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When I posted the ‘Finding the Silver Lining’ post/look back/update, I had pictures re-attached to old posts up to July 9, 2013.  We had just crossed the New Mexico state line and were at our camp in the Ute Lake State Park.

In the previous few days the trip had been through Oklahoma and Texas and the territory and landscape was changing.  We had passed through Elk City, OK and stopped at the National Route 66 Museum, Sayer, OK just back up the road and the old Sayer City Park Campground built by the CCC.  A movie about the dust bowl was filmed partly in Sayer and here is a picture of then and now shown below.  There is so much really neat history in these parts that you could take in and be here a long time doing it.  The nostalgic Amrericana feeling you get always makes me wish there were a way to experience those simpler times first hand.

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National Route 66 Museum – July 2013

Now we are up to date with re-attached pictures through November 23, 2013

Well the excitement was starting to build and we were finally ‘Out West’.  Lots of stuff to see before we get to our next GIG as docents at the Palatki Heritage Site.  A short ways down the road we pulled into the Ute Lake State Park.  The temps were quite warm as I remember.  Leveled the rig and kicked back thinking we would hang out here for a couple of days.  WRONG.

The call we received at 5:00AM changed our plans and Rhonda had to get on a plane back to St. Louis fast.  There was a medical emergency and her son was in critical condition in the Hospital.

Toby and I continued toward AZ alone, for now not sure of what the future would bring.  Trying to remain optimistic that there would be a quick recovery and thank goodness, there was.  Rhonda came back two weeks later.

Anyway as I said, Tobs and I continued alone, we headed to our next destination, Cochiti Lake Campground, another great COE park just outside of Santa Fe, NM.  We stayed there for three nights and basically killed time waiting to hear news from St. Louis.  On high ground way above the lake, the hot winds blew strong.  Those winds added to an already uneasy feeling during our stay.  In an effort to remain somewhat optimistic, I decided on some limited exploration.  There was the annual feast in the Cochiti Pueblo reservation and I went to check it out.  It was a sort of fair with ceremonies and dancing.  Unfortunately no pictures were allowed.  The next day, I took a stroll through the edges of Tent Rocks.  Told myself these would be things that I would bring Rhonda back to see when we pass through in the future, and sure enough we did just that on our trip to TorC and more of it in the spring of 2014.

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Cochiti Lake CG

The next stop was Homolovi Ruins State Park.  I was actually headed to another location that turned out to no longer be a campground, it happens.  I had picked Homolovi as an alternative camp based on a hunch that there may be an issue with the boondocking/power plant campground.  There was!

Now the trip from Cochiti Lake to here was a long one, too long, the temps were high and I was very tired, the stress levels were high also.  The road into the campground at Homolovi was rather rough and I did not go as slowly as I should have.  I ended up with a real mess when I got to our site.  When I opened the door on the fiver I decided to take Toby for a walk and face the clean up in a few minutes.

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Broken Stuff

Cabinets opened and we broke stuff.  Not the best way to end the long day for sure.

We were just outside of Winslow AZ.  But with Rhonda gone there was not a lot of interest in being a tourist.  At this point I simply wanted to get to a spot close to Palatki and rest and wait fro Rhonda to come back.  It was beginning to be clear that was going to happen soon.  Ryan was recovering at a pace that even surprised the doctors.  As I write this post he has made a full recovery and all is well.

So the two week recap and our update in late July 2013 tells the story and we are ready to get into Palatki for the next couple of months.

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Palatki Heritage Site – August/September 2013

Our time in the box canyon at Palatki was unforgettable.  We shared the canyon with coyotes, javelina, tarantulas and rattle snakes when the gate was locked everyday at 3:30PM.  Of course it was easy to imagine the spirits of the native Americans that had been living there a thousand years ago.  Rhonda helped that also with her Native American Flute she bought at Montezuma’s Castle.

By now we were firmly in the mode of Workamping, we had realized the many benefits of these gigs and how well they fit our objectives and style.  We get to really immerse in an area and become very familiar with it before moving on, that is a great benefit.

We took trips to Ghost towns and other historic spots and hung out in Sedona often.  If you are close to Cottonwood be sure to make the trip to Jerome, a lunch at the Haunted Hamburger is a must and the views are incredible.  The town of Jerome is built on some really steep slopes.  Interesting old mining settlement, now filled with history and art galleries.

Of course we learned a lot about the prehistoric Native Americans who were cliff dwellers and farmers.  There are many sites in the area and all are worth a stop.  Check out our posts from this period, we thoroughly enjoyed Walnut Canyon, Montezuma’s Castle, Montezuma’s Well, Tuzigoot National Monument, V Bar V and others, truly fascinating places.  Lots of fun stuff took place during our stay at Palatki, and we often think there will be a time we will go back.  There is still a lot of this country we have yet to experience, we’ll see.

Rhonda is looking at the pictographs at the grotto (her ‘Happy Place’) in the above picture.

