On Saturday morning, before we left the Walmart parking lot, I called at least ten RV parks hoping to find a spot reasonably close to the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon. When I was close to giving up, the voice on the other end said, “Let me look, but I think I can help you.” I couldn’t believe my ears when she came back on the line and said the words I thought I would never hear again. “Yes, we have one spot open and I think it’s just what you need.” She was right. We enjoyed a pretty drive and arrived in Kanab, Utah about 4:00 that afternoon. Our next surprise, was that Kanab boasts of being in the heart of the parks. It’s close to so many things to see, we’ve decided to stay four nights here. Today, was the Grand Canyon.
I made Kip back up on a narrow, winding road so I could get a picture of this Aspen tree. I think the white trunk with the fall leaves made for a pretty contrast with the surrounding trees and the blue sky.
Below are the pictures I took with Kip in them.
Here are the ONLY pictures he took of me.
When we got back to the RV park, Kip handed me his cell phone and said to look at the pictures he took. He thought I might like to use some of them. They were pretty good until I got to these two. I said, “These are terrible.. and they’re in front of a dumpster!” He’s still laughing..says he doesn’t remember taking them. This is the last time I’ll wear twinsie sweatshirts with him!
Sammie watching for cars while I took a picture…Sammie and Patti all tuckered out. No, the cat didn’t go.
It really was a fun day. We went to the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon last year and it was spectacular. The Northern side is less commercialized, and for all you hikers, there are tons of hiking trails to explore.
Tomorrow we’re going to Bryce Canyon and Zion State Park. I will tell you all about the personality of the town of Kanab in another post.
We got a pretty early start yesterday morning and drove to Monument Valley in Arizona. Once we got out of New Mexico and into Arizona, the landscape changed from barren desert and sagebrush to towering, beautiful, sandstone buttes. All made by wind and water.
Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Northeastern Arizona and Southern Utah. It was the setting for many of director John Ford’s Western Movies. The first was in 1939. The name of the movie was Stagecoach and of course it starred John Wayne.
The drive to Monument Valley…from New Mexico to Arizona, gradually got awesome. Please note the water tower in the 1st photo.
Monument Valley..You will probably see lots of pictures of the same background…one of me and one of Kip. The dogs will be in both.
Kip is really looking forward to our home for the night. We are staying at a beautiful RV Park located on the shores of Lake Powell.
Later that same day
I was unable to make a reservation at the beautiful RV park on the shores of Lake Powell. We didn’t have cell service all day and I forgot it was the week-end. That’s the danger of not knowing when you’re going to get somewhere.
It’s called Boondoggling 101..or..You Never know Who You’ll Run Into At Walmart.
We called everywhere within a 50 mile radius, but there was no room at the inn. I suggested we go to the Walmart we had seen on the way into Page. We needed a few things, and we could stop and figure out what to do. We noticed there were several very nice RV’s in the parking lot. Then we noticed they had their levelers down and the slide-outs were out. We found a pretty good spot and set up. We have a generator, and a fresh water tank, so we were good to go and feeling very grateful. There was no cable TV, but you never can find everything you want at Walmart. I’m kidding of course. I will never say a bad thing about Walmart again. This morning we counted 31 other RV’s who had camped out in the parking lot.
We found a spot this morning and made a reservation for two nights. We’re on our way there now. The plan is to set up and take the Jeep to the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon tomorrow. We might see Zion National Park on Monday.
It’s the end of the fifth day of our odyssey, and we’re having fun. We’ve had to tweak things here and there and every day surprises happen. I will say this, if it weren’t for GPS, no one would ever see us again. Today, I had a Good Sam’s GPS, a tablet, an Internet hotspot, my phone, and of all things, an Atlas in my lap. In spite of all these navigators, I still got us on the wrong road. I’m convinced it was the map that confused me.
I have however, done my usual great job of finding us the nicest RV parks. On two occasions, I got us the last spot with the full hook-ups we need. Taos was especially fun and the drive up into the mountains and back down was spectacular.
