Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in review, our trip west

     As 2016 winds to a close it is time for us to reflect on this years travels. Our 5 month tour of the west ended to soon. We wish we could have kept  going another couple of weeks, but we both had over  due  doctors appointments. 
     Some of the highlights included travel thru and  visits to 19 different states, including Florida. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia.
     We also visited 20 National Parks, Monuments and Seashores. Gulf Island NS, The National World War Two Museum, Carlsbad Caverns NP, Bandelier NM, Guadalupe Mountain NP, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison NP, Colorado NM, Hovenweeps NM,  Rocky Mountain NP, Arches NP, Bryce,  Canyon NP, Natural Bridge NP, North Rim of the Grand Canyon NP, Vermillion Cliffs NM, Grand Staircase  Escalante NM, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Zion NP and Curecanti Nat. Rec. Area.
     Some of the other areas we visited that weren't national parks were just as interesting. Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley, Moki Dugway, Mexican Hat, Twin Rocks, Gooseneck State Park, Sand Island Petro graphs, Fort Bluff, Edges of the Cedars State Park, Lake Powell, Pikes Peak and the towns of Durango, Quray, Silverton and Colorado Springs with the Air Force Academy and the Olympic training center. In western Nebraska the town of Ogallala with its Boot Hill and the Fabulous Petrified Wood Gallery and Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala. Also the Royal Gorge in Canyon City. This is not to slight any of the other national parks which were also great. I believe we list most of the major attractions we visited and may have skipped a few.
     Overall we had a super trip. It was extremely hot most of the trip and did limit many of our hikes. Most of our hikes were short but enjoyable even with the heat and high altitude. We enjoyed all the parks but some of our favorites were horse back ridding in Bryce Canyon NP (very exciting but at times scary). Black Canyon of the Gunnison a  beautiful park with cooler temperatures . Rocky Mountain NP were we followed at a safe distance a large bull moose. Also the trail rim road to the Alpine visitors center and to the town of Grand Lake. The swamp tour in Louisiana and   a guided tour of Monument Valley with a Indian Guide. In Cedar Breaks NM we enjoyed millions of wild flowers were the wild flower festival was taking place. We also enjoyed many scenic two lane roads where some of the roads were more like a lane and a half and a white knuckle drive. Just part of the wonderful adventure.
     From Iowa it was a sprint to Pennsylvania for a visit with our three boys and their wives. Then another sprint to Florida in time for doctor visits. And guess What? THE HEAT WAS ON. We got home in time for some very hot weather.  As I an writing this the temps are in the 80's, still a little unseasonal  warm for this time of the year. But I tell our kids, I rather run the AC then the heater.
     We were home two days when it looked like we were going to take a direct hit from hurricane Matthew. We never finished unpacking the RV. So we threw some food back in and took off for a safer area out of  the predicted path of the hurricane. That is when our wonderful dog  "Hurricane Hannah" came into our lives. She was found wondering by our neighbors. She had no collar, chip or other identification. With checking with the local authorizes she wasn't reported missing. She had a few medical problems which we had  treated.  Hannah is now part of our family. She is finishing up one obedience training program and starts another new one in January.  
  The only problem we had was a break problem with our car, most likely cause by our auxiliary braking system.
     Hopefully in 2017 we can get an earlier start and beat the heat and the vacation season before the kids get out of school.
     Thank you for following along all these years. We wish you all good health and safe travels to all our friends and acquaintances  that are still on the road.         

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Los Alamos New Mexico, Manhattan Project National Historical Park

While staying in Santa Fe we also visited
       Los Alamos the Secret City: After passing thru a guard booth and showing ID and told we couldn’t take pictures  we entered the town of Los Alamos. We passed thru a area that is still doing research, I guess. Then we enter the town itself. It is just like any other small US town, but with a secret history. The first stop is the Bradbury Science Museum.  The museum tells the story of the Manhattan Project. Two great short movies help tell  the story, along with the many other items in the museum include many great photo's. We then did the Townsite Properties Walking Tour. It is a tour with 16 stops along the route. We did miss a few stops as our bellies were telling us it was dinner time. Since November of 2015 Los Alamos in part of the National Park Service’ along with Oak Ridge TN and Hanford WA. Way to much to write about here, see
    At the other end of town there is no guard booth.  We took a lot of photo's on the walking tour but can't find them among the thousands we took from our 2016 trip west as we label our trip from May to October. When we do find them we will add them to our blog.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bandelier National Monument New Mexico

While visiting Santa Fe we toured Bandier National Monument.

     It is located about a half to three quarters of an hour from Santa Fe . It is approximately 40 miles.  We were told to get there by 8 o’clock to be able to go in with our car, or you would need to take the shuttle. We did and that was a great tip as we had our picnic lunch and extra water with us, in the car, and didn’t have to carry it. The shuttles run very frequently. There was a nice picnic area at the visitors center.
This RV Park is near the entrance station near the shuttle pickup. It is a paved lot. Not sure of hookups or cost.  There is another campground in the park.  There are no hookups and it has 94 sites. I believe the cost is $12, 1/2  with the senior pass.

     We did a great hike, Main loop trail, before it got to hot, as the predicted high was around 95 degrees, and most of the hike was in full sun.  Part of the hike is wheelchair accessible. The Main loop trail to some of the cliff dwellings.

Bob leading the way on the lower flat trail.

A kiva

See the dwelling in the distance

Getting closer

A view on the way up the trail. Park road in distance.

Looking down on the village

Getting steep with many stairs.

Nobody home.
Linda looking down at Bob, before it get's very narrow.

Linda waiting for Bob to take the picture.

Map of the trail system.

Some of the petroglyph

Linda trying to get a little shade LOL. It was getting hot and there is no shuttle

Looking back

On level ground

A love story

Part of the falls trail, to hot to finish.

The Canyon

The desert in bloom

Friday, October 14, 2016

Santa Fe New Mexcio

Our next stop on our western trip was in Santa Fe New Mexico. What a great stop. We could have spent more time in this area. The friendly people, the architecture, and churches and the food, remember Bob doesn't like Mexican food. Well did he change his mind. It was hard to choose some photo's of the 100's we took. Here are just a few.

The architecture is great

Selling jewelry in from of the governor house.

 Narrow streets,  off the town square.

The great old hotel La Fonda

The Loretto Chapel

The Cathedral

Every town must have a flea market.
Don't ask, but unusual to say the least

100's pf decorated paint brushes.

A close up
The farmers market

So much to choose from,

 Even chickens, many different breeds.

The craft show in the town square with many beautiful items


This smiling face created a beautiful fountain he created we couldn't pass up. Until now we were gift free from our trip, other then memories.

 A vintage tour van

 The hotel where we had lunch

We saw a wedding from our second floor seats.

Bob with the winning bacon bloody Mary, from the bar competition.

 Inside the La Fonda hotel

Street art

We relied  on  Trip Advisor as a guide for finding restaurants. There were so many in Santa Fe, we  usually picked one's in the top ten and near our location while touring.

The Ranch House was very close to the RV Park we were staying at, was mostly  good old BBQ.

The Pantry was Mexican
Bob indulging in his first Mexican dish  

 Linda's pick

More Mexican, Bob is getting braver