"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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

On toward Home

As mentioned in the last post, it was spitting rain as we departed City of Rocks.  As we were exiting the park, I took a wrong turn right off the bat.  I had forgotten that we had turned right off Hwy 180 and traveled about three miles to a left turn into the park.  I immediately turned left, thinking I was heading back toward Deming, but I was actually heading the opposite way.  And to make things more confusing, the route looked familiar as we had traveled it last year on our way to Faywood, San Lorenzo, and Silver City.  After about eight miles, I woke up, realized my mistake, and turned around.  So much for an early start.

We stopped in Las Cruces at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and to pick up an audio book.  Our journeys across Texas are made much more enjoyable by listening to a book by one of our favorite good guys, or gals.

We planned to stop for the night at Balmorhea state park just East of Van Horn, TX.  We called to make sure there was a vacancy and found out the park was closed for renovations.  What to do now?  We decided it would be either Monahans, or Fort Davis state parks.  It wasn’t much of a decision.  Mountains, or sand dunes?  Mountains will always win.

We were able to get a really nice site at Fort Davis state park.  Sorry that I didn’t get any pictures of it.  After arriving, we made the decision to stay two nights.

The weather was pleasant, but cloudy.  The next morning I made the hike from the campground to the overlook high above the campground.  A much different landscape than the one we had enjoyed the past few weeks.

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That’s Big Bend country way down there.

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The Indian Lodge within the park.  Original building constructed by the CCC in the 1930’s. Later remodeled sometime in the 60’s, it’s now undergoing another renovation.

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Looking down on the campground.

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An unusual thing happened while we were in the campground.  When we were staying at Lake Havasu state park in Arizona, I would walk Sally through the campground a number of times each day.  There was a couple there from Maine which I spoke with one time.  Imagine my surprise when they pulled into the site next to us at Fort Davis.  We had a mini reunion while sharing a couple of beverages.

The town of Fort Davis is also worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.  It still looks much the same as it did in 1950.  The Court House square is surrounded by a fence with turnstiles in the center of each block.  I was told the turnstiles were to keep livestock off the lawn.  Makes sense to me.

There was also an old drug store downtown that still has a working soda fountain.

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I wish we could have spent more time in the area, but doctors and dentists had to be appeased.  From Fort Davis, we made it to Inks Lake state park, North of Austin.  Not my cup of tea.  Too big, too many sites, too many people.

Then it was on to our old standby.  Our last stop before home. Sandy Creek CoE, near Jasper, Texas.  It was very windy, so we asked for one of the sites in the woods.

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We had a quiet evening, talking about all the fun we had, and all the fun to come.  We weren’t in Arizona anymore.

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

The City of Rocks

The wind blew continously our last night at Dome Rock.  Buffeting the trailer often, it made us glad we had put everything away the afternoon before.  When Sally and I opened the door on Sunday morning, the nearby mountains were wrapped in a brown fog.  No moisture though, just dust.

From Quartzite to Buckeye the wind was still gusting near thirty miles per hour.  We took the detour around Phoenix through Gila Bend, and as we reconnected with I-10 near Casa Grande, the winds had died and skies were clearing.  Our destination for the day was Benson, and the Escapee’s park.  A dear friend resides there part of each Winter, and we wanted to visit with him.

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Ed, better known as The Dutchman, to many.  We met in Capitol Reef a decade or so ago, and since that time try and cross paths wherever we can.  A retired airline pilot, jazz musician, biker, kayaker, and World traveler, he has been fulltiming in his Casita since 2003. 

From Benson, it was on the the City of Rocks. A very unusual pile of rocks located about forty miles North of Deming, New Mexico.  Created millions of years ago by a volcanic eruption, erosion sculpted the rock formations seen today.

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We found a nice spot, tucked back in the rocks, out of the wind.

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The rocks make an amazing playground.  What kid, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t like to run, climb, and explore this amazing place.

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Sally enjoyed a little off leash time there.

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I think I would like to turn around.

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The landscape surrounding the rocks is entirely different.  Huge vistas in all directions.

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Scattered rain showers were forecast for our last evening there.  We decided to put the Clam away, but kept our propane fire ring out.  The wind had died down as the clouds begin to build.  A perfect evening for a fire.

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As a few have mentioned, it’s tough being a dog in the Chapman family..

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Just me, Sally, and the cayotes.  As the last howls died away, it was just me.

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The clouds were spitting rain as we departed.

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Looking forward to returning here, again……jc

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Back toward Quartzite

Our last evening at Lake Havasu City was one of relaxing, and enjoying the views from the state park campground.

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There were a lot of these guys zooming up and down the shoreline.

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Last sunset.

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Thursday morning found us, along with two other couples, moving south to BlueWater Resort casino in Parker, AZ for the night.  We arrived early and grabbed three nice places in the parking lot.

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Little did we know that we arrived the day before the beginning of the “BlueWater Parker 425” offroad race.

Lots of interesting sights to see on Friday morning.  Too bad we had to leave before things really got started.

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It’s not a cheap sport!

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From there it was back to Dome Rock for the 2018 Fiberglass Gathering.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 little white trailers which included Casitas, Scamps, Olivers, Escapes, Bigfoots, Burros, and a number of other brands not manufactured anymore.

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The Goodyear blimp was even spotted overhead, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there for us.

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A group of us took a hike to Skull Cave in Kofa Wildlife Refuge one morning.

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The most remarkable thing that happened during the gathering was on Saturday.  Each year there is a “ladderball” tournament.  Though Wanda and I have played the game, we didn’t sign up, but decided to go watch as we had some friends playing.  There were over twenty teams competing. 

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As the first round of competition came to an end, it was realized that there was an odd team that needed a competitor.  When the leaders asked if anyone else would like to play, we volunteered.  Short story is that we won that game, the quarter finals, the semi finals, and played for the Championship.  We WON the tournament.

The 2018, Dome Rock Gathering, Ladderball Champions.

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Our biggest cheerleader.  We couldn’t have done it without her.  Wanda’s shirt, and my hat were our prizes.

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We spent the rest of the day visiting, and saying goodbye to friends.  We planned to leave Dome Rock on Sunday morning, heading back to Benson. 

The last Quartzite sunset for 2018.

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