Sunday, April 29, 2018

Black Meadow Landing And Beyond To Florida

At the end of February the group decided it may be fun to leave and go to the south east area of Arizona that was near Tombstone.  Our friends found an RV Park, Mountain View RV Park in Huachuca City.  It would take us two days to reach it so we found a half way stop in Gila Bend. Holt Shell RV park is right behind a gas station and a Subway shop.. It would have been a great overnight stop with hookups but alas, it was full. I think with fulltime or long term visitors. It has a great monthly rate so why not.

We stayed that evening in the parking lot and enjoyed Subway.

The next day we did get to Mountain View and stayed a month. Nice sites and a small enclosed dog park. Of course it's desert so dirt and dust and stone but close to so many fun things. Fort Huachuca, Tombstone, Elgin and their many wineries and small really good restaurants. We also went to Bisbee. Another copper mining town with fun stores, hotel and..hills. Lots of stairs around that town going to peoples homes. Bet they have great legs!

Then our journey back to the east coast.

The plan was drive so many miles then stay two nights before we set out again. Here is a list of our stops and a brief summary of what they were like. r

 Hi-Lo RV Ranch Deming, New Mexico.  Good site with free wi-fi . Quiet, safe with a desert landscape.  With Passport America I believe it was $17.00 a night plus tax

We left there on April 6 and arrived later that day in Van Horn, Texas at Desert Willow Rv Park . $14.00 a night and basically, go find a spot, park. Roger came back from the office and I asked him which was our site and he said the owner just said, "pick one over in the field" . Full hook ups, not so great wi-fi but right next to the train tracks. Some may not care for that but I loved it.  We did stay there for three nights do to some high winds that came in. Driving on I 10, they would have hit us broad side. So we left on Monday.

Next stop...South Llano Rv Park, Junction, Texas  I think $20.00 a night. At this point the packing up, the unpacking every two days is starting to wear thin. LOL   It's a new park, big sites, pullthrough, wi-fi and a nice view of the river that the dogs can swim in. Ozzie did, Lola got her toes wet. We stayed two nights then on to....

Does Texas ever end?? Happy Oaks Rv Park, Allyton, Texas   $20.00 a night passport America. Wi-fi if you sit on their front porch and maybe three large sites for larger RV's.  A lot of full time people, but a horse that saved the day for me in the field next to the park. Not so happy there. But again, just off the highway and ok for a quick stop.

We traveled on April 13, Friday. None of us spoke of it until we stopped that evening knowing we were all there without incident. Another Oak park Quiet Oaks RV Park, Kinder, La. Two nights was $54.80 with tax. Again, quite a few full time people but the site was a pull thru and we fit. Snug, but we fit! A storm cam in that evening and thankfully missed us but tornadoes hit just ahead of us. A huge clap of thunder did wake us about 4:00 A.M. but other than that and rain we were fine.

The drive to our next stop was thru some strong winds hitting us broadside. CiCiBlue did good but we did worry about the smaller lighter rigs passing us. A strong gust could have them sitting right up front with us.  On to Mississippi.

Oak Lawn RV Park  Ok, it sounded like a cemetery name.. Two nights and large pull throughs here. Two nights with tax, $57.78  We chose Good Sam or Passport America parks the best we could and they really pay for themselves if you get them.

The next stop was Sunset King RV Resort $40.00 a night and a Good Sam resort. So probably 37.00 a night. This park was nice but really crowded. The sites are staggered so you get a large space between rigs. It's on a lake so there is fishing, boating, etc. Again we stayed two nights and this was the last park we would be with our friends in. They were heading south into Florida's west coast to find a place for next winter while we were heading back to our start park and the east coast to see family and friends.

Lake City Rv Resort, Lake City, Florida. Ok..I loved this park. They have coffee and cookies in the club house 24/7. 😆 Dogs can't be tied outside, so no dogs jumped out at us or were running loose through the park. It was kept pristine and a lovely, tightly fenced dog park with a basket of tennis balls that Ozzie proceeded to take each one out and put on the ground. $40.00 a night and we stayed two nights.

That Saturday we arrived at Crystal Lake Rv Park where we have been and were greeted by friends and family. WE DID IT!!!

2,178 miles from California to Scottsmoor, Florida. CiCiBlue did amazing.

Fuel cost: $992.09  With Flying J or Pilot cards I believe we do get a 10% discount on that and the bill comes in at different times depending on when we purchased the fuel.

So there it is...The good, bad and the ugly so to speak. We research, plan and paint our way through our adventures. We will leave here on this coming Thursday and head north to Myrtle Beach to visit Roger's cousins then slowly go up to New Hampshire for the summer.

Thanks for following along....


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Not Moving Until Thursday..

We arrived in Florida at our old home RV park last Saturday and it's taken a week to unwind from being on the road. Visiting friends, talking art, Lord I so needed that, and a massage thrown in. (that was painful..not fluff and buff but message therapy to make every muscle relax and move.)

