Showing posts from March, 2011

Girls Day Santa Fe

Tuesday I headed up to Santa Fe for a girls day. I met with Trudy, her mother-in-law Janet and two sisters-in law, Denise and Sue at the Plaza. They had been shopping for a couple hours already and had a few cool finds. I love to browse and look but living in a small space makes you really think through any purchase and I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without. I love the looking and I really appreciate great art work and there is plenty of it in Santa Fe. We ate at a little restaurant there that I can’t remember the name of but I had a great soup and sandwich combo. After lunch they decided to check out a national park just east of Santa Fe on I-25 (it is actually I-25 North but the interstate takes an easterly jog here). The park is the Pecos National Historic Park. It was already 3 o’clock when we arrived so we didn’t have lots of time but there was a 1.25 mi. trail that took you around the Pecos ruins, just enough time for that. We watched the film at the visitors center that…


We have arrived and are just kickin' back. Would love to tell you all the wonderful things we've done but we really haven't done anything yet. I am headed up to Santa Fe without John today. My best friend Trudy is up there with her mother-in-law and sister-in-laws on a girls trip. John was invited too but he didn't feel right being the only guy on a girls only trip. I am looking forward to it. Will probably spend the night and come back tomorrow morning. Then we will do a couple things here in Albuquerque. 

Happy trails........


When we first arrived in the desert we stayed at Brantley Lake, another of the NM State parks. It was there that John spotted his first roadrunner. I was inside the rig at the time,  wouldn’t you know. Well since then I have kept my eye out for a roadrunner and we haven’t seen one since until today. We were out walking the campground loop and I heard what sounded like a loud dove, not quite like a dove but very similar and I spotted a bird on top of a picnic table shelter. It certainly wasn’t a dove. The closer we got the more apparent it became that it was a roadrunner and the sound was definitely coming from him. Of course I didn’t have my camera but we still had another loop to do so I picked up the camera and crossed my fingers that he would still be there. Sure enough he was still hanging out on top of the shelter. I first took a photos from a ways out in case he took off and then just kept taking them as we got closer. I was surprised how close we got before he took off. The len…

Hawks, Hiking and Towns with Strange Names

I love this park! I think it rates up there as one of my favorites from our year of full time RVing. Went for a long hike on Thursday. I took the trail I mentioned that we biked on and went out about a mile and a half. It was a great day, with a gentle breeze and not too hot. John was back at the trailer getting his workout in so I was off on my own. You can see forever on this trail and what is most impressive is there are no utility poles to break up your view. I took a couple photos of the trail for you to see.
On this walk and a couple others we had a chance to watch these hawks. We aren’t sure but it looks to be a Harris Hawk. Most of the time we have seen them in pairs which fits with this type since they are cooperative hunters. Not completely sure on the ID but never the less they are impressive to watch. We have hawks back in Iowa but most of the time I see them they are planted on a fence post or utility pole. These spent a lot of time soaring and we watched two that were on …

Perfect Day

Yesterday was just about a perfect day. The winds died down to a calm. The temps were probably around 70. First we got on the bikes and road down to the boat ramp to check out the lake. There were about a dozen trucks with boat trailers parked. You could see quite a few people out fishing.  A great day to fish. Also a great day to bike. We took the road out to the entrance and then came back and as we entered the campground we found a trail we hadn’t noticed. It was kind of a packed dirt so we decided to ride on it. It stayed a packed surface for about 3/4 mile and then became a more graveled trail. We kept going for awhile but it was tricky. We have hybrid bikes so they are good on a packed surface but on the gravel you really needed a mountain bike.  Still we got in about 6 miles all together.  We haven’t been on our bikes as much as we should be so it is a delight to get back to that. The middle of the day we simply sat outside enjoying the sun and warmth. John read and I worked on …

Coronado's Treasure

One of the fun things about staying at the Diamond J in Tucson is getting to know Doc Justin (Neil Justin). The “Doc” is because he has PhDs in both Archeology and Biology, an interesting combination. He also was the head of one of the departments at Arizona University in Tucson. He is a true teacher and loves to share his knowledge with anyone and it is always interesting.
On one Saturday evening he hosted a bonfire for everyone. Sitting around the bonfire he shared with everyone the history of the Tucson area. When I say shared the history I mean going back millions of years. When he got to the exploration of the area by Coronado in the 1540s, he explained that they brought with them all sorts of armor and weaponry but as they crossed the desert they decided to leave these things behind. His theory is that they hid it expecting to return and pick it up. Well Coronado never did make it back through this area so the thought is that the “treasure” is still out there hidden away in the d…

