Monday April 1 Alpine, Texas
We Traveled Far To-Day
Disclaimer: This photo was stolen from the Travel with Whippets website. What can I say, neither Roger nor Dianne emailed me a photo of Jeff leaving this morning so I had to come up with a photo by any means I could. LEFT, Jeff turned left, so the count is left-2, right-1. Now it is up to Roger to make the last turn. While the suspense is awful, the truth of the matter is that it really doesn't matter which way he turns. What does matter is that it will mean that all of the East Mallard Duck Dynasty have left for the north. But just wait till next fall when the East Mallardites again assemble. It will once again be happy days and happy hours.
This one is for Linda. I don't remember what town it was, but as we descended a long hill, the road curved and a bridge appeared. It was a long bridge, and on the side of the bridge were these signs that were mounted on angled posts. The young girl who masquerades as my wife kept talking about them, and finally I said, "Why don't you take a photo of them if you think they are so cool." As you can see, she did. Good Bob.
I counted ten "road" photos that I downloaded from Linda's camera. What it documented was the 302 miles we traveled, but not the many cool towns that we passed through. What about the erroneous exit from a freeway that required a U turn where there was no U turn? Does she take a photo of any of this? I would never tell. Does Bob point out that Linda was perhaps a little lax in properly photo document our day's travel? No way. Smart Bob.
The really awesome channel with the really awesome rocks and the really awesome water was a mile or so back. Better late than never with the photo. Or at least I think it is, as I busy driving while Linda took or didn't take the photos.
Wow! What a neat railroad bridge!
Border Patrol vehicle and dust cloud. Photo once again by Linda.
Large satellite dish. If you guessed it doesn't take much to get Linda excited when we travel you are wrong. Just question her when she tells you to turn on a certain road and you will find out exactly what the term "put the fear of God in you" means.
At last, a Bob photo, the view to the front. We will be here in Alpine for several days. There will be no more down the road photos. The several days should give Bob time to heal from any wounds he might suffer because of comments made pertaining to Linda's photo's. Bob will try harder to not make light of Linda's photographic selections in the future. Contrite Bob.
Tuesday April 2 Alpine, Texas
A Grave Day
Linda always says that things happen for a reason. Yesterday morning, very early in the morning, I had reviewed our proposed travel plans for the next few days and decided that rather than stay in Marathon, we would be be better off staying in Alpine. Little did I know at the time why we would be better off, but between yesterday (golf ball sized hail near Marathon) and today, warning above, it was easy to understand what the reason was. As far as the Alpine weather, all the storms have passed us by. Things do happen for a reason.
Our clock fell onto the floor yesterday according to Linda, and no, I did not inquire as to why. Smart Bob. Today I learned that in returning it to its accustomed place, the she of the he and she of our family, apparently pressed a button she shouldn't have. That made the clock off by an hour. You can see Linda's solution. The question is, is it an hour fast or an hour slow?
It doesn't look like it, but this is a labor of love. One of the things we have truly missed during our time at Retama was being able to visit cemeteries. Part of the reason is because Linda checks on the Find a grave website for requests for photos of grave markers in the cemeteries in the area we are visiting. She then takes the photos and posts them to the site. The emails she often gets back are so heart warming that it more than makes our day.
An example is this one Linda received today. (Names have been deleted) Oh thank you so very much!!! My husband is the grandson of G-- M-- and his wife, M--. S-- was his wife who took care of the older four children with M--. They were A--, M--, J--, and my mother-in-law, M--. I visited this cemetery in 1999 with M-- but was not involved in genealogy any that time. Having these photos mean so much to us. Many many thanks to you!!
That is one of many reason why cemeteries mean so much to us. It is not something that is for everyone, but when it comes to doing something worthwhile, it sure is near the top of the list.
Ouch! The grass in the cemetery was full of goatheads. Not too bad as long as they only stick to the soles of your shoes. Unfortunately every once in a while one would leap up and attach itself to the bottom of my foot. Instant agony. Get the Teva off as fast as possible and pull it out. Some people are a glutton for punishment. It looks like I may be one of them. Linda's take was that I should have worn shoes instead of sandals.
