Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Albuquerque - Hub of Interest

Oct 25th
Pack up and get ready to move, well that was the plan, but seems we just didn't have the mood to do that. We would have had to do laundry, a bunch of getting ready to move, and so forth, so we just elected to sit tight for another couple of days. Went down town to a Vietnamese restaurant where we had lunch and said our good-byes to Aunt Cheryl. Then returned to ELTORO and relaxed the remainder of the day.
Oct 24th
Went up to Santa Fe Today via the Turquoise Trail rather than I 25

The Turquoise Trail encompasses 15,000 square miles and is located in the heart of central New Mexico. The name comes from the blue-green turquoise first mined by the early Pueblo people, an agrarian based society dwelling along the Rio Grande as early as 900 A.D., The stone has become nationally recognized as a precious stone to be set in silver and gold. The Spanish arrived here as early as the 1500s. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado was the first of many explorers in New Mexico. Missionaries. Spanish settlers and Anglo-Americans all followed and joined the native American Indians already here. Today the National Scenic Byway is home to many modern day settlers and host to tens of thousands of visitors a year!
The Trail begins to the South in Tijeras and the Cibola National Forest, then heads north through Cedar Crest, Sandia Park, Edgewood, Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos, before ending in the San Marcos/Lone Butte Area. Along the 65 miles are homes, ranches, vacation lodging, restaurants, RV parks, a golf course, a ski resort, museums, horseback riding stables, shops/galleries and lots of respected craftsmen and artists. The Trail is also fast becoming known for its adventurous hiking and bike trails. In spite of the recent growth to the area, The Turquoise Trail remains historically quaint and Old West. Much of the effort to maintain the beauty and history of the area is due to the efforts of The Turquoise Trail Association, which applied for and received our National Scenic Byway status. In 2000, the Turquoise Trail was one of several nationally designated “Scenic Byways” in America. A designation to be coveted!
Once in Sante Fe we went to the Old Downtown Market where lots of local artisans display and sell their crafts. We also wanted and did visit Loretto Chapel, with it's legendary staircase.

The church

The Stairway

Actually a Hotel in Santa Fe

Just a mirror image of ourselves

Down Town Street


Selling their wares
 During construction of the chapel, the architect died suddenly and it was only after much of the chapel was constructed that the builders realized it was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft. Due to the chapel's small size, a standard staircase would have been too large. Historians have also noted that earlier churches of the period had ladders rather than stairs to the choir loft, but the Sisters obviously did not feel comfortable with that prospect because of the long habits that they wore.
The Sisters of St. Loretto relate the story as follows:
Needing a way to get up to the choir loft the nuns prayed for St. Joseph's intercession for nine straight days. On the day after their novena ended a shabby looking stranger appeared at their door. He told the nuns he would build them a staircase but that he needed total privacy and locked himself in the chapel for three months. He used a small number of primitive tools including a square, a saw and some warm water and constructed a spiral staircase entirely of non-native wood. The identity of the carpenter is not known for as soon as the staircase was finally finished he was gone. Many witnesses, upon seeing the staircase, feel it was constructed by St. Joseph himself, as a miraculous occurrence. The resulting staircase is an impressive work of carpentry. It ascends twenty feet, making two complete revolutions up to the choir loft without the use of nails or apparent center support. It has been surmised that the central spiral of the staircase is narrow enough to serve as a central beam. Nonetheless there was no attachment unto any wall or pole in the original stairway, although in 1887 -- 10 years after it was built -- a railing was added and the outer spiral was fastened to an adjacent pillar. Instead of metal nails, the staircase was constructed using dowels or wooden pegs. The legend claims that the mystery had never been satisfactorily solved as to who the carpenter was or where he got his lumber, and that there were no reports of anyone seeing lumber delivered or even seeing the man come and go while the construction was being done. Since he left before the Mother Superior could pay him, the Sisters of Loretto offered a reward for the identity of the man, but it was never claimed.
After wandering arround the market for a while and visiting another old church, Saint Francis of Assisi Basilica, another very old church we returned to Albuquerque via I 25 just before dark.

