Saturday, December 23, 2017


Holiday Greetings from Texas!

We hope this little note finds you doing well and enjoying the holidays.

We’ve followed our usual schedule this year, spending the hot months on the road. Our summer travels began in May. We began by heading for the Black Hills and Badlands areas of South Dakota, where we enjoyed the cooler weather as well as the scenery and history. Custer Battlefield was a highlight. Then, to Nevada for the annual 4th of July BBQ, and Tailgate Training Camp with friends in Oregon. We enjoyed visiting with sister Diana in Utah, and then spent several pleasant days rambling through state parks in Oregon, Utah and Colorado. Overall we traveled 7,884 miles. That’s a lot of scenery!

An early snowstorm did its best to get us in the holiday spirit, and the boys enjoyed playing in the fluffy white stuff. Steve’s mother is doing well. She joined us for Thanksgiving, and was here to enjoy the rare event. In the photo, Jaxen is proudly showing off his first missing tooth.

We’re keeping plenty busy when we’re at home. In addition to working around the place we’ve been on the road a lot helping out the kids. Kendra has developed some serious health challenges that prevent her from driving, so we’re filling in shuttling kids, and getting her to appointments. The boys are growing like weeds, and we enjoy every minute with them.

So that’s our 2017! We want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year! And don’t forget to look us up if you’re out this way. We’re always open for visitors!

Monday, August 28, 2017


As I sit at home listening to the wind and rain from Hurricane Henry I recall some of the highlights of our trip and want to document some of the statistics resulting from our travels.

We left home May 24 as the temp. was approaching the Mid-90's heading to an area we enjoyed during last years travels. . . . The Badlands, Black Hills, Deadwood, Sturgis, Devils Tower, Little Big Horn and other related battlefields. Higher in elevation, these areas were much cooler and we really enjoyed the refuge from the heat we'd left behind.

We stopped at Lewis and Clark Caverns on the way to our annual Nevada BBQ then went down through Idaho to Nevada. We visited old friends for the 4th of July in Gardnerville, then moved onto Oregon for another reunion and spending about a month at some of our favorite haunts in the Cascades, including North Davis Creek, John Day, and the Wallowa Lake.

We had a great time camping with our Oregon friends at "Tailgate Training Camp" in the Ochocho's. After Wallowa Lake we moved on to Park City, Utah to visit a relative, then on to Flaming Gorge, Utah and across Colorado (Leadville) and towards home through New Mexico.

We returned home to Texas with the temp still in the mid 90's. . . just as if we'd never left, except we missed all those 100+ degree days!

Looking back over the summer, our favorite camping site was huge, grassy space we had in Clyde Holiday State Park in Oregon and least favorite was the steep, dry weedy site in Jordenelle State Park in Utah. The State Park was fine but our particular spot was not. The slope was so severe we could barely get in and out the door.

Our favorite historical visit was Little Big Horn and the best overall vista's were at Flaming Gorge, though Wallowa Lake and Leadville were right up there. We were gone 91 days, but nothing we couldn't cope with as few places offer the humidity we have in Texas.

And now for the statistics: We traveled 7884 miles. We spent $1860 for camping fees and $2015 for fuel for at total of $3876. For the entire trip we averaged $43 per day. I don't keep track of food as we eat about the same as we do at home.

Comparisons to previous years - When we started our summer travels in 2010 (six trips over the last seven years) we had no problem finding camping spaces and only needed reservations on holiday weekends. During this last trip we usually had to make reservations for the high tourist areas months in advance and other area's weeks in advance.

Fuel prices are down, more boomers are on the road, and I think their is less foreign travel, which has increased competition for space and has certainly increased crowding and traffic in high-interest areas.

State Park Campground prices are up. Several State Park systems are now charging day use fees on top of the campground fee's and along with reservation fees some parks are approaching the $40 per night range. New Mexico is the best deal for State Parks. $14.OO a night for water and electric. Of course, for us the Federal Campgrounds are the best deal due to the 50% discount for the senior pass. These are boondocking sites, so no services, but often very scenic.

Recreation management companies now handle the camping services for many state and federal lands, and they seem to be free to add extra charges if they see fit, so read the entrance boards carefully. We stayed at a forest service campground in the Black Hills that charged $2.00 extra per day per dog. No extra services for dogs were provided - as in no off leash area or anything else, but all the usual "no dogs here" restrictions were in place.

Who knows where our travels will take us this next year. We enjoy our home on wheels and after reviewing a lot of other rigs and floorplans on the market we've evaluated our trailer and future travel plans we are going to stick with the travel trailer and truck we have. You know what they say, if it isn't broke, don't fix it!

 We are happy to be home and look forward to spending time with family. We REALLY missed the grandsons and look forward to upcoming visits by friends and family to Texas. There's lots of exploring to do here!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Homeward bound

Sunday, August 20

Storrie Lake State Park - Named for the man who began building the dam here. He had an agricultural project in mind, which never panned out, but it makes a nice fishing and boating lake. It's a nice campground, unusual in that there's a lot of boondocking area right around the shore of the lake. If we'd know that we probably wouldn't have reserved a full service site. No complaints with the site we have though.

All the standard camping sites have nice little adobe style shelters which cover the picnic tables and have a half wall on the back side, so the wind is pretty well contained while you still have light and can view the lake.

There's plenty of room to walk dogs in the meadow or on the road, as well as water to play in, in the lake or above the lake in the Gallinas River, which isn't a very big river, at least currently. We had a nice romp in it yesterday.

It rained softly all night, which finally used up some of the heavy cloud cover and, now, on Monday, we can actually see the sky!

We off now to our next camp, and a quilt shop along the way!

Monday, August 21

We made it into Las Vegas (New Mexico) just as Thread Bear was opening. There's a fairly large parking lot nearby, and since we were so early there was room for Hubby to park the rig in the lot. It was a productive stop! Beautiful fabrics in this shop, and unique.
Many I've never seen before and may not again, so I bough two pieces I just couldn't resist, and a license plate of course!
Another of those" long term" projects is a "postcard" wall hanging, so I bought a Las Cruces fabric postcard for that. We were there in the past, and I hadn't seen one of these. The postcard project is still percolating in my little pea brain and probably will for some time.

The shopping done we headed south through the flattest land we've seen since Nebraska. The shifting clouds were about the only scenery. We stopped in Ft. Sumner (Billy the Kid Territory) to see if we could view the partial (in this area) eclipse, but the clouds were too heavy.  Our stop for the night is Oasis State Park.

We've been here several times before, and it's a good stop for the dogs as I can take them over the sand dunes at the edge of camp into a dry lake bed and let them run.

And run they did. The ran, and hunted, and chased each other, and ran some more. I gave them water twice in the 30 minutes or so we were on the lake bed, but it took them another 30 minutes back in camp to stop panting.

We have a nice pull through site (#23) right near the beginning of the trail that goes over the dunes, and several shade trees, so we're set for the evening. Our evening entertainment is the ever-changing sunset. Pinks and blazing gold all around. We may have missed the eclipse, but this makes up for it!

Previous posts on our two previous visits to this park can be found here , and they include details about several of the local museums and other points of interest, or you can click on "New Mexico" in the Topics section in the lower right hand column of the page and find more past posts.

A few more photos here

Tomorrow we're off to San Angelo, Texas!!!