Texas Country Oaks Dance Hall, Edna, TX, New Years 2012

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

October 16, 2017

 On our last day at the Missile Range Joyce drove up to The Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Ruidoso, NM to make her donation to their welfare fund.  Since I don’t gamble too much and hate the smoke in casinos, I just hung around the RV relaxing.

 This morning we left the Missile Range about 10:30 and after a quick stop at the Pilot Truck Stop in Las Cruces, we made the 135 mile drive to Deming, NM in good time.  We took on 47 gallons of fuel at $2.75 per gallon which included our Pilot Rewards discount.  We’re staying at the Roadrunner RV Park here in Deming, a Passport America affiliated park.  We got a full-hookup parking site for $13.73 a night including taxes.

October 18, 2017

 After getting settled in our parking site we decided to go over and check out the Elks Lodge here in Deming.  There were a lot of cars in the parking lot so we thought that the lounge would be full.  Not so and in fact there were just two folks there.  Everyone else was there for the lodge’s Monday night bingo.

 We asked the bartender where she would recommend for us to have dinner and she didn’t hesitate saying, “Ya gotta go to the Adobe Deli”.  I questioned her about recommending a deli for dinner but she said the steaks are amazing.

 The restaurant is located about ten miles east of Deming out in the middle of nowhere.  The building is rustic and the  atmosphere inside is all about the southwest.  There are stuffed animals all over the place, saddles hanging on railings and a lot of posters stuck to the walls.

 They had a lot to offer on their menu but I decided to get their 10 oz. filet and Joyce settled on the salmon.  Our waiter told us that not only is he a waiter but he is also the restaurant’s butcher.  Yep, the Deli processes their meat in house. The owner also makes his own wine.  I got a glass of his cabernet and found it to be delicious.  Here is a picture of the wine cellar:  https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g47009-d511601-i136748496-Adobe_Deli-Deming_New_Mexico.html

 Y’all have probably heard me rave about the steak I had at Bohanan’s in San Antonio, TX some years back.  Well, I have found that steak’s match.  My filet was prepared to a perfect medium rare and was like cutting into butter, and to say it was delicious is an understatement.   Joyce said her salmon was moist, flaky and perfectly cooked as well.  If you are ever in the Deming area make it a point to have dinner at the Deli.  We were told that on Thursday thru Saturday reservations are a must.

 Yesterday we drove up north of Deming to visit the City of Rocks State Park.  Not too much to see up there except a lot of rocks but we found the place to be interesting.  One of the cool things is the way that the tent sites sites are arranged among the rocks.  They have several electric and water sites there as well.

 After leaving there we drove out to Rockhound State Park to check out the camping there.  They have a lot of electric/water sites and some tent sites as well.

 This morning after Joyce did her walk we hooked up the CRV and headed west to the Fort Willcox RV Park in Willcox, AZ., arriving about 1 PM after gaining an hour when we crossed over into Arizona.  This is another Passport America park so we get a good break on the daily rate at $24 including taxes and an extra $5 for 50 amp electrical service.

October 21, 2017

 On the 19th we drove down to visit the Chiricahua National Monument.  This is one of our National Park Service’s hidden gems and should not be missed when your in this area.


 Yesterday we took a drive down to Douglas, AZ for no other reason that we had never been there.  The drive down isn’t anything to write home about but we did see there is a lot of farming down that way that we didn’t expect to see.

For lack of anything else to do we stopped in at the Gadsden Hotel to see what might be happening in the area.  After getting a beer in the Saddle and Spur Tavern we got to talking to a gentleman who was there and he told us about a terrace up on the second floor.  Alex offered to take us up there so off we went.  Read more about the hotel here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_Hotel 

Alex is retired from the U.S. Army and the Veterans Administration who was born and raised in Douglas and definitely had the gift of gab.  We learned a lot about his life and the history of Douglas from him.  Alex and his lady now live in Huntington Beach, CA and come over to Douglas, get a room in the hotel and just relax.

