Saturday - April 5, 2008

Today was another sunny hot day, sure hope this weather continues and we don’t start getting rain – we forget what rain is and we aren’t real eager to get reacquainted with it again – lol!

We decided to make it a short drive today as it is quite a long ways to where we want to go in Texas and we knew we would lose an hour coming out of Mountain Time so we opted to do about 240 km and stop at Fort Stockton, TX. We stopped at a nice park here in December 2006 and they have a little restaurant, the Roadrunner Café, at the park and serve a delicious rib dinner for $7.95 so we decided that we would stop here again and enjoy another dinner. It was just as good as we remembered!

The drive today was pretty boring, flat desert with lots of working oil wells and drilling rigs – great scenery! It was also very windy and we saw a lot of dust spouts off in the distance. When we got to Fort Stockton we stopped for fuel and just as John got out of the car the wind really gusted and I almost couldn’t see him for the dirt. When we arrived here it was too windy to open windows so again the air conditioning went on.

After dinner we sat out for a bit as the wind had died down and it was really nice, and we wanted to enjoy some of the warm weather. On the way back from dinner we had noticed that the towed on the motor home beside us had Parkway Ford on it so the lady came out and we asked where they were from. Turns out they are from Brantford but had lived in Waterloo for many years, funny her name is also Carolyn. Her husband Dave came out and we visited for about an hour, a very nice couple.

Tonight we are watching the Bourne Ultimatum, lots of action! And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Friday - April 4, 2008

Today was another beautiful day – sunny and warm, it would sure be nice if we could have this weather all the way home!

We headed off to the Carlsbad Cavern this morning, unfortunately we were delayed by about 45 minutes due to an accident, it looked like a van was passing on a hill in a “No Passing” zone. Two ambulances headed into Carlsbad while we were waiting so there were injuries, hopefully though they weren’t real serious. It always makes me feel sick when we come upon something like that.

When we got to the caverns we were totally blown away by the size and beauty of the “Big Room”, it is the size of 14 football fields and absolutely gorgeous. We have toured 3 other caves over the years but today was the most spectacular, it leaves you feeling very humble and knowing that there has to be a greater being to create something so beautiful and inspiring. The “Big Room” is a self guided tour and we rented an audio tape which explained the major sites along the 1.5 mile walk through the cave.

We took an elevator down 750’ to start our tour; we could have entered by the natural entrance and taken about 1 hour to walk down 800’ to start the tour, but passed on that one and took the easy way down! The cave is decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and thousands of other formations that began over 500,000 years ago. Where water dripped slowly from the ceiling, soda straws and larger stalactites appeared, water falling onto the floor created stalagmites. Sometimes a stalactite and stalagmite met and formed into a column, then there are draperies which were hung where water ran down a slanted ceiling.

A Stalagmite

One of the Views

Stalactites and Stalagmites

Neat Formations

Love the Shapes

Some of the features we saw were the Bottomless Pit, Giant Dome, Rock of Ages, Caveman, Totem Pole and the Painted Grotto – all fascinating structures. We took a lot of pictures but it is very hard to get good photos and do justice to the majestic beauty of this cave. There is a Ranger guided tour of the “Scenic Rooms” which is on our to-do list for another time when we visit this area.

On the way home we picked up a few groceries and fed the truck, then when we got home I did laundry. Needless to say we dined at the fashionable hour tonight! What is left of this evening will be spent doing my bog and seeing if I got any pictures worth posting. And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Thursday - April 3, 2008

What another beautiful warm day it was in Alamogordo when we were getting ready to leave this morning. John, the fellow in the Airstream across from us came over as soon as he saw John out this morning and helped him hook up. After I finished up inside I went out and Judith came over so we ended up chatting for a couple of hours, fortunately we were only going about 150 miles today so we had time to visit. They are a lovely couple and hopefully we will meet on the road again sometime, but we wish them a great trip to St. Louis

Our drive today was interesting, the road was good and the trip over the Sacremento Mountain range was nice and very scenic. We then hit a long drive along the mountain plateau where there was very little vegetation or civilization, but it was pretty anyways.. At one point we stopped at a picnic area and my sandals got full of burrs – I WAS NOT impressed when I had to get John to pull a couple out of the sole of my foot. At Artesia we turned south and the landscape changed again, we saw a number of orchards and green fields, (we couldn’t tell what they were growing there). We also saw numerous oil wells working away, reminded us of around Sarnia.

When we arrived at Carlsbad RV Park we were surprised at the wind, we hadn’t noticed how bad it was when we were driving but when we got here I felt that if I could get my feet off the ground I would be able to fly away – wondering if John was wishing that could happen – lol!

