Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Everyone should have a “Catrina”

When we left Colorado Springs we did not have the paperwork necessary to get license plates for our new truck or our Redwood 5th wheel.  It was something that we were unsure how to handle long distance—but we knew if it was possible, Catrina could get it taken care of.  Worst case scenario, we would make a trip back to Colorado Springs to get the license plates in person—but heading back to Colorado in January is a little concerning.   Snow and ice are not our friends.

Paperwork in hand, Catrina headed to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Colorado Springs. She was helped by a very helpful and knowledgeable employee who went out of her way to make this happen.  Only the truck paperwork had been sent to Catrina and so she expected to make an additional trip to deal with the Redwood tags.   Because the paperwork had not been received yet, this amazingly helpful woman went into the DMV database to see if the paperwork was in their system. No luck… but she did not give up.  This DMV angel went another huge step ...  She called the dealership that we purchased the 5th wheel and got them to fax the paperwork directly to her!  Catrina was able to leave the DMV with license plates for both our truck and our 5thwheel.    So the stereotype of government employees can be very wrong!   We also feel very blessed to have such a great daughter willing to give her time to help us.  Thanks, Catrina!!!

Part of this new life is learning how to handle life from long distance.  What we are realizing… it can be done, but it is MUCH easier because we have our precious Catrina.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Glen Rose, TX… Great People… Great Food…

We moved onto Glen Rose, Texas—it feels like such a nice little town.   We drove through town and enjoyed seeing the old Downtown area. There are a lot of stone buildings (that we later found out are partially petrified wood).  I love seeing the different architecture around the country.

It was lunch time so we decided we would try to find a "local special" restaurant to eat lunch. Driving we spot a parking lot FULL of cars in front of Hammond's BBQ—so it felt like a safe bet.  We walked in and it just felt familiar, like everyone here was family.  We found a seat at one of the many picnic tables.  Lunch today was being served buffet style out of the kitchen.  There were no signs telling us what to do or where to go or even how much anything cost.  If it were not for the cash register, one would not know they were in a restaurant.  The food was great and the price matched.   There was a very attentive woman that came by to make sure we were happy.   It was a nice way to start our time here.

Our 2nd day here we realized we needed to find a notary—which in a town of 2,000 on a weekend might be almost impossible.   What we found was… people here are friendly and will go out of their way to help.   The one notary that was within 30 miles of our campground was at home, but he was happy to meet us.   So we met the friendly, more than helpful,notary at the Exxon gas station about ¼ mile from our campground.   We would never have dreamed!!!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cadillac Ranch… Is it Art? or is it Bad Parking???

Our adventures will take us to the new, the old, the beautiful and the just plain odd.  I love things that make me pause and say "um".

The Cadillac Ranch just outside Amarillo is one of the odd places.  It is a group of Cadillac cars planted in the ground in a wheat field.  You can bring your own spray paint and leave your very own graffiti mark on the cars.

At this point, I think the paint is probably what is holding those cars up.  The air smelled like the spray paint.  We didn't indulge in the spray paint tradition because it was so windy, I was not willing to leave with spray paint all over myself.  (OK, seriously people... that doesn't surprise any of you does it???)

Our campground was only about a mile from the Cadillac Ranch, so it was an easy decision to visit this "national treasure".  Honestly, it was worth the visit.  I think George is trying to figure out what he can bury in the ground--Makes me a little nervous.

We stayed at Oasis RV Resort.  They have a motorhome buried like the cars.

In fact, throughout Amarillo you see cars dangling, smashed upside down into various objects and different kinds of cars planted and sticking up.  It became entertaining to me to find these vehicles throughout town.

Amarillo, the place old cars go to be planted.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

RV History--Now that is Roughing it!

We are enjoying Amarillo today.  The weather has been warm—but we can’t seem
to get away from this crazy wind.

We went to an RV museum today.   One of the crazy RVs that we saw at the museum was the Bus conversion RV that was used in the "RV" movie.  It was a hoot to be in a piece of "rolling" Hollywood history.

I guess we all have to start somewhere... but the idea of camping in some of these early campers is more than a little scary to me.

It was really fun to see how RV’s have changed over the years.    In older RV’s, having a mattress was standard; anything else was luxury.  Then they put in toilets and sinks—OK, now they’re moving up!  Several of the campers that we looked at were not as big as one of our slide outs.

We felt a little closed in with our Montana and it was 340 square feet.  We were thrilled to go up to over 410 square feet with our Redwood.

I am so grateful for the pioneers that started the RV industry.   I will grant you I am a “little” high maintenance.   I have a hard time imagining going without our satellite or full water & electricity. And don’t even talk to me about going without the shower or bathroom.   I will admit it is a treat to have the fireplace and dishwasher.  Someday someone will be grateful to us for “roughing it”.  They will look back on our 5th wheel as an antique and be shocked that we were able to live in something so ancient.

Glad to be part of history.  :)


Friday, January 17, 2014

Welcome to the BIG state of Texas

We moved on to Amarillo this morning.  It was a beautiful day to travel.  Sun was shining and minimal wind.  I've never been to Texas and George hasn't been to Texas with me--so it's all new for us.

We pulled into our campground, Oasis RV Resort.  The lady that checked us in was so nice.  We were so enjoying our visit that we walked out of the office and realized that we had not gotten our site information.    

