In the words of television's Gomer Pyle years ago..."surprise, surprise." This blog is coming to you from the downtown fairgrounds in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Jeannie & Ray came home about 10 this morning so we figured there wasn't much point in us sitting around the rest of the day waiting for to-morrow. GLEASON GETS A TUMMY RUB THIS MORNING
The strong wind gusts last night had us out of bed about 1 a.m. but they finally subsided about half an hour later. Nevertheless, not a good sleep!! The sun was up before we were for a change & the start of another fine day was underway. A picture perfect morning for what we knew would be our last walk before leaving the ranch. We had a full turn out with 5 happy wagging furry doggy tails to accompany us up the road & back in the early morning Ariziona sun.
The thought had occurred to us that Jeannie & Ray might be home early this morning because they are early risers like us & we knew they weren't too far from home last night. Sure enough, around 10 the truck & fifth wheel pulled in. They had spent the night in Wilcox. Lots of hugs all way round including the dogs. Had us a bit of a chat for awhile & then we set about getting the rig ready to roll. Luckily I had most everything ready to rumble for Tuesday morning so it didn't take long to get last minute things in order for a Monday morning departure. We all said our good-byes & took some pictures. Jeannie took a couple with me, Pearce & Gleason so I hope to have those shortly. Again it was with mixed feelings but I could smell the dust of the open road in my nose so I was chomping at the bit to get rolling. Waved good-bye to the ranch gang & rolled out the gate at 11:17 a.m. Felt a little guilty at leaving so quick but I knew Jeannie & Ray would understand plus they had just got home from over a months trip & I'm sure they were anxious to get their feet on the ground, unload their fifth wheel, & grab a few zzzzzzz's. MY PAL PEARCE
Didn't take me long to begin my reminiscing as we rolled through Elfrida. Last night's supper with Ingrid & Tom at the Longhorn, Sergeant John's house with his Hudson Hornets in the garage, & the Elfrida Library where we had made 6 or 7 trips for DVD's over the past 7 weeks. There was the road to Gleeson which reminded me our ghost town hunt. Further along another road leading east into the Chiricahua mountains reminded me of our 2 trips into Rucker Canyon. Past the Apache Lair where the Sarge took us for fish n chips a few weeks back. We next passed through Sunizona & that brought back memories of our visit with Rosanna & her Mom Carol at their Paws & Hooves ranch. We continued north on 191 flanked by the mighty Chiricahua Mountains on our right & the Dragoon Mountains on our left with the heavily defended Cochise Stronghold so predominantly wedged into the mountain range. We were reminded of our day at the Chiricahua National Monument & our long hike into Fort Bowie. The Cochise Stronghold's memories came back when we had hiked the Cochise trail to the summit. Passed the turnoff for the ghost town of Pearce & that brought back memories of being there & then traveling on to the Amerind. Memories, memories, memories. We are so fortunate to have our memories & the ways & means to go out there & create those memories in the first place.
191 finally turned us east onto Interstate 10. Picked up an excellent tail wind, flipped on the cruise control & we were well on our way. I watched out the right window & rear view mirrors for many miles as the Chiricahua mountains finally faded into the distant haze. I was wondering if Gleason & Pearce were helping to unload the 5th wheel back at the ranch. Gonna miss those guys.
AL, KELLY, JEANNIE, & RAY
It was such a great feeling to be on the move again watching the great southwest scenery passing by. Mountains lumbered out of the mists on both sides then slowly took their places as they trundled by us heading west. Traffic was lite, ambient music on the radio was relaxing, Kelly made egg salad sandwiches & coffee, & we just kept on rolling & rolling. Wilcox, Lordsburg, Deming, & Las Cruces. Rig was running great & the doggy guys snoozed the miles away. We did get a little turned around in Las Cruses but figured it out enough in time not to get lost too bad. It's a steep climb out of Las Cruces on highway 70 up through the St Agustin Pass into the Organ mountain range. This is a hard grade on an RV & I remember the transmission light flickering on last year when we climbed this mountain. The Chevy workhorse engine & Allison transmission were working overtime. At last the summit was laboriously reached & we tumbled down the other side of the mountain into the Tularosa Valley & headed northeast. This set us up for a nasty crosswind all the way to Alamogordo. We could see towering columns of white sand in the air to our left as we passed the White Sands National Monument. At first I thought it was great clouds of smoke caused by some military tests or something but no, it was white sand being blown hundreds of feet into the air by turbulent winds for miles & miles.
We reached Alamogordo about 5:15 & that marked exactly 6 hours on the road & 317 miles with only one short pit stop for the pooches in Las Cruces. It was just one of those great days when I felt like driving forever & ever. When you have a good tailwind in an RV you want to take full advantage of it because it adds up to substantial gas savings. And, with a motorhome you can do that because it's many, many, miles between gas fill-ups. And you don't have to pull in anywhere for food or washroom breaks because everything is on board just a few steps away. Having lunch & coffee handed to you while on the move is pretty nice. Yessir, no more of that trailer pulling stuff for us guys!!!!
MY PAL GLEASON
Back in December of 08 while on our way out here from Ontario we had stopped in Brownsfield Texas for the night. A fellow there told us of a good spot to park in Alamogordo when we got there so we followed his directions to the large Alamogordo fairgrounds. Lots of room & nobody was around except there was a problem. The whole parking lot had been oiled just hours before we got there & was totally unusable. We then headed south for Oliver Lee State Park where we stayed for a night. Well, we remembered where that fairground was & that is where we are right now, minus the fresh oil of course. A couple of other Class A's pulled in shortly after we did. It's a good free spot for RV's & it's all paved. Oh, & there's a mall right across the road.
TRYING TO GET THE FURRY GUYS TO-GETHER FOR A PICTURE
To-morrow morning we'll head off through the Apache Pass & over the gentle Sierra Blanca mountains. Roswell NM lies on the other side & marks the end of the wild wooly west's many mountain ranges. We'll roll along for miles across flat grassy plains heading ever eastwards. On & on we'll go but where we stop, we don't know.................................:)) ALAMOGORDO FAIRGROUNDS
No photos for the web album to-day.
OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/
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