The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails RV Resort in Palm Desert. California, of which we are members. I’m planning to depart from here on December 18th. Mary will fly in to join me at Yuma, Arizona sometime in January.

A couple of days ago I took a walk around the resort and took a few photos. Here is one of them…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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My purposes in leaving early was to escape the much colder weather in Murphys, California. In addition, I have lots of friends in the Yuma area plus I’ll cross into Mexico to visit my dentist for my annual visit, refurbish the freon in the Bronco’s air conditioning system and get new prescription eyeglasses.

Yesterday was a mostly sunny day at 58 degrees.  Forecast for today is partly sunny and 67 degrees.

A more relaxed mode…

After our 682 day on-the-go 2011-2013 circumnavigation of the United States, we have decided to slip into a more relaxed mode. In the next few months we will be traveling through areas previously explored. Unless I do something unusual, this Blog will feature a photo album from the circumnavigation and will change daily.

To read about today’s photo album location, click this link… http://geronimospringsmuseum.com/exhibits.html

CLICK ON THE BELOW PHOTO. ONCE YOU ARRIVE AT THE PHOTO ALBUM, SIMPLY CLICK “SLIDESHOW” AND ENJOY!

Geronimo Spring Museum, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

USA1pd

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link… http://www.youtube.com/user/JimJ1579/videos

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link… https://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

For more information about my books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013

hopefully later today.

I arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday on a Sunday morning at 10:00 hoping for light traffic. The below map from the visitors center shows that Albuquerque has two intersecting Interstate Highways forming, more or less, a big plus (+) sign in the middle of the city. I-25 running North to South and I-40 running East to West…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

I must admit I was truly surprised at how much traffic there was on a Sunday morning. Sure glad I didn’t decide to come in on a weekday!

I settled in at Moose Lodge #2241 shown as #1 on the map….

This is the view out of the dinette window…not bad for a large city…

It was difficult to find a relatively flat piece of ground in the sloping grade of the parking lot. The reason I chose this location is because it is very near to the only Workhorse Chassis (the kind on the motorhome) repair facility in the area. You might remember a couple of weeks ago when I entered Truth or Consequences that the ABS light came on…

I stopped at the local Chevrolet dealership there…but their three different diagnostic scanners would not communicate with the Workhorse Chassis. Hence my current appointment at the only Workhorse Chassis repair facility in the Albuquerque area at 9:00 AM this morning. Hopefully by noon the ABS light situation will be rectified and the Anti-Locking Brake System will be working properly.

So…what adjustments am I talking about. If you look at the above Moose parking lot photo once again…

On the far right side of the building you can see a sound barrier wall. Directly on the other side of the wall is eight lanes of a very busy Interstate Highway 40. The sound barrier wall really doesn’t work. The parking lot is VERY NOISY FROM THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT! Get the picture? Trying to get some sleep last night was a real nightmare! Pun intended! It’s interesting to note that on the left side of the above building…just on the other side of those trees…is a KOA Campground where folks are paying $46 a night and listening to the same noise I had last night.

So, what to do? Yesterday I took the Bronco and did some scouting of the area. One of the places I went to is VFW Post #401 shown as point #2 on the map…

it’s located very near the airport where I’m scheduled to meet Mary one week from tomorrow. It’s situated in an industrial complex with a locked gate at night and quite quiet for being in a large city. Once the ABS light is fixed…hopefully today…I’ll be moving over to the VFW Post. The Commander there said there’s no problem with a long-term stay.

The only potential glitch with moving today is the Workhorse Chassis repair facility might not have the parts to affect the repair. If that’s the case…I’ll play it all by ear.

