Friday, January 29, 2016

Rockhound State Park , New Mexico and Quartzsite, Arizona

Yes, it has been a few weeks.   We have been enjoying a wonderful visit with other Lazy Daze owners in the desert at Quartzsite, Arizona.

More on that in a bit.

After that great visit to Mesilla , it was a short drive to one of our favorite campgrounds south of Deming, New Mexico.

That is Rockhound State Park.

As you can see, the view from Lady Blue's back window is wonderful.  The elevation , the campground is nestled right against the mountains, gives a long perspective up towards Deming.
There had been snow earlier and with low temperatures and a little more precipitation, we are offered a magnificent view of the snow covered Florida Mountains.
Rockhound is a small campground, so we always consider ourselves lucky if we can find an opening.
There is a hike above the campground that offers another view.
We can be comfortable in Lady Blue and watch the snow flurries hit the mountains.
It is also nice to be back among very healthy prickly pear cactus and ocotillo.
No ski trails here.  Not a long enough winter for snow cover.  But there is skiing not too far north.

From Deming, we jump back on Route 10 west into Arizona and on to Casa Grande.  Jan and I needed to talk to Marvin about a few minor repairs and some new improvements for Lady Blue.  We think we have an appointment set up for early March.  More later.
Lots of trains on this route parallel to Route 10 and connecting to other towns.  Sometimes the wait at a crossing can be quite long!!

Where some sections of Route 10 can be quite flat desert, some sections can be very awesome.  More so after snowstorms in the mountains.
From Casa Grande , Jan and I prefer the quiet ride on Route 8 west to Gila Bend , north on Route 85 to Route 10 again(missing Phoenix traffic), and then on to Quartzsite, Arizona.  Along the way from Rockhound, we have noticed many favorite campgrounds which we hope to catch on the way back east.
Roger seems to really enjoy organizing a gathering of Lazy Daze owners at the Long Term Visitors Area (LTVA) south of town. We all certainly appreciate his efforts.  This year there are twenty or more units at different times.  
Not sure why, but Quartzsite always seems to offer some brilliant sunsets.  This year you  would see many of our group stop our gabbing at Happy Hour to stand and stare or take pictures of these natural displays.
A big attraction is the vendor areas and the big tent for the RV show.  Everything you could possibly want for your RV and more.  
This very nice Ford truck, I think, is a late 1920's model.  Anybody knows for sure, let me know.
This 1952 or so Dodge is meant simply to draw attention to a food vendor tent.
This one was at the visitor's parking lot. A late 1920's  two door. 

A very nice interior, but not original.  The leather, steering wheel, and automatic transmission are not from the 1920's. Pretty sure they did not offer this color either.

A regular visitor to Beer Bellies (Adult Daycare) is this old motorcycle and sidecar. Note the CCCP, Soviet Union to the younger crowd.  A little hard to see but note the machine gun with ammunition in the sidecar.  The horizontal engine reminds me of a BMW engine, but---no clue.
The seats look comfortable.
A Jeep is a Jeep?
Many models of the standard Jeep.  Some go back to at least the 1950's.  Comfortable looking they are not.
Always enjoy seeing a Jeep that still has the Willys name ( here on the hood).   Here is a link for any enthusiasts 1950's Jeep Images
A sign at the ice cream vendors outside the big tent.
I guess we were told!
All through Quartzsite there are many tents and vendors of rocks, minerals, precious stones, and jewelry. One of the vendors also has an offering of antique railroad dining car china.

A little hard to see , but this is all railroad dining car china pieces made into jewelry. We have an address and a name for Clifton and Vicki , or others, if you are interested.

For the young at heart.  We went by these every day.  We thought it was a good treatment for the water tank.
The schedule for our Lazy Daze group is very relaxed.  Everyone can do exactly what they want.  There are a few who like to camp with the group but might be seen only once or twice.  Most of the group likes to gather at 4:30 p.m. for Happy Hour.  Usually there are snacks--delicious hot and cold snacks--- and sometimes there is a pot luck gathering.  Often , before sunset, as the desert temperature starts to plummet, the group moves over to Roger's very toasty fire.
When it is dark enough, Roger likes to light up the candle balloons.  There is no real fire danger here on the desert, so many campers light these and watch them sail up into the sky and disappear.

