Monday, October 31, 2016


I've really slacked off with the blogposts this past week, so sorry.

No pictures-who wants to see really flat pains nearly covered by oil wells, and associated equipment.

Big Springs Texas has a large refinery-which is sort of architecturally interesting but not beautiful.

Finally hit the green again!  And trees!

Spent part of a day with my Baylor college roomie, her husband and sister in Grand Prairie-lovely visit.  Gloria took me off to the library's book sale-I bought books!  Then we took Quinn off to a nice dog park, something she hadn't been able to do for a while.

Skipped driving though Dallas with Ceili by taking a state farm road out of Weatherford, it was a nice drive and brought me out almost at the Oklahoma state line.

Spent Friday night just outside of Oklahoma City at a really nice park, didn't unhook just got up the next morning and hit the highway again.  Usually, I'd go up Interstate highway 35 which turns into the Kansas Turnpike then into the southwest corner of the Kansas City metro.  This time I took the Oklahoma turnpike/Will Rogers turnpike into Missouri at Joplin and Interstate 49 North.  That one takes you into the Metro at the Interstate 470 loop east skipping a great deal of congestion!  Pulled into Oak Grove Missouri campground early enough that I got all set up before dark!

Yesterday was spent watching Kolby play soccer and catching up with the children.  I managed to sneak up on Brayden and Beth with hugs-Both big boys were glad to see me, it's really lovely when your children and grandchildren miss you!  Scott and Ryan came up from Columbia, Rob and Tanya make Baked potato soup for one and all.  It was great!

I missed apple season here but not the fall color!  Some trees have lost their leaves but the really pretty ones like hard maples have just begun to change! Grass is still mostly green.

I'm glad to be back!

Today, I have to start the process of finding a place to live!  First though I have to decided where and How I want to live!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


From the time we left El Paso until we changed to Interstate 20 from Interstate 10 there were mountains somewhere around us.

About 3 miles onto Interstate 20 and we were in the flat!

At least there is grass growing here.
I think Quinn thought we would never see it again!
Nothing to see for miles and miles.
Save for oil derricks, pumps and storage tanks.
Is it any wonder then that I was tired and cranky when we got settled here!

Today, I did boring but necessary things:
Got an oil change in the truck-the light can stay off now!
Visited a Quilt shop.
Hit Petco for Quinn's food.
Did some minor grocery shopping-more milk!
Then cleaned the trailer 
and the truck a bit.
Went to Taco Tuesday for dinner.
Filled the truck with gas for tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

El Paso, A you can't get there from here place

I spent part of the day shopping in El Paso, TX.  I bought some new Nikes at the Outlet Mall-finally I bought something at an outlet mall! My old tennis shoes had begun hurting my little toe on my right foot and my slip-on shoes were aggravating the nerve issues still affecting my left foot.  It is hoped that new shoes will help at least part of that!  I tried to buy some other shoes as well-some hiking boots, cowboy boots, and a couple other pair of boots-unfortunately I have a very high instep and I simply could not get them on my feet! So I was disappointed there.  I did get an outfit for Ryan at the Oshkosh outlet which I think will be very cute! Then I went to the grocery store.  In the process of doing all that shopping I discovered that El Paso is a "You can't get there from here" town!  I thought only San Diego had earned that title but I was oh so wrong! Spent as much time wandering about as I did shopping!  Once I found my way back to the campground it was with the heartfelt "I'm not leaving Ceili until we head out tomorrow!"

On other subjects.  I just finished the book: No Time On My Hands by Grace Snyder.  I highly recommend it.  Grace McChance Snyder was a Nebraska Quilter and an amazing woman! Inducted into both the United States Quilting Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Quilters Hall of Fame, two of her quilts appear in the book 100 Quilts of the 20th Century.  I loved the book even though I cried when I finished it!  (Which is still available from Amazon and other places-I got mine at Chimney Rock, NE) Google Grace and there are videos of her life and color photos of her quilts, you won't be sorry! (I tried to do links but I guess I'm just not good enough at that as none of them worked!)  Some of the quilts are at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, NE.  I think I saw one, but now I have to go back!  I am certain that I shall never be the quilter that Grace was.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

300 miles

Or something like 300 miles. 
 I was headed to El Paso, Texas.
I made it into Texas, exactly 1 mile into Texas!
I guess the campground is in Anthony.
Anyway, we left Tucson early for today's drive.
It's a good thing as we drove into the Mountain Time Zone and it was an hour later there! 

