Getting settled into job
I am finally getting into a good routine with my camphosting job. My day is busy but I am able to schedule all my duties without killing myself. I make 2 rounds of each campground checking to make sure everyone has paid and are in their correct sites. Then there is 2 pit toilets per campground that must be attended to. Also each campsite must be cleaned and raked after each camper leaves.
But Washington is so beautiful and it makes my job so much better. Everything is really green up here and when there is no rain it is fantastic. It is so nice to be parked here for the entire summer.
I saw my first bear while driving on the road just about a 1/2 mile from one of the campgrounds I am responsible for. He/she was going up a ravine just to the side of the road. I didn’t have my camera handy so couldn’t get a pic. Bummer! I am sure that is not the only bear I will see up here over the summer.
I did come within 10 feet of a deer and he did not appear to be the least bit frightened of me. He just strolled off into the bushes.
Checked out a forest service road
There was a forest service road across from one of my campgrounds so had to see where it goes. I get a lot of hikers wondering where are some good hiking trails so I do my best at finding the trailheads just off of forest service roads. This one was just a one lane dirt road that lead way up the mountain.
I followed this road up about 3 miles where the road ended. The scenery was magnificent.
Relaxing in the sun
This is Chica’s favorite spot. She loves laying in the sun.
Weekends are busy
On the weekends the campgrounds are almost full. This past weekend was a free fishing day. Not sure what that meant but there were certainly a lot of fishing people. Then on Sunday night everyone goes home and it is usually slack through the week. However July 4th is approaching and it should be very busy.
I just upgraded to the latest hotspot Millenicom offers in the hopes that my connection would improve. I had one of the very first hotspots they sent out. It was a Samsung and there was another upgrade after that which I didn’t get. Using my sleek I do have 4G occasionally but not very often and sometimes even the 3G was quite slow. Not enough to upload pics. I will find out later if there is an improvement.
I just completed my contract at Amazon and are headed to So. California to see my family over the holidays and taking in some much needed warmer weather. I wish every one of you a very happy and safe holiday season. I will be flying back to Reno on Jan. 2 and start my new adventures heading south to Quartzsite for some great weather and even better friends.
Bad weather finally turned good!
We got some unexpected bad weather this week that really put a damper on flying the balloons. I had gotten up early on Tuesday and enjoyed the balloons lifting off from the field across from the RV’s which I mentioned in my last blog post. However the balloons did not fly from then until Saturday morning. We had a lot of rain and high winds that prevented them from taking off. Saturday was very cold and there was even snow on the Sandia Mountains as you can see from this pic.
New World Record!
Saturday morning there were 384 balloons that ascended in one hour. That is a new world’s record. It is amazing. That takes a lot of work both for the balloon pilots and the zebras (balloon referees). It is a huge accomplishment.
I love the Glowdeo!!
Saturday night was the last Glowdeo of the fiesta. So I had to go. It was also one of the busiest nights of the entire fiesta. There were people everywhere. Once it got dark many people seemed to migrate onto the field where the balloons are tethered. It was a madhouse out there, but something I would never miss. When the balloons started glowing it was just like I was a kid again.
Sunday morning – Looks like a close landing…
Sunday was the final day and the mass acension was fabulous. There were balloons everywhere in the sky. Then all of a sudden the Phillips 66 balloon started to descend very close to where we were standing. My rig (The Breeze) was right in front of us and the balloon started coming down closer and closer to The Breeze. Check out these pics.
Landed right in front of The Breeze!
Then it landed in the road right in front of The Breeze. It was so thrilling and everyone was so excited. The chase crew was right there to help with the descent. They started to bring the balloon down right in the area to the left of The Breeze. I couldn’t believe it. Then the balloon actually came down right on top of The Breeze. Can you believe it?
I couldn’t believe it. Everyone in our group was very excited. I could never have even imagined this no matter how hard I tried.
Our Lazy Daze group helps out Phillips 66
Everyone started to help out the Phillips 66 crew. The balloon had to be rolled up and stuffed into a huge bag. Here is a picture of everyone lending a hand.
Annie helped stuff the balloon in the bag…
Annie even did her part by helping to stuff the balloon in the bag. Great job Annie!
This was the greatest ending to a wonderful balloon fiesta. Everyone had a super good time. Thanks go out to John and Linda for making this such a fun time. Now the talk is about meeting at Quartzsite this January. Roger Nickey is organizing our get together and many people are already planning on attending. Check out the lifewithalazydazerv yahoo group for more details.
Before traveling into Texas I wanted to be able to stay informed of bad weather conditions (tornadoes, hail, severe thunderstorms, high winds, etc,). I read about many weather radios before deciding on the Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio. I didn’t want to spend too much and wanted something that was small and very portable. It definitely fit the bill. I purchased mine from Amazon.com and paid $19.95 for it.
I had read about Apps for your Iphone or Android but decided against those as there are times when I sometimes forget to charge my phone at night and it completely loses it’s charge. This is especially true when I am boondocking. I wanted something I could just add batteries and it would work right out of the box. I didn’t want anything complicated that you would need to input the location where you were camping.