Oct 23rd
A much needed Rest Day. Veg'd out most of the day but Chris (Aunt Cheryls son) called and asked if I would help him hang three big sign boards he had made for the school where his little daughter Sophia attends.  I, of course agree, as it was a good oportunity to change our focus of sight seeing. At 2:00PM we went over and Chris and I loaded the 4' x 8' sign blank boards and drove to the school. They wanted these sign boards screwed to a cement wall surrounding the school yard where the aart teacher is going to draw murals and the kids are going to fill in the fill in the details. Chris had brought all the tools, complete with tungsten drill bits to drill  into the cement. Well, this was old hard cement, but with a lot of perseverence we accomplished the job, but it took 2 hours when about 30 minutes should have been adequate. But now the good part! After returning to Carol and Chris's house we were treated to a great roast pork dinner, complete with a chocolate Birthday cake celebrating Chris's 40th birthday. Their 3 children, 2 girls, Sophia (7) and Makayla (5), and son Nathan (3) (ages approximate) all had a hand in decorating Dad's cake. It was Great!!
Oct 22nd
Today went to an area called Fire and Ice about 90 miles west of Albuquerque on I 40

For a real experience in contrast, visit the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, "The Land of Fire and Ice." Situated on the Continental Divide you walk through the twisted, old-growth Juniper, Fir and Ponderosa Pine trees, over the ancient lava trail to the Ice Cave. Here the natural layers of ice glisten blue-green in the reflected rays of sunlight. Another trail winds around the side of the Bandera Volcano to view one of the best examples of a volcanic eruption in the country. Located in the heart of El Malpais, the historic Ice Cave Trading Post displays ancient artifacts as well as contemporary Indian artwork.
Old Time Trading Post
In addition to many contemporary Indian arts, the historic trading post has ancient artifacts on display. Most of these were found in the lava, and some date back 1200 years. The trading post deals in jewelry, pottery, rugs and other art of local Indian tribes. The Ice Cave, as well as volcanic Bandera crater, are spectacular sights near the old-time trading post.
Bandera Volcano
800 ft. in depth, rose up in volcanic fury some 10,000 years ago. It is one of the finest examples of an erupted volcano in the country, and also one of the most accessible.

The Ice Cave
Located in part of a collapsed lava tube, the ICE CAVES temperature never rises above 31 F. The natural layers of perpetual ice glisten blue-green in the reflected rays of sunlight.

Sky City
From there we went to Acoma Pueblo or Sky City. It is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States. Pictures are not allowed without a permit, but there seemed no problem to obtain a free permit. The Pueblo was built on a 70-acre site of the massive sandstone mesa which rises 367 feet above the valley and approximately 7,000 feet above sea level. Its location made it ideally situated for defense against enemies. In 1540, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado became the first white man to enter Sky City. He described the Acoma fortress as: "One of the strongest ever seen, because the city was built on a high rock. The ascent was so difficult that we repented climbing to the top."

The Church

Acoma from a Distance

Inside the Community

Pueblo Dwellings

From Sat Imgery

Acoma Again

Rock Formations Near Acoma

Our Guide Linbert

From the village looking north


Merchants selling their Wares

Enchanted Mesa

Down a Street

Access Ladder

The Church
One of the many point of interest is the Mission Church. San Esteban del Rey, was built from 1629 to 1640 with all building materials hand carried or hauled up the steep slopes of the mesa. Both the mission and the Pueblo have been proclaimed National Historic Landmarks. A new Cultural Center and Haak'u Museum offer permanent exhibitions and events. Also the Yaak'a Cafe serves a diverse menu of Acoma Cuisine fused with American flavors (and Starbucks coffee!!). Tours of Old Acoma Pueblo, Sky City are available daily with some exceptions in July and October.

