Friday, September 30, 2016


Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 57 Periods of Sun High 78) 

Wednesday was a day of errands, eating at a Diners Drive Ins and Dives (DDD) place, and walking around Old Town. We first picked up our Escapees mail forwarding envelope from the US Post Office near Old Town. Then we drove to a place that was on DDD, Golden Crown Panaderia, an old fashioned neighborhood bakery that also serves food. Upon entering we both got a free Biscochito, a crisp cookie that is the state cookie of New Mexico.

We decided that we were going to take a break from green chile so we ordered a pizza. We weren't, however, going to take a break from local cuisine, so we ordered a blue corn crust for our combo pizza.

Jo also ordered a coffee flavored shake that they are famous for. The pizza and shake were very good plus the pizza came with two additional Biscochito cookies. We also ordered a couple of pumpkin empanadas to go. Another place to eat at each time we visit. Pretty soon we are going to have to stay a month to eat at every place we like.

We then took a rosary to be repaired at the place Bob bought it for Jo many years ago when she joined the church. Of course we then had to walk around Old Town stopping in a few shops along the way.

We then did some more grocery shopping to make sure we can stay in the park and not have to fight the traffic. Here are a couple photos of the launch field again, these are Thursday's photos. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 53 Partly Sunny High 82) 

After the very excellent smoked chicken green chile stew at Camp TC we continued our green chile adventure. After we got setup Monday at the Balloon Fiesta Bob drove to Sadie's and got the Roberto's Special. The queso, beans and papitas are amazing.

Tuesday was a shopping day but we had to fortify ourselves with a good brunch. After a search of Yelp and other sources we decided on Vic's Daily Cafe and we are so glad that we did. Bob got a Navajo huevos rancheros with was hashbrowns, whole beans, cheese, eggs, and green chile on Navajo frybread.

Jo got the Athenean omelet which was a spinach, feta, and olives in an omelet. Both meals were excellent and we are already thinking about when can we eat here again.

After lunch we shopped at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. We figure once the Balloon Fiesta begins we will just eat leftovers and out of the refrigerator and freezer. Hopefully the only time we drive out of here after Saturday will be on the way to the RV park just north of here.

Since it is pumpkin season our pumpkin radar is on maximum. We found a Captain Morgan's pumpkin spice rum, Lindt Lindor pumpkin spice candies and pumpkin seeds.

After that we stopped and got another dozen of Krispy Kreme pumpkin spice donuts.

Looks like we picked a bad time to go on a diet :-)

We continue the view of the launch field as the Balloon Fiesta draws closer, this is from Wednesday afternoon. Still not much activity but there are a lot of golf carts lined up in the first photo that weren't there yesterday.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 47 Periods of Clouds and Sun High 83) 

You just knew that once we chose 30a that it was going to get warmer didn't ya. We should be OK with low 80s and high 70s.

When we got the call about Furnace Creek Resort and RV Campground that there would be no full hookups for our 2 week stay we knew we would have to make other plans. We just don't do dry camping. So Death Valley goes back on the bucket list but now what to do for those two weeks.

On a whim Bob called the Stagecoach Stop RV Park in Rio Rancho just north of the launch field. He even begged the guy not to laugh at him when he asked if we could come in on the 5th and stay for a week putting us here the entire run of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. He didn't laugh and said he had a site. Now the rates are higher during the Balloon Fiesta but we already figured that. Now if it rains during our stay near the launch field 

we have a few more days to see balloons. We especially wanted to see the special shapes which would be the day after we leave. If the wind is right, and it usually is, the balloons go right over this park.

Then we got to thinking where to spend the other week that we now have free. We have always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park in Williams Arizona and ride the train to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Turns out they had openings and we are now booked there for a week. Once we get there we will choose the best weather day to ride the train.

That is the great thing about being retired and this lifestyle, there is always something to do if you are just flexible enough to go with the flow. Flexible enough to trade one bucket list item for another.