When I received it all I had to do was add 3 AAA batteries. There is a test button that you can press to verify that the alert function is operating properly. Then you just “set it and forget it”. HA! Sounds like an old rotisserie I used to own. Whenever there is a weather alert in your area it will automatically broadcast. When you move on down the road to a different area it automatically changes areas. You are not required to do anything. Just make sure the batteries are charged up.
The main reason I purchased it was I knew I would be traveling in areas that were prone to have high winds, thunder storms and tornadoes. I wanted to be aware of weather conditions going on around me that may cause me to pack up and move. I can usually handle high winds (New Mexico) and thunder storms (Texas). But as far as tornadoes go – FORGET IT I am out of here!!!
It is very portable and could be easily attached to your belt if you decided to take it with you on a hike. It does have a 6″ antenna. I prefer to place my pocket weather radio attached to my curtain in my overcab bed. It will definitely wake me up in the middle of the night to any alerts that may be broadcast in my area. I can also hear it anywhere in my rig.
Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.
I really think that my weather alert radio has brought some added safety to my fulltiming adventures. When I do hear an alert I can determine at that time what to expect weather wise and act on that.
I moved south and stayed at Brantley Lake State Park. I decided on hook-ups (water/electric) since I had recently signed up for a month’s trial of Netflix and wanted to try it out. I chose the first episode Ken Burns film on “National Parks- Ameria’s Best Idea”. It worked flawlessly. It was a great film.
I also chose Brantley Lake SP since it was close to both Carlsbad Caverns and also the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. I elected to visit the Carlsbad Caverns as my first all day visit. What a place! My “Geezer Pass” got me a free tour of the Big Room. Love that Geezer Pass!!!!
You get in an elevator that takes you 750′ underground in less then a minute. Then you enter the “Big Room”. That was a very appropriate name for this room underground. It is HUGE!! You take a self guided tour of the room which goes for 1 1/2 miles. I can walk from end to end in my motorhome in about 2 1/2 seconds. The big room took over an hour. It was fabulous.
I only wish my pictures had turned out better, but I was constantly having to adjust my camera settings for the lighting. It wasn’t easy getting really good pics so I selected a few of the best.
Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.
This stalagmite is know as the Lion’s Tale. It was HUGE!!
This is the “Totem Pole” and it looked just like one only very large.
Here is the “Doll’s Theater. It was like looking at a small stage with many stalactites.
This formation is the “Chinese Theater”.
The pictures do not really do this wonderful cavern justice. It is truly spectacular. I might suggest that everyone put this on their “Bucket List”.
Before I retired and started traveling in my RV I used to read many blogs about others who were already fulltime RV’ers. One of the blogs contained links to other blogs to read about people traveling in their RV’s. I was always checking up at HitchItch
Well I finally made it to the big time. I am now featured in HitchItch as a new listing. I am very proud to be on the same page as many of those same blogs I have been following for many years.
Check out many of the other links. It is some great reading material about others and their travel experiences.
Thank You Hitchitch!!!
The City of Rocks State Park is about 37 miles north of Deming, NM. I had received many recommendations to stay there by people I met in my travels. That was enough for me. I had to check it out. Since I have my New Mexico Annual Pass I could either park in a hook-up site (electric and water) for $4 per night or park in a non hook-up site for $0. Guess what I chose? I have solar panels so electricity is not a problem and I filled up with water.
This is my site. They do provide you with a fire pit, picnic table and garbage can.
This is the view out my window.
One thing that I especially liked about this park is that there was not the high winds I experienced at Rockhound SP. It was very nice. I took a hike the 2nd day and really got some great views of the rocks. They are like a maze and you can easily get lost in them.
I went on several hikes about the park.. There is one hike about 4 miles that takes you completely around the park, which is really nice. Here I am looking back at my campsite. You can barely see “The Breeze”. If you click on the pic twice you can see it.
This is a pic looking in the opposite direction. Pretty desolate.
This next pic is way off in the distance looking back at the entire City of Rocks.
I climbed up to a lookout point where I could even get a better view.
I must mention that I met up with John Sullivan there who I had met at Rockhound SP. I was hiking at Rockhound and he kept yelling at me from the top of his RV. I went over and his ladder had been blown by the wind and he couldn’t get down. I helped him with his ladder.
Then when I drove to City of Rocks I parked directly across from him not even knowing it. He is really a great person and we had many long talks together as well as a few hikes. We also went to a Star Party at the campgrounds, where they had a huge telescope to watch the stars with. The night sky at City of Rocks was fabulous. There was no moon and the stars were every.
I will conclude with a sunset I took from my RV. Not bad eh?
After Rockhound SP I drove about 12 miles to the town of Deming, NM where I was able to stock up at the local Walmart Super Center. Then I promised my friend Jack that I would meet him at the LowHi RV Ranch. Every Monday evening they have a potluck dinner for all the occupants of the park. Being the great cook I am I picked up a pumpkin pie and whipped cream to bring to the potluck.
