For the latest posts, please see part 2 of our 2011/12 winter trip by clicking HERE!
Sunday February 5, 2012
Making the turn for home
Tomorrow we will pull up stakes and start the (slow) return for home. We have been here at Borrego Springs for a month and it's been very enjoyable, we've booked our site for a month next year and we will return assuming that the violence in Mexico precludes our return to Teacapan, if things do quieten down in Mexico it will still be a tough decision!
We have been guilty of just relaxing here, we haven't taken in any activities or toured the area other than a couple of trips to Brawley, so we have a few reasons to return and explore next year.
Tomorrow we plan to hit the KOA in Blythe on the Colorado River, then it's back to Picacho Peal State Park north of Tucson. Our washer/dryer has stopped working again, same lint clog problem as last year so the technician in Tuscon who did the work last year can manhandle the unit out of the cupboard to de-clog it!
Thursday January 26, 2012
The New Campsite
Al finally got around to taking a few pictures of the new Campsite (we are getting too relaxed around here!).
This is a view of the site. Both awnings are down to shade the camper, it got up to the high 20's C today. The site next door became occupied after the picture was taken:
We have a mini "patio" area behind the camper that looks onto the tennis court:
Just behind the tennis court is the dog park (green grass), closer to our site than the other campsite for Kasey:
Tomorrow we are off to Brawley to stock up on groceries. We looked at the calender and we will start to make the turn for home when our stay here is completed in order to get back home for mid March.
Tuesday January 24, 2012
Moved around in the park
Yesterday we moved to a new site about 300 feet from our old site, we booked for another two weeks but we couldn't stay in our old site as someone had reserved it for a part of the time. It's relatively easy to make the move when you are only moving a short distance and it gives an opportunity to put away some of the "junk" that comes out of the cupboards after a couple of weeks! Some pictures of the new site will be posted later. This site is a bit more spacious, we like it better, and the hummingbirds have already found our feeder.
The wind warning still was in effect yesterday although the gusts weren't too bad. We also got a sprinkle of rain, not enough to wet the ground.
The tripod for the internet dish broke again, the temporary fix made in Yuma involved drilling a hole through a thin section of aluminum casting, the metal wasn't thick enough to take the stress on the leg. Another hole was drilled in a thicker section, hopefully this fix will last until we get home, where a replacement casting is sitting waiting.
Sunday January 22, 2012
The Big Blow!
Yesterday morning the wind started to blow heavily, the weather forecast called for gusts of over 60 MPH. Kasey doesn't like high winds so he retreated to the trailer. We decided to take advantage of his being in the trailer so we headed into town for lunch and returned just before 2:00 pm, just in time to have the power fail. Luckily we had taken down the satellite dish, we didn't want to have another dish blow down this winter.
We expected the power to come back in quick order but it didn't, the wind increased and some trees in the resort fell over, debris blew around and everything not put away moved.
That's dust blown up:
The construction area nearby was very dusty and the fences blew over:
The day went on without electrical power, so we cranked up the generator for a while then we watched a DVD on TV off the inverter then went to bed relatively early. The power was still off this morning, we waited until a respectable 6:30 am to start up the generator as the batteries were low (and we needed our "wake up" Keurig coffee, too lazy to brew coffee the old fashioned way!). The power came back up around 7:30 am and the camp volunteers have started to clean up the debris. The pool here is full of palm fronds and other stuff, it will be a day or so until things return to normal. The weather underground website says gusts in Thermal California were 60 MPH, a campground host indicated the gusts here exceeded 90 MPH. We are sure glad that we brought the generator with us, it's put on more hours yesterday than in the previous year.
Some more pictures of the damaged tress taken later in the morning:
This tree has already been removed, the surface irrigation creates shallow roots which may be the problem:
Still standing but probably doomed:
We have booked a site here for another two weeks but we have to another site as our existing site is reserved by someone else, so we make a move tomorrow morning.
Monday January 16, 2012
The big move!
