Sunday, March 6, 2016

SPRING TREK 2016 Part 1: Albuquerque

Sunday, February 28, 2016
Baker City to Declo, Idaho
293 miles

            We pull out of Baker City just minutes before 1pm.  I got home from church at 12:40, so I thought that was a pretty good turn-around time!  (I was in charge of an ‘Ohana Activity after church!)  Our first stop is just an hour down the road – Dan Dominguez’s Citizenship Party in Ontario.  We park in front of Dan and Andi’s house and spend a short hour visiting and eating a bit of the potluck dinner items (Rick realizing he never really ate any lunch and not much breakfast!) 
            At 4pm (Mountain time zone now!) we depart and head east toward Declo and our planned stop for the night at Village of the Trees RV Park.  Smooth sailing with Rick driving until Mountain Home and we stop for much needed gas.  (A head wind had lowered our mpg to 8.5!! Ouch!)  I drove for the next 55 miles, pulling over in Wendell, ID because the glare of lights in the dusk hours was really bothering my eyes.  A quick stop for cheap gas at the Love’s in Heyburn before the final 5 miles into our RV Park.  We are guided to site A-7, conveniently located across from the bathhouse, and quickly get set up.  A little rusty, but we will rapidly remember the process! 
OK. I lied.  I did take one picture!  Oh my heirloom ducks gracing
the shelves of Andi's "Rubber Ducky" bathroom!
Highlight of the day was between Mountain Home and Jerome when the setting sun struck the hills an intense orange hue to the east of us.  The deep colors were amazing.  Great way to end the day’s light!  But did we think to take a picture?  No!
Smooth start to our travels.  We have nearly 300 miles behind us and will easily get through Salt Lake City tomorrow during mid-day.  No pictures….not even of Dan and Andi! 

Monday, February 29 (It’s Leap Day!)
Declo, ID to Moah, UT
410 Miles

            A breezy evening and night, but nothing major.  We just heard the roof of our little outcropping flapping off and on!  Up and on the road by 8am.  Rick picked up a ‘Hot Mama’ breakfast burrito and I a coffee as we left the park.  I drove the first shift, down to the Flying J in Willard (about 120 miles).  The mountains going over Sweetzer Pass were beautiful in the morning light, striped with the white of snow and the dark of soil.  We encountered snow alongside the road as we went over the 5,000’ pass, but no problems.  The road did seem wet in places so we wondered if a little of the predicted 50% light rain had come earlier. 
            Rick then drives us through the chaos of Salt Lake City.  I worked on some
needlepoint, so was well distracted!  It is never fun, but we didn’t encounter any major problems!  And 11 am in the morning isn’t a bad time!  The great lake seemed pretty full.  We also remarked that the views of mountains are much better from Ogden and Provo than SLC itself!  (Too many refineries there!)
            We stopped in Spanish Forks, intending to gas up at the Love’s as Gas Buddy said it was $1.58 a gallon.  We found a price of $1.65, so went across the street to the Chevron at $1.59.  However, the pump was broken and it took Rick quite some time working with the attendant to get some gas into the truck!  We hope we won’t be charged for all the times Rick swiped the card! 
OK Corral RV Park entrance.
            Up and over the summit at Helper and Price on route 6.  Snow was spotty on the north slopes, bare on the southern exposures.  All in all – a very brown and white landscape with the only color a few patches of willow reds and oranges.  In Wellington (just past Price), I took over driving again and took the very BORRRRING stretch down to I-70 and to the rest stop at the junction of US191 heading down to Moab.  So much brown this time of year.  For awhile the mountains in the distance we nice with a few splotches of white, but overall….ho hum!  I finally pulled over at the rest stop on top of the mesa and asked Rick to drive.  I was fighting the nods!  He took us the final 30 miles on two-lane down into Moab.
LaSal Mts. as we drop down into Moab. 
            I called Monticello and didn’t get an answer, so we couldn’t confirm that the RV park there was open and no dates were on the web site or in the book.  So, we stopped on the south end of Moab at OK Corral RV Park, one we haven’t tried before in Moab.  A little on the expensive side (most in Moab are!), but very nice.  I took a short walk after arrival back out the long
From our RV park site ... LaSal Mts. 
driveway to the cattle fields to the east (and the LaSalle Mts.) and back toward the ridgeline of rimrock behind the trailer to the west.  A pretty setting. 
            We are debating which way to go to Randy’s tomorrow …. The short way through Farmington and across US 550 OR the longer scenic, but potentially snowier route, through Durango and Pagosa and south.  The decision will probably get made when we get to Cortez! 
            Quiet evening and early to bed!!  Temps are relatively mild, but cooling down! 
Across valley floor from RV park - mansion on hill!

