Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Takin' It Easy

Tuesday we left Albuquerque heading westward on I40, up over the Continental Divide no problem. Across the Arizona border...loosing another hour, that makes a 2 hour time loss in 2 days...thank goodness Arizona doesn't participate in Daylight Savings, no more time changes for 6 months. Moving right along since it's now downhill, soon ominous clouds started gathering in the west, so easy to see, as my mom says. "I can stretch my eyes".

I have the NOAA app on my I-phone, 5 miles from our exit it starts alerting we were in a tornado watch, then the skies opened up with hail, we got the rig off to the shoulder and along with other like minded souls waited out the storm. 20 minutes or so and we could move along to our last stop for 3 nights.

 We are staying at Homolovi Ruins State Park, just 3 miles east of Winslow AZ. We are in site 18 and have what we believe is one of the best sites in the park. Our views out our window is expansive, in the evening we can see the lights of Winslow off in the distance. Close enough to the interstate to be a great place to overnight, could be a place we come back to when heading into Phoenix.

 While here of course we went into Winslow.

 To stand on the corner with Don Henley.

This area is steeped in Route 66 history, we've traveled different parts of the Mother Road. In Arizona much of Route 66 is covered over by I40. Around here at times all you'll find left is old telephone lines and nearby if you look close you can see the remnants of the old road.

Homolovi Ruins SP was once where the Anasazi people tilled the Little Colorado River floodplain before finishing their migration north to join the Hopi living on the mesas. In 1986 in an effort to preserve the area the Hopi people supported the idea of a state park. The park is still part of their homeland and they continue to make pilgrimages here.

While Homolovi Ruins SP has a large footprint there are only 3 hiking trails here and two ruins. We spent one morning exploring the park, because of the rain and the muddy trails we only made it to one of the ruins. We enjoyed the two trails we hiked and one set ruins we toured.

Can you see our silver truck between the buttes

While coming west Tuesday we passed Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. Today we headed back to visit the park, 4 more stamps for my National Park Passport. We have been here before and that time spent most of our time in the Petrified Forest area, this time most of our time was spent in the Painted Desert and on the Blue Mesa. 


Painted Desert Inn a stop on Route 66 and now a historic landmark.

 Route 66 traveled through the Petrified Forest

Puerco Pueblo and petroglyphs.

We took a hike from the top of Blue Mesa down into Blue Forest.

 Then we had to hike back up to the top of Blue Mesa-got my cardio

Tomorrow we head in to Mesa and soon we'll begin our workamping jobs. Once we've got our schedule then we can start making plans with friends who are already in the area.

Until next time...

Monday, October 19, 2015

On The Road to Arizona

We left Wisconsin on a beautiful Tuesday morning, the first part of our ride was through Iowa's Driftless Area. More rolling hills until we reached US 20 and headed west. We picked up I35 and headed south. Our destination was an overnight in Ankeny at Prairie Flower COE to visit a friend.

Praire Flower Campground is located on Lake Saylorville and has beautiful sites. They are electric only, concrete pads, some with outstanding views of the lake. Some have shade and others none. Another great COE park...think we'll be back.

Site C82

 Last winter we became friends with some of the workampers at Gulf Waters, Paul and Cindy have become good friends and we always have fun whatever we do. Paul and Cindy have been volunteering at the Oak Grove day use area on Lake Saylorville, just next door to where we were camped. Unfortunately Cindy had already left for Mesa AZ and her winter position as office manager at Meridian RV Resort in Apache Junction. After setting up we found Paul down at the lake with a stringer of yellow perch. Needless to say Dave really wanted to get a pole out but it was already late in the afternoon. Paul treated us to dinner at Fong's Pizzeria in Ankeny, quite different and very good. Of course no pictures of the whole evening, too much catching up going on. Thanks Paul for a great dinner, see you in AZ soon. I've said it before but it bears repeating, we have so many friends already planning on being in AZ for some or all of the's going to be a fun winter.

On the road the next morning by 8:10, 380 miles later we arrived at El Dorado State Park in El Dorado KS...south I35 all the way with bypasses around the major cities.  The terrain has transformed from crops to range land, though we are zipping by I enjoy watching the changes of the countryside, the style of homes and the small glimpses of life I get along an interstate.

El Dorado State Park is about 8 miles off of I35, we took site 29 in the walkin area. Great Verizon and we easily got a signal with our portable satellite. We'll be here for two nights with FHU's, a little decompression time from all of our visiting.

We enjoyed our down day at El Dorado, took a walk through the campground and then rested my back which decided to bother me for no reason.

Our next stop was at Roman Nose State Park in Watunga OK, most of the time we love state parks, well this one not so much. Sites were tight in our area, in other areas they were pretty sad looking.

We were there over a beautiful weekend and the park was full. We did get out an enjoy a few trails in the park.

 Our next stop was Amarillo TX for an overnight at Oasis RV Park on the west side of town. We had thought to go to Palo Duro Canyon State Park for a few days but heard there was no internet so instead we took an afternoon ride into the park. Now don't get me wrong it was a great park and all but when you've already hiked in the UT/AZ/CO National Parks it just doesn't compare.

While in the area we of course drove by Cadillac Ranch and had dinner at The Big Texan, both Route 66 landmarks. This was our second time for dinner and we enjoyed another great meal...we could even take home leftovers this time.

For the last week or so we have been a few stops behind our friends Gail & Rick of the former blog Gypsy Turtles, we fist met them in the summer of '13 in Vermont.  Gail was the first blogger I met and encouraged me to take the blog public. So many great friendships have resulted from taking the blog public. Today we decided to stop on the west side of Albuquerque at High Desert RV Park where they are spending a few days.

It was great to see them  and again thank you Gail & Rick for dinner...see you soon. They are on the way to Yuma where they plan to winter...I know there will be a few more meetups over the winter.

Friday we head into Mesa, tomorrow our travels will take us to Winslow AZ and Homovoli Ruins State Park.It's been a fun trip south, still don't think it's set in we're not going back to VT. Seems like we're away for the winter again. Guess when we don't head north east in the spring it might set in. Life is good.

Until next time...