Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saved A Life Today!!!

Ok, it was just a little baby birdies life, but still a life none the less. You may remember from a few posts back, we have a metal awning which covers our little patio. In each corner of the awning there is a birds nest that seems to be reused over and over again by the local bird population. Well, in one of the nests there were three little eggs we had been watching for a while, we watched them hatch and grow big enought to fly the coop. This morning there seemed to be more chirping than normal coming from the nest area, so I thought I'd check out what all the ruckus was about. Well it seems, of the three babies, there was still one in the nest, and the others had already flown and left this little one behind. Thats when I noticed his little leg was tangled up in a string that the nest had been made out of..........poor little guy just couldn't get loose!!! So off inside to get the scissors to cut him loose, as I was trying to get him loose, he was not having any of it (birdie panic I'm sure) but as the string was cut, he was out of there like a shot!!!, no thanks or even a wave goodby, just gone. Ahh well, a good deed needs no thanks, just that feeling of helping out a little one in need was satisfing enough.
Sorry no pictures, the rescue was quick and in the heat of the moment.
Thanks for following along, just had to post and all is well............................

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Crusier Bikes

After years of riding mountain bikes, we have decided they are great for mountain biking, but not so great for greneral pleasure riding. Since we are doing more and more pleasure riding now and less trail rides we decided it was time for a change. We happened to be walking through the Base Exchange (military dept store) the other day and saw a pair of his and hers cruiser bikes on sale. So we looked at them and discussed picking them up, we also noticed they were a bit scratched up, so we asked the manager if he would discount them a little more, low and behold he did. Well as you can see we are now the proud owner of two new Huffy Cruiser Bikes.
We both love how you sit tall in the saddle, no gears to shift, just good ole bike basics and we love them.
The other part we love is the nice large comfy seats, just right for our aging.................well you
It's bee pretty rainy and very cloudy for the past week, so we haven't seen the moon in several days. Last night the skies cleared and the full moon rise over the mountains was just stunning.
Take Care and catch everyone on the next installment.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life in the Slow Lane at the FamCamp

Another week has gone by here at the FamCamp, some of our long timers have begun to move on, leaving us with several open spaces. As they leave, I make a valid attempt to clean up the sites, but some are so overgrown with weeds and grass, I can only get the big stuff. There has also been a slow down in folks passing through (I guess summertime in southern NM is not the greatest of most folks are just passing through. Like the RVers the rains continue to come and go. Being here in the desert it is pretty cool to watch the rain storms come cross the valley floor, some times they hit us but most just continue on there merry way.

Saturday, I meet some new folks who wanted me to show them around the local mountains. We headed out around 10:00am and travelled some of the same trails as in our last post, so I won't bore you with another lengthy write up. However, I thought I'd post a couple of my favorite shots from the trip. About half way through the trip, the sky's opened up and the rains came making for some very muddy and slippery roads.
Again, thats was our week, fun, rainy, and always interesting watching folks come and go. So take care until next time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sacramento Mountains With New Friends

Saturday morning I met up with Chris and Kim from El Paso, TX to show them the local off road trails here in the Sacramento Mtns and to escape the 100+ temps here on the desert floor.
We started out in the lower mountains where desert plants still thrive, and the temps begin to drop. The NF roads are rocky and steep in these areas, so high clearance 4 wheel drive is a must. However these roads take you to the most amazing overlooks and scenery.

You may look at the road in the pics and say, hmmmmm that dosen't look so bad, thats because on the difficult parts we're to busy driving to take any pics, so don't let the flat areas fool you, it's a bumpy ride up and down the hills.

A little further up the mountains, I took them to see Bridal Veil Falls, a little known, unmarked waterfall tucked back in the mountains. The area used to be privite property, but the Forest service bought the land and opened it to the public. In the foreground you can see the old iron gate. Hard to make out, but it says Harris Hollow, the old gate has since been replaced with your standard green Forest Service Gate. I like the old one better.
It's about a half mile hike back to the falls, they are approx 50' tall and flow year round. They were a popular stop on the old Cloudclimbing RR of the 1900s. The rail road would stop by the falls so the riders could cool themselves in the mist of the falls before continuing on up into Cloudcroft.

After viewing the falls we continued our journey deeper into the forest.

One last overlook, before going up into the high mountains.

