Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day 148, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR, Day 3

Many Black Vultures Over the Campground
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,780.5 Miles For the Trip

Another lazy day. I did lots of reading, took a walk along the campground, and a shower.

There are hundreds of vultures that arrive every evening. Unlike the turkey vultures out west, they are a little smaller, and have white tipped wings. I looked them up in my iBirds app and it appears they are Black Vultures. They must overnight in the trees across the river, and circle over the campground & river at different heights. It reminds you of the movie "The Birds" although I never got a photo of a large group. A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

That is about it for the day. Because we are expecting thunderstorms in the AM, I started packing up the outside stuff so I'll spend less time in the rain. Of course that probably will result in it not raining!

Dinner was mostly leftovers - the rest of the ravioli, spaghetti sauce, but with meatballs & sausage rather than shrimp.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 27, 2017

Day 148, Monday, March 27, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR,Day 2

Monday, March 27, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR,Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,780.5 Miles For the Trip

The trains on the other side of the river are loud enough to be annoying. I don't mind the engine & track noise, but could do without the horns. They end around 2:00AM, and start again at 6:00AM, although there are fewer during the late hours.

I climbed out of bed at 9:00AM, took a walk around the campground - is is over a mile from one end to the other, then made breakfast. After reading some forums & blogs, I packed up my dirty clothes, and headed for the Maytag Laundromat. Not the most modern one I've been to, but they did have front loading machines & plenty of dryers.

The rest of the day was spent sitting outside in the mixed sun & clouds reading.

Dinner was cheese ravioli with shrimp in spaghetti sauce.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day 147, Sunday, March 26, 2017, ACE Campground, Ozark, AR

Site D19
Sunday, March 26, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR, 149.8 Miles, 6,780.5 Miles For the Trip

Not too long a drive today, some on I 40, but most on US 64, a two lane highway that parallels I 40, and is far more fun to drive (although, I have to admit, a bit slower). I stopped at a Walmart along the way for some supplies, then stopped for the day at an ARC campground on the Arkansas River across the bridge from Ozark, AR. I'm in site D19, a water & electric site for $9.00 per night (with the Senior Pass discount) for three nights. A pretty site overlooking the river not too far from the bathrooms. A minor problem is the railroad across the river & a crossing that requires tooting the horn. Pretty loud when sitting outside, but not too bad in the trailer.

There is one NPR news station, and good Verizon & AT&T 4G cell coverage.

I spent most of the afternoon sitting outside reading. I did take a shower around 5:00 - push buttons with a 10 second run, very hot water with the first blast, then it settles down to a good temperature. No shower curtain & the shower head aims at the drying area, but it is a standard shower head, so it can be aimed so it doesn't get the drying area too wet.

There is a prediction for severe thunderstorms in the morning, but right now it is pleasant out with a light breeze.

Dinner was a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day 146, Saturday, March 25, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK, Day 2

Saturday, March 25, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,630.7 Miles For the Trip

Not much happening today. We did have a thunderstorm last night with a bit of rain, and it has cooled considerably. Right now, at 2:40 it is only 53°F, the high for the day. While I didn't use it last night, I dug out the cube heater & have it going on low to keep the trailer at 67°F.

I took a break from doing nothing & walked around the campground. About 1/2 through the walk, another Escape 17 pulled by. Dave, a fellow Escape owner from Buffalo, NY saw my blog last night, realized he was driving by the park & stopped by to say hello. He is on his way west. After a brief chat, he headed on & continued my walk around the campground. I stopped by the bathrooms at the other end of the campground. Much newer, nicer, and separate showers, but they have the high pressure shower heads, and cost $1.00 for 6 minutes; mine are free. It does appear to have heat, which would be nice today.

Back at the trailer I snacked, wrote a couple of postcards for the grandchildren, & read most of the afternoon.

Dinner was a Chicken Pot Pie baked in the trailer to use the extra heat from the toaster oven.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day 145, Friday, March 24, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK

Site 20
Friday, March 24, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK, 198.2 Miles, 6,630.7 Miles For the Trip

The wind died down around midnight, but picked up again around 7:00AM, although not the 60 MPH gusts of yesterday. Speaking of yesterday, a couple of interesting "finds". First, don't ever depend on Local Store.net to find something, at least drug stores. It is time to do my "grand refill" on my prescriptions - over the last year I choose my refill dates so all of them would come due at the same time to make it easier while traveling. Last year the problem was using my favorite local (ie Oswego) pharmacy. They don't have many stores outside NY state, so I had to get prescriptions filled at other pharmacies, which always meant canceled refills.

So. the solution was to leave my favorite pharmacy and go to a national one. The only one in my home town is Rite Aid, which does have stores in many states. Unfortunately, they don't have any in Arizona, New Mexico or northern Texas. I did a search on Local Store.net & they showed 5 Rite Aids in Oklahoma City. I called the one closest to my route to phone in the refills, and the phone answered CVS Pharmacy. Huh - well, maybe they changed stores. Called each of the others and they all answered CVS pharmacy! Seems there are no Rite Aids in Oklahoma. I don't think much of a store finding service that gives the wrong store! So, I will have to wait until I reach Tennessee to get my refills. I think I have enough...

