Saturday, July 9, 2016

Updated blog site

For those that are following us I have updated our site.  You can now find us at  Come and continue to enjoy our travels at our new site

Fred and Charlotte

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Back in Texas–Amarillo

Well we left New Mexico and headed on into Texas.  Our first stop was in Amarillo so we could finally get to Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  We tried to get there last year after Fred finished chemo, but has a break down at Lake Whitney State Park.  We were told that the wind is always blowing in Amarillo and I tell you what, they are right.  I don’t think the wind was below 10mph the entire time we were there.  
Campground at Palo Duro State Park was full so we checked into Oasis RV Resort.  Very nice place and one I would recommend to anyone, very clean, large spaces, dog friendly and is right off the interstate.  It is also located just outside of town so you are close to everything you would want to see and do; in fact Cadillac
Ranch is one exit away.  When we went there was a tour group following Route 66 there taking pictures.  They were all dress in 60’s style and were interesting people.  The place is very interesting and is something different that is for sure.  Fred took his turn in decorating some of the cars also.

We also made a stop at the RV Museum while we were there.  What a neat place – they have a collection of RV dating back as far as 1921 to the RV that was used in the Robin William’s movie “RV” by the Gornike family to a collection of vintage motorbikes.  What an interesting place.  I would recommend you stop by and visit and best of all it is free.  Hope you enjoy my pictures of the museum, but again stop by and visit for yourself as it is very interesting.

Of course what would a visit to Amarillo be without going Big Tex Restaurant.  We called for the pickup from the restaurant and they came to our RV and picked us up in an old Cadillac, took us to dinner and then brought us home.  There were a number of people who tried to eat the big steak but we did not see anyone complete it in the time frame given.  Food was good and the atmosphere was even better.

Then of course our main reason for going to Amarillo – Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  The place is really something, I have told people I was really worried as we had just come from mountains and canyons and all I was seeing was flat fields, so where is a canyon.  I describe it as, you know when you get so mad and punch a hole in the wall and that sheetrock in the
house and it creates a hole in the wall; well that is what happen in the creation of Palo Duro Canyon.  God punched a hole in the flat land and created a hole in the middle of the flat field in west Texas.  Palo Duro is known as the Grand Canyon of Texas and is the second larges canyon in North America. 
The land was donated by a private owner in 1933 and the CCC sent in seven companies of men and veterans to develop the roads to the canyon floor, the visitor center, cabins, trails, and the park.  It is truly a beautiful park and another one of our bucket list items completed.  Below are our pictures of the canyon and the wildlife we saw while there.  It was neat seeing the deer and turkeys just wandering through the campgrounds.

Tomorrow heading for Wichita Falls.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Santa Fe, New Mexico

We made our way to Santa Fe, New Mexico as this was one of the old cities I had on my bucket list.  I had an gentlemen I worked for that each year he would go live on the streets in Santa Fe for two weeks as a street person just because.  I always wondered what the draw was for him to do this.  It is a very unique city and has a lot of history to it.  We started off
with breakfast at one of the places on the square and what a great breakfast.  We certainly got our fill for the day! The restaurant was filled with visitors from everywhere as well as lot of locals so it really was a good choice for us.
We took a tour of the city that was interesting.  Spend lots of time walking around looking at the street vendors and all the old buildings.  History here would take a week to lay out and the blog would be 8 pages long, so all I can say it go visit the city, it will be worth your time and the visit will be fun.

 One of the most interesting places was at the Loretta Chapel.  This was a place I had heard the story of the chapel and the staircase but never realized it was in Santa Fe until it was shown to us.  
Loretto Chapel
Orgin of the Chapel

Inside of the Chapel
Staircase as it sits today
Picture of the original staircase

If you don't know the story, when the chapel was built the nuns had no way to get to the second floor so they tried to get someone to build the staircase.  Everyone said it was impossible and then a person showed up and said he would build it for them for room and board.  Everything was agreed upon and he built the staircase but when the nuns went to find him to thank him he has disappeared as fast as he had appeared to them.  The story of where he came from and how he built the staircase has many tales and is interesting. Here is a link of the story. Story of the staircase

On to Texas tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Next Stop - New Mexico

We left Colorado early on the morning of the 14th and headed for New Mexico, our next stop on our way home. We were scheduled to check into Villanueva State Park for the week. The park is located just outside of Santa Fe, Glorieta Battleground and the Pecos National Historical Park. We were looking forward to a fun week of sight seeing around New Mexico.

The park was located down in a canyon along the Pecos River, it was a very interesting beautiful drive down a two lane road along the river  to the park.  What I did not realize was that once you got down into the canyon there was no phone service, no internet service or any type of TV service, local or via satellite as the cliff blocked all.  This turned into one of the most peaceful, relaxing week we had on our trip though.  The park was beautiful with trails down the river.

Our visit to the Pecos National Historical Park was more than I had expected.  I was looking for the Glorieta Battlefield (where a battle during the civil war took place) but also found the park consisted of several Puebloan sites, Santa Fe Trail ruts and the old Kozlowski’s Stage Stations which was a tavern and watering stop
on the Santa Fe Trail.

The ruins at the visitor center is a location where some of the first Puebloans around 1100 started building their rock and mud villages.  Over two dozen villages were built over the area during the next two centuries.  The area grew and more than 2000 Pueblo Indians lived there during its history as they moved in closer together due to the increase of the plain Indians.  The villages were built up on the mountain top so they could better see any
enemies advancing upon them.  Storage areas for food was built under ground in what was called kivas; many of the kivas were also used as ceremonial kivas. With the introduction of the Franciscan priest, they were taught how to cultivate the land and the priest also had them build some of the most impressive mission in the area.  One of these were in the ruins and was one of the most imposing in New Mexico, with towers, buttresses and great pine long beams that were hauled from the mountains. 

