Friday, October 30, 2015

Boo !

Since we arrived home long before Halloween this year, I attempted a little decorating.  How do you like my bat?

Happy Halloween !

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back at Dad's

Ron and I made it back to my father's house in PA just in time to pick up my daughters who flew in from Florida for the weekend.  We all had a great time catching up.  On Saturday, the girls and I took a hike on the famous Appalachian Trail.

We began our trek in the unbelievably adorable town of Boiling Springs where we found some nice fall color.

Unfortunately, we hiked for 1 1/2 miles before we made it to the woods.  Here are my 'Children of the Corn.'

The trail was certainly well marked around the pretty farms.

We even saw some Pennsylvania Longhorns.

(Don't worry, he was a really long way away.)

Finally we entered the woods and felt we were really hiking the Appalachian Trail!

(This is daughter Christy's picture, taken with her iphone.)

We came across a lot of these giant indentations in the ground.  Big gophers?

Of course we had already gone so far, we turned around in another half mile.  Next time we'll start somewhere closer to the woods.

Meanwhile, where was Ron, you ask?  Well, he stayed at my father's house and worked.  Let's see.  He caulked around the chimney, blew the leaves out of the gutters, replaced a missing shingle, and cut back some of the woods that was encroaching on the house.  What a guy.  And, no, he is not available for hire.  Earlier in the week, he, I, and my father cut back three feet on each side of the driveway so it no longer resembled a tunnel.  My father always complains how he can't do anything anymore.  Understandable that he would slow down at 94, but you should have seen him with a chainsaw!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Since we were in the Catskill Mountains of New York in October, we took a drive further into the mountains in search of that elusive fall color.  Although our findings were not as dramatic as some gorgeous foliage pictures I've seen on other blogs, we tried our best.

Our drive mostly consisted of me screeching to a stop anytime we saw some pretty trees.
Phil spotted this covered bridge as we were driving by.  The bridge was actually on private property, so I just took a distance shot.

Water is always good for additional interest.

It was a lovely drive through these hills they call mountains.

We turned around at this lake which was part of some kind of camp.  Maybe this is where they filmed Dirty Dancing.

One last shot along our drive.

After a fun four days with Diana and Phil, Ron and I headed back to my father's in Pennsylvania.  On our way, we stopped at a very interesting bridge.  It was part of the Delaware & Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad.  It was utilized from 1828 to 1898 to transport anthracite coal from northeastern Pennsylvania to markets on the Hudson River.

They did a fantastic restoration of the canal bridge in 1986.  We drove across it on our way out of New York.

And we found this working waterwheel in rural PA.  I wonder if the owners are actually generating electricity with it.

Although the leaves could have been better, I'm glad we're not there now.  We might have had snow!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Off Again

We were only back home in Mesa for a few days before winging our way to the Northeast.  We spent a few days visiting my father in PA, then took a road trip to the Catskills in NY.  We met up with sister Diana and Phil for some fall foliage viewing.

At first, it seemed we were early for the best color, but we did find this cute gazebo near the hotel.

We researched attractions in the area and went to see them all.  First up was the 1860 Livingston Manor Covered Bridge which was since lovingly restored.

Look at the interesting construction.

With wooden nuts.

Then we paid a visit to the museum and site of the epic Woodstock, which was not in Woodstock, NY, but 50 miles away in Bethel Woods.

Ironically, it's a really elaborate museum to commemorate an outdoor event which was plagued by rain and mud.

Cool bus.

Although we were the right age for Woodstock in 1969, neither of us heard about it until it was over.  Not that we would have gone, but it just seems funny.  Diana and Phil make a good rocker duo.

And here's the actual site where 400,000 people gathered in August, 1969, to listen to music and whatnot.

Our last stop was the beautiful Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1880 by Swiss German immigrants Henry and Philip Hembdt.  I couldn't decide which picture to choose, so I'm posting two.  What the heck, they're cheap.

Yes, I know, some colored leaves would have been perfect.

Next post, our quest to find those autumn leaves.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Through New Mexico

We're on a tight schedule now and moving quickly.  I have one more picture of the Rio Grande Gorge taken on our way out of Rio Grande Del Norte NM.  The river is much closer to the mesa top at this point.

We made quick overnight stops in Santa Fe, where we went to dinner with a couple of WIN friends, and Albuquerque, where we went to breakfast with friends of Ron's and bought gas for $1.99.  After driving right by the turn, we finally made it to Joe Skeen BLM campground on the east side of El Malpais NM.

When Ron broke out kippers for his lunch, I sent him out to the nice covered picnic table.  Phew!

The Sandstone Bluffs Overlook is pretty spectacular with views of the 3000-5000 year-old lava flow and cinder cones in the distance.

The bluffs

Ron the explorer.

360 degree view.

We also stopped to see La Ventana Natural Arch, billed as one of New Mexico's largest natural arches.  What does that mean?  What are the measurements?  It was pretty impressive though.

Tonight we're in Show Low, Arizona, parked in Ted and Mary Ellen's front yard.  We really enjoyed catching up with them and some other old friends in the area.  We'll be back home in Mesa tomorrow, so if you're throwing a party in our house, be sure to clean up before we arrive.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A New National Monument

On our way out of Colorado, we passed a sign warning of a horse crossing.  Really?  But to my surprise, there they were.

However, in reference to my title, Ron and I noticed a new national monument on the map and just had to see it.  Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico was established in 2013.  The 242,455 acre monument includes two BLM recreation areas, and sections of the Rio Grande and the Red River, each of which are designated as a Wild and Scenic River.

We stayed on the mesa between the two rivers.  There are several campgrounds on the rim, each with just a few really nice sites.  Here's our table.

And our view over the edge into the Rio Grande Gorge.

Oh, look, somebody left us a maze for entertainment.

The view out the front of the RV includes the mesa with mountains in the distance.  The Red River Gorge lies between.

What a beautiful spot!

The next day we hiked to the point of the mesa which overlooks the confluence of the two rivers.

Although it's hard to see even with a zoomed view, the Red River comes in on the lower left to join the Rio Grande on the right.

There are three different trails down to the river including one at this point.  Ron and I don't like hikes that end with a big uphill climb, especially at 7500 feet, so we didn't go down very far.

We also stopped at a couple of overlooks.  This one was on the Rio Grande side.

And this was the Red River side.

We were very impressed with this monument and plan to return another year.  The pictures certainly don't do it justice.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Our day had a promising beginning.  On our way south out of town, we had a lovely view of the mountains to the west.

We drove over Poncha Pass, hoping to see golden aspen trees.  But they were just pale green.

But I did notice some in the side mirror and quickly stuck the camera outside for a shot.

Throughout the rest of our trip, we battled strong winds out of the southwest.  When we arrived at Walmart in Alamosa, we were gobsmacked to see the solar panels had lifted themselves during the drive.

Ron had invented the system to enable the panels to be lifted from the ground, but it was not supposed to do it on its own.  Yikes!

One piece of the aluminum framework had bent and it took both of us to bend it back.  Ron temporarily tied it down with wire and will work on it in Mesa this winter.

For those incredibly handy people out there who are wondering about this system, he used pneumatic struts to raise it and gate latches to lock it down.  Here's a picture of the aluminum framework without the panels.  He still can't understand how the gate latch came open.

(That's our neighbor's house with the rooftop solar, not ours.)