Sunday, September 30, 2007

9/29/07 A Whole Lotta Nothin'

It was practically a waste of a day as we didn't really accomplish much of anything. We didn't see anything of note, didn't fix anything, didn't go anywhere, we just "vegged" today and that's ok. Everyone needs a day to just laze around, watch TV, eat and relax. And that's what we did.

Friday, September 28, 2007

9/29/07 Windmills, Prairie Dogs & Buddy Holly

We had a busy day today, we checked out the local attractions in Lubbock, Texas.

First stop was Prairie Dog Town.

Prairie Dog Town was established in Mackenzie Park in the early 1930’s by Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy N. Clapp. It was started with four dogs and two burrows and was the first protected prairie dog colony of its kind. In 1935, the colony was moved to it’s current location when Mackenzie Park became a state park. For his contribution to Lubbock and prairie dogs, Mr. Clapp was named Mayor of Prairie Dog Town in perpetuity.

Within its first five years at its new location, Prairie Dog Town became world famous and a favorite tourist attraction with its own Goodwill Ambassador, Prairie Dog Pete. To this day, Prairie Dog Town still captures the imagination of visitors. Prairie Dog Town as the 5th most visited attraction in Lubbock by visitors from outside the city.
These little guys are so cute, its no wonder.

Some have even migrated to the driving range next door.

A prairie dog burrow....or a hole in the ground.

Next stop on our sightseeing excursion was the Buddy Holly museum.

Charles Hardin Holley better known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer, songwriter, and a pioneer of rock and roll. The change of spelling of "Holley" to "Holly" came about because of an error in a contract he was asked to sign, listing him as Buddy Holly, That spelling was then adopted for his professional career.
Buddy Holly is considered one of the most influential founding fathers of rock 'n roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Although his career was cut short, his work is considered among the finest in rock. His work and innovations were copied by his contemporaries and those who were to follow, including the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and had a major influence on popular music.

We went inside and watched a short movie about his life and then went through the museum. Photography was not allowed. On display was the guitar he used when he wrote Peggy Sue Got Married, among others. School papers and report cards (he was a good student), his Cub Scout uniform and pictures from his youth were also there for our viewing. Record contracts, old 45rpm records, letters and other musical instruments were also displayed. A timeline was on the walls giving all the details of his music career and the music of that time.

One glass enclosed display case held the glasses he wore the night he was killed in the plane crash with Richie Valenz and J. P. Richardson, "The Big Bopper". They were recovered at the crash scene. He was just 22 years old when he died.

Back out in the parking lot of the Buddy Holly Center we saw this HUGE thing in the not too far distance.

We had to check out what it was and found our way to the American Wind Power Center....a windmill park!

Windmills of all descriptions are found on the grounds of this 28-acre site, donated in 1993 by the City of Lubbock to document the unique history of the windmill and its effect on early pioneers. The Windmill Center tells the story of how the windmill settled the West, giving access to underground water on land where there were no rivers, streams, or lakes. Currently the museum features 30 exhibits outside and 75 windmills inside, including one of the first all metal windmills and an early example from the 1800s.

A close up of the one we saw from a distance.

A view from inside the Windmill Center. Windmills in all shapes and sizes.

Windmills on the grounds.

So that was our sightseeing day in Lubbock, Texas. Hope you enjoyed following along.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9/27/07 It's All About Maps

An easy day here in Texas. Bob got a haircut, made a trip to Home Depot and I did a whole lot of nothing. Well, that's not entirely true, I made reservations for us in Carlsbad, NM. We're going to stay at a KOA there and it is billed as one of the top ten KOA's in the country. We read the campground reviews on this campground and they are outstanding so we're looking for a pleasant stay.

We did get our States Map caught up to date by adding Kansas and Oklahoma.

Its really getting filled in isn't it?

One more map. This is a paper map of the states that Bob affixed to the inside of the basement door. He has drawn on the route we've taken since we left Delaware.

This week is the Lubbock County Fair so of course late afternoon thunderstorms are the order of the day. Today was no different. The sky as seen from our front yard.

That was pretty much our day. We got dinner out of the way and watched Survivor and first show of the new season for CSI.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring......

9/26/07 A Day for Maintenance

Woke to a beautiful day here in Wolfforth, Texas. Today will be a day to take care of things.

Bob went in search of a Ford dealership to get a slightly overdue oil change for the truck and I took take care of things here at home. Five loads of laundry later Bob returned with the truck full of clean oil and all washed and shiny.

I walked around the RV park today and took some pictures.

The entrance to our park. Look at that sky, I think a storm is coming in.

