Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Red, The Reveal!!!

Well here she is, ain't she a beast...I mean beaut!!! 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, 4X4, with 83,000 miles. Not bad for a diesel. The price was fair, and we were treated well by the dealer, it meets all our requirements for towing now and in the future. We have been talking for a while now about getting a truck like this one, we just wanted to wait for the right one to come along. We knew we wanted a diesel if we could afford one, plus it had to have 4 wheel drive for off roading.  We headed out the other day to just look but all we were finding (in our price range) was very high mileage beaters. So we decided to pack it in and get some lunch, funny thing was, there was a Dodge dealer right across the street from the resturaunt. On the way out Sheryl says, hey, why don't we look and see what they have, and well.......the rest is now history as thats the dealer we bought from. Also, you can tell it has four wheel drive, so our off road adventures will continue, just in a different vehicle. It will certainly take alittle getting used to driving it, both on and off road, as it's much bigger than the Jeep.
Tomorrow, we'll see how she tows, we are taking the trailer up to Camping World to get our new awning installed. Yep, we finally decided it was time for a new one, with summer almost here it'll be nice to have it out to get away from the blazing sun here in the Southwest. As you may remember (or not) last year just before we headed out on the road, one of those lovely El Paso winds came up out of nowhere and our old awning was history. I was at the VA Hospital, and poor Sheryl was just no match for the wind gust that so kindly removed the awning.
Tomorrow is also my "your officially getting old" appointment at the VA, yep, being fitted for my hearing aids. I've been putting it off for so long now, but my hearing loss is really starting to affect my (our) everyday life, so I guess it's time.
Ok, well, that was the big reveal, we'll miss the Jeep, but we'll have just as much fun with our new friend. Towing will be less stressful, not worrying about being over loaded, and there's alot more room for Sheryl to move around and be Comfy.
Take Care and thaks for stopping by.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Busy Busy Week!!!

My how time flys when your crazy busy!!! This week we have been running like crazy, between doctors appointments, driving up to Alamogordo a couple of times, spring cleaning and of course the ever present poor wifi connection here at the park, it's no wonder I haven't posted all week.

 Spring Cleaning started with the Jeep. After my last outing with it, Sheryl had, had enough with the scratches and wanted them taken care of. Now the scratches are just from the desert bushes, and always look worse than they are. I keep telling Sheryl, awww don't worry, they'll bufff right out, I just never seemed to get around to the buffing out part. Well all that changed this week, so with wax in hand they were taken care of, while Sheryl cleaned the inside.

Now, with the Jeep all nice clean, it was time for inside the trailer, so out came alot of stuff from the cabinets, as we tried to decide what we needed and didn't. Hard to believe how much stuff you can collect and all the little heidie holes you can find to put it in!!! We we made a pretty good dent in it, but there is still always more to do.

As I said, doctors appointments and general running around took up most of our time, but we also made time for alittle truck shopping...................seems Sheryl had an ulterior motive for getting the Jeep cleaned up, boy that girl can be sneeky sometimes...lol. Actually we have been talking lately about trading the Jeep in for a truck. With poor Sheryl's back and other issues, the seats in the Cherokee just are not that comfy for her on travel days. We also think we are pushing the limits of the Jeeps tow rating. Now don't get me wrong the Jeep has lots of power, but the springs are struggling and with the really poor milage, it's just time to start looking. I also love the Jeep for it's off road capabilities, but, with this new lifestyle it may be time for a change. So we strike out to "JUST LOOK" and see whats out there and which trucks have the best seats for Sheryl. OK you can see where this is going, so long story short, we bought an new to us, pre owned truck (but you'll have to wait till next post to see it as we won't get it from the dealer until tomorrow). After telling the salesman what we were looking for and our budget, he showed us one that they had just traded for (not even cleaned up yet). We did the test drive, looked it all over and found a couple of issues that are being taken care of, before they'll hand her over. So stay tuned and see what we got!!!

We get commented to all the time on how young we look to be out fulltiming (great compliment) and how we managed it. Hmm, well it all began when Sheryl and I were dating, she said she would just love to buy an RV and just travel. Funny as that had been a dream of mine for a long long time and I had never mentioned it to her, so I thought wow, is that perfect or what. Fast forward a few years, I'm now retired from the AF and Sheryl is looking at doing Travel Nursing, we will buy a motorhome and begin our travels. Well, as they say Life Happens and those plans were put on hold for a while with Sheryls heart surgery. Fast forward alittle bit later, Sheryl (after going back to work) decided she just couldn't do nursing anymore as it was just too much for her. We applied and she was approved for Social Security Disability (nice to know it was there, after paying in for so many years). So with my retirement and her SS, we decided to hit the road, we found a trailer we could pay cash for and that the Jeep could tow, so we were set. That's how we are able to Fulltime at 52 (me) and Younger (Sheryl).

Ok, so until next time and the big reveal................................

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Arden Crater, New Mexico

Last Saturday, just a couple of days after arriving here in El Paso, I contacted some old friends and found out there was a off road run planned to Arden Crater New Mexico. I have been out to the desert area west of El Paso/Las Cruces several times but was unaware of this particular landmark. Arden Crater in one of several volcano's in southern New Mexico. Many of the volcano's that formed here blew more gas and steam than actual lava which accounts for the lower profile cones and craters. I joined up with the group and we headed out around 1:00 pm.

