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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One week on the road 1500 Miles


If you ever RV through Alamogordo, NM I heartily recommend Edgington RV. Nice people, good sized spaces, pull throughs. It is a Passport America park $15 per night.  Short day today only 130 miles to Deming, NM. Got out of Alamogordo around 10:00 – stopped for gas then hit the highway.
Bill managed to pull his back this morning while hooking the Jeep. So right now he is taking it easy. Funny how our backs don’t like to twist, bend and turn all at the same time. No matter our age. If it’s not better we’ll stay here another day.
I belong to an Internet forum of  women who RV and one of the ladies from that group is here in the park. She and her husband are full timers.
Good road and good weather all the way here. Stopping at Little Vineyard RV Park in Deming. Nice place. Easy in and out. Good sized pull throughs – 150 spaces. Park has cable TV and WiFi. Our TV and MiFi work good here.
Hard to get my mind around the destruction from that storm. Poor people and this will go on for a long time. In the long run it should create a lot of jobs.
We’ve been on the road one week today and have gone 1500 miles. Just the beginning of this year’s trip.
I’ve been reading a new series of books. Author is Jenna Bennett she writes about a young southern born and bred (important to character) woman who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some mystery some romance. Involved with a couple of very different guys. Light reading and fun. Reminds me a little of Janet Evanovich.
I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!!  Just got ANOTHER text message AND a phone call from our credit card. The one I’ve talked to every day for the last four days. They want to know if we know where our card is and if we used it at “unknown vendor” on 10/27/12…Get your act together people. I even checked on line and our account is flagged as traveling in southwest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Alamogordo - great place to visit


Had a busy day today. Lots of interesting stuff around here.
After breakfast we drove out to White Sands National Monument.
The San Andres Mountains in the background.
What a beautiful area. Of course I love any thing to do with the desert – ugly scrubby to magnificent views. Especially the unusual plant life.
Stopped at the Visitor’s Center and picked up t-shirt and a pin and read about the area. The area is the northern most part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The wave-like dunes of gypsum sand cover 275 square miles. And is the largest gypsum dune field in the world.
It looked like we were driving into a big snow covered area. The sand is so white and very fine. A panoramic view – as far as you can see. (I like the way my newer camera takes these shots.)
The dunes surrounding the road.
The black spot in the middle is Bill climbing up on one – I walked out into them on a boardwalk. So incredible to see.
Another panoramic view from the end of the boardwalk.

Rain and snow in the mountains dissolve the gypsum from the rocks and carry it into the Tularosa Basin. The mountains in the background.
 
Following the road further into the park. The pavement ended and we were driving on the hard sand. It looked like we were driving on a plowed road of snow!
 
A short video of the experience- has music with it.
video

After leaving White Sands Monument we went back into town and visited the New Mexico Museum of Space History. It sets up on the mountain over the town.
Some of the rockets on exhibit outside the museum.

A Mercury Capsule – hard to believe how small it is. What would prompt a grown man to get into it and be shot into space?
Some of the “space food” aboard the ships. Looks delicious doesn’t it.
Check out the modifications to the pop cans.
Lots of interesting information about rockets and inventors and the twenty eight countries who participated in the conquest of space.
After the space museum we got gas – at $3.19 a gallon. Then went back to Jennie for a while. Had the AC on again…..Bill is very happy about the warmth.
Later we went to visit some of the pistachio farms. A big Pistachio Nut – the guy driving the semi was asking where he could find a TexMex restaurant where there was parking for his truck. Wonder if he found one.
Interesting but we missed the tour of the farm so basically they were just gift shops. And I shopped. Got some watermelon twisters and pistachio brittle and a “free” bag of pistachio nuts for spending money there. They sure do have a lot of flavors of pistachio nuts. Garlic, chili, jalapeƱo to mention a few.
This guy was outside of one of them. He has a brother who looks exactally like him in our little town of Nashville – who would of thought?
Saw this and thought it was kind of interesting.

