Resting, Recuperating, and Antibiotics

This sinus infection has really taken it's toll on me today. I sewed a bit this morning but soon found I was picking out more stitches than I was sewing so I put it away. The next step in this quilt is topstitching the curves and I'm afraid the stitching on my curves looked more than a bit wonky! I guess it will keep...

 

I lay down for a little rest after lunch and slept for 3 hours! I'm still feeling tired so I'll keep listening to my body and continue to rest today.

This is a photo I snapped in the supermarket yesterday. I thought all the fresh and unusual fruits on display looked quite festive.

These are also pictures from a couple of days ago. I finally managed to get some snaps of the Gambel's Quail by baiting them with some bird seed. they move so fast! Being quite shy, they scuttle about quickly jumping from one place of cover to another so it's difficult to get them to stay in the open long enough for a photo.

Let's hope the antibiotic is doing its job and I will have more energy tomorrow.

 

Leasburg Dam State Park, Chachis, Dos Equis Cerveza

Leaving Van Horn behind in the rain this morning, I headed further down I10 West. I had only a 3.5-hour drive today and gained an hour entering Mountain Time. The rain and fog continued through El Paso and then the skies began to clear as I entered New Mexico. I turned on the I25 and headed north out of Las Cruces toward the Organ Mountains. The landscape is a beautiful desert terrain ringed by majestic mountain ranges. The little settlement of Radium Springs has only a few small houses, trailers, and a Family Dollar Store and a Post Office. The Leasburg Dam State Park, on the other hand, is a diamond in the rough! The park is very well maintained, the campsites are large semi-circular pull-throughs with a concrete pad for the camper and a lovely shelter over a picnic table, water and electric with a fire pit for $14.00 a night!

When I arrived, the camp host asked if I was staying for the program on Saturday night, "Turning Back the Sun". I had only made a reservation through Friday night and did not know about the program at that time. He told me it is quite an event, a celebration of the Winter Solstice with many cultural activities running from noon until 8pm : Pueblo Indian social dances, Buffalo Stew, Hot Coco and Adobe Horno baked Pueblo Bread and Pizza, Traditional Winter and Coyote Stories from Dine', Apache, Pueblo, and Blackfeet Peoples, as well as Stargazing with the Astronomy Society of Las Cruces who will bring their big telescopes. As soon as I had my rig parked in space #21, I got on my smartphone to extend my reservation. Someone else had already reserved my campsite, #21 for Saturday, but I was able to reserve campsite #17 for Saturday night, and it was the only spot left available! Later, I was speaking with the ranger at the Visitors Center and we found that #17 had also been booked for Saturday but the folks had canceled their reservation just an hour before I made mine. What luck I have! I'm so excited that I can stay and enjoy this traditional festival on Saturday. The visitors center had much to offer:

Dexter and I took a short walk after setting up camp. It's still cool, in the upper 40's but the wind has calmed.

I went out for a taste of local Mexican food in the neighboring town of Dona Ana at a quaint place called Chachis. I knew I was in for a treat when the only folks there were local Spanish folks and a couple of Border Patrol agents! The food was delicious but spicy hot! I have forgotten what real traditional Mexican food tastes like... An ice-cold cerveza helped cool my taste buds!

I've seen many rabbits hopping around the campsite. They are normal sized and brownish grey in color,  but have exceptionally large white fluffy tails! I also saw a covey of Gambel's Quail. I hope to get some wildlife photos while I'm here. The birds and wildlife are quite abundant here on the desert floor. I also plan to get out to the White Sands National Monument. Tomorrow is forecast to be chilly and rainy so it may be a crafting day. Friday and Saturday look sunny and clear so I should be able to get out with the camera then. My brother-in-law David from Alaska will be in Hatch, NM on Friday morning as he travels through the area to Santa Fe so we have made a plan to meet for brunch. What a nice surprise that is! It will be great to see him.

I leave you tonight with a video of my campsite at sunset.

https://youtu.be/ok-rEbBhc4Y

 

 

Recipe for Friendship, K9 Sport Sack, Dreaming of Sedona

Recipe for a Fun and Lasting Friendship

Mix two parts fun-loving adventurers from New Hampshire, two parts warm-and-wonderful adventurers from San Antonio, one part wacky Wild Thing from Massachuestts.  Toss them gently together and sprinkle liberally with wine!