Today we moved to a site in the newly opened section of the resort, all of a couple of hundred yards from our old site.
Some pictures of the new site:
This is a view of the sites across the street backing onto the golf fairway:
Our site. There were some clouds and rain over the mountain, but we didn't get any rain here:
There is a dog park adjacent to the tennis courts just behind our site, Kasey has a short walk to the park!
Saturday January 14, 2012
Hanging around for a while longer!
The new campsites at the resort have now opened so we decided to move to one of the new sites on Monday and stay for another week. We like this resort, Kasey is enjoying the dog park and Suzette is having fun at the pool so why not stay another week?
We will be visiting the vet in Brawley for Kasey again on Tuesday, he has ran through the anti inflammatory meds and we notice that he is starting to slow down again so we will get a supply of new meds to keep him going until we get back to Canada.
The last couple of nights have been cool, almost approaching freezing. The days have been better although the possibility of rain is forecast.
Al captured the sunset over the hills this evening:
The sky looks kind of angry but we didn't have any rain
Wednesday January 11, 2012
A little touring around
Before today's commentary I thought that this picture taken just at sunrise was neat. It's the full moon setting over the nearby hills:
We have settled into this very nice resort and today we drove into town to get a few supplies. The town itself is about the same size as our village back home, it has a small grocery store about the size of the Foodland back home that existed at the time that we originally moved there. Borrego Springs looks to be fairly prosperous, unlike some of the other villages in this area of California. Lots of restaurants and gift shops.
A wide main street with the grocery store at the back of a live theater complex:
After we picked up a few items at the grocery store (not a bad store, but with limited selection) we returned to the RV and then took Kasey to the dog park. Al took a few pictures en route:
This is a sitting area adjacent to a golf green, there is a small pond where you can catch (and release) fish:
The golf fairways are very green, lots of water for irrigation!
Kasey is a lot better today. This is his second trip to the dog park today and while he isn't exactly running after the ball fast, he is moving around a lot better (and he wants to keep going back!). The dog park has two sections, one for large dogs and one for smaller dogs (in the distance). Between the two parks there is a lounge where the owners can sit and watch the goings on! The grass has sprinklers installed, balls, water and poop bags are supplied:
This is a view of the tee off for the 8th fairway (420 yards, par 5) in the foreground and behind it some initial construction for some home lots, apparently the construction is halted because of market conditions, no one is buying right now:
We are considering staying for another week, we understand that the new RV sites may open shortly, the county inspection occurred yesterday, if the inspection passed there is a ribbon cutting scheduled for Saturday!
For Kasey, it looks like the anti inflammatory meds have kicked in, we will go back to the vet next week for another supply.
Monday January 9, 2012
Across the Sea!
We moved to the west side of the Salton Sea to the Springs at Borrego RV resort today. It's about 80 miles from where we were before, it didn't make a difference whether we went around the north side of the sea (which we did) or the south side. It's a little farther from the shopping at Brawley (about 50 miles) but it's a very nice resort. We aren't breaking the bank but it's a bit more pricey at $56 per night, but it's worth it, better sites and more quiet than the Fountain of Youth.
Some initial pictures:
The sites are a little short but the landscaping is great!
The resort is just waiting to get the approval from the county to open a number of premium sites, if they open them this week we may stay another week in one of the sites:
Another view of the new sites with the golf fairway in the background:
We are happy to report that Kasey has improved a bit, he even did some running around the dog park here today! The anti inflammatory meds must be finally kicking in. We are still taking it easy with him, We hope that he continues to improve.
Tuesday January 3, 2012
Missed Kasey last evening!
Kasey has been having problems on and off during this trip with walking and with occasional drops of blood from his mouth. When we arrived here we visited a vet in Brawley and got some cancer meds (Interferon) for the tumor on his nose (which is causing the bleed from his mouth) and some meds for the arthritis.