Ended the day by having dinner at IHop. We were there at the right time - between 3 and 6 daily Seniors can get one entree free. Sounded good to us. And the meal was very good.
Tomorrow we'll leave here and head further south and west. Towards Arizona. No plans on how far to go.
Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone on the East Coast.
Was just looking at the picture in the heading and thought about the beautiful fall folliage just before we left home and compared it to the amazing white sand of the desert here. What a contrast. How lucky we are to be able to see both. And even more wonderful sights in the future.

Desert Morning Cold

Up and about early again this morning. Not even 9:00 yet and we are ready to head out. But have to wait a little for it to warm up again. Got down to 40 last nite, supposed to be almost 80 later so both of us have on shorts.
Watching the storm on TV - see that it reaches way into Indiana - checked the weather at home and high will be 44 - brrrrr - for the next few days. Hope everyone we know on the east coast is safe and warm and with power.
Should be busy most of the day seeing the sights around here. Will post again later with pics.
Had some questions on using oven for storage. Here's a pic. The racks have indoor/outdoor carpet with foam backing on them. It is not fastened down and can be taken out easily. Stops all noise from the stuff in there. Also use rubber lined containers (WalMart) to hold utensils etc.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shorts Weather!!!!


Finally turned south – and now have the AC running and I am in shorts! What a difference a day makes. But will be down to 40 tonight even here.
Here is Alamogordo, NMx.
Bill fixed us a nice breakfast before we left Tucumcari around 9 this morning.
Last mural picture from Tucumcari – James Dean and his car.
Stopped for gas at Flying J – our discount card gives us .04 cents off a gallon – anything helps. And about an hour later I got a text message from our credit card wanting me to verify that we purchased gas at Flying J – didn’t I just talk to them yesterday and tell them we were traveling in the south west!?!?!?  All I had to do was text back a “1” for yes. Then another text from them saying – okay all is well.   Until next time anyway.
We turned south off of I-40 on to SR 54 at Santa Rosa, NM. The first third of the 230 miles of the two lane road was very good – except for no scenery. Two cars in view was a cause for excitement!
Just some lost dreams – I always wonder what happened.
Suddenly we came to a red light – in the middle of no where – road construction one lane ahead. Sat there for about five minutes before light changed. Didn’t see any traffic from other way. Then about 15 miles of construction. Remember I mentioned this was a very good road. Well they are adding two more lanes to it. Will be a four lane divided highway that no one uses…..could see miles ahead and behind us and if we ever saw three cars at the same time it was unusual.
Slowly climbed up to over 6800 feet then down the other side into warmer weather.
Went through one little town with a couple of motels and lots of 5th wheels. I bet this construction will let some of the townspeople who own motels, restaurants, RV places and bars will be able to retire after the road is built. Lot of older motels around.
After the construction the road got horrible – washboard enough to jar out our fillings and the wind picked up. Guess maybe we should have taken the main roads. Through Albuerque to Las Cruces. Probably would have been prettier too.
We are staying at Edgington RV – it’s a Passport America park at $15 per night. Good sized space, level. Our TV and MiFi are working really good. Will be here at least tomorrow and maybe the next day –
I have to tell on myself again – beginning to think I am very CLOCK challenged – I got a small travel clock. No problem setting it just followed directions “Hold left button down with index finger. With other index finger set hour and minute.” Worked great – however – I may have another index finger ‘cause something SET THE ALARM. Which of course went off at 2:37 a.m. WTH! Had to use my Nook light to find the button to shut the darn thing off.
We finally made it to a WalMart and got more of the stuff on our list. One thing was a thumb drive – 16 GB for $13 – amazing. And some TGIF potato skins Cheddar and Bacon. Love them. Shoot the TV just mentioned a “heart healthy diet.” Should I feel guilty? Nope!
When we left home Bill took the new good sewer hose out of the Alfa and put it in Jennie. Oh, Oh – doesn’t fit Jennie as Jennie is quite a bit older and a little different. So had to find a replacement at WalMart. You know you can’t find a cheap baseball type cap without a logo on it? Bill forgot to bring one of his many that he has at home and all we can find are teams, places etc at $15 a piece.
Then we stopped at Applebee’s for dinner. And stopped by the Visitor’s Center to pick up some info about the area. Will visit one of the Pistachio Farms and the Space Museum and maybe take a ride out to the White Sands park. Should have lots of pictures tomorrow.
Watching the storm – no words. Looks like the outer edge is over Indiana too. Everyone stay safe.
Beautiful full moon tonight.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A little about Tucumcari, NM with pictures