Just to prove that today wasn't only tramping around cemeteries, here is what we did this afternoon. Linda mentioned that the ice maker had not produced any ice cubes for several days, and a check revealed that side of the freezer was so full of ice it was near the point of rivaling the antarctic ice shelf. Out came the hair dryer and off came the ice. Linda now had fresh ice cubes. Linda made a perfect gin and tonic. Bob has smile. Life is good.
Wednesday April 3 Van Horn, Texas
A Travel Day
Sure the thermometer shows it was far too cold this morning to make us happy. What can I say, we need to suffer miserable cold weather a couple of time every winter or we wouldn't appreciate what all the people suffer through who are able to travel to where the weather is warmer in the winter but don't.
Now, did you catch the real reason I took that photo? After Linda read yesterday's Daily Journal she reached in the drawer beside her desk, fished around until she found a marker, then walked over and added the + to the "1 Hour Off" sign on the clock. At least now we know which way the clock is off. Smart Linda.
I drive and Linda takes photos. Today we drove the 100 miles from Alpine to Van Horn. Easy drive, but for some reason our CD player decided to go on the blink just when we got to a really good part of the audio book we were listening to. Some days you win and some days you don't. We fixed it tonight by pulling the fuse and resetting it. So now we have something to look forward to tomorrow.
If you've ever driven this road you probably know what this it. It sure brought back memories for us. A chilly night, peering into the darkness and suddenly, there they were, the Marfa lights. As is so often said, it's not the destination, it's the journey that matters.
Blurry blimp photo. Linda asked me if she should take a photo of it. I said yes. Her camera doesn't take long distant photos. Her camera takes fairly good photos of bug splats on the coach windshield. You can't win them all.
This is the perfect place for a quote from author Tad Williams: Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
Thursday April 4 Columbus, New Mexico
A Favorite Place Day
Van horn to Columbus, New Mexico today, mostly on I-10 and so drove through our least favorite city, El Paso. Maybe I should say least favorite to drive through city to be precise, as we have never stayed there even though it's likely a nice place to visit. It just isn't on our list of places to stay.
The other thing is that we have never been able to be there on a Sunday morning, which is when we always try to drive through larger cities on the Interstates. Today the signs were warning of an accident ahead and everyone was exiting to use the frontage road. Since we weren't in a hurry, we just stayed on I-10 and had a short distance of stop and go traffic. The accident was off to both sides of the road and soon we were passed it and back up to speed.
A short distance later as we sped along on the freeway we noticed the frontage road was backed up and wondered if there had been an accident. We soon had it figured out, if much of the freeway traffic exits on the frontage road, what happens where the frontage road intersects the roads crossing under the freeway. Traffic lights! We saw one the trucks who had excited right in front of us sitting in the backup and wondered how his day was going now.
Just after we exited I-10 we passed this wide load of tires. In mining country everything is bigger.
Later on Rt-9, this was the scene, and yes when he passed us he was way over to the left side and I slowed down and was to the far right. We live Life at a slower pace, he was trying to make a living.
This is one of our favorite places to stay. It's hot, it's very dusty and it certainly isn't something for everyone, but we really like it. What was even better was that most of the winter people have already pulled out and we were able to get our favorite site. Photo from the front tomorrow after we clean the windshield as Linda likely doesn't want anymore bug splatter photos posted.
The park is located on the site of the base camp for the US Army pursuit of Pancho Villa after his raid on Columbus. The many buildings are long gone, but evidence remains. Every time we walk the roads we pick up nails as we see them. This was what we collected during the walk out to the pay station. Like I said earlier, this park is not for everyone, but we sure like it.
Linda likes cholla. Linda knows not to touch cholla. Smart Linda
Warm temperatures and views like this. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Friday April 5 Columbus, New Mexico
A Pink Store Day
Before you play you have to work. This was Bob's task this morning. Good Bob.
Before you play you have to work. This was Linda's task this morning. Good Linda.
Then you play. Lunch at the Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico. Note how Linda's hand hovers near her margarita so that no one else can take it.
Linda's meal. Don't worry about her empty margarita glass. Moments later another was placed in front of her.
A small part of today's purchases. Gifts not shown.
More border wars right outside the coach. Tomorrow it ia another trip to the Pink Store. Linda is Happy. Bob is Happy. Life is good. Now I have to wonder what job she will have me doing in the morning before go across the border again. Concerned Bob.
