6 Months Part Duex and Alamogordo

Yes, our last post was our 6 month post.  Well, really our 6 month video post, but we knew when we put it up that we also wanted to do a text post and we are at least three weeks behind on stops.  🙂  So, let’s start with the 6 months on the road.

We’ve said this before, but our original plan had always been to spend a year traveling the country and then settle down somewhere.  Sean has always loved Florida and is an avid diver.  Sherry loves warm weather and Florida, so Florida has always been our number one potential landing spot.  Our travels have made us add possible ‘permanent’ locations such as Montana near Glacier National Park.  We had always planned on spending the winter in Florida then using the last few months of our ‘year’ to travel up the East coast.  Well, even the best laid plans can change, and we have prided ourselves on saying we will take life as it comes and enjoy it.  While in Nevada, we were contacted by an RV park/resort in Florida to stay for the winter and join a team of work-campers.  The RV park is gorgeous and right in one of our primary ‘settle down’ locations.  Sherry had been looking at several spots for teaching opportunities, and this area was top on the list.  It is also in a great location for diving.  Hmmm.  Well, we shouldn’t put the cart before the horse as they say.  We did accept the position, it too good to pass up. Sherry will be looking for teaching positions, and we will see what happens.  We have talked a lot about how much we enjoy this life and how hard it would be to change things up and get ‘normal’ again.  The worst part would be not being around each other 24/7.  Yes, seriously, we love the time together and would miss it a lot.  So, at 6 months we are loving what we are doing but also contemplating more change. We will see.  We have also laughed and said that if the ‘worst’ case is we continue to travel then ‘Oh Well’.  One final thought: as we write this we are sitting in Destin, Florida.  Technically, we have come full circle because for spring break this year in March we came to Destin to ‘test’ our lifestyle before selling our house.

When we arrived, this time, we did a quick set-up and then drove to the beach.  It was calling to us!  Just a few minutes on the sand, staring at the ocean was incredibly cathartic.  We talked about our journey from ocean to Mountains and all the land in between.  This is truly a beautiful country and we are immensely lucky to have discovered a good part of it.  Who knows what the future will bring.  Carpe Diem!

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Worlds Largest Pistachio

 

Now, about Alamogordo.  While staying in Roswell, we were looking for other places to visit and decided Alamogordo would be perfect.  It was only a few hours away and we both wanted to see the white sands.  Wow, we are so sad that we didn’t have more time to stay!  After a drive across one of the central mountain ranges in New Mexico, we were soon at our new RV park (Boot Hill Resort – GREAT park and location!) and able to see the sands a little less than 20 miles off.  We unhooked and drove off to see what we could see.  Driving up to the White Sands monument we were amused to see signs that said the highway may be shut down during missile testing.  That was new for us.low res-3967

There is a single road into the park that led off to the dunes in the distance.  It was remarkable to watch the desert scrub gradually disappear to be taken over by… well, white sand.  It looked so much like snow and snow dunes that we were caught up in the weirdness of a warm day and what appeared to be snow.  In fact, we were really caught off guard when we rounded a corner to see a sign say the paved road ended.  The road continued, but was now plowed sand.  Wow, so much like a Midwest snow scene…. Minus the houses, trees, well, you know.  Then, we saw fellow explorers and kids using ‘snow’ sleds to slide down the face of several dunes.   Too much fun!  We drove as far as we could, got out and walked through and on some of the dunes.  Sherry just loved it and we quickly decided to come back the next day and take some photos.  Since Sherry models on the side, we made it a glamour photo shoot.  Amazing scenery.

While in Alamogordo, we also went out to the Space Museum, saw the worlds largest pistachio, drank some wine, and realized we had to come back.  There is so much more we want to see and explore in this amazing place that we have moved it up our list of must return places.  So far: Montana, Alamogordo and the Grand Canyon….  Hmmm,  regardless of whether we give up the ‘full time’ life, we still have so much we want to see, but we are truly grateful for what we’ve done so far.

After leaving Alamogordo, we had a quick dash across the state and into Texas.  We had plans to spend a few weeks in Dallas and see Sean’s daughter and son-in-law.  We stopped a few times; one stop in Amarillo was extended a day because of winds over 40 MPH and gusting to 60 MPH.  Crazy!  We used the time to catch up on work and also visit the Cadillac Ranch.

This was an amazing piece of ‘Americana’. A row of old caddy’s hoods buried in the soil.  Visitors were encouraged to bring paint and ‘tag’ the cars.  Sherry put a sweet love note on one and also an advertisement for loveyphoto.com.  🙂

We have more videos coming, so stay tuned for more updates on our 6 months on the road series!  We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Happy travels!

