Goodbye, Wonderful Weather . . . Hello, Texas!

We said goodbye today to our RV Resort, the cool weather, the new friends, the fabulous music and entertainment, the beautiful scenery, the elk, bear, rock squirrels, the babbling brooks, the mountains, and GREAT food.

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And, said to hello to Texas . . . advancing our watches one hour, the rain, the wind turbines, the hot weather, the wind, and our home (insert smiley face, here).

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We have so enjoyed this trip and are looking forward to our next one.  Hope you’ll join us.

Until then . . . carry on!!

Last Day in Paradise . . . I Mean Taos!

We wanted to eat breakfast at Shotgun Willie’s one last time, so that was our first stop this morning.  It is “the happening” place in Red River, especially for breakfast and lunch.  While eating, we started a conversation with a couple across the aisle.  After sharing experiences of the last several days, we realized that he was the drummer at Texas Reds, where we had eaten dinner the night before.  We also learned that he is Natalie Maines’ (singer for the Dixie Chicks) uncle.  We talked at length about the demise and the recent return of the Dixie Chicks.  That’s the interesting thing about Red River . . . you never know who you’ll be eating with or next to in this town.

Did you know . . .

  • that there are only 475 full-time residents in Red River?
  • that the average annual temperature is 39 degrees?
  • that the average low in January is 19 degrees?
  • that the average high in July is 75 degrees?
  • that the month that gets the most snowfall is March?

Well, now you do!!

After shopping in Taos, we drove through a little town called Arroyo Seco .  We spent a few hours there and visited with the people who own the stores.

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We decided to spend our last night in Red River at Texas Reds.  There was great music; wonderful food; and lots of locals in the bar area.  We invited a couple to join us (for lack of space) and discovered that they were the managers of Shotgun Willie’s (where we had eaten breakfast).  Things get really weird in New Mexico. (insert smiley face)

It’s our last night, and I’m already getting a little teary.  It’s 46 degrees, and I’m dreading the return to warmer weather.  Oh, well . . . life is good in Fort Worth, too!

Carry on!

Way-Far-Back-Off-UP-In-There!

Gary loves maps!  I don’t, because when he hands them to me to help navigate, it always ends with him taking it away from me and saying, “You are good at sooooo many things.  Why can’t you read a map?” Granted, he’s studied it, highlighted it, memorized the markers and highway signs, and planned the route.  I just get in the jeep and am along for the ride.  I think it’s a win/win!

Anyway . . . we began the day eating a great breakfast at Shotgun Willie’s and packing a picnic lunch.  The mission was to drive “off-road terrain” and eat lunch, which we did; however, I had no idea how “off the road” we were actually going to be (of course, Gary knew; he had studied the map, remember?)  The scenery was beautiful (cameras just can’t capture the beauty); the homes are very random; the terrain was very rough; the roads were narrow; and, the lake at the end of the climb was worth it all!

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We hiked to a flat area surrounding the lake to eat our lunch – well, Gary ate; I was so distracted by the rock squirrels that I couldn’t eat.  They are quick, little suckers, wanted our food, not afraid of humans, and seem to multiply in a few, short minutes.  I decided to eat my lunch later!

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We arrived back at the RV mid-afternoon, sat by the river and read, did 5 loads of laundry, and made our way to Texas Reds to eat and listen to the local musicians.  Again, not a bad life; I highly recommend it!  We’re going to Taos again tomorrow to do some shopping – then heading home (I think – wink/wink).

Carry on!

And, on the Seventh Day We Rested!

We spent a relaxing day . . . slept till noon (whaaaat??).  Yep, partying in the mountains will wear you completely out.  Gary decided to extend our time here for another day or two, so he headed for the office.  While there, he became aware of the RV sites that had become available.  He came back, packed us up, and we relocated in the most perfect spot by the river (babbling brook, and all – remember those in Colorado, Peggy?).  It is a perfect place to remind us of New Mexico – mountains in the front and a river behind us.  And, yes; we booked our reservations for next year.

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After settling in, we drove downtown for lunch.  Look at what we saw at our campsite when we returned.  Now, come on; how special is that?!?  P.S.  That’s Elk, not deer!

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Our new friends, Bryan and Janiece Vest from Eufaula, Ok., had a campsite located in the new area.  We didn’t realize it until we parked.  So, we spent the afternoon visiting with them in their RV toy hauler.   For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a RV trailer that has space in the back for a motorcycle.  They haul a big, beautiful Gold Wing motorcycle when they travel.  Don’t worry, Casey; we’re not contemplating that.

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 Spending a relaxing day, catching up with reading, watching a couple of movies (have I told you how much I love our satellite dish??), and planning for our day, driving the rough roads in the mountains made for a great day!  Oh, and don’t fret, Charlotte and Prissy; I have my camera and camera card for our trip tomorrow.  lol

Carry on!

We Closed Down Red River!

