Archive for the ‘New Mexico’ Category

West Please!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

We decided to get a head start on our journey west and headed out Sunday afternoon taking Hwy 60 through western New Mexico into Arizona at the Salt River Canyon area.  Sunday night was spent near Pie Town New Mexico at our own private campground with the coyotes and the stars!  It was so peaceful at Halfmoon Hitch RV Park which is a bit off the highway and only 5 full hookup sites.  Definitely a spot I could have spent more than just one night but getting to California is a huge motivation at this point!

Salt River Canyon

Salt River Canyon

We made it to Arizona on Monday and it was a beautiful drive, a bit hot when we made it to Mesa!  We got to see Mike & Claudia for dinner and then in the morning had friends, Joan and Steven over for breakfast!  Yeah,  we get to entertain and hang out with friends again!

Monday night we stopped in Yuma for the night and again it was very hot.  We got a bath for the RV and car Tuesday am before heading to San Diego!  We are home!  Yeah!  Not quite but I feel home just knowing we are at the bottom of the state!  And,  on Wednesday Stephanie is meeting us in Anaheim to take me to the happiest place on Earth!

A Kaleidoscope of Colors

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Our week at Balloon Fiesta was spent with three great guys; Stan our pilot, Bud the crew chief, and Marc the everything guy.  They are a team from Canada and were kind enough to let Paul and I work with them this week.

Team Magic Moments 2015

Team Magic Moments 2015

Stan’s balloon Magic Moments flew seven times this week and Paul and I each were able to be passengers on one of the flights.  Paul’s flight was from off the field and a competition day so he was in the air quite long catching the box of Albuquerque where the balloon flew west and then north to the field, circle the field and landed north of the field.  They were never able to get into the field to hit the target but the flight was beautiful.  I flew on Wednesday with a VIP passenger from Canon.  His name was also Mark and he had a very fancy Canon camera so I am sure his photos are excellent.

Looking back over the launch field

Looking back over the launch field

Flying with Darth

Flying with Darth

Never know who you will meet with at 500 ft!

Never know who you will meet with at 500 ft!

Some of the balloons were thinking of a swim in the Rio Grande!

Some of the balloons were thinking of a swim in the Rio Grande!

A creative Farmer

A creative Farmer

Stan has been a pilot for 40 years and the team made our week lots of fun.  Chasing is always interesting.  One day Marc went on a flight and Paul had to drive the chase car.  Bud was our navigator and we chased pretty well until they landed a block over and I thought they landed further so we went way out of our way to get to them.  The good news is balloon is very much a family sport and their was lots of other crews nearby to catch up to the balloon and help Stan get on the ground and deflated.

Magic Moments being inflated

Magic Moments being inflated

Flying the Canadian Flag

Flying the Canadian Flag

Magic Moments neighbors, with the Turtle lauchig

Magic Moments neighbors, with the Turtle lauchig

Ballooning is such a visual activity.  Flying is amazing but just being on the field watching balloons inflate and take off is just as spectacular, especially when there are more than 500 balloons inflating.

The view is awesome

The view is awesome

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Can’t wait for the next time we make it to Albuquerque in October!

Sums up the feeling of being on the launch field with over 500 balloons ready to take flight!

Sums up the feeling of being on the launch field with over 500 balloons ready to take flight!

 

 

Up, Up and Away

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Now you can't get him out of the basket!

Now you can’t get him out of the basket!

Yesterday Paul was the recipient of a fabulous ride in Magic Moments.  He isn’t fond of heights or flying but took another chance and loved his ride.  Stan is our pilot this week and we are helping crew his balloon, Magic Moments.

Magic Moments flying with the natives!

Magic Moments flying with the natives!

Paul and Stan flying above the RV's.

Paul and Stan flying above the RV’s.