If you haven’t already, visit our website to view all our travel photography at:

http://www.loveyphotography.com/Traveling-Photography

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Cooking on the Road – Gnocchi Video 10

Hi All,

Here is our Wednesday video.  Sherry is making Gnocchi/Chicken Soup.  It was delicious and great on the trail.  We actually brought some along when hiking the Grand Canyon and heated it up in the JetBoil.  Yummy!

On a side note.  We are running a contest on our Facebook page for a free 16X20 print of one of our photographs.  All you need to do is ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the post about the contest to enter to win.  We know none of us full timers have wall space but if you are interested, or know someone who might be interested direct them to our Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/loveyphoto/?ref=bookmarks

 

Meteor Crater and Albuquerque

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Sean is the ultimate science nerd.

Leaving Williams AZ we took a short drive down the highway to a site just outside of Winslow.  What is in Winslow?  Well, the best preserved impact crater on the planet, Meteor Crater!!!!  OK, this is very exciting if you love science… In fact, it was pretty exciting regardless once we got there and could see the sheer magnitude of the site.  Sean has wanted to see the site since he learned about it as a child, back in the 60’s… or was it the 70’s?  🙂

OK, we were just under the speed limit. :)

OK, we were just under the speed limit. 🙂

We were only staying the night, so immediately after setting up in the RV park, which was only a few miles from the site, we drove to see the crater.  It was a short drive through scrub desert, nothing to see for miles but a few mountain ranges in the distance.    As we approached the impact site, the terrain, which had been relatively flat, rose up to form a steep ridge.  The museum and visitor center were built about halfway up the rise.  Like so much of what we have seen the last few months, the sheer magnitude of what can be found in nature doesn’t become apparent until given a perspective.  For us, driving up to the visitor center we were struck by how massive the huge ridge rising before us truly was… It was amazing to contemplate that huge wall was thrown up when a rock hit the earth….  True, a big metallic rock traveling at about 40,000 MPH, but still, a rock.low res-3763

We took some time exploring the museum and visitor center and watched the short but informative movie that shows every 30 minutes.  We should mention that the site is privately run and there is an admission fee to enter the visitor center.  low res-3726After watching the movie, we walked out to see the crater.  It was a fairly steep climb to get to the top observation deck but well worth it.  We snapped several photos and soaked in the view.

Our next ‘Ahhhh’ moment came when we were on the mid observation deck and used the telescopes set up to show various sites on the floor and walls of the crater.  One sign said there was a mine entrance on the opposite wall, we couldn’t pick it out until we looked through the telescope or our zoom lens on the camera.  Another telescope was aimed at a 6 foot silhouette of an astronaut standing near an American flag at the center of the crater.  Again, almost too small to see with the unaided eye.  We soaked in the views before returning to our RV and capturing some amazing desert sunset photos.

Leaving Winslow, we continued our journey, the next stop being Albuquerque, NM.  We had hoped to stay for several days, but had to adjust plans on the fly.  Sean had been in ABQ several years before for a conference.  He loved the city and in his spare time explored places, but wanted to spend more time viewing the petroglyphs and a few other sites.  Since our plans changed, we only had a day and decided to go to the ABQ Botanical Gardens.  Sherry had read about it and we thought it would make an interesting stop.  We spent a day wandering the gardens and the adjacent aquarium.  The gardens had a number of surprises for us.

Sean loved the train garden and stood for a while watching the various ‘garden’ trains meander along the tracks laid out through the plants.  These ‘garden’ model trains were specially designed to be used outdoors as accent pieces for a formal garden.  The history of the trains and that type of gardening was fascinating reading.  Sean swears if we settle down again he will do a train garden. 🙂  Sherry was fascinated with the Homestead farm on the grounds and became engaged in a conversation with several chickens…

Seriously, Sean pretended he didn’t know her…..

Here are a few samples from that visit.  Sean really enjoyed the waterfall shots and playing with camera settings to smooth out the falls or capture each drop.  These images have been heavily edited to enhance that effect.

We enjoyed the stop and decided a return to ABQ would be in order.  Our next stops were Roswell and Alamogordo.  More on those in the next post. 🙂

If you are interested in our thoughts about the RV parks where we’ve stayed, we have a separate page for reviews on the blog at this link: RV Parks Thoughts and Observations

You can also access the reviews on the main page of the blog through a link on the right hand side of the page.

Safe Travels!!

