Monday, October 26, 2020

Finishing Our Journey to New Mexico

FYI: something I forgot to mention most of the pictures in this blog and the last one were taken through a dirty front windshield. Even though Tom cleaned the windshield at least once a day it was a losing battle.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I ended the last blog with our stay at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Park. After 2 days and 3 nights of enjoying the quiet of this park today we pulled in the slides and were on our way. 

As we went by the equipment in the middle picture
we both mentioned we were driving by a lot of money.

As I mentioned in the last blog this was our first time 
driving through Kansas and our take away is
it is very flat. Another year we will plan to spend
more time in this stare and do some expolring.

Driving into Oklahoma on I-40 we have never seen a
sign today on US 54 I saw two. 

Not that many miles and we were crossing into Texas.
Three states today and all very flat.

Interestingly the one place that was not flat was the entrance into the Walmart in Dumas, Texas where we spent the night. Not that much of an incline but enough to cross our fingers that the mud flap would not drag. One thing I never think to take a picture of is the Walmarts. Just in case you are wondering they pretty much all look the same. I will say, the fact that they are no longer open 24 hours does make for a quiet night.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

We started today's ride on what are called a Farm to Market Road in Texas. I would compare it to a county road back in Michigan only the speed limit would be slightly slower. Not a bad road until you meet a semi going in the opposite direction then it seems very narrow. As we set out today for the first time on this trip we do not know what today's end destination will be. This is how we have always traveled until the pandemic hit and the world changed. It feels good to plan as we go.

Yes, that is the speed limit on this road.

When we reached US-385 I could see on the map it
might be a few more miles to stay on it until we 
reached I-40 but we decided it would be an easier 
ride then spending more time on another Farm to Market.

It ended up being the right decision and we had some
lovely views. As we approached Vega, TX we could
see I-40 ahead.

As we merged onto I-40 I could stop looking up directions.
We have been on this route more then once.

Finally a windmill. I had to do a lot of cropping 
but I got the picture.

Then a familiar sign over the highway ahead.
I think New Mexico has one of the best signs 
welcoming you to their state.

It is beginning to feel like we are in the southwest.

Reaching Santa Rosa we turned onto US-54.
This route will take us over to I-25 and avoid 
going through Albuquerque.

We were pleasantly surprised to find part of the way
was now four lanes. We had thought about stopping
at a Rest Area for the night just past Vaughn. As we
sat there, bottom left, and talked Tom decided to keep 
driving so we headed out for a couple more hours.

Middle pictures are of Salt Flats.

This is the best part of the ride. We are on US-60 here
and getting close to I-25. The views as you come
around the corner are beautiful.

Turning south and merging on to I-25 we did not have
many miles to go before our stop for the night.
The Walking Sands Rest Area.

As soon as we stopped I got out and made a quick
walk back up the road and was able 
to catch the end of tonights sunset.
Our first New Mexico sunset. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Yesterday was a long day which may explain why even though we were right next to I-25 we both slept quite well. Today will not be as long and will be our last night on the road for awhile. Not exactly sure where we will stop tonight looking at the map there is a rest area in Lordsburg, NM which might be a good choice. We will see how the day unfolds.

We lucked out today as we went down and up this hill no
wind at all. The windsock at the bottom was not moving.

As the passenger I think this is one of the prettiest
sections we have driven on I-25.

Getting close to our exit to make the cut across to 
Deming, NM and I-10

We exit drive over the Rio Grande and into
Hatch, NM the Chili Capital of the World.

Continuing on NM-26 we are making our way to 
Deming, NM. Another nice surprise this highway
has been redone. We went by this solar farm and
 I do not think we have ever seen quite this big of
 solar panels before in a field.
A little farther down and we pass by another solar
farm the type we have seen before.

Solar panels as far as the eye can see.

We have made it to I-10 and construction. 
I did manage to get a picture of the sign announcing
that we were crossing the Continental Divide.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

We spent our last night on the road at a small rest area in Lordsburg, NM. When we arrived there was only one other RV there. We really made it just in time because in no time at all the parking lot was full. No hurry this morning as we have only about an hours drive to our destination.