 This morning after Joyce did her walk we hooked up the CRV and made the 66 mile drive down to the Elks Lodge in Sierra Vista.  The last time we were here we stayed at the Apache Flats RV Resort on Fort Huachuca but for several reasons we decided to stay off base this time.  Our parking site here has 30 amp power and water for $12 a night.
 The Elks Lodge here changed a lot from the last time we were here four years ago.  The hours have been cut drastically and they don’t have as many patrons spending time here.  In contrast, the VFW Lodge seems to have something going on everyday.  We drove by there and the parking lot was completely full.

Barry & Joyce

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 15, 2017

October 8, 2017

 Yesterday we drove 130 miles southwest of Albuquerque to visit the Very Large Array (VLA), one of the telescopes that is part of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.  The VLA was celebrating the 20th year anniversary of the movie Contact staring Jodie Foster part of which was filmed there.

 We took a walking tour led by one of the astronomers who is doing research at the VLA who gave us a very cool behind the scenes look into the operation of the telescope which is actually made up of 27 separate dishes.  When the data collected from each dish it is sent to a computer where it is combined.  The VLA can also be “combined” with the other arrays and dishes around the world to make a radio telescope that is about the size of our earth.

 The VLA dishes are set in a “Y” arrangement and all can be moved to make each leg as small a 1/2 mile to as big as one being 13 miles.  One of the most fascinating parts of the tour was when a maintenance employee told us about the transporter they use to move the dishes.   Here is a YouTube video about the process:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX56jiuPG7k
Antenna Mechanics:  http://www.vla.nrao.edu/genpub/work/antmech2.shtml

The VLA is about 50 miles west of Socorro, NM, a long way to be sure but well worth the trip.

 Check out these links for more info:
This is the project being done right now:  https://public.nrao.edu/news/vla-begins-huge-project/

October 10, 2017

 Yesterday we got out of bed at 3 AM to go out to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  We left the house at 4 AM and arrived there about 4:30 where it was pretty darned cold.  We got some hot drinks, a breakfast burrito and found a seat to wait for the launch.

 The launch of all the balloons was supposed to start at 7 AM but we noticed that some of the pilots were rolling up there equipment and leaving.  Joyce asked one of the event guys and he said that there were on a hold for the winds and that it looked like the only ones that might get off would be the Dawn Patrol balloons.  Well, that really sucks!

 We hung around a little while longer and decided to leave.  On the way out of the parking lot we did see the five Dawn Patrol guys take off which was not what we came to see.

 When we got back to Kirtland the camp host told us that they finally launched all the balloons at 9 AM.  Oh well, maybe another year.

 We have a reservation at the White Sands Missile Range Volunteer Park Travel Campsite for the 12th and had planned to head down that way today, stopping at a couple of places on the way.  However, we stirred the Jello bowl again and have decided to just stay here for two more days.  The price is right at $18 a night, we can get some laundry done and for no other reason than we just like it here.  While we are at the missile range campground we can take a couple of day trips out to see the places we wanted to visit.

  Here are a some tips about being in Albuquerque during the Balloon Fiesta:
    1.  If you are planning on staying at Kirtland we would recommend you arrive at least three or four days before the start date.  They don’t take reservations so the earlier you arrive the better.  You can stay at the famcamp for 14 days max.
    2.  If you are going to stay in a RV park off base make your reservations as soon as you can.  Some of the parks in the area book up a year in advance and they are expensive.  Sandia Casino allows dry camping in their parking lot but I have heard they are charging $50 a night.  Hotels in the area are the same.
    3.  Get your tickets online.  This year they were $10 each plus parking was $15.  If you are going to drive plan to arrive out at the Fiesta grounds NLT 5 AM, especially on the first couple of days.  There are park and rides you can take but a neighbor here at the famcamp did that and wound up standing in line for 1.5 hours and missed the launch all together.
    4.  You have to be flexible due to the weather conditions here.  Winds can change dramatically from one minute to the next, especially out at the Fiesta grounds.  Remember, if they launch one balloon that is considered a successful event and you will not get a rain check.  There are no refunds that I am aware of.
Seen in Old Town Albuquerque.

