Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey has been consumed, leftovers are almost gone. . .

Hope your Thanksgiving was a pleasant day and you had something to be thankful for - me I have lots to be thankful for.

Daughter and her dog Buster came over for dinner in the late afternoon. We ate and ate and even Buster got his dogie plate of turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes and yams. Then I think the tryptophan from the turkey crept up on us, even the dog - or was it that we ate so much?

Today, the wind is blowing a bluster from the northwest and my right ear doesn't like it when combined with a cold temperature. I was going into Hays to participate in the Shop a Small Business Day, but my ear said "no". Wind gusts are around 25 mph here in the valley, but see gusts have been around the 50 mph mark up on top where the Interstate is. Ya, good day to stay inside and read - maybe start looking at those projects I need to do in the cellar - replace the old insulation around the water pipes, insulate some of those heater/ac duct pipes I can reach, stuff like that. Oh, there are the wall cracks to fill in, in the bathroom, before painting. Ya, ya, got stuff to do to keep me busy - later.

Glad I got my little boxwood shrubs covered in burlap earlier in the month. They don't like the cold icy winds of winter and short daytime thaws, so this year am trying burlap around the little ones. The bigger ones don't seem to have as much problem.

Son will be coming for Christmas and staying with us. He'll sleep in my bed and I'll try out the Casita trailer during the night when it's really cold. I have not slept in it when the night time temperature is below freezing, but I have a little heater and an electric blanket . . .

Oh, an early Christmas present from the kids will be to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and I'll be going to Wichita to see the show in a few weeks. It has been on my "bucket list" to see them sometime. I am not really a concert goer, but this will be fun. My ears will be ringing! Maybe I can get a picture or two.

Happy shopping.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Goodbyes, Turkey Texas and the Long Haul Home.

It's always hard to say good bye to good friends. Geri and Chuck are such super hosts and I came to see why they love Truth or Consequences. It will definitely be a good home location for them when they decide it's time to stay put (that won't be for quite a while yet). I like TorC too.
I decide to meet my son in San Antonio at The Owl Bar for one last good green chile cheeseburger. We had a short lunch. I wanted to just hang around and be with him but I still had a way to go on this first day and he needed to get back to work in Socorro. Ya, ya I shed the tears for the next 30 miles; but as soon as I saw the snow on the mountains I told myself to get it together since didn't really know what I would encounter. Assumed the roads would be okay as it had been warm and they would still be fairly warm to melt any snow. I was traveling US380 eastward toward Roswell and Bottomless Lakes State Park.

I had some light snow through the mountains and misty rain to Roswell, highway was fine. Made it through Roswell and followed the signs to Bottomless Lakes SP. For most part, roads weren't too bad. 'Course I kept thinking about my converter bouncing around. I did manage to stabilize it somewhat by putting my step stool (now with a bent leg when I backed the trailer over it at Chloride) up against it (to the right) and turning the wastepaper basket on its side to keep both of them from moving. Will have to put some blocks of wood on the inside of the converter's cabinet and drill holes through the wood and replace with longer bolts to secure the converter - sometime after I get home. Current holes have been damaged.

The area around Bottomless Lakes is "interesting". "Bottomless Lakes are a chain of 8 lakes that are actually sinkholes that range from 17 to 90 feet deep. They were formed when circulating water dissolved salt & gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns. Eventually, the roofs of the caverns collapsed from their own weight. Sinkholes resulted and soon filled with water & formed the existing lakes." from the hand out. First pictures are from a bluff over
looking the campground and Lea Lake.

There is a huge day use area and swimming area.Geri mentioned that the pull thrus were huge and they are. I bet one could get 3 (at least) Casitas w/tow vehicles, if not 4 Casitas w/tows in one pull thru. The Park is open year round and are very nice. I was told by the park host that the shower room was heated and the water nice and hot - not! The water was tepid. The left is a view from my campsite of the red gypsum bluff. And right is the swimming area with the low overhanging clouds that hung around the mountains to the west.