The road was very hilly for a while and there was actual grass
-not a lot but enough that a few cows were spotted.
Not far from Tucson we stopped at the Texas Canyon Rest Area.
Normally, I wouldn't stop so soon but there was something here to take photos of 
and a safe place to take them!

Pretty interesting rocks!

Mountains in the distance too!
There have been mountains in the distance nearly all day and on all sides.
Not really high mountains like Montana (I miss them) but a break from this:

Although there is a lot of vegetation here and in someplace it was quite barren.
I saw some areas of obviously planted TREES.
At first I thought citrus but they seemed too large.
There is never anyone to ask as you drive down the road!
Sometimes you get lucky though.
The last batch I saw had a truck parked at the end of the rows-The New Mexico Pecan Co!
Solved that one.
Then there were the dairy cows.
I know what a black and white Holstein looks like.
 I might not know a Guernsey or a Jersey but I know a Holstein!
There were hundreds of them hanging out in paddocks.
Must have been some big dairy operation but 
I was not lucky enough to spot a sign!

The last picture is of part of Organ Mountains National Monument behind Las Cruces, New Mexico.
This monument is in three parts which we drove right past!
That's Interstate 10 right down the center.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Today I visited The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures here in Tucson.  Lots of fine art miniatures and the Fairy Tree was super cute.  Also lots of manufactured things like Department 56 North Pole Village-Of which I have a few pieces.  I enjoyed it. I read the blog of Casey Rice  which is always fun thanks to Tessie and informative-lots of how to's.  She did a lot of restoration on doll houses etc for the museum.

After that I hunted down another quilt shop and a yarn shop, came away from both empty handed.  Which is fine.  Then I stopped off at a garden center, just for grins.  Almost came away with a kumquat tree though.

The big excitement for the day came when I got gas in the truck at QUIKTRIP!  First one I've seen since I left home!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Different Forest

Did you notice?  I got the Moon!

Quinn and I took a drive, part of it was a dirt road adventure!
We left our RV Park and headed west to Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.
The park is in two sections one on each side of Tucson.
It was a gorgeous drive up the Gates Pass road through Tucson Mountain County Park.
Lots of Saguaro along the way.
The Saguaro is the largest cactus in the U.S. Standing up to 30 feet tall.
On the way up I had the thought (I know strange-I had a thought!).
What I was looking at was a forest. 
A forest of Saguaro.
A forest where each "tree" was totally visible.
See what I mean?

The cactus grow clear up to the top of the mountains-check out the right hand edge of this photo and you'll see some standing against the sky.
Six species of rattlesnakes live in this forest!

This is how the arms start!

The tree in front of the saguaro is a Palo Verde, literally the Green Tree.
It has the greenest bark I have ever seen and tiny-I mean really tiny leaves!
It is the state tree of Arizona and acts as a nurse tree for saguaro cactus by creating shade.

The mountains in the distance. From our dirt road adventure.
The mountains here aren't really in ranges they just sort of Pop here and there!

This wasn't a really long trip and we started early as the daytime high temperatures here are still in the 90's.
So after dropping Quinn off at the trailer I visited a Quilt shop, of course!
Bought a few fat quarters then went to a yarn store where I finally found the needles I needed for the knitting project I bought in Dillon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Playing Catchup, Again!

