Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18, 2009


Clear, cold, and breezy this morning.  We got up early to get to a seminar on things to see in the southwest.  So-so. 

On a whim we checked for mail again.  A card from Christina and Roland.  Yipee!  Thanks guys.

Again not much we wanted to do at rally for rest of the day so time to tour.  Today, Petroglyph National Monument.

Before we left I climbed up on the Carbus and took a picture of the Sandia Mountains to our east.  Note snow level is not much above us.


Here is a shot of the same mountain from the other side of the valley.


The white spot in the center of the picture below is the entertainment tent and the white line to the left and the smaller one above are a sea and lake of RVs.DSC01179


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Local resident.  We were about five feet from it – not bothered at all.


The evening entertainment was Rita Coolidge.  We left in the middle of the third song.


BUT, the evening was not over.  Local balloonists put on a demonstration of “Glowing”.  That was cool.  The pictures below tell it all.

DSC01228 DSC01213 DSC01214 DSC01215 DSC01221 

G’nite all.

April 17, 2009

First full Rally Day

This Was the first full day of the Rally.  There were no seminars scheduled that we wanted to see so we planned on going a little later and doing the vendor thing when it opened. 

We woke up to gray overcast skies.  About 9:00 am snow flurries started.  We had flurries or drizzle all day and rain last night.  Two days earlier when we visited Santa Fe it was sunny and pleasant.  Santa Fe got three inches of snow yesterday.  All the trails and ladders that we went on in Bandelier would be closed for safety reasons.  We lucked out on our day. 

Everyone else had the same idea as we did.  The vendor area was a zoo.  It will be better as days go by.  We did meet some people that I had only known of online.  Met the guy I bought my modem from.  He gave me a shirt.  Cool.  Really didn’t see much of anything that interested us to buy.  We looked at some more RVs.  Not much to interest us even if we were interested.

We drove to the fairgrounds again.  Glad we did.  As we left the line of people waiting for busses was over 450 people long.  In mixed snow and sprinkle.  We will continue to drive.

The evening entertainment was Neil Sedaka.  He has been writing and singing songs for 57 years.  His show was a string of songs he has written.  Lots of songs one would recognize as sung by other big name singers but were actually written by him.  It was fun.


Friday, April 17, 2009

April 16, 2009

Geocaching and Rally First Day

Weather forecast last night for today was cloudy and windy. Woke up to crystal clear skys and balloons over Albuquerque. Still chilly though.

We spent the morning walking to geocaches in the area while the weather was nice. Found all five and walked about five miles around the balloon park vacinity and as usual saw some interesting things that we would not have seen without the draw of the cache.

This is the balloon museum located at south end of the park. We hope to visit it Sunday.

This is the entertainment tent taken from a hill above the park. You get some idea of the numbe of RVs here. There are more lots behind us.

Last night was also our third night in New Mexico. Three nights and /or five caches means we can put another state on our map. Have to wait for weather to warm so it will stick.

In the afternoon we went to the rally. Some of the new RVs were open so we looked through them. Times have changed. At the rally three years ago there were nearly 1000 new RVs on display. This year maybe 300 and many companies were not there. They don't exist any more.
Prices seemed lower also and some show specials made costs almost reasonable if wanting to buy.

We went to two seminars. The first was on communication between driver and spotter when backing the RV. Sounds simple but actually very important. The second was on Blogging. I am off to a pretty good start I guess but we picked up some good points and information on things to help make it easier.

Oh yah - it's my birthday. We went to a mexican restaurant (naturally) and had margaritas and nachos. The nachos plate was huge. We brought 2/3 of it home.

Entertainment in the big tent started tonight. Local group doing 50s and 60s music.

The big name stuff starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15, 2009

Move in at The Rally

We left west Albuquerque about 8am after dumping black and gray water tanks. I had filled fresh water tank the day before. First stop was to top off propane at the campground. Next we drove to Sam's Club for gas. Then across town to the balloon park, parking site for The Rally. We got there a little after 9:00 and there were already LOTS of RVs. Picture below shows part of lineup waiting to park.

Here is picture of our spot.

The Park is a huge grass area where the annual Balloon Festival is held later in the year. Good thing. Today the wind was steady 25-30 mph with gusts ofer 50 mph. Tomorrow may be even worse and cold.

