Search

Category

Caravans

2019-03-18 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 6 – Hatch and Las Cruces, NM

Another leisurely day… We drove about 35 miles north of here to visit the town of Hatch, NM… of chili fame.

The town takes its famous Hatch chili seriously, as evidenced by the names of the local businesses…

img_0970img_0971img_0972img_0973img_0974img_0975img_0976img_0977img_0978

We strolled the town, looked into all the shoppes, and finally settled on the Valley Cafe for lunch.  Very spicy and flavorful, but not up to our standards for Mexican food… Maybe we’re spoiled…

We returned to the Villa and had a leisurely evening…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-03-17 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 5 – Las Cruces and Alamogordo, NM

This Sunday morning we started walking at 7:30 am in 35 degree temperatures.  There is a nice United Methodist church about 1/2 mile from here.  However we wonder at the wisdom of holding a church service at 8:00 am… It was a beautiful church, but only 50 people were in attendance. I was reassured that their later two services were better attended… ( a total of about 300+ people each Sunday…)

img_0953-1

While walking back to the Villa we passed the Railroad Museum.  We may need to return here in a day or two…

img_0952

We packed a lunch and pointed the truck towards Alamogordo… The road to Alamogordo is named the “Bataan March Memorial Highway”.  White Sands Missile range was closed today while they do an re-enactment of the Bataan Death March – without the disease, torture, bugs, humidity, starvation, and death… This is an annual event since 2002.  Hundreds of people (maybe thousands) were walking along the highway and on the roads in the missile range…

We continued on to Alamogordo, to the New Mexico Space History Museum, which includes the International Hall of Fame, along with a Planetarium…

img_0959

We walked around the outdoor exhibits…

img_7225img_7226

This is a memorial for the astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 fire and the two Space Shuttle crashes…

img_7227

They also have here the grave site of HAM, the first space chimp, who flew into space in 1961, and died in 1983…

Inside were four floors of exhibits of space exploration:  early astronomers, rockets, the cold war space race, all the manned space missions, and on and on… Some of it was esoteric technology and other exhibits were current events for us… Lots of hands-on exhibits for kids, too.

Also outside was an acceleration/deceleration track, where various devices were tested for both going fast and stopping from going fast.  I’m no mathematician (they said there would be no math in retirement…), but one rocket used on the track accelerated from 0 to mach 1.3 in 4.2 seconds.  I think that is even faster than a Tesla…

From the hill at the museum we could see the White Sands National Monument… It isn’t really clear in the photo, but these white sand dunes extend for 275 miles…

img_0958

White Sands National Monument was our next destination for the day… There are 150,000 acres of, well, white sand…

img_0961img_0968img_0969img_7232img_0965img_7234img_7237

I dressed as the invisible pedestrian.  You can almost see me in this photo…

img_7241

We returned to the Villa, had lovely happy hours and dinner…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

2019-03-16 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 4 – Las Cruces, NM

We rolled out of the Queen Mine RV Park at about 9:30.  Today we are heading to Las Cruces, NM.  We are traveling in southeast Arizona in some of the most remote areas we have ever seen…

img_7201

Some of the mountains are still covered in snow… There is also “snow” or the slushy remnants of hail, alongside the road…

img_7207

img_7217

We stopped at a monument commemorating the surrender of Geronimo, the Apache chief, to the US Army in 1886.  He was the last Apache chief to surrender…

img_7215

New Mexico welcomed us!

img_7218

There was even more snow on the ground in New Mexico!

img_7222

We pulled into Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces at about 3:30.  In, connected, and paid for…

img_0951

Happy Hours ensured… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

And, as is our custom on travel days, here are pictures of our great grandchildren…

img_0954img_0955

2019-03-15 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 3 – Bisbee, AZ

Once again we awoke to sub-freezing temperatures.  But between the fireplace, the heat pump, and the furnace we were able to keep warm and keep the pipes from freezing…