The high mountains provide a whole different ecosystem, tall pines, grassy hillsides and of course temps in the 60s and 70s. It was a great day exploring and showing new friends some little known and remote areas.
As you can tell by our little narrative at the top, we prefer to find the roads less traveled, not only when traveling the country with our RV, but also during stops along the way. You may ask how we find all these cool places to explore?? Well just like with RV forums, we frequent some off road forums and are able to connect with people from all over the country, who know all the secret little places in their backyard. A couple of the forums we visit are this is mainly for folks who enjoy off road adventure and Expedition type travel, As the title says, it's active duty and military veterens who own and enjoy their Jeeps, they run the gamet from hard core rock crawling (not me) to adventure travel in their Jeeps (yup, thats more like us). As with the RV forums, these forums alow us to meet and connect with new people where ever we travel.
We look forward to meeting as many folks as we can during our Fulltime adventure and who knows we just run across some of you out on the trail, so get out there and explore some of those little known, hard to get to places, you will be plesently surprised by what you find (please make sure you have the proper vehicle and equipment for it)
Ok, See you out on the roads and trails less travelled.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Rains Cometh

Monsoon season has come to New Mexico (yes theres a mountain range there somewhere), it has been raining almost every afternoon this week. Of course we went through "Monsoon" season last year here, and I must say (being from FL) I just have to giggle, as they are more like an afternoon shower in Florida. Our other surprize is that it actually rains here in the southern New Mexico desert and how much it actually rains.

It's also been 2 weeks since we started Camp Hosting and life here at the FamCamp has slowed down pretty well, just a couple of folks here and there for a night or two, so it's been pretty easy. The weeding continues as does the day to day cleaning. We have met so many great people, if only for a night, which is making this hosting job worth doing.
Thanks for stopping by......................

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Toys

Outdoor Recreation (the folks that are actually responsable for the Campground) brought these new toys to the campground. They asked me if I wanted to use them to mow the large field (a few acres) used as the dry camp area. These guys are responsable for the mowing and only come out for an hour per week to mow. Our contract states lite grounds keeping, and for some reason that just dosent seem to Appears as if they are just trying to push off their job on us, so I think I'll decline. We have more than enough to to do with just weed control and general housekeeping. With the number of hours we are required to be here for the compensation provided, we're happy doing just whats required.
Not complaining about the campground or our duties, just don't like trying to be taken advantage of. We are enjoying being Campground Hosts, especially meeting new and interesting people each day.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First Week Camp Hosting......Whew!!!

It's been just over a week now since we took over Camp Hosting here at Holloman AFB and a busy one at that! The campground is in need of some serious TLC, so first order of business is getting it up to our standards and with so much TLC needed, it may take a little time. This week I started weeding around some of the open sites as pictured above.
This is how a lot of the sites look, overrun with weeds, just looks so unkept and drives me nuts, so that is my main priority.

Sheryls main priority is getting the restrooms and showers to her standards (and her standard are pretty darn high!) so we spent a couple of days getting them in order. Now I'll tell you, restroom cleaning is not my favorite thing, but once done, it just take a quick wipe down each day to keep them looking nice.

Weeds, weeds and more weeds!!! everywhere you look, another area is along the driveways as you come in. So far I've managed to get most of them, just seems to make a better first impression as you enter the park.
We have really enjoyed our first week, met some great people (best part) and helps to keep us busy. Time sure has flown also, seems like last month (June) took forever to go by, now it's already the 10th and we can't believe it.
So with our new chapter a week in, we are Lovin Our Life more and more each day, so tune in next time for more...........

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Picnic

Sunday the 4 of July we hosted a FamCamp Picnic for all the folks here at the campground. Many people were gone for the holiday weekend but we still had a good turn out. The picnic was the Pot Luck type, we provided the drinks and main course (ribs) and everyone that came brought a side dish. There were some great sides I must tell you!!! Mac Salad, Potato Salad, desserts, 7 Layer Dip, and more, Yummmmmmmmy!!! Everyone seemed to have a good time as we all talked our way into the late evening hours. We are hoping to make this a monthy happening while we are here, to get everyone out and meeting each other, one of the things this lifestyle is all about.
Thats it for now, and we catch you all next time right here on the blog.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Camp Host and Holiday Fireworks

A new chapter in our Fulltiming lifestyle started on the 2nd of July as we started our first Camp Host position. We are hosting here at Holloman AFB, NM and will be here until Oct. After that we will begin our trek Eastward.
Holloman FamCamp has 24 Full Hook up sites, so it's a small campground as campground go. It has 12 pull truu sites and 12 backin sites. Overall the FamCamp is pretty nice, however it does need some TLC.

On 2 July, Holloman AFB put on a pretty nice firworks display, they also had a holiday event at the softball fields, with food, crafts and other assorted booths. We elected to just stay around the campground, put our chairs out front of the trailer and just enjoy the fireworks from here.
As you can tell, I'm a couple of days behind and working on getting caught up. Speaking of being behind, I noticed a question in the comments section of the blog entry from last month (still not used to having our blog read by people other than familiy). The question was, What happened to the birdies that hatched, and if we took them with us since we are traveling fulltime?? Well the birdies flew the coop as it were, they were nested in a corner of the overhange at our site, we watched them each day and then one day they were gone, just like that. Hope that answers the question, and I'll be more aware of comments left and get to them in a much more timely manner.
Ok, until next time, I want to thank all that drop by for a quick visit, and we will see you later.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 2nd Anniversary To Us!!!

