Sunday, December 31, 2017

Name That Bird...

     This little fella has made an appearance every morning, crossing the road in the same place each time. Can you guess what kind of bird he is? The answer is here.


    He also shows up at other times throughout the day.  He must be the resident representative of his species here at MCC.

    I finally got around to washing the back and detailing the driver's side of the coach this morning. When I wash the coach I retract the slide(s) on that side. It makes the job easier and I don't  have to worry about water intrusion around the seals. Since our arrival, there has been a car parked way too close to our coach in the site to the left of ours. He's not intruding on our space, but the front bumper of his car is right at the line. With our slide out, I've had to walk sideways to squeeze between the car and the slide. The cargo bay that I access most often - the one containing all my cleaning supplies and tools, is the one that is difficult to get to because of the way this car is parked.  Kayla's friend, Justin is an employee here and told me that the car has been parked this way for quite a while and the owners have been absent. 
    No pictures or story beyond what I've described. Just wanted to get that off my chest.

    Suzanne and Travis hung out by the pool while I finished cleaning the coach. She read, he lounged and obsessed over the pool's floating chlorine dispenser. He doesn't get it. He barks at it.
    I finished my job and joined them poolside and we decided it was time for lunch. Suzanne had her leftover lobster ravioli from last night's dinner and I FINALLY ate the rest of the chicken parm I've referenced several times in previous blogs.


     Following lunch, I cleaned up our bikes, aired up the tires on Suzanne's and we went for a ride around the resort. Later on, I took Travis to the resort's dog park and we played fetch for half an hour or so. There was a gallon bottle of spring water (no ordinary hose water for the dogs here at MCC) and bowls that looked like they had just been washed. But Travis isn't crazy about drinking water from any bowl other than his own and he passed on the H2O. 
    Travis doing what he loves most...

     Ryan stopped by for a visit, I had met him on my way to the dog park. He arrived bearing Christmas gifts! Kayla had also given us each a gift on Christmas day. Maybe we'll start making this Christmastime pilgrimage every year!
     At 5:30 we decided to move the  party to Joanne's place. Suzanne and Ryan picked up a couple pizzas on the way. I walked Travis and buttoned things up on the home front and joined them at Joanne's for pizza and a movie. The movie, The Dinner starring Richard Gere, looked promising in the promo but sucked in actuality. Don't bother.
    That was our Saturday in a nutshell.

     Did you identify the bird?

    Thanks for reading the blog.

Friday, December 29, 2017

This Place Doesn't Suck!

     I wrapped up yesterday's blog before my day was done. At 9pm, feeling a little restless I decided to go to the fitness center here at MCC for a cardio workout. It was just what the doctor ordered and after showering I hit the sack and slept like a log.

    The carpet in the coach has gotten pretty dirty over the past several weeks so this morning I decided to rent a Rug Doctor carpet cleaning machine at Home Depot. The warm, dry weather and our close proximity to a rental facility made this the ideal time to do the job. I have a small Bissell carpet cleaner that I use for cleaning small stains, and there's not really all that much carpeting in the coach, but I figured a big machine would make short work of it.
    Suzanne had very little work to do this morning. In fact, she just had to check her email and that was about it. After taking Travis on his morning constitutional Suzanne and I hopped in the car and headed for Home Depot.
    The last time we were here we ate breakfast at The Broken Yoke Cafe in La Quinta. We had eaten outside on their patio and remembered it being a pleasant enough experience. I had even bought the T-shirt. On our way to Home Depot we decided we were hungry for breakfast. The Broken Yoke, a very short distance further down Hwy 111, seemed the perfect choice. We had about a ten minute wait to be seated... not a big deal. However, the table was dirty and we had to ask for it to be wiped off, there was a used sugar packet left behind by the previous occupant, my coffee cup had dried (go figure) egg yoke on it (I asked for a replacement), we had no silverware or napkins and the service was sub-par. Other than that, it was great! 😏
     From there we went to HD and rented a carpet cleaner. At $21 for four hours, I thought it was a pretty good deal. I already had detergent back at the coach. Suzanne helped me move stuff off the carpet then she grabbed a book (and Travis) and headed for the pool. I spent the next forty five minutes cleaning the carpet and dumped three buckets-full of some pretty nasty looking water down the sink.
     I joined Suzanne and Travis out by the pool for a while, listening to Pandora on the Bose Wave we brought along with us. Then, realizing it was five o'clock somewhere (it was one o'clock here) went back inside and made a couple margaritas and a ham sandwich- a perfect pairing in my estimation.
I could get used to this lifestyle.

