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Friday, May 01We are still in the same campground. Frank had an IGRA board meeting in Palm Springs so Tom drove him there then took the truck and went to several casinos in the area. Tom won $ 16.00 playing 5 cent slot machines.
Saturday, May 2
Sunday, May 3
|This is a pretty campground, but most of the facility is dedicated to park models and permanent residences. Whoever built their website has no clue as to what they are doing. Most of today we drove Interstate 10 along the same route we took about a month ago. But just after entering Arizona we turned north east off I 10 into areas we have never been before. As the sun set we saw another beautiful western sunset.|
Amazing drive today. Lots of very narrow, winding, mountainous roads. A bit scary at times when we met a truck coming the other way. But it was well worth the difficulty. The scenery was wonderful as can be seen in today's gallery. We are in a very nice desert state park right near town. Check their history page on how this park was sold to the state by the original owner at a bargain price.
Another beautiful day but a bit hot for our tastes. Got up into the 90s again. Tom has been having allergy problems for several days and Frank is starting to experience the same. We stopped along the road for lunch and found a small historic marker.
|We are back in this very fine State Park and only a couple of sites away from where we were last month. Most of today's route was through beautiful ponderosa pine and cedar forests. We are both coughing and sneezing now, I am beginning to think this is a cold aggravated with allergies rather than allergies alone. Frank is having all kinds of problems with a wireless network card. We think we need to replace it, again.|
Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area Show Low, AZ $25.00 per nightWe are actually still in the same campground, but we moved to a different spot with 50 amp service so we could run both air conditioners. It was hot yesterday and with our coughing from the allergies the heat was not very pleasant. I think we are improving, we are not coughing as much. We just took it easy today and surfed the Internet and Frank did some web page work.
Another beautiful drive, this time through the Apache Sitgraves and Gilla National Forests. We stopped for lunch at a roadside table. We passed the VLA again and took a few shots. We will drive back here tomorrow for another tour of their museum. We are back in the same campground and site we were in last month. This is the campground that is built on the grounds of an old cowboy gathering site which was used until the early 1970's. As we were setting up the rear stabilizing jacks encountered a fatal error. One of the screws got stripped and it won't retract. We spent several hours trying to fix it unsuccessfully. Eventually we took it off and will trash it. Will have to find a facility to get a new one installed. After Tom had gone to bed, Frank went back out and drove about 10 miles for a few once-in-a-lifetime full moon shots of the Very Large Array radio telescope. We also moved from Arizona time into Mountain Daylight time today. Arizona doesn't follow daylight saving time.
Sunday, May 10
|Another beautiful day, it's a shame we have these colds and can't enjoy it fully. This is another beautiful state park campground, hidden away in ponderosa pines and alligator junipers.|
Coughing seems a bit better today but still very much with us. We have left the mountains and are now in the flatlands of eastern New Mexico. Much of today we were traveling through cow country. As we passed through the small burb of Willard we saw a bunch of real cowboys talking on a shop porch and just beyond were their trailers filled with saddled horses waiting for the afternoon's work. I wish I could have gotten a good shot of them. This park is the site of Sumner Dam which was completed in 1937 and is on the National Historic Register as having a number of unusual building techniques.
We left New Mexico today and are now in the upper panhandle of Texas, cattle country. We passed by several feed yards where tens of thousands of cattle are fattened up before being shipped to packing houses. As we entered Texas we saw huge fields of yellow wildflowers. By the time I got the camera out we had passed the best views but here are a few of the not quite so impressive displays.
Thursday, May 14 The XIT Ranch in the 1880s was the largest range in the world under fence and it all laid in the Texas Panhandle. It's three million acres sprawled from the old Yellow House headquarters, near what is now Lubbock, Texas, northward to the Oklahoma Panhandle, in an irregular strip that was roughly 30 miles wide. The XIT range was the largest in the world under fence. Texas, the biggest state in the union, used the sale to pay for its red granite capitol, still the largest state capitol on the North American Continent. The Austin structure, after more than a century, still houses the Lone Star state government and as capitols go, is second in size only to the one at Washington, D.C. In one respect it is even bigger than the U.S. Capitol, its dome stands seven feet higher. In 1875, the Lone Star state government was getting cramped in its old capitol and the Texas constitutional convention set aside 3,000,000 Panhandle acres with which to get a new capitol. Action dragged until fire destroyed the old capitol, November 9, 1881. Gov. Oran M. Roberts called a special legislative session. It struck a bargain with Charles B. and John V. Farwell, brothers of Chicago, under which they agreed to build a $3,000,000.00 capitol and accept the 3,000,000 Panhandle acres in payment. In 1885 the first cattle, long of leg and long of horn, rolled onto the XIT. Thousands of hooves drummed up the trail and the longhorns were pushed on to the No. 1 division headquarters at Buffalo Springs, 32 miles north of the current city of Dalhart. At one time, the ranch ran 150,000 head of cattle.
The XIT Ranch in the 1880s was the largest range in the world under fence and it all laid in the Texas Panhandle. It's three million acres sprawled from the old Yellow House headquarters, near what is now Lubbock, Texas, northward to the Oklahoma Panhandle, in an irregular strip that was roughly 30 miles wide.
The XIT range was the largest in the world under fence. Texas, the biggest state in the union, used the sale to pay for its red granite capitol, still the largest state capitol on the North American Continent. The Austin structure, after more than a century, still houses the Lone Star state government and as capitols go, is second in size only to the one at Washington, D.C. In one respect it is even bigger than the U.S. Capitol, its dome stands seven feet higher.
