"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Getting Out of Town

After working ourselves to near death, or so it seemed, for six weeks cleaning up our property after the storm, we needed a break.  We had friends gathering near Cloudcroft, New Mexico; so we decided to join them. We pulled out our driveway on June 29th.  Three nights on the road got us to Cloudcroft on the second day of July.  Thirteen fiberglass trailers in a group campground. We did lots of catching up on each others travels.

We also did lots of eating.  Breakfast became the main meal of the day for all of us. Seems most everyone had a Blackstone grill.  There was bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, and a few other things being prepared each morning.

Sally and Uncle Fred discussing breakfast plans.

Lots of fun with many old friends.  The temperatures ranged between 45 and 75 most every day we were there.  So much of a relief from our hot weather at home.

After nine days in Cloudcroft, we headed for Silver City, New Mexico to visit a friend.  It didn't take long for us to miss Cloudcroft.

I ran into this guy in a restroom along the way.

We found Silver City to be a great little town.  Part senior citizen, part hippie, and part millennial college student.  We visited a local coffee shop each morning with our friend.  We decided that we could get accustomed to living there.

While there I visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings. 

Four hundred year old corn cobs.

From silver City, we made our way to Santa Fe.  We were really lucky and snagged a wonderful site in Black Canyon campground.  Just seven miles from downtown Santa Fe.

We were there for four days, enjoying the cool weather and hiking with friends.  We took a drive to Taos one day.  Visited the town and drove across the Rio Grande Gorge bridge.  No pictures.  We did take a little known road back to Santa Fe that had us entering the gorge, and crossing the Rio Grande on a small bridge at the bottom.  I found that the most enjoyable part of our trip to Taos.

Another day we visited Bandelier National Monument.

Similar to Gila Bend, but a few hundred years older.  The natives dug out homes in the soft rock and cultivated crops in the small valley beneath.

Original art discovered behind a mud wall.

Flash flood debris from such a small creek.

We made a short stop at Heron Lake, near Chama, New Mexico.  The no-see-ums found me as soon as we got there.  I've never itched so much in my life.

North Fork campground near Pagosa Springs made a good stop for a couple of days.

Over Wolf Creek Pass we found ourselves in Del Norte.  They had a wonderful brewery for such a small town.  Definitely worth returning to.

They're both mine, she had wine.

We passed this place in Monte Vista, Colorado.  We stopped there back in 1984 with our kids. A motel build around a drive in theater.  Most rooms have a picture window for watching the movie, complete with a speaker like the ones on the poles.  It's still in operation today.  Brought back some great memories of our first trip out West.

A couple of days latter found us in Oklahoma.  The small town of Pawhuska, to be exact.

Home of the Pioneer Woman Empire.

An amazing story of how one person can bring a dying town back to prosperity.

We made stops in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Cabot, Arkansas; and Memphis. Visiting friends.  We took a short tour of Bentonville, and the Crystal Bridges Museum while in Fayetteville.  Don't miss either one if you're ever in the area.

We arrived home on July 31st.  A month on the road.  We've now re-accustomed ourselves to the heat and humidity.  And, we found a nice surprise when we got home.  We now have some grass where there was bare ground when we left in June.

That's it for now....jc


Friday, May 24, 2019


There hadn't been much happening in our lives since returning from Arizona the end of February.  We've made a couple of week long trips, but nothing that I haven't blogged about before.  Why post about the same ol' things?

Our front yard a couple of years ago, and this past Fall.

Life as we knew it changed on May 9th, around 11:30 AM.  Our phones alerted us of a tornado warning for our area.  We've been exposed to hundreds of warnings in our lifetime, but never felt we were in danger enough to seek shelter.  This one was different for some reason, though I can't put my finger on why.  Maybe it was the small warning box with our home dead center, or just God taking care of us.  We grabbed a blanket, picked up Sally, and headed to our smallest bathroom. Within minutes we could hear the wind; then the sounds of debris hitting the walls and roof.  We kept waiting for the horrendous crash of our home coming apart around us.  After a couple of minutes all that could be heard was pouring rain. I walked to our front door, opened it, and this is what I saw.

My shop, and truck.

Our driveway.

Random shots around our yard.

A miracle, or the Hand of God, saved our house.  We had "large" pine trees down on three sides of our house.  We had a tree overhanging our house, but it didn't fall.  We chained it up over night, till a tree guy came and cut it down.

We had no choice but to practically clear cut our front yard.

The last one falling.

Our front yard, today.

This small pile of logs represents what our front yard once was. Everything that wouldn't make a log was hauled to a burn pit.  There's no market for pulp size wood, anymore. We have a very big job clearing all the stumps, roots, and associated trash.  We'll have our own burn pile for weeks to come.

As I mentioned before, we were blessed that our home received NO damage.  Our fence around two and a half acres was destroyed.  My shop, as well as another out building received damage also.  Insurance?  Yes, we thought so.  We've had a homeowners policy with the same company for almost fifty years.  We thought we were adequately covered. But a little known clause called "policy limits for peripheral coverage" raised it's little head. 

We're going to be fine, though we're covering most of the cost of repairs.  But, a word to the wise.  If you have a house, and maybe a fence covered by your homeowners policy, you're probably ok.

  If you have a home with a shop, extended garage, fence, pool house, etc.; you might want to check with your agent to find out what your "policy limit" would be for repairs on all those if you have a catastrophic loss....jc