     We returned the carpet machine to HD then did some grocery shopping at a nearby Ralph's supermarket. The lines were quite long. I guess everyone was out doing their New Years Eve food shopping. I had well over 15 items and was obediently awaiting my turn in the item count appropriate checkout line when the store manager grabbed my cart and said, "Come on over here!", placing me and my cart in the "about 15 items" line. I've never seen an "about 15 items" checkout line before. How very southern California.
Oh, she also handed me a complimentary bottle of water for having waited in line so long!
     Returning to the coach, we stowed the grub and headed out to meet Suzanne's family for dinner. We had a great time and were happy to see Jodi's son, Ryan, who made the trip out from LA to join us.
     Arriving back at the coach, I was happy to find that the fiddling I'd been doing at the pool control panel earlier in the day had paid off - steam was rising from the pool! We changed into our swimsuits, I turned on the jets and lights and we waded in. A perfect end to the day...

     ... well, not quite. I took Travis for a half hour moonlight stroll around the park while I smoked a cigar.
         Je suis fini!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Faucets, Burgers and More...

     Is the weather ever not nice in the Coachella Valley? Today's forecast high is 79 degrees.
     Suzanne had just a couple of hours of work today and I had a couple of things I wanted to check off the to-do list. The Moen shower control has been hard to turn since we bought the coach. I've been okay with it but Suzanne has to use two hands to operate it and I've been meaning to take a look at it for a while. Today was the day.

    I removed the knob and took a few pictures of the valve assembly to take with me to the Home Depot located (conveniently) about a mile away. By this time Suzanne was done with work for the day so she accompanied me to Home Depot where, with the help of a team member, I decided to buy a whole new assembly. I was planning to just purchase a cartridge repair kit but HD didn't have that particular kit. The kit they did have was $35 so I figured that even if I could find the one I needed at a plumbing supply store, it would cost me at least $35... probably more. 
     Here's a picture of the valve and the small opening through which I had to work on this thing.             Kinda tight quarters...

      Before disconnecting the valve I decided to take the core out, clean it up and lubricate it. I replaced the core and it worked just fine so I put everything back together and Suzanne and I made another trip to Home Depot to return the control unit I had bought. 
     Before returning to the coach we decided to grab a bite to eat. In-N-Out Burger is another half mile down Highway 111 from Home Depot so...
     I love In-N-Out Burger! 
     When we lived in southern California back in the 80s I used to teach at Hanich Music in West Covina. On the way home there was an In-N-Out on... I think it was Azusa Ave, where I would stop on occasion to get burgers to take home. Back then In-N-Outs were drive thru only. The company has grown significantly since then and now offers sit down dining. Progress. We also used to patronize what I believe was the original In-N-Out in Pasadena.

     We went through the drive thru and returned to MCC to eat our lunch by the pool where we shared a few fries with Travis.

     A couple of days ago we took the car to one of those credit card operated stay-in-your-car car washes. It got most of the heavy grime off but the car wasn't nearly as clean as I wanted it to be. After finishing lunch I got out the hose & bucket and gave the Suzuki a serious scrubbing. 
     I am now satisfied with the appearance of both the coach and the car. 
    Yesterday a mobile car washing crew was washing a nearby neighbor's TWO Jaguars. Yes, I said TWO. Hey, I may not have two Jags, but my ONE Suzuki Grand Vitara (it occurs to me that it is, after all, a Grand Vitara, not merely a Vitara. That's almost like having two Jags) is clean as a whistle. I even put shiny stuff on the tires.

