Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Santa Rosa Lake State Park, NM

P3290351 P3290353Arrived at Santa Rosa Lake State Park on Sunday. There are no mountains to be seen from here and we miss that, but it is a nice park.  Some of the sites have views of the lake . What is so unusual is there are trees here. Lots of juniper and pinon, which produce pine nuts.

Not long after we got here, another Lazy Daze came in. Turns out it was Darcy, from Florida, who is on an extended trip. She is on her way to Albuquerque to volunteer with Acupuncturists without Borders, which sounds like an interesting organization.

This is the beautiful sunrise we had this morning. I saw it from the bathroom window. Jim just saw this picture Debbie took when she let Elton out.

Sunrise 1

We  appreciated the shelter of the trees from the high winds yesterday. Sustained winds in the upper 30’s, gusting to 50. It was another exciting day indoors. Jim spent most of the day trying to remove a Trojan from the computer. I baked and rearranged the pantry. Another windstorm is predicted tomorrow.

We took a ride into the town of Santa Rosa today. It is known as the “Scuba Capital of the Great Southwest”, due to the famous Blue Hole near the center of town.  It is an artesian well and apparently people come from all around the area to learn to scuba dive here.




Santa Rosa is on the famous Route 66, but most of the old places have seen better days. I’m sure it was a thriving community in it’s time but it is pretty depressing looking now.


More Valley of Fires



Managed to get in a strenuous hike on the lava flows before we left. There is a mile paved trail through the lava but you can hike anywhere. Saw a grassy area with a trail in the distance so we climbed our way to it.



You can see how happy Debbie and I looked after we got to the top. Of course, going back down was even more fun. The best part was watching Jim pick numerous cactus spines out of his leg.

P3280348 At the end of the trail we came upon these interesting man-made rock formations.P3280349

This is a beautiful area and we hated to leave but another wind storm was predicted for Monday so it was time to move on.P3280332

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Valley of Fires, NM (Again)


The winds finally died down and we are headed towards Santa Rosa, NM. Since it was along the way, we decided to spend a couple nights at Valley of Fires again . Forgot just how pretty it was until we were driving along Hwy 380 from San Antonio, NM towards Carrizozo. There was a major snowstorm in the mountains and a little farther north so the snow really made the mountains look spectacular. In fact, we drove through a couple of snow flurries along the way. This is a view from our living room window when we arrived.


As the day wore on, the clouds cleared and it was even more beautiful.




Our friend, Joe, who we met in Elephant Butte, has started a little thing on his blog where he posts photos he took of his Lazy Daze window with beautiful scenes reflecting off the glass. This inspired me to take this photo as I walked into the bedroom yesterday and saw Debbie’s rig in Jim’s closet mirror. I will try to take other mirror shots if they are worthy!


I wasn’t real crazy about the mirrored doors in our Lazy Daze at first, but they do give the illusion of much more space.

Debbie just took this of us from her living room mirror. Guess I’ve started something here!

LD 3

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wind, Wind and More Wind

It is frequently windy here in New Mexico but today we are really getting a taste of it.  Sitting here in gusts up to 48mph and the rig is rocking.  Feels like riding out a tropical storm in Pensacola. The good thing is there are no trees to blow down (and it’s not raining).

The bad thing is we’re in a motor home!  The wind is supposed to die down later this evening. Just hope we stay upright until then.

Went for a walk earlier today before the wind got really bad. Walked around a residential area of Elephant Butte near the lake. It is a mixture of nice houses with views of the lake and smaller, older summer cottages. We did find a new lawn decoration if we ever have a real house again. Guess it’s a good way to recycle.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still at Elephant Butte

This is a photo of Joe’s rig that Jim took from our living room window the other morning. He was camped across the road from us and the morning sun and mountains made for a beautiful shot.


The views and spacious sites are a couple reasons we are still here. We also decided to take Quincy in for his teeth cleaning yesterday and it turned out he had to have 2 teeth extracted. They apparently had infection deep into the roots. He is fine today, eating more than ever. That leaves me and Oreo with all our teeth, at least for now!