This is a Passport America Park and the price is right - $15.50/night with full hook-ups, an indoor pool, cable TV and free wi-fi – sure can’t beat that! The wind was so bad when we arrived that there was no way I was opening the windows as along with the breeze there would be a TON of dust blowing in – instead I reverted to the hated air conditioning! It did the trick and cooled down the trailer, now the wind has died down and we have a couple of windows open and a beautiful cool breeze is coming in, hopefully it will stay like this overnight!

Tonight was a night of left over chicken and salads for dinner, real easy and now it is the wind down period of the day. I will get this posted and then pick up my book for a while until my eyes won’t stay open and I can’t absorb what I have read, at which point I know the bed will be beckoning. And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Wednesday - April 2, 2008

Today was another beautiful day but it is not as hot here as Arizona, again the temperature was in the mid 70’s – perfect.

Today we toured the Space Museum and it was very interesting, some of it was too technical for me but on the whole it was enjoyable. Most of the missile trials take place in the White Sands because of the weather and terrain, it is mainly sunny, flat and there is little rain here.

V2 Missile Used in the Bombing of London, England During WW11

Blooms on Cow Tongue Prickly Pear

Sonic Sled Used for Trials in the Desert

Cacti In Bloom

Looking Out Over Alamogordo to White Sands In Distance

Okay, So How Does A Rock Like This Hang Up There!

We Will Drive Through This TUnnel Tomorrow On Our Way to Carlsbad

After that we drove over the Sacremento Mountain Range to see what it will be like tomorrow, the road is good and the steep descent is driving west from Cloudcroft so it will be an okay drive with the trailer going east. We went south of Cloudcroft for about 17 miles then picked up another road that looped back up to Cloudcroft – a very pretty drive through the mountains and valleys. The drive west back to Alamogordo was very scenic and we could see the white sand blowinng around off in the distance, guess that is pretty normal for here as that is how the dunes are formed and move – from the constant wind.

We again stopped at Hastings so I could check the e-mail and post my blog, sure do hope we have wi-fi tomorrow night, I checked out a park at Carlsbad and they advertised wi-fi so here’s hoping it is working.

Tonight we went to Applebee’s for dinner so John got the barbecue put away so that we are pretty well ready to go in the morning. And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Tuesday -April 1, 2008

Happy April Fool’s Day – did anyone get jokes played on them? Today was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the mid 70’s (about 22C), perfect weather as far as I am concerned.

This morning when I opened the front shades I noticed an Airstream across the road from us that wasn’t there last night, then when we were ready to head out this morning the fellow from the A/S was out so John got talking to him. I joined them then his wife came over so we met John and Judith who have been full timing in their 1982 34’ Airstream for 10 years. They have a full size Ford diesel van that broke down yesterday when they came into town so the truck is at Mr. Ford and they are here waiting to hear what has to be done to get them on the road again. We ended up visiting for a couple of hours, they are a lovely couple and we enjoyed chatting with them.

Today agenda was a visit to White Sands National Monument and what an amazing place it is. The park is located in the Tularo Basin, which is located at the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert between the San Andres and Sacramento Mountain Ranges, and where great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have created the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The dunes are brilliant white and as we drove along we kept thinking that if we walked over the dunes we would find the ocean – NOT. Due to the constant southwest winds the dunes keep advancing and changing and are getting larger and larger. It is an area where only a few species of plants can grow rapidly enough to survive burial by the moving dunes. There is water about 2’ below the dunes and some of the plants that can be seen have a base some 20’ below the dune – unbelievable!

There is an 8 mile drive through the dunes and about half of the 8 miles is unpaved and when we hit that portion it looked like the road was snow covered, there is even a sand bank, which looked just like a snow bank, along the side of the road where the sand has been plowed off by park staff. It was quite eerie driving through the unpaved area as it was all white sand dunes and not as much vegetation on the dunes as when we started out, we kept waiting for a snowmobile to come flying over the dunes!

Neat Waves In the Dunes

Road Covered in Sand

People Walking on Dunes

Does This Not Look Like a Winter Scene

Vegetation In the Dunes (These Plants Will Bloom In Another Month Or So)

Fascinating Growth In the Dune

The White Sands Missile Range is located to the north of where we were today and there were signs stating that the National Monument and Highway were frequently closed for a couple of hours while missile testing was taking place, but there didn’t seem to be any action from that quarter today. We both took a lot of pictures and I am hoping they turn out okay what with the brilliant white sand and sun.

When we came back into town we stopped at Staples so I could photocopy a drug claim I wanted to get in the mail, went to the Post Office to mail it, then after the PO we stopped at Hastings Book Store which has a coffee bar with wi-fi. I got caught up on my e-mail, a quick look the blogs I follow as well as the Record and a couple of other newspapers from home that I browse and got my blog from yesterday uploaded. After that was a quick stop at Wal Mart then home.

Again, I am ready for bed so will download my pictures then call it a day. And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Monday -March 31, 2008

Today is our son Mike’s birthday, happy birthday Mike and it was nice to talk to you this evening, glad you had a good day.

