Musings and Info about life on the road

Meeting Your Supper….

Yesterday we through some ice in the cooler and took a drive out to Dunhill Ranch located south of Magdalena, NM. It is about an hour’s drive northwest of the Bosque in the high desert in the middle of nowhere. We took the drive to pick up some all natural, grass-fed lamb that Kay had ordered shortly after we arrived here at the refuge.

We had received some of their lamb the last time we were working at the Bosque as a Christmas present from Kay’s daughter Dana, and found it to be most excellent indeed. The owner, by the name of Peter, met us at his house and gave us a tour of his operation. Here is Peter outside the corral:


Dunhill Ranch raises Katahdin sheep which are very well suited to the high New Mexican desert. Daughter Dana and family who run Lazy Pigg Farm in Ferrum, VA also have Katahdin sheep. Coincidence? I don’t think so!




The dogs in the last photo are both working dogs. The large white one is a guard dog…an Great Pyrenees.

We spent about an hour or so talking about sheep and sheep related issues; then walked back to the ranch house to pick up our order… spying this lone tarantula along the way


We paid Peter and thanked him for the tour, threw the lamb in the cooler, and headed home to the Bosque Del Apache.


We’re Back!….Feathered and Not Feathered

After what seems like ages we are back to blogging, and ensconced for one more winter at the Bosque Del Apache NWR.

After leaving the Montrose, CO area we went south to Tucson, AZ and while we were there purchased a 2001 Fleetwood Bounder 32 foot motorhome. Quite a departure from our old Arctic Fox 5th wheel. Much more spacious, or so it seems anyway. We arrived here at the Bosque about a month ago and have been working for the refuge three days a week, and working on our new motorized casa the other four getting things arranged and removing what we don’t like. Hence the lack of posts to this blog. The motorhome could be called 2001 A Space Oddity as it has less storage space than our old Arctic Fox, and that has been driving Kay a bit batty. But, things will work out and all will be good in time. Here is a pic of the new casa at the Bosque in the same site we have had now for three seasons here:


It’s kind of like home. Notice the 100lb. propane bottle. Winters get chilly here in the Rio Grande Valley….the last two nights have been below freezing. The dogs spend as much time as they can tethered outside, after a rattlesnake check, stalking the numerous lizards in amongst the cacti and bushes. They would probably go into shock if they ever managed to get hold of an unfortunate lizard.



This year here at the Bosque we work one day at the fee booth, and 2 days  doing janitorial jobs. Think restrooms, pit toilets, trash collection, grounds maintenance, and taking recycling to Albuquerque. We get a lot of fresh air, well mostly, and see all kinds of wildlife. And speaking of wildlife:



Just in time for the annual Festival Of The Cranes, which starts next week, the Sandhills Cranes are arriving from the north being the party animals that they are, and with them have come the white geese – Snow Geese and the more petite Ross’s Geese:



So, next week this place will be a’jumpin with Crane festivarians and their long lenses. I’ll keep you all informed….promise!



Went to Town But There Was Nobody Around!

To the Prairie Dog Town, that is, about a half a mile west of the campground. They must have seen me coming as I heard their alarm calls but by the time I got there they had skedaddled as we say in these parts of the country. And well should they be wary. Around here the only good Prairie Dog is a dead Prairie Dog and I saw was this little cotton tailed critter on the outskirts of PD Town:


On the way to the town I managed to get a shot of a nice Mountain Bluebird:


After living a rather, shall I say, boring existence in Fruita these past months, we had a busy weekend. Nothing but blue skies and lovely coolish temperatures. Our days were spent geocaching in the area. The hunts were mostly successful. The one that was the most fun was about three miles or so away from where we are staying along an old narrow gauge railroad bed. When we arrived at the given coordinates we found a small container with a clue in to the exact location of the main cache.


Here is Kay trying to figure things out! The clue read: You are within 6 feet. Hint: Afterlife! After much head scratching and more searching we discovered that below us, running through the railroad bed six feet below where we were standing was a culvert:IMG_6878

And in the culvert was a magnetized box attached to the wall. Voila! The cache was found.

Saturday night we went to dinner with or old friend and ex-coworker Vicko Vidal and family. The night was spent yakking about the old days and catching up on Telluride gossip. The crew Saturday night was Vicko, Fatima, their two children, Vicko’s mother Edith, and a couple from El Salvador. We consider Vicko and family part of our family and I think the feeling is mutual.