The other interesting "find" last night was a wasp on the screen of my window around dusk. A close look showed I was viewing its back, meaning it was inside. I don't like wasps, so I got out the fly swatter & hit it. Now usually, when I use the fly swatter on a stinging insect, it either misses, or just "wings" it, letting it disappear into the trailer. This time I did get it, but then noticed another one between the screen & sliding window. I squashed that one, then wondered how many got inside and are hiding, waiting to nail me in the middle of the night! I didn't find any more, however this (today) afternoon I ran the window shade up all the way & discovered another wasp between the screen & window that rode all the way here. I'm not sure how the first got through the screen, but I'm glad the other two stayed outside, and hope not to find another one!

Anyway, now to today. Most of the drive was on I 40 with enough side winds to make it a 2 hands on the steering wheel drive. Only 11.9 MPG for the day. I'm at Dripping Springs State Park, which seems to have become Okmulgee City Park. The campground map says it is a state park, but the campground host brought back my check that I had made out to Oklahoma State Parks, and asked if I could make it out to the city - the city took over the park last year. In any case, it is a large park with three campgrounds. I'm in site 20 in the Red Oak Campground, a water & Electric site for $18.00 per night, including a $2.00 senior discount. I'm here for tonight & Saturday. Like the last park, this one is mostly empty. There are two trailers other than me & the host in a campground with 60 sites.

It is my kind of campsite with lots of space between sites, a picnic table, and plenty of shade (at least once the red oaks leave out). The bathrooms are a bit primitive, but acceptable. One of the showers doesn't, but the other has a good shower head, a pushbutton that runs long enough & provides hot water, a bench, but no hooks for clothes, or any place for your soap or shampoo in the shower. No shower curtain, but not too much water ends up in the drying area.

It looks like the bathhouse on the other end of the campground is newer, with individual showers, but this one works. Acceptable AT&T without an amplifier, and while only one bar of Verizon 4G LTE without the amp, with it 3 bars & acceptable speed.

I didn't do much other than read a few blogs & forums, and my latest book. It is warm out - in the high 70's, but still a little windy.

Dinner was a Bubba Turkey Burger & steamed snap peas.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 144, Thursday, March 23, 2017, Cedar Point Campground, Foss State Park, OK

Site 13, Cedar Point Campground, Foss State Park
Thursday, March 23, 2017, Cedar Point Campground, Foss State Park, OK, 197.1 Miles, 6,432.5 Miles For the Trip

I got an acceptably early start for the day, leaving the campground at 8:00AM. A very windy drive. Unfortunately, side winds, not a tailwind for most of the trip. I only averaged 11 MPG for the day, and getting a good shake at underpasses. There were a number of trailers on I40, and most of them were jumping around more than the Escape, so I didn't feel too bad.

I looked for a state park not too far from I 40, and selected Foss Lake. They have a bunch of campgrounds, 2 of which have electric & water. I tried to call to see if there were sites available, but only got a recorded message that told me to use the "Iron Ranger" to book any non reserved site. Of course that didn't tell me if any were available, but there was a KOA 10 miles away, so I went for it.

The first stop was the Cottonwood Campground with around 30 sites, all empty, with no reservations. It looked lonely, so I drove on to the Cedar Point campground, which is on the lake. 4 RVs at Cedar Point, so I parked in Site 13. I had to ask one of the park maintenance drivers for the location of the Iron Ranger - it was next to my site (but I have to say is didn't look like any Iron Ranger I've seen before.) It is a very nice site; even has a stack of firewood at the fire ring, but it is far too windy to use it or even sit around outside. I hope it calms down by evening. There is excellent Verizon & AT&T coverage here at the campground.

The wind has not let up - in must be a steady 30MPH with stronger gusts. Even with the trailer still connected to the truck & all 4 stabilizers down, it is rocking in the wind. It is even rattling the trailer step!

It is a long walk (and into the wind) to the bathrooms. A strange location for them - the bathrooms with showers are in the picnic area, not near the RV section. Pay showers ($1.00 for 6 minutes) with low flow/high velocity showerheads. They also have a laundry at $1.50 per load. Tempting, but I don't have quite enough for a load. I'll have to decide if I want to brave the wind for a shower later.

Dinner was soup & a sandwich - no way I was going to grill outside.

Day 143, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 3

Wild Tom Turkey
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,235.4 Miles For the Trip

A very slow day. No sun, so it is quite cool, mostly in the 50's. I did run the electric heater last night since it was down to 47°F by morning. I walked to the park store for a breakfast sandwich & coffee this morning. After that it was back to the trailer and doing some reading inside. I did get out to take some photos of a wandering flock of wild turkeys. There are a lot of them in the valley behind the campground, with groups coming out to graze on the lawn at the campsites. A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The sun came out around 5:00, so I sat outside for a bit before dinner, which was Chicken Cordon Bleu & the last of the asparagus. I did try the other shower to see if it was any better, but it was even colder. I have to say these have been the worst showers of the trip.

Until a good internet connection -

Day 142, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 2

The Lighthouse
Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,235.4 Miles For the Trip

The first three photos are from Rockhound. I forgot that they were in the D800 until I set it up for some night time photos here at Palo Duro. The hang glider was using the face of the mountain behind the campground to gain altitude. He would circle around the face until he was almost out of sight, then make a bunch of large circles, until he dropped enough to go back to the face & climb. He was there for over an hour.

I looked through the trail map this morning, and decided that a hike to the park's favorite formation, "The Lighthouse" was in order. Since it is an almost 3 mile hike with little shade and labeled "Moderate", I left early enough to avoid the late afternoon heat. Actually, other than long, most of the hike is easy. There is a "Fooled You" formation about a 1/2 mile into the hike that looks like it could be the lighthouse, but isn't. The last 1/8 of a mile is a steep climb up a narrow & rocky wash, much of which is on slippery sand covered rock - even more difficult coming down.