Saturday April 6 Columbus, New Mexico
Another Pink Store Day
We had a problem this morning. Goatheads in the carpet. It was as if they suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Linda spotted one, then I got one in my barefoot, and before you know it we had both found several more, happily none by the barefoot method. I moved the furniture, Linda did the sweeping and when it was over, no more goatheads. And we still don't have a clue as to why they suddenly appeared.
No need to guess what we did today, and yes it was all three. Before that we both had our teeth cleaned, and as always I was told how fortunate I was to have never had a cavity. Amazingly enough Linda has been having a similar report of no cavities the last few years. I remember in our former life how she would come home from the dentist and say, "They want to do (blank) to my teeth. I think they just want to do it to make more money." Who knows, maybe she was right.
For all I talk about Linda taking food photos, it looks like she caught me for once. The chicken tacos with grilled onions looked so good I just couldn't help taking a photo myself.
Top with avocado and pico de gallo, and it was beyond delicious. While our experience is limited to a few meals every year or so, we have never had something we didn't enjoy at the Pink Store. And as Linda adds, she's never bought any merchandise at the Pink Store that she didn't like. We joke that we can't go there and not spend less than $100 because there are always more bowls and glasses to buy.
Well what do you know, I wasn't the only one taking a food photo.
The after the meal photo. Note that while then plate may not be clean, there is nothing left in those margarita glasses. On the other side of the table my plate looked like it had gone through the dishwasher.
At the Pink Store they believe in cleanliness.
Linda bought the six in the front. The way she buys things at this store, it won't be too many years before she buys an entire shelf worth. When she asks about buying something I just tell her it looks good to me, so go ahead and buy it. Smart Bob.
I knew all that dining and shopping was tiring, I just didn't know how tiring until I discovered Linda had taken this photo. Devious Linda
It didn't take Linda long to break in the gin and tonic glass she bought. Happy Linda
Goodbye Pink Store, we will visit you again next year.
Sunday April 7 Globe, Arizona
This falls within the category of what is it, which is what I made a couple of days ago. It proved its worth when we got ready to leave Pancho Villa State Park this morning and head west towards Globe, Arizona.
It's the protective collar I made to fit over the prongs of the 50 amp electric cord. For over seven years those prongs on the end of the cord have banged into various parts of the coach as the electric cord reel reeled the cord in. Every time it happened Linda would ask, "Couldn't that damage it?" to which I would dutifully respond, "yes", but then never do anything about it. Not Good Bob.
I don't have to worry about it any more. It worked just like I thought it would, or at least it did until the plug banged into the bottom of the electrical compartment, at which point it fell off. So much for great ideas. Then it hit me, maybe I hadn't fastened the velcro tight enough to keep it from slipping off. You know something? I was right, a little tightening and it resisted all the banging around and worked just as planned. Whether I was smart or lucky doesn't matter, because in the end it worked and that all I could ask for. Smart Linda for marrying someone as brilliant as Bob.
I was getting ready to hook up the Explorer when Linda came running up, pointing toward the tree behind the coach and making funny signs with her hands. It turned out she had seen the elusive owl that people were saying had built a nest in that tree, though no one had ever actually seen the owl. I have to say that for a senior citizen Linda sure did move with a quick step. And soon she under the tree taking many photos, one of which is shown above.
While she was taking photos, I had to walk back and take a few of my own. I guess mine would best be labeled as partially obscured owl photos. At least one of the owl's eyes is very plain. Not knowing much about owls, it appears to be a Great Horned Owl, but as is the case when it comes to Linda and I and birds, it could be something all together different.
Traveling down the highways of Life. Interstate highways and US highways. A stop to top off the fuel tank, then off towards more of God's country, the amazing vistas of the American West. It is the country we love. It is the country we enjoy. It is where we feel at home. But every once in a while you have to go through a town to get to where you want to be. Lordsburg, New Mexico is one of them.
The memory of travels past. We both remembered this underpass. It isn't always easy, but when the turn is made, a smile comes to the face. It is things like this that bring a smile and a laugh. It is things like this that brings the term wide open spaces and a whole lot of nothing, to mind. Simply said, the best is just on the other side, you only have to open your mind to it to appreciate it.
We came upon it before Linda was really ready to take a photo. The photo is blurry. The smile from Linda when when she triumphantly said, "I got it" was real.
Linda had been on the lookout for a saguaro cactus. Linda made sure she took a photo of the first saguaro we passed.
