Friday, October 31, 2014

Days at Jojoba Hills

I usually take a break from blogging when we are hanging out in the southland during fall/winter. However, here is a catch up blog on what we have been up to for the last few months. We got back and got back into the routine of volunteer work, such as mailroom, recycling and road crew which Joe will be starting soon. Of course, socializing with our fellow Jojobians along with dinners and breakfasts are part of this life style and we jumped right in to those.  As much as we like spending time here, we probably won't come back so early in the future as the weather is just too hot. We even bought some fans to use in addition to our air conditioners. Fortunately the last week has been much nicer with nice breezes and temperatures in the 70s.
 Kristi and Brock came over one weekend for dinner and we also met them for dinner before we all went to a Ducks game. We bought a hockey pack of seven games which include the Ducks and Winnepeg game in January when Teemu Selanne will be honored and his jersey number retired.  Of course, Joe went into the OC to his work a couple of times and hie got a new doctor whom he really likes.  Jojoba had its famous Yard Sale which was a hugh success. It amazes me how much stuff is collected for the sale. We did our small part in helping out.
We have also been doing some work on our site. Below is a picture of our new addition, a gazebo and roll up blinds which gives us some nice shade on our sunny spot. It was a lot of work to put together but worth it. One of the people on the architectural committee who also put up the same gazebo came over and gave us some ideas on the bet way to assemble it and gave us some help and loan of some tools. We really thank Randy for his help.

We also added a few plants to our site and have been doing some fertilizing which has had good results. Below, see our beautiful roses!!

When we first got our site, our friends Nancy and Terry gave us a little tour of the place. However, we never got the full 3 hour tour that new members get. Joe had been talking to John, one of the main people who does them and one day he did just that. He is the Park's historian and so had a lot of interesting background of Jojoba.
Next week we are taking a short trip to Huntington Beach for about 4 days. We are getting together with our kids and will probably get by to see my Dad. We also have another Ducks game and so will have a shorter drive to that. When we get back, we will be going to the Founders Day dinner to celebrate the Silver Jubilee. Jojoba Hills is 25 years old. Below are a few more pictures which, of course, include some of our beautiful sunsets.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turquoise Trail and More Santa Fe before heading back to Jojoba

We are back at Jojoba in sunny Southern /California. However, we had a couple of more days in beautiful Santa Fe. We decided to take a drive on the Turquoise Trail which is the back road from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. It is a National Scenic Byway and is about 50 miles long. Nice blue skies and a lovely day in the Southwest.

We drove through a few small towns. More on that later. We drove as far as the Sandia Crest which is a higher elevation with a Ski Resort. There is a tram that you can take in the summer but it was closed for repair I found out later. The southwestern look of Adobe houses which often have bright blue trim and doors is followed here with the blue ski lifts.

We turned around and headed back with a stop in the eclectic  town of Madrid. It has a rich history from the early 1800's with the discovery of coal, to a mining town to an artist community. In its hey days it was famous for its Fourth of July parades, Christmas lightning and displays and minor league baseball with the first lighted stadium in the country.  With the decline in coal production it became a ghost town. Then in the early 70's, artists and craftspeople and hippies arrived. There are still a number of art galleries in town as well as several good restaurants.

We ate at the Hollar, which is a great restaurant whose food is a fusion of southwestern and southern food. Also very dog friendly. We sat outside and our waitress brought Savannah a dog bowl of water and a dog biscuit. Savannah enjoyed her biscuit and we certainly enjoyed our food. I had a very southern dish of fried green tomatoes over smoked gouda  cheesey grits with grilled asparagus spears on top. Sooo good. Joe had a pulled pork burrito that was also good.  There were a number of other interesting items on the menu. We would definitely come back here when back in Santa Fe.

Loved the hanging shoes.

Another nice day. We drove back into Santa Fe on Saturday. Being the Labor Day weekend, it was very busy. There was arts and crafts market in the square along with the usual Native Americans selling their jewelry. We ate at the Shed with its standard southwestern and mexican food. We had eaten here before. It was good but we thought the Hollar was much more creative.