After getting back to the truck, I drove out to the Mesquite Campground, and did find it more interesting than the Sagebrush campground I'm in. It did have one empty site, but I decided not to bother asking to move. I did find a Roadrunner crossing the road (naturally) and got a couple of photos.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

On the way back to the campground, I stopped at the park store, hoping they would have quarts or 1/2 gallons of skimmed milk, but all they had were pints of whole milk, something I haven't had in years. I guess I'll have to have an Alaskan Amber with dinner! I spent the afternoon finding the right mix of sun & shade to be comfortable sitting outside. It is cooler than yesterday (82°F now at 7:00) but the sun still has a punch. There is also more wind than yesterday, so I wasn't comfortable putting out the awning.

I headed for the shower around 7:00. I'm beginning to think carrying a wrench & showerhead would be a great idea. I don't mind water saver showerheads, but some are extreme. The one in this shower shoots a very fine, high pressure spray. While it is warm (but far from hot) coming out of the showerhead, by the time it reaches you it is cold. Good for washing your hair since it is still warm (but feels line a pressure washer) but painful for washing the rest of you. While there is a shower curtain, the showerhead is aimed at it, and the spray gets under it so the drying area is very wet. On the plus side, there is a bench & plenty of hooks.

Dinner was a Chimichanga and asparagus. I'm not sure what the difference is between a Chimichanga & a Burrito, other than the Chimichanga has a more pie like crust. In any case, easy to bake in the toaster oven.

I'll try to post today's page, but the photos, even the thumbnails wouldn't upload, so if it makes it the table of images will be blank.

Until a good internet connection -

Day 141, Monday, March 20, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Sagebrush Campground, Site 129

Monday, March 20, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, 37.8 Miles, 6,235.4 Miles For the Trip

I left the Oasis around 10:00, and made a couple of stops along the way to Palo Duro, first at a Walmart for some supplies, and at the Canyon Post Office to mail the grandkid's postcards & the build sheet confirmation to Escape.

It was still a short trip, and I arrived at the park around 12:00. It might have been better to get here a little later. I wanted to stay at the Mesquite Campground, which had been recommended by more than one, but they assigned me a spot in Sagebrush since they didn't know which sites at Mesquite had been cleared.

I'm in site 129, a water & electric site for $29.00 per night (including the $5.00 per day park entrance fee Texas parks add to all campers). I'm not too far from the bathrooms & showers, have a large grassy area next to the trailer, and a fire ring & picnic table, although the picnic table is a bit of a walk from the trailer. There is an unusual fire ban at the park - no outside fires, period, including gas stoves. While I've run into many that banned campfires & charcoal grills, this is the first park that included anything that makes a flame. I guess I'll do my cooking for the next three days in the trailer, or bake things outside in the toaster oven!

After setting up the trailer I ran out the awning & sat under it to try to find some shade. It is hot - 98°F on the outside thermometer, which, I have to admit, is in the sun under the propane tank covers. Still, in the sun it is hot! I did fire up the air conditioner. I'm beginning to understand why Texans say air conditioners are a "must have". I read for awhile, then checked the internet. While my AT&T phone shows between 1 & 2 bars, it isn't doing data. The Verizon Jetpack shows no connection without the amplifier, and switched back & forth between a 1X & a 3G connection with it, although web pages & posting from Dreamweaver isn't going to happen. I am getting chunks of email every once in awhile. It will probably be a couple of days before I post any of the pages from here.

It is still 98°F out at 4:40, so I'm going to set up my roll out table and set up the toaster oven outside. By the way, the 11,000 BTU air conditioner has no problem keeping the trailer cool (currently 75°F) set on low & the dial about 1/2 way to full. I still don't like the noise, but do appreciate the cool!

Dinner was a couple of El Monterey Chicken Empanadas. I bought a package back at the beginning of the trip, haven't been able to find them since, until today. Evidently, some RVers don't believe in the fire ban - 2 of my neighbors are cooking dinner on gas camp stoves outside their vehicles. Neither are from Texas...

At 6:15, it has cooled down to 97°F. Of course, I could be in upstate NY where it is in the 20's.

Until the next internet connection -

Well, I can't upload the large version of the campsite photo, but the thumbnail & this page got through.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Day 140, Sunday, March 19, 2017, Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo, TX

Site 39, Oasis RV Resort
Sunday, March 19, 2017, Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo, TX, 102.5 Miles, 6,197.6 Miles For the Trip

Another relatively short drive, mostly on US 60 and a little on I 40. As you cross into Texas, there are a bunch of cattle fattening farms, although I'm not sure whether they are considered farms or ranches, or businesses. Thousands of cattle in pens standing around waiting.

I crossed into central time, so I lost another hour. I'm doing the page at 6:00, and it still seems like the middle of the afternoon. I'm at the Oasis RV Resort, "Amarillo's Newest, Largest & Finest". It definitely meets the description, although it isn't exactly my cup of tea. I'm in site 39, a full hookup site for $27.00. A level concrete pad, but no picnic table and not a tree in sight. They have individual bathrooms with showers that are very clean. They also have very fast, free WiFi. I will be moving on to Palo Duro Canyon State Park tomorrow.