October 11, 2017

 Joyce and I have been following the fires burning in Northern California especially in the Calistoga and St. Helena area.  As most of you know Joyce’s family lives in St. Helena and we have friends in Calistoga.  So far everyone are good.  Very scary.

 Today is our last day at Kirtland AFB so we’ll get the rig ready to move, do some laundry and hit the Commissary one more time.  We’ve had a good stay here but it’s time tome on down the road.

October 13, 2017

 Yesterday we left Kirtland AFB about 9:45 AM, jumped on I-25 south to Las Cruces then took US-70 over the hills to the White Sands Missile Range Volunteer Park Travel Campground.  This is our second time at this small park having come here four years ago.

 If you ever want to come out this way be aware of the grade out of Las Cruces.  You climb all the way from I-25 to the summit of the hills, the last section being 6 % for several miles.  I ran it in 3rd gear at 2000 RPM which worked out to 27 MPH.  Not too bad but on a hot day make sure you keep your eye on your temperatures.

 After getting setup in our site we made our way over to the post’s bowling alley where they have a sports bar and grill.  Nothing fancy but the food was good and the beer was cold.

 Today we took a drive up to Hollman AFB in Alamogordo just for something to do.  Checked out the base exchange and commissary which is a must when you go a new base.  it’s written in the “rules for military retiree’s”.

October 14, 2017

 Today we went to downtown Las Cruces to check out the Farmer’s Market and Craft Show.  We weren’t very impressed since it was one booth after another all selling the same stuff that you saw three booths back.

 After walking around there for awhile we decided to have lunch at the Si Senior Restaurant and we’re glad we did.  The chips and salsa our server brought out were amazing and our lunches were delicious.
This is how all chips and salsa should be served
Gotta throw in a couple of grand kid pictures.
Skyler & Abigail
 Skyler "The Ham"

Barry & Joyce

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 6, 2017

September 27, 2017

 After getting setup in our site here at the Elks Lodge in Colorado Springs we got in touch with our friend Brandy Haskins.  Brandy was one of the bartenders at the Sunflower Resort in Surprise, AZ when Joyce and I were volunteers there and we have remained friends ever since.

 Later in the day she came over to the lodge for a cocktail before we went out to dinner at the Texas T-Bone Steakhouse.  It was great seeing her again and we made plans to do some more things while we are here.

September 28, 2017

 It’s been raining since we got to Colorado Springs accompanied with low clouds that are hiding the mountains.  Last night I don’t think that it stopped raining all night.

 Even tough the weather is terrible Joyce and I went out to tour the U. S. Air Force Academy anyway.  Our first stop was at the Visitors Center where we saw a short film about the Academy.  We then took the short hike out to the Cadet Chapel.  This iconic building is scheduled for renovation next year and is scheduled to be closed for three years.  Read more about the chapel here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Force_Academy_Cadet_Chapel.  We then walked back to the visitors center where we viewed the exhibits and the walked through the gift shop.

 The Protestant Chapel.
 The Catholic Chapel.

 Arnold Hall.

 On Thursday Brandy came over and picked us up for a day of sight seeing.  Joyce had made reservations for us to tour the Glen Eyrie Castle.  Built in 1871 by the founder of Colorado City General William Jackson Palmer, this Tudor-style home is a must see when visiting this area.  The castle and all of the grounds is now owned by The Navigators, a religious organization established in 1933.

 The roof tiles we taken from a building in Europe and shipped to the U.S.  These are some of the original.
 Every castle needs a dragon.  This one is in one of the fireplaces.

 Our next stop on the tour was at the Garden of the Gods.  Although it was very cloudy with some rain we still enjoyed the beauty here. 

