The motorhome is parked in Mary’s yard at her home at Murphys, California. My departure date to head South is now set for December 2nd. About one month later Mary will fly to meet me in Yuma, Arizona.

The cleaning  and minor work on the Bronco is now completed. After our 682 day journey, they were both ready for some attention. Both are now in near-showroom condition. The only thing awaiting my attention is re-stocking the motorhome and assisting Mary with some of her house chores.

Yesterday was a mostly sunny day at 57 degrees.  Forecast for today is mostly sunny and 59 degrees.

A CHANGE…

I’ve decided that my current daily activity (preparing the motorhome for my December 2nd departure) is not really all that exciting to read or see. I’ve further decided to share with you some of the photos from our 2011-2013, 682 days of circumnavigating the United States.

To read about today’s photo album location, click this link… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nogales,_Arizona

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

Dos Nogales (Two Nogales)

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE PHOTOS. UNLESS I DID SOMETHING UNIQUE OR UNUSUAL YESTERDAY, THE PHOTO ALBUM WILL CHANGE DAILY.

In other news…

Yesterday I received an email telling me that my good friend Bob Gambol passed away at age 76. Bob was my co-planner for our 2004, 343 day, 16,000+ mile RV trip through Mexico and Central America. Here’s photo of Bob and his RV taken early in that trip in northern Mexico…

#9 (1)

If you are unfamiliar about that trip, you can read about it by clicking this link… http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20060628101901141

Bob and I usually chatted on the phone every 2-3 months. I last talked to him only a few days before his passing. I last saw Bob on December 20, 2011. Here’s that Blog entry link… https://otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/a-24-hour-visit-to-slab-city/
Rest in Peace, Amigo!

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…

USA1MU

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/110455945462646142273?authkey=Gv1sRgCKrvzqm8-IKGdA

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

Mary is arriving here today in Harlingen, Texas after an absence of 199 days. After our May 27, 2012 accident she returned to her home in California for a family reunion and started having to deal with after-effects of the accident. It will be nice having my partner back on the road with me. If you missed the accident Blog entry, you can see it by clicking this link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-4Eh

The motorhome is parked at Tropic Winds RV Resort and is scheduled to be here until January 10th.

Recently I published a Blog entry about the South Texas Music known as Conjunto. Remember, in Spanish, a “j” is pronounced like an “h” and so is pronounced as con-HOON-tow!

You can read about Conjunto by clicking this Wikipedia link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjunto

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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If you missed that entry, you can read it now by clicking this link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-6s6

Last Saturday night I turned on the TV in the motorhome to the local PBS Station which was featuring Conjunto music. Because video gobbles up many megabytes in a hurry, I recorded only this short video which you may view by clicking this link…
http://youtu.be/VLiT-H-xCsY

In Mexico this type of music is called Banda. It is also similar to the Cajun Music we experienced in Southern Louisiana in 2010. We are currently expecting to experience Mardi Gras this year in Lake Charles, Louisiana and remain in Louisiana until about the end of March. Until then we’ll be surrounded by this beautiful music. It’s a lousy job. but someone’s got to do it!!!!  :)

You can view the South Texas Conjunto Association Music Website and see a number of videos by clicking this link…
http://conjunto.org/

Enjoying beautiful local music is another joy of the full-time RVing lifestyle!

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

USA1H

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures 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

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

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

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Harlingen, Texas – Day 4

December 23, 2012

Mary is at her home in California enjoying the holiday season with her family. She has made her airline reservations to join me here at Harlingen, Texas on January 3, 2013.

The motorhome is parked at Tropic Winds RV Resort and is scheduled to be here until January 10th. While I await Mary’s arrival on the 3rd, I’ll be seeing some local attractions, performing repairs and preventative maintenance on both the motorhome and Bronco, plus thoroughly cleaning both vehicles.

Today’s entry is entitled…17 going on 18!

Back on December 23, 1995, I departed Olympia, Washington to begin my full-time RVing lifestyle. At that time I had a  1976 Chevy Suburban and a 1988 Fleetwood Prowler 18′ Travel Trailer which I had until 1999. I tend to take really good care of and do not abuse my vehicles so I get a long-time use from 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…

img127

After spending the Winter of 98-99 in Baja California Sur, Mexico…I decided I needed to change rigs because I wanted a small 4-wheel drive vehicle with which I could use to go off into the back-country. I also had a hankering that I might want to go to Central America, so I looked around for something that if it didn’t come back from Central America…it wouldn’t be the end of the World. In 1999, I ended up buying this 1983 23′ Suncrest Class A Motorhome and a 1984 Ford Bronco II…

#11

I used these vehicles on a 2004, 343 day, 16,000+ mile RV trip through Mexico and Central America, crossing the Panama Canal until we ran out of roads and had to begin our return journey. As it turned out, both vehicles returned from Central America.

