Monday, April 27, 2009

Sitting Bull Falls NM

Sitting Bull Falls is on your NM map, between Carlsbad and Artesia, It is 35 miles off the main road, but the road is paved and in very good condition. The scenery on the way there ranges from high rocky cliffs to wide open grazing fields to smelly natural gas rigs. ( Chuck called the smell Dinosaur Farts!) Actually, that was prolly a pretty accurate description! :-)

When we got to the Falls area, after meeting almost no traffic on this road, imagine our surprise to find 4 very large school buses there full of Indian children. They were having a great time!

We managed to get the 'Burb and trailer parked when one of the buses left after dropping off a load of kids.
The C.C.C. built the picnic areas there in the 40's. I really appreciate how these 15 or so shelters blend into the area background so nicely.

The falls were only dripping when we were there. nothing too spectacular, but still worth seeing! It was just a short walk from the parking lot to the falls. Folks with a Geezer pass get in free. everyone else is $5.

The falls are really quite tall! It's just very hard to see the falling water in the photos, but the kids below are enjoying the water!

You can see the falling water better in this close up image!

Kids swimming!
We left here and spent the night at the Escapee Park in Lakewood NM, just south of Artesia. Artesia was quite interesting. We want to head back there and see more. There were huge bronze sculptures on the streets depicting lives of the old west cowboy! Just unexpected art everywhere. We ate lunch in Cloudcroft and headed down the mountain. We then headed north to Three Rivers NM to visit the petroglyph site and that will be my next blog! See you then! Happy Trails! Geri and Chuck

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Carlsbad Caverns

Well, phooey, the photos ended up on top of the text. Well, I'll describe the photos and then you can go down and read the blog.

This is our meeting with our fellow Oliver Travelers, Chris, Cherie, KiKi and Chuck!

I shot all of the Carlsbad Cavern photos with no flash, just using available light to enhance each shot. So that meant having to use my monopod, but I am pleased with the results!

OMG! Look at those old folks! Hahaha! Wrinkles and grey hair make for a real pair! But we love wach other and we are happy, wrinkles and all! GRIN!!!

The park ranger took this photo of us! Hard to get photos of the 2 of us together, but so many of you asked, we just had to comply! We hope you enjoyed the looksee! LOL, ok, now go down and read the blog news!

We spent 3 nights at Carlsbad RV Park Campground, we arrived Tuesday 4-21-09 about 3 pm. We did laundry, didhes and went out to eat and went to bed early. Then we got up early and went to The Pecos River Cafe for breakfast! If any of you ever find yourself in the town f Carlsbad NM, do not miss this eatery! Plenty of room for parking RV's! They only serve breakfast and lunch and it was so good, Chuck and I went there for all 3 breakfast meals! We did Carlsbad in 2 days instead of the one it took in my younger days. We did the natural entrance first which is not to be missed, the wonderful aroma of bat guano will fill your nostrils for the first 30 minutes! I am going to put the Carlsbad photos on my flickr website link because you can access them easier, use the slide show feature etc, etc, etc. I can only upload 3-4 photos at a time on the blog and they ae so small 7you can't see the details very well. So this is the link to my flickr photos:

Let me explain, I did not use a flash. There is plenty of available light down there, but I did have to use my monopod to keep the camera stable during the longer exposures. There might be a bit of camera shake here and there, but not too bad. Also, I will be adding more photos to that flickr site later tonight and in the next few days so if you are interested, you might want to go back and check in a few days. I have about 7 posted there now. You will also be able to enlarge them on that website for better viewing, which you can't on the blog.
Tonight we are at Three Rivers Petroglyph site..... camping here with our Geezer pass for $5 a night and that includes water and electric! Tomorrow we head out to River Bend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences for our summer jobs! See ya'll later! Happy Trails!

On our last day there, we met up with Cherie and Chris, Oliver Travel Trailer owners like who live in theirs full time. We went out to eat and had a fun time. Now on this post I will finally respond to all of you who want more photos of Chuck and I !!! So you asked for it, here we come!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quartz Mountain Nature Park

The Lake at Quartz Mountain is thanks to the dam over the Red River. It is a huge lake, full of these interesting rock formations. The rock is actually granite, with a lot of quartz sparkling in it!

This is Baldy Rock, the only rock in the park that rock climbers can climb! You can't see them from here, but in the next image with my zoom lens you will be able to see two of the climbers.

