A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Hike

Tres Piedras
NW of Taos, New Mexico

I decided to take a hike around the rock outcropping rather than to climb it.
No need to take unnecessary risks at this stage of my life.

I always find these geographical survey markers and they are old, sometimes 100 plus years old.
This one was pounded into the ground only 2 years ago.

Then remember the Indian Marker tree in Oklahoma?
This is our modern day version. 

Possible a young elk?

I saw this boulder perched high upon a ridge.
I had to go up and see it.
So much for my not climbing.

Strange how erosion works.

Since I was up there may as well take in the view.

Oh back in the day I would have scrambled up all of these.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tres Piedras

NW of Taos
New Mexico

This area gets its name from three rock outcroppings.
This is one of them.

Home in the Carson National Forest
Carson as in Kit Carson the explorer and scout.
See another explorer and scout on the steps?

Our neighbors. 
The good kind of neighbors.

They don't litter or play loud music.

Beans finds some bones.
This is elk country and most likely these are elk bones.

I find a Christmas tree.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Bridge

West of Taos
New Mexico

We left Taos and was driving along the high plains country when all of a sudden the world dropped away from beneath us.  Let me tell you, that gets your attention!

It is the seventh highest bridge in the U.S.

The span is 1280 feet.

 There was a rest area right next to it where travelers could stop, get out of their vehicles and take in the jaw dropping view.  Vertigo set in.

Finally I relaxed and enjoyed the scene.


This was unexpected and there were several of these stationed at various points.
I did some research and learned there is an average of 2 suicides off the bridge each year.

Not me!  I'd be too scared to jump.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The High Country

Taos, New Mexico


What a difference in scenery from Texas.

It even got Beans interested.

This is 7000 and 8000 feet in elevation country.

Temperatures are much nicer in the 70's.

Even the sky is bluer and the clouds more dramatic.

Then we left the forests and became a couple of high plains drifters.
(That is a nod to a great Clint Eastwood movie)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Red Dawn

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Red Dawn is a 1984 movie starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.  It is about a group of teenagers in the fictitious small town of Calumet, Colorado who ban together to defend their town from an invasion of Soviet forces  Its a good movie and I would like to see it again.  It was filmed in New Mexico, part of which in Las Vegas.  The welcoming sign still exists to this day.  Just imagine the time and effort to create this sign all for a just few seconds of movie film. 

Although Las Vegas is a bit larger than most small towns we pass through (it's big enough to have a Walmart) I am happy to say Main Street is alive and well in Las Vegas.  This isn't Main Street but it does give a taste to the well persevered old architecture there is in this community.

Friday, May 25, 2018

New State - New Mexico

Bosque Redondo Lake
Fort Sumner, New Mexico

With the air conditioner working fine and a happy cat on my lap we crossed over the state line into New Mexico leaving Texas in our rear view mirror. Texas you were fun but you were getting too warm.  Sinbad and I were in Fort Sumner seven years ago to see the graves of Billy the Kid.  There is a fake grave and a real grave and even at that they are not sure the "real grave" contains the remains of the Kid.  A couple years after he was buried a flash flood ripped through the graveyard removing most of the wood grave markers, so no one knew who was where for sure.  At any rate, seen it once and Beans couldn't care any less so we just relaxed for the week.

Our backyard listening the the constant blackbird and grackle chatter.

The front yard.  The tree would cast a shadow on us late in the day when it was pretty warm.

The neighborhood.  
We never had any campers anywhere in the small area around the lake.  
Just some fishermen every once in awhile.

After this we moved north to Santa Rosa Lake State Park.  Seems that I didn't take any pictures while there for the one day and night.  It wasn't all that remarkable except for the showers that were included in the $10 camp fee.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dang it's HOT!

Muleshoe, Texas

Okay, it's well beyond warm now.  As we're making our way to our next free city park the air conditioner decides to quit pumping out cold air.  Are you kidding me?  Now?  It worked fine yesterday!  Beans is not happy and she lets me know it. MEOWWWW!  Ever see a cat pant?

