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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Love the West! 🐸


This is just a really quick update!! Parked near the site of the long gone town of Charleston, AZ. Of which there is basically just a few, very few parts of adobe buildings left....and the old railway bed!

I have been in AZ now for about 3+ weeks and are just now on the road again. And as much as I enjoy visiting with friends...I am just sooo at home on the road!

Stopped by Lyman Lake State Park, and it is just a really well kept park and just beautiful!
Stayed with a friend that built his own cabin and is about 4+ miles past the last power lines!  Totally off grid. Helped him with a few projects around his place while there.
Made a 2 day run to Alpine, favorite place over all to spend June thru August! 8500+ elevation. Spent the night at my favorite spot! But if you notice...NO SNOW!! Now, I don't go looking for snow, but this area needs the snow pack for water for the rest of the year, and they are in very high need of snow right now. I'm hoping that they do get some good snow over the next two months.
Had a nice drive down to Tempe & Scottsdale. The drive, at one point, was totally reminiscent  of driving on "The Grapevine" in CA. Even to the point of north & south directions swapping sides getting up the mountains!
Been a long time since I saw a phone booth...and it makes a great front yard decoration!! LOL!
I was taken on a tour of the Tempe/Scottsdale/Mesa area. I was quite pleasantly surprised at just how clean the cities are.

As you can was raining while driving around. In fact, it rained for 4 days off & on.

Then as I headed south I make a side trip to the Saguaro Nat'l Park. It was a pretty loop drive, and I had never really thought about the size of those cactus! They get huge!

Next stop was Fairbank Historic Township...or at least what is left of it! And as with ALL the "public areas" in both state & federal system.....the shops & offices were and are closed! So no stickers or magnets collected. πŸ˜’

Last night I parked "close" to Charleston, AZ...a town that is basically not here! There are a few pieces of adobe walls left, but it is about 1/2 mile through thick brush to get to I just parked for the night.
And there was a gorgeous moon last night!

Hope all are well & hope to see you out here soon!

Frog & Abbie

🐸        🐢

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

In the West...for now! 🐸

Westward HO!!  2021

Headed out for the West at the end of December....took one last run by the river in Gadsden. It was a beautiful day, excellent day to leave town!
Spent first night in MS, the second night was in LA. Overall it was a good run! Except for the wind! It was quite breezy!

The third day...Welcome to Texas!
 Third night was at at "picnic area" & I'm really sad that the state of TX is slowly closing down these. Especially the ones that are on the secondary highways.

Made it into the DFW Metro by Friday evening. 
It has become rather difficult over the past few years to find spots to park for the night.  But if you will go to the farthest areas of the parking lots, be out of the way, NOT set up camp (or even look like you're there for the night)....parking spots can be found!
And it was a beautiful sunset!
I met some friends for the weekly get together for breakfast on Saturday morning. It was really good to get to see them. Stopped by a couple of them at their houses to visit a bit more before heading out.

Speaking of the "picnic areas" I have several that I stop at every time I travel across the Panhandle of TX. Many of them have great views and are usually not used much overnight any longer. The only real issue is that so many people abuse them. Household trash piled up at some, trash/garbage/tires dumped behind some of them. It is a shame some people will abuse something that is so nice for travelers. 
One spot that I have passed so many times I don't think I can count the times!
The Mescalero Sand Dunes Recreation area. It was so nice! There was one group when I got there...but they left just a few hours later...and Abbie & I were the only ones there for the night!

The dunes are just beautiful! The area is very well kept up. From late Spring to Fall it is a very busy place. But in winter, and with all the COVID was basically deserted!
And a beautiful Sunset!!
I figured it would be closed up due to COVID....and boy was I right!! Made a side run to Ft Stanton. One of these days I'll get there when the gift shop is open!! They have put up gates at both entrances, fences along the front and it is buttoned up tight!! But once things settle down some, in a few months it should be open again & I'll try once more to get to the Gift shop for a decal!!

It is a gorgeous view from the turnoff to Ft Stanton of the valley coming up from Lincoln NM. The drive is really a nice drive. And the rest of the run into Roswell, NM is quite nice.
Spent one night on the northern boundary of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). I spent almost 5 years on the range working out of the Pictorial Branch. Got to see a lot of things that were in development by the military at that time. Had a nice picnic table area and it was surprisingly quiet after sunset.

The last night out was at the VLA (Very Large Array) out from Socorro, NM. And as I was also buttoned up tight!! But did have a spot there where they had done road paving and left a nice flat spot after it was done.
I have always just been so intrigued by the radio telescopes! And it looked like some of the Western Pronghorn antelope were also!  LOL!

Made it to my friend's place outside of Show Low, AZ. He built his own cabin...about 7 miles off the highway...and about 3+ miles from where the power lines stop! It is awesome. He's on solar, propane & generator when needed. There are quite a few folks living out in the area, all setup about the same way. They all even haul in water.
I have to throw this in!  Abbie caused a short in some wires before I left AL...seemed my alternator was going bad about 30 miles out from my destination. Well, thought I had taken care of the wires...and I had...but hidden so far back under the fender in the dark, I had not seen that it melted a hole in the top of the battery! So Lily now has a new battery!

I made a run into Alpine, AZ to see some of my friends there. Some of them call me their "transient local".  I paid up my PO Box for the next year because I will always be going to and thru Alpine in my travels each year. They have not gotten hardly any snow this winter, so they are still in deep drought. Hoping that they get some good snow in the next 2 months!

 That about brings me current with this year's travel. I'm going to be on the road soon and will let you know where I'm headed. I'm still working out just where I want to wander to!
Hope this finds all of you in good health and staying safe!  And remember this.....

 "Glorious it is, when wandering time has arrived!"

.....old Inuit saying