"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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

City of Rocks

 

We departed home on Tuesday, the third.  A day later than planned, but the weather forecast of heavy rain and the threat of tornados for Monday had us hanging at home.  The storm came through as predicted and we had two confirmed tornados in our County.  Thankfully they were EF-1’s, and caused minor damage.

Tuesday afternoon found us at our normal first stop. Sandy Creek CoE near Jasper, TX.  After getting set up I happened to notice something in one of the truck tires. A quick trip back into Jasper looking for a tire store.  Found one with thirty minutes before closing.  They removed the tire and found a two inch screw. Removed the screw, applied a patch, and I was ready to go before five.  Twelve bucks.  I thought it was quite a deal.

From Jasper, we moved on to Cranes Mill CoE on Canyon Lake, near San Antonio.  Nice weather Wednesday and Thursday.  We made the drive into San Antonio for some shopping along the riverwalk on Thursday, and it was shortsleeve temps.  The weather started changing Thursday evening and we awoke Friday morning to a temperature of 24 degrees. On Friday, we made a Walmart run, and met some friends for dinner at a wonderful little Italian restaurant near the campground. Saturday’s low was 22 degrees, and it was 24 as we pulled out of the campground.  A good day’s drive got us to Balmorhea State Park.  A couple hundred miles short of El Paso, but a really nice place for an overnight. 

Sunday found us on the road early, again.  Bypassed El Paso to the North, and made our way to City of Rocks state park north of Demings, NM.  Our first time here.  A very unusual geological formation in the middle of nowhere.

We had a beautiful spot back in the rocks for Sunday night. 

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Though the park is a couple thousand acres, I would think the main boulder field to be about forty acres.  Oh, to be a kid again and have this place to play in.

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Holes used by Native Americans for grinding grain.

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The ancients also left a few other reminders of their time here, if you knew where to look.

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On Monday morning we lucked out and got one of the eight electric sites.  We wanted it so we could watch the championship game between Alabama and Clemson.

After getting set up in our new site, I headed out for a hike.  Going up there!

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It didn’t take long for the trail to get real.

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Desert water hole.

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Gaining altitude.

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Another water hole.  Large round pads, no claws, Mountain lion?

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I made it to the top.  A good start for 2017.

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Love this Country…….jc

Monday, December 26, 2016

It’s Almost Over! 2016, that is!

 

Seems just a few days ago we were at Fountainbleu state park in Louisiana for a New Years gathering with friends.  Actually it was a year ago.  Time does indeed speed up as the years go by.

December is usually a quiet month for us, and this one was much the same.  Not many plans, just get up and see what the day brings.

The brother and I build three box stands for deer hunting one day. 

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The next day we disassembled them, loaded all three on a trailer, trucked them about eighty miles, and reassembled them in various locations around the property.

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While at home I get a chance to try a few new recipes.  We love chargrilled oysters and I received a dozen ceramic oyster shells for my birthday.   We purchased a quart of fresh shucked oysters just to try them out.

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Though they weren’t as good as Acme’s, they turned out really well.  We will be using the shell quite often as we hone the recipe.

On another rainy Saturday I built a “pork bomb”.  A pound of hot sausage rolled out with a rolling pin, stuffed with things such a sweet peppers, spinich, green onions, mushrooms and plenty of cheese.  It’s rolled up and set aside while a weave is made of thick sliced bacon.  Then the sausage roll is rolled up inside the bacon.

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Three hours on the smoker and it looks like this.

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We carried it to a little Christmas gathering.  Wish I had taken a better picture.

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None remained to bring back home, so I guess it was a successful dish.

Christmas Eve found us on the road to Natchez for a weekend with family.  Didn’t seem much like Christmas with the sunny skies and warm temps.

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Our granddaughter decided it was time she learned the secrets of Christmas Eve gumbo. Three generations watching one pot.  Gotta get that roux just right.

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She did a great job, and will probably be the one preparing it from now on.

The Christmas Day meal consisted of grilled pork tenderloins, stuffed venison tenderloins, baked ham, shrimp and grits, sweet and sour green beans, breads, and bread pudding for dessert.  And, it all has to start with shrimp cocktails.

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Hungry, yet?

On a more serious note, we hope everyone had a blessed Christmas Day.  Hopefully, 2016 was a good year for all of you, and 2017 will be even better.  We had a wonderful year with numerous journeys and are planning for more next year.  Hope all the plans come to fruition.  2017 isn’t here yet, but it’s already off to a great start.  The granddaughter received this today (Monday).

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Yep, she’s engaged; to a great guy!….jc

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1

 

It’s hard to believe that December has arrived.  The weather has been more like September.  I took a ride to town today and took notice of our few hardwood trees.  They are just now showing off their colors.  When you live in the land of pine trees, it is always fun to see a flash of yellow or red.

I took a few pictures through the windshield with the point and shoot.

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I still had the camera in my pocket as I walked out to the mailbox this afternoon, our sideyard looked to be glowing.

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We have been under a burn ban for the last couple of months.  The storms of the past week have brought us much needed rain, and the ban was terminated yesterday.  I have two large piles of fallen pine limbs, as well as a downed tree which was hit by lightning.  Tomorrow, I’ll be doing what most men love.

Playing with Fire…..jc