We'll end with a view of the launch field as of Tuesday afternoon. Still kinda sparse with certainly more to follow. We don't know when the setup will begin.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 46 Partly Sunny High 76) 

We are glad that we got here early on Monday morning and very thankful to the folks at Camp TC that allowed us to moochdock Sunday evening. There were about 10 rigs ahead of us when we got in line, most of which we later found out had gotten here beginning Sunday morning and dry camped. We got here about 740a for a 8a checkin and was a little surprised there weren't more in front of us and more after us. Here we all are waiting.

We were a little miffed that there were already RVs that were parked. We later found out that there were a number of reserved spots for VIPs and dignitaries, even though the website said first come first served rally style parking.

At 8a the RVs pulled into the campground and checked in at the kiosk. 

That was when it got even more confusing because 1 guy was driving 2 motorhomes plus there was a group of 4 motorhomes that wanted to be together. The rest of us behind them maintained our composure as one guy said, "we have all week to get parked" since the Balloon Fiesta doesn't start until Saturday, October 1st. Since there were a number of sites that were empty yet reserved we had to be parked individually so it took awhile.

We had a big decision to make right away when it was our turn, 30amp versus 50amp. We are going to surprise a lot of folks because we went with 30amps since those sites were closer to the launch field. The front row sites are all configured for a motorhome, that is the backin site puts the front of the motorhome and its big front window with a great view towards the launch field. Most of the 2 front rows were reserved even though they were empty. We chose a 2nd row site that has a good line of sight between the 2 RVs in the first row. Here is a picture out our back window of the launch field.

After getting setup and meeting the nicest couple from Maryland also here for the first time, Garnett and Jackie, we walked around to get familiar with our new surroundings. Here are a couple Monday afternoon shots of the launch field, certainly going to get more activity as the week progresses.

We are also close enough that we can easily take our chairs closer to the bluff overlooking the launch field. Plus we are amongst the VIPs, supposedly right next to the Mayor. Wonder how Fred Hoiberg got tickets :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 26, 2016


Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 50 Partly Cloudy High 68) 

We did what is affectionately called 'moochdocking' at a friends place in Albuquerque yesterday. They had a 30amp power cord that we ran so that we could run our air conditioners and we used the onboard water and the water pump. Here we are parked in front of their house, Camp TC.

If you look closely in the above picture you will see Sandra looking out. Here it is up close.

Camp TC was an excellent time. Not only were we only about 5 miles from the Balloon Fiesta but they had set a recording for the Chiefs game in case we were late. During the game we got served queso and salsa and chips. We brought some beer from Wisconsin and they had some local beer. Following the game they combined to whip up an incredible smoked chicken green chile stew. They said they wanted our first meal in Albuquerque to have green chile. All the while we had a great time.

This allowed us to get a real good shot at getting a good spot in the President's Campground at Balloon Fiesta Park. The festivities don't begin until Saturday so we plan to take advantage of the less traffic and do some sightseeing, OK mostly eating out, but that's sightseeing isn't it? 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Currently in Santa Rosa NM (Low 50 Windy Currently 55)
Heading to Albuquerque NM (Currently 51 Clouds and Sun High 74) 

We left Amarillo yesterday and headed to Santa Rosa New Mexico. Something bad happened on the Interstate and we got caught in the traffic.

After stop and go traffic on the Interstate for a long time we got detoured to a frontage road for about 7 miles. We finally did arrive safely and are staying at the Santa Rosa Campground. Luckily it was one of our shorter days.

It was approximately 160 miles, this is the route we took.

We were there only 1 night as we continue our trip to Albuquerque today.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Currently in Amarillo TX (Low 60 A Morning Thunderstorm in The Area Currently 65)
Heading to Santa Rosa NM (Currently 50 Times of Cloud and Sun High 79) 

As fulltime RVers residing in the great state of Texas we sometimes are out of state when we renew our registrations for the Lifestyle and Ford F-350. Safety inspections are part of the registration renewal which we have to complete shortly after reentering the state.

We pulled the Lifestyle and truck into the inspection place in Amarillo yesterday morning. We stayed hooked up and the Lifestyle was inspected with no problems. We unhooked and moved to the truck. The first glimmer of Bob's day from hell starts here. The insurance card Bob had in his wallet did not have an expiration date so Bob called the insurance office and had them fax the information. The fax machine received the first fax signal and died during printing. A second phone call with the same results. A third phone call and an email was sent which thankfully worked.

