We finally arrived in Lubbock after a long anticipated visit. We stayed 10 days in Laura (Story) and Miriam’s driveway and had a great visit. During those days we drank a lot and ate a lot of chips and salsa at area restaurants we could just walk to, which proved dangerous. Most of the time we were probably the oldest people in some of the places since they are so close to Texas Tech and all the college students are out enjoying the same places. Margaritas and great mexican food everywhere we went, it was awesome and I was in heaven. We had a lot of good conversations about past memories and caught up on each others lives, so that was really good. It’s always easy to just pick up where we left off when it comes to Story and I.
Kat saw more of Lubbock than I did with a trip to the post office and out to volunteer at South Plains Food Bank, where she stacked cans of corn. One interesting thing was that she had to mark out the barcode with a sharpie because people will take them to the stores and return them for money. I had a very sore back that day because of my previous three days washing and waxing the Shady Lady. I did have help washing from Story, but the waxing was all me. Not too bad really because it was like putting lotion on very dry skin and then just rubbing it off. Not like a hard wax that goes on a car that takes a lot of muscle to rub it off. We had been wanting to get that done for a very long time so we could do some caulking….lets see how long it takes for us to do that since neither of us want to do that at all!
It was windy, dusty, hot weather as was expected from West Texas, but it was still great to be there. We enjoyed each others cooking and even got the neighbor who lives in their back house involved. He made a delicious Salmon dinner that we ate for lunch the next day too. See, we did skip chips and salsa a few days.
We left on Friday morning after getting our mail delivered that was supposed to be there Thursday, but we just did some cleaning during the extra time and we aren’t quick to get out in the mornings anyway. Laura and M had left Thursday evening for a two week trip of their own, so not much point in staying, plus we needed to get the tanks emptied. Before Laura left she said to us “Well, that visit went better than we expected” I got a good laugh out of that, but I knew she and Kat would get along and I already know I get along with her since we roomed together in college and I’ve spent time with Miriam, but you never know. You can read more of her thoughts about it on her blog: Up with Assist: Story’s visitors blog She really wanted to do a guest blog while we were there, but since we weren’t going to take the camper out anywhere together we made a plan to do so later this year. I made a deal with Miriam and shook on it to come back and go to Big Bend, so that is in the books for fall.
While we were there we also found out that we have a volunteer job at an Oregon Wildlife area near Klamath Falls, Oregon for the month of July! Yay, we had applied and I had called the three places we chose, but only one called us back. I spoke with two different guys who work there and it was all pretty casual, so I kind of expect the time we spend there to be the same. From what I gather by talking with them we will be doing landscaping and just general things to keep the area nice. I’ll do whatever they need, I hope I learn some cool stuff about the area plants and wildlife is all. Kat is excited to stay for free and bring our average cost of stays down.
From Lubbock we headed to Amarillo and it was just a short drive away, pretty boring unless you like grain and cotton gins. We got busy cleaning and flushing the black tank and also replacing the anode and cleaning out the hot water tank (for you Rvers you know what we are talking about….the hot water tank was full of crud). As we were finishing the weather was really starting to cool off and of course was still windy. We had just gotten inside before the rain started.
We were staying just off of I40 at the Cadillac ranch RV park. Nothing special about the park, but we really only wanted to have sewer so we could get the tanks cleaned out before going boondocking after this stop. Other than the traffic noise from I 40 it’s a quiet park. I finished the anniversary blog and we watched TV before turning in for the long night of listening to wind and rain.
We woke up Saturday to frozen rain and snow, so that put the kabash on our plan to go hiking at Palo Duro Canyon, which is supposed to be the Grand Canyon of Texas. I found out about Jack Sisemore’s Traveland RV museum on Trip Advisor and we needed a couple of things from the RV store anyway, so we decided to go out. We drove by the Cadillac ranch attraction, which is 10 Cadillacs upside down in a field off the road and decorated with spray paint. If it wouldn’t have been so cold, snowy, windy and muddy we would have walked the 100yards to get some pictures, but there may be time tomorrow. We went to the museum and wow, it was really cool! It is a building full of old RV’s that have been restored or are just in good shape and donated. The RV from the Robin Williams move ” RV ” is there and the first Airstream is too! There were some really cool and historic campers as well as a lot of Harley Davidson motorcycles. It was great and we were there about an hour. It was free too! Extra bonus! I highly recommend it if you are ever in Amarillo with some extra time.
The rest of the afternoon was a trip to Walmart and then just hanging out in the camper watching TV, reading and researching some of our next stops. We hadn’t decided if we would leave in the morning or not. Our next stop was at Lake Meredith and is a boondocking spot, so we weren’t sure if it would be a muddy mess. We would have felt better about it if we had a full tank of propane too since we were probably low, so that could be another reason to stick around Amarillo, but we decided to go a little further. There really was no rush since the weather up in Northern NM and Colorado was cold and snowy too. We might as well wait for it to warm up in those places so we can enjoy it more.
