Saturday, October 8, 2011

Old Town Albuquerque

We're finally in Albuquerque and settled in at the RV lot across the street from Balloon Fiesta. Great campsite, about 8 rigs came in early. Five of us decide to tour Old Town via the trolley. What a great decision. The trolley is owned and operated by 2 young guys who are natives of Albuquerque. They are knowledgeable, entertaining and just delightful as they share their information and appreciation of this city. We drove through parts of the old route 66.

This home looked like something out of Star Trek. The architect owner lives in one section and uses the other one for his art gallery.
We traveled by Museum Row, University of New Mexico, Isotope Park, the Pit, the zoo, Botanic Gardens, Tingley Beach.
After the trolley ride we toured the Chapel of our Lady of Guadalupe, the smallest church in Albuquerque constructed by Sister Giotti to commemorate the Virgin Mary's miraculous appearance to Juan Diego in 1531.
These doors are always open. Supposedly a ghost occasionally appears. We didn't see one in our visit.
San Felipe de Neri Church built in 1706 and collapsed in 1792 then rebuilt in 1793.
A wonderful day in Albuquerque. I even won a bag of popcorn for knowing how to spell this town.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Forest Lakes

From Moab Utah, we traveled to Forest Lakes, AZ , a wonderful place of solitude. Thank you to our friends who own a home in this area for allowing us to stay on their property for a few days. We enjoyed margaritas on the rim one evening as we waited for sunset. A beautiful relaxing time of day.
Wax on wax off. Dick does the rubbing on our motorhome to bring up the shine. Looking good.
We've been feeding the critters which had included the humming birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and many other birds. Who knew our menagerie would include this wild horse. He seemed pretty tame until he nipped me in the arm while begging for more food.
We're enjoying grass fed beef we purchased in Wyoming. It is sooooo good.
After meeting up with about 50 of our friends at a chili cook out at Sharp Creek, I took a quick trip to Phoenix to enjoy time with my mom, children and grandchildren. Violet is nearly 3 and just a bundle of energy.

Jack, Charlie, Thomas and Violet played as the 2 youngest tried on various outfits to pick out the perfect Halloween costume. They have some very creative ideas. Didn't realize how much I miss these kiddos while we're on the road.
Special time with my daughter Laura and her youngest Lucy. Lucy kept me busy with all of her school stories and fun games on the computer.
Luke, Henry, Theo and Lucy at our favorite dinner spot, America's tacos. These kids stay busy with soccer, cross country track and swimming after school. What fun we had on this short visit. I'm trying to play catch up on the blog site. All of the activities at the Balloon Fiesta have kept us on the go. A rainy day is just what I needed.....hmmm maybe time to clean house, too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Travels to Hubbell Trading Post

Wilson Arch

Wilson Arch, with a span of 91 feet and height of 46 feet, is located about 24 miles south of Moab on US 191. The arch is visible from the road and there is a pulloff on the left.  I've learned to keep my eyes open on our travels.  You never know when a sight like this will present itself.  (not my pic)

 We enjoyed our stop at the Hubbell Trading Post.  These buildings are quite well preserved.  This guest hogan was used by Hubbell to take care of friends and travelers.  The hogan was built in 1934 Hubbell started this trading post in the 1870's and expanded the post and ranch. Later a post office was opened.  In 1883, a small pox epidemic killed thousands of local people.  Hubbell opened his home as a hospital of sorts to care for the sick and dying.  Trading was a common practice and soon the store became known for its handmade rugs, jewelry, carvings, baskets and pottery taken in as trade for food and other basic items.  Today, the Hubbell Trading Post is a National Historic Site and is known for its excellent handmade rugs.  An auction will be held this weekend.  Gosh, wish we could attend.  They have beautiful handmade wares.  
Along side of the hogan is a small gazebo.  Looking in we saw a large slate type table and benches.   

 The blacksmith shop still has repaired farm equipment and tools, hardware, horseshoes and the gate with the Hubbell initials.
Dick liked this bread oven.  It was used to bake hundreds of loaves each week supplying bread to the family and to sell in the store.  We only wish it was still functioning.....How we love bread...

Corn, squash, melons, beans, and chiles gro here.  Daghaa Neezi Hubbell's gardener for over 70 years grew fruit and vegetables for the family and workers.  The garden is still full of produce with a scarecrow guarding its veggies.  .  
On to Holbrook.  No stop here just took this snapshot of the dinosaurs in town.  There are quite a few of them as well as enormous amounts of petrified wood.   