I've been in San Diego, CA for 6 days with this girl and her parents!
We were busy, busy, busy!
So to catch up.
We spent three nights in Yerma, CA doing not much of anything.
I did go to the outlet mall but didn't buy a thing.
Always wonder why I bother, I'm not a Coach girl or any other big name brand for that matter.
Then we drove to San Diego.
That requires driving around Los Angeles, not through for which I am grateful as just driving around wasn't fun and I will not do it again.
Also, air quality was horrible and I'm sure I drove through smoke from a big fire!
I really can not imagine why anyone would live there!

To encapsulate the rest of the week:
we dined out, a lot!
Quinn and I went to the dog beach, twice.
 We would have gone more but there were high tide warnings.

She does love the sand.

That's her, the smallish one in the middle!  
She isn't fond of getting wet.
She got sideswiped by a wave once and there was sheer terror on her face!
The second time she willingly got her feet wet but mostly ran on shore while the other dogs ran in the water!

I walked on the beach with Steve, Candice, Nora and Tina after dark at La Jolla Shores.
I always try to make it down there.

Looking east.
We drove up to Julian for apple pie!  
Then back through the National Forest.
We took a little hike there! 
Part of which was on the Pacific Coast Trail.

I went clothes shopping with Candice as my personal shopper!
Yikes, I get sticker shock!
I did buy some new, dressier clothes though.
(I still need more though.)

Then yesterday we turned the truck to the EAST and began the long trek home. 
We went up and down mountains until we hit the flat.
Passed a National recreation site of golden sand dunes.
Hit the INS vehicle stop where we chatted with a nice young man from Washington, MO.
Drove through more boring scenery than I could name on worse roads.
Everything in Ceili was a disaster!

For the first time this trip I did not unhook the truck and we stayed only one night in Gila Bend, AZ

Both of these photos from our huge campground.

The desert is hard.
Evidence of that fact is very common.

Tonight we are in Tucson, AZ where we will stay for three nights and see some sights, take some photos, etc.

I can tell you I could never live here.
I would miss the green.
I already do.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Where am I now?

So, now that you been told all the fun stuff in Utah how about you hear what's happened since?
I left Cedar City, UT in the morning wearing a shirt and warm sweater as it was 30 degrees.  My hands took a long time getting warm from hooking up!  Hit the Interstate headed for Las Vegas, NV.
The only remarkable thing about that is the Virgin River Canyon which is actually in Arizona.
I think I might have mentioned, once or twice, my aversion to pulling the trailer in heavy wind.  There wasn't a big wind on moving day but there were all these signs about heavy crosswinds in the canyon-anticipation can be exhausting!  In Nevada there are mountains, all around.  Nearly bare of vegetation and only scrub in the valleys between.  One thing though, without vegetation the layers of sedimentary rock are quite visible and they are all at an angle from Tectonic plate shifts.
I really try to find things that are interesting but it's a challenge in the desert!

We arrive in Las Vegas in the early afternoon, our campground just to the south of Nellis Air Force base and the Thunderbirds are practicing which reminded me of Larry and all the open houses on the bases where he was stationed. One thing about being near an AF base is that it is really noisy during the day! But very quiet on the weekends and at night-one or two planes might land or take off but it you hear a lot of planes being scrambled you'd better get up and see what's happening! It was 80 degrees, we hadn't seen 80 degrees in a really long time!  Quinn is not happy!

I'm not a gambler-not opposed to it necessarily, I just find it boring-so the three days were spent finding dog parks (to run those little sheltie legs) and quilt shops.  The campground had a dog washing station so Quinn got a bath and a good brushing before we headed out on the next leg of the trip.

We left Las Vegas Sunday morning at 9:30am.  I got on the interstate and stayed in the right hand lane as I'm slower than the cars.  I never changed lanes but when we got out of Vegas I was in the far LEFT-HAND lane!  Traffic was horrible-all the way to Yerma, CA where we are parked now.  Nothing to do here except read, do laundry etc until we move to San Diego on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Parowan Gap

For our last outing in Utah we did something different.
We drove out into the flat (mostly) to Parowan Gap to see the petroglyphs.
The gap between the two sides at one point had a river running through it 
and was used by early peoples as a traveling aid.
As well as a meeting place - apparently much visiting between groups.