Oct 21st
Went to Sandia Peak Tramway. The tramway ascends the steep western side of the highest portion of the Sandia Mountains, passing close to dramatic cliffs and pinnacles, from a base elevation of 6,559 feet (1,999 m) to a top elevation of 10,378 feet (3,163 m). A trip up the mountain takes fifteen minutes to ascend 3,819 ft (1,164 m), and the normal operating speed of the tram is 12 miles per hour (19 km/h) . Approximately four "flights" leave every hour from the base and top departure stations. The view from the tram includes all of Albuquerque and roughly 11,000 square miles (28,000 square kilometers) of the New Mexico countryside.
That's where we will be going

Does She Look Scared??

Here We Go!!

Leaving the Bottom Station

Almost There

From the Top


Top Elevation Sign

Looking to bottom from about Half Way Up

Rock Shelter used during Construction

Peak at the top - See Rock Building on top shown in last Picture

Top Support

View from the Top

Cable Used

Just Leaving the Top

On Our Way Down

Back at the Bottom

The tramway has just two support towers. The first tower, which is 232 feet (70.7 m) tall, is situated at an elevation of 7,010 feet (2,137 m) above sea level and built as an inclined tower with an inclination angle of 18 degrees. The second, just 80 feet (24.4 m) tall, is situated at the end of a major spur of the mountains at an elevation of 8,750 ft (2,667 m) and was built by helicopter aid.
The longest span is between the second tower and the top terminal. This span is the third longest clear tramway span in the world, at a length of 7,720 feet (2,353 m). Mid-span, the cables are 900 ft (274 m) above the mountainside. This span passes over Domingo Baca Canyon, part of which is referred to as TWA Canyon. This is the site of the crash of TWA Flight 260 on February 19, 1955, in which the lives of all 16 passengers and crew were lost. While much of the wreckage was removed during construction of the tramway, some still remains on the canyon floor and may be visible to riders of the tram.
Of course, Denice being afraid of heights, this was of a major concern, but since it was in an enclosed gondola with 20 other people she bravely endured. Of course the cable car conductor at one point when we were over 1000 ft above the ground quipped that we were about 8 seconds above the rock below, and that really made Denice comfortable. Once at the top the view is spectacular. Weather was slightly cool at about 40 degrees F with a brisk wind. There are lots of trails leading off form here but we only stayed a short time, long enough to go into the High Finance Restaurant for some fine dining desert. Then the return trip.
Oct 20th
Picked up Denice's Aunt Cheryl and went down to Albuquerque Old Town Today. Wandered around the various "Tourist Traps" for a few hours, and yes they were able to entice us to buy some of their wares, a few t-shirts, some jewellery, and some art work. At noon we went to La Hacienda for some Mexican Lunch. We enjoyed.

The Church at the Town Square

Intersection of I 25 & I 40 in center of Albuquerque
    Then one final stop at "The Candy Lady." MMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!! Last spring when we were here Denice and her Aunt sent me off on a wild goose chase while they went to the Candy Lady and bought a whole bag of various types of licorice. Then had the audacity to enjoy it in front of me and just offer me teasers. Not this trip!!!  I made sure of that. Licorice, Fudge, Peanut Butter Crisps!!!

Not a good place to stop !!!
Oct 19th
Just a restful day today. Not much to report. Went over and picked up Denice's Aunt Cheryl and we went to Olive Garden for lunch.  Olive Garden is always good!!
Came home and went and bought groceries. Too bad we have to eat. Sure would be a lot cheaper if we didn't!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On the Road for our 2011-2012 Winter Get Away

Oct 18th
Out of bed and on the road by 8:30AM Central Standard time or 7:30AM MST. Headed west on highway 54 to Tucumcari, then onto I 40 to Albuquerque, for a total distance of 266 miles, Arrive at the Albuquerque KOA just after noon and filled with propane and checked into site 100 for a week. Want to see some of the sights around here. We were hear last fall but did not spend enough time to see all that we wanted to
Oct 17th
Moving again - another few hundred miles on south to Dalhart, Texas. Route followed highway # 287 all the way to Boise City and then 385 to Dalhart. Forecast was for minor north winds so it should have been clear sailing, but south of Lamar the wind started to pick up, although it was generally from behind. Denice wrote in her diary "Excellent roads, terrible roads, wind, dust, tumble weeds, clouds, sunshine, dust storms, construction, and that was all before 2:00PM."

