Monday, April 30, 2018

Trash Cans in Gallup

Downtown beautification can take many different forms. In Gallup, local artists have painted pictures, and even small murals, on the concrete trash cans in the downtown area. Here are some we saw when we walked through town a couple of days ago.

Some of the paintings portray historical life, like this one of an Indian driving a team of horses in front of a wagon of people.

There were volcanoes near-by.

I'm not sure about this zebra(?).

The railroad came through the area in the 1880s.

We are in the midst of Indian Country.

This is a portrayal of Hispanic women picking grapes, I think.

What a great hummingbird.

This is the only one we saw that had a mosaic rather than a painting.  It is very colorful.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Artistic La Posada

We are slowly making our way from Gold Canyon to the Denver area, a route we have taken many times before.  Right now we are in Gallup, New Mexico.  Again, we have been here many times before.  Sometimes it is difficult to find something to photograph.  Two days ago we were in Winslow, Arizona, and we visited the La Posada Hotel.  It was one of the original Harvey House hotels along the Santa Fe Railway line.  Here are some artistic (we hope) pictures of the enclosed garden at the hotel.

Ivy on a wall

A peace rose

A fountain in the wall with ivy
A doorway in a wall                                                                                                          

A bench with a view

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Beginning of Our Summer Travels

Yesterday we locked up our home in Gold Canyon and pulled out with the Airstream just after 9 am.

About 180 miles north we pulled into a very different parking place. There isn't a stucco-covered building in sight, just a few rvs and lots of open space. We are staying at Homolovi Ruins State Park for 3 nights. This is the 4th time we have stayed here. What a spacious, quiet campground. We have water and electric, not sewer.

The park protects the remains of several early villages of the Anasazi people from the 1200s and 1300s. The villages were located along the Little Colorado River and may have been abandoned about 1400 because of frequent flooding. The people may have moved on to Hopi Mesa to the north.

On our walk today, we visited the ruins of Homolovi I. Here is evidence of a building on the hillside.

Potsherds, broken pieces of pottery, have been moved together to show some evidence of everyday life back then.  Some of the pieces show texture that indicates pots made with coils of clay.  A few pieces have been painted.  Archaeologists can look at evidence like this and learn about local practices and trade with other communities.

We are really in the wide open spaces here. Look at the view from the road we walked between the campground and Homolovi I.

Look at our sunset here last night!

It feels good to relax and not have anything we have to accomplish right now. Preparing for travel and making arrangements for our trip to England have dominated life for weeks--maybe months. It is good to just be.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Walking and Birds

Every day we try to walk 5 miles--that means 10,000 steps. We each wear a fit bit to keep track of those steps. Most of the time we walk around our resort. The steps we take shopping at Walmart also count. Yesterday, John suggested we drive over to the Gilbert Water Ranch to walk and look at the many birds that love the many ponds there. It was a good change of scenery. We hadn't been there all winter.

We saw a lot of egrets and cormorants.

Sometimes they were in groups.  Other times, they were more solitary.

Here is a cormorant and her babies.

We spotted a large group of turtles.

I love the black-necked stilt.  They look like a bird in a tuxedo, I think.

These branches make an interesting tangle on the edge of one of the ponds.

John caught me taking pictures of the real birders taking photographs.

We really enjoyed yesterday's walk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Getting Everything Ready to Go

It’s spring and for us snowbirds, that means it is time to head back north. The first step in that process for us is to get the truck and trailer cleaned up.

Yesterday we washed the truck after John had thoroughly cleaned the interior.

Today we washed the Airstream. Doesn’t it look good?

We didn’t stop there. We took the very dirty Weber grill to the car wash for a good cleaning. We used engine degreaser, then power wash and power rinse to get it looking pretty good, too.

We won’t be leaving for a week. But we won’t be twiddling our thumbs. We still have to pack food, clothes and electronics for the trip as well as preparing the house here for it’s long summer’s rest. Of course, the air conditioner won’t get a rest, but everything else will.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Color Everywhere

Granted, the desert is mostly tan with green accents in the cactus plants. But not at this time of year. Cactus and other plants, and also trees, are blooming all around us. Yellow is the predominant color, especially while the palo verde trees are in bloom. Many people don't like them--either because of their allergies or because the flowers quickly fall off and we track them inside. But John and I think they are beautiful.

Some of the lantana bushes have a mixture of yellow and orange to red.

And there are a lot more colors.

And here are some more.

It's getting pretty warm around here, but we will enjoy the beautiful flowers for another week or so.