Our plan was to stay until Friday but the weather forecast is not looking too good. High winds and much colder temps are predicted for tomorrow and Friday so we may just stay a few days longer. They are even predicting snow a little farther into northern New Mexico.  Not our idea of fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Week at the Butte

Enjoying our time here so  much we are staying at least another 5 or 6 days.  The weather has been beautiful and the company of all our Lazy Daze friends has been great.  Unfortunately Chuck and Carla had to leave today to start heading back to Iowa. We had an excellent pizza last night at Bella Luca, in Truth or Consequences. It was as good as we remembered when we ate there in January.

Took a ride to the other end of the park yesterday to visit the dam and check out the other campgrounds. This photo was taken by Jim at the dam overlook. The park got it’s name from the giant rock that looks like an elephant head in the background.P3180316 This is Joe, me Debbie,Chuck and Carla.  Joe is from Maryland, taking his first long trip in his “new” used Lazy Daze. Now he just has to convince his wife to quit her job so she can join him.

He hosted a Lazy Daze happy hour this afternoon at his site. Just before sunset we were treated to a V- 22 Osprey  helicopter-plane that flew over the campground and lake and did several practice maneuvers right near the water.  Really cool!  Jimmy, you would have loved it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Elephant Butte, NM (Again)


Came back to Elephant Butte Lake State Park on Saturday. We spent 2 weeks here in January and enjoyed it so much we wanted to come back as we work our way into northern New Mexico.

On our last day at Rockhound State Park, we went for a hike and discovered the New Mexico state insect. Unfortunately we didn’t have the camera with us but check out this link for more info and a photo of this lovely creature. It is called the Tarantula Hawk wasp. I’m glad none of us got stung, as it apparently is extremely painful.

Elephant Butte Lake is as nice as we remembered. Got a beautiful site on the lake. This is such a peaceful place. Planned on staying 6 nights but we may extend our stay. As of today, there are 5 other Lazy Daze here.

Had to take Quincy to the vet today. He’s had intermittent diarrhea for 3 weeks and we got concerned. She seemed to think he was okay except for some stomach inflammation so he is on medication and we’ll see if it improves. He also has gum disease and she said his teeth need scaling and possibly a couple extractions. Guess we will be spending our money on Jim and the cats teeth problems!

Leaving you with this picture of Oreo with Jim’s head sweat on. We had just come back from a bike ride and couldn’t believe he kept it on long enough to take this. Our life is pretty simple these days so it doesn’t take much to amuse.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Back at Rockhound

Enjoyed our stay at Roper Lake but left on Thursday for another visit to Deming. One last photo from the dump station on the way out.


We did drive up this mountain, Mt. Graham, as far as the road was open (20 miles) and there was a lot of snow. Quite a steep, windy road but there are several Coronado National Forest campgrounds and many hiking trails along the way. Will need to remember the Dramamine if we ever go back.

Jim found a very nice dentist in Safford who cemented his old crown back on and everyone was happy.

Rockhound State Park near Deming, NM was as crowded as we expected but we did get to park in the group area, which is adequate for a couple nights.

Went to Palomas, Mexico today so Jim could get a new frame for his sunglasses he bought there a month ago. He dropped them and they broke but they replaced the frame at no charge. The last time we went to Palomas was on a Saturday and there were lots more people and beggars. It was very quiet today. We ate lunch at The Pink Store again and walked back into the US without incident. Near Columbus, NM, which is the border town to Palomas, we saw an interesting looking area so drove down the road to check it out. Here are a few pics Jim took of this lovely community. Quirky might be a good word to describe it. http://www.beadazzlingquilts.com/cityofthesun.html

P3130327 We were not members or guests but nobody seemed to care.

P3130325 Be sure to click on the individual pics to enlarge them to get the full effect.

P3130322 Yes, this is a Kaiser.

P3130326 P3130324

Always fun to see how others live. We decided we were living like royalty in our little RV compared to some of the places we saw there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Roper Lake, Safford, AZ


Left Picacho Peak on Saturday, knowing that it might be hard to get a campsite over the weekend. Our route was taking us by Casa Grande, so we stopped at the National Monument to see the prehistoric ruins. The visitor’s center was nice but the whole place was a bit underwhelming.


We then went to Globe, AZ. The drive was beautiful.