I met Mary in 2008 and the only problem she had with that motorhome was that she had no place to do her yoga…so the answer to that problem was to get another motorhome. By that time the 1984 Ford Bronco II was getting tired…so time for a replacement as well. In 2009 we acquired our current rigs of a 2006 Fleetwood Terra 26′ Class A Motorhome and a nice 1986 Ford Bronco II…

DSC00734

So as you read this Blog entry today, I’m completing my 17th and beginning my 18th year of full-time RVing. I turned 72, 18 days ago. I hope to be the World’s first 100-year-old active RVer!  :)

Enjoying 17 years on the road is another joy of the full-time RVing lifestyle!

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

USA1H

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures 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

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

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

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

Roma, Texas – Day 3

December 19, 2012

Mary remains at home in California tending to medical and personal business issues. She has made her airline reservations to join me at Harlingen, Texas on January 3, 2013.

The motorhome is parked at VFW Post #9175 in Roma, Texas. I expected to depart yesterday but the windshield glass chip repair service said the repair man couldn’t make it until yesterday. Now I’m expecting to depart here tomorrow.

Yesterday the first event of the day was the windshield rock chip repairman showing up to accomplish the job…

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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In yesterday’s Blog entry I discussed meeting my new friend Horatio. He introduced me to his dentist Dr. Alma Lidia Cantu de Graza. She lives in Roma, but her office is across the border in Ciudad Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico, population about 27,000. She met me in a nearby parking lot in Roma and we crossed the bridge over the Rio Grande. Pick-up trucks pay $3 for a one way passage. Pedestrians pay $.25 to walk across the bridge…

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The Rio Grande River looking west-northwest as seen from the bridge…

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And into the city…

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Her office is about one mile from the bridge and looks more like a house on the outside rather than an office…

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It has a large waiting area…

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With three dental rooms…

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She cleaned my teeth and repaired a damaged tooth. Here’s a banner for her services…

009

I shot this next photo through the glass window in her front door looking towards the outside…

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She had one other patient which took about an hour. Then she went with me to the pharmacy and help me buy my sinus medication for which she had to write a prescription. The 40 tablets I purchased cost me $22.40…in the United States they would cost $275.00! Then we went to a small local eatery for lunch and then back to the bridge to return to the United States…

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The Rio Grande River looking east-southeast…

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I have crossed back into the United States from Mexico many times over the years. I have never seen tighter security than yesterday. You can read of drug-related shootings in 2011 in Miguel Aleman by clicking this link…
http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-04-25/politics/30059508_1_drug-violence-border-city-cartels

025

Fortunately we had no problems yesterday in Miguel Aleman.

Enjoying getting dental work done and buying medications in Mexico is another joy of the full-time RVing lifestyle!

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

USA1R

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures 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

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

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

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

Taos, New Mexico – Day 4

September 17, 2012

The motorhome is currently parked at the Fraternal Order Of Eagles Airee #3849. I expect to be here for several days.

I took The Bronco and drove about three miles south of Taos to Rancho de Taos…the location of the old San Francisco de Asis Mission Church started in 1772 and completed in 1816. During my 2004 RV trip through Mexico and Central America I saw many churches of similar design. Photography is not allowed inside of the church…

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 are some other photos taken around the old plaza…

Enjoying beautiful old churches and plazas is anither joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

You can read all about this church by clicking this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_de_Asis_Church,_Ranchos_de_Taos

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

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

Jim’s long time friend, who chooses to remain anonymous, introduced us to her two best friends, Mary Berg and Pat McKay.  Mary is a psychic and does individual readings. Once she was asked to help the local police department on a case of theirs. She is an upbeat, interesting woman to talk too.

Pat McKay, is the former wife of  Buck Duane Walker,  who murdered Muff and Mack Graham,  a couple living on their sailboat on the Island of Palmyra. Palmyra  is  located off the coast of Hawaii. It was a sensational case when it happened in the 1960’s and the book, The Sea Shall Tell,  was written about the event, and the capture and trial of Buck’s girlfriend,  Stephanie.   Pat was married to Buck for ten years, and knew him for 40 years.  He was a mesmerizing, clever, self-educated man and a psychopath. She visited him in prison, got to know his girlfriend,  Stephanie after the murders,  and even had a strange tie to Muff and Mack Graham, the two murder victims.   Pat’s family introduced  her aunt to date Mack before he met Muff. The Graham’s lived aboard their boat sailing the world over in much the same way RVers live on wheels, moving from one destination to another.