A few days ago when I was camped at South Monticello Campground on Elephant Butte Lake…I mentioned that the quiet there was almost deafening and that I would be wishing I had some of that quiet here in Albuquerque. I was so right!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Fort Craig, New Mexico

April 20, 2012

Two days ago I visited the site of this old fort located about 40 miles north of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Even in today’s world it seemed very isolated to me…and I wondered how the soldiers felt about being stationed here 150 years ago. It once was the largest fort in the Southwest with over 2,000 soldiers. The only major battle in the Civil War fought in the Southwest…the Battle of Valverde occurred only a few miles from this fort site. To read about that battle, click this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Valverde

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

These two Google Earth images will give you the big picture…

The outline of the fort is clearly visible from an altitude of 6,449 feet…

From an altitude of 38,445 feet you can see the five-mile road from New Mexico Highway 1 to the fort’s location adjacent to the Rio Grande River…

The beginning of the five-mile road…

The road was quite rough and very dusty. 20 minutes later the green trees along the Rio Grande River come into view…

According to the legend the soldiers put logs on the ramparts to make the enemy believe they had more cannons than they really had…

A small portion of the rock walls remain…

The Commanding General’s headquarters are the most visible remains…

Another view with the flag pole in the background…

The supplies storage area…

From these ramparts the soldiers fought off the Apache Indians…

A 180 degree panorama photo of the fort looking from North to East to South…

Finally a photo  taken off the sign in front of the corral area…

To see the other 20 photos that I took, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/FortCraigNewMexico

Here’s the official government website link…
http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/socorro/fort_craig.html

And a Wikipedia informational link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Craig

Visiting old military installations is one of my favorite things to do as a full-time RVer!

Yesterday I drove the motorhome to Socorro, New Mexico where I’m parked at the Fraternal order Of Eagles Airee #4017.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Yesterday I visited this museum located about 35 miles north of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It presents a very complete story of the Royal Road also known as the King’s Highway that ran from Mexico City to Santa Fe, New Mexico. You can read more about this facility by clicking these two links…
http://www.nmmonuments.org/el-camino-real
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Camino_Real_International_Heritage_Center

The photography conditions were terrible. The inside was dimly lit and outside the brilliant sunshine was brutal. Nonetheless…I ventured forth. Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

In this final photo, the El Camino Real is about eight miles distant. The mountain range on the right is Fra Cristobal. The Rio Grande River passes to the right…right up against the mountain range which made it impassable to early travelers. They were forced to go to the left of the mountain range on the Jornado Del Muerto also known as the Journey of the Dead. Many people died in this 100 mile stretch because there were no dependable water supplies.

You can view the other 30 photo that I took by clicking this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/ElCaminoRealInternationalHeritageCenterNewMexico

I wrote about the Jornado Del Muerto a few days back and you can read that entry by clicking this link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-49n

I spent the night in the back parking lot of the Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico. You cannot come to this tiny town and not have a green chili burger. I did and it was tasty. This guy gives a good write-up about the Owl Bar and Cafe…
http://nmgastronome.com/blog/?p=176

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Pretty And Quiet…

April 18, 2012

Yesterday I wrote about Elephant Butte State Park near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico…
http://wp.me/pDCku-4eb

In that posting I mentioned that within the state park boundaries there are about a dozen different campgrounds, mostly primitive, along the western shore of the lake. Yesterday morning I departed the overlook site near the park entrance and drove about eight miles north to the northern-most campground that has RV facilities. It’s named South Monticello. Here’s a Google Earth image showing the relative location on the lake shore…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

Only…I didn’t enter the campground with the RV facilities. I drove by that entrance and continued down the road for about another mile to the end…

This Google Earth image shows my location. The RV facilities campground is about 1/4 mile away…

Here’s my parking location. No RV facilities here…

Through the windshield I can see the RV facilities campground in the distance…

And this is the view through the dinette window…

Finally a panorama looking from North to East to South…

The dam created the lake in 1916. If there were no dam…the water would be narrower and be called the Rio Grande River.

As you can see I’m out on this point of land all by myself…and it’s pretty and quiet! One week from today I expect to be in Albuquerque and I’m betting that I’ll be thinking about the quiet I enjoyed here. I know it won’t be quiet there!

A lovely sunny day of 74 degrees and a nice gentle breeze off of the lake made for a most enjoyable stay.

