For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Oct 12, 2016

On My Way Home

After visiting Creede, I was ready to head home. The part for the hitch finally came. They said they would deliver it to my site. I checked at noon and the tracking info said it would arrive by end of day. I've forgotten which day as days run one into the other when I'm on the road. I decided to check again at 3 p.m. and it said that it had been delivered at 12:01 inside and signed for by someone named "Brown". Great.

I checked with the hotel security at the casino. They were very nice and traced it down to a Brown who works at the reservation desk. Sure enough, they had it. They said UPS is only permitted to deliver to purchasing. Okay, so I was misinformed by UPS, but my name, phone number, and site number at the RV park was on the slip--you'd think they would have called me. I could have left a day earlier.

I don't like this new heater that I bought...I wanted one like my old one but was so sick the day I replaced it that I thought it would do okay. I have frozen to death these past few nights--for expedience sake, I've slept on the couch not under my wonderful comforter--guess I deserve to freeze, huh? The other one had a thermostat and it was pretty accurate. I have ordered another one. I'll use this one in the house. I only use one room at a time so why heat the whole house? I can lower the thermostat. I'll keep the new one in the trailer.

The trip on I40 has been boring except for fighting the wind. I ( was getting very tired so I found a place called K&K (online) in Shamrock TX right near the Oklahoma border. It's really a "field"--unkempt, at that, but I didn't want to risk driving any further especially if it took me into darkness. (I was surprised that the Campground Review Site gave some decent reviews--no frills, good overnight, good cable. It was difficult to find the sites. I left a check as instructed in a locked white box with a number on it. I called and spoke to a man named Richard and asked him if there was any particular site I should choose. He was very pleasant and said, take anyone you want. You can park along the southside, if you like. Don't worry about taking up more than one space...I only get one or two people every now and then. The other trailers (only a few since it's a small place) were obviously people who live in their trailers. I pulled up to one "site" and plugged in my fancy smancy new surge protector and it told me it was not grounded and would not turn on the electric. I walked around to boxes I could find and finally found one that wasn't going to fry me or whatever happens when something isn't grounded. I'll have to drive through a field to get out, but the dirt is hard and if necessary, I can back out. I've never seen so many flies in my life. That's one thing I love about high altitude--no bugs--none--zilch--zero. I got my electric tennis racket out and have probably executed 20 of them.

The reviews said this place had excellent cable. I found that hard to believe, when I arrived, and I was right. I want to see some news (or maybe I don't). Anyway, I'm here for the night. I'm using my hotspot on my phone to blog and to download another audiobook. The one I just finished by Nora Roberts (Obsession) was a blessing to have, today. I have another one by Patterson that I'm halfway through, and I'll need one to go to south Georgia November 9th to meet friends.

Well nothing exciting. No pictures, etc. Just a record as to where I was on Oct 12 2016.

Oct 7, 2016


My jerry-rigged keep my plumbing from freezing plan worked! I didn't get much sleep last night worrying about it, though. It did get down into the 20s. I discovered if I pulled three drawers all the way out in the bathroom, I could see the basement so I left them open and put the heater in the bathroom. I don't know what staying awake worrying about it was going to do, but that's what I did, anyway. I was nice and warm under my comforter. I never hooked the heater up to my mattress cover and I'm too lazy to do it, today. I have a bluetooth thermometer that I bought when I was having fridge troubles. I put the part that goes outside inside the storage compartment. I should have slept down there, it was warmer than in the trailer! The host is telling me 30 degrees, tonight, but I looked on my NOAA and it's only getting down to 34 and not long at that. I'm leaving the water on at least until I take my shower. I already turned the light on in the basement.

I got in the truck this morning and had no idea where I was going. Then I thought about how I didn't have time to see much of Creede and it might be an even prettier drive up there than last week with leaves changing. I believe it's only about 60 miles from Ignacio, but 60 miles in the mountain takes three hours! I took loads of pictures. The problem was that the sun was working against me plus you can only take so many pictures of huge rock walls. There are just some places that you have to stand and see in person. The ride up over Wolf's Creek Pass is one of them. Maybe photographers like Dr. Carlson could capture more of the beauty, but he's a pro. These I took about half way to the summit. I was surrounded by granite on all other sides.

I followed the Rio Grande River for a while. I know all Rivers begin in the mountains, but when I think of the the Rio Grande I think of red muddy water. Not so. Look for yourself.

