Saturday, October 18, 2008

Farmington, NM area


In the morning, we went to a Renaissance Festival being held at a city park. There was also a Farmers Market but it wasn’t much. Mostly some Navajos selling household junk. The Festival was on the small side, but interesting. We were hoping to find something different for lunch but it was just your usual turkey legs & corn dogs. We passed. Headed out towards our next destination, Page, AZ/Lake Powell/Glen Canyon. On the way we were driving through the Navajo Reservation. Took a picture of the famous mountain; Shiprock. Shiprock has considerable religious significance to the Navajos. Stopped in the Navajo town of Kayenta. Shared an Indian Taco for lunch and bought some burritos & a tamale for dinner. Excellent food. We spent the night at the National Park Service Navajo National Monument near Black Meas. The campground has a very nice view of the surrounding canyons as well as the ancient village of Betatakin.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Navajo Lake SP & Aztec


Drove to our next campground; Navajo Lake State Park. The sun is shining and it’s supposed to get in the 60’s today. A pleasant change from the last few days. The weather forecast is good for the next few days. Another front is due on Sunday.
Passed through Dulce; the capitol of the Jicarella Apache tribe. A pretty drive through ranchland and canyons. Navajo Lake SP is a very large park. There are probably 200 campsites spread along the lake and the San Juan River. Our site has a limited view of the lake. In the morning we moved to the Cottonwood Campground; another campground in the same park. On the way, we stopped at a day use area along the San Juan River that had accessible fishing platforms and some paved trails Carol could use. There were dozens of fly fisherman. Some in boats, some wading. Took some pictures to e-mail John Wagner. Our campsite is along the river. A big improvement from last nights site. Carol started feeling bad again. Her back hurts. The last two weeks she was on the antibiotic Cypreflaxin and felt fine. Three days after stopping the Cypro, the back pains started again. Called Dr. Hoods office. The nurse said she would talk to him and call in a different prescription to the Wal-Mart pharmacy in Farmington.

Friday: Drove into Aztec. Did laundry. Stopped by St. Joseph’s church. After lunch we visited the Aztec Ruins National Monument. “Over two centuries ancestral Pueblo people of Aztec carefully planned a settlement that included an array of large public architecture and smaller structures, earthworks, and ceremonial buildings”. We watched a very informative movie then toured the ruins. About 3:00 we drove to Wal-Mart in Farmington to pick up Carols new antibiotic prescription. The Wal-Mart Pharmacy system really makes travelling easier. Dr. Hood simply called in the prescription and two hours later we picked it up in New Mexico. Did our grocery shopping; Wal-Mart of course, then went to Target to buy Carol some warmer shirts.
We were looking for a campground to stay in so stopped at the Farmington Visitor Center. They directed us to the McGee County Park. It turns out there was a huge RV convention going on at McGee Park. For $20/night we joined the convention of about 600 RV’s. Just down the row we were in, there was another Lazy Days. We introduced ourselves and had some wonderful company for the evening.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Taos area

Monday October 13

We drove to Taos in the morning. Stopped at the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, a National Historic Landmark, in the Ranchos de Taos plaza, Built in 1772. The Spanish Colonial adobe building has twin bell towers and an arched portal entrance that overlooks an enclosed courtyard. The interior has two carved reredos (alter screen) divided into painted panels, a ceiling of vigas (beams) that rest on elaborately carved corbels and a traditional choir loft. Next to the church, was the second oldest building in NM. The oldest, is a house in Santa Fe.
Next we drove into Taos and visited the Lady of Guadalupe church. A more contemporary, but very pretty, church. We walked around Old Town Taos. A collection of art galleries, gift shops, restaurants, etc. This was the site of the original Spanish settlement over 400 years ago. We walked through the Kit Carson Park. A very old graveyard with Kit Carson’s remains, and the burial site for a number of the very early residents of Taos.
We continued on to the Cimmaron Canyon State Park near Eagle Nest. On the way, we stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park near Angle Fire. The Memorial was built by the parents of 1st Lt. David Westphall, killed in Vietnam in 1968. When we got to the campground at Cimmaron Canyon, our two traveling friends, decided to continue on to connect with I-25. The weather is supposed to get bad tonight and tomorrow and they didn’t want to risk driving on icy roads. The time we traveled together will be one of the highlights of this trip. We thoroughly enjoyed their company. That’s one of the beauties of owning a Lazy Daze; you meet some of the most wonderful people. The campground has one site with electric hookups. There was a horse trailer in the site so we took another. The guys with the horses, two hunters, came back. They were leaving so we took their space. As we were pulling in, another RV arrived. Our timing was perfect. The electricity will come in handy tonight. It’s supposed to get well below freezing and might snow!!