The LowHi RV Ranch is the International headquarters for LOW’s (Loners on wheels). It is made up of all single people. There rule is that as long as you are single you can be a member, but once you get married, they boot you out of the club. Well I guess I won’t have any problem staying a member in this club.
The potluck was great and I met a lot of fun people and we all discussed where we had been and where we are going. Afterward we had a rousing card game that was great fun.
A lot of the people here stay for months on end. However I will be leaving tomorrow to head over to the Cit of Rocks State Park.
After getting my glasses and completing my dental work, it was time move on. My next stop was only 21 miles away thus saving money on gas. Rockhound State Park is just 12 miles south of Deming, NM. I planned on staying here through the end of the month (6 days). Then I could travel into Deming where I could stock up on supplies.
Rockhound State Park is located against the Florida mountain range. It is so named because it is a rockhound’s delight. You can collect and take home 15 lbs of rocks per person. There very modern visitor’s center has a very nice display of all the rocks located in the area. The rocks range from thundereggs, geodes, quartz, and many different colors of jasper. I am not a rock collector, but before I left I did look for and find many interesting smaller rocks which I was able to identify (with the help of the ladies in the visitors center).
Almost the entire time I was here the wind blew in huge gusts(35+ mph). I could feel the RV rocking all night and most of the day. My 2nd day there I went on a hike of the Thunderegg Trail. It goes about half way up the mountain side(about 200 feet or so). These are some pics I took from the trail.
On the next day I got a call from my friend Jack that I met in Columbus. He was going to be staying there a couple of days and wanted to do some hiking. So we met up and hiked about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. The closer you get to the top the steeper it gets and it becomes very slick due to the gravel. Coming down was even more difficult because it was slick but also because you had to avoid the large catus on either side of the trail.
This is my friend Jack and his dog. We both grew up in Michigan and he is also a fulltime RV’er. He is the camp host at the Columbus Historical Museum.
Jack found this rattlesnake laying in the road. It had been run over and was dead. He picked it up with his hiking stick and we took it to the camp ranger who disposed of it.
I took the following sunset pics from my campsite. I was treated to these beautiful sunsets each day I was there.
I really enjoyed my stay at Rockhound and would highly recommend staying there for anyone in the general.
I must apologize for taking so long between blogs. I had so many pics and videos from the balloon fiesta that I went over my limit of 5GB that Verizon allows. Once you hit that point it costs $.05 /MB. That doesn’t seem like a lot but when you are on a fixed income it really adds up. So I will try to get up to speed now that I am in a new billing month and the meter starts over.
I had made appointments for both dental and optical on Sat 10/23/2010. First I drove to the border and walked across as before. I checked out the optical first to see if my glasses were ready. They were not but informed me they had been shipped and should be there on the following Monday.
I had an hour or two to kill before my dentist appointment so I thought I would walk around Las Palomas a bit. I have to admit I was very nervous at first. This town is pretty shabby to say the least. It is very dirty and dusty and many of the buildings were in disrepair. Someone I met in Columbus said that there is a nice park about 2 blocks down from the Pink Store. So off I went. I found the park after walking a few blocks. Once I got to the park I realized that I was no longer nervous. There were a lot of people just sitting and chatting with each other. Plus there were a lot of children as well. The park was very clean and well groomed. I took the following video of it. The loud screeching in the background was the power steering of an old car.
I thought I would get attacked by the kids asking for a handout, but that did not occur at all. It seems like that is more prevalent right at the border crossing. Here are a couple of other pics of the park.
It was time for my dental appointment so I walked back to the dentist office. It seemed strange but all the lights in the entire block were out including the dentist office, eye doctor and the Pink Store which is a very popular place for us gringos. No one was even eating lunch there. I walked in the dentist office and Dr. Karla greeted me at the door. She was very apologetic and said they would have to reschedule the appointment for Monday.
When you are in Mexico you can’t be in a hurry to do anything. You have to move at their pace. So I just paid for a few extra days at the campground since I had no choice. After all I am not in a big hurry to do anything!!!!!
On Monday the winds were blowing very hard. I decided to take it very slowly and drove to the border once again. The lights were on so I was able to complete my dental work. I then stopped at the eye doctor to see if my glasses had come in. Unfortunately they hadn’t but they said they would call once they got them in. By then the wind is really blowing but I had to get propane as I was almost completely out. There was a place in Columbus, not far from the campground so I didn’t have to drive too far in the wind. It was nice to get back to the campground and not have to drive. Driving an RV in the wind is nerve wracking and I just don’t want to do it if I don’t have to. After I got back to the campground the eye doctor called and said they had received the glasses and they were ready. I told them I would be in the next day to pick them up. Later I heard on my CB radio that there were high wind warnings and not to be driving a high profile rig such as an RV.
To make a long story short I did go in the next day to get my glasses. Then I was on my way.
By the way you can click on all the pics to enlarge them, then if you click again it will be even larger.