His walking hasn't improved over the week or so and he is lethargic, yesterday afternoon we went back for a second visit. The vet took some X-rays and he thinks that disc degeneration in Kasey's neck (which causes pressure on the nerve bundle inside the vertebrae) is causing him to do occasional tripping while he walks. There is a surgical fix for this problem in San Diego but we don't want to put Kasey through a surgery at his age. We also would want a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis before proceeding as well. To do the X-ray, Kasey was put to sleep so he stayed overnight at the vet and we picked him this morning. He is now set up with some anti inflammatory medication for the neck (if it's arthritis these meds will also help) and he has a collar similar to a human one to restrict his neck movement. We are sure that Kasey didn't sleep well in the kennel at the vet's, he is making up for it, he's been asleep under the trailer for a few hours.
We really missed him last evening back at the trailer, things were very quiet (not that he's a noisy dog!). We are hoping that the meds improve the situation and that he will return to his old self. We don't want to lose him or have to put him down, but we don't want him to suffer either.
We were considering staying on here for another week if we needed to see the vet again, but there isn't much else that the vet can do so we will move on, we are not sure if we will head west toward Borrego springs (there is a very nice RV resort there if we can get in), or east towards the Colorado River and Parker.
Friday December 30, 2011
Who ARE those guys??
Apologies to Paul Newman and Robert Redford for stealing this line!
We are enjoying the time here! Today a couple walked by and asked Al & Suzette? We said YES, they met us in Mexico a couple of years ago, but for the life of us we don't remember their faces! It's frustrating when you've met folks before and they remember you but you can't place them. So, Al will search the website for them in the hopes that we've taken a picture. The only thing that we know (because they told us!) is that we printed off some route information for Mexico for them and that we met them in 2009.
Our apologies to these folks, we've offered them some (non-Mexican) Cervesas which will help to pay back for our poor memories, we hope that they take us up on the offer. If they read the blog, hopefully they will let us know.
This place reminds us a little bit of Teacapan in Mexico, the closest shopping is 30 miles away at Brawley, Al went into town and survived the Wal-mart there, it actually wasn't that bad. There is also a Vons, which I believe is affiliated with Safeway, they have a better selection of meats than Wal-Mart. We have stocked the fridge for another week (hopefully), we will shop before we leave this campsite for points west.
Monday December 26, 2011
A great Christmas!
We enjoyed a very good Christmas day, we cooked a couple of Cornish hens in the oven (couldn't find a turkey small enough to fit!) and enjoyed all the side dishes. After dinner we lit the fire and enjoyed a glass of wine or two:
We are going to do some touring around today to look at some of the local attractions, but first another couple of pictures of the Spa:
This is a demonstration of some of the heated water that comes out of the ground:
Some details about the water, the discharge and temperature is sufficient to supply hot water for the pools and for the clothes washers. All the water goes through a titanium heat exchanger to heat the domestic water(except for the spa water which provides the healing qualities!):
Saturday December 24, 2011
In the Fountain of Youth RV Resort near Niland California
Just a short entry to indicate the change in venue. We arrived here early yesterday afternoon after the short run from Yuma. We also gained an hour, we are on Pacific time, meaning we got up at 6:00 am this morning! It will take a day or two to adjust.
We got the last premium site that was available, meaning we have a ramada, a large patio with a picnic table and a 4 place patio table, a commercial grade propane BBQ and a mini fireplace, even the wood is supplied!. We have full services including cable TV and the three pools are close by. Suzette has already taken advantage! All this for $46 per night, cheaper than an Ontario provincial park campsite with only electricity!
Some site pictures:
Lots of space for Kasey, he's enjoying it!
Although we are very close to the street and the pools we have a hedge that gives us privacy:
Monday December 19, 2011
Cloud Museum Re-run!
Al and Charlie really enjoyed the Cloud Automotive Museum so it was decided to revisit the museum along with Charlie's friend Art while the ladies did some shopping in the Yuma area. Art provided a lot of detail about the model "T's" and "A's" and a lot of time was spent looking at variations in construction. Al thought that automotive aftermarket companies were a recent phenomenon but they existed in the age of the model T as well, we saw lots of aftermarket equipment on these vehicles including shock absorbers, steel wheels (replacing the standard wooden ones), tag axles for the Model T trucks, overhead cam cylinder heads and twin carburetors.
