Saturday, October 13, 2012

On the road again. . .

Hmmm, where to begin?  I know I haven't written a blog post in a long time.  I'm not even going to try to make excuses, it isn't your responsibility, LOL.  I read a blog from a friend where she posted a comment her Dr or Dentist made to her:  she was apparently quite late for an appointment and when she got there tried to tell him why and he said he didn't want to hear it.  That he feels when people try to make excuses TO him they are in an indirect way trying to shove the responsibility for them being late off on him and he just didn't care to take on somebody else's problems.  She put it a lot better than that, it was a whole blog post, but that's the gist of what I got out of it.  I thought about this a long time because I'm a person who always wants to make excuses and give reasons, when really it's my problem and not fair to put it on other people.  So, I haven't blogged for awhile and today I'm writing a blog post because I have something I want to share, LOL. 

As most of the people who read my blog know, right now we're on "vacation".  I use the term loosely because we have things to do, people to see, family, and a conference all going on for this trip, but it's still time away from home and time away from Mr. C's work, so it's still a vacation.  This is the first time we've ever gone West with our Fifth Wheel because of so much travel time using up our vacation.  But, this time we decided to bite the bullet and load up the Big Sky and head out West.  As expected the long travel days haven't been the most fun; long, long days of driving and I'm not the best traveler in the world, LOL (I know, why on earth do we have a Fifth Wheel trailer if I don't like to travel?)  I actually love to travel and see new places and do new things, but I get so incredibly bored.  If you know me at all well, you know I'm hardly ever still as in not doing something.  I don't even watch TV because I can't sit and do nothing.  This time, though I found something to do and then thought of something even better I could have done, but didn't bring the stuff with me, LOL.

I wanted to learn to make a needle felted fairy or angel, and I did.  I didn't have all the colors I wanted, so the first one isn't exactly what I was trying to make, but I'm still pleased with her.  She's a Halloween Fairy with a Jack-O-Lantern. 

So, in Amarillo, we found a Hobby Lobby, got some more colors of wool, and I started a second one, which IS closer to what I was trying to make.  I have discovered, though, that needle felting in a bouncing truck pulling a trailer can be hazardous to your fingers. . . those felting needles are SHARP, LOL. 

The second one isn't finished yet, her name/title will be Autumn's Bounty.  She's all fall colors and will be holding a cornucopia with fall leaves pouring out of it.  I thought I didn't like them without faces, so I gave her a face, but I think I like them faceless, better, after all, LOL.  Excuse the photo quality on the keyboard, I know it could be better, I am just in a hurry to get on with my best day yet, LOL. 

We have discovered that when we finally retire and start this traveling for much longer periods of time we aren't having travel all day, camp, travel all day camp one day at a time stuff, it's for the birds and exhausting.  No time to do anything or see anything, we didn't even hook up anything but electricity, so no showers or cooking, either.  I told Mr. C. that when we start "full-timing" we can't stay anywhere LESS than 3 nights.  There are things I'd like to see and do and all we have time for is to pull in, go eat, get fuel, check our email and go to bed, just to get up before light the next morning and do it again. . .

Our campground in Joplin was a nice KOA, very quiet and easy to get into.  KOA campgrounds almost always escort you to your site and see that you are settled in okay. 

Our campground in Amarillo was fantastic and we wish we could have spent a few days there, but that's not how our schedule is worked out. So, we left Amarillo (which was lovely, a great campground, great dinner, errands run and a good night's sleep) on our way to Albuquerque. 

While in Albuquerque, we planned to see the International Balloon Fiesta and Mr. C's Dad and Step-Mom.  As we left Texas and entered New Mexico, (early in the morning, so it was still dark out) there was a tremendous lightening storm.  Long jagged strikes to the right of us and to the left of us and huge "flash bulb" type flashes over head.  It was kind of eerie, there was NO thunder, just tons of lightening.  Then it started to rain, and was incredibly windy and rainy the rest of the way into Albuquerque. 

To make matters worse, we've been having truck trouble.  We finally figured out that we think we got a bad tank of fuel, but not much we can do but use it up.  Anyway, we had lots of sputtering and "loss of engine power" (which in mountains ISN'T a good thing. . . ). 

One bright spot of the day, though was that midway through the storm there was the most beautiful, brightest rainbow we've ever seen, we could see both ends "touching the ground" as well as the whole arch.  For a few minutes there was a double rainbow, but the second one wasn't bright enough to get a picture of.  Sorry, I don't know how to manipulate them to make them go together and make the whole arch for you to admire and the colors in the photos just don't do true justice to the actual colors or vividness of the colors we saw. 

