Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Snowville, Utah, to Meridian, Idaho

We headed north and west again this morning on Interstate 84. I wasn't happy to see all the snow on the mountains in front of us, but fortunately the highway turned more to the west and I didn't have to look at them for too long.

Soon after we crossed into Idaho and came over Sweetzer Summit we came upon this accident scene and were guided into the left lane --

It was a bit scary to see this big eighteen wheeler turned over on its side. There are warning signs about wind gusts all along this stretch of freeway. I wonder if that's what happened to this trucker?

As we got further into Idaho, we saw more and more cattle. And lots of empty cattle trucks heading out. I think many of them have hauled cattle in to take advantage of all the spring grass in the pastures.

It wasn't that long a drive -- about 240 miles -- but, for some reason Forry was really tired when we got into the KOA at Meridian. He sat down in his chair and fell asleep for almost three hours. Needless to say, we had a very late dinner.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Windy Day

The wind was quiet this morning. Forry disconnected Toad II and we drove into Snowville to see if we could get breakfast (the larder is getting pretty bare). There are two diners, catty-corner from each other. There is also an elementary school. But other than a few houses and some dilapidated buildings -- and the Flying J on the edge of town, that's about it. We asked the waitress at Mollie's Diner where she got groceries. She said she drives 74 miles to Brigham every few weeks and stocks up. We decided we would wait until we got to Meridian, Idaho to go shopping!

By the time we finished eating a very good breakfast and got back to Lottie-Dell Campground, the wind started to pick up again. It was quite a bit warmer today, but the wind made it nasty.

The other motorhome that pulled in last night left early this morning, leaving us alone in the empty campground. Later this afternoon, a pickup pulling a trailer came in and with 32 empty spaces, parked right beside us! He totally blocked our view on that side! I just don't understand the way some people think -- or maybe they don't.

Later a couple of rigs that were traveling together pulled in and parked together way at the front end. A lone rig came in later and parked by itself at the far end.

I defrosted a pork loin this afternoon and put it in the oven with some Yukon Gold potatoes. With some frozen peas, we ended up with a pretty good supper without going back into town.

The Mariners game with the Yankees in New York tonight was really good in spite of all the rain that was coming down towards the end. In spite of all the boos the Yankee fans gave Robbie Cano, the Mariners came through and beat them 6-3.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Where is Spring?

We headed north again today on Interstate 15. We ran into snow showers as we went through Ogden and thy they continued intermittently all the way through Salt Lake City and a little bit more. I think it is the Wasatch Range that we traveled along much of the day -- all covered with new snow!

We eventually turned off I-15 onto I-84 and headed northwest. Our destination was the Lottie Dell Campground in Snowville, Utah. We stopped first at the Flying J station and added 53.5 gallons of diesel at $3.979.

We have been stopping at Lottie Dell Campground for many years. It's a pretty vanilla campground, just a sheet of grass with water, electric and sewer stations interspersed. I don't think there's ever been more then 3 or 4 RVs here when we've stopped, even though there is room for 34.  This is the place that relies on the honor system. You go into an office area, register; then drop your registration with your check or cash in an envelope through a hole in the wall.

It was windy and cold when we arrived. There was one small Class C parked in a corner that looked like it may have been here a while. Another motorhome arrived later in the afternoon and parked down the row aways.

There was a note in the office that said it had been freezing at night, so Forry drained our water hoses. It's already 36 degrees, so it most likely will get down another four degrees...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

This Week's Happenings

I think this is probably the earliest in year that we have headed north. If I hadn't already made multiple appointments for us in early May, I would be sorely tempted to turn around and head back south! It was cold enough last night to run our little electric heater and I turned it on again early this afternoon. It's just plain chilly out there! It doesn't help to look out the windows and see snowy mountains in every direction!

Lots of big events happening this week. Forry's nephew, Don, who had fallen down the stairs last week passed away from his injuries. We found out today that the Memorial Graveside Service for him will be May 9th, so at least we will be back in Washington by then so that we can attend with the rest of the family.

My Sister Roxy's Daughter Penny got married in California yesterday. I've seen a few of the pictures that have been posted on Facebook and it looks like it was quite a celebration. The bride wore cowboy boots with her wedding gown and performed her fire-swallowing routine at the reception.

Sister Sherry took her Mastiff Keiko San to the dog show in Lewiston. He has really done well this spring and has earned his Grand Champion rating. If all goes well, we will get to see him show again when they come to the show in Spokane the latter part of May.

Our friend Leslie's half-brother passed away this weekend following his battle with lymphoma. Leslie and Bill are participating in a run that is raising funds for research on this nasty disease.

And then there are the Mariners. They pulled out a win in their game against Texas this afternoon with another home run by Kyle Seager. That's two games this week that he's had a strategically timed home run!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wind and Rain and SNOW!

