Thursday, April 4, 2024

Playing Catch Up

We had a fabulous 15 nights in our home away from home.  
2,145 miles, 
200 gallons of gas ($630+), 
15 days of memories, laughter, joy, sunshine, a little wind (usually at our back), hikes, naps, and adventure together... 


We kicked the trip off with 2 nights at Elephant Butte Lake NM... with a flat tire as we pulled into the campsite!  Boy, were we glad that we weren't on the road.  As my Dad would have said... "Thank God for little green apples!" We were quickly reminded of God's promises with a double rainbow that spanned nearly the entire lake. We enjoyed watching the wildlife and even watched a pair of coyotes call back and forth to each other.  We had noticed a potential den for some animal as we walked along the rocky shore and collected a few shells... now if I could just remember just exactly what "safe place" I put those shells in. haha!

An incredible phenomenon of nature that we got to see was this bee nest/hive filled with honeycomb!  

Green Valley, AZ was our next stop.  We stayed with a friend from Dave's years as a summer instructor of gunsmithing.  He has a lovely place with a saltwater pool and hot tub.  Shelby enjoyed playing in the pool. Her favorite thing to do was drop a tennis ball in and wait for us to retrieve it.  Silly dog!  I enjoyed the hot tub... hot tubbing under the stars with a "natural space" that featured a saguaro and a few other varieties of cactus just beyond the fenced area was fabulous. 

Roosevelt Lake, cliff dwellings at Tonto NP, a trip to Apache Lake for lunch and touring Globe, AZ as we collected souvenirs were part of the next adventure. We watched a few storms roll in as we watched the sunset.  
After a wine tasting I made my selection and got a glass :)
The prickly pear honey was interesting, much more like a jelly than honey and assorted gifts for the grandchildren
The fabric will be used to make a few placemats as a thank you gift for our hosts in GV

We left Roosevelt Lake as the rains were beginning and headed toward Las Cruces, NM and found ourselves on the eastside of the Organ Mountains in the Aguirre Springs Campground in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument area.  This was probably the most disappointing part of the trip.  It was a beautiful area... but the winds coming over the mountain spires was horrendous!  We managed to get our camper into a site that was overlooking White Sands Missile Range.  It was cloudy and cold - highs in the low 40s.  The camper was not level, despite our best efforts.  We can laugh about it now as we recall how Dave kept rolling into me as we slept and I ended with more covers than normal... all because of gravity.  LOL!  

We made the best of it and enjoyed our time together as we hung out in the camper and read books.  We had great radio reception and listened and danced to some good music. I also worked on a few quilted hearts and blocks for our Camping Journal Quilt.

We did make a trip to LC to get a few groceries and as we were returning we saw a sign for a visitors center at White Sands Missile Range.  We went and explored there to escape the wind and the sound of wind for an hour or so. 

Our original plan was to stay at Aguirre for 4 nights... we stuck it out for 2 and headed to Alamogordo, where we found a space at the KOA.  A "deluxe" patio site with a grill, fire ring and swing.  Before we left the windy mountainside, we were gifted a beautiful site of the spires...

Feeling like we were "level" we began exploring the area with a visit to White Sands NP... The wind was still blowing there, but it was worth the trip to walk among the dunes. 

We have heard many say that it is one of their favorite places to visit... maybe we missed something... Our feelings were the same about the Sand Dunes in CO... We don't regret having made the trips to see them, but have no need to return as a particular destination... 

Wind-blown and messy hair... I don't care ;)

As we were driving to the campground, Dave saw a winery and restaurant that he wanted to take me to.  

It was a lovely place, great choice in background music, good food and a chef that was well aware of proper food prep for food allergens and wide selection of wines.  The choices of wine here were much better than what I had in Globe.

It was fun to clean up a bit and "tame" the wild, wind-blown hair.  We visited the local history museum, the space museum, as well as a quilt shop.  I selected two more fabrics... with the intention of using them in some of the postcard blocks for our camping quilt.

