Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicago, IL - 10/22/13

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Tuesday – October 22, 2013
Chicago, Illinois

We spent a restful night at the Pilot Truck Stop in Hayti, Missouri and departed there at 6:40 a.m. We stopped for a hearty breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Marion, Illinois. Refreshed, we continued on our journey to Chicago. We arrived home at 4:10 p.m.

Our late summer adventure that began on August 19, 2013 encompassed a 7,499 mile journey that took us through 10 States over a period of two months. We had a wonderful time meeting new friends and exploring the scenic wonders of our National Parks in Colorado and Utah. The government shutdown on October 2, 2013 prevented us from visiting other National Parks in Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This unexpected event caused us to change our plans and provided us with the opportunity to attend the Annual Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Such is our life on the road, with no time restraints that require us to be at a certain place at a certain time, we have the freedom to change course as circumstances dictate.

Total miles traveled today: 455

Tomorrow we begin to plan our snowbird adventure for 2013.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Memphis BBQ Co, MS - 10/21/13

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Monday – October 21, 2013
The Memphis BBQ Co.
Horn Lake, Mississippi

We departed the Rocky Point COE Campground in Texarkana, Texas at 10:30 a.m. On our way home to Chicago, we made a stopover in the Memphis area to partake of their delicious BBQ.

We originally discovered The Memphis BBQ Co. on the Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives program on The Food Network cable channel. Our first visit to this restaurant was in April 2013. It is located 15 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. It is a large restaurant, conveniently located adjacent to a Strip Mall, with the mall parking lot suitable for RV parking.

We arrived at the Memphis BBQ Co. at 4:20 p.m. We ordered the fried green tomatoes as an appetizer and split a full-slab of baby back ribs for our main course. The main courses come with two sides and include a slice of corn bread. The baby back ribs were juicy and succulent. The fried green tomatoes, corn bread, rice and beans, corn-on-the-cob and coleslaw were delicious. Needless to say, we left the restaurant well fed and a bit overstuffed! Our server, Quentin, was the best! We had a different server during our visit here in March 2013, but we noticed Quentin at that time, and how attentive he was to his customers. We were fortunate to be seated at one of his tables this afternoon. He took very good care of us.

We departed the Memphis BBQ Co. at 5:40 p.m. Our plan was to spend the night at a Walmart in Sikeston, Missouri. A light rain started to fall a few miles north of Blytheville, Arkansas. It was getting dark out and we needed gas. We stopped at a Pilot Truck Stop in Hayti, Missouri at 7:35 p.m. We had refueled here in March 2013. It is a safe place to spend the night, so this will be our home for tonight.

Total miles traveled today: 411

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Little House Customs, TX - 10/19/13


Saturday – October 19, 2013
Little House Customs - Yantis, Texas
Rocky Point COE Campground - Texarkana, Texas

We departed the South Sulphur Campground at the Cooper Lake State Park in Sulphur Springs, Texas at 8:45 a.m. We arrived at Little House Customs in Yantis, Texas at 10:00 a.m.

Little House Customs (LHC) is well known to owners of Casita Travel Trailers. The owners, Larry and Debbie, provide a mail-order business of parts and accessories for our trailers. They also provide installation services for numerous upgrades on Casita and other fiberglass trailers, at their shop in Yantis and also at fiberglass trailer rally’s.

On this visit LHC will install an Orbital Receiver Hitch, an Orbital Spare Tire Carrier and a Max-Air Window Vent on our rear window. They will also install a "Hard Start Capacitor Kit" on our air conditioner. I had purchased the capacitor kit from them last year to have on hand as a spare. Now that we will be running the air conditioner with the Honda Generator EU2000I, this modification will put less of a load on the generator, as the compressor on the air conditioner cycles on and off.

All of the items were installed and we were on our way at 2:45 p.m. We arrived at the Rocky Point COE Campground in Texarkana, Texas at 4:45 p.m. This campground just reopened on Thursday, after the government shutdown was finally resolved on Wednesday. We selected one of our favorite campsites, #37, that overlooks the lake. We will spend two nights here. This has become one of our favorite campgrounds in Texas. We have stayed here before, in December 2012 and again in March 2013.

Camping Fee: $20.00 per night (50% discount for Golden Age Passport holders).