Sorry if I insulted Texans yesterday – I know there are prettier parts of Texas but the I-40 is not one of them……
The map on the back of Jennie -
Kind of cool when we got up this morning – low 40s again, but supposed to warm up during afternoon. But we will probably be inside. NASCAR race and soccer game on later. Bill fixed delicious breakfast this morning then we took a trip to Kmart again – and this time found a little battery operated travel clock [that was easy to set]  and some banana nut muffins for snacks later.
Then rode around town a little. We’ve been here several years in a row so have posted lots of pictures of it in the past. Just search the blog for “Tucumcari” to see pictures of several of the murals.
Just a tidbid. - In 1926 U.S. Highway 66 came through town and Tucumcari became a roadside attraction with motels, restaurants, and dazzling neon lights. In 2000 there were 6000 residents.
A lot of the old motel signs are still standing but the buildings have been demolished.
A Curio shop – closed on Sunday.
The mural painter, Doug Quarles, has painted logos and cars on the exteriors of many of the old gas stations.
A field full of old tow trucks from “the Mother Road” era.
Another gas station – love the car.
Old price sign – those were the days.
Another mural – I don’t think I’ve taken a picture of this one before.
One of the old vacant motels with its old fashioned signage.
Another big mural.
Restaurant on the main four corners. Kind of cute.
Went shopping in the little grocery store here and found a big section of shelving with different seasonings and spices. Some I’ve never seen before like Passion Flower, Alfalfa, Ground Shrimp, Jalapeno Salt to mention a few. This is only a very small section of it. Interesting what you can find in small groceries in small towns.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Waltz Across Texas


We’re now in Tucumcari, NM at the Kiva RV park. Stayed here a while last year too. Passport America park.
From Oklahoma, through Texas and into New Mexico – 320 miles. Today we kind of planned it. And now into even another time zone. Everything working good. Direct TV, Verizon phone and MiFi. Goody goody.
Started out below 32 this morning but now we have the door open. Feels good. Still will be cold tonight but not quite so much. But now we’re over 4000 feet.
One of the painted buffalos at the Oklahoma campground.
 
Clicking on the pictures enlarges them some.
Stopped early at a Flying J for gas and breakfast at the Denny’s there. Denny’s has new coffee mugs and we were talking about how nice they felt to hold and drink from. So we ended up getting a couple for us. Weird huh? Credit card caught up with us today – fraud alert – I forgot to call them to let them know we were traveling. It’s aggravating but glad they do it. Long conversation, proving who I was and all is settled - for now anyway.
Hum……how do you make a drive across Texas sound interesting???? Here is a good description of Texas – SPACE AVAILABLE – no kidding. Lots and lots of miles of lots and lots of nothing.
Says "This space available" and points in all directions.
Did see the leaning water tower and big, big cross in Groom. [see last year’s blog for water tower.] I am adding a picture of the cross but only because I didn’t put in a picture of the even bigger cross in Effingham, Ill.
Came across the “Jesus Christ is Lord” Travel Center. Guess HE is branching out. Kind of made you want to stop there. Big place.
If you’ve traveled on I-40 through TX towards Amarillo you’ve seen the sign for the FREE 72 oz steak. If you haven’t looked into it the steak is free IF you can finish it in one hour plus you have to eat all the side dishes that come with it i.e. bread, salad, potato and veggies. Good luck with that. Maybe the nephew with the Chinese food should go there.
Other views of Texas – cattle and wind turbines. Looking north and looking south. Also saw fields of cotton and sorghum. Be still my beating heart!

