catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
J and I are in Abbeville, LA, for a short stay on our way to the Mardi Gras celebration with friends in Baton Rouge.  We came by way of a couple of the shore towns in Texas: Port Aransas and Galveston.

Pondering semi-permanence and Port Aransas )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
We’re back in Texas after meandering across New Mexico and Arizona over the past month or so.  The only problem with our route (Interstate 8 from San Diego to Interstate 10 through El Paso) is the fact that it runs through El Paso.  Which means there are lots of road signs for El Paso.  Why would that be a problem, you ask?  Because of earworms.

Earmworms are songs you just can’t get out of your head.  Endless repetitions of even the best tunes and lyrics are guaranteed no-fun after the 50th loop.  I happen to like fairly complicated songs, and usually only learn some of the words so it’ll be a chorus or at most one or two verses firmly lodged in my brain.  In this case, it was "El Paso", by Marty Robbins.  It’s a beautiful melody, a classic western theme, and far too catchy for me.

Every time I saw a sign for El Paso there went Marty, warbling away about his hapless lovesick cowboy and his very bad end.  But wait: there’s more!  Since I don’t learn songs all that well, about the 30th time or so another complicated melodic tune (that I know about half of) supplanted Marty with a Viking theme.  It turns out that the words to “Song of the Shield-wall”, by Malkin Grey and Peregrynne Windrider, scan very well to the tune of “El Paso”, with only minor tweaks.

Click on the links at your own risk; I’m not responsible if you find yourself singing of Saxons in the Old West!
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
J and I are back in Las Cruces, NM, retracing our route to California eastward in the new year.  I’ll be spending the next few posts catching the blog up to close to current events, if all goes well, starting where we left off right before Christmas.

Christmas in the desert )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Ours was wonderful; in December, after escaping the winter weather in Texas, we gift-shopped across New Mexico and Arizona. We had a pleasant stay in Mesilla, where we met the Pancho-clad Santa complete with reindeer-burro (picture posted earlier) after a tree-lighting ceremony in the old town square.

Traveling through Arizona... )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
Santa in New Mexico

In the town square of Old Mesilla, NM, after the tree-lighting event.
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
Ahh, the vagaries of life on the road, aka fleeing the storm.

We spent Thanksgiving in Arkansas with my MIL; it was a nice long weekend with family members arriving at staggered intervals as their schedules permitted.  Sunday we got back on the road after roughly two weeks in Hot Springs, headed for Sherman, TX, on the first stage of our long drive to California for the Escapees’ Rose Parade HOP.

South and West into Texas... )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
How the heck is it March already? I wanted to be sure to post something about the second half of our New Mexico adventure, which was in early February. Well, better late than never…

Our trip to Carlsbad, NM... )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
Pelicans, seagulls, waterfowl

I’m sitting outside this afternoon, watching the first fire we’ve been able to have in what seems like years. I looked over our camping calendar and it has been over a year; the last time we were in a campground that would allow fires at all, there were burn bans in effect pretty much everywhere we went. At the moment we’re taking a rest day in Texarkana at Clear Spring Park, a Corps of Engineers park on Wright-Patman Lake, south and west of the city.

It’s been a pretty day, overcast and a bit chill, but still warm enough to sit out with the fire and watch the birds on the lake. Earlier today we watched large flocks of dark-colored waterfowl (ducks or coots, I’m not sure which) who were apparently travelling with flocks of white pelicans, as they swooped and swam to and fro across the lake. All of them were in constant motion, landing on the water for a few minutes then taking off again and landing in a different area, and flocks of seagulls swirled above them.

We’re on our way to Arkansas to visit family, and from there we’ll be heading south to Florida in March and April. On our way east from California, we got to do some touring in New Mexico, spending a few days on the western side of the state to visit White Sands National Monument, and then crossing the state for a few more on the eastern side to see Carlsbad Caverns.

About White Sands... )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
Glamis North RV Park

In the way of things when full-timing (plans writ in sand) right after I wrote the post about making the speed run (fast for us, anyway) to get to Baton Rouge for Mardi Gras, our friends had to cancel the party. Bummer. But no cloud without a silver lining; the gap in the schedule let us slot in some sightseeing time and some needed work stops.

From Tehachapi to Niland, CA... )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
J’s on the final lap of radiation and other therapies this week, and we’re prepping to get back to our regular lifestyle. It’s slow going; the appointments in the middle of the day break up my working time. But the laundry is done and stuff in the RV is slowly getting picked up and put away for travel.

Two steps forward, one step back... )
catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
Bridal Veil Falls 1

December has been a quiet month in the Central Valley of California.  Since Thanksgiving we’ve been living in Turlock for J’s weeks of radiation therapy.  That’s going well, and the doctor is happy with his progress.  Our holidays were peaceful and pleasant; we spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve at home and went out for small shopping jaunts and walks around the local lakes.

Our trip to Yosemite )

catlinyemaker: (Default)
I hope everyone's doing well and looking forward to happy holidays! We're in the process of changing over from chemo to radiation in J's treatment cycle, and thus moving from Gilroy to Turlock to be closer to the radiation center, since that will mean daily appointments M-F for an estimated seven weeks. Part of the process for us has been getting the rig and the truck ready to roll, which resulted in a number of ups-and-downs last week, no question about it.

