Pawdicure on the way to Gros Ventre, WY

Chica’s Pawdicure

After leaving Riverside campground we headed to Idaho Falls, ID for a couple of things.  I had to stop in Walmart to pick up a prescription and supplies and Chica needed a pawdicure.  She last had her nails trimmed in Mesa, AZ shortly after we found each other.

They were getting too long so we headed to a Petsmart where you didn’t need an appointment.  I also mentioned in my last post that she was going to get her teeth cleaned.  That was wrong.  She was only going to get a breath freshener.  Here she is waiting to get her nails down.

Am I next Dad?

Am I next Dad?

It took quite a while and two people to complete the job.  I don’t think she was too happy at the time.

I thought this was a pawdicure not a two-on-one wrestling match

I thought this was a pawdicure not a two-on-one wrestling match

On to Gros Ventre

After the pawdicure and the stop at Walmart we made the drive to Gros Ventre campgrounds.  It is northeast of Jackson, WY.  I figured I may be able to fill up with propane there.  No way Jose!  Jackson was slammed with lots of traffic, both cars and campers.  I decided to head on out to the campground as I had enough propane to last me a few days.

John and Linda had talked to the camp hosts and they were reserving a spot right next to them.  The cost of camping here is $21 per night, but only $10.50 with the geezer card.  This is a bit more then I have been paying, but they have the beautiful mountains and lots to do as well.  It is really a great bargain.

The next day John and I drove into town to fill up my 5 gal. tank with propane.  On the way we saw this herd of bison crossing the road.  They had been down to the river and were no heading up to graze.  Needless to say it stopped traffic.



Kayaking on the Snake River

The following day seven of us decided to go kayaking.  It was a long drive to where we started and we had several cars.  It was really great fun even though I started off facing the wrong way in my kayak.  DUH!!

This is where we put into the water.



John and Linda with all the inflatable kayaks blown up and ready to go.


This is John and Linda on the water.


It was a great time and it gave me a chance to practice my kayaking skills. ???

Farmer’s Market in Jackson

The next day was spent checking out the fabulous farmer’s market in Jackson.  John and Linda drove me around Jackson and we walked around the downtown area.  The farmer’s market was held in a park downtown.



The entrance to the park was made entirely of antlers.  How cool!



Let’s Party!!

On Friday everyone got together for a party with lots of great food and conversation.  We invited the camp hosts in our campground as well as Shannon, who is another camp host at Jenny Lake.  She and I worked together at Amazon last winter and saw each other at Apache Junction last spring while she was camped there.  It was really good to see her again and we had a lot of catching up to do.

After dinner, we all sat around the campfire and Ally roasted marshmallows and made us all Samores.   It was a great time.  I also saw Tony who I had also worked with at Amazon.





I plan to stay at Gros Ventre until after Labor Day.  There is lots of great things to do here and terrific friends to do them with.


Visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings

Guard the rig Chica!

I left Chica in charge of guarding the rig while I made a visit to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  It is only 26 miles from our campsite, but it was all mountain driving.  I stopped along the way at an overlook and took the following pics.  The area is really beautiful.



I stopped at the Visitor’s Center before heading up to the cave dwellings.  I always like to get the history of the area first and see the many displays they have.  They had a show film on the history which is a must see.  The Visitor Center is rather small but very nice.  I took a couple of pics of their displays.



Then off to see the cave dwellings.

The Gila Cave Dwellings were free to those like me that have the Geezer card (America The Beautiful Senior Pass).  That card sure has saved me a lot of money!

You cross a bridge over the Gila River and head up a canyon that leads to the caves.  You will cross many of these small bridges as you continue to go up in elevation.  Then you reach a rather steep spot, but it is still easy going and then you reach the caves.


DSC_0576There is an easy path to follow from cave to cave.  Some of the smaller caves were probably used by a family.  There are also rangers at the caves that can answer any questions you might have.



There are also steps you must climb and ladders to descend to move from cave to cave.



It is really interesting to see the many rooms the Mongollon Indians who inhabited these caves built.  The rangers pointed out many of the rooms used for storage and living.

This is the view looking out to the other side of the canyon from a couple of caves.




The entire tour of the cave is about a mile.  It wasn’t difficult at all except for carrying the camera.  There were only a few people on the tour so I pretty much had the place to myself.

Beautiful Mountains…

I stopped at this place on my return and took a couple more pics of the mountains.  I bet it would really be neat to travel through these mountains on a horse.  I did see several corrals while traveling through here.



Chica did a good job.

Chica was really glad to see me.  I think she mostly sleeps while I am gone, but who knows.  She was a very happy girl.  We went for a walk and I told her all about the cave dwellings, but all she wanted to know was where was her dinner.

Camped at Walmart in Silver City

I am camped for the night in the Walmart parking lot in Silver City, NM.  I was thinking of traveling the 130+ miles to Rockhound State Park, but we had already traveled down the mountain which took over an hour of very winding roads.  That plus the wind was really blowing so we decided to hunker down in Silver City instead.

Early start tomorrow…

I hope to get an early for me (HA!) start tomorrow and head south.  I just hope there isn’t too much wind.

Clayton Lake State Park and Capulin Volcano National Monument

Back in New Mexico…Yipeeee…….

