cool at Orrilla Verde Rec area, Taos,
moved up to one of our favorite campgrounds.... Orrilla
Verde Rec area on the Rio Grande river at Taos on Thursday last.
we pulled in our old spot was empty. Wow. And at Senior Pass priced
at $7.50 a night. 50 amp with water for the mister system.
might just stay here the full two weeks allowed. That would get us past
the 4th of July. Oh in case you were wondering it is hot here like everywhere
else in the cuontry except I hear in Washington state. Hi Tad.
The reiver levels are down,
who would think it so, with a drought going on. The good news is the water
is running clear and trout fishing is also turning out to be fine also.
Terry got his lic and has been out a couple of times and has caught some
bigguns. He has not been fly fishing for a LONG time so he is him happy
and the fish not so.
Campfires are allowewd here
in fire rings. Ya Hoo so we needed to find a supply of firewood. Been a
long time since we had a cmpfire. But the BLM came through for us.
In the bottom of a canyon not much risk of it getting out of control. But
we do have a 5 gallon pail of watrer standing by. Not going to pay
the camp host (a huge chunk of change, me thinks he gets to keep that money)
for a tiny armfull of firewood if we can find a another source. And
we did. That's what Google search is for. On the north side of Taos on
US 64 is Olguin's
Sawmill & Firewood We hit the jackpot... one row across,
packed tight, and truck sides high for $18. A great deal. We got there
(open till noon on Satrurday). Later note... it burns great...
Now with the important stuff
out of the way we're off to the local Taos
farmers market in the city hall parking lot.
Live music and such. Didn't
buy anthing as they were so in love with their produce and baking that
we weren't ready to cut of an arm and leg to pay for it. More power to
em if they can get it, but not from me I thinks.
As you can expect traffic
in Taos is a bit tight. But on the south end of the main plaza was a small
parade with horses going right down the main street. You could say it was
backing up traffic just a bit. But when in Taos shut up, relax and
take your time.
Now a Terry Terry report...
on his Monday outing.
Ron was opting for a quiet
day reading the paper online and relaxing, while he sent me off to explore
the tourist trap that is Taos. The first stop of the day was the
Mission church of San Francisco and the surrounding plaza/shops.
Walked the plaza took a few pictures and dropped into a few of the shops.
Stopped in the trading post
on the South side of the plaza, Orr's
of Taos, and met Del Orr. Mr Orr was a fountain of information,
and gave me a bit of the history of the Plaza
The building he occupies
was built in the very early 1600's and is 400 years old, while the church
in the center of the plaza was built in the early 1800's, and finished
in 1816. We then talked about rocks and silver smithing, more history
of the area, a couple of areas to go rock collecting in the area
and his current project of making more of the bee-weed extract for the
pueblo potters to use for paint. His family has been trading with
the Native American tribes for 4 generations and has additional stores
in Colorado, along with a web presence at http://www.orrs.com.
I ended up visiting with Mr. Orr for over two hours. Shot to hell
my plan to go the the Blumenschein Home and Museum, next visit, maybe?
Mr. Orr had some nice turquoise
and other cabochons, and I might stop back and pick up a few pieces for
use next winter when I have time to play in the shop.
With my schedule changing
I went to lunch, had found an online review of Orlando's
restaurant, and they gushed on about the Carne
Advoda, a pork stew in red chili. with reviews like this it had
to be good so off I rushed to the north side of Taos and Orlando's New
The Service at Orlando's
was very good and they were quite attentive, but I was disappointed by
the Crane Adoptive, It was good, but I had very high expectations.
What I got was three grilled medallions of pork with a red chili sauce,
with posole, beans, garnish and a flour tortilla.. Everything tasted
fine, it was just not the slowly simmered pork chili that I expected.
I would go back, but would try another Item on the menu.
I've always enjoyed walking
the Taos Plaza, and could not resist stopping to people watch and browse
the shops. There used to be a fly shop just off of the plaza, but
could not find it, but there was lots of other stuff and people to see.
With a bit of luck I will
head back to Taos later this week for the museum visit, and further wanderings,
Your roving reporter Terry.
trip via the Rail Runner train to Santa Fe
Just a few miles south of
our campsite at Lake Cochiti is a light rail stop which makes it convenient
to hop on making the trip into the Santa Fe Plaza a pain free experience,
no searching for parking or maneuvering a big diesel dually pick up truck
through the narrow streets of old town Santa Fe.
