Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wandering East

After our visit to Chaco Canyon we relocated to Edgewood, NM where we spent a week visiting old friends and places in the area.  We attended church at Valley View Christian Church which has grown to average attendance of 600.  When we first started going there the average attendance was about 20.  It's now a huge place and we know only a very few people.

I'm not going to list the names of the folks we visited because I will probably forget someone.  Let's just say our calendar was full and we say many old friends.

We drove to Santa Fe and had lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants; Tomasita's near the train station.  It also happened to be Balloon Fiesta week so we went to one of the Mass Ascensions to watch about 500 hot air balloons launch and fill the sky.  That brought back some fond memories, but the Balloon Fiesta is not as large as it once was.  Apparently the growth of Albuquerque and increased costs have reduced the numbers of balloonists.

After a week in Edgewood we continued east as far as Amarillo where we ended up staying three nights.  West Texas is no fun when weather moves in and we had very strong winds for two full days.  We just hunkered down and waited it out.

Our next stop was just an overnight stop at an Indian Casino near Oklahoma City.  The full hookup camping is free and they give you a $10 gift card to play the slots.  You can't cash in the card but you can keep any money you win, so we walked away with $4.50.  Not bad to get paid for camping.

Our next stop was one of those that sometimes don't work out all that well.  We had planned to stay at a Corp of Engineers park on the Arkansas River near Ft. Smith, AR.  I read the reviews and checked it out on satellite maps and it looked fine.  However, when we got there we discovered that it was completely tree covered.  The Google satellite views had been taken in the winter time and did not show the tree cover.  TV is important to us and there were no sites where we could see the satellite, so we found a nearby overpriced RV park for the night.  Oh well.  You've got to be flexible if you plan to live as we do.

The next day we moved to Hollister, MO, a small town just across Turkey Creek from Branson, MO.  This is a real touristy area with many shows (mostly country type) and lots of places to spend money.  We plan to spend a week looking the place over but it's doubtful they will get much of our money.  We'll see.  It is a very pretty area of the Ozark Mountains and the fall colors are starting.  We took a motorcycle ride yesterday and may well do some more of that while we are here.

More later.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chaco Canyon

One of the places we never visited when living in New Mexico was Chaco Canyon.  It is the site of a very well developed society of Native Americans who lived in a remote area near Farmington.  They lived there between about 850 and 1100 AD and probably were the ones who later inhabited Mesa Verde and many of the pueblos that now dot the landscape in New Mexico.

They were major builders and constructed some four story buildings that housed hundreds of people throughout the canyon.  The site is one of significant cultural importance and we found it interesting to see how they lived.

The road to Chaco Canyon is mostly dirt and is maintained by San Juan County except for the last few miles.  It appears that no one maintains that last section.  Once you enter the National Monument the road is paved and very well maintained.  Many times access is completely cut off because of an impassable road.

We stayed for two nights in the parking lot of the San Juan County Fairgrounds between Bloomfield and Farmington.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Rest of the Summer

We spent the rest of the summer in the same location at Blue Ridge Ranger Station.  Our activities were pretty much the same for the entire time we were there.  I worked maintenance three days a week and Dianna worked in the office two half days each week.  I think I covered our duties pretty well in my previous post.

The rest of our activities were noteworthy at the time, but it seems a bit pointless to recount them again in detail.  They included:
  • A couple trips to visit Mom in Mesa that included one to celebrate her 90's birthday and another that included a visit with Karen.
  • Shopping trips to Payson, Flagstaff or Prescott.
  • Dianna's two trips to be with her cousin in California when she had cancer surgery.
  • A visit from Daryl and Gisele.
  • A visit from Donna.
  • A trip to California to see Dianna's sister and spend a few days with Marie and Adam's twins.
  • A four night stay in the hospital in Flagstaff for me while I recovered from pancreatitis.
  • Dianna's month long trip to Texas to help Dayna with her new business.
There were probably some other things that slip my mind just now.  Rather than spend a lot of time trying to remember what we did for the past 6 months I am just going to move on and post about what we have done since in a subsequent post.