We began the day with a tour of the Queen Mine…

img_0901img_0828img_0827img_0829img_7189

We were outfitted with hard hats, miner’s lights, and safety vests… We mounted the mine tourist train and headed into the mine…

img_0902img_0905

About 700 feet into the mine we dismounted and walked up some wooden stairs to a large cavern…

img_7191img_0908img_0909

We were told about the various jobs going on in the mines at any one time.  Our tour guide worked in the mines for about 15 years, starting two days after he graduated from Bisbee High School…

 

img_0914

We were told about the various ways to make the holes for the dynamite and how these methods changed over the years, from hammering a steel spike in 1915 to pneumatic drills in the 1960s… Every few years improvements were made to efficiency and safety…

img_0918

img_0928

img_7192

Sometimes the shoring seems a little improvised…

img_0920

These are the ore cars and the chutes from above where the ore is dumped…

img_0921img_0922

The supervisors traveled up to 10 miles per day around the mines, mounted on these rail-cycles…

img_0923

After another train ride we dismounted at the 1,500 mark and walked down a cross-tunnel…

img_7194

There are fire doors every 500 feet or so…

img_0924

Next was the lesson on where to drill holes and how to set off the dynamite to get the largest cavity possible…

img_0932img_0933

Finally we saw a typical 11-man elevator cage…

img_0934img_0935img_7196

And the porta-potty…

img_0936img_0940

Tour over, we walked back to the train and we were returned to fresh air…

After lunch we spent more time walking about the town. We visited The Bisbee Mining Museum, and enjoyed browsing the many vintage, antique, and junk shoppes…

This evening we returned for an anniversary dinner – It has been 51 years since our first date… The town was lit up and it was a beautiful sight…

img_0950

We had asked all over town for recommendations for the best fine dining, white tablecloth restaurant.  Every person we asked stated, without hesitation, “Roka”.

img_0946

They were right.  Great service, interesting, innovative food, and a lovely bottle of Turley wine…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-03-14 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 2 – Bisbee and Tombstone, AZ

Overnight in Bisbee the temperatures dropped into the mid- to high-twenties!  This is ridiculously cold for us Californians.

We began the day by walking down to the Queen Mine and made reservations for tomorrow for the mine tour.  Then we walked into Old Bisbee and explored.  Since most businesses were not open it was very quiet.  We walked up and down hills, looking at anything that seemed interesting.  It’s a great little town!

img_0831-1img_0843img_0844img_0845img_0837img_0848img_0852img_0853

There is the “Copper Man” sculpture, in honor of copper’s importance to the town, sharing a small plaza with a telephone pole…

img_0861

There are several churches, this one seeming to be the most prestigious…

img_0859

The County Courthouse…

img_0860img_0863

The County Administration Building…

img_0865

Lynda found a comfortable chair at a gas station-turned-restaurant…

img_0869img_0870

The old cinema is now an event venue…

img_0874

The Grand Hotel…

img_0875

What we found very interesting were the number of stairs leading up and down the hills, providing shortcuts between streets and access to houses far above or below the street…

img_0834img_0841img_0842img_0846img_0850img_0851img_0868img_0871

img_0943img_0944

Adjacent to the stair pictured above was this lovely sculpture garden, or some such thing.  It appears to be a private space…

img_0945

There are quite a few partially demolished buildings, but with remnants of walls, doors, and fireplaces remaining…

img_0872img_0840img_0838

After our walk around town we returned to the Villa and drove to Tombstone, about 25 miles away.  It contained all the requisite tourist venues, and lots of historic buildings…

The main street is nicely car-free… the streets around town are very busy and parking is hard to find, even on this mid-week day…

img_0879img_0880img_0881img_0882

You can take a tour around town in a stagecoach; (we didn’t…)

img_0883img_7141

In its heyday there were over 110 saloons and many 24 hour gambling parlors…

img_7140

You can watch a “humorous gunfight re-enactment”; (we didn’t…)

img_0890img_0891

We saw the County Courthouse from the days before the county seat moved to Bisbee…

img_0892

You can have lunch and drinks at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon; (we did…!)

