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Chama – Elk Wilderness Trail

From Taos we had an easy drive to Chama, where we stayed for a week at the Sky Mountain RV park. While there, we met up with some of the Pikes Peak Rollers as a pre-rally gathering. And had an entertaining evening with Sarah, singer and raconteur.

But first we did a short hike on the Elk Wilderness Trail. Didn’t see any elk, but plenty of wild flowers. And a very threatening sky, but we made it back before the rains.

Taos, NM

After Santa Fe, we drove to Taos and staid at the Bella Monta RV park. Kind of exposed on the plain, but a pleasant stay.

First, we hiked to the Rio Grande River Gorge, which was quite spectacular. We hiked the West Rim trail and got some good early morning views.

The next day we drove the Enchanted Circle, and stopped at the very moving Vietnam Memorial. Many years ago I did this on my bicycle, it was much easier in my car.

We also visited the Earth Station, a neighborhood of custom designed fully self reliant homes. No water, no sewer, no electricity, all provided by clever design using nature itself. Very informative, we could use more of this thinking in designing our cities.

Santa Fe, NM

We spent 4 days in Santa Fe, staying at the Santa Fe Skies RV Resort. It’s a nice park, a little pricey, but the best of the area. The owner has a large collection of antique equipment as well as art work decorating the park. It was hot, al the area had record breaking heat. But nothing to dampen our enjoyment of the area.

We had a nice hike where we met a couple named Joanie and Jim, who lived within walking distance from the many trails in the area. The next morning we had coffee with them, and had a great time talking about many things. We hope to visit with them again on some future trip.

Lunch one day was at the Fun Noodle Bar, where noodles were hand made. But the best thing was the food itself was great. After that we had a nice walk in the Plaza. Now it’s on to Taos.

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Hiking, new friends

June 18, 2021 1 comment

We started off the day with an early morning hike. We chose the Dorothy Stewart Loop in the Santa Fe Forest. The loop is three miles long and has about 450ft of elevation gain, so another nice one as we acclimatize ourselves to the elevation and temperature. After all, we are around 7,500 feet above sea level.

We met a couple on the trail – Joanie and Jim – who live within walking distance and avid hikers. They are about the same age as we are and we shared a lot of common history. They know the area well and after a long trail side chat we exchanged information so we can stay in touch. In fact, we are meeting them for dinner tonight.

Finally, the temperature is starting to drop. The high today will be around 94 and tonights low a pleasant 62. Tomorow we go to Santa Fe’s excellent farmers market, looking forward to it.

Categories: hiking, Traveling Tags: ,

Metal sculptures

The RV Park we are staying at in Albuquerque (Hi Desert RV Park) has some amazing metal sculptures on the grounds. So much so, that Romola and I checked them out and took some pictures to share. We found that the artwork was done by a local firm named Desert Blooms. If we had space for some we’d buy some, prices are quite reasonable. Check these out…

Volcano Trails hike

Like so much of the country, Albuquerque is in a record setting heat wave. So we left early for our hike, and found one close to where we are parked. We hiked the Volcano Trail in the Petroglyphs National Monument early in the morning. The three dormant volcanoes (JA, Black and Vulcan) we walked around or over are about 130,000 years old

This hike is in the open sun, no shade. It is 3.2 miles long and we had an elevation gain of around 500 ft. Most of it was packed sand and gravel, some pretty rough rocks and steep. We had some great panoramic views, especially from the top of Black. Normally you’d have a great view of Albuquerque, but the heat haze limited visibility somewhat.

We noticed some interesting plants, including a plant that looked dead but had pretty purple flowers….. and in the same plant yellow berries. These are silverleaf nightshades, also known as desert berries.

Finally, on the road

So we’ve sat out almost 1 1/2 years with COVID. Although we did make it to the west coast last year, most of the time it was in quarantine and social distancing. Now, fully vaccinated, we finally hit the road for real.

The first day was fr m Waxahachie to Quanah, where we spent two nights in the Old Town Cotton Gin RV park. Two nights because we can only get one night in Amarillo. Lack of park capacity will be a problem this year.

It wasn’t easy though, the “feels like” temperature in Quanah was 112F. Fortunately our AC handled it without too much of an issue. We decided to eat out but could only find one restaurant open in all of Quanah, called Dutch’s Cafe. It was nicer inside than outside, with a Texas atmosphere, and the food was OK. Good thing as it was the only option in the whole town.

Categories: Traveling

First hike of 2021

We’ve now arrived in Albuquerque, and there are many hiking trails. Our first hike was in the Petrogliph National Monument. An easy trail, just over two miles, and the chance to admire some ancient Native People artwork. Very interesting.

The whole central US is in a heat wave, many places setting all time highs. True for ABQ as well, temps well over 100, so we went early in the morning. It’s a time of day we like anyway so that came out just fine.

Categories: Traveling

We’re baaaaack!

So I left my blog to go to Facebook. After trying it for some 6 months I have decided to go back to my blog. Facebook is just too full of negativity, especially about politics. Most posts are just “shares” and contain at best misconstrued statements, but much of it is just plain inflammatory. You can see the influence of organizations unfriendly to the United States. I truly think many people who share these posts do so thinking they are sharing opinions when in reality they are being manipulated.

Oh well, from now on we’re back on the blog. I may still post on FB sometimes but this will be my main social platform.

Categories: Traveling

End of the blog

March 14, 2020 Leave a comment

I’ve enjoyed writing this blog for the many years now. And of the many comments and discussions I’ve had from readers. But it is getting more difficult to maintain, and somewhat redundant because of the other social media we use. So this will be the last entry.

You can still follow us on Facebook. Just look for John Laninga and Romola Laninga and you will find us. Friend us and we will always be up to date. And, we also maintain a rather extensive photo album. This can be found at http://www.laninga.com. And finally, my motorhome has its own blog, which you can find at https://my15aspire.wordpress.com/

See you down the road!

Categories: Traveling