Our view from our site now and we have signed back up for the fall. I love having a place set to soend time in and it's close to our son and family and close to my artist friends. Perfect place for me to do my work and see friends.

And Lola had a spa day!! I was thrilled how Carrie, the groomer trimmed her this time. It had been awhile since she was groomed properly so we were on a mission to make it back by last Tuesday for her appointment. Zoomin Groomin is a company that comes to you to groom your pet, a one on one as you sit outside and wait. I love it. Lola is afraid she's being abandoned so she's not so excited leaving me but is great being pampered and thrilled to be back in our rig looking regal and Queenly!

A new client asked if I would re-paint two pieces from a few years ago so I was delighted to do those for him. It was fun to revisit a looser style that I loved and getting me excited to paint like this again. Powerful. I really think I'll keep this word for good has kept my imagination and my excitement to do my art so far into this year. Why abandon it? So, my word for life..Powerful!

Being set for a time you get to order stuff from Amazon. Waiting for my new "Next Exit" book to arrive before we head back out on the road. It covers all the highways in the US and each exit, rest stops and Pilots or Flying J's. (Truck stops for overnight or fuel) The one we have has been invaluable and now has pages falling out or shredded from use and, sigh, dog feet walking on it. I leave it on the dash and that's also Ozzie's favorite place to sit during the day. Well, I needed an updated one anyway.!! 

Also waiting for new batteries for our tire monitors. The back monitors are weak so we will try the new batteries, hopefully because of dirt and road grime.  Then I ordered gold leaf paint for a fun painting I want to will be a surprise! A new stool for plein air outings.. then odds and ends. What would we do without Amazon. 

So working up my end of the cross country west to east coast journey of rv parks, fuel costs and other stuff to post here. The good and the bad post. I'll have that ready for tomorrow so stay tuned.

I'm working on a project now but it's a surprise for my clients friends so I can't do a show and tell until they receive it so I'll end now and go back to work. 

Thanks for following along on our adventure... we will probably leave here on Thursday and start our journey North to New Hampshire for the summer. Hmm, Lola in the Field??  Maybe in oils this year..


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Where In The World Is ... Not Carmen Santiago

Traveling to our next destination and on a mission of sorts to GET there I forget where we are. It's the end of the season and our summer plans are in New Hampshire but we wanted to spend a week in Florida seeing friends and family. Roger reminds me I'm living the dream, we are, but I think next adventure do it a bit different. Stay a few weeks here and there then move on.

So after Van Horn, Texas  we traveled to Junction, Texas.  Nice campground on the South Llano River and not many people there. The night before we left we all went to town and had Texas BBQ. Well, I had turkey, not a big BBQ eater and I will say the plate was loaded and it was yummy.

Lums BBQ

We have been staying two nights before we roll off again but there are times I wished we would stay three. The winds have been strong out on I 10 East. Roger gets tired but I will say he's been driving fantastic across the country. 

Our next stop was Alleyton, Texas. Small park right off I 10 and unless you sat on their porch, no strong cell signal or internet. At least for my Chromebook. However, the saving point was looking our my dinning room window and seeing the golden Palomino up in the next field. I grabbed my camera and ran up to say hello. He popped his head right over the fence for a few pats then went back to eating. I'm sure it was.."No treats? I'm outa here".  One of the small things that makes travelling special, along with hearing that train at night. Love it.

Off we go again. This time to where we are now, Kinder, Louisiana. Quiet Oaks Rv Park. It seems these small parks are for full time people working near by on the oil rigs or plants. They leave early in the day and come home around 5:30 or 6:00 P.M.. Beer, laundry and bed to do it again the next day.

A storm came over last night, the huge clap of thunder waking us at 4:10 A.M. then me watching the tornado warnings that were just beside or above us. Needless to say we're fine. 

Got to remember to feed the girl!! 

When ever we arrive Sammy jumps up into the drivers seat. He's been getting us from town to town throughout the adventure.

I loved the way the bridges criss crossed. On our way towards Houston then we went 610 around the city. (along with 6000 of our closest friends..😆) It did finally thin out.

I'm not a fan of bridges and I saw this one from a distance and all I could say was "Oh My God" It looked like it went straight up to a peak then straight down on the other side. Usually the side "wall" is much lower but as I peeked with one eye, saw that it actually had a nice fence. So I took the photo and shut my eyes again for the ride down.

I have painted BlueBonnets with Labs sitting so lovely in them but have never seen them in person. They were allusive but I did see them and got the photo as we were screaming by on the highway.

A lot of road construction going on through Texas. We actually made it past everyone of those cones!! Some were a breath away from the side of CiCiBlue. If she had fingers we'd own some of those big cones now. Our friends said that one truck knocked one down then with his rear tire up righted it again. That's impressive!!