Pat  was grateful it was not she who sailed to Palmyra with Buck Walker. The book  was written by Richard Henderson and the attorney, Vincent Bugliosi who defended Stephanie.  Pat claims it was really Henderson who wrote the book. It was later made into a movie by the same name. Jim became quite fascinated by this case because he discovered  that Buck  Walker, while serving life in prison, wrote his version of the events that happened on the Island, under his father’s name, Wesley Walker.  Jim found his story interesting, well written and credible.

We enjoyed meeting Pat, and hearing about her interesting life.  She has written an as yet unpublished book about her life and how it intersected with the people who met their fate on the Island of Palmyra.   She met Jim’s friend while living in Mexico and they both moved to Deming.

It is interesting to meet someone who has a lot of  “inside”  information about the real life characters of a book you just chanced to read.  I can’t wait to read Pat’s book and will let you know on this blog when it is available. Sometimes you meet people who change your life. It was so for Pat McKay.

We are still parked at the Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, New Mexico.

Yesterday Mary and I attend the above named celebration of Mexican-American friendship held at Columbus, New Mexico.

Here’s a poster in Spanish about the Cabalgata…

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...

We left the motorhome at 9:30 AM when the temperature was a bone-chilling 35 degrees coupled with a 15 miles an hour wind which made for a wind-chill effect of 25 degrees. BRRR!!! Remember me? I’m the guy who likes it between 65-75 degrees!

Are we having fun yet?

Part of the festivities was a bi-national Calvary horse parade. The American riders met the Mexican riders at the border 3 miles away and arrived in Columbus, New Mexico at about 10:00 AM. The festivities were held at the central plaza in the Village of Columbus, New Mexico. I estimate there were about 300 horses in the parade followed by a lot of vehicles that carried the families of the Mexican riders.

Here are some photos that I took throughout the day…

To see the other 31 photos that I took, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/13thAnnualCabalgataBinacionalColumbusNewMexico

Finally, here’s a special treat for you. Click this link…
http://youtu.be/CrHmKksDg_c

I have spent about two years…driving well in excess 10,000 miles in Mexico. The Mexicans are wonderful and friendly people. They love to party. Find the smallest reason and they will have a party! It’s truly a shame what the drug thing has done to their country…In excess of 45,000 people killed in the last five years. So much so that we now fear to take the motorhome back into Mexico. So, in this case, the Mexicans came to us.

Well, at least I have my photos which help preserve the memories of my travels in Mexico..

Despite the bone-chilling cold, we were both happy we attended this fun event for 2.5 hours. There was also lots of great food.

Spring is about 10 days away…I can hardly wait! The weather is supposedly going to warm back up where it’s supposed to be the week…in the mid-70’s. Hooray!

In other news…

This morning we will move the motorhome about 30 miles north to the Deming, New Mexico area. We hope to get into Rockhound State Park.

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

We are parked at Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, New Mexico.

One might wonder how a New Mexico State Park gets to be named for someone who raided the Town of Columbus, New Mexico on March 9, 1916 and killed 18 Americans. I researched that topic on-line and found the answer in one word…TOURISM. It was meant to attract tourists. The U.S. Army Camp that was here was named Camp Furlong. Now…would you go out of your way to go to Camp Furlong State Park? Most likely not!

Nonetheless controversy over the naming of the park still remains. The following two links provide the information…

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-09-1Apanchovilla09_CV_N.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/2011-03-14-letters14_ST_N.htm

Upon arrival four days ago we purchased a New Mexico Annual Camping Permit. It allows a full year’s use in all of New Mexico’s State Parks for a non-resident for only $225. You are allowed to stay as long as three weeks before being required to move along. If you desire an electrical hook-up it is available for only $4 a night. I have several friends who have purchased this Annual Camping Permit in the past and speak highly of it. We intend to spend the better part of 2012 exploring New Mexico…

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 tell you Pancho Villa State Park is one of the nicest state parks I’ve been to. At 49 acres with only 62 campsites…that makes it very spacious. Lots of room between campsites also makes it very quiet and peaceful. It’s also nice and level which makes for very easy RV parking. The desert scenery is very beautiful in its own natural way.

