Friday, May 11, 2007

The Finale to The Maiden Voyage

Saturday, May 12th

I noticed I forgot to post Lesson #2 and when I "published" it and it went back to the original date I wrote it, so I have copied it and inserted it here:

Showering: Wear as little as possible, especially in a humid climate when using the public shower in an RV park. That's wear "as little loose clothing" as possible, it makes the process of getting dressed go faster. No, that doesn't mean a bathing suit, at least not for me. And, go at 4 in the morning - that's when you have all the hot water you want.

Wednesday morning Jim and I went to the El Camino Real International Heritage Center. It is located about 30 miles south of Socorro on I-25 at Exit 115 and a then a few miles away from the Interstate. Well marked to get there. It is an interesting place with lots of reading to do. It is about 300 plus years of the road's development, use and history from Mexico City to Santa Fe. The Center covers the Spanish colonial period of 1598 to 1821, the Mexican national period of 1821 to 1848 and the US Territorial period of 1848 to 1912. This particular El Camino Real is known as the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

Back in Socorro we had lunch at the El Sombrero. As we here heading back to Jim's home I spied a Casita in a backyard. Got Eggcarto hitched up and off I left for points north along I-25. Made it thru Albuquerque before the rush hour started and headed up towards Santa Fe. Spied a southbound Casita about 30 miles outside Santa Fe off on it's own adventure somewhere with its owners. It's beautiful north of Santa Fe with pine trees covering the slopes. I love pine trees. It was cooler too.

As I approached Las Vegas (NM) I could see thundershowers up ahead. I decided to get gas and keep going as the wind was starting to pick up. I finished gassing up just in time as the wind and rain hit and hit hard. Eggcarto wiggled around back there a few times but I reminded him for his safety and security he'd better straighten up - and he did. I had no more trouble out of him.

After Las Vegas you come out of the Sangre de Cristo mountains into beautiful grasslands. You pass Fort Union Nat'l Monument and the Kiowa Nat'l Grasslands (another trip), towns with the names of Wagon Mound and Springer (neat antique/junk store there) to Raton. At Raton I got something to eat which I needed before tackling the Raton Pass. At Raton Pass you are at almost 8000 feet above sea level, down to Trinidad at 6000 feet. I had not gone down a pass with curves, etc with a trailer before and remembered to ease the burden on my brakes shift down into a lower gear. Down I went in 3rd gear and never hit my brakes once. Which is what I should have done many years ago when coming home from Phoenix. I was just so mesmerized by the beautiful Rockies I forgot how fast I had been traveling, and that's what I told the highway patrolman who stopped me. He forgave me since I had Kansas plates.

In Trinidad I spent the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot listening to the virtues of Mira Star gas and using your Wal-Mart gift card to save on gas at the pump.

Thursday I headed east out of Trinidad on US350 to LaJunta, Las Animas to Lamar passing again many points of interest - Comanche Nat'l Grasslands, Bent's Old Fort Nat'l Site, Fort Lyon and lots of what looks like interesting little town museums loaded with local history. Saw a number of antelopes, who have their own road crossing signs as do the elk in NM. Speaking of animal crossing signs, I forgot to mention in Balmorhea TX, the turkey abound around town and area and they also have their own road crossing signs!

At Granada CO I turned north on US385 towards Cheyenne Wells and east on US40 towards Oakley KS. By now I was accepting the fact that I was headed home, by Oakley I had resigned myself that home was my next stop. It was hard as I could have kept going. In Oakley, I saw what are blades, to those huge turbines used to generate electricity, going north on US83 somewhere. These trucks had 3 extra axles under the trailer and it was interesting watching them go around a corner - much like those long fire ladder trucks. Well, the rest of the trip home was uneventful if not a bit sad.

Oh, at Weskan KS on US40, I did have to go see Mt Sunflower, the highest point in Kansas at 4039 ft above sea level. I stopped there and had a short nap. It was so quiet and just invited me to put my head down.

The rest of the story consists of unhitching and unloading. You are not interested in that. Juno's dog did have one of his throwing up episodes along with difficulty in moving around - obviously in lots of discomfort and probably pain. She took him to the vet Friday morning and a small abscess was found on his liver (again). He's eating special food but after getting home from the vets, he seems in much better spirits. Today he's back to his usual self - waiting patiently for his milk from my cereal bowl and the toast crust from my toast. The vet would like to have a physical look at the area of the liver where the abscess is in the next week or so and then do what is necessary to minimize the return of the problem.

And that is where I am now - back to the routines. I feel refreshed and the next 4 months will go by fast and it will be time to head out somewhere for a few weeks again. I am glad I did it, I am proud of myself for doing it, and I am ready to go out again. I probably won't make any entries over the next 3 or 4 months, except to experiment. I will finish off with some pictures to my blog and to my Flickr site later today. Thank you to my kids, brother and friends for continued support and encouragement. Love ya all.

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