Total miles traveled today: 156

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cooper Lake SP, TX - 10/17/13


Thursday – October 17, 2013
Cooper Lake State Park
Sulphur Springs, Texas

We awoke to a sunny blue sky, warmer weather and the sound of thousands of birds chirping, here at the Walmart in Sulphur Springs, Texas. Around 6:30 a.m. there was absolute quiet, all of the birds, at one time, suddenly departed, to continue on their migration south. In their wake were left numerous bird droppings and feathers throughout the Walmart parking lot. Note to self… never, ever, park again in the fly zone of migrating birds!

We stopped at a self-carwash in Sulphur Springs to clean our Ford E-150 Van and Casita Trailer from the road grime we had accumulated over the past two and one-half months of travel, plus now the newly deposited bird residue.

After completing the cleanup task at the carwash, we arrived at the South Sulphur Campground at the Cooper Lake State Park in Sulphur Springs, Texas at 9:45 a.m. We set up our newly cleaned van and trailer in campsite #41. We had spent three nights here in March 2013, and will spend two nights here on this visit.

In the afternoon we took a 4.8-mile hike through the state park campgrounds. There are four campgrounds here: Bright Star, Deer Haven, Oak Grove and Buggy Whip. We are staying in Bright Star that has 46 campsites with 50-amp electric service and water hookups at each site. Dear Haven has 40 campsites with 30-amp electric service and water hookups at each site. Oak Grove is located in the Deer Haven loop and has 15 walk-in tent only campsites. Buggy Whip is an equestrian only campground with 15 campsites. Each campsite has electric and water hookups and a hitching rail structure for several horses.

While we were walking through Buggy Whip we spotted an armadillo scurrying about in the bushes, busily feeding on insects. It seemed to be oblivious to our presence, as it would scurry to a spot, dig at the earth with its front legs and devour whatever it was it dug up. This feeding pattern repeated itself until it was within six feet of us and noticed our presence. It swiftly turned around and hightailed it into the bushes. Within moments, it was back to its feeding frenzy. We encountered another Armadillo in Deer Haven and another one later in the afternoon in our campsite. This state park apparently has a habitat quite suitable for the armadillo.

Camping Fee: $16.00 per night plus $5.00 per person, per day, state park entry fee.

Total miles traveled today: 26

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Casita Factory, TX - 10/16/13


Wednesday – October 16, 2013
Rice, Texas

We departed the American RV Park in Corsicana, Texas at 12:45 p.m. under an overcast sky and chilly weather, with frequent rain showers forecast throughout the day. A cold front came through yesterday and the temperature will only hit 60 degrees F today. We stopped at the Walmart in Corsicana to get a few items before proceeding on to the Casita Trailer factory in Rice, Texas. We arrived at the factory at 2:10 p.m. and dropped our trailer off to have some fiberglass repaired on the back of the trailer. Our spare tire had worn a shallow groove into the fiberglass there and needed to be repaired. We have since remounted the spare tire to a carrier mounted on the bumper.

The Casita factory’s service hours start at 3:30 p.m. I presume this is because they must pull production workers from the assembly line to perform customer maintenance. They request customers’ requiring maintenance have their trailers at the factory by 2:30 p.m.

We picked our trailer up at 4:15 p.m. The Casita maintenance personnel did a wonderful job of repairing the fiberglass in such a short period of time. We are happy campers!

We arrived at the Walmart in Sulphur Springs, Texas at 6:35 p.m. This will be our home for tonight.

Upon our arrival we were greeted by thousands of birds in the Walmart parking lot. They literally cover portions of the parking lot and every tree is filled with them. I think they are Starlings and migrating south for the winter. Their incessant chirping continues unabated and is so loud one must raise their voice to be heard. We are hopeful they will quiet down when it gets dark.

Total miles traveled today: 114

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Corsicana, TX - 10/15/13

Tuesday – October 15, 2013
Corsicana, Texas

We departed the Walmart in Abilene, Texas at 9:10 a.m., under an overcast sky, with a forecast of heavy rain to inundate the northern region of Texas. As we proceeded east on I-20, we could see the dark rain clouds forming in the distance. In short order, we were driving into a fairly heavy rain. The semi-trucks passing us created an additional hazard with the significant water spray generated from their trailers.

Our route took us east on I-20 to south on US-287 to south on I-45 to the Casita Factory at exit 237 on I-45. We needed to reschedule an appointment with the factory to repair a section of the fiberglass on the rear of our trailer. We were originally scheduled to have the repair performed on 10/23/13. Fortunately, they were able to accommodate our request and scheduled the repair for 10/16/13. While we were at the factory, we checked out the design changes they have made to the new models. While there, we purchased some push-button latches, as spares, for our cabinet doors.

We arrived at the American RV Park in Corsicana, Texas at 2:45 p.m. This private campground is located about 11 miles south of the Casita factory. This will be our home base for one night.

Total miles traveled today: 230

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Abilene, TX - 10/14/13

Monday – October 14, 2013
Abilene, Texas

Time to leave the sand and the zillions of flies behind us, here at the Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico. We departed the campground at 10:20 a.m. and headed east on US-380. This route will take us into the panhandle of Texas and eventually connect with Interstate 20.

We arrived in Abilene, Texas at 4:00 p.m. We had an early dinner at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant and then settled into a 24-hour Walmart, located next to the restaurant. This will be our home for the night along with a few other RV’s and semi-trucks.

The weather in Texas is warm and humid. It feels so good to be back in a humid environment. Our skin really dried out from the time we spent in the desert environments of Utah and New Mexico.

Total miles traveled today: 310

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

UFO Museum, NM - 10/12/13

Saturday – October 12, 2013
International UFO Museum
Roswell, New Mexico

Another beautiful, warm, sunny day here at the Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico. Time to go exploring at the International UFO Museum in Roswell.

Roswell is most popularly known for having its name attached to what is now called the 1947 Roswell UFO incident, even though the crash site of the alleged UFO was some 75 miles from Roswell and closer to Corona. The investigation and debris recovery was handled by the local Roswell Army Air Field.

Roswell has benefited from interest in the alleged UFO incident of 1947. It was the report of an object that crashed in the general vicinity in June or July 1947, allegedly an extraterrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of conspiracy theories as to the true nature of the object that crashed. The United States Armed Forces maintains that what was recovered was debris from an experimental high-altitude helium weather and surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program named "Mogul" however, many UFO proponents maintain that an alien craft was found and its occupants were captured, and that the military then engaged in a cover-up. In recent times, the business community has deliberately sought out tourists interested in UFOs, science fiction, and aliens.

We spent about two hours at the UFO museum. The museum has an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, documents and affidavits that support the claims by residents in July 1947, that an unknown craft, crash-landed near Roswell, with four occupants in it. Affidavits from eyewitnesses to this event at the time, civilian, former air force officers and enlisted personnel, seem to provide substantial credibility that a cover-up story was fabricated by the U.S. Government at the time and that it maintains to this date.

University professors, students and UFO aficionados continue to conduct research at the crash site, looking for any evidence that an unidentified object did indeed crash here in 1947.

Is anybody out there? Stay tuned!

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Mine That Bird, NM - 10/12/13

Saturday – October 12, 2013
Mine That Bird
Roswell, New Mexico

A few miles east of Roswell, on US-380 is the Double Eagle Ranch and Training Center. This ranch is home to the horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 2009, "Mine That Bird." We decided to check it out and took the 1.5-mile drive on NM-254 (White Mill Road), that runs south of US-380, to the ranch. It is a large ranch with training facilities geared toward the training and medical treatment of racehorses.

During our travels through Florida and Kentucky we are accustomed to seeing the numerous racehorse farms in those states. So, we were fascinated to happen upon the Double Eagle Ranch in New Mexico.

Besides seeing numerous horses out in the fields, while passing another ranch we were rewarded with the sight of several Texas Longhorn steers grazing in a field. Their horns were massive and are reported to extend as much as 7 feet tip to tip on some breeds.

The area east of Roswell is known as the dairy capital of southeastern New Mexico. On another side road we traveled on, we passed what appeared to be several dairy farms. We were amazed at the high density of cattle that were crammed into, what appeared to us, to be relatively small holding areas. The pungent smell emanating from these farms is overwhelming and will clear up any sinus congestion quite quickly.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Roswell, NM - 10/11/13

Friday – October 11, 2013
Roswell, New Mexico

We spent a very restful evening at a 24-hour Walmart in Roswell, New Mexico. We departed the Walmart at 7:40 a.m. and arrived at the Bottomless Lakes State Park, 12 miles east of Roswell on US-380. We selected campsite #16 at the Lea Lake Recreation Area. This will be our home base for three days while we explore Roswell.

Bottomless Lakes are a chain of eight lakes that are actually sinkholes that range from 17 to 90 feet deep. They were formed when circulating water dissolved salt and gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns. Eventually, the roofs of the caverns collapsed from their own weight. Sinkholes resulted and soon filled with water and formed the existing lakes.

Lea Lake Recreation Area contains a 15 surface acre lake with 32 campsites with utility hook-ups and 27 developed sites with no hook-ups. Sites 1 through 6 have sewer, electric and water. Sites 7 through 32 have electric and water only. There is a three-mile, paved road to the entrance of the campground. The road is a bit rough throughout the three miles. There is a gravel road within the campground, with gravel pads for RV’s. Facilities include restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. There is one dump station within the campground. Free WiFi is available at each campsite. We also have Internet access through our T-Mobil service provider.

Camping Fee: $14.00 per day. ($4.00 per day with a New Mexico annual pass.)

Total miles traveled today: 22

Once we had our campsite set up, it was time to tend to a few chores. Sharon found the location for a Laundromat in Roswell on her smartphone. Time to do the laundry! We also need to get some flypaper. We have never seen so many flies. They are not the biting kind, but they are everywhere! The Walmart was sold out of flypaper. We did find some at the Home Depot. They were almost sold out too. A sales associate there told me the flypaper sells like crazy this time of year. I guess the fly problem must be a seasonal thing. We installed the flypaper in our trailer and we are now fly-free.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Las Cruces, NM - 10/10/13

Thursday – October 10, 2013
Nellie’s Café – Las Cruces, New Mexico
Walmart – Roswell, New Mexico

The winds really picked up last night, here at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. Wind gusts approaching 50 mph are expected to prevail throughout the day and finally subside by 8:00 p.m., in the southern portion of New Mexico. Since the soil in this part of New Mexico is mostly sand, sandstorms are blowing everywhere, obliterating the view of mountains in the distance. New Mexico's department of transportation has issued a travel advisory for high profile vehicles. Extra caution will be required while traveling today.

We departed Elephant Butte State Park at 10:30 a.m. We were planning to spend two nights at the Leasburg Dam State Park, while we visited Las Cruces, New Mexico. The state park is located about 15 miles north of Las Cruces. Unfortunately, the state park campsites did not appeal to us, so we scrapped our plan to use this campground as a home base while we visited Las Cruces.

We decided to tow our trailer into Las Cruces, have lunch there, and then continue on to Roswell, New Mexico. While traveling south on I-25, a few miles north of Las Cruces, we noticed all of the northbound traffic was being diverted off of the Interstate to a checkpoint. The checkpoint is a permanent facility; similar to a truck weigh station. We later learned, this checkpoint is manned by Homeland Security personnel checking for illegal aliens and drug smuggling.

We arrived at Nellie’s Café in Las Cruces at 1:15 p.m. We discovered this restaurant using the Yelps application on our smartphone. It received a four-star rating from reviewers as an authentic Mexican restaurant, serving great food. This restaurant did not disappoint! It is a small, family-owned restaurant, serving great tasting Mexican food. Bring cash, because credit cards are not accepted at this establishment.

After satisfying our desire for an authentic Mexican meal, we continued on our journey. We traveled east on US-70 through the White Sands Missile Range in-route to Roswell. White sands is an appropriate description. The sand through this area is pure white. Several miles east of Las Cruces, we were diverted off of US-70 through a Homeland Security checkpoint. The security guard looked us over, asked us if we were U.S. citizens and then waved us on.

We arrived at a 24-hour Walmart in Roswell, New Mexico at 5:50 p.m. A sign painted on one of the window panels at Walmart read "Welcome to Roswell," with several alien characters painted on the window panel. We settled in for a relaxing night’s rest with our newfound "alien friends" and eight other RV’s.

Total miles traveled today: 275

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ghost Town, NM - 10/09/13

Wednesday – October 9, 2013
Ghost Town
Chloride, New Mexico

We awoke to a blustery, windy morning here at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. This is our last day here and we will visit a ghost town in Chloride.

Chloride is located 42 miles northwest of our campground. The journey to the ghost town takes the visitor on NM-52, a two-lane paved, somewhat bumpy road. Steep hills and a winding road are encountered along the way, with several 25-mph curves and one 10-mph curve. The road crosses over several dry riverbeds that show the deep gorges that flash floods have exacted on the surrounding terrain over time. During the hot summer months, the water evaporates and strong winds create mini-sand dunes on the road where it crosses over the dry riverbed. The county then employs front-end loaders to clear the sand from the road.

Chloride was founded in 1880 after Englishman Henry Pye discovered silver ore nearby. Despite Indian attacks (Pye was killed by Apaches a few months after filing his claim), the town grew to 3,000 people. It had 9 saloons, 3 general stores, restaurants, butcher shops, candy store, lawyer, doctor, Chinese laundry, 2 hotels, livery stable, smelter, and sawmill. There were 12 producing mines and nearly 500 prospector holes in and around Chloride. The silver panic of 1893 wiped out the town, but many original structures still stand, along with the town’s two cemeteries. The old Pioneer Store is now a museum. The "Hanging Tree" on Wall Street is 200 or more years old. About 11 people now live in Chloride.

As ghost towns go, we were kind of disappointed with Chloride. We were expecting to see an abandoned town with the remains of structures from the 1880’s, and instead found a few refurbished buildings nestled among a small town with inhabitants. I guess we have been spoiled by the ghost town we had visited in Bannack, Montana in September 2012.

We continued our tour of the area with a visit to Monticello. This town was founded by ranchers and farmers in 1856. The town was built in a square to protect its residents from attack by the Apache Indians. Visitors can view the remains of the old adobe town walls in the town’s historic plaza.

We completed our 124-mile journey and returned to our campground to make preparations for our next adventure.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Truth or Consequences, NM - 10/08/13

Tuesday – October 8, 2013
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

A clear blue sky greeted us this morning here at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. Warm temperatures during the day and cool temperatures at night, make for a delightful camping experience. The temperature is forecast to hit 90 today. Time to go exploring!

We took a trip to the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico in search of a restaurant that serves the green chilli cheeseburger that is quite popular in this part of the state. We stopped at the visitor center in Truth or Consequences to inquire about a recommendation for a restaurant that serves these hamburgers. A very kind senior citizen lady, hosting the visitor center, recommended the BBQ Café just a few blocks down the street from the visitor center. We took her up on her recommendation. She was right! The BBQ Café served up a deliciously thick, green chilli cheeseburger. It is a small café, dedicated to serving the local population as well as tourists with good food.

Truth or Consequences, a population of 6,475, is located on Interstate 25 in the Rio Grand Valley. It is noted for its hot mineral springs. It is located 150 miles south of Albuquerque and 75 miles north of Las Cruces. Originally, this location was called Palomas Springs. In 1914, the name was changed to Hot Springs. In 1950, NBC television and radio producer Ralph Edwards, on the tenth anniversary of the Truth or Consequences radio program, mentioned to his staff that he wished some town in the U.S. liked his show enough to change its name to Truth or Consequences. The New Mexico State Tourist Bureau relayed this information to the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.

In a special election held in 1950, 1,294 of the town’s residents voted for the change to "Truth or Consequences," with 295 residents opposed to the change. The town name was changed. Ralph Edwards and his entire NBC crew came here in 1950 and aired the first live, coast-to-coast broadcast of the show Truth or Consequences from the newly named city of Truth or Consequences. Edwards came back every year for 50 years with his Hollywood friends to celebrate the anniversary of the name change.

Today, Truth or Consequences has gained a reputation as the home of an eclectic group of talented artists, fun and funky shops, excellent restaurants and the best place to be rejuvenated in their natural mineral springs.

Completing our tour of this interesting town, we returned to our campsite, fully refreshed and ready for a nice relaxing nap in our reclining lawn chairs.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Elephant Butte, NM - 10/07/13

Monday – October 7, 2013
Elephant Butte Lake State Park
Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Another beautiful, brisk, sunny morning here at the Sandia Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The blue sky is once again filled with hot-air balloons. The balloons rise and fall in altitude as the pilots adjust the flame, generated from their propane tanks, to produce heated air into the envelope of their balloons. They are at the mercy of the prevailing winds, and gently drift in the direction the winds take them. Three helicopters fly above and around them to keep the airspace free from private and commercial aircraft. We have wanted to attend the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque for several years now and are so happy that we finally made it. Another checkmark applied to an item on our Bucket List!

We departed the Sandia Casino at 9:50 a.m. for a state park campground near Las Cruces, New Mexico. But first, a stop at Walmart for new blue jeans is in order. Over the past month, I noticed my size 38 waist jeans were getting really loose on me. Even my belt, cinched to the last hole, could not keep my jeans tight on me around the waist. I figured I dropped around two inches around the waist, so I selected a size 36 pair of jeans to try on. Sharon suggested I try on a size 34 instead of the 36. Yep, Sharon was right! The size 36 were too big and the size 34 were a perfect fit. I was quite pleased that I had reduced my waist size by four inches. The last time I could fit into a size 34 was probably 40 years ago.

In June of this year we started a new diet that limited our daily sugar consumption to 100 calories. Our diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, rice, chicken, eggs, bacon and occasionally a ground beef casserole. No breads, potatoes or alcohol. We do make some exceptions when dining out though.

On to our destination! We arrived at the Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Elephant Butte, New Mexico at 2:55 p.m. This is the largest and most popular lake in New Mexico. It is located 84 miles north of Las Cruces. The campground has 173 developed campsites, 144 with water and electric and 8 with water, electric and sewer. Restroom facilities include flush toilets and free showers. The campground has two dump stations. It also has free WiFi throughout the campground. We also have access to the Internet through our T-Mobile service provider.

We selected campsite #91 that has water and electric and faces the lake. Two campsites down from us are a couple from Georgia that have a Casita Trailer like ours. We met them two years ago while camping at the Flamingo Campground in the Everglades National Park. They traveled here to visit the National Parks in Texas and Arizona and are now waiting it out here in New Mexico, hoping Congress will get its act together to end the U.S. Government shutdown.

Camping Fee: $14.00 per day. ($4.00 per day with New Mexico annual pass)

Total miles traveled today: 163

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mass Balloon Launch - 10/06/13

Sunday – October 6, 2013
Mass Balloon Launch
Albuquerque, New Mexico

We spent a somewhat restful night at the Sandia Casino & Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Unfortunately, there were some campers in a fifth wheel trailer, across from us, that had a very loud industrial type generator that they ran until 11:00 p.m. Then at 3:00 a.m. they started the generator again and ran it until 5:30 a.m. I’m sure many other campers near this fifth wheel were as annoyed as I was over the disregard this camper had for his fellow campers. So, when we encounter noisy neighbors, we just hook up our trailer and move to another spot. Problem solved.

On the weekends the hot-air balloonists perform a mass ascension early in the morning. I was up at 6:30 a.m. to prepare my camera equipment for this event that would take place at daylight. What a show they put on! We had the perfect vantage point at the casino to watch the hot-air balloons as they floated slowly into the clear blue sky above. Hundreds of multi-colored balloons of various shapes and sizes gently glided through the air, seemingly almost touching one another. The balloon ascension continued for about 1-1/2 hours. We were thrilled we were able to witness this marvelous event.

Later in the morning we visited the Unser Racing Museum. We spotted a billboard advertising the museum when we were driving into Albuquerque on Saturday. The museum highlights the racing careers of Bobby and his younger brother Al Unser and their families. It chronicles through video the four generations of the Unser family in racing. The museum displays the racecars they used to win races at Indianaopolis and Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. An interesting feature of their racing contract stipulated that if they won the race, the pace car used in the race would become their property. Two of the pace cars are on display in the museum. Another building on the property contains additional racecars they raced. It also contains antique cars and trucks the Unser family have acquired. Overall, it was a fascinating tour.

We finished off the day with a high caloric cheeseburger at a local Five Guys hamburger joint.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.