Baseball at Moses Lake

It is June 21st 2018 and we are off to Moses Lake to watch our grandson Tyler play in a base-ball tournament.  In the previous weeks we had done some minor maintenance on Bertha.  Mostly just cleaning and polishing, but also revised the undercarriage lighting, replaced the hide-a-bed with a table so we would have a little more working space inside, and removed a lot of unnecessary stuff that had accumulated in all the places I find to put it.  I figured that if I hadn’t needed it I likely didn’t need to have it in my way. I am, however, sure that Mr. Murphy will find an inconvenient time to prove me wrong.

Site 207 at Sunrise Resorts Pier 4

As you can see we arrived in good condition and got set up. It proved to be a good thing that we came as do to a scheduling change our son could not get a motel room for Friday night and would have had to drive back home.  Instead they stayed with us so we got to have a lot more time with them.

Anticipation
A Sweet Bunt

Tyler did a great job a the plate.

Strike
SteeeeRike!

And on the mound. Grandpa didn’t get any pictures of his awesome fielding.

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Lakeside at Pier4
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Lakeside at Pier4
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Pier4 Pull-Thrus and Back-ins

We spent four nights had a really fine time visiting, sight-seeing, and watching baseball. The park was nice, the neighbors Friendly, and the sky was blue. What more could we ask for on a weekend with son and grandson?

Happy Trails,

Your Random Rover, Gordon

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Homeward Bound

From the City of Rocks we decided to head north and check out Albuquerque, NM so there will be a few more days for us enjoy New Mexico.

Leisure Mountain RV Resort

Don’t believe the “Resort” in the name but the park served our purposes as a base of operations for exploring the area.

Petroglyph National Monument

We did a little trail walking at the Petroglyph National Monument where we saw many but by no means even a small portion of the 24,000 images that were pecked into the stone.  Most of them are 400 to 700 years old, though some are believed to date from 3,000 years ago.  The high desert landscape made walks majestic.

Hollow-form Turning

One of the days there, I went to a meeting of the local wood-turning club which I enjoyed a great deal. This is one of the bowls that was done by the meeting’s demonstrator. I thought it was extremely nice. Elaine and I  also did a lot of just “looking around”, had breakfast at the landmark Owl Cafe.  You simply haven’t really been to Albuquerque if you haven’t eaten at “Owlbuquerque”, and shopped the Old Town District. We also went to the Albuquerque Fiery Foods Festival which was a lot of fun and the samples left us with tingling lips. Soon it was time to actually “turn the corner” and start heading in a homeward direction, so it was back to Tucson, AZ with a stop over in Deming, NM.

81 Palms RV Park

We spent a night here as Albuquerque to Tucson would have been a very long day, we wanted to get some more chorizo sausage at the El Rey Carniceria, and we have always enjoyed the palms as it is an immaculately clean park run by friendly folks.  We just stayed one night and went on to Tucson.

Justin’s Diamond RV

Justin’s was good for us on the way down so we decided to give it another shot on the way back.  It was great place to rest up and get set for the long haul back to Port Angeles.  When we looked at the weather in the mountains where we had planned to travel we decided it was a bit too wintry treacherous. We altered our route to go through the central valley of California and then running highway US 101 all the way home.  I am sure we will see rain and wind, but ice and snow should be minimal.   Our first stop after short days drive was Gila Bend.

Easy Set-Up at Holt’s RV

The next morning, and a more ambitious drive to Bullhead City, AZ where we have stayed many times.  They have new management and seem to be making some nice improvements,

Ridgeview Resort
A New Sculpture in the Park

We are off to Mojave, CA which is on the western edge of nowhere, before going over the mountains into the central valley.

Sierra Trails RV Resort

The picture makes the park look much nicer than it actually was.  The park was easy to get in and out of, quiet, and had pleasant managers making it a good stop.  We left in the morning in a light rain heading to Rancho Cordova the next day. It was our longest day in a very long time, 350 miles over mountains and through some heavy traffic in blustery winter weather so we were very happy to get settled in for the night.

Staying at the Elks Lodge in Rancho Cordova, CA

Wet rainy weather (absolutely pouring down on the coast) all the way to Eureka, CA.

Staying at another Elks Lodge

We ate at the lodge and met some nice folks, but once again in the morning we were off, now turning north to Florence, OR.