img_0893img_7146img_7148

After lunch we returned to the Villa and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon; about 4:30 we walked back into Bisbee and had cocktails at two of the town’s many bars…

First was Room 4 Bar, located in the Silver King Hotel.  It has room for four!  It bills itself as Arizona’s smallest bar.  Great fun.  For most of the time we were the only patrons there, and then three others came in.  It was packed!

img_0899img_7185

Next stop was the Copper Queen Hotel…

img_7186

It was fun and relaxing.  We walked back to the Villa, enjoyed a light supper, and retired early once again…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-03-13 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 1 – Bisbee, AZ

We’re off!  We left Redlands at a very leisurely 6:00 am.  We are heading east to Arizona and New Mexico for a week or so, then on through Texas to Louisiana, where we will meet up with the Cajun Country Caravan, starting March 26.  Interestingly, the Airstream Club is running this caravan twice this year because it is so popular and the waiting list is so long.  The first run started March 5, and we have been reading blogs and seeing posts on Facebook about it.  Sort of a “sneak preview”, so to speak…

After the Cajun Country Caravan we will wander around the south, mostly looking at Architecture and visiting friends and relatives.  April 25 we will meet up with another caravan – Springtime in Kentucky.  After it is over we will meander home, expecting to return sometime in mid-June…

But for today, we are driving through the desert.  It’s amazing how much traffic there is at 6:00 am…

The desert is always a boring drive, but today, at least, we were seeing a lot of green, due to the unusually heavy rains we have been having lately…

img_7116img_7124img_7120

We crossed over into Arizona… The Grand Canyon State welcomed us!

img_7118

As is our custom, we stopped once per hour to stretch our legs and keep our Apple watches happy. Sometimes we used rest stops, sometimes we simply pulled of on the side of a road.  A short walk was always in order…

img_0819img_0820

We were making good time.  Our original idea was to stop for the night in Mesa, AZ, but we weren’t really ready to stop.  We made a few telephone calls and changed our destination for this day to be Bisbee, located in the far southeast corner of Arizona, about five minutes from Mexico and about one hour from New Mexico.  It made for a long day, but after a brief nap it was no problem.

About 4:30 pm we pulled into the RV park in Bisbee, the Queen Mine RV Park.  Not surprisingly, it is located directly adjacent to the Queen Mine.  It is a pretty basic park – nothing but gravel, and only 25 sites.  We found RVs from 11 different states and four (4!) Airstreams!

img_0894

Since it was late in the day we set up quickly and settled in for dinner. We walked about the park and enjoyed the views of the strip mine and the town of Bisbee…

img_0830img_0824img_0825img_7134img_0831

Bisbee is located in Cochise County, Arizona, 92 miles southeast of Tucson.  The population of the city is 5,575.  The city is the county seat of Cochise County, having been moved here from Tombstone in 1929. 

Mining in the Mule Mountains proved quite successful: in the early 20th century the population of Bisbee soared.  Incorporated in 1902, by 1910 its population had swelled to 9,019, and it sported a constellation of suburbs, including Warren, Lowell, and San Jose, some of which had been founded on their own (ultimately less successful) mines. In 1917, open-pit mining was successfully introduced to meet the copper demand during World War I.

The mines were all closed by 1975; the town struggled trying to reinvent itself.  Today it is a popular tourist destination with many art galleries, restaurants, tours and other attractions.