Boarded the train at the
Kewa station and was taken into downtown Santa Fe at the old Santa
Fe RR station. A short walk to the street and the waiting shuttles
and a few minutes later I was at the Plaza of Santa Fe.
is a mixture of old and new buildings, the new buildings are made
with facades that make them look old, but inside are the
trinket and toy stores for
the bored and wealthy. One Navajo rug was tagged with a $36,000.
price. granted it was an antique, and looked to be in very good condition,
but it was still a bit rich for a small town Iowa boy like myself. Many
of the other stores also were overpriced, the items being much cheaper
elsewhere, especially the indian jewelry in the stores, then again,
it wouldn't be as good if it hadn't been purchased in Santa Fe.
The Jewelry being sold by the Native American Vendors along the Verandah
of the Palace of the Governors seemed much more reasonably priced..
The view Looking east toward
the Cathedral of St.Francisis, the picture was taken in moment when
the traffic was unusually light, might have been because I was standing
in the cross walk to get the picture?
The covered walk way of the
Palace of the Governors stretches for the full length of the block,
and by tradition Native American vendors sell their jewelry, I suspect
that many of the vendors are selling for other family members who actually
make the jewelry. I was also curious about how the space is divided
up, but never got the chance to ask.
The Native American Vendors
had a huge variety of jewelry for sale, with a heavy emphasis on beaded
necklaces, and Sterling Silver Turquoise rings. The actual Palace
of the Governors is now a part of the NM historical Museum.
A closer view of the Cathedral,
which sits a block east of the main plaza, but still in the historic district,
surrounded by trinket shops and a Native American Crafts museum.
I did not have time for this museum, this visit, next time.
I did hit the Georgia O'keef museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art/Histroical
Museum. The art museums were overwhelming, not enough culture/knowledge
here to know or appreciate abstract art, and not enough labeling by the
O'keef museum, but I did the tours to learn more, perhaps
some day I will have acquired more taste then what I have in my mouth.
Interior courtyard and porch
shots, the dried chilies are a common decorative element seen throughout
the square. Seems like a waste of good chilies, but they have to
maintain the ambiance for us tourists.
Was having a hard time finding
a place for lunch, several of the established restaurants on the
Plaza were closed for remodeling, (opening June 2012, Huh? isn't it June
right now!) and I did not think a subway sandwich would be in the spirit
of the days adventure, so I settled on a fajita and tamale from this street
vendor, the fajita was very good, stuffed with beef and seasonings,
but I was disappointed with the tamale, it was mostly dough with
just a hint of a red filling, but it was well spiced, and hot from the
steamer. Seven dollars for the lunch, a five dollar fajita
and two dollar tamale, with a shady spot to sit, probably the best
buy on the plaza
An interior shot of the
Train, all of the cars a double decked, and of course I had to sit
on the upper deck. The train was nice and clean. I did notice
a number of the commuter types brought their bikes along, and there was
a rack for the bikes on the lower deck of the train. The crowd coming
in the 11:00 Am train was mostly tourists bound for the Plaza from Albuquerque.
The return trip at 4:00 included many more regular commuters.
Even trains have to use
the dump station.
The day trip to Santa Fe
was on Wednesday and now we have landed in the Orrilla Verde Rec area on
the Rio Grande river at Taos.
We got our favorite campsite
E/W and with Senior Pass $7.50... Much more later....
Terry is going fishing as
we plan to be here for some time.
trip to THE scenic driving opportunity in New Mexico.
This drive per the Public
Lands Information Center is perhaps THE scenic driving opportunity
in New Mexico.
I wont argue with that.
Come along for the ride.
the maps... can't find your way without them.
are at Cochiti Lake underlined in red... went south on HW 22 to I25 on
down to HW 550 back up the State HW 4
to the Valles Caldera and over to Fenton NM State park and then back across
the Caldera and wind down to Los Alamos and down to the cutoff on NM HW
559 around the west of Santa Fe to I25 again and back up HW 22 to our tempary
home at Cochiti Lake.
going north form I25 to Taos or south form Taos to ABQ and don't want to
mess with Santa Fe traffic do take HW 559 for clear sailing around the
west side of the city.
Quite the drive it was and
glad we did it as it got us out of the heat and up to higher elevations
and more of the country we like. Pine smell and more green than valley
brown. A couple of artist and touristy burgs are along HW 4 along the Jemez
Wild and Scenic River.
The San Antonio campground
on the above map is highly popular camping area with 47 single sites
It is at 7800' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest surrounded by meadows.