Here We Are at the Elks RV Park

What a gorgeous park!  By the way these two pictures were taken during a few moments of non-winter weather.  Gordon got his birthday dinner at Chen’s, a nice Chinese restaurant where we have eaten before.

Mr Pelican (Park Mascot)

North to Tillamook, OR and a chance to get cheese and ice cream at the Tillamook Creamery and some sausage at Debbie D’s. The weather turned rather nice for a few hours. What a relief!

Elks RV Park (just south of Tillamook)

On across the Columbia River to Longbeach, WA where we hope to get cinnamon rolls at the Cottage Bakery.

Pacific Holiday Resort

Fortified with cinnamon rolls we are heading north to our last stop, Copalis, WA.

Copalis Beach Resort

Being blessed with a little bit of sunshine when we arrived made us very thankful.  We will hide out here for a day before making the last 170 mile leg home.  It was a good trip.  We made some new friends, saw some new things and learned a little more about this wonderful place we live.  We drove nearly 10,000 miles with over 5,000 of them towing on our 4 month winter adventure.

Your random rover, Gordon, still keeping the shiny side up and the dirty side down.

 

Morels At Home

Luscious Morels

Absolutely amazing! I was walking by the garden near our front door and spied a plethora of morels! I immediately stopped what I was doing and harvested over half of a pound of these glorious mushrooms in five minutes. You can bet I will be keeping a close eye on the flowers from now on.  My mushroom hunting friends will be envious.

Our Last Days in New Mexico

The scene above greeted us from Bertha’s rear window on a morning a few days before we left. I do believe the park was doing its very best to wish us happy travels. We are done with our latest stint as camp hosts. Overall it was another good experience, but we both feel it is time to move on.  I’ll leave you with a few previously un-shared tidbits from our stay.

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A Party at the Pink Store

Every year The Pink Store in Palomas, Chihuahua Mexico hosts a customer appreciation day.  DJ’s, bands, dancers, food and drink for all day. We waited for party day to shop on this trip and had a great time along with a huge crowd of revelers.

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Elaines Orchid

We decided to bring one of Elaine’s orchids along. She has nursed and cared for it regularly. So now some 3 months later she has been rewarded with blooms!

Petroglyph Collage
A Collage of Petroglyphs

All the known petroglyphs found in The City of Rocks State Park. It took a while to find them and a number of attempts to get clear images to enjoy. The cross on the upper right can be attributed to either the conquistadors or possibly to early Spanish shepherds. The other four were left by various Indian tribes.

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Lenticular Cloud Formation

Elaine took this picture of a spectacular cloud over Deming, NM as I was driving one morning.

Now we are on our way to the big city (Albuquerque) where we plan to relax, shop, and see a few sites.

From the land of chile peppers, New Mexico, the only place that believes pain is a spice.

Your Random Rover, Gordon

A Few New Mexico Side Trips

Lake Roberts

Lake Roberts
Lake Roberts (Another View)

One day we decided to take a drive north just to see some new sites. We stopped at Lake Roberts  for a little walk. It was a very pretty day and we talked to a fisherman who stated that though the catching should be good he really did not care as he was simply out for the fishing.  We were kindred spirits as we were just out sight-seeing and the bonus was that some of the sights were really good.

The Catwalk

In the Gila National Forest’s Whitewater Canyon the Catwalk Recreation Area has been built, maintained and restored since 1933. We have been here before, maybe 16 to to 18 years ago and decided to revisit as we are less than 60 miles away.

Elaine on The Catwalk
Looking Up
Hanging Over The Creek
Proof That We Were Here!

When gold and silver were discovered in the rugged Mogollon Mountains above Whitewater Canyon prospectors flocked in. A pipe line was suspended over the creek to power a mill and the prospectors walked precariously on the pipe to get to their claims.  The mill closed about 10 years after it was built. The Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the catwalk in the mid-1930’s. In 1961 the US Forest Service again rebuilt catwalk system making it much safer, It lasted until it was washed out in a flood in 2014? after the Whitewater-Baldy Fire of 2012.  Luckily for us, it has now been rebuilt and is open to enjoy.  Approximately .5 miles from the parking lot, the first portion of the trail, the portion we walked, is wheelchair accessible.

It was quite chilly on the January day we visited so we were very happy to get back to the warm truck after enjoying our little hike.