Here’s a Google Earth image showing Columbus, New Mexico is only three miles from Palomus, Mexico. Our location is shown by an “X”…

Here’s one showing the state park boundaries. Our site is marked as an “X”…

Here’s a photo of our campsite…

Here’s a panorama shot of Columbus, New Mexico looking east from north to south…

Here’s another looking directly to the south, east to west,  over the state park and into Mexico. Our motorhome is somewhere in this photo…

This link provides a good description of the park…
http://columbusnewmexico.com/columbus_new_mexico_pancho_villa_state_rv_park.htm

Yesterday morning at 10:00 AM we were among the about 50 people who braved the cold temperature and a rather brisk wind to attend an hour-long memorial service for the eight soldiers and ten civilians killed in the raid. In addition 90 Villaistas were also killed. I was honored when asked to respond for Private Fred A. Griffin during the Honor Roll Call. When his name was called I answered loudly “Here, Sir” and a bell was rung in remembrance. The other 17 causalities also had representatives to answer for their name when called. Mary answered for a civilian.

Private Fred A. Griffin was the first soldier killed in the raid. His image and information is shown below…

Here are some other photos I took during the memorial service…

After the memorial service we went to the nearby Columbus Historical Society Museum in the refurbished old railroad depot. There are three rooms full of local historical information and one room is dedicated to the Villa Raid, Camp Furlong and the Punitive Expedition led by General John “Black Jack” Pershing who pursued Villa into Mexico.

Here are some photos from the museum…

From this nearby small rise of land known as Cootes Hill, the soldiers of Camp Furlong drove the Villaistas from Columbus back towards Mexico…

We expect to move on from Pancho Villa State Park tomorrow morning.

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

PANCHO VILLA STATE PARK

March 9, 2012

We are staying at Pancho Villa State Park. Its comfortable and quiet here. We hunkered down from a terrible wind storm that had Highway 10 closed, and wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour. We stayed in and felt like someone was banging on a tin can as the motor home did a bit of rock and roll, the wind blasting away.  Yesterday was clear and crisp and we walked the park. The park is very distinctive considering that it was the first airbase in the United States, Camp Furlong, and it is also the site of Pancho Villa’s attack on Columbus,New Mexico. Villa’s scouts counted 30 soldiers before his attack, but they were wrong and the attack met 350 American soldiers with a brand new  weapon, a machine gun.Villa was quickly dispatched.

We walked to the top of this hill where a placque displays the battle of how Villa’s men attacked the base. And, of course he attacked the town as well, intending to take over Columbus.

The Citizens fought Villa and their account is in a nearby Museum and the old Custom House visible from the top of the hill. We visited here in January of 2010 and the Museum is really well done as well as a private museum in town that has a replica of Villa’s death mask and many first hand accounts from the citizens who lived there.

In the intervening years, Columbus has made a big effort to honor the long years of friendship with its nearby Mexican neighbors, and Mexican officials from Chihuahua have cooperated with Columbus on the Museum and come here once a year to celebrate Camp Furlong Days, a parade and festivities that we will attend tomorrow.  The attack was 96 years ago.

Two adobe buildings from Camp Furlong’s headquarters are preserved on the site.

And the remains of a grease rack used to maintain vehicles here. It is humorous that the grease and petrol had to be packed in from the train station by mule teams.

When we visited in 2010, we crossed into Mexico and had delicious dinner in Las Palomas with fun friends and strolling musicians. With dismay, I noticed a sign at the park warning us that the most dangerous border crossings today are from Columbus, New Mexico, Fort Hix and Fabens, Texas. What a shame that the drug cartels have practically halted what was once a delightful place to visit. While it won’t stop the celebration being held here tomorrow, there has been, and still is, a lot of controversy about naming the park for Pancho Villa. You can click the two links below and read how people feel about it.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-09-1Apanchovilla09_CV_N.htm
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/2011-03-14-letters14_ST_N.htm

I prefer friendship to hostilities and agree with those who remember that America isn’t innocent of wrong doing and we should all move on.

Interestingly, the park water tank raises consciousness of the water crisis we will someday face and says:  You are drinking ice age water….

…what will you drink next year?

Hmmm!  Good question.

We are currently parked at the Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico.

This morning at about 4:20 AM, 96 years ago, in 1916, Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico from the southwest, riding over the very ground where we are currently parked. The below Google Earth image shows Mexico is only three miles south of our location marked by the “X”…

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 a photo of Pancho…

and a photo of a mural honoring Pancho. I took this photo in Parral, Mexico in 2004. Pancho was living in near Parral in retirement when he was assassinated in 1923.

To read all about Pancho Villa, click this link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Villa

To read all about the attack, click this link..
http://web.nmsu.edu/~publhist/colhist.htm

Here’s a photo of our site. Mexico can be seen in the background. Pancho Villa and his men rode across this very land to attack Columbus, New Mexico…

Once again, it is interesting and fun to walk literally in the footsteps of history.

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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