Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 26, 2011 Silver City and Benson

Tuesday, January 25th, we drove a 93 mile loop from Silver City called the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway.  Traveling north from Silver City we went through the Gila National Forest on a road that had many curves and hairpin turns as we ascended and descended the mountains.  At the northernmost point we stopped at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.  We first went to the Visitor’s Center and saw a movie in the museum. We had to walk about a mile through a forested area on a path that had icy spots treated with sand.  The 700 or 800 year old dwellings were homes for Native Americans living in this area at that time.   A few miles down the road we stopped at campground that a path led to an area with petroglyphs and another small cliff dwelling.  We ate our picnic lunch at this campground area and while eating we spied some javalinas walking along a hillside nearby and then as we left the area the javalinas crossed the road ahead of  us going to a creek.  Following the Scenic Byway map we continued  through the Mimbres River Valley and just before returning to Silver City we came to an overlook of the Santa Rita open pit copper mine.  This mine is the oldest working mine in the southwest and is enormous in size.  We returned to the campground for dinner in the motorhome.  The weather has been sunny and comfortably warm (lower 60’s) during the day but cold (upper 20’s) at night.  We had to disconnect our water each night to prevent freezing of our water hose.

Today, Wednesday the 26th, we left Silver City, New Mexico and drove 150 plus miles to Benson, Arizona.  We stopped for gas at the TA Travel Plaza in Wilcox, Az. and must say the set-up there for RV’s is one of the best that we have seen, easy to get to the pumps set up for RVs and back out to the roadway.  On our travels on I-10 through New Mexico and Arizona we have noticed frequent signs about dust storms but luckily for us we did not experience any dust storms on this trip.  We are staying at the SKP Saguaro Co-op ( Escapees Campground) for the next couple of weeks.  It is warm her with temps in the 70’s but dropping into the 30’s at night.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24,2011 Silver City, New Mexico

Yesterday, Sunday, we left Van Horn, Texas and continued our travels across I-10 and passing through El Paso and , finally, out of the state of Texas into the state of New Mexico. At Deming, N.M. we left I-10 and traveled north to the town of Silver City and checked into the Rose Valley RV Ranch. We did drive through the town which had most everything closed. We found a car wash to wash our dirty car and then a restaurant for dinner.
Today we drove north to the Whitewater Picnic Area and Catwalk National Recreation Trail. The Catwalk is a metal walkway suspended above the Whitewater Creek through the Whitewater Canyon. Back in the 1890's gold and silver was discovered in the Mogollon Mountains. The milling process needed water so a pipeline was constructed to channel the water from the Whitewater Creek to the mill about 3 miles. The workers that walked along the pipeline doing maintenance called this structure the "Catwalk". After 10 years the mill closed and the pipeline was dismantled. In the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the Catwalk as a recreation attraction. We hiked the 1.1 mile trail through the canyon and then back. The weather was perfect with clear blue skies and bright sunshine and temperature in the 50's at most. The canyon was rather breezy in some areas. We continued on further north to the ghost town os Mogollon which is located in a narrow valley between 2 mountains. It was obvious that the sun is unable to shine on this town as there was a lot of snow around the buildings and beside the road. A few people live here but it is really isolated. Butch Cassidy and his gang supposedly hung out in this area.
Returning to Silver City we stopped at the Red Barn restaurant for dinner. We both got the soup and salad. The soup that we got was a green chile and chicken soup, this was a cheesy cream soup with lots of chicken and green chiles with some heat to them, really delicious.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 22,2011