There was a time when the Durango Silverton, Cumbres de Toltec, and this railroad were connected. I have to read up on my history. I should have done it before I went--I usually do. There's something I love about old railroad tracks.
Just laying on the tracks. Can you guess what you'd pay for that back east? I can't tell you how many things I could have picked up this trip except that the bed of my truck is full. Then, again, this wheel sort of belongs where it fell off.
Creede is a very cute little western town. You can tell when tourists haven't had a chance to ruin a place when there are no parking meters. I walked around enjoying the little shops; half of which were closed. I walked into one called Holy Moses and picked up a little moose candle holder. They have the cutest names for shops and places.

Good Lord, that truck is dirty

I could be wrong, but I think when Rich and I were here, they had a sign on it that said City Jail.

The huge walls of rock surround the town.
Made me laugh out loud. Had I needed a haircut I would have gone in.
Who needs to pay to have a sign?

Display outside of Holy Moses

I put my purse down for a moment on a bench--plenty of benches in towns and big dogs laying on the sidewalks enjoying the sun. They pick their heads up when you walk by and right back down when you pass. They're not impressed by anyone saying, "Hey Pup or hello big fella." Lazy days of fall. I was lugging my purse and the camera case so I didn't have a chance to get a picture of one. One shop had a dog dish out that said, "For Dogs and Short People with Low Expectations." Anyway, on the bench were two painted rocks. Here they are. I walked all over town and found them in all kinds of places. Took plenty of pictures, but won't post them all (I hear all those sighs). I stopped by Holy Moses and asked the lady about them and she smiled and put her hands up in the air and said, "It's a mystery! Nobody knows."

I stopped in a little place run by a young man. I was hungry. He suggested what he liked and he did good. It was delicious and hit the spot. They had everything under the sun hanging from the ceiling--very friendly people everywhere I went--all ages. Talking to them, they seemed to love their little town. Not much has changed since Rich and I were there many years ago. I suspect that's because the rugged terrain isn't conducive to building ski resorts.
This tells me they have a short fall up in Creede. These are the leaves that have already turned and fallen.
I could post so many more pictures, but I hope everyone who reads this gets a chance to go to Creede, themselves. I wish I could have done the other 76 miles to Lake City, but I wouldn't have gotten back in time to be able to see to drive. As it was, the sun setting in the west was a bear to drive in. Speaking of bears and such...all of this driving and taking back roads and I haven't seen one deer, elk, moose nor whatever else hangs around these parts. I swear someone tells them I'm coming--HIDE!

Oct 6, 2016

It's Days Like These That I Wonder...

Why I leave my warm house, recliner, TV, bed, etc. Today, I took a ride over to Durango to pick something up that I broke soon after purchase. The colors in this area are starting to change, but not too much. I took a pleasant ride for a few hours on the back roads. In some parts, I was amazed at how populated the dirt roads are. I didn't realize, either, the number of cattle ranches in this area. While the drive was pleasant, there really wasn't much to photograph. I took a picture of this tree. It caught my eye on the way into Durango. I'm thinking it might be a glimpse into what the next week might bring--it was in a strip shopping mall. It's a shame such a pretty tree surrounded by stores and cars. I don't know anything about taking close up pictures, but I did the best I knew how--just to show the color.

"Everyone should walk some dirt roads in their life."
I don't know if you can see it, but this person collects things. Among the things I could see were two train cars. Made me wonder how he got them there.

Horses are not interested in talking to me
Interesting piece of art work

I just couldn't resist this guy. He let me pet him (I was ready to duck if he spit). They are so comical looking.
I had no delusions that I would meet Clint Eastwood at this bridge. Worth looking around, though. 

This was a nice little park and swimming hole along one of the back roads. I assume for the local kids.

I had a conversation with this lady. She was either overweight or with calf. She was interested in what I had to say.
I couldn't see what kind of ducks these were, but the camera tells me they are geese. Am I right?
This was the plant/weed I saw the other day. I wonder what it is.
When I came home, the host stopped me and said we were going to have a deep freeze tonight. I decided to take a partition down in the storage compartments of the trailer. They are down below. I got one of those hanging workmen's light and I'm putting it in there in hopes that it will keep the plumbing from freezing. I used the windshield reflective shield from the truck and closed the door over it in hopes that, that would help. Now, as long as I don't blow up, I'm okay. I unhooked the water, already, and I have some gallon jugs to use for flushing the toilet, and plenty of drinking water. I'll run the hot water heater, probably through the night, and hope for the best. I also bought some some RV antifreeze and I'll pour some down in my holding tanks--hope that stops any freezing there. Yes. Sometimes I wonder...why did I leave my house, again? Especially with a not so great back and now a wall to put back up in the storage compartments.