The truck failed the inspection, bad emergency brake, which the shop we were at couldn't fix until next week. Called the nearest Ford dealership who could get us in at 1:30 p.m. So we went back to the RV park and unhooked and setup the Lifestyle for one more night in Amarillo and had lunch.

Bob was so anxious to get this fixed he gets there 10 minutes early and they take the truck right away which are all good signs so far. Then the hammer drops. A seal is leaking onto the emergency brake pads so no friction and the pads are kinda thin might as well replace them since everything all tore out. Oh and the pads on the truck brakes are also kinda thin and might as well replace those too. Service tech said almost getting a free brake job since all the labor is going into getting to the seals. Brakes are kinda important so Bob says go ahead. The bad news is their time estimate is between 5 and 5:30 p.m. which is after the first inspection places closes and they are not open on Saturday morning.

Bob's day from hell continues with having to pay for the inspection twice. Not planning on 4 plus hours in the service lounge cellphone battery gets dangerously low. Luckily we have a mobile powerstation so Bob retrieved that from the truck but that one also ran down leaving Bob without any connectivity for about an hour.

5p came and the only update Bob could get was that the seal on the both sides were bad. 530p came and was told they were wrapping it up. Bob is now a little worried since they close at 6p.

The time on the credit card receipt was exactly 6p but now the day goes from bad to worse. Bob checks the emergency brake as soon as he gets into the truck and still not working. Luckily the service adviser was still there and showed it to him. Although the place does work on Saturday mornings they are swamped and have the JV brake guy so he wouldn't be much help plus we would probably be there 2-4 hours putting our trip to Santa Rosa today in jeopardy. 

Bob inquired about getting it fixed down the road and the service adviser said to have the Ford service place call him. So after 5 hours the problem brought to the shop still was not fixed although the truck passed inspection.

But the day still has some spunk left in it. Bob tries calling Jo and gets the "this number is no longer in service" message not once but twice, but he can text her so go figure. The GPS on his phone also wasn't working so he navigated to the restaurant by memory. Then after getting diesel then supper takeout and heading back he gets a phone call that when he checks the voicemail later says that Furnace Creek won't be having full hookup sites in Death Valley this fall as they have had electrical problems. Dry camping sites are available but as our loyal readers know, we don't do dry camping. So it looks like Death Valley may be off our list for this year.

Bob has called the service department at an Albuquerque Ford dealership and they are supposed to call back. We leave today for Santa Rosa New Mexico getting ever closer to our visit at the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque and the fun time dealing with the emergency brake.

Sorry no pictures but days from hell don't deserve pictures except for this is what greeted Jo when Bob got home.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, September 23, 2016


Currently in Amarillo TX (Low 63 Breezy with Sunshine High 87) 

Bob picked up the truck Wednesday afternoon so we took off for Amarillo Texas yesterday. We are staying at the Oasis RV Resort. Luckily we had a reservation because they were turning people away while Bob was checking in.

It was approximately 275 miles, a very long day for us, this is the route we took.

The truck performed admirably so maybe that problem is behind us. Ahead of us today are visits to get the RV and the truck inspected. Since the inspection places don't open on Saturdays we had to get here during the week. That and wanting to get to Albuquerque on Sunday were the deciding factors to have a very long day for us.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Currently in Oklahoma City OK (Low 65 Mostly Sunny Currently 70) 
Heading to Amarillo TX (Currently 62 Mostly Sunny High 88)

Catching up on our recent stay in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan (the Soo). While there we went to Mass at a beautiful church, actually a Pro-Cathedral. The Holy Name of Mary parish has quite a history. It was founded by Father Marquette (yeah that Marquette) in 1668. Only the parishes in St. Augustine Florida and Santa Fe New Mexico are older. The current Pro-Cathedral, the fifth church for the parish was built in 1881 and was the original Cathedral church for the Diocese of Marquette.

The flowers outside

The inside is gorgeous

A closeup of the sanctuary with stained glass and a mural.

Madonna and child


Choir loft

The Upper Peninsula has a lot of beautiful old churches and this is one for sure, especially with the history of the parish. 

