Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From Colorado to Nebraska

Hello all,
 We have had almost no Internet reception the past days, so now to catch up.
 Monday we had posted our last blog. We had done our laundry and strolled through the streets of Trinidad, CO. Trinidad still has many brick roads and some older brick buildings. They also have a nice little river walk area.
Miners Memorial
  We caught a good lunch on Main Street at Bella Luna Pizzeria. I got the last of the lunch special lasagna and Wendy got a panini. Both came with a fancy (to me) salad and were excellent.
 We went back to camp and were thinking of taking a walk to work the lunch off. I had changed into some shorts then began a call home with my dad. Then it hit us, the wind picked up and temperature began to drop faster than I could relay it. What was a sunny 72 day dropped to 27 in a couple hours. I don't believe we have ever saw anything like that.
 The next day we awoke to snow and 22 degrees, attaining a high of 28. We braved one quick walk but that was it.

 We were to leave on Wednesday but with warmer weather forecast, we let Mother Nature thaw the snow off the slideouts. By mid afternoon the snow was gone. But that snow had left a mess. My truck which was parked and clean was covered with dirt. Wendy and I cleaned the truck with buckets and we ended up cleaning the entire RV at our next stop.
 The story told to me was a dust storm in Arizona had dropped with the falling snow.
 Thursday we headed north and made a good drive (265 mi.) to Jackson Lake State Park, CO. The park is 85 northeast of Denver. A nice park on a large flowage. It is set up with six camp areas all with sites on or views of the lake.
Nice and quiet before the weekend crowd came
View out the window
Spotted him near our site
 Today we exited with all the weekenders and headed to Sidney Nebraska. Cabala's has a large store that also has a nice full hook up campground. We will just spend the night then off to Scott's Bluff, Neb. for the last few days before we arrive at our summer camp host job in Custer, S.D.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Colorful Colorado

Hello all,
 We finally decided to get back on the trail north. We had made reservations for Trinidad Lake State Park in Colorado. We left out on Friday, Trinidad had received 12" of snow on Tuesday but the weather forecast was for 60 degrees.
 The drive up was nice we crossed the Raton Pass at 7,834 ft. This pass was closed Tuesday. The site was quite soft from all the melting snow but at least  didn't need shoveling.

Drive down pass into Trinidad

Trinidad Lake
 Trinidad is located in the southeast part of the state and with stunning views of the Spanish Peaks.
 We took a scenic drive on Sunday called the Highway of Legends. The drive tends to circle the Spanish Peaks. The peaks elevation is about 13,600 and 12,600.
 It was a beautiful sunny day and the drive was spectacular. We had a nice pamphlet that pointed out historic and natural landmarks.
 The drive was 82 miles and then you drive 44 miles on the freeway to circle back.
  I will let Wendy's pics do most of the talking, we sure had that camera clicking;).
Our view for a picnic lunch
Greenhorn Mt.
 While driving home we stopped to look at Lathrop State Park. It has beautiful views and two clear lakes. Wendy thought it would be a nice place to return.
View from campsite at Lathrop State Park
Spanish Peaks
One of the lakes at the park

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Holding in Santa Rosa

Hello all,
 Well we had good intentions of heading out of here (Santa Rosa, N.M.) but weather has changed our plans. We have now extended for the third time, kinda funny but luckily we got time on our side. Yesterday 50-60 mph winds was nasty, so much dust. We sat inside watching it like a snowstorm.Then the temp dropped, yesterday we woke up to 70 degrees and today had 28 and frozen water hose. We were planning to go to Trinidad Colo., which is in south east corner of the state. Then we heard they were getting 12" of snow. So we will extend til Friday with weekend weather to get up to 60s.
Dust in the air from high winds
 This isn't a bad area but not a lot to do. We saw the famous Blue Hole in town which was pretty cool.
We also got in a couple nice hikes. We hiked to where the lake once was. It was weird seeing some small shells so far from water. You can just guess how things looked before this drought.
Found a wet spot. Muddy shoes.
Buoy tied to a tree. How deep was this lake??
            Haven't seen a lot of wildlife here but a few jack rabbits that were huge.

 Looking forward to getting to South Dakota and workamping. We are to arrive May 3 and start one week training on the 7th.  They review policies the first half of the day then they load us in vans and take you around the park and area. That should be good for our first experience doing this.
 Lets hope spring arrives soon in the northern states.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Santa Rosa N.M.