There was also an opportunity to take some additional shots of restored vehicles located in buildings:
We really enjoyed the visit to the museum (and the date shakes!) while the ladies enjoyed spending some time shopping. We plan to spend some time shopping during the week and getting a bed liner sprayed into the truck bed, then it's off to California on Friday!
Sunday December 18, 2011
The Christmas Parade of Vehicles!
On Friday evening we watched the parade as it went down our street, the police closed down traffic to allow the parade to go by, they also participated with their show motorcycles. Al apologizes in advance for the picture quality, because of the movement a time exposure couldn't be used, these are flash pictures so they are dark, a few have been put through Picassa to lighten them up but the quality isn't there.
The start of the parade:
If Suzette had her Jeep down here it would be decorated like this:
Lots of dune buggies:
Santa and his helper in a well decorated buggy:
Friday December 16, 2011
The Lights of Yuma's Foothills
Last Evening Charlie and Pauline took us around the Foothills neighbourhood to show the Christmas decorations. There is a particular street that decorates their RV lots in a spectacular way. We parked and walked up and down the street and we enjoyed the light show, following are some pictures:
We really enjoyed looking at the decorations. Tonight there is a parade through the neighbourhood. Christmas has arrived here in Yuma!
Thursday December 8, 2011
We have been relaxing and spending some time with Charlie and Pauline, our BC friends who are staying on an RV lot across the street.
On Monday we had an on-site service call for the RV furnace (from Al's RV service!!). The technician diagnosed the problem as a defective DSI circuit board and replaced it. We are back to having furnace heat as well as electric heat from our small heater. While we were never cold, on some of the colder mornings it took a while to warm up the camper from the lower overnight temperature with just the electric heater, now it takes just a few minutes with the furnace.
Charlie and Pauline know the area very well, and yesterday we drove up the Imperial valley to a place called Bard California. It's an area where vegetables are grown, it reminded Al of the extensive planting in Mexico. The water is supplied from the Colorado river through an extensive system of irrigation canals. They grow dates as well, and we visited a farm that has a store where you can buy dates, they also make date shakes, which were great tasting (and probably fattening!).
There was also a car museum in the village called the Cloud museum. They have a website HERE
The museum contains hundreds of vintage vehicles, primarily model T Fords, and virtually all of them are operational. The owner even started up one of them for us via the hand crank.
Pauline and Suzette in a pick up:
Just a few of the model T's on display outside, the completely restored ones are in buildings:
While the model T" and other manufacturer's vintage vehicles were great to see, Al really fell in love with this 1930's vintage motor home built on a Model "A" chassis, thats Charlie standing beside it:
The kitchen is on the roadside behind the driver, just ahead of the stove is an icebox (not shown), the pantry is on the curbside opposite:
A view looking towards the bedroom in the rear (two bunk beds):
On the roadside there is a commode (rather close to the bed!), on the curbside is a sink and medicine cabinet:
The driver's and navigator's seats:
I don't think the propane cylinder is vintage:
Al will be going back for a second detailed look around this museum (and perhaps get another date shake!!)
Saturday December 3, 2011
In the Foothills of Yuma
We remained at Lazydays in Tucson until Wednesday morning, the tech at Lazydays was unable to repair our furnace, he turned out to be a bit of a "parts changer". Although the fan motor was noisy, it wasn't the cause of the problem. The tech then surmised that the main circuit board was defective, they (thankfully) didn't have a circuit board in stock so we took off on Wednesday morning for Picacho Peak State Park north of Tucson. Al pulled off the cover to the furnace and read the flashing error code on the main circuit board, it indicates an ignition failure (code 2), not a board failure (continuous LED light). So, $300 was spent at Lazydays for nothing. The problem is probably a defective flame sensor, it isn't sending a signal back to the main board that ignition has, in effect, taken place. Hopefully we will have more luck in Yuma with a repair.
