Thursday, May 20, 2021

Touring with Tommie

We are on the road again! 


First came Covid - which effectively shut down travel, especially for us "old folks". 

Then we decided to sell our Airstream trailer.. and then "Big Red", the motorhome. 

Then we bought a Class B to safely travel with the dogs from Florida to California.

Then came a host of medical issues for the Mister.

Then we were able to get vaccinations - which required hanging around for another month for the 2nd shot.

And finally the day came when we were clear of medical appointments and obligations... 

and we were off!!

April 21-25: The "Tally Rally" Region 3 Airstream get-together. We stopped at friends' home (Elaine & Art) for lunch, then on to the fair grounds.

We met several folks from our local Airstream group.

MaryAnn, Mike, Rosa & Robert...and Scott!

April 25: We landed in Kiln, Mississippi at McLeod State Park. This is a fairly large park with river-side sites and boating. Lots of people were enjoying the facilities. 

Lost sole at McLeod State Park

April 26: We ventured off of I-10 and turned north to spend the night at the Texas Airstream Harbor park. This Airstream-only park was established in 1972. Lots of friendly folks, and lake side views. 

Sketch of Town Hall in Newton, TX

April 27: We turned west and parked at a Harvest Host location, an olive farm in Elgin, TX. Our host, Frank Majowicz shared his and his wife's story of how they came to be olive oil producers following his 40+ year career leading to his being an executive chef for Hyatt. Sadly, their orchard was severely damaged by a freeze. He is hoping 60% of the trees will regrow from the roots. He already has plans to plant more. We purchased some great olive oil and want to check back to see if his orchard/grove is green next time!

April 28: We had planned to swing down to Lake Medina to camp with Carlos & Donna. Donna inquired if I had been looking at the weather?! They were expecting 2" of rain, which would have turned the canpground into a mud pit. It's a good thing we decided to forego our visit as they had hail and over 4" of rain! We continued our trek west, avoiding all of the bad weather south of us. We stopped in Llano for a brief stint of shopping and admiring the town. We landed for the night in San Angelo.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Mason, TX
There were many interesting buildings in Mason. We'll have to stop next time we go through.

April 29: As we came closer to the Texas/New Mexico border I "penned" the following:

The sun has ris’, the sun has set,
and here we are in Texas yet!
The clouds done came; so, too, the rain.
And on we traveled just the same!
We get up early; we travel late,
And still we are in this *$%! state!

Although most of our trip this day was under threatening, but dry skies, as we approached Carlsbad, NM the skies opened up. Into each life some rain must fall, and fall it did! All afternoon and all night. I waded through 2-3" water when walking the dogs, vainly trying to keep them dry with an umbrella. I awoke at 6 AM to the eerie quiet when the rain finally stopped pinging on our roof!

April 30: We ventured down into Carlsbad Caverns in the morning. Having visited Kartchner Caverns and the caves of Sonora, to name a few, this was totally different. I admired the subtle lighting used to highlight different formations in the Big Room, which is almost 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide, and 255 feet high - the largest in North America. From there we turned north towards Roswell to spend the night. Most of the RV resorts in this area of the country are small, tightly packed "parking lots" with electric and water service. I picked the Trailer Village RV Park in Roswell from images on Google maps which showed it to be all gravel, but still looking orderly. I picked "good"! The park was spotless, gravel roads were freshly scraped. No campers had extraneous stuff stashed in and around their rigs. The managers (?) were welcoming. It was a great experience. 

May 1: We turned west and hopped on to I-40 just east of Albuquerque. After traveling country Texan and New Mexican roads, the interstate seemed over-populated! We arrived in Gallup, NM at another nicely run, well-kept park. 

May 2: After leaving New Mexico, we stopped at the Petrified Forest National Park, and drove a loop through  the park. That night we stayed at the Distant Drums RV resort. Geoffrey and Katharina (my brother and his wife) came down and we had a nice visit while eating at Storytellers, the upscale restaurant at Cliff Castle Casino. It seemed strange to see so many people in the casino - even with masks and social distancing. 

May 3: Our plans to travel beyond Tehachapi went by the boards when we hit the road and became tired of the winds buffeting us. We stopped in Kingman and visited the Rt. 66 Museum. Then, we traveled the twisty section of Rt 66 to Oatman. We strolled through a few shops, then went on our way stopping at the Desert View RV Resort in Needles. It was a delightful, small resort, with tall Oleanders separating each site. 

Wild burros on the streets in Oatman

May 4: As we began our trek we decided to drive extra miles and arrive "home" in the evening. We switched plans from traveling on 99 to using I-5. That was a mistake! Even though I-5 is fewer miles, it seems very congested with trucks. Trucks and anything towing are supposed to have a maximum speed of 55. Thus trucks jam up the road, going significantly slower than cars, with everyone trying to pass everyone else - all on two lanes. It will be interesting to try CA 99 next time and see if it is any different. We made it to 102 Seaview before 6 PM. It was nice to know we didn't have to get up and drive in the morning!

We visited with the kids and grandkids. We enjoyed a weekend camping with them, and then we began to dig into the work of preparing our house for sale. 

And, Sew it Begins!

No sewing! Sewing had to come to an end, for now!  The last few weeks have been rather hectic preparing for our annual trek west to visit wi...