Photos and Journals from a Wandering Soul
January 31, 2007
The winter has gone by very fast. The weather here in southern New Mexico has been unseasonably cold. We even had a 'big' snow storm. This term is relative and although it was a major event here [I believe it measured at least 7"] it was certainly not an unusual amount of snow for me! I didn't, however, expect to experience snow this far south. Everyone I talk with says it is definitely not normal.
I've met a lot of wonderful people here. The holidays were festive and I didn't feel alone. It was very different not to be around family though.
My neighbor to the north, George, hosted a chili cookout. We all had a wonderful afternoon of good food and fun.
I've seen a lot of the area and enjoyed visiting Chloride, one of the many ghost towns in Sierra County. Other wonderful stops were the El Camino Real International Heritage Center and the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge.
It would take a long time to see all there is to see in this area of the country. I hope to be able to visit here another time.
Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge - San Antonio, New Mexico
February is just beginning and I stay as busy as ever. In the next few weeks I will start preparing to leave the southwest.
A recent trip to Alamogordo started the month off nicely. Stopping at White Sands National Monument was wonderful. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is when the desert is in bloom!
End of the month
February flew by. The weather was a bit cold, but I managed to stay as busy as ever.
The Sierra Longhorn Show was held at the Fairgrounds on the edge of Truth or Consequences. The unusual weather here this winter forced some entries to cancel. It was an interesting show and fun to see the 4-H kids show their animals.
The Cuchillo Pecan Festival was a fun afternoon. The weather did not cooperate that day either, however - it was very windy and cold. The Festival is held every year on the last Saturday in February.
I will miss Southern New Mexico. I have met wonderful people while here and hope to see them 'on the road' as we all travel through the USA. And hopefully I will be able to come back to Elephant Butte again next year.
Sierra Longhorn Show - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
The first week of March has been very busy. I've been preparing to leave and my mind is whirling with thoughts of how I will manage on the road again. I have been here for over three months and have had a lot of work done on my RV. Those of us who RV here in Elephant Butte are very fortunate to have a great RV repairman here.
March 8 - I started my drive back to New England. I was all hooked up and ready to roll by 9:30am. I reached Van Horn, Texas where I planned to spend the night. It was mid afternoon, but not having driven for 3.5 months, I thought it was best to take a break. I knew it would get easier as the days went by.
I left NM without a particular plan. I decided it was easier to plan from day to day. Of course I had a basic idea of what I was going to do, but I left the details to work out daily.
My first night on the road, however, I discovered while checking out truck stops along my route [I-10] that there was another option that I wanted to take. One of the truck stops had a special page advertising the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, TX. Now this was on I-20 instead of I-10, so now I had to rethink my driving.
I went along I-10 and took the road north - to the Roundup. I parked at the truck stop and went to the event the next day.
March 15 - I had arrived in Natchez, Mississippi on March 13. I took the following day off. On Thursday I did a little exploring in Natchez. Of course I found the only yarn shop in town and had a nice visit there. Also I went to the visitor's center and picked up tickets for the play "Southern Exposure". It was a delightfully funny story about Natchez, the Spring Pilgrimage and tourists.
March 16 - The manager of the yarn shop had suggested that I take a ride back across the Mississippi River and go to the Frogmore Plantation. It is a working cotton plantation that is also a living museum. The tour was wonderful.
From there I went to the Delta Music Museum. I almost didn't stop. But I was really glad I did.
I visited Longwood, one of many old homes in Natchez. I saw the river boats on the Mississippi. And also stopped at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. For more information about Natchez, go here.
March 20 - Arrived in Jackson, MS. I'm staying at the LeFleur's Bluff, one of the many Mississippi State Parks.
March 22 - On the road again this morning. The Natchez Trace is a beautiful ride. Slow and easy. I arrived at my destination for the day - the Tombigbee State Park in Tupelo, MS late in the afternoon.The State Park is beautiful. Way off any roads, tucked in the woods with a small lake in the middle of the property.