They look so small against the huge rock that I circled them in red so you could see them!

Chuck and I left Lake Greeson Arkansas on State Road 70West and followed it for 2 days! It brought us within a few miles of Quartz Mountain! It was a wonderful road, mostly single-laned but with wide shoulders and almost no traffic at all. There is some construction around the larger communities where they are widening the road to 4 lanes, but for the majority of the ride on 70 we were doing 65+ miles per hour. Great country views, great small towns with quaint old buildings and good restaurants! We only passed 2 other RV travel trailers the whole road! I was reminded of the saying ScubaRX has on the back of his Oliver, "Not all who wander are lost" and that is how I felt along highway 70 !!! We had a great time! We spent 2 nights at Quartz Mountain and left early this morning. We are now in a FREE campground in the small town of Flordada TX. There is a park that the city provides with free water and electric hookups and a free dump station. It's nothing fancy, but it is free. Tomorrow we head to Carlsbad NM and the KOA campground there. Tomorrow night we will go watch the bats as they exit the cave and then Wed. we will tour Carlsbad Caverns. Chuck has never been there, a first for him and the 3rd time for me. I'm looking forward to it. I'll keep ya'll posted!

Chuck was caught peeking at me from behind a tree! Grin! Ain't he handsome ???

Last catfish supper!

Betty aka "Butcherknife" and Rachel work hard to prepare the last catfish supper that Chuck and I would have a chance to enjoy! There is nothing better than fresh caught catfish cooked in Butcherknife's camp kitchen! YUM! Thanks for all your hard work Betty, feeding all these hungry "city" folk! hahahaha!

Chuck, aka "Tumbleweed", David and Larry aka "Mountainborn"worked hard everyday coming up with solutions to solve the worlds problems!

We left Lake Greeson early Friday morning. (April 17th) We ran into rough winds and torrential rains that cut our planned day of driving short. We pulled into Lake Texohoma OK about 2:30 pm. The strong winds nearly tore the door off the "Burb" when I tried to get out. The rain was cold hard pellets that hit hard and hurt! Chuck still managed to get us all set up at Lake Texohoma State Park on Highway 70. Great campground by the way! Not sure if you can tell from the above photo that Chuck took, but those are huge whitecaps rolling across the lake.!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Evening

Betty and Larry getting their day started!

Camp clothesline, cammo wear

Steam rising off the early morning water
Lake Greeson

The Midget is responding very well to her meds. Busy getting back to her grumpy old self!
We leave tomorrow, and I am so glad I found this spot. It is so beautiful and peaceful here!
Having fresh caught catfish everyday ain't bad either! I just never realized you have to start filleting catfish whole they are still alive! YIKES! When I saw Larry take that knife and slicing into the side of the catfish while it was still flopping around........ freaked me right out! But to be honest, the catfish never acted like he felt the knife, I think being out of water was his main concern. He didn't even fight the knife, just sorta lay down and quit fighting. Guess it's no different than throwing a live lobster or crab into a pot of boiling water.
Larry says it's so the blood doesn't go into the meat of the fish, once the blood gets into the meat, the fish is not edible, tastes very bad. That's also why you hand chickens and pigs and deer upside down when you slaughter them. Let's 'em bleed out! I don't care, it just really freaked me out watching it, I had to turn around and leave! But dang it, they taste so good fried! :-)

Tomorrow we leave here and head onwards to our summer job in NM! We hope to make it to Ardmore OK tomorrow night. As usual, I'll keep ya'll posted! Leaving here will be hard. Met so many new friends, watched people leave everyday and new people arrive. Today Aubrey left (aka Junior Birdman) and a new couple arrived from Missouri with their Casita. Life goes on, I'm sure someone will be here tomorrow to take our place! And dang it, we never did get to play dominoes! :-) But we ate a lot of good catfish!
Bye for now and Happy Trails from The PhunnyPharm!

Thursday Morning

Tuesday started out wonderful! but by late afternoon, it was apparent that not all was well with The Midget. She became dazed, could hardly walk, she was burning up with fever. She had been having some discharge ever since her last heat and it had gotten worse and worse this past week. Of course all this happened after 5 pm! So yesterday morning Chuck and I went to town and visited Wright Animal Clinic. She still had a fever of 104 degrees. So it must have been a lot higher than that the night before! Seems she is going through doggie menopause and this is not that unusual. She has an infection in her uterus. He gave her two kinds of antibiotics and this morning she is feeling better. Still not quite The Midget, but you can tell she is feeling better.

