Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another Day in Chama!

We are having a quiet day here today. Yesterday afternoon was a rainy and stormy one but no big problem, just thunder/lightening/heavy bursts of rain. We had a dialysis session and hoped that the power would not cut out part way through the session, and it held just fine.

Good news to report...Bill, one of the owners here at the RV park, returned home from the hospital yesterday! We are all glad for his recovery and it was good to see him this morning.

The day before yesterday we spent the day in Alamosa, CO. No exciting details to report for the trip, just a nice day and we got some needed shopping done. On the way back, we passed by the Trujillo Meadows entrance. Just last week, when BIL Jim was with us we had tried to go past this point and the whole area was covered in fairly deep snow. What a difference a week makes! The snow run-off streams are still running, but I suspect they will soon dwindle, as will the roaring Rio Chama. At this point it is running swiftly and high.

BTW....we did book a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec train for our 40th wedding anniversary on June 6. We wanted to do something special on that day and it seemed like the perfect thing while we are here in Chama. We will ride the bus up to Antonito, CO (the eastern terminus for the railroad) and then ride the train back to Chama. This way we can see everything from a different angle than when we were train-chasing. I'll be sure to post photos from that trip here!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bill/Mollie and Tom

I have some good news and bad news to report! The bad news is that Bill, one of the owners of our favorite park, was hauled off to the nearest hospital following an attack of acute appendicitis. They, when operating, they found that that he had a leaking, gangrenous appendix and, thus, is confined to the hospital until at least Saturday. Everyone, including Julia and her father and mother, and his brothers who are arriving this weekend for the Memorial weekend, are working to make his absence less noticeable around the RV park. Tom, who loves Mollie, their dog, decided that he could help by exercising Mollie with a golf club and tennis ball in Bill's absence. So, they played together for well over an hour this afternoon. I don't know about Mollie, but Tom is still "napping" after his romp with her and the tennis ball in this high (almost 8,000 feet)! altitude!

Weather is still good, all temp variations considered. The wind has subsided, somewhat, so we are happy about that. We explored some, but will do more tomorrow, stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Snow in the Mountains

Tom's brother, Jim, has arrived safely back home yesterday. Here is one of the photos we took while exploring the snowy mountains near here. The Spring run-off is exciting to see. Where, last summer, there were no streams exist now many streams...some quiet and some roaring with whitewater. We went as far up the mountain as we could in our 4WD vehicle and then could go no further as the road was covered with ice and snow. On our way down the mountain, we found this stream with the snow drifts covering part of it. I discovered, to my chagrin, that the stream ran underneath the snow and when I tromped over the drift to get the perfect angle for the photo my leg sunk straight down in to the water! Who knew?! Anyway, I got my camera dried off first, before worrying about my wet pants leg and all was well.

More to come....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

As we did last summer, we took Jim on a train-chasing jaunt this morning, the first train run of the season. We had great weather, great fun, and it was such a lovely experience to be doing this again.

This is the steam engine for the railroad and it is truly spectacular when it leaves the station, belching black smoke and steam. This shot was taken near the tracks on its first crossing over the highway.

This is the train coming toward us through the aspen groves. Jim was standing ahead of me, taking photos, and I caught him also.

As many times as we went past this point on the highway last year, neither Tom nor I noticed this additional trestle. So, we made sure we caught the train going over this today. Cool, huh?

I have taken so many photos, and of course, will no doubt take many more so stay tuned for new adventures. Don't give up on me if you don't hear from me here for a few many things to see and so little time!

We're still here!

Despite my lack of blog posts for awhile, we are still in Chama, still plan on being here for a month, and are just trying to relax after our hectic trip here and enjoy ourselves. Tom's brother, Jim, drove up to spend some time with us and we have been revisiting some of our favorite jaunts from last summer with him.

Our favorite RV park, ever, is Sky Mountain RV Park in Chama, NM. We found it to be as wonderful this time as last time, with the same great people who own and operate the park. As she did last year, the owner allows (and encourages!) me to sell jewelry out of her office display case so I was more prepared this year and brought display pieces and more jewelry. So far, so good, I have sold one necklace!

