Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vegas--but not the glitzy one.

Las Vegas, New Mexico
Storrie Lake State Park
Site 22B

After I posted the blog last night, Bill suggested we go down town to the Old Fashioned Soda Shop.  I was just too tired and said I'd rather not go. The winds were horrible and it was a major job to hold onto the door going outside. Of course an hour later, I was wishing I hadn't declined.  

The winds kept up until about 2 am but this morning it was not windy at all.  I told Bill, I thought I could drive a little bit.  Blue skies, no winds, what could ruin my day behind the wheel?  You guessed it, five miles down the road I found construction and only one lane of traffic open.  The construction lasted for 16 miles.  Bill was a good copilot and handled the gps, the tire monitors, the coffee and kept the audio book going.  We were into the book so much we never stopped the 180 miles to Las Vegas, New Mexico.

When I pulled up to the gate to register, there was a narrow driveway with poles on both sides.  Unfortunately, it was an upside down "V" shape.  I wrote out the $14.00 check for the site fee and then told Bill to get behind the wheel.  Our site was a back in, and I didn't feel like messing with it.  I know, Sharon Del Rosario, you have to practice, but today wasn't a day to practice as there was a big black cloud over us.  Talk about practice, I had Bill back into the first site which he did perfectly.  Then I saw the tree covering the satellite antenna, so he practiced and did it again in another site.  The clouds just blew on by, but it did look like rain for awhile.  

I checked out the campground map and found out they have "vault toilets".   I've heard the name "pit toilets" and I understand those, but why would you want to keep the contents of the toilets safe?  They were impressive from the outside, though.  I didn't have the combination to open the vault so don't know what the insides look like.

The camp host, Jerry, has a Montana.  He said it's a 2008 and the only problem he ever had was a blown fuse in his front jack.  We told him about the Montana Owners Club and that it's free to join.  Hopefully he'll go to the website and sign up.  Bill showed him the plexiglass on our screen door that John Kohl did for us.  He was impressed.

This state park is OK but nothing as nice as last night.  Of course, if we were into fishing, I think it would be a different story.  This park has 30 amp with water.  The weather's perfect and the winds have died down from earlier in the day.  

Bill uses Diesel Kleen in his fuel tank and when we stopped at Walmart in Deming they didn't have any.  We tried again at auto parts stores and another Walmart in Alamogordo and they didn't have any either.  The Walmart didn't have it here, but Bill finally found it in Tractor Supply.  

There is a City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection but they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Fort Union National Monument is also nearby.  We'll save those for the next time we come through here. 

We paid for one night's stay and our plans are to head up the road tomorrow.  

Turtle Safely.........

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lava Fires to Smokie with lots in between.

Valley of Fires, BLM
Carrizozo, New Mexico
Site #3

We awoke to some beautiful skies but knew the day was suppose to be very windy so we pulled out around 9 am.  Our travels didn't take us more than 60 miles up to Carrizozo, New Mexico but the crosswinds were very strong. At least it wasn't blowing dust like it was last year when we traveled with Don and Sharon Del Rosario over highway 54. 

There was a warning sign posted just before the turn off into the BLM.  It said the road could be closed when missiles are fired.  Hope today isn't one of them.

Bill pulled into the BLM land, Valley of Fires a little after 10.  We have a beautiful paved pull thru site with 50 amp and water.  There is a nice covered patio with table and grill.  Oh yeah, the best part is $9.00 a night with our old folks park card.

 Thank goodness we have the 6 point level ups.  I don't think we could have gotten it level without them.  

We walked over to the nature walk and I thought I could walk a little on it, since it was paved. 

It was a downhill walk and the wind was blocked.
The trail had many information signs.

It was a beautiful hike and one I could manage with my healing heel.
Can you find the creature in the photo?
How about this one?
At last, we're back to the fiver, but not for long.  Our purpose in staying here was to visit Fort Stanton so we headed out.  The weather was forecasting rain but all we saw was blue skies.  

The drive took us up the Capitan Mountains which have an altitude of 10,083 feet, but I don't think we were that high.