Lovely Smell - Money on the move
Finally got out of Texas and into New Mexico – not much difference in scenery.
Tucumcari is a nice little town – used to be an important stop on Route 66 – every year more and more old businesses seem to close. Too bad. After settling in we went to market and K Mart looking for a couple of things. Didn’t find anything on our list….And went out to dinner to Del’s – very good restaurant – always good food. I had liver and onions – had been thinking about it all day and it didn’t disappoint me.
Going to watch a rerun of today’s truck race in an hour. KBM truck #51 won the race. Yah! Denny Hamlin driving.

Interesting day on the Turnpike


Kind of a long day today yesterday. Just didn’t feel like doing this last night.
Left the campground in Lebanon, MO at 9:15. Was not a pleasant night for sleeping. Too close to the Interstate and right where trucks going both directions had to shift. Long loud night. Stopped for breakfast right after leaving the campground at another TA. The weather remained cool and somewhat windy most of the day. Blue skies and trees with a little color still on them
Except for stopping for gas – which was ONLY $2.98 in Claremont, OK. Then didn’t stop for the day until about 30 miles west of Oklahoma City at 4:30. Did not plan on it. It just happened that way. Around 370 miles. I hate days like that.
Once on the toll road from Joplin through Tulsa and on into Oklahoma City (cost us about $22 in tolls – not counting the one we missed paying!) there just aren’t many campgrounds along that route. Not quick on and off overnight ones any way.
Why isn’t this something you see on the interstates more often. It is a stop with gas stations and a big McDonalds that spans the road. Easy to stop there. We saw a lot of restaurants and stations over the highways in Europe. Appears to be a really good idea. Come on people lets do it.
This year I wanted to make sure we got the Turnpike around Oklahoma City – last year I missed it. Caught it this year and wish we hadn’t. About 23 of the 25 mile route was under construction!!!! Really thrilled The Driver. Heard a few mumbles coming from him. Suddenly there was a toll booth –"right lane" “exact change only”?!?! –how are we supposed to know the exact change? Didn’t really make a difference as we were in the AutoPass lane and just blew threw. Kept waiting for a siren behind or in front of us but didn’t happen. Did find the next one and pulled up to it. Paying was by axel – and had to be in change. Were we 2 axels or 4 axels – 4 I guess. That would be $2.30 so we had to dig around for change – went into the laundry money for quarters. Threw it into the tray and as we passed over I heard all kinds of whistles going off. Guess we did something wrong. That’s the last time for the turnpike in Ok City.
Don’t usually make political comments but this is bothering me. Today we passed a couple of Feed the Children trucks on the road. And first thing we heard on TV was that OVER TWO BILLION dollars have been spent on this election. For a job that pays $400,000 plus expenses a year. Come on people. How many children could that amount feed?
I moved my Shout Box back to the bottom of the blog, with it on the side I couldn't get into the controls for it. It is kind of fun reading comments in it.
Didn't fix dinner last night - Bill had a big salad and I used our last frozen TV dinner. 
We are making progress west - too much progress. Now have to decide where we are going - and if we are going to spend some time any where before heading into Mexico.
Watching the weather channel - hope everyone we know on the East Coast is taking precautions and hunkering in. Sure hope it isn't as bad as it looks.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Settling In


Got tired of all the political stuff on the TV so turned on one of the music channels. Found an old traditional country music one. Songs from the 40 to early 60s. Love that Hank Williams Senior sound. And the words are so great. You can even understand them.
It’s only 36 degrees here in Lebanon, Mo this morning. Feels like 0 to us. Once the storm hit here yesterday afternoon it got cold quick. The little space heater we usually use just isn’t doing the job this morning. Will have to turn on the coach furnace once Bill gets up.
Night time was fine as we have an electric blanket that could cook you.
In fact it was so cool in here last night – drum roll – I actually fixed a dinner. Guess to be true full it was a joint effort. We had breaded chicken fillets that Bill had made a whole batch of and froze a while ago. So had to heat it, Spanish rice – right out of a box, add tomatoes and water and cook and corn. Smelled good, looked good and tasted really good. And warmed the place up. Might have to do that more often. Did cheat and use paper plates though.

