Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Where Have We Been?

Sorry I haven't posted anything for a while. We spent the summer traveling back to Virginia and Maryland to visit family. We didn't do a lot of sight-seeing so I decided not to take many pictures and just enjoyed the drive.  We're back in New Mexico now, staying at Ute Lake State Park with plans to head towards the southern part of the state soon.

The trip back to Maryland was great. We drove through Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia. We were able to stay off interstates for the most part and just kept a slow but steady pace back east.  We drove about 150 to 200 miles a day and then spent 2-3 nights at each stop. It took us about 5 weeks to get back to Maryland.

One stop where I did take some pictures was in the Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia area of Alabama. We really liked it there and hope to go back some day. Helen Keller's home was in Tuscumbia so we drove over there  and took some pictures.
Helen Keller's Childhood Home

We stopped by a pretty park in Tuscumbia and walked around looking at the falls and some statues dedicated to the Trail of Tears.

Our favorite "Road Food" stop on this trip was at Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales in Lake Village, Arkansas. It doesn't look like much but the tamales were fantastic.
We drove about 150 miles on the Natchez Trace again. We love the trace. Our favorite park this trip was a beautiful Mississippi state park we found just about 10 miles off the trace-Davis Lake State Park. We stopped there planning to stay a night or two and ended up spending four nights there.
In Virginia, we stopped to visit my sister Karen, my aunt Shorty, my niece Katie, her husband Tim and their four adorable boys-Luca, Toby, Finn and Sage. It was great seeing them! Then it was on to Maryland. We spent two weeks at the Elks on Kent Island cleaning out our storage unit. That wasn't fun but we got it done and that feels good. We got rid of most of it but ended up storing a bit at my parent's house. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

After Kent Island, we went to Westminster and stayed for a month in my sister Cindy's backyard. Camp Cindy was our favorite campsite ever! They have a big outbuilding for their tree farm and we parked near it. They put a 50 amp plug in for us which was so nice. Thanks, Cindy! Thanks, Clyde!
Can you see our motorhome here at Camp Cindy?
We got to spend a lot of time with my Mom and Dad, my sister Cindy, her husband Clyde and my niece Mindy. We also got to see my nephew Matt, but not for very long. We had such a great time visiting everyone and it was hard to leave but it was time to head west again.

We wanted to get back to the southwest before it got much colder so we took a more direct route this time through West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas. We did even less sight-seeing on the trip back but we did stop at Dorothy's House in Liberal, Kansas. Some of the bricks for the yellow brick road were donated by famous people. We saw the bricks from Liza Minelli, Bob Dole and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.


The Liza Minelli brick. It's a bit worn and hard to read.

We've been back in New Mexico for a week now, here at Ute Lake State Park. The weather has been good and we have been the only people in the park most days. We both love that. Now that we're back in the southwest, and slowing down again, I'll probably start blogging a bit more. I really got out of the habit this summer. We'll be heading soon to a part of New Mexico where we've never been so I'm sure we'll be exploring more and taking more pictures.

 I promise not to wait 4 months before posting again.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Texas Canyonlands

We realized as we were headed towards Amarillo that we would be near Palo Duro Canyon so we decided to go there. It was very, very hot so we stayed at a private RV park near there instead of down in the canyon at the state park. We really want to stay there sometime but it's a long, steep drive for such a short visit. It was a good decision because when we drove down in the canyon in the Jeep, it was much hotter on the canyon floor, where we would have been camping.

Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the United States. We enjoyed the short amount of time we spent there and we definitely plan to come back some day when it is cooler so we can do a few hikes and camp down in the canyon.

We drove to Caprock Canyons State Park next and spent four days there. We had a great campsite in the park, just a few feet from the Canyon Rim Trail. It's a wonderful park. They have a herd of buffalo and we saw prairie dogs all over the place.

We saw this park employee moving a rattlesnake away from the restroom area and told him he was brave. He laughed a very nervous laugh and said "I usually scream like a little girl when I see them." I took a picture but it's not very good because I didn't want to get any closer to it. (You might want to look away here, Mom.)
 It was still hot our first day there so we just drove around, looking at the buffalo, the lake and driving through the canyons. That's one thing we really liked about both Palo Duro and Caprocks, you can drive down into the canyons.

We only planned to stay there a few days but ended up staying four days when we found out the temperature was going to be dropping. On our last day there, it was actually kind of chilly and we decided to hike the rim trail. We haven't been doing much hiking due to the heat so this was really great. It was a bit overcast, too, which is also nice for hiking in the southwest. Here are some pictures from our hike...

I really liked this picture of Larry taking pictures of the canyon.
Caprock Canyons is one of our favorite places we've ever camped and we definitely plan to return. We left there Tuesday and drove to Lake Texoma on the Texas/Oklahoma border. It's pretty here but I haven't taken many pictures so I probably won't do a blog post about it. We plan to leave here tomorrow and head to Arkansas as we continue to make our way east.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tucumcari and Cadillac Ranch

We have been traveling east, slowly but steadily, the past few weeks. I need to get caught up on my blog posts. Most of the pictures I'm posting tonight were taken well over a week ago when we were in Tucumcari and Amarillo.

I've always really liked Tucumcari. It's a small town on Route 66 that has really retained a lot of the old Route 66 character.  We drove around town taking pictures of murals, signs and some of the buildings. Many of these are very famous Route 66 icons.

On our last night in Tucumcari we made a special trip out to get a picture of the Blue Swallow Motel lit up at night. I've always wanted to see it at night but the timing was never right so I was pretty excited to finally get this picture.
The next day we headed out of New Mexico and back into Texas. Our destination was Palo Duro Canyon, about 20 miles south of Amarillo. Just outside of Amarillo we stopped at another famous Route 66 attraction: Cadillac Ranch. It was about 100 degrees that day and we were surprised at how many people were there. Most people had cans of spray paint to paint the Cadillacs but we just took pictures and tried to avoid paint fumes.

 From there we went to Canyon, Texas to visit Palo Duro Canyon and then on to Caprock Canyons State Park for the weekend. It was beautiful at both of these state parks and I have a bunch of pictures but I'll save them for my next post. We're now at Lake Texoma on the Texas/Oklahoma border and should be in Arkansas soon. We're having a really great trip. This route we're taking runs just a bit south of Interstate 40 and we're both loving being off the interstate. We won't be passing through Oklahoma on this trip but we did drive up there tonight in the Jeep to get a pizza. The park we're in is cheap and nice and has good internet so I think we're going to stay another night before heading to Arkansas. I'll probably post another blog post tomorrow with all my canyon pictures.

Thanks for stopping by!