Fort Stanton was so worth the drive over.  I've always felt that I should give the readers a little taste of a site, without mentioned everything.  That way you can see it some day and have some surprises.  

Just a few tidbits and hopefully you'll want to add this to your bucket list.  The fort was established in 1855.  General Black Jack Pershing, Billy the Kid, Tularosa Ditch War, tuberculosis hospital, distressed seamen, prisoners of war, correctional facility, drug rehabilitation center, Kit Carson those are just some of the highlights.  The Fort Stanton State Historic Site was established in 2013.

The weather was still beautiful so we drove back to Capitan to visit the Smokey Bear Museum.  

Smokey Bear is the only person other than the President that has his own zip code.
I must say it was very well done and fun.
I was amazed at this sign and fact.  Hard to believe they compare a fire to an atomic bomb.

The gardens were beautiful.
His grave site was tastefully done.
Smokey's grave site also had this tree carving.

Another wonderful day in this beautiful country.  There's something to see everywhere.

Turtle Safely......

Friday, May 29, 2015

World's Largest Nut

Alamogordo, New Mexico
Edginton RV Park

We decided to learn about nuts today.  Not ourselves, but the ones you eat.  Our first stop this beautiful sunny day was at McGinns Pistachio Tree Ranch and Areana Blanca Winery.  I couldn't tell you how many different kinds of pistachio nuts they had to sample.  They ranged from brittle to very spicy.  They also had wine to sample.  I asked about the tours and the girl said they have another larger place up on 70 that gave tours a couple of miles away.  

Bill started driving up 70 and we decided to explore Tularosa and then stop at the nuts and winery on the way back.   Of course, we stopped to check out this historic sign.
The McGinns Pistachio Tree Ranch and Winery wasn't hard to find, just look for the giant nut.  
Now you'll know where the world's largest nut in the world is located.  

We sampled their wine and nuts and they had just as many different kinds.  They also had flavored pecans.  You were allowed 4 samples of wine and we only bought one bottle.  Bill loves the dry ones and I like the semi sweet.  Bill didn't care for any he sampled but I liked the pink moscato.  

Their gift shop had an old car--not sure what make and model.  As gift shops go, this was pretty nice.  They also had an ice cream shop.

We just missed this tour of the farm and the next one wasn't until 3 pm.

Next stop was  the Heart of the Desert Pistachios and Wines.  They advertised a free tour but it didn't start for two hours.  The employees turned on a short video which explained the process of how they shake the trees to collect the nuts.  

They even had some different flavors.  I tried the dark chocolate and it was very good.  I had to sacrifice and try the pistachio popcorn for Sharon Hime.  It was good but I still like the Chicago Mix better. 

Bill wanted to top off the fuel on the truck so we drove back to town.  There was a museum sign next to the Chamber of Commerce so we decided to stop and take a look around.  I love some of these out of the way museums.  
How about this shoulder holster that belonged to Pretty Boy Floyd?  It means so much when you've had previous encounters with the history.  Some of you readers may remember that we found the spot where he was killed in Ohio.  Bill's uncle had talked to him the day before he was killed.
I was surprised to learn that Bill Mauldin was from this town.  He was the cartoonist that drew war cartoons about Willie and Joe.
He also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945 and 1958.
He was a real hero.  It's a shame today that we don't have more people like him.
You just never know what you'll find in these tiny museums.  We saw these Gazelles in South Africa when we did a safari.  I had no idea they lived and survived in New Mexico.
Did I mention that this little museum was free?  

Next door was the Chamber of Commerce visitor center.  We walked in and there was a lady in the adjoining room.  Never acknowledged our presence.  What a contrast from the Deming Visitor Center.  I told Bill, she was probably a paid employee.  The one in Deming was a volunteer.  

Just a note to anyone traveling through here, I did notice that they have a dump station.

Bill topped off the tank and diesel was $2.69 which was at least 15 cents lower than the other stations.  We went around the corner and it was $2.56.  

We didn't stop at the Shroud Museum as my foot decided this wasn't a good day for walking.  Next time we come through here, we'll stop.

Turtle Safely......

