then said our good byes. Always enjoy chatting with her, she's truly a gem!! I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful woman to call my best friend. 

Now it's time to finish this post and get to bed early tonight. I'm tired. Not sure why but I'm truly weary. The time zones are playing havoc with me and waking up at 4 am MST is fine, except I don't go to bed until 10:30 MST either, which means I'm not getting enough time with the sand man. I may have to resort to an afternoon nap one of these days. ~laugh~ 

A quick note to add. Today we had a visitor, Mr. Road Runner walked casually past the tree in our front yard, up our little driveway and was heading for the open front cubbie door when Riley drew my attention to him. He didn't seem one bit concerned that we were sitting less than 10 feet away. When I moved my feet he sauntered slowly off while still strutting his stuff. This guy was bold. ~laugh~ I've always had the impression they were kind of elusive and hard to catch for photo's. This guy must be a model or something. ~laugh~ He seems to love his picture being taken. 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've had an excellent day where ever you may be. Feel free to leave a comment. 

Until next safe, take care...

Tour day, meeting a crafty lady, and a road runner.....

Our Location: Elephant Butte State Park, Elephant Butte, NM
A coolish night with the vents and windows open but not cold. We had the big outer door opened by 8:30 am and found it very comfortable. We're loving this weather. 

According to Riley I didn't do a good job of setting the table...~laugh~ 

Since today was a tour day we decided we needed to have something to help us get thru until we were back to make lunch. I made my version of a breakfast burrito. It was excellent. Mushroom, green onions, celery, asparagus, peppers, garlic, salsa, Tabasco, eggs, shredded cheese, all wrapped in a tortilla, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It did the trick. 

Heading into Truth or Consequences, NM

We decided to head out to the small town of Truth or Consequences, NM just a stone's throw away. I don't know what I expected but I was surprised. It is a mixture of old and new, with some original southwest architecture of rounded roof lines, adobe with colourful frames around doors/windows, fake facades, some wrought iron grill work, and bright colour. Mixed in were the new modern clean lines and standard well known signs for MacDonalds, Walmart, Shell, etc. The 'old' part of town had the buildings very close to each other as well as to the street, they were squarish, squat, and brightly painted. The newer part of town was more spaced out, with bigger distances between road and building, the colours were more muted than colourful. The buildings were taller, with bigger windows, and bigger doors, giving the feel of space. The streets while not narrow gave the impression of being 'cozy' in the older part of town, with the newer part being more open and visible. We found only ONE stop light in the areas of town we travelled. A unique little town with a flavour of the old world charm but an air of the modern commerce. Truly a very cute and inviting place. 

Very brightly coloured Bistro.

We toured down the Main Street for a long distance, then came back to the stop light and turned left, taking the street to what looked like the end, turned around and went the entire length of the same street back past the light and to what seemed like the end of town. Added in a couple of smaller back streets and enjoyed the tour. 

This is what I think of when I think of the southwest.

We stopped to give the Dogsled a well deserved drink of diesel for $2.75 a gallon. Washed the dirty windows and got directions to the local laundromat as well. We took the return street (part of old town has two lanes going each direction but they divide for a while before coming back to run beside each other) and tied the big Dog to a pole while we got out and did some walking. It was an interesting little stroll, the buildings were close together, brightly painted, the window displays were interesting and some were inviting, while others were more guess work about what kind of shop it was. 

This is the memorial wall, the black you see running along this wall is full of names of those that have given the ultimate gift to their country. The picture does not show it well but there are thousands and thousands of names on this wall. 

Stopping at the bank to use the ATM before we untied the big Dog and headed out to find the laundromat. According to the lady at the gas station it was located in the U-Haul building. We took two turns around before we actually were able to see it. Parking we went inside to find it very clean, reasonably priced and all front load washers. Bonus!!! We will return to do our duds probably tomorrow. 

Wave, entirely covered in pennies.

We stopped at the Veterans Memorial Park for a while. We didn't go into the museum but did walk around the outside yard. It was very well done, extremely educational, and very moving. A wall stretches for a long distance in an 'L' shape with thousands of names on each placard. I can't describe to you the immense feeling of loss one gets standing there looking at this memorial wall. Nor can I describe the feeling of pride that one feels emanating from that wall either. It shows in the grounds, the displays, the thoughtfulness that went in to this tribute. Also on display is huge purple heart, the last medal a fallen soldier receives, I believe. A very moving tribute, very well done. 