     Allie and her boyfriend, Andy are on the island of Eleuthera for a week of fun in the sun. She sent us this picture earlier today...

     Aaron is with his girlfriend, Molly in Michigan for the next several days and sent us this picture earlier today...

    The older I get, the greater aversion I have to cold weather. Given a choice between Eleuthera  and zero degree Michigan... I'd choose Eleuthera. Allie has the right idea. 
But Aaron and Molly look like they're having a good time. God bless.

    I took this picture when Suzanne and I took Travis for a walk this afternoon...

    Right now we're enjoying happy hour and watching a little tv. I think my leftover chicken parm is on the menu tonight along with whatever else in the fridge needs to be eaten.

    Thanks for reading the blog.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap...

    We had to have Aaron in Ontario in time for his 8am flight to Detroit - which meant we were up at 5am and on the road by 5:20. Traffic was relatively light at such an early hour and we were at the airport by 6:30. It was sad to see him go but we sure had a great time during the ten days he spent with us.
     We were back at MCC by 8am. Suzanne had some work to do online and I decided it was time to clean the exterior of the coach. I'm pretty good at dusting and wiping down the coach every couple of days - and that's usually enough to keep it looking pretty sharp. But we had a few rainy days while traveling through Texas and New Mexico. The dirt and mud accumulated during that portion of the trip required a more aggressive cleaning.
    The coach was looking pretty grimy when we arrived here at Motorcoach Country Club on Sunday and for the last three days I've been parked between two very shiny motor coaches, obsessing about how filthy mine is.
     There are a couple of mobile RV washing services that do a lot of work here - but they charge between $200 and $300 for a basic wash. I'd rather put that money toward diesel fuel.
      So I got out my cleaning supplies and got to work.
      I spent the next couple of hours washing and spray-waxing the starboard side of the coach, then got out my wheel & tire cleaner and cleaned the (you guessed it) wheels and tires on that side.
   I use 303 Aerospace UV Protectant on the tires. It was recommended to me by another RVer a couple years ago and I've been using it ever since. 303 is not designed to make the tires shiny but rather to protect them from the sun's ultra violet rays and prevent premature cracking and aging. It's kind of expensive, but so is a set of eight new tires. An ounce of prevention...
  I took a break after completing my work on the starboard side of the coach (and the front) and hopped in the pool. Suzanne also took a break and sat by the pool reading for a while. I coaxed Travis in with a tennis ball. For a 'water dog' he's not all that keen on swimming. He seems to enjoy playing in rivers, where he can wade gradually into the water - but to jump headlong into a swimming pool... not so much. I tried to familiarize him with the location of the steps but he kept forgetting where they were and would try instead to climb out of the deep end. 
   Anyway, we had a good time splashing around. I held him for a while and just kind of walked around in the pool. I think he liked that. During our pool break we were surprised when this waterfall suddenly appeared. We had no idea...

    After lounging (and dozing) poolside in the sun long enough to dry off I got back to work cleaning. I managed to get the port side and port side tires and wheels washed by happy hour. Tomorrow I'll get that side detailed and that'll be that. Oh, and I also need to wash the back.
    I should have taken a before picture... here's what it looks like now...

                                              I don't have to feel embarrassed anymore.

     At around 4pm we took Travis for a long walk around the park where he met some new friends - most notably a Newfoundland (whose name I can't remember) riding around in a golf cart with her 'mom'. They stopped and chatted for a few minutes. Travis gets very excited when he meets other dogs.
     We were invited to Jodi & Bear's place tonight for a crawfish boil. The food was incredible!

             We brought the tequila and everything else needed to make margaritas. I tended bar.

Thanks for reading the blog.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

An Uphill Climb!

    Another beautiful day here in the Coachella Valley! Suzanne had work to do today and told Aaron and me to go somewhere and have a good time. So we did.
    But first, I took Travis for a long walk around Motorcoach Country Club... and took this photo...