Mean looking Clouds

Very dusty windy Construction

More Dust

 I guess that about sums it up, but we certainly have had worse days. At least the weather was warm at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As we were approaching Dalhart, Texas, I commented on the rather unique clouds and Denice being a kind of cloudy person advised me they were mammalia clouds associated with Tornados. Oh great, thats all we need. Nothing materialized!! So today we went through parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, and changed to Central Time Zone.

Mammalia Clouds

Not enough Graneries for this years crop




Arrived at the Corral RV Park in Dalhart by about 3:10 PM Central time. By now wind was howling and we were happy to just settle in.
Oct 16th
Nice travelling so we moseyed on down to Scottsbluff and then south down 71 to Kimball, Brush and then to Limon, Colorado.

Urban development below Scottsbluff. There actually is a road to the top, and we went up there once, but I'm afraid not with ELTORO

Farmland in the lowlands, Scottsbluff in the background

Near Scottsbluff

Nebraska Ranchlands
  We have stopped here before and the KOA is pretty good, so we just whoa'd here for the night. The other day at Safeway in Wheatland I bought a bottle of Mojito mix, so after we got set up I mixed us each a Mojito, with a generous helping of rum. IT WAS GOOD!!!  In fact so good we had a second!!!
Oct 15th
Denice visited her cousins, Edie and Lindi all day, updating family tree. Disco was off somewhere looking at Harleys
Must be close to Halloween

Guernsey Wildlife

I spent the day polishing ELTORO - A big job, tried the power buffer, but found that I could do as good a job by just doing it by hand - polish and buff - did use the buffer some to shine it up as a final touch up. While polishing near the front tire, I finally found where the clunking we occasionally heard for the last two years. There was a small crack where a part of the frame attaches to a support for the bumper. I asked Disco if he knew a welder around. He said he had a buzz box and would weld it himself. He tried, but the metal was so thin that he just burned holes in one area, but he was able to weld in one place where the metal ws thicker. Hopefully that will hold, but I may have to take it to a shop where they might be able to do it with an acetylene welder. At least now, I know the problem . I had moved the motorhome up to his garage door, so now that I had her ready to roll, decided to run up to Guernsey Park and dump. Time I got back Edie had a great supper on the table so we enjoyed another meal on them.
Oct 14th
Disco and Edie are both working part of the day, then Edie has a meeting in Wheatland, Disco picking her up there and taking her to Cheyanne to a couple of doctor's appointments, and then to Torrington, where she has tickets to a stage show. They were concerned about leaving us here all day by ourselves, but we impressed upon them that it really didn't matter. We are retired and wheter we spend a relaxing day here or somewhere in Texas was of little account.

Guernsey is a main terminal for Wyoming Coal Trains headed to Pittsburg, PA

More Coal
 Around noon we drove over to Wheatland, about 30 miles away and bought some groceries at Safeway.

A Nice Pair

The new Green Crop is sure inviting for the Antelope
Returned and stowed them, then just rested and read.
Oct 13th
Nice morning so get up and move on down the road. Left Crawford by 8:30AM and travelled west up to Lusk, Wyoming. This is where Denice's roots are.

In to Wyoming

Turkeys along the road

The Redwood Tower
 We only stopped for a few minutes while Denice took some shots of the old Redwood Water Tower, only one of 6 that remain in the United States. From Lusk turned south down Highway 85 to Lingle, and west 25 miles into Guernsey. Pulled around and parked in front of Edie and Disco's house. Seems we almost have a permanent parking spot here. Its a great place with lots of room as the street is real wide here.