A small section of the pottery on display at the Museum.

In old town we stopped at the Geronimo Spring Water Museum (?? might not be the proper name) for a quick tour. It was a very crammed and packed museum with many artifacts, and displays about the local area and it's history. It had a small display about Geronimo and an educational children's interpretive section. The admission was very reasonable but I don't think we'd tour it again. Too many items made it too hard to see anything or concentrate on any individual display. They had a number of pieces of pottery made by various tribes and peoples over many years, it was an interesting display. Also arrow heads, lots of them, displayed in framed patterns. Personally I thought there was too much for the small space. Still interesting if you're interested in the local history. 

The 'legs' are horseshoes.

A quick trip to Walmart for some groceries and we were off home. An interesting idea at Walmart, the parking lot appeared to have shade covers over the parking slots but in fact it was solar panels, lots of them. Raised to a clearance height of 13', must have 6 or 7 rows of them covering the entire parking slots in the middle of the lot. Outer edges didn't have any panels. Neat idea, they offered shade from the sun and protection from the rain, while making electricity. Not sure if it fed back to the grid or if Walmart used it exclusively. Very neat idea though. 

Nice flower box outside of a little shop

A quick trip through the town of Elephant Butte but we didn't find anything to stop and explore. Perhaps another day later this week we will return and check it out a bit better. 

Solar panels covering the Walmart parking lot.

Back home we put away our purchases, and set about making lunch. Riley bbq'ed today. A green salad, Hawaiin chicken breast, Italian spaghetti squash, and dilled potatoes. Good stuff!!
This roadrunner is just sort of ambling along.

After cleaning up we were heading out for a walk when the lady next door dropped by. Her name is Patricia, she's a Native and an extremely talented, and friendly lady. She's new to her 2008 Cougar travel trailer and as we too have a Cougar she wanted to ask a couple of questions. It seems this nice lady has lived in a 1947 travel trailer, I forget what brand she said it was, for 17 years. It had no kitchen, no bathroom and she used some kind of stove to heat it. She had some pictures, it was certainly different. So this new to her trailer that she's had for a week is a big step up for her. We showed around the Igloo and explained a few things such as water pump use, water heater use, and so on. She then took us to her TT and gave us a tour. It's nice and she's getting things settled. She does a lot of craft work with beads, paints and buffalo hides. So we gave her the little bits of information that we had and answered her questions. She was very enthusiastic and appreciated our willingness to talk and answer questions. 

He's moving a little faster now.

After Patricia left we headed off for a walk, remembering our walking sticks this time. We took the small walking trail behind the campground which basically went in a big circle but covered a quite a bit of ground. We didn't time it but the walking was a good work out in the rolling sand. 

Green Salad

Yummy Italian Spaghetti Squash, Dill Potatoes, and Hawaiin Chicken Breast.

Back home we sat down to read for a bit, and I managed to snap a few pics of a Road Runner that was ambling along the way. At one point he was less than 10 feet from our picnic table. Had plenty of time to get some good pics of this fella. Although the click of the camera made him move off a bit quicker than his original stroll pace. 

Patricia's hand painted boots.

I slipped over a few sites to an empty site which allowed me to catch the fiery sunset. Truly an amazing sight, the sky turned from yellow to fire yellow, then to a pink and finally a bright red. A perfect end to the daylight hours!!

This was earlier in the day, see the sun peeking between the clouds?

Back tucked safely inside the Igloo once more, editing pictures, getting ready to write but a knock on the door brought those things to a halt. Miss Patricia from next door was here and wanted to remind herself of a few of the answers we'd given earlier to her questions. She came prepared with a pen and paper. We chatted for about an hour but very little about the 'questions' and 'answers'. She's an interesting individual with unique thoughts, ideas and beliefs. She brought a pair of cowboy boots over to show us, she hand painted them. Truly a work of art. 

No enhancements, this is the actual colour, a bright fiery yellow.

I've been working on editing, and writing since she left. It was a great day, we enjoyed it a great deal. Tomorrow looks like a return to Truth or Consequences to do our laundry as I think the baskets are about as full as we can get them. 
Next came the fiery reds, no enhancements.

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment. Always nice to hear from folks. 

The last red of the night, no enhancement.

Until next safe, take care. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lots of chatting today, great sunset.....