The craters are located 25 or so miles out in the desert. There are several county roads in the area, however all are dirt, deep sand or rocky. You don't really need 4 wheel drive, but it can come in handy in some places. Also, be sure to be prepared with extra food and water, you are a long way from anywhere, should you decide to explore this area, and I highly recommend that you do.

Our first stop was Killborne Hole (you may remember this one from a previous trip) we stopped here, as it was on the way out to Arden, and some of the others with us had never been here before. We spent about an hour exploring the massive volcano before heading on to our next destination. The light area in the center was the volcano's opening, which has since filled in over the centuries.

 From Killborne Hole to Arden Crater is several miles through this desolate desert. As you travel the area you can come across old homesteads which have long since been abandoned.

After a couple hours of desert driving, we arrived at Arden Crater. It has a well defined cone rising from the desert floor, but is much smaller around than Killborne Hole.

The other major difference is, once you make it to the rim, the crater floor is almost level with the rim, as it is filled with lava. On the inside, there are several long deep gaps in the lava just inside the rim. Reminds you of a cake that has cooled and pulled away from the pan as it shrunk.

 The day was slowly coming to an end, we had spent a couple of hours at the crater and still had another hour or so back to civilization. We stopped in Las Cruces for dinner and then all went our separate ways home. It was a long day, but a very enjoyable one, all toll we travelled approx 70 miles off road, getting to explore new and fascinating areas. I'll take these trips over any tourist trap any day.

Well it has been almost at one year that we have been on the road. We decided it's time to go through the trailer and see what we have actually used/need and weed out the rest. It's really just amazing all the things you thought you needed, and just had to have while living in a house, compared to what you really need to be happy while fulltiming. So Spring cleaning has begun!!!
Thanks to all of you that follow along with us and remember..........Keep Lovin Your Life as we do ours!!! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Winds of EL Paso

The winds of El Paso have welcomed us back with a vengence!!! Monday they were at 40 mph sustained with 60-70 mpg gusts, poor Sheryl about gets blown over when she goes out in those....lol. As you can see above the winds are actually bending the flag pole.

Along with the strong winds comes the desert sand and dust. You can just make out downtown El Paso from the overlook. Usually you can see all the way to the horizon in Mexico. We really didn't want to be out in it, however Sheryl had her first doctors appointment. Speaking of which, her doctor is scheduling her for an MRI next week, once he gets the results we can then come up with a plan to fix her back. Poor girl is just in an incredable amount of pain and is tired of living on pain meds. Shes been a trooper for so long, but has just had enough. Good thing is, we are here and the wheels are in motion. Haven't been doing much else, Saturday I did go out with a few friends, old and new, exploring the desert area just to the west, however I'll save that for another post. Actually I'm waiting for some pics of the trip, since I boneheaded it and forgot my camera.
 Thats all the news thats fit to print, so we'll see you back here in a day or two......................

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Travelling Southwest Texas

 Canyon Lake is now a memory as we travelled through Southwest Texas. Wanting/needing to be in El Paso as soon as possible, we drove for 3 days, arriving on Thursday. Southwest Texas is quite the drive, we took Hwy 90 out of San Antonio, to Del Rio, Alpine then on to El Paso. There can be some long stretches with out services (gas) so if you make it out this way make sure you have plenty!! We thought at one point we would run out before then next station as one along the way was out of gas. We did make it to the next town, on fumes, but we did make it. Not having a large gas tank in the Jeep and only getting 6-8 mpg can really be a hindrance, but a lesson learned to carry extra when striking out here in the Southwest.  Just after leaving Canyon Lake, we came across the Dam Red Barn and just had to get a shot! The business is just down from the Canyon Lake Dam,  hence the name, and right across the street from the local church, hmmmm sense of humor or .............. you be the judge.

 On our way out of Del Rio, approx 35 miles we had planned to stop in the town of Landry to top off the gas tank as it would be a long way to the next town with gas. However the town was out of gas, hmmm press on and risk the next town being out also, or re-route back to Del Rio and find a better route. After being assured the next town would have gas we pressed on. Ahh the adventure! While in the town of Landry, we found the Judge Roy Bean Museum (yup out here in the middle of nowhere) so we decided to take it in. I had heard about it before, and thought it would be pretty cool to see, just didn't realize it was here. The museum has a good size Welcome Center, the Judges original Home and Saloon/Courthouse on display (both in there original locations). Ole Judge Roy Bean was quite the character, in his day and dispensed his own brand of justice as he interpreted the law. The building are very well preserved, so stop by for a look next time you out this way (just bring plenty of fuel!!)

 West Texas scenery, lots of open plains and distant mountains.

 Once we made it to I-10, it was a pretty strait shot into El Paso, however the up hill grades and a nice head wind caused the Jeep to struggle to get 6 mpg (ouch) 8-10 is more the norm pulling the trailer. It's nice to stop at the rest areas, Texas sure puts up some interesting ones, just to get a break from fighting the wind for a bit.

With are arrival here in El Paso, we were greeted with this beautiful sunset, after three days on the road, it was nice to finally relax, have a cold one and just watch the sunset. We are staying at the Ft Bliss RV Campground, we have paid for 2 weeks so we'll be he that long for sure. Sheryl has her doctors appointment on Monday, so we should know more about his plans for her back and how long we may be here then.