Mogollon

That’s Elaine in the truck where it is warm
Downtown Mogollon

We visited the ghost town of Mogollon, NM in the off-season.  Nothing was open, it was cold and as you can see there was snow on the ground.  Once we had started there was literally no turning back as the truck does not turn on a dime and the 5 mile one lane road had only tiny turnouts. We arrived and returned safely no worse for wear with a few more pictures, laughs, and memories.

Your Random Rover,

Gordon

City of Rocks State Park

Can You See the Giant Rock Creature Behind the Sign?

We are camp hosting here for the months of January and February 2018. This park is the most remote state park in New Mexico and if you know rural New Mexico you understand that we are a long way from anywhere.  Dramatic, grand, spectacular, you can pick the adjective, they all fit this magic land of boulders. They all originated about 35 million years ago from a multi-year volcanic eruption that was 1,000 times larger than the Mount Saint Helens eruption in 1980. Hot volcanic material compressed and solidified and then as it cooled and shrank vertical cracks formed.  From there eons of erosion has widened the cracks to make individual boulders.

Campsite City of Rocks SP
Our Campsite at City of Rocks

The views from our campsite.

A Thumbs Up Sunset
A Thumbs Up Sunset Looking South
And Looking West
And Looking East
And Looking North

I think that you will have to agree that this is a very awe inspiring place to park our tiny house for a couple of months.

Some of the sights in the park.

A Petroglyph of an Apache Crown Dancer

The Apache Crown Dancers are an important part of the tribal spiritual rituals.

Kokopelli

This is one of the two Kokopelli petroglyphs in the park. Kokopelli in this form is the bringer of music that changes winter to spring and brings rain for the crops.

There are at least 5 known and documented petroglyphs here. They are fun to find and see, but please do not touch them or do anything else that could damage them. And of course do not enter occupied campsites while you are searching.

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Some Balanced Boulders
Rock Climbers

We often saw people climbing the rocks. In order to protect the rocks only free climbing is allowed.

Some More of Natures Balancing Acts
One of the Parks Multitude of Rabbits

I am not patient enough to be a wildlife photographer but sometimes opportunities do occur. This Desert Cottontail just sat patiently and kept a wary eye on me.  Coyotes, Blacktail Jackrabbit, Rock Squirrel, and Spotted Ground Squirrel are other park residents.

A Raven Nest Way Up in the Rocks

Sorry no pictures of the raven or even of the owl that borrowed the nest after the raven was done with it, but the park does have over 100 kinds of resident and visiting birds depending on the season.  Butterflies, Dragonflies and over 20 varieties of reptiles can be found in the summer.

More Rocks

While it is certainly impossible to define the park wth one picture, for me this one comes the closest.

The Welcome Center

The welcome center’s architecture fits well in its surroundings. Do stop in for area and park information from the real friendly folks there.

The Colonnade at the Visitor Center
Desert Camouflage
Geological History
Ancient Inhabitants
Early Inhabitants Mural

With the trails around and through the park for hiking and sightseeing, many species of birds to see and photograph or paint or draw, many desert plants and animals to discover, a very nice visitor center with helpful staff and a library of geological, botanical and biological information, and a botanical garden, New Mexico’s City of Rocks is a must see stop in the desert southwest.

“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to drive across the country coast to coast without seeing anything.”  This quote from Charles Kuralt was brought to mind by the fact that we are only about 30 miles north of that great set of asphalt paths with dashed lines that criss-cross this beautiful, immense country of ours.  The freeways bring convenience and are needed but we do need to get off of them regularly.

We will be here for another month or so before heading on.  Which direction? Well now that just depends on the weather.

Your Random Rover,

Gordon

The Three Questions Coffehouse

On a day while hosting at City of Rocks  state park, when we needed to go into town for necessities, we took the long way around to stop at the 3 Questions Coffeehouse for breakfast. It is located in the Mimbres Valley approximately 2 miles north of hwy 152 on hwy 35.

Parking Lot and Entrance

This place had been recommended by a number people and their council was as excellent as our repast. They offer a very nice all you can eat buffet style breakfast, a muffins and coffee style meal, or just coffee or tea. I would advise coming hungry and having the full meal deal.  Oh, do buy a loaf of their own bread to take home. They also sell “jammly” (somewhere in between jam and jelly), local coffee, muffins and other treats.

A Look Inside

This is a Christian business but all are welcome and I believe would be comfortable. They do not push their way of living onto their customers though it is evident.

A Sign In The Restroom

And they do have a sense of humor.

By the way, be aware it is cash or check only, no plastic money.

Your Random Rover, Gordon