In 1875, the Lone Star state government was getting cramped in its old capitol and the Texas constitutional convention set aside 3,000,000 Panhandle acres with which to get a new capitol. Action dragged until fire destroyed the old capitol, November 9, 1881. Gov. Oran M. Roberts called a special legislative session. It struck a bargain with Charles B. and John V. Farwell, brothers of Chicago, under which they agreed to build a $3,000,000.00 capitol and accept the 3,000,000 Panhandle acres in payment.
In 1885 the first cattle, long of leg and long of horn, rolled onto the XIT. Thousands of hooves drummed up the trail and the longhorns were pushed on to the No. 1 division headquarters at Buffalo Springs, 32 miles north of the current city of Dalhart. At one time, the ranch ran 150,000 head of cattle.
We moved southeast to Amarillo to pick up Frank's medications. Along the way we stopped at an historical marker for Old Tascosa. One of the songs in Frank's KWBY cowboy music station sings about a Frenchie McCormick who lived in Tascosa. She refused to move away because she wanted to stay near her beloved Mickey who had passed away 30 years earlier. You can read the lyrics and listen to her song are availalbe on my Cowboy Music page. Another cowboy song speaks of the Canadian River which flows through the area.
Saturday, May 16
Sunday, May 17
|We are moving east, now in Oklahoma, headed for the rodeo this weekend. This campground looks like it was a premier facility a few years ago, but like so many other small businesses has not done well. We are the only actual campers here with just a few other seasonal and a few parked trailers.|
We have moved further east into Oklahoma City. We have an appointment Thursday to have the trailer worked on about a mile from this campground. We spent most of the afternoon just relaxing and surfing the Internet. This campground offers Cox Internet just like we have back home and it is proving to be the fastest of anywhere we have stayed on this trip.
Thursday, May 21
We moved 7 miles to the campground inside the Oklahoma State Fair Park, it's a bit expensive, but it is right next to the rodeo facility so we can walk to the rodeo and come home for lunch if we want. Not a bad site, all concrete with full hookups. Frank is suffering again, sinus drainage is creating a sore throat which is quite painful. Tom bought him some throat losenges which we hope helps.
Saturday, May 23
Sunday, May 24
|We are again headed east. We have now moved into areas covered with trees and we are surrounded with them. Frank is feeling a bit closed in but Tom loves the green after 3 months of brown deserts. Nice little KOA campground, with wider than normal sites for a KOA. Very clean and neat, however they have a problem with their Wi-Fi antenna and we can't get any signal here at our site, so we are using our own system which is only G2 here and very slow. Tonight will be our last night in what Frank considers a real "western" state.|
|A long drive of 200 miles today, but we saw a lot of scenery. We took US highways much of the day rather than Interstates. We had to deal with a number of towns and lots of traffic lights, but most of the scenery was worth the effort. Frank noticed about 2 hours into our drive that the truck webcam was not on. He had turned it on when we left but it must have hung up or something. So we missed the first 60 miles of the trip being webcast. This is another nice campground. Our cellular Internet was not doing well so we decided to but a 24 hour block from the service the campground had. That's when we started having trouble again with our wireless card. It had nothing to do with the service as we had been having trouble for several weeks with it. So we drove a couple of miles down the road and got a new one at Wal Mart after we filled the truck with fuel. This card, a Linksys, seems to be working much better than the D-Link card.|
|We are now right on the Mississippi river in lower Missouri at a rather nice casino campground with 27 sites. Concrete pads and full hookups with Internet. We are pushing our travels a bit with 213 miles today. Yes I think we are ready for home and we now expect to be back next Monday or Tuesday. You can see the river in the campground photo above. The thing that looks like a paddle wheel river boat is part of the casino.|
|Another 200 mile day and we are moving along. This morning we made arrangements to have the F150 truck which is back home towed to a repair shop. Our friend who is watching the house has been unable to get it started for the last month. We have no idea what the problem may be this time. This afternoon at 1:30 eastern time the power went out at the house. 20 minutes later when the UPS ran down the server went off line losing all webcams and cowboy music. When the server came back up none of the webcams were working. Frank was able to log into the machine remotely and found the username file for the FTP server was corrupted and had to be restored from a backup.|
|We are in the same campground as we stayed in last October, the day before Frank had his heart attack. But we aren't worried. We are looking forward to getting home. Last night Frank ordered a new server that he has been wanting for several months, it should arrive in 2 weeks. It is raining, the first non violent rain storm since leaving the east back in January. We also moved back into eastern time today.|
|We are moving right along. We seem to be staying in the same campgrounds we stopped at last October but in the opposite direction. The major difference is the trees are green now and the campgrounds have a lot more people in them.|
|A bit after we pulled into camp and got set up, our friend Bev called from our house to let us know she was there doing the last inspection for this trip and turning the AC on. She also told us about a sign at the entrance to our street that indicated the road will be closed tomorrow. After a few phone calls we discovered our street committee has the road scheduled to be paved tomorrow morning. It took a few more calls to get the towing company to come after noon when the work should be finished. We should be home around 2 to 3 in the afternoon. We spent some time a few days ago looking at our calendar and we have decided to stay home about 2 months. Around August 12 we will begin a new journey. Our first destination for that trip will be the Chicago Rodeo. So check back in with us around the middle of August or subscribe to our camping feed to be notified when we begin anew. I may add another entry for June 1 just to get the route in place but it may be a few days since we will both be very busy getting the house out of hibernation and livable again.|