It is very windy today. Because of a tailwind, I was getting 18 MPG on the early part of the trip, but the average for the day was down to 14.7 MPG. After setting up I put the awning out a couple of feet to get a piece of shade for both me & the refrigerator wall. The current temperature is 91°F, so I'm running the air conditioner again.

When I get around to feeling hungry, dinner will be left over shrimp Alfredo.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Day 139, Saturday, March 18, 2017, Clovis RV Park, NM

Site 37, Clovis RV Park, Clovis, NM
Saturday, March 18, 2017, Clovis RV Park, NM, 112 Miles, 6,095.1 Miles For the Trip

I had a short drive on US 70 to Clovis. I hoped to mail the grandkid's cards and the Build Sheet letter to Escape, but all the post offices I passed on the way were closed on Saturdays. They will have to wait until Monday.

I'm in site 37, a level enough to not unhook, full hookup site (with Cable TV) for $30.00. They have paid WiFi, however I have a strong Verizon signal so I'll use my Jetpack. While the office is only open from 2:00 - 4:00, they told me to call when I got here and they would send someone over to put me in a site. Individual bathrooms with showers that are spotless. All in all, pretty good for a commercial campground.

I checked with what I hoped to be my next stop, Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas, but the on line reservation shows no sites available, and the office at the posted phone number is closed until Monday. I will see if they have any drive up sites available, but it not, there are many commercial sites in near by Amarillo.

A little later, I tried a reservation search starting Monday rather than Sunday, and got a 3 day booking at the Mesquite Campground at Palo Duro Canyon. I also have a Sunday reservation at a park in Amarillo, so I should be set for most of the week.

Other than setting up, I didn't do much but sit in the shade and read for the day. No where near as hot as the last two days.

Dinner was a Knorr's Alfredo with added shrimp.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 138, Friday, March 17, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM, Day 2

The Museum
Friday, March 17, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,983.1 Miles For the Trip

Well, it wasn't warm last night - down to 48°F at 6:00AM. Good for the refrigerator. It always takes time to cool back down, particularly the main section, after defrosting, It was at 32°F by morning, so the cool night did it good!

I checked my propane & one tank was empty, so the first stop was at a propane dealer. I probably should have tried the campground; AWC Propane was $17.68 for 4.7 gallons, the most expensive of the trip. overall, So far, I've used 42.3 gallons of propane for the trailer and cook stove.

After picking up the propane, I stopped at the center of town to check out the shops and "museums" dedicated to the "Roswell Incident". No "T" shirt, but I did buy a couple of post cards for the grandkids. The town certainly makes good use of a grounded weather balloon (maybe!) Anyhow, here are some photos, most from the main museum ($3.00 senior admission). They have a good collection of clippings & materials from the original incident, but the rest of the place is speculation about UFOs. The scary part is a number of the visitors appeared to believe it all!

After that I headed for the local Office Max to have them print a PDF of my "Build Sheet", the instructions & options for my new 21' Escape trailer. They moved up the expected delivery date from October 4th to September 20th, and will probably move it up again. Since I've been going over the various options for 6 months, I'm ready to settle on what I want.

Dinner was left over fried chicken & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day 137, Thursday, March 16, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM

Site 29, Trailer Village RV Park
Thursday, March 16, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM, 260.4 Miles, 5,983.1 Miles For the Trip

Another warm night.

After breakfast I packed up the trailer & headed out. I made at least one camper happy - the park is full & there were 3 RVs waiting for a site.

A little bit of I 10 to Las Cruces, then US 70 to Ruidoso, where I planned to stay for the night. I did make a stop at the Las Cruces Toyota to get my 15,000 mile service, but there was no room to drop the trailer, and they didn't seem all that interested in doing the service. At 15,000 miles, all they do is rotate the tires & check fluids, etc. In any case, after trying to find a spot for the trailer & failing, I headed out.

I didn't have much better luck at Ruidoso. The campground I had entered into the GPS turned out to be a motel, and it there is an attached campground, it is pretty well hidden. There were a couple more listed in the AllStays Camp & RV app I use to do most of my searches, but after stopping at two of them & finding them filled with park model trailers and no one at the office (for one I couldn't even find the office), I gave up & continued on to Roswell, about 60 miles further down US 70.

I'm in site 29 at the Trailer Village RV Park, a full hookup site at the end of a row about as far from the road as you can get, for $34.00 per night. A level enough site that I didn't need to unhook, but on the way into town I passed a Toyota dealer, so I decided to stay 2 days, planning to get the Tacoma serviced tomorrow. Of course, after signing up for 2 days, and then calling the Toyota dealer, even though it was only 15 minutes until they closed, they took me in tonight. So, I'll have a day of doing nothing in Roswell. Maybe I'll go looking for aliens (the extraterrestrial kind)!

It is hot! 95°F both in & outside the trailer. I fired up the air conditioner for the first time on the trip. I ran it for about an hour to cool down the trailer. While it was running, I defrosted the refrigerator. Now, at 7:50, it has cooled down to 81°F outside, and the trailer is slowly warming up to the outside temperature.

Dinner was fried chicken & greens from Albertson's.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Day 136, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM, Day 2

California Poppies
Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,722.7 Miles For the Trip

It stayed warm overnight - only down to 60°F by morning. I didn't get up until 9:00; still getting used to daylight savings time. After a walk around the campground, I made breakfast, coffee, and read for about an hour.