The rocks on the sides of the gap are covered with petroglyphs.
They have been documented and studied-it seems pretty extensively.
One person studied them as cryptology and felt that they were symbols for sign language
that a great many groups understood.
There are other petroglyphs that share the same markings in other areas, so that makes some sense. 

The markings here are thought to have been made by a farming group called the Fremonts
about 500AD.
Both modern day Utes and Hopis claim some relationship to the Fremonts.
Anyway, on to the Petroglyphs!

This is called the zipper.  
One scientist believes it to be an astrological symbol relating to the many Cairns found in the surrounding area.
Plus on the summer solstice the sun rises directly in the middle of the gap.
You can read much more detailed description here.

See the Alien under the round spot?
Personally, I think it looks like one of the Hopi Kachinas.

I took 57 photos at the gap-there were petroglyphs everywhere.

I don't know maybe we're all making too much of it and it was just bored children writing on the wall.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cedar Breaks

After we left Bryce Canyon we went back along Rte 12 to US 89.
Oh yeah, had lunch-fried chicken and cherry pie!
Turned left and drove up to Utah 143, or perhaps it was a county road who knows?
Many signs on this paved road about how it wasn't suitable for vehicles over a certain weight or length.
I don't really know how long or how much weight my truck carries but I was pretty sure they meant bigger than a pickup!
The one that would worry me the most was the "No snowplowing after dark" and one that left me feeling like they might not get around to plowing at all!
Happily, it was a beautiful day and no flakes fell from the sky!
We drove past beautiful mountain lakes, without a single waterfowl in sight.
Hum, guess they've all gone south for the winter.
Through wide meadows.
Beside Aspen grove.
Beside more of the Black Rock Desert.
Through a very large flock of sheep-on both sides of the road,
sometimes ON the road-wonder when they bring them down from the high country
Some cattle still up there as well.
Again you don't feel as if you are doing any real climbing
but in the back of your mind is still that very large hill you drove up!
Knowing at some point you really have to go down.
You turn into Cedar Breaks Monument and drive some more
without really seeing anything but trees.
Finally, there's a pull off.
And walking out you see what is called The Amphitheater.
Bowl shaped.

The two photos are of the amphitheater.
Then you go on to the Visitor's Center.
By this time I'd driven more miles than I wanted to think about,
was so tired I really didn't care
and still had that big hill to go down!

On the way down that hill I saw the breaks from the bottom!
No place to stop and take a picture-dang it!
I have on more than one occasion this trip wished for a Dash-Cam!
I see amazing things and don't have the opportunity to take pictures.

Finally, we arrived back in Cedar City.
Fell into bed about 8pm!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Bryce Canyon National Park

One of the lower rock formations and one of the few not quite red.

When you drive into Bryce Canyon Park you're just driving through a nice forest.
Some tree tunnels, pretty aspen
some meadows, some deer
 (including one who got my heart rate up by walking out onto the road in front of me!)
The road goes a bit twisty and does some up and down.
Occasionally, off to the left you see a lot of space.
In the end though you really have gone up!
Clear up to 9115 ft by the time you get to the Rainbow overlook at the end.

I'd been told by the folks at the campground that when I got to Bryce I should drive 
to the end of the road without stopping at any of the overlooks.
That way I wouldn't have to cross traffic as they were all on one side.
I didn't have that much traffic to worry about but I'm glad I did it that way.
Because, when you park at Rainbow overlook
and walk up the the edge
this is what you see!
(The next five photos are a right to left progression of what I saw.)

 The first time I saw the Grand Canyon
it took my breath away.
So did Bryce!
Bryce isn't quite as mystical as the Grand Canyon 
but you can see forever.
 I thought I could see part of the Grand Staircase at Escalante National Monument!

Can you see the road far off in the distance?
Of course, I stood there wondering where it went and if I'd need four wheel drive! 

Just so you know how far down is!

