Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Heading Home

Did not sleep well Monday night.  That's typical when I am driving.  Packed the room and had a bowl of cereal.  Checked out of the room and headed toward home.

First stop was to check out the "ghost" town of White Oaks.  The bar in town is only open Fridays through Sunday.  Took a couple photos of the old buildings.  Amazing there is a large, 2-story school house out here in nowhere.

From there,I checked out Valley of Fires Recreational Area.  Very different to the VOF near Las Vegas, this valley gets its name from the volcanic activity in the area.  My Seniors Pass was only good for half price entrance.  Bought a ghost towns book at the visitor's center and visited with the attendant.  There was not much to do see there than the lava field and many places to park RVs or have a picnic.

Was time to high-tail it home.  Took US 380 to I-25 on up to Rio Rancho.  Home a little after 1 pm.  Grabbed the mail and processed the day's photos.  Exhausted, so napped. Unpacking the car and starting laundry can wait until tomorro

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ruidoso Area

Had a quick breakfast of cereal and coffee, I was on the road to tour the area.  My goal was to check out the historic town of Lincoln, NM,  Fort Stanton Historic Site, and Smokey Bear State Park.

I did not spend much time in Lincoln.  It was a matter of shooting some photos of the old buildings.  The town of Lincoln plays major roll in the history of New Mexico. Notable names like Sheriff Pat Garrett and "Billy the Kid" were prominent players.

Most of the rest of the morning was spent at Fort Stanton.  The fort was built at a military fort.  It has also served at prison of war facility, military hospital, and tuberculous hospital.  It 2004 interesting parties started efforts to preserve the fort.  The state and federal government got involved in 2008.  Eventually, the fort became Fort Stanton History Site.

Fort Stanton is very much a work in progress.  When you enter the visitor's center, you are give some information of the fort history and information of what buildings are open.  The folks at Fort Stanton are working hard to open more buildings.

From Fort Stanton, it was on over to Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, NM.   This is a state facility, at the time, entrance fee is $2.00. There is a path showing the plants in the New Mexico climate zones.  Featured at a corner o =f the the park is Smokey Bear burial site.  The museum illustrated when happens to the land after a forest fire and the people that fight these fires.

Last night when heading out to dinner, I saw a interesting store - "Boots & Jeans" - my kind of store.  Ended up spending too much money - buying a pair of boots, jeans, a couple shirts, and a belt.

Dinner was at Rio Grande Grill & Tap Room.  Had a cheeseburger, fries, and a pint of Pecan Amber Ale.

Spent the rest of the evening packing back into the car and watching TV.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Sunday, it was time for me to get back on the road heading home.  I made plans to spend some time playing "Tourist" in Lincoln County on the way home.

Wanted to see the mountain railroad trestle near Cloudcroft.  The trestle is just West of the town. Cloudcroft was in interesting mountain town,  Looking forward to visiting the town again to spend some time.

After taking photos in town and of the trestle, I drove down the mountain almost into Alamogordo.  Back tracked back to Cloudcroft and North up to Ruidoso.  Checked into the Quality Inn, processed photos, and headed out to K-Bob's for dinner.  Opted for the Bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a pint of Bosque Scottish Ale.

Friday, November 24, 2017


 Yesterday, I left Roswell late - heading to Hobbs.  Visit with my hosts and a late Thanksgiving dinner..

Spent a relaxing day in Hobbs, NM.  Was thinking of playing, instead did a quick tourist trip to Monument, NM and looked at the Geronimo monument.  The local citizenry needs to spend to money to refurbish the monument.

There was a work-ware store closing in Hobbs.  Stobbed by there and pick up another pair of boots

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Found S95 Camera

Back the end of October, l lost my Canon S95 "point & shoot" camera.  Was sure I left it on the roof of the car after departing from breakfast.  With a pending trip to Las Vegas for the West Coast Pipe Snow, I bought a replacement camera.

Thanksgiving morning, reloading the car in Roswell, NM, I found the camera.  It had fallen between the driver's side seat and  car frame. 

Sure happy to find the camera.  While my replacement camera is nice (larger pixel count) I have been having problems with the touch screen. 