This morning arrived with a few clouds and raindrops, but it should clear off. Chuck and I were going to leave today but because of The Midget, we decided to stay one more day. This was a very good veterinarian and I want to have him near in case these meds do not work. So we will leave Friday to head for Ardmore OK and then up to Anadarko OK so I can browse thru some of the Native American art galleries and beading supply stores! Next stop will be Quartz Mountain State Park in SW OK. We spent one night there last September and decided we had to go back and visit again when we could stay longer, it is a beautiful park! I'll post some more photo's later. I mainly wanted to tell you about The Midget.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tues AM mid Morning

I got to go out on the boat! Chuck was in charge of pulling in Al's bait trap. Al and Fran decided to leave. Their hometown of Mena was destroyed by tornados a few days ago. Easter, they left camp and went to their church to help feed folks and survey the damage. They came back and stayed yesterday, but felt they needed to be back in Mena, helping where they could.

Captain Mountainborn! A great boat captain!

A group photo! People keep coming and leaving. We decided to try for a group shot. Today Tom and Karen left, as did Fran and Al. From left to right... Geri, Chuck, Karen, Tom, David, Rachel, Larry, Betty and Aubrey.

Goodbye to Fran and Al, it was great to have met you!

Goodbye to Tom and Karen! (and Susie!) It was great seeing you again! Happy Trails!

Tues. Morning BEAUTIFUL !!!

FINALLY ! We woke up to a beautiful warm morning! The sun is shining! Chuck went out in the boat with the guys to see if there were any catfish to be hauled in. I took the Midget for a walk and found a birdhouse full of panicked, squawking birds flying about and a trio of squirrels playing on the roof and plundering the inside rooms of the birdhouse! It was a comical to see, but the birds probably would not think so!

I loved this old tree! It just had so much personality! Got a few of the panicked birds on the far right limb! You can see the full size of the birdhouse to the right too!
This set the mood for a tranquil morning. The colors, the reflections just begged to be noticed!

I love Lake Greeson! This is one of the best campgrounds I have ever been in! Dogwoods in bloom everywhere! Rolling hills, beautiful lake! I could live here! Ya'll just gotta make time to come visit here!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oliver and 'Burb graphics

Chuck and I had a request to show the graphics on the Oliver and the graphics on the 'Burb. Here is the 'Burb. I just love the Oliver factory and the willingness to make their customers happy. Of course we had to pay for the graphics, but just the willingness of the Oliver company to go that extra mile is what makes this company so wonderful!

Here are the graphics on our Oliver Travel Trailer, our "Phunny Pharm"
Here are the graphics on both the Oliver and the 'Burb.

Finally Catfish!

Sunday morning brought heavy clouds, thunder and lightning and eventually rain. Tornado warnings were out and the rain was pouring down. Finally we all crawled out of our Oliver's, said goodbye to Thomas and Katy as they headed home (not yet retired!) and the rest of us formed a caravan behind Mountainborn (Larry) to a great Mexican Restaurant for our Easter Dinner! The food was really great, the conversations were even better! When dinner was over, we noticed the rain had ended. We caravaned home Mountainborn leading, then Chuck and Geri, Steve and Tali and bringing up the rear...... way behind us was Tom and Karen! Tom drives ...... slowly! :-) But later in the afternoon, everybody's appetite returned and the fishing crew returned with a modest catch! It was time to light the fire and cook catfish!

Chuck gives his thumbs up approval of Betty's fried catfish! He has waited 64 years to taste fried catfish, and he started with the best! Betty has cooking catfish down to a fine art!

Betty at work frying catfish in her well equipped camping kitchen! She rolled the catfish in yellow cornmeal and deep fried them to perfection! Thank you Betty!

This is our campsite at Lake Greeson! We are right on the water! This is an Army Corps of Engineers campground and recreation area. Most campsites are about $16 per night unless you have a geezer pass, then you get it for 1/2 price! That includes water and electric hook-ups with 2 dump stations available. Also clean restrooms and nice hot showers! This is my first experience at an Army Corps campground and believe me, it won't be our last! Chuck and I have always been impressed with the wonderful quality of Arkansas campgrounds, State Parks etc. We will definitely keep coming back to explore Arkansas!