Our Location: Elephant Butte State Park, Elephant Butte, NM

(Today's pic's taken with my phone around the campground)
The night was warm with a bit of a cool breeze but we rolled out this morning and dressed in short pants. It’s a huge change from our previous few weeks. The sun was up and brightly shining, the sky was blue and the air warming with each passing second. Truly a wonderful start to the day. 

The view on our morning walk.

We decided we would just stay home today and rest. A couple of walks, some food, and pretty much just read and do NOTHING. We walked to the park entrance to pay for 6 more days, and yesterday I said we are in #28 well we aren’t, we’re in #38. Thought I should correct that quick. We took the walking path back home to the Igloo and enjoyed the desert walk, the soft sand, a few birds, and a rabbit as well. We managed to find our way without too much difficulty. It was a nice short stroll, about 25 minutes all together.
Desert Greenery
Sitting outside reading and snacking on some watermelon a car stopped, a couple from Redmond, Oregon stopped and were inquiring about our location in Ontario. They have a son that lives in Toronto. Chuck and Debbie were very interesting to talk to, friendly and chatty. We talked for about a half hour before they finally pulled away on their errand to the grocery store.
I'm sure this is some kind of cactus
After that we managed to settle down and just do almost nothing. We did however prepare lunch and put it in the fridge for later. Outside to read, sit in the sun, sit in the shade, back in the sun, you get the idea. The sun is very hot here, with such dry air you can feel the heat more intently I think.
This was taken on our walk this evening with the sun casting it's last rays before going down.
 Outside reading we started with a nice green salad, and then continued to read while lunch was cooking on the Weber. Turkey burgers on an toasted English muffin  and mixed veggies with orange zest. It was very good. Sorry no pics , forgot until I was already eating. 
Again this evening, the water is so very blue in this picture, the sun is going down.
Clean up and I settled down outside to read, Riley settled down inside to play a game. Very sunny, very nice, I almost changed my mind and thought about having a nap but instead stayed outside reading my book. Lorna came by around 3:30 or 4 pm, she’s in the motor home at the end of our site across the street. Lorna and her husband Malcolm are from Alberta, and are spending the winter down here in the Southwest as well. Lorna and I chatted for about an hour before she headed off home and Riley and I headed out for another walk. 

The sun setting in the western sky is causing this eastern sky to almost glow.
This time we walked to Lions Beach, very nice place but can only stay ONE night without a reservation. I would definitely consider staying there next time. I would just make a reservation before hand. We walked for about a half hour I guess and were home in time to get some pictures of the sunset.
A flaming red at one point in the setting of the sun. Truly awesome to see.

So there you have it, it’s almost 7 pm here and soon I’ll have something light for dinner. A wonderful day, truly what we’ve been hoping for since we left the Island way back in September. Finally!!!!!

A truly wonderful sunset!

Thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed your time.

Until next time…be safe, take care…..

Monday, November 13, 2017

An excellent travel day, some history, and beautiful views....

