Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Oasis State Park

We had decided we would drive into the northwest corner of Texas and explore Amarillo and Lubbock. For that part of this adventure we chose to stay at Oasis Sate Park near Clovis. It is just miles form the Texas border and easy to access the highways we wanted.

Starting by visiting Amarillo, we were not overly stimulated by that city. Our first item on the list was the Cadillac Ranch, where Stanley Marsh planted ten Cadillacs, all decorated. Yes I know it was only ten cars but I expected the usual displays and over-selling. Alas there was none, in fact we actually missed it the first drive by. No great photo but the one I posted shows what I described.

I am not sure what we were expecting, but typically a place either pulls at your adventure strings or not. We usually pack a lunch and try to stay away from restaurants but today was our big day out, so we found a Firehouse Subs (one of our favorite fast food stops). Hence the stop was worthwhile!

If you want to see numerous grass fields and windmills, this is your route!

The highway took us farther south to Lubbock, where we had planned a stock up at Costco. As it turned out because of the distance home and rather lack of need, we chose not to buy anything. But we did take the opportunity to discover a few tourist noted attractions.

The Buddy Holly Statue commemorates not only Buddy but other musicians that contributed to Lubbock’s music scene. The nameplates are artists who originated in the area, and I took photos of the names I knew.

Across the street from the park is also the Buddy Holly Centre and Museum, but it was closed. I didn’t really need to see his bed so it wasn’t a great loss. Haha

We made the journey homeward, and dinner was a pizza. We did pass a lot of cotton fields and I was waiting for the perfect time to take a photo of the old cotton gins, but I missed. Don got a great photo of cotton laying in the field after harvest and tilling.

The day was spent the way we enjoy it best – watching the road before us and dreaming of what lay ahead.



Friday, April 13, 2018

Bottomless Lake State Park

How do you drive in the area of a confirmed UFO landing and not stop? That’s how we ended up at Bottomless Lake State Park near Roswell. So of course we had to visit the UFO Museum!
Besides the museum, how fitting we also saw the Delorian time machine car from Back to the Future.
The museum was actually well laid out, clean, not musty and full of shall we say, information.
Two nights here and we were picking a new route. The other Smiths are seriously starting their trek home to Saskatchewan, and we are continuing out tour of New Mexico.
It’s up to you to decide if you believe…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brantley Lake State Park

We chose this park because of it’s proximity to Carlsbad and hence accessibility to the Carlsbad Caverns for the other Smiths. Don and I have had some caving opportunity and we do not care for it!

The location was easy access to other attractions in the area as well.

We visited Sitting Bull Falls, the Living Dessert State Park, and drove through Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We also visited Artesia, as when we pilled through it with the RVs it looked pretty interesting. Sadly on our visit on Saturday the town was 50% closed for the weekend and the Farmers Market had not started yet, so it was just a Walmart stop and onward.

Sitting Bull Falls was a nice walk amongst the rocks and trees, as you see form the photos.

Here is something I’m not sure I have ever talked about – the America the Beautiful Pass. It is an annual pass that for $80 allows access to national parks, federal recreational lands, forest services, US Fish and Wildlife sites, BLM, and Bureau of Reclamation. We buy one every year and save lots on those admissions, as does anyone travelling with us!

We continue to have amazing hot weather and I am again thankful for the AC.




Sunday, April 8, 2018

White Sands National Monument

There is not often that one site gets a whole post from me! The White Sands are a desert of gypsum sand. You can literally see them for miles as you approach from different directions, but there is nothing like driving through it.
Families were set up enjoying the experience of sliding down hills, some were camping, lots were BBQ’ing.
We stopped for a few photos and a short boardwalk stroll, but this is one place that only pictures tell the story, so here you go.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

This state park is near the White Sands National Monument, which is how we picked it. It is also near Alamogordo, which is a fairly large city with a Starbucks, which may have influenced me a bit.

We stayed here 5 nights, and entertained ourselves by exploring, going to Satrbucks (LOL), a trip to El Paso TX, and visiting the White Sands Monument. Don and I also got a hike in at the nearby Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Site. On Tuesday I had a Co-op meeting for the afternoon, Don went to town to wash the truck and locate a level switch for the Smiths, and the Smiths left for our next destination and a campground hunt.

I have one photo below of the city of Ciudad Juarez Mexico, as seen from the interstate. I remember the first time we were here and saw the buildings. I pondered why all of a sudden the buildings were in a mash of disorder and so many different colors, before realizing they were in another country.

Our visit to El Paso turned into an urban trip of Costco, an outlet mall stop, a visit to Starbucks and off we went home.

The remainder of the photos are form the Petroglyph site, and although the writings may not be mesmerizing, I thought Don’s photos were well worth a few looks. It was a relatively easy hike, but the coolest part was unlike other hikes to petroglyphs, this one took you through the rocks, right to the etchings.

White Sands was amazing and well worth the trip, so it has it’s own post!



Friday, March 30, 2018

Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Here’s another thing about some New Mexico State Parks – they have Wi-Fi! When we’re at home we seldom think about phone data, and I am sure when Americans are at home they don’t either. But put either of us across our borders and the struggle is real. So whether it’s to read emails, Facebook, do some work or just browse, free Wi-Fi in the campground is an absolute bonus! We have a Wi-Fire USB booster that was put to use, and all was well. Through the progression of new computers, etc. we did have to call on the data storage of Ivan to send us the correct files to work the booster (thanks Ivan), but after that it was smooth surfing.

Anyhow – back to the trip. Ken and Brenda have had a few minor challenges with their RV – the switch for the rear jacks, the awning motor and as they arrived at Elephant Butte, the sewer cable for the black water tank. Now anyone who knows Don knows these items are just challenges meant to be dealt with. The awning motor seemed like a do at home by a professional, but the other two were somewhat easy fixes. Find the sewer cable, replace it. Find a new switch – replace it. Both of these required visiting local stores searching for the items. Brenda found a mobile RV repair shop who had the sewer piece, and Don and Ken replaced it. Unfortunately no one stocked the switch, so it was 2-1 for the RV at this time.

The Smiths treated us to dinner one evening at the Truth or Consequences Brewing Co., as a thank you to Don for persevering through the repairs. The food was ordered form a food truck outside, and the brew was delicious. Since that day I have been on the hunt for a pineapple cider.

We also visited the museum in town. Now here is something you may not know – I don’t care for museums. I’m not sure where this stems from, but I would rather do many other things, including nothing. There have been exceptions such as the McMinnville Museum, which even then I didn’t go through the whole thing, but overall I am not an enthusiast. I’m sure if Don wrote this blog the stories would be different. But it’s kind of my blog. LOL

Our last adventure while staying here was a drive north to lunch in Socorro. Along the way we took a side road that led us through San Antonio. It is amazing how many town sin New Mexico have the same name as larger towns in other states, San Antonio being one of them. Las Vegas comes to mind as well.

Although San Antonio wasn’t highlighted on any maps or guides, it is quite the little community, and full of indications of a past life.

Here are a few of my favorite old buildings along the way. Just imagine…