When we first pulled up to this park we noticed the Crosseyed Cricket Gift Shop was a part of it. Remember Crosseyed Cricket from our stay in Missouri? Crosseyed Cricket Canoe Company? Now I'm SURE a storm is coming in!

A picture of the pool....tiniest pool I have ever seen! Must fit all of four people at one time.

Our site number here is # 7....just like in Missouri. We like these power pedestals, nicest we've ever seen. Excuse the hoses and lines, we'll get those neatened up. Wouldn't it be something if the owners names are Dan and Barb?

In the late afternoon a storm came in as you can see by the pictures above. Weather warnings were a constant on the TV and skies were certainly threatening. The worst of the storm(s) were all around us, thank heaven! We did venture out to yet another Hundred Dollar Store, is there really any other store than Walmart? I'm beginning to wonder! This was a new store and one of the new GREEN Walmart's. The store wasn't busy at all because of the impending storm so we really got to see how the new green stores work. In the frozen food section the lights are not on in the freezer cases until you get close to one. A motion detector picks up movement and the lights come on. A good way to save energy, why keep them lit when no one is looking? Kudos to Walmart for doing their part in conserving energy!

We stocked up on food for the next five days and picked up a new cell phone charger for the truck. You guessed it, didn't get out for less than $100 on this trip!

By the time we got back from grocery shopping it was nearly eight, much too late to cook anything so we had a dinner of sandwiches and spent the rest of the evening researching campgrounds in New Mexico and sights that we want to see in this area.

A productive day to say the least.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

9/25/07 Palm Trees, Windmills and Farm Animals

Beautiful day today! We headed towards Lubbock, Texas. It was an easy drive today as we went less than 200 miles today. We called ahead to Mesa Verde RV Park in Wolfforth just 8 miles south of Lubbock to see if they had room for us. They did.

On the way we passed this little business that had a display outside. Made of what looked like metal were palm trees and farm animals.

They also sold windmills in all sizes. Small, medium and large.

We also passed another almost dry river bed. You can still see tiny little pools of water.

We made a pit stop at a little gas station/store and outside was this cactus. Our first cactus! The cactus has already bloomed, darnit, and whats left are the red "tuna", yep, tuna, just like the fish. The fella who was getting gas told me that the tuna are used for making jelly. Tuna jelly,,,,I don't think so!

So we made our way to the campground where we going to be staying for the next few days. We need to rest, to relax, to do laundry, to food shop, to get an oil change to WALK rather than ride.

After a quick spaghetti dinner we settled in for the night. We got out the tour books, maps and set up our computers to start planning our tour of New Mexico.

9/24/07 Another Nightmare Campground???

It was ten thirty before we finally got out of Enid. We were hoping to stay in the FamCamp at Altus Air Force Base in Altus, OK. Some military bases have campgrounds for active and retired personnel to use. Generally, they are much cheaper than a regular commercial campground.

A through the windshield view of what we saw as we drove down the road dragging our home behind us.

Mini mountains?

By mid-afternoon we thought we had better call Altus AFB to see if they had space available for us. Hmmm,,,no phone number, what to do, what to do. When you're on the road and need a phone number, call somebody back in Delaware and ask them to get a phone number off the Internet. So we called our friends Mickey and Cindy and told them what we needed. OK, they'll call us back with the info. I guess we were anxious and they weren't calling back fast enough so we called them again. No answer. Now what? I know, call KK, I know she's home. She was and said she would fire up her computer, get us a number and call us back. Well, as luck would have it they called back one right after the other with two different numbers. We called both numbers and kept getting moved around the base and finally got an answer that the FamCamp was full. The last lady we talked to recommended Friendship Inn. Now, I'm afraid that just doesn't sound like a campground to me and I was right. It was a motel but they had RV spaces. OK, that will work. So we find this place only to find that they have overhangs which are much to low for us to go under. I called the Inn and the lady explained that yes they did have RV spaces but they were 2 miles away from the Inn. Now that sounds better. So we parked and I went in to get the "key" and pay for the night. A reasonable $18.00. We were given directions to an Mobile Home Park which is being converted to an RV park. Being converted are the operative words here. So we finally find the place and are totally confused! Nothing is marked, no direction given as to where our "site" is. There are metal things sticking up out of the ground (tie down stakes for mobile homes) the hookup services are far apart so that we have to bring out extension cords which were packed away and one of the permanent residents came over to "help" us. He was a kind man and he wanted to help (and TALK) but put him with two tired people who want nothing more than to get set up so we can eat and get some rest, well, we just weren't the best company. He was so nice he even told us that he had wireless Internet and that if we wanted to try and see if we could get the signal we were welcome to sign on.