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge just outside of Taos. A gigantic crack in the earth, caused by volcanic activity. It is a long way to the bottom.
These pictures were taken at Taos Pueblo, which is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. Native Americans still live in the community of adobe houses and stores.
The picture on the top left is a Church built in 1619. The Church was destroyed twice. The first was the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. The second time was in 1847 when an uprising against US occupancy was led by Native and Hispanic forces. Governor Charles Bent was murdered. The US Calvery was sent for retribution. The people hid in the Church thinking they would be safe there. It was bombed by canons and over 100 local Pueblo men, women and children were killed. They never rebuilt the church. Instead they buried them all where they died.
The other photo is of Kip in the Courtyard of the San Geronimo Church built in 1850. It is a Catholic Church that still serves for Sunday mass.
The little adobe houses all have horno structures outside. They’re used for baking and heating. You can’t see it very well, but Kip is standing by one. We ate the best apricot pie I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was like a fried pie in shape, but it was baked by a cedar fire in a horno. The crust was light and flaky. We also bought some homemade choke cherry jelly.
The Red Willow Creek serves as the main source of water for the community.
Most of this I know because Kip told me. We all went on the guided tour, but Sammie and I had to excuse ourselves because she wouldn’t stop crying. We got bored waiting so we practiced taking selfies.
These were taken in the town square. The merchants sell everything from beautiful Indian jewelry, to sculptures, to T-shirts. There are several art galleries there as well. Kip and I settled for a Taos T-shirt. I wanted the doll, but I couldn’t afford even one of the feathers on her head. The bronze is called Lincoln’s Union. The figures on each side have women’s faces, but the bottoms depict a Union and a Confederate soldier.
The beautiful drive I was telling you about. We have had great weather. It’s been warm enough during the day, and cool at night.
We’re now in Farmington, New Mexico. Tomorrow we head for Arizona. We’re on our way to the North side of the Grand Canyon. I’m worried Sammie will cry again. Maybe we’ll be the only ones there.
It’s actually the beginning of day 4, and we’re in beautiful Taos, NM. We decided to bypass Santa Fe, (since we were there last year), and spend more time here and the Grand Canyon. We’ve covered 752 miles without much sightseeing, so we’re really looking forward to today. I’ll blog about it tomorrow with pictures.
We stayed in Santa Rosa, NM Monday night and the drive to Taos was mostly uphill. The fall colors were beautiful.
We’ve had a couple of RV issues, but nothing serious. We love our home away from home.
You know the definition of camping is don’t you?
“It’s when you spend a lot of money to go live like a homeless person.”
Kip is vacuuming and Interrupting my train of thought, so I’ll have more on the travels of “See Ya” later!
Sammie on the left, and Patti on the right, started getting a little nervous 2 days before we left.
Our first day is in the books and we did okay. We finished packing the RV, loaded up the 3 dogs and a cat, hooked up the Jeep and boogied. We drove 315 miles, which was a good distance considering we didn’t leave until after 10:00.
We stopped at an RV park in Snyder, Texas. This is not a pretty place. However, there is a water tower close by so I’ll snap a picture when it starts getting light out this morning. It sure won’t be a scenic one like all of you have been sending me. Here are two pics I snapped yesterday. I don’t think it’s going to work to take them out the window of the motor home.
It’s not true that all water towers look alike. Some are beautiful and some are ugly. These are ugly.
The animals and Kip soon fell into the routine that worked well for us last year. I am having to relearn everything. There are a lot of things to do when setting up at night and we each have assigned tasks. In the morning, we put our little house back in order and hit the road again.
It’s 400 miles from Snyder to Santa Fe, NM. I don’t know if we’ll make it all the way today. We plan to spend 2 nights and see the sights we missed when we were there last year.
You can’t see it in this photo, but Kip is setting up a plant watering system he found online last year. It has little tenacles (on timers) that you poke down in the dirt. It will water your plants as often and as much as you want while you’re gone The water is in a bucket sitting in the sink. We use one system for 3 plants. It worked great when we were gone for six weeks last fall.