We spent Wednesday and Thursday at Picacho, Wednesday was warm and enjoyable but on Thursday we had some of the same winds that caused extensive damage in California. The strong wind at Picacho blew down the internet dish and tripod, breaking an aluminum casting on one of the tripod legs, so we were off line (and had no Canadian TV!!), hence no postings.
We rolled into a rental RV site here in the foothills yesterday and renewed acquaintances with Charlie and Pauline who are here for the winter from BC. This morning Al jury rigged a temporary fix for the tripod and we have internet and Canadian TV again. Hopefully the fix will last for the winter.
We went shopping today at the new Fry's superstore in east Yuma, it felt like a Home Depot, it's so large. All kinds of interesting stuff, they even prepare Sushi for take out!
We are here for at least two weeks and will post updates about the area.
Monday November 28, 2011
Titan Missile Museum
Yesterday Al took a tour of the Titan II Missile museum, it's about 20 miles south of Tucson off I-19 near green valley.
It's the only remaining missile silo of 54 (18 each near Tucson, Little Rock Arkansas and Wichita Kansas. The museum has a complete missile (except for the warhead) and all the machinery. The display is a testament to the cold war and how close we were to MAD (mutually assured destruction) in the 1960's and 1970's.
A few pictures and commentary:
This is one of the fueling trucks (hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide were the two fuel elements):
The Titan II had 3 engines, first stage is shown, second stage is behind and the small final "aiming" engine is on the left:
This is the silo, the top of the missile is shown (silo depth is over 100 ft.):
This is the control room, the tour guide is shown and two women taking the tour are seated at the desks, the panels are still operative and the ladies "launched" the missile! Al was taken back to the old university days, the facility used plastic punch tape to load the target locations into the panel, Al used punch tape to program machine tools back then. :
Another view of the control panel:
This is a view of the silo lid (730 tons of hardened concrete), the large concrete blocks on the end were poured after decommissioning to show the Russians that the silo lid can not be opened fully, these blocks can be seen from space by spy satellites. All was done after the treaty was signed between the US and Russia.
The RV (re-entry vehicle) that contains the nuclear warhead. The coating is similar to that used on Apollo to protect from the heat of entering the earth's atmosphere near the target.
A 60's era jeep used to patrol and secure the facility:
It's amazing that a lot of this technology was used as a precursor to the manned space program. The Titan II was used in the Gemini space program and it took Neil Armstrong up into space pre-Apollo, and most of the other Titan II missiles were used to launch spy satellites for the US military after the de-commissioning of the 54 Titan silos.
Saturday November 26, 2011
STILL in Tucson!
Yes, we are still here. The replacement fan motor arrived this morning (last one in the western US!) and the tech disassembled the furnace. When he started to install the new fan he noticed that the fan shaft was hard to turn, the rotor seems to be fouling the stator. Bottom line is that the new motor is not usable, since these units aren't really re-buildable a second fan is being shipped (ETA Tuesday morning) so we are here for a few more days. At least we are comfortable, the electric heater is doing it's job, although it was 58F in the trailer this morning, we will have to crank up the thermostat a bit tonight.
Wednesday November 23, 2011
More time here in Tucson!
Well, we will be here at Lazydays for another couple of days. The technician came to look at our furnace yesterday afternoon and checked the current draw on the fan motor. It turns out that the fan motor bushings are starting to seize up causing the fan to turn more slowly, thus preventing the unit from continuing to operate correctly after a start. The furnace has been noisy from new, I guess it just took a while for the bushings to fail.
As usual, a replacement piece was not in stock, so it has to come by courier from California. As a result the part won't be here until Friday (a day later because of the US thanksgiving tomorrow). So, we have booked additional days so that we will be on the move on Saturday morning to Picacho State Park. If necessary we can remain here in Tucson later as the park is still relatively empty.