By 9:00 a.m., we were sitting in our lawn chairs listening to music played by several different bands.  By 12:00 p.m., we were sampling chili and salsa made by the competitors.  When we entered, we were given 6 tickets and a plastic spoon.  If you liked the chili or salsa, you dropped a ticket in a can for the “People’s Choice Award”.  The salsa made by One Spanish Angel (which was my favorite) won!

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When you spend this much time with people, you become good friends – exchanging email addresses, phone numbers, sharing similar stories, places you’ve camped, types of RVs, and common interests.  No one is a stranger “in these parts”, which Gary and I love (especially, Gary).  I say that to say this:  We ended the night celebrating at a local bar called The Mother Lode, listening to one of our favorite Texas bands, Cooder Graw.  (Can’t forget a name like that, huh?)

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We were among the first ones there, so that we could secure a table.   All of our friends that we had met at the venue (including some of our favorite cooks) sat with us at the concert.  We closed the place down and had a fabulous time!  There are lots of stories that I could share about this night, but, today, let me just share one.

When we left the RV to go the bar, I asked Gary if I needed my driver’s license.  He replied: “Naw, you’re old, and they won’t ask for it.”  As soon as we got to the door, a security guy said, “Mam, it’s a law in New Mexico that you have your driver’s license on you before you enter place like this.”  Gary tried his best to “smooze” the guy, saying all kinds of things like: “She’s a grandmother.  She has a grandson that is 14! ”  “She’s going to be 70 soon.”  “She’s been drinking all day without showing her license.”  And, the whole time, I’m looking at him like, seriously???  Sooooooo, Gary went in; I drove back to the RV and got my license, and the rest is history (what I can remember).  Just kidding, Casey!

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I’ll pace myself (and you) and save the other stories for another blog post.  Let me end by saying, “I wouldn’t be anywhere else than right here; right now!”

Carry on!

Cool Mountain Nights and Hot Chili Days

In the old days, people came to Red River in search of gold.  Now, people come to this town in search of different treasures . . . the beauty of nature, a slower pace, great food, fantastic weather, and the “up close and personal” concert venues.

How long has it been since you took your lounge chairs, sat for 7 hours (eating, visiting, drinking) under a huge tent, and listened to different bands play every 45 minutes – IN THE MOUNTAINS?  Well, that’s too long!  Funny thing, though; most of the people here are from Texas – escaping the heat and rain, I think.  And the bands . . . from Texas, as well!  We had a blast today, enjoying the awesome weather and listening to some of the most wonderful, original music.  It truly makes you realize that in this world of stress and conflict, there is a place where all of that goes away.  For sure, we will be back next year.  P.S.  I haven’t run this by Gary, yet.  After yesterday’s blog post, he said, “Did it ever dawn on you that missing that turn was intentional . . . that I was trying to escape mountain driving?”  (insert Gary’s wit, here.)

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And, guess what??  We’re going back tomorrow for a full day of music and chili cook-off competition.  We may actually become “mountain people” before long!

Carry on (in the mountains)!

Gary Only Won the Bronze in Direction Competition!

We began our morning having a wonderful visit and breakfast with some new friends.  Our friend, Dean Robertson, had called Gary to say that he had some really good friends that lived in Angel Fire for 5 months out of the year.  After contacting them, they invited us to their lovely, second home in the mountains for breakfast.  They are both retired educators.  (She was a teacher for 35 years, and he was an Associate Dean at Texas Tech for many years).  It was such fun to hear about the life in Angel Fire, and we promised to meet up again on our next visit.

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We left around noon and headed for Red River . . . or so we thought.  After NOT taking a turn in Eagle’s Nest, we traveled for a quite a while in the WRONG direction.  (Cue song:  Over the mountains and through the woods . . .)  Finally, Gary said, “I think we may be on the wrong road.”  To which I replied, “I feel like we’re going back to Texas.”  We turned around (picture that, won’t you? – making a U-turn on a 2-lane highway, pulling a jeep, and not being able to back up) and headed for Red River – AGAIN!  We both admitted that had we not gone in the wrong direction, we wouldn’t have gotten to see the cattle, cowboys, and donkeys crossing the highway.  Polly Positive, here.

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Gary had scheduled our visit to Red River so that we could enjoy the music festival and chili cook-off going on this weekend.  Of course, I had no idea and was ecstatic at the coincidence.  He just smiled and said, “Really?  You don’t think this was planned?”  Surprise!

We ended the night by eating rib-eye steaks at a restaurant called, Bull of the Woods; visiting with a lovely family from McAllen, Texas, and realizing that this was going to be a “happening place” for the next four days. 

Can’t wait to party and carry on in Red River!

 

The Rio Grande Gorge . . . Who Knew????