The wind started to blow shortly after we got up this morning. Fortunately, it died down when it started to rain. We stopped at the Pilot Truck Stop in Green River and refilled our diesel tank. Diesel here in Utah was $3.979, eight cents a gallon higher than we last purchased it in New Mexico.

We headed west on I-70, which took us through the eastern part of the Capitol Reef. This "wrinkle" in the earth is quite spectacular -- even through the rain.

One of these days we're going to have to detour to the Capital Reef National Park Headquarters and take another look at the interesting geology of this relatively unknown park.

We spent almost the entire day at pretty high altitude. I think the highest we were was a little over 8000 feet.

This is Ghost Rock (or is it the one on the other side of the highway?) Rest Area where we took a short break. This area has rock with a lot of grey and whites in it.

Interspersed with more of the red sandstone rock. This area looks like sand dunes, but they are solid rock...

Then you run into areas that have bands of both. This is near what was labeled the Salt Wash.


It continued to rain. Then Forry said the rain was beginning to look "soft" and it started clumping on the windshield...

We could see it piling up along the edge of the road -- and on the windshield! (The brilliant blue is the tint on the top of the windshield.)

We drove through a good twenty miles of this nasty stuff before it finally turned to rain. You could see it beginning to stick on the mountainsides. At least it wasn't sticking on the road yet.

We cut over on State Highway 50 when we got to Salina and connected with Interstate 15 near Nephi. That took us north to the KOA at Provo/Springville. This is the largest campground we've been in for a while with over 900 sites. We got a nice pull-through site and quickly set up the electricity and water. As fast as I worked, I was still soaked when I got back inside -- water was just pouring off of Auntie Violet's roof. It rained steadily for about another hour before it finally tapered off.

After we took a quick nap and got warmed up (first thing Forry did was plug in our little electric heater!) and the rain stopped, this is what we saw when we looked out the windows --


When we listened to the news tonight, we heard that this was the front-runner of an unexpected very severe storm that is heading for the Midwest and even further east. The weather people are very concerned that it will be causing multiple tornadoes as it makes it way east.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Green River KOA

It was windy, gusty and dusty today at the Green River KOA. They haven't started watering the grass yet this spring and everything is very dry --

 I walked over to the newer area of the park. It looks like they have got the water, electricity and sewer installed, but no grass has yet been planted. There were some wild flowers blooming over there that I wanted to take a look at. They weren't very big. It looked like the ground had been worked last fall. There were some small plants of Globe Mallow blooming their little hearts out --

I also found some  Arizona Milkvetch in the sand. It was hard to get a decent picture as the wind was blowing so hard. As you can see, this is pretty sandy soil.

This is what I originally had gone walking to take a look at. I had seen them along the road as we drove from Moab yesterday and wanted to take a closer look.

These are the California Evening Primrose. Because it was overcast today, they stayed open later in the morning.

It must have been a very good year for them as we saw clusters of them alongside the road for seventy miles or more.

We spent a bit of time this morning chatting with our neighbors who were taking their first trip in their brand new fifth wheel. They had seen the Winegard Satellite Dish on the top of Auntie Violet and were curious about the cost of a satellite dish. Their new rig had a placard saying it was already wired for Winegard, but they would have to buy the actual dish. After talking about the cost of the dish and a subscription to either Direct or Dish TV, I think he decided it wasn't worth buying one as they are not full-timers...

The wind has finally died down this evening. The Mariners are ahead 6-3 at the bottom of the 8th. Life is good tonight.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three States Later

We started out this morning in New Mexico, took in a corner of Colorado and ended up in Utah. I  guess we could have jogged over to the Four Corners Monument and stepped in Arizona as well, but we've done that, so skipped it this trip.

The scenery as you drive through this lightly populated part of the country is varied and beautiful. Some of it is very stark and you wonder how anyone could make a living there. The first portion of the journey is through Navajo country.

The massive Shiprock dominates the landscape and lends its name to the headquarters of the reservation.

State Highway 191 heads north into the high country of Colorado --

These tall monoliths pop out of nowhere - years of erosion are reflected in the debris at the bases --

There is actually farm land on the top of tableland -- the biggest share of the nation's pinto beans are grown up here at over 7000 feet.


Then it's the long trip down into the valleys of Utah --

 This is the country of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks --


We had thought to stay in Moab, Utah tonight, but evidently there is some kind of antique car show going on there this week. We called two different RV parks that we've stayed at before and both had no available space for us. As we drove through town, we saw lots of  "No Vacancy" and "Full" signs. So we drove on another fifty miles or so to Green River.

This is the part of the country where instead of the reds we've been seeing, we began to see the blue-greens of copper.