Our Location: Elephant Butte State Park, Elephant Butte, NM
We woke this morning to a bit of a mist or a maybe drizzle, you could almost feel it but then doubted because you couldn't see any evidence of it. Know what I mean? 
Can you see the outline of the mountain off in that haze?
A quick breakfast, unhooked utilities outside, packed up inside,  and moved the Dogsled into the harness. We were at the dump station at our regular 8:30 am departure time. Took a while to do our business of course and finally we were on the road at 8:50 am. Not in a huge hurry, not going far today. A couple of hundred miles. 
The foothills are getting closer and closer, roads are empty.
The temps were warmish this morning, a light sweater was enough to ward off the slight dampness and chill. The wheels rolling westward on US380 found us enjoying the once again flat lands giving way to rolling hills and finally to mountains. The traffic was light as we rolled along. The country side more of the same desert like scrub land with what I think might be mesquite bushes dotting the landscape. The usual ranches/farms, a few houses and a town here and there along the route kept us craning our necks to see more. We managed to put in an hour or so before we stopped for a short break. Riley was busy snapping pics as we drove along the blacktop creeping ever closer to the mountains. 
Off in the haze the mountain is starting to get bigger.
Our first sign of them was a blue haze in the distance. The outline slowly taking shape as we watched in amazement as layer after layer of hills and mountain appeared.  We've driven through the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia numerous times but those mountains are nothing at all like these mountains. These mountains have an allure about them, an invitation to come closer, to explore and to learn their history and share their secrets. Almost mystical in a different way than the Smokey's. Barren and stark, the colours vibrant in feel, but the landscape muted and harsh, unforgiving perhaps would be the best way to describe it. Truly awesome. 
Very pretty drive today.
We passed through the little village of Hondo, nestled in the foothills, cute and inviting. We moved on to Lincoln County, stopping before town to see the placard about  William H. Boney, known as Billy the Kid. He was a slight  player in the Lincoln County wars. Further along we stopped in the little hamlet of Lincoln that featured numerous historical markers telling about the town, the townspeople, etc. Alex McSween a lawyer and John Tunstall opened a store to be competition to the only other one in town. Both men died due to the Lincoln County War that raged. Two sides, each pitted against the other. Murder and mayhem were rampant during this time. Rutherford Hayes, the US president called Lincoln's main street the deadliest street in the US. On another trip through this area I'll be sure to set aside plenty of time to visit a number of these museums and monuments. Today was not the day. 
Lincoln County main street. Boardwalk along the store owned by Alex McSween and John Tunstall.
The beginning of this part of the drive was interesting. The road was terrible, washboards everywhere, the herky-jerky thump thump of a badly paved road was beginning to get to both of us, so we stopped often. However we managed to get through the short span of bad road and found that it  improved greatly a bit further along. The windy, hilly, twisty road required constant concentration with little time to look around. The road was narrow with no shoulder and I will admit that is not my favourite type of road. 
Looming out Riley's window.
Climbing these hills, no matter the grade the Dogsled just slipped along without any issues of any kind. He wasn't in the least bit winded or lagging, but humming right along like he was out for a Sunday stroll. A bit of a cross wind at times made him pull a little here and there but nothing serious. The down bound was no issue either, with both tow and the engine brake engaged we rolled down pretty easily. 
Lava Rocks from the Valley of Fire
The view was inspiring. Each time we topped the next rise we marveled at the beauty before us. In no hurry we stopped often and managed to find great views with each stop. 
The haze makes them look blue.
We merged onto I-25 southbound and let the Dogsled set an easy pace while the Igloo rolled smoothly along behind us. At times it was easy to forget that the Igloo was back there. We stopped at our first interstate rest stop in New Mexico. Impressed with the facilities, as the  numerous picnic sites have big tables, extra benches and even a grill in each one. The restrooms were clean and fresh, nothing fancy but well maintained. We were both impressed with the rest stop and the views!
Almost like a postcard.
We rolled along until we arrived at Exit 83, which we took. Up and down, round and round we finally found the little town of Elephant Butte, New Mexico. We didn't have much time to sight see as we were busy watching for the state park signs which we quickly found after a short drive through the town. Pulling into the state park we marveled at the view before us, even with the low water levels it's very pretty here. 
View from the rest stop on I-25
We've set up in Quail Run at sight number #28, a nice little pull through spot. We've decided we'll stay for at least 5 days, probably more as we've finally found the temps we've been looking for, the dry air is wonderful and we're going to spend some time looking around. The sand is soft, the quail are plentiful and I think I may have seen my first roadrunner earlier but I didn't get a good look. 
On a long and lonesome highway....
We arrived around 2 pm, we were set up by 3 pm and cooking by 4 pm. Lunch was late today. It was more like dinner really. We BBQ'd and enjoyed the view. Short pants, t-s, all the windows and vents open, we are truly ready to settle down for a while now. 
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
So there you have it, our day's travel. We enjoyed it immensely. We are both looking forward to just doing nothing tomorrow. Then we'll need to find some where to do laundry, and well take a few short tours around the area to check things out. I'd like to visit Truth or Consequences while we're just touring with the Dogsled. So as you can see, we have a bit of a 'like to see' list while we're here. We will get a couple of them marked off at least. 
This is our view from our picnic table.
Sorry no pics of lunch today as we were both hungry and it was late. Lunch was bbq'd dill potatoes, orange zest mixed veggies (asparagus, beans, mushrooms, corn, peppers, celery) and some turkey dogs. Along with a green salad of course. Good stuff. 
This view from just around the corner as the sun is sinking behind me.
We took a stroll after dinner and managed to snap a few pics of the sunset here. After wards I chatted with my dad as I do every evening when it's a travel day. He likes to know we're safe and settled for the night or a few days. He's enjoying the pictures in this blog, commented on Riley's new friend in Roswell and my visit with the little fella in the two holer. ~laugh~ Glad you're enjoying this Dad!
Pretty nice sunset...
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to leave a comment. 
Almost gone...
Until next safe, take care.