Friday, November 26, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving - Santa Fe to Tucson

 Weatherwise it's been a roller-coaster couple of days.

We'd been spending the last week in Las Cruces, NM at the Hacienda RV Resort.
As RV Parks go - its not bad - we don't stay here often but it was conveniently located and
only about 30 minutes from the License Bureau in El Paso for me to renew my CDL.

I did that last week and we hung around for the rest of the week mostly chilling, but also
a bit of touring here and there, and a touch of maintenance on the bus in my energetic moments.

One small job was reconditioning my headlights.
The headlights on the Bus are actually from a Honda Odyssey and the outer cover was
starting to get very discolored and crazed from the suns UV.

The good people at Consumer Reports suggested the Sylvania Restoration Kit so that is
what I purchased.    About an hour and a half later & some light elbow grease and my headlights now
look brand new.

Major accomplishments now behind us, it was time to move on to some nicer territory, and
more to our normal preferencres.

We headed west on I-10 about 70 miles down the road to Deming, NM.
Our destination for Weds thru Friday nights was Rockhound State Park.

A cold front was starting to push down from the north and some interesting cloud formations
and rain showers were encountered along the way.

Rain showers on I-10 West New Mexico

At Rockhound we are perched on the side of the mountains overlooking Deming.

Site 14  at Rockhound State Park with Deming visible in the distance

30amp and water with a dump on site.
We had plenty of water onboard so we only hooked up the electric.

Weds night it rained and the temp dropped to about 31°
On Thanksgiving morning there was a dusting of snow on the peaks not far above us.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with the Yule Log burning on the TV.

And Thanksgiving night were treated to a pretty nice sunset to cap off the day.

Today - our last day at Rockhound was a day to do some scouting.
There is a state park about 40 miles north of here - City of Rocks - that we have stayed
at twice.   Once in the Montana, and once in the DogHouse.

We've only stayed a night each time and since it is such a unique place, we've always promised 
ourselves that we would come for longer.   I wanted to stay there this time, but only am
familiar with a few sites that were already reserved, so this was a opportunity to drive up
and make a list of which sites would be ok for a PartyBus sized vehicle.

City of Rocks State Park from a distance

There are a few pull-thru spots in the front of the park that have electric, but
most of the sites, and especially the good ones, are all boondocking - many are
unlevel and only suitable for small units.

One of the Bus suitable campsites

The rock formations occupy the center of the campground with the access road and
campsites scattered about the perimeter.

Winding thru the center of the rocks are walking trails.

Picnic table at another bus suitable campsite

I've made my list of suitable sites - its a short one - but hopefully next time we'll be able
to grab one and spend more time.

Well this post is a wrap for this short trip.

Tomorrow - Saturday - we are back on the road for the 4hr drive to Tucson.

On Monday our adopted 6 kids are arriving and we need to be there to greet them.

We'll hang in Tucson for about a month and then in January we'll finally be back to our
Covid interrupted normal wintertime festivities.   Our friends from far and wide will
be reconvening in the desert for a winter of fun and frolic.

Then in April we'll be headed east to the Queen Mary2 and summer in the British Isles.

(PS  our adopted 6 kids are Saguaro Cactus)

We've been on an Adopt a Saguaro waiting list for almost 2 years and finally our
number came up and we chose our babies before we left for this trip.

When developers clear the desert for new Subdivisions, the program tries to intervene
and find homes for the grand plants.... The King of the Desert
We were fortunate to grab 6 beauties and cant wait to welcome them to their new home!

From all of us to all of you....
Gobble Gobble.   Happy Thanksgiving!

See ya soon!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Las Vegas to Santa Fe, NM

Greetings everyone!
 Since our last post we have left Death Valley, traveled about 750 miles, and visited 3 more places
as we wind our way about the beautiful great southwest.

The trip map below shows an overview of our route:

1.  Furnace Creek CG Death Valley National Park
2.  Las Vegas, Nv
3. Homolovi State Park, Winslow, Az
4.  Santa Fe, Nm

Our first stop for 8 nights was the beautiful and exclusive Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort.
The resort is limited to Class A motorhomes and they reserve the right to deny entry
to any coaches not in good condition,

The lots are all privately owned and a management company rents out those lots whose
owners choose to do so when they are absent.

Constantly rated one of the nicest parks in the US, it's fairly pricey, but we love it here.
When you enter the gates, you would think you are at a tropical resort rather than in
the desert. 