Baking Oatmeal Muffins – A Video

We made this video a few weeks ago while staying in Williams, AZ.  The weather had been getting chilly and it was the perfect time for baking.  Plus, we were planning a hike at the Grand Canyon and Sean’s Oatmeal/Craisin Muffins would be perfect as a hikers snack.

We have been all over New Mexico the last few weeks and will do a text blog in a few days.  🙂  As always, we appreciate your comments.

Enjoy the video.  If you want the recipe, just send us a message.

Grand Canyon and 5 Months on the Road

Hello!

Well, let’s start with being on the road for 5 months.  A few days ago we were looking through our website at the albums we’ve put up and Sherry exclaimed, ‘Wow, we really have done a lot in just five months!’.

It really is pretty exciting to look back and realize all that we have seen and accomplished while roaming the country.  It is also shocking for us to think that we are nearly half way through our 1 year plan to be on the road.  Have we talked about our plans after a year?  You betcha!  We are honestly torn between continuing our travels and settling down (according to our original plan).  As we have traveled, we have realized there is so much more to see in so many of the places we have visited.  Despite spending nearly three months in Montana and exploring Glacier NTL Park, we want to go back.  We feel we only scratched the surface.  We barely touched the Badlands or the Grand Canyon….  What a dilemma to have.  LOL.  Well, we will have to see what the next 7 months bring in our direction.  It is so cliché to say this, but the last five months have helped us find ourselves.  We have a deeper appreciation of each other and the great diversity of our nation.

One of the best parts of this journey has been meeting so many people and having some great conversations!  Not just the locals, but fellow tourists from all over the world.  At Old Faithful we met a family from England traveling the country after attending a wedding.  In Montana we met many people from the couple back country camping to the families who are full timers with their children.  Let us not forget all of you in internet land.  Some family and friends, but many more we met since starting this journey through our blogs or yours.  Discovering this full time community has been a fun experience of its own.  Thanks to everyone for your encouragement, funny comments and suggestions, and following our growth as full-timers.  🙂

On to the Grand Canyon.  OK, this was a spot Sherry was dying to get to and she was so excited to be able to ride the train into the Canyon (see the blog before this one for a video of the experience).  When we arrived in Williams, our plan had been to explore, take the train and then rush off to our next stop.  All in about three days.  Well, we changed those plans and decided to take a full week in Williams.  That would allow us to visit the canyon twice and see much more of that beautiful area.

Our first trip into the canyon was by train and was amazing.  The train ride was a blast, check out our video of the trip.  When we arrived at the station, we departed quickly to go to the rim.  The view as we walked up was spectacular.  The weather was cold, partly cloudy with spot showers.  You might think, ‘Yuck’!  No, imagine standing at about 7,000 feet, as you approach the rim the reality of the canyon opens up with each step.  Deeper and vaster than you can really grasp.

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Looking down you realize there are layers and layers of depth and the immensity starts to sink in as clouds stream by below your vantage point. Bringing your eyes up to look across the canyon, the sunlight breaking through the clouds brought out vivid colors, the clouds themselves cast immense shadows and added to the depth. The reality was it gave us some spectacular views as we hiked the rim trail.  The sun breaking through the clouds brought out spectacular colors and shadows.  Words fail and photos simply don’t capture the majesty and immensity of the site.  However, we are trying since we are writing this blog and illustrating it with photos… 🙂

A few days after our first trip, we drove back to hike as much of the rim as possible.  Sherry had packed a lunch of chicken gnocchi soup (she is posting a video about how to make it along with the recipe). We spent the entire day exploring the rim from one end to the other and making use of the excellent shuttle service to make sure we hit all the highlights (Sherry said one day she wants a sticker that says “we hiked rim to rim” and for it to be true because we hiked the whole thing from the inside).    There were many visitors to the park, but we found that once we were off the shuttle stops and hiking, we saw very few fellow hikers.  It gave us great opportunities to stumble across some of the wildlife.  A beautiful day for a hike and a fantastic view no matter where we looked.

Returning to the canyon is a must.  We have set a goal to do a Rim to Rim hike… So, another reason to continue our travels.  🙂

We have truly appreciated the comments and conversation with our online friends.  Visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to our videos.  We will try to post new videos twice per week.  We will cook, share stories, and show life living on the road!

OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Please feel free to send along your thoughts and ideas.  As usual, to see more of our photos please visit our website at:

Lovey Photography

 

Grand Canyon Train Ride

Hello Friends,

We have been so busy lately but have made some time to edit and post a few videos.  Our plan is to try and stick to a Wednesday and Sunday schedule for posting… WIFI and/or hotspot capability may throw a monkey wrench into that schedule. 🙂

We really appreciate the comments on the videos.  Keep them coming as well as any suggestions for future posts.

