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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

End of our season at Bluewater

As the middle of September came, and along with it a slower pace and cooler weather, we knew it was about time to move on.  Although we looked forward to seeing all our friends in Yuma, we were reluctant to leave Bluewater.

Here are some of the highlights of our summer not mentioned before.  Each day brought it’s own little treats, such as watching the wild horses near the park entrance or even at the front door of the office.

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We had more hummingbirds visit our feeder than we’d ever had anywhere.


Ron worked hard to get a yard sale computer up and running to provide a slideshow for visitors to the visitor center.  With the donation of a hard drive from the local computer shop, he was finally successful.


We were sorry to see the park manager, Kelly, transfer to another park.  He was the one most instrumental in bringing us to Bluewater.  The volunteers and employees gave him a little going away party.


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The state is planning to build a new visitor center, shower house and office complex.  It was exciting to see the first surveyor stake go into the ground.


  We took a couple of drives during the month.  One was to Mount Taylor, with its elevation of 11,306 ft.  The road is asphalt for 13 miles beyond Grants, then becomes gravel.  We drove until the road became too narrow and rutted, almost to the top.  With the recent rains, the trees and wildflowers were beautiful.  As you leave the bottom, you leave the desert topography behind, ascend through the pines, and at the top come into the aspen groves.

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Visiting the nearby community of Thoreau was interesting with its horses roaming the streets.  There aren’t very many communities any more where you can see them grazing at the street intersections.

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The red rock cliffs near Thoreau are striking.

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We also took a day trip to Gallup, where we also enjoyed seeing the Gallup Cultural Center Storyteller Museum.


A free facility in the old train depot, it contains some nice displays.


1928 Trading Post Diorama, along with several other miniature scenes



Native Pottery



Rug Loom


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Amazing Beadwork



Sand Painting

It was also exciting for me to explore Thunderbird Supply, a wholesale bead shop.  I could have spent the whole day there, but restrained myself.  :-)

Our last stop of the day was at the historic El Rancho Hotel.  In the 1930’s and 40’s it was home to the movie stars who filmed westerns in the area.  IMG_2950The entire second floor’s hall walls are covered with autographed photos of the stars and producers.  The ground floor is a visual delight with its grand furnishings.

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 Although we were at Bluewater Lake for more than 3 months, it seemed as if we had just arrived when Labor Day came and went, and the summer season was over for 2013.  IMG_2358The days began to cool rapidly, and when we got up on September 23 to a morning temperature of 37 degrees, we knew it was time to head west and south.  Our Yuma season was soon to begin.




Monday, September 23, 2013

The Desert shall Rejoice

And Blossom as the Rose.  Isaiah 35:1

And that’s what happens when you get lots of rain in the desert. 

When we arrived here in May, it was obvious that we were in high desert country.  Other than the pinon pines and scrub brush, there was very little green.

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Then, with the beginning of July, the monsoon season began.  We had never experienced a desert monsoon season, and from what the locals tell us, the one we got this year was quite out of the ordinary.

Mornings began sunny, with either clear skies or with small white fluffy clouds.IMG_2109

Then, by late morning, the clouds were beginning to build, and almost always, the afternoon brought showers.


The transition shown in the next three photos occurred in less than 30 minutes.  The rain soon followed.

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This continued through July, August and September.  Often our reward was a beautiful rainbow. In the case of this one, a double rainbow.


The lake has been losing volume due to the drought for the last several years.  In September, the storms that brought such devastation to Colorado communities, hit here with less vengeance, but still flooded many of the surrounding communities.  The lake lies between the Continental Divide and the Zuni Mountains, and the water began to flow in from both directions.

At least 3 times during the summer, park employees had moved the boat dock in order to keep it in the water.  The morning after the strongest storm, they found it 10 feet out into the water.  Overnight, the water had risen that much, and continued to rise for several days, adding as much as 5-10 feet of depth to the lake. A worker waded in water over his waist to hook a chain to the dock so it could be pulled to shore.


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The process had to be repeated the next day, as the water had consumed even more of the shore.

The visual benefit to all the water was an immense greening of the park and a profusion of wildflowers.  This photo is the September view of area shown earlier.


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Across the lake then………………………………………… Now

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There have been numerous varieties of wildflowers, in every shape, size and color.  Here are a few of the photos.

Some are bright and eye catching


while others are demure.

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Some are tall and proud, while others are tiny and hidden among the rocks.

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My very favorite have been the wild four o’clocks.  Living up to their name, they bloom around 4 pm and close up about 9 am, but they are so abundant, bright and vibrant.  I loved it when one came up under the tree in our front yard, and lavished me with blooms throughout its season.


But all the wildflowers have their own beauty, and will shine but for a short time.  We have feel very fortunate to have been able to witness the desert bloom. 

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