Ups and downs, all week... )

catlinyemaker: (Default)
J and I are doing well; his treatment is going quite well so far, and I've been quilting like mad and have actually sent a few tops off to the quilters. We've been in one place since the middle of June, which is great for the quilting and the healthcare but not so good for the wanderlust. I think it’s our longest stretch in one venue (including time spent at our house in Pennsylvania) since 2009, when we started to travel seriously with the RV.
October will be patch-up and prep month, November, we roll again! )

I hope everyone is ready for Fall and enjoying some cooler weather wherever you may be!
catlinyemaker: (Default)
In mid-May we wended our way down the coast to Morro Bay and Bay Pines RV Park. Still in cramped sites; in this case although they claimed we’d be able to park in our site next to the rig, once the RV was in place (wedged as far to one side as we could get it) the only way to get our truck in the site would have been to fold in the steps and block the trailer door completely. Not recommended. We parked out on the street instead and walked in to the site for the week we were there. While the campground was nice and inexpensive, I think next time we are in the area we’ll stay someplace with slightly more room.

A Spanish Mission and an American Castle )


catlinyemaker: (Default)
We came into California in mid-April and made our way to the Bay area for J’s work, initially. Our first stop was in San Jose, at an RV park close to J’s work.

San Jose, Pacifica, and Half Moon Bay )

catlinyemaker: (Default)

We had a lovely time in Vegas at the beginning of April.  Went and saw Terry Fator, the ventriloquist who won America’s Got Talent in 2007.  Great show, corny in places, touching in others.  J gave me a spa day for a belated Valentine’s Day present, which was lovely.  I luxuriated by the spa pool, got wrapped and massaged and generally pampered for the day.  It’s very odd, staying in an urban RV park; we were able to use cabs to get to the Strip so we didn’t have to worry about parking the truck or having a few glasses of wine with dinner.  I’m not used to campgrounds with cab service!

Plus lots of other services; we had the rig washed and waxed while we were there and they did a great job.  Also took the truck in to an excellent brake shop, Professional Brake Service on Silvso I wouldn’t have to wait at the mechanic’s.

After a very nice mini-vacation in Vegas, we headed for the San Francisco area.  And I saw snow for the first time in two years.  Yep, coming over the mountains into California, it was snowing.  There was maybe two or three inches on the ground and more in the air, though luckily for my nerves, none on the roadbed.  I took a few photos through the windshield; by the time we found a place that was safe to pull over so I could get more, we were below the snow line and the day was sunny and beautiful.  (As always, click to embiggen.)  Snow on the Mojave Freeway in April:


catlinyemaker: (Default)

So, after our gorgeous weekend in Santa Fe, J’s work summoned him back to Texas.  We looked over our options, and decided that it would be best if I continued westward with the rig while he was in Dallas.  I stayed in the campground at Cochiti Lake for a few more days, then made a short drive down to a casino campground just west of Albuquerque.

Campgrounds, travel, and food roulette... )

catlinyemaker: (Default)
The spicy-pine scent of juniper is strong this morning as I step out onto the concrete patio, taking the tabby for his morning walk. New snow from yesterday’s storm blankets the nearby mountains and there’s frost on the tussocks of grass dotting the gravel field where our rig sits. It’s a beautiful morning in New Mexico.

We came up from central Texas, leaving the lush spring behind for the high desert. The bright greens went dull as we drove, blue and orange and purple wildflowers gave way to white ones, and the soil changed to red and tan adobe. Here the fields are full of juniper and cactus.

Cochiti Lake Campground is a Corps of Engineers park sited on rolling hills by a flood control lake in the Pueblo de Cochiti area. We can see mountains all around this plateau. We’re at just about 5500 feet elevation here - climbed up from Texas flatlands in one day. That explains the wheezing (both the truck and I are panting when we exercise.)

Scenery and shopping... )
catlinyemaker: (Default)
It's been a craptastic day, starting with lousy donuts and finishing with an emergency vet visit (for something which turned out to be nothing at all - except the vet's fee, but there's a bright spot.)

In the middle I drove from Tucumcari, NM to Cochita Lake, NM (near Santa Fe) while J dealt with work crises and was on the phone to the point that when we got close to where we needed directions, which normally the passenger provides, we had to pull over onto an offramp so I could look up how to get where we were going. Where we were accosted by a homeless guy who wanted a lift "uh, sorry, no" (but was grateful for the sandwiches I made for him when he asked if we might have snacks to share - there's another bright spot.) I made sandwiches for us too and we ate them while J was on the phone. Still. Again.

We got to the campground,spotting the turn at the last possible second. We didn't have reservations, the sites which were supposed to be open were booked, there was only one site available and it took two tries to get in, and then about 15 minutes after we got in and I was reviewing a fic for posting and thinking how much everything I write sucks (that's stress, it'll pass) there's Mister Guy staggering along the floor looking like he's having a stroke while Mercedes pukes. Four times (the puking, not the staggering.) So, fast Google search, vet 40 minutes away, called, made appointment, stuffed the now perfectly nonchalant cat back in his carrier, and drove to the vet.

Where Mister Guy charmed the nice no-nonsense lady vet and acted like a perfectly healthy cat.

One more bright spot: the campground is absolutely stunning. Which I will appreciate tomorrow, I am sure. Tell me something good that's going on for you.

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