After spending yesterday relaxing (well, I did.  Gary pretty-much looked for things to organize in the motorhome.  CISD people:  You know what I’m talking about!), we headed for Taos to spend the day.  My vacation planner (a.k.a. Gary) had a list of things to do and see.  I always look forward to these days, because I have no idea what he has in store for us.  Remember he likes surprises??

We ate at an authentic Mexican food restaurant, Ranchos Plaza Grill, and the food was amazing.  Gary’s comment was, “You NEVER eat all your food.”  He’s right, but this time was an exception.  It was amazing!

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Adjoining this restaurant was the San Francisco de Asis Church.  We immediately started thinking of Christopher, our son-in-law.  He paints the most beautiful churches, so I couldn’t wait to get my camera out.  Just wondering . . . has anyone else ever left their camera card in the computer and forgotten to replace it in the camera?  That happened to me today, and just so you know . . . it’s impossible to take pictues with your camera!  I pouted for a bit while Gary took over with his phone.  Love the pics that he got!

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After shopping on the square, we drove out of Taos and headed for the Rio Grande Gorge.  I had never heard of it and, for sure, was not prepared for the beauty of it.  Driving along a 2-lane road, we suddenly came to a bridge – not a huge bridge, but a long one.   I was shocked!  Gary started laughing when I said, “OMG!  What have you done?”  It was breath-taking!  After getting pics from above, we took a gravel (very winding) road to the bottom.  Love having the jeep!  As I squealed and awed, Gary hung on to the steering wheel and got us safely to the bottom.  P.S.  He’s quickly getting over his fear of heights!

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We head to Red River tomorrow for a few days.  Love this part of the country and all its beauty!

Carry on!

 

I Don’t Know Much, But I Know . . .

  • That a relaxing day in the mountains lowers your blood pressure (even though the altitude makes you breathe faster).
  • That Gary can’t remember how many days it takes to adjust to the altitude (about 3).
  • That people in Angel Fire are skinny for a reason . . . there are no fast food restaurants and only one grocery store (even though that grocery store sells every type of beer, liquor, and wine on the planet – winner!).
  • That Gary has a hard time doing NOTHING!  Me . . . not so much!
  • That RVers go to be bed early and leave early in the morning.  Us . . . again, not so much!
  • That naps are a good thing when it’s raining and cold outside.
  • That a great way to meet your next door camping neighbor is to arrive at the hot tub just as they are leaving.
  • That LOTS of people are here from Texas.  Wonder why?  (insert sarcasm, here)
  • That you can’t put your trash out for pick up at night, because of the bears!  Whaaaaaat?
  • That waking in 46 degree weather is a glorious thing (but not anymore glorious than my fleece pjs).
  • That finishing my book, Orphan Train (thanks, Jane), and having time to pick up another book, Hello Darkness (again, thanks, Jane), in the same day, would never happen at home. 
  • And, finally, that sitting in a hot tub in 40-degree weather, under the stars and a full moon, at the base of the mountains, with your love is the epitome of retirement.  And the best part?  No one cares what you look like in a swimsuit!!

Carry on!

Gary Scored and Won the Gold!

Who likes surprises?  Not me, but Gary loves them.  He surprised me twice today. 

First time:  Gary had researched a good place to eat before we left Amarillo.  He kept talking about this hamburger place named Blue Sky on Sunday night, but they were closed.  Not to be outdone, we were there when the doors opened at 11:00 a.m. to try the “best darn green-chili-jalapeno-cheese burger in these parts”.  I was kinda ho-hum about the whole idea; after all, I had just had my energy shake after walking 3 miles in the RV park.  Surprise #1!  I ate like I hadn’t eaten in a month.  It was worth the wait!

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Second time:  The drive from Amarillo to Angel Fire took a while.  With construction and a 2-lane road, it seemed to take forever.  And, then . . . we hit the mountains.  I could immediately feel my heart race and my breathing improve.  As we passed RV parks, I became a little disillusioned – nothing bad, just RVs parked soooo close together and nothing spectacular. 

Was I ready for Surprise #2?  I couldn’t believe it when we pulled into the RV Resort at Angel Fire.  It’s the nicest (and most expensive) place we’ve ever stayed.  Gary said that the smile on my face was worth the drive to get here.  

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Now, for those of you who do not camp, this may not seem like much (remember our Root 66 park – stills makes me smile), but in the world of camping, this is the Mack Daddy.  We are located at the base of the ski lifts, have access to a putting green (shoulda brought a putter), an indoor pool, exercise room, excellent Wi-Fi and cable, hot tub with fire pit attached, dog park (we don’t have one), best bathrooms and hottest showers ever, and a pickle-ball court (like tennis, but small courts – had never heard of this until we started traveling.  They actually just had a tournament before we arrived with rankings like tennis – probably a good thing that I missed that!)  Okay, enough . . . just enjoy the pictures!

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SCORE!  Gary – 2; Kaye – 0 (for you, Prissy, I’ll carry on) 🙂