The sites are 75 feet long.  All are paved, but there are grasses and yucca plants around the campground--so you don't feel like we are in a parking lot.  The clubhouse and buildings are very clean and there are very good amenities.  George is glad to have a large site, because he has a few jobs to do on the 5th wheel and the jeep connectors.

We decided to go to the Big Texan Steak House for lunch.  We know it is a tourist "trap"--but sometimes you just don't want to miss the fun little side treats.  This place was very interesting. The restaurant is known for it's 72 oz "free" steak.  If you attempt to eat this steak you have one hour to complete the steak and all the fixins'.  If you don't finish--you pay $72.  Just the idea that anyone would even try to eat 72 oz of meat in one sitting is shocking to me!

There were 2 young men trying when we got there.  The brave men trying to finish their meal, were defeated by the giant piece of meat.  One man said his face hurt from chewing, so he gave up about 3 pounds into his Fred Flintstone size steak.   Our server told us 50+ people a month try in the winter, but only 7 or 8 actually meet the challenge.  In the summer, she said there is a constant flow of people trying.   We had normal steak dinners and then did a short drive in Amarillo before heading back to the RV.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Albuquerque, NM

Sonja gave us some ideas of things to see in the Albuquerque area while we are here.  It is very helpful to have someone that has lived in an area give feedback on activities and "must see" places.

We packed a picnic and headed toward the Albuquerque volcanoes, in Petroglyph National Monument.  George was so excited about the possibilities, I imagined flowing lava.  Well... we have now learned to wait to be excited until after we see a site.

Every place we go is a new adventure and we will get excited about the possibilities in each new day.   The trails were relatively easy and so I was able to have a nice walk.  George went to the top of the volcanoes, but these volcanoes didn't have craters and certainly there was no lava.  (ok, seriously I knew there would be no lava--but a girl can hope!)

Did I mention the wind?  It was chilly and windy, so we decided we would take our picnic home and have it for dinner.

We headed through town and decided to try the Frontier Restaurant, which Sonja had also recommended as a fun place to eat.  We really enjoyed the experience.  The food was good and very reasonable (which always makes George LOVE it).  The atmosphere was really fun.  We enjoyed people watching for a long time.
Yesterday we drove down Hwy 14 toward Santa Fe.  We were headed toward Madrid, New Mexico.  It was a coal-mining ghost town that has become an ecclectic collection of art shops, gift shops and places to eat or get a little treat.  We saw several houses that were made from train cars.  There was a yard fence that was made entirely of wine bottles.  There are great colorful little cottages right beside the businesses.  It was hard to even know where to look first.  I LOVED this little town.  Many of the stores were closed because of "Off season".  This town is worth the drive, even if all you do is drive through it--which we did several times.


Friday, January 10, 2014

We were almost in the AIR.

We made it into our campground... Hidden Valley Resort in Tijeras, New Mexico (just outside of Albuquerque).  The sites are so small, if it weren't the off season; I have no idea what we would have done.  I felt very frustrated because I talked to campground staff a couple of times and they assured us the length of our rig is not an issue.  I guess they thought we could fit 72 feet into an approximately 50 ft site.  Because it is a Coast to Coast park--we essentially stay for free, so we will just deal with it...  and we will take up TWO sites.  The faucet on our site had frozen and so we didn't have water.  George drug a hose from another site and filled our fresh water tank and we planned to use our water pump.  We can go 2 to 3 weeks without water hook up--so we aren't going to let this be a crisis.

As Amber will tell you... one of my favorite sayings... "This isn't a crisis.  I have had crisis; and trust me this isn't it!"

OK, now let me talk about the New Mexico weather... which somehow had slipped my memory from previous visits.  We had several days that the wind chill was -10 or lower.  Not to mention 50mph wind gusts one day.  Several other days the forecast told us to expect 20+ mph winds.  I was sure we were going to catch a good gust and fly away.

I even went on-line to see how the wind generally affects stationary 5th wheels.  I learned that it is unlikely we would leave the ground--although I will say I wasn't totally convinced. 

And forget having a good hair day--I finally just gave up.  Brushing is optional.  :)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It’s so Hard to Say Goodbye

We knew the hardest part of this our new adventure be leaving the ones we love.  We have never lived far from the Massey's.  In fact before we sold our house, we were only 5 blocks apart.  

We were able to spend some real quality time together before we left.  We were  trying to capture every minute we can together.  The last few days were the hardest.   We all knew we would be leaving.  We keep trying to stay in the moment and just enjoy the time we have--but it is hard not to think about our pending travels.

Every time we leave, I (Lisa) am in tears.  I can't imagine just dropping by their house for a much needed hug or smooch.  And Amber... don't even get me started on that sweet thing.  She is always good for a dinner date. 

They are all so supportive of what we are doing--if only we could all go together.  It is such a happy/sad time.  We are so sad to leave our family and so excited to be starting our journey. 

Sue Eilertsen and I have been friends since George and I got married--I have a hard time even imagining her not being a phone call and shopping date away. 

Our last night was spent having dinner with Tom and Sandy Burke, who have become especially good friends as we made our dream a reality.  They have let us painstakingly process the possibility and potential problems as we start traveling.

So to Colorado Springs our home town, our family and our friends that have become family, we say... it is not good-bye, it is "see you soon".  
We love you all so much! 

(And I did not mention all the people and places we will miss.  So if you are not specifically mentioned... please do not be offended.)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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