Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kansas


(Jan) We’re in Kansas this week for my nephew’s wedding. Currently we are boondocking at a beautiful spot high on a hill over looking Leavenworth County State Fishing Lake. Adding to the view are the spectacular red bud trees in full bloom. We started noticing them along our way as we drove into Missouri on the way down. What a nice spring surprise.

We had hoped to welcome Brent, Donna and family to our house for a visit last week end but it was not to be. Donna is having another difficult bout of morning sickness so we will try that another time. So, we headed south on Saturday and got to Cabella’s, off of 435 near Kansas City, by 5:30. We roamed the store and spend the night there boondocking. Sunday morning we walked over to Nebraska Furniture Mart and then to the Legends shopping area; a very nice, new retail place with beautiful choreographed water feature.

That evening we moved over to the lake and yesterday we spent a relaxing day with my sister. The day included a trip to the Moon Marble Company and a demonstration of hand made glass marbles. By evening Richard had returned from work and we also got to say hello to her daughters and husbands and four of the grandchildren. Great day!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

At the farm

(Jan) Here we are back in Iowa. We came home to a very wet, snowy, windy welcome and wished to be back in the Arizona sunshine. It snowed Friday and Saturday, 4/11 & 12, and Tuesday morning, 4/15, it hit a low of 26 degrees at 4:00 A.M. Finally today the wind has died down and it was 74 degrees. We took a long walk through the soybean fields and enjoyed being out in the fresh air again.

We arrived back Monday, April 7th just in time to celebrate dad’s birthday at my uncle’s house. Dad’s the oldest of 12 and for the last ten years or so his brothers and sisters have been getting together on their birthdays. Two of the brothers have passed away but nine of the remaining siblings plus spouses were there for dad’s 92nd birthday.




This picture is of dad entertaining with his accordion; he’s played since was a young boy. My brother and sisiter-in-law joined the party, too, and later we enjoyed pizza at the local Godafather’s.

Over the week-end we made a trip to Ames to visit with our oldest son Brent and family. Had a fun visit. Played cards and put together puzzles and caught up on all of the family doings. Their youngest, Libby, has especially grown. She and Grampa were close buds for most of the afternoon. Chuck, Brent, Michael and Stephen went shopping for a back up system for our computers while Gramma, Katie and Anne played Wii. Donna said that at her doctor’s appointment in May they will find out if their expected addition will be a boy or a girl.

Tonight I am going out to dinner with 5 friends that I’ve known for the past 30 years or so. We’ve gone through life getting together for everything from baby showers to kids weddings and we now try to meet 6 times a year for our birthdays.

Chuck and I have been on closet cleaning duty since we got back. After having lived in 300 square feet, so many possessions seem unnecessary. Lots of ‘stuff’ got pitched or donated to the local charity. What a liberating experience!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Deming to Tularosa


(Chuck) Today is just like any other day. You never know what surprise will be in store for you. We left Deming, NM about 9:30 this morning. We stopped at the Las Cruces rest stop and snapped a picture of the “Roadrunner” It is a big art work made of all recycled “junk” materials; headlights to tennis shoes are what he is made of.

Then we hit the trail again and stopped at White Sands National Monument. It has been decades since we were there with the kids. We dropped the rig in the parking lot and drove out in the dunes with the pickup. It was a fun stop.

Our last stop was at The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site. This site is under BLM management and is 17 miles North of Tularosa, NM. We had a two and one half hour hike through the site in the hills and we were able to boondock at the area this evening. There are over 21,000 petroglyphs here and it is a great place to view this ancient art work. These pictures were made with stone tools by removing the dark patina on the exterior of the rock.
This could be our last day with shorts and tee shirts for quite a while. Iowa April's are “nice” compared to January, however it isn’t shorts weather.
Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is a wonderful surprise. We were hoping for one last chance to stay on BLM ground and we were fortunate to find it.



Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rye, AZ to Deming, NM



(Chuck)
We spent six days near Rye, AZ on BLM ground. It was about as good as it gets. We were at 3480’ elevation, which means that we wore jackets in the morning and by 9:00 it was again light clothes. We were parked next to a mining claim and the mountains were at our front door. It was just another bit of heaven. Judy provided us with another good quote from a friend of theirs. “It would sure take a lot of this to kill ya.” That became a favorite thing to say as we sat in our chairs and soaked up the killer view in front of us. We took in another six days of paradise before we had to move on.

We stayed two nights at the SKP park in Benson, AZ. While we were there we traveled down to Tombstone and Bisby. Bisby is a mining town that has the bragging rights to the Southernmost Mile-High City. We had lunch on the terrace of the Copper Queen Hotel. The museum and the huge open pit mine were the attractions for the day. On the way back we stopped at Tombstone. This town has fallen to the tourists and there is not much to see unless you have “Dollar in hand”. You can pay to see the scheduled gunfight at the OK Corral. It is a genuine re-enactment and you need a ticket to go into the private area to see it. Several years ago this was on open streets for the enjoyment of tourists. Apparently things have changed as private enterprise has kicked in. The cemetery of Boot Hill is “free” and for a two dollar ‘donation” you could get a sheet of paper which would show you who was buried where. You people probably know me by now and you can guess how these things were handled. I will take the mountain view any day.

Tonight we are at Deming, New Mexico at Dreamcatcher SKP Park. It is a park that is part of the Escapees RV Club system. This afternoon we spent nearly four hours touring the local museum. We will spend two nights here and head for Iowa. It is our intention to arrive in Iowa by the 8th of April to attend Jan’s father’s birthday.

The solar system that we installed has been a great experience. It has allowed us to live off the grid as much as possible. In the West there are a lot of Federal lands that allow ‘dispersed camping’. I calculated our camping costs for the first three months and we have averaged $4.18 per day or $381.00 for Jan, Feb and March (91 days). We spent two weeks in Yuma and one week in Casa Grande which made the costs high. The rest of the time, we were “off the grid”. The cost is secondary, the best part of living that way is the company you have with you and the scenery on the door step.
 
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