Sure it looks like a photo of a beat up traffic cone in the space next to where we are parked at a casino RV park. But as always there is more to the story.
"There is a cone in the spot next to us" I said. Linda looked out the window, and said, "It's probably there to reserve the space for someone coming up from Phoenix this weekend." That had me puzzled, especially since today was Sunday and it was going to a rather long time until next weekend.
That prompted me to ask "So what day is today?" Long pause on Linda's part. Then came her reply which was a long drawn out "Oooohhh." If you have to ask why I love that woman so much you'll never understand even if I were to tell you. Lucky Bob.
Monday April 8 Globe, Arizona
A Different Day
This happened today, and with a little cooling from our fan, it was soon back to normal. This was just the tip of today's iceberg of happenings however. We were buffeted by very high winds. We had the electric go out several times. We have a layer of dust that was deposited in the coach because we had to have the windows open because of the heat and no electric.
No it's not Linda showing what she would wear if we took another trip to Eastern Europe. She woke up this morning with a case of vertigo, and because of that stayed on the couch for the entire day. I proved my worth as a nurse, waiting on her hand and foot. All she had to do was raise either a hand or foot and I was there seeing what it was she needed.
She had a headache in the morning so I got her a cold wash cloth to put on her forehead. In the afternoon she had another problem caused by the open window above the couch. The resulting breezes were blowing her hair and bothering her. To solve that she came up with putting the now dry wash cloth on her head. We both got a good laugh when I pointed out the tag hanging down on her forehead.
Even though we didn't get to go into Globe today and explore the town we still have all day tomorrow for that. It also reminds us that Life on the road is no different in many ways than life in a house. Sometimes you do things, sometimes you get sick, and sometimes your plans get changed. I feel sorry for those who wish they could live this life admit they never could because they don't know what they would do if (fill in the blank) happened. We would never trade our years of full time travel for anything, and if we had it to do over we would have found a way to do it at least five years earlier. Happy Bob. Happy Linda, who is almost back to normal tonight.
Tuesday April 9 Globe, Arizona
All the wind yesterday was something. Semi-trucks were blown over and Interstates were closed. This was what the bathroom sink looked like this morning. That's not ring around the sink, that's the sand and grit that blew in through the open bathroom window. And what was in the sink was also on every horizontal surface throughout the coach.
This was the result of wiping off the top of the vanity. It looks like it wasn't a very smart idea to have the windows open yesterday. The problem being that the electric was out and we opened them to cool off. The joys of full timing.
Linda was still a little dizzy this morning, enough so that she didn't want to go out, and preferred to once again spend the day on the couch. This afternoon I went out to mail some letters and take a look at Globe. When I came back she was checking out Facebook and her email. I was certainly glad she was feeling better. I guess you could say it was one of those days.
Wednesday April 10 Gold Canyon, Arizona
She's Back To-Day
Linda's breakfast was different this morning, it was two fried eggs, the yolks barely cooked and topped with melted cheese. No yogurt, no apple sauce, just what she normally eats for breakfast. She wasn't quite all the way back to normal, but she was getting mighty close.
Fortified with the fabulous food her wonderful husband fixed for her, she got her first look at all the dust and dirt I had been telling her blew in when she had to have the windows open a few days ago. Between the dust rag and the duster it wasn't long until the light brown coating had seeming disappeared. I quickly learned that once she had gone over an area it wasn't wise for me make a remark about how it still felt gritty. Chastised Bob.
The drive from Globe to Gold Canyon is very curvy. The drive from Globe to Gold Canyon is very scenic.
It also has one of my least favorite things to encounter while driving. Fortunately it wasn't very long. Someone I know doesn't like mice, I don't like tunnels. Guess that makes us even, though a certain woman wouldn't necessarily agree.
Once we arrived in Gold Canyon and had the coach leveled and the air conditioning running, I was informed that the floor needed to be swept before anything was put out. Personally I didn't see what the big need to sweep was all about. The rugs and the tile were about the same color as the dust, so it wasn't that noticeable. Luckily I didn't mention that fact due to the look I was being given. Smart Bob.
I could see her fingering many of the items on these shelves. The colors were perfect for our Retama patio. But even she agreed that while we might have room for some of them in the coach, we really didn't need to haul them around all summer. It was said with a smile and a laugh, it's so good to have my Linda back.