After our long day we turned in early; an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-10-09 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 52 – Caravan is over; we head for home…

We watched the balloons fly one last time… We walked on the field amidst the chaos…

img_9774

It’s always fun to see the special shaped balloons – later in the week they will have a special competition just for them…

img_9781img_6324img_9791img_9790img_6332img_9800img_9803img_6335img_9809img_9808

This is Bill Lee, the pilot who organized our balloon rides last week in Gallup.  His balloon is the official balloon for the State of New Mexico… We tried to talk to him, but I think he was preoccupied…

img_9817img_9818img_9819

So we walked on…

img_6338img_9823img_9827img_6346

After a few minutes we looked back and Bill Lee was aloft…

img_9829

Once all the balloons had ascended we walked back to the Villa, hitched up, and left our happy campground full of Airstreams…

Our destination today is Gallup, NM, back to USA RV Park, which we left less than one week ago… We are spending one night, to dump the tanks, take showers, and get re-oriented again for our trip home…

We stopped briefly to stretch our legs, and then traveled on…

img_9830

We crossed the Continental Divide (7275′ elevation) at about 11:00 am.  It was 44 degrees outside… And then the rain began.  It was not heavy, and it did not hinder our trip…

There is not a lot going on out here in western New Mexico…

img_6347img_6348

But soon we were settled in to our site at USA RV Park, just west of Gallup, NM.

img_9836

This evening we had planned to walk the 1/2 mile and eat at Virgies, a Gallup institution.  Literally seconds before we left the Airstream it started to rain in a giant downpour.  It didn’t last long, but we didn’t want to get caught in another such downpour… Also, the highway was too wet, in our opinion, to walk…

img_9837img_6351

We called Uber and 9 minutes later we were at Virgies:

img_9839img_9840

By the time dinner was over we were able to walk back to the Villa…

img_9841

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Oh!  Here’s Evelyn:

img_9769

 

2018-10-08 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 51 – Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

It rained all night and it was cold… But this morning the winds were gentle and the balloons flew.  But it was an unusual flight…

img_6304

The balloons lifted off and drifted away from the Airstreams, towards the northwest.  Then the balloons dropped down, close to the ground, where a southern wind blew them south, then southeast; then the balloons ascended and caught the north winds again and the balloons came back over the launch field again.  This isn’t exactly the “Albuquerque Box” that they talk about, but it was close…

img_6305img_6308img_9710img_6310img_9717img_9721img_9727img_9755img_9753img_9752

And then they were gone…

img_9757

After the balloons were done, we headed to Costco to pick up a few supplies for our trip home…

This afternoon was our “final banquet” for the caravan.  These are normally held in the evening, but since there are 900,000 people visiting Albuquerque this week going out to a restaurant for dinner is not an option… So 2:00 pm it is.

The banquet was at El Pinto, a great New Mexican restaurant.  We were in a nice, spacious room, and we had a nice buffet lunch of all things Mexican, with a New Mexican twist… There were the usual speeches, toasts, blame for the innocent and accolades for the uninvolved…

img_9761img_6317img_6318img_6319img_9762img_6320img_9763img_9764img_9765img_9766img_9767img_9768

A slide show was presented that recapped our trip, and a few hokey songs were sung.  Well-deserved praises were said for our leaders, and we all vowed to keep in touch…

We returned to the Villa and had a simple (no food) Happy Hour.  But then it got too cold for these Californians, so we were turned in early…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-10-07 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 50 – Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

It was windy this morning, so the balloons could not fly.

img_9696

We walked around a bit and relaxed all morning, then at 1:00 we re-visited the Turquoise Museum…

img_6525

We had been here when we first started the caravan, and we learned what to look for when shopping for turquoise.  Since then we have been lied to by every jewelry store and trading post and gift shop in the Four Corners States… We had a nice chat with the owners…

On our way back to the Villa we stopped at a local New Mexico winery…

img_9697img_9699img_6302

We enjoyed a nice, casual tasting, chatting with a couple visiting from Virginia…  We bought a few bottles to augment our supply for our trip home…

This evening was Happy Hours again, but it was really too cold to sit outside, so we had three other couples join us inside the Villa…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