Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Roosevelt Lake, Arizona and White Sands, New Mexico

From Jerome, Jan and I headed east on route 260 .
About 6 miles east of route 17 is Clear Creek Campground in the Coconino National Forest. 
A small campground by an active, but small creek, it is a very quiet, pleasant stopover.
Senior card makes it $8 for the night.
Route 260 towards Payson heads up over about 8,000 feet.  
Still some leftover snow on the peaks.
South of Payson, , we take route 188 southeast to Roosevelt Lake , one of our favorite spots.
This year the cost for seniors rose almost 300%!
Well, that's not all that bad.  We paid $3 per night last year and now the price was $8 per night.
Next year, it will be $10 per night.  This puts the park more in line with other National Forest sites.
This year, the water table is up to around 50% capacity.  The workcampers indicated that 2011 was the last time the lake was at full capacity. But, this year is much better than last year and the level was still increasing.  Some of the recent snow in the mountains may add even to that.

Okay, maybe just an excuse for another Saguaro picture.
We thought the skeleton Saguaro would give you an idea of how useful this plant was to early 
settlers for building materials.
This is a huge park which is greatly underused in the winter.
In the land of sunshine, it is good to see applications of solar.
In this case, 10 large, or 20 small(depending on how you see it)panels
to provide power for the bathroom lights and hot water.

Fishing is very popular and quite good here.
That is 11.34 pounds for this catch in February, 2012.
The fish picture was at the visitor's center as was this demonstration of beading.
In the previous picture you can see the different bead containers and the stretcher they use to weave the beads into different applications.
Under the stretcher that is forming a belt , is what seemed to be a placemat.

This is similar to what was being made on the stretcher.
From Roosevelt we head south on route 188 to Globe and then southwest on route 60 to Florence , south on route 79 to Florence, and then west to Casa Grande.
Out of Globe there are numerous examples of mining operations.  
High grade copper is one example.
Winding through the mountains, sometimes a surprise view of a bridge.
At Rovers Roost in Casa Grande, we are stopping to have Marvin Braun of Precision RV do a few maintenance items and upgrades,  Above is a new King TV antenna to replace our batwing antenna that needed to be raised and lowered at each stop.
Another replacement was our city water connection which , for some reason, had decided to crack and leak. 
A big addition was this 600 watt pure sine wave inverter.  Before, we have been using a 12 volt cigarette lighter type connector and a small portable inverter(not pure sine wave) .
It complained loudly when we tried to use the satellite receiver , along with the tv.
The wire leading to the 12 volt plug is quite thin and not happy carrying large amounts of current.
The new inverter, above, is hard wired to the battery with a quite thick wire to carry the current back to the receiver.
The picture is correct, it is installed upside down at the top of the entrance storage unit.
This leaves plenty of room for ventilation and storage.
Up, in the storage bin, we now have a double 110 volt plug.
Works great , even while boondocking and using other electric items
We also had Marvin add one more solar panel.
We now have 4 panels for 400 watts of solar.
Momma is checking the neighborhood before going into the nest.
Momma, heading off for more food
Momma is checking.  But look at the size of that beak on the baby!!!
Marvin has done a great job and super neat too!
Once eveything is checked out, we head east on
route 10 to Fort Willcox RV Park at the eastern edge of Arizona.
Willcox was a gathering point for the cattle roundups in earlier 20th century.
It is also the home of Rex Allen, an early cowboy movie star.
And---it is also the junction to head south to Chiricahua National Monument.
This campground is a small, neat campground, away from the highway. 
The owner also bakes pies(for sale) and provides a free waffle breakfast.
Good stop.
Also great , is Mother Nature providing a wonderful , last
Arizona sunset.
Since it is the last for now, we had to give you two.
From Willcox, it is a short distance to bring us into New Mexico.
Jan and I decide to head all the way to Las Cruces again, just northwest of El Paso.
We almost didn't go at this time because of the high winds forecast.  
But the highest winds waited until after we arrived at Hacienda Park.
For those not familiar with this route 10 stretch, the winds can create huge dust storms that can cut visibility on the highway to zero.  
Since we have some time, we take a walk into the old town of Mesilla.
Check back in January for our last stop.
This time we have lunch at Peppers Cafe.
Click on the link and you will see that the building houses two restaurants,
Double Eagle which is a fine dining restaurant and Peppers which is more casual.
We were in Peppers which is the picture at the top right on the link.
Jan had Chicken Mesilla and Bruce had Chicken Fajita.
Bruce also had a Bosque Lager from an Alberquerque microbrewery.
See link Bosque Brewery
From Las Cruces, we head a short distance east on route 10 to route 25 north.
Then we head off northeast on route 70 to White Sands Missile Range Museum.
You can see Jan in awe of many missiles on display.