This is a view of Lake Greeson. That is Steve and Tali's Outlaw Oliver across the way! As you can see, we all had great campsites here and the lake is beautiful! Steve and Tali left this morning to head back to Mississippi. It was so good to see you again! Good luck Wednesday Steve, our thoughts are with you!
Today is a sky full of dirty clouds, heavy with rain. So far they have just been passing over keeping the rain to themselves. Everybody has gone to town to an Italian Restaurant for lunch. I still have lunch leftover from the Mexican restaurant yesterday so I decided to stay here. eat leftovers and catch up on the blog! So now, if ya'll don't mind, I'm gonna go eat lunch. Chuck and I are having a great time! Happy to be on this journey!

BBQ Lunch on Saturday

When the Whaley's left Memphis, they brought Saturday's lunch! Wonderful pulled pork bbq with bbq beans and cole slaw! Here you see Chuck (sorta) Betty, Larry, Steve and Tali enjoying the bbq lunch! Thank you Tom and Karen! It was great of you to think about bringing bbq for everyone and we all loved it! So far Saturday was the only sunny day with no rain, but it was still very chilly! Saturday night we all sat around the campfire and listened to Thomas play his guitar and sing a wonderful song he wrote about Mountainborn! (Larry). Pete, you shoulda been here with your flutes! Thomas and his lady Katy travel in a Casita Travel Trailer like mine.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 10th Lake Greeson at Last!

Early Friday we left the Oliver Factory and Hohenwald TN behind us. A few hours later, Robert called to make sure we were safe! Apparently they experienced hail and tornado warnings just after we left! We drove in stiff headwinds and ran into some rain, but nothing serious!

This is Tali and her dog storm. Tali and Steve are also known as ScubaRX on our Oliver Forums. We arrived at Lake Greeson about 5:30 pm. Can you tell from the way Tali is bundled up that it is very cold here? Brrrrr!

This is Tom and Karen Whaley, also known as Meanderthal on the Oliver Forums. Once again.... can you tell it's cold here????

This is "butcherknife Betty" and her dog Poco all cuddled up by the campfire, the fire helped but whoa it was too cold for me!

Mountainborn, or Larry, knows the best place to keep warm is by the roaring fire.... and why his photo showed up on the top instead of here, I haven't a clue! Maybe he thinks he should have top billing! Hahaha! We are soooo glad to be here!

April 8th & 9th, Oliver factory

While we were waiting for our axle to arrive, Chuck decided to get striping to our 'Burb', so it would match the Oliver!

The guys did a great job, and as soon as I can find the note book with their names written down so I wouldn't forget who they were (sheeesh!) I'll post their names.
When Thursday arrived, it was time to say goodbye to our new friend Mark. He was headed to TX to spend Easter with family before he headed back to AZ.
During the day Thursday, a new axle was found at the plant! It was the right axle in an unexpected place! Within a couple of hours the new axle was on, the striping of the Burb was completed! We were free to leave! But as it was after 5 pm, we decided to spend one more night camped in the Oliver factory and head out early Friday morning for Lake Greeson!

April 7,8,9th Oliver Factory!

After a 7 hour drive, we made it to the Oliver Factory where we were surprised to see the Whaley's there getting a few things tweaked and new things installed, like the cool back up camera gizmo! We also met a new friend and Oliver Owner, Mark! Mark is from AZ and he bought one of the demo models. This is his first travel trailer so he wanted lots of hints. Chuck was only too happy to oblige! Hopefully, we will see more of Mark when we get out to NM for our workamping job.

Robert Partee even jumped in to help Mark with a bit of tweaking to his Oliver.
Robert even helped with a few bolts on our Oliver!

See? Robert Partee worked so hard, he actually worked up a sweat!

Mark and Chuck outside Mark's new home! Mark is going to be full time camping now! Hooray!
Well, bad news was, Oliver didn't have an axle for us. We were gonna have to stay a few more days waiting for the one ordered to get to us. Lake Greeson Arkansas was looking further and further away! We all went to The Junkyard Dog for supper, Tom and Karen Whaley, Mark and Chuck and I! Such good food there! Tom and Karen left the next day, Wednesday. Chuck and I camped in the Oliver factory in our camper waiting for an axle to arrive!