Friday, January 21, we left Corpus Christi traveling to San Antonio where we picked up I-10 and pushed on westward. North of San Antonio the flat brown country changes into hills covered with green shrubs and trees. There was bright sunshine but the air was chilly. We stopped for the night in Junction, Texas at A KOA Kampground, the only campground in the area, nice but expensive- $45.00- for a place in the middle of nowhere.
This morning, Saturday, we got up to temperatures at 25 degrees outside. Our furnace kicked on in place of the heatpumps during the night and our water was frozen. We did have water in our holding tank that we could use. Our travels continued westward. The winds were brisk causing Tom to fight the steering wheel at times. The towns are few and far between. Occasionally a few cattle are seen but no buildings are in sight making me wonder how far away is the ranch that these cattle belong to. About 4pm we arrived in the town of Van Horn, Texas, filled up the motorhome with gas ($2.99/gallon) and checked into the Van Horn KOA. It was warm with temps at least in the upper 60's but temperature drops quickly when the sun goes down (47 degrees at 9pm). This campground has a "Kafe" where we ate a smoked beef brisket dinner this evening. There is mountains in the distance that we are able to see. Tomorrow we plan to be in New Mexico, finally out of Texas! Texas is a wide state almost 900 miles and we took that jaunt down to Corpus Christi making our time here even longer.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011

Yesterday,Wednesday January 19, we left Robert, Louisiana and travelled west crossing the Mississippi River and lots of swampland into the state of Texas.  We travelled I-10 to south of Houston where we stopped at the Riverbend RV park in Richmond, Texas.   After contacting Bree, my great niece living in Corpus Christi, we decided to travel down to Corpus Christi to see Bree and her husband,Dave.

This morning we continued our travels to Corpus Christi, about 200 miles.  We had called to make reservations at Hatch Campground prior to leaving.  A little past noon we were at our destination.   After setting up and eating a little lunch we went to a grocery store to restock.   I contacted Bree  and we arranged that about 5pm we would go to their place and then go out to dinner together.  We went to a local Mexican restaurant and had a nice dinner and visit together.  Since Dave was facing his first military flight tomorrow and had to really study in preparation we called it an early evening and returned to the motorhome.  It was nice to see Bree and Dave and we hope Dave does well tomorrow.  Tomorrow we will move up to San Antonio to catch I-10 and continue heading west.  We drove through rain today and the temperature was comfortable when we first got to Corpus Christi but the wind picked up and the temperature has been falling.  The prediction is for colder weather for the next several days, sure hope we can get beyond the cold soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 18, 2011

On Sunday, the 16th, we attended church services at the campground in the morning. For lunch we rode north to Lady Lake area eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the Spanish Springs community. This area is called "The Villages" and consists of just that - villages. Golf carts of all descriptions are seen in these areas since this seems to be the transportation choice of the residents living here.
Monday, the 17th, we pulled out of Clerbrook Campground travelling north to catch I-10, the route that we will travel on most of the way to Arizona. Just west of Tallahassee we stopped for the night near the town of Chatahoochee. We had learned of this Army Corps of Engineer campground, Lake Seminole, from Dick Wilson that we had visited with while in Florida. It was a great campground with 50 amp electric and water hook-ups for $10.00 with our Senior National Park passes. The campsites were padded, spacious and located by a large lake. It was a rainy day and toward evening fog settled in.
Today, the 18th, we left Chatahoochee continuing on I-10 through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and into Louisiana. It was foggy most of the morning but by afternoon there was periods of bright sunshine. Entering Louisiana we took I-12 going north of New Orleans and are camped tonight near Hammonds. It was comfortably warm here in the 70's this afternoon but about 5pm a heavy downpour of rain caused by a cold front has cooled the temperatures down into the 50's. Tomorrow we will continue west and should be in Texas.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 15, 2011

