Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nostalgic Drive

As I mentioned in the comments to my last post we decided to stay in the Artesia area one more day to let the wind die down.  Friday dawned to no wind and clear skies so it was a perfect day to travel.  We left Artesia and headed west over the Sacramento Mountains through Cloudcroft.  I have a vivid recollection of stopping in Cloudcroft when we made the trip west in the winter of 1958.  We stopped the silver and blue bus at a pull out or service station there and the white sands were visible in the valley below.

Yesterday we did not stop in Cloudcroft and the area is quite a bit more built up than it was 50 years ago, but the view is the same.  We dropped down through Alamagordo and stopped at White Sands National Monument for lunch.  It sure was fun driving up to the gate and showing the ranger my Senior Pass.  He gave us a brochure and waved us through.  I think I am going to like this!  I think I remember having birthday cake while we were there about 50 years ago.  Was that Donnie's birthday? (I know you are Don now but you were Donnie then.)

We had lunch in the sand dunes and took a short walk, then continued west to Deming where we spent the night in an Escapee park.  This morning we got started late and only drove 150 miles to Roper Lake State Park near Safford.  It is a very nice location and will leave only another 150 miles to travel tomorrow.  We came this way in November so it will be nice to see Globe from the other side.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good News and Bad News about Carlsbad Caverns

We decided to spend a couple days at an Escapees RV park between Artesia and Carlsbad, NM.  Today we went to Carlsbad Caverns since it has been a few years since we were there.  We always enjoy caves and Carlsbad is about as good as it gets.  We hiked in the natural entrance and then rode the elevator up to the visitor center for lunch.  Then we rode it back down for our stroll around the Big Room.  We had a good time but three hours of walking on steep grades wore us out.  Obviously we are out of shape again.

So, what's the good news and the bad news?  When we got there I walked up to the counter and told the Ranger that I had good news and bad news.  The good news is that I am now 62 and for $10 I get the lifetime Senior Pass that covers the entrance fee for me and up to three others to all National Parks, BLM parks, COE parks, etc.  It also provides half price for most other fees like camping and tours.

The bad news?  I'm 62................

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Official Senior Citizen

Yep.  That's me.  I start drawing social security as of next month (the month after your 62nd birthday) and will receive my first check about the 15th of April.  Whoopee!  At last I get some of the money back that I have paid in all these years.

I also can now take advantage of the one time $10 purchase of the Golden Age Pass (or whatever they are calling it now) that will provide free entry into most National Parks and Monuments, as well as half price camping in federal campgrounds and many state facilities as well.  That will actually help when we visit Phoenix since it will only cost $3.50 per day instead of $7 to park out by the river.

We will be here only about another week.  We plan to leave on Monday the 23rd for points west.  It will take a few days but we will be in Arizona eventually.  Our travel speed will depend on what route we take, what we stop to see along the way, the weather, the wind and what we feel like at any point in time.

Thanks to all who remembered my birthday and sent their wishes, congratulations or condolences.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chris fell down & broke his crown.....

We just found out that during the ice storm last week Chris slipped on the ice when he went to retrieve their mail. His head bled a lot and he was knocked out for a few seconds. Dayna took him to the emergency room ..... very slowly & very carefully ..... and it turned out he did have a concussion. He has some memory loss from the day but it doesn't look like it did any permanent damage, thank God.