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rocket Science

Alamogordo, New Mexico
Edginton RV Park
Site 22

Yesterday we spent the day gabbing with Richie and Norm Ericksen and Bruce and Bunny Radcliff, except for a trip to the barber shop and Walmart.   Yes, Bill did go to one with a barber pole.  Actually, he needed a haircut while we were in Casa Grande but likes this Deming barber and his prices. Did I mention this barber is very popular and it took nearly and hour while I waited in the truck.  

I wanted to try and drive the truck but found I don't have a lot of strength in my foot.  I could drive it OK, but in a panic stop I might have a problem.  

We've stayed in Deming numerous times but this time we decided to stop at the Visitor Center.   There was a volunteer in there that had a wealth of knowledge.  It looks like we'll be staying in New Mexico longer than expected.  Bill knows I collect pots and wanted to know if I wanted one like this.

Bill pulled out of Deming around 9 am and it was another beautiful day for a drive.  We normally stop at the rest stop outside Las Cruces because it has such a beautiful view but Bill didn't even slow down.

We turtled down at a historic sign for a quick bathroom stop.  

Click to make the picture larger.

Those of you who have traveled on 70 from Las Cruces to White Sands know about the big steep hill before you come to the White Sands Museum.  We were climbing the hill moving with the traffic when I noticed an 18 wheeler that was backing down the hill.  Yep, we're going up and he's backing down in our lane.  Bill moved over and gave him lots of room.  He was almost to the top of the hill so he had a long way to back down.  

We arrived very early at the Edginton RV Park.  We've stayed here before and it isn't much but the management is very friendly.  Pull thru, 50 amp FHU for $15 per night.  

After we got set up we took a drive into Alamogordo.  We've been through here so many times, but never really looked the town over.  First stop was to check out the Elks which have sites for $15.  They were very nice and right next to the golf course.

We planned to visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History and when we saw it decided we had enough time to visit it before closing.  It's a very impressive building.  When I found out they had four floors of exhibits, I thought we wouldn't have time for the IMAX too so we just paid our $5.00 entrance for the museum.  Bill insisted we had plenty of time but bought just the museum tickets anyway.  This might make him being right two times this year. 

It was well done, but we've been to Huntsville, Alabama and nothing will come close to what Huntsville has.  

The views are awesome from this site.  It's built up against a mountain.  

This was the inside of the elevator complete with sound effects.

I took control of the landing, but I crashed.

  Bill wasn't too excited about all the engines.
They also had a large outdoor display.

By the time we came out, I was hungry so we rode down the street trying to find a local restaurant.  We ended up at Chili's.  It was a good choice and we both ate way too much. 

Time to relax and put the feet up.

Turtle Safely....... 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On the Road Again

Deming, New Mexico
Dreamcatcher Escapee Park

I know it's been a long time since I blogged, but we've been very busy.  We finally finished with the semi-annual doctor visits.  Bill had good news regarding some skin biops and good news from his heart doctors.  Our last visit was Thursday when he had an epidural injection for his back, which has helped somewhat.  

Sunday we met Jim and Sandie Dixon for lunch and to say 
"see ya".  Jim and Sandie will be delayed in leaving for cooler weather because of medical reasons.  

We pulled out of Sundance RV Resort around 8:30 am.  I still haven't driven the truck since my ladder accident when I shattered my heel five months ago.  I thought about driving half way and said I'd drive from Texas Canyon to Deming.  I guess I was just lazy because after we stopped for lunch, I just got in the passenger side and let Bill drive the rest of the way.

There aren't many rigs in Dreamcatchers but the rig closest to us looked familiar.  Bill pulled in and when I got out of the truck, Bruce walked around to the front of their Hitchhiker.  

We walked over to Happy Hour and Bunny and Bruce were there.  It was a small group, but we enjoyed relaxing and socializing.  We were just getting ready to leave when Richie walked in.  She said Norm was taking a nap.  They will be here tomorrow, so will catch up with them later.  You never realize what a small world it is when you are RVing.  You seem to be near friends everywhere.   
Turtle Safely..........