I was honored today by a visit from two exceptional couples (and fellow Escape Trailer owners)! I met these terrific folks this past May at the Escape Trailer Appreciation Rally in Osoyoos, BC. We became fast friends during the wine tour portion of the rally and have stayed in touch since. I was fortunate to visit Lucy and Charlie on several occasions at their home in New Hampshire. They live just 2 hours from me in MA! I was also lucky to meet up with Dora and Fred again on one of those trips to NH while they were also visiting Lucy and Charlie. Dora and Fred are full-time RV’ers and they hail from San Antonio, TX. Lucy and Charlie just happened to be visiting Dora and Fred in San Antonio this week, and so they all drove to Kerrville to see me and Dexter today! What fun we had. It’s such an amazing thing to meet people who have the same passion for travel and adventure that you do! We all missed you, Steve!

We enjoyed a  spectacular lunch at a local gem called Grape Juice. Our server, Lanette, was a delight! She's from Ohio and a fellow traveler! Thank you for the excellent service today Lanette, and thank you, Janice, for introducing me to this great restaurant! Everyone loved the brussels sprouts!

I love these people and am so fortunate to have had an opportunity to share a meal with them and to give them the grand tour of Wild Thing. They were all so helpful and supportive of me during the trailer build process, giving me tips on which supplies to bring on the trip, and coaching me on the fine points of handling the rig. Today they provided even more helpful pointers and equipment suggestions. I’ll soon be investing in a new hose, a space heater, and a water filter as soon as I can find a Camping World!   Lucy and Charlie will also be heading for Tucson in a few days and will also be staying at the Catalina State Park over the Christmas Holiday! Jingle Bells!! It will be an Escape Christmas in Tucson! They will then join Dora and Fred for a guided tour down the Baja Peninsula. That trip is on my wishlist, but not feasible for this year! I'll be following their journey closely though and wish them safe travels Maybe they will catch up with Glen in Baja!

Dexter was happy to see everyone, after his initial barking-fit-intruder-alert-moment. He is my protector and showed it today! After he calmed down, we modeled his new backpack for everyone. I purchased this dog backpack just before I left for this trip and am thrilled with the product. It’s a K9 Sport Sack and allows me to carry him comfortably on my back. I will be taking some hikes that will be too long for his little 2” legs to keep up with, so this will give me a way to carry him in a way that’s comfortable for both of us. I tried carrying him in a cross body bag, and a purse-like bag, but both were too hard on my back. This pack sits high up so he can see over my shoulder and it’s very comfortable.  He won’t be in it for more than an hour or two but it will be a lifesaver when I need it!

After my visit with the Escape gang, I lay down with a book and promptly fell asleep! I realized that I have been on-the-go for several days and a bit of downtime was in order. I ’m feeling refreshed tonight and glad I took a little time to recharge

Dexter and I have taken three good walks today, so we are getting plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine. I saw this lovely creature on the path…is it a butterfly or a moth?

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This evening, I spent a few hours researching places to go after my stay in Las Cruces, NM,  and before Catalina State Park in Tucson. I have 10 days between those two stops and I’m considering a trip to Sedona, AZ. Steve and I loved the area when we visited briefly last fall and I have been itching to get back there.  I found a campground where I can stay 7 nights on the 50% off Passport America rate of $20.00 a night. Not bad at all for the area. I’ll call them tomorrow to see if they have availability.

I’m planning to take a ride to Fredericksburg tomorrow morning and visit the St. Mary’s Cemetery where my parents are buried and depending on how crowded it is, I may poke around the town a bit. Fredericksburg has grown into quite a top-notch tourist destination with shopping, vineyards, and wineries. There were plenty of Holiday shoppers out when I drove through the town on Friday and I’m not too interested in fighting crowds so I’ll play it by ear tomorrow. Maybe I can sneak in early....

Reconnecting with old friends and Re-Un-Hitching....