Edie and Disco's house with ELTORO

 Neither Disco or Edie were home, as some people do still have to work for a living, so we just made our selves at home. There door is seldom locked, so we went in and used their shower, as we had been conserving water for a few days since we have not had a full hookup, and then Denice washed some clothes as well. Later in the day both Edie and Disco returned, and cooked a great supper of ribs, salad, and mashed potatoes. Then they both had to go back to work for a few hours. Edie had a meeting to attend to and Disco works at the National Guard, and every Thursday he is on call for support in the evening when there is air practise. Tonight the helicopters are flying in and also the big C 17 Transport planes. They need fire fighting support just in case on an emergency, so Disco was not home until near 11:00PM
Oct 12th
Plan was to move along agin today down to Guernsey, Wyoming, a distance of about 140 miles. We have been lacking WIFI for a few days so had no contact with the Weather Man. We had readied ELTORO for the move.Slides in, Levelling Jacks up, all doors locked. All needed to be done was unhook from power, and hook up TOAD. We went over to the Frontier Bar for another breakfast with Kerry, Kelly and Donita, said our good-bye's, and then went and said good-bye to Norma as well. Got back to ELTORO, but noticed the wind coming up rather strong. Checked our internet and found it up and working so checked with the weatherman and he advised us of wind gusts to 40 MPH today. We find that unacceptable for driving unless it is some sort of emergency. We have none. A day here, a day there, is of no consequence, so we decide to spend another day until tomorrow, when the wind is forcast at 6 - 8 MPH. Put slides back out, and re-level. Vegetate for a day!!!
Oct 11th
Last night Kelly and Kerry invited us over to the Bar for breakfast at 9:00AM, so of course we accepted. Went over and had an enjoyable couple of hours with the Cousins, Kelly and Donita, and Kerry. The new potential owners of the Bar cooked us up a fabulous breakfast. I, again had "The Farmer" with hash browns, 2 eggs, bacon, and sour dough toast. The other had scramblers, and others from a variety on the menu.

The Main Double Line going into TAFT (Train After Friggin Train)
This is what the locals call Crawford 

Look what a telephoto lens does to a straight track!!
And here is the trains

After a short rest in ELTORO we decide to take a drive to Toadstool park 20 miles outside Crawford. It is a badlands area with hoodoos similiar to what we have in Drumheller. there is a 1 mile walk about loop trail.

Sure hope it stays there

Nice HooDoo

End of the line for Denice

A Sod House
 We completed about 1/2 of it until we had to navigate a short section on a ledge above a moderately high cliff. Denice's vertigo and fear of heights kicked in and she could go no farther so we had to back track back to the jeep and return home. We were scheduled to meet with Donita and Kelly at the golf course at 4:00PM, so we only had a 15 minute wait once home to ELTORO until we had to move on over to the golf course. We arrived before them and ordered drinks waiting for them to arrive. 15 minutes later they showed, and at about 5:30PM Kerry arrived as well. We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours socializing with our cousins who we very seldom get the chance to visit with. THEY ARE JUST SOME VERY NEAT PEOPLE!!!!

Oct 10th
Nicer day today. Took Denice over to her Aunt Norma's where she is harvesting her mind for Family Tree. I spent the couple of hours she was there doing some housework - REALLY!! And then read a little. Pretty relaxing!!

Picked Denice up at 4:00PM. Bought some Broasted Chicken from the local Drive In and went home for dinner
Cousins Kelly and Kerry come over to visit for a while in the evening
.Oct 9th
On the move again today, but another short one of about 130 miles to Crawford, Nebraska. Weather was  threatening rain, and we did get some showering, but according to the weatherman it was better today than tomorrow, so off we went. Arrived in Craword ner noon and again parked, as we did last spring, right beside the Frontier Bar. Good free parking, but only 15 Amp Power, but all we need for a few days. Cousin Kerry came out of the bar and visited for a while. then we went over for a very late breakfast, but boy was it good. We had the Ranchers breakfast: 2 eggs,hashbrown, bacon, coffee, and sourdough toast!!  It was huge, so would almost do for all day. While having breakfast, visited with cousin Kerry, then went over and visited with Aunt Norma who is 89 years young, Sharp mind, but body not cooperating too well. Legs playing out a little.

