Chica’s New Friends

Chica loves to meet new friends…

When we arrived at Rockhound SP Chica was very anxious to meet her new friends.  I had been telling her all about them so she was really happy when she actually got to meet them.

There was Sophie and Elvis the kittens we had heard so much about from Jim and Gayle’s blog Life’s Little Adventures.  Chica only got a chance to meet Sophie when Jim brought her out one day.  She only got to see Elvis through the screen door.  Here is a pic of Jim and Sophie.

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Chica was very excited about meeting her new “cat friend”.

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Lots of new friends…

Besides Sophie and Elvis she also go to meet Debbie’s very fun loving dogs Elliot and Rupert.  She had lots of fun going on walks with them.  In this pic she and Elliot are discussing their favorite dog food.

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Plus don’t forget Katie owned by Barbara of Me and My Dog and My RV fame  Katie is also a Chihuahua just like Chica, but she is larger and Chica has to look up to her (just like everyone else).  Here are a couple of pics of all the gang including Elliot, Rupert, Katie, Sophie and Chica.

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We have now moved to Elephant Butte where we will spend the next couple of days.  Chica misses her friends as you can see from the next couple of pics.

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She is going to miss all her friends, but soon she will be meeting up with Sadie when Jimbo meets up with John and Linda to head north to Canada.  This is a pic of Sadie at Quartzsite.

Sadie hopping like a rabbit Chica and I would like to thank all our friends we camped with at Rockhound State Park.  We both had a wonderful time.  We are both looking forward to seeing you again.

One last hike before heading north

The day prior to leaving Jim, Gayle and myself all want on a hike out in the desert.  It was a couple miles past where we hiked the first time.  It was a neat spot.  We even found some flowers.  It is amazing how beautiful plants grow where there is absolutely NO water.

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Jim and Gayle led the way as we climbed next to a wash.  They are very experienced hikers and it took a lot to keep up with them.

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We didn’t make it to the top but had some terrific views nevertheless.

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This next rock formation looked like an elephant.

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Off to Elephant Butte State Park

We took off Monday and stopped at Elephant Butte State Park at the South Monticello campground.  I have been here many times in the past and never tire of the beautiful here.  I took a couple of pics to show you.

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I was only going to stay there one night but changed my mind and stayed two instead.  I am glad I did as the wind was blowing pretty good and wouldn’t really have wanted to drive in it.

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Next stop Albuquerque

I will be heading to Albuquerque tomorrow and staying at the Enchanted Trails RV Park just west of the city.  I have an appointment at the Apple Store on Thursday and I hope they can fix my phone at that time.  On Friday I will have my interview with Amazon for next winters job.

My first 4 wheel drive adventure

Hiking to a very cool canyon…

We all decided to go hiking in the desert.  Jim and Gayle had picked out a great spot past Spring Canyon.  So Jim, Gayle, Debbie and I all took off and headed out there.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera so don’t have any pics of our hike.  However, it was up and into a neat little canyon and very pretty back there with all kinds of neat rock formations.

After the hike Jim wanted to drive up a road to the cell towers on top of the mountain overlooking the Rockhound State Park.  We got up quite a ways and met several ATV’s and a jeep coming down.  At that point we decided to turn around and head back down.  It was getting steeper and lots of loose gravel.

We then returned to our campsites.  Then I got the bug to test out my Suzuki Samurai to see what it could really do.  I invited Jim to go along and we headed back to that same road.  I got just a bit further then we had previously and my tires started to spin out in the loose gravel.  At that point I stopped and put it into 4WD.  I had it in 4WD low and it went right up that steep gravel road like it was nothing.

The rocks in the road kept getting larger and the road in some spots became very steep.  But my Sami went right up like there was nothing to it.  We then arrived at the top with the towers.

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What a view from the top…

The view up here was fantastic.  However the wind was blowing like crazy and we had to take off our hats or we would have lost them.  Here is a pic of the campgrounds below us.

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Deming is way off in the distance.

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Here is a great pic of the towers.  They were huge!