We are parked beside the park boundary, which is next to a long meadow. In this meadow, last year, the campers photographed elk, foxes and numerous other wildlife. So far, we have only seen birds and cows, but we are hoping to see at least some deer, if not elk.

Just outside of our dinette window is a fir tree. Tom saw this yellow bird and alerted me to get my camera. He (?) stayed in this tree, hopping from limb to limb for quite awhile. Not being a bird person, I have to admit to not knowing what the species is, but it was sure a cutie and such a bright yellow. We've seen it return to the tree several times, so have enjoyed the added color. We have seen Canadian Geese, magpies, crows, red robins, etc. so far. Beyond that I don't know what I am looking at, but will try to find out. If anyone reading this knows what the yellow bird is I would appreciate learning its name.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trip So Far

We are finally in Deming, NM, where we had planned on being Thursday evening. However, about 30 miles outside of Willcox, AZ, we blew the right inside (dualies)tire, which tore up a lot of plumbing, propane lines, vents, wiring, water lines, etc. above it. So, we spent almost three hours alongside I-10, one waiting for the tow truck driver and another two waiting while he disentangled the tires from the snarls of pipe, wiring and exploded tire and then wrestled the tires off to change the inside one.

While I was waiting, I got out my handy Motorola Droid phone, got on the Internet and googled RV repair places near us (using the GPS built in to the phone). I am absolutely thrilled with this phone! One, Dick's Tire and Auto, stood out among the rest with glowing reviews from satisfied customers. So, after we had the spare tire on we went back to Willcox, going to an RV park recommended by our nice tow truck driver. It was as he suggested, a very nice park to be in after our tumultuous afternoon. Early the next morning we went to Dick's Tire and Auto and they said they could fix the damage and replace our tires. We had planned on getting new tires soon anyway, so told him to go for it. The owners of this shop were absolutely wonderful people, and to a person all of the mechanics bent over backwards to make us feel safe and comfortable. The explosion of the tire had bent the steel frame that surrounds the water heater and the damage was so bad that Jake, our mechanic there, had to cut the whole thing out and fabricate a metal box for the water heater. Now, it is surrounded by thick steel should this ever happen again! He worked so hard on our motorhome, and finally got it all repaired and put back together mid-afternoon yesterday and we got back on the road and headed for Deming. No new problems ensued, and we had a very happy, happy hour since we were making progress at last.

It was an expensive occurrence, but we feel fortunate to not have had many mechanical problems in all the thousands of miles we have traveled. Plus, we did not get injured as can happen when a tire blows and causes you to lose control of the vehicle. I was driving when it happened and was able to lift off the gas and coast over to the side of the road. Standing alongside I-10 for that long, with all the 18-wheelers whizzing past so close was not fun! But, most of them were courteous enough to pull into the other lane when they saw us so we had no difficulties in that way.

So, tomorrow we hopefully will arrive in Chama and park the motorhome for a month! Then, we will explore and re-explore in all directions from there. Photos to follow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stay Tuned!

We are almost packed for our month long trip to Chama, NM. I will be turning this blog into a traveblog once again, so stay tuned for photos and posts about our adventures. Hopefully I can sneak in a painting or two while there. I am bringing a few art supplies and lots of jewelry-making supplies so will be busy, anyway!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Giant Argentinian - WIP

As promised back in March or April, I wanted to paint this cactus that is so prevalent in our community. I decided it spoke to me in Yupo-ese and decided that was the ground I would use. After three sessions at the Art Club working on this, here is my first submission of a WIP. I have changed my mind of how to do this 3-4 times already, and there are probably that many indecisive moments to come with this one. But, that is the beauty of Yupo, one can change one's mind on a whim and re-do it. That is why this is the first WIP I have shown you after three, three-hours sessions working on it!

But, I am liking this iteration best of all, so maybe I am on the right track? At any rate, we are preparing for a month long trip back to Chama, so this might just have to marinate on my home easel until we get back. Since it is a full sheet size (Watercolor Paper sizes, any suggestions would be appreciated, although I realize it is early days yet. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Death Valley Slideshow

I chose just a "few" of the many photos I took in Death Valley and made a slideshow. If you would like to see these, please click here.