We get to enjoy Thanksgiving here, there is a Thanksgiving dinner being served all day at the restaurant and we also have a large turkey breast, we haven't decided if we want to eat "at home" or at the restaurant, decisions... decisions!
Al might take in the last remaining Titan nuclear missile silo, now a national historic site and a museum, it's a short distance south of here.
Tuesday November 22, 2011
A convenient breakdown!
We are still here at Lazydays, we plan to leave for points west tomorrow. This morning the trailer furnace didn't fire up when we turned it on, so we have booked a repair session (we wait for he tech to arrive on site as this is being written. It's very convenient to be at an RV park with a dealership adjacent, here's hoping that the problem is not substantial.
Meanwhile, Al took the opportunity to visit the aircraft "bone yard" at the nearby air force base, the tour is arranged by the Pima aircraft museum. The bone yard contains about 40 billion dollars (original cost) of various aircraft (including some Titan missiles!), it's divided into 2 sections, one that stores aircraft that could be put back into service, the other that contains aircraft destined for dis-assembly and scrap. Apparently the facility actually makes a "profit", pieces from some aircraft are removed and refurbished and sent to air force bases or sold to international customers who are flying the aircraft (think of a high tech scrap yard). As well, some of the aircraft are refurbished and returned to service. Some of the reason that the aircraft end up here is that they have reached the expiry time on their frames, so only some parts can be re-used but the aircraft as a whole will never fly again. They also remove wings from some aircraft and refurbish them for use on active aircraft.
It was also interesting to see a number of commercial aircraft (I've forgotten if they were Boeing or Douglas) that the military bought when they were at the end of their civilian life, these are used for parts on the military versions of these aircraft as the aircraft manufacturers no longer make parts for the planes.
A few pictures:
Lots of Hercules!
I think this is a military version of a 707:
Row upon row of trainers, I believe that these are the type that the Canadian military uses for air shows:
I think these are B-52's:
These aircraft are in the process of being dis-assembled for scrap:
Saturday November 19, 2011
Being Lazy at Lazydays
We have been relaxing, doing a little shopping and enjoying the restaurant here. It's been warm enough for Suzette to enjoy some pool and hot tub time as well. We haven't done much "tourist" stuff yet but Al plans to check out the aircraft "bone yard" that on the air force base adjacent to the Pima aircraft museum on Monday.
A couple of pictures:
There are quite a few open sites, probably because it's early in the season and the fact that some people haven't heard that the resort has re-opened:
The new hot tub will be installed where the chair is situated, under the tree:
Some pictures have been added below, showing our stay at Rock Hound State Park
Thursday November 17, 2011
Lazydays RV Resort, Tucson Arizona
We arrived here late morning yesterday after a short run from Kartchner Caverns Stare Park where we stayed for a night. This is the former Beaudry RV Resort, the Lazydays folks from Florida have bought the facility and are in the process of transforming it. The security has improved, the restaurant has re-opened and the sites are being brought back into shape (painting the electrical pedestals and pruning the bushes that have not been tended to for almost a year). We are glad the resort is open again, for our money it's one of the best RV parks in Tucson, much better (for us anyways) then the three other resorts that we've stayed at here in town. They offer two free nights when you stay a week, with daily rates under $40 it a good deal! We have a premium RV site, the hot tubs that used to be on each premium site were removed by the Beaudry RV folks, all new hot tubs are on-order, we hope to try one out in the spring on our way back east
We did some shopping today and caught up on laundry (some remains to be done tomorrow), we also want to look around the Tucson area, we plan to be here a week before moving on.
Monday November 14, 2011
Rock Hound State Park, Deming New Mexico
We arrived here early yesterday afternoon after a good run from Guadaloupe Mountains National Park. This year we decided to cut the run from Carlsbad to Deming into two days. It's a long run and going through El Paso isn't fun. This time the transit through El Paso was great, going through on a Sunday morning helped a lot.
Some pictures of Rock Hound:
The pictures we took while hiking above the campground. It was a bit overcast, with an ideal hiking temperature.