We finally got to our campground and got in an argument because they wanted us to pay $60.00 more than we had already paid that was agreed upon.  We finally prevailed and went to pull into our campsite.  Some campgrounds are so wonderfully set up that pulling in and setting up is so easy, and others aren't :-(  This one wasn't.  Rather than having the sites set in at an angle they are straight 90* angle pull ins.  They aren't long enough for both the trailer and truck (which in itself isn't a problem, we can park beside the trailer) but does make it harder to pull in at that kind of angle.  There was a LARGE class A Motor home behind us and he had his front end out in the road, so we couldn't turn wide to get into our site and there are concrete "patios" which are not flush with the gravel. 

There is also a trailer and truck in front of us so we couldn't pull through and then back in straight.  We've had several blow-outs of our trailer tires and just bought a whole new set this year, so we didn't want to stress them by trying to go over the corner edge of the patio. 

As you can see, after much maneuvering back and forth and lots of swearing and sweating, we finally got it straight in and leveled and opened up.  We were so relieved.  The campground itself isn't in a very good location/neighborhood, but as to location to and from "the folks" and the Balloon Fiesta, it is just perfect.  Too bad it was so frustrating.  We have to come back through here on our way home and will be spending a week with the folks, and we can't decide whether to stay here again or not.  The price is right, very few if any amenities (no wi-fi at all, we're using Mr. C's phone's as a "hot spot"). 

The weather was still so windy and threatening that the Balloon Fiesta's events for Friday were all cancelled.  I was disappointed because it was supposed to be the shape "Glowdeo", where they have the novelty shaped balloons.  They were to have had the Shape Rodeo during the morning and the Shape Glowdeo (you'll see pictures in the next post, LOL) during the evening, followed by fireworks.  Since it was all cancelled, we called "the folks" and met them for dinner at (where else???) Golden Corral (which is only about 5 minutes from our Campground).  Then they followed us back to our Campground and spent some time admiring the Big Sky Fifth Wheel and just chatting with us for a couple hours.  Then we took our showers and went to bed, as we knew we needed to be up EARLY the next morning to get to the Balloon Fiesta for the Dawn Patrol and Mass Ascension.  I'm going to write a separate post about our morning at the Balloon Fiesta with lots of pictures.  

After visiting the Balloon Fiesta we went to visit 4 other campgrounds in the Albuquerque area (remember, we'll be back in Albuquerque for 5 days after my conference in Las Vegas).    The first three were West of Albuquerque which would require a 30-40 minute drive over 2 interstates and lots of "city" driving with our big butt truck, which neither one of us really wants to do, not to mention the extra cost of fuel.  One was really fancy, but would be hard to maneuver through with the truck and trailer (very windy, curvy roads with lots of trees).  The other two were older but well thought out/designed campgrounds that we could have been happy with and the price was right on those two.  We're just hesitant over whether they would really save us any thing frustration or money wise over where we are now (in spite of the difficulty of pulling into the site).  The 4th one was a KOA that would be lots closer to "the folks"  (who are the reason we are returning for the 5 days), BUT, it was horrible to get to, the sites were so tight I'm not sure how we'd get into them.  The campground itself was nearly impossible to find and we almost got in two accidents trying to get to it, just with the truck, not to mention having the trailer with us.  We drove through the campground and there were places we could barely get our truck through and we both unanimously stated "absolutely NO, we don't like it" (plus it was more than double the price of any of the other 4 campgrounds).  So I suspect, in spite of our frustration we will return to this campground.  Once you get settled it isn't too bad and without the added numbers of people camping for the Balloon Fiesta it should be okay. 

We also went to Walmart, of course, and got some Diesel 911 which removes water from fuel as well as does some other stuff I don't understand, LOL.  Mr. C also drained our "water trap" and did find water in the fuel, so pretty sure that's what the problem is.  So after he drained the water trap, he put in the Diesel 911 and we fueled up again, at a Loves truck stop.  They have a higher turn over of diesel fuel, so usually water isn't a problem with their fuel, they're just higher priced, LOL. 

I'm going to end here and write a separate post about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with LOTS of pictures, so check back soon.  Smiles, Sue C


  1. Exciting trip and will check the next blog to see if you got to see Balloons! ILY!

  2. My favorite is the first fairy...I love her.

  3. And I like her without a face.