     MCC is an incredibly nice RV resort. I can't imagine what the cost of upkeep for a place like this must be. There are landscaping people, pool cleaners, tree trimmers and other maintenance people working constantly. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the lots here are privately owned. There are several that are for sale (if you're interested). Unimproved lots start at $70k and improved lots can go for as much as $450k. There's a pretty hefty monthly association fee here as well. I can't remember what it is... but it's a lot. As I also mentioned in a previous blog, many of the coaches here are in the $2 million range... and they're not parked in the $70k unimproved lots.
     Where do these people get their money?

     So, Aaron and I decided to go for a hike. I did some searching online and found one that I thought would be fun. It's called the "Bump N Grind" hiking trail - a 3 mile loop ascending to approximately 1000 feet in the mountains above Palm Desert. At 9am we donned our hiking clothes, filled our hydration packs and were out the door. It was a 9 mile drive from MCC to the Bump N Grind trailhead. We made a quick stop at the nearby Target store to buy some Cliff Bars, then continued to the trailhead to began our ascent.
     It was an ideal day for a hike. The temperature was in the mid 60s and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
     It was a fairly steep climb... quite steep in some sections and we worked up a good sweat in no time at all. Off came the sweat shirts. Wanting to make it a workout, we moved along at a respectable pace. It was a chug. Le huff... le puff (Looney Tunes reference).
   Some pictures from our hike...

           At certain times of the year this uppermost section of the trail is closed. We got to hike it.


 Finally, the summit...

                 We had a lot of fun and got the workout we were hoping for in the process.

      We returned to the coach to find Suzanne finished with her work and patiently awaiting our arrival. Showers and a much needed change of clothing and we were on our way to pick up my mother-in-law for a trip into Palm Springs and lunch at Sammy G's Tuscan Grill. For those interested, I had the beet and arugula salad and chicken parm. It was delicious. Other entrees at our table included chicken piccata and a meatball panini. The portions were generous and I was only able to eat half of my entree. Chicken parm for lunch tomorrow.
     From lunch we drove back to Joanne's apartment...making a brief side trip to visit this place...

    Suzanne's mom lives in a very nice senior living facility and Aaron, this being his first visit since the move, had not yet taken the tour. Wouldn't ya know it, 4:30 is karaoke time in the lounge and some of the more vocally gifted residents had gathered to showcase their talent. We sat and listened for half an hour or so and I decided to walk back to Joanne's apartment to relax a little (I fell asleep in a chair). I should have stayed because Aaron decided to sing Sinatra's, 'You Make Me Feel So Young' and apparently brought down the house!
    We returned to the coach at around 6pm.
    Travis was very glad to see us.

     Aaron flies out of Ontario tomorrow to join his girlfriend, Molly at her parent's home in Michigan for a few days. We're gonna miss him! His flight is at 8am and we're planning to leave for Ontario sometime in the 5 o'clock hour. Time to get some much needed sleep.

    Thanks for reading the blog.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

    Today we've been invited to Jodi & Bear's place for Christmas breakfast and dinner. At 8am, knowing we would be in no condition or mood to exercise in the evening, Aaron and I decided to work out at the nicely equipped fitness center here at MCC. 

      A good workout, showers and a couple of pre-flight mimosas and we were ready to head for Jodi's place for a day of Yuletide celebration. 

      Jodi and Bear had a delicious breakfast waiting for us and were already preparing the afternoon's meal of turkey, ham and a half dozen side dishes. I've been doing a lot of meal preparation on our trip and I have to admit, it seemed nice being waited on. 
      Gifts were exchanged, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails served. We had a great time visiting and catching up on things. We returned home happy and stuffed.
      Good thing Aaron and I worked out when we did.
      Sometime around 8pm I decided to go out to the pool/jacuzzi to try to figure out how to operate it. I got the jets and lights to work... and the heat to kind of work... but not very well. Suzanne and I had changed into our swimsuits in anticipation of a successful launch but had to bail when I realized I just couldn't get the H2O temp to a comfortable number. Tomorrow I'll call the front desk and get someone to come out and show me how to work this thing. There are all sorts of switches and valves and breakers... not a very intuitive setup. 
      Hot tub, cigars and scotch tomorrow night!
      Suzanne has some work to do tomorrow so Aaron and I have to figure out something to do to entertain ourselves. Perhaps a hike?
       Thanks for checking out my blog.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...