Back on Earth Paul celebrates the morning

Back on Earth Paul celebrates the morning

The Balloon Fiesta is such an awesome experience.  We get up every morning before the sun (or Duke) wake up and head to the field to help inflate the balloon.  I’m not much help as the balloon requires strong arms to remove it from the truck, open the bag, stretch the envelope across the ground and get it full of air before the pilot take lift off.  Then we wait to see where the wind is going to take the balloon and eventually we show up, deflate the balloon, pack it up and head back to the field.  My job is to watch and help drink Champagne once the flight is over!

Inflate

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Landing

This one didn’t have the smoothest landing but everyone was cheering so that is a success.

Dawn Patrol takes off so the rest of the pilots get an idea about the wind, or maybe this is just for us to admire!  Either way it is beautiful

Dawn Patrol takes off so the rest of the pilots get an idea about the wind, or maybe this is just for us to admire! Either way it is beautiful

 

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Darth Vadar stops by each day just to hang around!

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The shapes are lots of fun to watch being inflated; they take an army.

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We are camping south of the flight field and many of the balloons fly directly over us and some land way too close!

Todays flight was lots of fun to watch. The pilots had to take off from at least 1 mile from the field, hope to fly over the field and drop a bean bag at a target and then either take off or land outside the competion markers.  Stan flew in, dropped his marker and then landed beyond the field.  When the chase crew arrived (us) the balloon was deflated and we had to quickly remove it because lots of other balloons wanted to use the same flight path!

And away they go!

And away they go!

Adding heat to the balloon to get lift

Adding heat to the balloon to get lift

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Magic Moments

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Getting very close

Getting very close

I think they all had the same idea about hitting the mark and landing because they were bunched up hoping to hit the landing field.  Everyone landed safely and the passengers got a great ride.  More champagne!!!

Cheers

Cheers

 

 

Cliff Climbing, Art, Green Chili’s and Atomic Bombs

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Santa Fe, known for its style of architecture, the Spanish Pueblo Revival look, which was based on work done restoring the Palace of the Governors. The sources for this style came from the many defining features of local architecture: vigas (rough, exposed beams that extrude through supporting walls, and are thus visible outside as well as inside the building) and canales (rain spouts cut into short parapet walls around flat roofs), features borrowed from many old adobe homes and churches built many years before and found in the Pueblos, along with the earth-toned look (reproduced in stucco) of the old adobe exteriors.

After 1912 this style became official: all buildings were to be built using these elements.

Tourism is big in Santa Fe with lots of Art Galleries of very nice, expensive goods to admire and hopefully for the Artist you will need to purchase one for your home!  We just admired.  Georgia O’Keefe spent most of her life very close to Santa Fe and so I visited the art museum while Paul and Duke enjoyed the fresh air!  Very interesting works.

Amazing colors in her paintings of flowers

Amazing colors in her paintings of flowers

One of her more interesting phases

One of her more interesting phases

Our purchase was hats to protect our heads from the sun.  It’s hot here!

Red or Green is a choice with  meals in New Mexico where they are talking about the chili’s.  We of course tried both!  Paul likes a green chili cheese burger and I like the chili on just about anything!  We tried it on pork, beef, chicken and eggs; the breakfast burrito is the best!

To work off all the chili’s we explored a bit outside of Santa Fe at Bandelier National Monument  The ancestral pueblo people inhabited the region for over 400 years, and their homes, carved from the rock walls of the Frijoles Canyon, are the primary attraction of the monument.  It is just too cool

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Getting a close up look at one of the dwellings in the side of the mountain.  Bandilier7

Even the early Pueblo’s knew the value of a nice view!
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If you look beyond Paul to the grassy clearing below you can see the footprint of where they lived condo style!  All those grids are individual remains of a homeBandilier18

Bandelier National Monument is right near Los Alamos, home of the LANL, or where the Atomic Bomb was created and our National Security and Research is being done today.   All very top secret although they let Paul and I drive through!  The town of Los Alamos looks like any other small town in the desert but most of their residents have something to do with the LANL.  We enjoyed the Bradbury Science Museum, named after Norris Bradbury the Labortory Director during the time the bomb was being discovered. I learned what the atomic bomb can do and why today we as a nation put so much energy into nation’s nuclear deterrent.