Not much there except an Indian casino, which had an RV park. Said they had laundry so we thought we’d spend a night and do some wash so we could get to Roper Lake State Park on Sunday after the weekenders left. What a dump! The laundry was closed, the RV “park “ was a giant parking lot and very full, there were 2 dogs running loose trying to attack other peoples’ dogs, and it was just a lovely place. Called the state park and they were full so we just decided to suck it up and stay. Did find a nice laundromat in Globe, so it wasn’t all bad. We were glad to get out of there.


Had about a 75 mile drive to Safford, AZ and Roper Lake. What a nice place. Our friends Chuck and Carla decided to join us there on their way back to Iowa. They spent 5 days in the Chiricahuas after leaving Tucson and it sounds like a great place. We’ll put it on our list for another year.


It actually rained the night before last, our first rain since we were in Big Bend the beginning of December. Should help the blooming wildflowers and cactus. There was a little snow on the peak of Mt Graham when we arrived but there is a lot more now since the rain. It is a beautiful sight.


We ate dinner with our friends last night, and after dinner Debbie brought out a tub of black licorice from Trader Joe’s. As Jim was in the middle of chewing he suddenly said “You won’t believe what just happened”. I immediately said “ A crown came off”, and unfortunately I was right.. So today we will be looking for a dentist again. This is getting to be a much too common occurrence. Wish him luck. You can imagine how happy he is about it!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Picacho Peak State Park, AZ

We reluctantly left Gilbert Ray yesterday and headed about 40 miles NW to this state park. It is pretty close to I-10 and a busy railroad track for Union Pacific. However, not too close.

Picacho Peak is a landmark that has been used for hundreds of years according to the park literature. They state that it was used in prehistoric times. Of course, I asked the question, how would they know since it was pre-history.

Anyway, we took the Sunset Vista trail today. It is 6.2 miles roundtrip. The first couple of miles are fairly easy. However, there is about 1800 feet of elevation gain and a good portion is in the last half mile. At several locations they have installed steel cables and a board here and there.


This first photo is the first real challenge. You climb maybe a 100 feet. Gayle managed to talk herself into climbing this after a 76 year old guy came down. She didn’t make it through the next cable set up so I finished the climb. I have to say it was the most challenging climb I have ever made and I would not have considered it without the aids they installed.





The last one is the section that stopped Gayle. You can’t see all of the cable because this comes around a bend.

Views at the top were great and 360 degrees.


If you look off in the distance in this photo you can make out our campground.

Finally, here is Gayle coming down. I was proud of her.


Finally, here is a sunset from last night.


I have uploaded all the photos I took here today to our Picasa web page. So if you want to see more click the link in the top left of this page.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hiking Tucson Mountain

Still at Gilbert Ray campground at Tucson Mountain today. We should be leaving tomorrow.

Before I get to the camping Gayle insisted that I make note of my latest injury. Yesterday while getting something out of a storage bin I backed butt first into a cactus. Let me suggest this is something you want to avoid. She took great pleasure in plucking them.

On to the hiking. We went to some nearby trails off Gates Pass Rd. It offered some beautiful views.


We are seeing some of the flowers blooming. The Ocotillo which looked like sticks with thorns now have small green leaves all over them and red blooms at the top.


Unfortunately the trails are not well marked and people have made lots of other trails all over the area.  As a result we inadvertently got off the trail some.

Last night I heard on the evening news that rattlesnakes were coming out now that it is getting warmer. To support that we ran across two on the trails today. The first was just at the edge of the trail. I was in the lead at that point and did not see it but heard the rattle. We decided to re-route.

A short time later we were walking in a wash and ran across this one.



He gave no warning and did not move while we were there. He did watch us carefully. Several have been seen and moved in our campground in the last few days.

We have heard the coyotes in the last few days and surprisingly one leisurely crossed the road in front of us today as we drove out of the park and into town to hit Trader Joe’s for more groceries.

This was the first time I had seen the store and now I know why Gayle has fallen in love with it. They have an incredible variety of healthy food and it doesn’t cost a fortune. If we ever put down roots again we want to be near one of these.

We have run into lots of Lazy Daze owners out here. Have met several owners here in this campground from Washington and Colorado.

Last but not least and just for Jimmy. I live in a mobile home and am now losing my teeth. What could be more perfect.