     Mayflower County Park is located in Blythe, California on the Colorado River. We had no sewer hookup (hey, we're all adults here) so I decided to wait and take my shower later in the day at Motorcoach Country Club as both Suzanne and Aaron had taken showers and we had run the dishwasher and done a load of laundry. I'm sure we still had plenty of grey water capacity but I didn't really feel like taking a shower anyway.
     Travis and I took this morning's walk down by the Colorado River.

    We had just under a hundred miles to travel to reach today's destination, Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, California. MCC is advertised as being 'The crown jewel of motorcoach resorts', and it truly is. We stayed here once before in March of 2016 for a week. It's quite expensive but it's fun to treat ourselves to a week at a place like this every 21 months or so. Hey, you only live once.
    The site we are in has a casita with a small kitchen, bathroom and laundry. It also has a beautiful outdoor kitchen, dining and lounging areas (complete with a fireplace) and our own swimming pool! It's really very nice.

    Motorcoach Country Club is "class A exclusive". There are no trailers of any sort, no class B or class C RVs. Many of the coaches here are of the $1.5 million to 2.5 million variety. It's fun to walk around and look at all the different rigs...and the cars parked beside them! Bentleys, Jaguars etc.. my little 2004 Suzuki Grand Vitara looks just a little out of place. Many of the residents here own their site. There are unimproved sites, improved sites and some very improved sites with casitas the size of small houses, lavishly landscaped with swimming pools. Have some fun browsing their websiteand check out prices of some of the more luxurious FOR SALE sites. There's also a par 3 golf course at the center of the resort and more than 2 miles of "navigable man-made waterways". Quite a place.
    Suzanne's sister's daughter, Kayla surprised us by showing up at 1:30 with IN-N-OUT burgers! My favorite! We had a wonderful time visiting with Kayla for a couple of hours. She left mid-afternoon and we finished organizing the inside of the coach and drove over to Suzanne's mom's place. Suzanne's brother, Doug had arrived at Joanne's earlier in the day. We spent an hour or so visiting then all piled into my little SUV for the 10 minute drive over to MCC -  so they could see the coach and visit there for a while before going out to dinner. Doug diagnosed and fixed a problem I've been having with a GFCI outlet in the master bathroom. Thanks, Doug.
    Following a very enjoyable dinner and equally enjoyable conversation, we dropped the two of them off back at Joanne's and returned to the coach where we called it a night.
    As for tomorrow, Christmas day, we've been invited to a day of dining, gift giving and conviviality at the home of Suzanne's sister Jodi and her husband Bear. A day to which we are very much looking forward.

    A picture from last night that I forgot to include in yesterday's blog...

     Thanks for checking out the blog.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Saguaro National Park

   Cactus Country RV Resort is only about ten miles from the Rincon Mountain District (east) entrance to Saguaro National Park. I asked the owner of the RV park if we could have a late checkout so that I could leave the coach there while we explored the National Park. He would have, but there was another rig scheduled to occupy our site upon our departure - so we would have to vacate. He did tell us, however, that there was a Walmart a couple miles down the road on the way into Saguaro and he was sure we could leave the coach there whilst exploring the park.
    I didn't bother hooking the car to the coach. Aaron followed us to Walmart in the car where I found a perfect spot to leave the coach for a few hours.
    The three of us and Travis piled into the car and headed for the National Park. We arrived at the visitors center, parked, went inside, bought a magnet and asked for trail recommendations. We planned to take Travis along on our hike but it turned out dogs are allowed only on paved surfaces and a single short trail. So... we took him on the short, quarter mile hike then drove to another trailhead for a 2.5 mile hike. I considered ignoring the rules and taking Travis with us but didn't want to anger the park police - so we rolled the car windows halfway down, (didn't seem like the sort of place where one has to worry about theft) left him in the car and the three of us trudged off down the trail. The temperature was in the low 50s so there was no danger of Travis overheating.
   Some photos from our hike...