We are winding our time down here in Florida and looking forward to moving westward on Monday. Yesterday, Friday, we went to Clermont, just a few miles south of the campground, for me to get my haircut and to pick up a few groceries. We spent the remainder of the day doing laundry and other housekeeping duties in the motorhome.
This morning Tom diagnosed a problem with our commode, called a RV supplier to locate the part and then we went to pick it up. Afterwards we went back to the Marion flea market, as we had gone last Saturday. We did not linger long at the market. We knew what we wanted- fresh produce- so went to that area and pick up some vegetables and, of course, Florida oranges. Most times as we travel daily as we will be doing next week I cook instead of unhooking the car to go out somewhere. Before returning we stopped at Oakwood Smokehouse and Grill for a good barbeque dinner. After returning to the motorhome Tom got to work on repairing the commode but found it was in need of another part, went to Lowe's but unable to find what he needed. The commode is usable so we will take a wait and see attitude for the time being. We are now watching the Ravens/Steelers play-off game. Come on Ravens!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, we went to Epcot for the day. We had tickets for 6 days at Disney Parks which had to be used within 15 days and this was the last day that we could use the tickets. It was a cool day probably not getting out of the 50's and by evening it was getting real chilly. We decided to leave before the firework/laser show- we had seen this show twice this trip. As we were leaving the park by boat (we had parked at Boardwork Resort) I received a phone call from the Emergency Veterinary Hospital informing me that Travis' ashes were available to be picked up. So we left the park and went directly to pick up the ashes. We plan to take these ashes home to be buried when we return in the spring.
Today, Thursday, we went to Tampa to the Tampa Super RV Show. It was a nice show with far more vendors than the show at Hershey, Pa. We were able to get a part for our Fantastic fan which hopefully will have it back in operation. Tom got a by-pass switch for his electric management system. We looked at some new motorhomes but will keep this one a while longer. We stopped at "5 Guys" for lunch and then returned to the campground.
We plan to leave Monday to begin heading toward Arizona. We were waiting for Travis' ashes to be returned to us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011

On Sunday, the 9th, we attended church services at the canmpground. This campground has 2 services at the same time on Sundays. One is a traditional service and the other was described as being more "upbeat". We attended the "upbeat" service which was attended by well over a hundred people. There was lots of music with guitars and other stringed instruments. The speaker, not sure if he was a minister, had a nice sermon. After church we drove out for a Sunday newspaper and then returned to the motorhome for a day of watching the football playoffs and a long walk in between games.
Monday we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom park for the day. The crowds have lessened to the point that the parks are now enjoyable. In the afternoon we had rain showers but we were able to be inside much of the time at shows. A really nice day.
Today, Tuesday the 11th, was a quiet day at the campground aside from a run to the drugstore and grocery store. We were expecting a package from Todd that contained some medications for me plus our mail that Todd and Beth had received by this time. We had sent a request for my medicine to be sent to an address down here by the mail order pharmacy which they apparently ignored. So the meds were sent to our home address and then forwarded to Todd. So Todd FedEx'ed the meds down to us and according to the tracking they were to be delivered today and at 4:30pm the delivery was made. I had tried to get these meds filled before leaving home but they couldn't be filled until after we left. I'm still not overly impressed with these mailorder pharmacies but we have no other options for most things unless we pay about 3 times as much.
I am able to get some blood testing supplies at a local drugstore which I use CVS at home. Today I went to a CVS in Clermont and was able to get the supplies in about 10 minutes. Apparently CVS has a network that can access the information needed as there was not a need to call the home CVS to get the prescription or was I asked for insurance information.
The weather has been pretty nice with temperatures in the 60's and 70's but that is about to change. A cold front is moving down and tomorrow it is to be in the 50's but that is still better than the snowy, cold that is happening at home.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

January 8, 2011

Yesterday, January 7, 2011, we had an enjoyable day visiting with friends. Pat and George Callender and Mary and Dick Wilson now make this area of Florida their permanant residence. The Callenders, where we visited, were in a Maryland Chapter of the Newmar Kountry Klub along with us some years ago. The Wilsons were also Newmar owners at one time. Lois Howard, another previous Newmar owner and Maryland Chapter member now living in Tennessee, also stopped by for a visit. We ended the afternoon/evening with the 7 of us going out to dinner. It was a nice day and Pat was looking wonderful after the medical issues she has been dealing with.
Today we decided to travel north from the campground so we travelled up Rte. 27 through Leesburg but not all the way to Ocala. We stopped at a small flea market and then went a little farther to a much larger market at Marion. We always enjoy the produce areas of these markets. We stopped for a late lunch at Oakwood Smokehouse Grill in Leesburg. A good day.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