On Sunday we went geocaching again up above Ridgway near Mt. Sneffles. Nice views with a bit of smoke coming in from California…whence the haze:IMG_6880

We were two for three on that geo excursion. Sunday night we drove to Ouray to visit and have dinner with Kay’s nephew Mike and his wife Jenn and their two children. They moved from Norwood, CO to Ouray last spring and are fixing up an old historic home right in downtown Ouray. It is going to be really nice when they are finished with the place. They even get Black Bears in their yard! Again the evening was spent catching up on things

So, that’s the news here a bouts . We feel like social butterflies!



After what was beginning to seem like an eternity, we are finally gone from Fruita and we have begun a slow journey southward heading for New Mexico and the Bosque Del Apache for the upcoming winter season.



We are now ensconced between Montrose and Ridgway, CO. for a week before we move a bit further on to the Ouray and Telluride area to do some visiting with old friends from days gone by. It is good to be on the road again. I will keep you posted.


What’s New You Say?…

Kay left the casa here yesterday for Angel Fire, NM and a five day, well deserved getaway from Fruita and the heat (Angel Fire is in the mountains at 8,600 ft)  to visit our friend Cathy whom we work with at the Bosque Del Apache. It was a daylong road trip of 375 miles and she arrived in Angel Fire late yesterday afternoon. The dogs and I are home alone…PARTY!…not.

Two weeks ago over my birthday we all took a mini vacation and journeyed to Frisco, CO on the eastern side of Vail Pass. We went via Aspen and over Independence Pass (12,096 ft) to Leadville (10,152 ft) then down to Frisco at 9075 ft. Here are some pics of Frisco:



Frisco is a very cute small town, very touristy, and nice and cool compared to the oven called Fruita.

Kay had been wanting to go to Leadville where she had been a few times years ago and visit the town’s cemetery which is quite unique.


The cemetery dates from the mid 19th Century on, and has quite a variety of graves… miner’s and their families, prostitutes, Hispanics, Eastern Europeans, Chinese and many, many children. Life in Leadville was hard.





Quite the place.

On are way back home we went via Vail and stopped at the Betty Ford Alpine Garden in the town of Vail.


Betty and and her husband, the Pres., spent a lot of time at Vail and gave the town this lovely gift.


And, as in many mountain towns out west there were the ubiquitous Yogsters. Many of whom appeared to be napping or writhing in pain.


But all things must pass, and it was back to Fruita we went from there.

This past Thursday we quietly celebrated our Wedding Anniversary with a wonderful meal at an excellent Italian restaurant in downtown Grand Junction. What a long, strange, amazing trip it’s been and will continue to be!


Needles In Very Big Haystacks….

Kay and I have a new pastime these days….Geocaching in our new 2015 Subaru Crosstrek that we bought about a week or so ago.  We donated our ol’ blue Subaru Forester to a local non-profit as it had 223,ooo+ miles on it, and we wanted a vehicle that could be towed behind the motorhome that we will be getting in the next few weeks if all of our stars fall into alignment. We needed a manual transmission in the Crosstrek, of which there were only two in Colorado, so we could tow it with the motorhome, a 2009 Newmar Bay Star. More on this saga later.

Anyway, Kay downloaded a geocaching app on her electronic smartphone machine and we have been hunting geocaches in the local area with pretty good success. Ain’t science wunerfull! This morning we went to the far side of the Colorado National Monument on another hunt. Mornings are the best time of day to go when the day isn’t blistering hot, or we don’t get caught up in the afternoon monsoons. Here is Kay on the hunt:



She is headed for the juniper that is supposed to hold the cache. As you can see she is recouperating nicely after receiving her new knee. She can both walk and look at her phone at the same time. Yo Kay, watch out for the snake!


Voila! The cache.

When you find the cache, the object in her left hand, you note that you were there and put it back for the next geocacher to find. Fun, fun, in the great outdoors!


We Had A Farm….

On the 3rd of July we had a 4th of July picnic with Carl and Sandy here at the casa because that’s when Fruita holds it’s Fireworks so as not to compete with Grand Junction‘s. It was hot, hot, hot. Close to 100 degrees. While not spectacular, they were good enough


with plenty of impromptu bangs and explosions from the locals that went on during the night.

On the Fourth we went on a journey of reminiscence to the Parachute and Rifle, CO area where we lived when Kay, Emily and I first moved West back in 1993….