Roger tending the fire.  Roger enjoys having a good supply of firewood and starting and tending the fires.  We all chip in for the firewood, but somehow I never think we give enough.  Thanks Roger!!

Always a good time to chat with other members of the group.  Libby, the dog,  really loves to think she is a lap dog.  She has to be about the friendliest dog ever.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Pecos, Texas to Mesilla, New Mexico

This is the back of the office at North Alaskan Rv Park in Alpine, Texas. We have seen a number of towns and now RV parks that have some very nice murals.  Often they are about the local history or people in the area.
The snowstorm had closed a number of roads in West Texas.  They do have snow equipment in the area, but not a lot.  For example, businesses seemed to have shovels, but no small snowblowers or plows.  For that reason we headed east to Route 67, north to Fort Stockton where we filled with $1.85 gas. From there we headed up Route 285 to Pecos.  
Pecos was where we had our mail sent because we had this great idea to head up to Carlsbad Caverns on the way west. With the cold spell, not such a great idea.  We were already below freezing at night , even in Pecos. Carlsbad had quite a bit more snow(higher elevation and further northwest)and was looking at possible single digit temps overnight.  Maybe in the Spring.
Very few people on the way to Pecos, but a number of oil rigs and storage facilities like in the above picture. 
Jan and I leave the next day on Route 20 west. Route 20 joins Route 10 and we have a relatively quiet drive through El Paso to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  On the way we stop for gas east of El Paso for $1.75 per gallon.  What a difference!  We usually fill when the gauge shows 1/2. That will be around 30 gallons.  In the past 3 years we have paid as much as $4.35 per gallon.  Some of you will not be surprised to know that was in California in 2014. 30 gallons at $4.35 is $130.50.  30 gallons at $1.75 is $52.50.  BIG DIFFERENCE!!!
Our stop here is at Hacienda RV Park.  We have stayed here before.  We like it because it is only a one and a half mile walk to the old town of Mesilla.  Along the way we have some of these great views of the Organ Mountains.

A nice variety of shops and restaurants in the old town of Mesilla.  Jan is always happy to find a store like the Rustic Olive .  A nice selection of olive oils and vinegars.  Also a nice conversation with the store owner.
La Posta is a popular restaurant in Mesilla

A surprisingly large restaurant with many rooms. These pictures of the Christmas trees are in different rooms.  The decorations are Mexican and very colorful.  The one behind our table uses a lot of colorful peppers and spices.
A good selections on the menu.  The salsa is made on premises and Bruce's combination of enchilada, refried beans and salad went very well with the Dos Equis on tap. A link to their menu  La Posta menu

Also inside are some exotic birds and fish.
Back in the 1800's La Posta was a stop on the old Butterfield Trail.
La Posta is the only building left on the trail and this stained glass behind the bar shows a colorful picture of the old days.
This unassuming building was once the capitol building of Arizona and New Mexico.
And our fascination with bad characters makes it more famous as the courthouse where Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang.
We love the style of these old buildings.  This inn is still functioning as an inn and cafe.

 Some great old wood gates.  Inside these old buildings you will also see open branches supporting ceilings.  Note besides the holiday decorations , many buildings show chile ristras like the one to the left of Bruce.
This link shows some of the ristras that feature Hatch, New Mexico chiles. Chile Ristras
Ristras make a colorful decoration for doorways
These are some for sale in a lot in Mesilla.
A mural on the side of a building in Mesilla.
The entrance to a pottery shop.  We talked to the owner and she showed us the kilns they used and some of the different artworks the three artists produce.  We wished that we had more room for some of the artwork and pottery.
Another old gate at a cafe.
Another day. Jan and I stopped at the St. Clair Bistro. St. Clair is the largest wine producer in New Mexico.  The original owners arrived from France and were quite happy with the area for producing wines.  These are just a few vines at the Bistro, but the main hundreds of acres are located west of Deming.  Besides a wine tasting, they offered a great menu including a cheese nosh plate with all kinds of cheeses from blue cheese to cheddar, to sage , grapes, crackers, and chocolate.
The following is a link to the St. Clair website.  You can click under Bistros and look at Las Cruces for wine flights and menus. Pictures of the cheese nosh are under the wine flight menu.

And on the way home, the sun highlights the mountains.