We left Tucson this morning, heading east, and the traffic was good heading out of Tucson and Interstate 10 wasn’t all that busy, so it was a nice day for driving. We lost an hour when we entered New Mexico as NM is on Mountain Time, but they observe daylight saving time, which Arizona doesn’t, so it was about 5 p.m. New Mexico time when we arrived in Alamogordo. We are staying at the White Sands Community RV park and have a nice site and it seems to be a quiet park and a lot of the trailers don’t seem to have anyone there so don’t know if it is more a weekend park, the only downside is that there is no wi-fi here so we will have to find a hook-up somewhere in town.

Pretty Rock Formation Near Dragoon

More Rock Formations

We are sorry to say goodbye to Arizona as we really do like it there, it is a state with so many faces and so many things to see and do. Driving east from Tucson it is mainly grasslands with a lot of mesas and mountains to break the monotony, there is not a lot of settlement in this area but we did notice signs for quite a few wineries and around Dragoon there are wonderful rock formations. Tucson is at a lower elevation and is a very desert area with beautiful mountains, cacti etc. but it is a big city and from where we stayed it seemed like a long ways to go any place – it is a nice place but not somewhere that we would want to spend the winter, the winter weather in Tucson is cooler and wetter than winter in Yuma.

Tucson to Yuma is mainly desert and mountains and again not a lot of settlement other than Casa Grand and of course north from there to Phoenix. Yuma is at the lowest elevation in the state and has the warmest, driest weather – that is what we like about it and there are NO BUGS. Yuma is a fair sized city but not nearly as large as Tucson.

Heading north from Yuma is Quartzsite which is renowned for it’s BML lands for boon docking and for the large flea market, RV show etc. etc. which happens there in late January and early February every year, quite the event to attend. Heading north from Quartzsite towards Lake Havasu the scenery changes dramatically again, from around Parker north to Lake H. you travel along the Colorado River and are in a very beautiful canyon – absolutely gorgeous. Lake H. is an interesting place with London Bridge etc.

Heading north then east from Lake H. the terrain again changes dramatically as you climb up to the Grand Canyon area with elevations of 7000’ and you go from desert and warmth to much colder temperatures and Jack Pine forests instead of deserts. From Flagstaff, which has snowy, cold winters you can head north to the Grand Canyon or south to Sedona and on to Phoenix. The Sedona area is absolutely gorgeous with its red rock formations and there are a number of canyons with spectacular views in this area. There are also a number of interesting places to visit and things to see and do in the Sedona area. Heading east from Flagstaff you come to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, again mainly desert areas. As I say, a very varied and beautiful state.

This morning I had a comment on my blog from Wilf and Elizabeth who live in Kirkland Lake, ON, it is nice hear from people who have checked our blog and we appreciate the comments.

I don’t know why but I always find a day on the road tiring so am pretty well ready for bed, will finish watching CSI and call it a day. And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Sunday -March 30, 2008

Today was another nice day but not as hot as it has been and tonight it sure has cooled down, it actually feels good to be cool for a change.

This morning we headed out to get some groceries and fill up with fuel before heading out tomorrow. We drove up “A” Mountain to Sentinel Park lookout there were some very nice views of Tucson down below. We then found a Fry’s grocery/fuel store and got some groceries and fuelled up for $3.799/gal. which is a really good price down here. Most of the stations are $3.999 and Fry’s was $3.899 and then with their card it was $3.799, gotta like that but we are hoping it will get cheaper as we head home.

I have been following Sandra’s blog for a couple of years now and she has been following ours and we are finally in the same area so Sandra came over for a visit this afternoon, it was nice to meet her in person although I feel I like I know her and Gordon from reading her blog. Gordon has been diagnosed with Valley Fever and was tired this afternoon so we didn’t get to meet him, hopefully next time we are in the same area we will meet up again and get to meet Gordon.

John got the trailer hooked up this afternoon when we got back from shopping and everything is pretty well put away so not too much to do in the morning to get rolling.

Tonight was cold chicken and salads for dinner and now I am going try to get some pictures on my blog, I finally got John’s pictures today so will see what there is to post and they will probably go back a few days.

Desert Trails RV Park

Magic Elixir Show - Old Tucson Studios

Bank Robbery Gun Fight

View From Mt. Lemon

The Needle

Another Nice View From Mt. Lemon

Pretty Cacti Garden Beside Us at Desert Trails RV Park

Pretty Flowers

Pretty Blooms on Cacti

More Pretty Cacti

Great Horned Owl In Nest at Pool

Tucson from A Mountain

Another View from A Mountain

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to the mystery of tomorrow.

Saturday - March 29, 2008

Today was another hot day and I had no energy so we just took it easy for the day. I did some cleaning, reading and went for a swim and that was the extent of what I did. John read and went for a bike ride – it was just one of those days!