All in all, thinking of the trip to Telluride and the quality time spent with Susan, it's worth it. We might never have seen it.

Oct 5, 2016

Thought I Had Lost Murphy...

(note to Karen--will you check the URL you gave me. Blogger does not want to let me put it on my blog roll. I tried even copying from your site. You'll have to excuse me. I probably won't get to comments tonight--I'm about to fall asleep!)

I got up early this morning. Hitching up was uneventful and went quickly. I decided to head north to Ignacious CO via 84/62/ and 160 (through Pagosa Springs). I had done this ride from Chama to NM 6 years ago and remembered what a pleasant and relaxing drive it was.

The different season, of course, made it look a bit different. Lots of rust colored trees shrubs easing themselves into winter. I had forgotten how many cattle were up here. I wish I could have taken more pictures, but it was a two lane road and difficult to stop. I noticed that there seemed to be more places to pull over on the road going the other way so maybe I'll take the same road south.

When I first started out I saw what I think is a southwester "tiny house". Cute, huh?

I passed different landscapes the more north I got.
I was fascinated by whatever these trees? were. Anyone have any idea? They almost look like dried out corn.
Throw in some rugged red rock
Thought I could catch the colors, but didn't do very well
Then, I found these gals and guys. They were so friendly--they came running over to the fence. I took a video so I could show my "animal lover" granddaughter, Kellie. I was tempted to get closer to pet them, but didn't know if the owner would like that AND I think they are in the camel family so I wasn't sure if they'd spit (or bite). So I just talked to them. They were very curious.

Couldn't help laughing as they looked so cute. They were giving me the eye.

I'm having difficulty keeping my eyes open, but I do want to tell you a strange story. I arrived at the campground and started to unhitch. I have a special system that I follow so I don't forget anything, and then check three times to make sure everything is in place. I have a small but think plastic zippered bag. I only keep the pins and locks in that bag (7 items) so I know when I'm hitching up, the bag has to be emptied. And, when I'm finished it has to have the 7 things in it.

I pulled into the campground, leveled chocked, etc., and then started to remove the bars. The first came off very easily. I stepped over the hitch with my plastic bag in hand and stood and stared. Where is the bar? The large square locks were on it, but there was no bar or second pin. It took my brain a moment to absorb that it wasn't actually there--even saying to myself, "C'mon, Nancy, you can't be that stupid."

I had stopped for lunch, came out of the cafe and started out. I felt no difference in pulling. When I discovered my dilemma, I got the FedEx address from the host and called Equalizer. He was as perplexed as I was. The only thing we could think of was that someone had taken it. They may have needed just one bar and the one pin so left the other lock on the unit. I must say, Rick, the gentleman who helped me was wonderful. By this morning I had a confirmation of purchase and the tracking numbers for the bar to get here. Good customer service.

The camp host here looked and said he didn't think I lost it on the road--good thing, I'm sure one of those bars could do some damage. He told me that recently, around here, there are vandals who find 5ers by the side of the road and pull the lock--just for kicks, but he had never heard of anyone taking a bar. So Equalizer is sending me another bar--more money spent, of course. C'mon, Murphy. Can't you give me a break? No proofing tonight. I'm going to sleep. I am SO tired that my eyes are literally closing.

Oct 4, 2016

North or East?


I can't remember the last time I was so sick. Maybe a few years ago after Thanksgiving, but this was a doozy. I am hoping that Susan will be okay. We had shared the same bed and it's small quarters in here. She keeps herself in very good health so I'm hoping that her immune system will "ward off evil spirits". 

Susan and Leroy. I may have repeated some pictures, but it brightens a blog page.

I took her into Santa Fe and dropped her off so she could do all the shopping she wanted to do, and so I could air out the trailer. I saw a home depot and went in to replace the heater. I couldn't find the exact model that I had. This one is significantly lighter and smaller, but has the same voltage (or something). If it does work as well, it will have those advantages over the old one. It doesn't have the digital dials, but I was just too sick to go to the Lowes right down the street. I haven't been in extremely cold weather, yet, so that will be the real test. 

