Saturday, May 30, 2020

Albuquerque Visit

Albuquerque is an interesting and beautiful city, located in the middle of New Mexico.  We are spending a week here.  We have visited the area numerous times over the years we have been RVing but we still found a lot to do, places to revisit.

One day we walked through the bosque (trees) along the Rio Grande River.  We saw a lone cormorant sitting on a branch in the river.

I can't remember what this line of metal beams along the river is called but I think it has something to do with flooding.

There are huge cottonwood trees along the bank.

We saw people riding horses on the path.

Another day we walked out to the Petroglyph National Monument.  

There are something like 23,000 ancient petroglyphs there, as well others added by the Mexican sheep herders who were in the area before New Mexico became part of the U.S.  There are also examples of modern graffiti.  (I didn't take pictures of those 20th century additions.)

One day we drove into Old Town Albuquerque to see the shops in the oldest buildings constructed here.  I love this painting.  So colorful!

Many of the doors in the old buildings are attractive and brightly painted.

This door is a sign of the current economy and virus shutdown.  Even when we found shops open, we were the only customers in the store.  How sad for the owners.

The windows in some of the old adobe walls are interesting.

I will end this blog post with this quiet neighborhood in central Albuquerque.  Unfortunately, our country is not as serene as this scene.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Boom or Bust, Feast or Famine

A few days ago we drove 165 miles east on I-40 from Winslow to Albuquerque. We saw a number of RVs on the road, probably headed home at the end of the three-day Memorial Day weekend. There were also a lot of trucks--most noticeably, a lot of blue trucks with the distinctive white swoosh--Amazon Prime trucks. I wonder if online shopping is taking the place of buying from small local businesses--which are closed by the government in this pandemic shutdown.

Obviously, Prime is doing well, as are the businesses that produce the products that are being sold there. Main street isn't doing as well.

We arrived at American RV Resort in Albuquerque, an RV park we have been visiting since 1990. It is virtually empty. We are in the new section with approximately 38 sites--only 10 are occupied. The main section of the park is equally empty. This is the first week of the summer season. The financial consequences for the park must be devastating.

I wonder how many businesses will fail and close forever by the end of these shutdown orders?

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Homolovi Ruins State Park

We enjoy Homolovi Ruins State Park near Winslow and have been here at least four times.  The sites are really spacious.

There are lots of pretty things to see here.

Flowers are blooming.

And we saw this beautiful 1958 Flying Cloud Airstream, pulled by a 1961 Chrysler.  It has been fully restored.  I loved the license plates on the car and trailer.  Cars with those fins were sure cool when I was in high school!

And the ruins, of course.  There are two main sections of ruins visible to visitors.  We walked to Homolovi I the other day.  Here are pottery shards.

And some structure walls have been restored.

This, however, is not something you want to see.  Our campsite has water and electric but no sewer at our site.  When we drove to the dump station, the black tank valve wouldn't open so we couldn't empty the sewer.  An RV technician from Winslow came to try a repair.  He wasn't successful so he ordered a new part.

He returned yesterday with a new part. What he found was that the black tank and the black pipe between the tank and dump valve were full of calcium deposits. The water in Arizona is extremely hard and white deposits develop on (and in, obviously) our plumbing. We couldn't believe how many large clumps of white deposit he was able to flush out of the tank. When we tried to empty it originally, a chunk of that stuff had blocked the tank opening.

Everything seems to be working correctly today. We hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Visiting Flagstaff

The first stop on our summer travels was Flagstaff in northern Arizona. One day we went to the downtown area of the city, not knowing what would be open in this time of Covid 19. A number of the buildings are decorated with murals. Here are a few I noticed.

The streets and sidewalks were almost deserted. To encourage people to come to the area and, hopefully, spend some money, the street parking is free.

We did find a juggler out in the park.

Flagstaff is a college town--home to Northern Arizona University.  Do you imagine that is what this wooden pole is covered with staples?  Surely not all of them are there to hold up posters!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

On the Road Again

As Willie Nelson sings, "On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again." That is what we were saying in the hot, very hot, Phoenix valley. And Friday, we did just that.

But just look at this great sunset we had the night before we left.

Here we go, leaving our site in Gold Canyon.

So now we are parked under this great maple tree in much cooler Flagstaff.  We will have four nights here before heading east.

The exercise room in our resort has been closed because of Covid 19.  It opened the day before we left.  Note the shrink wrap that closes off some machines for social distancing.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the end of World War II in Europe, these historic war planes flew over Phoenix on May 8.  We watched them from the upper deck of our neighbors Tom and Jody's house.

John completed this beautiful wooden intarsia door topper for our home in Arizona.

Our plans for the summer are to travel--safely we hope--across northern Arizona and New Mexico, then north up I-25 in Colorado, spending time in areas where our family lives. We will slowly head west again, across Colorado and Utah, then back here to Arizona in the fall.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Never Take Anything For Granted

Today we walked from our resort to the Bashas grocery store across the highway. Mainly, we wanted a little change of scenery for our morning walk, not just zigzagging around the streets where we live. There were a couple of small items on the list, however.

We did find what we were looking for--salad dressing mix, taco seasoning and Bisquick. But we also hit the mother load: THEY HAD TOILET PAPER--AKA BATHROOM TISSUE--IN STOCK. In my whole life, I have never seen such a mundane item get so much attention or be so in demand. As we walked back to our house, several people commented, "Bashas has paper goods in stock." "You found toilet paper at Bashas!" John commented we might be robbed, since we found such a valuable item.

What has our world come to when being able to buy toilet paper is a remarkable event? In my entire life, I have never worried about having paper towels or toilet paper in the house. It has, literally, been possible to buy these items almost everywhere I shop. And we have stayed in some pretty out of the way, remote areas. Take Kodachrome State Park in Utah, Organ Pipe National Monument, and Bryce Canyon National Park. I even sold it in the park store at Lathrop State Park near Walsenburg in Colorado.

Lots of shortages make sense during a pandemic or other national emergency. But toilet paper? Why?