Saturday, December 16, 2006

Delray Beach, Florida

Highlights of "Carpe Diem on the Road" Motor Home Trip
June 11 - October 19, 2006

Total Miles: 8647 driven by Norm

States Visited*: (16) Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana (+Fl) (*spent the night)

National Parks Visited: (10) Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Tetons, Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Zion, Carlsbad Caverns, Mesa Verde

National Monuments Visited: (5) Mt Rushmore, Monument Valley NavajoTribal Park, Dinosaur, Crazy Horse Monument, Navajo 4 Corners

State Parks Visited: (4) Custer, Pink Sand Dunes Utah, Steam Boat Lake State Park, Goose Neck State Park

International Festivals: Oshkosh Air Show Fly in and Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Ski Resorts: Steamboat Springs, Co, Telluride, Co, Jackson Hole, Wy

Family and Friends: Fl, Ky, WI, Co,Tx

Graham, Texas - The Stembridge Ranch

Our last stop was Graham, Texas, to visit good friends, Bob and Sharon Stembridge. They have a big Texas Ranch, and their place reminds me of the Bing Crosby song "Don't Fence Me in"
"Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don't fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don's fence me in"........
We parked out motor home right in their front yard! What a hoot!

Bob invited Norm to go shooting with him at the Graham Gun and Rifle Club Fall Tournament. Norm had a blast and enjoyed the day of shooting and good food. Norm won a trophy and took a lot of kidding, and Bob was accused of bringing in a Florida ringer. Bob and Sharon took us touring around the area, and here they are at the Possum Kingdom Lake and Dam.

A real Texas longhorn....(notice he smiled for the camera)

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - Oct 6-15,2006

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual event held every fall. This year featured over 7,000 hot air balloons from all over the world.
We were guests of our good friends from Albuquerque, Jerry and Kathy Millspaugh and the Alphine Lite Travel Club. Our guest accommodations put our Motor Home on the very front row. We were able to walk to all the events and enjoyed seeing the massive balloons flying right over our motor home.

We had to get up at 5 AM to walk over to see the early morning Mass Ascentions. It was a spectacular sight to see thousands of hot air ballons being blown up by all the crews.

The "special shapes" ballons were awesome, and we especially loved this one!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Acoma Pueblo and Mesa, NM

Acoma Pueblo sits on a mesa 370 feet above the desert floor. For almost 2,000 Sky City has served as the physical and spiritual homeland for the Acoma people. Sky City, NM, is the oldest continuously-inhabited community in North America.

As we toured the cultural center, I noticed this little Acoma girl playing quietly unaffected by the tour group.

Many of the Acoma Pueblo people live in Sky City or in nearby villages. Sky City has over 300 structures made of adobe (mud brick) and white sand stone.

The homes are owned by Acoma Pueblo females who pass them on to their youngest daughters.

While most of the Acoma people don't live at Sky City full time, they return for various special cultural occasions to celebrate at their ancestral homes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Telluride, CO

The fall foliage here in Colarado is spectacular. For folks from Florida, seeing golden Aspens and firey red maple trees is a real treat. When we arrived at the Dolores RV Park, Dolores, CO, the trees were green. Now we are walking through leaves... Yesterday with Jerry and Kathy we drove to Telluride. Although it is only 60 miles from Dolores, our trip was slow because of all the "photo opportunity" stops along the road. Every mile was more beautiful.
Golden aspens were glistening all along the highway.
We finally made it to Telluride, elev 8750 and toured the town and had a delicious lunch.
Instead of driving to this beautiful ski town, we took the free Gondola. In fact, the golden aspens were so stunning that we had to take a second ride to take more photos! Thank goodness for digital photography.

Jerry takes one more photo before we depart...

Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Our next stop was Mesa Verde National Park, which was created to preserve the dwelling sites of Ancestral Puebloans, both atop the mesa and in large alcoves in the walls of the deep sandstone canyons. The park includes more than 4,500 archeological sites. We had a wonderful day touring the cliff dwellings with our good friends, Jerry and Kathy Millspaugh from Albuquerque, NM.

Square Tower House Cliff Dwelling

Square Tower House

Norm and Jerry and Kathy, enjoying a ranger lecture at Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dweling in the park.

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde's largest Cliff Dwelling.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Las Vegas and Hoover Dam, Nevada

Well, here we are in Las Vegas, my first time in this "glitzy" "up-all-night" city. We stayed at the RV Park at Circus Circus right on the "strip"
We saw a couple of shows, walked the strip checking out the hotels and casinos. I took this photo from the top of the "Stratosphere"
On Sunday we drove to Hoover Dam, but because of a construction accident, we were not able to drive over it. So we did the next best thing, took a helicopter ride over the dam.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Here we are on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon....and YES, snow...Norm was like a kid.....

Although it is not apparent, the North Wall of the canyon rises a thousand feet higher than the South Rim. View on the North Rim at Bright Angel Point We attended an excellent "Park Ranger Talk" here at Walhalla Overlook. At this overlook you get a good view of the Colorado River. From the rim, the river looks puny, yet it averages 300 feet wide.

OK, this is far enough! I'm not stepping back any more!

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah

We are now in Kanab, Utah. Twelve miles from town lies Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Navajo sandstone has over time eroded to form coral colored sand dunes.

The sand dunes are a unique and interesting place to hike.... Norm started out first...
The summit.....
Time to relax and enjoy the 360 degree view

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

We are now at Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is best known for the beautiful and bizarre rock spires called “hoodoos.”
The Hoodoo pinnacles and odd-shaped rocks were left standing by the forces of erosion. This photo was taken at Sunset Point. “Thor’s hammer” at Sunset Point…. one of the more popular hoodoos

Pinyon pine and juniper grow among the hoodoos at low elevations, ponderosa pine forests dominate the plateau top, and spruce, fir and aspen thrive at the highest elevations.