You might recognize the golden retriever in the picture. We call her Cyndie, but some call her Pearl.
This plant is a hoya vine. Kip’s Grandmother brought the original plant from Germany many years ago. Most of our family and some friends have vines grown from slips off this one. We brought this plant with us when we moved to Texas from Colorado in 1986. It was the only plant that didn’t freeze in the moving van. It gets beautiful, fragrant flowers on it at different times during the year.
LESSON OF THE DAY: Must improve water tower recognition. Practice relearned skills such as turning on the TV.
It’s Monday morning at the Brick House. (Isn’t it always?) Next Pres Murdo Girl is in the Oblong office. She is waiting for her crack up reporter to get there. It seems everyone likes to hang out in the employee lounge, because it doesn’t have a phone. They’ve all figured out they can eat, drink and gossip at their leisure and without interruption. Murdo Girl makes a mental note to put a phone in the break room as soon as she can free up some funds. Murdo Girl makes a mental note to check on the crown sales. They practically had to tear those crowns off the contestants, but hey! A deal’s a deal. They all knew the crowns were to be sold, with the proceeds going to support the Brick House. Murdo Girl’s thoughts are interrupted. Yram has arrived and Lav is with her.
Murdo Girl: Thank you for coming Yram. Why are you here Lav?
Lav: Well since I found out I’m the designated survivor, I’ve made everything that goes on around here my business. You could turn sickly Next Pres and be unable to handle stuff. That would be a real game changer, now wouldn’t it? We sure wouldn’t want this place to identify with a false narrative.
Murdo Girl: A false what? Lav..do you even know what you’re talking about? I’ve got to talk to Yram. You can listen if you want to.
Yram: Sighing..What is it Next Pres? Are you going to fire me?
Murdo Girl: Not yet Yram. I’m going to give you another chance. I have lined up a really important interview for you, but I’ve got to get you off house arrest first, and get all those restraining orders lifted. In order to do that, you have to cop a plea. I made a deal with the devil.
Lav: Sitting on the edge of her seat…It’s Barney isn’t it MG? Barney is the devil.
Murdo Girl: Yes… Yram, you have to spend two nights locked up in the Jones County Jail. Yram’s eyes look funny. Her breathing is shallow. She is visibly shaken.
Lav: Ooh Next Pres, she doesn’t look so good. I gotta go. I’m not good with this kind of thing. Wait..It looks like she might be coming around.
Yram: Okay Murdo Girl…I’ll take one for the team. I’ll do what you have asked of me. I guess I was destined for martyrdom, or is it designed for martyrdom? You’re the designated survivor Lav. I guess I’m the lone survivor.
Murdo Girl: You won’t be going by yourself. Jerry is going with you. Barney said if I gave him Yram and one other member of my team, he would lift the Brick House arrest on everybody. Besides, Yram has to write letters to all the people who have restraining orders against her. That will take the better part of the two days she’ll be in jail. Jerry can help her.
Lav: Good idea Next Pres. Jerry has very good penmanship. He can even write that real pretty calligraphy. Mr. Palmer, Mr. Thune, Mr. Applebee, Mrs. Peters, and all those people from Gun Barrel will be impressed.
Yram: When do I have to turn myself in Murdo Girl? I can’t believe I’m going to spend time in the slammer. Yup..just like all those famous reporters who refused to give the names of their sources. I might just be the biggest hero this town has ever seen. I won’t say a word about whatever this is all about. I don’t care what they do to me. What do you think they’ll do to me MG?
Lav: Well Yram, I’m not an expert on this or anything, but I’ve talked to people and if they don’t get anything out of you by depriving you of sleep and food, they might hypnotize you.
Murdo Girl: Just go get your toothbrush Yram and I’ll have Braveheart drive you and Jerry over to the jailhouse in the Jeep. Any Questions?
Yram: Um Murdo Girl..What really great interview did you get me?
