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Our scary RV day

August 7, 2017 1 comment

We’re on our way from Glacier NP to the West Coast and found an RV park along the way that was highly rated.  There was a warning, “steep downhill grade with switchbacks” entry into the park, but I called the owner and he said no problem, we have big trucks coming here all the time.  So off we went.

Once we got to the entry road, we unhooked our car, as suggested.  Then we started down the hill.  What we didn’t know is that the road was narrow, gravel, had deep ditches, and yes, it was steep.  Then we hit the first switchback.  It needed a “K” turn to get around and we still drug our rear wheels through the ditch .  Three more, and we were down.

Yes, this is a nice park, if you have kids and a small camper.  Once we got in our site we found no phone, no internet, and only 30A power.  Not good!  We were scheduled to stay here 4 nights but we left the next day.  Romola and I were both apprehensive but with some heavy duty “K” turns, we made it back up to the main road.  Won’t do that again!

 

At the Rodeo

This week we are in Westcliffe, Colorado.  It is located in the valley below the Sangre de Cristo mountains, so it has great open plains and grazing land.  Westcliffe, and it’s sister city Silver Cliff, prospered in the 1800’s due to silver mines.  Now it is more of a small town, typical of Western cities.

As luck would have it, this weekend was the 70th Annual Rodeo Days.   Seemed like a good thing to see, and it was.  One thing for sure, you have to respect the athleticism (and pain tolerance) of the cowboys!

The Winery at Holy Cross Abby

May 8, 2015 1 comment

If you ever go through Canon City, CO make sure to stop for a wine tasting at the Winery at Holy Cross Abby. This abby, built in 1924, was used by Benedictine Monks and the Roman Catholic Church. It was used primarily as a boys school, but closed in 1982 because of declining enrollment. It continued to function as a monastery until 2005, and eventually wound down and was sold in 2007 to an investment firm.

Today, it is a popular event center, used for weddings, receptions, meetings, and so on. The Benedictine monks had planted grapes and established a wine making capability. This continues to this day as one of Colorado’s favorite wineries. And why not? They have a large variety of wines, ranging from sweet one to full body wines. And, they were really excellent and even better, complimentary (except for the two special reserves, which were $1 each).

So we lugged a half case of wines home, including a special gift of a sweet wine (for Ida Cook) and a very special full bodied Red for daughter Tanya Allen. At least, if we can keep our hands off them till we get home….

Front of the 4 story abby

Front of the 4 story abby

A view of the abby

A view of the abby

An old truck in the vineyard

An old truck in the vineyard

Vines, ready to grow!

Vines, ready to grow!

This table once was a square grand piano!

This table once was a square grand piano!

Original couch used by the Abbot for receiving dignitaries

Original couch used by the Abbot for receiving dignitaries

Inside the sanctuary, being prepared for a wedding

Inside the sanctuary, being prepared for a wedding

Pouring one of the red wines

Pouring one of the red wines

What it's all about... wine!

What it’s all about… wine!

It is almost mother's day, right?

It is almost mother’s day, right?

Austin, Texas

April 30, 2015 Leave a comment

A group of RV travel friends, members of the Traveling Supremes and friends, met and stayed in San Marcos, TX to visit the area. We had a fun time together, visited the many historical sites of the area, and of course sampled the local cuisine… barbecue!

Our first visit was to the LBJ library, where we had a chance to revisit the history of the LBJ presidency. This was followed by a visit to the Bullock Texas State History Museum, where we learned more about Texas and its founding. I highly recommend this to anyone, not just Texans… very interesting! That evening, Dave Phillips brought in the “Fajita King”, who made some excellent Fajitas from scratch.

Our next visit was to the San Marcos Springs, a natural spring site located on (or near) Texas State University. There we visited the aquarium and took a glass bottom boat tour to see the bottom of the lake and the springs themselves. A pot luck meal completed another satisfying day.

Then, another trip took us to the Texas State Capital building, where a guided tour introduced us to the largest state capital building in the US. The history of this marble building was a story all to itself. Most interesting! After this we visited the University of Texas, and went to the top of the Clock Tower, notorious for being one of first public mass murders in recent history.

A final meal at the Grist Mill in Gruene helped end a most interesting visit. Thanks to the Phillips and Hoovers for putting together a fun gathering!

The group at the LBJ Museum

The group at the LBJ Museum

Les, Ida, LBJ and Romola

Les, Ida, LBJ and Romola

The "Fajita King"!

The “Fajita King”!

View of the Texas Capital

View of the Texas Capital

Showing when the Capital was built

Showing when the Capital was built

Looking down on the Rotunda floor

Looking down on the Rotunda floor

Looking up inside the Rotunda dome

Looking up inside the Rotunda dome

State legislature

State legislature

Down the east hallway

Down the east hallway

A view of the clock tower

A view of the clock tower

Natchitosis Light Festival

January 2, 2014 Leave a comment

At 300 years old, Natchitosis is the oldest city in Louisiana.  It is a popular tourist destination, with a lot of history in both the civil rights movement and the slave emancipation.  At Christmas time, they have a very popular light show, enhanced by its placement on the Cane River.  The combination of lights and reflections off the water makes for some very scenic sights.

The city itself is situated on the Cane River, and has a very active main street right on the river.  Restaurants and specialty store all contribute to a great afternoon visiting the city.  Below are a few of the sights of the Light Festival, taken at dusk as it darkened into night.

A new site for birding

February 20, 2012 2 comments

We moved from Mission, TX to Harlingen, TX and were pleased to find a very active birding park nearby.  This park has a lot of wetlands, so there are more shorebirds.  Some of these — such as the Pink Spoonbill — are large and graceful in flight.  Here are some pictures.

A female redwing blackbird

Green Heron

A turtle basking in the sun

Baby alligator, catching some rays

Northern Shoveler duck

Roseate Spoonbill

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On the Rio Grande River

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The RV Park we are staying at is right on the Rio Grande river, border between USA and Mexico.  They have a boat tour of the river which is quite interesting.  There is surprisingly much to see here, ranging from birds to historical buildings.  Here are some highlights:

There is a huge house, which used to be owned by the drug cartel.  I guess this fancy building gave pretty direct access to the USA for those so inclined.  This is now taken over by the Mexican Government, which now patrols this area heavily.

River view of the Cartel house.

Some heavy Mexican guard duty

And this is our side of the border, keeping a watchful eye

This very fancy building is the home of the Mexican water ski team.  This is where they train for international competitions.

Three years ago, a major hurricane caused serious flooding along the Rio Grande.  Evidence of the damage is still very obvious.

Clear evidence of how high the water got

This fancy resort was started but never finished after the flood

This used to be the very Pepe's restaurant and night club

And finally, some of the birds we saw