LaSal range south of Moab - from RV park

Tuesday, March 1
Moab to Edgewood (Randy’s house)
400 miles

Morning sun on the rim rock
        A beautiful morning in Moab!  The sun is bright on the orange rimrock above us.  It is BRISK outside, hovering around freezing.  Always makes the foldup and closeup exciting.  Everything is stiff!  We stop for a coffee and hit the road right at 8am.  Rick drives first so I can take pictures enroute to Cortez!  Not that I need too many….I have lost track of the number of times we have traveled this road! 
You gotta love the layers of this area!
            And once again, it is beautiful!  Especially all the views to the east of the LaSal Mts AND the snowy peaks of the mountains behind Monticello. We did get a surprise north of Monticello...where did this 27 count wind farm come from?  All up the flanks of the Blue Mts behind town!  
Taking a peek into Colorado! 
            We can see clear across to the snowcapped summits around Telluride in Colorado.  Somewhere between Monticello and Cortez, I realized that while we didn’t want to go clear to Pagosa Springs (a longer trek), we could still avoid Farmington and Shiprock by driving over to Durango and dropping down US 550 to Aztec and Bloomfield that way.  A GREAT choice!! 
The mesa that marks the entrance to Mesa
Verde National Park
            The views of the entrance to Mesa Verde and the mountains between the two towns are awesome – plenty of snow AND clearings.  So much better than Shiprock area!!  And this route only adds a measly 3 miles to the total!! 
Between Cortez and Durango
I guess the sign gives our
location just fine!  
        We stop in Bloomfield for gas and about 10 miles past town Rick stops at the top of the mesa and we grab a bite to eat!  And THEN I finally take over the wheel.  While Route 550 isn’t an interstate, it is four lane for the entire 150 miles to Bernalillo!  My kind of road!  High sagebrush mesas, then plenty of rimrock, strata, and hoodoos.  We cross the Continental Divide at 7380’ about 10 miles before Cuba. 
Rock formations near Cuba and Continental Divide
         A stop at the Home Depot in Bernalillo to switch drivers (and a potty break) and Rick takes us the final 45 minutes through Albuquerque and out east to Randy’s place in Edgewood.  Trailer all set up and then we head back into ‘town’ the 4 miles to pick up pizzas at Dominos, gas and beer at Smiths! 
            We find Ryan, Reg, Patty, and Jax at the house.  Ryan and Jax are sick…potentially the flu.  That worries us!  Oh well, we bid good evening relatively early and head out to the trailer to unwind and be ready to head into Mom’s early in the morning.  She has dental appointments and a carpet cleaner coming to the apartment. 

            I did find that Randy has changed his router password, so Ryan helps me get the new one into my phone and eventually into Rick’s Kindle and the laptop.  We are all set to be ‘squatters’ for the week next to their garage.  (Electric, but no water!  :) )

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Time with Mom Doris

Sunrise as I walk into Randy's house in am.  
            Up and into the house around 6:30 to make use of Randy’s internet.  I discovered last night that I couldn’t connect in the trailer – too far from the house.  So after catching up with a few things, I made some phone calls to Mom and Midge! 
            Around 8:30 Rick and I took off for Albuquerque.  We spent the morning moving Mom’s furniture, taking her to the dentist (my job) and Rick staying to host the carpet cleaner’s arrival and work.  By noon we were all done with our jobs and heading to Wendy’s for lunch!  Mom had coupons for us to use! 
            After Wendy’s, we head over to Walmart for shopping time.  We picked up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Got Mom’s furniture all moved back in place and after dinner Rick and I headed back out to Randy’s.  A brief visit with Reg, Patty, and Jax, and then out to the trailer for the night.  

Thursday, March 3, 2016
A Quiet Day….

I see this picture on a crochet
pattern in JoAnn's and think it
looks like Luke...needs red beard!
My first cup cozie attempt!
            A calm morning.  I am up at 6:30 to chat briefly with Patty before she leaves for work.  Reg and Jax are gone to Dom’s house for the weekend.  Rick gets up and takes a walk.  Eventually, around 9:45am, we head into town.  Our accomplishments today?  Not much!  But….Rick did get his on-line application done for Medicare, we picked up some forgotten items at Walmart, I go to Jo-Ann’s, and we flip Mom’s bed mattress!  Whew!  I also learned to half double crochet and made a coffee cup ‘cozy’ for the church!  We had ham loaf for dinner plus razzleberry pie before driving back out to Edgewood and a short visit with Patty before turning in.  Like I said, a pretty laid back day!  

Friday, March 4 – Saturday, March 5
Shopping Sprees!! 
Our cozy little spot nestled next to Randy's shop.  
            Two days of taking Mom shopping!  Good Feet for new insoles and shoes (quality and expensive ones, but hopefully will help her feet feel better!), Barnes & Noble to get her Nook fixed, lunch out at Panera Bread, then a return to Good Feet for a different pair of shoes, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, Lowes, etc.  We had a list and found it frustrating to find certain items among the wealth of available shopping!  Oh well.  Saturday night we topped it off with a visit to the Chinese restaurant! 