I went back to the trailer and was even sicker. Thankfully, I always carry an antibiotic with me on a long trip. I felt as though I couldn't get any air into my lungs and swallowing was very difficult. I used one of the bottles of Oxygen to see if that would help (thank you, Jo). I felt as though I was getting worse rather than better--almost went to an urgent care, but thought they'd probably only tell me to do what I was already doing (and it would also make Susan worried about leaving). On top of everything, I don't think the altitude was helping my situation. When I picked Susan up, I was almost too sick to drive (probably scared her to death). After a bad night, I was dreading driving down to Albuquerque. Susan offered, but I'm a terrible passenger. I have to admit I almost asked her to drive back from Santa Fe, though.

We drove down to Albuquerque on the 2nd. Susan's flight was at 8 a.m. so she had to be at the airport at 6 a.m. She had gotten a hotel less than half mile away so I got her there and went back to the hotel to make sure her flight took off. I can't see to drive at night so it was a good option. Susan thought I should sleep till noon and then drive back up to Santa Fe which was only about an hour's drive, but as soon as I knew her flight was in the air, I headed back. I thought it would give me two full days of rest before having to hitch up. I have Flight Track on my phone so I thought it was amusing that she was already over Arkansas as I arrived back at the campground. She landed earlier than expected and is feeling fine as of today. I told her to take lots of Vitamin C, and I'm crossing my fingers.

I woke up this morning feeling human--not 100%, but close enough. All I wanted to do yesterday was head east and go home, but this morning I thought I'd dump my tanks and already knew I was going north for another week. After that, I'll head home. I decided I'd drive only two hours a day and not unhook anywhere. I dragged myself to the grocery store, yesterday, so I have enough food and water in for the week. I have an absentee ballot, but would prefer to vote in person.

Now, after all that boring news, I feel like I want to insert some pictures I haven't used before--just to brighten things up until I see something worth photographing. I know there are people that love the southwest; I'm just not one of them. The dryness bothers my nose, throat, skin, and eyes. It bothered Susan, as well. She had a wonderful product called Aquaphor for those of you who have the same problem. I think the air dried out my nasal passage and throat and invited the germs in. I've been using it since she left and it's amazing how it helps dry skin and lips.
Building out past Telluride
Mining, I suspect
Hopefully a different angle than ones in past posts. I was quite a distance away so I was glad it came out at all.

Another fall near the power house. I imagine in spring they are flowing a lot faster

Train by the side of the tracks on the way to Silverton

Hikers Ready to be picked up.

Another excuse to take a picture of Susan
There used to be an old man who played this piano. Years ago when we took Lizzie to Silverton, she got all excited and insisted on going around the corner. She had heard the piano music. Lizzie used to play our piano with her chin. She must have remembered the old man from the year before because he gave her treats for doing it. Odd to see such a young, pretty girl playing honky tonk on an old upright piano.

I'm going back to Ignacio (mostly because it's only $15 a night, but the country I love surrounds it. I'm hoping to drive up toward Telluride, again. Maybe not into town, but I'm sure there are some back roads and maybe a short trail I can manage along the way.

I laugh at myself because I used to give Rich the business about hooking up early once he knew we were going to be moving on. I find myself doing the same thing. I'm half thinking of hitching up, tonight, so I just have to unhook water and electric tomorrow. We'll see.

Wish I had gotten a picture, but I didn't. I saw a beautiful chocolate Lab this morning. It made me long for Lizzie and Jack. I think a good solution after the first of the year is for me to adopt a small older dog who needs a home and help Susan raise a Lab. She helped me so much with Lizzie and Jack; especially Jack when I could no longer walk. She was faithful about coming over and taking both and then Jack for the walks to the nature center they loved. Lizzie's breeder is no longer in Georgia, but Jack's is so he will be the one I'd suggest she'd see. He's a very good breeder and has healthy litters. Susan is very active and could give a Lab the life it would love and then we could take both dogs camping when she can get three day weekends.

Jack's true love
Lizzie never walked around the motorhome while it was moving. Jack...well, you know Jack. This was his way of telling us he wanted water. He'd bark at the sink and then bark at the fridge. He wanted only bottled water.
She needs a dog and a dog needs her. She's torn between adopting and getting a lab. We've seen labs that need adopting, but they are either in poor health or poorly trained at a year or two old. Since she works, she needs a house to come back to that isn't damaged. I'll help by getting an older little one or maybe even two and maybe keeping Susan's at my house while she's at work. Maybe some whose "Mom or Dad" have died or have special needs. We'll see.
Well, now you know I'm feeling better. Had no intention going on so! I hope if you skip over the writing, you'll enjoy the pictures--hope I didn't repeat too many.