Alamosa Colorado

September 2018

While resting up in Blanca for a month, I visited www.volunteer.gov and put in my application to volunteer. And it looks like I will be going to White Sands in November but first I need to be fingerprinted, and that happens once a week in Alamosa. I arrived early and parked right in front of the police department when I got done I asked about parking and was told to leave it where it was. And that is how it is, friendly and accommodating and a great little town to take a walk.

Below is the artwork on the side of the building that houses the Museum.

 

Which sadly was closed the day I was in town.

You can enjoy art on every corner.

Downtown has shops and eats and a great thrift store.

And heading west out of town is all the big box and grocery stores you could ever want.

There are plenty of camping options in the area.

Great Sand Dunes

September 2018

I love the San Luis Valley of Colorado and the ride to The Great Sand Dunes National Park from Blanca is below Mt Blanca and as you approach the Park you begin to see the Dunes off in the distance.

I did not stay at the Pinon Flats campground but I did check it out and the views are stupendous.

The visitor center has a film and exhibits and a great deck.

You can walk among the dunes and at certain times of the year there is water from Medano Creek to wade in.

Definitely worth it if you are anywhere near.

Four Cats

When people pass by my MH and see all four fur babies in the front window after the “awe how cute” I get asked about litter.

Three years ago for a different rv, I bought an Omega Paw


we used it in conjunction with a regular litter box, but this was a much larger MH than I have now and it is a little small for my huge orange tabby Sam so when I was getting ready for this adventure I bought an additional Omega Paw only larger

 


 

These boxes are so easy to use and clean. They reduce dust and odors, and the cats get a sense of privacy which is of utmost importance to the princess

I keep one on each end of the MH, and all felines are happy, and I get contained litter and easy cleanup.

Also, I will mention here that I am allergic to artificial scent so unscented litter is a must and this is what I use.



 
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Blanca Co part two

This charming town has a grocery/liquor store, homemade fudge, Ice cream parlor, Lou’s Restaurant with great food that serves beer, wine and liquor.

My first trip to the store

I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of Pierogi and pickled vegetables.

This is my favorite way to have Pierogi.

Pierogi for one.

I have a 6″ enamel coated cast iron frying pan that is perfect of this kind of meal.

1/2 medium onion, sliced.

1 tbsp Butter

4 frozen Pierogi

1/4 water or broth

1/2 cup of frozen peas

Sour Cream and/or grated cheese to taste.

Saute the onion in the butter till it just begins to soften place the pierogi on the onion and add 1/4 water or broth. Cover and simmer on low for 5 mins. Add the peas and cover and simmer for another five to seven mins until the pierogi are tender.

I like a little grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream. If you are using a pierogi with  a thick dough just adjust your first cooking time.

This method works well with frozen Chinese Dumplings. Just a little water and a low flame and a lid.

I have learned over the last 35 years of RVing how easy it is to prepare my favorite recipes with less water and less pans. At some point in the future I will publish a list of my essential cooking tools and pans.

Another highlight of Blanca is it’s Art Gallery.  Forest Tango Art Works owned by Joyce and Terry Henrie  go take a look at their amazing work.

http://www.foresttango.com

Joyce has many talents but her fiber art is where my heart is and she put me on to Sprang finger-weaving. Now I have another outlet for my mass amounts of yarn.

I have one more picture to share, this is what I found on one of my wanderings around town.

A fence of snow Skis.

Blanca Colorado

On the way to Blanca, Co. back roads, of course, I came across the memorial to the Texas Cattle Drives on RT. 71 plenty of room to pull off and rest.

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I stopped off in Limon at the KOA to do laundry and dump and fill and then on down to LaJunta KOA which is right next to a Walmart Supercenter to stock up on groceries. I know what to expect at KOA when I need to get things done.

The drive from Lajunta to Walsenburg on Rt.10 is scenic, mostly ranch land.

Lathrop State Park on Hwy160 just outside Walsenburg is a great place to stop. E/W hookups and great views.

The mountain pass on Rt.160 is a gradual rise and descent and Matilda, I finally decided on a name for my bounder, had no problems at all.

The Blanca RV Park wound up being my home for a month and I enjoyed every day in this charming  little town. My view out my front window was Mt.Blanca.

Be sure to put Blanca RV Park on your list if in the area. Full hookups are $30 a night also weekly and monthly rates available. Great WIFI and helpful managers. The owner is hands-on and is working on an expansion of 50/30 amp sites. Convenience store, propane and gas on site. Noisy during the day from Rt160 and a railroad track in the back but quiet at night.

 

Pawnee National Grasslands

July 2018

I had to leave Cheyenne; there is no room at the inn during Frontier Days if you haven’t booked it a year in advance.

I also received word that my toad is a total loss, so I have decided to not replace it for now. That means a lot more planning ahead than I had wanted to but this to I shall survive.

The Pawnee National Grasslands has a nice camping area Crow Valley Recreation area has level mostly shaded sites. Very quiet. No hookups, potable water, and a dump station.