There were some great times, some of the kids and grandkids came to visit.  Once again we made some new friends, lots of great memories and time went by fast.  It was soon time to go.

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Terrilyn planned a farewell party and we had our experience with cooking in a Dutch Oven.  Terrilyn thank you and to all the volunteers back at Platki, we think of you all often.

The trip to TorC – October 2013

So the loose plan at this point had been to become gate guards in the oil fields of south Texas.  Well as we got closer to heading that direction, we started thinking about the options and trade offs.  Sure we could make a lot of money in a short time but why?  A good part of that money would be spent on fuel and campground fees when we went to and left from the gates.  Plus do we really want to make a commitment to a 24 hour a day seven day a week job.  Hell no, we are retired.

I have always felt like you make your own luck and it turns out the stars just seem to line up the way they are supposed to sometimes when you put forth a bit of effort and pay attention.  We connected with a Gig that turns out to be the all time fav.  Riverbend Hot Springs in TorC, NM.

Well this will work out quite well, the timing allows for a short road trip and we can route back along some of the trail that Rhonda missed in July, cool beans. We will see a lot of what was missed on that trip.

First stop the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  But leaving Cottonwood on I-17 requires a long steep pull, the truck overheated for the first of a number of repeat performances over the following year.  We were stuck in the heat on the interstate while the inept Good Sam dispatcher sent a more inept tow truck driver to find us.  Three hours later we were rolling again.  A radiator transplant is scheduled for January 5, 2015.

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Nine years and 11 months ago to the day we were here getting married here at the Grand Canyon.  Dinner for the wedding party and guests was at the El Tovar Hotel in the private dining hall pictured above.  The memories are bittersweet as they include a number of family members who are no longer with us.  But it was super to be back at the GC and remembering that day and those foes we love and miss so much.

We had camped in Williams, AZ and the couple of days we had there were great.  Our timing was also perfect, the next day is when the government shut down occurred and as ridiculous as it is/was and sounds, the Grand Canyon was closed.

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Standin’ on a Corner

From the Grand Canyon and Williams AZ it was off to Winslow AZ.  We were going to be Standin’ on a Corner.

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LaPosa Hotel

The historic LaPosa Hotel designed by Mary Jane Coulter is also in Winslow AZ.  A very historic Rail Road stop and like the El Tovar at Grand Canyon Village, one of the Harvey Hotels.

Camped at Homolovi State Park in the same site I was in back in July.

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This time we took in the sites.  Learned more of the history of the Hopi people at the dwellings that pre-date the cliff dwellings were very interesting.

We stayed at a couple more nice parks along the way, Red Rocks State Park just east of Gallup New Mexico.  More interesting history in the area is found at the El Rancho Motel, ‘Home of the movie stars’.

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It was a quick visit and a refueling stop after getting set up at Red Rocks but a worthwhile and very interesting place.  Glad we took the time.

After one more overnight stop at the Kiva RV Park we were pulling into Riverbend Hot Springs for the better part of the next four months, we will be there until the end of January 2014.

Riverbend Hot Springs–October 2013/January 2014

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Our site at Riverbend for the next four months.

Jake and the owners of the resort are very nice folks and we liked it so much we are heading back in the spring  2015.  But we arrived on a bright sunny day in October.  Jake was out to meet us and help us get into our site before we came to a stop in front of the business.

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From the minute we pulled up we knew this was a special place and we would really appreciate being able to be part of it, turns out we were right.  Again, many great times were had here and friends made in and out of the full time RV community.

Stephanie graduated, I flew back to KC and spent a weekend on the farm to attend the ceremony.  A couple of weeks later I followed her trip to the southwest via highway webcams through the frozen north and on down to New Mexico.  What a hoot.

While we were at Riverbend we followed the trail of Billy the Kid, learned a lot about Geronimo and his group of warriors, toured more ghost towns like Chloride,  and contemplated the possibility of extraterrestrials.  Yep when you are in New Mexico ET is part of the territory.  Some cool stuff lies ahead and those posts will be re-attached to their pictures soon.

I now have the pictures back together with posts up to November 23, 2013 just a few days before Thanksgiving.  We had just picked up Lily and she is getting kind of settled in as a new cast member of this traveling tribe.  Gosh where has the year gone!

So it looks like there will be one more of these posts re-capping the journey to date and providing the status update of the re-attached pictures.

Thanks for being part of the adventure, it sure has been fun going over these old posts and reading and remembering what we have done.  Most of all it is fun to see the comments and I want to say thank you for taking the time to be part of the story.

Also a big thank you for shopping on the Amazon links from here on the blog

Believe it or not, it might really rain in SOCAL.  So much that there is a flash flood warning through Wednesday morning which could affect us, we have postponed leaving the rig until Thursday so our trip up the east side of the Salton Sea will be Thursday if this week, otherwise early next week, stay tuned.

Remember, TurnWhenTheRoadDoes.