June 28th was our 2 year anniversary, and it has been a wonderful 2 years, not to mention a wonderful 6 years together!!! I could not ask for a more beautiful woman (both inside and out) to spend my life with. So here to us sweetheart...and many more years to come. We decided to go out on a lunch date to one of our favorite spots, Cloudcroft in the Sacromento Mountains. As we were leaving the desert floor it was already over 95 degrees and as we made our way into Cloudcroft at over 9000 feet, it was a cool 52 degrees, nice but burrrrrrrr, it just wasen't shorts and t-shirt weather. We stopped at our favorite little resturant, The Western Bar, for lunch. The Western is half bar and half resturant and all good!!! Great food with a small mountain town atmosphere.

Cloudcroft is a small mountain town in the Sacromento Mountains high above Alamogordo, NM. The towns main street (Burro Ave) still has all the original buildings from when this was a logging town of the early 1900s. So if you are ever up this way, be sure to check out Cloudcroft and the especially the Western Bar for a good meal and a good time.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Monticello Canyon/Gila Cliff Dwellings Weekend

Myself along with 12 other families from the Military Jeepers Fourm (West TX/Southern NM Chapter) set out for a weekend trip to Monticello Canyon (NW of T or C, NM) and the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We all meet up at a rest area on I-25, introductions were made, bathroom breaks done and a quick plan was made and we were off.
After a stop in T or C for gas it was off to Monticello.

The road through Monticello Canyon is a county rd, however what makes it such a popular trail are the countless river crossings and the spectacular scenery throught the canyon.

The canyon is mostly private property on both sides of the road.

The first of several river crossings. Some crossings are short 10-15 feet, some, the river actually becomes the road. Most all crossings are only 1-1 1/2 feet deep, however still makes for a fun drive.

We finally found a wide spot in the road, with the river to the side, to stop for lunch. The kids had a great time playing in the water and the adults cooled their feet in the moderate flow.

Everyone came prepared for 100+ temps, however we were blessed with a cloudy day and temps only in the 70s.

After an hour or so lunch stop and rounding up all the kids and adults, it was back on the trail. The farther down the canyon you get the narrower the walls become and the more creek driving you do.

The end of the canyon is known as the Monticello Box, here it is nothing but water and walls, before the canyon abruptly ends and opens to wide meadows.

In the Box there is a large slab of rock which had fallen from the face above and makes for a great place to pose with your rig. We all took turns and then headed out.

Once outside the Box we stopped to let the kids play and run off their pent up energy. This is also where the Indian Chief Geronimo supposedly surrendered to the U.S. Calvery, however depending on which history book/articale you read it, could have been several places. We said our goodbyes as most of the group was headed home, while 6 of us headed for the Gila National Forest for a weekend of camping and exploring.

Monticello/Gila Part Deux

After leaving Monticello Canyon, it was south on NM 52 and toward our campsite for the night in the Gila National Forest. Six of the thirteen decided to camp, as the others peeled off and headed back. Rolling hills are the norm in this part of NM, until you get into the Gila NF, then the rugged mountains take over the terrain.

Once at Iron Creek Campground, camp was set up and we all settled in for great evening in the great outdoors. Most everyone set up tents, however being different I had a nice comphy spot picked out in the back of the Jeep.

The next morning we all got up and had a nice slow start to our morning, no time line to follow, or place to be in a hurry. Once packed up we decided to head over to Silver City NM and then come up with a plan for the day.

On the way to Silver City, we ran across the Santa Rita Copper Mine, nessled here in the Gila Mountains. I understand the need for mining and much of the equipment and items we use in day to day life comes from mining, however you don't realize how ugly these mines are and how the scare the landscape, until you see one upclose.

Once in Silver City we decided a trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument was in order, so off we went. We took NM 15 North from Siver City and that was one of the most winding roads through a montain range that I've ever been on. The drive took over 2 hours to travel 44 miles, however we did have to stop a couple of times to allow one of the vehicles brakes to cool off.

Once at the monument, we paid our fees and headed out on the one mile loop trail to the cliff dwellings. Approx 1/2 way up the loop, the dwellings come into view, and are much higher up the cliff face than I expected.

This is one of the first caves you come to, and is believed to be the communal kitchen area.

The wall building is pretty high quality concidering how long ago they were built and the tech availible at that time to the native people. The dwellings are approx 700 years old and about 80% original the other 20% have been distroyed by vandals over the years.
Location, Location, Location, and boy did they have it!!! Million dollar views for sure.

There are 7 distinct caves with various rooms in each one.

This one was staged as a storage area.

The exit is a climb down this ladder, as the natives did in their day, you can return to the steps, but this way is much more fun.
It was a great weekend, but all good things must come to an end, and so did our day. we loaded up and headed home, splitting off in Las Cruces and each making our way back to El Paso and Alamogordo.

A final Sunset to a great tribute to a weekend filled with good memories and friends old and new.