We had a good time in Santa Fe as we usually do. We had about 12 hours or so to get back to So Cal. We stopped at a state park near Winslow, Arizona for an one night stay. We had stayed there once before in our travels. As it was Monday, there weren't a lot of people there. However, we were all set up and just relaxing when a man knocked on our door and said this was there site. We had filled out a self reservation form and put it in the box for the payment. He said they had reservations though there wasn't a tag showing the site was reserved. We packed up and when up to the visitor center as we were afraid to just pick a different site. Well, it turned out the ranger had just given the couple the site as he didn't know we had already paid for that particular site. It hadn't been reserved and they could have just gone back to the ranger and said there was someone already there and he would have given them another site. Oh well, lesson learned. We got another site that was just as good. We got up early and made the long drive back to Jojoba, listening to an audio book that always makes the trip go faster it seems.
We got back to Jojoba in the late afternoon and hadn't even gotten set up when our neighbors Sam and Alice invited us over for a drink or two, which we did. They have a cute little dog, Teddy and just got another named Rusty. Savannah was happy to see her boyfriend Teddy and to make a new friend, Rusty. We had an enjoyable evening talking to Sam and Alice. We love traveling but it is nice to be back in Jojoba for a spell with its great people and lots of fun things to do. Then there is our great view of the Mountains from our site. Nice to be home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Week in One of Our Fav Cities - Santa Fe

We love Santa Fe and have been here a number of times. This time we stayed at Santa Fe Skies RV Park, which is where we stayed last time in 2012. It is a private campground. There aren't any public campgrounds near by. The closest State Park is for smaller rvs only. It is a nice park though sites are real close together. It is on the out skirts of town and up high enough for a nice view. It has a trail that goes around the campground with a lot of pretty desert plants and flowers and cactus. Plus though pretty busy we were able to get a spot through the Labor Day weekend.

Per the norm of this trip, we got some rain one day and a nice rainbow.

One day we went into town with Savannah. She likes walking around the Plaza and of course the grass in the center of the Plaza. They have now blocked the streets around the outside of the square so no car traffic which is nice. We window shopped looking in at some of the art galleries and other artwork and southwestern jewelry n this very artistic town. Another day we went to the Tuesday Farmers Market at the Railyard. They have Farmer's Market on Tuesday and Saturday and also have musical concerts and Artist Markets on Sundays and lots of other events during the summer. We bought some famous New Mexico Hatch chilies, yellow cucumbers and some other goodies. One evening we went to RealBurgers who has won contests for their great Green Chile (Hatch of course) Hamburgers. They are really good.
Thursday we are going to take a drive on the Turquoise Highway which we haven't done on any of our other trips here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Little Time in Oklahoma and Texas

We want to get to Santa Fe before Labor Day and so we just made a few stops of two or three nights each. Plus the weather is in the high 90's and 100's and we really want to get to some little cooler weather which Santa Fe will be. We had a long drive to Oklahoma which turned out longer than we thought. We were going to stay at Red Canyon State Park near Oklahoma City. However, when we got there the office had just closed and there was a sign saying only motor homes under 40 feet can go down the steep road to the campground. We decided not to try it and I quickly looked for another place to stay. We headed west to Fort Cobb State Park. Gracie, our GPS, directed us to the far side of the lake on some narrow country roads. We ended up at a dead end at a boat launch but luckily there was room to turn around and we figured out how to get there. Our GPS has mostly been great but we do have problems it seems with some of the state parks. We got to the park and it turned out to be a very nice spot where we were right on the water.

We just stayed two days and just relaxed at our site, mostly in the MH with the air conditioner going. We had s thunder storm while there. In fact, we had just gotten out of the motorhome to go to the office to register and there was a loud crack of thunder. There wasn't a lot of rain but thunder for hours and some lightning in the distance.

Our next stop was Palo Duro Canyon State Park, near Amarillo, TX.  We stayed here a number of years ago and it was very nice though we did have a big thunderstorm while we were there.

Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the US behind the Grand Canyon of course. It is 120 miles long and 20 miles wide at points. It has a depth of 800 feet. The office is at a high point and you then drive down a steep windy road to get to the campground. Last time we stayed at the far campground. However we couldn't stay at the area this time. There are a number of areas on the road that flood when it rains. In fact, when we were here before that was the case the day after the big storm. They are in the midst of building bridges over the low spots. Unfortunately they made a small area and the road is about 2 inches too short for large motorhomes to get through. Oops :(  I guess they will be fixing that problem eventaully. So we stayed at the first campsite loop which was also very nice. We have 50 amp electric again and so can still use the air conditioner as it is still very very hot. We drove around one day to take some pictures. There are a lot of nice hiking trails but just too hot to even think about.

Below is the road work they are doing. This  would be flooded if there had been a lot of rain and some of the dips are much deeper than the one below.

We just spend a few days here and our next stop is Santa Fe and weather than should be around 20 degrees cooler. Still warm but not nearly so hot as it has been this last little while.