Outside of Santa Fe is the Rio Grande River, which we crossed several times and never got wet!
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It’s a long way down so getting into the river at this point is difficult.

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Adobe is a very popular material in the area and an example of how well it holds up.  Actually it is quite strong but the number of crumbling structures is just as plentiful here as in so many other areas.  We are amazed at the number of structures around the country that when they have passed their usefulness they are just abandoned and a new structure is put up right near.  My question is,  “Is it really that expensive or difficult to remove the old before you install the new?”  Just curious.

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Art being displayed everywhere.  This was painted right on the side of a building near downtown; no special business just one that didn’t want a blank wall.

Back in the Saddle again!

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

We are all settled in, enjoying the heck out of this new home.  It is huge and very comfortable and now it is time to get back to the adventure.  We took delivery in Gallup and made it to Grants, NM for a couple of nights just to regroup and then it was to Alburquerque for a couple of nights for Paul to visit some dealers.  And now we are heading south to warmer weather!

We are spending the weekend near Truth or Consequence New Mexico at a very nice state park,  Caballo State Park is where home is for a couple of days and then it will be south to Las Cruces and then Texas.

There was a slight storm coming but that didn’t stop us from taking a drive into the Gila National Forest.  We hit snow at the 8,000 foot summit but not enough to stop us.  The landscape changed a lot from dusty desert to lots of beautiful pine trees.  We passed through Hillsboro, which had one historical marker and not much else – we saw maybe 2 people!

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We saw a few homesteads but not much else between Hillsboro and Kingston but we did see this sign for a ranch!  I guess it is not failing?  Kingston was not much more than Hillsboro but it did have a resort that obviously this is not peak season because we saw even less people in this village!

The Spit and Whittle Club!  Paul wants to join

The Spit and Whittle Club! Paul wants to join

The Resort!  very pretty but deserted

The Resort! very pretty but deserted

 

An Adobe wall and home

An Adobe wall and home

You could actually see the straw in the wall.  Once we passed the peak we came upon the Santa Rita Open Pit Copper Mine.  Paul was so excited.

Santa Rita Copper Mine

Santa Rita Copper Mine

The mine is a mile wide and 1600 feet deep.

 

One of the tractor tires

One of the tractor tires

Sometimes I can get Paul to pose!  The mine was huge and the tractors were so tiny.  It seemed the tailings went on forever.  This is the oldest continually operated copper mine in the US, and one of the largest pit operations.  Moving onward….

Next stop Hatch, NM  the Chile capitol of  the World.  No Chile’s growing now but we did get to have the Famous Green chile and an even more famous little dive!  Sparky’s  BBQ.  It gets great reviews on Yelp and Google and we have to try the Green Chile Cheeseburger while in New Mexico so lets give it a shot.

We arrive and the place is just to much fun,  signs everywhere and memorabilia of all types.

Red or Green, what's your desire?

Red or Green, what’s your desire?

 

Bob's Big Boy

Bob’s Big Boy

 

where is Duke?  He is suppose to do the stupid pictures!

where is Duke? He is suppose to do the stupid pictures!

 

A water feature?

A water feature?

 

Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald

 

My favorite, brings back the good ole days!

My favorite, brings back the good ole days!

And the green chile cheeseburger was awesome as was the green chili sweet cream corn.  We even bought 5 lbs of green chile so we can make our own burgers!

 

 

So long to lots of memories, A new chapter begins

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The end of an era,  March 4 and we say good bye.

Howmany states?

Howmany states?

So long Voyage,  it's been a great 7 years!

So long Voyage, it’s been a great 7 years!

The Winnebago Voyage has served us well and now it is time for a new owner to enjoy her as much as we did.  We drove the Voyage through all but Kentucky, Wyoming and Rhode Island in our 5 years on the road with her.  Several states we drove through but did not spend a night so they don’t get stickers.

Ready, Set, Go......