    This was a very cool place to visit... unlike anything any of us had seen before. We learned a lot about saguaros (including how to properly pronounce saguaro). They can live 150 to 200 years. Read more about them here.
     After retrieving the coach we got back on I-10 west, our destination being Blythe, California - about a four hour drive. The coach's fuel gauge was just dipping below the 1/2 full mark so I pulled off the highway and filled up... $2.69 a gallon! A bargain!
    Just before exiting for fuel the Alan Jackson song 'When Daddy Let Me Drive' had been playing on the radio. We listen to all genres of music while traveling but have always thought of country music as sort of the 'music of the road' - Classic Rock being a close second. Anyway, after hearing that song it occurred to me that I should let Aaron drive the coach. So I did...

    He did a great job!

    We stayed at Mayflower County Park, a beautiful RV park located in Blythe, California on the Colorado River. We didn't arrive until after dark and the office was closed so there was no one to help us locate a suitable site. The sites weren't very clearly marked and campers seemed rather haphazardly parked. We unhooked the car from the coach in the parking lot and Aaron and I took a ride through the park and found a good spot in which to park the coach.
    After leveling and setting up I cooked chicken fajitas for dinner and we watched a little tv before calling it a night.
     Tomorrow we arrive at The Motorcoach Country Club where we will spend Christmas and the next week or so visiting with family in the area.
   Thanks for reading the blog.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

I'm Your Huckleberry!

    "You tell 'em I'm coming. And hell's coming with me, you hear?! Hell's coming with me!"
     Santa's message to all the little children of the world?
     It's a quote from the movie 'Tombstone'. At this point in the movie Wyatt's had just about enough of the Clantons et al, and has decided to do something about it.

     Today's destination was Tombstone, Arizona. Suzanne and I have been there before but Aaron has not.
     We left Lo-Hi RV Ranch in Deming, NM around 8 am. I haven't talked a lot about RV park fees. We've been trying to stay at RV parks participating in the Passport America program. I spoke a little bit about Passport America in a previous blog. If you'd like to read more about it you can click on the link above (BTW, highlighted words in all of my blogs are links to websites). Lo-Hi RV Ranch is a Passport America RV park and set us back just $22 for the night. And it was a very nice place!
     The trip from Deming to Tombstone was uneventful. We stopped only once to fuel up at a Pilot station in Lordsburg, NM. I kicked myself when we crossed into Arizona soon thereafter and I saw how much less expensive diesel fuel was (I paid 3.09/gal. The first station I saw in AZ was $2.79/gal). I had a suspicion this would be the case - and considered waiting to fuel up but the Pilot price was pretty good compared to others I'd been seeing. Gas stations are kind of few and far between along this stretch of I-10 so I had decided to err on the side of caution. Oh well.
     Exit 306 put us on SR 80 south. Twenty two miles later we were rolling into Tombstone. We've done this twice before, once with a fifth wheel, the second time with our last coach. There's a closed school on SR 80 just one block away from Allen Street (the main street running through Tombstone). The stretch of sidewalk in front of the school is the perfect spot for parking a 43 foot coach towing a car. I parked in this location the last two times we were here and, as before, no other vehicles occupied the space. I pulled along side the curb, Aaron took Travis for a short walk, we secured the coach and car and headed for 'The Town Too Tough To Die'.
     Our first order of business was to find a place to eat - someplace other than The Crystal Palace, where we ate the last two times we were here. Aaron poked his head inside the front door of Big Nose Kate's Saloon, looked back over his shoulder with a sh*t eating grin and said, "We're eating here!".
    Here's why...

       Nick entertains the lunch crowd at Big Nose Kate's - and does a darn good job of it! We had a few chuckles and some better than average sandwiches. You may have noticed Nick drawing down on me about 6 seconds into the video. I was a bit alarmed when I saw the cur skin that smokewagon,  but he holstered it after realizing I wasn't a threat. No harm, no foul.
     Some photos taken during our tour of Tombstone...

    The cheesy animatronic recreation of the gunfight at the OK corral...

Inside the Birdcage theater/bordello...