Today I’ll continue wandering north towards Albuquerque which I expect to enter this coming Sunday morning.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

A few days back I wrote about the Elephant Butte Dam…
http://wp.me/pDCku-4by

Which created Elephant Butte Lake…
http://wp.me/pDCku-4c7

Along the west side of the lake…Elephant Butte State Park, over about ten miles, has about a dozen campgrounds…most of them are primitive with no utilities.

Yesterday I moved the motorhome from the Moose Lodge in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico the about five miles to the State Park. I’ll spend only one night. I came to primarily dump my waste tanks, fill my fresh water tank and take a nice long hot shower. After last Saturday’s wind/dust storm I also cleaned the window glass inside and out as well as the solar panels on the motorhome roof.

I’m parked in what I consider the best view site in the state park. I’m situated on an overlook near the park entrance…about 300 feet elevation about the lake.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

Here’s the view through the dinette window…

Another view…

And a panorama view…

Then three Google Earth views…

There are about six overlook sites…each with a three-sided protective shelter…

that have a metal picnic table inside…

that gives a great view of the lake…

People park their RV’s right along the lake shore so they can pull their watercraft onshore nearby their rigs…

When I scouted out this park Easter weekend there were several hundred RV’s parked along the lake shore. The roadways down to there are not well marked…so much so that I got the Bronco into some loose sand and had to put it into 4 wheel drive to get moving again. A local told me that the local tow truck drivers do a lively business retrieving stuck vehicles. They’re not going to get my business…I’m staying on solid ground up on the overlook!

A lovely sunny day of 70 degrees with a gentle breeze made it a delightful stay.

Here’s the state park’s official website link…
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/elephant.htm

Today I’ll head out and start wandering north towards Albuquerque where I’m hopefully going to meet up Mary in about 10 days.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

A Democrat’s RV…

April 16, 2012

Shortly after my arrival here in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico…I took my towed Ford Bronco II over to Elephant Butte State Park about five miles distant to checkout the four campgrounds there. I’ll be moving the motorhome there this morning and I wanted to get to know the lay of the land before I go there as the online maps are very confusing.

As I was driving through the campgrounds…I noticed this Democrat’s RV. I had never seen one before and I thought I’d share it with you…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

Kind of unique…isn’t it? I wonder what a Republican’s RV looks like?

In other news…

This morning I will depart Moose Lodge 2050 after an 11 day visit. I chose to stay here rather than drive in daily from the state park. It’s nice to enjoy good food and drink with the locals. Thank you Moose Lodge 2050 for your hospitality!

In addition to visiting local attractions while here…I’ve also been busy researching my upcoming approach to Albuquerque. The locals here tell me it’s a city of about 900,000 people and everyone drives like they are crazy.

Whenever I’m approaching a large city…which I’ve not been to before and don’t know my way around…I use Google Earth to learn about the area. In this first Google Earth Image you can see that I’ll be traveling…more or less…along side of the Rio Grande River towards Albuquerque about 150 miles distant…

The pins identify pre-planned potential stops. The below Google Earth concentrates on the southeast area of Albuquerque…where I expect to spend the better portion of my time while there. The APT pin marks the location of the airport where I’ll meet Mary hopefully in about ten days…

Since this is my first visit to Albuquerque…I’m planning to enter the city on next Sunday morning when traffic should be the lightest. It sure makes traveling a lot easier having Google Earth and The Internet for researching areas prior to arrival.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

I’m still parked at the Moose Lodge in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico where yesterday’s weather forecast was for sunny and very windy. It did not disappoint!

The wind actually came up Friday afternoon…got up to a steady 25-35 miles per hour during the night. As daylight came on the velocity increased to a steady 45-55 miles per hour with MANY frequent gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour. Since the motorhome was parked facing west and the wind was out of the south…it became rock and roll time as the wind was hitting the motorhome broadside.