Ready, Set, Go……

Finally,  we are all loaded, the bikes and car are ready to roll.  We left the dealership about 10:30 am with us following a transport guy named Frank who wore a really big cowboy hat and headed to New Mexico where we will officially take ownership of our new home.  As soon as we made the first turn out of the dealership, Frank was taking the next right turn and cut it really short, barely missing an electrical box!  This isn’t going to work so quickly I direct Paul to turn and head for the highway while our home, our livelyhood and Frank head to the Fueling station.  We will meet Frank and the chase car in New Mexico,  following is way too scary!  As it turned out we made a stop in Payson for some lunch and decided to wait for our home.  From Payson to the New Mexico State line we lead the caravan,  probably a bit slower than Frank and Al wanted to travel but it is our home and we always travel a bit slow.

Snow in Arizona

Snow in Arizona

The drive was beautiful as we stayed off the interstate until just before the border.  Once we stopped at the Welcome Center, took a quick picture of us and Frank at the border we headed to Gallup where we will take possession of our new home!  Once we hit the interstate, Al took over and we had trouble keeping up with them!  The new rig goes up the hills really well.  We made it to Gallup,  signed the papers and in a rainstorm we took our first steps in our new home!  We only went 50 miles to Grants where we will spend a couple of days just relaxing and getting to know our new home.  We needed our new fireplace last night as it got really cold!  We need to head south again soon!

I wonder how long it will take to fill another map in our new Winnebago Journey?  Happy travels to us

On the road again

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Bye, Bye, Bye!

Home Sweet Home, Mesa Arizona

Monday evening Paul left Mesa about 6:30 pm, right after our last baseball game and headed into the desert on his way to Texas.  I headed for a local motel where I spent the evening before taking a shuttle to the Phoenix Airport to catch a Southwest flight to San Jose for some much needed time with my girls and my girlfriends!

I arrived Tuesday about 11:30 am and was quickly picked up by Annie and off to lunch at the Elephant Bar in San Jose where we spent lots of time catching up.  Then I spent the afternoon relaxing in her home and telling her all about my time in Mesa.  I tend to talk way too much when I get home because there is just nothing like being back where people know you!  Amy picked me up about 5:30 and then it was off to her new, temporary home and then off to dinner in Willow Glen with Stephanie.

Wednesday was a much needed hair restoration with Nancy (thanks!) and then lunch with Diana in Campbell at the Rock Bottom Brewery.  Stephanie picked me up around 3 and we did some errands and checked out the house we are trying to buy and then it was meet Amy for dinner (again!)  This time I said too many restaurants so we got TOGO’s take out and then a girls night at the movies.   We went for sappy and saw The Vow.  I enjoyed it, I really don’t need educated anymore so a good sappy movie is fine with me.

Thursday was a girls day with Amy and we started about 9 am dropping her rental car back and heading for bagels.  We reorganized her storage shed so a new couch would fit that Nick and Stephanie were helping to move this weekend.  I found out today that it was way bigger than Amy expected so they had to do even more rearranging!  It is amazing the stuff you can accumulate when you have the space!  Then it was off to Kaiser for my monthly blood test and a blood pressure check.  Everything is good to go, just like the car needs tuned up before a trip, that was what I was doing.  Then we were off to the mall.  I am going broke on this visit.  What to eat for dinner?  Another first, we went to Tlaquepaque in Willow Glen for mexican food.  Very good.

Friday was a couple quick errands and then lunch with Barb at Rock Bottom Brewery.  Never been there before and now in 3 days I have been twice.  There Blackened Chicken Salad was excellent.  Drop Barb back at work, pick Amy up and off to the airport I go for my flight to Texas at 3 pm.

Oh ya,  Paul had a very uneventful trip across the desert with Duke.  He called me each day and on Wednesday afternoon he said after driving about 8 hours that he felt like he was on a treadmill; he would drive forever at the same speed, stop for $300 of fuel and get right back on and drive again until he stopped for another $300 of fuel!   He still had about 200 miles to go.

God Bless the USA!!!