Thanksgiving Trip

For many years, I drove from SW Iowa to SE Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  With my move to New Mexico, I have not been interested in paying the cost and dealing with the crowds to fly for the holiday, much less drive in questionable weather condition.
last year I was invited to celebrate with my cousin and his friends. This year for Thanksgiving, I am taking the opportunity to visit on-line friends and play tourist.

Packed up the car heading toward SE New Mexico.  First destination being Roswell, planning to visit the UFO museum.  On the way, I found another boring long stretch of highway - that being the 140 miles on US 285 between Clines Corner to Roswell, NM. 

Along the highway I drove through the almost ghost town of  Encino.  The only other was the railroad town of Vaugh.  About the only other "scenery" along the highway were two cowboys (one pictured here) guarding the highway.  Guess I really am in cowboy country.

I arrived Roswell 12:45 and packed at the UFO Museum lot.  Walking to the door, I learned the museum had closed at noon for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The last time I was in Roswell, I was too late in the day (after 5pm) tour.  So, being 0 for 2, I am thinking the museum must be not worth the effort.

Checked into my hotel (early).  Settled into the room and checked my e-mail a social media website.  Was thinking of showering and heading out for dinner, but was not hungry, so just chilled out in the room.  No big hurry to get on the road in the morning - it's only 2 hours to Hobbs and I am expected a little after noon.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Family Visitors

Spent most of the morning resting in the room.  Worked on some artistic photo taken at  Valley of Fire.  Spelled my cousin at his pipe show table.

Had made plans with relatives on my mom's family side.  Aunt Mart Jane and cousin Beth Johnson met me to a late lunch at the hotel's Grand Cafe.

I packed up most of my stuff from the room,  Cousin Don and fellow New Mexico pipe makers Victor and Nathan invited me to join them with pizza a brew after the show.  Since I had a big, late lunch I just had a couple pints of craft beer. 

The "after glow" was at PizzaRev a couple blocks from the hotel.  Interesting set-up at the place.  Pizzas where one person sized pizza.  Beer and wine are on a tap wall.  After ID check, we were given wrist bands which link with the tap wall.  The base amount was 32 oz, end we could choose that we want and how much of each, until the 32 oz was used up.

I opted for "Full Sail" amber ale from a brewery in Hood River, OR.

Called it an early evening as we were planning to be out of the hotel heading home about 6am.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

West Coast Pipe Show

The trip to Las Vegas, NV was to share driving and expenses as my cousin was attending the pipe show.  I helped him set up his display and manned the table while he took a lunch break.

I took the opportunity to catch up on sleep and did some photo work.  Dinner was spaghetti with meat balls at the hotel's Grand Cafe.

Valley of Fire

Today was the day for playing "tourist".  After a hardy breakfast at the hotel buffet, we headed 50 miles NE of Las Vegas to the Valley of Fire State Park.  Weather was perfect for the trip with temps in the 60s, climbing to the 70s.

When we got off the interstate and headed to the park entrance, the sky way mostly cloudy.  We paid the $10 entrance fee and started our drive through the park.

Valley of Fire gets its name from the red rocks that abound in the park.  I took a lot of HDR photos.  Set up for 2 panoramic sets. (First pano set turned out well.  The second one was a mess - forgot to change camera setting from bracketed exposures to manual single-shot.)

Drove the North Shore road from Valley of Fire, through the Lake Mead Recreational Area.  Then into Las Vegas.  I was exhausted when we got back to the hotel.  The combination of he fresh air and walking around the park took its toll on me.  Crashed on the bed for a hour or so nap.

Eventually, I shower and we went down to the Grand Cafe for dinner.  After dinner, Don went off to visit with his pipe-making friends.  I was going to crash, but ended up processing my photos from the day.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Grand Canyon Railway

Don and I are on the road again, heading to Las Vegas and the West Coast Pipe Show,  Stopped in Williams, AZ for breakfast.

A block from the restaurant is the depot of the Grand Canyon Railway.  Took time to look at 2 if their locomotives and talked with workers decorating the locomotives for the holidays.

The railway's operational locomotive has been converted to run on used vegetable oil.  I would nick-name it the "French Fry Express".

Event-less drive on into Las Vegas.  Checked into our room. Had a beer and a burger  in the hotel for dinner.