After two nights we headed toward our final destination of 
Bandelier NP.  We made a stop at the Three Rivers Petroglyph site where there were hundreds of ancient petroglyph drawings.  Some were easy to decipher, others... not so much. 

What does this one mean?

After several hours of driving to and through Santa Fe to get to Bandelier, we settled into another level site and made plans for the next morning.  Since dogs are not permitted on any of the trails in this park, we made certain that Shelby had plenty of exercise and was ready to nap while we hiked the trail to the cliff dwellings.  These dwellings were very different from the dwellings at Tonto.  The population of residents here were two to three times larger... and we had to use ladders to access these dwellings. 

There were a few petroglyphs here as well, but sparse and as one ranger had stated after hearing that we had stopped at Three Rivers, "unimpressive".  However, the finished interior walls of some of the dwellings that have been preserved made up for the petroglyphs. 

A hike on Falls Trail was not a disappointment the next day.  
The changes in rocks and vegetation were interesting... and the sound as we approached the falls was so soothing.

On Easter Sunday morning we hooked up the camper and made the easy drive home.  All was in good order at home.  Other than when we tried to reconnect to the internet and the cyber world so that we could resume our work. It seemed that the modem and wi-fi refused to let us do this after being turned off for 15 days.  

My newsletter was delayed by this fact... After several calls to tech support and a visit from a repairman, we are back in business.  Yay!  Since I was unable to do much on-line business, I focused on laundry, housekeeping, shopping and even some pattern writing/testing.  I was also perusing my patterns for blocks to document our camping journal quilt.  I was lucky enough to catch a sale at Fiona Sandwich, the originator of the National Park System Postcard blocks. 

I have a good portion of blocks from our last trips last fall to add to the borders of the existing quilt, and I have selected the necessary patterns ready to kit up for sewing together on our next trip.

I'll be back on schedule with the Sew & Tell party.  Be sure to come back and party with me. 

Thanks for joining me in this vacay recap. :)

Before you go... tell me what kind of souvenirs do you like to collect?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!

Keep Piecing,


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  1. Your trip sounds wonderful! We felt the same about the White Sand Dunes, glad to see but been there done that and don't need to do again. Funny you should mention your flat tire as you pulled into camp, we had a flat on the truck when we were leaving the BLM in February and said the same thing good thing we were not on the road!

  2. When we lived in Europe, I bought silver charms for a bracelet. Now I just buy a postcard and put the date that we visited.

  3. Oh your trip sounds like so much fun! Beautiful scenery. Hubs and I loved Bandelier and made two trips there in the mid to late 1980s. Then I made a trip by myself! I was researching for a book, and the ranger took me and several of his staff for a "private" hike. I was writing a novel I never finished - only two chapters. I actually liked the research more than the writing - lol! Good memories. I'm not big on souvenirs, but we used to buy T-shirts.
    I need to get busy on block 2 for the sew-along!

  4. We did a Road Scholar trip at Apache Lake about 20 years ago. The directions were to take the Apache Trail which is a narrow, bumpy, thoroughly terrifying route. (I just looked it up. After a 2019 forest fire and subsequent flood the road was closed. Restoration is planned for this year "for some vehicles.") We exited via the road to Roosevelt Lake which is modern and a lot safer.

  5. Fun to hear about your trip, Melva!!! We thoroughly enjoyed White Sands NP. It helped that our 20-something daughter was with us and wanted us to sled down the dunes with her! I thought there was a lot to see and hike there. At Sand Dunes NP, it seemed sledding and splashing in the water was about all to see and do there. It was a lot more crowded, too.

  6. Such a fun trip! I love your souvenir blocks. When traveling, I like to collect sand ;)
    Thank you for sharing your adventures!

  7. This sounds like an amazing trip!! Love the Petroglyphs!! that second one - it has a dinosaur on it, and the cave man is scaring him away so that he doesn't eat his vegetable pie... that's the real story there hahaha!! I love to collect a postcard and if they have those machines to roll the pennies - I get a penny !