Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Belton Lake C.O.E. Live Oak Campground, Belton, Texas


Belton Lake is a great place to camp when you want a “laid back” relaxing getaway.  We arrived on Wednesday.

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IMG_3088 [50%] Friends, Glenn and Donna, arrived on Sunday morning.  We spent a very enjoyable week together, sharing meals, playing games, and visiting with Donna’s family members who live nearby.







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For more on Belton Lake and it’s impressive Dam Mural, visit our previous posting from here:

Belton Lake Stay, April, 2008

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From Las Cruces to Belton, TX

Whenever possible, we like to find new routes to travel, and this time, we decided to take U.S. 380 to Texas.  It was a scenic route, traveling through the Sacramento Mountains.

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The various signs of Roswell, NM brought a smile to our faces.

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Mid-afternoon, we stopped for a break at Tiny’s Burger Barn in Tatum, near the state line.  In contrast to the name, the burgers were anything but tiny.  Both the barbecue and the burgers were from local beef, and simply delicious.IMG_2979 [50%]

IMG_2989 [50%]We stopped for the night at a free campground in Brownfield, TX.  Northern Texas has many of these small free campgrounds (some with a donation box).   Several of the communities have decided it benefits their local economy to offer camping sites.  We stay in them whenever we run across one.  This one, as most, was in a city park, but we were pleased to find free internet provided by the local high school.






IMG_2995 [50%]IMG_2990 [50%]The next morning, I snapped this photo as we purchased fuel… not a sign you expect to see in a community.  

A sure sign that you’ve arrived in western Texas is the appearance of the giant windmills.







IMG_2998 [50%]We spent this night in Ranger, Texas.  The campground had a private lake inhabited by beavers. 

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We didn’t spot any beavers, but evidence of their industriousness was all along the bank. 









The afternoon of the following day brought us to our destination, Belton Lake Live Oak C.O.E. Campground.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Square Dancing with Ron and Anita

We try to find square dances as we travel. From Benson, AZ (covered in a previous post) we moved to Deming, NM. Arriving on Saturday, we picked up a square dancing friend, Bill, and drove another 60 miles to Las Cruces for the Southwest New Mexico District dance. The Southwest District consists of clubs from Alamogordo, Las Cruces, Deming, Truth or Consequences, and Silver City. Seven clubs were represented at the dance. Rusty Wright was the caller, and Jim and Linda Klein cued for the round dances. Dancers filled the floor at the Belton Bridge Center, home of the Blue Bells Square Dance club.

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Later in the week, we danced with the Good Time Squares at Deming. Several years ago, while staying in Deming, we saw a flyer for 3 free square dance lessons. We decided to give it a try, and had our first five square dance lessons with the Good Times Squares and their caller, Rusty Wright. We try to dance with the group each year as we pass through. A small club, we only had one square this week.

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While in Deming, and the next week while staying in Silver City, we danced with the Silver City Squares. Fred Beem is the caller. This area has lost 3 callers in the past five years to retirement or death, so Silver City is encouraging several of its members to become club callers.

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Before leaving the area, we spent a few days in Las Cruces and danced with the Crossfires, a Plus Club, and the Circle Eights.

The Crossfires meet at the Belton Bridge Center in Las Cruces:

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The Circle Eights meet at the Munson Senior Center:

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Ted Clements calls for both the Crossfires and the Circle Eights.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hiking in the Organ Mountains

Friends, Bill and Anne, moved to Las Cruces this year; we spent 5 nights there, visiting. Our visit included two hikes into the Organ Mountains; browsing the local art galleries at “Art Ramble”; attending an ‘open mike’ music night; and experiencing the Cinco de Mayo Festival.

IMG_2270 [50%]The Organ Mountains, named from the resemblance of it’s peaks to the pipes of an organ, are considered one of the steepest ranges in the western U.S.

Over a distance of only 3 miles, the peaks rise more than 4,000 feet, topping out at 9,000.IMG_2261b

A primitive campground is situated among the boulders, and there are several hiking trails throughout the designated National Recreation Area.

IMG_2273 [50%]We chose the Pine Tree National Recreation Trail, a 4.5 mile hike, a circular route around a mountain basin. The elevation climbs from 5,900 ft to 6,900 ft at the summit. Ron and I were not used to the elevation change, coming from Yuma (elevation 200 ft) just a few weeks previously. By the time we reached the highest point, we were both breathing hard.

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The hike afforded wonderful views. In the foreground we could see the White Sands Military Establishment, and in the distance, the White Sands National Monument, more than 30 miles away.

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We took our time on the hike, stopping often for photo sessions, and about half way through from lunch.

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Pena Blanca

A couple of days later, Bill and Anne introduced us to the Pena Blanca area, one of two professionally excavated prehistoric sites. The Pena Blanca rock shelters were excavated in the 1980s. In them was found the earliest known cultivated corn in the US.

IMG_2438 [50%] We drove out a gravel/dirt road, then walked about a mile to reach the mountains.

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The climb was at times steep, with no trail, but alongside striking rock formations.

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IMG_2513 [50%]Holes, assumed to have been used for grinding corn and grain, were abundant.

IMG_2567 [50%]We found several chips of “worked” flint and stone, either parts of arrowheads, or the discarded fragments.

IMG_2557 [50%]We ate our lunch in one of the naturally carved shelters, wondering, had families eaten their meals here, centuries ago? What would it be like to live in such a manner for your whole life?

The Organ Mountains are a place of ruggedness, wild beauty and mystery. Hopefully, we’ll return again to explore here.

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