We're at forest lakes and relaxing for a few days.  Fished at Willow Springs and got a couple bites but only caught this stick.  Good thing: no cleaning tonight hmm but no fish dinner either.  
Worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Canyon de Chelly 
Touring the visitor center opened another whole new canyon to our trip this year.  There is evidence that people have lived in these canyons for nearly 5,000 years--longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted on the Colorado River Plateau.  At the Canyons mouth near Chinle the rock walls are only 30 feet high but deeper in the canyons the walls rise until they stand over 1,000 feet.  Cliffs rise straight up, overshadowing streams, cottonwoods, and small farms.  The Navajo people still live in these canyons and farm the lands,
We stayed at the Canyon de Chelly cottonwoods Campground.  We had wide open spaces, dump and water, and plenty of chicks, horses, and stray dogs wandering the grounds.  Can't believe there is no fee for the campground although it is posted that there will be a fee in the future.  

Our friendly little horses ran wild.  

 We did the 37 mile round trip drive through the canyon and had gorgeous views.
Deep in the canyon Tsegi Overlook provides a view of the Navajo farmlands.  We saw a small herd of goats in the distance.    

White House ruin was built by ancestral Puebloan people and occupied about 1,000 years ago.  It is named for the long wall in the upper dwelling that is covered with white plaster.  

 Cairns mark our hike to the White House Ruin.

"With beauty all around me, I walk" A great quote as we hiked through this canyon

Spider Rock is an 800 foot sandstone spire that rises from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. W e could see the volcanic core of Black Rock Butte and the Chuska Mountains .  Another great day of discovery of our beautiful America.  We must come back.
Canyonlands National Park

This is Utah's largest National Park.  It is a rugged high desert of rock with spectacular formations and gorges carved over the centuries by the Colorado and Greed rivers.    Island in the Sky District , in the northern section of the park between the Colorado and Green Rivers,  overlooking some 10,000 square miles of rugged wilderness.  Thank goodness for the Cairns marking the trails.   

Mesa Arch Trail.  An interesting walk through an area of pinon, and juniper trees, mountain mahogany, cactus and a plant called MormonTea.  The arch is made of Navajo sandstone and hangs precariously on the ridge of a 500 ft cliff, framing a spectacular view of nearby mountains.   

 Can never get enough views from the arch.
 Fencing along the way is made from downed trees.
Dick enjoying the views.  

 Contemplation rock.  I could have sat here for hours enjoying the views.
 Grand view trail had some interesting rock formations.
 The confluence of the Colorado and Green river are seen in the very distance.
 This interesting hike was very quiet.   Only about 6 other hikers on the trail.
Even the trees bend to look like arches. 

 Views were amazing.  Miles and miles of this canyon creating gorgeous sights.
 Our night time campfire.  Quiet times to end our time at Moab.
Full moon coming up over the mountain.  We are so fortunate to have had this time in Moab.
Moab Utah

View of our campsite lit up by an evening light show from a raft trip.  We were fortunate to get a spot at Goose Island, on BLM for $6. a night.  What a treat to enjoy this light show. We did the raft trip a couple years ago so just get to relive wonderful memories.   

 Moe  and I did a short walk each morning. The bike trail was a convenient spot for our walk and  bike rides.  
Dick liked this walk too, nice level ground and great views.   

 Can you see the sheep.  It is so much fun to try to find the animals and creatures written about in the travel info.
 In the middle of the petrified sand dunes sits Balanced Rock, a huge boulder weighting about 3,600 tons (how does one measure this) perched on a slowly eroding pedestal.  Amazing
 This amazing site.  The double arches have to be one of the most photographed in all of the Park.
 Can you see the climbers on this pinacle.  It was so much fun to watch them scurry up this rock and then stand in awe at the top.
Just looking out and enjoying the views of a great. day.  

My 3 mile excursion to delicate arch had a huge payoff.  The view magnificent.  This arch sits in a huge slickrock amphitheater setting.   The hike was great passing the Parade of Elephants and several small caves.. Could they be arches in waiting.  hmm I didn't read about the steep dropoffs along a narrow cliff.   A great hike.  .  
 I'm the miniature person standing at the base of Delicate Arch.

More good hiking into Devils Garden area.  Tunnel and Pine Tree arches are on this path.  This was a great day....We'll definitely revisit this area and do more of the hikes.  Everywhere we look, there is another amazing view.  AMAZING  how many times did use this word today.