Aunt Norma

Oct 8th
A couple more cousins of Denice/s in town today, so one more pick up Kathy and meet Disco and Eddie from Guernsey Wyoming at the old fire hall once again for lunch. Again a very good meal!

From Left: Me, Kathy,Denice, Edie, and Disco
 Then up to Best Buy for some computer photo paper and to meet Kathy's son Aaron who works there. Then take Kathy home and have coffee at her house before we head on home to ELTORO.

Kathy and Grand-daughter Kaydence
 We crank up our computers do do our email and blog and stuff. Denice finds she cannot connect to WIFI. She has been having issues for the last few days, and even I, the so called compter guru, as she calls me, am not able to solve the issue. The bluetooth indicator light comes on, but still won't connect. What now??? While at Best Buy I saw a new display HP with 14" screen on special for $467, so just decided to go back and buy her a new one. 6:00PM we were back there and went directly to get that one, but as in Murphy's law. it was gone. Someone else got the good deal. So now we are here, what now? With a very helpful sales guy we checked out all the ones that interested us and settled on an Asus with 8GB Ram and 750GB Hard Drive, but at a higher price of $629. All said and done with extra warranty, Geek Squad support, Web Root Security Protection, and some other stuff totaled near the $1000 !!

But Denice is Happy !!!! Now need to start loading all her stuff, and we do not have some of the software disks with us. Oh Well !!!
Oct 7th
Picked up Kathy (Denices Cousin) and went down town to the Old Fire Hall for lunch. I had the Cajan Gumbo, Denice a salad, and Kathy a sandwich. All were very good and reasonably priced. After lunch walked over to the newly completed \town Square and Market place. It will be having its grand opening tonight. It is well done with fountains and kids squirt fountain area and water falls. Two large granite columns highlight the entrance relating to the Black Hills on one side and the prairie on the other.

Denice and Kathy

The Kids "Squirt" Pond

This is a work we found in a shop next to the Old Fire Hall. It is done with cast paper sculpturing, somewhat similiar to bronze sculpturing. It was done by Patty and Allen Eckman from Rapid City who have perfected the process. This one is about 4 x 6 feet. There was no price on it and I wouldn't even ask!  If interested you can go the their website at  http://www.eckmanfineart.com/.
 Back at Kathy's house I was tasked with repairing an old photo of Denice and Kathy's Grandparents, Kelly and Sophie Coplen, on their wedding Day in 1920. The photo had oringinally been in a curved round frame, but at some time had fallen off the wall, broke the frame and glass and tore the photo in a couple of places. Denice had asked about in Calgary for a conservator to repair the photo. She had found there was only two in Western Canada. One on the west coast, and one in Lethbridge. She contacted the one in Lethbridge and was told to repair the original would cost in the neighborhood of $1000. She shied away from that one, and I said that with the help of Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, I think I could make a reasonable facsimile. So now my big mouth has me in trouble again!!! But after an hour or so here is what I came up with. Not bad if I say so myself for an amateur!!!

I'm not hanging out my shingle for more work though!!

Oct 6th
Today we just sort of veg'd out and harldly even ventured out doors. Weather was not good and had very heavy rain in the afternoon and even some smaller hail for a half hour or so

Oct 5th
Just a hop and a jump from Spearfish to Rapid City - only about 50 miles, but that was good as we were facing a rather strong south east-wind. We were in Rapid before noon and checked into the KOA there. Filled with propane, got settled in, and then headed up to Walmart for a new phone. We were served by a very nice lady at the telephone/electronics booth. She checked out our phone that we had purchased in Maine. It still shows 247 minutes and something like 3470 days to expiry (not sure where that comes from), but anyway she says that that phone will not work well in South Dakota as it has a SIM card. Seems they are the only state that does not use that technology at this time, othrwise the phone could be re-activated, but of course a new number. However she said that they have a new phone for purchase for only 10 bucks and she will activate it for us. We take a one year double air minutes card for $99, so we should not have to get a new phone the next time down. So with bonus points and $120 we are covered for over 1000 minutes and 15 months until the end of December 2012. Sounds like a good deal to me!! Still could re-activate the "Maine" phone, but why? Can't see that we need two phones. Our new South Dakota number is 1- 605-390-0819