After that I decided to hit one of the trails that climbs the mountains behind the campground. A great view from about 3/4 of the way up. You are allowed to take up to 10 pounds of rock from the mountain. There are geodes, semi precious stones, etc, but I didn't find any. I did pick up a couple of pretty rocks, including one large one that will go on my TV table at home along with my other "finds" on my travels. I took lots of photos of the flowers along the way, as well as a large panorama from near the top. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After getting back to the trailer I finished a J. A. Jance novel - Desert Heat, the first Joanna Brady book. I keep thinking I've read all of her novels, but keep finding ones that are not on my list.

After that I hit the showers. Not too bad for a non adjustable, push button shower. Plenty of hooks, a bench & a shower curtain.

Dinner was a Milford Valley Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese thing and steamed asparagus. The chicken things are pretty good, but since they start with raw chicken, they must be baked so I only make them when I have hookups for the toaster oven.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 135, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM

A Yucca Plant at Sunset
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM, 149 Miles, 5,722.7 Miles For the Trip

Well, it definitely cooled off over night - 40°F at 6:00AM. I fired up the electric heater, and by 7:00 it was up to 68°F. They offered a waffle & coffee breakfast between 8:30 & 9:00, but for some reason, no one was sitting at the picnic tables in the 45°F temperatures! I had cereal, the rest of my blueberries, and made my own coffee.

Not a bad drive on I 10 to Deming. Light traffic, although most of it was trucks. I lost an hour crossing the New Mexico border by gaining daylight savings time. I arrived at Rockhound State Park around 12:30. I'm in site 26 for 2 days, a water & electric site for $14.00 per night.

Rockhound is a more "refined" park than City of Rocks where I stayed on the way out, but a bit closer to Deming. Since I have to pick up a general delivery mailing at the post office (where the parking with a trailer is limited), I decided to stay here.

There are more of the California Poppies (at least that is what I think they are) growing here than at the Lost Dutchman; some nice fields of them. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I called the post office, and my mail was in, so I headed to Deming & picked it up. I am more comfortable now that I have the registration for the truck (which would run out before I got home). Thanks Anne! While in town I stopped at Walmart & picked up some fruit & a frozen pizza for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 13, 2017

Dy 134, Monday, March 13, 2017,Fort Wilcox RV Park, AZ

Site 21, Fort Wilcox RV Park
Monday, March 13, 2017, Fort Wilcox RV Park, AZ, 194.4 Miles, 5,573.7 Miles For the Trip

Another 200 mile drive, mostly on US 60 & I10. I thought about stopping at Picacho State Park, but decided I wanted to make a few more miles. Last year I stopped a the Dragoon Rocks area to see the Amerind Museum, the 3:10 to Yuma movie set, and, of course, the rocks.

While there I found The Rock Saloon & Grill, an interesting place built around a huge rock that sits behind the bar. I also discovered that they had a campground, so this year I though about staying. I wandered around trying to find someone in charge, and finally met someone that could give me the prices - $50.00 per night for full hookups (in an empty campground and a closed bar & grill), but no bathrooms or showers. A bit more than I wanted to pay, plus I needed to do laundry, so I moved on.

I stopped for the night at the Fort Wilcox RV Park, a pleasant campground just off I 10 with a mix of permanent & short time campers. I'm in site 21, a full hookup site for $33.95. The laundry is next door to my site, and only $1.25 per load. Nothing special, but far enough from I 10 & the railroad to be fairly quiet.

I did take a couple of moon light photos last night, but by the time the moon rose behind the mountains it was too dark to show both the moon & the landscape. There are 2 images at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After making the bed & putting away the laundry, I sat in the shade & read. I was hoping that now that I've gained 3000' of altitude, it would be a bit cooler, but it was in the high 80's this afternoon. It is now cooling down; hope enough to make the refrigerator happy tonight.

Dinner will be a turkey Bubba Burger & the rest of the asparagus.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 133, Sunday, March 12, 2017, Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ

Sun Set at the Superstition Mountains
Sunday, March 12, 2017, Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ, 200.2 Miles, 5,379.3 Miles For the Trip

I got an early start & hit the dump station at 7:55, and out of the park by 8:00. I decided to stop at the Lost Dutchman State Park rather than going all the way to Picacho Peak State Park because if conditions were good, photographing the moon over the Superstition Mountains might be interesting. I'd rather have a new moon so I could do some star photos, but since the full moon was at 7:45AM, it isn't going to happen. I did take a couple of moon rise photos last night at the La Paz County Park. I had to edit out some power lines; as usual, power lines & poles ALWAYS manage to work their way into the best views.

By the way, the 7:45 AM is still Mountain Standard Time. Arizona does not do Daylight Savings Time, with the exception of the Navajo Reservation where they do. That makes for interesting scheduling around Page, AZ where the Navajos not only use Mountain Standard Time, but what is also called "Indian Time" which generally means "around then".

In any case, I pulled into the Lost Dutchman State Park around 12:00 Sunday, expecting to have lots of sites available. Nope - it is wildflower season, and the entire park was booked, with only 3 open sites in the overflow area. I'm in site 127, which is a beautifully located dry site for $20.00. A long walk to the nearest bathroom, but the view out the back window in a clear shot at the Superstition Mountains.

I walked around a couple of trails behind my site & took a few wildflower photos. There is a Cactus Wren nest just behind my trailer, and it looks like they are feeding young (or one is feeding the other sitting on eggs) but you can't see into the nest - it is well buried in a Cholla Cactus & I'm not going to pry into it (not that I would - I don't disturb wildlife if at all possible).

