Thursday, November 17, 2011


Cold night in Haskell but the morning dawned clear and bright.  Checked some areas ahead of us and see we can be in some warmer weather in a day or two.  That’s kind of a priority for us this year….go where it’s warm!!  The Quartzsite and Yuma areas are looking pretty good right now.
A brisk morning morning walk around the Haskell ball bark and we were on the road westbound again at 8:20 a.m.
I sure like this 397 mile stretch of highway 380 between Jacksboro Texas and Roswell New Mexico.  It’s a good road with very little traffic, varying scenery, interesting and tired little western towns along the way, rest areas and free Community parks.  We are currently in a little town in eastern New Mexico called, Tatum.  Kelly found a favorable internet review on it so we checked things out and decided to stay for the night.  The Park is called Rampy and has 5 pull through sites.  It’s an old site but we are on a hard level surface and have electricity. The water taps are long gone and I don’t know if the sewer pipes work on each site.  But, the Park is free and there is a large park here and lots of secure room for pets to run free.  Great spot for an overnighter if your not expecting fancy schmancy.
In the morning we will continue west on 380.  Shortly after leaving Tatum I will have my eyes glued to the horizon ahead for my first glimpse of the western Capitan Mountains looming up out of the flat misty plains.  That’s always a favorite time for me when we use this route.  Just love catching my first glimpse of the mountains.  It is this same stretch of highway where I have sadly watched the mountains disappear in my rear view mirror on several of our homeward journeys:((
Sorry about all the repetitive doggy photos this week but I just haven’t been taking a lot of time to find anything too creative. I will get the Nikons dusted off shortly:))
We will head through Roswell Friday morning and climb into the mountains passing through the little towns of Hondo and Ruidoso.  We will reach the summit of the Apache Pass in an Alpine like setting and begin the long drop down the other side into the New Mexican town of Tularosa.  Descending from Apache Pass I will be straining for my first glimpse of the White Sands far out on the Tularosa Valley floor.  It is at this point of our westbound journey that I feel we have finally arrived at our southwest winter home.  From this point on the rush is over and everything slows down to a relaxing winter pace for the next 5 months.    
As we draw ever closer to our winter home we still have no idea where we are going.  Should we head straight away to southern California and work our way back or should we hang out in southern Arizona for awhile and move further west later on.  What about Quartzsite this year or maybe try a new area up around Parker and Lake Havasu along the Colorado River.  Will we re-visit the area around Why and Ajo Arizona again?  How about the Patagonia area south of Tucson or the Vallecito Valley in California.  Checking ahead, I see Yuma is the warmest.  All these questions and southernmost areas are in our conversations these days as we plod ever further west.
Had planned on just letting my hair grow for the winter again but after nearly a week on the road and scaring small children and frightening elderly ladies in Wal-Mart the other day I knew it was best for all concerned that I get my hair cut.  Didn’t take Kelly long to shorten me right up!!  With most of the hair gone I later stood myself pretty darn close to my electric beard trimmer too:))
TRAVELER has joined the Bayfield Bunch as Blog Follower 350.  Welcome aboard Traveler and thanks for stopping by:))
And a big thanks to reader Butterbean for her generous invitation for the Bayfield Bunch to drop by and visit her Texas ranch southeast of Abilene.  (I’m assuming Butterbean is a female with the name Butterbean:)) In part, Butterbean said, “You'll get a BIG TEXAS WELCOME AND HOWDY, with plenty of room for the pups to play!!! You can stay as long as you want!!! Hot coffee, toast &
peanut butter & venison chili!!!” We did have a look at the map to see where you were BB and if we get down into that neck of the Texas woods sometime we would be happy to drop around.  We will hang onto those directions you gave us.  Keep that toaster and peanut butter jar handy:))
GROANER’S CORNER:((  My husband had lost 50 pounds and after eight years of being a housewife, I had taken a job in a restaurant. When I returned home after my first day at work, I gave my husband a big hug.
He seemed to cling to me longer than usual. "Did you really miss me that much today, dear?" I asked.
"No," came the reply. "But you smell so much like pancakes that I hate to let you go."

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
-Until one has loved an Animal, their  soul remains un-awakened.
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.


  1. Hi Al... you and Kelly are catching up to us... Judy and I are in City of Rocks, State Park tonight, enjoying the stars... Sounds like you two and the dogs are doing very well! Give them a pat on the head for us!

  2. Did I miss something? I thought you and Kelly were going to ranch sit again in Arizona...But then, I have been in my dementia dreamland and may have dreamed that blog....Sounds like you are headed to Yuma to me...We aren't so keen on boondocking, that desert can be a very lonesome spot after dark...Who knows where we'll end up...If we see your motorhome, we will come a knockin'!

  3. You sound sooo happy! I understand even though I have never been there.

  4. nice job on the haircut, Kelly!..don't want him scaring the small children and old ladies of Walmart by looking like a 'wild mountain man'!!
    enjoy your travel day tomorrow..soon you will have your sights set on the mountains that you are longing to see!!

  5. Thanks for taking the time to make daily posts. I can't wait each night to find out where you are. I also appreciate the the photos of something each day. It makes my day!

  6. How do you find all those free overnight spots? I have never been that lucky, but I think it's partly because I've always traveled by myself and have no one to look up places on the fly.

  7. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and find myself as excited about where you're going as you are! And hey, one can *never* have too many photos of dogs!
    -- Jool

  8. How come the picture of the motor home is still behind the leaves in Bayfield, but now it's really in NM?
    Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX

  9. Whoo hoo...getting close. I can tell you temps are just PERFECT around Desert Hot Springs right now. We're headed to Quartzite next which is also near-perfect. Can't wait to see where you end up.

  10. I think Pheebs is concerned that she might be next!! I'm sure dogs must think people do some strange things.

  11. Oh no-not a haircut. Guess ur not coming to cowboy country this year. Southeast Az. Having beautiful weather here.

  12. We suspect you'll be passing by Benson sometime on this trip. When you do, give us a big tootle on your horn so we will know. As you know, we aren't doing much on Blogger these days, but we'll catch up with you now and again. This was "now," "again" will take care of itself later!

  13. Remember if you need a spot to let those big wheels cool down before you head into the desert we have room here at Dogpound South for visitors and the whole place is fenced off so those furry friends of yours (and ours) can run free.

  14. Looks like are making good progress, we too are heading that way, but taking the long way around, from Ontario, Louisiana, South Texas, then to Arizona and southern California, looking for warmth and sunshine. Safe travels and enjoy.

  15. "Also, keep in mind folks, the Bayfield Bunch is always open to ideas or suggestions for any ranch sitting or property security opportunities anyone might have."

    This statement probably means that I should not expect to find you ranch sitting near McNeal.
    Perhaps I'll run across you somewhere along the Colorado River during the winter, but it will not be Yuma.
    Enjoy where ever you land.
    Too bad you gave up on the 4 Corners. Wolf Creek Pass is open and dry today. Monument Valley lows are above freezing today and tomorrow with some snow on Sunday. Snow there is what photographers dream about.
    Maybe the Spring? The weather is just as changeable then.

  16. YUMA might be warm but it sure as hell is also a windy spot. Maybe you try more over to the west on the California side. Would love to say hello to you as well. An we always have a coffee stand-by.