After leveling rig and starting refrigerator we drove the Suzuki to the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, the place where all the rally activities will take place. The distance between the two spots is close to 15 miles. Bit of a pain. All the other versions of this event that we have attended have had parking and activities at the same location. There is a shuttle bus system that we will probably use. Means spending whole day at rally. Not enough time between seminars to come back for lunch. Fortunately the entertainment location is in a HUGE tent at the balloon park. We'll see how that goes.

While at rally site we registered and wandered around fairgrounds getting familier with layout. We then found a post office and mailed a birthday card and headed back to parking site for the afternoon.

Will try to get overall picture of full parking after tomorrow when more RVs arrive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

Santa Fe and Bandelier NM

Drove to Santa Fe to be touristy and to see Loretto Chapel. This has been on my list for a long time. Don Krch expressed interest in it and the "Miraculous Stairs" so we made a point of going.

The building style of Old Santa Fe is the Adobe look. Actually it is a common style through out this area. Adobe is also the color of choice. Everything looks the same. Blocks of reddish brown buildings with rounded edges and flat roofs. Houses, condos, banks, stores, government buildings, rest stops, everything is the same style and color. My impression of Old Santa Fe is Old Town Auburn in reddish brown stucco and selling expensive jewelry instead of antiques.

Loretto Chapel is a couple blocks from central square behind a huge Santa Fe Inn (reddish Adobe style naturally). Almost miss it except it is different building style (it is a church). It is now privately owned and a small admission is charged. I will not go into the story of the stairs here. The story is easily researched. We took a number of pictures of the stairs and inside the chapel. Here are a few. The rest will be posted in a while.

The alter, etc.


The stairs. Note lack of center support pole.

More stair picts.

A couple of the windows.

The entire length of this building had Native Americans sitting every 5 feet selling crafts (jewelry, pottery, etc.) This was only place we saw actual artisans. All the stores were very upscale and expensive. The central square is to right off camera.

From Santa Fe we headed for Bandelier National Monument.

Bandelier is a preservation and partial restoration of ancient dwellings. We spent several hours and covered several miles in seeing many of the housing sites. Lots of fun to see. I will include a few pictures and add more decsription later.

Large Kiva (Cerimonial/community house/room)

Remains of Tyuonyi village. This was a whole community unit with over 400 rooms, central square, several kivas, storage, etc.

Here is what it looked like at its prime.

Other dwellings were in holes worn in the sides of canyon wall.

Inside of above dwelling looking out.


Another village area consisted of several hundred yards of eroded 'caves' with two story stone structure built below and in front of them.

Line of holes in canyon wall mark level of first and second floor ceilings. Holes were support for wooden poles that structural basis of ceiling/floor.

Will post more later. Time for bed. Move in to Rally tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009

On to Albuquerque

Easy four hour drive to Albuquerque. Had reservations at a park on west edge of town to get ready for move-in on Wednesday, as did about 100 other rigs. Crowded but quiet. In the afternoon we drove town to check out Sam's location for gas and actual rally parking location. Albuquerque is BIG, BUSY, and CROWDED. Glad we are outside of town. Next week should be interesting.

April 12, 2009

Over the mountains and on to the Painted Desert

Left Kingman about 8am and started up, and up, and up. Just west of Flagstaff we crossed the divide at over 7200 feet and headed down. Recent storms left miles of snow dusted ground. Got to RV park in Sun Valley (the OTHER Sun Valley :) ) about noon. After setting up we unhooked the GV and headed to The Painted Desert/Petrified Forest NP.

This view from the first overlook, Tiponi Point.

This local shared the view with us.

More views from Timponi Point.

Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark

Painted Desert Inn as it originally was.

More pictures will be available when I get friendly with Picassa.

Leaving The Painted Desert we moved on toward The Petrified Forest.

First site was an archeological partial exposure of Puerco Pueblo.

Nearby are some petroglyphs. I thought this one looked like Calvin.

On to the trees. First stop Agate Bridge.

It is difficult to see in lower picture but at one time the unsupported portion of the tree was more than twice the length of the now supported part in top picture . The rest of the tree has been filled under with earth to protect the tree from breaking. Pretty neat to see an intact tree so long. Everything else we saw was broken into shorter pieces.


Representative photo of petrified log. We saw LOTS.

Archeological recreation/reconstruction of of a ruin calleed Agate House.

This is interior of larger building taken by reaching through dark hole in lowerpicture - only opening to building.

Again, more pictures on web when I figure out how to do it comfortably.