            Friday morning we both took walks out in Edgewood before leaving for Mom's, Rick a little longer than my 1 mile +.  A beautiful morning filled with the sounds of birds, gentle breezes, and barking dogs!  

3.6.16 Sunday
Church Plus! 
            I have been getting up around 6:15 every day and really appreciate Randy’s quiet basement to retreat, do my exercises on a warm carpet, and then get on the internet, draw, etc. for awhile.  But today we have to pick up the pace a little since we are due at Mom’s by 9am!  Worship is early!
I-Hop lunch time photo
            Had several good wind storms during the night.  Really rocked things a little and some rain fell.  Rick got up to close vents, but otherwise we were snug! 
            Enroute to town the mountains are awashed in dark clouds dripping rain.  But then, as we pass through a small valley, a rainbow greets us.  I find this so appropriate as we are enroute to what I call the ‘Rainbow Church’ and I am wearing my rainbow socks because my feet were cold!  (With sandals, so they show!)  Covenant is the rainbow church because the choir stoles are rainbows, the cloth banner in the front is made from rainbow colors, and they are very inclusive!! 

Ran and Patty at IHop

            A good service on The Trinity, including a short Pixar video clip which was kinda fun.  Communion.  We are done shortly before eleven, but Ran and Patty haven’t left for town yet, so we head back to Mom’s for an hour until we get the call to meet at I-Hop for brunch!! 
            The five of us enjoy over two hours of good food and conversation.  Thankfully our waiter didn’t press us to leave (there were tables available) and we could just sit and visit. 
My inuk silhouette. 
            Rick and I took a tired Mom home and we left town around 5:45 to get back out to Randy’s in time for a walk before the sun completely set.  As such, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the mountains – more a reflective glow, but still pretty.  I tried to build an inuk from the rocks Randy has along his driveway, but I couldn’t get it placed in front of the sun.   
            Inside to visit for abit and then out to our trailer for the rest of the evening. 

Randy's place in the setting sun light.
Sunset Glow in the clouds
Trying to get inuk and setting sun, but....  doesn't it look like a face is peeking
over the shoulder??
South Mt. (tip of the Rockies) just north of Randy. 
3.7.16 Monday
Mom to Doctor/Chill Time!  
May have left early, but I was still up in time to catch
the sunrise!  
      We are up and moving faster this morning as Mom has to be at a doctor near downtown by 9am for her osteoporosis infusion.  We leave at 7:45 to a STRONG westernly headwind driving into town!  (Wind came back up during the middle of the night.) 
I found daffodils in bloom out by the
            We get into town at 8:30 and Rick takes off with Mom for the downtown medical center where she will get her infusion.  Armed with a pot of coffee, I work at the computer for nearly two hours and then take off for Dollar Tree and Walmart, a short walk from the apartments.  Even try on a few bathing suits – a futile effort!  Made phone calls to Liz and Margaret, and talked briefly with Marg, but she was watching Matty at Quilters, so we didn’t talk long!  I managed to get back into the building fairly easily.  Talked with Luke as we went over the mail.  Rick and Mom got back around 12:45. 
Trying on Grandpa's shoes
            Rick and I left around 3 to return the unusable toilet rails from Lowes and then check out another hardware store on Juan Tabo before heading out to Edgewood.  Arrive just minutes before Regan and Jax, who was just minutes ahead of Patty! 
Story time with Uncle Rick
Opening birthday present....
a couple months early!
            We cooked up some lasagna from the freezer, I fixed garlic bread and salad.  Took in Jax’s birthday present while he eventually unwrapped.  He was feeling MUCH better tonight and all over the place!  Excited to have his grandpa home!  Finally got a few pictures of the little guy who will be two in May.  

            Back out to trailer around 8pm.  Big day tomorrow… .laundry!!   Had a good birthday phone call with Liz.  

Reg just sits and watches her son!!  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Laundry and More!
            A good lazy (?) morning as Rick takes a walk and then we do laundry.  Jaxon and Regan entertain us with good PBS TV and conversation!  Hence, we don’t arrive at Mom’s until after noon! 
            It is supposed to rain today at some point, and the skies in the city are dark and ominous, I don’t think it ever really rains!  Temperatures definitely dropped, however, as it was 43 in the trailer when we got back out to Edgewood tonight! 
            Lunch/dinner out at Souper! Salads! around 1:30pm.  Nice, but I think Sweet Tomatoes in Tucson is overall better.  We ate like it was our only meal of the day, which it somewhat was!  Back to the apartment for Mom and I while Rick ran the car down to the carwash and got the works for it!  I worked on a potholder for Patty – somewhat to remember how to make one and somewhat to resupply her drawer of potholders which looked forelorn.  Talked with Katy out on the deck for awhile! 

            Back out to Edgewood around 7:30 and time with Jaxon, Randy, and Patty until about 9 when Reg got home and we headed out to the trailer.  Said our goodbyes as we will head out in the morning without seeing most of them.  Both Rick and I showered so we wouldn’t have to go inside in the morning.  

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