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Journal Entries for 2006-01 RV New Mexico
OVERALL SUMMARY: We got back from our 5-week Florida trip on Dec. 14th. We had a whirlwind 10 days getting reading for Christmas. We had a great family Christmas on Christmas Eve this year (we need to share the kids these days, so this year we did Christmas a day early). So between Christmas Day and Tuesday, Dec 27th we cleaned up the house and packed for our RV trip. Christmas seemed really rushed this year, even more so than when I worked. Next year we will definitely take more time for Christmas, like from Thanksgiving on like everyone else does.

We left for Parker, Ariz on Tuesday, Dec 27th to pack the RV and get it ready for our trip. We spent a couple days there and then left for the Grand Canyon on Friday, Dec. 30th so we could spend New Year's Eve at the Grand Canyon. We stopped and spent one night at Williams on the way, to break up the drive a little bit. We're retired and we're trying to learn not to rush, rush, rush all the time. We spent two nights at the Grand Canyon, driving and hiking most of the viewpoints again. This is the third time we've been to the Grand Canyon in the past couple of years. It is an awesome place!!

Then we left the Grand Canyon on Monday, Jan. 2nd for Canyon de Chelly (d'-SHAY). We are now in "virgin" territory. This was totally awesome!!! Not only was it beautiful with the awesome rocks, canyons and valleys, but also there were Anasazi pueblo ruins and the best part of all was driving down in the canyon with our very own little Samurai (great offroading!! This was a major highlight of our trip). We spent an extra day here and would have spent even another day, just to rest, but we needed to move because we were dry camping.

We left Canyon de Chelly on Thursday, Jan. 5th. We only had a short drive to Gallup, but we stopped on the way at the Hubbell Trading Post, so it really took all day. We had been really keeping busy and we needed a few days to stock up, clean up and do chores. We stayed three nights in Gallup (this was our rest stop since there wasn't much to do here. If there had been stuff to do here, we probably would go exploring again and not rest!).

We left Gallup on Sunday, Jan 8th heading for El Morro, which is a small town on scenic Route 53 between Gallup and Grants (this is near Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave). This turned out to be an even better area to explore than we originally thought. Not only did we explore the Bandera Volcano and the Ice Cave formed by a caved in lava tube, but we explored the El Morro Monument, even staying an extra day. We also visited a wolf sanctuary and got to see some awesome wolves and wolf dogs.

We left El Morro on Wednesday, Jan 11th heading south towards Silver City. On the way we stopped for a couple nights in Glenwood to hike the Catwalk in the Gila National Forest and to see Carl's boyhood friend from Parker who now has a 25-section horse ranch in Mule Creek. We ended up staying here a day longer than planned also, so that we could do some extra hiking and visit the old mining town of Mogollon. Even though it's winter, and not green and lush, this is beautiful country. So wide open, especially when compared to So. Cal.

We left Glenwood and arrived in Silver City, New Mexico on Saturday, Jan 14th. We visited with Carl's Uncle Bob, his wife, Jan and also with Darryl's stepdaughter, Colette. Bob and Jan took us around the area for 2 days, visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the City of Rocks. We liked the City of Rocks so much, that instead of leaving Silver City, we moved from the KOA in town to the campground at the City of Rocks and did some more hiking among the fantastic rock formations.

We left the City of Rocks and the Silver City area, heading back west now to Bisbee on Tuesday, Jan 18th. We only spent a couple nights here, but we toured the Queen Mine, walked around historic Bisbee, visited the Coronado Memorial and hiked to the Coronado Cave. It was a really busy day.

We left Bisbee on Friday, Jan 20th and drove a short distance to the Kartchner Cavern State Park. We had reservations to tour the cavern on Monday, so we had a couple days to rest and explore the area. We visited Tombstone one day, hiked the campground trail and visited the Ft. Huachuca Museums one day and then toured the caverns on Monday. We are so impressed with the State Park campgrounds!!!

We left this amazing area on Tuesday, Jan 24th heading home. There wasn't a good reason to stop anywhere, so we just continued on home to Parker. Once we started to think about home, we were anxious to get home. We were on the road for 25 days, covering about 1,600 miles in the RV (more in the Sam). We spent several days in Parker, unpacking, cleaning up the RV (inside & out), etc. We made a quick trip to the RV show in Quartzsite (we drove the Toyota truck) and took the Sam offroading at Crossroads (Calif side of the river). We finally arrived home in Lake Forest on Tuesday, Jan 31st.

We had a great trip. We were able to travel in our "comfy, lay-around-the-house" clothes (for me this was sweats and slippers). This was really cool. I could get up and get a drink of water or a snack (or close a door that hadn't been latched properly). RV traveling is realy great!!!. We still need to learn to slow down a little. I expected to be able to read more and Carl expected to have more time for ham radio and his RC car. We jumped from one spot to another without much rest in-between. It was cold (due to both the time of year and the altitude, one night down to 6 deg F at 7,800 ft), but we knew that beforehand and were prepared (at least in general). We had these two great little electric heaters, so when we had electricity at the campground we were really toasty warm. Even the few nights at Canyon de Chelly (dry camped there), the propane heater worked great. We missed being able to be outside more, walking, eating meals, etc. Our �covered wagon�, as Carl calls it, held up pretty well. We had some trouble with the domestic water pump, but Carl was able to get a new one and get things going again without too much difficulty (he sure is handy to have around!!!). We have a long list of �things to do� to get ready for out next trip (in April/May this year). Nothing really major, just convenience things and things to make RV travelling even easier in the future.

We know some of you watched our progress via the APRS (type "AB7KD location" into either Google or Yahoo search engines, and select one of the links--they are all slightly different, but will work). We kept in close touch with Larry Small, who kept us up-to-date with the success of the APRS by phone when we couldn't get Internet to check for ourselves. Thanks, Larry!! We didn't have phone service part of the time, but had Internet only a little bit. We really missed the Internet. We're going to look into several options for this for the next trip.

Well, that's a short synopsis of our trip. I added information from brochures, guidebooks, etc. because we just can't remember anything anymore (that's what the italics indicates)!! We're sure learning a lot of history, geography and geology. If we don't write it down, we won�t remember it!!! As I've said before, this "journal" is mainly for us (when we can't travel any more--these journals and pictures will be a written record of our memories).
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