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We spotted another tower further up the mountain so naturally I just had to check that one out as well.  On the way driving over to it I spotted what looked like a coyote skeleton.

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Road was very rocky and steep as well

The road was very rocky and in some spots it was loose gravel and steep as well.  But the Sami went up it like it was nothing.  I had read many reviews on the Suzuki Samurai before purchasing it and they all said it can go anywhere.  I am now very convinced of that.  Plus it doesn’t take much effort to get to these spots.  I am glad I had high ground clearance since many of the rocks in the road where very large.  This is a pic at the second tower.

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It was extremely windy up there.  There was a work truck up there but the workmen had left.

Two towers was enough for today

Once we got up on top of the mountain we could see many different towers.  We counted 5 different towers, but there could have been more.  The views from up there were fabulous.

I am so glad I purchased the Samurai.  It performed just like I thought it would and will be able to take me to places I never even imagined going.

The towers from my campsite…

I wanted to take a couple pics of the towers from my campsite just so you could see how high we got.  This a pic of the first tower we climbed to.

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And the second tower.

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My life on the road now has really changed.

I knew once I got a vehicle that things would drastically change for me.  For one thing I don’t have to unhook everything in a campsite just to go into a town or a store.  Plus now I can go to those really out of the way spots I had always dreamed of seeing.

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Met up with friends at Rockhound State Park

It was a bit windy from Silver City to Rockhound SP, but not too bad.  When I arrived and after I settled in I was met by my good friends Jim and Gayle and Debbie.  They had been here since Sunday.  I was lucky to get a site directly across from them.  We did a little catching up on what we had done and where we had been since last seeing each other.  It sure is great meeting up with old friends.

I settled in to an electric/water site for $14 per night.  I could have got this same site for $4 per night if I paid for the New Mexico Annual Pass for $225, but I decided that I probably would not be in New Mexico that much this year.

Hiking at Rockhound

Yesterday we all went for a short hike.  I had slightly twisted my ankle while hiking at the Gila Cave Dwellings, but it did not give me any trouble.

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Here is a pic of Gayle, Debbie and Jim on the trail to the Visitors Center.

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Very windy…

The wind started blowing in the afternoon and it started getting stronger and stronger.  You could see the dust clouds off in the distance in Deming.  In the evening the dust clouds had reached us and this was a view out my window.

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It was rock and roll the entire night, however we have a pleasant little breeze now and no more dust.  This is a view of the sunset in the middle of all that dust.  You would normally be able to see the lights of Deming, but not tonight.

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Perfect weather now…

The wind stopped and it is now a perfect day although a bit chilly.  Chica now feels more comfortable as she does not like it when the rig is rocking and rolling.  We are planning on going into a brewery in Deming this evening for dinner.  It should be fun.  We had planned on going there last night but the weather man just did not want to cooperate.

I took this pic of our campsite with Deming in the background.The sky is perfectly blue with no clouds whatsoever.

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Paid through Saturday…

I will probably leave here and head north to Elephant Butte State Park on Sunday.  I wish I had longer to stay here but I do have to get my phone fixed as the speaker does not work at all.  I can only tell if a person calls if it vibrates.  BUMMER!!!  Especially since I purchased it only a few months ago.

Trying to get caught up with the blogs I read…

I follow certain blogs which I love to read, but when you are in an area without Internet or cell phone service it makes it difficult.  I am almost caught up with many of them.  Oh well, the life of a fulltime RV’er can really be tough.  HA!

Visit to Dentist and Optometrist

Still at the Low-Hi RV Ranch…

I signed up for a couple more days here at the Low-Hi RV Ranch.  Unfortunately I was in a site that had been reserved so I had to move.  My neighbors both came out and asked if they had done anything wrong as I was moving across the street from them.  I assured them that they were both good neighbors.  I had hardly talked to either of them but it is nice that people consider you neighbors and look out for you.

I am not sure how long I will be here, but there are two reasons for staying.  The first is that I am going to to dentist for teeth cleaning today and also to the eye doctor for new glasses.  I will probably have to return to pick up my glasses on another day.