So, this video is of our first trip into the Grand Canyon.  We decided… Sherry really wanted to (LOL)… ride the train from Williams to the South Rim of the canyon.  It was a blast.  Enjoy the video and look for our edited photos from this trip and our second trip in our next text post.

 

Lake Mead, Sedona and Flagstaff… Oh My

Hello friends!

Yes, it has been an incredibly busy month of October and promises to continue to be such for us.  We can’t start this entry without thanking everyone for the positive response to our videos.  We had no idea they would be such a hit!  Look for a video update from us each Sunday and Wednesday.  We will do our best to stick to a post each of those days and already have enough to keep us going for a few weeks.  Please subscribe to our channel on YouTube to stay up to date on the videos.  Sherry and Sean’s YouTube Channel We will try to answer questions that have come our way, especially about cooking and life in general in the RV.  Now, on to the blog:

We left Mesquite, Nevada and drove a few hours to get to a camp sight on Lake Mead.  The drive was pleasantly uneventful other than some rough roads and traffic through Las Vegas.  Yes, there were some shorter routes for us to take, but we decided to stick to interstates and keep it simple.

When we arrived at our spot on Lake Mead, we quickly set up, walked the pups and took off for Hoover Dam.  Sean had last visited the area with his grandparents back in the 70’s.  He commented several times how amazed  he was at the low water level.  We knew how tough the drought conditions were, but the sight of the water line marks on the lakes edge and the actual water line were stunning.

Since we only had a day, we tried to make the most of our time.  We started off by heading to the dam and, after passing through a security checkpoint, we stopped at an area were we could take a foot tour up to the new Tillman Bridge and across the bridge to get a bird’s eye view of the dam.  The bridge and dam are both amazing feats of engineering.  Sean remembered taking a tour of the inside of the dam and learning that so much concrete was poured in such a short time that cooling pipes had to be run through the dam to aid in the curing of the cement.  Otherwise, it would have taken decades to finally set.

We did drive down to the dam and park so we could walk across.  A note here.  Don’t bring your spare tanks of gas with you when visiting the dam.  You can’t park anywhere but the open sites due to security. We didn’t think of that when we left as we were rushing to get on with the site seeing.  OH, another note – Sean made too many dam jokes as we took our walking tour.. pun intended.

The day after our visit to the dam we crossed the Tillman Bridge with our home in tow and our next destination of Williams, AZ where we would stay at Railside RV.  Our original plan had us here only a few days but we upped that to a week so we could see all we wanted to see.  Sherry also had her heart set on riding the train into Grand Canyon National Park… Well, that will be the subject of a new blog AND a video!    : ).

The day after we arrived in Williams, we drove into Sedona.  This was a beautiful drive, winding down the mountains on a road that reminded us of the Going to the Sun Road, only a little wider.  We dropped several thousand feet and gained a few degrees.  It is probably worth mentioning that we went from 90 degree temps to 60 degree temps going from Lake Mead to Williams.  Brrrr.  There are several parks along HWY 89A worth stopping at.  One of them, Slide Rock State Park is the home of one of the top ten swimming holes in the country.. or so we heard.

Sedona was amazing, and we enjoyed wandering the small town and visiting many shops.  Sean even found a coffee mug like one used by his favorite ex-late night talk show host Craig Ferguson.

After Sedona, we holed up in the RV for a little R&R… Well, cleaning and laundry.  The weather had really turned on us and was wet and cold.  Perfect to catch up on chores and edit some videos.  The next day was marginally better so we decided to drive into Flagstaff to see the Lowell Observatory.  This was a religious experience for Sean.  Please don’t ask him why Pluto should still be considered a planet.  We toured the old observatory and heard about the conditions the astronomers faced when it was in use like climbing onto the roof to shovel snow and standing around at night in sub zero temps getting frostbite while waiting for a photographic plate to gather an image of the heavens.   Amazing.  We also had our first (but not last) Tarantula sighting along one of the trails at the observatory.  YIKES!!

In our next several blogs we will cover our trips into the Grand Canyon and a few videos on cooking and baking.  One of the upcoming blogs will cover some of the amazing people we have met through blogging and travel since we started this journey.

Our next entry will be a video blog about cooking.  Sherry made a delicious Butternut squash soup.  Yes, we will share the recipe. : )

Please pass along our links to anyone you think would be interested.

Signing off for now!

Click the link below to see more photos of Sedona, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

Travel Photo Link