Tuesday, October 14

Woke up to about an inch of snow. We enjoyed it. A nice change for us. Took Gopher walking. She had a ball. I don’t know what it is about snow, but she can’t get enough of it. Eats it, rolls in it, runs through it. There was a couple from Texas in the campground. They had two miniature Border Collies and a Shelty. The BC’s liked the snow, the Shelty wanted to stay on dry ground. About 9:00 we decided to head west and see what developed with the weather. The plan was to simply stop if the roads got too bad. Bobcat Pass at 9,820’ was the worst. Heavy snow with about an inch of snow on the road. I drove about 25 mph and it was OK. As we went down, the snow turned to rain so we decided to continue to our destination; Heron Lake State Park near Los Ojos. We had to cross another mountain pass; Jawbone. 10,179’. I stopped at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Tres Piedras to inquire about road conditions. They said the road was open and had been plowed & sanded so we continued on. The road was just fine but the fog on the west side of the pass was real bad. Very limited visibility for perhaps 10 miles. Stopped for lunch at a pretty rest area. Arrived at Heron Lake State Park about 1:30. John & Linda recommended we get Site 17 in the Willow Creek camping area. A good recommendation. The site was nice & level with a view of Heron Lake. The weather is cold & dreary. Walked the dog then mostly stayed inside. A neighbor said the weather was supposed to clear tomorrow with the high about 70*.

Santa Fe & Chimayo

Sunday, October 12

What a wonderful day this turned out to be. In the morning we drove to Santa Fe. Stopped at Target to buy Carol some warmer pants. In the Girls section we found padded & insulated ski pants. A Girls XL fits Carol just fine. We’re ready for anything now!! Then to Albertsons & Wal-Mart. After shopping we went to Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe church. What a beautiful, old church. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron Saint of Mexico. The Mass was at noon time. After church we drove to the Village of Chimayo to visit El Santuario de Chimayo, widely known as the Lourdes of America.. This church was built between 1813 and 1816, The Santo Nino Chapel was built in 1857. “Each year, thousands of visitors travel to Chimayo, an old Spanish village in the foothills of the Santo de Cristo Mountains. They come from all over the world….They come seeking healing or penance. They come hoping for a miracle.” One part of the Santuario contains an area called El Posito (Little Well). This is where the Crucifix was found in 1813 that lead to the building of El Santuario. “It is to the El Posito that the lame and the blind come, seeking miracles. The soil is believed to produce a mud that, when eaten or applied to the skin, has miraculous healing powers. The physically and spiritually injured come to be cured when all other treatments have failed. The walls are filled with crutches, braces and other mementos that the healed have left. “
I got some of the dirt for Carol. That evening she had me mix some of the dirt with her Holy Water that she brings whenever we travel, to make a mud. She rubbed the mud on her right arm and leg while she said her evening prayers.
About 5:oo we met our friends at the Orilla Verde Recreation Area Campground (Bureau of Land Management) near Pilar. It was just the three of us in the campground. Let Gopher off her leash. She really seemed to enjoy her freedom. It’s been her first run since we camped at Elephant Butte State Park. We all sat around a campfire talking and snacking until it got too cold. Driving here, we saw some snow on the peaks. Tonight it’s supposed to drop to about 40*.