All along the drive into the rest area were my 
favorite desert plant, Ocotillos.
They were all covered with their tiny green leaves.

Merging on to I-10 for a few miles.

I am not sure that a blog about driving in New Mexico 
on I-10 would be complete without pictures of 
these signs. We have been lucky and have never 
seeing them flashing. 

We are now on NM-80.

Our destination, Rusty's RV Ranch.
This will be our home for the next month.

Our site at Rusty's RV Ranch

We stayed at this park back in the spring of April 2018 and when we look out our door we can see a travel trailer in that site next to the tree in the bottom picture. We enjoyed our short stay here back then so when we were thinking about this year and where to go we decided this would be a nice place to spend some time. Two things are different since last time. Then there was no AT&T coverage; there is now a new tower just a couple of miles down the road and our service is excellent. Last time the Internet here in the park was fast this time I am finding it to slow to be useful not complaining just a fact and would not be a reason not to come back. If we are in this area we see ourselves staying here again.

We are very happy with this site.

It is a nice size and with the trees and bushes 
surrounding the site it feels very private.

We are glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Our Seventh Adventure Begins

Saturday, October 24, 2020

I know it has been a while since I posted a blog. For what ever reason I just could not seem to motive myself to do so. Yet, since, this blog is a diary of our life in retirement living out our dream I knew if for no other reason then to be able to look back on our time living this dream I needed to get back to it. It will probably take me a couple of posts to get caught up to real time but then anyone who reads this blog knows that is nothing new for me.

We are presently parked at Rusty's RV Ranch near Rodeo, New Mexico. The Stinger "B" drove through the gate on October 10th and we will be here until November 10th. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

We said goodbye to the seven people pictured below and pulled out of Escanaba on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.  We so look forward to the adventure we are on in this our retirement yet at the same time as we head out it is bittersweet as we know we will miss them each and every day. It was a busy summer in Escanaba and I will do some summer catching up in a couple of posts. 

Our daughter and her family.

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge we leave the UP behind.
It was a pleasant surprise to see color on our entire trip.

Our destination was Ypsilanti, Michigan where we stayed at the Detroit Greenfield RV Park. We spent seven days there visiting with our son and his family and it was a busy week filled with hugs from our grandchildren and visiting with their parents. All to soon it was time to say goodbye and move on. Another bittersweet moment as we will miss them every day, also, as we pursue our retirement dream. More about that time in my catch up post.

Our son and his family.

We left Detroit Greenfield park on Wednesday, September 30th, though it was a short drive south. Only 30 miles today and our first stop was a Cabela's in Dundee, Michigan. Tom had something he wanted to look at inside the store, plus, I order groceries from the Kroger down the road for curbside pickup.

Thursday, October 1, 2020 (Our Seventh Adventure Truly Begins)

We crossed the border into Ohio at approximately 10:30AM leaving Michigan in the rearview window with all the possibilities of the months to come ahead of us. This will be the third time I use this word in this blog but it is so true. It is truly a bittersweet feeling to leave Michigan behind because in that state we leave our children and grandchildren who we love more then we can say.  As we head out on this adventure we also leave family and friends behind all of whom we will miss. 

This has been our retirement dream, I know I have said it before and fair warning I will probably say it again, for as long as both of us can remember. Though this year will be a different type of adventure. The pandemic hangs over our country and the world. The cases increase daily and the deaths from this virus continue to add up. Knowing all this one may question why we would choose to leave all those we care about and still head towards ths southwest. As most of you know we live fulltime in this motorhome we lovingly call the Stinger "B" and she is not made to be a home in the cold of Michigan. So after some back and forth the only decision that made sense was to continue living our retirement as planned. After how quickly things changed earlier this year we have made more definite type plans for our first couple of months this adventure something we have never done before. As I mentioned above we are at this park for a month and when we leave here it will be to move to another RV Park near Huachuca City, Arizona for a month. That will bring us to December and before we leave there we will have a plan in place as to where we are going next. The hope is we will be on our way to the desert near Quartzsite and dry camping. For right now with all that has been going on in this country we felt it best to be tucked into RV Parks for a couple of months. Another reality about this year is our Canadian Friends are most likely not going to be crossing the border and traveling in the US this winter. Knowing this brings a definite sadness into our hearts as we will miss them dearly.