   About to witness a triple homicide...

    A visit to Boot Hill and we were on our way out of town headed for our home for the night, Cactus Country RV Resort, on the outskirts of Tucson, AZ. It was about 5 pm when we pulled up to the office where we paid the $47 dollar nightly fee.  After setting up in our site and having a lite dinner we watched Gunfight at the OK Corral starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. Well, we watched half of it. We were pretty tired from the day's activities.

The adventure continues...

Thanks for checking out my blog.



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Stranger Things...

   Aaron found an app called Roadside America. It's a unique travel tool "and guide to unusual attractions, weird vacations and road trips". Here's an example of the sort of things you can find on Roadside America...
   We didn't stop in El Paso but IF we had...
   At Dave's Pawn Shop in downtown El Paso you can find what is purported to be the severed, mummified index finger of Pancho Villa - on sale for $9,500.
   I'm intrigued, and $9,500 seems pretty reasonable for such a rare digit, but I'm really not in the market, and we had other plans...

    Knowing what towns we would be passing through the next day, Aaron spent some time Wednesday evening playing with the app and looking for offbeat, quirky things to see along our route. He came up with six must-sees in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

But first...

    We were all out of bed and dressed by 7:30 am. There is a cafe at Van Horn RV Park where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices. After walking and feeding Travis, the three of us strolled over to the cafe for breakfast. The couple at the next table overheard us talking about Roadside America and our plans for the day and said they "Love Roadside America and use it all the time!".  

     Sunrise in Van Horn, Texas

    We ended up leaving VH RV Park right behind my new friends, Guy & Sue and they served as our escort all the way to Las Cruces. Here's a shot of them clearing a path for me through El Paso...

    Las Cruces is about 170 miles from Van Horn and with the change in time zones (Central to Mountain) we were there by 11:30. Our destination was the Las Cruces Walmart where we would park the coach and embark on the afternoon's adventure in the car, leaving Travis to guard the home front... and after being escorted to the designated Walmart RV parking area by a very nice parking lot security woman, we did just that.
    Adventures such as this are best done on a full stomach, so our first stop was La Nueva Casita, the best Mexican restaurant in town according to Yelp.

        Was the food good?
        Was it as good as the place in San Antonio where we saw Hispanic Elvis?
        No. The place in San Antonio served some of the best Mexican food I've ever had.

    On with the adventure...

    After finishing lunch, our first stop would be what Roadside America said was (deep breath) a yard-full of metal sculptures done by an eccentric woman who had, at some juncture, been asked by the city to remove them - but refused. 
    I don't blame the city for the request. We all just looked like a yard-full of sh*t.

     Next stop, a big wooden carving of an Indian head...

   This one was actually pretty cool. It was done in 1987 and the artist has carved and erected similar pieces in all 50 States! You can read more about it here.

   Ever wonder where you can find the world's largest chili pepper?
   Me neither. But it turns out it's right here in Las Cruces...

  Who knew?

    At 47 feet in length, made with 2.5 tons of concrete, it is indeed the world's largest chili pepper.
    Read more about it here.
    I give this one a thumbs up.

     Sheriff Pat Garrett, the guy who shot and killed Billie The Kid...buried here in Las Cruces. I know because I saw the grave...

    Being a fan of all things Old West, I'll definitely give this one a big thumbs up!

    And last, but not least... okay, maybe least. No, the yard-full of sh*t was least. But this was a close second.
     (drum roll)
    The propane tank made to look like a rocket!...

     Wait, that wasn't the last oddity. There was one more about six miles out of town over on the east bound side of I-10.
     The Recycled Road Runner...

          ... a 20 foot tall, 40 foot long road runner made of junk.
              I'm okay with that.

        It seems like Las Cruces, NM has more than it's share of goofy sh*t.

Other highlights of today's journey...

     A view of the border fence between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico (look just over the hood of the red & white truck)...

     And passing through the border patrol checkpoint on I-10, 22 miles west of of Las Cruces...

     All things considered, a pretty fun filled day.

     The journey continues...

Thanks for checking out my blog.