I have two favors to ask of you Murdo Girl readers. The first is a request from Judy Dykstra Brown. If you aren’t already following her blog, you should. I’m trying to learn from her. She is compiling a list of words people dislike intensely and should not be a part of the English language. I gave her amazing. I think it is an amazingly overused word. You can post a comment on facebook, or on the blog. You can also post it on Judy’s blog, Lifelessons. http://judydykstrabrown.com/
For my second request, I wrote a poem, and for a special treat, I have included another poem I received from a good friend.
As all of you know by now, The Espressofest, which was held yesterday at the Haug Land Field, is over and done with. It was billed as a Brick House fundraiser. The good news is, nobody has to count money. The bad news is, The Haug Land sign that was secured above the West goal post has to come down. Whoever ordered the sign put an extra H in Haug. It was spelled Haugh, which is incorrect. Personally, if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me, I never would have noticed it. Mr. Haugland, however did and proceeded to draw attention to the little gaff. Secondly, the football coach didn’t like the sign on the goal post. He said it would be in the line of vision of the kicker and mess with his concentration. It will go back up on the concession stand when we get one. The funds from the sale of the crowns from the Crown Contest should cover most of it. How much can a little concession stand cost?
That brings us to the Crown Contest. As promised, we are publishing the results. If you think the report was hastily put together, you could be right. Sherri had to draw as fast as her little pencils would go, and I have no idea who wrote the copy. I guess it was Treason. I know there are no interviews of the winner, because Yram had to leave early. It all worked out anyway, because I hear the winner can’t talk.
The following was reported to The Murdo Coyote Newspaper:
Below is a random sample of some of the would be Queens modeling their crowns
On the left is Sherri the Photographic Drawer. She even drew her own photograph, which can’t be easy. Sherri is such a dedicated drawer. She even made sure she had all the colors needed to exactly depict each entrant wearing their entry.
In the middle is Kim, who requested her last name not be published. Nevertheless, her red and gold crown is really beautiful and versatile. It fits her hairstyle perfectly, and it will add beauty to any outfit. Except maybe orange. I wouldn’t wear orange if I were you. Thank you Kim.
Next is Pearl, wearing her signature crown that doubles as an ashtray. All she has to do is flick her ashes inside the headpiece which is made of ceramic. She can place her burning cig between the crown spikes, that also function as a cigarette holder. There is room for more than one, but Pearl says if she has too many friends smoking with her, the top of her head gets overheated. Thank you Pearl. I understand you’re new in town. Welcome.
It’s important for The Brick House, otherwise known as The Peoples House, to show we do not discriminate, which is why we forced, excuse me ha, invited Don to bring his somewhat plain, but overwhelming crown. Good luck Don. It’s truly hard to believe the things you can make out of a coffee can and a little spray paint.
A I is the middle crown bearer. I think she looks amazing in her crown that has to be one of a kind. A I pilots the Coyote Administration’s airplane, otherwise known as Air Force Minus One. Just look at her jewel covered earphones. Thank you A I. I think you’ve got a real crack at winning this thing. CAN YOU HEAR ME A I?
Karen is the one in the middle. She doesn’t want her last name in print either, but she’s a sister to Kim, so maybe that’ll help you identify her. She has a really unique crown made from feathers and gold. That head bling just might bring a bundle at the Crown sale.
Third is some little girl with her cardboard birthday crown. There’s always next year honey. Maybe if you give the judges a piece of cake…
Now we’re getting down to the dregs. Looks like Sherri either ran out of the colors she needed or she was just plain tired.
Tammy forgot her crown, but she’s a sweet kid, so we let her wear her cute little hat.
Two and Three are holdovers from days gone by. Some people just can’t let go of the past. It’s kind of sad.
Anyway, we do have a winner. She was a last minute entrant, because she was just recently born. Her name is Murdo Baby. (Just kidding.)
Congratulations baby girl. There’s your prize cup. Maybe Mamma can figure out a way to make it a sippy cup. Be a good little girl and maybe someday all your dreams will come true. You can always run for Murdo Girl. She’s getting kind of long in the tooth, but if Queen E. can last through every Pres since Truman, so can I. I mean she.