Cold and Wind Push us SouthWeather reports for Saturday November 14th showed a major cold front and wind storm coming to northern Arizona and northern New Mexico for Tuesday. It foiled our plans to pass by the 4 corners on our way thru southern Colorado to Heron Lake State park in northern New Mexico. So we decided the best route would be to head for Elephant Butte State park at a lower elevation that wouldn’t freeze our pipes. Even our second choice, at the 6000 ft level at Santa Rosa lake state park wasn’t going to fair very well either. On the way we stopped off for the night at Sky Casino outside Cubero, NM just off interstate 40. It was just the right price and a nice park, and I couldn’t beat the all you could eat meat buffet on Saturday night. Now I love Elephant Butte State Park, so it wasn’t a hard decision. When we arrived, we were shocked by how much the water had lowered since February when we were here last. At that time we put our kayaks in at the boat ramp and paddled straight across the lake – that route is just a mud flat now. After two days of very strong winds and low temps, and what felt like freezing weather because of the wind chill factor, we decided for the next two days to take in ghost towns on two different routes; heading one direction one day and the opposite way the next. All these towns were big gold and silver mining boom towns; when silver prices collapsed in the late 1800’s they dried up. But these ghost towns still have a few people living in them and preserving the history and they are very interesting to talk to. The first day we went to two ghost towns, Winston and Chloride out on Hwy 52. Chloride was the most interesting of them all; a couple living there with a family history of the area is preserving the history for the next generations and the small museum (located in the old pioneer store) is very worth seeing. The second day we took Hwy 152 to Hillsboro and Kingston, south of T or C New Mexico.
I made a visit to these parks back in 1971 when a friend of mine and I took a cross country trip a year after graduating high school. We started from Phoenix, Arizona in my new 1971 yellow Volkswagen super beetle. One of the many stops along the journey was at Zion National Park, in Southern Utah. Things were a bit different back then, and up until 1989 you could stop along galleries (big arched “windows” cut into the stone along the outer wall of the 1.6 mile long tunnel). The views of the surrounding canyon walls and the floor below were incredible; these days, as you drive through the tunnel, you can see the magnificent arched portals, but no stopping!
Some 40 years later, on our journey back to the southwest for the winter of 2015, we stopped off in Hatch, UT for a few days so we could visit Zion and Bryce Canyon. We took in Bryce Canyon first and I didn’t seem to remember very much from the 1971 trip. Zion was a whole different story; It all came back to me and brought back old memories. But this trip was much better because I did it with my lifelong mate! After this day long excursion, and a little surprise snow on the ground this morning, we decided to spend another night in Hatch and plan to leave in the morning for Lake Powell, AZ. After all when have the weather guessers ever been right; the predictions seem to change every few hours! We are in no particular hurry and will move on when the conditions are right!
In the spring we left New Mexico for Park City to see the Granddaughter and her Parents, a great trip!
Then in May we left for the celebration of our oldest daughters marriage to her wonderful mate Bryce. It was a very enjoyable time and we were able to see my younger brother Bernard and his wife Alice for a week.
Then it was off to out summer volunteer work for Oregon State parks. One month at the lighthouse, two months at the Lifeboat Station Museum and then September at Lighthouse.
In July we had a major shock as I lost my older brother Dave, somethings in life are very hard and this was a major one! I was in Phoenix in August for the celebration of his life.
We were back in Bend in October for two weeks and had another wonderful visit with Bryce and Chenin.
Since then we have been back in Park City. The Granddaughter in just two months since we seen her on there visit to see us on the Oregon beach has been amazing to say the least! She is the smartest little girl I think I have ever run into.
But I think our stay here in Park City just might have lasted to long. We are now looking for our exit date.