The second reason is two fold.  One, it is impossible to get a reservation at Rockhound or City of Rocks State Parks until later in the month.  They are both very full.  The second reason is because the wind has been blowing very hard the last couple days.  When the wind blows hard in Deming, you can just about double the velocity up at Rockhound.  The wind yesterday was listed at 30 mph but it was gusting even harder.  At Rockhound the gust could be up to 60-75 mph.  The old rig just rocks and rolls all the time.

To Palomas, MX and back…

Yesterday I traveled 33 miles to Palomas, MX which is directly across the border from Columbus, NM.  I started going there in 2010 for both dental work and eyeglasses.  I had made an appointment for dental cleaning at 2:00pm.  I got down there at 1:00pm so headed directly to the optometrist office.  I was able to have an eye exam and they would have my glasses ready in a couple of hours.  I decided to use the frames from my sunglasses as they fit me very comfortably.
Then it was off to the dentist office only 2 doors down from the optometrist.  There I got my teeth cleaned.  It was great that I could fit both into my schedule especially since I had not made an appointment with the optometrist.

Lunch at the Pink Store

After finishing up at the dentist, I checked back in with the optometrist to see if by chance my glasses were ready.  They hadn’t arrived yet so it was off to the Pink Store which is both a souvenir shop and restaurant combined.  I had a super lunch of chile rellanos, beans, rice and tortillas.  Naturally I had to have a couple of margaritas as well.  For dessert I had flan which was great.

I then browsed around the Pink Store for a while looking at all the great things they have there.  I did buy a nice soup/serving bowl which will really come in handy.

Mexican people

You hear lots of horror stories about traveling in Mexico especially at the border towns.  All the gruesome stories are enough to scare anyone away.  Like I said I have been going to Palomas since 2010 and have never seen anything even remotely close to the stories I have heard.  In fact, it has been the complete opposite for me.

I go to Dr Karla of American Dental Care since 2010.  She usually just cleans my teeth, but I have also gotten a crown from her as well.  Her prices are very reasonable and her office is very professional.  Their equipment is just the same as you would see in any American dental office.  She is so gracious.  This past visit when I finished my cleaning and was paying for it she brought out her baby Kariel (I hope I have the name right) for me to see.  She was such a proud mother and wanted to show off her cute baby.  She was a pudgy little doll.  Going to Dr. Karla’s dental office and Dr. Garcia’s optometrist offices is like seeing old friends.  They are really wonderful people.

When I returned to pick up my eyeglasses I pulled out my Visa card and was surprised that they only take cash or checks.  On the other hand Dr. Karla’s office only accepted Visa cards and do not take checks.  I only had a few dollars in my wallet since I do not generally carry much cash.  But since I am a repeat customer they were willing to give me the glasses with the understanding that I would send them a check.  How many American companies do you know that would go out on a limb like that?  I agreed and she told me where to send the check and I was able to leave with the glasses.  It saved me having to drive 66 miles down and back to make the payment.  I put the check in the mail this morning.

Silver City then Rockhound State Park

Today I am headed over to Silver City for a few days.  I have never been there and always wanted to see it.  After that I will be headed back to the Deming area and stay at Rockhound State Park to meet up with some friends.  I will take lots of pics while in Silver City.

 

Blogs I Follow – Travels With Andy

I started ready Andy’s Blog Travels With Andy long before I even began RV’ing.  At the time, I didn’t own an RV, had never driven an RV and never had even been in an RV except for my parents tent camper back in the early 60’s.  I don’t know how I got referred to Andy Baird’s blog, but it changed my life enormously.

When I first began reading about Andy he had purchased his first RV which he named Gerty.  I guess I was drawn to Andy for several reasons.  One reason was because he, like myself, was also new to the RV’ing world and he was single(also like myself).  I was already reading Tioga George’s Blog which convinced me that the RV lifestyle was for me.  But I also wanted to reassure myself that I had made the correct decision.   That is where Andy’s blog helped me.