January 6, 2011

Tom and I are working on getting our lives adjusted to not having Travis.  The pain is still with us but the tears have stopped.  We have worked at keeping busy- idle time was not good for us.  On the 2nd of January, the day of Travis’ early morning death, we got ourselves together and spent the day with Todd, Beth and our grandchildren at Magic Kingdom.  Kids are great therapy in situations like this. 

The 3rd we were on our own as Todd and family flew home so Tom and I went to our favorite park, Epcot, for the day.  The 4th we stayed around the motorhome catching up on some housekeeping chores, not a good day.  The next day (5th) we went to Disney village going through the shops and then having lunch at T-Rex, a unique restaurant with Meteor showers occurring and animated dinosaurs and mammoths similar to the animation in the Rain Forest Cafes. 

Today we spent the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studio.  This is our least favorite Disney park.  It just doesn’t seem to have the spark of the other parks.  A new stunt show involving cars proved to be exciting.  An American Idol show was also new to us. Three shows throughout the day allows 3 people to perform with one selected by the audience to be the winner.  Then a last show has the 3 winners compete and the winner chosen by the audience is given a pass to audition for the real American Idol show.  We have been aware of a large number of foreigners in the Disney Parks.  Often we are surrounded with people speaking foreign languages or English with accents unlike any heard in the U.S.   We are also seeing a lot of older people working in the parks.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

January 4, 2011

The New Year did not start out being a happy time for us.  Travis’ health went downhill fast.  Even though Todd, Beth and the kids were here in Florida and we had planned to spend Disney time with them, we felt we could not leave Travis on December 31st and January 1st.  He had stopped eating, was having difficulty standing and was being given pain medication which seemed to help him rest.  The night of the 1st and early morning of the 2nd the pain medication was not helping and he was extremely restless and panting.  It was agony to see him in this condition and so we went to an emergency veterinary hospital where he was quietly put to final sleep.  It has not been an easy time for Tom or I as he was a very precious little dog to us.

Travis was born on July 5, 1997 and 7 weeks later he came to live with us.  We picked him out, actually he picked us, at a breeder’s in Pennsylvania.  As we rode home he found his way up to the back of my neck where he fell asleep.  He was all of 2.5 pounds and just a little white fuzz ball.  I was retired at this time and Tom was planning to retire the following year.  Our plans included travel and having Travis travel with us.  This is what pushed us into settling on a motorhome where Travis could be with us.  Our first trip was to Myrtle Beach, S.C. where Travis would run down on the beach stopping to dig in the sand but never going into the water.  He liked walks about campgrounds and when at home we all walked a 2 mile route most days up to about 9 months ago.   When camping with friends he liked to be around the campfire usually sitting on Tom’s or my lap.  In his younger years he loved going to Grandma and Pap’s- they would stop by the house and when they were ready to go home Travis would go along with them and then I would later go to bring him home.  There were a few non-motorhome trips that we made, in which Travis couldn’t go with us, where he stayed with Grandma and Pap.  When the time came that Grandma and Pap were unable to care for Travis we travelled only in the motorhome so he could be with us.  He spent one night in the care of  our groomer when Todd had his cardiac episode in 2008, this was the only time he spent with someone other than Grandma and Pap or us.  Travis travelled to many places- once down to Mexico and many places throughout the U.S. including twice to Alaska which included travel through Canada.  Travis was more than just a pet he was part of the family.  We are painfully missing our little buddy but feel he is at peace. 

Travis will always be in our hearts.  Rest in peace.  July 5, 1997-January 2, 2011