It is situated beside San Antonio Creek and is a popular fishing location.
Commercial facilities including a grocery store, cafe, and tavern are within
two miles. Drinking water and vaulted toilets. No utility hookups or dump
One of the touristy places
Check out the Google
pics of this place. Why should I use up all my pixels when others
have done it for me.
Jemez Mountain Trail National
Scenic Byway, New Mexico.
Next Fenton Lake State Park
This is a high up mountain
small lake stocked from the fish hatchery 3 miles up the road. Now
this is not for big rigs to get to as the HW is steep and most campsites
are small but they do a few for RV if you can get here. As you can see
fire has gone through here in years past, but still looking good for a
quality camping if this is what you are looking for. You can find places
like this in NM and not have to go to Colorado.
The former Baca Ranch is
nearly 90,000 acres of pristine meadows and forests, peaks and broad valleys
with wild and scenic streams nestled in the colapsed crater of a long-extinct
Caldera National Preserve Check the expanded map above.To think
we were driving through a log ago extinct HUGE volcano.
pics of Valles Caldera
The winding road down to
Alamos is a fun drive but never would I take an RV over it. Very tight
switch backs and at places close too one lane around curves. The fires
of a few years ago has done much damage. Hope you enjoyed our day trip
to high NM country.
for Wednesday Terry is off via Light Rail from a train stop just south
of our Cochiti Lake campsite along I25.
checked it out as to how to find it.
New Mexico has light rail
from ABQ to Santa Fe... Check
out their web site.
drive to old town Santa Fe when you can take the train.
on this day trip later...
stop on the road again, was a bust. But it got better, much better.
best laid plans can go to hell fast. Sure we had not been on the road lately
so were entitled to mess up I guess.
of rusty and not up to speed with the lifestyle. We planned to head east
into New Mexico from Benson and go up to Silver City, NM. Thought it would
be kinda like Tombstone, AZ. Boy were we wrong... this is just another
larger than I like big city as far as I could see. Sure it had an old town
with artist shops but not my kind of touresty. Needed more pain and
suffering so the first night was spent at the local KOA. Ouch.. Yes I did
say I was rusty and fell for staying or should say paying for a KOA. It
was a strange city and I knew it would be less hassle so I thought just
do it. Beside we're worth it, was the mood I was in. And my road
service gives me free membership to the dang place. A whopping 10%.
Oh and Silver City was lacking anyone in the RV parks do to people worried
about the fires north of town. The C of C is pleading for people to come
as all is open but me wonders why bother even if it was perfect.
second reason for going through Silver City was the shortcut to Truth Or
Consequences our next destination. NM Highway 152 check the above map.
That after asking was a no go as many switch backs and even the C of C
telling us no way. So we had to detour back south to Deming and then
north. We could have tried HW 152 but I want to get my brakes all checked
out before we try a road like that. Truck now has somthng like 115K miles
and breaks never been touched. Always told they are OK. Well not
anymore the next down period in Iowa they are getting updated. Want
to drive Colorado later this summer and fall. Piece of mind is everything.
So it was for the best to reroute as the travel time they said would be
about the same.
we're not off to a good start but it does get better as we next hit T or
C and land at Elephant
Butte Lake State Park for three nights.
made res. online and check in was a breeze and the site high up overlooking
the lake with to die for fast WiFi. Didn't need to use the Datastorm sat.
for internet. At $14 a night (entrance fee included) a NM bargain. To boondock
on the beach just $8. Found out from our two next door campsites which
were never used but just visited to get water as they reserved them in
case the beach was crowded and they might have to saty in a site. So they
reserve a site just in case. But at these prices why not. The July 4 weekend
is huge down here as they shoot fireworks off the island. The biggest in
the state. Ranks number two right after the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Oh and no campfires not even
charcoal. This is unless you are within 100 ft of the lake.
But did I say it was HOT...
Yes indeedey... But not to fret I saved the day... I called around and
found the local lumber yard sold patio misters so off we went to get one.
A pic later of it in action.
Time to move on and our next
location was a reservation I snagged on recreation.gov at COE Cochiti
Recreation Area for 5 nights and over a weekend no less. So for Senior
Pass price of $10 a day we are at like a 4 star resort. An all new campground
E/W at each site and fancy shelters. Cement walkway right up to you RV
doorstep. Spiffy... They have many sites but two sections are non
electric and in this heat they are empty.
Another high up site with
views. What's not to like. The shelters are modern and nice
looking. Way to go COE.