Hello all,
 We moved to our new home at Santa Rosa Lake State Park. It is located about seven miles north of Santa Rosa N.M. State parks here have a nice price of $14. and that included elec.
 We pulled in on Friday around 2:30 and got lucky as we got the only non-reservable elec. site. The park is still in winter mode and one section was not open.
The park is located near a dam on the Pecos River which forms the lake. The lake like so many others is very low, the ranger said it is down 75 feet. It was 3,800 acres when full and now only 218.
 We got in a nice shoreline walk of two miles. Oh it used to be shoreline, but we did see some water.)
 The area has some nice hills with pinion and cedar trees. Holy cow, it was nice to see some trees. Carlsbad area sure had few.
  Santa Rosa looks like a nice town to explore so we may stay for a few days. That along with wind and cold weather we may just wait to move north til we really have to.
 Oh, Wendy and I remembered our worst issue full timing is getting fuel with the rv on. On Friday the gps gave us a run around to closed stations and then one station had such a sharp dip to enter we wouldn't even try it. Sometimes diesel is only at semi areas and sometimes at end islands. Sometimes the canopies don't list height. You are never sure where to go in and then you have to be able to get out. So to us that's the worst thing we have found.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The latest and how are we doing?

 Hello all,
 Wow what crazy weather! I could be saying that from almost anywhere in the U.S.
 We have had the wind blow like we have never seen. Today when we awoke it looked foggy out, turns out it was just dust.
  Saturday we joined the group here for a picnic at Sitting Bulls Falls. It lies about 40 miles west of Carlsbad.
 The park is a day use only area. The Falls is only a short walk from the picnic area, and was quite a surprise in this desert setting.
 There also was a trail to the top which Wendy and I took to try and see where the water comes from.
Trees damaged by a fire in the area last year
View looking down at picnic shelters
 We spent the next couple days getting a early morning walk then hiding out from the strong winds. We got some plans made for our trip to South Dakota.
  Today we made the drive to Roswell which everyone knows is famous for UFO sitings in 1947. We bit and took in the museum. While not high on the list of must sees if your driving by you might as well stop.

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 So we have been fulltimers for about 6 mo. How do we think we are doing?
 So far luckily we have had no major issues to arise, Rv and truck are working fine.
 On the financial side for different reasons we didn't begin to track our spending until Jan.1.
Overall we are under our budgeted spending, with two months under and one slightly over.
( if anyone is investigating the lifestyle and would like more of our financial info leave a comment or email us.)
  Our mail is set up through Alternative Resources and we receive twice monthly. That has been working fine.
 We get by fine with no cable/dish tv. We use Verizon air card for Internet and only at Big Bend National Park had no service and then campground had wifi.
 We have no washer/dryer, do laundry about twice a month and do not mind.
  Wendy has been doing more cross stitch and playing with her pics on Picasa. I have been reading and doing sudoku puzzles on the nook. Oh that and trying to keep a black truck clean.
 We have met some nice people.
 We do miss seeing family but calls help.
  I asked Wendy do we ever think of going back? answer-No- not til we can't drive any more. We have only just begun. )

Friday, April 5, 2013

Meanwhile back at the Ranch

Hello all,
I have been holding that post title in as long as I could ' )
 We are definitely slowing down some. It is a very quiet campground and towns are 15-20 miles away. We are enjoying very good weather around 80 during the day and cool nights. That will all change when we head to South Dakota.
 We did take in a place called the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Carlsbad, N.M. It is part of New Mexico State Parks.
You take a self guided trip through a desert habitat. You see vegetation of The Chihuanhuan Desert and New Mexico.

 Next were exhibits of the various desert life. A Nocturnal exhibit, and then the zoo area featuring javelina, mountain lion. Then a section of hoofed stock with mule deer, elk, bison, and pronghorn.
 At the end they had a greenhouse filled with cacti from around the world.
 It all was pretty cool and made a nice day.
 Today we took off for Carlsbad Caverns. The area surrounding the caverns was charred from fire last year. It will take a long time to recover as they get so little rain.
 We took self guided tours through the two biggest areas. We entered the natural entrance, a long series of switchbacks going down 750 feet. It then leveled out and you start to see a few of the cave formations.

 The second area and the most famous is the Big Room. It spans 8.2 acres, enough room for 14 football fields. It was amazing!
You see the many speleothems( formations) that you see in other caves but the size and quantity sets them apart.  Stalactites, stalagmites, popcorn, ribbon, bacon, draperies, and soda straws to name some of those. And it is always neat the way they name some of them, The Caveman, Boneyard, Totem Pole and The Bottomless Pit to name a few.

  I told Wendy the best part was an elevator that returned you to the visitor center : ). Another good thing  we were able to use our National Parks Pass.We had bought the pass when we went to Big Bend N.P.
 Cost was $80. and good for one year at many National Parks. We have already used it for $32. entry fees.