Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dead silence!

We finally were able to leave outta AJ Monday afternoon! I did our packing up over 3 days, which for us worked well trying to remember everything that needed to be done! The last thing to be done was to secure the awning!

Let me preface this by saying that back in September, the young man we bought our rig from showed us how to use it! When we got to AJ in November, all we could remember was to flip a couple of things and pull a black strap with the long thingy! But there was NO black strap! So we found a gentleman by the name of Blacky to come out to repair! He was awesome and realized quickly we were total newbies at this.. He explained that because of the high winds we had experienced on our trip down, the black strap had gotten wound inside the awning! He proceeded to manually unwind and then showed us how to set up. Only charged us $20!

Fast forward 7 months and we could remember we had to loosen some thingys and hang on to the black strap with the long doohickey and its supposed to go up! After much a do we got it almost in and then SNAP..both sides broke!

Ugh..but luckily Jer had saved Blacky's no and called..he was there in a half hour, remembered us, had lots of laughs and got us fixed up..showed us how to secure for strong winds too! But the best thing...he gave us this:
We got on the road about 12:30pm and headed out on 60 and then to 70.. Beautiful road through Indian reservation and mountains..we hit high winds tho and decided to stop at a Pilot truck stop for the night in Lordsburg, NM, which was next to a UP railroad track. That ran trains blaring horns. Every. 10. Minutes. All. Night. Long!!

Needless to say we were up early, got dressed, and got our coffee and got on the road east quickly! We did see these Border Patrol guys having a coffee break! Pretty cool job I think!
Took I 10 east and then continued on 70 through Las Cruces.  After Las Cruces 70 heads through a military missle range..not a big deal, except for the signs that occasionally they are testing??? But all traffic was stopped for this checkpoint. All they asked me was if I was a citizen and they asked Jer if anyone else was in there? Oh and what kind of gas mileage he got?!

We then turned south on 54. We are now at Oliver Lee State Park! It is wonderfully quiet, at the base of the Sacramento mtns. Our view from our rig, front and back!

After we rested for a bit, we decided to head to White Sands Natl monument. Used our senior pass and got in free! Yay! Had a ball playing in the dunes! Bailey acted like it was snow and dug and snow plowed with her nose through!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Getting ready to pull up stabilizers and head east

We are one of the last of the 'snowbirds' still here in Apache Junction. It is amazing how quiet our park has become. The temps are climbing into the triple digits.  Our plan is to leave Monday and head towards southern New Mexico. There are several national parks and state parks that are peaking our I am making a list ....Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks, White Sands, Roswell, NM, Carlsbad Caverns......

Our last few weeks have been a mix of lazy, hiking, lazy, visiting with friends, lazy, SNAKE, lazy... get it? :)).

One of our last hikes in Usery Park was supposed to be a nice, easy, quiet... you get the picture, until we saw our first snake! After much use of our zoom to get pictures, we continued our WIDE berth around as it slithered away from us!


I made Jerry walk in front with the big stick from that point forward and kept Bailey back with me. It was a good thing, because another was discovered in the bushes right off the trail farther on! Ugh!
Pretty exciting for us, hahaha

The last full moon we had, we went on about a 2 mile Full Moon hike with Ranger B at Usery Park. Sooo interesting and pretty....who knew you can see in the dark! The hike started out with the moon illuminating the paths and our way, but clouds then moved in about a third of the way in....we could still see great as our eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Very cool to see and hear the little animals that come out at night. The city lights were also beautiful. Almost towards the end, we had to hurry to our cars as lightening and thunder was heard all around us!

Apache Trail Drive to Roosevelt Lake/Dam

Our weeks/days are still being spent hiking and swimming, mostly swimming lately with the temps climbing up.

Good friends took us on an incredible drive up the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flats and then on to Canyon Lake and Roosevelt Lake/Dam. A beautiful drive with breathtaking views of the desert mountains.

Had dinner with good friends at a local bar just under the Superstition Mountain. A wonderful, noisy, fun place to eat with live music, dancing and great food. There is a hitching post out front for the horses if you are lucky enough to have one :) a thunderstorm rumbled through while we were there and left us with this incredible full rainbow!

Have finished off a number of gifts and have tucked them away, now if I can only remember where I put them.....

Garden Trail with a friend :)

Our first foray into The Lost Dutchmen Mine Park was absolutely beautiful. It ended up being a very hot day for us. We still have a long ways to go to get into 'prime' hiking shape, but our progress has been great! The Garden Trail was almost 4 miles and was a beautiful, gradual up to the base of the Superstition Mountain and back. The vistas were breathtaking and being that close to the mountain was awe inspiring!

Another aspect of the desert that we have enjoyed has been all the blooms on the different cactus, that we have been able to see. The colors are spectacular!