We came down along the river valley to the Green River KOA. We are settled in for a couple of nights. Tomorrow will be a rest day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bloomfield and Farmington, New Mexico

This northwest corner of New Mexico is oil country. As you drive the twelve miles from Bloomfield to Farmington you not only see oil pumpers, but all kind of storage facilities --

And then there are these huge drilling rigs --

There are all kinds of stores that cater to the oil drilling rigs. Some of them have stacks and stacks of pipe while others have the towers for drilling and others advertise expertise and engineering.

We drove into Farmington from Bloomfield this evening to meet up with my friend Tina, her daughter Delcherie and her Granddaughter Kaili for dinner. Tina serves on the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA with me.

This is Kaili with her dessert. The Child's Sundae had three scoops of ice cream -- and she ate every drop! She is a little sweetie!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On the Road Once More

It took us a while, but a little before noon we were hooked up and all of the hugs were given and the last good-byes were said and we were on our way once more. It's been a wonderful week with Tom and Juni and the pups as well.

We headed east on I-40, then cut off on Highway 550 and headed northwest towards Farmington and Bloomfield. Though the northwest corner of New Mexico is pretty dry desert, there are some fantastic colors as you drive along. These white bluffs are spectacular --

That white rock and dust even color the dry river beds --


The cliffs along the road show all kinds of colors in the multiple layers of rock --

Then just down the road a few miles, they turn to shades of tan, brown and grey.

This round, honey-comb looking dome is not too far from Bloomfield.

It was getting a little bit windy towards the end of our trip, but nothing like the winds that Tom was reporting to us back in Albuquerque. We pulled into a nice pull-through slot at the end of a row at the Desert Rose RV Resort. We were both tired, so I fixed a quick dinner of hamburgers and we settled in to watch the Mariners game.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Another Lovely Day

We slept in again this morning, then Juni had I went on a shopping expedition this afternoon. We made a stop at Sephora to replenish my Clinique supply, then over to Kohls to return some pants that Juni had decided were the wrong color...

We got back to the house, picked up the guys and headed to BJs for dinner. Juni and Tom had burgers (Juni loves the jalapeno burgers which have slices of deep-fried jalapeno peppers on top.), while I had scallops. Forry has had an upset tummy today, so he settled on a bowl of clam chowder for supper -- that would have really upset my stomach!

We got back to the house in time to sit in the back yard on the patio, play with the dogs and watch the sunset. The clouds were just beginning to turn pink when I got this shot --

Forry decided to make an early night of it while the rest of us watched a bit of TV. I was heading to our bedroom to get my computer when I heard Juni screaming. I came flying back to see her standing on a chair in her bedroom while Tom stood by laughing. She had seen a shadow on the rug and thought it was a snake! Because we have been in and out all day with the slider to the back yard open, she thought one could have come it! (Needless to say, Juni is terrified of snakes...)

Sunday, April 20, 2014


A very happy blessed Easter to all our friends and family! I hope you have had a wonderful day!


A Rainy Day

Today both the Weather Channel and the local TV station were predicting rain today in Albuquerque, but Juni said to take it with a grain of salt as they usually don't get much. But this is what we saw when we looked out our bedroom window this morning.

Looking the other way, it didn't look a whole lot better --

We stayed close to home today, just chatting, playing with the dogs, and relaxing. We had a wonderful supper with pineapple on the barbeque and salmon on cedar planks. We spent the evening  watching some of Tom's recorded TV shows. I'm now partly caught up with The Big Bang Theory and all the way caught up with Nashville, two of my favorite TV shows.

When we went to bed, it was still raining...

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Good Day Again

Before the clouds moved in this afternoon, it was a gorgeous morning in the back yard. Juni had an appointment this morning, so it was up to me and the guys to hold down the table and chairs. But we had lots of help. This lovely lady is Tica. She is the oldest of the three dogs and loves to lie in the sun and watch what's happening --

This ball of energy is Izzy. This little Yorkie will chase balls for as long as she can get somebody to chase them for her. And then she wants to play some more!

Forry did manage to convince her to sit on his lap for a bit, but then she was off again. (Note the gorgeous wisteria vine going along the roof...)

Then there is Cassie. This extremely spoiled little sprite was orphaned as a baby and had to be bottle-fed every two hours. I could not manage to catch her sitting still long enough to get a picture, but Tom corralled her for me.

Cassie doesn't play ball, but she will steal the ball from her Izzie and then hide it or lie on it. She demands to be held and doesn't like to see anyone getting attention besides herself.

The dogs are a constant source of entertainment. You can spend a considerable amount of time playing with and watching them. It is fun to visit here and get our puppy fix.

Juni gave cooking lessons this evening as I watched her make pork chili with HOT red sauce and pork green chile stew. I had a small sample of the chili -- WHOA! But the green chili stew was excellent -- though Juni and Tom added a tablespoon of red chili to theirs! She used some of Cervantes green and red salsas to make her goodies.