The truck was finished yesterday afternoon so we are leaving today and Lord willing and the truck works we are headed to Amarillo Texas.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Currently in Oklahoma City OK (Low 70 Partly Sunny and Very Warm High 92) 

When life gives us lemons, like 'Service Engine Soon', we eat out. But as you know we eat out a lot anyway :-)

Bob checked his list and Yelp, etc. and we decided on Ingrid's Kitchen that was on his list. He wishes that he had written down who recommended it to thank them because it was wonderful. We ended up splitting a Reuben and a small order of the weiner schnitzel.

Both were excellent. Also on the list was bread, which was served with the schnitzel and was great, and desserts. We got a fudge maple brownie and pumpkin bread for later, sorry did not take pictures. Take our word for it that they were also good. The best though was a pumpkin cookie that Jo thinks was even better than the Krispy Kreme donuts and that is high praise indeed. We'd like to go back today but we are afraid that we won't be able to control ourselves.

We got a call from the truck service place and the "Service Engine Soon" icon was for a fuel pressure problem that is solved by reprogramming. Should be done later this afternoon, less costly than some of the alternatives we were considering. If that is the case we will continue our trek to Albuquerque tomorrow with a planned stop in Amarillo.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Currently in Oklahoma City OK (Low 67 Mostly Sunny and Very Warm High 94) 

While we were "planning" on being in Clinton Oklahoma last night and tonight we ended up in Oklahoma City. Why you ask? Our truck is having some issues where we suddenly go into "limp mode" which cuts the power significantly. It is its way of trying to protect itself from a problem we are having. 

This happens only when towing as we had the problem just before the RV Park in Claremore but ran the truck the next three days on errands and no problems. We of course were towing today and went into "limp mode". Bob pulled off the shoulder and turned the ignition on and off a few times and were able to move on down the road. Then it happened again and then this light appeared on the dash.

We got out the manual and found out that meant "Service Engine Soon". Since we were about 15 minutes from Oklahoma City we decided to go at least that far, but no further. After checking for RV Parks we decided on the Twin Fountains RV Park which we have stayed before.

After unhooking Bob tried the Ford dealership and was told at least a week before their diesel guy could take a look. They recommended a company that is also busy but can look at it in a couple of days. Bob took the truck this morning so they could work on it as soon as they are able and to get new shocks. We are renting a car until the truck is fixed. Hopefully we will be able to get to the International Balloon Fiesta early RV parking next Monday.

We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, September 19, 2016


Currently in Claremore OK (Low 63 Mostly Sunny Currently 66)
Heading to Clinton OK (Currently 70 Sunny High 94)

Every once in awhile on the Escapees RV Club forums there is a discussion on the best pie to be had across the country. Hammett House Restaurant in Claremore was mentioned. Along with the pie the food was also said to be good so we decided to go there for lunch. One dish you don't see everywhere is lamb fries, aka Rocky Mountain Oysters. Hammett House also has turkey fries so we got a half order of each with fried okra.

That set the tone for the rest of the meal. We also split an order of chicken livers and fried green tomatoes.

Since everything was fried we were healthy in the choice of "Skinny Soup" (vegetable) and we drank water. Like we said earlier they had us at pie. Here is one of their signature pies, sour cream raisin. Here is Jo sampling the whipped cream topping.

We also got a piece of lemon pecan pie.

All the food was excellent and we would visit there again. Maybe even try some non-fried items. We have enough leftovers for a few meals so we will be having more fried stuff in the near future. We leave Claremore today and head to Clinton Oklahoma but we would like to visit here again if only to eat at Hammett House. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Currently in Claremore OK (Low 59 Partly Sunny and Humid High 87) 

When we decided to stay at the KOA at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore Oklahoma we had no idea how close we were going to be to the action. It was great to see the horses exercise in the morning. Here is the view from our rear window showing how close we are to the track.

Shortly after we got here a race was starting up so we got closer. We could see the Grandstand.

The starting gate getting ready.

Here are the horses heading for the starting gate.

Getting loaded.

And they're off.

A nice bonus to our stay in Claremore.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo