Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Final Few Days

On the road that is!

I feel bad that at this point of holiday blogging I loose any creativity I may have had. I want to revert to point form an not miss anything but not be extensive with it either.

But that does not mean that every day is not an adventure. Even the long 12 - 17 hour driving days are to be remembered and shared, as they too are part of the memories we make. But I won't talk endlessly about what I read, wrote or sometimes even worked on.

After Moab we stopped in Salt Lake City. I am quite fond of a few US stores like Target. And Target. Sometimes I go to Target. Salt Lake provides that opportunity, as well as the state parks around it are easy access. We have stayed at Willard Bay before. It is an easy stop on I15, and being on the north end of most of the city and surrounding cities, it is a quicker escape in the morning.

Not wanting to get to Alberta too soon because of the weather we stopped in Great Falls at Villa La Walmart. With no services but easy restaurant access for dinner, we weren't disappointed. The temperatures are getting cooler, and we are thankful while boondocking, to have the Buddy Heater.

Our last stop before home was an overnight visit with Walter and Pat just outside of Okotoks. We usually meet up through our travels but for may reasons this year that did not happen. We were able to use the site next to them in their RV Condo park. This was also their first nights there as the snow has been a hindrance in moving in. Yuck SNOW!!

So finally we pulled into the yard yesterday about 2:00p.m. Home, rested, happy, healthy and about to pounce on the kids and take in their love!

It's a great life out there if you choose to take it:)

Remember -don't expect too much in blogs through the summer - usually once a month.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Homeward Bound and Amazing Stops - Moab

If you are a regular reader it will be no surprise that we love Moab. Whether in the mood and with the time to hike, or just a quick stop on our way home, it's often on our list. When we realized going north through Silverton wasn't our option, and everyone said go through Moab instead, we did just that!

Of course we had to drive through Arches National Park and have a beer at the Moab Brewery!

I wasn't going to post photos again of the park, but then I realized I write this blog for us, and I don't care if numerous arch photos bore you. LOL. So here they are again in all their glory! Enjoy

Monday, April 23, 2018

Homeward Bound and Amazing Stops - Durango CO

Well it is time to start finding our way north. It seems the weather at home and in general to the north is being temperamental, so we will go as slow as we can and watch the forecasts!
Our first stop was Durango. We passed by a few years ago on our way to another adventure, but didn't take the time to explore the town. First step was to find a place to park the house for the night, and again a municipal campground was the place. This one was somewhat easy to find, but very difficult to determine if we could stay and how we would pay. I haven't told you much about how we have found our campgrounds on this trip. I have started using the Campendium App and it has not let us down. Sometimes you have to weed through the user reviews and take their comments as opinions, but overall it shows websites, cell coverage, costs and map links. In Durango one location caught our eye - the La Plata County Fairgrounds. It was difficult to reach someone who could help us as it was after hours with no signage, but we found 6 sites with power nestled along a maintenance shop fence. This is smack in the middle of town, so we were not concerned about noise etc. Don located a staff member who went out of his way t confirm the site we chose was not reserved, and assisted with the payment of $14. They could sure use a restructure of system, but otherwise all was well.
We set up and headed to the downtown area to see the sights. I can't really describe to you how beautiful this town is. Nested against the San Juan Mountains the place is at least as picturesque as our Jasper, developed a bit more commercially like Banff, and stunning form all directions. They have preserved the old buildings which only adds to the charm, and public art abounds.
Our chosen route to Salt Lake City was through Silverton, but we were advised by some that it might be quite a pull for even our truck, so we decided to take a drive n that direction and see what lay ahead prior to tugging the trailer.
Well that was a good choice, as there was no way Don was pulling the fifth on that road. It was mostly the grades on what is referred to as the million dollar highway. I think that comes from the money spent on explosives to get through those mountains. The road passes through a few highs - such as 11,018 feet at Red Mountain Pass.
We stopped for a couple of photos along the way. One you see is the Pinkerton Hot Springs. Alongside the highway, the springs have formed a temple formation and the water flows down into another stream. As you follow the water flow you can spot some pools for folks to rest in and even a couple of bathtubs thy have placed for your pleasure!
Not surprising at that elevation, there was more than enough snow to satisfy our winter starved souls, and evidence of how people entertain themselves. 
And photos of Durango...

In consideration of the change in highway routes, we are now headed to an old favorite - Moab. So stay tuned.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Santa Rosa State Park

So yes another New Mexico State Park. We didn't have reservations but hoped to find services, as the forecast was for cold and extreme wind warnings! We lucked out as we literally got the last serviced site in the park. It was very small and we were doubtful as to fit, but thanks to Don's talents, we squeezed in with room to open the slides, and connect to the power tree.
The wind this trip has been quite a pain, and this location was no better. We took advantage of poor outside weather to explore some towns around us. One of them was Las Vegas. New Mexico has so many towns and cities with sister names in California. Kind of odd but makes it easy to find places to explore.
Las Vegas was so cold we couldn't even enjoy walking around, but we will be close again and so settled on a driving tour. And speaking of cold we did have a snow squall blow in but it melted as fast as it touched down. Thank goodness!