One thing we did not expect was a stop at the entrance to get a special pass to enter.
The pass required a background check and a picture ID.
We passed!
Inside are a number of early missile units. This facility was created in the 1940's.
This is the WAC Corporal.
It was launched in 1945 and the first man made object to leave the earth's atmosphere.
A number of references here to Dr. Goddard who grew up in Auburn, Mass. and is considered the father of missile research.

White Sands is a testing facility for all kinds of missiles. Some of these names we all know from
the Iraq War and movies.
Other displays are from important events we studied in school.
Above is the Fat Man bomb casing. Fat Bomb was the last nuclear weapon used in war . It was dropped on Nagasaki.  The first was Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
While a terrifying, devastating bomb, it was also an instrument that actually saved many lives on both sides by ending the war quickly. But , at a terrible price.
As high school students in the 50's and 60's, we were required to read
Hiroshima by John Hersey (Pulitzer Prize winning author. ) 
I hope this is still required reading.  Every person should be aware of the horrible
devastation caused by nuclear weapons--and thus be encouraged to use these weapons as deterrents
and hopefully never for any other reason.

A picture of Jack Benny on board the WAC Corporal in 1951.
A little reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove
Another view of some of the outdoor display.

The next stop on route 70 is White Sands National Monument just south of Alamogordo.
Very suggestive of the Cape Cod dunes. But these dunes are made of tiny gypsum grains.
Everything is extremely white!
This is something not allowed on the Cape Cod dunes.
The visitors center offers sleds to ride down the dunes!

Just above White Sands, in Alamogordo, is Boot Hill RV Park.( a lot of references to Billy The Kid here).  An old tractor sits close to the highway.  Note the tin can over the exhaust and the very secure???? battery.  What do you think?  Still runs?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

More Sedona, Arizona and Jerome,Arizona

Jan and I had a number of pictures from Sedona.
We decided to share a few more.  Remember you can click on pictures to enlarge.

This sculpture commemorates the Cowboy Artists of America., a group that formed in Sedona in 1964.  They were all real cowboys who loved being out on the trail.  This link gives you their background.Cowboy Artists of America  We found it fascinating for a time when we were in college and thought this idea was just something from ages back celebrated in 1950's TV and movies (visualize John Wayne). Scroll down in the link to read their story.  This next link takes you to images of paintings by the artists.   Some Paintings by Cowboy Artists This group currently has exhibitions every year.
Center of Sedona (similar pic from last issue)
Taken from the main street of Sedona.  The city campground,  Rancho Sedona RV Park,  is visible at the bottom.

Above is a creek about a one mile hike from our boondocking site. There was water in the rivers and creeks from the snow runoff in the mountains.
  The entrance to the V Bar V Ranch.  Once a cattle ranch, it is now a historical site.
The ranch is known for its petroglyphs.  These are figures carved into the rocks by Native Americans around 1150 to 1400 A.D. .  The colors , green and yellow, are lichen growing on the rocks.
The carvings are not all understood. Some are obvious stick figure people or animals. Others are sun or maze like figures.  These were made by farming communities.  There are other older carvings that may have been made much earlier by hunter,gatherers or traveling communities.  The following link gives a little more information   V Bar V petroglyphs
It was a good long hike , about a 5 mile or so round trip from our boondocking site to the petroglyphs. This picture is of Lady Blue from a side road on that hike.  If you click to enlarge, you can see Lady Blue above the red type.

On one of the days, we enjoyed a nice long hike from the parking lot at Yavapai Vista. So many great views from the many hikes around Sedona!  This link shows just some of the great hiking trails.Day Hiking Sedona  There are many menus and links on this site.
We were lucky to find a parking space for Lady Blue at this stop. Many of the trails have full parking lots with people searching for any opening.  By the way, we loved the contrast of the green and red.

What a great country!!

From Sedona,  we take Beaverhead Flat Road to Cornville Road to Cottonwood and Deadhorse Ranch State Park.  This was a very pleasant state park with some great views.  

A short ride from Cottonwood is Jerome, Arizona.  Well-----a short ride, but most of it is up. The listing is 5,000 feet elevation to an old town known in its heyday for rich copper mines.  In 1920 the population  was around 10,000 people. Now, the 2010 population is 444.
Now, a tourist stop, but many interesting shops , restaurants, and sites.

Always can take time for a 1956? Chevy.  I know, the 1957 is the best!
 Okay, It's called House of Joy.  No explanation. 
Some interesting bits of wood porches around a brick building.

There are a number of interesting shops. Some unique and quality jewelry, crafts, and other shops.
We enjoyed this Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery.  Many beautiful paintings and cards.  We bought a few which were absolutely wonderful(cards). We do this when we find great small art cards.  They display nicely inside Lady Blue.  This view is from their building which used to be a hotel.
Lunch choices were many.  We chose The Mine which was a small cafe of about 10 tables. Our choices were a nice chicken salad wrap(wrap with potato salad, rice, and chicken pieces) and a beef brisket sandwich.
Cannot resist old, rusty vehicles