Some commentary and pictures of Guadaloupe Mountains:
We have always wanted to stop in Guadaloupe Mountains but we normally don't carry the generator (there are no services in the campground in Guadaloupe), this year the generator is in the pick up box so we stopped. It was also an opportunity to check to see how long we could live off the two batteries in the RV, and see a new park.
The park is high up in the mountains, as a result the winds were quite strong (50 MPH), so we were rocked to sleep in the camper. We didn't set up the internet dish because of the high winds. We enjoyed the stop and did a small hike. In the national parks dogs are not allowed on the main trails, In Guadaloupe there are a couple of small local trails that are "dog friendly" so we took advantage of them, pictures below. The main trails are for experienced hikers, there is a significant change in elevation and many hikers camp out on the trails, you also have to be prepared for cold weather and the winds. There is a mountain in the park called "El Capitain" (sp?), I'm wondering if that was the setting in an old Star Trek movie where Spock saves Jim Kirk from falling when Jim attempts to climb the mountain. I will research it.
We found the volunteer camp host to be hard working and helpful, he was on the job from 7:00 am until about 7:00 pm, helping out folks.
The camper did quite well on batteries, the generator was test run for a short time in the afternoon, but we were on batteries all evening and the next morning until generators were allowed (8:00 am). We ran the TV and the DVD player on the inverter to play about half a movie until Al got concerned about low battery levels. We survived well until the generator could be run.
Some pictures of the park:
The entrance to the RV parking area and the trail head:
The park was a stop on the Butterfield stage run to San Fransisco.
The ruins of the station are part of the "dog friendly" trail:
The views are great!
Last evening we had a visit from Chuck and Wanda, friend who live here in Deming. We had a great (but all two short) time!
We are here for another night before we head further west.
Friday November 11, 2011
Brantley Lake State ParkWe arrived here late yesterday morning (another time change!) from Monahans Sandhills. We have made a relatively quick (for us) transit across Texas, after Bob Sandlin we stayed at a small RV park in Ranger Texas followed by Monahans. The drives were a bit long for us (over 400 km. per day except the run from Monahans to here) but the miles were easy except the Dallas transit.
We are here for 2 nights, for relaxation and some shopping. The drive through Carlsbad was tough, they have torn up the main street (it's been 3 years now!) and all the traffic lights have been removed at the same time for replacement, each intersection is a 4 way stop. It's the worst planned reconstruction job that we've ever seen, the local store owners must be up in arms as commerce must be effected. I also thing that they deliberately didn't re-route the traffic off the main route to appease the store owners, but it's still a disaster.
Enough of a rant, some pictures!
Hiking to the reservoir:
This whole area of Texas/New Mexico is suffering from drought, you can see how low the reservoir is, there is a warning for boaters using the lake about damage potential:
we are sitting on the Permian Basin, an area that stretches from south west Texas up to this area in New Mexico. The basin is probably the largest producer of oil in the US, it's a flat basin covered with what I call shale, rock formed from sand from an ancient sea. There must have been lots of plant and animals existing here to produce the vast amounts of oil that have been taken out. For more reading on the basin, click here
We didn't see any evidence of creatures caught in the rock, but I'm sure they are here:
With a clear sky, the full moon is neat to see!
Monday November 7, 2011
Into the Heat!We are in Lake Bob Sandlin State Park near Mt Pleasant Texas, we got here around 1:00 pm yesterday. It reached 27 C yesterday afternoon, we are now in shorts and short sleeve clothing. Overnight it was still warm, the windows were open and the temperature still stayed warm.
A couple of web pages have disappeared, the following pages were recovered from my back up hard drive! The entries from Degray Lake SP are gone.