There are hiking trails, horse trails and a bike trail! 
I wish I could have seen these from the bottom as well as the top!

I'm of the opinion that it would require weeks (or longer) to really SEE 
this part of the country!
And a Jeep!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Red Canyon

I know I said I was going to do Bryce Canyon today but I'm still pondering which pictures to use!  I took quite a few!

Anyway, beginning where I left off yesterday.  Utah 14 ends at US 89 so, following the signs, we turned North and drove through a wide and pretty valley.  We never did come down from the mountain just hit a plateau.  Then you turn onto highway 12 towards Bryce Canyon.

Before you arrive at Bryce you pass through Red Canyon.  A part of Dixie National Forest and a Forest Service site.  The road also passed through three tunnels in the red rock.

The Forest Service has a nice Visitor's Center there (first Forest Service center I've seen but they likely have others.)  Quinn and I stretched our legs before Bryce.  I think I ditched my winter coat here!  It was cold!

 Also, I noticed a very nice paved bicycling/walking pathway along the road.  It went for MILES.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Driving East

Yesterday, Quinn and I got up early (for us) and headed east for Bryce Canyon National Park.
It was a long day.
I was very tired when we got back.
So no blog post.
There is so much to say about this trip that I'm going to divided it into three blogs over
the next three days.
Then I'll catch up on the rest of the happenings!

Into downtown Cedar City
turn left
go by the grade school 
head up the mountain!
Way up.
Stopped at one pull out
 to attempt cleaning the inside of the window so I could see!
This was the view.
Amazing, huh?
Looking south toward Zion National Park on the far right.
The informative signage said that Zion was about 80 miles away.
That big rock in the middle was 76 miles away.
You can see for a long way in the desert!
Remember that!

Once we reached the top of the mountain we drove most of the rest of the way
through wide meadows bordered with spruce and aspen trees.
This high the aspen had already lost their leaves
While in Cedar City they are just beginning to leave green behind.
Just before we got to Duck Creek
I began noticing large areas of ground that looked like it had been plowed.
As I went further along I realized that it looked like a lava flow.
When I got back I looked it up!
The Markagunt Plateau Volcano
You can read more about it here-
It covers about 800 sq miles of the Colorado Plateau region and is called the 
Black Rock Desert.

Speaking of the Colorado Plateau-
There are 22 National Parks and National Monuments on the Plateau.
5 National Parks are in Utah along with 3 National Monuments.
In Utah-I've been to 1 National park and 2 National Monuments.
On the Colorado Plateau I've been to 
4 National Parks and 2 National Monuments.
I have a ways to go before I see them all!

Tomorrow, will be all about Bryce Canyon National Park!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Onward through Utah!

When traveling North to South Utah is a big state!
I'm sure that lots of people would disagree but I thinks its ugly.  At least the part from Salt Lake to Cedar City.  I took all of these from a rest area -although what the State of Utah considers a rest area is in fact a paved lot next to a gas station, not even a place for Quinn to potty!

This the the Great Basin.  It goes West thorough Utah and Nevada and ends with the Sierras in California.  For trail travelers during the Gold Rush of the 1800's it is the most difficult stretch.  The trail follows the Humboldt River until it just disappears!  Then there is no water for a very long distance, heavy sand, no feed, tired animals and people.  This is one of the places the Donner party had difficulty and because of them the State of California sent out rescue parties each fall and eventually built places along the trail with feed, and water.

 Anyway the trip down was horrid!  First there was Salt Lake City to get through and even on a Sunday morning it was busy.  Then the wind picked up and blew us all about, making driving miserable.  I was so tired that when they handed me the credit card slip I didn't know what they wanted me to do with it!

Today, I hit the Quilt shop-came away empty handed - and Walmart, out of TP! Did the laundry (I still need to remake the bed, sigh), then Quinn and I took a walk along the river in the wind, again.

Tomorrow, we are going to Brice Canyon so I hope to have some better pictures!  I also hope it's pretty enough to begin to redeem Utah!