Also a farm museum and interpretive center.

I took advantage of it and got some pictures of my newest Crocheted Shawl and Pin. Prairie Autumn.

I enjoyed my stay and now it’s time to move on.

 

Back to Cheyenne WY

July 2018

For most travelers this is a one day drive, but not me. A two-day trip gives me time to go slow and take in the scenery, traveling without a co-driver means I have to stop to get a good look.

This trip to Cheyenne I am staying at  AB Camping Park, a good sam park with a wonderful BBQ Restaurant. Even if you don’t park here, you have to come to eat.

While waiting for a decision to be made on my toad, my insurance policy gives me a rental so it’s off to Rocky Mountain National Park for the day.

One thing that I learned on this drive is that I would not like to drive the Ridge Road in my RV, it is narrow, it is high, and I wouldn’t fit in every pull off which I could in my rental car.  I also had altitude problems at the Alpine Station.

I did get to capture some nice pics though. This beautiful valley.

And this overlook.

I went back to Cheyenne through the Roosevelt National Forest.

One high point of the day is seeing Elk. I didn’t get to stop to take a pic because the Rangers were herding them away from the highway but it was the first elk I have seen that wasn’t behind a high fence in Texas.

Rapid City and my new home base.

June 2018

I start off this entry with my love for the drive from the Cheyenne Wy to Rapid City SD by way of US 85 to US 26 then up NE29 which is rough in some areas but the only way to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. And then US 20 to US 385 to SD 79 to bypass US 16 takes you right to Americas Mailbox where I will spend the next week.

I decided to change from my previous mail service which was great and fulfilled my needs at the time because I wanted a new beginning.

I am no longer a citizen of Texas and Americas Mailbox is a one-stop shop for mail, tags and driver license and if you don’t want to do it yourself like I did they will do it for you.

I arrived with no vehicle in tow, the insurance has taken over, and I don’t want to take the MH up to Mount Rushmore or The Badlands so I asked for rental car information and Americas Mailbox made all the arrangements for a reasonable rental car for the week.

Before exploring I became a citizen of South Dakota first the driver’s license.

A word of caution make sure to read the paperwork on how long you have to register your vehicle,90 days,  I didn’t, and it cost me a fine.  The old girl is tagged and titled, and now I can see the sights.

Devils Tower

July 2018

It’s a short drive from Rapid City SD to Devils Tower Wy I chose to get off the interstate on rt 34 which becomes rt 24 in Wyoming very scenic and one short 8% grade.

If you wish to buy a town Aladdin WY is for sale it consists of a General Store and a population of 15. Wikipedia says it sold at auction in 2017, but I noticed the for sale sign is still up.

I decided to spend the Fourth of July at Devils Tower National Monument. 

The Belle Fourche River campground is at the base of the monument next to the Prarie Dog town.  The sites are level with a picnic table and fire ring no hookups, with my senior pass it was only $10 per night. If you must have hookups there is a KOA right next to the entrance.

I grabbed a site next to the creek with a prairie dog town view.

 

I love to walk, but I haven’t done a lot of Hiking in years, so I decided not to take Matilde up to the visitor center but to hike the 1.6-mile trail from the campground. Uphill but gradual and hoot to come back down.  You start off from the Amphitheater straight through the Prairie Dog town.

There are other trails this one goes all the way around the base.

At the visitor center, I got my passport stamp and token and enjoyed a Ranger talk about The Parachutist who got stuck on top for a few days.

I was able to visit with the ranger about volunteering as he and his wife do. And It helped me make up my mind to apply.

Located near the picnic area and entrance to the campground is the Circle of Sacred Smoke Sculpture by Junkyu Muto given to the American people as a gesture of world peace.

The night sky is mesmerizing I sat outside the first night for hours just enjoying the stillness and the clear night sky.

What I did not expect was the incredible view I had from my picnic table during the Fourth Fireworks.

Here is a picture of the boys chilling before the fireworks which they definitely didn’t like.

And the last picture I took.

Deadwood and a mighty Storm.

June 2018

Last night was my first hail storm in this motorhome, scary is putting it mildly but the old girl suffered no visible damage.  I was lucky.

It is a short drive to Deadwood SD another must see in the area. A lot of history and gambling in this little town.

 

The Adams Museum and founders victorian house tour offer a huge gold nugget and more fossils.

You can visit the graves of Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane if you wish to pay admission.

I headed out of town on Alt 14 toward Spearfish SD, and another scenic Black Hills drive entering Spearfish Canyon I was surprised by the tree damage from the storm the night before, the crew working on tree stabilization said a tornado had gone through the canyon, the following picture is the tree top damage.  The local I talked to said you usually could barely see the rock for the trees.

The day was gray, but the drive was still great.

The decision to rent a car for the week was worth it, I usually would not spend the extra money, but no regrets on this leg of my journey.

Tomorrow I head for Devils Tower.