We also took the opportunity while we were close to visit Fort Sumner and the site of Billy the Kid. With an additional visit to the Billy the Kid museum I think we can say we've seen it all. LOL


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Santa Fe Delights

Our next stop was Santa Fe and a meet up with Ron and Bev. We picked an RV park for this stop, because sometimes you just want some things boondocking and state parks don't normally have. Like a laundry, or a wifi tree:) Imagine my instant pleasure when the wifi was right beside us! Makes up for all the people and units. If you find yourself in Santa Fe try the Ranchero de Santa Fe Campground.
I can honestly say our time with Ron and Bev was amazing. First we had such a great visit. And second, we ate and shopped our faces off, and add in there a few beverages shared.
We explored Santa Fe and revisited Las Vegas in much better weather conditions. The weather for the path home for the Edmunds was wind wind and maybe wind, so they stayed an extra night in hopes it would subside.
Santa Fe is just such a beautiful town. From the views to the architecture to the brew and food, it should be on your someday list. It is the perfect place for a meet up with friends if you enjoy the above.

After we said goodbye to Ron and Bev we moved just a short way south to be closer to Albuquerque. Sometimes it is worth looking for municipal campgrounds, which is how we found Coronado Campground in Bernalillo.

So cheers from the Smiths and Edmunds and some of my off color shopping to entertain you!


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Oasis State Park

We had decided we would drive into the northwest corner of Texas and explore Amarillo and Lubbock. For that part of this adventure we chose to stay at Oasis Sate Park near Clovis. It is just miles form the Texas border and easy to access the highways we wanted.

Starting by visiting Amarillo, we were not overly stimulated by that city. Our first item on the list was the Cadillac Ranch, where Stanley Marsh planted ten Cadillacs, all decorated. Yes I know it was only ten cars but I expected the usual displays and over-selling. Alas there was none, in fact we actually missed it the first drive by. No great photo but the one I posted shows what I described.

I am not sure what we were expecting, but typically a place either pulls at your adventure strings or not. We usually pack a lunch and try to stay away from restaurants but today was our big day out, so we found a Firehouse Subs (one of our favorite fast food stops). Hence the stop was worthwhile!

If you want to see numerous grass fields and windmills, this is your route!

The highway took us farther south to Lubbock, where we had planned a stock up at Costco. As it turned out because of the distance home and rather lack of need, we chose not to buy anything. But we did take the opportunity to discover a few tourist noted attractions.

The Buddy Holly Statue commemorates not only Buddy but other musicians that contributed to Lubbock’s music scene. The nameplates are artists who originated in the area, and I took photos of the names I knew.

Across the street from the park is also the Buddy Holly Centre and Museum, but it was closed. I didn’t really need to see his bed so it wasn’t a great loss. Haha

We made the journey homeward, and dinner was a pizza. We did pass a lot of cotton fields and I was waiting for the perfect time to take a photo of the old cotton gins, but I missed. Don got a great photo of cotton laying in the field after harvest and tilling.

The day was spent the way we enjoy it best – watching the road before us and dreaming of what lay ahead.



Friday, April 13, 2018

Bottomless Lake State Park

How do you drive in the area of a confirmed UFO landing and not stop? That’s how we ended up at Bottomless Lake State Park near Roswell. So of course we had to visit the UFO Museum!
Besides the museum, how fitting we also saw the Delorian time machine car from Back to the Future.
The museum was actually well laid out, clean, not musty and full of shall we say, information.
Two nights here and we were picking a new route. The other Smiths are seriously starting their trek home to Saskatchewan, and we are continuing out tour of New Mexico.
It’s up to you to decide if you believe…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brantley Lake State Park

We chose this park because of it’s proximity to Carlsbad and hence accessibility to the Carlsbad Caverns for the other Smiths. Don and I have had some caving opportunity and we do not care for it!

The location was easy access to other attractions in the area as well.

We visited Sitting Bull Falls, the Living Dessert State Park, and drove through Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We also visited Artesia, as when we pilled through it with the RVs it looked pretty interesting. Sadly on our visit on Saturday the town was 50% closed for the weekend and the Farmers Market had not started yet, so it was just a Walmart stop and onward.

Sitting Bull Falls was a nice walk amongst the rocks and trees, as you see form the photos.

Here is something I’m not sure I have ever talked about – the America the Beautiful Pass. It is an annual pass that for $80 allows access to national parks, federal recreational lands, forest services, US Fish and Wildlife sites, BLM, and Bureau of Reclamation. We buy one every year and save lots on those admissions, as does anyone travelling with us!

We continue to have amazing hot weather and I am again thankful for the AC.