When the road is smooth, Lola sleeps calmly. The highway leaving Texas into Louisiana was pretty lumpy. Not much sleeping and a lot of stress drool.

We get our Louisiana State sticker on our travel map now!!

I think this photo represents how we feel right now. It's an adventure I would not have missed for the world. We will stay on the east coast next winter but then... maybe pick a state or two that looks interesting and travel around. But then we never say never.  I have looked at parks along the Gulf..Love being near water. 😉 The adventure will continue....

We leave tomorrow, Sunday and head to Mississippi. Then Florida and settling at our campground for a week.  Have a great day and we'll chat later.. 


Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Night In Van Horn

We left Demings, N.M. yesterday morning around 9:00 A.M. and started on our continuing journey Eastward. Left, left, right and left and we were on the road.

I knew I'd have to check the dolly straps before we entered onto I 10 so we pulled over and I tightened them yet once again. Then we found the entrance to the highway blocked so back to the west we drive to the next exit then proceeded on the bumpy interstate, on our way. We were heading to Van Horn, Texas, elevation about 4000 feet. Not sure if I told you but CiCiBlue doesn't like thin air and since I've had a tough time adjusting I'm thinking we may be related.  She was doing great then Roger said, oh-oh, our generator just shut off. 😐

We travel now about 60 MPH, saves fuel and it saves my sanity. Rigs pass us going 75, 80 and my thought is always if you have to stop short or that insane burst of wind hits you from the side are you prepared? Yesterday a spider dropped down in front of Roger's face as we were going and yes I'm still laughing, inside though.

The El Paso Road Runner

My job now is to stand up and hit the generator button to see if it will stay on. After about 5 times I googled and saw that it just may be low oil. Off to find a Pilot station. We are traveling with friends so were we go or where they go we are there too.  Checking the oil level we found it to be low so into the basement to find the oil and funnel but alas, when you need it it hides. Into Pilot and out comes a new gallon of oil and a funnel, a short stemmed funnel for an oil "hole" that's way in a small compartment in the front of CiCi Blue. First, the jug doesn't fit and second the funnel is so far's a disaster waiting to happen.I'm not a mechanic, yet, but I had an idea. Roger came back out with one of our plastic drinking cups. Voila'!!! Three cups and oily hands later I had the baby filled. Start the generator. The thought that entered my head as we were going through El Paso was I'll never get a DVT in my legs because I was up, down multiple times turning it back on but each time became a bit longer that it ran.

Quick thought about El Paso...bumper to bumper traffic, hot and CiCi wasn't happy but we got through and I'm pretty sure I could see Mexico from my passenger seat.

Did the generator ever continue to work? Yes it did! We had our refrigerator and A/C working just fine.

A Stop Along The Way

Border Checkpoint on I 10 East towards Van Horn, Texas

We had been through checkpoints before but this one was serious. Not that the others weren't but since we are closer to Mexico they seem to be on high alert. That yellow sign with the dog on it tells people to restrain your dog since there is a working dog on site. As you know, Lola loves looking out the front window as we slow down and at the last checkpoint she barked at the dog. This one I need to blindfold her. I had her turn her back to the window and prayed we wouldn't be detained as long as the previous RV had. "How many passengers do you have on board?" "Two", Roger answered. "Are you both US Citizens?"  "yes".  He then waved us through. During this the working dog was sniffing around the basement of our coach.  What you will see along I 10 is large areas on the road that a car went up in flames. Huge burn marks. Wow, it was hot and someone forgot to put oil in their car? After seeing about 10-15 of these burn areas we knew what was really happening and a new reality set in. 

The time keeps changing as we travel so Sammy got us to Van Horn at 4:00 P.M. Central time though our body clocks thought it was 3:00 P.M. Mountain time. It was at any time, happy hour. We take the kids out then hook up electric, water and sewer, lower the rig , put out the slides and take all the "stuff' out of the shower and off the bed. Then grab a glass of wine and go sit with our friends. 

Ok, this is what the blog was really about. The train! It runs parallel to I 10 and the campground and I can see it out our bedroom window as it passes at night.  When I was young my Dad always brought my sister and me to see the "puffers", steam engines, come out of the round house in Allston, Ma. (We lived in Brighton) We stood on a bridge as they passed under, breathing and puffing as they went. Dad would have us step back so we wouldn't get the soot in our eyes or clothes but it was so exciting. Then when the diesel engines came we would go to the train station on Cape Cod and wait for him to come down from Boston. Trains have always been close to where I've lived and needless to say I love them.

You can see many trains traveling across the country as you travel. And yes, I have many photos. 😂

Last night I opened the window and listened for every train that came. I could hear them getting closer and knew that they would blow the horn as they came past the town and cross ways and every time I jumped with surprise then laid there with a stupid grin on my face until about 11:00 P.M. and they stopped for the night. My Dad loved the West but never got here except for books so every train is for him.My night in Van Horn!