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
 For the past 12 days we have had the time of our lives getting up at dawn and falling into bed by 9 pm! We get up at 5 am, arrive at the launch field by 6 am, ready the balloon to fly, watch it lift off into the sky with 500 other balloons of all sizes & shapes,  load into chase vehicles and try to follow the flight on city streets until the pilot finds a suitable landing field, load up the balloon, return to the launch field for some celebration and then home usually by noon for rest, happy hour and return to the field about 5:30 pm for evening activities that range from fireworks, balloon glows and dinner.  We get home about 8:30 pm and fall into bed after setting the alarm to rise again at 5 am and do it all over again!

So many balloons

Paul helps to raise the envelope (balloon)

Dawn Patrol

Dawn Patrol starts the morning flights

Over 500 balloons participated this year

Zebra's are like refs; they are incharge of sending the balloons into the air

 Thursday morning I took a break from the early morning festivites and got to sleep in until 7 am when I heard the burners overhead and had to look outside to see what was happening.  The sky was full of balloons.  It was the shapes rodeo and they were all flying our way with a lot of them landing in our field. 

The bumblebees had a baby this year!

The Wicked Witch- my personal favorite

The lighthouse passed right over our RV

Character Balloons landing in my yard

Between launching balloons and partying we did get out a little to see Old Town Albuquerque and a few wineries.  In Old Town we ate in a mexican restaurant that had one of the best chili releno’s I have ever had.  I also spent one afternoon wine tasting and found some very good Cab and Port.  They were too expensive to buy, $45 for the Cab and $41 for the Port – maybe someday when we hit the lottery!  The view of the Sandia Mountains from the Corrales Winery “Almost” reminded me of Napa Valley.  The Cab here was spectacular for only $25.  Bought only one bottle and drank it!  We are out of good wine.  Can’t wait to get to CA and restock!

Corrales Winery

Paul’s sister and her kids, Sarah & Eric came down for the last weekend of the fiesta.  They tried to crew for a balloon on Sunday but the balloon they were assigned had a crash on Saturday, landing in trees and destroying their balloon so they didn’t get to crew but saw a lot of balloons fly.

Balloons over my House

A fine landing for the Kangaroo

Flying

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Yesterday was an amazing day.  We were up at 5:00 and out the door by 5:30 heading out to see a couple Hot Air Balloons being flown from a local elementary school here in Albuquerque.  We helped crew  a couple of balloons and they we loaded into the chase vehicle and proceeded to follow the balloon around Albuquerque until it landed somewhere in the desert.    The balloon landed in someones backyard!  The kids were squealing; the dogs barking!!!  Then…..     

     

I got to fly all over the desert of Albuquerque!!!  So cool!  Next was a trip to Albuquerque International Airport to pick up Amy who is spending the weekend with us here.  Then in the afternoon we took a ride on the Sandia Tram       

Sandia Tram

 

An overwhelming day!  We were in bed by 9 pm!!! And up again this morning by 4:45 so we could watching opening ceremonies of the Balloon Fiesta  with over 500 balloons all in the air together!     

     

    

   

 

Wish you all could see this.  We are off to happy hour, Twinkle Glow and then bed by 9 so we can get up tomorrow and do it all again!

Carlsbad Caverns

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Way cool!!!!  Can’t really describe the caves!  but this is something that should be on everyones Bucket list!  I enjoyed the cave so much that now I am ready to do one of the tours where you need the headlamp and have to crawl around on your knees!  I wanted to this time but we had “reservations” and had to get on our way.  Reservations is something we try not to do and this is why. 

Come along for a tour of the cave with me.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 
 

The Natural Entrance

Here goes

The beginning of the desent into the cave

Looking back toward the entrance

Formations

More Formations

And more

Proof that we really did desend into the cave (at least Paul did!)

 

Above ground again

Some cactus are finally blooming

And that is the tour of the Carlsbad Cave.  The only thing you missed is the feeling you get when you walked into a black hole; the eerie feeling you get in total darkness; a chance to be in awe of the first guy who actually climbed into this hole and then convinced others to come with him; and lunch at 750 feet below ground level!  AWESOME!!!