Wandered around Walmart for our Walmart fix and bought some groceries to fill the larder. We both commented that the groceries seemed cheaper here than at home. On other visits down here, we did not see much difference, but for a hundred bucks seemed we got about 10 bags full. As we do not really skimp on groceries, we just buy what suits our fancy, but all in all seemed some what cheaper. Of course with the US to Canadian exchange today we had to throw in an extra $5 for Canada Bucks!!   

Oct 4th
Left Williston this morning at 9:00AM in very heavy traffic. I'm sure every second vehicle was a gravel truck, and gravel trucks are not a friend of mine since this summer while on our trip to Drumheller, met one of those beasts and he threw rocks at me and broke both our windshields, to the tune of $2500 replacement. So now I just cringe at everyone I meet, and hope for salvation from rock chips.  Anyway, back to the point, South Dakota Highways are rebuilding Highway 85 south toward Belle Fourche. They are doing a great job, but there must be a couple of hundred trucks hauling gravel from just north of Williston all the way down across the Missouri River, and for about 30 miles beyond. Once completed it will be a great highway, but for now, very conjested with all the construction activity. Those that weren't gravel trucks were heavy oil field haulers, and service people. Once we were a hundred miles south, traffic eased a little, but the highway was still good.

In some places in SD the road is straight forever

 Seems they were working on the last remaining segment to complete the whole route. I will tell you, "The ecomomy must be good in North Dakota, at least around Williston"

We had planned on going all the way to Rapid City, but with the construction, were slowed down some what, so elected to stop in Spearfish at the Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort for the night. We have stayed here before and found it a good park with friendly people, and all the facilities available free.
Goin' Fishing in Spearfish, SD

A couple of nice ones - Bronze though

Stag in the Sunset

This Photo of nothing real important, but just trying out my new camera. This was some cows that were at least 2 to 3 miles away. I took it at maximum zoom of 35 optical and 4x digital for a total of 140 power or 810mm. I never even used a tripod!!

Oct 3rd
 Drove from Moose Jaw south - east on highway 39 to Weyburn and then straight south on Saslatchewan highway 35 to Fortuna USA border crossing. The croassing was uneventful with no waiting time . Officers were more interested in our tow vehicle that ELTORO. They looked inside TOADONE for a while and then came back to us and told us to have a good  day and be on our way. ELTORO seems to be having a small engine missing issue again. Not sure what that is about, but has been a bit of a thorne in my side for a couple of years now. Just once in a while she seems to act up. I need to find what the issue really is. The route to Williston was only a couple of hundred miles. We had thought of going all the way to Rapid City, but that was 550 miles, so we decided to break it in half, and make a 2 day trip out of it. Once in Williston we had found a RV Park on the north side of the small city, but when we arrived found it full with no vacanies. Got on the phone and found another on the west side of the city. Called them and they had room for overnighters. While checking in I inquired why all the activity in town and was told "Oil Activity, new hotels and motels, New shopping centers, and highway construction." I said, "I thought the economy was bad in the USA" and the nice lady said, "Every where but here, and all the people out of work from all over are flocking here". So there are some good stories down here.  OIL IS GOOD!!!

Nabors Drilling Rig #

Hazy sunset in Williston ND
 Oct 2nd
On the road --

At our Front Door
  Left home in High River at 9:00AM and drove east and north on secondary highways to by-pass Calgary and joined Highway #1 in Strathmore.
 From there just cruised along #1 all the way to Moose Jaw and checked into the Prairie Oasis RV Campground. We were ready to stop after 8 hours on the road!!

See, We are not the only Snow Birds
What Moose Jaw is known for

Last chance to stock up on Timmy's