I started out reading all his new posts, but then took the time to go back and read every post from the very beginning of his blog.  What a story!  In my reading I was not necessarily looking for how to do things but more about his thoughts about the RV lifestyle.  After all I was in new territory now and didn’t have the slightest idea about anything.  I was at least 6 years away from retirement, but had no idea what I was going to do once I did retire.  For that matter I was not even thinking of retirement.  I had a good job, made good money, had a small apartment down at the beach in San Clemente, CA (which I loved) and really wasn’t even thinking about retiring.

Then I started reading Travels With Andy.  The more I read the more interested I became and before long I was hooked.  After all, if Andy could do it so could I.  Andy’s blog is like going to school and majoring in the RV lifestyle.  He covers everything you need to know to successfully enjoy RV’ing.  He is especially helpful with ideas that make living in your RV more pleasant.  Everything from installing solar panels to organizing your wardrobe.

His blog is well organized showing upgrades to different parts of his rig.  Andy does not just tell you how to do various upgrades but shows you as well, with many before and after pictures, so you can see what he actually did.  It is worth it’s weight in gold.  If you are like me I have trouble visualizing what is required and how the finished product looks.

Andy also put his feelings into his blog.  That too is important to me as well as the technical end.  He reminisces about his father, friends (both in his pre-RV life and those he has met on the road) and his cats.  Being single it helped to make a decision on an RV lifestyle for me.

When I was in Rockhound State Park (just outside of Deming, NM) I had the privilege of meeting Andy.  He gave me the grand tour of Skylark (his newest RV) with all the upgrades.  I had looked up to this guy for years never thinking I would ever get the opportunity to meet him let alone see his rig.  Andy also came over to my rig with my friends Jim and Gayle of Life’s Little Adventure fame and showed us some of the neat things he can do with his IPad.

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I have gotten a lot of very useful information out of Andy’s blog.  It is well written and very entertaining.  But if Andy doesn’t have enough to occupy his time he is also the moderator for the lifewithalazydaze Yahoo group.  Plus he also is the creator of Eureka, a CD-ROM showing all of his ideas and has authored several books.

I don’t have any connection to Andy other then that I am a friend he has met on the road.  I just like Andy’s style and the multitude of ideas he has suggested.  I think you too will enjoy reading Travels With Andy.

Blogs I Follow – Old Fat Man Adventures

I have been following Old Fat Man Adventures for several years now.  I first noticed it on the hitchitch site where you will find many blogs pertaining to the RV lifestyle.   The Old Fat Man is actually Barney.  He is a single fulltime RV’er who travels with his pickup truck that pulls his travel trailer named “Comfort Castle”.

Most of the time you will see him in Southern Texas along the Gulf Coast.  He usually spends the winter and sometimes even the summer down there.  His big interests are golfing, kayaking, fishing, eating and just hanging out.  His descriptions of the towns and people wherever he stays are priceless.  He also gives a lot of “How To” tips on his blog which is also very useful to a guy like me that is not the most handy person in the world.

I followed his blog for several years without even once meeting him.  I would write comments on his blog whenever applicable.  When he was ready to move on down the road one day he asked for suggestions on where to travel next.  I wrote that he should probably check out New Mexico.  It wasn’t too far to drive from Texas to get to New Mexico and since I have had experience camping there I figured it was a nice place to go.  I don’t know if that had any affect on his future travels or not, but he did take off and head there.

I was staying in the Rockhound State Park with several other friends and one day Jim and Gayle of Life’s Little Adventures fame and I  had just completed a hike and we were talking at their site.  Then this truck pulls out and out pops this guy and came up to us and wondered if I was Jim Melvin.  I was amazed since this guy knew my name and I don’t every recall meeting him.  Well it turned out to be Barney.  He was spending some time in Deming, NM and I had commented on his blog about checking out some petroglyphs I had seen north of Deming.

He introduced himself and we talked for some time about all kinds of things including the Texas Gulf Coast.  I was amazed that we knew each other for some time without having ever meeting.  That just goes to show you how powerful the Internet can be.  You never know who may be reading your blog.