 Since it was so rainy I didn't take a lot of pictures but you can see some really good ones here:  https://www.google.com/search?q=garden+of+the+gods&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3to7SsOHWAhVsxYMKHfG2A_8QsAQIUg&biw=1680&bih=947https://www.google.com/search?q=garden+of+the+gods&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3to7SsOHWAhVsxYMKHfG2A_8QsAQIUg&biw=1680&bih=947

 Next Brandy took us to the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort where she works in the tours and zip line department.  What an amazing place.

When building the resort they wanted an authentic Irish pub.  So they bought one in Ireland, dismantled the darned thing and had it shipped to the U.S. 

 The attention to detail is amazing.

 Just one of several bars.  This one has one of the largest collection of bourbon I have seen.

 These are all over the building.  And, the work.
 During prohibition these all the alcohol was stored in the walls.  During a renovation they were discovered and put in these display cases.  There are 30 cases. 

October 4, 2017

 We reluctantly left Colorado Springs on Friday the 29th and headed south the Las Vegas, NM, arriving at the Elks Lodge there about 2 PM.  There was no one in at the lodge so we picked one of the four RV sites and hooked up to their full hookup sites.

 We then took a drive into town to look around.  There isn’t too much going on in Las Vegas but we did have a drink at the Plaza Hotel.  On a recommendation from the bartender we had a quick supper at Dick’s Pub and Grill.

 After supper we went back to the Elks and had a couple of drinks in the lounge.  Very friendly folks and the lodge bought our second drink.

 We had planed to go down to Kirtland AFB on Saturday but after Joyce talked to the camp host there and learning that the Famcamp was full we went to Plan B.  We hooked up and headed down to San Felipe Hollywood Casino in Algodones.  They have a huge gravel parking lot with 30/50 amp power in each site.  There are no water or sewer hookups but they do provide water filling and dump stations.

 Later in the afternoon a couple of thunderstorms rolled through the area one of which came right over the top of the park.  We got hammered with strong winds, very heavy rain and even some hail.

 When we got up on Sunday morning Joyce called the Doreene (the camp host) at Kirtland and found out there were a couple of sites coming open and that she had four folks on the waiting list.  We decided to head down that way anticipating having to dry camp for a day or so.

 We got to the park about 8:15 and waited until Doreene came in at 9:00.  She arrived exactly at 9:00 and started the roll call process.  She took care of a couple of folks and then told Joyce that she had a cancellation so it looked like we would get a site.  Doreene called another name of someone on the list to but the person didn’t show up for roll call allowing us to get a full hookup site.

October 6, 2017

 We have been here at Kirtland for a few days now, just hanging out and relaxing.  Joyce has been walking with the next door neighbor every morning, then doing some more walking when talking to her friend Marcia on the phone.

 Yesterday be decided to drive up to Los Alamos, NM, the birthplace of the first atomic bomb.  The town has grown a lot since World War II and pretty much is there now to support the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 Our first stop was at the Visitor Center where we got information about the town, a map and directions to a place to get some lunch.  The lady there directed us to Ruby K’s Bagel Cafe where we had delicious sandwiches.

 Our next stop on the tour was The Los Alamos History Museum.  This campus once was the home of the Los Alamos Ranch School, a boarding school for boys.  In 1942 the school was purchased by the United States Army's Manhattan Engineering District for support of the making of the atomic bomb.
 "The Gadget" as it was called.

 After our tour of Los Alamos we headed over to the Bandelier National Monument.  After showing our National Parks Access Pass, getting another stamp in our National Parks Passport book and getting a trail map we headed out on the 1.25 mile trail that leads up to the cliff dwellings.  This is really beautiful park with amazing history.

 On the way back to Kirtland we stopped at Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill in Santa Fe for a quick supper.  Nothing fancy here but some of the best authentic Mexican food you can get anywhere.  Put this place on your list when you visit Santa Fe.

Barry and Joyce