"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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Quite a Ride.



We had quite a ride the past seven weeks.  52 days away from home, to be exact.  This was the first time since I retired that we departed home with no definite destination.   I kind of like that way of traveling.

Some could say we have become snowbirds, like those from Canada and the Midwest.  But, as we have little snow in our part of the world, we were only leaving the damp, cloudy, and depressing days of Winter in the deep South.  Not sure what our moniker should be.

We followed the good weather more than a map.  It sent us South toward Big Bend for most of a week, and kept us in Organ Pipe for seven nights.  We had sunshine every day from the time we left San Antonio on January 7th, till we arrived home on February 19th.


We spent a week in Quartzite during the big tent event, and returned two weeks later for the Dome Rock Gathering.  We were guests at a wedding, and met a number of other bloggers at Bloggerfest II.


We made a couple of day trips to Mexico, and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was returning to the US, compared to a return from Canada. 

We passed a sign that said Oceanside California, 78 miles.  Maybe we should have kept going, and dipped our toes in the Pacific.

Once on the way home, there were few distractions.  Tucson; Columbus, NM; Balmorhea state park, Texas; Cranes Mill CoE, Texas; and Sandy Creek CoE, Texas.  Sunday through Thursday.  We pulled in our driveway at 3 PM on Friday. 

6300 miles and lots of memories; lots of friends.  The desert Southwest is like no other place we have visited.  The barren landscapes are said to be a place to avoid, devoid of life.  Until one has experienced them, that’s easy to believe.

But once you spend some time there and smell the air, listen to the wildlife, and watch the sunsets, you realize that’s just a myth.  There is life in the desert, and we enjoy being a part of it for a short time each year.

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Sally’s already looking forward to the next visit…..jc

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Palomas, MX

And, the Pink Store.

Just a couple of miles South of Columbus, New Mexico is Palomas, Mexico.  A very small, rural village right on the border.  About the only thing Palomas has going for itself is the Pink Store.  I was so enamored, I forgot to take a picture of the exterior, so this is one a friend posted on Facebook.


It’s filled with lots of stuff.  All of it colorful.

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Need a chicken?

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Or, maybe a platter to serve one on.

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More stuff.

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We had a wonderful early supper in the cantina/restaurant.

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A number 10.

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But the ticket was a bit disturbing.

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All those Roca’s add up.  Thankfully, those were Peso’s rather than dollars.

After making a couple of other purchases, we slipped back across the border.  Thankfully, Wanda hadn’t enjoyed as many Roca’s as me, and returned us safely to the campground in Columbus…..jc

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Columbus, New Mexico


If someone was to ask you where the first United States Army Air base was located, would you know?  Possibly Columbus, Ohio, or even Columbus, Mississippi.  I’m thinking the odds that you would say Columbus, New Mexico would be slim.  But, thanks to a guy named Pancho Villa, Columbus, New Mexico was on the cutting edge of technology back in March, 1916. There is now a state park commerating all that took place back then.

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The first use of airplanes in warfare took place in Columbus, NM.  A very small village just two miles North of the Mexican border.  Pancho Villa led the last invasion of the Continental United States by a foreign nation, and the response was much like Pearl Harbor.

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The invasion wasn’t only against the military.

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There’s a lot of interesting displays in the museum which was recently renovated and updated.

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Imagine attempting to drive one of these across the desert landscape.

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Or, taking a ride in this. The Jeffery Quad Armored Truck.  Reminded me of John Wayne, and the movie, War Wagon.

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The incorporation of all this modern technology into the military led to anothe first for Columbus.

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There’s a lot of history on display in Columbus.  The village is about thirty miles South of Deming, and the park has a really nice campground with water and electric hookups.  If staying in the campground, a visit to the museum is free.  The museum has much more than I have touched on here, but its pride and joy is this.

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A Curtis JN-3 Bi-Plane, just like those that flew from Columbus’s air strip, searching Mexico for Pancho Villa…….jc

Monday, February 15, 2016

Duck and Cover


How many of you remember that from your grade school years?  I’m glad to say that I don’t, being from a very rural area of the South, I guess we weren’t much of a target.  I do remember the news of Sputnik, and the announcement of larger and larger nuclear tests during the late fifties and early sixties.  Russian ICBM’s was something that the news reported on weekly, and the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction was the defense strategy of the time.

On Sunday, Wanda and I made a visit to the last surviving Titan II missle silo in the World.  All the other silos were destroyed in the eighties.  This one is located about twenty miles South of Tucson, and most everything appeared as it did in the sixties.


If you’re wondering about the Count; he is, or was, the chairman of the Arizona Aerospace Foundation, which has the Pima Air and Space Museum, as well as this facility.

Constructed in the early 1960’s, the silo was one of many, located in three states.  It was our answer to the Russian threat.  It housed a missle tipped with a hydrogen bomb, capable of destroying most any city unlucky enough to be it’s target. 


I loved all the old analog equipment.  You cell phone probably has more capability.



The latest communication equipment, also.




One of the springs that supposedly isolated the control room from a direct hit.


I found it ironic that we put our name on the missle.  I doubt there would be anyone around to read it.


This is the engine that was capable of launching the missle over 45 miles high, and on it’s way to it’s target.



This little guy, about the size of a basketball, did the final adjusting on the target.


The pattern on the exhaust reminded me of Damascus steel.


After returning to the campground, and waiting on the sunset, I noticed this saquaro next to our site.  The sun made the spines look like neon.


Just another Arizona sunset.





On to New Mexico…jc

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dome Rock Molded Fiberglass Gathering


We departed Ehrenburg Monday morning, and made the long fifteen mile journey back East to Dome Rock.  The Quartzite Rally, or gathering, was to begin on Thursday.  We arrived just in time to see Charlie Brown cruising Westward toward Los Angeles.  Apparently, he was using I-10 as his primary navigational aid.

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Though the gathering didn’t officially start till Thursday, there were already lots of trailers scattered across the desert.  These two pictures were taken as the sun first touched them on Tuesday morning.

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Lots of Casita’s, Scamps, Escape’s and Olivers; with a few other older, rebuilt, brands such as Boler and U-Haul.

I did’nt take many pictures.  We spent our time visiting and eating.  We managed three visits to Silly Al’s Pizza during the week.  A great place to catch up with friends you don’t see very often. Wonderful pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwichs; with a choice of many unique beverages.

We also managed to meet with some friends we made through the years on the Utah tour.  It’s always great to see them.  One couple got away before I could get their picture, but I did manage to get some shots of others.  It was early, and I had everyone squinting.

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That’s Sally’s friend, Peggy Sue, with her back to the camera.  She’s a beautiful dapple dachshund. We’re thinking about dognapping her.

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More friends we made years ago on a Utah tour.

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We had to suffer through more of these each day.

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The final count of trailers on Saturday morning was over 170.  I was told that makes the Quartzite Gathering the largest molded fiberglass rally in the world.  Way too large to be able to visit with everyone.  We did make some new friends from Victoria, BC, and another couple from Minnesota that works in Glacier NP each Summer.  I’m thinking we need to start planning a trip back to the Northwest.

We departed Dome Rock around 9 AM on Saturday.  Arrived at Gilbert Ray campground near Tucson around 2 PM.  Just in time to grab the next to last site.  Forgot it was a holiday weekend. 

We enjoyed a quiet afternoon, and another of God’s paintings from the campground.

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Making our way home…Sad smile…..jc