( Pondering semi-permanence and Port Aransas )
( Pondering semi-permanence and Port Aransas )
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!
( Christmas in the desert )
( Traveling through Arizona... )
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... )
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... )
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... )
( Two steps forward, one step back... )
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 )
( Ups and downs, all week... )
( 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!
( A Spanish Mission and an American Castle )
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:
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... )
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... )
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.