Even solor powered patio
lights. Oh and the most important feature our mister system keeping
us cool. See above and below.
That's about it for now...
need to go out and get some mist in my face and wait for Garrison Keillor
Prairie Home Companionon on NPR to start. Will enjoy this COE resort
for 5 nights as we explore Santa Fe. Then north staying along the Rio Grande
ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT
the current Severe Weather Alert for here in AZ. I get these alerts on
my smart phone. That about sez it all
you know June is the hotest month in southeast AZ.
the summer monsoon rains start it cools down.
than you wanted to know I'm sure.
Now back to us...
Yes we are still in Arizona
at out winter property.
Why you ask... So
should I... as if you think you had an early warm spring up north than
what do you think it was doing down here.
But Ya Know it cools down
real nice when the sun goes down Don't Ya Know.
We wouldn't be here this
late but wanted to finish up the house painting see
the last post and then we got a late start on adding a deck on the
east side of the house. That's where our best view is
so it pleaded for a deck.
(Old pic as the mesquite
trees have have greened up)
The economy down here must
be great as it was like pulling teeth to get a deck materials list estimate
from anyone. Lowes at last came through. We gave up on the Lowes in Sierra
Vista and finally delt with one of the Lowes in Tucson. We had the materials
list and prices from the SV store and found the Tucson store prices were
higher, but they met the SV pricing so it worked out well. Who would know
different Lowes locations have different lumber prices. Next we waited
for the special order stuff to come in. They don't carry what is even needed
to build a deck in stock. Home Depot was even worse. We tried to deal with
the local Benson lumber but he just couldn't come even close to the big
box prices. We still do lots of business with them and the local
ACE store. We bought all our paint at ACE. At last it was delivery day
and only half of what was ordered showed up on the semi. Yes semi. It took
them three trips to get all the materials out to us. The cement was on
the second truck so had to wait to even start. They made deliveries out
from Tucson about 45 miles one way on Thursday, Friday, and again on Saturday.
By the second trip the semi driver was doing Uees real well right in the
road in front of us as we are on a dead end.
The deck turned out to be
larger than I thought it would be at 12X24. It's all stand alone with nothing
touching the house. Eight pillers... all cemented in. They don't
normally build that well down here. Sure no frost here, but to just stick
the pillers in a block sitting on top of the ground. No thank you. This
sucker ain't goin anywhere. The railings are finishing going up today.
Look what is blooming right out our
fornt south entrance deck.
Since I'm at it... Don't
forget the north entrance deck area where I am maintaining the original
owners rose garden.
Now if I could just get the
gusty winds to not blow the mulch out of the bed. We get Red Flag warnings
when the winds go up and the humidity goes like to 5% or some such thing.
That means a higher FIRE risk. Knock on wood... Not so much worried
right here but never
say never. BTW since we
were at Lowes we just had to bring back a new grill. Liked the final estimate
and thought why not. Turns out later we had several hundred dollars
of even more extra materials to return. 6ea 2x6x16s 6ea 2x8x8s and
7ea 4x6x8s and lots of joist hangers and other over estimated framing
hardware. As you can imagine I have a file folder of receipts from
this project. Lowes had to redo some of the recieps to get things moved
from one truck to another to get things delivered. Computers... It had
to be done that way Ya Know.
Now back to the new grill....
You would not believe how blackened, as in burnt up, Terry's first try
was using the rotisserie doing a chicken.
He was working on the deck
and didn't watch it close enough and had it turned up a tad bit. That's
his story and he is sticking to it. But he did catch hell form me.
Ya I do tend to yell... when things go wrong... the neighbors even though
they are not close... we are on 4 acre lots ... may have gotten
a ear full. Not to mention the yelling on how the the deck building
was going from time to time.
Have YOU built a huge
And I have some green in
a small area between the house and garage. I drip water them now
but when the summer monsoon
rains come on they will
be just fine while we are on the road summer and fall exploring in the
I don't need or want a large
lawn in Arizona but just a small spot to sit and rub my bare feet in it,
is all I ask.
And after all we are not
on city water but have a common well with the neighbors and get all the
water we can use
for, get this, $100 a year.
Buds from the garden make
nice at the dinner table... that is if we ever take the time to eat that
way. We like to give some to the neighbors... It's best to give them
to the husbands and have them present them to their wives. We made one
cut his own. Don't want to be caught giving gifts to the wives without
the husband involved. I may be dumb but I'm not stupid....
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