"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

Friday, September 18, 2015

Life is Never Scheduled


Let’s see if I can do a compilation of the last four weeks.

First off is the death of an uncle.  Not just any uncle, but the patriarch of our family.  At almost 88 years of age, he was still going strong.  Taking care of his wife of 65 years, and being the conscious of his nieces and nephews.  He was the one always reminding us to visit the sick, attend the funerals, give to the needy, and much more. We talked often, and though the calls were to check on him and his wife, afterward you realized he was really checking on us.  From a fall, to a broken leg, to a blood clot, and death; all within five days.  A reminder that one never knows.  Also,I’m not sure I like being the oldest member of the clan.

Afterward, we decided to get on the road for a while.  We attended the Kansas Eggstravaganza, of which I didn’t take one picture.  Had a great time with friends, old and new.  I did visit Ft. Riley, but was left feeling more a criminal than a U.S. citizen.  The things we must do to visit historical sites within military facilities has become a real pain.  Though I had plans to visit the Museum of Cavalry, the Custer home, and the Kansas Territorial Capitol, the lack of maps, directions, or information in general, had me feeling unwelcome.  Only visited the museum before departing the grounds.

IMG_7428 (Medium)

IMG_7435 (Medium)

How to protect yourself, and your mount during a gas attack.

IMG_7437 (Medium)

We drove to Abilene one day to visit President Eisenhower's home and library.  His boyhood home.

IMG_7463 (Medium)


IMG_7456 (Medium)

Grave marker.

IMG_7455 (Medium)

On the way to Abilene, we happened upon a namesake town.  Always thought Chapman was of English origin, but Irish will do.

IMG_7443 (Medium)

IMG_7444 (Medium)

Eased our way up into Iowa.  First stop was Pella.  A beautiful small town which is home to Pella windows and Vermeer agricultural equipment.  A town created by Dutch settlers in the mid 1800’s, and very proud of their Dutch heritage.  A real windmill, built by Dutch craftsmen, anchors a corner of downtown. It powers a mill that grinds wheat into flour for the local bakeries, as well as sale to the public.

IMG_7466 (Medium)

IMG_7479 (Medium)

Replica sod house that the settlers lived in.

IMG_7487 (Medium)

A Dutch bedroom. Did you know they slept sitting up?

IMG_7483 (Medium)

Wyatt Earp lived here for a short period of time.

IMG_7509 (Medium)

Of course, there is a tulip festival each year.

IMG_7465 (Medium)

Tulip queens from years past.

IMG_7493 (Medium)

Some of the Queen’s costumes.

IMG_7497 (Medium)

IMG_7498 (Medium)

IMG_7499 (Medium)

Leave your shoes at the door.

IMG_7502 (Medium)

Did I mention Dutch bakeries?  How does one decide what to purchase?

IMG_7522 (Medium)

IMG_7524 (Medium)

We had plans to visit the butcher shops the next day.  Shops that still make sausage, bologna, and other products just the same as 1900.  A phone call changed all that.

A friend from my childhood had passed away.  We started first grade together, reconnected again in the 1970’s, and our kids grew up together.  His family requested that I be a pallbearer.  Homeward bound….jc

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Going Dark, or maybe just dim.


IMG_1704 (Large)

I just noticed that I did eleven blog posts during the month of July, and three in August. I honestly thought the number was less. 

I started Eggrollings in April of 2011.  We had already pulled the egg to many fascinating places in the US and Canada before I got the courage to make the first post.  I figured the immediate family, as well as a few friends might find it entertaining. Thought there’s no way I would ever have a “following”  as so many of the blogs I read.

Imagine my surprise when I received a comment from someone I didn’t know.  And then I  found myself on HitchItch.  Readership went upward, accordingly.  

It was fun taking pictures, and writing about where we went, and what we did.  We visited places we read about on other blogs, and hoped someone might visit a location based on our recommendations.

Things have changed since 2011.  Now, most everyone has a smart phone.  Things like Facebook, Face time, Life360, etc.; make it possible to take a picture, make a comment, and post it to the world almost immediately.  Family members can know immediately where we are located with the touch of a screen.  If we do find ourselves in a remote area, I can push a button on a device, and four different people receive our GPS coordinates by way of a satellite transmission. 

I’ve reached the point where doing a blog isn’t as much fun as it used to be.  The need isn’t there like it once was.  Many places we now visit are repeats.  I’ve blogged about them once, so why bore you with repeat information? 

Eggrollings will stay around.  I’m not going to delete it. Too many great memories.  And, there will still be an occasional post when something strikes my fancy.  I may even become inspired again, and get back to posting regularly.

Thanks to all of you that have been faithful readers.  I cherished your comments and feel like I know you, even if we may not have met, personally.  To those of you we have met, I’m thankful to blog land for your friendship, and hope our paths cross, again…..jc

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cloudcroft, NM


While spinning our wheels in northern New Mexico for a few days, we saw a Facebook post from some Texas friends.  They were headed for Cloudcroft, NM.  Cloudcroft, and the Ruidoso area, are like Mecca for Texans in the Summer.  It’s one of those places you have to make a destination, as it isn’t on the way to anywhere.  Surrounded on all sides by a hot, and mostly boring, landscape.


If coming from the East, you must drive through the heart of the Texas and New Mexico oil fields.  There are literally thousands of wells between Artesia, and Hobbs, New Mexico.


If coming from the North or South, then Alamogordo is the gateway.  The home of Holloman AFB and White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo lies at an elevation of around 4300 feet.  Hot, dry, and dusty.  Temperatures around 100* in August. 

Just a short drive up the mountain from Alamogordo puts you in an entirely different landscape.  Cloudcroft sits at around 9000 feet.  The area looks much like the Sierras, with huge fir and ponderosa pine growing on the mountains. 

Looking down on White Sands national monument from near the town of Cloudcroft.


As we had never visited the area, we called and asked if we could crash their party for a couple of days.  The answer was an affirmative, so we headed South.  We spent three night with them, and had a fantastic time.  Catching up with news about everyone’s travels took hours.


We enjoyed hummingbirds by the dozens, and even had a little music.

20150804_150826_resized_1 (Medium) 20150804_154430_resized (Medium)

But, most of all, we enjoyed the friendships.  It was with heavy hearts that we departed after three nights.  They had plans to move down the mountain a ways for another gathering, and we had our sights on home.  The temperature was 54* as we pulled out of the campground.  When we stopped at  Hords Creek COE campground near Coleman, Texas, for the evening, it was 103*.  But, it was a dry heat……Winking smile  jc