So we finally got set up.

Another traveling day down!

9/23/07 Hello Oklahoma!

Today we got to add yet another state to our States Visited Map. Today we made it to Oklahoma!
That's not a bad picture considering it came up on us quick. I grabbed the camera, pointed in the right direction, clicked the button and hoped for the best. All at 60 miles an hour. We just love our new camera!

Our goal today was to make to a town named Enid. This is what the road looked like as we traveled to this stop on our way to New Mexico.

We saw a lot of these!
This view sure beats one seen from the Interstate! This just went on for miles and miles.
They must need rain around here very badly. Look at this river. We passed over some with NO water in them, just dry river beds.
Another view from the road.
We finally made it to our campground for the night. We stayed in the High Point RV Park, right in the middle of Enid.
Now we ran into a first for us as far as campgrounds are concerned. We've never stayed in one that had one of these!

A working oil well! This was pumping for all its worth. To show you how close it was to our rig here's a picture of it again with the end of truck in the picture.

We sat outside and talked with a couple from Montana who are also on their way to New Mexico. It is a permanent move for them.

After dinner we turned in early as we decided not to stay here for any length of time. We checked the Internet and there just isn't anything to see in the area that is of interest to us.

9/22/07 Every RV'ers Nightmare

Got on the road this morning with hopes of traveling just 200 miles, we traveled 270, don't ask.

We stopped for fuel today and saw this gentlemen getting gas for his lawnmower. Now most people bring the little red gas can, he brought the whole mower!

It was shortly after getting fuel that we made the wrong turn. And that's all I'll say about that.

About a 45 minutes down the road we realized we were going the wrong way and turned around. On the way back to the right road we came across every RV'ers nightmare.
Somehow they managed to get the rig unhooked from the truck. I can't imagine trying to do that knowing the propane tanks have to blow sometime.

Thankfully, the owners of the rig got away unharmed. We can only hope they weren't full timers and all their worldly possessions weren't in the rig. It was a total loss.

After a half hour waiting for this to clear we were on our way again. Shortly thereafter we were on the road we were supposed to be on. The scenery got much better!
I don't remember the name of the town we were going through when we saw this. We've seen this before in Missouri but this town added one more. Hot, Cold and Warm!

Pretty soon we were out in the open range again.

Today was a trying day. We didn't get as an early start as we hoped, we made a wrong turn which made us drive 70 miles more than we wanted to, we got held up by the unfortunate RV fire, it was warm, we're tired, hungry, and we both just wanted out of the truck.

Not every day is a day in paradise,,,,,but then, wouldn't that be boring?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

9/21/07 Wide Open Prairies and Huge Pecans

We got on the road about eleven this morning as we were only traveling 181 miles today to Coffeeville, Kansas.
We've decided that two hundred miles or so a day is a good thing for us. Its an easy run and gives us a chance to stop and smell the flowers if we want to. We are traveling US highways rather than Interstates because we are much more comfortable at 55 miles an hour rather trying to keep up at 70 - 75. That's just no fun. And scenery is much better!
Today we found the largest pecan in world. At least that's how the owners, George and Elizabeth James, bill it. The James' have run their pecan farm on the outskirts of Brunswick, Missouri, for nearly 60 years. In 1982 they built a concrete replica of their patented Starking Hardy Giant pecan, a tasty strain discovered by George on the property in 1947. The pecan sits in front of the Nut Hut roadside stand, their home, and a couple of outbuildings. It weighs 12,000 pounds and is 7 x 12 feet.

This is our scenery as we travel down the road.
As we drove into Coffeeville we knew right away that something was wrong. All the businesses were closed and houses along the main thorofare had big circles spray painted on them with a July date and the word OK also spray painted on. Then we noticed the water marks. Halfway up each one story building were water lines showing how deep the water was. Did I think to take pictures of this....nooooo!

We weren't sure where the campground we wanted to stay was so we called them on the cell phone only to find out it had been in the July 07 flood and wasn't up and running yet. Buckeye Mobile Home Estates and RV Parking was recommended to us. We got a number and called to check availability and to get directions. We found it with no problem.

Now don't let the word Estates fool you! The RV parking was quickly thrown together when the other three RV parks were closed due to the flood. This area is situated behind a mobile home park. This is the view out of our kitchen window. Attractive isn't it? This is NOT a place Bob and I would usually pick to stay but when the next town is a good ways down the road, you don't have a clue where you are and its only for one night, well, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.
A view from the "yard".

Oh well, as I said, its only for one night.