September 14 Through October 2009, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona

It has been a while since we have posted anything on the blog and thought it was time to get it updated.

September 14-19 – Loveland, CO

We stayed at Loveland RV Village and enjoyed visiting with family and friends in the Ft. Collins/Loveland area.

September 20-October 17 – Chama, NM

We spent 4 weeks in Chama, NM where Rex volunteers as a Docent on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a living history museum operated by the states of Colorado and New Mexico. This year the railroad is operating 4 Baldwin steam engines on the 64 mile trip between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO.







Ken & Michelle and Ken's parents along with Doug & Ruth, friends from our Colorado camping
group, the RV Rascals, came to Chama and rode the train with us. We then all headed to Albuquerque to meet up with more frinds from the RV Rascals and to take in the first weekend of the Balloon Fiesta. We had a great time at the Fiesta and got to see the mass ascension on both Saturday and Sunday. The wind came up in the afternoons and the balloon glow was cancelled both evenings.

We were up early enough on Saturday morning to see the Dawn patrol.






The two bumble bee balloons were our favorite and Rex enjoyed the dairy cow.




We also had a great visit with our friend, Terri, from Castle Rock, CO while we were in Chama. She spent a few days with us and we rode the train twice while she was here. We also took her on a drive to see Brazos Cliffs.

The fall colors are beautiful but it is getting very cold at night - we think it is time to start heading south. Rex has got his train fix by riding a total of 15 times while volunteering as a docent and Nancy rode 3 times.



October 18-31 – New Mexico and Arizona

We left Chama and headed south looking for some warmer weather. We stopped at Elephant Butte State Park which is just north of Truth or Consequences, NM. We spent the night in a really nice campground in the park next to Elephant Butte Reservoir. We then headed west over the Mimbres Mountains to Silver City, NM. We stayed at the Rose Valley RV Ranch in Silver City – it was a really nice park on the outskirts of town.

We hiked the Catwalk National Recreation Trail – a 2.2 mile trail that follows Whitewater Creek up a beautiful canyon. The trail is unique because part of it is on catwalks built over the creek. The catwalks were originally built in 1883 to hold a pipeline that carried water from a water collection point up the canyon to a mill where gold and silver were separated from rock. The water was needed to run the electrical generators for the mill. The mill only operated for about 10 years and in 1908 the mill and pipeline were dismantled. In the mid 1930’s the CCC rebuilt the catwalk for the Gila National Forest. The Forest Service has rebuilt the Catwalk Trail several times after floods. It was a great hike in a beautiful canyon.







After our hike we drove to the ghost town of Mogollon which was a mining town tucked in a very narrow canyon.

We also visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The drive to the dwellings was very beautiful.




The cliff dwellings are on a mile loop trail that climbs 180 ft. from the canyon floor and were built by the Mogollon people. There were about 40 rooms were built inside several natural caves.







On the way back to Silver City from the cliff dwellings we stopped at an overlook of the Chino Mine, an open pit copper mine.




We left Silver City on October 22nd and drove to Benson, AZ where we met up with our friends, Leroy and Jinx. The next day we all left Benson and headed to the Desert Diamond Casino south of Tucson for the Tucson Bluegrass Festival. We had a great time enjoying great bluegrass music and visiting with Leroy and Jinx. On Monday Leroy and Jinx went back to Benson and we headed to Tucson where we will look around for a few days. We stayed at Whispering Palms RV Park.

We spent one day driving up Mt. Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains. There is a ski resort at the top but seemed pretty small compared to the resorts in Colorado.

We spent the next day at the Pima Air and Space Museum, which covers 80 acres and has about 300 planes, including an SR-71 Blackbird, a B-36 bomber and a B-17 bomber. We also took a tour of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. This is where the Air Force keeps airplanes from all over the world that are in storage, planes that are no longer being used and planes that are being used for parts. It is also known as the bone yard.




Our last morning in Tucson was spent at Saguaro National Park where we took a hike on Valley View Overlook Trail.



We also hiked to Signal Hill where they are dozens of petroglyphs that are more than 800 years old.




We spent the afternoon at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum which is a combination zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden. It is a great place to learn about the flora and fauna of the Sonora Desert. We saw a mountain lion taking an afternoon nap in the sun and a bobcat.




We saw a Mexican wolf, coyote and javalinas along with lots of lizards, snakes, spiders and birds.



We saw a raptor free flight demonstration where they had 4 Harris hawks hunting. The hawks would fly from a trainer to the trees right over our heads while we were given information about how they hunt and live. They are magnificent flyers and it was great to watch them.




Friday, October 30th, we left Tucson and headed to Apache Junction where we are now comfortably settled into our site at Golden Sun RV Resort where we will stay for 6 months. Rex started back to work for the Dolly Steamboat Company and we have gotten back into our winter routine. It is nice to see friends and neighbors from last year and meeting new neighbors. We love to travel but we also enjoy sitting still for 6 months and soaking up the Arizona sunshine and warmth all winter.


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