Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 1 - 5, 2014, OK, TX, NM, AZ

Wednesday, October 1.  As I was disconnecting this morning, a friendly woman named Marla (also recently widowed) came by to let me know about an organization called, and she handed me her card.  She is also traveling solo (in a 40' motorhome) and recently learned about the group and went to one of their rallies and found it to be a good experience.  It turns out that she is headed to Albuquerque to the hot air balloon rally and I beyond there and we will both be stopping at the same RV park for the evening.

Once we got settled in our sites, she joined me at the picnic table for a cocktail and some good conversation.  Yes, we had the recent loss of our husbands in common, but also the traveling bug, a fondness for travel and driving, a familiarity with Florida, Standard Poodles, and an interest in plants and gardening - so we had lots to talk about.  We watched a steady stream of RVs coming in for the night and the place is filling up.

I am getting close to home now, at least I am in the right time zone.  The weather is perfect as I sit and enjoy the evening, in the low 70s with a light breeze.  My only complaint is the roar of traffic on the interstate, as most of these places are located with convenient access from the interstate.  I've learned in the past that it is good to keep a fan running during the night and it blocks out the highway noise.

Thursday, October 3.  I didn't sleep very good and was awake by 6 am, so I was on the road by 8. The first thing I did was stop for guess and to check my mileage - 13.7 mpg!  Yay!  I'm not sure why I didn't think of it beforehand, but as I was driving yesterday afternoon, I realized the engine was racing at 4,000 rpm while I was using cruise control and I was only getting 10-11 mpg.  After my last fill-up of the day, I consciously watched the tachometer and tried to keep it around 2,500 (it is usually 1,500 without the trailer).  It worked!  I have Mike to thank for teaching me about that and myself to kick in the butt for not thinking of it before this.

At first, I had only planned to go as far as Grants, NM, about 250 miles.  I wasn't too tired, so I decided to push on to Gallup (another 65 miles).  I pulled into a nice RV park where Mike and I had stayed previously, and they had no sites available -  they were full because of the Balloon Rally in Albuquerque.  They were very nice and accommodating - even calling ahead to the OK RV park in Holbrook (another 85 miles) for me, so I made a reservation and that is where I landed for the night.  It's a nice, clean park and it is filling up quickly.  In most of the places I have stopped, I am the only little guy - tonight there is a Scamp, a popup, and an A-Liner behind me and a tiny teardrop next to me.  Pipsqueak gets attention wherever we go.  Tomorrow's drive is about 4 hours and then we will be home.

Friday, October 3.  The drive today was relaxing and took me through beautiful country.  As I was getting into the White Mountains, I kept seeing signs to watch for Elk and I finally saw one.  Unfortunately, it was road kill and I feel bad for the poor guy that hit it - that is a large animal to run into.  When I saw the road to Four Peaks, it wasn't long before Red Mountain (my favorite landmark that is only about 15 miles from me) came into view and I was almost home.  

My community looks good and I was happy to see a new roof on the clubhouse and the paint has been spruced up too.  Connie stopped by for a hug as she was heading out and shortly after that, Arlene came over to welcome me home too.  I got things unpacked and put away, then had to just sit back and enjoy.

Home Sweet Home!  Since my birthday on April 27, I have covered 5,700 miles traveling through fourteen states, and spending quality time with lots of family and friends.  I picked up my trailer and have been loving it and learning about it ever since - I did the right thing!  I am so happy with how easy it is to hookup, tow, and setup and take down. I envision good trips and good times in the future with it.  It was a great summer but it sure feels good to be back home. I know I'm going to miss my grandkids but will just have to use Facetime more often.

For all of my readers who I visited with over the summer - thanks for being there for me and I appreciate the time we had together.  For some, I'm sorry I wasn't able to spend more time with you.    Whenever you are ready, come on down for a visit!

Sunday, October 5.  The weekend has been busy with trying to get my house and yard back in order.  I've mostly been working on the patio and yard because that is why I live in Arizona - so I can be outdoors a lot.  Everything is covered with dust from the summer storms and needs a good cleaning.  The cover on Roger's car (in my carport) came off, the car was covered with dust, so I washed it down and had Arlene help me to get it back on.  Connie returned my blower, so I was able to get some of the dust off.

I got a lot done today - cleaned up the Century plants in my front yard, picked reeks, removed the dead part of my Barrel cactus, did some pruning in the Palo Verde trees, and got my car washed.  I don't know if the Barrel cactus will survive - the entire center of the plant was dead and the mounds that surrounded and were attached to it became separated from it.  I think that might be the parent plant.  There are very few roots and I'm hoping that they are healthy.

I invited Connie to join me for grilled peppers and Italian sausage (the yummy stuff that Bob sent home with me) and we had a nice evening.

Hey, it's good to be back home again!