While I gained more than 1000', it is still very warm; 92°F at 4:30. I hope is cools off tonight. Dinner will be a salad.

After dinner we had a bit of excitement. Not sure who they were rescuing, but air rescue made a bunch of trips to the base of the mountains. Some neat flying by the pilot with the skids barely on sloped ground to drop off what looked like an EMT. Too far away for good photos, but I did get a couple of photos.

While that was going on I shot a bunch of sunset images. There were only a few minutes apart - it is amazing how fast the color changes.  Many, many photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

If there are any night time images worth posting, I'll add them later...

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Day 132, Saturday, March 11, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 5

The Desert Bar, Parker, AZ

Saturday, March 11, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 5, 0 Miles, 5,179.1 Miles For the Trip

I went over to the swap shop around 9:00 and picked up a hat, a nice bunch of asparagus, and, of course, a bag of kettle corn. After that it was back to the trailer to hang out until around 11:30 when I headed to the Desert Bar. The road is just as bad as its been in the past, however the Tacoma Off Road takes it much better than the RAV4!

While I saw a couple of NY plates on trucks & cars in the parking lot, I didn't meet the owners. I was only there for about 1/2 an hour, long enough to take a few photos, buy a "T" shirt, and a glass of lemonade. The drive back was much faster than the drive out - no one in front of me. Pictures at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I spent a bit more time sitting & reading, then at 3:00 headed over to the picnic at the WiFi building. Speaking of WiFi, while it is available at the building, and even here at site 80, it is slow enough that it is only useful for reading email. It hangs on web pages, uploading photos, etc. I've been using my Verizon Jetpack, which is only marginally faster. While it shows 4 bars of 4G LTE, it just barely handles posting the pages & reading forums & web pages. Still, AT&T shows LTE when it is on (sometimes outside the trailer) but doesn't do data. Most of the time it shows "No Service".

The picnic was OK, with hamburgers & hot dogs as well as lots of sides & desserts. Only about 1/2 my pie went; I left it for anyone else that arrives late.

There won't be dinner since the picnic was late enough to serve as an evening meal.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 10, 2017

Day 131, Friday, March 10, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 4

The La Paz County Fair
Friday, March 10, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 4, 0 Miles, 5,179.1 Miles For the Trip

Around 12:00 I headed to the La Paz County Fair. Not all that different from my own county fir, although a bit smaller. Still, lots of animal competitions, games & rides, and food.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I stayed a couple of hours, then headed to Walmart for the supplies to make a blueberry pie. The did have Californian blueberries on sale at Safeway for $.87 for a 6 oz package, but when I bought a package the other day to add to my cereal, I had to throw about half of them out since they were soft & over ripe, and even the firm ones had no taste.

Walmart had Driscoll's Blueberries grown in Mexico. While I'd prefer the "home grown" blueberries & I hope Trump will forgive me, the Driscoll's were some of the best I've found outside my own bushes. So, at $4.00 per pint they were a bit more, but much better. I spent the afternoon making the pie, munching on the left over blueberries, & baking it outside the trailer (it is 90°F out, even hotter inside).

While the pie was cooling I headed to the Roadrunner floating bar & grill next door to the park for fish & chips. I forgot how large the portions were - It was all you can eat, and since I was doing it as take out, they gave me an extra piece. Way too much for me to eat, particularly since I ordered a side of onion rings. It is greasy bar & grill food, but tastes great! Hopefully, my stomach will forgive me overnight...

Since some nice, thin wispy clouds moved in, I was hoping for some color in the sunset, but it didn't happen. I did look the other way and caught an almost full moon rise over the RV storage area.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 130, Thursday, March 9, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 3

Boating on the Colorado River

Thursday, March 9, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 3, 0 Miles, 5,179.1 Miles For the Trip

Another relaxing day. After a walk around the campground & breakfast, I talked with Anne on Facetime. She was at my house finding the truck registration so she could mail it to me. Since she was on Facetime, I got to look t the house. Wow, it is huge! Actually, it is a small 1200 sq ft house, but compared to the trailer it is pretty big.

I did some reading, then walked down to the river to take a couple of photos. Lots of boats of every kind from kayaks to speedboats. After that I had a shower, then made dinner - a chicken patty, Bush Beans, and a peach fruit cup. Some photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day 129, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 2

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,179.1 Miles For the Trip

Another day of doing nothing. I did do a couple of walking laps around the campground (about a mile each) and went to the office to "re-up" for 3 more days. I'll be leaving on Sunday. I decided to stay to catch the La Paz County Fair, a Saturday hot dog & hamburger dinner, and maybe the weekend swap shop. I'll also head out to the Desert Bar on Saturday.

Other than that, not much going on. I traded a bunch of books at the library and spent the day sitting outside the trailer reading. No photos.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Day 128, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ

Site 80, La Paz County Park
Tuesday, March 7, 2017, La Paz County Park, Parker, AZ, 58.7 Miles, 5,179.1 Miles For the Trip

A short drive to the La Paz County Park on the Colorado River a bit north of Parker, AZ. I stayed here for a month a couple of years ago; this time it will be for 2 days. I'm tempted to add a couple more days to cover the weekend so I can visit the Desert Bar, an interesting place between here & Parker. I'll decide tomorrow.