I was up today at 5:30 and got hitched and ready for the 250 mile trip from North Texas Jellystone Park to Kerrville-Shriner Park. Along the way I stopped in Waco to see my old friend Vonessa. We haven’t seen each other in 20+ years but it was incredible how those years just melted away when we began to talk. Our friendship remains strong and I hope we can find more time to spend together in the coming years. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

I took the back roads and state highways from Waco to the Texas Hill Country. The drive was longer but much less stressful. Along the way I saw Blackbuck deer, Buffalo, and Axis deer grazing in the pastures. There was not an opportunity to stop but I’m hoping to catch a few of these beautiful creatures in my camera lens over the next few days. I arrived at the campsite an hour before dark. Dexter was in a mood and did not want to be left alone. He’s getting just a bit spoiled with all the one-on-one time he’s receiving from me!

This site is a pull through shaped like a half circle. It wasn’t very level and I futzed a bit pulling forward and backing up in an attempt to find a sweet spot, but finally resigned myself to using the Anderson Leverers. It was then that I noticed that the connections were pretty spread out. The sewer connection was quite a distance from the water and electric.  I laid out my water hose and power cord to be certain they would reach once I got set up and proceeded to back the camper up on the Anderson Levelers. I chocked the wheels, unhitched and began to make the connections. It was then that I found the power cord was about 2” too short. I could connect it if I stretched it so it was suspended off the ground! ARGH…soooo close!! Well, there was nothing to do but hitch back up and move the camper so the power cord could reach comfortably. That was a hard lesson to learn! I need to give myself a larger margin of error when eyeballing distance. When I laid out the power cord, it would have worked if I hadn’t moved the camper that 6” to level it! I’m getting pretty good at hitching and unhitching with all the practice I’ve been getting so it didn’t take me too long to make the correction and I was fully set up by dark.   I’m glad to be settled in for the next few days here in the Kerrville-Shriner State Park. My campsite is close to a busy road but traffic noise is just background for me and I’ll put on the white noise machine to muffle it.

I’ve just returned from dinner with my High School friend Janice. We had a wonderful time catching up. I think it’s only been about 15 years since I’ve seen her! What a gift it is to have the means to visit my friends and what a blessing it is to spend time together.

I’m also going to reconnect with some new friends while I’m here as well! Tomorrow some of my new Escape Trailer friends are coming for a visit from San Antonio. On Monday, Sandy and Don, the friends I made in Bothell, WA in the first campground I stayed, will meet up with me for a hike. I am enjoying such a community of friends on the road!

Gettin' My Girl On, Family Time, Rosas Cafe with Rose!

I spent this morning shuffling things around in the camper. The more time I spend in her, the more I see how things can be better arranged. I also labeled some of my bins so I know what is stored where!

I had a shopping list to fill, so I set out for Burleson just after lunch. At the top of my list was makeup. I forgot my makeup kit at home and it hadn't bothered me until I got to Texas! A girl can't do without her beauty aids here in the Lone Star State...especially with company coming! The helpful staff at Ulta Beauty helped me "get my girl on"! Thanks especially to Tanner, I'm now ready for anything!

A quick stop at Walmart for bottled water, Dr. Pepper, and a broom rounded out the errands. I didn't think I needed a broom in the camper. It's small enough that I can just clean the floor with a small whisk broom and a cloth, but I realize that I need a broom for the exterior. Often the area around the door of the camper is littered with leaves and branches and an outside broom would make it easy to tidy up the campsite so I don't track stuff inside.

Dexter and I took a nice walk while we waited for our company. This brilliant tree against the clear sky caught my eye...Auburn Leaves and Blue Sky.

My brother John and his wife Tracy arrived just before 5. We had a nice time catching up and they love the Wild Thing! They have a camper of their own and keep it parked in Matagorda, TX on the coast. I will have to visit them there someday!

John drove us to meet their daughter, my niece Robyn, her husband James, and their (adorable!) daughter Rose! We met at a gymnastics facility where Rose was taking her weekly lesson. She is quite a talented soon-to-be-4 year old! It was fun to watch her tumbling around, she is so full of life and joy!

After gymnastics, we met up at Rosa's Cafe and Tortilla Factory for a little Mexican food. I have been craving so good southwestern Mexican food and this was a delicious dinner filled with stories and laughter. It's so good to catch up with family!

 

Two beautiful girls with Auburn Hair and Blue Eyes!

Tomorrow I'll hitch up and head south. I'm meeting my friend Vonessa in Waco for coffee on my way through, then driving on to Kerrville where I'll set up camp at the Kerrville-Shriner State Park. Tomorrow night I'm meeting my friend Janice for dinner. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to catch up with so many people I care about!