One cannot stop in Tupelo without visiting the Elvis Presley birthplace. The small house has been restored and the surrounding property has been turned into a memorial to Elvis. There is a chapel, museum and of course a gift shop.
Wrapping up the end of the month...
The next stop was Nashville. I wasn't planning to stay very long, but had to be sure I did a few things!
Although he doesn't say he is an "Elvis Impersonator", John Beardsley puts on quite a show and sings remarkably like "The King". I totally enjoyed the performance.
Another night I went to the Grand Ole Opry. The show is always broadcast on WSM in Nashville. It was a spectacular show.
There is a lot to do in Nashville. A destination trip for sure.
On the road again, I headed to Berea, KY to stay for a few days. While there I visited with old friends from Maine who have bought a winter home nearby. It was really nice to reconnect with them.
I made my way to Ohio on March 31 and it was a real treat not to be worried about what road to take! I was in familiar territory and made my way to the campground I stayed in last summer.
I'll be in Ohio for a few weeks, then on to CT for a short visit. After that I'll be back into a work routine at a campground in NH. After 2 months traveling from NM, I am looking forward to parking the RV for awhile.
April 7, 2007
I may have started my trip north a little early! Although the weather was very nice when I arrived in Ohio it has turned cold and snowy. But then it is very cold and snowy still in New Hampshire, my final destination.
World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup - Sweetwater, Texas
April 21, 2007
The weather continued to be rainy and cold up until a few days ago. I moved from the Columbus area to a small town about an hour east of there last Saturday and will be leaving tomorrow. I'll arrive in CT on April 23.
End of the month
April has been spend with friends and family. It has been a good time of reunion and catching up on all the news from the past year.
All of my driving was mostly uneventful and I will be sorry to park my RV for the summer!
I am looking forward to a busy summer and hopefully some short trips around New England in the RV. I'll be workamping at an RV park in New Hampshire and have other things planned that will keep me very busy. I'm sure the time will go by fast and unless something unforeseen happens, I'll be on the road again in the fall.
Most of May was spent getting settled in to my new surroundings for the season at Cold Brook Campground. May isn't very busy at the campground, but the seasonal people start making their move to their summer homes. Memorial Day was somewhat low key. We did have a "Meet 'N Greet" event and got to know everyone. There was a good turnout and everyone had a good time.
I can't say the weather has been good though. It seems we have had way more cloudy/rainy days than not. And it has not been very warm.
I have gotten together with family and friends in NH, but have a lot more people to see... and soon I hope.
As we go through June, the weather still hasn't been great. Rainy much of the time. I suppose when it finally does get hot we'll complain about that too.
The annual Pig Roast at the campground has come and gone. This has been an annual event for many years and draws a big crowd. Tons of food and they always have a band.
The summer is going by quickly. The campground is busy with campers coming and going and I've had a chance to meet many of the seasonal guests. A trip to CT for my high school class reunion was great fun. After a few hours it seemed like we had just seen each other last week instead of years ago. The time went by too fast and many of us promised to stay in touch. I do hope to remain in contact with some and perhaps see a few again before I leave New England for the winter.
I made a few visits in Noank before making my way back to New Hampshire. It's near the end of my stay here. It has been a very busy summer for me. There were several big events at the campground that were great fun and I had a chance to meet people from various parts of the country. Cold Brook Campground is located in a picturesque area of New Hampshire not far off Route 89 [exit 6 or 7]. The owners, Jim and Tina are gracious hosts. The campground itself is exceptionally well maintained by a dedicated staff. I don't hesitate to recommend the campground for RVers and tent camping families as well.
Summer's End '07
As I prepared for my departure from Webster, NH, I was reminded of how free and mobile full time RV life really is. It feels good to put down a few roots now and then, but it is also exciting to start rolling again and make a new adventure. What can't be measured in any way are the friendships that I make along the way.
The nomadic life has it's downfall for sure. Although you tend to get a little more used to it... saying goodbye is hard.
