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.
I like to tell people my husband, George and I are fine tuning our Love-Hate relationship. All you housewives out there know what I mean. Especially able to perfect this when you live in a motor home full time with each other and three small pets, Gizzy, our pug and Olive and Pickles, our parakeets. George screwed a hook into one of the old plastic antenna covers in the ceiling. So their cage is off the ground and we don’t have to have a bird stand. We had started out with one. It is fun how you come up with the simplest ideas that work great and function well in a small space.
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.
We stayed at the Westerly RV park located outside of Durango, Colorado in between mountains. Across the street was a hot springs spa called the Trimble. It’s Colorado’s only geothermal waters, day spa and is open all year. George and I watched some women in the RV park walking around in robes and flip flops. We thought what the heck?! We discovered they were going to the hot springs which was a 30 second walk across the street. So we put on our suits and jackets and flip flaps and moseyed on over. Cook, our RV host gave us a half off coupon to the spa and for the two of us it was $18.00. They had a hot springs pool and also the biggest heated outdoor pool around. The hot springs pool was divided into two parts. One end was 103 degrees and the other end was 107 degrees. We sat in the 103 degree side first, then made our way to the hotter side, it was so breathtaking looking up at the mountain and blue sky sitting in this pool, wow! It was November and here we were outside in our bathing suits relaxing in the hot springs. Talk about the life of Riley. Continue reading Durango
A little over a hundred miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico is a state park called Bluewater. It is a very well maintained park with new buildings springing up. It is open all year round with hook-ups for electricity at some sites as well as primitive sites for those with tents. There are water faucets throughout the park; there are no water hook-ups at individual sites. But the water does run all year, according to Darrin, an employee at the park. There is also a dump station. We payed $4.00 per night with the annual pass which we had purchased earlier in our travels.
George, my husband, had told me he read about wild horses roaming the area. We decided to walk down the boat ramp to get to the lake. A shimmering, glassy lake appeared. The lake lies in a valley. Across the lake is the town of Bluewater Acres. We could see horses at the waters edge grazing and drinking water below the village. But not until the next day, did we see wild horses on our side of the lake.
Santa Rosa is a small town in New Mexico which has a state park called Santa Rosa Lake State Park. The park has a dam and the lake is beautiful but hard to get down to the shoreline. It is located seven miles outside of Santa Rosa on a winding SH 91. We decided to buy a annual pass for $240.00 which is good for all the state parks in New Mexico. We only had to pay $4.00 per night here. It normally would have been $14.00 per night without the pass. The best part is the park is open all year and you can stay up to 14 days and then you need to leave the park for 6 days before returning.
We are planning on returning for the winter season. The annual average snow fall for this area is 6 to 8 inches. And the average temperature high/low is 55/34. The park offers 25 electric sites, rest rooms and a dump station. Some of the electric sites also have water. This is all located in the Rocky Point Camping area and this area also has a nice playground.