Monday, March 30, 2009

Plans change with the weather

Yesterday we held back on traveling. Thirty to fifty mile per hour winds gave us pause. Besides, we were staying in a beautiful rural park, so what's the rush?

Today we departed for a better weather forecast. Within thirty minutes, snowflakes fell. And continued in greater numbers as we drove up toward the Continental Divide. Past that 8,000 foot summit, with snow steadily increasing, we stopped in Quemado, NM. By 1pm, the snowstorm broke and we drove on to a dry camping spot outside of the Petrified Forest National Park.

After three or four days of very cold weather, and predictions of more cool windy weather tomorrow, we will forgo the Forest and the Painted Desert, chosing to return to more temperate regions of AZ and CA. Thus we will leave the northern AZ mountains tomorrow, on to the Escapee Park in Congress, AZ.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Very Large Array Observatory

Pulled into Montosa RV Park on NM 60 at 7,000 feet elevation. We enjoyed a beautiful day at this lovely rural park. Then the temperature fell to 16 degrees overnight. Clear, cold, not a sound made by man nor beast.

The next day we drove to the Magdalena Cafe for their famous giant chile hamburger. Two 8 oz hamburger patties on a bun, with chips. Ooof! It took both of us to finish one burger. But we still went back for the pies.

Then on to the Very Large Array Observatory.
What an amazing place. 27 very big radio telescopes (235 tons each) moved into different patterns across a 25 mile long valley. All these telescopes pointed skyward in the same direction gave the place an eerie other-wordly feel.

Remember Jodi Foster in the movie Contact? Filmed at the VLA.

Click here for VLA slide show.

Tomorrow - drive to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Friends at Elephant Butte State Park

We finally departed Deming after two weeks in Las Cruces attending to medical needs. On to Elephant Butte State Park, New Mexico's most popular park due to the very large fishing lake. Not so much tho during our overnight stay, due to 50mph winds all afternoon.

But we met fellow participants in an Excel online forum. We visited in their marvelous Excel fifth wheel, cooked up a meal, chatted about all manners of things with them and their lovely grandchildren, and listened to the wind.

Woulda stayed another day, but the park was filled with expectant fishers for the upcoming weekend.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yee Haw!!!

We're Texans at last. I never realized how much my soul has hungered to be part of the biggest state in the Union.

Alaska? Whazzat? I'll ask ya what anyway?

Yes sir. We the best. You folks in (enter inferior state here) ain't squat. Ha!!

Washington State? You mean they named a state after him? You kidding, right? Ha ha!!

Wasn't our Texas Boy George W the greatest President of the 21st century? Maybe they should name a state after him!!! Ha ha ha!!

Ooop. Overplayed my hand there. Guess you figured out I was funnin' all along.

OK, back to the west coast after all.


PS Clancy says, "Heck, Australia is even bigger than Texas. And they speak better English. And our kangaroos can beat the tar out of your roadrunners."

Down boy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update On Jenna's Condition

Today Jenna followed up with her hospital doctor. And learned that her back pain comes from narrowing of the openings in her ribs for her spinal nerves, plus some other stuff. In sum, old spine disease. No cancer connection, which is a relief. Some kinda therapy in the future, probably when we reach the Fresno area in a few weeks.

Thanks to all who wished her well. Gotta keep on going. Back on the road again in a few days.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Home at Last, Sorta

Jenna was released from the hospital today. Gastric problem resolved, caused by a bacterial infection.

Back pain - cause unknown. All tests negative. Out the door! Pain med plus a physical therapy evaluation on Monday.

Jenna joined Bruce at her brother Walt's house in Las Cruces. We are grateful to Walt for his hospitality, particularly now while Jenna still winces as she walks.

And Clancy likes chasing his ball down a longer hallway!

We hope to travel to El Paso on Monday or Tuesday to complete our Texas transition.