Lake Meredith was a pretty nice campground just outside of the little town of Fritch, TX (pop 2000+). The reservoir/lake is formed by the Sanford dam and Canadian river. It used to be a major water provider for Amarillo and Lubbock, but there has been too much drought to continue that. There are a lot of different sections to stay in and we stayed in the Sanford Yates area. It was almost empty when we got there and so we chose a spot overlooking the lake, boondocking again. We had a really pretty view out the back window. The place got pretty busy that night and then in the morning it was empty again. Either people just used it as an overnight stay or they left because of the wind. Yeah, it got windy at night, very windy! I was pretty much over wind and dust, but not much you can do about it.
We had stopped at the visitor center on our way into the Lake when we first arrived and we signed up for a tour of the Alibates flint quarry. I had no idea what to expect from that, but usually we learn some good stuff from ranger talks. So, we showed up at the quarry park headquarters at 2pm for the walk and it had two other civilians attending and three other forest service workers. Jacob was our guide and he really told great stories about the area that helped you be able to imagine what life was like so long ago for the Indian people. The flint quarries are not like any quarry I would ever imagine. There were no huge holes in the ground with big trucks driving up and down. Nope, they are small (kid swimming pool size) depressions in the earth with lots of flint stone around where the Indians dug up flint that they chipped away at to make weapons and tools. The flint stone is really gorgeous and I think now if I am out hiking I can recognize it along with some of the plants that Jacob told us about as we hiked. A good two hours of time spent well.
Nothing too exciting to tell about the rest of our stay there, we took some walks and did reading as usual, but we did get our new propane tank filled for only 19$! Our next stop was Santa Rosa Lake in Santa Rosa, NM of course. That was a super quiet place. We took a walk after we got set up and just relaxed over dinner. We didn’t have much of a cell signal, so no surfing the internet, but we did have power, so we watched TV for awhile. When we do watch TV we mostly watch BBC cooking shows and QI and Graham Norton that Kat downloads onto her computer. We like to torture ourselves watching people bake full meals and especially bread with tons of space and all sorts of kitchen gadgets. Kinda fun to figure out if we can do it too, but we have only tried a few new things.
The next morning we took a hike on the shoreline trail. That was about 3 miles in total. A lot of great views of the lake and blooming flowers along the trail. We spent a few hours in the towns library, but their internet was not great either, but we were able to use our phones as hotspots. Not much going on in town, but it was Cinco De Mayo, so who knows how the evening turned out. We drove past Blue hole, there were some people swimming and diving, but we just snapped a few pictures and left. Apparently there are about 22 lakes in the area. I would have never guessed that by just looking around. It seems more like a place for trucks to get gas after pulling off the highway.
We left early in the morning on Saturday so we could get into Santa Fe for a late lunch and do some exploring. We also needed to do a little shopping. For our stay we took advantage of the Harvest Host membership and parked at Blue Mesa Alpaca ranch about 15 minutes outside of Santa Fe. Bob and Louise were super nice and we basically just dropped of the camper in a field next to their barn and went into town. We got our Mexican food fix and then checked out the Plaza, as you have to do when in Santa Fe. Starbucks for internet was our next stop, but it was a slow connection so we only stayed until our parking expired. As we walked back to the truck I suggested a drink somewhere. I am really glad we did because when we stopped at the corner bar I was amazed at how crowded it was and wondered why. Well, hmmm- it was just about time for the big Kentucky Derby race! We remembered being at a party the year before and discussing full time RVing with Breck and Cheri. What a long time ago that seemed and now here we are actually living the life we talked about.
After a long evening of running errands we headed home to put away groceries and get some sleep before helping with Alpaca pen cleaning in the morning. Kat wanted to get in some volunteering in NM and I had told her we/I did it already when we went to Albuquerque. Well, only I did because Kat was working and she said it didn’t really count anyway because we weren’t staying in the camper at the time, we had flown in and were staying in a hotel. I disagree and think it counts, but I don’t mind doing more, so we offered to help Bob clean out the Alpaca pens in the morning. It didn’t seem like he was sure about letting us, but I told him we had helped on a friends farm before, so he accepted our offer. We scooped poop from 70 alpacas as they all watched us. Yes, they have 70 Alpacas. They sell the fiber and also breed them. He also has 12 horses, some are rescues that he saved. Like I said, he is a really nice guy. They also have a few cats running around, but the funniest one was Garfield who the Alpacas loved to follow around. He loved to follow us around and be part of cleaning and feeding. After buying a pair of socks and chatting we headed out to stay at Cochiti Lake in between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Really pretty country, quiet and relaxing. It leaves me feeling pretty mellow and peaceful.