The park includes 5 swimming pools with hot tubs.   One on each corner of the
resort, and one in the center of the resort by the clubhouse, pickleball etc.

We've stayed here perhaps a half dozen times, including one stay for over a month
when I needed emergency surgery on my knee.

We always choose one of the lots with a "buildout"
A tiki bar, fridge, barbecue, whatever.    Each owner does their lot a little bit differently.
We particularly enjoyed this one.

Lot 122 LVMR

The weather was perfect during the day with cool nights for sleeping.

Each day we would take the dogs around the park for a stroll.

Some of the other lots and sights about the park.

About the only downside is that with the lack of rain, and the big bus tires running
on the roads, they develop a film of "tire dust".   The dogs get filthy walking about the
park on the roadways.

Just look at Gracie's feet below!

A filthy Doodle

Not to worry however, one of the things we love about around here is that one of our
favorite Self-Serve Doodle Washes is located a few miles away.

The Barking Dogs Pet Store sells all sorts of high end dog foods plus has 4 excellent enclosed
wash stations where you can take a filthy Doodle, and turn it into a fluff ball.

The HydroSurge System injects the soap into the waterstream making wash day
a simple procedure.

Below Gracie is getting her workover.

Ready for a blow dry.

I've always dreamed one would grow up to become a nun!

Lucy looks on with suspicion knowing her turn is next.

And soon she's ready for the blow-dry too!

We bought them a couple of treats and in less than an hour we had both dogs clean
and fluff.   Ready for a haircut when I got them back to the Coach.

By the next day they were cut and clipped and good to go.

While in Vegas I decided to replace our TV over the windshield.
The existing TV was a 32" Panasonic, and while it still worked ok - it was not "Smart".
I wanted a bigger Smart TV to take advantage of the increased abilities.

The old Panasonic

I replaced it with a 40" Samsung.
The size is perfect for our viewing area and now we are
able to take advantage in the coach of our other services (HBO, Netflix, Prime, etc)
that we subscribe too at the house.

After 8 nights in Vegas (we never even made it to the Strip) we were back on the road
headed east towards Santa Fe.

On the way we stopped for 2 nights at Homolovi State Park just outside of
Winslow, Az.   We've been to this park a few times before.   Its a great place to
overnight if you are traveling along I-40, plus there is a great deal of Native American
history in the park.   At the sites of former settlements, it is very common to find
shards of ancient pottery just laying around.  
(Look but don't take)

Around 5,000' elevation, it was a bit cooler here - especially at night, but
with 50 amp service we were able to run the heat pumps and save on the propane.

Site 43 Homolovi SP

After 2 quick days at Homolovi - we hit the road again for another 5hrs and arrived in
Santa Fe, NM.
We are staying at The Santa Fe Skies RV Park.
Its a pretty nice place.  Nice views and decent sized spaces.
They had a nice (optional) no-contact check in process.
The day of arrival I received an email with a link to pay.  Once I paid I received my
site assignment, and never had to interact with anyone.
Easy Peezy!

The park is only about 15 min to downtown Santa Fe.
We have never been here and had been looking forward to our visit and we were
not disappointed.

Established by the Spanish in 1610, it had been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands
of years prior to this.   It became the territorial capital of the Spanish Colony until the US 
declared war on Spain in 1846.   Santa Fe and the surrounding territory of was ceded to
the US in 1848 in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago.

It has remained a capital since the 1600's making it the oldest state capital in the US.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in the distance, sits just outside
of the Santa Fe Square section of the historic downtown.

Next to the Basilica is a small park.
It was nice walking thru the park and shuffling our feet thru the fallen leaves - something
that we use to take for granted, but have not done for years.

Looking at the park in the middle of the square.
All around the park are shops and galleries.

Santa Fe has a vibrant artist community and is on the list of UNESCO's great art cities.

An art of a different kind - we have been treated to some nice New Mexico sunsets.

It's now Monday.
I dropped the pickup off at Capital Ford this morning to have the brakes looked at.
I think I have a warped rotor that will need to either be turned or replaced.

Our last full day here is Tuesday after which we drive a few hours south to Las Cruces.
Thursday I have an appointment in El Paso at Texas Dept of Public Safety
to renew my Class A CDL.    We'll stay in Las Cruces thru Thanksgiving and then
move on to the Deming, Nm area for a few days.

If I get the truck back tonight, perhaps tomorrow we'll return to downtown to
do some more explorations.   Today meanwhile we'll hang around the coach and
enjoy the view and relax.

Thanks for riding along!