The soil here is hard-packed sandy and with the wind whipping across the parking lot…it sounded like the motorhome was being sand-blasted as it rocked and rolled!

I tried to capture a photo of sand whipping across the parking lot…but because of the smallness of sand particles and the velocity they were moving…this is the best photo I came up with…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

By 1:00 PM the wind had shifted to the southwest and I was now being hit at a 45 degree angle on the left front and side of the motorhome. and it was really rocking and rolling. If I wasn’t an ex-sailor…I probably would have suffered from dry-land sea sickness!

Enough of this! I had to do something! The gusts were so strong I thought it might blow the motorhome on its side!

Ah-ha…I knew what to do. I decided to back up the motorhome to the side of the Moose Lodge where I would be in the lee of the building and kind-sorta away from the wind.

The Moose lodge had held a blood drive that morning and the bloodmobile had the better position of being nearer the building…but it at least help reduce my rocking and rolling.

Here’s a closer view of the flag ripping in the wind. It was at a 90 degree straight out position all day long…

As the afternoon wore on the wind came around to the west and now it was hitting the motorhome directly in the front. In doing so the rocking and rolling became less active. The wind continued into the night until it finally subsided. This morning the wind is gone and I’ll move the motorhome back to its pre-wind parking spot. I’ll be moving on tomorrow morning.

The locals told me that strong winds are a normal occurrence in the Spring in New Mexico. They told me that last year it was really bad…blowing for weeks at a time. I’m sure glad I wasn’t here then! I’ve been in New Mexico for about six weeks now and this is the third time I’ve been exposed to really strong winds. Enough already!

Also later this morning I’ll break out the vacuum and do some cleaning…there’s dust everywhere inside of the motorhome! Enough already!

There’s a saying…”some days are diamonds and some days are dust”. Yesterday was a really dusty one for me!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

A couple of days ago I visited this museum which does a great job of presenting local history and artifacts. Unfortunately, for the most part the museum was rather dimly lit which made for difficult photography conditions. The flash on my camera is too harsh and lugging a tripod around isn’t any fun. Nonetheless, here are some photos that I took while there…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

To see the other 46 photos that I took, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/GeronimoSpringMuseumTruthOrConsequencesNewMexico

Here is their official website link…
http://www.geronimospringsmuseum.com/

I always enjoy visiting the local museums wherever I am. It adds so much more pleasure to have an understanding of the history of the area I’m visiting. Going to museums is one of my very favorite pastimes in my full-time RVing lifestyle.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

In yesterday’s Blog entry I wrote about Elephant Butte Dam which created Elephant Butte Lake in 1916. If you missed that entry, you can read it by clicking this link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-4by

Today I’ll describe the lake it created. Justice can only be done in one of two ways…by airplane or Google Earth. Since I do not own an airplane and I’m not about to rent one…we’ll use the magic of Google Earth.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

In this first view you get to see the lake, directly from above, as seen from an altitude of 38 miles…

In the above image you can see my current location of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico as marked by TOC. The location of the dam is also shown. The lake is also known as the Elephant Butte Reservoir which you can read about by clicking this Wikipedia link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_Butte_Reservoir

The lake is New Mexico’s largest body of water at 40 miles long with 200 miles of shoreline. You can read about other details of the lake in this link…
http://www.recreation.gov/recAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&recAreaId=100

This next Google Earth image shown from an angle gives a better perspective of the “big picture”…

In addition to the Rio Grande River and the dam locations, I’m also showing you the relative locations of two Blog entries from a few days ago…first is the Laguna del Muerto from the entry about the Journey of the Dead…
http://wp.me/pDCku-49n

and second is the entry about Engle, New Mexico…An Unusual Ghost Town…
http://wp.me/pDCku-49e

As you might have guessed, the lake has huge recreational use and value. Directly to the northeast of Truth or Consequences is the rather unremarkable city of Elephant Butte…population in the 2000 census of 1,368. The major portion of the city’s business population is made up of RV and boat storage facitities…folks store them during the week and come and play on the weekends.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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