Just read a quote by Edna St. Vincent Millay. "It's not true that life is one damn thing after another. It's one damn thing over and over." That Edna was quite a card. She shoulda started her own blog.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Las Cruces NM Medical System

Jenna's condition has not improved. Thus we sought medical attention.

When she did not respond to home remedies, we drove to Las Cruces to a hospital. Waited 8.5 hours (!) in the ER of Memorial Medical Center, and still no assurance of medical service.

Thus we left at 10PM for Mountain View Med Center, where Jenna was seen within 30 minutes. And finally admitted at 5am. Zzzzzzz.

However, Jenna has waited in her hospital bed until 3pm to get any treatment. Looks like another day here at least.


BTW: Her RN tells us that the current financial crisis has solved some of the nursing shortage, at least for now. Fewer people seeking medical treatment, particularly optional procedures. Fewer people with medical coverage. Retired nurses returning to work when their spouses lose their jobs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Deming NM and Deming Historical Museum

On to Deming Escapee Park, where we planned to park our trailer while visiting Jenna's brother

Walt in Las Cruces, NM and girlfriend Olivia in El Paso. And complete our move to Texas residency.

Visit went well enough. (Separate posting to follow.) But paperwork to register our vehicles - not so good. And then Jenna suffered some minor side effects from her cancer treatment. All of

Which has kept us in Deming for ten days now. Hope to depart in the next few.

In the mean time, we visited the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum. Several people had told us not to miss it. And they were right.

We saw an astounding display of life in the early 20th century in this county. Medical devices, fire engines, cowboy stuff, main street shops, liquor bottles, music, on and on. A vast collection of pictures of local families.

Plus coins back to 300BC. A very large set of local pottery in 1000 AD. More items I cannot even remember.

All beautifully presented. I started taking pictures midway into the tour. You can see them here.

How impressed was I? I usually get sleepy in museums, from a combination of heat, mustiness, specific lack of motion, and general lack of class. Even tho I felt sleepy, I forced myself to continue and was glad I did.

See this museum if you can!


Thursday, March 5, 2009


Ten weeks in the GFD (God Forsaken Desert). Now some time to think about it.

We made a lot of good friends. Fireside chats. Pie runs. Hikes. Beautiful hills and country all about.

However, we were too often sick from the blowing sand. Blowing all the time. Plus lots of work maintaining our electric, water, and septic. Staying there in the future would mean buying additional equipment to mitigate some of the work, but would not improve our health.

Thus we have decided not to return for an extended period. Maybe a few days on the way elsewhere. Preferably somewhere equally warm but with more flora.

Thus the GFD becomes the BFD (Brod Forsaken Desert).

We will stop at the Escapee park in Congress, AZ on our way back to consider it for a winter roost.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Benson sans stars

We drove east to Benson AZ. Regular readers (none) will remember that last year we had planned to stay at the Butterfield RV Park on our way to Mexico. Butterfield RV has an observatory with a 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. But we cancelled those plans in favor of my total knee replacement.

So this time we made it to Butterfield. Gonna see some stars tonight!

Nope, too cloudy. :<

Then we went to the Escapees park in Benson. Nice facility. Very friendly people. We liked. They have a 400 person waiting list for 300 sites. Which equals about an 8 year waiting. Maybe a meteor strike…um, no, that might damage the club house. So we signed up for the waiting list for the winter multimonth site rental program.

Time to move on.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tucson, Arizona

Thanks to friends in the GFD, we landed at Gilbert Ray Campground, a Pima County park outside of the Sugaro National Park. Beautiful views of hills covered with cacti. Beautiful views of cacti stretching from the edge of our campsite.

A record heat wave here prevented us from visiting the Saguaro Desert Museum. 90 degrees in the winter, while a winter storm runs up the Atlantic coast. Amazing.

If that wasn't beautiful enough, we visited the Tucson Botanical Gardens, including an exhibition of tropical butterflies. Twelve different types of butterflies flitting around in a hot house., hot!

Took 60 pics and had a hard time narrowing them down.

You can see more here.