We crossed the bridge at Astoria to go to Washington state. We traveled along the coastline of Washington going through cute little towns, enjoying the ocean views as we rode along. After being in the godforsaken desert for so long , it was so wonderful to see all the green and lush landscapes in the great Northwest!
We made our way to Oregon, after visiting Idaho. We wanted to see Portland and Astoria. Portland was our first stop. George found a great place to park our motorhome in Troutdale, Oregon, right outisde of Portland. Continue reading Oregon
Next stop was in northern Idaho to Hailey and Ketchum. I had read in my travel book, Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen, about the cemetery where Ernest Hemingway was buried. The grave stones of Ernest Hemingway and his fourth wife, Mary, are located in the small unassuming Ketchum cemetery. You would have never known such a famous author was buried there. On his grave site people have left a fly fishing rod, Pabst Blue Ribbon , Coors can, Knob Creek Bourbon, a wine glass and a writing pen. It is all just sitting atop Hemingway’s grave stone.
We made our way to a farm in Burley,Idaho to visit our nieces Alex and Libby. Alex lives on the farm with her boyfriend Zack. They actually had hook-ups for water and electric, how fantastic is that! We parked right at the edge of their lawn. We were greeted warmly by a goat named Charlie and a dog named Blue. Charlie the goat wanders around the yard just like the dog, they even know how to open the back door of the house and let themselves in if the door is left unlocked! How hilarious is that!!!
Day 1: We had a wonderful family visit with our son Andrew, his wife Jess and our grandson, Darryl. Andrew and family arrived at 1:00 AM to spend the night with us and then on to the Embassy Suites for the rest of their stay. Continue reading Albuquerque
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is near the Elephant Butte State park, it has the largest lake in New Mexico. Truth or Consequences used to be called Hot Springs. So there are several hot springs spas in town. We chose to go to River’s Bend Spa on the Rio Grand. It was a marvelous day; sunny blue skies, no wind, ducks, birds, flying fish and on the river in a pool of perfect 102 degree temperature. I have never been so relaxed in my entire life. I held George up in the water first moving him around in a circling motion. The he did the same for me. George described the feeling best by saying, “It’s almost sensory deprivation!” Worth a visit.
I started learning how to photograph the night sky so that I could try and capture the beauty of the sky in one of the few places left on Earth where it is actually dark at night. It is so dark here in Valley of the Gods, Utah, that when you step outside it takes a bit of adjustment to see at all, other than the stars above.
Anyway, after trying what seemed like a million different settings for my Canon Rebel T6i, I found a combination that worked really well. I got my info from an article on the web. Astrophotography Tips
Basically, the most critical setting is the f-stop. It needs to be set so the aperture is as wide as possible, which means a low number. Then the ISO needs to be set low too. This seemed counter intuitive to me, but high ISO with long exposures creates a “noisy” image. Finally, the length of the exposure.
So, I set the ISO to 200, the F-stop to 2 and exposed the image for 30 seconds using the remote control. Here is the final product, with no retouching.
We were meeting up with my daughter Jamie, her husband Andy and their children, Graham and Alex in San Diego.
Day 1: George and I arrived at the San Diego KOA in Chula Vista, California around 1:45 PM on January 25th. Beautiful sunny weather with a gorgeous campground. Which included a heated pool, jumping pillows, Surf Shack Shootout game, bikes and carriages to rent, rock climbing wall and a new Sandcastle Cafe. Jamie and family arrived around 2:30 PM to spend the night, they had flown in to San Diego from Madison, WI. We decided to check out the KOA and one of the first things we discovered was the wreckage of a motor home owned by a Canadian man. It was completely demolished by a huge tree. A small tornado had torn through the campground and uprooted several trees. The owner was out at a casino when the tree fell on his home so no one was hurt. Graham, Alex and I went to the pool to swim and enjoy the hot tub. Wow, it was January 25th and the kids came from freezing rain and snow to this, our first winter as snow birds!
We have been staying at Imperial Dam Bureau of Land Management in the most southeastern part of California. Yuma, Arizona is 24 miles away. It cost us $40.00 for 14 days. And they have water and dump stations including trash bins. Darn good deal! The landscape in this area is very diverse. At our campsite it is mountainous, sandy rocky soil, just as you would imagine.
We decided to head to southwest New Mexico. First stop during our travels to the southwest was Brantley Lake State Park outside of Carlsbad. We decided to stop in Artesia, just north of Carlsbad, to check out our old family home there. We haven’t been back in 34 years! The house was unrecognizable, almost, it looked horrible! Best to leave the past in the past.
Next stop, Las Cruses. We stayed at the KOA there and the KOA was located on a mesa overlooking the city. The view was pretty cool.
We were planning on staying at the City of Rocks State Park near Silver City but all the sites were taken. We did stop at the visitor center and parked so we could check out The City of Rocks. We wandered through the rock formations. The formations are made up of geological volcanic stones. Some of them are 40 feet high. The rocks were formed 34.9 million years ago. You can walk through the rocks with plenty of paths to choose from, the paths are just like walking on streets through a rock town. Gizzy liked it too. It really was impressive.