The easy life!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My location:  Home

Amazing how quickly Yuma and I fall into the normal rhythms of home life.  I have the MH parked in the driveway and Dolly and I have been slowly removing the personal belongings.

After eating a number of little white donuts and two cups of coffee, I decided to sit down and put a few facts together of my trip.

For those interested, below are my expenses for the three months (90) days, and 4460 miles I traveled this winter.  I am not a full-timer, so it does not include expenses I pay all year such as insurance and RV payments

 

Winter 2016/17 Southwestern Trip

Bills January February March

Gas - Motor home

$604

$199

$646

Maintenance - MH

$84

$10

$0

Tolls

$39

$0 $22

Gas - Jeep

$134 $176 $125

Maintenance - Jeep

$15 $0 $0

Camp fees

$20 $0 $0

Food - Dining out

$19 $8 $0

Food - Groceries

$149 $240 $198

Laundry

$5 $6 $8

Dump & Water

$10 $19 $44

Propane

$96 $32 $12

Miscellaneous

$29 $25 $0

Entertainment

$13 $0 $0
Total $1214 $720 $1054

I didn’t shave or get a haircut during the entire trip.  On the left is my beard growth when I started and on the right when I got home.

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As you can see Yuma is happily at home in his Dad’s lap while I work on the computer.

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I won’t be writing posts each day, but I do plan to let my readers know how things are going throughout the remainder of the year.  I do appreciate all those that read my blog this past winter.  It was a fun time and I hope I was able to give my readers a light and fun look into the adventures Yuma and I had.

Got to get ready to watch Survivor!

See you later.

Made it Home!

Monday, March 27, 2017

My location:  Home!

Slept pretty good last night.  My location on the north side of Walmart was nice and quiet.  Had a few rain showers, but no wind and it was warm enough to leave the window behind my bed open.

Got up at 7:00 and put coffee on and started reading blogs and eating little white donuts for awhile.  By the time I was ready to get on the road, it was 9:00.  Have 325 miles to cover today, so better get going.  Told Dolly I would be pulling in around 3 o’clock.

The roads were great, but it either rained or drizzled most of the day. 

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When I saw the sign saying Fort Leonard Wood,  it brought back old memories.  I was 22,  just graduated in August of 1967 from college, and I was drafted by the U.S. Army.  Two months after graduation, Dolly drove me to  Kansas City to be inducted and they put me on a bus that very day and drove me to Fort Leonard Wood for basic training. 

Those six weeks were eye opening and definitely memorable.  I was four years older than most of the draftees, so I was able to view things a little differently than the 18 year olds fresh out of high school.  Oh, the good ole days!

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The Ozark hills around this area are beautiful, even on a cloudy day.

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As I closed in on St. Louis, the rain and fog made driving difficult to see.

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For that reason, I made a last minute decision to take I-270, the bypass around the west side of the city.  First time I’ve done this.  About 20 miles further, but I’m not in a hurry and just had a bad feeling about driving through St. Louis in rain and fog.

Crossing the Mississippi River North of St. Louis.

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As I promised, I pulled into our driveway around 3 o’clock.  It feels great to finally be home from my three month Southwest journey and have our family whole once more.

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Yuma doing one of his high jumps in excitement at seeing his Mom and Fergie looking over at me with anxious eyes.  Yes, it’s good to be home.

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See you later.

Lebanon, Missouri

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My location:  Lebanon, Missouri – Walmart parking lot

It was a nice place I stayed last night.  Quiet, but I couldn’t sleep.  Guess, I’m just ready to get home.  Got up at 5:30 and watched the Sun come up while I cleaned up the kitchen area and cleaned all the dishes, then sat down and read blogs while I ate little white donuts and drank coffee. 

I was just thinking.  I left home on December 27th and today is March 26th.   Three months on the road and I stayed only one night at an RV park.  Not bad.  That’s a lot of boondocking.

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I was so tired last night by the time I finished my blog for the evening, I didn’t fix dinner, so this morning, I made up for it.  Three pieces of bacon, two fried eggs and a buttered bagel.  Washed that down with milk.  Then I finished up with half a grapefruit, a breakfast bar and a glass of OJ.  Ready to hit the road at 9 o’clock.

I drove 360 miles today and got into Lebanon around 4 o’clock.  I finally get to my destination early, and have nothing to blog about.  It was just a nice day with no wind and slightly overcast skies.  Perfect day for driving.

Rest area on I-44 toll road.  The roads today were great.  The toll fee from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Joplin, Missouri is $22.

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It is Spring in Missouri with the green grass and budding trees.

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I’m parked on the North side of Walmart across from the Auto Center.  Going to be  a nice quiet evening here.

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See you later.

El Reno, Oklahoma

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My location:  El Reno, Oklahoma – Walmart parking lot

I had the best sleep last night at the Love’s Truck Stop.  I must have been tired, because I never heard a thing till I woke at 6:30 ready to get up. 

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Spent a couple of hours on my breakfast, reading blogs and then we were off at 8:30, heading East on I-40 again.  My plans are to drive to Oklahoma City, 350 miles from here.

Much better day than yesterday.  It is warm with bright sunshine and no WIND!  

It’s flat in Eastern New Mexico.

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Only 15 miles to the New Mexico border and we’re in the Texas panhandle.

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Flat lands and mesas in Texas.  And, oh yes, wind mill farms.

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The drive was mostly mundane until I got about five mile West of Amarillo, Texas.  I knew there was something I wanted to see, just wasn’t sure where it was.

Back in 2007, I stopped at Cadillac Ranch and I wanted to make a ten year reunion visit, so I was looking for it.  There are no signs.  You have to look for cars parked in a field just off the interstate.   I saw them, so I knew it was at the right place.   Why else would cars park in the middle of nowhere.

When I saw it, I drove to the next exit where the Cadillac RV is located and stopped there to take a few photos.

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Then I drove back west on old Route 66 about a mile and there they were.  Ten Cadillacs sticking up out in a corn field!

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Kids were painting graffiti on the pavement of Route 66.

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Can I have a spray paint can, Daddy?  I’ll put Yuma and Doug on Route 66.

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The painted gate into the corn field.

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These cars have been painted over a million times over the years.

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Yuma is a big hit wherever he goes.  All the kids wanted his photo and autograph!

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Kids bringing boxes of paint cans.  This is a regular party!

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That was fun.  A few years ago when I passed this way, I missed them thinking they were on the East side of Amarillo.  Have to do it again in 2027.

See these large crosses everywhere I travel.  Never have stopped to find out why they are there.  Don’t see leaning towers everywhere though.

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Just another pretty ranch in Texas.

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Must have missed the sign to Oklahoma, but about 50 miles in, I was tired of waiting for a rest stop, so we pulled off the interstate and stopped at this abandoned gas station and had our lunch. 

While eating, a highway patrol car came up the ramp, sirens and lights going and went over the bridge and back down the ramp and back on the Interstate heading east with his engine roaring.  Thought to myself, he’ll never catch that speeder.  He has too much of a head start.  If, he does, may see them down the road.

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I don’t know what kind of vehicle this is, but it was sitting at the abandoned gas station.

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Soon, we were back on I-40 with 75 miles to go.  Be resting at a OKC Walmart by 4:30 Central Time.  NOT TO BE!

We didn’t make it ten miles before I had to slam on the brakes.  There was a line of trucks and cars in front of me coming to a full stop.  Now, I know why the siren.  Accident ahead.  It must be a bad one, because emergency vehicles and trucks with lights and sirens were heading the other direction at a fast clip.

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When I got out of the RV to take photos of the line, I took the following one looking back with my zoom.  It wasn’t till I was editing this evening that I saw there was an accident behind us when someone couldn’t stop in time.  So we have one in front of us somewhere and one behind us too.  This will surely make the news.

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We moved along at a very slow stop and go clip for about an hour.   I finally left the line of cars and trucks at the first exit we came to, so I never did see what happened up front.  Took a few soothing pics as we slowly creeped along.

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Sooo!  We have a change in plans.  It’s almost 6 o’clock and time to get off the road.  It’s been a long day!  Instead of staying at a Walmart in OKC, I am staying at a Walmart in El Reno, Oklahoma.  Kind of ironic.  Bill and Patsy of Chillin’ with Patsy are staying at the Lucky Star Casino just up hwy 81 about six miles from here.

The site I have here at the Walmart is just beautiful.  I’m at the back of it next to some trees with a large field to the west of me.  I will sleep good tonight!

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See you later.

Tucumcari, New Mexico

Friday, March 24, 2017

My location:  Tucumcari, New Mexico – Love’s Truck Stop

(Continued from yesterday)

As I slipped into Chloride, New Mexico, I started taking photos.  I could tell immediately the Chloride community took pride in their little town and had remodeled many of the original old mining homes and buildings.

I parked right across from the Pioneer Store and museum and walked through the town.  Not very big.  Has one main street and that is dirt.   The town has the look and feel of an old western town you see in the cowboy movies.  Even has the rails to tie your horse.  Most of the buildings are open for business, but probably not much business.

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This sign refers to the building below it.

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This is the sign hanging in front of the building above.

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As I entered Chloride, I noticed a sign to my right for the town’s cemetery.  As I was leaving,  I drove up the dirt road to see it.  The road was so steep going up the hill, I had to put the Jeep in four wheel drive.   Wonder how they have funeral processions.

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There were fairly new residents, but many were very old.  The stones were hand carved on some of them and some were just wooden crosses.  Looks like they leave the grounds in their natural state.

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This is the view as I looked East towards the Caballo Mountains.  They bury their dead high up on a hill overlooking the whole area.

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This house was right in front of me as I turned the first curve leaving Chloride.  Very nice and colorful home.

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Heading home, I should have known the weather was going to get bad.  The wind had picked up and there was dust everywhere.  As we were leaving the hills, it was spitting wet snow.

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Sam Mateo Peak was giving me a warning the weather is changing in his mountains.  I got back to the RV around 5 o’clock and the temperature was dropping like a rock.  Yesterday, I had the AC on and tonight I will need to turn on the furnace.  Weather changes fast!

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---------------This is today’s post ---------------------

The wind became fierce in the little valley in the mountains where I parked the RV.  Went to bed hoping that the wind would die down soon.  But, that was not to be.  By 2 A.M., I wanted to get out of bed and hook the Jeep and get out of there, but the wind was so bad, I was afraid I would hurt myself in the dark, so I waited till first light.  The sustained howling wind must have been in the 30’s or 40’s and the gusts might have hit 70 mph.  Needless to say, Yuma and I didn’t get any sleep last night.

At 5:30, I put on all my warm clothes and braved the howling winds and got everything hooked up and the inside packed and we were heading down the mountainside by 6:30.  The wind was better in the desert, but it was still bad.

I didn’t stop until I hit the first rest area East of Albuquerque around 1 o’clock.   The wind was coming out of the West as I was driving North on I-25.   I was buffeted the whole way, but I kept telling myself that once I hit I-40, the wind would be at my back and it would be clear sailing.  I’m 140 miles through my 315 mile journey.

The Rio Grande River.

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Got to get in the right lane for I-40 East towards Santa Rosa, and I made it.

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Saying goodbye to the mountains above Albuquerque with their dusting of snow from last night’s drastic weather change .

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About an hour after leaving the rest area, the winds turned to the North and picked up significantly.   I was holding the wheel with white knuckles as I was buffeted again.

Lots of high desert heading East across New Mexico.  I am so glad there were no sandstorms today.  With the winds, I was afraid there might be.

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Getting close to Tucumcari with their red dirt and mesas.  Finally, I made it to my destination around 3 o’clock for the evening.

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I got one last insult for the day.  Tucumcari does not have a Walmart.  Five exits and no Walmart!!  I was so tired from not having any sleep and driving over eight hours, I knew I wasn’t going any further.  So, here I am for the night.

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See you later.