Thursday November 3, 2011
Village Creek State Park near Wynne ArkansasWe arrived here around 1:00 pm today, last night we stayed in Natchez Trace State park in Tennessee. The trip so far has been warmer than in previous years (although it's cooler today). We have enjoyed a couple of BBQ's and it has been warm enough to sit outside for the last couple of days. Tomorrow we will be on the road for a week, we have been taking it easy in terms of miles and time on the road (only around 300 km. per day). If we had stopped only one night at each campground we would be in Texas.
Some pictures were taken in Bowling Green and at Natchez Trace, it's nice to get a second look at the leaves falling. Here there are still a lot of leaves yet to fall, and we are getting bombarded by acorns falling from the oak trees above us.
This is at the KOA in Bowling Green:
Couldn't resist taking a picture of this tree in full fall colours in Natchez Trace!
More Natchez Trace pictures
We are here in Village Creek for another night, so we will take some pictures and post.
Tuesday November 1, 2011
At the Bowling Green KOAWe arrived here yesterday just before noon (we are now on Central time). We plan to stay here tonight as well and we will continue to shop today.
One thing that one of the blog readers asked is that we comment on the year over year differences we see in the US in terms of the economy and how folks are doing. I will make some comments that may bother the US readers of this blog, it's just what we see.
The bottom line is that people in the US are suffering much more than we see in Canada. We saw it as we crossed the border, this time we crossed at Windsor/Detroit instead of at Sarnia/Port Huron. The crossing reminded us of the crossing into Mexico at Nogales, the similarities are striking. When we crossed over from the relatively pristine Windsor, we noted that the roads were in bad repair, attempting to maintain the posted speeds would wreck the RV, that includes Detroit proper and I-75 going south as far as the Ohio border. Once you get off the Ambassador bridge, you note the boarded up houses and folks carrying placards stating "I'm homeless and I need help".
Heading farther south, we noted a large number of industrial facilities that we closed and up for sale/rent, again more than we see in Ontario (although we noted some larger than normal facilities closed in Windsor). The other thing that we noted was the larger number of cars broken down on the side of the interstates, and some vehicles on the roads were wrecks. A number of vehicles on the side of the road were out of gas, which I believe is an indication of financial stress.
The economy is the US has not improved since last year, it may be getting worse. We hope that things improve for our friends down here as time goes on.
Saturday October 29, 2011
In Auburn IndianaWe did the short run from Monroe this morning and we arrived here just after noon. We took the opportunity to buy a few grocery items to tide us over until we hit Bowling Green. It's still cool here, we are expecting below freezing weather overnight. The good news it that there are still some leaves on the trees here, unlike Ontario.
Friday October 28, 2011
On the Road!We are in Monroe Michigan at Harbortown RV resort after an uneventful crossing at Detroit. This time we crossed at the Ambassador Bridge, it cut off a few miles and time on the trip, no problems at the border.
Tomorrow it's off to Indiana!
Monday October 17, 2011
I'm in Thunder Bay heading north to Ear Falls to deliver some pump parts for our kids.
It's really getting ready for winter up here. On the way up near White River I ran into some light snow, it's not staying but it's a reminder!!
The weather makes me look forward to heading south later this month!
Sunday October 9, 2011
In Canada we celebrate thanksgiving a month earlier than in the US, for us it's an opportunity to do the celebration twice, once here with our family and once when we are on the way to the south. We normally stop in Arkansas over the Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy the fall colours and the ambiance in Village Creek State Park in Wynne.
This year we were fortunate to have our girls and their families over, we also were very pleased to have my brother, his grown kids and his mother-in-law over. We missed his wife who is in Texas helping a cousin who is being treated for Cancer in Houston. The Thanksgiving weekend is also our local fall fair weekend, the grandchildren enjoyed the fair and the animals.
Getting the grand kids ready to go to the fair:
Nicole and Sam with all the grand kids:
Some Christmas toys were distributed, and were "easy to assemble"!
Adrian and Cindy's grown up boys!
Getting the food ready:
Chantal and Margret, who it was great to see again!
We had two tables going, Nicole and Carter enjoying the meal on the patio:
We are getting the RV ready for the trip south, we should be on the road before the end of October. Stay tuned!