The next morning I got away about an hour later than usual because I decided to take the time to do some cleaning and put some more RV antifreeze into the water lines. I had initially put antifreeze in the water lines the day before leaving TorC, but learned with the use of the toilet, I lost some. Not much, but some. I put antifreeze in the lines because I wasn't sure what "freezing" or "below freezing" weather I would encounter at home - besides it is better for me to put the RV antifreeze in when it's warm versus a cold temperature. I would empty the holding tanks later and add the antifreeze.

I continued on US380 until the little town of Post TX (yes, there is a strong connection to C.W. Post, the cereal manufacturer), then headed north on TX 207 toward Rails, then take US62/TX207 to Floydada. My plan was to either stay in Floydada or move on to Turkey TX. Turkey is the boyhood home of Bob Wills, known as the King of Western Swing. I had the chance to meet him around 50 years ago in Flagstaff AZ at the Museum Club.

Since I had trouble finding the camping area in Floydada, that Geri told me about (and I got blank looks at two places I stopped), I headed to Turkey TX. I took US62/US70 eastward until I reached TX 70. North on TX 70 for about 20 miles until I reached Turkey.

Caprock Canyon SP is just a little west of Turkey and when I stopped at a convenience store to get directions, a lady across the counter from me said: "No, you can stay here in our little city park. Have you been to the Bob Wills Museum?" "Okay", I said and no to the museum. She told me to drive down this street and park in front of the fire house and her husband would come down and show me where to park.

I parked in front of this brand new fire house and in 5 minutes her husband, Alfred, was there. He told me that they had had the day before 1.5" of rain in a couple of hours and that the road to the camping area (can fit 12 units, w/water & electric, in there by the way) in the city park was muddy. I could park here in the group shelter area. So as I was maneuvering the trailer around, he said to park under the shelter roof. I did. Alfred works for the City of Turkey, so I guess it was okay to park that way. Sure had a lot of spectators that evening and the next morning before I left. (Oh, I paid something for my site, even though Alfred said it wasn't necessary.)

Well, Alfred asked if I would like to go through the Museum and I said yes. He went home and called Lorene. Alfred's wife came back about 15 minutes later and said that Lorene would open the Museum for me the next morning at 10:30. Well, since I wasn't in any big hurry, that was okay. The next morning I had breakfast at a local cafe up the street. The proprietor asked if I was that little trailer that was down at the City Park. He told me stories about Turkey as I was eating.

After breakfast, I drove up to the Museum which is located in the former school building along with the City Hall. Lorene opened the Museum up and turned a video about Bob Wills on for me. Oh, Lorene is over 90 years old and full of stories. I watched the video all the way through and read every sign and informational piece. It is a very nice and professional done Museum and I recommend it.

After spending an hour going through it, I left for home, continuing on TX70, until I reached US 83 and headed northward. I spent the night at an RV park so I could empty my holding tanks and put the remaining RV antifreeze in both of the tanks. Overall, I liked the way I came home, the roads overall were pretty good and there was enough "diversions" - scenery, little towns - to keep the drive from getting boring. Am sure I will be taking that direction again when I head to New Mexico.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Happy Belly Mixed with Some History & The Turtle!

I wasn't feeling quite up to par for a few days, but did manage to really enjoy all that my hosts showed me. We went to breakfast Wed morning at a place called the Happy Belly Deli. It is located next to Groovy Gritz (parking lot between) and the Deli is located in one of those old time motel motor courts, that many of us older readers are familiar with from years ago. There is an outside patio which use to be were one drove into the courtyard. It is open for breakfast and lunch and they make homemade breads and goodies. You can see the "car entrance" behind Geri.

We visited the Geronimo Springs Museum. Outside is a beautiful hand crafted display surrounding the Geronimo Springs. Currently, the Springs were not flowing due to some maintenance issues. The Museum covers the history of Sierra County and has a section dedicated to Ralph Edwards, host of the TV show Truth or Consequences. Here is some history of TorC and how it got it's name changed from Hot Springs to TorC.

The afternoon was spent getting ready to leave my hosts, Geri and Chuck, and head for home. Oh ya, the Turtle. The mountain to the southeast of TorC is known as Turtle Mountain. I had trouble distinguishing the Turtle. Chuck kept telling me I had to wait until the lighting was right before I would probably see the Turtle. It looked like an African elephant to me no matter which way I looked at it. Can you see the Turtle in Turtle Mountain?