As we roll through Muleshoe (the name came from finding a mule shoe in the soil - how imaginative) I'm looking for auto repair shops and find a nice looking prospect just before the RV park.  The owner greets me, has a smile and a positive attitude.  This guy will do.  I'm thinking the compressor went out but he immediately determines the compressor is working.  He then points out a leak in the condenser.

I recall a piece of gravel getting kicked up and hitting us the day before and that must have been the hit I heard.  Just to the left of the nut on the bottom of the louvers.  Good guy Michael Lopez makes a call and a new condenser can be delivered here in the morning from Lubbock, Texas.
Let's do it.  This is the beauty of small town shops.  You can see other work they have going on but they most always get right to you the traveler and get you on your way again.  No "We can get you in later this week, make an appointment" stuff.

We stayed at the Ray & Donna West park up the street.  Again free hookups and even each site has its own sewer connection, again all for free.  Gotta love these small towns.  Only thing here though were the trains.  They have to blast their horns at every street crossing and there are nearly a dozen street crossings within earshot.  So it is one long continual blasting of horns.  Picture that several times throughout the night and on into the early morning hours.

A side note here: the RV next to us is exactly what I was going to go look at to buy 11 years ago when I stopped along the way that day to look at this 2006 Winnebago View that just came in on a lot.  And that is how the Little House on the Highway came into my life.  I like my View better.  Also, the lady in that RV is from Utah.  She stayed inside all the time working on her sewing projects.  She had a sewing machine set up and I could see cabinets with drawers and bins full of sewing supplies, so much so she cannot get from the cab into the living area like all RVs are designed.  That walk-through space was walled off with these bins and such.  She has to get out and walk around to get inside her home. She'd sit there and sew and watch TV; that is her life, but she seemed happy and that is all that matters.  She tows a small cargo trailer you can just see.  More sewing supplies?
Oh, and she's been to every state (except the New England states) including Alaska!

So here we have the front grill and supports removed.

The new condenser arrived at 8:30 the next morning.

In with the new and out with the old.  You can see the Freon stain all along the bottom.
It took only two hours to do and I have to say I figured this to be an all day affair.  We were on the road again by noon and Beans once again is one happy cool cat.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Shade Not Included

Levelland, Texas
It was kind of level.

It's still warm and getting warmer.  Our next free camp stop was like yesterday's with free hookups only that those spots with hookups were out in the blazing sun.

I never need or use hookups anyway so I selected a nice cool spot under the shade of this tree.
A little bit of shade helps a lot from that Texas sun.

Levelland provided a nice sunset to enjoy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Want a Dog?

Lamesa, Texas

It is warm, a Texas kind of warm.  In the 90's most everyday and we're slowly making our way northwest to the higher elevations.  This was another one of those great little city park camp areas that I love to find as they are free.

This one was out of the ordinary as they even provided hook-ups - electricity and water - plus a dump station all for free. That is what that big RV is doing, dumping their tanks.

They were a young couple from Florida and I had seen them out walking their dogs earlier.  Two large dogs and 3 or 4 puppies.  Good grief!  It must be like a dog kennel inside.  Well I found out they had found the puppies there, abandoned and the guy wanted to know if I wanted one as a travel companion.  "Sorry, I travel with a cat."  He said the two big dogs are theirs plus they have two cats also.  Can you imagine?  They were going to take the puppies to the local shelter.

Monday, May 21, 2018

1935 Triangle-shaped Sinclair Service Station

Snyder. Texas

I just about didn't go to see this one but boy I sure am glad I made the effort.

This station is situated on a small triangle-shaped piece of land where two roads meet.

You can get a pretty good idea how small and narrow this little service station is.

Very nicely restored.

The largest part of the building is the restroom.

The owner's little office is part of that large backside.

Now, can you recall 10 cent soda vending machines?

 Yes, I can remember paying 25 cents for gas although that was during the gas wars of the 60's so it wasn't a standard price for gasoline at the time.  More like that 45 cents like at the previous station.

These prices are a bit before my memory.

The attention to detail was great at this station with an inner tube in the clamps being patched.

Not paying attention to where I was walking I stepped on the hose and the clanger rang inside.  It was loud, startled me and the memory of that sound came flooding back.
Such were the good old days.