I'll be visiting CT for a week or so. Then it will be back to NH for a few more weeks.
Cold Brook Campground - Summer 2007
I never seem to have enough time to get in the visits with family that I want to. Everyone is busy and it's often hard to coordinate getting together. My visit in Mystic went by quickly. I parked my RV in a spot on the Mystic Harbor. The salt air was relaxing. I had a wonderful week of visiting friends and family.
A week in Franconia was not long enough either. I managed to visit a few friends, but missed some as well. I needed to get on the road again to get myself to Conway for Steve and Staci's wedding.
The wedding wonderful. Staci's father, Rev. Robert Burns, took part in the service and touched all of us with his heartfelt words of love, compliments, best wishes and encouragement for Steve, Staci and Elizabeth.
My summer is still coming to and end. I got on the road from New Hampshire after staying an extra 10 days after the wedding so I could help with Elizabeth. We had a wonderful week getting to know each other and I also enjoyed getting to know Staci's parents and brother a little more.
On September 25 I started my trip to the Southwest. I spent a week near Sally and we [she really!] worked hard cleaning the outside of my RV. It was a good job done. I had a lot of time to spend with Sally and the boys and I enjoyed being there again on this trip.
One event I attended there was "Divas Helping Divas". It was a Breast Cancer awareness event. I met and talked to many wonderful people. I even won a raffle prize!
I made my way to the Columbus area to be a little closer to Molly. We had a good week together and Sally was able to come up to join us as well.
I got on the road to New Mexico on October 10. I experienced no problems along the way. There were no construction sites, the weather was good and I had managed to plan my route well.
Just past Tucumcari, NM, however, I noticed a problem with the RV. Without going into details, I will just say that the situation demanded that I be towed to a truck service garage. John's Truck Service, in Tucumcari, NM could not be a better place to get stranded. The mechanics are excellent and the rest of the staff is friendly and helpful. The huge repairs I needed could not be ignored. The mechanics at John's have long experience in the diesel repair field. The repairs seemed to go on and on, but this old beast I drive and live in had finally given up several of it's old parts and I was forced to make some major repairs.
While in Tucumcari I attended the First Baptist Church. The whole congregation welcomed me with open arms. I hope to get back for a visit.
For a few days while the RV was being worked on, I drove to Albuquerque where I visited with friends, Jan and John. It was a wonderful stay. They are very gracious hosts and I always enjoy my visits with them. I stocked up on some things I know I can't get in Elephant Butte and did some other shopping as well.
We drove to Dixon for the annual Studio Tour. It was a great way to spend a weekend day... we packed a picnic lunch and visited many of the stops on the tour.
I was happy to have time while in Albuquerque for a visit with several other people at a small gathering and I had time for a nice visit with friends Robert and Kathi the same evening.
Late Fall into Winter '07
November 9 I made my way south to Elephant Butte. The ride was easy and the RV ran perfectly, as I expected it would after being very well taken care of at John's Truck Service in Tucumcari, NM.
I was greeted enthusiastically by the staff at the RV park! My arrival had been put off several times and everyone was glad to see me land safely.
I was very happy to have an old friend visit me for 9 days just after I arrived. We spent time catching up on things and getting out and about the area to take pictures.
Thanksgiving was spent at the RV Park with a record number of people enjoying turkey and more side dishes than one can count.
The holidays really crept up quickly for me this year and I worked hard to get that organized. Everything got sent on time and I was able to relax and work on really settling the house for the winter. It seems that I am always reorganizing the cupboards, closets and drawers.
In addition to that I am again working on patterns for my collection, aGypsyKnits®. On my list of things to accomplish was to have my own line of patterns. That was realized this past summer when I launched 6 patterns for sale. Socks are my biggest interest and I will soon have a pattern for preemie-small toddler ready for print.
Christmas day was fairly quiet. I went to dinner at the RV Park and had a good time. The record number of people attending was broken. There was more food than we could all eat!
Eight awesome years on the road full time.
Another eight years traveling half-time.