“We had a farm in Parachute at the foot of the Battlement Mesa. The farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up; near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.”

My apologies to the Baroness Blixen. Here is a view of the old place:


We lived there until the turn of the century and then moved on to New Mexico. We learned to irrigate, grow and cut hay with help from our amused neighbors. Kay and I raised Navajo Churro sheep, Angora Goats, chickens, pigs (once), a steer (once), and had a guard llama. We also kept bees, and had a retail greenhouse in a barn we converted to that purpose. We were accompanied by our two dogs: Bilbo and Frodo who are now in Dog Heaven because they were the best dogs you could ask for.

One of us always was at home with Emily while the other worked. Em went to school in Rifle and that was where we met our good friend Sandy. She was Emily’s fine teacher in school. Kay and I held jobs in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Parachute, and we were even gardeners in Aspen. Seeing old place brought back a lot of memories. Good ones.

We continued our day trip by visiting one of our old favorite spots. Rifle Falls State Park. We had been there many times. Once with Dana and the our granddaughters when they were about three years old or so. Emily, however, for whatever reason disliked Rifle Falls intensely and hated to go there. Who knows why?



It was a very nice trip and we celebrated our Independence Day from our previous life on the East Coast.


Summer with a Vengeance….

Last week, due to Kay’s foresight, we moved to a shady spot here in the old RV park. It was a good thing as the temperatures here keep teasing the 100 degree mark with the humidity being less than 10%. Here is a pic of the new homestead:


Lovely. We are even picking our own home grown tomatoes and lettuce.

Kay continues to get stronger day by day. No walker and no cane  at all. Her bowed legs are now straight after the knee replacement. She is almost finished with physical therapy and goes to the pool at the Fruita Community Center. Now she even has a physical trainer there at the center who has introduced her to the torture machines so she can use them properly. I believe his name is the Marquis de Sade, or something along those lines.

Work for me is….well…like work at the Fruita Co-op/Ace Hardware. A very different clientele than we had at the Ace in Telluride. It’s much more farmer/ranch oriented. Plow bolts vs. Gucci switch plate covers. And, I am just now getting used to being on my feet for eight hours a day.

We are going back to the Bosque Del Apache N.W.R. this winter for a third winter season and we are looking forward to that.

Harry Hotspur and Fiona Hamster-slayer both got their summer haircuts yesterday, and are recovering well from the trauma of it all.

That’s about it for now….



Sego Canyon….

As one member of this family has become rather stir-crazy as of late, on Monday we took a ride to Sego Canyon outside of Thompson Springs which is about 65 miles or so west of here in the land of Moroni to see the pictographs and petroglyphs. It was well worth the visit.


There are three different cultural styles of rock art present in the canyon. The earliest is called Barrier Canyon. They are pictographs(painted works) that were done 2,500 to 1,500 years ago:



The panel was fenced off, however the figures are life sized or larger:


The next photo is of petroglyphs of the Fremont Style from between 600 to 1300 A.D.


And below are Sego style petroglyphs done by the Utes. You can tell the panel was done by more modern peoples because of the horses in the panel:


All in all it was a nice little field trip.



Up and About! …..

Kay is making a remarkably rapid recovery from the surgery that gave her  a new right knee. So rapid in fact, she is now able to walk without a walker or cane, and yesterday the doctor gave Kay permission to drive. She also goes to physical therapy twice a week and is way, way ahead of others who had the same procedure when she did.

After weeks of rain and thunderstorms and cool temps we’ve finally had a spell of nice weather. The last few days it has been sunny with the temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, but it cools off nicely during the night.

After being pretty much house bound since Kay’s operation and better living with oxycodone , on Tuesday we went on a road trip to the top of Grand Mesa, which overlooks Grand Junction, and is is the largest flat topped mountain in the whole wide world. The highest point on the mesa is over 11,000 feet. In the picture below you can see Grand Mesa way off on the horizon with the clouds above it.


When we got to the top …lo and behold… SNOW!


Quite a bit of it. Some of it must have come with all of the rain we had.


When we got to the top the temperature has dropped from around 82 in Grand Junction to about 50  where I took this picture  of the new Kay and her brand new right knee.


Kay thought it advisable to take the cane on this outing as she wasn’t walking on sidewalk. I declined not to post a closeup of  Kay’s scar as I did not want to make her brothers to faint away. :)

The other three occupants of our domicile are well too. TTFN!



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