After leaving Palo Dura I crossed the state line into New Mexico.  I love New Mexico and am grateful to be back there.  The weather has been getting cooler and it is also a dry climate.  I drove to Clayton Lake State Park, just outside of Clayton, NM in the northeast corner where I found a somewhat level spot overlooking the lake.  The campsites here leave a lot to be desired as not many of them are level.  I guess it might have been better in the electric/water sites but I didn’t ever check them out because I didn’t see the need for paying the $4 per night since I have electricity and plenty of water.  I was completely by myself, with no one else within sight.  Here are a couple of pics of the campsite and the lake.





  It can’t get much better then this folks…..

I fixed a real nice pork chop dinner with baked potato and green beans.  After eating I found a great country radio station from Dalbart, TX.  In case you’re interested it is 96.1 FM.   They called themselves the “Texas Red Dirt Radio Show.  GREAT MUSIC!!  I kicked back listening to this great music, sipping on a glass of cabernet, plus some “Blue Bell” ice cream and watching another fantastic New Mexico sunset.  CAN LIFE GET ANY BETTER THEN THIS!!!


I would like to have enjoyed kayaking on the lake but time was not on my side.  I still wanted to venture into the mountains and enjoy the beautiful scenery there. So I was on my way early in the morning where my next stop will be Sugarite Canyon State Park.

 Drove up a volcano…….Don’t blast off now…..

 On the way to Sugarite there was a volcano I just had to see.  It was Capulin Volcano National Monument so with my GEEZER card I saved the $5 it would have cost me to get in.  NOT BAD!!  They asked me the length of my motorhome and I told them 27 ½ feet.  They said that anything over 27 feet had to be escorted up the volcano.  I quickly fumbled and told them it was only 26 feet and they said I should be able to make it without an escort.  It is about a 6% grade so this was a piece of cake compared to Palo Dura Canyon with a grade of 10%.  So up the volcano I went.  I did notice that there is no guard rail whatsoever and no place to pull over should you have a problem. 


This is a view from the top looking down into the volcano.  The last time it erupted was 56,000 years ago.


  What a view….

It is a spectacular view.  If you take the one mile hike around the perimeter of the volcano you can see four different states.  I decided to not take the hike.  My feet were a bit sore still from the Lighthouse Trail hike and I wanted to get on to the Sugarite Canyon campgrounds.  I did go thru the Visitor’s Center and saw some interesting rock formations.  I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling thru this area.  It was well worth the stop.





Easy Jimbo…

I thought you might get a kick out of this pic taken while filling up with gas in Clayton, NM.  I hardly had even enough room to pump the gas.  LOL!!!

Now I am on my way to Sugarite Canyon State Park just below the Colorado/New Mexico border.

I apologize for the numerous posts uploaded yesterday and today.  However, I have not had any Internet service for almost a week and would like to catch up.



White Sands National Monument

It was a nice calm day and perfect for visiting the White Sands National Monument.  I checked out the Visitor’s Center first upon arriving and watched a 30 minute video on how the White Sands were formed.  Then with my “Geezer Pass”(known as the America the Beautiful Senior Pass) and my drivers license in hand I drove to the park entrance.  Cost to get into the park – $0.00.  That’s what I like to hear – a big fat $0.00!!

The first thing I came upon was the Dune Life Nature Trail.  It is a one mile trail that takes you into the dunes and has great signage about the plants and animals that call the dunes their home.  Below are a few pics I took on this nature trail.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

I even was lucky to run into this little guy.  The skin color of this lizard has evolved over the years to protect it from predators.  You might want to click on it to get a better view of this little guy.

This is a Rio Grande cottonwood tree that is able to live off the water located under the dunes, even though most of it is covered by the dunes.  As long as the top leaves still flourish the tree will remain alive.

It is amazing that plants can grow and flower with only a small rainfall each year.  The area gets less then 10 inches of rain yearly.  I was able to get pics of a few plants that were still flowering.

My rig looks more like it is in Mammoth Lakes CA on a winter ski trip then the White Sands desert.  I’m ready to hit the slopes.  LOL!!

White Sands does give you the feeling you are in the snow high in the mountains.  It is really unique and no other place on earth is like this.  Their signs say that you were not allowed to take any sand from the park.  When I got back to my campsite I realized I had a great deal of sand in my shoes.  Oh well !  I didn’t take it.  It just decided to come along with me. HA!

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

I planned to fly back to CA to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  I began heading north to Albuquerque where I was going to catch a flight to Orange County.  I was on my last campground at Elephant Butte State Park before leaving for Albuquerque when I got a call from my friend Jack to meet him at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge where the annual Festival of the Cranes was taking place.  He had located a campground just a few miles from the refuge.  So I was off to the refuge.

Once I got there and checked in we both took our rigs through the refuge (which was free using my America the Beautiful Senior Pass).  What a place!!  You could drive through the refuge and stop anywhere to view the wildlife.  Our first stop was a pond where we saw thousands of Snow Geese.  They were everywhere making lots of noise.

Farther along we came across a corn field where the Sandhill Cranes were feeding.  The Sandhill Cranes feed on the corn during the day and then migrate to the safety of the ponds before sunset where they will stay all night.  This protects them from the coyotes.

The cranes fly in packs to the ponds.  They look like planes coming in for a landing.

I was able to get a pic of the sun setting over the pond.

The next day I checked out the Visitor’s Center where they had all kinds of displays that related to the wildlife in the refuge.  There were many people that brought injured owls, and hawks that had been found that they nursed back to good health but were unable to survive in the wild.

Even had a beautiful wolf that was very tame.

Here is a Red-tailed Hawk.

This turned out to be a wonderful weekend.  I learned a lot about the wildlife and how the Wildlife Refuge works.  Thanks Jack for calling me and let me know about this event.