South Monticello Campground

The wind finally died down very early in the morning. Today was an absolutely beautiful day. We went for a good walk this morning and then while John was doing his resistance training I continued to walk and took photos of the campground (needed to wait my turn with the weights). We are at the South Monticello campground which is about 8 miles north of Elephant Butte. This was the campground that everyone we talked to recommended here at the park. The sites are large with good distance between them. Our site looks out toward the lake and is also right across from the shower house. When we don’t have full hook ups we tend to use the shower house at least part of the time. The shower house is clean and the showers are large. We talked about having a fire tonight but the winds kicked up again around 5 so not a wise thing to do. I did go out and check on fire restrictions and there didn’t seem to be any but wind like this is always a sign that we heed. 
The weatherman just said tomorrow is…


Well our time in Tucson finally came to a close. Not without some fun and good byes. On Thursday we took Bill and Charlene, who are staying in Desert Trails next door and are also Excel owners, to Tiny’s to introduce them to the steer burger. It happened to also be St. Paddy’s day and true to John’s Irish heritage we made sure we were in green. We had so much fun we came back to the trailer and brought out the lawn chairs to continue the fun. Bill and Charlene are from the Farmington NM area and were a great addition to our little Excel owners group. They will be in Tucson for awhile yet and we wish them well. They came back over Saturday evening to say goodbye.  Thursday is also the day a dove decided she was going to nest on our hitch. When we noticed it we moved it before they had much done hoping they would nest elsewhere but that was not to be. Friday morning the nest was back and now there were eggs in the nest.  This made me sad because we knew we have to move it.  So Sunday we …

Rillito Bike Trail

I haven’t written much lately as we haven’t done much lately. I think we are resting up before we get on the move once again. Our plan is to leave this Sunday, however the wind may make us stay put an extra day. We have a stretch of I-10 to travel that is very susceptible to wind and dust and we want to travel safely so we will wait until this weekend to decide. We do have one of our Excel friends moving on tomorrow. Rick and Y are headed to Texas so tonight the Excel group met at Chillis’ for dinner to send them off. We wish them safe travels. On Monday John and I dusted off the bikes and headed to one of the bike trails here in Tucson. We chose a parking area that was right across the street from a Trader Joe’s so we could double up with a grocery day. As you have all noticed the price of fuel has really jumped up in the last few weeks so we try to combine trips if we can. The last time we fueled up diesel was $3.45 a gallon. We paid over $200 and the tanks (we have 2) weren’t quite …

"New" friends

Just a short post. Yesterday we drove to Casa Grande to meet a fellow blogger that I have been following for a while. They are parked in Goodyear AZ so this was an in the middle place to meet. I think for me one of the joys of this lifestyle are the people we meet. We meet plenty in the campgrounds and resorts we stay at but also those we have met online through blogs we sometimes get to meet face to face. In the title I put new in quotation marks because though this was our first meeting I felt like I knew Loralie and Lee before this through reading their blog. It makes it easy to sit and chat because we each have some knowledge of the others lives and RVing already makes for a common bond. 
This couple also live in an Excel and have the same floor plan as we do, even the same length so we talked a lot about the different rigs. We also found common ground through talking about our families. These are great people and we hope to see them again some day out on the road. 
If you ever find…

Desert sunset

Sunsets are often beautiful but we have really come to an appreciation of the desert sunsets here in the southwest. I think I will just let the photos speak for themselves.

Happy Trails........................................

Planes, Planes, Planes

I think the longer we stay in one place the lazier I have gotten about blogging. We have another couple weeks before we head out so don’t be surprised by the intermittent posts. We have been doing things and we we still have places to go and things to see here in Tucson. Today I met Sandy(Mothership RV), a fellow blogger that I had noticed was staying in our park. She actually found us because of our flamingo. He does kind of stand out and he is on a stick. (he-he) It was nice to meet her and talk about this full timing lifestyle. We also talked about how nice it is to meet fellow bloggers face to face. Its like you already know each other a little and you know you have things in common, and you can stay in touch through the blogs. On Tuesday we headed to the Pima Air and Space Museum. All I can say is wow, I’ve never seen so many planes. The museum has planes from all eras and we went on a walking tour through Hangers 3 and 4 that houses the bombers. It was fascinating and our guide wa…