Archive for the ‘Traveling’ Category

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 And finally, my motorhome has its own blog, which you can find at

See you down the road!

Categories: Traveling

Oregon Coast

August 1, 2019 Leave a comment

The last few weeks have been terrific to be on the Oregon Coast. Temperatures in the low 50 overnight and high 60 daytime, beats the Texas heat wave anytime! But all things come to an end and we are moving to Washington Sate and a cruise to Alaska. But before we go, a few pictures from the Florence, Seaside and Astoria areas of the Oregon Coast

Crabbing in Oregon

Our friend Jack Napoles invited me to go along crabbing with his neighbor Phil. Crabbing would be in Charleston, right by Coos Bay, Oregon. Now Romola and I love crab, so this invitation was gratefully accepted.

First we bought several pounds of chicken quarters, which we used as bait. The chicken was put in the crab pots and in the boat. We then launched the boat and dropped the first of 9 pots. After 4 pots, we moved across the bay and dropped the remaining 5.

After a wait of around an hour, we pulled up the first pot. It was full of crab! At least 4 were legal size and went into the holding bin. This process was repeated until each pot had been dropped twice. We ended up with our limit of 36 good sized Dungeness crabs, plus many Red Rock crabs (Red Rock crabs are an invasive species, quite aggressive, are red in color and have a large claw considered extra tasty. Something like the Florida Rock Crabs….).

The next step was to clean the crab. In the store, you always find them whole, but it is much easier to do a simple clean and throw away the crab shell that would be thrown away anyway. Phil used a special device, like an upside down knife, to break the crab, save the edible parts, and throw away the rest. Later, at home, he brought a large pot of river water to boil and cooked the crab. Jack and Sylvia put up a table on their deck next to the river of their most beautiful house and we devoured several crabs each. Most delicious!

Categories: Friends, Traveling Tags: ,

Heceta Lighthouse Hike

June 30, 2019 2 comments

Well it’s been about 4 weeks since my heart work in Petoskey, and we were in a beautiful place with magnificent weather, and a known hike nearby so we went for it. Not too long, just about 3 miles, but a reasonable amount of elevation gain, equivalent to about 85 flights of stairs.

Found that I’m not as good as I used to be health wise but still able to enjoy a moderately difficult hike. Especially since the scenery was so beautiful, it doesn’t get much better than this. So yes, I’m hiking again, still enjoying it, just have to not overdo it. It’s almost as if we’re getting old…