I'm in site 80, a water & electric site (with cable TV) for $27.00 per night. The park is first come with no reservations, and is usually close to full all winter. A bit more space than last night, but still pretty much a parking lot with services. I can see the Colorado River between trailers two rows in front of me. Last time I was in a site on the river, but no riverfront sites were available this trip.

After setting up I drove into Parker to Mike's Barber shop for a haircut & beard trim. I headed back to the trailer, set up my chair & sat out in the sun reading. While sitting, a hummingbird flew within 6" of my face & hovered there looking at me. Now I know that it is impossible that it remembered me (and my feeder) from 2 years ago, but I wasn't going to argue with it. I mixed up some hummingbird food & hung out the feeder. Within 2 minutes, it was back & at the feeder.

Dinner was left overs - a steak, pepper & onion sandwich on a hard roll, asparagus & egg potato salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 6, 2017

Day 127, Monday, March 6, 2017, Lake Havasu City State Park, AZ,

Site 31, Lake Havasu City State Park
Monday, March 6, 2017, Lake Havasu City State Park, AZ, 63.7 Miles, 5,120.4 Miles For the Trip

Last night I did find the Mexican restaurant, but it was far enough away that I had to drive. I had so so fish tacos.

While I guess I can't get out from under the "Snowbird" status since I've spend 3 out of the last 4 winters here in the southwest, I rarely stay in an official snowbird park. Last night I discovered one of the negatives - loud neighbors. No, they weren't partying, just listening to TV. The problem is I believe they both must be partially deaf since it was loud enough that I had trouble hearing my radio inside my trailer. Now I don't play the radio all that loud, in fact you can't hear it outside the trailer, but still, even with extra insulation & double pane windows (and what ever was in the walls of the trailer next to me), I got to listen to (but not see) TV until 9:00.

I stopped at Sunshine RV in Lake Havasu City to pick up the lower right hand door hinge for my refrigerator, but somehow it became a door handle. Not sure why, but, of course, they didn't have the hinge in stock. As long as I was at the parts desk, I picked up a 3" sewer gate valve to replace the one on the Escape. It still works, but half the handle broke the last time I opened it. It still opens, but if what's left breaks, I'll be using pliers to dump.

I called Joe's RV Service in Deming, NM and asked them to order the hinge for me. They are about a week away, hopefully enough time to get it shipped from Dometic. They haven't called back with the price yet so who knows. As long as I'm careful not to open the door more than 3/4 of the way, the door seems to stay on.

I'm glad I made a reservation yesterday for a site at the Lake Havasu City State Park, since the campground had a "Full" sign posted at 12:00 when I arrived. I'm in site 31, a water & electric site for $35.00 + a $5.00 reservation fee. A nice view of the lake. As long as it seems I'm spending the day complaining, I have to gripe about the Class A that pulled in next to me. Now I know that diesels should be idled for a couple of minutes after a hard drive, but these guys are excessive. The let the engine run the entire time they set up - 46 1/2 minutes. It didn't help that the rear engine was right next to my chair. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading (and listening to a diesel) and replacing the dump valve.

Dinner was a steak, asparagus, and egg potato salad, with a glass of Old Soul Petite Sirah wine.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Day 126, Sunday, March 5, 2017, Snowbird RV Resort, Fort Mohave, AZ

Last Night's Sunset
Sunday, March 5, 2017, Snowbird RV Resort, Fort Mohave, AZ, 157.4 Miles, 5,056.7 Miles For the Trip

I thought about staying an extra day at Valley of Fire since the predictions were for a 40MPH headwind with 60MPH gusts for the trip south. I waited until after breakfast, and the wind didn't seem too bad, so I headed out. I tried to convince Matilda I didn't want to drive I 15 through Las Vegas, although on a Sunday morning, it probably wouldn't be too bad. I did avoid it, doing much of the drive on Las Vegas Blvd & US 95. While I didn't get blown off the road, there was enough of a headwind that the first 100 miles averaged 8.4MPG. By the time I stopped for the night, I'd lost 2000', the headwind, and was up to a 11MPG average. It was nice to go from the $2.50 per gallon in Nevada to $2.08 per gallon in Arizona.

The plan was to stop at the Big Bend of the Colorado State Park on the Nevada side of the river, but the campground was full. They did have an overflow area, but it was a parking lot with no facilities, so I left. The next stop was Fiesta RV Resort in Bullhead City, AZ, but they were also full. I was beginning to think I'd be in a Walmart parking lot for the first time ever, but called the Snowbird RV Resort in Fort Mohave (Why they don't spell it Mojave I don't know), and they had a space for the night. $27.00 for full hookups, including cable TV. Not my idea of a campground, but it will do for the night. I did manage to trade 5 books at their library. They even have a heated pool, but it is small enough that I can't do laps in it. I might try the hot tub later. The site photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

No thoughts on dinner. I lost an hour due to the time zone change crossing the Colorado River, and am not hungry yet - I may walk to the nearby No 2 Taco Shop. Since the site is level, I didn't unhook so I'd rather not take the truck, and it is still far too windy to cook outside.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Day 125, Saturday, March 4, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 5

Sheep
Saturday, March 4, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 5, 0 Miles, 4,899.3 Miles For the Trip

After breakfast I headed to the Atlatl picnic area for a demonstration & hands on toss of an arrow using an Atlatl, a native american throwing stick. I did much better this year than when I tried in 2014 - I actually hit the fake deer!

