Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean

Before we wrapped our visit in Colorado Springs, we visited with my cousin Jan Hagan, her daughter Kim and her husband Clyde. We met at Fargo's Pizza and my cousin Harvey Richardson also joined us there.

Jan and Kim Hagan with Kay Wallace

Crystina Marie Wallace, Sean Lugenbeel, and their son Malcolm invited us to their home for dinner, as well.

Crystina, Sean and Malcolm

Kay and Malcolm

We visited with Bill and Denise one last time the day before we left. Our visit to Colorado was terrific, but we had to leave because snow was in the forecast. Jake loved Colorado because he got to see deer, rabbits and prairie dogs.

Jake is King of the Mountain at our campsite in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

We headed South to New Mexico and Arizona. Our first Harvest Hosts stop was at Wildlife Nature Park in Edgewood, Arizona, near Albuquerque. The wild animals here  had been rescued and could not be returned to the wild.


Coyote

Elk 

Our second Harvest Hosts stop was St. Clair Winery in Deming, NM.  We bought a couple of bottles of a nice medium body red blend to have with our Thanksgiving dinner and a couple of bottles of a nice Riesling for that meal, as well.


While here at the St. Clair winery, I stepped outside to spot a dust devil just starting.  I shouted to Kay to come see it and she got some video of it. The vortex was one of the most amazing weather phenomenons that I have ever seen. It picked up dust as it twirled, then lifted off the ground and looked like a science-fiction worm hole just before it died out.


video


One last Harvest Hosts stop before we get to Florence, Arizona, Sonoita Vineyards was a quiet out-of-the-way place.



Desert Gardens RV Resort has been the nicest place we have stayed so far. It is a co-op and they were hoping to sell us a 99-year lease on a site. We are not yet ready to stay in one place all winter. Maybe after seeing more places, we will be ready for that kind of commitment.

Views near our campsite

Cholla Cactus


Saguro Cactus

Barrel Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

We did some exploring while we were there. I wanted to see what it would be like to boondock in the National Forest. We ended up on some pretty scary narrow roads where I would not like to tow a trailer. But the views of the canyons were beautiful.







While we were in Florence, we visited my nephew Todd and his wife Angie in their home.  They celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday and we were able to have a turkey dinner with Todd, Angie, Alora, Rose, Crystina, Malcolm, and Sean.

Todd, Malcolm and Rose

Now, we are in Pio Pico Thousand Trails Campground in Jamul, California. We have no cellular reception and no wifi at our campsite. The free wifi at the activity center is horrifically slow, so I am at a library in Rancho San Diego doing this blog post. 

We did take a trip into San Diego and got a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

Russ and Jake

Trip so far.

Next week, we return to Arizona and will spend a week boondocking in the desert. 


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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pikes Peak or Bust

It has taken us over a month to reach Colorado. Here is a map of our route.


Before getting to Colorado Springs, we stayed at an Air Museum in Pueblo, Colorado, which I toured the next morning.





Here is a picture of our trailer in our campground in Falcon, just outside of Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak is the mountain between the trees in the center.


We visited with my son, Bill, his wife, Denise, and their two dogs at their home in Colorado Springs. Jake loved their dogs. They later visited with us at our trailer in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.



We also visited with my cousin Jan, her husband Clyde and daughter Kim in their home in Castle Rock.

After visiting with my cousin, we took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park before heading to Longmont to visit Kay's cousin Shelley and her family.

Views from Rocky Mountain National Park:





We did see some elk and deer when we were in Rocky Mountain National Park, but were not close enough to get pictures. Did I mention there was snow above 10,000 feet?

We have also taken a few sightseeing trips such as The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.







When we left the Garden of the Gods, we took a ride North on the Rampart Range Road. We traveled about 25 miles as the crow flies, but it took us three hours and many places the speed limit of twenty was way too fast. The road was narrow and many parts of it were wide enough for only one vehicle. Yes, the road had two-way traffic. Too many times the drop off was on our side. There were no guardrails, just loose gravel along the edge and no place to pull over if you met someone coming the other way. The last 11 miles brought Kay to tears because it was so twisty and narrow and she could look down and see how severely the hillside dropped off on her side. What began as beautiful breath taking views ended up being terrifying views for Kay. Her prayers were answered because we did not go over the edge.






We camped in Falcon for one week and we are now camped in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. It is absolutely gorgeous here. Fort Carson serenades us at sunrise and sunset. We were surprised at how load their speakers broadcast the music for the raising and lowering of the flag.






Yesterday was another special time of visiting with family because we had dinner at Rocco's Italian Restaurant with my great niece Alora Wallace and her daughter, my great great niece, Rose.



We will spend one more week here and continue to site see and visit family.

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