I was hoping I could stop by and see Barney on my way to San Antonio, TX but I just did not have enough time.  I have spoken with many people who have traveled the Gulf Coast and all highly recommend going there.  It is high on my list but would rather go there in the cooler months.  I just hope when I go that I can meet up with Barney once again.

After following Barney’s Old Fat Man Adventures for several years it was really nice to actually meet up with him.  It just makes his blog more meaningful.   I highly recommend reading his blog especially if you are planning on traveling to the Texas Gulf Coast.

One Year On The Road

It has been one year on July 12 that I started my fulltime RV’ing lifestyle.  I can’t believe it has been a whole year.  I took the time to go back through this year and show you some of the highlights of my adventure.

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July, 2010 – Inyokern, CA –  My very first campsite at the beginning of my adventure.  I was really a rookie back then.

July, 2010 – Sequoia National Park – Boondocking in Fish Creek Campsite in the Sequoias.

August, 2010 – Sisters, OR – Camping on the Metolius River outside of Sisters, OR.  What a fantastic spot.

August, 2010 – Crater Lake National Park.  Words cannot describe this beautiful place.

September, 2010 – Eugene, OR – Getting my solar panels installed.  My boondocking will be much quieter and more efficient from now on.

October, 2010 – Albuquerque, NM – Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – 10 fabulous days with other fun Lazy Daze owners.

October, 2010 – Palomas, Mexico – Central park.  Visited there after attending Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.

October, 2010 – Deming, NM – Rockhound State Park – This a rock hounds dream park.  Lots of different rocks.

November, 2010 – Socorro, NM – Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge – Visited there during the Festival of the Cranes event.

December, 2010 – January, 2011 – Death Valley, CA – A beautiful view of Death Valley during an annual Lazy Daze Rally.

January, 2011 – Quartzsite, AZ – Got together with a bunch of Lazy Daze owners during the Quartzsite RV Show.  It was a blast boondocking in the desert.  Lots of food, a campfire every night and the BIG TENT RV Show.

February, 2011 – Anza-Borrego, CA – Boondocking in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

February, 2011 – Niland, CA – Boondocking with the LOW’s (Loners On Wheels) at Slab City.  Everyone should go there at least once.

February/March, 2011 – Benson, AZ – The winter SW Lazy Daze Rally at Pato Blanco RV Resort.  Lots of great food and people.

March, 2011 – Picacho Peak, AZ – A civil war re-enactment at Picacho Peak State Park.  Event lasted all week-end with gun battles and actual tents and other equipment during that era..

March, 2011 – Douglas, AZ – Visiting with friends at Bell Starr’s Silverado Ranch.  Belle is wearing the pink hat.  We all helped Belle work on her ranch projects.  A MUST see.  She is quite a lady.

April, 2011 – Alamogordo, NM – White Sands National Monument.  Very surreal.

May, 2011 – Carlsbad, NM – Carlsbad Caverns.  A MUST see.

May, 2011 – Melvin, TX – I just had to visit there.

May, 2011 – San Antonio, TX – The Alamo in downtown San Antonio, TX.  Another MUST see.

May, 2010 – San Antonio, TX – The San Antonio River-walk.  A really neat and fun place.

May, 2011 – San Antonio, TX – The Tower of Americas.  The view from the top is spectacular.

May, 2011 – Luckenbach, TX.  I just had to visit here because of the song made famous by Willie Nelson and Waylan Jennings.

May, 2011 – Blanco, TX – My campsite in Blanco State Park.  How about that for a back yard?

June, 2011 – Fort Worth, TX.  The highlight of my year.  Being able to visit my family.  It was sooooo much fun.

July, 2011 – Karnack, TX –   Caddo Lake State Park.  I spent a week here and loved every minute.

It has been a wonderful year.  I have traveled 12,702 miles in 6 different states and 2 different countries.  I have attended 8 RV Rallies where I have met a lot of people, learned a lot about things I never knew anything about, and spent money upgrading my rig.

This year has been much better then I even anticipated.  I met a lot of great people who I continue to keep in touch with.  I am looking forward this next year to travel to places I have never seen before and meet more wonderful people.