After that it was off to see some more of the rock formations scattered around the park. First to the Beehives, then I drove the Scenic Drive that goes between the campgrounds & the main road. On the way to "The Cabins" I found a small herd of sheep & stopped for a few photos. With the 400mm lens I didn't have to get close enough to bother them. Unfortunately, others chased them away.

At the cabins, there was a hawk chasing a crow. A second crow came to the rescue & together they chased the hawk away. Naturally, I had the wrong lens on the camera, but managed to get a few images.  Many more photos from the Atlatl tossing & the scenic tour at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The wind is picking up (We are suppose to get 50MPH gusts tomorrow) so I started to do some packing up this afternoon. I put away the hummingbird feeder (not one hummingbird. It must be cooler this year than 2014 when I had a bunch of them about the same time of year). I also folded the mat while the wind was calm enough to do it.

While there is still a chicken breast left, I think I'm going to toss it and use what may be my last day with electrical hookups to bake a chicken pot pie in the toaster oven.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 3, 2017

Day 124, Friday, March 3, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 4

Formations Above The Campground
Friday, March 3, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 4, 0 Miles, 4,899.3 Miles For the Trip

Today was a goof off day. I didn't do anything other than walk around the campground a couple of times.

There are a couple of concrete pads that are labeled as handicapped sites, located close to the bathrooms with concrete walkways going to the building. The rules are that you can't take one (unless, of course, you have a handicap hanging tag) until all other campsites are filled. The rule is according to the hosts - I don't see it written at the pay station or in the park brochure. In any case, people keep pulling in, then getting second thoughts & leaving.

Now, at 4:30, all the sites but one are filled, and someone checked with the host, got permission, & pulled in to a handicap site. The one open standard site is too short & slanted for an RV. There is still one handicap site open, however I don't expect for long.

I carried my camera on one of the walks around the campground & took photos of some of the formations that are part of the rocks surrounding the place. Lots of crags & crevices, arches, shallow caves, etc. It is a beautiful place to stay.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be more of the left over chicken and a salad. Eight pieces goes a long way for one person!

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day 123, Thursday, March 2, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 3

The Fire Wave
Thursday, March 2, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 3, 0 Miles, 4,899.3 Miles For the Trip

After breakfast I put on my hiking boots and headed out to see some of the trails. Most of them were do overs - I've been to the Valley of Fire park 4 previous times. Still, I took a bunch of photos, a few that may be new.

One that is definitely new is one with some one taking a photo at the top of a hill through the legs of a companion. Good thing the speed limit is 25MPH!

One of the hikes was to the Fire Wave. I took lots of photos, including one of people standing on top, ignoring the notice not to climb it. There are interesting rocks (close to gravel) that cover parts of the sandstone - completely different color & texture; looks like the wind blows them onto the slickrock.

On the way back I watched a Peregrine Falcon land on top on one of the rocks along the trail. As it landed, I saw another wing flapping. Of course I had my 17 -35mm lens on the camera so a photo was impossible. After getting back to the Tacoma, I changed lenses to my 80-400mm walked up the road to the highest, closest viewpoint of the rock, but, of course, the birds stayed on the nest behind the front edge of the rock. I waited 1/2 an hour, than gave up. I don't have the patience to be a good bird photographer!

I also did the White Dome hike where I met a photographer using a manufactured pin hole camera. While he doesn't need to worry about depth of field since pin hole cameras have an infinite focus, trying to keep people out of a 3 minute exposure in the slot canyon was tough. Many, many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the trailer to relax. I'm hiked out for the day.

I had a quick shower before dinner. The showers next to my site are disabled set ups that have the water control around the corner from the shower itself. That wouldn't be a problem, but the handle is so heavy that it eventually falls towards which ever side is downhill. Since a normal temperature is slightly towards full hot, while you are in the shower that is where it goes. Full hot is hot, and the handle is around a wall from you!. Of course if you liked a cooler shower, it would fall to full cold, which doesn't sound pleasant either. I finally stuffed my towel around the handle to hold it in place. At least they have a shower curtain, a shelf for stuff & a bench (although no hangers for your clothes).

Dinner was the left over fried chicken from yesterday. There is enough for at least another night.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day 122, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 2

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Valley of Fire State Park, NV, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4,899.3 Miles For the Trip

While the trailer didn't get any miles on it today, the truck did. After breakfast I packed up the laundry & headed to Overton and the Suds & Duds laundromat. Unfortunately, it was closed, and, by the look of the insides, not just for the day. A campground at the other end of town listed a laundromat on its sign, so I stopped in the office. The laundromat is only for those camping in the park. I thought about paying for one night to use the laundry, but it was cheaper to drive to Mesquite 43 miles away and their laundromat. As usual, Matilda, the lady in my Garmin, sent me to the wrong place. I don't know why Garmin had a problem with laundromats, but I have never had it actually direct me to one. After finding the address in Google, I ended up at the Northview Laundromat. Very busy, but inexpensive (other than the $16.00 for gas for the 100 mile round trip in the truck).

So, rather than an hour of so, I didn't get back to Overton until around 3:00. I stopped at the Lin's Marketplace for some fried chicken for dinner.

I walked around the campground after dinner, and was stopped by someone looking for the "Sleeping Man". I had no idea where or what it was, but as I continued the walk I passed the host site & asked. They pointed it out - it is a formation on the ridge on one of the red rock mountains across from the campground. Very obvious once it is pointed out!

Until Tomorrow -