To catch up I will be doing two blogs on our journey to this place. Probably one or two summer catch ups and then a couple of blogs of what we have been doing since we arrived in this place. The "plan" is to be in real time before November 1st.

Crossing into Ohio
it was nice to still see the colors of fall.

The decision is to mostly spend time on US and State
Highways. How can you not smile when you see a
happy water tower out the window?

Small towns and farms along the way.
When it is more practical for traveling we will
turn onto Interstates.

One large solor farm.

Not sure who thought roundabouts would be fun.

We spent the night at a Walmart in 
Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Looking out in the morning across the parking lot.
The full moon in the early morning light.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Under wonderfully blue skies we left the Walmart parking lot in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Today's destination a Walmart in Hannibal, Missouri. One thing I wanted to mention is most of this trip, except for a short time near Springfield, Illinois, until we connected with I-40 in Texas we spent on highways in areas of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas we had never traveled before. Actually we had never been across Kansas before at all.

Driving back through Crawfordsville on our way
to I-74.

Today's journey was mostly on I-74 then I-72 it was the
quickest route across Illinois and the goal was to get
across Illinois and into Missouri today.

We saw this sign a couple of times today.

We traveled on some rough road today.
Our thought as we road under this sign:
Hope to see you guys out in the White Lion
in the months ot come. 
The road ahead as we continue

across Illinois.

Then there was the sign we were waiting to see
ahead is the Mississippi River and Missouri.

Crossing the Mississippi River.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Another day moving west under blue skies. We really have been lucky as far as the weather so far on this journey.

Definitly harvest time in Missouri.
When we stopped for diesel in Bevier, MO
we had matching trucks on either side fueling up.

Learned something new today,
Cameron, MO is the crossroads of the nation.

Our destination today was yet another Walmart in St. Joseph, MO not our best choice for a couple of reasons. First of all I always call ahead to make sure they allow overnight parking and the person I talked to said they did. We had planned a short drive today just about four hours and we planned on pulling into the parking lot mid afternoon which we did. I had scheduled a grocery pick up for between 5 and 6. They had a security vehicle circling the parking lot but he never stopped during the afternoon. I should note here there were no signs saying, no overnight parking allowed. The grocery pickup was over an hour late and all I will say about that is it was not the young girls doing the orders it was the managers lack of properly staffing the job which I found out when I went in to return something. They explained at the service desk that it was a daily complaint yet the manager would not add staff to help. Plus, he lets more orders come in then they could handle on a daily basis. 
About 7 o'clock the security vehicle stopped and he explained to Tom we could stay until the store closed but overnight parking was not allowed. Luckily he was able to direct us to a parking area across the way where we would be able to park for the night. So in the end it all worked out. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

We left our overnight parking space under grey skies and when we merged onto I-29 all we could see ahead was fog.

Sometime around 8:00AM we crossed the border
into Kansas. A new state for us.

On the western side of Kansas City. 
Surprisingly there is some consturction
going on this Sunday morning.
More pictures of the road

and sights ahead as we continue

to make our way south and west.

As the miles fell behind us the clouds disappeared

and blue skies were all we could see above us.

Then we can see a water tower with Pratt on it.
This is today's destination. 

Friends back in the UP who make the trip out to Albuqueque, NM each summer to spend time with one of their son's and his family told us about this County Park in Pratt. They thought we would like it and they were abolutely right. We ended up spending three nights here. 

Monday and Tuesday, October 5 and 6, 2020

After spending three nights at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Park near Pratt, KS we are hooked up and ready to continue our journey.

This is a small park that is well mantained. For $15 dollars a night we had water and electric hookups and the use of a dump station. There are several long level graveled pull through sites available. It is a first come first serve park but at this time of the year there did not seem to be a lack of available space. If we come this way again we would definitely stop for one or two nights.

At this point we are about halfway to our desination. The rest of the journey will be in the next post.

We are glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.