Two days on the road and we already have a list going for WalMart. I’d like a thermometer for inside and out – masochist aren’t I? Also a little battery clock to replace the electric one I can’t figure out how to set. Can’t find the charger that fits into the lighter for the phone…..Bill forgot his keyboard, he hates the laptop keys. And I’d like another back up thumb drive, have managed to kill one of mine. Also white bread, chips and dish soap.
Oop – the coach heater just came on – The Driver must be up.
Warms up quickly with the heater running. Already had to take my long sleeve shirt off.
My box full of beading projects is staring me in the face – it’s in the cupboard where the Direct TV box is so I can see it. Maybe I’ll drag out a project when we stop this afternoon. I don’t want to read all my books too soon.
Will do an update to this after we stop for the day - who knows if Bill gets his way we'll be in Mexico. He is on a quest for WARM

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just got a" little bit" lost


We made it! We got an earlier start than usual this morning, for us anyway, 7:30 to try to get as far west as could before the weather turned nasty. We made it to Lebanon, MO about 225 miles, got parked and everything plug, loaded etc and the temps dropped by 20 degrees and the rain began. Up till then there had been some wind, mostly head on and it was quite warm. How quick it changed. Tomorrow is supposed to be clear ahead of us. If not we’ll just stay here.
Yesterday while eating lunch we got into a discussion with the waitress about buffets and how much some people can eat. She was telling us about going out to a Chinese buffet with one of her nephews. He is a big man – over 6’5” but not fat. Seems he loves coconut chicken so when he got to the buffet line instead of putting some on his plate he took the whole pan. The staff immediately replaced the hole with a full pan. This happened a couple more times. When the very large nephew made his fifth trip to the line the tiny Chinese owner of the restaurant met him there. Looking way up at him he held out his hand with the nephew’s money in it. “Take Money. And you go home now,” was his quiet plea. Nephew accepted money back and left. Can you imagine seeing that. How funny.
It looks like this year we made it out of Indiana without any flying passengers. Two years ago we had a rig full of bean bugs (lady bugs) didn’t get rid of them until we got into Mexico. Last year we had the tiny moth like things. Never got rid of them. Took some home with us. So in the last couple of years we’ve managed to infest all new areas of the US and parts of Mexico. Maybe I should just keep quiet about it.
Picture for us – first of many nights on the road.
A sign at the campground. I’ve seen it before but think it is funny

Up to the Minute  Weather Station  It says
If rock is wet                           It’s raining
If rock is swaying                   It’s windy
If rock is hot                           It’s sunny
If rock is cool                          It’s overcast
If rock is blue                          It’s cold
If rock is white                        It’s snowing
If rock is gone                         TORNADO
Put up our night window curtain for the first time. I for got how cute it is.
As I mentioned we got an early start this a.m. – strange to see the sun up and shinning at 7:30 – still dark in Indiana then.
All went well until we were passing right through downtown ( of course) Saint Louis and I missed one of the interchanges. Didn’t amount to much though as we stayed on a freeway type road and only had to make two extra turns to get back on the 44. I hate going through there. Too many transitions in too short of a space. “Tulsa” should have been a clue though.
Saw gas at a Mr. Fuel advertised at $3.04 for unleaded. We paid 3.15 at Flying J with our Flying J card, which we found out is also good for a 10% discount at the Denny’s there. Just easier to get in and out of FJ and park to eat too.  Only problem was while we were inside eating somehow a hubcap disappeared off of Jennie. It was there when we got the gas as Bill always does a walk around to check things out. Not the first time probably won’t be the last.
After lunch back out on the road the wind had really picked up but was mostly coming right on the front of us. But every once in awhile we’d get a good side gust. Hate that!
Is it just me or are there a lot of "Adult" businesses in Missouri? See an inordinate amount of signs on these road. One place even had tattoos, live (as opposed to not live?) dancers and chocolate???
So now we are listening to the rain on the roof and digging out the small heater. TV keeps cutting in and out with the severity of the storm.
Probably shouldn’t admit this but we have two clocks I can’t set – can’t figure them out. One is in Jennie’s dash – I KNOW I’ve set it before……the other is in the bedroom. Going to throw that one out and get a battery one for in there. Sure feel dumb sometimes.
Need to figure out something for dinner.