When silver was discovered and the struggles between the church and civil officials emerged for the Indian laborer, loyalty from the Indians started to suffer and they started fighting to take back their land and send the Spaniard back to Mexico destroying the missions and all that the Spaniards had them built.  In taking control of the missions the Indians showed their discontent and built a forbidden kiva in the mission’s convento itself.

Walking through the ruins of what was once a great village was interesting.  The history that you are taught while young and in school does not come close the the reality of what you see in these different places and looking upon the land.  Taking the time to sit and just listen to the land and look from where we came is amazing and it makes you wonder why we don’t appreciate it more.  History  has a way of repeating itself and we really need to take the time to look and listen to the lessons of our ancestors so we do not make the same mistakes they did in letting outsiders come in and take control.  Okay enough of my personal opinions.  Here are more pictures of the ruins, hope you enjoy.

On the flip side of this National park was the Glorieta Battleground.  This battle has been described as the west version of the Gettysburg Battle during the Civil War.  I was personally disappointed in what we saw.  The battle took place March 26-26, 1862 and really was a indecisive battle as neither side won or lost.  In short the confederates made plans to raise a force of Texans and invade New Mexico to capture military supplies from Union forts in New Mexico.  They had also hopes to recruit the miners in the area to the Confederacy and then they could take the ports in California and the South would then have a blockade free international trade.  The Union found out about the plans and had the governors of New Mexico and Colorado to organize volunteers to assist in stopping the Confederates.  Essentially what happen as both sides found out about each other and the battle began they destroying each others supplies and blocking the supply routes therefore neither were able to get supplies, food and/or other necessary items needed.  As  supplies ran out and the men grew tired, two weeks after the last battle both sides retreated back to their respective forts. 

The area of the battle now is overgrown  but there are hiking trails through the battlefield for those that want to take them.  You must first visit the Visitor Center at thee ruins so that you can get the code to enter the area though.  There is a 2.25 mile trail around the field and a short 1/2 mile round trip trail for those that just want to get an idea of the area.  

There is a landmark that has been placed in memory of those soldiers who lost their life during the battle.  Again you have to asked about its location and it is a drive from the park to find.  I was disappointed in the care and preservation of this battle and the battleground, but was glad that we went.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

Rick and Pat had to work the last few days we were in Colorado Springs so Fred and I headed out by ourselves.  One of the places I wanted to go was to see the the wolves, so we headed out to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center.  The center was really a fabulous place and one that I truly enjoyed.  I have loved wolves for years and this place really puts them into perspective.

The center started because the owner saw a wolf-dog that was to be euthanized at the local animal shelter and despite her fear of wolves, she took the dog home.  From this she learned of the problems for wolf-dogs and open a recuse shelter for them and injured wolves.  We had a friend that had a wolf-dog and Marley was one of the best, friendly, loyal, and loving dogs I have ever know. The center is full of wolves that they have rescued from injury and/or death.  Some are very socialized and others are not; they have maintained their habitat as if they were still wild.  Those that are socialized are available for tours in which you can go out and sit with them, have your picture taken and pet them.  You are given special instructions as they are still wild wolves so you have to learn about their habits and nature in order to not upset them. 

We did the standard tour and were guided through the park being shown all the different wolves and were give an explanation of each.  We got to see them up close or at least as close as they would come.  Really wolves are not fond of people and will stay away from them but with them being in this controlled area and used to the guides bring them food they would come to the fence for their treats.  At the end of the tour we were told about how they communicate and about their howl.  The guide told us how to howl and we all did at one time and as soon as we finished our howl the wolves through out the park howled back.  It was really cool.   One of the wolves that they had recused belonged to one of these companies that breed wolves for picture taking purposes like for calendars and such.  It had been born with a defect and was not developing so they were going to put it down.  Once the shelter heard about it they got the company to give them the wolf and a vet discovered the problem was due to a vitamin defect took care of the problem.  The wolf developed to one of the best looking wolf they have.  The company tried to buy him back but, of course, was told no.  This is the best shot I could get of him as he was laying down in the back and I just could not get a good angle on him.  He was beautiful.  If you get the chance to visit the center, do so, as they are a non-profit center and only survive by donations and the tours they do.  It is well worth your time.  Oh they also have some very cute foxes at the front and other animals, but the wolves are the center.







Here are the other pictures I took of the wolves and the area, hope you enjoy.  I have also given you the link to their webpage if you would like to learn more about the center and/or donate.

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center  - Website

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Colorado Springs - Day 2

Our next stop was at the Colorado Spring Pioneers Museum.  It is in the old El Paso County Courthouse which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  They have preserved one of the old courtrooms, which those that know me, I was interested in.  It was really neat.  The museum is full of lot history from the early Indians in the area to western exploration and early settlers to the recent Waldo Canyon Fire where a lot of the area was destroyed. 







They have even taken Helen Hunt’s house and moved into the museum and staged it as it was when she lived there.  It was truly a unique place to visit. 






The walk through the museum is worth the cost as it is by donation only and is very interesting.  If you are in the area go walk through this old courthouse/museum.

From the museum we went to the Air Force Academy.  This was one of those places I really wanted to take the time to see.  It  is in a beautiful setting and has a lot of great history.  The visitor center takes you through the years of a cadet and show activities of the academy.

Then there was the dorms and all the cadets

Lets not forget the chapel – talk about a unique and beautiful place






The inside was as unique and the pipe organ was amazing


Each belief had their own chapel so they made sure all faiths were covered.

It was a neat visit and I am glad we took the time to see it.